Chamber now accepting State of the City reservations

Mayor A.J. Holloway will present the annual State of the City address during a Biloxi Bay Chamber-sponsored luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

“We have a great deal of things to speak about,” Holloway said, “and this year, we’re going to make it even more informative, we’re going to tell the story in words and pictures. We’re going to talk about the accomplishments we’ve seen citywide in 2011, and look toward the goals of 2012.”

The Bay chamber is now accepting reservations for the affair, which traditionally sells out a week or so beforehand. Seats are $35 each or $350 for a reserved table of 10. No tickets will be available at the door.

As a public service, Cable One will play the speech to its Biloxi subscribers the next day at noon, 8 and 11 p.m. on Cable 13.

2011 speech redux: To see the video and photos from last year’s State of the City presentation, click here.

2012 reservations: To see a reservation form for the 2012 State of the City luncheon, click here.

Council revises meeting schedule for January, February

The City Council, which normally meets the first, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month, has revised its meeting schedule for January and February.

The council meets on Tuesday, Jan. 17 and 31 at 1:30 p.m. and on Jan. 31 at 10:30 a.m. holds a special meeting to discuss re-drawing of ward lines for the 2013 municipal elections. In February, the schedule is revised to avoid meeting on Feb. 21, which is Mardi Gras. The February schedule is Feb. 7, 14, and 28 at 1:30 p.m.

All meetings are open to the public and will be at City Hall. Agendas are typically posted on the city website the Friday before the Tuesday meeting.

City moving forward on restoration of old library

The City Council this week approved a $389,000 contract for the renovation of the Old Biloxi Library on Lameuse Street. The structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will house the city’s finance division, which is now in the City Hall annex, which will be demolished.

Also approved on Tuesday: purchase of a $105,000 knuckle boom loader to help the Public Works Department remove roadside debris; $27,700 in security upgrades for the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center, and $7,580 in funding for the Biloxi Youth Basketball League;

Incidentally, at its Dec. 20 meeting, the council approved a contact with Dale Partners Architects to help move forward revitalization plans for Point Cadet, which will focus on the waterfront area north of the Biloxi Bay Bridge. Council members also approved the purchase of nine police SUVs for a quarter-million dollars, using federal funding.

Dates of note: Bike Biloxi, and Mardi Gras, yes, Mardi Gras

Jan. 16 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, parade in downtown Biloxi; Mississippi residents get free admission at Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, where a bronze sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., created by John Wilson, will be on display.

Jan. 17 – Monthly Bike Biloxi Dinner Ride in downtown Biloxi meets at 5 p.m. at eco-Geno bike shop at Biloxi Transit Center, at Reynoir Street and MLK Boulevard. Dinner at Port City Café, also in the Transit Center, will be held at the ride. Details: Main Street Biloxi, 435-639 or

Feb. 20 – Annual Children’s Mardi Gras Walking Parade, through downtown Biloxi.

Feb. 21 — Mardi Gras parade rolls through downtown Biloxi.

Ohr opens New Year with new exhibitions

The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is celebrating 2012 with three new exhibitions:

— “Earth • Sea • Sky” features works from the art pottery collection of Dod Stewart, Past President of the American Art Pottery Association and author of Shearwater Pottery. The exhibition of more than 70 pieces of Newcomb, Shearwater and Singing River pottery is in the IP Casino Resort Spa Exhibitions Gallery.

— “Looking Ahead: Portraits from the Mott- Warsh Collection,” on display in the Beau Rivage Gallery/Gallery of African American Art, features rare representational and conceptual portraits of African Americans by significant artists, including Chuck Close, Romare Bearden, Robert Mapplethorpe and Elizabeth Catlett.

— A dramatic exhibit of clay work, “Confluence: Ceramics by Alisa Holen” in the Mississippi Sound Welcome Center, balances contrasting elements within each piece.

Permanent exhibitions include “George Edgar Ohr: Selections from Gulf Coast Collections”; “My House: The Pleasant Reed Story”; and “The Native Guard: A Photographic History of Ship Island’s African American Regiment.”

For more on the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, click here.