More tree sculpting on Beach Boulevard; other news, notes

Marlin Miller, an award-winning wood sculptor from Fort Walton Beach, will be in Biloxi Saturday and Sunday, creating more works of art from the standing dead tree trunks along Beach Boulevard.

Miller’s work is a follow-up to the city project in which Mississippi artist Dayton Scoggins crafted several marine-related objects – including dolphins, egrets, a fish-eating pelican and a shark – earlier this year. The works of art, located east of the Biloxi Lighthouse, have become local landmarks, regularly admired and photographed by visitors. Miller’s creations will be between Gill and White avenues and near Rodenberg Avenue.

Miller’s visit to Biloxi is also a chance for him to repay local residents who helped him recover from Hurricane Ivan. He’s not charging for his time, and IP Casino Resort Spa is providing him free accommodations.

The artist also said he’s looking forward to having his work gain the acclaim of the sculptures already in place.

“You’d be amazed at how many people are aware of these sculptures the city has done,” said Miller, whose award-winning work travels the country to more than 20 large juried shows each year, including the Peter Anderson show in Ocean Springs. “A lot of people ask me if I did the sculptures in Biloxi, and I have to say no. Now I can say yes, and years from now, my son will be able to take his children to Biloxi and say, ‘Look what your grandfather created.’”

More online: To see images and video of the Beach Boulevard sculptures done by Dayton Scoggins in March click here.

News and notes

Flood of info, Part I: Community Development Director Jerry Creel gives background on the preliminary flood elevations in this week’s City Desk webcast. Creel also gives an overview of various development projects now underway in the city. You can listen to the 35-minute program by clicking here.

Flood of info, Part II: To see background on the flood-mapping issue – FEMA maps of Biloxi, along with maps showing the existing and proposed flood zone –
click here.

U.S. 90 lighting: All city-maintained street lights on U.S. 90 are now working. With last weekend’s completion of work on west beach, the city now has about 400 lightpoles on the 8.4-mile stretch of Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, an average of about 100 lights per mile. New poles are still in the works for the Casino Row area, and MDOT continues to work on repairing its stretch of lights on the north side of U.S. 90 between Caillavet Street and the Biloxi Lighthouse.

City Council: Resolutions to hire architects for repairs to the Port Division administrative offices and the Magnolia Hotel are among the measures on the agenda for the Tuesday afternoon meeting of the Biloxi City Council. The meeting begins at 1:30 at City Hall. Councilmen will also be asked to approve $140,000 in equipment purchases for the Police and Fire departments, and to provide $10,000 in funding for the Biloxi Youth Basketball League. To see the complete agenda, click here.

Weekend preview: First Baptist Church in Biloxi presents its 20th annual rendition of the the Singing Christmas Tree tonight, Saturday and Sunday. There’s also boxing at the Hard Rock, Disney on Ice at the Coliseum and a host of other seasonal offerings. To see the complete list of this weekend’s entertainment, courtesy of listings from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.