Town Hall To Spotlight Katrina Recovery In Bay St. Louis

By Al Showers - bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Bay St. Louis will be the site of a major television production. A Town Hall meeting hosted by Mississippi and Louisiana Public Broadcasting will be taped in Old Town Saturday morning.

The purpose of the broadcast is to spotlight Katrina recovery on the Coast three years after the storm. Work crews spent Friday morning building a set on a slab where a retail business sat before Katrina destroyed it.

"The reason this area was chosen is that Louisiana's Public Broadcasting requested that we find an area that showed destruction from the storm and reconstruction. So behind us we have a building that's been heavily damaged by the storm, but on the other side we show the Bay Bridge, which I think shows some rebuilding of the Coast," said Executive Producer Rick Klein with Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

During the town hall forum, an audience and several panelists will discuss Katrina recovery issues.

"We're trying to cover three major areas - the economy, housing and governmental response. We hope they'll be a good dialog between the panelists and the audience," Klein said.

The broadcast is a joint venture between Mississippi Public Broadcasting and Louisiana Public Broadcasting. Louisiana's organization secured a grant to host and televise the event.

"Mississippi Public Broadcasting feels like this is a very relevant topic to cover, because three years after the storm, there could be a perception that everything is okay, that everything is back to normal. And we know that it's not," Klein said. "Our goal is to keep these issues in front of the public to let them know that things are not okay, and people are still struggling to rebuild their lives, their businesses."

The public is invited to attend Saturday's taping, but citizens, civic groups and local leaders have already been selected to ask questions. The taping begins 9am at a stage location at Main Street and Beach Boulevard in Bay St. Louis.