Keesler gate funding draws approval of breakfast crowd

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich this morning sounded familiar themes on his vision of Biloxi – “friendly, safe and beautiful” – and drew a round of applause when he mentioned the $5 million in state funding that has been committed toward a new main entrance for Keesler Air Force Base.

Gilich spoke to a Biloxi Chamber of Commerce “Breakfast with the Mayor” audience this morning at Hard Rock Live. The venue was the site of his first Breakfast with the Mayor presentation a year ago this month.

“I feel we’re getting traction on issues,” the mayor said, referring to the new Keesler gate at Division Street, which had been discussed for decades, and the broadband initiative, a Coastwide effort to see the introduction of affordable and universal high speed internet.
Hear more and the shark-fence story in City Desk
See photos from Breakfast with the Mayor


Biloxi hosts inaugural STEM Summit

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, continuing the innovation and development initiatives that have underscored his first year in office, today hosted a STEM Summit at City Hall to stimulate a greater dialogue about the necessity of promoting science and technology education in the modern classroom.

“Encouraging our children to embrace science, technology, engineering and math is vitally important to our future for employee training and job development,” Gilich told a group of educators and STEM facilitators. “Existing industries like Ingalls, Keesler and the Stennis Space Center already have a need for critical thinkers and that need is only going to grow in the near future as we continue to court more high tech business to our area.”

Biloxi native Lawrence Love helped plan the summit and was pleased with the outcome. “We brought a diverse group together to start a louder conversation on STEM advancement,” he said. “Mayor Gilich and the City of Biloxi should be congratulated on taking a lead role to get more students excited and involved in science and math.”

Mark Mitrovich, CEO of Global Learning and Leadership in Chicago, presented an overview of a National STEM Demonstration Program that has been successful in stimulating interest among students who otherwise struggle with science and math. Kat Brown of Achieve 3000 in Atlanta provided an overview of literacy’s impact on the STEM initiative.

Also attending the session were Oyd Craddock, retired IBM executive who was involved in STEM programs in Georgia; Superintendent Arthur McMillan and Assistant Superintendents Drs. Janice Johnson and Karen Norwood of Biloxi Public Schools; Toy Watts of Moss Point Public Schools; Rodger Wilder and Amy Perry of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Diane King, executive director of Gulf Coast Education Initiative Consortium; and Dr. Tom King, chief development officer of IMPACT Education of Hattiesburg.

“This was a good start,” said Love, who is Vice President of Business Development INPRO Platform in Atlanta. “Next we plan to expand the conversation Coast-wide to help develop a stronger push that will benefit all our schools.”
See photos from the initial meeting


News and notes

State swim meet: Fifty-five swimmers and coaches with the Biloxi Elite Swim Team will be traveling to Tupelo this week to participate in the annual Long Course State Championships on July 21-24.  BEST, as the team is called, is a year-round competitive swim team hosted at the Biloxi Natatorium.   To learn more about the team, click here.

Planning meeting: The Biloxi Planning Commission meets Thursday afternoon at 2 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Municipal Building. To see the agenda for the meeting, click here.

AHRC correction: The newly constituted Architectural and Historical Review Commission will have its first meeting on July 28, to elect officers and hold orientation for its three new members. The AHRC is expected to review all pending cases at its Aug. 4 meeting. A Bmail on Tuesday gave the incorrect date for the first meeting. To see the corrected story, click here.

City Desk: Yes, it’s true, the City Desk podcast is online a day early, taking advantage of Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s “Breakfast with the Mayor” session this morning. To hear Gilich’s thoughts immediately after the speech, click here.