Vicksburg casino hotel sold to Gulf Coast developer

Casino Station hotel in Vicksburg

Grand Station Hotel in Vicksburg

VICKSBURG, Mississippi — The former Grand Station Hotel, closed since gambling ceased at Vicksburg’s waterfront when a casino left 16 months ago, has been sold to a Gulf Coast developer.

Vicksburg Hotel LLC, a Biloxi-based entity led by businessman Charles Lambert, purchased the 117-room hotel this month from Great Southern Investment Group Inc., according to land transaction records.

The Vicksburg Post reports that the deal that includes two parking garages that once accommodated casino patrons.

Lambert says talks will start this week on the new ownership’s choice of a hotel brand for the property.

Built in 1993 by Harrah’s, the hotel has sat vacant and locked until cleanup crews arrived Friday.

The casino was sold three times between 1993 and 2009 before it closed in 2012 amid bankruptcy proceedings. The casino barge was sold earlier this year at auction and is being disassembled.



Developer may be set to turn old Bay St. Louis school into new hotel

hotelBAY ST. LOUIS, Mississippi — New Orleans developer Jim MacPhaille says it’s too early to say what the vintage Second Street Elementary School will become when he takes ownership in early August.

Based on conversations with neighbors and city officials, he guesses the property likely will be turned into a hotel. With offices and shops. And maybe a fine dining restaurant and a theater.

But before anything is decided, he’s got to make sure the neighbors and the city are on board with the plans.

“Every time I’m in town I’m asking people, what would you like to see? Nobody says apartments. They say condos or a hotel.”

The whole process of restoring the building will take 12 to 18 months. He’s basing the timeline on his ongoing restoration of an old school building in New Orleans.

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— Lisa Monti

Green paint found on Smithsonian statue, organ at National Cathedral

According to The Washington Post, green paint was found Monday defacing a statue outside the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall and poured atop an organ in a chapel at the Washington National Cathedral, just three days after the Lincoln Memorial was vandalized in a similar manner.

D.C. police have now joined the U.S. Park Police in the investigation, but authorities said they do not know if any of the incidents are related.

The Cathedral’s historic Bethlehem Chapel — the oldest part of the church built in 1912 and the site of Woodrow Wilson’s funeral in 1924 — was closed to the public Monday afternoon as D.C. police searched the building. The main cathedral remained open to the public.

A spokeswoman for the Smithsonian said a statue of Joseph Henry was found Monday morning with green symbols painted on its granite base. The bronze statue of the museum’s first secretary, who died in the building in 1878, when it served as the Smithsonian’s headquarters, appeared to be spared.

About 2 p.m., Richard Weinberg, the cathedral’s spokesman, said a member of the music staff found green paint on an organ installed in the Bethlehem Chapel in the 1950s. Weinberg said it appears that the paint can be removed.

Weinberg said the paint was wet when it was found, leading him to believe it had occurred moments before it was discovered.

Police have not made any arrests. A spokeswoman for the National Park Service said work to remove the paint on the Lincoln Memorial is about 90 percent complete; scaffolding has been installed around the damaged area to help keep workers safe.

No arrests have been made.

Chuck Reece named chairman of MHA Board of Governors

Chuck Reece

Chuck Reece

Chuck A. Reece, President of Rush Foundation Hospital and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Rush Health Systems, was recently elected Chairman of the 2013-2014 Mississippi Hospital Association (MHA) Board of Governors during MHA’s 82nd Annual Leadership Conference.

Mr. Reece has held numerous administrative positions within Rush Health Systems since 1972. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University and the Executive MBA program at Vanderbilt University.

He and his wife have two children and three grandchildren. He currently serves on the board of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation and is an Elder of First Presbyterian Church of Meridian.

Mississippi Polymer Institute helps NASA measure effectiveness of engine cleaning solutions

nasa-logoHATTIESBURG, Mississippi — Last year the Mississippi Polymer Institute partnered with NASA to develop a new tool for evaluating cleaning solutions/solvents that are more environmentally friendly than the ones currently used on NASA’s rocket engine parts.

After countless hours of design and evaluation, MPI provided NASA with the prescribed model.

Steven Whitacre, MPI’s technical specialist, was responsible for designing an evaluation test method that incorporated a scaled-down prototype to simulate a rocket engine’s internal features for assessing the effectiveness of the cleaning solutions.

Whitacre not only spent time formulating the test method but also designed and built multiple solvent evaluation fixtures on MPI’s 3D printer. MPI specializes in 3D printing and testing services at USM, and was fully equipped to handle these needs for NASA on this project.

Once optimal prototypes were formulated and created, the models were taken to a machinist, and they were re-created into stainless steel fixtures. These fixtures were artificially soiled using a contamination solution, to replicate the grimy build up that can accumulate on rocket engine parts during manufacturing and lead to fires if not precision-cleaned before placing in service. This enabled MPI to test each cleaning solution in the fixtures more accurately.

MPI serves as the industrial outreach entity for The University of Southern Mississippi and its School of Polymers and High Performance Materials. Its mission is to support the growth of high tech businesses across the state.