WEEKLY ROUNDUP: Fun, Finance, Fries, and the Future

Mobile Rundown Staff

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statues of helen keller and rosa parks to be unveiled

Statues of Helen Keller and Rosa Parks will be unveiled at the Alabama State Capitol, honoring their legacies. 

Rep. Laura Hall (D-Madison) supported the bill for their creation, and sculptor Julia Knight crafted the Rosa Parks statue to highlight her activism.

James “Jimmy” Rane, CEO of Great Southern Wood, is Alabama’s only billionaire with a net worth of $1.5 billion, according to Forbes. 

Rane, 77, is also the founder and chairman of his company, a leading manufacturer of pressure-treated lumber.

Alabama State Parks will add 12 pollinator gardens with a $25,000 RC&D grant. 

These gardens will enhance visitor experiences and improve habitats for pollinators, providing significant ecological benefits.

The Alabama Big 10 Mayors launched their second annual photo contest, inviting Alabamians to submit photos of the state’s 10 biggest cities for a chance to win a $500 Visa gift card. 

Entries are accepted until Sept. 2, with voting through Sept. 8, and the photo with the most likes on social media wins.

Southern Research awarded over $2.7 million to eight biotech companies through its new Therapeutics Development Fund. 

The grants will add more than 24 jobs and attract companies to Alabama, enhancing the state’s biotech industry.

M&K’s Fresh Produce opened in Prichard, providing affordable fresh fruits and vegetables to a food desert area. 

The store aims to help the community, with many customers appreciating the new access to nutritious options.

 mobile county schools to install vape detectors

Mobile County Public Schools are installing vape detectors in middle and high schools to reduce student vaping. 

Funded partly by a Juul Labs settlement, these devices will detect nicotine and THC, aiming to improve school safety and student health.

Gateway Community Outreach at Navco held its second food giveaway, partnering with Feeding the Gulf Coast. 

They distributed meat, seafood, and around 23 pounds of produce and milk to 400 families, along with free clothes.

Checkers & Rally’s, a Mobile-founded fast food chain, is celebrating National French Fry Day with a chance to win a “Fully Loaded Fry Pass” from July 1-12. 

Additionally, customers can get free fries with any purchase through the Checkers & Rally’s Rewards app from July 12-14.

The City of Mobile has appointed Kendell Young as the new Homeless Outreach Coordinator. 

Young, with over a decade of experience, will collaborate with local organizations and community partners to support and provide resources for the homeless population.

The $16 million rebuild of Mobile’s St. Louis Street will begin after Mardi Gras 2025, lasting about two years. 

The project, funded partly by a $12 million RESTORE Act grant, includes road restoration, new sidewalks, underground utility work, and additional trees.

Researchers at the University of South Alabama are deploying Sentinels, high-tech monitoring stations, to collect real-time hurricane data. 

These stations, set up on the beach before storms, measure wind speed, direction, temperature, humidity, rainfall, water quality, and waves to improve understanding and safety during hurricanes.

Abbie Stockard, Miss Hoover, was crowned Miss Alabama 2024 at Samford University’s Wright Center. 

Stockard, a nursing student at Auburn University, will represent Alabama at the Miss America competition and focus her community service on cystic fibrosis awareness.

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