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Larry Walker Jr. is the City of Vicksburg’s Employee of the Quarter

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(Photo courtesy Alvin Coleman with the City of Vicksburg)

The City of Vicksburg has named Larry Walker Jr. as its Employee of the Quarter.

Walker joined the city about three years ago as a videographer and works with VTV. He is married to Reva and has two children, a daughter Logan Marie and a son Larry Prince. The Prince name honors and comes from Walkers’ grand dad.

Walker grew up in the Openwood section of Vicksburg and attended Warren Central High School where he was a defensive tackle for the Vikings. He went on to play at Southwestern Community College and Mississippi College. “Got a championship there in 2009,” Walker said matter of factly.

Speaking about his job, Walker said that it involved “creative content, public awareness, different ways, different platforms. Being able to put the stuff that is supposed to be out and put it together in a creative package and being able to present it differently,” he said. “I’m trying to bring a new element of creativity to public awareness.”

Walker is also a man of faith.

“So, I grew up in the church and had the seed sown there,” he said. “That, I guess, kind of decided my walk and decided my passion for how I live my life.”

About a year ago Walker won a photo contest featuring the military park. “The fact that I was being recognized — it was like, ‘Oh wow, people actually like this stuff.’ It was crazy,” he said. “The feeling of winning was, like, kind of surreal. It was awesome.”

Walker always had a creative side but it was a picture he saw that inspired him to want to spend more time with his photography

“I was on vacation in Houston, Texas, at the Galleria Mall. There was a rumor I heard about that place, that there were so many expensive pieces of art. I knew nothing about art. So, I was like, ‘Alright. I want to see these prices,” he said.

“When I walked in I saw these different landscape pictures and was completely blown away. I was speechless. Just like what! I didn’t even look at the price tags, and that is why I went there. I was, like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding. This stuff is incredible,’ and I wanted to start just taking pictures the same way.”

“It’s all about emotion,” he added.

When Walker walks down the street, people shout out his name. The Vicksburg Daily News asked Walker what that was like. “Weird,” he replied, “because, again, the recognition for things is weird because I try to live the humble life. The attention aspect is weird for me. I always try to serve.”

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Martin and Mosher inducted as ERDC Distinguished Civilian Employees

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Dr. William "Bill" Martin and Dr. Reed Mosher (photos courtesy ERDC)

The U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center will induct two former employees to the Waterways Experiment Station Gallery of Distinguished Civilian Employees Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. in the ERDC Headquarters Auditorium.

Dr. Bill Martin and Dr. Reed Mosher will join the ranks of more than 100 former employees whose significant career achievements left a lasting impression on both ERDC and the nation.

Martin and Mosher both served as directors of laboratories at the ERDC. Both pioneered technologies that proved to be life saving for American Soldiers and both left behind a remarkable legacy when they retired from federal service.

Each year, the ERDC inducts new members to the gallery, the highest honor bestowed to those who have worked at WES in Vicksburg.

Martin, a U.S. Army veteran, ended his 41-year ERDC career in 2013 as director of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. In that role, he led a $90 million research program that provided cutting-edge technology solutions to more than 500 projects around the world. Martin was also instrumental in updating the lab’s world-class facilities, including the development of a state-of-the-art Ship Simulator Complex, which allows engineers and pilots to simulate ports, harbors and maritime environments all over the world.

Martin is also remembered for being a leader in addressing complex groundwater issues on military installations, as well as for leading a team that performed emergency modeling of the Sava River in Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of the 1st Armor Division’s peacekeeping role after the Balkan War. His team provided daily river condition forecasts and answered engineering questions for more than 450 consecutive days, which led to the creation of the WES Tele-Engineering Program. Today that program is known as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reachback Operations Center, which is located in Vicksburg and connects deployed troops in the field to subject-matter experts back home who can help solve engineering challenges for them.

Mosher, who spent 40 years as a federal employee, retired as director of the Information Technology Laboratory  in 2018. Under his leadership, the lab’s staff grew by 108%, becoming the second largest ERDC laboratory. He also oversaw the construction of a 66,000 square-foot expansion to the laboratory, and his vision for a new secure computing facility is under construction and scheduled for completion later this year.

Before his ITL role, Mosher served as the lead technical director for military engineering in the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, where he was also directly involved with assessments after some of the world’s most notorious attacks and bombings — Oklahoma City in 1995, the U.S. Embassies in Africa in 1998 and the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon. He was instrumental in developing new technologies designed to protect soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from rockets, mortars and other explosives.

Even after their retirements, both inductees are still involved with the ERDC today. Martin is a member and served as the 2019 president of the ERDC Alumni Association, while Mosher is the director of the Mississippi State University Institute for Systems Engineering Research, a partnership initiative with the ERDC.

 

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Crime

Vicksburg police make a drug bust after brief pursuit

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James Morris (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police officers arrested a man Tuesday on drug charges after a brief pursuit.

James Morris, 30, of Vicksburg was arrested shortly after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, on U.S. Highway 80 just outside the city limits. The officers found that Morris was in possession of crack cocaine.

Charged with one count of possession of cocaine, Morris appeared Tuesday before Judge Angela Carpenter in the Vicksburg Municipal Court for his arraignment. Carpenter bound him over to the Warren County grand jury on a $30,000 bond.

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Crime

Williams arrested for two separate burglaries at the Vicksburg Mall

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Felix Williams (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police arrested Felix Williams, 30, of Vicksburg, for two separate burglaries at the Vicksburg Mall.

For a break-in Sunday, Oct. 11, into the mall and Jordan’s, Williams was charged with two counts of business burglary. Williams was also charged with two counts of business burglary and one count of grand larceny for the Oct. 2 burglary at the Sports Addition.

Monday, Oct. 12, Judge Angela Carpenter in the Vicksburg Municipal Court set Williams bond at $400,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

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