Marathon lures runners from 48 states

Nearly 2,500 runners from 48 states were in Biloxi and on the Gulf Coast Saturday and Sunday to take part in the Gulf Coast Marathon, and police said the event, which took place Sunday morning primarily on U.S. 90, went smoothly.

The affair, which traveled from Henderson Point in Pass Christian to MGM Park in Biloxi, featured two days of running events, a slight change to the marathon and half marathon course, and a successful traffic plan.

“Everything went smoothly,” Biloxi Assistant Police Chief Mike Wills said today.  “Westbound traffic was not affected this year and we had officers throughout the course providing assistance.”

This year, the final leg of the race allowed runners to travel from U.S. 90 north onto the I-110 ramp, turn south and exit the I-110 ramp on the north side of U.S. 90 avoiding any closures of westbound traffic. 

The relatively flat course attracted a total of 1,827 finishers: 441 marathoners and 1,386 half marathoners. Ben Schneider, 34 from Minneapolis, Minn., finished the marathon with a time of 2:28:43 and Kate Roundtree, 35 from Lafayette, La., finished with a time of 3:10:01.

Other activities included the 5K with 559 finishers and 103 kids of all ages for the Chevron Kids Marathon on Saturday. 
See more about the race


Old Walmart site, other issues on council agenda

The city on Tuesday takes another step in the process to see a handful of as-yet-unidentified retail outlets move into the former Walmart site on Pass Road.

The City Council, during its 1:30 p.m. meeting at City Hall, will hold a public hearing on the plan to designate the area as a urban renewal project. The step follows up on an acknowledgement by the Biloxi Planning Commission last month that the goals of the Pass Road project are in line with the city’s comprehensive plan, a document that outlines goals and objectives in growth of the city.

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich previously sought and received approval from the City Council to work with the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District to land new retail outlets to the site. Under the plan, the developers of the site would share in any new sales taxes generated, an incentive that would help lure new retail to the site, which has been dormant for several years, since Walmart relocated to a  superstore on a C.T. Switzer Sr. Road site. 

“The goal is to revitalize the old Walmart site, which offers tremendous opportunity for that vacant building itself and the outparcels,” Gilich said, “and we’re doing it in a way that offers incentives using the new revenue generated. It’s innovative, which means it takes time, more time than we like, but it is moving forward.”

Also on the agenda are two measures dealing with the lineup of city holidays, which the Gilich administration continues to bring inline with state law.
See background on the Walmart site plan
See the complete City Council agenda and supporting documents


Here’s your invitation to see the new junior high school

Students and teachers in Biloxi Public Schools have had nearly a semester to become familiar with the spacious, state-of-the art Biloxi Junior High School, and now they’re ready to show it off the public.

Biloxi Public Schools will host a BJHS Open House on Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the junior high school.  The affair is free and will include performances from the Fine Arts programs, tours of the school, and light refreshments. 
Visit the website for Biloxi Public  Schools



News and notes

The week that was:  The cold weather has continued to drive the increase in calls to the Biloxi Fire Department, as shown in the recap of last week’s emergency responses. To see last weeks reports from the departments of Fire, Police, Community Development and Engineering, click here.

Holiday Open House:  The annual Holiday Open House at the Biloxi Visitors Center is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is free.  To see the flyer, click here.