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Off the Record: Bulldogs’ classic move; Madison’s herbal essence; and more …



Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama


Alabama A&M’s magic touch

Alabama A&M’s cease and desist letter to the Alabama Sports Council over the use of the school’s branding for the Magic City Classic has prompted quite a few reactions throughout the state. AAMU, the largest HBCU in the state, has also requested an audit of revenue and compensation related to the Magic City Classic since 2017.  More details are expected to be released soon but a source close to the situation tells OTR in the 20 years of the Magic City Classic, promotion of the event has never been put out to bid. Apparently, Alabama State University insists that Eventive Sports, formerly Bruno Events, handle the game and promotion. AAMU’s request for a closer inspection seems to be gaining traction. The Magic City Classic is set for Oct. 28 at Legion Field. 

A smelly situation 

Lately, visitors to Madison City Hall have been getting a whiff of the police force’s success. It seems the evidence room is located directly underneath the main entrance to City Hall and, in the summer months, the smell of confiscated drugs, specifically marijuana, is pervasively pungent. The mayor is pushing to move the evidence room to another location but the effort is held up in political crossfire with the City Council and won’t be relocating anytime soon.    

Meredith eyeing 2028? 

If you’ve been paying attention to Huntsville City Council lately, you might have noticed City Council President John Meredith has taken quite a vocal stance on a number of higher-profile issues. Meredith won the District 5 seat over incumbent Will Culver in 2020. Now if we were to ask Meredith if he’s planning on running for mayor, we feel sure he would say it was the furthest thing from his mind. But if you watch closely, particularly around potentially popular budget items, one might assume that it is not the furthest thing from his mind. Perhaps not in 2024, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a Meredith mayoral run in 2028.  

The Mells making moves into Madison? 

We spied none other than Matthew Mell recently checking out a space in downtown Madison. Mell and his extraordinarily talented wife Stephanie Kennedy-Mell are the masterminds behind the numerous ChurchStreet Family concepts in North Alabama. You can thank the restaurateur super duo for Purveyor, Mazzara’s, Church Street Wine Shop, Catacomb, Pourhouse, and the new downtown Huntsville piano bar, The Library. They are also set to open a Lil Mazzara’s in Athens in the coming weeks. Whatever the Mells might be cooking up, we’re sure Madison is ready for it.    

Kvach goes Hollywood 

Keep your eyes peeled for the national TV debut of Singing River Trails Executive Director John Kvach. Alabama’s “Trail Boss” will be appearing in a campaign honoring a beloved local small business. We can’t divulge the details of the massive honor just yet but we can tell you Kvach apparently received the full Hollywood treatment and pulled off the requisite makeup look quite well. A source on set might have heard him remark, “I feel pretty.” 

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