Residents gathered at the Ocean Springs Civic Center on Monday, October 2, to voice their concerns about the city’s proposed Urban Renewal Plan. The project emphasizes six redevelopment zones, which encompass Bienville Boulevard, Government Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and additional areas. In these locations, property owners are actively working to preserve the historically significant foundations within the City of Discovery. City officials have given their approval for residents with properties currently enrolled in the city’s urban renewal program to have the option to withdraw from the program until October 31, 2023. Mayor Holloway explained that properties that have opted out will not be subject to the plan; however, property owners choosing this option will also forego any potential benefits that the plan might offer them.

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Eric J. Shelton was a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Miss., Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018. He rejoined Mississippi Today as our health photojournalist in January 2022.