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Entergy Mississippi Crews Work to Beat the Arrival of Winter Storm Season

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Drought conditions create additional challenges for tree trimming Vicksburg, Miss. — As cold weather blankets the state, vegetation management crews are hustling to finish removing limbs and trees at risk of falling on power lines during storms. Entergy Mississippi, Inc. maintains nearly 18,000 miles of distribution power lines, and a key component of that maintenance is managing the vegetation under and near the lines. Access to work areas can be tough. Workers, mostly contractors, routinely face obstacles ranging from poison ivy to insects and snakes to steep slopes and swamps.  The vegetation management team follows a four-to-five year cycle to ensure that all lines are maintained. Work includes mowing, trimming, applying herbicides and removing trees outside of the right-of-way that are dead and in danger of falling on power lines. During 2011 Mississippi crews completed trimming nearly 3,650 miles of distribution line. “Mississippi is geographically diverse, and every terrain presents challenges, both for preventive maintenance and for restoration work,” said Robert Clark, vegetation management manager for Entergy Mississippi, Inc. “But we’ve been doing this a long time, and we know what it takes to minimize the threat of overgrown vegetation while respecting the environment, whether in the rugged backwoods of southwest Mississippi or the swamps of the Mississippi Delta.” The persistent 2011 heat and drought conditions in the southern states have created new obstacles in all Entergy service areas.  Vegetation management groups typically spend most of their efforts maintaining vegetation and trees in the immediate vicinity of power lines. However, another threat is tall dead trees that are far enough from the lines to be outside of the right-of-way, but near enough to fall on power lines. With the drought, these trees, known in the business as “danger trees,” are plentiful. Workers for Entergy Mississippi removed about 4,500 of these dead trees in 2011. This year’s drought conditions will continue to affect tree maintenance requirements for 2012 and beyond. “It’s sad to see the devastating effects of the drought up close,” said Clark. “We work hard to find the balance between preservation, reliability and customer satisfaction.” The vegetation management effort is all part of Ennovations, a service reliability initiative that combines decades of industry experience, new technologies and extensive planning to make the company’s electrical service even more reliable. Entergy Mississippi also participates in tree-planting projects and public education programs to teach people how to help the environment. Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 435,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.]]]]> ]]>

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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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COVID-19

Governor adds seven counties to list of those under stricter COVID-19 measures

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Gov. Tate Reeves during April 22 news conference. (Photo via video screen grab)

Monday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves added seven counties to the list of those in the state that will fall under more restrictive COVID-19 measures effective Wednesday, Oct. 21.

With cases and hospitalizations rising in the state, last week Reeves put nine counties under the stricter measures, which include a mask mandate in nearly all indoor situations other than at voting precincts.

The 16 counties are:

  • Benton
  • Carroll
  • Chickasaw
  • Claiborne
  • DeSoto
  • Forrest
  • Harrison
  • Itawamba
  • Jackson
  • Jones
  • Lamar
  • Leake
  • Lee
  • Madison
  • Marshall
  • Neshoba

The governor’s criteria for stricter measures includes more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents or more than 200 cases over a two-week period. The most recent period under scrutiny was Monday, Oct. 5, through Sunday, Oct. 18.

The measures also mandate hospitals to reserve 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients, and limit gathering to groups of 10 indoors and 50 outdoors.

Asked why Reeves excluded polling places from the mandates, the governor indicated he would not interfere with a citizen’s right to vote by forcing voters to wear masks. He does expect most voters to wear masks at the polls and to practice social distancing, however.

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Vicksburg
64°
Fog
7:17am6:17pm CDT
Feels like: 64°F
Wind: 6mph NNE
Humidity: 94%
Pressure: 30.09"Hg
UV index: 0
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79/68°F
79/52°F
61/45°F

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