Above:A 360-degree photo shows a rusted boat and other wreckage at Bayou Caddy, a port west of Waveland. (John Brecher / MSNBC.com)

About this project

In the coming months, MSNBC.com will focus its coverage of the Hurricane Katrina recovery on two cities on the hard-hit Mississippi coast.

Coastal Miss. vicinity

Though Bay St. Louis and Waveland are far from the media spotlight on New Orleans, the intertwined fates of the people, businesses and institutions in these towns tell the story of an entire region's struggle to recover from the most destructive storm in U.S. history.

Read about the towns

Ragtag artists

Posted: Wednesday, June 28 at 06:46 pm CT by

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Hancock County artists whose work will be included in the Washington, D.C., exhibit.


The accompanying photo may look like a bunch of ragtag artists but if you notice they all have big smiles on their faces. The reason for this is because these artists will have an exhibit of their artwork in a very prestigious gallery in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to a generous patron, the Foundry Gallery in Dupont Circle will host a month long exhibit of work by 26 artists from The Arts, Hancock County. This is an opportunity for these artists to sell their work – not simply display it. Since all but one art gallery in Bay St. Louis was destroyed by the hurricane, finding alternative venues to sell art is critical to their livelihood.

CONTINUED »

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'The Donald' joins casino fray

Posted: Wednesday, June 28 at 06:44 pm CT by

BAY ST. LOUIS – Like hungry alligators, gambling enterprises are rapidly crawling ashore all along the Mississippi coast. Hancock County is no exception, with two casinos due to open by year’s end and a new project that pairs a state gaming company with Donald Trump.

Work is farthest along at the former Casino Magic, which will reopen “sometime this fall” as the Hollywood Casino-Bay St. Louis.

CONTINUED »

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I've been adopted!

Posted: Wednesday, June 28 at 02:51 pm CT by

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Workers pour the slab for what will be Mary Perkins' new home.

It's been too long since I wrote a blog for all of you. Tomorrow marks the 10 month milestone since Hurricane Katrina hit. What an awesome thought that we have been doing this for 10 months!

In my last entry I told you that I had gotten my building permit. That was on May 1. Well, it's almost July 1, but I now have a slab for the new house. It's been rough going these past two months, getting everyone to come do what needed to be done to get the slab poured. A guy I grew up with -- in fact he lived next door to me -- is in the contracting business. He agreed to help me when the house was being demolished. So he took on the task of setting everyone up to get the slab poured. That included hauling in the dirt, leveling it out, forming up, plumbing, etc. And he did not charge me a dime!! People are wonderful, aren't they!!

CONTINUED »

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Developers linked to old stock fraud

Posted: Wednesday, June 28 at 02:16 pm CT by

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An artist's rendering from a Paradise Properties brochure envisions the completed Breezes condominium project.

Two brothers involved in the Paradise Bay project in Hancock County -- the biggest post-Katrina development on the Mississippi Gulf Coast -- were key figures in an Internet stock scam that federal authorities say bilked investors out of more than $12 million, MSNBC.com has learned.

Additionally, one of the men was barred from the franchising business for life after federal lawyers sued him in a fraud case they said cost investors $6 million. The other brother filed for bankruptcy in 2002, and both have yet to satisfy a federal judgment against them of nearly $10 million.

And while the brothers -- Richard S. and Donald R. Kern -- say they have developed numerous real estate projects in Florida, California, Colorado and even Russia, neither they nor their associates would provide specific names and locations of any of the developments despite repeated requests by MSNBC.com.

Click here to read the full story.

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Watch out for 'flying teeth'

Posted: Tuesday, June 27 at 01:25 pm CT by

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – To the delight of no one, Mississippi’s most feared residents – its voracious flying and biting bugs – are recovering quite nicely from Hurricane Katrina.

Mosquitoes, midges (also known as “no-see-ums” and “flying teeth”) and deer flies have been particularly nasty this summer, making things miserable for work crews and giving the locals something to talk about besides insurance and repairs.

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Thieves sting good Samaritan

Posted: Sunday, June 25 at 11:04 pm CT by

WAVELAND, Miss. – When contractor Dwight Billingsley rushed to the Mississippi Gulf Coast just days after Hurricane Katrina struck, he figured he could use his house-moving equipment and expertise to make some money and at the same time help people in need.

Ten months later, the 45-year-old Pine Bluff, Ark., resident is demoralized, tens of thousands of dollars in the hole and ready to head home after losing most of his heavy equipment and tools to thieves.

“I’m going to finish the house I’m on now and go home,” he says morosely, reclining on the bench of his cramped camper’s dinner table. “It’s all I can stand.”

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10 months: The Corps will stay

Posted: Sunday, June 25 at 11:02 pm CT by

Almost 10 months after Hurricane Katrina, residents of Hancock County are breathing a sigh of relief after learning that the Army Corps of Engineers will not pack up and leave at the end of the month.

But city and county leaders aren’t quite as consoled, since the financially strapped local governments will now have to begin picking up 10 percent of the debris-removal tab.

CONTINUED »

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FEMA says vet can keep trailer

Posted: Sunday, June 25 at 11:02 pm CT by

Finally, there's some good news for Larry Lake.

Regular readers of "Rising from Ruin" will remember the 71-year-old Lake as the Navy veteran who was simultaneously fighting cancer and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. For reasons which were never clear, the agency was threatening to evict him from the trailer it had given him, according to Lake and family members.

CONTINUED »

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Racing to span the bay

Posted: Sunday, June 25 at 11:02 pm CT by

PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. – The race is on.

Nearing the 10-month mark since Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf Coast, work has begun in earnest to replace the Highway 90 bridge across St. Louis Bay – a vital economic lifeline that carried an average of 17,000 vehicles a day between Hancock and Harrison counties before the storm wrecked the old span.

CONTINUED »

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ARCHIVES

August 31, 2008 - September 6, 2008
August 24, 2008 - August 30, 2008
March 16, 2008 - March 22, 2008
August 26, 2007 - September 1, 2007
April 29, 2007 - May 5, 2007
January 28, 2007 - February 3, 2007
December 31, 2006 - January 6, 2007
December 24, 2006 - December 30, 2006
November 26, 2006 - December 2, 2006
November 12, 2006 - November 18, 2006
November 5, 2006 - November 11, 2006
October 29, 2006 - November 4, 2006
October 15, 2006 - October 21, 2006
October 8, 2006 - October 14, 2006
October 1, 2006 - October 7, 2006
September 10, 2006 - September 16, 2006
August 27, 2006 - September 2, 2006
August 20, 2006 - August 26, 2006
July 30, 2006 - August 5, 2006
July 23, 2006 - July 29, 2006
June 25, 2006 - July 1, 2006
May 28, 2006 - June 3, 2006
May 21, 2006 - May 27, 2006
May 14, 2006 - May 20, 2006
May 7, 2006 - May 13, 2006
April 30, 2006 - May 6, 2006
April 23, 2006 - April 29, 2006
April 16, 2006 - April 22, 2006
April 9, 2006 - April 15, 2006
April 2, 2006 - April 8, 2006
March 26, 2006 - April 1, 2006
March 19, 2006 - March 25, 2006
March 12, 2006 - March 18, 2006
March 5, 2006 - March 11, 2006
February 26, 2006 - March 4, 2006
February 19, 2006 - February 25, 2006
February 12, 2006 - February 18, 2006
February 5, 2006 - February 11, 2006
January 29, 2006 - February 4, 2006
January 22, 2006 - January 28, 2006
January 15, 2006 - January 21, 2006
January 8, 2006 - January 14, 2006
January 1, 2006 - January 7, 2006
December 25, 2005 - December 31, 2005
December 18, 2005 - December 24, 2005
December 11, 2005 - December 17, 2005
December 4, 2005 - December 10, 2005
November 27, 2005 - December 3, 2005
November 20, 2005 - November 26, 2005
November 13, 2005 - November 19, 2005
November 6, 2005 - November 12, 2005
October 30, 2005 - November 5, 2005
October 23, 2005 - October 29, 2005
October 16, 2005 - October 22, 2005

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