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Onward Store Closes Down

Another area restaurant has called it quits.  According to numerous social media posts from employees, family and customers the Onward Store is no more.

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Another area restaurant has called it quits.  According to numerous social media posts from employees, family and customers the Onward Store is no more.

The Onward Store in Onward, Mississippi had become a favorite spot for locals and tourists.  It was a must-see for those traveling the Blues Highway.  However, recent political winds have shifted and blown away the future of the seven-year-old effort.  While business had seemed brisk and we are heading into tourist season, a recent letter to the Mississippi River Commission by the husband of the Onward Store’s owner appears to be partially to blame for the closure of the store.  In the letter, William Van Devender pleads with the head of the River Commission to not install the pumps at Steele Bayou.  The pumps have been a hot topic among Eagle Lake residents and farmers in the area for some time.

The current and historic Backwater Flood of 2019 has local citizens on edge.  Their anger has been focused on those who will not help them to install the pumps at Steele Bayou.  They believe the pumps would have alleviated a great deal of the flooding issue at Eagle Lake and the surrounding flatlands of the Delta.

In 2008 the Bush administration killed the pump project due to environmental concerns over a specific species of gnat believed to be crucial to the food chain.  An additional concern was the wetlands.  Mr. Van Devender cited the wetlands as his main concern.  While we have no word on how his recommendation was received at the River Commission, there is no doubt the community is angry.  So angry they organized a boycott of the Onward Store in protest.

Mr. Van Devender is also the Financial Chairman for the campaign of Tate Reeves for Governor.  Here is Mr. Van Devender’s letter:

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Louisiana to begin I-20 Mississippi River bridge work in January 2020

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Photo by Renelibrary - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76201376

A nearly 50-year-old major interstate crossing over the Mississippi River will soon be receiving a face lift and modern structural improvements, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced Nov. 15.

The project to rehabilitate the two-mile-long Interstate 20 bridge over the Mississippi River is set to begin in the next couple of months.

Built in 1973, the bridge connects Madison Parish, La., to Warren County, Miss., and provides one of the few interstate roadway crossings over the river.

The $27.7 million project will provide a number of significant repairs including the bridge deck, electrical system, and roadway lighting components.

“Ensuring these integral crossings over the Mississippi River are properly maintained and modernized is crucial to growing the state’s economy,” said Louisiana DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson in a statement. “This project will extend the service life of this bridge for decades to come, an example of strategically investing in our existing infrastructure with our available funding and maximizing the use of those dollars.”

The old deck will be resurfaced with new concrete to improve traction and preserve the structural aspects of the bridge flooring. The current electrical circuits will be replaced, in addition to the replacement of nearly 100 roadway lighting fixtures with a modern LED system.

Roadway fiber optics will also be replaced with new cameras and radar, which will integrate the system into Mississippi’s IT network.

Additionally, selected bridge bearings will be adapted to provide the ability to re-position the bridge truss upriver as necessary. The steel structural connections at certain locations on the bridge will be modified to improve resilience against all loads and conditions.

New navigational lighting and aerial beacons will also be installed, along with improvements to the bridge monitoring system and enhancements to the inspection access walkways.

During construction, single-lane closures will be required, though there will be no lane closures conducted in both directions at the same time in order to maintain traffic flow as much as possible.

Work on the project is expected to begin mid-January 2020 and is anticipated to wrap up in early 2021, with progress dependent on weather conditions.

 

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Korean War casualty comes home to Greenwood after 69 years

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Cpl. Joe T. Avant of Greenwood, Miss. went missing in 1950 during the Korean War. Photo from the DPAA.

After 69 years, the remains of U.S. Army Cpl. Joe T. Avant will come home to Greenwood, Miss.

On Nov. 30, 1950, during the Korean War, Avant went missing in action after his unit was attacked. He was 20 years old at the time. Three years later, Avant was declared dead, reports the Greenwood Commonwealth.

His funeral is scheduled for Dec. 13.

“He will have the same military honors of someone who is killed in war today,” Delores Moore, Avant’s younger sister, told the paper.

Avant’s remains will be in Jackson a few days before the funeral. From there, the family and a group of retired and active military motorcycle riders, the Patriot Guard Riders, will accompany his body back to his hometown.

In 2018, the North Korean government gave 55 boxes containing the remains of American service members lost during the Korean war to the U.S., according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Avant’s remains were among those identified from those remains through DNA and other methods.

Some 7,600 Americans are still unaccounted for from the Korean War.

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Crime

Vicksburg Police seeking help in locating William Taylor

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The Vicksburg Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating William Alexander Taylor.

Taylor, 30, is wanted for discharging a firearm in the city limits and for weapon possession by a felon.

If you have any information on Taylor’s whereabouts, please call the Vicksburg Police at 601-636-2511 or Crime Stoppers at 601-355-TIPS (8477).

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