American Press

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Southwest Louisiana ,
(Special to the American Press)

(Special to the American Press)

‘Westlake,’ ‘West Lake’ source of confusion

Last Modified: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 4:21 PM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

Recently in an “Our Past” reprint of news from 1964, the town and high school we now refer to as Westlake was referred to as West Lake. When did the change from two words to one occur?

The name of the town, which owes its existence to a settlement called first Lisbon and then Bagdad, comes from the resident-coined “West Lake Charles.”

The U.S. Postal Service in the 19th century shortened that to “Westlake,” which has since been the recognized federal designation.

Still, for the balance of the 1800s and throughout the next century, area newspapers — employing no discernible logic —variously referred to it as both “Westlake” and “West Lake,” often at the same time.

One rationale for use of the two-word version was offered by the The Informer in January 1967 in response to a similar query:

The town of Westlake is known everywhere as Westlake except in the Lake Charles

American Press. Can you tell me why the newspaper insists that it should be called West Lake?

West Lake was incorporated by proclamation of the governor in 1945. In the heading of the proclamation, the town is listed as two words — West Lake. Would you now believe everyone else is wrong?

The American Press apparently adopted the prevailing one-word spelling in the late 1980s.

The last use of “West Lake” that The Informer could find in the American Press archives was in the headline of brief sports story printed in an April 1989 edition of the newspaper, though the story itself used “Westlake” throughout.

Before that the two-word spelling appeared in the dateline of an Oct. 7, 1988, Westlake City Council story. Again, the story used the one-word spelling.

Conviction remains on record 10 years

How long does a DWI stay on your driving record?

“DWI, Vehicle Negligent Injury and Out-of-Service convictions remain on the record for 10 years from the date of conviction. …,” reads the website of the state Office of Motor Vehicles.

“Other major traffic convictions (suspendable/disqualifying violations) remain on the record for 5 years from the date of conviction,” and “minor traffic convictions remain on the record for 3 years from the date of conviction.”


Google: Most images in Earth 1-3 years old

How often are the images on Google Earth updated?

“Google Earth displays the best available imagery, most of which is one to three years old. ...,” reads Google Earth’s FAQ page. “We add data to our Primary Database on a regular basis.”


The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email

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