Thousands turnout for Barhanovich services

Nearly 3,000 mourners stood in line — some for more than two hours – in what funeral directors called an overwhelming community outpouring Wednesday night during a visitation for Biloxian Mark Barhanovich, who died in a boating accident on Sunday.

Riemann Family Funeral Home President Chad Riemann said a line had already formed this morning at Our Lady of Fatima Church in west Biloxi for an hour-long visitation before an 11 a.m. funeral Mass. Barhanovich will be buried at Southern Memorial Park, and police expect a funeral procession of more than a hundred cars.

“Amazing. That’s the word I used over and over last night,” Riemann said, noting that the visitation book from Wednesday night had 900 signed lines, with many lines containing two or three names. The visitation had been scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m., but was extended to 10:30 p.m. to accommodate the massive throng, which threaded pews inside the church and stretched past Fatima school near the church. Biloxi Police directed traffic on roadways outside the Pass Road church.

“The people who were here to visit with the family were very patient,” Riemann said, “and they didn’t mind the long line. It was an outpouring of love, that’s for sure.”

Said former city commissioner and former councilman Frank Barhanovich Jr., Mark’s brother: “We were just overwhelmed with the number of people that paid their respects. We want to thank everyone for their support and sympathy. We were just overwhelmed with the support.”

Mayor outlines litany of public works in chamber presentation

Mayor A.J. Holloway on Tuesday gave a status report on more than $16 million in public works projects from Woolmarket to Point Cadet.

Holloway, speaking to the Biloxi Chamber’s Breakfast with the Mayor audience at The Innovation Center on Popp’s Ferry Road, also said work would soon begin to clear land and improve drainage on the long-anticipated widening of Popp’s Ferry Road from Cedar Lake to Lamey Street, the city limits with D’Iberville.

Holloway also outlined a host of commercial development throughout the city.

The details: To read the prepared text of the mayor’s comments,
click here.

The photos: To see two dozen photos from the mayor’s presentation,
click here.

Latest statewide test results have Biloxi schools seeing stars

Biloxi has one of the Top 10 school districts in Mississippi, according to results of statewide testing, and the numbers had Biloxi Public Schools on the cusp of being named a Star district.

The Biloxi school board on Tuesday recognized dozens of students, teachers and administrators whose work propelled Biloxi from No. 20 to No. 9 in state rankings. The six-school district also grew from having one star school and three successful schools to having three star schools and three high performing schools.

“We missed becoming a Star district by five points,” Superintendent Arthur McMillan told the standing-room-only crowd at the Biloxi school board meeting. “We were only eight points off the second place school, and we were the third highest on the Coast, and only one point behind Ocean Springs.”

The outstanding numbers, McMillan cautioned, meant the hard work must continue.

“Growth is what it’s all about in all of the federal testing models,” said McMillan, who came to Biloxi from Enterprise, a small school district that topped state rankings. “The models are all concerned about whether you grow that student an academic year. And it’s not about growing the class an academic year; you are graded on whether each student grows an academic year. It’s crucial for us to keep growing this way because we want our students to compete in a global marketplace.”

See the photos: To see dozens of images from the school board meeting, click here.

By the numbers

Here are charts to show students and teachers who were recognized Tuesday evening:

How the individual schools in the district and the district itself fared in testing click here.

The best of the best students

The best of the best secondary teachers

The best of the best elementary teachers

How Biloxi did among Coast schools