Gilich to summit: ‘High-tech will bring in more high-tech’

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich unveiled his newest economic development initiative Wednesday at the first-ever Biloxi Technology Summit before an appreciative audience of Coast industry leaders.

“We’re working to bring new, cutting-edge, high-tech industry to Biloxi, and when we do, it will attract more high-tech industry,” Gilich said after the five-hour event at the Biloxi Civic Center.

Representatives of LifeSafe+ of Richardson, Texas, and NanoRidge of Houston, Texas, presented ambitious plans for a Biloxi manufacturing plant to develop and distribute products for the biometric identification and superior conducting materials industries. The two companies have been recruited for the past six months by Gilich and his development team.

Presentations were made to an invited group of local businesses including Keesler Air Force Base, Huntington Ingalls, Mississippi Power, and Biloxi-Gulfport International Airport. Also participating were South Mississippi Planning and Development District, Gulf Regional Planning Commission and the Harrison County Development Commission.

“The possibilities for these two industries and for Biloxi and the Mississippi Coast are just incredible,” said Leonard Bentz, SMPDD executive director.

City Attorney Gerald Blessey and Chief of Civic Innovation & Development F. Cliff Kirkland explained to the attendees that they were pursuing a public-private partnership to help bring the manufacturing plant to Biloxi. Blessey also outlined the job creation and potential economic impact of a 60,000-square-foot joint manufacturing facility.
See photos from the Biloxi Technology Summit


TD9 gets an upgrade and a name: Hermine

The depression formerly known as Tropical Depression 9 has picked up winds, now up to 45 mph sustained, and a name: Tropical Storm Hermine. It’s about 525 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla., ¬†and is moving north-northeast at 7 mph, headed for the Florida coast.
See the latest forecast info


Biloxi relief group making an impact in flood areas

The mayor and City Council of Independence, La. will be serving steak dinners tonight to a group of off-duty and retired Biloxi firefighters who have cooked and served meals and gutted nearly a dozen homes in and around the small flood-stricken town.

The Biloxi contingent, which arrived in Independence on Aug. 25, spent their first day cooking and serving beef and pork steaks, roast beef, hamburgers and hotdogs to more than 1,100 relief workers and residents whose homes were heavily damaged in catastrophic floods that struck Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

“Eight of us arrived on Thursday,” Fire Chief Joe Boney said this afternoon. “We worked through the weekend and gutted five homes in Independence, then we traveled to Zachary and gutted a home there. ¬†Then we did four more in Baton Rouge and we’re working on our fifth now.”

On Monday, 18 off-duty Biloxi firefighters arrived, bringing the Biloxi group to more than two dozen.

The Biloxi relief effort was organized by the West End Hose Co. No. 3, the city’s all-volunteer fire museum, with donations from are businesses and individuals. An online donation effort also raised funds.

Boney, who said the Biloxi group is expected to return home Thursday, has worked alongside two fellow chiefs who he had befriended: New Sharon Iowa Hills (Iowa) Chief Steve Garrard, who assisted in Biloxi after Katrina, and Independence Fire Chief John Polito, who Boney met at the National Fire Academy.

Earlier this week, the leaders of Independence recognized the trio and their volunteers with a standing ovation at a City Council meeting.
See photos from the front lines
Video: Independence leaders salute Biloxi, New Sharon


Sign up and get your kicks at Hiller Park

The City of Biloxi is now registering teams for its Annual Hiller Park Revitalization Kickball Tournament.

The tournament will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Barbara Ferrill Softball Fields, 1940 Edgers Rd. with two games played by each team.  Teams are to be made up of 9 to 13 players ages 14 and older and each must include at least three female players.

“This will be the third year to hold this fun, competitive friendly¬†tournament at the Park,” Parks & Recreation Director Cheryl Bell said. ¬†“Its a great way to participate in a¬†fun¬†community event that benefits Hiller Park. Also, teams will have the opportunity to win prizes.”

$200 and a trophy will be awarded to the 1st place team and the 2nd and third place team will receive a trophy.  The fee is $100 per team and registration is weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Hiller Park Office, 380 Hiller Dr.  Registration ends Monday, Sept. 26.

The City of Biloxi, along with the Friends of Hiller Park is hosting the tournament and all monies received will go towards the revitalization efforts of the park.
See the flyer
See photos from last year’s tournament


News and Notes

Pool party:  In celebration of a new school year, the Parks & Recreation Department will hold its annual Back-to-School Pool Party Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Biloxi Natatorium. The pool party is free and open to the public.  To see the flyer, click here.

Photo album #1:  The city council held a special called meeting on Tuesday to continue discussions of the municipal budget for FY 2017.  To see images from that meeting, click here.

Photo album #2: ¬†Biloxi Excel by 5 held a ribbon cutting earlier today to mark the organization’s expanded facilities at the Lopez Elementary School. ¬†To see images from the gathering, click here.

Photo album #3:  Parks & Recreation and Public Works crews are working on U.S. 90 this week to remove sand and trim medians on east and central beach in Biloxi.  To see images of the work, click here.