USA Today touts Biloxi’s rebound from Katrina, oil spill

USA Today says “Biloxi is roaring back” in a story that dominated Page 3 of today’s print editions after two days before a worldwide online audience.

The story, which featured interior and exterior photos of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art and a map showing the location of the city, chronicles the plight of recovery from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the BP oil spill five years later.

“All of a sudden it seems like we’re turning a big corner,” Ohr-O’Keefe Museum curator Barbara Johnson Ross told New Orleans-based reporter Rick Jervis of USA Today.

Jervis mentioned the city’s gaming industry and opening of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant, the city’s year-old visitors center and civic center, and how the city has begun work on its federally funded $355 million infrastructure project, the largest endeavor in the city’s history. Incidentally, the story was written before Golden Nugget formally came forward with its plans for $150 million in improvements on Point Cadet.

“Rick has been over here several times going back to the aftermath of the storm,” said Mayor A.J. Holloway, whose office provided background information to the reporter. “He subscribes to our Bmails, and he’s always done a good job of keeping up with what’s going on in Biloxi and passing it along to a national audience. We appreciate his efforts. We’ve come a long way, but we realize that we still have a ways to go.”

To read today’s story,
click here.

Previously in USA Today

Today’s USA Today story is the latest in a string of the paper’s reports that dates back to a year before Hurricane Katrina. Some of the major articles:

The flavor of Mahoney’s: USA Today’s Travel section focused on the appeal of Mary Mahoney’s Old French House Restaurant in a story published in April of this year. To see that story, click here.

Post-Katrina building boom: USA Today took a look at the casino-spawned building boom when the paper visited in November 2007. To see the report, click here.

Pre-Katrina coverage: And, finally, USA Today’s most expansive and prophetic story on Biloxi was published in September 2004, when the paper, in days before Hurricane Ivan turned its devastation toward the Florida coast, noted that Biloxi had come a long way since being flattened by Camille in 1969 and had much to lose were it ever struck by a major storm. To see that story, published 348 days before Katrina came ashore,
click here.