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Decision on top five flag designs delayed

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Eight of the 147 flag designs that made it to round two. (Image source: MDAH)

The nine-member commission in charge of bringing a new state flag design to Mississippi voters in November had scheduled a vote Friday to narrow the current 147 designs down to five.

Instead, the commission voted to delay their vote until Tuesday, Aug. 18.

The top five contenders will be posted on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History website after the vote. Public comments, which do not bind the commissioners’ final decision, will be allowed at that time. The five finalists may also be manufactured into flag samples to see how the designs will look.

One finalist is scheduled to be presented to the Mississippi Legislature Sept. 2. The design will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot for a decision by the state’s voters. If the design is rejected, the process begins anew for a vote in 2021.

You can view the 147 designs selected in round two of the process here.

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Hurricane warnings issued for Zeta

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Hurricane Zeta Oct. 27 (source: NOAA / NHC)

Zeta is on track to hit very near to the same Gulf Coast areas as hurricanes Cristobal, Laura and Delta. Hurricane warnings have been issued for New Orleans, lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas and from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama state line.

Hurricane Zeta made landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Monday night as a Category 1 hurricane, then weakened as it crossed into the Gulf of Mexico. There, the storm is expected to strengthen once again to a hurricane with winds of 80 to 85 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast Wednesday night. Life-threatening storm surge is expected along portions of the northern Gulf Coast by late Wednesday, with the highest inundation occurring somewhere between the mouth of the Pearl River and Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Zeta is the 27th named storm of what has turned out to be an extremely busy hurricane season, as predicted. It’s the 11th hurricane and also the earliest 27th storm of season, breaking the previous record set Nov. 25, 2005. An average hurricane season sees 10 named storms and six hurricanes.

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USACE Vicksburg District launches Bayou Bodcau online map

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Bayou Bodcau (photo courtesy USACE)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District launched an online, interactive map of Bayou Bodcau in Louisiana on Monday, Oct. 26.

The USACE Bayou Bodcau online map will provide users with an intuitive, all-in-one informational tool for the area’s numerous recreation opportunities. The map will be accessible via web browser and feature a variety of icons and pop-up information boxes that allow users to identify and locate various recreation features. Visitors will be able to view Bayou Bodcau’s 59 campsites, 14 boat ramps, 26 trailheads for over 40 miles of trails, designated hunting areas, and other recreation features to plan their visits and learn more about the area.

“This effort exemplifies the dedication of our geospatial and recreation experts who worked to ensure a comprehensive, data-driven final product,” said USACE Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert Hilliard. “We are proud to provide such a powerful and efficient tool for our recreation visitors and the public.”

Developed as a collaboration between the USACE Vicksburg District’s Technical Services Branch and the

Bayou Bodcau Field Office, the interactive map is the first of its type among the district’s numerous recreation projects. Bayou Bodcau staff members Tommy Jones, Randall Bordelon and Caitlin Sloan collected GPS information, photos and detailed descriptions for each of Bayou Bodcau’s recreation features. Cartographer Bill Sisneros used the data to design, develop and produce the map, along with support and technical reviews from Geographic Information System team members Julie Vicars and Brian Everitt.

“I was happy to help develop a tool that benefits outdoor enthusiasts,” said Sisneros. “I look forward to developing similar products for other district recreation areas in the future.”

View the map

For more information about the USACE Bayou Bodcau online map, contact the district’s public affairs office at 601-631-5000 or [email protected].

 

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USACE employee receives 2020 Paralegal of the Year award

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Vincent “Vince” Farrell (photo courtesy USACE)

An employee with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District received the 2020 Paralegal of the Year award from the Mississippi Paralegal Association in Jackson Friday.

Vincent “Vince” Farrell was recognized by MPA for his “continuous example of professionalism and excellence in the legal community.” He serves as a paralegal specialist for the USACE Vicksburg District’s Office of Counsel and provides support for contract, environment, labor and employment, and litigation attorneys with a variety of specializations.

Since joining the district in 2018, Farrell has supported its vital investigations and litigations and has tracked over 500 contracting actions worth a combined total of over $500 million. Farrell also took the initiative to manage and coordinate the Office of Counsel’s administrative needs while simultaneously overhauling the law library and overseeing all training metrics for his colleagues.

In addition to his work as a paralegal, Farrell serves as an alternate district liaison officer to the state of Mississippi on behalf of USACE during severe weather events. He also serves as a district fire protection section monitor and assumes responsibility for the accountability and safety during fire-related drills and emergencies for the Office of Counsel, the district’s command suite and the chiefs of the district’s Operations Division.

He credits his success and accomplishments to support from his wife Ariel, their son Vincent and his parents, Vincent and Briceland Farrell, as well as the numerous colleagues and educators he has known throughout his life.

In addition to his award, Farrell was elected to the association’s board of directors as the central region director for 2021. He will serve as the voice of paralegals across 25 counties, establish and direct continuing legal education events, promote MPA membership within the region, and formulate activities to strengthen the paralegal population and relationships within central Mississippi.

“We are extremely proud of Vincent’s achievement and his continued dedication to USACE,” said David Dyer, USACE Vicksburg District head of the Office of Counsel, in a statement. “He has been invaluable in helping to achieve the district’s mission, and we are lucky to have his broad skill set and incredible work ethic.”

An alumnus of the U.S. Army’s Adjutant General School, Farrell has also earned certificates at Kansas State University, Boston University and an associate degree from Southern New Hampshire University. He is working toward his Bachelor of Science in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security and counterterrorism from Southern New Hampshire University. A decorated and honorably discharged veteran, Farrell previously served as a paralegal supervisor at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His service awards include two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.

MPA was founded in 1980 by Mississippi paralegals who aimed to encourage a higher order of ethical and professional attainment and promote the profession of paralegals statewide. The organization supports, encourages and maintains high standards for the service, conduct and ethics of paralegals.

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