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Message from Governor Haley Barbour

State of Mississippi
Message from Governor Haley Barbour

   Just over three months ago, Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in American history, struck the Gulf Coast and South Mississippi a grievous blow. Our state and our citizens bore the brunt of a hurricane more devastating than Camille, and the miles upon miles of utter destruction is unimaginable, except to those who have witnessed it first hand.
   After being subjected to nature's most powerful destructive force, Mississippians were then the recipients of nature's most powerful constructive force - the human compassion of people from all over the United States and the world who came to our citizens' rescue with their gifts, service and prayers. We have been truly humbled by this outpouring. We are grateful and vow to never forget it.
   In the face of this tragedy, we have an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild and renew this region we all love so much. I have committed to helping local leaders and citizens of South Mississippi build their communities bigger and better than anything we have ever known.
   Jim Barksdale, the former CEO of Netscape and a Mississippi native, chairs the Governor's Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal, which I appointed soon after the storm. One of the first actions taken by his infrastructure subcommittee was to hold a week-long forum in Biloxi, where teams of highly qualified local and national professionals worked with county and municipal officials to generate redevelopment concepts for each of 11 coastal communities. The plans, complete with zoning and code improvement suggestions, are complete and available for viewing at www.mississippirenewal.com.
   Additional subcommittees are working with experts in finance, tourism, education, health and human services, defense industries, agriculture and forestry, and faith-based organizations to ensure that we rebuild South Mississippi the right way. We are making progress.
   With our resolve to succeed firmly in place and coordinated resources at our disposal, we are committed to building one of the most advanced economic infrastructures in the country.
   Out of this terrible tragedy comes great opportunity.


Haley Barbour

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