MissPres News Roundup 4-4-2011

There’s just one week left to get your votes in for the Central Poll.  If you’ve already used up your votes at home and work, then it’s time to spread the word to others to do the same.  And I saw that the Mississippi Heritage Trust website has been updated with registration information for “10 Most” and the Statewide Conference at the end of the month.

And here’s the news:

The Civil Rights and Mississippi History Museums were in the news again this week:

On Monday, the story in the Clarion Ledger was that lawmakers could not agree on whether private match funds for the museums needed to be in place before the state contributed any funding to the two museums.  Former Governor William Winter thinks that the private funds would be difficult to secure up front, but would come after the state shows it is investing in the two institutions and the museums start to take shape.  The Legislature could not come to an agreement by a midnight deadline last weekend on the museums, but since they also did not finalize the state budget, the deadline could be extended – which was the story Tuesday (in the Hattiesburg American).  By Thursday, the Sun Herald reported that Governor Haley Barbour was pushing the Legislature to resolve the funding issues, even suggesting a special session to do so.

By the way, at least as I’m writing this, WAPT has a survey on their homepage asking “Do you think the state should fund civil rights and state history museums?”  The voting thus far as been heavy on the “No” side (just over 70%).

As we would expect in late March / early April, a lot of stories related to pilgrimage this week.  Down in Natchez, the Democrat ran a story about how the numbers for this years pilgrimage – which is only half done – are up from last year.  Some of the properties are even reporting that at the halfway point they are already better than all of 2010.

Up in Columbus, the Dispatch was busy getting everyone prepared for the start of their annual pilgrimage.  Some weather concerns last week did not deter the preparations (even if you don’t want to read this article, it’s worth clicking on to catch a glimpse of the renovated Tennessee Williams house in the background).  The paper also ran a schedule of events and another feature about the event (to follow up one I mentioned in last week’s roundup).

Starkville had a lot of press coverage this week about a Charrette to help the town look at their planning goals.  Mississippi Main Street is involved in these talks and preservation is a topic that is addressed.  Both the Starkville Daily News and the Columbus Dispatch covered the event.  The Dispatch even ran an editorial urging anyone with an interest in Starkville’s future to get involved.  I thought I had saved the links for other stories from the Daily News that were more specific, but I can’t find them now and the website is not easy to search for past articles.  If any MissPres readers attended, maybe you can share some insight with the rest of us.

Over Meridian way, the Star ran two stories related to the remodeling of the Newberry Building.  The first let readers know that the project is on schedule according to MSU.  The second was about the “growing pains” of the area – some new businesses in adjacent buildings have been adversely affected by some of the renovation work as crews have had to block of portions of the sidewalk and street for safety.  The business owners know that the renovation of the Newberry will be great for them long term, but the short term has them concerned.

Now some “news briefs”:

In Jackson, the Northside Sun credits the Save Our Strip group with getting Watkins to revisit their plans for Whitney Place and the potential demolition of the Fondren Strip.  I’m not sure if the group has completely gotten the developers to abandon any plan that includes demolition, but at least Watkins says he is willing to explore other options.

Film crews from the Smithsonian Channel (who knew that existed?) were over in Natchez this week getting footage for their “Aerial America” show.  No word yet on when the Mississippi episode will be, but we’ll keep an eye out for everyone.

The Oxford Eagle is reporting that Oxford’s two Historic Preservation Commissions are looking at revising their preservation ordinances – but does not say what those changes might be.

Down on the Coast, the Sun Herald reports that the Seafood Museum will be rebuilt at Pointe Cadet in Biloxi despite the concern that there might be an archeological site there.

The Sun Herald also reported that the reconstructed Grass Lawn in Gulfport still needs repairs before it can be opened to the public.  This was a project done after the original was destroyed by Katrina.

One last Coast story – over in Pascagoula, the Fete LaPointe gala raised over $40,000 in funds to go towards restoring the Krebs-LaPointe House.  Kudos to them!

Categories: Biloxi, Civil Rights, Columbus, Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Historic Preservation, Jackson, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Museums, Natchez, News Roundups, Pascagoula, Starkville

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