Gulf State Park

An Alabama judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state’s plans to build a beachfront hotel with BP settlement money stemming from the 2010 oil spill.

Yesterday, Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin ruled Jim Zeigler had no authority to bring the lawsuit against Governor Robert Bentley in Zeigler’s official capacity as State Auditor.

Judge hears arguments in Gulf State Park lawsuit

Sep 13, 2016

Lawyers for Alabama officials are pleading their case to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the use of oil spill settlement funds to build a beach hotel.  APR Student Reporter Parker Branton has more…

Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin heard arguments Tuesday in the request to dismiss the case.

The state auditor and a legislator sued Gov. Robert Bentley.  They say the money is being allocated without legislative approval

 Alabama's attempt to rebuild its beachfront state park using oil spill money is again embroiled in controversy. 

Businessman Tom Schlinkert says officials are shutting down his zip line adventure ride at Gulf State Park in Gulf  Shores and refusing him $40,000 in compensation as construction continues on a new coastal hotel. That project is being funded in part with BP money, even though a hurricane destroyed the old lodge years before the oil spill.

The state auditor has re-filed a lawsuit against Gov. Robert Bentley's effort to build a hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park.

Auditor Jim Zeigler and state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, both frequent critics of the governor, filed the lawsuit today in Montgomery court. The filing comes four days after a judge dismissed a similar suit filed by the former conservation director for lack of standing.

The lawsuit challenges the state's use of oil spill funds on the project.

The state is looking to pay for outside legal counsel to represent Governor Robert Bentley and his Law Enforcement Chief. A-P-R student reporter Katie Willem has more…

The state will pay up to two hundred thousand dollars to represent Gov. Robert Bentley and his law enforcement chief in a wrongful termination lawsuit.        The legal action is being brought forward by the governor's fired secretary of law enforcement.

The first Airbus produced by the company’s U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile is set to take the skies for the first time next week.

The Alabama-built A321 plane will take off from the Mobile Airport at 9:15 Monday morning barring any weather or other pre-flight test factors. The future JetBlue Airbus’s test flight is a normal step in aircraft production and takes place before the company gets the plane. 

Following the flight, the aircraft will go through a few more weeks of final delivery preparations.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has its own wish list for the current legislative session.

The SPLC’s 2016 Legislative Guide focuses on issues like education, economics and equal rights. The guide doesn't just outline problems; it also offers possible solutions.

Rhonda Brownstein is the legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. She says more state money needs to be allocated to education, not jails.

Supporters and state officials are rallying at the state capitol today for National School Choice Week.

Alabama is celebrating the variety of educational opportunities for children throughout the state, allowing them to decide what type of school they want to attend.

Sonya DiCarlo is the Director of Communications for the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund. She says there are scholarship opportunities for families to pick the school of their choice.

An environmental group has asked a judge to hear oral arguments in its lawsuit challenging the state of Alabama's plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a beachfront hotel.

The Gulf Restoration Network filed the request earlier this month in federal court. The group asked for expedited arguments, citing Alabama's continued work on the project. The state is building a new 350-room beach hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.

Alabama is moving forward with plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a 350-room hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park.

Gov. Robert Bentley hopes the beachfront facility, intended to handle meeting of up to 1,500 people, can open by 2018.  Bentley says many beachfront conferences now go to Florida because there is not a meeting place large enough on the Alabama coast.

The Alabama state report card on its infrastructure will be released in December by the American Society of Civil Engineering. APR student reporter Taylor Swinney has more.

The United States as a whole has not graded well over the years, coming in with an overall D+ in the American Society of Civil Engineering's last report in 2013.

Andrew Herrmann is the former President of ASCE. He says Alabama citizens pay more a year to drive on roads and bridges that are not in good condition.

Governor Robert Bentley is in West Virginia today.  He’s highlighting the Gulf State Park Project as an innovative strategy for tourism and economic development at the Summer Meeting of the National Governors Association.

Governor Bentley is the vice-chair of NGA’s Economic Development and Commerce Committee.

Bentley presented Alabama’s plans for the Gulf State Park Project and highlighted its benefits for the state’s tourism industry.

Governor Robert Bentley says the state faces a “real crisis” with its budget. Bentley is now taking his fight to fill the state’s coffers to the streets.

The governor is continuing his tour of speaking engagements to rally support for his proposed $541 million tax proposal. He spoke at Guntersville State Park yesterday.

Despite a dire budget situation that may force two thirds of Alabama's state parks to close, two of the parks remaining open are planning to build new hotels on site.

Both Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores and Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham are finalizing major upgrade plans to their facilities, which include multi million dollar hotels.

cb4go.com

The Alabama legislature has paved the way for a new resort to be built on 29 acres of state-owned land at Gulf Shores State Park.

The bill allows Gov. Robert Bentley flexibility to work with a projects committee to decide the best way to build a major resort that would replace the state-owned lodge that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

WALA-TV

BP and federal and state officials have reached an agreement on proposed early restoration projects from the BP oil spill that are expected to cost about $94 million.

The projects are part of BP's plan to provide up to $1 billion in funding for recovery of natural resources that were impacted in the BP oil spill.

en.wikipedia.org

One of the most pristine areas in Alabama, a sandy white stretch at Gulf State Park, could become the site of a large hotel and conference center.

Bills pending in the Legislature would let the state use money from BP's Gulf oil spill fund to build a conference center and let a private developer build an adjoining hotel. The Republican sponsors, Sen. Trip Pittman and Rep. Steve McMillan, said the goal is to create an upscale site on the Alabama coast to attract conventions like those drawn to Sandestin in the Florida Panhandle.

wkrg.com

Signs of last year's fire that scorched nearly 1,000 acres can still be found at Gulf State Park, but dramatic signs of its recovery are also evident.

WKRG-TV reports that what was charred timbers and ashes is now tall grasses, flowers and wildlife after the June 2011 blaze.

Park naturalist C.J. Jarmon says four months after the June 2011 wildfire, a salvage operation removed a lot of the dead timber and mulched mounds of debris.

So far, 23,000 long leaf pine trees have been planted in the area to help refurbish it.