Holloway still mayor and still in line for Ole Miss honor

A.J. Holloway, the longest-serving mayor in the history of Biloxi, says reports of his having left office are greatly exaggerated.

The Clarion Ledger today carried news that the University of Mississippi Political Science Department “has named former Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway as recipient of its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award.”

The four-paragraph item, which was headlined “Ex-mayor gets alumni honor,” also noted that Ole Miss had established the A.J. Holloway Developmental Fund to provide academic and research support for the department.

One problem: Holloway continues to serve as Mayor of Biloxi, and, in fact, plans on seeking a sixth term in 2013.

Said a Sun Herald reporter, “At least they didn’t say the LATE Biloxi mayor.”

To learn more about the Distinguished Alumni Award and the A.J. Holloway Developmental Fund, which Ole Miss announced in August, click here.

Travel writers to hold national conference in Biloxi

As many as 400 travel writers and industry insiders will be in Biloxi this time next year when the Mississippi Gulf Coast hosts the six-day national conference of the Society of American Travel Writers.

“This convention will show not only the attendees, but the world, that the Mississippi Gulf Coast is open for visitors and show how we’ve overcome some tough situations,” said Beth Carriere, executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau. Carriere presented the winning Mississippi Gulf Coast proposal Friday during the travel writers convention in Indianapolis. The group has previously met in Guadalajara, Mexico; Houston, Texas; Manchester, England; Santiago, Chile; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The professional journalists and marketers who attend will shine the spotlight on our destination, through stories and photographs, for many years to come,” Carriere said. “Over the next two years, we expect over $1.5 million in media contributions from blogs, TV broadcast segments, lectures, magazine articles, and even photo galleries and stock photo image sales.”

Conference delegates will spend much of their time exploring the Gulf Coast, with day trips planned by the CVB and pre- and post-conference tours with the help of planning from state tourism leaders.

The winning pitch, which was organized by the Gulf Coast CVB and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association, was made possible by funding from the Gulf Coast Regional Tourism Partnership, with a grant from BP America, the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division, and other local firms, such as the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

The City of Biloxi also was one of the sponsors of the proposal.

Said Mayor A.J. Holloway: “We’ve known for years that we have a great story to tell here in Biloxi and on the Gulf Coast. People know about our resolve and resilience. Now, they’ll be reminded about our multi-billion-dollar tourism industry, our top-notch, year ’round entertainment, the deep-sea fishing, the great seafood restaurants, the championship golf courses, and the natural beauty and colorful history of our community. It’s a great story, and we’re ready to tell it.”

News and notes

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Debris removal: The city’s debris contractor, Crowder Gulf Venture, will be picking up storm debris from rights of way on city streets beginning Tuesday morning. The contractor expects to have the work completed in eight to 10 days. Now is the time to move your debris to the curb if you have not done so already. To read more about the debris-removal effort, click here.

Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council will set the city property tax rate and approve the municipal budget for Fiscal Year 2013 during a public meeting Tuesday afternoon. To see the agenda and supporting documents, click here.