Monday, June 17 2013 11:24 AM EDT2013-06-17 15:24:16 GMT
An altercation between a man and woman ended after the man struck the woman with his vehicle then fled the scene Sunday afternoon, according to Ocean Springs police. Police say the woman was tryingMore >>
A woman was struck by a truck Sunday afternoon and police say the driver fled the scene.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 12:29 PM EDT2013-06-17 16:29:55 GMT
Two suspects were arrested Friday in connection to a stolen black Ford F-250, according to Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara. Brisolara said the sheriff's department received several complaintsMore >>
Two suspects were arrested Friday in connection to a stolen black Ford F-250, according to Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-06-17 14:36:40 GMT
FT MYERS, FL (WBBH/CNN) - Video footage showed a Florida teen swimming with a 30 foot whale shark. Chris Kreis spends most of his time working in the family business. "I started when I was 3-years-old,"More >>
A Florida teen was caught on camera swimming with a 30 foot whale shark.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 6:54 AM EDT2013-06-17 10:54:06 GMT
A fishing trip along Biloxi's Back Bay quickly took a turn for the worse for one group Friday night. Blood stains mark the aftermath of the grueling night Thomas Leos, Sandy Miller, Joey Weidenbach, BruceMore >>
A fishing trip along Biloxi's Back Bay quickly took a turn for the worse for one group Friday night. Blood stains mark the aftermath of the grueling night Thomas Leos, Sandy Miller, Joey Weidenbach, Bruce Rogers and Christine Weber became heroes.More >>
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
For three and a half years, Gerald Blessey has been the Gulf Coast Housing Director. The job has been monumental: Replace or repair the more than 60,000 housing units that Hurricane Katrina wiped away. What's been accomplished so far is impressive.
"We have repaired, replaced or have under construction over 50,000 housing units that were either destroyed or substantially damaged by Katrina," Blessey said.
It was not easy dealing with bureaucracy.
"I think the other big challenge was coordinating three levels of government and hundreds of regulations in order to comply with all the rules that go with using federal money," Blessey recalled.
He also remembers the dark days right after the storm.
"You know, I had been in Vietnam, and we had helicopters overhead and I kind of felt like I was back in the war. Such devastation."
Many areas of the coast are still empty, like Biloxi's Point Cadet. Mailboxes are still standing that haven't seen a letter delivered in years. Porch stairs lead to nothing. Will that area ever be the same?
"That's where I grew up and it won't be exactly the same because of the elevation requirements for construction," Blessey said. "Living a 15, 16, 17 feet above the ground is a much different living experience."
He also feels the insurance crises is another major hurdle to clear.
"It's got to be solved on the federal level. Mississippi, as a state, is too small of a market to really cure itself. We have the windpool on the state level which makes it available, but it's certainly not affordable."
While many people, state and federal agencies were involved in our post-Katrina housing recovery efforts, one group of people was absolutely essential.
"We've had a million volunteers come from around the nation to work here in Mississippi and many of them worked on housing. You have organizations like Habitat for Humanity and many other church groups."
Before we totally recover, one thing has to be done, according to the former Biloxi mayor.
"Prior to Katrina, we had 10,000 more jobs than we have now and we've got to be really creative as a community, both locally and on the state level, to bring jobs back."
Blessey's tenure as Gulf Coast Housing Director could end when the man who appointed him, Governor Haley Barbour leaves office next month. However, he's open to being re-appointed to the post by Governor-elect Phil Bryant.
Blessey said he would like the opportunity to finish overseeing the $130 million Neighborhood Home program, which is currently underway.
Be the first to find out about breaking news! To sign up for email alerts from the WLOX Newsroom, just enter your email address below.
Your email address will never be shared with a third party and youMore >>