Archive for April, 2010

Waveland Community Coalition

April 30, 2010

Waveland Community Coalition

The City of Waveland held one of the first emergency preparedness meetings along the coast, this morning, in anticipation of problems related to contamination from the “oil spill.” Information is being disseminated, as received, through the Humane Society, City Hall and the media. OFFICIAL volunteer info is forthcoming. Federal, state and local officials are meeting this afternoon.

UPDATE: Coast declares state of emergency

April 30, 2010

Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign

April 30, 2010

Acrid smell of oil in the air

April 30, 2010

With the oil disaster in the Gulf and the burning of the oil on the surface – the air, this morning, was full of the acrid smell of burning oil. There is a problem looming on the horizon in paradise.

  BY: Kathleen Johnson

                                   Katrina Relief Director

April 30, 2010


  • State will request Case Management Services through MCMC for the Yazoo Tornado Disaster.
  • 475 FEMA flood violation letters mailed out by Hancock County (we are already seeing travel trailer residents who will be made homeless by this enforcement)
  • Zero by September in place to have all FEMA travel units out of the Katrina equation.
  • MEMA cottage meeting very successful in Waveland on Wednesday. Supporters of residents who will be evicted are planning to meet fellow residents at Justice Court in Kiln on Friday at 9am.
  • General intake day, Thursdays, still seeing a myriad of new clients with Katrina blue roofs and still in need of services.
  • PVRO in the office on Thursdays doing intakes on MCMC and other clients seeking the PVRO grants for rebuilding Katrina damaged homes. It is estimated that the grant will serve 450 homes.
  • HPRP Homelessness Prevention Program (stimulus funds) operating at full speed with intakes and assisting clients (many from the MCMC program as residents lose THU units or MEMA cottages).
  • There is a acrid smell of oil in the air from the oil spill in the Gulf.
  • VOAD very active with the Yazoo disaster with daily telephone conference calls.
  • Critically need volunteers for multiple projects – Katrina and Yazoo tornado disaster. The oil slick will not require volunteers as that is a Hazmat project.
  •   BY: Kathleen Johnson

                                                                           Katrina Relief Director

    News Links For This Week

    April 30, 2010


    Participation in the 2010 Census is far from admirable along the Coast.

    RIGZONE News – leading source for the latest news and information for the oil and gas industry


    Mississippi Katrina ‘Wind v. Water’ Case Settled Out of Court

    A Mississippi couple and the insurer they were suing over hurricane damage to their coastal home from Hurricane Katrina have settled their closely-watched case out of court. The terms were not disclosed.
    Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households ‘cut the cord,’ report says

    Make no mistake: The big cable, satellite, and telco carriers are still sitting pretty with more than 100 million TV subscribers. Nevertheless, a new report claims that more and more viewers are
    BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – Biloxi has approved a traffic plan to better control the flow of vehicles if local roadways become congested with spring break crowds this weekend.
    JACKSON, MS (WLOX) – Governor Haley Barbour has released new details on exactly how and when Mississippi will join the State of Florida’s lawsuit over health care reform.

    Better Business Bureau Director Bill Moak said that often in the act of giving to veterans, it’s the emotion that causes donors to act before they think about giving.
    Free clinic opens in D’Iberville

    D’IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) – A clinic offering free help to meet healthcare needs on the coast held a grand opening Sunday. The D’Iberville Free Clinic celebrated its newly renovated location off Big Ridge Road.
    The Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) today released a national comparison of state and local budgets that highlights the impact of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on Louisiana�s revenue and spending levels.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been responding to almost any natural disaster around the country, be it a contained three-county flood, or a catastrophe of near-epic proportions like Hurricane Katrina. …
    FINANCE – Market Sector, NEWS, National/International News, REAL ESTATE – Market Sector State�s non-current loans still high
    Among states with 5,000 to 20,000 movers, Mississippi was No. 6, with 4.44 percent more people moving in than out. Vermont was No. 1 at 16.67 percent.
    Colorado doesn’t see any hurricanes, but Atlantic and Gulf coast states pay close attention to CSU’s annual hurricane forecast, which was issued Wednesday.
    Getting the word out about recovery and money is behind the new partnership between the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Knight Foundation nonprofit agencies.
    At the Philadelphia Daily News, Wendy Ruderman, center, and Barbara Laker celebrate their investigative reporting Pulitzer with Managing Editor Pat McCloone, left, and Executive Editor Michael Days. (Sarah J. Glover / Philadelphia Daily News / April 13, 2010)
    Online sites win journalism firsts at Pulitzers

    ProPublica, in an historic first for online journalism, won a coveted Pulitzer Prize on Monday for investigative reporting about controversial deaths at a New Orleans medical center following Hurricane Katrina.
      BY: Kathleen Johnson
                                                                              Katrina Relief Director

    George County drug round-up nets suspected dealers

    April 30, 2010


    George County’s undercover Operation Cold Snap hit suspected street level drug dealers by surprise at sunrise.

    “I think it is important to get them and get them into custody before the word gets out,” Investigator Tony Keel said.

    By 6a.m. Thursday, the George County Sheriff’s Department and law enforcers from agencies along the coast, raided homes to round-up 33 suspects.  Law enforcers say the men and women sold cocaine, meth, and illegal prescription drugs to undercover agents during a three month investigation.  

    “Most of half of these arrests are going to prescription drugs like Lortabs, Zanax, Adderal,” George County Sheriff Gary Welford said.

    The sheriff’s department said so far this year, about 120 people have been arrested on drug charges. The number doesn’t include the suspects arrested in Thursday’s round-up. Deputies say the drug problem is disturbing.

    “It is a problem. I never said we didn’t have a drug problem; we try to deal with it as best we can. We are not different, we are not unique than any other county,” Welford said.

    This is Sheriff Gary Welford’s first county-wide drug sting operation, and he promises more will follow.

    Drug agents also seized a meth lab and guns during the round-up. The suspects are expected to have their initial appearance in court Friday.

    By Patrice Clark

    WLOX- ch 13

    Ex-FEMA worker, cousin convicted of fraud

    April 30, 2010


    Former FEMA worker Lashonda Booker and her cousin have to repay more than $720,000 in disaster-relief money intended for Katrina victims.

    U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola sentenced both to prison Thursday for conspiring to commit wire fraud.

    U.S. Attorney Donald Burkhalter has called it the largest theft of public money in Katrina-related fraud cases.

    The judge gave Booker six years and 10 months to serve and sentenced Peggy Hilton to nine years and six months. He also ordered restitution and, after prison time, probation for five years and 100 hours of community service.

    They owe $721,212.23.

    The women stole the money between October 2005 and May 2009. Booker was transferred to FEMA’s Biloxi office from Jackson County in 2006.

    Booker admitted using a federal database to get the names of hurricane victims who had applied for disaster relief. Hilton called FEMA claiming to be those people and changed their banking information.

    The judge on Thursday ordered drug and alcohol test for both. Booker was released to await a date to report to prison. Records show Hilton tested positive. The judge ordered Hilton taken into custody.

    Read more:

    Two accused of raping 11-year-old girl

    April 30, 2010



    Sheriff Steve Garber said two men are charged with the rape of an 11-year-old girl who was taken from Slidell by a man she met on the Internet.

    Garber said the girl was raped and abandoned in Hancock County, then later raped again and dropped off in Gulfport to wait at Walmart for her father to pick her up.

    The sheriff said the girl met Christopher Spiehler, 29, of Slidell, through a social-networking site for persons interested in the occult and vampires. He helped her run away from home last Friday night, Garber said.

    Spiehler has been held in the St. Tammany Parish jail since his arrest Saturday on a kidnapping charge. He and a Waveland man have since been charged with statutory rape.

    Sean Robertson, 21, of Waveland, is held with no bond pending a hearing.

    Garber said authorities believe Spiehler sexually assaulted the girl in Hancock County and abandoned her at a gas station in Bay St. Louis. Garber said Robertson picked her up and took her to his home in Waveland, and also sexually assaulted her.

    Garber said Gulfport police went to Walmart to retrieve the girl and wait for her father to arrive.

    Detectives said Robertson is cooperating with the investigation.

    Read more:

    Three arrested in armed robbery

    April 30, 2010


    An armed robbery of an individual in Escatawpa has resulted in the arrests of two minors and one adult, with the minors charged as adults in the case, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

    The arrests occurred shortly after deputies responded to a report of the robbery in the 4200 block of Mimosa Street on Wednesday. The victim, whose age and gender were not released, suffered minor injuries and was treated and released at Singing River Hospital, the sheriff said.

    Investigators the same day recovered some of the stolen items, also not identified, and later arrested Christopher Freeman, 14, a resident of the area the alleged robbery occurred.

    Read more: