Oscar Renda plans paving of Nichols, Iroquois, Thelma

Sidewalks are being installed on the eastern end of Division Street and paving will soon be going down on Nichols Drive, and Iroquois and Thelma streets, according to the latest video update from Oscar Renda Contracting. 

John Cowart, Oscar Renda’s general superintendent over the east Biloxi infrastructure work, said completion of the work at Nichols Drive, which includes paving, sidewalks and curbing, will be  ahead of the opening of the new school year at Nichols Elementary School.

Besides the paving at Iroquois and Thelma, contractors also are expected to pave Graham Avenue, where muddy conditions have prevented paving.

Cowart also has updates on work at Division Street, and Porter and Keller avenues in the three-minute report, which was published on the city’s YouTube page Thursday.
See the video update


New exhibit chronicles Biloxi beach wade-ins

A new exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library gives a detailed history of the wade-ins that led to the desegregation of the Biloxi and Gulf Coast beaches.

The display, which measures 7 1/2 feet by 15 feet and is at the entrance of the library, showcases the chronology of the Biloxi wade-ins and the history surrounding the accounts. The exhibit will be on display for several weeks, and smaller version will remain on display in local history section of the library.

The Biloxi wade-ins were actually three protests that occurred on the Biloxi beaches between 1959 and 1963. The demonstrations were led by Dr. Gilbert R. Mason Sr. in an effort to desegregate the beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Before the beaches were desegregated homeowners claimed the beaches as private property, although the beaches were built with federal funds.

“The goal of this project was to not only make aware of the wade-ins themselves, but to really highlight the longevity of time, persistence, determination and process that it took to overcome and make significant change in the segregation laws,” said Gulf Coast Community Design Studio architectural designer Nathan Foust.

“We are hoping that the images and words, quotes from personal accounts, books, and newspaper articles, will encourage people to want to learn more about the events that shaped today’s Biloxi, ” Foust said.

The display was created and designed by studio director David Perkes, drawing from the collection of Dr. Gilbert R. Mason Jr. The display was originally presented during the Wade-In Witness Remembrance Program weeks ago.

In addition to the temporary display, the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Biloxi Public Library has a smaller, permanent display. 

“This display is always here for people to learn about,” said librarian Jane Shambra.  “We also have a book which we try to keep updated with newspaper articles, etcetera.”
See the exhibit and photos
See Wikipedia’s history of the wade-ins


News and notes

Weekend preview:“Dearly Departed” is at Biloxi Little Theater, Center Stage presents the Elvis Presley-inspired opus “All Shook Up,” Scott McCreery will be at the Beau Rivage, War performs at the Hard Rock, the Oak Ridge Boys Celebration Tour is at the IP Casino, and Qrisis is at the Golden Nugget. To read the entire weekend lineup, click here.

Podcast redux: The “City Desk” podcast hit cyberspace a day early this week, from Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich’s presentation at Hard Rock Live. To hear the 13-minute program, which also features downtown planning consultant Lindsey “Bionic Woman” Ward, click here.

Hiller Park litter patrol: A group of volunteers from Hattiesburg teamed up with The Nature Conservancy this week to pick up litter and debris from the new sidewalk along the north side of Hiller Park. To see a couple of photos, click here.

Coming up: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.