State of the City; tree-trunk project; other news and notes

Mayor A.J. Holloway will be delivering his annual State of the City address to a capacity audience Monday during a luncheon at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

The Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce announced this morning that more than 650 seats have been sold for the affair. Doors to the luncheon will open at 11 a.m. and the program begins at 11:30 a.m.

Cable ONE, as a public service, will air the speech on Cable 13 in Biloxi Tuesday at 8 and 10 a.m. and 8 and 10 p.m., and the presentation will be online at

MDOT to begin initial phase of tree project

Mississippi Department of Transportation crews, who have been delayed by wet and cold conditions, are scheduled to begin removing standing dead trees this week from the medians of U.S. 90 in Biloxi, and Mayor A.J. Holloway has coordinated a plan in which the remaining trunks will be transformed into sculpted works of art.

Dozens of live oaks have died in the center medians of the scenic highway in the 17 months since Hurricane Katrina, and, under Holloway’s plan, MDOT crews will leave as much as 20 feet of the tree trunks in place, where international award-winning “chainsaw artist” Dayton Scoggins of Mississippi will sculpt a variety of marine-related objects.

For background on the project, and to see samples of Scoggins’s work, click here.

News and notes

Let the work begin: The City of Biloxi on Monday issued start-work orders to two contractors: Toomer Electric Co. for a 210-day, $824,700 project to repair or replace storm-damaged traffic signals and lighting on federal-aid roadways; and to Hemphill Construction Co. for a 180-day, $816,600 project for drainage improvements off C.T. Switzer Sr. Drive.

Council meeting day: The Biloxi City Council meets this morning at 10 in the Bea Brown Community Center at the Biloxi Housing Authority headquarters on Benachi Avenue and again this afternoon at 1:30 at City Hall for its regularly scheduled meeting. Winners from the annual Mardi Gras shoe-box float contest will be recognized during the afternoon meeting. To see the agendas for both meetings, click here.