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July 25 10:10 AM


Drawdown for Lake Bistineau

Giant salvinia in Lake Bistineau, located near Minden, has reached the threshold necessary for a lake drawdown. Current estimates include 2,000 acres of salvinia coverage in the 17,000-acre lake, and continuous expansion of this invasive weed is expected to grow as summertime temperatures rise.

The drawdown of the lake will include a dewatering rate of 4-6 inches per day, and the maximum drawdown level will be 7 feet below normal pool stage. The water control structure is scheduled to open on Aug. 4 and no later than Dec. 1, The gates of the lake will be closed to allow the lake to refill.

An estimated 8,000 acres of water will remain in Lake Bistineau during the drawdown period. Boaters will be able to access the lake from the following public boat launches: Port of Bistineau Launch (on the east side of Webster Parish), Bossier Public Launch (on the west side of the lake), Grice’s (on the southeast side of the lake at the dam) and Bayou Dorcheat Public Launch (on the north side of the lake on main bayou Dorcheat in Webster parish-Highway 164). Caution is advised for boaters during the low water period, as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance of underwater obstructions.

‘Summer Heat’ brings Louisiana law enforcement together

Since the beginning of this year, 17 people have lost their lives in Northwest Louisiana due to motor vehicle crashes. Of the ones who died, 67 percent were not wearing a seatbelt. Representatives from Louisiana State Police Troop G as well as area sheriffs and local law enforcement leaders held a kick-off meeting and press conference hosted by the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office in Shreveport to announce the “Summer Heat” occupant protection initiative for Northwest Louisiana.

Northwest Louisiana law enforcement will concentrate on educational efforts until Aug. 1 to encourage motorists to wear their seatbelt. After Aug. 1, however, area law enforcement agencies including Louisiana State Police Troop G, will aggressively seek out and cite individuals who choose not to wear their seatbelt.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injury to motor vehicle occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injuries by 50 percent. Louisiana state law requires all occupants of a motor vehicle to be properly restrained in all seating positions day or night.

“Summer Heat” is a statewide initiative with the goal of saving lives, and similar enforcement efforts will take place across Louisiana this summer. Click It or Ticket.

Civil War re-enactor honoring the Battle of Mobile Bay at Natchez Post Office

On July 30, the U.S. Postal Service will issue a commemorative stamp to honor the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. A re-enactor dressed in a Civil War-era Navy Uniform will be posted at the Natchez Post Office to honor this battle and to call attention to a local hero, Wilson Brown.

Brown, a Natchez native, escaped slavery to join the Union Navy and served on the USS Hartford during this battle. For courage and valor in times of war, Brown was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and was among the first ever and only Mississippian to be so honored during the Civil War. Wilson Brown is now interred in the National Natchez Cemetery.

The Natchez Post Office invites everyone to come by their office located at 214 North Canal St. on July 30 to buy the commemorative stamp and honor a local hero.

95th Birthday Celebration for Air Force Col. Steve DePyssler

On Saturday night, more than 225 friends gathered at Barksdale Air Force Base to say “thank you” and celebrate Air Force Col. (retired) Steve DePyssler’s 95th birthday. DePyssler was born on July 21, 1919, and served 38 years of active duty service, earning every enlisted, warrant and officer pay grade up to colonel. He is the only American known to have served in four wars, including World War II, Korean, French IndoChina and Vietnam.

DePyssler retired from the military in 1979, but has continued for 33 years to volunteer his time at the base; two dozen of those years were served as the director of the Retiree Office. DePyssler worked with the state Legislature to develop the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal and was instrumental in the development of the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home, the War Memorial at the Bossier City Civic Center, and the Purple Heart Stamp. Not only has he hosted numerous luncheons and events to honor Medal of Honor recipients, Purple Heart members and veterans from all wars, he is also devoted to the Ark-La-Tex Military Officers Association of American Chapter Scholarship Fund and is the editor of two military and retiree newspapers for 20,000 readers.

Louisiana State Sen. and Marine Corps veteran Robert Adley was the guest speaker and remarked how men like DePyssler make this country the great country it is. Air Force Lt. Col. George Finck served as the master of ceremonies. Welcoming remarks were provided by Air Force Capt. Dave Jampole, president of the Ark-La-Tex Military Officers Association of America, and the invocation and benediction were given by the Rev. Dr. Donald Webb, president emeritus of Centenary College.

(Louisiana State Sen. Robert Adley and Ret. Air Force Col. Steve DePyssler at his 95th birthday celebration.)

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