A look back at a year in South Mississippi

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - From destructive blazes, to rebuilding industry, to heartbreaking loss, 2011 will be one for the books.

It started with a murder on News Years Day, and it wouldn't be the last. 2011 was a deadly year, and closes with an unsolved triple stabbing in D'Iberville and an unsolved triple shooting in Gulfport.

"If there's anyone out there with some information, they may think it may be insignificant, but that may be the one piece of the puzzle that helps us solve this case. So, we're asking the community's help once again," Gulfport Police officer Ken Brown told WLOX recently.

However, it was also a year for business. It seems every city in South Mississippi marked the year with ribbon cuttings and fresh start for businesses.

After ten years under Northrop Grumman, one of the largest employers on the coast, the Pascagoula shipyard, was taken over by Huntington Ingalls. It was a smooth transition for most workers, who continued on without missing a beat.

For those who depend on the water for work, the year was anything but smooth. Still recovering from the oil spill, oystermen took another blow as spring flooding poured fresh water into oyster beds and devastated the crop.

Sea life also took a hit this year, as dozens of dead dolphins mysteriously washed up on shore. Scientists are still looking for answers as to why.

Back on land, financial trouble was brewing in Waveland as the city laid off 20 percent of its employees to avoid going broke.

"I know people disagree with some of the decisions but its hard decisions being made," said Waveland Mayor David Garcia.

The city has since been able to rehire some employees.

The year rounded out with a historic election. Mississippians elected Republican Phil Bryant to serve as the state's next governor. It's the first time two republicans have served back to back, since the reconstruction.

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