Yikes! Fire department sets house ablaze

As Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney spoke to the Lions Club about professionalism at lunchtime today, a group of his firefighters were setting fire to a house.

Relax, it was all planned.

After three weeks of training and preparation, the fire department set fire to a vacant house at 335 Main St. as a firefighting training exercise.

The incident, which involved more than a dozen firefighters, was conducted under the guidance of two deputy chiefs: John Jennings of the department’s training division, and Jeff Merrill of the department’s operations division.

Said Chief Boney, who arrived on the scene moments after leaving the Lions Club: “We do a great deal of classroom training, but nothing beats field training like this. I was impressed with the job our folks did. Now, we’ll sit down for a review and see what we can do even better.”

See the photos: To see photos of the training exercise and the flame-engulfed house, click here.

Winners recognized in shoebox float contest

Mayor A.J. Holloway and Biloxi Public Schools Superintendent Arthur McMillan on Tuesday recognized the Mardi Gras float builders of tomorrow, the winners of the 16th annual Shoebox Float Contest.

In the program, students from schools in Biloxi use shoe boxes to construct model Mardi Gras floats. The contest, which is designed to help perpetuate the traditions of Carnival, is sponsored by the city, Biloxi Public Schools, Gulf Coast Carnival Association and the Mardi Gras Museum.

Those recognized and awarded certificates, Mardi Gras doubloons and cash prizes were:

First place: Kristion Plummer, Biloxi Junior High; Jade Salazar, Gorneflo (also a first place winner in 2013); Bree Williams, Jeff Davis; Tristan Winston, Lopez; Sydni Wills, Nativity; August Eakes, North Bay; Lexie Lee, Our Lady of Fatima; and Genna Spiers, Popp’s Ferry.

Second place: Devon Netherland, Biloxi Junior High; Tien Duong, Gorenflo (also a second place in 2013); Jayden Monroe, Jeff Davis; Chelsea Rodolfich, Lopez; Keegan Cuevas, Nativity; Alexis Dumont, North Bay; Emily Overstreet, Our Lady of Fatima; and Valerie Noxon, Popp’s Ferry.

Third place: Roberto Kerezsi, Biloxi Junior High; Alex Jordon, Gorenflo; Sara Nance, Jeff Davis (also a third place winner in 2013); Caleb Bassier, Lopez; Ty Miller, Nativity; Juliann Pugh, North Bay; Lolita Puig-Garcia, Our Lady of Fatima; and Timothy Gallatin, Popp’s Ferry.

See the photos: To see photos of many of the winning entries and the students being recognized at City Hall,
click here.

School board announces make-up days

Sorry, kids. The Biloxi school board made it official at its meeting Tuesday night: Students in Biloxi Public Schools will have three make-up days because of the ice storm.

New days for classes are Friday, April 11; Tuesday, May 27; and Wednesday, May 28.