"Life is better here"

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

Vol. 1, Issue 46

After three months of training, 24 written tests and over 70 skills evaluations, the Orange Beach Fire Department Firefighter I/II Recruit School Class of 2018 graduated on November 14th.

The 13 individuals, ranging in age from 18 to 50, took to the stage at the Orange Beach Event Center as recruits and stepped down as sworn firefighters, with six representing Orange Beach Fire Rescue, five with Prichard Fire Department, one with Atmore Fire Department and one with Gulf Shores Fire Rescue.

The class fulfilled all of the requirements set forth by the Alabama Fire College and Personnel Standards Commission.

(See photos of the graduation ceremony on the city's Facebook page.)

The ceremony included the badge pinning by the graduates’ family members and loved ones; a certificate ceremony led by Assistant Chief of Training Kevin Lanford; and the oath of office given by Orange Beach Fire Chief Justin Pearce. City Administrator Ken Grimes welcomed the Class of 2018 and retired Tuscaloosa Fire Chief A.J. Martin gave the graduation address. Also in attendance was Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby, who serves as vice chairman of the Alabama Fire College.

The graduates include the following:
  • Cole Akerman (Orange Beach Fire Department)
  • Beau Cecchi (Orange Beach Fire Department)
  • Cole Fincher (Prichard Fire Department)
  • Hunter Gunn (Orange Beach Fire Department)
  • David Guy (Atmore Fire Department)
  • William Holder (Prichard Fire Department)
  • Peter Kreamer (Orange Beach Fire Department)
  • Brett Lesinger (Orange Beach Fire Department)
  • Brett Long (Prichard Fire Department)
  • Kevin McCormick (Prichard Fire Department)
  • Daniel Nicholson (Prichard Fire Department)
  • Owen Shivers (Orange Beach Fire Department)
  • Scott Smothers (Gulf Shores Fire Rescue)
Find a full article on the Fire Recruit Class of 2018 on the City Website at
From all of us at the City of Orange Beach,
have a Happy Thanksgiving! 
Latest News

City offices closed Nov. 22-23 for Thanksgiving

During the Thanksgiving holiday, non-essential city offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 22nd and 23rd. Concerning trash pickup, the usual Friday residential routes will run on Saturday.


School Update 

Progress! On November 15th, the Baldwin County Board of Education unanimously approved the bid for the new Orange Beach Middle/High School. The construction contract went to Sharp, Inc at just over $26 million. The Performing Arts Center, which the city is committed to building, will be bid separately.  

Looking ahead, Mayor Tony Kennon is planning a meeting for Orange Beach parents at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 12th at the Orange Beach Community Center. All parents are highly encouraged to attend this meeting to share questions and concerns that will be collected and presented to county school system staff at a meeting in January. Childcare will be provided. 

Gingerbread Jam 

A gingerbread assembly and decorating competition for families and businesses will be held on Saturday, December 1st at the Orange Beach Community Center. Building begins at 9 a.m. and the event will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free entry and viewing. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available for purchase. The cost is $10 for the family category (4 family members or friends) and $25 for the business category. Both categories will be judged separately. This is a fundraiser for the Expect Excellence Culinary Arts Program. Find more information on the Gingerbread Jam on the City Website. 

Food Drive ongoing  

The Orange Beach Adult Activity Center is collecting non-perishable food items throughout the month of November to benefit the Area Council on Aging’s Food Pantry. All food items donated will go to help the senior citizens of Baldwin County. Please drop off donations at the Adult Activity Center, 26251 Canal Road; there will be a drop-off box in the lobby. For more information, call 251-981-3440.

The City of Orange Beach Christmas Tree Lighting at the Wharf will be held Tuesday, November 27th. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. and will feature a program with Santa, performers singing Christmas Carols, cookie decorating, hot chocolate, and will culminate with the Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting.

'Shop Alabama for the Holidays' Tour Stop 

The Alabama Retail Association has selected Orange Beach as a 2018 host city for its 3rd annual Shop Alabama for the Holidays tour! Alabama Retail will promote the statewide shopping initiative and announce its new holiday hashtag campaign, #DoubleYourGift, during the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 pm at The Wharf. Find details on "Shop Alabama for the Holidays" on the City Website.

This is the story of “Obie” the juvenile brown pelican that has become a well known on social media in Orange Beach, Alabama. For those who haven’t hear about Obie, this pelican had a minor wing injury that caused him to rest along the shores. A few citizens in the area reached out to the Orange Beach Wildlife Center and Management Program concerned about his well being. After initial evaluation, Wildlife Center staff observed that although he seemed tired, he still was strong enough to fly away from us multiple times. Per the regulations laid out by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, if no injury is seen, the animal can effectively evade capture and hunt, we aren’t to intervene.

The following morning the Wildlife Center received some more calls that he was still hanging around. So they were back at the beach first thing. This time, Orange Beach Wildlife Center intern Thomas Rossman II was able to sneak up on the pelican, while he was sleeping, to make the capture. Overall, he was healthy, with the exception of a small wound on his wing. We gave him some time to rest at the center before we sent him along his way. He gained some social media attention when one of the finders/callers, Skie Brown, posted about him on Facebook. If you watch the video until the end you can hear the rockstar send off that seemed rather appropriate for this social media celebrity! Good luck, “Obie!”

NOTE: This injury was probably due to a fishing hook, which unfortunately is a common problem we see with our shorebirds. Please remember to properly dispose of monofilament and hooks, cover your bait and catches and never feed the wildlife. “Obie” was one of the fortunate ones; however, most are not this lucky.

More information on the Orange Beach Wildlife Center and Management Program can be found at
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Copyright 2018 | City of Orange Beach | All rights reserved.

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

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