Whet your Cruisin’ appetite at Ohr-O’Keefe

The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, capitalizing on the interest in the upcoming Cruisin’ the Coast, will host a free reception this evening for a new exhibition titled “Cars in Art.”

The reception,  from 5 to 7 p.m., also will be the unveiling of the exhibit “Bruce Davenport Jr: I See You Looking,” a display of hand-colored drawings — marching bands, Mardi Gras and more — by a self-taught New Orleans artist.

“Cars in Art,” meantime, will feature artists Carole Marie of Ocean Springs; Bobbie Crews of Knoxville, Tenn.; and New Orleans artists Lory Lockwood and Tony Watts. Also on display will be prints of original design drawings provided by General Motors Design Archive & Special Collections in Warren, Mich. Additionally, visitors to the exhibition and reception can view Bay St. Louis resident J. Michael Hemsley’s collection of 62 model cars.


Firefighters parade through downtown Saturday morning

You’ll see dozens of flashy red fire trucks with wailing sirens in downtown Biloxi Saturday morning for this year’s Fireman’s Day Parade.

Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said fire departments from across south Mississippi are expected to be represented in the  10 a.m. parade, which begins on Lameuse Street near the  Biloxi Town Green, travels northward to MLK Boulevard, to Howard Avenue and ends at the Biloxi Fire Museum, on Howard Avenue a block east of Porter Avenue.

After the parade, a reception will be held at the fire museum, where free tours also will be available.
Hear Boney in this week’s City Desk webcast
See parades through the years on BFD Facebook page
Take an online tour of the fire museum


Weekend preview: Get your kicks at Hiller Park

Among the diversions this weekend are the city’s kickball tournament at Hiller Park, Babypalooza at the Coast Coliseum, an  American Cancer Society fete honoring Robin Roberts at the Biloxi Civic Center, “The Wedding Singer” at Biloxi Little Theater, Jeff Dunham at IP, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum’s $10,000 drawdown, Scotty McCreery at the Beau Rivage, a parish bazaar at Our Mother of Sorrows, and Montgomery Gentry at the Hard Rock.
Get the details and the complete list


Stadium cam: Get the picture from MGM Park at Beau Rivage

A stadium cam is now in place to give you a real-time photo and archive of images from the construction site at MGM Park at Beau Rivage, the downtown baseball stadium and entertainment venue.

The interactive cameras – two of them, actually, that update images every 15 minutes – offer viewers the chance to select a date and time for a particular day of construction, and offer a panoramic view of the site, which is at the corner of U.S. 90 and Caillavet Street. Images can be saved and shared via Facebook, Twitter or email.

The cameras were installed by Beau Rivage.
See the stadium cam page
Read the Aug. 26 update to the City Council


Court affirms City Council’s decision in Waffle House case

A court has ruled that the Biloxi City Council acted within its authority in rejecting a zoning change to allow a Waffle House to be built at Myrtle Street on Point Cadet, midway between the Palace and Golden Nugget casinos.

Circuit Court Judge Michael H. Ward also dismissed the notion that Councilman George Lawrence, who opposed the development, should have abstained from the issue since he owns property across the street from the site.

Waffle Inc. and property owner Aureus Investment Group sued the city after the City Council voted 5-2 to deny a zoning change. The suit claimed the City Council was arbitrary in its decision and that there was a public need for another Waffle House in Biloxi. The Golden Nugget and Palace casinos and nearby St. Michael’s Catholic Church also opposed the rezoning.

The court, in its Sept. 10 filing, ruled the character of the neighborhood had not changed since September 2010, when the land was zoned residential as part of an overhaul of the city’s Land Development Ordinance.

“Overall, there is substantial evidence in the record to support the City Council’s decision, that there has been no change in the character of the neighborhood,” the judge wrote. “The City Council heard testimony and considered substantial evidence” in making its decision.

The city’s Land Development Ordinance, the judge added, has no stipulation disqualifying Lawrence from voting on the issue.
Read the entire ruling


Plans reviewed for hospital project, five new homes 

By Jerry Creel, Community Development Director

This week in economic development, the building plan reviews were completed for the $1.3 million dollar expansion and improvements to the Biloxi Regional Hospital’s Outpatient Facility. Plan reviews were also completed for 5 new single family houses to be constructed in the new Rock Creek Subdivision on Lorraine Road. The developers are scheduled to pick up the building permits later today.

Also this week we submitted our annual application for recertification to the Insurance Services Organization (ISO). This recertification is a required element of our continued participation in the Community Rating System (CRS) Program. This program rewards our efforts to reduce the risk of flood damage by providing premium discounts to property owners who have flood insurance policies. The City of Biloxi is one of only three cities in the State of Mississippi that currently have a rating of “5“. This rating provides policy holders with a 25% discount on their flood insurance premiums.


News and notes

City Council: More than three-dozen measures will be before the City Council next week, including the initial reading of a zoning request that would allow an 80-plus-room  La Quinta hotel west of Hopkins Boulevard. To see the complete agenda and supporting documents for the meeting Tuesday, click here.

DRC’s back: The Development Review Committee returns after a one-week hiatus with a one-item agenda. To see the agenda, click here.

Photos, Part 1: To see a host of Facebook faces from this week’s Breakfast with the Mayor, Wednesday morning at the Innovation Center, click here.

Photos, Part 2: Site work has begun at the proposed Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint down the street from City Hall and just north of the Town Green. To see the photos on the city’s Facebook page, click here.

Photos, Part 3: The images and plaudits are beginning to stream in for Susan Hunt, the “honoree” at this year’s Biloxi First Roast, coming up Oct. 9 at the IP. To see how you can buy your seat to the banquet, and to see the Many Faces of Susan Hunt, as gathered by faithful Facebook correspondent Andi Rushton Oustalet, click here.