Billy Crystal in town and he looks ‘mahvelous’

“Mr. Saturday Night” himself, Billy Crystal, the comedian who parlayed a standup act into becoming a star of the small screen, silver screen and Broadway stage, is joined by Bonnie Hunt to headline this weekend’s entertainment lineup.

Crystal and Hunt are on bill at the Beau Rivage, and you’ll find Creedence Clearwater Revisited at the IP,  and Biloxi Little Theater continues its run of “Raisin in the Sun,” part of the community’s continuing MLK celebration.
See the complete lineup for details


Council to consider major development issues

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich will be asking the Biloxi City Council next week to take action on four of the major economic development issues he touted in the State of the City presentation this week.

On Tuesday, during a 4 p.m. special meeting of the City Council, the mayor will discuss the proposed high-tech manufacturing industry that he wants to see established in Biloxi. He will be asking the council to approve a measure that would ask the state Legislature to give Biloxi authority to establish “Biloxi Biometrics and Cybersecurity Center,” a non-profit corporation that would lead to a public-private partnership for research and development firms.

Then, at the 6 p.m. meeting of the City Council, Gilich is asking the council to amend the current budget to incorporate $5 million in grants for work on the new main entrance to Keesler, and to hire architect Walter T. Bolton & Associates for work on a pier for the Ship Island Excursions.

And, in a fourth measure, in the same vein as the mayor’s ultra high-speed internet initiative, the mayor wants the council to approve a resolution asking the Legislature for authority to build internet capacity and services for use by the city itself.

The council’s 6 p.m. agenda also includes two zoning cases: one involving a proposed upscale RV park west of the Coast Coliseum, and a rezoning of a parcel of land on Baker Street from manufactured/mobile home to neighborhood business.
See the complete council agendas


Gilich, CSX look at rail crossings safety, numbers

Biloxi is working to create two boulevard-style rail crossings in the city, one for the extension for Popp’s Ferry Road to U.S. 90 and another for the Pine Street extension to Back Bay Boulevard, but the growth, according to CSX officials, means that at least six of the city’s current 29 rail crossing may have to close.

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich met with CSX officials earlier this week as part of an ongoing dialogue about economic development and rail safety throughout the city. No decisions have been made on which crossings could close, as the city awaits information from CSX and traffic counts from Gulf Regional Planning Commission before making recommendations to the City Council.

Gilich and his Administration also have been working with CSX to facilitate development and the return of Amtrak passenger rail service through the Mississippi Coast, and to address safety concerns caused by the high number of rail crossings in Biloxi.

“We share a commitment to safer rail traffic through Biloxi and we’re working on a plan for consolidation that will address our safety concerns while assisting economic expansion in east and west Biloxi,” Gilich said.

Biloxi has 29 rail crossings, 20 of which are bunched between Porter Avenue and Oak Street in east Biloxi. According to CSX, there is an abnormally higher incidence of accidents at city crossings than the Southeastern average. Recently, a soft drink delivery truck was struck by a freight train in Downtown Biloxi after getting stuck on the tracks.

“We agreed to work together on recommendations that will address all the issues involved in rail crossings across the city,” Gilich added. “We’ve established a timetable for an exchange of information and once we’ve completed our due diligence, we’ll make a recommendation to the City Council. That should happen in the next couple months.”
See a map of the city’s rail crossings


News and notes

Mo’ ‘FoFo’ TV: Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich discusses the State of the City during an appearance on “WLOX News This Week” airing Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on WLOX ABC. Of course, you can still learn all about his presentation earlier this week and a find a link to video on demand by clicking here.

‘FoFo’ in cyberspace: Biloxi’s leader and Mrs. Mayor guested on this week’s “City Desk” podcast in the wake of the State of the City luncheon Wednesday afternoon.  To listen to the seven-minute program, recorded at the Beau Rivage’s Magnolia Ballroom, click here.

News and notes: Finally, an item overlooked in the run up to the State of the City earlier this week. To see the weekly report for last week, which itemizes the work of the city’s Fire, Police and Community Development departments, click here.