City of Gulfport

City of Gulfport responds to ‘clickbait’ article naming Gulfport as tenth worst run U.S. city

81 views – Sabria Reid – 2022-07-25 21:18:48

The City of responds to what they call a ‘clickbait’ article listing Gulfport as the number 10 worst run city in America.

In efforts to discredit the article written by WalletHub, the city publishes a response titled ‘Pardon our Progress, WalletHoax.’

Proving the advancements and setbacks Gulfport has overcome, the response reads ‘Gulfport has more than $50 million in downtown development, is home to the…

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City of Gulfport announces Gumbo Festival coming to the Coast

189 views – Janae Jordan – 2022-07-07 17:28:41

The City of held a press conference today to announce a new coming to the Coast that will bring even more tourists to the area.

Gumbo Festival is coming to the and to celebrate the good , a celebration took place at Centennial Plaza. The event will bring family, food, and fun together. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said, “We are always looking for ways to enhance the experience…

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Vendors seeing double the number of weddings in 2022

188 views – Lorraine Weiskopf – 2022-06-10 15:50:26

With mass gatherings prohibited during the height of the pandemic impacting the wedding industry, this year love is in the air and making a comeback.

25 stopped by the Great Southern Club in this morning as they were setting up for a wedding.

The club has been open since the 80s and has had their fair share of weddings in their sunset room which provides a panoramic view of the .

In 2020, due…

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Gulfport Sports Hall of Fame to welcome Class of 2022

197 views – Jeff Haeger – 2022-06-09 21:59:39

After a two-year hiatus due to , the Sports Hall of Fame is eager to induct its 12-member class of 2022 to its already prestigious ranks.

On Saturday, a dozen of the finest players and coaches from the will be honored with a banquet at the Lyman Community Center where they’ll be presented with their brand-new Hall of Fame jackets.

This afternoon, some of these local legends got together…

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Gulfport City Council holds redistricting workshop

219 views – Janae Jordan – 2022-05-17 19:10:02

As the continues to grow, the time has come to redraw the ward lines which could impact residents for the next ten years.

The City of has grown tremendously and now about 40 percent of Gulfport’s 72,000 residents live north of Interstate 10. Gulfport City Council held an open redistricting workshop to discuss the plans with Urban Planning Consultant Chris Watson. “This is all about rebalancing…

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Reeves vetoes $50M appropriation to UMMC


Gov. Tate Reeves vetoes $50M appropriation to UMMC

Gov. Tate Reeves announced Tuesday he had partially vetoed an appropriations bill for the , citing the state-owned hospital’s ongoing contract dispute with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi.

Reeves’ partial veto of Senate Bill 3010 withholds $50 million of federal funding appropriated to UMMC by the state Legislature for the completion of capital improvements to the patient care facilities and operating suites of UMMC’s adult hospital.

The governor justified the veto by arguing that while UMMC’s teaching center is largely funded by the state, the hospital is not. He accused the hospital of “willingly” turning away patients on private insurance, a reference to UMMC’s contract dispute with Blue Cross that has resulted in the hospital going out of network with the insurer.

Though Blue Cross insurance is not currently accepted at UMMC, the hospital is not turning away patients covered by that insurer. Instead, those patients must pay for their care out of pocket, but at a discounted rate.

“There is little reason that Mississippi taxpayers should radically increase the commitment to further subsidize the operations of UMMC to the detriment of competitors,” Reeves said in a statement. 

READ MORE: Blue Cross, UMMC agree to mediation to settle contract dispute

UMMC officials declined to comment on what this loss of funding would mean for the planned improvements to the hospital. The hospital is receiving other ARPA funding for improvements to teaching facilities, including $55 million for its School of Nursing building. 

While the governor vetoed the appropriation for UMMC, which is tasked with treating many of the state’s uninsured, he did approve a $7 million appropriation for Memorial Hospital.

The legislation, signed into law earlier this week by Reeves, provides $7 million to Gulfport Memorial for the pediatric multispecialty center on or near the hospital’s campus “in collaboration with University of Mississippi Medical Center and Gulf Coast Community College.”

UMMC is a public hospital owned by the state. Gulfport Memorial is a public not-for-profit hospital owned jointly by the and .

Reeves has publicly clashed with Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor of health affairs and medical school dean at UMMC, over his handling of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Kent Nicaud, the chief executive officer of Memorial Hospital of Gulfport, hosted a fundraiser at his home for the governor in the midst of a surge in the pandemic. At the time of the event, experts were urging caution during social gatherings as most hospitals in the state were filled to capacity.

Nicaud served on Reeves’ state finance committee for his 2019 gubernatorial campaign and has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the governor. Nicaud’s son has also been a significant campaign donor to Reeves.

The state constitution gives the governor partial veto authority, but that authority had been significantly limited by the courts in past rulings. In rulings going back to the 1800s, state courts had significantly limited the governor’s authority to veto portions of appropriations or spending bills until a 2020 Supreme Court decision.

The state Supreme Court had previously ruled that governors could not veto “the purposes or conditions” of appropriations bills. Instead, the governor had to veto entire sections of a bill, not just individual earmarks.

But in the landmark 2020 decision, with six of the nine justices concurring, the court reversed those previous decisions. The state’s highest court went a step further, with six of the nine justices saying that legislators did not have standing to challenge a governor’s partial veto in court.

This means it would be up to UMMC or the Institutions of Higher Learning to file a challenging the constitutionality of the partial veto.

If the UMMC veto is not challenged, that $50 million will return to the state’s pool of ARPA funds, which the Legislature has until 2024 to appropriate. 

The 2020 partial veto also involved health care and another round of federal coronavirus-relief spending. In that instance, the governor vetoed a $2 million appropriation earmarked to then-shuttered North Oak Regional Medical Center in Tate County that it would receive should it reopen. He also scrapped a $6 million to a program designed to combat health care disparities in poor and minority communities.

Reeves also argued in his statement that building improvements are not the best way to spend $50 million in pandemic relief funding, citing a greater need of health care providers statewide for more staffing.

“That money would be better served in one of the programs that I recently signed to incentivize more training around the state for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals,” Reeves said. “After all, throughout COVID, we always had adequate bed capacity for patients. The central challenge was always the hospitals’ inability to properly staff the beds.” 

The governor’s claim that there were always enough beds for COVID-19 patients is inaccurate. While staffing shortages were, and are still, a major issue for hospitals statewide, capacity issues also emerged during the delta wave of the pandemic. 

UMMC had to construct two separate field hospitals in parking garages during the delta variant surge last August to handle patient overflow. 

Mississippi has lost more than 2,000 nurses over the course of the pandemic due to burnout or higher paying jobs in other states, often in travel nursing. Some of the state’s ARPA funding has been appropriated to help address this issue, including $40 million for nurse training at colleges and universities and $6 million for forgiving nurses student loans. 

Reporter Geoff Pender contributed to this report.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Façade Grant Program announced to help Gulfport businesses grow and thrive

202 views – Janae Jordan – 2022-04-25 17:40:39

Main Street Association, in partnership with , Mississippi Main Street, and the , have implemented the Façade Grant Master Plan Program to help Gulfport businesses.

As the City of Gulfport continues to grow, the Façade Grant Program has been implemented once again to help local businesses grow and thrive in a forever changing . Gulfport Main Street Board President Jennifer…

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Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes honors therapy dogs

168 views – Ashleigh Fortenberry – 2022-04-19 17:52:04

The best companions have four legs and today at the City Council meeting Mayor Billy Hewes recognized a special group of wagging tails.

Therapy dogs and their owners from the organization Visiting Pet Teams of were on hand at the meeting where Mayor Hewes signed a proclamation declaring April 30th as Pet Therapy Day in the .

The organization is a pet therapy group who visits…

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City of Gulfport Announces Adam Cooper as Chief of Police

Biloxi - Local News Feed Images 001 – WXXV Staff – 2022-04-14 17:41:47

Adam Cooper 1

, MISSISSIPPI (April 14, 2022) – Today, Mayor Billy Hewes announces the appointment of Adam Cooper as Chief of for the Gulfport Police Department.

Cooper will lead the department after the retirement of former Chief Chris Ryle and currently serves as Commander of Operations for the police department.

“After a thorough nationwide search with highly-qualified internal and external candidates, I am proud to…

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City of Gulfport chosen for $6.1 billion private spaceport

1,259 views – WXXV Staff – 2022-04-01 17:31:27


“Space really is the final frontier,” stated Mayor Billy Hewes. successfully outbid four other international cities, including Tokyo, Amsterdam, Vancouver, and Melbourne, for what is said to be the largest privately-funded spaceport on Earth.

The competition that began in early 2020 stated that local amenities, mild climates, friendly locals, and access to intermodal transportation nodes would be highly desired….

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