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Rockin’ the Boats: Bay Harbor officially opens with 2nd annual festival
Echo staff photos by Geoff Belcher Andrew Stratman & the Dirty Midwest perform Friday evening during the early hours of Bay Harbor Fest 2014. The festival continues through Sunday in honor of the grand opening of the new Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor and Marina.

With nearly two years of construction and two decades of planning behind it, the city of Bay St. Louis will officially celebrate the grand opening of its new municipal harbor and pier today.
The city will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. today as part of the Bay Harbor Fest 2014 events.
"The harbor has been on the city's wish list for a long time," Mayor Les Fillingame said Thursday. "I think the original vision of a downtown marina was in the Sand Beach Master Plan. There was a huge desire at that time to develop our waterfront ... but there was never the funding in place."
Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent federally-funded rebuilding efforts changed all that.
"The possibility is now a reality ...," Fillingame said.

Jul 25, 2014, 21:01

Bay audit leads to questions about ’12 payment
A $132,900 check the city of Bay St. Louis received nearly two years ago caused a stir this week, leading at least one councilman to demand an investigation and threatening to call the attorney general's office if he does not get answers.
The city council discussed the city's 2013 audit at separate meetings this week.
On Monday, Ward Five Councilman Joey Boudin asked about a $132,900 check that was listed on the audit as an "unearned income and liability."
The check, which the city received on Aug. 27, 2012, was an annual licensing fees check for gaming devices, officials said.

Jul 25, 2014, 21:00

BHS field may not be ready in time for kick-off of football season
The Bay High School Tank Williams Field.

Bay High School may have to play some of its home football games at a different location this fall if immediate action is not taken to rectify the situation at Joe D. McCullough Stadium, officials said Friday.
Two weeks ago, the Bay-Waveland School District approved a change order to a contract with Pro Turf, which was awarded a $690,000 contract a few months back for improvement at the stadium, including installation of a new turf field.
Work, however, stopped on June 17 after problems arose with the water table underneath the field.
Since then, the field has remained in a torn-up state.
The Bay-Waveland School board discussed the matter at a meeting two weeks ago and approved a change order to try to get the stadium ready for opening night on Aug. 29.

Jul 25, 2014, 20:59

Locals write letters in support of Scott Walker
Several local citizens – including a Hancock County supervisor – wrote letters supporting former Congressional aid Scott Walker, who was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison this week for his role in a corruption scheme with the Department of Marine Resources.
Walker, who is the son of former DMR Director Bill Walker, formerly worked as a congressional aid for senators Trent Lott and Roger Wicker.
He became well known in Hancock County circles after Hurricane Katrina, while representing the two senators. Walker was sentenced on Wednesday, and on Thursday, a federal judge released letters written on his behalf to four local media groups which had filed motions to gain access to them.

Jul 25, 2014, 20:58

Going for Baroque: Lagniappe Church hosts second annual Music & Art Camp in Bay St. Louis
Mississippi Sound Music & Art Camp instructor Chris Coddling on Thursday shows campers painting techniques before the children started their own paintings with the theme “Spring.” Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” was the prevalent theme throughout the week-long camp.

Nineteen children who have spent their whole lives experiencing only south Mississippi's two seasons this week got the opportunity to learn about Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."
That was the theme this week for the Mississippi Sound Music & Art Camp at Lagniappe Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis, camp founder Molly Hammett said Thursday.
It's the second year Hammett and other volunteer instructors have hosted the week-long summer camp at Lagniappe.
It cost only $15 for each student, all of which went to pay for instructional materials.
"We started it to do something for the community that would not be cost-prohibitive, but would provide education in the arts," Hammett said.

Jul 25, 2014, 20:55

Linda "Ginny" Walden is Artist of the Week
Ginny Walden with one of her paintings.

Artist of the Week Linda “Ginny” Walden grew up in St. Bernard, Louisiana but moved to Hancock County in 1980. Today, she and her husband Charles live in Bay St Louis. They have seven grown children and 15 grandchildren, ages 8-17.
She has been a nurse for 27 years working in various form of nursing. Today she is employed at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport.
“My motto for artwork is ‘Done from the Heart,’” she said. “My painting gives me the freedom to put on canvas what I see in my mind and feel in my heart. I usually don't plan things in advance; I just let it happen.”

Jul 25, 2014, 20:53

Pass Christian celebrates $35M harbor expansion
Gov. Phil Bryant and Pass Christian Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott check their notes before speaking at the dedication ceremony Tuesday for the new habor expansion in Pass Christian.

The city of Pass Christian on Tuesday opened it's new 20-acre harbor at the foot of Davis Avenue.
The new harbor will complement the city's existing harbor with 60 recreational boat slips and 120 commercial slips.
"Today is a day of thanks," Pass Mayor Leo "Chipper" McDermott said. "As long as their is water and seafood, there will be a need for it. We in Pass Christian have been in the harbor business for 120 years. Not only is this new harbor progress, it will change our way of life."
The new harbor area is located about a quarter-mile from the city's existing harbor.
McDermott said one advantage of the new harbor will be separating the commercial and recreational areas.

Jul 23, 2014, 09:12

Bay Council refuses to raise rates
The Bay St. Louis City Council held yet another lengthy meeting Monday to discuss its finances and a possible utility rate hike, and once again, the meeting resulted in no action being taken.

Bank sends stern message:
The meeting began with Hancock Bank Bond Trustee Jason Thomas delivering an ultimatum of sorts to the council.
Thomas told the council that its recent re-financing of a $1.6 million bond carried the stipulation that the city pledged "full faith and credit" to pay it off.
Full faith and credit means that the city must dedicate money to pay the annual bond payment, Thomas said.

Jul 23, 2014, 09:10

BSL to celebrate harbor’s grand opening with second annual fest
Bay Harbor Fest is scheduled for this weekend to mark the grand opening of the Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor and Marina.
“We are inviting everyone to come by boat, kayak, paddle board, bike and car to this once-in-a-lifetime epic event and celebrate the grand opening of the Bay Municipal Harbor," festival organizer Mike Rosato said Monday.
The event is free and open to the public, and will take place entirely on the grounds and beach around the new harbor, Rosato said, with no street closures. Although all of the concerts are free, Rosato said, special VIP Meet and Greet packages will be available for purchase.

Jul 23, 2014, 09:09

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