Permits top billion-dollar mark; other news and notes

The City of Biloxi has now issued more than a billion dollars in permits for commercial and residential construction since Hurricane Katrina.

Since Sept 1, 2005, the city has issued a total of $1.086 billion in permits overall. Of that number, 50 percent — $542 million — was for non-casino and non-condo construction. In terms of residential construction, $452 million in permits has been issued for residential work, with $51.5 million for new single-family homes, accounting for 341 new homes permitted since Katrina.

For background on the permitting issue, as gauged in October, click here.

To see the latest permit recap, as compiled today by Caryle Draper of the city’s Community Development Department, click here.

Replant Biloxi schedules public meetings

Replant Biloxi, the group that’s involved in the South Mississippi initiative to replace trees lost to Hurricane Katrina, has scheduled dates for upcoming public meetings to inform the public about the project.

The meetings will be Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m., Margaret Sherry Library, Popp’s Ferry Road; and Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m., Joppa Shriners Hall, 13280 Hwy 67, Woolmarket. Tree distribution will take place Jan. 19 at a location to be determined.

Meanwhile, those interested are encouraged to attend the public meetings to learn more about the project.

For background on the project, click here.

Food Network to air encore of Biloxi show

Cable TV’s Food Network this weekend will re-air an hour-long edition of its “Impossible Mission” show filmed at Yankie Stadium in east Biloxi.

The program’s premise: Each week, real-life chef Robert Irvine – a combination of James Bond and MacGyver – works with his two sous-chefs, George and George, to figure out a way to solve a catering challenge before time runs out.

In the Biloxi special, which airs Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 11 p.m., Robert will have less than seven hours to cook dinner for 1,000 residents and volunteers in Biloxi. During the program, a Biloxi resident also will be presented the keys to her brand new furnished home.

For more about the program – including other air dates and recipes from the Biloxi show — click here.

News and notes

Mardi Gras, already: Plans are already underway for the Biloxi Children’s Mardi Gras parade, which is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26 in downtown Biloxi. For more info and to see a registration form, click here.

Searching for info: The search engine on the city’s web site has been re-positioned on the front page for easier use. To go to the front page of the city web site, click here.

Keesler recognition: Brig. Gen. Paul Capasso, former 81st Training Wing commander at Keesler Air Force Base, and his wife, Laura, have been awarded the 2007 Gen. and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award for their post-Katrina work at the Biloxi base. The award, presented during a Pentagon ceremony, recognized the Capassos for their leadership in the “monumental recovery and effort” at Keesler, which sustained nearly $1 billion in storm damage. To read more about the honor, click here.