This weekend was the third annual Bellingrath’s Beers & Blooms, and it was a huge success.
The plants and flowers at Bellingrath Gardens and Home might not have been the main attraction on Saturday. There was music and a dozen brewers serving up cold craft beer out on the Great Lawn.
Attendees gushed not only about the beautiful weather but also the excellent libations. Mobile’s Braided River Brewing and Oyster City Brewing Company were our representatives.
The event was a smash hit because of the flourishing local beer scene.
And the live acts and setting weren’t too shabby either!
Alabamian Among 33 Mushers Participating in Iconic Iditarod Sled Dog Race
The 33 mushers competing in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska have started their journey to Nome.
The first musher to set out across a frozen lake roughly 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Anchorage was Jessie Holmes, an Alabamian now residing in the Alaskan town of Brushkana.
To make ends meet, Holmes works as a carpenter and is a regular on the Discovery Channel program “Life Below Zero.”
The rest of the mushers set out in two-minute intervals. Over two mountain ranges, icy rivers and streams, and the perilous ice of the Bering Sea, they will cover nearly a thousand miles (1,609 kilometers) of the harsh Alaska winter landscape.
In around 10 days, the victor will lead their sled dog team down Front Street in Nome to the famous burled arch finish line.
The current champion, Brent Sass, a kennel owner and wilderness guide who resides on a homestead about four hours northwest of Fairbanks, will lead the charge.
Pete Kaiser, the current 2019 winner, is also taking part. The field size of 33 mushers is the smallest ever for this event.
There were 34 mushers in the first competition in 1973, but an average of 63 entered the first 50 events.
This is an unusual year because there are only two previous winners competing.
Alabama Legislature Prepares to Address Funding and Polarizing Topics
When Covid hit, public schools were a focal point of a nationwide cultural conflict.
Folks scrutinized many aspects of educational policy, including the use of critical race theory, social and emotional learning, and book bans.
Last year, lawmakers in Alabama took up some of these issues, passing legislation that makes it illegal for students to use a school bathroom or locker room that does not correspond with their assigned sex at birth.
They also made it illegal to discuss controversial topics in pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms.
As not many bills have been pre-filed by legislators, it is unclear which topics will be heard by State House committees this year.
Nonetheless, we have had a look at a few bills pertaining to elementary, middle, and high school settings, such as:
- Giving parents a $6,000 voucher for every school-age child that could go towards private schooling or educational materials for homeschooling
- Prohibiting discussions on polarizing topics (similar to last year’s)
- Requiring schools to carry out regular lockdown drills
- Protecting student-led prayer
The Alabama Board of Education is still contemplating these topics in debates. They’ve been vocal about their shared goal of improving the lives of the state’s youth throughout these discussions.
One hot topic these days is the preparedness of students for first grade. They’re not advocating for compulsory kindergarten, but these kids still have to be ready!
On March 9, the board will vote on adopting a rule allowing schools to determine which test they will use to determine whether or not a student is ready for first grade.
The Most Sizeable Apartments in the Country
Apartment sizes are shrinking in American cities, but that isn’t strictly the case in Alabama.
That is most emphatically not the case in Mobile and Huntsville, two of the state’s major cities. These are where some of the largest apartments in the country are currently being constructed.
According to a recent study conducted by RentCafe, an apartment search website, using data from Yardi Matrix, both locations are in the top 10 for expanding apartment sizes.
It’s true; the apartments around here are getting bigger! Ten years ago, the average apartment was about 188 square feet smaller than what is now available.
Airport Authority Announces Arrival of New Airline in Mobile
The Mobile Airport Authority has announced that the Mobile International Airport will soon be welcoming a new airline and nonstop destination (BMF).
An MAA press statement states that details will be revealed tomorrow, on Tuesday.
The Mobile Regional Airport is served by three major airlines: Delta, American, and United (MOB).
We wonder who it’s going to be.
Plans for Mobile County Aquatics Center Unveiled
Williams Blackstock Architects were commissioned to create a preliminary design for the Mobile County Aquatics Center, which Commissioner Connie Hudson just revealed in her March newsletter.
The Soccer Complex (currently three multi-sport grounds with 10 planned) and the proposed Aquatics Center are two of the many planned additions to the now-170-acre Mobile County Sportsplex, located at 3701 Hall’s Mill Road.
When finished, the proposed 40,000-square-foot Mobile County Aquatics Center will feature an indoor short-course competition pool measuring 25 yards by 25 meters.
There’s also going to be a warm-up/instruction pool, locker rooms, restrooms, an outdoor competition pool with two dive wells, and parking for more than 200 vehicles.
It’s nice to know that the county is providing an avenue for citizens to train and get fitter!
Check out some of the renderings here.