A weekend of tributes for the fallen

Hundreds of people – young and old, and from all walks of life – will gather for a mission Saturday morning before 8 at the Biloxi National Cemetery, the serene garden of stone on the sprawling grounds of the VA Medical Center in west Biloxi.

American flags will be placed on each of the 18,000 markers in the cemetery, signaling the Memorial Day weekend.

On Monday at 9 a.m., Brig. Gen. Patrick Higby, commander of the 81st Training Wing at Keesler, will be the keynote speaker at a Memorial Day ceremony. Then on Tuesday morning at 8, the mission to remove the flags will take place.

Also this weekend, you’ll also find a new production at Biloxi Little Theater, the Sounds by the Sea outdoor concert featuring the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra.

Among the headliners in town are Hank Williams Jr., Jo Dee Messina, Earl Thomas Conley, Staind, and the tribute group KISS Army.
See the weekend entertainment lineup

Jump into Summer Fun on the Town Green

West End Hose Co. No. 3, the Biloxi Fire Museum, will usher in summer with two days of family fun this weekend on the Town Green.

“Jump into Summer Fun,” 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, will feature water slides, face painting, pony rides, hamster balls, and all of the trimmings you would expect to see at a family oriented, fun-filled affair. Admission is $2.
See a flyer on the Biloxi Fire Department Facebook page

Development report: Council OKs new subdivision, land-use issues

By Jerry Creel, Community Development Director

This week in economic development, the city council voted to approve a new 110 lot single family residential subdivision development to be located on Mason Road in north Biloxi. The proposed market rate homes will be approximately 1700 square feet and will sell for around $175 thousand. The council also voted to approve a zoning change for property located on Popp’s Ferry Road to accommodate a new (yet to be named) Bank.

Also, three text changes to the Land Development Ordinance were approved by the city council: (1) to re-establish the “Enclosure of Use” language for businesses, (2) To allow “Bail Bondsman” offices to be permitted as a “conditional use” in “Neighborhood Business” zoned districts, and (3) to change the language to require 1 parking space for each guest room for both hotels and motels.

Modified tax abatements were approved for “Kress Live” in the Vieux Marche’ and for the proposed “Reef Restaurant” to be located on the south side of Beach Blvd between Shaggy’s and the Waffle House. “The Reef” will include the restaurant, retail, and residential living spaces.

Our department issued building permits for another 5 new single family homes. There are currently 14 residential subdivisions within the city with some level of active approval or construction which could potentially include over 1400 homes.

MDOT to close I-110 June 2-3 and June 15-19

MDOT has announced that the I-110 highrise will be closed to all traffic on June 2 and 3 from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. and again on June 15-19 as contractors move into the final stages of an $8.5 million upgrade of the bridge’s mechanical and electrical systems.

MDOT says that although the contract allows for 15 nightly closures, the contractor on the project has indicated that their schedule will require nightly closures on June 2 and 3, and June 15-19. Additional closures would be June 22-26, if needed.

MDOT is advising motorists to use Highway 609 (Ocean Springs) and Highway 605 (Gulfport) as alternate north/south routes via Hwy 90 and I-10. Local traffic may also use the Cedar Lake Road exit and Popp’s Ferry Road.

MDOT Southern Transportation Commissioner Tom King said the new technology being installed on the bridge will improve the long-term performance of the bridge.

“The I-110 drawbridge was in critical need of this technological update,” King said. “This major renovation provides modern day technology to increase the dependability and safety of the forty year old drawbridge.”

The project is anticipated to be complete by July 2014.
See Traffic Update column
See Traffic Cameras

Face it. We’ve got plenty of photos

Collections of photos from city and community events this week past:

Blazing car fire: Councilman Felix Gines captured dramatic images of a car fire in his neighborhood this week. To see the images, which Gines shared online, click here.

Preservation: It was standing-room-only for the Preservation in May gathering Thursday at the Biloxi Visitors Center. To see the images, click here.

Breakfast with Mayor: See photos from this week’s Breakfast with the Mayor at the Bonefish at Edgewater Mall by clicking here.

Council meeting: To see photos from this week’s City Council meeting, click here.

News and notes

Baseball: The City Council will be discussing the downtown baseball stadium next week. The first session dealing with MGM Park at Beau Rivage is proposed to be behind closed doors at the outset of the council’s 1:30 p.m. meeting and the other in open session when a construction timeline will be presented. To see the meeting agenda — which includes resolutions involving on-going infrastructure work, transfer of equipment to the Harrison County Fire Service, and change orders to the seafood museum construction contract — click here.

Crawfish cookoff:  Crawfish connoisseurs and cookers, take note. Special Olympics of Mississippi will stage the inaugural SOMS Crawfish Cookoff and 5K at Point Cadet Plaza on May 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The event will offer bragging rights to crawfish teams, and will help raise money to help stage the year ’round Special Olympics activities. For information on the festival, and how you can be a part of the cookoff or the run, click here.

Webcasting: Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols says the city is well into its preparation mode for the hurricane season, which begins June 1. To hear Nichols speak on this and other issues in this week’s City Desk webcast, click here.

Memorial preview: The city’s Public Affairs Manager discussed Memorial Day activities and other events on “Gulf Coast Mornings,” the talk show on Newsradio 104.9 FM. To listen to the program, click here.

DRC agenda: The Development Review Committee, the multi-department group that reviews commercial development, is not scheduled to meet next week. However, you can see an archive of agendas by clicking here.