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"Life is better here"

Welcome to the City of Orange Beach's
community newsletter. 

Vol. 5, Issue 27

It’s Official! 

Orange Beach City Schools is officially the newest city school system in Alabama! A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday morning at Orange Beach Middle/High School to mark the historic day in Orange Beach - July 1, 2022. 

It was also officially Superintendent Randy Wilkes first day on the job and what a way to start. 

“It is a great day in Orange Beach, Alabama. Can we agree?” Wilkes said, kicking off the ribbon-cutting ceremony with a round of applause and cheers. “It is absolutely fantastic to see everyone today.”

He followed by rattling off the timeline of how the state’s newest school system formed in record time. From the City Council’s unanimous approval on March 15, 2022 to separate from Baldwin Schools to July 1, 2022, the official separation day. 

“I have a degree, two actually, in mathematics,” Wilkes said. “According to my calculation, that is 107 days in which this school system was created. Here’s a little bit of perspective because we’re in Andy Andrews territory, it only took God six days to create the heavens and the earth, just saying, but 107 days to create a school system is remarkable. And what gives me just a little bit of angst is that it's 41 days until we open our doors for students. That’s less than 150 days from start to service. That’s pretty remarkable people. Pretty remarkable. It’s been an amazing journey thus far and there’s no doubt that the best is yet to come.”

Orange Beach City Schools Board of Education President Robert Stuart began by wishing everyone a “Happy Separation Day” and talked about an early conversation that he and Mayor Tony Kennon had. 

“There’s no telling what we were talking about, it was something about the schools, and what the conversation was about was this is a God thing,” Stuart said. “So before I thank anyone else, I want to thank my Lord and Savior. Then after the Lord blessed it, I really appreciate the mayor and council for their vision and courage to make this happen. You know, it hasn’t been the easiest thing but with this leadership, their determination, their drive, there is no way that this will fail. So thank you, thank you very much. Next folks, I want to thank - and yes I had to write it down, I guess it’s an age thing - I want to thank my fellow board members, the teachers, the staff, everyone that stood with us and that are excited about making this not just the best school in the county, the state, but a premier school in this nation. And we are on the way.” 

Stuart added that the mission of the school board is very simple: “We want Orange Beach to be the best and we are going to do everything we can to make that happen.”

Following up on Stuart’s thoughts, Mayor Kennon said what was accomplished in just over 100 days should not have been humanly possible. 

“It was divine intervention, divine providence, divine fill-in-the-blank, it doesn’t matter, it was of the good Lord above and I believe that with all of my heart,” Kennon said. “To see this mayor and council be in place at this time, the right minds, and this board come together with a commonality that I just never in a million years thought five people would have because they know where we’re going - and we’re all going in the same direction - and then for Randy to show up and all of the other hires and the teachers - it is just the Orange Beach version of the parting of the Red Sea.”

With that, Mayor Kennon added, comes a demand for greatness. “Because He expects greatness. The good Lord expects greatness from us and I don’t think we can settle for anything less. The pressure is on and we are starting today. We will be greater than great. We need to say no more. So I thank everyone for being here because this is truly a historic day.”

After the blessing of the school system was led by Pastor Jim Kinder of Orange Beach UMC, Mayor Kennon took time to recognize one individual. 

While there are way too many people to thank and it's hard to just single one person out, Mayor Kennon said “there is one person that I think was instrumental and this is the second time this person has held things together when it was falling apart. And that’s Robbie Smith. Thank you, Robbie. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

In addition to the ceremonial ribbon cutting, the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber proclaimed July 1, 2022 as Orange Beach City Schools Day. 

Congratulations to everyone who made this day possible for Orange Beach students. Go Makos!





See more photos on the City of Orange Beach Facebook page. 

WELCOME MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENT RANDY WILKES

Orange Beach City Schools Superintendent Randy Wilkes hit the ground running on Friday morning with a welcome message for parents, teachers and the community. If you still have questions, he likely answers them in this video.

SCHOOL NEWS
 
 

Orange Beach City Board of Education 


Upcoming scheduled meetings and/or work sessions: 
  • Thursday, July 14, 2022, 4:30 P.M. Work Session followed by 5:30 P.M. Special Meeting in Council Chambers
For additional meeting information, go to https://www.orangebeachal.gov/departments/city-schools/meetings.
 

Find all of the latest school news on Facebook at: 
Latest News
City Council to meet July 5

The Orange Beach City Council is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 5th in the Council Chambers at City Hall, followed by the Committee of the Whole work session. The council meeting will be streamed live on the city's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/orangebeach. The agendas are available at https://orangebeach.novusagenda.com/agendapublic
 

City offices closed Monday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day

In observance of Independence Day, non-essential city offices will be closed on Monday, July 4th. 

Trash and recycling will not be affected. All routes will run as normal. 

Offices will open for normal hours on Tuesday, July 5th.

The city hopes everyone has a fun and safe Fourth of July holiday!        

Fourth of July firework shows planned in and around Orange Beach

With the Fourth of July falling on Monday this year, the Independence Day festivities will be extended with some fireworks shows happening on Saturday and others planned for Monday, weather permitting. 


Saturday, July 2nd - Perdido Beach Resort - Independence Day Celebration, 6-11 p.m. with fireworks around 9 p.m.

Perdido Beach Resort will host its annual Fireworks Celebration and Barbeque on Saturday, July 2nd, on the hotel beach decks in Orange Beach. 

The annual event includes an all-American beachside barbeque, live music featuring The Mixed Nuts, cash bars, and a star-spangled fireworks show from the beach. Find more information at https://www.perdidobeachresort.com/july-4


Saturday, July 2nd - OWA in Foley with fireworks at 8:50 p.m.

OWA in Foley will have its 4th of July Weekend Party going on from Friday, July 1st to Sunday, July 3rd with fireworks scheduled for 8:50 p.m. Saturday, July 2nd. Find details at https://visitowa.com/the-fourth/.


Monday, July 4th - Flora-Bama - with fireworks (Freedom Run and BBQ on Saturday, July 2nd)

The Flora-Bama 4th of July All-American BBQ Party will be held on Saturday, July 2nd. The day’s events kick off with the 2nd Annual Freedom Run at 8 a.m., a 4-mile run and 1-mile fun run. Later in the day, guests can enjoy BBQ, and live music. Fireworks will happen on Monday, July 4th. Find more information at https://www.florabama.com/4th-of-july-party. Freedom Run details can be found at https://www.florabama.com/freedom-run.


Monday, July 4th - The Wharf, 5-9 p.m. with fireworks at 8:45 p.m. 

The Wharf will host its annual Independence Day Street Party, with fireworks, on Monday, July 4th on Main Street and Marlin Circle in Orange Beach. Find more information at https://alwharf.com/events/2022/07/04/23690.  There is also a Shark Run 5K at 7 a.m. Monday, July 4th, at The Wharf. Find all the details at https://alwharf.com/events/2022/07/04/25235.


Monday, July 4th - Turquoise Place - Annual J4 Celebration with fireworks at 9 p.m. 

Turquoise Place will host its annual J4 Celebration for its private guests on Sunday and Monday, July 3rd-4th with fireworks at 9 p.m. on Monday. Find all the details and other activities for Turquoise Place guests at https://turquoiseplace.spectrumresorts.com/?specials=j4-celebration.


Monday, July 4th - Fireworks at Gulf State Park Pier with show starting at 9 p.m. 

The City of Gulf Shores will celebrate the Fourth of July with its annual fireworks display from the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier, beginning at 9 p.m. on July 4th. 

Second Full Moon Paddle planned for July 10 on Wolf Bay

The second Full Moon Paddle of the 2022 summer season is scheduled for Sunday, July 10th at the Orange Beach Wind & Water Learning Center on Wolf Bay.

The cost is $30 with all proceeds going to the Baldwin County Child Advocacy Center. The June 12th paddle raised $640. The July event will include dinner by Luna's Food & Drink, entertainment by Jerry Anderson, and a guided paddle across Wolf Bay to watch the sunset and full moon rise. Dinner and entertainment at 6:15 p.m., with the paddle starting at 7 p.m.

The Wind & Water Learning Center is at 26267 Canal Road, behind the Orange Beach Public Library.  

Pre-registration is required. Registration closes at 9 a.m. Friday, July 8th. Online registration is available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wolf-bay-full-moon-paddle-july-10-tickets-368359161167

Print out a registration form for the July 10th Full Moon Paddle by clicking here. Also, forms are available at Orange Beach City Hall and the Recreation Center.

All funds raised go directly to the Baldwin County Child Advocacy Center.

  • Participants must bring their own kayak or canoe, lifejacket and white light (headlamps work best). 
  • Participants must wear life jackets during the paddle. 
  • Paddling experience is necessary for this event that covers 3-5 miles depending on condition. 
  • It is not an event for beginners or young children. 

For more information, contact WWLC Coordinator Jackie McGonigal at 251-974-7245 or on her cell at 251-424-5909 or via email at jmcgonigal@orangebeachal.gov.

2022 Orange Beach Citizens’ Public Safety Academy set for August 9 to September 13

The Orange Beach Police Department is now seeking participants for the 2022 Citizens’ Public Safety Academy. 

The Academy will be held August 9 to September 13, 2022. Classes are free and will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The academy is designed to provide the Orange Beach Community with an overview of the police and fire department’s operations to increase the level of understanding and cooperation between the community and departments. 

A number of topics will be presented to include the following: 

Patrol Operations, Narcotics, Investigations, Police Records, Dispatch, Officer Training Program, Traffic / DUI Enforcement, School Resource Officer Program, Marine Division, Vehicle Extrication Demo, Medical Response Demo, Live Fire Demo and Apparatus Display. 

Classes will be held at: 

  • Orange Beach Police Department, 4480 Orange Beach Blvd., Orange Beach
  • Orange Beach Fire Department, 25853 John Snook Drive, Orange Beach

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age and a background check will be completed prior to acceptance. 

Applications may be obtained at the Orange Beach Police Department front desk or by contacting Sergeant Joey Brown at 251-923-5805. 

Applications must be turned in by Friday, July 26, 2022.

New OBFD Ladder Truck 3 in service with new Fire Station No. 3 under construction

Paradise is a little more protected now as the new Orange Beach Fire Department Ladder Truck 3 went into service on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at Fire Station No. 3, next to Orange Beach Middle/High School. Before officially going into service on Tuesday morning, a blessing of the engine was led by Fire Chaplain Fred Franks. 

The $1.25 million fire engine has a 110-foot ladder extension with a platform at the end. Before the blessing, Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling, City Administrator Ken Grimes, Jr., and Councilman Jerry Johnson said a few words. Residents and visitors alike are in good hands thanks to the public safety investments supported by Mayor Tony Kennon and council members Johnson, Annette Mitchell, Jeff Boyd (mayor pro-tem), Joni Blalock and Jeff Silvers. 


See more photos on the City of Orange Beach Facebook page. 

Orange Beach Senior Center July 2022 Newsletter and Calendar

The Orange Beach Adult/Senior Activity Center’s Shoreline Newsletter and Calendar for July 2022 are available now. 

July 2022 Events (Please pre-register for activities.)

  • Monday, July 4: CLOSED for Independence Day 

  • Friday, July 22 at 10 a.m.: GAME & LUNCH – BBQ Picnic.  Moe’s BBQ with indoor “yard games” such as corn hole, checkers, and more. Cost: $3. 

  • July 25-31: CLOSED for Facility Renovation. Pardon our progress as the Senior Center updates the flooring in the big group room.  Re-opening date is currently set for the first week in August.  Please check with the Senior Center for updates. 

  • Wednesday, August 3 at 9:30 a.m.: TRIP – Claude Peteet Mariculture Center Tour of the fish hatchery in Gulf Shores, designed to supply a variety of fish species to the Gulf of Mexico. Lunch to follow (not included). Cost: $2. 

Find more details on classes, programs and activities on the City WebsiteOrange Beach Senior Center July 2022 Newsletter and Calendar

To sign-up for an activity, or if you have any questions, please call 251-981-3440.  Information can also be found online at https://www.orangebeachal.gov/facilities/adultsenior-center/about.

Junior Marksmanship Program returns in July

The annual City of Orange Beach Junior Marksmanship Program will include a Clay Shoot on Saturday, July 9th and a Rifle Shoot on Saturday, July 16th at the city’s shooting range. 

The program, conducted in conjunction with the State of Alabama Department of Conservation, Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division, is open to children ages 8 to 15. Younger and older children may attend pending approval - call 251-980-5946 for more information. 

  • The Clay Shoot will be held from 8 a.m. to noon July 9th. Participants will learn an introduction to clay shooting. Firearms safety is stressed throughout the entire event. 
  • The Rifle Shoot will be held from 8 a.m. to noon July 16th. Participants will learn an introduction to rifle shooting. Firearms safety is stressed throughout the entire event. 

Each event is first come, first served and limited to 30 participants.  The fee is $10 for each event. Registration forms can be picked up and returned to Orange Beach City Hall and the Orange Beach Recreation Center. 

The shooting range is located at 23111 Russian Road. From the Foley Beach Express take University Lane between Columbia Southern University and Baldwin EMC. Take first left onto Roscoe Road and then first right onto Russian Road. Follow the signs from there.

This event is subject to cancellation due to range availability and weather. 

For more information, contact 251-980-5946. 

IN THE NEWS

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City of Orange Beach 
4099 Orange Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, Alabama 36561

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