Gulfport Takes Steps To Welcome Black Spring Breakers

District Attorney Cono Caranna says it will cost $10,000 to hire the Godwin Group to run a media operations center for Black Spring Break. Tuesday night, he asked the Gulfport City Council to pay a third of the cost. He says he is also asking the Biloxi City Council and the Harrison County Board of Supervisors to pay their share.

Caranna heads up the group FOCUS, which is a committee that's been planning for the event. Caranna says the media coordinator will allow the Coast to get information out to the media so they know where the activities are and where they need to go. It's also a way to make sure the Mississippi Gulf Coast is portrayed in a positive light.

That's when several residents spoke up, asking the city to do more to show Black Spring Breakers the city wants them here. Council President Jimmie Jenkins asked fellow council members to spend a total of $5,000. About $3,333 would go to hire the media coordinator. The rest would pay for special fliers to welcome the Spring Breakers.

Jenkins says as an elected official for the city of Gulfport, he would hate for somebody to tell him he didn't have the guts or the audacity to issue a flier to welcome people to the city of Gulfport. Four council members supported Jenkins. Only councilman Sam Albritton voted no.

Albritton says if people came to his house and acted disruptive, he would not invite them back.  He says if the spring breakers come back and show that they're good people and good citizens, he would want to welcome them back. But Albritton says the students must first prove to the city that they want to be here as good citizens. Black Spring Break is scheduled for April 6th - 8th.

By: Trang Pham-Bui