Harry Connick headlines full weekend of entertainment

Grammy- and Emmy-winning performer Harry Connick, one of New Orleans’ favorite sons, tops the weekend’s entertainment lineup with shows this evening and Saturday at the IP Casino Resort.

Also on tap this weekend: There’s a KNS Theater production of “Beauty & The Beast” at the Saenger, and a home and garden show at the Coast Coliseum. You can see the champions at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Beau Rivage’s Fallen Oak course, or take in shows by Rodney Atkins and The Pointer Sisters at Hard Rock.

For details on these events and others, click here.

New Hilton Garden Inn moves closer to opening in Biloxi

Biloxi’s newly established tax-exemption program will see its largest request next week when developers of a proposed Hilton Garden Inn on west beach seek tax incentives.

The measure is one of nearly two dozen issues scheduled to come before the City Council during their meeting Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 at City Hall. Also on the agenda: agreements with Harrison County to improve roads in the Bent Oak and West Oaklawn Road areas, and a measure to begin removing the destroyed fishing bridges on Back Bay and Point Cadet.

The Hilton project, believed to be a $12 million investment, has been in the works for more than three years. It would see a seven-story, 142-room hotel constructed on an L-shaped lot just west of Rodenburg Avenue north of U.S. 90, across from the Sharkheads Souvenir Shop, where owners received a property tax-exemption weeks ago.

“This is what this program is about — making thing happen in Biloxi,” said Mayor A.J. Holloway. “I encourage all developers looking to build in Biloxi to take part in this program. We’re not promising everyone that they will be granted a full exemption on their city property taxes, but we’re encouraging new or rebuilding businesses to look into this program. We want to help you open for business in Biloxi We want to help make things happen.”

For background on the tax program, click here.

Annexation, yes, annexation, on agenda yet again

Biloxi’s corporate boundaries could grow slightly — on paper — on Tuesday through annexation, but it’;s not a new annexation case. Mayor A.J. Holloway will be asking the council to approve a measure that updates the city’s geographic boundaries based on the recent annexation case with D’Iberville.

The court, in its final ruling, tweaked Biloxi’s victory to include about an acre more on Mississippi 67 across from D’Iberville High School. D’Iberville, of course, is appealing the case.

Holloway also will ask the council to award a $9.4 million contract to W.C. Fore Construction Co. to remove concrete remnants of the Old Back Bay and Point Cadet fishing bridges and place the rubble on the Katrina reef south of Deer Island. The FEMA contract includes more than $270,000 in state funding to see the concrete moved to the reef.

Also on the agenda: the re-appointment of Sherry Bell as acting director of the Parks and Recreation Department, and a measure to extend IP’s parking lot variance — limestone or gravel instead of concrete or asphalt — for an additional two years. The lot covers 14.2 acres and comprises 84 parcels.

To see the complete agenda and available resolutions, click here.

News and notes

Historic milestones: In this week’s City Desk webcast, Bill Raymond, the city’s historical administrator, gives a preview of the rapidly approaching dedication of the Old Brick House, and he discusses progress on the Lighthouse Park and Visitors Center, the Biloxi Public Library and Civic Center, the Magnolia Hotel, other historic sites on the Rue Magnolia, the Swetman House and the Saenger Theater. Plus, you’ll hear about plans for the city’s Preservation in May series. To listen to the 23-minute program, click here.

Baseball tonight: Biloxi High faces George County in a district contest tonight at the Biloxi campus. JV game is at 5, varsity plays at 7. If you can’t make it to the park, listen online by clicking here.

New biz: In what Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway says may be another sign of the economy turning the corner, the Biloxi Bay Chamber staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning for Home Smart, a new Pass Road store offering payment options on new appliances, electronics and furniture. To see the firm’s grand-opening flyer, click here.

Traffic update: To see the status of road work in and around the city, courtesy of the Public Works Department’s weekday traffic update, click here.