A seven-year journey filled with grand ideas, a disheartening setback and recent achievements for Commissioner Connie Hudson is “just the beginning” of a quest to add a sprawling soccer complex to an industrial strip of Halls Mill Road in Mobile.With a unanimous vote Monday, the County Commission approved a $4 million contract with Mobile-based John G. Walton Construction Inc. to build four soccer fields at the 60-acre Mobile County Soccer Complex. The fields are associated with what Hudson calls “Phase 1” of an overall project that will offer 10 soccer fields including one “championship” field, parking and other features. “I am very happy,” said Hudson. “I think this amenity is needed by our community and has been for a long time. It’s exciting to see it take shape.”She added, “The hope is that it’s a catalyst. This is just the beginning.”‘Catalyst’Work on the project is expected to get … [Read more...] about ‘Just the beginning’: Mobile County OK’s soccer complex construction
Mobilians’ love-affair with the live oak tree is understandable to Bill Boswell, who believes the tree has become as much of a symbol for the city as Mardi Gras.“I can’t imagine a Mobile without live oaks and I hope that is never the case,” said Boswell, a resident along the oak-canopied Government Street.He isn’t surprised to hear there is outrage about the latest plan to remove dozens of them.According to the plan for a “transformative” project along Broad Street, 60 live oaks will have to come down. The possible demise of the trees is prompting spirited social media reaction, and raising eyebrows on the City Council.On Thursday, the council members repeatedly queried the city’s administration regarding routine items related to the Broad Street project. The concerns focused on whether the routine items had anything to do with the fate of the trees.Time and again, city officials – including the city engineer, chief of staff and … [Read more...] about Mobile encounters pleas to preserve live oaks
Less than two weeks since Mardi Gras Day’s parades rolled through Mobile, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Mobile had their turn.The group held their 66th annual parade through downtown Mobile Saturday. Dressed in their traditional kelly green blazers and top hats, the group strolled along Dauphin Street tossing out green beads and other trinkets to revelers who showed up wearing green sweaters and jackets. It was a cold and windy day for a parade that began right at Cathedral Square near the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.The St. Patrick’s Day parade comes almost immediately after Mardi Gras, which drew more than 1 million people to downtown Mobile for two weeks of parades and balls. … [Read more...] about St. Patrick’s Day parade rolls through Mobile
A journey to build a new outpatient health clinic for veterans in Mobile that began when Sonny Callahan was still representing Alabama’s first congressional district more than 17 years ago, ended Monday with the opening of a new facility in Tillman’s Corner.The Mobile VA clinic, a 65,000-square-foot facility visible from Interstate 10 west of downtown Mobile, will officially begin seeing patients on March 25. But on Monday, with about 400 people in attendance – most of whom were military veterans – a celebration took place to welcome a clinic viewed as “one that our veterans deserve." “These people are worth every bit of it in giving them a state-of-the-art facility so they can get the health care they deserve when they need it,” said U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Fairhope. “There are many who will take advantage of it.”The new clinic replaces the region’s only VA outpatient clinic at University of South Alabama facility on … [Read more...] about After a long journey, Mobile finally welcomes new veterans outpatient clinic
The majestic live oak is a Deep South emblem for strength and beauty, with lifespans of hundreds of years. When they are unceremoniously removed, outrage follows.“Remember when that rabid Alabama fan poisoned the Auburn trees?” Pete Burns, a Mobile attorney, said Tuesday, referring to the notorious 2010 crime at Toomer’s Corner. “Remember when the guy girdled the Inspiration Oak at Magnolia Springs?” Burns continued, referring to tragic vandalism in 1990 when someone sawed a ring around the trunk of a giant live oak in Baldwin County, sentencing it to death.He added, “It was an international issue. Why? The trees are irreplaceable.”The history lessons, and ringing praise for the tree that’s an unofficial symbol of Mobile, were heard again and again Tuesday at a hearing before the Mobile City Council.In the end, the council voted 6-1 to deny an appeal from residents protesting a project that involves removing 62 live oak trees along Broad … [Read more...] about Preserving Mobile’s live oaks: ‘Pig in a poke’ or firm commitment?