Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Great Neighbor

Found on WLOX
Video Feed:

The text teaser:
Johnny and Beverly Davis rode out Hurricane Katrina in their Bayside Park grocery store. Afterwards, Beverly handed out free food, water and dry t-shirts from their shelves, while Johnny rescued trapped neighbors by boat. More than a hundred people lived in their store for days and when help finally arrived, they became a distribution site for all of Hancock County. That's why we honor the Davis Family as true South Mississippi Heroes.

County Public School Article

Found on Sea Coast Echo
Hancock School Board calls Kopf on pay raise
Jun 28, 2006, 14:32

Hancock County School Board rejected a proposed pay raise for all school district employees and put a supplement package for Hancock High School coaches on hold last week after District Four board member Peggy Ladner raised questions about each of the recommendations.
Superintendent David Kopf recommended the salary scale for the upcoming school year at a special meeting Friday.Kopf's recommendation called for a 1.5 percent raise for all district employees. Ladner questioned the recommendation, citing that Kopf's salary was included in the scale.
"The superintendent's salary is supposed to be negotiated," she said. "The superintendent is not supposed to recommend his own salary. The superintendent must be removed from this scale."Ladner showed other members a copy of the school board policy. The policy verified her claims that the superintendent's salary must be negotiated by members of the school board, she said.
Kopf offered to not take the raise and he asked Board President Morgan Ladner put the matter to a vote.
"I'm OK with my current salary, if the board approves the increase to the rest of the district," he said.
Peggy Ladner wanted Kopf to change his recommendation to take his name off the scale. Kopf refused, and a roll call vote was called by Morgan Ladner.
Morgan, Peggy, and District Five member Patty Stennett voted "no" to the recommendation. District One member Packer Ladner and District Two member Rose Acker voted "yes."
Peggy Ladner also raised questions about the coaches' supplement pay for the 2006-2007 school year.
She asked to see the supplement pay for other surrounding school districts and she questioned why some coaches were going to receive more supplement than others.
Coaches are given supplemental pay as well as a teacher's salary. The supplement is for the additional time they spend coaching.
The board agreed to set the recommendation on the coach's supplement aside to the July 6 meeting. The school board announced it will have a projected $200,000 shortfall in revenue for the upcoming school year. The $200,000 is much less than expected, Kopf said, and the board plans to make the same request for funds from the board of supervisors this year.
"It would be tough to go to the tax payers and ask them for more money right now," Peggy Ladner said.

Mental Health Grant

Found on Gulf Coast News

Mental Health Association of Mississippi
P.O. Box 7329
Gulfport, MS 39506
Phone Number: (228) 864-6274
Secondary Phone Number: (800) 584-6274
Fax: (228) 864-1310

United Jewish Communities Present $275,000 Grant to Mental Health Association of Mississippi
Hurricane Katrina Relief Continues
From News Release Filed 6/28/06 GCN

United Jewish Communities (UJC) and the Jewish Federations of North America presented $275,000 to the Mental Health Association of Mississippi (MHAMS) today, June 28th, to help it meet the significant needs of those affected by Hurricane Katrina in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.

"Since the most horrific days of Hurricane Katrina, the Jewish federation system has reached out to those in need in both the Jewish and general communities," said Carol Smokler, UJC Emergency Committee Chair. "Whether delivering emergency aid in the storm's aftermath or helping affected communities continue to provide social services, we have been there."
The grant to the MHAMS, she added, "reflects our confidence that, despite having endured the unimaginable, communities are rebuilding and looking forward, not only to survive but to thrive.”

According to the MHAMS, 100 percent of the population in the six-county Mississippi Gulf Coast region was affected psychologically or emotionally from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The grant will be used to enhance MHAMS’s capacity to serve more residents in the region, to address their short- and long-term mental health needs, and to further train local staff and local service providers.

“There are many people in this community who greatly depend on us,” said Brandi Clarke, MHAMS executive director. “They have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina with the loss of family members, friends, homes, businesses, and lifestyles. They are in need of emotional support, services and care so they can reclaim the lives they had before the storm.

“This grant will help us serve more people through counseling, case management and training and education programs,” she continued. “It will help untold numbers of people, and we are grateful to United Jewish Communities and the Jewish community in general for recognizing the priority of these needs.”

UJC and the Jewish federations throughout North America have so far raised approximately $28 million for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and projects in the general and Jewish communities. The grant made today is part of $1.6 million targeted by UJC, in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, for mental health and trauma relief services in the Gulf region.
Among those working alongside UJC and the federations to help storm victims are: the Jewish Funders Network; the American Jewish Committee; B'nai B'rith; the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; the Association of Jewish & Family Children’s Agencies; the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services; the JCCs of North America; the Jewish Education Service of North America; the Jewish Fund for Justice; the American Jewish World Service; Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger; Hadassah; Hillel: the Foundation for Jewish Campus Life; CLAL - the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; the Orthodox Union; the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism; the Union for Reform Judaism; Chabad; and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

United Jewish Communities (UJC) represents 155 Jewish Federations and 400 independent communities across North America. Through the UJA Federation Campaign, UJC provides life-saving and life-enhancing humanitarian assistance to those in need, and translates Jewish values into social action on behalf of millions of Jews in hundreds of communities in North America, in towns and villages throughout Israel, in the former Soviet Union, and 60 countries around the world.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Hancock County Animal Shelter

12/22 - An accurate video for the Coast, not just NOLA:

11/19 If you're thinking of donating to the animal shelter, Sierra Trading Post has a GREAT sale on collars and leashes: - Clearance - Bargain

Based on the idea from the movie “Calendar Girls”, FRIENDS produced this calendar to call attention to the plight of the animals in Hancock County. Due to the great success of our 2005/2006 calendar “for the guys”, we’ve made the 16-month, 2007/2008 calendar “for the girls”.
We didn’t have a 2006/2007 calendar due to Hurricane Katrina.)This year’s calendar is called “Coastal Treasurers II, Boxers & Bowsers”. Since our ladies calendar two years ago was so successful, we decided to do a men’s version. This sixteen month calendar is a must buy. See the men of Hancock County and their pets in our latest fund raiser. All the animals in the calendar were rescued or adopted from a shelter.
Click here to see a few samples of the photos from the “Boxers & Bowsers” calendar.
The cost is $20.00 plus $3.00 shipping, per calendar. Send check or money order (sorry, no credit cards, and please, no cash) payable to:
“Coastal Treasures 2” Calendar
Friends of the Animal Shelter in Hancock County
P.O. BOX 2274
Bay St. Louis, MS 39521-2274

Friends of the Animal Shelter in Hancock County, MS(a registered 501c3 non-profit organization)
P.O. Box 2274
Bay St. Louis MS 39521-2274

Welcome to the new web site and Hancock County, MS.
We had lost our .org domain name for a while, and therefore all of our E-mail addresses, and our original web site.

Also, Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage to our offices, files, computers, supplies, and much more.The storm-damaged animal shelter is condemned, but still manned by an employee and still receiving animals, but all animals that come in are sent to shelters around the country.
For information on the shelter, please call (228) 467-0230

Special Needs” Animals & The GUMBO Fund
The Gumbo Fund was created to help sick & injured animals who were brought to the shelter and needed medical attention. The shelter has no money in their budget for such care. A beautiful German Shepherd was brought in with a badly shattered leg. When he was brought to our attention, we sent him to an orthopedic specialist and his leg was repaired. We also placed his story on a Shepherd rescue web site and donations began to come in to help defray the costs of his care. Thus began the GUMBO Fund. We don't know how this dog named Chester was injured, but the vet speculated that he was beaten with a baseball bat. Chester now has a new lease on life and lives in a wonderful home with a loving family.We have also helped many other animals through the generosity of our animal loving supporters. We helped care for a Skipper Khee with a broken leg and pelvis, some Bassett puppies needing intensive care, and many, many more.
To see some of the animals that currently need your help, please (

If you would like to adopt one of these animals, or for more information about these animals or the GUMBO program, please call:
(228) 216-PETS (7387)(if no answer, please try again later.)

All donations and/or memberships that are specified for the GUMBO fund go into that fund to provide needed medical care for animals that are in the Waveland Animal Shelter.

“FRIENDS” Wish List
The shelter can always use the following items:
1. Cat and dog food.
2. Cat litter.
3. Newspapers.
4. Your support, financial, time, or otherwise, to help us and the animals recover from the losses we suffered from Hurricane Katrina.

Labels: , , , , , ,

New Hampshire Hospital Association
Fundraising Goal: $250,000
Donations as of July 11, 2006: $159,416.20

Hospitals in New Hampshire want to work together to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Katrina so they adopted a hospital that was severely impacted from this storm. Hancock Medical Center, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, was in the eye of the hurricane. It sustained substantial damage. Many of the hospital’s 500 employees lost their homes. Hancock Medical Center’s immediate need is to help members of the Hancock Medical Center family get reestablished. The New Hampshire hospital community adopted Hancock Medical Center and its employees.

The Partnership for Hancock Relief fund, coordinated by the New Hampshire Hospital Association, is accepting donations for direct financial aid for Hancock Medical Center employees who suffered personal losses. Contributions are tax deductible and 100% of all contributions go toward direct relief. This will be a long-term effort. We will work with Hancock Medical Center as it gets back on its feet to identify other employee and facility needs that we can work together to help meet.

NHHA Executive Vice President Kathy Bizarro visited Hancock Medical Center in February and returned to New Hampshire with stories of courage, strength and spirit. Click ( to see Kathy's presentation of her visit, which includes photos of HMC's recovery progress and the staff that's working so hard!Please join the Partnership for Hancock Relief by making a contribution now. Click ( to download the Partnership for Hancock Relief donation form. Click ( to see Hancock Medical Center's hospital equipment wish list.

For more information about the Partnership for Hancock Relief, contact Kathy Bizarro at or (603)225-0900.

Labels: , , , ,

Fire Assistance

10/1 A letter written by a FEMA worker - emailed to me by Gary:

Last year I was detailed from my regular job to work for FEMA. After a brief stint in Jackson, I was assigned to the Public Assistance group in the Biloxi Field office at the Imperial Palace. My specific assingment was to document the claims for the Hancock County fire departments. I met with each of the volunteer fire departmetns and discussed the claims process and had them begin to docuament thier claims.

Unfortunately due to the lack of time it took to document losses to a fire departmetn when in many cases there was no information left and my assignment being brief I was only able to complete the process for one of the fire departments, before having to return home.

I have maintained contact with the fire departments in Hancock County and returned as recently as July. I just spoke with one of the fire departments. They have had to go over and over their losses numerouis times with FEMA and FEMA still demands more paperwork but will not say what happened to previous paper work. Insted of processing project practically every new group feels the need to redo the old paper work.

FEMA wants to replace fire equipment with " like kind". This means that insted of helping fire departments get safe equipment that meets modern standsards, they would replace old equipment with a modle made that same year even though that design has now been found to have safety hazards such as open cab areas and no seat belts. These designs are lawyer fodder. If an accident were to happen it is likely that a lawyer would show that the apparattus had flaws and the fire department therefore operated negligently.

Wtih the damage to the economies in Hancock County the fire departments will have scarcely any tax millage income for severla years. They struggle to meet high volumes of calls for service but have no means of condcuting preventive maintenance or repairs.

FEMA public assistance money could help the fire departments rebuild and enable them to maintain fire protection in communities that were just about wiped out.

How are communities going to rebuild if the fire departments are required to operate substandard equipment? How long will it take before insurance rates go through the roof and unaffordable?

The Sun Herald has run articles about fire protection in other communites but very little has been said about Hancock County. Although I have no way of knowing, I suspect that the conditions in Hancock are mirrored all across the coast.

I've been in major contact with a gentleman - Gary McGinnis - who is coming to Hancock County specifically to assist the volunteer fire departments. During our discussions, he may have modified his stance a bit, considering how few volunteers are left in the area at this time.
Now, the following is edited only because I'm guessing it wasn't meant for public consumption. I've taken out references that would allow a ready to identify the writer. But it's from a fire fighter in S.MS:

I've been reading the e-mails/'re correct, there's money for law enforcement, libraries, schools, etc (all of course are in need), but as always none for the fire least, not that I'm aware of.
If I understand correctly, most of the vol. depts in the area are nearly non-existent. They each have only a couple of members at best...I'm sure that is in part due to the housing shortage in the area. People can't live where they don't have housing, or can't take a job if you don't have a place to it goes.

The paid departments are struggling with city budgets that can only support the bare necessities. In our case, we have a couple of new guys that we cannot send to the fire academy at this time ($$), nor can we afford to send people off for training if there is any cost involved. We've used donated money to purchase uniforms (most of our people lost all of their clothing), and we've had FEMA funds and insurance money to replace some equipment. We limit running the trucks (something we used to do daily) to twice a week, other than emergencies of course, to try to conserve fuel costs. We've been going to the few Distribution Centers that are left to get garbage bags, paper towels and toilet paper...things we could buy if we really had to, but we use the donated items as much as possible. We try to save $$ any way we can, and not having to buy all of those "little things" adds up.
When I'm asked what we need now, I feel the greatest need is for someone to step in for the long haul with financial assistance to the fire service/cities. The survival of the cities - I should say financial stability, not just "survival" - is as great a need as any, no question.
Certainly, meeting someone with "connections" to anyone that could help with long-term financial assistance would be ideal.
Thanks again for all of your help.

He's also been in contact with a gentleman from the International Association of Fire Chiefs - Bill Killen - who is touring through the area. He is staring in the NOLA region, and then traveling East on his way to the South East Division Conference which I believe is being held in Biloxi. A quote from him:

"I leave for New Orleans Saturday morning. I am scheduled to meet with Chief Charles Parent, NOFD and Chief Tom Stone, St Bernard's Parish FD Monday and Tuesday. I plan on visiting fire departments in Mississippi on my way to the Southeastern Division conference. Things are more than bleak in the Katrina impact area, they are disgustingly sickening. I don't know what I can do, but I hope to document the situation and hopefully bring things to further light to the fire service and our fire service friends around the country."

I have passed along this information to all I thought might have contact with any and all fire chiefs in the area. While I don't believe he has a set schedule, I do know he will be making his presence known.

I have been told his tour will be well documented and should reach TV and magazines in a relatively short period of time. I will keep you posted on this as I get word.

Once in awhile, things seem to be timed perfectly!

Look for both Gary and Mr. Killen in the very near future!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Before And After Pictures

This site has flash animation that changes the before picture into the NOW picture.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Preparing for Disasters

Disasters can be as small as a single person or as large as an entire nation. A disaster can be a house fire, a wildfire, a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, a pandemic or a terrorist action.

How you prepare is the same regardless of the size or type of disaster. There are several publications out by countless organizations to deal with disaster preparedness.

I am going to supply the links, and let you decide which one makes the most sense for you. If you happen to have a source for preparation, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

New Link Added 8/5 - WOW
Really Ready
The Federation of American Scientists hopes to achieve two purposes with
To provide clear and correct information to citizens interested in preparing themselves and their families for an emergency
To persuade the Department of Homeland Security to take a serious look at and their policy on the accuracy of information and to make important changes that will help Americans to prepare for terrorist attacks or natural disasters

It also has a section just for disabled folks to prepare. VERY cool.

First, Personal Preparation
There are a couple of links
I like The Red File – it is well written, concise and has tons of common sense.
Citizen Corp has many links to publications to assist you in every aspect, from preparing, preventing and recovering. Very good!
Really Ready Family

Emotional Preparation
North Carolina has done a great job compiling links and publications to assist folks with the emotional aspect of any disaster.
Child Advocate has come out with a small booklet for children and I have found this to be the best out there:
A book entitled Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. While this book deals with coping with disaster after the fact, reading it before it happens will give you a great weapon on coping before during and after such a serious event.

Financial Preparation
The best I have found in handling this particular aspect is from an organization called Operation Hope. It’s detailed, calls for several lifestyle adjustments in order to put their plan into place, BUT it will work! They have what they call an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) that you can download for free: - This is 28 pages.
And a Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide - 18 pages.

Finally, Professional/Business Preparation
The Hancock County Chamber of Commerce gave this to me. I’ve not found it in any files or websites I’ve come across and it’s simple, common sense stuff that is so easy to overlook. I have left this information at the top of their page:
Really Ready Business

One more Note offers registration and matching of people willing to share their homes and facilities (hosts) with those needing shelter (guests) to ensure a smooth evacuation when the time comes. One can register as both and the role you play will depend on how the storm is tracking. It is important to register early, especially for families with children, pets, and people with special needs. (recommended by the Hancock County Chamber)

I feel these links do the best job of covering all aspects of preparing for a disaster. Please let me know if there are others you find that you feel are better or more concise, etc. I’m more than willing to add to the list!

Friday, June 16, 2006

SBA Loan Update

From Brice and folks at WQRZ:

Good afternoon,
Pursuant to your request I'm pleased to provide the following information (as of close of business 07/14/06) representing Hancock County.

Home Loans Approved - 4,846 for $466,257,900
Business Approved - 785 for $101,091,300
Total Loans Approved for Hancock County - 5,631 for $567,349,200

Should you have any question or need additional assistance, please call or e-mail at the address below.

Mary S. Gipson
Public Information Officer
SBA Disaster Assistance Office
Field Operation Center East
Atlanta, GA
Team ODA: Working Together As One

7/14 A very common complaint emailed to me and very well said from G in DC

My friend in Jackson has a very unique situation and having dificulty resolving her issues. In April or May her homeowners insurance was cancelled without cause. You can’t get insurance as long as there is a named storm in the Atlantic. No one takes on new customres during hurricane season. Her mobile home was smashed by a tree and as a result twisted etc and got rain inside causing tons of black mold.

She is self employed as a book keeper but most of her business was lost. She has not been able to find a decent property since the storm. sBA has offered her $50K for home and business losses. Just before the storm she replaced all her fruniture for $10K.

This is up near Jackson - not by the coast. So you see the difficulties are very wide spread. We have no idea what it is like to live through a real disaster.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

SBA Honors 2 In Hancock County

MS SBA Honors Many
On Tuesday, June 20, 2006, at the Mississippi SBA Awards Luncheon in Biloxi, the SBA will honor its 2006 Small Business Person and Champions of the Year. The award recipients include:

Outstanding Contribution to Disaster Recovery Award
Mrs. Tish Williams, Executive Director
Hancock County Chamber of Commerce
Bay St. Louis, MS

Outstanding Contribution to Disaster Recovery Award
Mr. Brice Phillips, Owner
Bay St. Louis, MS

Small Business Person of the Year
Mr. Craig Harvey, VP & CIO
NVision Solutions, Inc.
NASA Stennis Space Center
Stennis, MS

Minority Small Business Champion
Mrs. Joan Branson, Small Business Liaison Officer
Northrop Grumman
Pascagoula, MS

Outstanding Contribution to Disaster Recovery Award
Hancock Bank
Gulfport, MS

Congratulations to all!

SBA Honors Outstanding Disaster Recovery Efforts
ATLANTA, April 7 /PRNewswire/ --

Two Mississippi residents -- the director of a chamber of commerce and a radio broadcaster who provided muchneeded services after Hurricane Katrina struck, and a Florida smallbusiness owner who managed to rebuild his business in spite of three hurricanes that devastated the state two years ago, will be presented withthe Phoenix Award on April 13 during the U.S. Small BusinessAdministration's National Small Business Week, the agency's two-day conference in Washington.The awards will be presented during a 9 a.m. breakfast at the Ronald Reagan International Center.
"These individuals displayed tremendous courage and selflessness in themidst of the most devastating disasters in U.S. history," said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. "The Phoenix Award is an acknowledgment of their heroic efforts, and a token of appreciation for their support of thephysical and economic recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast and Florida."

Letitia H. Willams, Executive Director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, will receive the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official. After the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce offices were destroyed when Hurricane Katrina struck, Williams met with state officials and asked for help. She acquired a temporary space for the chamber, secured Internet access, computers and phones, and found benefactors -- other chambers of commerce nationwide -- to "adopt" HancockCounty and assist in the rebuilding of the county's business infrastructure. Despite losing her home, Williams worked tirelessly, helping local businesses take the first steps toward recovery.

James N. Hough, President of Rehab Health Partners, of Lakeland,Florida, will receive the Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery. Jim Hough's business took a beating when three major hurricaneshit Central Florida two years ago. The damage to his roof paled in comparison to the economic destruction caused by power failures and the loss of other basic services, which created major hardships for Hough. Despite losing revenue and his client base, Hough fought to keep his employees paid and his business alive. Rehab Health Partners is now seeing profits, and Hough was able to keep all 14 employees.

Brice Phillips, of WQRZ Radio will receive the Phoenix Award for his Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer. As Hurricane Katrina approached the Mississippi Coast, Brice Phillips loaded his van with transmitters and extra antennas and relocated WQRZ radio to the county's emergency operations center. As the storm surge waters reached the building's second level, Phillips braved the elements and rigged his car batteries to power the station's broadcasting of search and rescue information. WQRZ was one of only four Gulf Coast radio stations that stayed on the air in the early days after Katrina struck.

Since 1998, the SBA has presented the Phoenix Awards to business owners and individuals who displayed courage, resourcefulness and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities. The SBA makes low-interest, taxpayer-backed disaster loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes. In the aftermath of last year's Gulf Coast hurricanes, the SBA has approved more than $7.7 billion in disaster loans to about 115,000 hurricane survivors, the largest response in the agency 53-year history.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair disaster damaged residences. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans of up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Loans of up to $1.5 million are available to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations to repair damage to real estate, machinery and inventory. Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $1.5 million are available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses.

To find out more about the SBA's disaster assistance program anddetails on hurricane recovery, visit the Web site at
SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration Web Site:

3000 Homes To Be Condemned

3,000 properties in Hancock County may have to be CONDEMNED
Owners have walked away without signing right of entry

HANCOCK COUNTY - Some are tucked away along bayous and back roads in this sprawling county. Others are more obvious, scattered and squashed beside main streets and avenues.
Thousands of property owners here have essentially walked away from their Katrina-clobbered homes, leaving the government to sort through the mess.

John Martin, a debris specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said more than 3,000 properties in Hancock County have been left untouched, and legally, the corps and FEMA are handcuffed when it comes to cleaning them.

Because the property owners have not yet signed the corps' "right of entry" form, government debris haulers do not have legal permission to enter and clean the private properties.

With the federal debris deadline looming, FEMA and the corps have sent maps to local officials asking to have each of the 3,000 properties condemned. This would allow government bulldozers to scrape them clean before it's too late.

Barring a last-minute extension, federal contractors will pull out after the June 30 deadline, and the county and cities will have to figure a way to remove what's left of the refuse on their own.
Before cleaning private property, state law requires local governments to petition residents within 300 feet of the property, and give two-weeks' notice for a public hearing to determine whether the land is "a menace to the public health and safety of the community."

Legally cleaning one piece of private property is a tedious task, but 3,000 in less than 60 days might just be impossible.

"Just on this one map alone, there must be 1,000 different parcels in one area," county attorney Ronnie Artigues said, pointing to one of several debris maps. "We can't just condemn the entire county."

Instead, Artigues suggested starting with "obvious debris fields," areas such as Cedar Point in Bay St. Louis, south of the CSX railroad in Waveland and along the Jourdan River, where rubble is sprinkled for blocks and debris still dangles from trees.

The maps that were given to local governments show only "high debris areas," not exact locations of properties that are unclean and still lack a signed right of entry form.

Supervisor Steve Seymour said he wants building inspectors to drive down every street and back road of the nearly 450-square-mile county, making a list of the destroyed properties.
Mickey Lagasse, the county's building official, agreed to send out six inspectors this week, or as soon as the county, the cities, FEMA and the corps agree on a clear definition of the word "destroyed."

"We can start tomorrow, but first we need to know exactly what destroyed means," he said.
During a meeting this week, officials from the corps, FEMA, and the county all seemed to have different ideas of what a destroyed property looks like.

Some said if a roof is lying on a pile of bricks and splintered wood, the house is destroyed. Others said a missing roof and a toppled wall could also be features that qualify a house as destroyed.
FEMA has used a 50 percent destruction standard to determine whether a house is salvageable. Under the rule, if FEMA inspectors believe it will cost more than 50 percent of a home's worth to restore it, the home is consider destroyed.

But, with the rising costs of building materials, some local leaders say many older homes in the county's low-income areas could have been considered destroyed even before the Aug. 29 storm.

In an effort to seek clarity, FEMA has offered to send six of its inspectors to ride along with county inspectors starting this week to pinpoint destroyed and neglected properties, and begin condemning each one, separately.

Major Development Plans

SEC investigators return to Paradise
Bennie Shallbetter-Staff Writer-the Sea Coast Echo
Paradise properties has asked the Securities Exchange Commission for 30 days, $600 dollars, and a per page fee to go through what they say is 20 banker boxes of records that may contain references to Richard and Donald Kern as representatives or employees of the company.
The company continues to deny that the Kerns have any ownership or control over Paradise. Paradise had proposed several high density development projects in Hancock County with local partner Mike Cure.
Local Florida counsel for Paradise Charles Franken said that attacks by the SEC on Paradise are unwarranted. The Kerns may well be associated with the company, but that association does not make Paradise a party to debts that they may owe, Franken said.
"We acknowledge that the Kerns owe money," said Franken. "But why as a debt collector is the SEC entitled to internal information about Paradise. There is not guilt by association."
Franken said Tuesday that Paradise will produce any company documents that contain mention of the Kerns. The company always agreed to cooperate by providing relevant documents, Franken said.
Franken said the judgement against the Kerns on a 1999 stock market manipulation did not indicate a criminal conviction. Franken said it was his understanding that the $9 million judgement against the Kerns in federal court was a result of a "technical violation."
"To my knowledge no one has come forward to claim they lost any money," said Franken.
SEC attorney Richard Simpson said that what Franken says is partially true.
"No one has actually come forward to sue the Kerns," said Simpson. "But the people who bought the stocks lost $6 million."
Money collected from the Kerns, or their business interests, if any, could be used to pay back those loses, Simpson said. That is one reason why his office is pursuing what they think is a connection between Richard and Donald Kern and Paradise Properties, Simpson said.
Besides documents mentioning the two brothers, the SEC is also asking Paradise to reveal the ownership of the company, said Simpson.
"We are saying if you are claiming that Richard and Donald Kern are not owners, then show us who is," said Simpson. "We are looking for documents that will prove a transfer of funds from the Kerns to family members or nominees."
The investigation into Paradise properties began when the SEC received information that the brothers were in Mississippi negotiating multimillion dollar projects for Paradise. Richard had told the SEC that he was a small time realtor and vitamin salesman and unable to pay back his fine.
On Monday the United States District Court denied a protective order requested by Kern's attorney to prevent the SEC from deposing Kern for the second time. Kern's own lawyer concedes that Kern has some association with Paradise and the SEC is entitled to explore that association, the court order states.

© 2005 Bay St. Louis Newspapers, Inc.

Found through Gulf Coast News through MSNBC
Miss. developers' murky past includes fraud
Brothers owe government more than $9 million from 1990s stock scam
By Mike Stuckey
Senior news editor
Updated: 4:07 p.m. ET June 28, 2006

Two brothers involved in the biggest post-Katrina development on the Mississippi Gulf Coast were key figures in an Internet stock scam that federal authorities say bilked investors out of more than $12 million, has learned.
Additionally, one of the men was barred from the franchising business for life after federal lawyers sued him in a fraud case they said cost investors $6 million. The other brother filed for bankruptcy in 2002, and both have yet to satisfy a federal judgment against them of nearly $10 million.
And while the brothers said they had developed numerous real estate projects in Florida, California, Colorado and even Russia, neither they nor their associates would provide specific names and locations of any of the developments despite repeated requests by
Richard S. and Donald R. Kern are officials of the Paradise Properties Group, which has the preliminary blessing of Hancock County officials to build thousands of condominium units, apartments and resort facilities in buildings as high as 40 stories in the southwest corner of the county. And the company has more plans afoot elsewhere in the hurricane-ravaged county.
The "Paradise Bay" project, which was profiled on Fox News earlier this month, is stunning for its scope and size in a county with just two small incorporated cities and a pre-Katrina population of only 43,000 fulltime residents. The $5 billion value that Paradise Properties puts on its Hancock County projects would be more than 10 times the value of all taxable property in the county prior to the hurricane.
“Certainly it concerns me,” Hancock County administrator Tim Kellar said when told of the Kern brothers’ past legal problems. “That’s the first I’ve heard of it.”
Coastal Community Watch spokesman Bob Davis, whose group has been fighting the high-rise development for more than a year, said he was "not all that surprised" about the Kerns' background. He said county officials were "trying to go too far, too fast. They should have checked more. ... My gut feeling is that when you have this kind of uncontrolled development, these kind of people come in to take advantage of it."
County banking on project's tax revenueLast year, before Katrina struck, county supervisors changed zoning in the area to pave the way for the massive Paradise Properties development and other projects near the site of the previously approved Silver Slipper casino. Officials for Hancock County, on the verge of bankruptcy in the wake of Katrina, have been counting on the projects to generate major new property tax revenue.
While construction on the casino is well under way, with an expected opening date in December, court action by Davis' group stalled the plans by Paradise Properties and other developers. Coastal Community Watch lost the first round. The verdict was appealed, but developers are so confident they’ll prevail that they have been pre-selling condominiums and looking into incorporating the area as a new city.
The Kern brothers, who both spoke willingly and at length with, said they were the unwitting dupes of others in the stock case.
“That’s an old story and it’s in the past,” said Richard Kern, 50, director of strategic planning for the company. “I didn’t do anything that I’m ashamed of.”
His comments were echoed by Donald Kern, 53, the firm’s construction manager: “It’s one of those kinds of things where whoever is in a deal gets dragged along. I never had anything to do with it.”
But the U.S. district judge who ruled in the case rejected those claims.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Kern brothers worked with two other men in 1998 and 1999 to illegally inflate the stock prices of three shell companies — Citron, Electronic Transfer Associates Inc. and Polus Inc. — in which they held most of the shares. The “pump and dump” scheme used press releases and Web sites that made phony claims to hype demand for the stock among traders, the SEC said.
Ringleader got seven years in prisonThe ringleader in that case, Peter Lybrand, formerly known as Peter Tosto, was a serial securities con artist who was awaiting sentencing in a previous securities fraud case and acting as a government informant when he engineered the 1998-99 scam. Facing criminal charges, he confessed to the pump and dump scam and was sentenced in 2001 to more than seven years in federal prison.
“I was simply greedy and thought I could get away with the lies I told," he said at his sentencing. He has since been released.
While not charged criminally, the Kern brothers and another defendant were successfully sued by the SEC for their role in the case. The court ordered them to pay more than $9 million in disgorgement — the return of ill-gotten gains — and interest.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein wrote that the Kerns “violated the security laws repeatedly and with regularity,” refused to take responsibility for their actions, did not cooperate with the SEC’s probe and could not explain the shrinkage of their assets after they had been frozen by the court.
The ruling also noted that Richard Kern had in 1994 been enjoined for life from working in the franchise industry. That came as the result of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit that accused him and others of operating a franchise scam that fleeced 400 franchisees of $6 million.
As in the SEC matter, Richard Kern told that he did nothing wrong in that case.
Because of their “essential and active roles” in the stock fraud and their behavior afterward, the judge tacked on civil penalties of $400,000 for each Kern brother, for a total judgment of over $9.8 million. He also found that Donald Kern’s 2002 bankruptcy filing did not relieve him of the obligation to pay.
Currently, the government has recovered $565,000 from the Kerns, as a result of Donald Kern’s bankruptcy, said Richard Simpson, an SEC lawyer, meaning the brothers still owe the government well over $9 million.
“All of the appeals are done,” Simpson said. “We won hands-down. The judgment is affirmed. So we have an impregnable judgment that we’re trying to collect.”
Asked about a claim by Donald Kern that his debt was satisfied in “arbitration,” Simpson laughed.
Richard Kern said he “of course” will pay the judgment but when he does so is “between myself and the SEC.”
The Kerns also would not divulge details of numerous other real estate developments on which they claim to have worked.
Richard Kern said he had developed “a myriad of projects” from apartments in Colorado to shopping centers in California, restaurants and strip centers in Arizona and “a really big project in Russia.” Asked to name one, he replied, “I’d just as soon not.”
'I can't remember them'Donald Kern said he has worked in construction and real estate since he was in high school. Asked to name a single project, he replied, “Off the top of my head, I can’t remember them right now.”
Other members of the firm, including its chief media representative, also would not name any projects that the men had developed.
“I’d have to check and see what I’m at liberty to give out,” said Angela Kurlander. When pressed for the name of just one project, she said, “This is your focus at MSNBC, how can we make everything as negative as possible?”
Danny Coates, a Hancock County resident and local point man for Paradise Properties Group, said that he had known Richard Kern for many years. But when asked the same question, he said “I really don’t know” any previous projects that Kern had developed.
Attorney Gerald Gex, who works for the county and was assigned by Kellar to discuss the case with, called the refusal by the Paradise representatives to name past projects “just the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” adding, “That doesn’t sound right.”
Another member of the Paradise team who would not name any projects undertaken by the Kerns is Mike Cure, a well-known local businessman and the Kerns' partner in the Hancock County developments.
Cure, whose family has been represented by Gex for many years, said he was aware of Richard Kern's SEC case and was "not at all" concerned that the brothers' past legal troubles would taint his ventures with them.
"Richard seems to be a forthright guy who looks to have a good relationship with bankers," he said. Cure added that because he and his family own all of the land involved in their deals with the Kerns, "I've got control."
"What Richard has brought to the table here is a vision," Cure said. "He also has financing capabilities and I think he's going to do some good things for the community. We certainly need it in this area."
While the company won't discuss the Kerns' past projects, it is happy to talk about its ambitious current plans for Hancock County. Kurlander said there are 14 separate projects, from luxury condos to commercial space. She said the firm plans to break ground as soon as the court case is settled -- or perhaps even before -- on The Breezes, a 983-unit condo project valued by the company at $750 million; the Shoppes at Paradise Bay, a 10-acre retail-commercial project in nearby Bay St. Louis; and a 160-unit apartment project that is the prototype for nearly 2,000 more rental units in a complex valued at $40 million.
In the next few years, Paradise Properties says it also will develop hundreds of single-family homes, 500 of them around a Robert Trent Jones II-designed golf course; a “five-star” casino-marina project with another 2,700 hotel and condo units, valued at $2.5 billion; and a second hotel-casino project with another 1,500 units, valued at $1.5 billion.
Those numbers dwarf Hancock County’s pre-Katrina property tax rolls, which totaled about $450 million, according to county attorney Gex, who said county supervisors approved the zoning change in the area hoping to provide an economic “shot in the arm.” Gex said that if just $500 million worth of property value is eventually added to tax rolls, it would provide $7.5 million a year in new revenue, approaching one-fourth of the county’s annual budget.
“The Mississippi Gulf Coast is going to become a world-class destination,” said Kurlander, adding that pre-construction sales for the Breezes condo project have been brisk, with the first of four buildings in the 983-unit project already sold out.
Chief sales agent for the project, Robin Sherman of JME Coldwell Banker in Pensacola, Fla., said prices, which she expects to increase as construction nears, range from $475,000 to $800,000. Buyers are paying 10 percent non-refundable down payments to enter into contracts, Sherman said.
The Kern brothers said one of their key goals is to help provide new homes and tax revenue for the hurricane-ravaged area and they hope their association with the project doesn’t taint it.
“If your organization is going to try to destroy the project based on my record, I’ll be happy to resign from the company,” said Richard Kern, who acknowledged that financing has yet to be secured for Paradise Bay. “If you think I’m a bad person, that’s up to you. I don’t think I am and everybody who knows me doesn’t think I am.”
Added Donald Kern: “I have been working day and night to try and get this thing accomplished and I’d hate to have an old skeleton come out and get me fired.”
© 2006 MSNBC Interactive


Developer announces plans for two major retail and office outlets on Hwy. 90
By GEOFF BELCHERJun 10, 2006, 17:49

Lauderdale-based Paradise Properties Group has much more in store for Hancock County than just a new condominium complex and incorporated city combining portions of Lakeshore and Clermont Harbor – now the company is planning $70 million in commercial development on Hwy. 90, to begin as early as this summer.
Paradise Properties announced in April that it plans to build two new apartment complexes with 1,104 housing units or "Villages,” which will be called Villages of Paradise Bay and Landings of Paradise Bay. The "Villages" will consist of 20 individual buildings which are five stories high.The company cited the need for housing in the area, and support from the Silver Slipper Resort as major factors in fast-tracking the construction. Last spring, the Hancock County Planing and Zoning Committee adopted an amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow condos and other commercial development in the Lakeshore and Bayou Caddy area.
A challenge by the property owners in the area was settled in March 2006 when a circuit court judge ruled in favor of the county, but is now in the appeal phase.
In May, the Committee for the Incorporation of Paradise Bay announced it was circulating a petition to incorporate part of Lakeshore and Clermont Harbor.
PPG on Wednesday announced several other projects, including the Shoppes of Paradise Bay, a 150,000-square food project combining retailers and office space – and hopefully, company Public Relations Director Angela Kurlander said Thursday – a major grocery store chain.
According to a press release issued Wednesday, "Shoppes of Paradise Bay, is a mixed-use commercial project situated on a approximately 5 acres of land with 700 feet of frontage on US Highway 90. The site is the closest commercial location to the Stennis NASA Space Center.
The building will consist of 150,000 square feet (under air) of commercial space zoned for mercantile/retail, with local tenants including offices, full service restaurants and retail and has an estimated completed and leased value of $40 million. "Level one will serve both as covered parking for the project as well as to augment the hurricane and flood resistant design of the building. Steel reinforced beams supporting the structure will mitigate any potential storm surge damage. Extensive landscaping will surround and obscure service views and additional exterior parking while providing views of lush greenery to enhance the lakeside setting.
Architectural design will feature traditional architectural detail for the area and extend across the lake with plans call for a large fountain and community gazebo in the middle accessible by a stylized wooden bridge that continues on and connects to an upscale residential rental complex on the opposite shore. "Also on Wednesday, PPG announced plans for a $30 million project at Hwy. 90 and Kiln-Waveland Cut-off Rd.
Chelsea Place is a $30 million mixed-use commercial project, located at the intersection of Highway 90 and Kiln Waveland Cut-off Road. According to the release, "There will be approximately 80,000 square feet of air conditioned interior space with a total building square footage of 139,000, including open area garage parking and terraces. The five story building will again feature Paradise Properties signature hurricane resistant construction and will be styled to compliment the traditional architecture of the community as outlined in the Mississippi Renewal Forum’s Pattern Book for Gulf Coast Neighborhoods. Completion of the project is slated for 2007. The project has just received site plan approval from the City of Waveland. "Paradise Properties Group is currently involved in 16 announced projects, several of which are located in or near the newly created C-4 Commercial Resort and Entertainment District in Hancock County.
Other projects in the C-4 Commercial District include:
• Breezes of Paradise Bay -983 unit, four tower resort condominium complex with deep water marina and commercial amenities. The project is located on a 6.9 acre site. Towers range from 16 to 40 stories. The project includes 2,000,000 square feet of residential space and 250,000 square feet of commercial space. Sale to the public launched in March, 2006. The project is valued at $750 million.
• Beaches of Paradise Bay – Next to be released. Beaches of Paradise Bay is a 1500 unit,five-star condo/hotel resort and casino complex situated on the Elegant Coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Hancock County, Mississippi. Beaches of Paradise Bay is located on a 10-acre site within the Paradise Bay Master Plan within the newly created C-4 Resort and Entertainment District. There is approximately 900 feet of beach front on the property. Two towers, consisting of 44 stories each, totaling 3,500,000 square feet, will feature views of ocean, golf course, lakes and pristine natural habitat reserves. The project is valued at $1.5 billion.
• Waves of Paradise Bay – Waves of Paradise Bay is a unique, state-of-the-art five-star resort / casino / marina complex situated on The Elegant Coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Hancock County, Mississippi. Waves of Paradise Bay is located on a 12-acre beach front site within the Paradise Bay Master Plan within the newly created C-4 Resort and Entertainment District. The project is to contain 1500 condo hotel units and 1200 individual condominium units. The value of the project is $2.5 billion. Completion is slated for Fall, 2009.
• Paradise Links – 500 single-family luxury residences surrounding an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones, II golf course with country club. Commencing 2007.
• Estates of Paradise Bay - the first of three single family residence projects planned for development by Paradise Properties Group adjacent to the newly created C-4 Commercial Resort and Entertainment District in Hancock County, Mississippi. Estates of Paradise Bay is located on the east side of Lakeshore Drive, just south of Highway 90 and will consist of up to 220 executive-style residences ranging from 1,200 to 3,000 square feet with pricing up to $350,000 per home.
• Paradise Woods and Paradise Villas – “sister” communities featuring affordable housing with 150 two and three bedroom villas ranging from 1,100 to 1,800 sq.ft.
• Paradise Cove – median priced single family homes. Commencing 2007.
• Paradise Pines – acreage estate homes. Commencing 2007.
• Villages of Paradise Bay – Villages of Paradise Bay is a luxury, gated rental community situated on the Elegant Coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Hancock County, Mississippi. Villages of Paradise Bay is located within the Paradise Bay Master Plan adjacent to the newly created C-4 Resort and Entertainment District. The community is designed to incorporate extensive green spaces and will feature state of the art concrete panel construction for energy efficiency as well as hurricane resistance. The conceptual site plan allows for up to 1,920 individual apartments in 40 individual buildings with 48 apartments in each building. 1000 units have received site approval from Hancock County. Building heights will be five stories. Estimated completed and leased value is $40 million.
• Landings of Paradise Bay – the prototype for Villages of Paradise Bay, this four acre site is approved and ready to commence. Soil engineering is complete and the project will soon break ground. Due to the desperate need for rental communities post Katrina, Paradise Landings will be stewarded by the Hancock County Supervisors and Planning and Zoning. The urgent need for housing has brought about an agreement to immediately begin construction of four buildings with occupancy expected by fall, 2006. The 160 unit project will feature 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units 36 apartments in each building. Building height is 4 stories.
Originally targeting a 15-year build-out for the Paradise Bay projects, Paradise PropertiesGroup recently announced plans to accelerate all Mississippi Gulf Coast projects to a five-year build-out citing a "company commitment to the rebuilding efforts of the community and a desire to play their role in the urgent demand for housing."

© 2005 Bay St. Louis Newspapers, Inc.

Labels: , , ,

Burn Ban Unheeded

Fires are flaring up all over again
By Jeremy PittariItem Staff Writer

PICAYUNE — Numerous fires in two counties are causing volunteer fire departments to run themselves ragged.
A 32-acre fire in Hancock county threatened numerous structures with reports of others damaged by the flames, while numerous fires in Pearl River County are flaring up up everywhere.
Upon arrival at the large fire in Hancock County, Southeast and Leetown volunteer fire departments were expecting the fire to approach a collection of travel trailers occupied by a family. The fire was discovered to have been started by a neighbor who was burning a stump that reignited, said Jennifer Norman, who was responsible for the fire.
Norman said she had a stump burning in her yard Monday and put it out the same day. Norman said she did not know about the burn ban that was initiated in Hancock county a couple of weeks ago because it was not properly publicized. (Burn Ban has been in place since March 9)
Tuesday, the stump must have sparked up again and started a woods fire, Norman said. That fire almost took numerous neighbors’ homes along with a collection of travel trailers nearby.“It just took off like you wouldn’t believe,” Norman said.
Norman noticed the fire from inside her home and put her kids in their aunt’s care for safe keeping so she could fight the fire, she said. As Norman was doing her best to contain the flames with a hose, a neighbor passing by stopped to help fight the fire, she said.“I don’t even know this lady and she’s over at my house helping me put this fire out,” Norman said about her neighbor Rhonda Penton.
Norman said her main concern was the lives of the neighbors in White Cypress Lakes where the fire took place.“I just didn’t want anybody to die,” Norman said.
Norman and her family just moved to the area after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home in Pass Christian, she said.
Carriere, Nicholson, volunteer fire departments also had a busy day. Phillip Bennett of Carriere Volunteer Fire Department said his department worked about five fires yesterday. There was also a large fire in Nicholson that Picayune and Pine Grove fire departments helped Nicholson respond to, Bennett said.
Jason Banister of Leetown VFD said there was a fire his department fought yesterday and today. Carriere Volunteer Fire Department also has been fighting numerous fires in their county, Leonard said.
Danny Leonard with Southeast Volunteer Fire Department wishes a burn ban would be declared in Pearl River County.

Saline Fiddlers Coming

June 20 Tuesday
Cracker Barrel Restaurant
On the front porch!
6:00 pm
15255 Crossroads Parkway
Near I-10 & US 49
Gulfport, MS

June 21 Wednesday
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
7:30 pm
2004 Pass Road
Biloxi, MS

June 22 Thursday
Westminster Presbyterian Church
7:00 pm
5005 Lawson Ave
Gulfport, MS

June 23 Friday
Caswell Springs United Methodist Church
18601 Hwy 63
Moss Point, MS
Concert with The Muleskinners


Katrina Relief Benefit Tour
Will Warner, Executive Director

Saline Fiddlers members helped restore a historic home in Biloxi, Miss. The 2006 Katrina Relief Benefit tour took the Saline Fiddlers 3000 miles, through 11 states, including five the Fiddlers had never traversed: Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri.

In nine days the group:
Did six shows
Cleaned up a relief camp
Helped restore a historic home
Saw New Orleans and ate Cajun
Toured swamp/bayou/river
Delivered $2,500 to the people of Mississippi
Waded the length of a topographically accurate scale model of the Mississippi river
Ate Memphis BBQ and looked around Beale street
Toured Sun Records studio
Went to the top of the St. Louis Arch
Found the people in the South to be very warm and friendly

Like everyone, we had seen on TV the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina and read about the thousands of volunteers streaming to the region to help with recovery. We were told that the residents and volunteers could really use some diversion. So we put together a series of free concerts across the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
With so much demand for the show, there wasn't much time to participate in actual reconstruction work, but we managed to squeeze in one day of it. Guestbook entries indicate that the Fiddlers perhaps accomplished some emotional reconstruction, though:

I hope these kids know what a blessing they were to us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
You will never know how much it means to all of us who were able to hear your performances.
Your music truly lifts the spirit. I will not soon forget you all and hope I have the chance to see you again one day. Until then I will buy a new CD when I wear this one out.

There were several unforgettable gigs. One took place in a work camp full of teenaged volunteers. Those kids went wild, dancing in a big "mosh pit" in front of our microphones. Our bass player joined the dancers for a short time; from the back of the hall one could see a lone Fiddler cowboy hat bouncing amid a mass of flying arms and legs. By the third encore, the music was barely audible with all the hollering. Unbelievable.

The Saline Fiddlers with their new friends, The Muleskinners.
The group spent a memorable day with Muleskinners Association, a local bluegrass/gospel band. The Muleskinners arranged a tour of the Pascagoula river for us, fed us lunch and dinner, and made us feel welcome. That evening the two groups played a joint concert to a very responsive crowd. The show ended with the two groups combining to lead the audience in singing Will the Circle be Unbroken. Unbelievable.
Behind the scenes our kids showed their toughness. They slept on cots in two big rooms in a former school and overcame adversity in many forms, including grits and corned beef hash every morning for breakfast. On stage they displayed their talent and professionalism. The crowds loved them and mobbed them after each performance.
Several people said they were surprised to see fiddlers from Michigan; they thought it was more of a mountain thing. As always, people couldn't believe that all that talent came from a single high school. One old gentleman remarked with a wink that our group forced him to reconsider his claim that the South has a monopoly on pretty girls.

Everyone was warm and generous and very appreciative.

Hancock County Going Bankrupt

10/10 Debris Contract Delayed - sent by Gary
Protest prompts violation review
HANCOCK COUNTY - The Board of Supervisors delayed a decision Friday on a multimillion-dollar contract to remove what's left of the county's Katrina-related debris.
Supervisors opened sealed contract bids Monday from seven firms. The county was expected to award the contract Friday afternoon.
However, Necaise Brothers Construction, a Gulfport-based company, had filed a protest citing a violation in the lowest proposal, submitted by W.G. Yates Construction Company.
Yates Construction of Jackson submitted a unit-price bid that could work out to be $3 million less than Necaise Brothers' bid, but the bid bond, which insures the county in case the contractor defaults on the agreement, was far more than what was required.
Necaise Brothers and the other companies turned in a $50,000 bid bond, but Yates provided a bid bond of five percent of the job, which the county values at nearly $10 million, meaning a contract awarded to Yates could be backed by as much as $500,000.
The discrepancy in the Yates proposal did not give the firm an advantage over the other companies that would warrant an automatic disqualification, according to county attorney Ronnie Artigues.
In a letter to Hancock County from its attorney, Necaise Brothers claims Yates "does not understand the requirements" of the job, pointing to drastic differences in contract proposals as evidence.
Yates offered to remove 48-inch tree stumps for $30 per stump. The second-lowest bid was $500 per stump. Necaise was the fourth-lowest bidder, offering to remove the stumps for $700 each.
The board can legally disqualify the Yates proposal based on the bid bond discrepancy, but that would not necessarily mean Necaise would get the job.
Two other companies, including another local firm, have offered to do the work for nearly $1.5 million cheaper than Necaise's proposal. Supervisors plan to resume talks Monday morning at 9 a.m.
"We want to see local people working," said board President Rocky Pullman. "But we want to make sure we pick the cheapest and best contract for the betterment of this county."

Jackson firm wins Hancock contract
HANCOCK COUNTY - Despite objections from Coast companies, county leaders awarded a contract Monday to a Jackson firm to finish cleaning up Hancock's Katrina debris.
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors last week delayed choosing among seven companies vying for the job because lawyers for Necaise Brothers Construction in Gulfport filed a protest citing a violation in the lowest proposal, submitted by W.G. Yates Construction Co.
The board gave the contract to Yates Construction of Jackson based on the firm's unit-price proposal that could work out to be $3 million less than Necaise Brothers' bid.
Yates will soon begin debris-removal work in the county and within the city limits of Bay St. Louis. City leaders in Waveland hired a separate firm.
Necaise Brothers claimed Yates should have been disqualified because its bid bond, which insures the county in case the contractor backs out of the agreement, was far more than what was required.
The other companies submitted $50,000 bid bonds but Yates provided a bid bond of 5 percent of the job, which the county values at nearly $10 million, meaning a contract awarded to Yates could be backed by as much as $500,000.
County attorney Ronnie Artigues said the discrepancy in the Yates proposal did not give the firm an advantage over the other companies that would warrant an automatic disqualification.
Some supervisors reportedly considered disqualifying Yates because of the discrepancy in the firm's bid proposal.
The county ordered its debris-monitoring company to spend the weekend updating its estimates of the amount of rubble remaining and use the new projections to figure out which of the companies was the lowest bidder.
According to the new estimates, Yates remained the cheapest and Necaise Brothers was the third-lowest bidder behind another Coast company.
Supervisors planned to send a letter to Yates requiring the firm to hire local subcontractors.
"We have tried diligently to help locals get work," Supervisors' President Rocky Pullman said. "But when you advertise for the best bid, you have to take it, because we still represent the people of this county."
From the Sea Coast Echo

Hancock could go ‘belly-up’

Jun 7, 2006, 17:34

In a historic meeting Monday afternoon, the Harrison and Jackson county boards of supervisors met with the Hancock County Board of Supervisors on Longfellow Drive to discuss what they could do to assist Hancock County.The meeting was organized by Jackson County Supervisor Tim Broussard."Watching everything on television, it is obvious that Hancock County seems to be getting the short end of the stick," he said. "We feel like we are in a position to help."

Hancock County Board President Rocky Pullman was gracious in accepting the offer and produced a list of some needs, which Hancock county is having trouble with."I cannot ask you for money," he said. "If anything, he said, I think our governor should be helping all of us with that. It is a wonderful thing to see the people next door, who have been hit just as hard, wanting to help."

The list of Hancock's needs included a "pothole patcher," help cleaning culverts, getting grass cut along the right of ways, extra debris removal, replacing street signs and lights, and mosquito control help.

Pullman then explained to fellow supervisors just how bad the situation in Hancock County is.He said the county is about $4.5 million dollars short this budget year, which will end in October. Next year is even worse as Pullman expects a shortfall between $10 million to $16 million, of a budget that normally runs around $34 million. Pullman said of the 19,000 homes in Hancock County, 10,000 were destroyed by Katrina.

"We feel like about October 16, we are going to be belly-up," he said.Harrison County Board President Connie Rockco and Supervisor Marlon Ladner suggested the counties unify their lobbying power to go to the governor or possibly even higher for financial assistance.

"We can present the problems to the governor and see if he can come up with any creative ideas on how to help," Rockco said.

"There is a tremendous amount of federal money here," Ladner said. "There has been no consideration made for local governments to maintain the services it provides. Why in the world would grant money not be carried over to local governments? The cities and counties have been devastated and they cannot provide the same services for the people. For years, the Coast has been the financial engine for the state. “We need some of that money back now."

Rockco suggested asking the governor and state legislation for a percentage of the sales tax revenue that is generated in each county. Currently, counties do not receive any of the sales tax collected inside of the unincorporated areas of the county. Cities receive a percentage of their sales tax back from the state.

Officials from Jackson and Harrison counties agreed to help with some of the road work, street signs, and man-power issues expressed by Hancock. Officials agreed to meet again, as well as use their combined voice to lobby for the good of all south Mississippi.

"We are centralized, we are the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Pullman said. "This is what we should be doing.""We need to tell them (state and federal officials), just help us get on our feet, and then you will not hear from us again," Supervisor Steve Seymour said. One Jackson County supervisor warned that borrowing money is not the way to solve problems.

"We can borrow ourselves rich," he said. "Eventually we will have to pay it back, and we just do not know how long it will be before we have the ability to do that."

© 2005 Bay St. Louis Newspapers, Inc.

Another Article

Pleas for money going unheard
The South Mississippi Sun Herald
June 09, 2006

You can't say you're going to end 100 percent funding and then at the last minute extend it; these are the kind of games that are causing our counties to suffer.
Coast leaders are in a dogfight, trying to secure enough funding to maintain their cities and counties while they claw their way loose from Katrina's lingering stranglehold.
The uphill battles playing out in city halls and county boardrooms in South
Mississippi could have a lasting effect on the future of Coast governments.
Hancock County faces at least a $12 million shortfall in the next two years, and Harrison County has cut its annual budget by 15 percent and adopted a hiring freeze.
Boards of supervisors of the three Coast counties formed an alliance this week on the premise that three voices will be louder than one when screaming for help.
Billions of federal dollars have been designated to help rebuild the Katrina-clobbered South, but most of that money is being funneled to homeowners or is earmarked for infrastructure repairs.
Some funds have gone to help local governments operate.
Bay St. Louis received a $1.9 million grant to help with lost revenues, but still the city is about $13 million short of staffing a full police and fire department, or hiring enough workers to run public services.
Joe Adams, a municipal-budget expert at the Stennis Institute of Government, said the struggles facing Coast governments could be vital to their futures.
'Right now, they have to find a way to balance the funding until the construction boom begins,' Adams said. 'Closing out this year will be tough, but the first quarter of the following year is when they are really going to have to pinch pennies.'
The Stennis Institute is working with New York's Rockefeller Institute of Government on a three-year study in the state to determine Katrina's effect on local governments, and their budgets.
The study is expected to offer tips on how to save local entities from bankruptcy, but the tri-county alliance can't wait that long. It began offering eleventh-hour suggestions this week.
Harrison County Supervisor Connie Rockco wants a percentage of the locally generated sales tax to go back to Katrina-battered counties along the Coast. Mississippi counties do not collect sales tax.
'If the state would give just a small portion back to the affected counties, it would help out a bunch,' Rockco said.
Some have criticized local leaders for pouting when so many volunteers have come to help, but officials say most of the faith-based and nonprofit groups are helping individuals, not governments.
Jackson County Supervisor John McKay, who agreed with Rockco's plan, said it's a matter of survival.
'It's not whining,' McKay said. 'The Coast has been the financial engine for this state for years, and now we need some of that money back.'
However, Hancock supervisors already have lobbied the state for similar legislation with no luck and government experts say a sales-tax move is unlikely.
At least $750 million in federal loans are available to local governments, but many Coast entities are hardly in a position to repay borrowed money.
There's been talk of allowing the loans to be forgiven, or turned into grants, but no firm decision has been made, and the lingering uncertainty is beginning to wear on Coast leaders, who are leery about applying for the federal funds.
What's more, deadlines for funding, debris removal, housing and other assistance have been extended many times since August, and the fickle federal cutoff dates are making local planning nearly impossible.
Local leaders are rapidly growing angry over federal inconsistencies. Harrison Supervisor Marlin Ladner said the government is playing 'mind games' that are hampering recovery.
'That's the biggest problem,' he said. 'You can't say you're going to end 100 percent funding and then at the last minute extend it; these are the kind of games that are causing our counties to suffer.'

8/19 From Sun Herald

State: County's financial outlook not so grim
HANCOCK COUNTY - State officials met with local leaders this week hoping to fashion a financial plan to thwart insolvency in this county and help ease the budget burdens for other Coast cities.
Top aides from Gov. Haley Barbour's administration and state Treasurer Tate Reeves told the Hancock Board of Supervisors the county's fiscal forecast is improving.
"We've all been concerned about what's going to happen here, financially," said Charlie Williams, the governor's chief of staff. "But we think you're going to be in better shape than you thought you'd be."
State officials are analyzing statistics to help the county develop a spending plan for the next two years. Barbour administration policy director Jim Perry expects to have "some real numbers in a spreadsheet format within the next few days."
Since last August, when Hurricane Katrina washed away about 64 percent of the homes and more than half of the county's taxable income, bookkeepers have reinvented the way they manage the business of Hancock County, a $35 million enterprise.
Shortly after the Aug. 29 storm, a drive-by assessment of the damage led county leaders to believe they faced severe financial struggles and that the day of reckoning was soon.
More detailed surveys in recent months have changed the projections. The county now expects a $2 million funding gap this year, far less than predicted.
Next year, the deficit should be about $4 million, but only if the federal government reimburses the county more than the $26 million it has spent on storm-recovery work.
Williams said the state is crunching numbers to help city leaders stabilize budgets in Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian and Long Beach.
State officials have not said whether state funds would be used to supplement local budgets, but after attending this week's meeting, Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre said he was hopeful the state will offer more than just philosophical suggestions.
"We've had plenty of ideas, but none that have put anything on the table," said Favre, whose city faces a $3 million gap this year and even more next year.
"Hopefully, they will come back with some solutions, both money and ideas," he said

WQRZ 103.5

10/26 Sent to me by Brice of the radio station
sara you were excellent on the bill moyers piece tonight. congratulations and thanks so much from all of us at prometheus for the work and advocacy you do for community can watch the piece here if you missed it:
with thanks and love from all the prometheans,
hannah s.

10/23 The Giving Circle's Make a Difference Day Project
Radio Station WQRZ in Hancock County, Miss., served as the emergency broadcast center for the entire county during Hurricane Katrina. It was the only radio station that stayed on the air during the storm at great risk to the owner and operator, Brice Phillips, earning him a presidential award for volunteerism. The entire station eventually succumbed to the storm, was submerged in water and destroyed. We intend to make a difference by helping to get WQRZ back into a permanent, hurricane-resistant structure. A team has salvaged electronics from the original station location in preparation for demolition. Oct. 28 will be "Demolition Day" where team members will help to demolish the structure. Ultimate goal of the project is to procure a half-round steel building and help re-establish the station's emergency services so that people can be informed in the event of another emergency.

It's a tad long, but well worth the read.

WQRZ 103.5 (Live from ground zero) Hurricane Katrina Radio

We are proud to be the 1st Amateur Radio Organization Owned Broadcast Facility in the US (and proud Mississippians) to serve our State and model top the country as the First Broadcast Station to be attached to an Emergency Operations Center.

We of course lost everything except #1 our lives and # 2 our commitment to our community to serve as a facility built to survive another Camille. We have succeed and are proud (most importantly blessed) that we could serve our wonderful community as the only surviving Radio station (expecially the worst and most destructive, no words or pictures can describe the damage here in Hancock County)

As Christine and myself continue to volunteer to our community and the Hancock County EOC, we and the Non profit Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, Inc. (owns the license WQRZ) have no way or resources to rebuild our personal lives much less the HCARA and its facility. We unfortunately are on SSI and the Corp has not been able to raise more than $10,000.00 in 3 years of our operation. We were granted a power upgrade from the FCC to serve this community for safety of life, health and property and distribute vital information directly out of the EOC to the public. We ask for your help in support of our petition to theFCC in the public interest for our permanent WQRZ upgrade to a full powered class A broadcast station for our community (rain shine or God forbid another Katrina) to be built and further continue our development of HCARA's community service radio protection project. We have had wonderful support from EMAC teams that have come here and they all now want to model after what our organization has accomplished in support of our emergency operations center here in Hancock to implement back at their EOC's all over the country.

Please support our mission to serve our community and assist us for the recognition that we developed here in (my home.and the station..what used to physically left) Mississippi.Christine and Myself are proud as disabled citizens to have the motivation to have entirely build, staff and run WQRZ for our community.

We will send more data for your information about us. We humbly ask for your help. we have our lives and our radios, we are truly blessed.

Thanks for any assistance you can provide, We are proud to volunteer our service as a hopefully continued support function of this Hancock County EOC and a continued model to other EOC's what we will continue to do to pioneer our concept and develop it's insurmountable concept to serve each other in this lifetime with the abilities you have (not disabilities that can plague you..he..hee :0 )

Thanks gang!!!

In volunteer service, Brice L. Phillips KB5MPW NCS035WQRZ Katrina RadioStudio # 5 @ Hancock County EOC in Kiln, Ms. 228--463-1035 HCEOC PIO 228-466-8250

Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, Inc.
PO Box 1145, Kiln, Ms. 39556-1145

PS Please acknowledge our Emergency Management Director Brian "Hooty" Adam who has done an outstanding job for this county and the state for his dedication to the people and the insight to support our (HCARA) concept to serve above and far beyond any other broadcast station commitment to the safety of life. (and putting up with us too....)

Mobile Hancock County Emergency Operation Center Unit # 082905

Music therapy and Laughter is truly the best Medication!!

God BlessWQRZ Community Radio Station (Katrina Radio)
4340 Indian Street
Bay Saint Louis, Ms. 39520228-463-1035

Serving our community "Rain, Shine or God Forbid another Hurricane Katrina"
1st Amateur Radio Based Organization Owned Broadcast Station
The Power of Radio is the Point!!!


Please Write Letters to our Public Officials To Let them know about our CRITICAL FACILITY.

We will not be eligible for PUBLIC ASSISTANCE GRANT to help us REBUILD unless you help us convince them that this 1 of the 4 surviving Radio Stations out of 41 throughout Miss Gulf Coast and New Orleans, WQRZ is truly a CRITICAL FACILITY!!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Hancock County EOC

Adult Screenings Offered:

Blood Pressure
Glucose(for those adults who have fasted)
Adult screening are offered once a month for Foot Sensation and Stroke screening


Hepatitis B
Pediatric DT
Influenza (seasonal)

* We administer the Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine at the hospital due to the necessity of refrigeration limitations.

Case Coordinator

FEMA Urges Trailer Occupants to be Cautious Regarding the Use of Heaters in FEMA Trailers As Cold Weather Comes to the Coast
From: FEMA
Filed 10/20/06BILOXI, Miss. -- With cold weather approaching, federal officials advise Hurricane Katrina survivors residing in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) travel trailers to take precautions with fire safety.
Nearly 35,000 FEMA travel trailers are currently located in South Mississippi.
FEMA urges anyone in a travel trailer to use only the built-in heater. Occupants should not use kerosene heaters, kitchen stoves or ovens, or electric space heaters.
“These trailers are equipped with heaters that are safe when used by occupants as instructed when we turn the trailer over to them,” said Nick Russo, federal coordinating officer for the Mississippi recovery. “Using unapproved devices for heat could lead to serious accident or injury.”
“Residents need to practice safety at all times,” Russo added. “Even those who’ve used these heaters before should re-familiarize themselves with how to use them safely.”
Most of the travel trailers are equipped with propane heaters, which automatically vent to the outdoors. However, using the oven or stove for heat may deplete oxygen in the trailer, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that causes dizziness, headaches and possibly death. Residents should make sure the carbon monoxide detector is working correctly and that heater vents on the outside of the trailer are not blocked or covered. All FEMA travel trailers that have propane heaters also have carbon monoxide detectors.
Fire Program Specialist Kathy Gerstner of the U.S. Fire Administration, a sister agency of FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security, offers several fire prevention tips for residents of travel trailers:
If it doesn’t seem safe, don’t do it;
Shut off all appliances before leaving home;
Know where the propane shutoff valve is located and how to shut it off;
Keep flammable materials away from the stove top;
Know where the fire extinguisher is in the unit and learn how to use it;
Learn how to use the emergency window opening devices in the trailer;
Do not store gasoline or other flammable liquids in or under the trailer;
Do not store gasoline-powered vehicles or equipment in the trailer;
Never smoke in bed.
Finally, firefighters at every level stress the importance of having a working smoke detector. Batteries should be replaced twice a year, and officials suggest doing so when changing between daylight and standard time.
“We want everyone to be comfortable and safe this winter,” said Russo. “If those in a travel trailer or mobile home feel their health or safety is in danger at any time, they should leave immediately and contact local emergency officials.”
For maintenance or repairs, trailer residents may call the Maintenance/Applicant Support Center at 1-866-877-6075. The center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Boil Water Advisories,2938,148,html
I know this looks dated but it is the latest available as far as I can tell by the Dept of health website.
Coastal Boil-Water Alerts by County
Water systems affected by Hurricane Katrina (As of September 21, 2006)
If your water system is under a boil-water alert, take the following steps to treat your water:
Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill most organisms.
If you cannot boil your water, mix eight drops (1/8 teaspoon) of unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Mix the solution thoroughly, and let stand for about 30 minutes before using.
Precautions to take:
Do not drink tap water.
Do not use ice made from recent tap water
Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks.
Wash dishes, fruits and vegetables in boiled water or water that has been disinfected with bleach.
Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.
Wash your hands and bathe as usual. Bathing is safe as long as no water is swallowed.
Cook with tap water ONLY if the food will be boiled for at least one minute.
Mississippi Coast Boil-Water Alerts
Mvc Weigh Station 515
Sunrise Mobile Home Park
Tesi: Clermont Harbor
Gulfshore Baptist Assembly
Plantation Pines Rv Park
Tesi: Pass Christian Isles

10/2 Emergency Evacuation Registration Bungled

8/19 FAQ's page put together by Gulf Coast News:

The Hancock County Emergency Operations Center has been running 24-hours a day since Katrina hit. It is located at the former Annunciation Catholic School located, 5370 Kiln DeLisle Rd. in Kiln. Call 228/466-8250. We will be here to see this through.

Hancock County Stats
Home Loans Approved - 4,833 for $464,724,500
Business Approved - 780 for $99,652,000
Total Loans Approved for Hancock County - 5,613 for $564,376,500

Tax Assessor's Office - 8/2
Hancock County Board Tax Assessor Phone Number: 228-467-4425
Please consider contacted them to have your property reassessed. Otherwise you will have to pay taxes on the old assessed value!

New FEMA Call Center Open
A new Mississippi Maintenance/Applicant Support Call Center has been opened by FEMA to handle FEMA trailer maintenance problems and other issues. The call center number is 1-866-877-6075, and is exclusively for applicants residing in Mississippi. Staff is on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take calls.

8/15 Trailer Locks Not Safe
From The Times-Picayune
FEMA has key concern with its trailers
If you can open one home, you can open many, it finds
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 By James Varney
What began as a problem with a single travel trailer has mushroomed into yet another trailer fiasco for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and now the front door locks on as many as 118,000 of the temporary units might have to be changed.
What happened was FEMA learned the keys to one trailer can open as many as 50 others, a problem the agency attributed to the fact that only three companies manufacture the trailer locks in the United States. It didn't, however, learn of the issue through some crime spree, but through a report on potholes plaguing the Renaissance Park trailer lot, the biggest trailer park that FEMA operates in Louisiana with more than 570 units, authorities said.
The rest of the article can be found at

7/30 Recertification Process
A follow up to a story we brought you Tuesday about FEMA trailers and eviction letters. Dozens of people have called WLOX worried about being kicked out of their FEMA trailers. Wednesday, FEMA sent out a new release further explaining the re-certification process.
The status of nearly 40,000 FEMA trailer occupants must be reviewed every 60 to 90 days. People must show they are making progress to more permanent living arrangements like finding a new home, apartment or mobile home, or making repairs to their damaged homes.
What are the responsibilities of temporary housing occupants?
Occupants should develop and pursue permanent housing plans while living in FEMA-provided temporary housing.
Families in FEMA-provided travel trailers or mobile homes should accept the first offer of adequate, alternate housing when it becomes available.
Renters need to contact their previous landlords to find out if they will be permitted to move back into their former units.
Homeowners should follow-up with contractors on the progress of the repair/rebuilding work.
FEMA housing occupants with no housing plans will be given information and tools to help them find available housing.
What occurs during the recertification process?
Flyers will be given to the occupants or placed on their doors to inform them that the housing advisor is coming. The advisor will call to set up an appointment to meet with each applicant in the travel trailer or mobile home.
Housing advisors carry FEMA identification. While they are there, they will check the condition of the unit. If repairs are necessary, a work order request may be submitted.
Housing advisors will help each applicant develop a housing plan and direct them to resources in the community to help meet their needs.
The advisors will follow-up regularly on the progress of applicants in carrying out their permanent housing plan.

Hancock County Library Update
Wireless is back at Hancock Libraries!!
Free wireless Internet service is back at the Bay St. Louis-Hancock County and Kiln Public Libraries. Customers can access the Internet from their own laptop computers inside and outside the library buildings.
Other services include:
• Recent books and DVDs available for checkout;
• Word processing capability at the Bay St. Louis-Hancock County Library;
• Disaster, recovery and other information at Information Desks;
• Copy and fax services for a minimal fee;
• Register for new library cards or replace existing, lost cards;
• Return books to exterior book returns, including Diamondhead;
• Meeting rooms for public/organization meetings;
• Friendly, courteous staff.
More information on these and other services is available by calling (228) 467-5282 at the Bay St. Louis-Hancock County Library or (228) 225-1724 at the Kiln Public Library.

Hancock County Unincorporated


CORPS Quality Assurance 24 HR HOTLINE
to report problems or concerns about ROE or ROW Debris Removal Problems
601-631-5065 (Live Hours M-F 9-4)

Property Damage Complaints 586-0976
SBA Application Status Check 1-800-659-2955

AVAILABLE for those in need of volunteer services, or those who want to volunteer their services, are encouraged to register at the Hancock County Emergency Operation Center at the Annunciation School 5380 Kiln-Delisle Road.
Meeting every Tues 1400

Do You Need Blankets or other items?

Contact ESF-15 Desk 466-8215 or 466-8330

FOOD Pantry OPEN @ 716 Herlihy Waveland

FEMA FRAUD HOTLINE 1-866-720-5721
to report complaints of price-gouging, scams, fraud and other hurricane related crimes. Or call the attorney general’s office in Jackson, MS toll free at 1-800-281-4418

Please Call the EOC @ 466-8275

~ Attention Hancock County Residents ~
Certificate of Compliance Permits are Required for ALL Campers, Mobile Homes, Repairs, New Construction or Reconstruction @ the Building Permit Office Trailer # 15, Longfellow Rd. BSL. (228) 467-4157

RESIDENTS WANTING TO RETURN HOME Displaced Hancock County residents wanting to return to Hancock County from hotels, out-of-town temporary homes or those staying with families, need to contact the Emergency Operating Center at 228-466-8270 to make arrangements for temporary housing. Those wanting to return to their property will be put on a list to have a FEMA trailer placed. Electric, water and sewer hookups must be placed prior to placement.

EMERGENCY GROUP SITE TRAILERS ARE AVAILABLE for Families and Individuals waiting for FEMA trailers to be placed on their private property are also eligible to move into trailers located at Emergency Group (EG) sites. If you choose to move into an EG site, and your private property qualifies as a FEMA approved location, your EG site residency will not prevent you from receiving a FEMA trailer on your private property at a later date. If you have been identified as a priority on the trailer waiting list and choose to accept an EG site trailer, you will be moved to the non-priority waiting list for receiving a trailer on your property.

Are you interested in moving into a trailer at an EG site?
Please call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

FEMA Housing Locator Service 1-800-762-8740
HUD Programs General Info 1-800-955-2232
HUD Disaster Housing Assistance 1-866-373-9509

FREE Flu Shots and Childhood Immunizations are available Hancock County Health Department at 3068 Longfellow Drive, Hut # 3. Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 P.M.

TEST YOUR Well Water - Samples are accepted for testing Monday thru Thursday only and must be dropped off at this location, Hancock County Health Department at 3068 Longfellow Drive, Hut # 3
Assume it’s contaminated until proven safe.


Waveland: Corner Central and Coleman 466-2549
Bay St. Louis: 228-463-7120
Hancock County Water and Sewer 467-6208



Let us know by calling the Hancock County EOC at 466-8250 or WQRZ at 463-1035