Around South Mississippi

July 16, 2014 

Keesler's main gate will be closed today

BILOXI -- The White Avenue main gate onto Keesler Air Force Base, along with the visitor center, will be closed from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. today for railroad maintenance.

The Meadows Gate will be the primary gate during the closure. Visitor passes will be issued at the Meadows Gate.

-- Patrick Ochs

Group seeks help to fill backpacks for school kids

BILOXI -- The private nonprofit Youth Villages is seeking "backpack heroes" to provide donations and new or unused school supplies to fill backpacks for children who live in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, D'Iberville, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula and surrounding areas.

School supplies needed: Backpacks, lunch boxes, pens/pencils, basic calculators, notebook paper, three-ring binders, crayons, colored pencils, plastic rulers, markers, glue, pencil boxes and pouches, erasers and folders with pockets. Donors can buy items to donate or can shop for a particular age group by selecting a tag with specific needs for a child that age. Donors may make a $35 donation and Youth Villages' staff will fill a backpack with it. A $100 donation can provide supplies and backpacks for a family.

Deadline is July 30, and donated items can be dropped off at Youth Village's Biloxi office, 1635 Popp's Ferry Road. Details: 601-572-3750.

-- Sun Herald

Homeowners group to meet on high insurance costs

The Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative plans another organizational meeting at 6:30 tonight to gather support for bringing down the high cost of homeowner insurance.

The group successfully lobbied for laws in Alabama and Louisiana that allow homeowners to compare losses vs. insurance rates based on where in the states those losses occurred. HHII said the numbers, already being reported in Alabama under the Clarity Act, show coastal homeowners are being overcharged for insurance. They are pushing for a Clarity Act in Mississippi, but it failed in the recent legislative session. HHII will try again in 2015.

Residents interested in learning more about insurance costs and initiatives to bring down rates can attend the meeting at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Long Beach.

-- Anita Lee

Fryers being replaced with combo oven-steamers

As part of the Nutrition Grant awarded to the Harrison County School District, Harrison Central Elementary and Lyman Elementary cafeterias will replace deep-fat fryers with combination oven steamers.

To date, combination oven steamers are in Bel-Aire, D'Iberville, Crossroads, Orange Grove, River Oaks, Three Rivers and Woolmarket elementaries, North Woolmarket Elementary and Middle, Harrison Central High, North Gulfport 7th and 8th Grade, West Wortham Elementary and Middle, West Harrison High and D'Iberville Middle and High schools.

-- Sun Herald

CMR approves permit for Popp's Ferry park

BILOXI -- The Commission on Marine Resources on Tuesday approved a permit for the state Department of Environmental Quality to build piers and other amenities at a park off Popp's Ferry Road adjacent to the bridge.

The commission also put off until next month action on shrimp rules, and a reconsideration of the Tackle Box bait shop licenses for businesses in Gulfport and Long Beach. It also agreed to further study the use of basket dredges on oyster reefs.

-- Paul Hampton

Legal Services awarded $59,050 from bar grant

GULFPORT -- The Mississippi Bar Foundation has awarded a $59,050 grant to the Mississippi Center for Legal Services.

The money comes from the state's Interest On Lawyers Trust Account program, which uses interest earned on money held in escrow for attorneys' clients.

The Mississippi Supreme Court established IOLTA as a source of funding to provide legal aid to the poor; law-related public education programs to the public; and to improve the administration of justice.

The MCLS has five offices in Mississippi, including one in Gulfport.

-- Sun Herald

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