March Madness Intramural Tournament Held at CHS

Competition was fierce among the players at the March Madness Intramural Tournament held at Cairo High School on Saturday.  The tournament gave children in third, fourth, and fifth grade the opportunity ro show off the skills the had learned over the course of an eight-week fundamentals of basketball camp.

The camp was put on through a joint effort between Danny Brown and several other volunteers, including members of the Cairo Varsity basketball squad.

“I really felt there was a need to do something for the younger kids,” Brown said.  “They don’t have anything to prepare them for when it’s their time to play in junior high.”

The cost of the camp was minimal for all involved, with the gym being open on weekends and snack being provided by parents and coaches.

Brown stressed the importance of sportsmanship over the course of the camp and during the tournament.

“I want all you to cheer for everyone,” Brown said in a huddle before the first game of the tournament.

The children cheered for eachother while not playing and enjoyed refreshments from the concession stand.  Members of the community were in heavy attendance, filling the East bleachers of the gym for much of the afternoon.

Team Thunder, made up of Trevel Davis, Omarion Barber, and Isaiah Brown were crowned champions of the event.

“We definitely want to make this an annual event,” Brown Said

Kameron English, Demarion Duncan, and William Wilterson watch an ongoing game between peers at Cairo High School on Saturday afternoon. The intramural tournament gave younger students the opportunity to play against eachother and show the community skills learned over the course of an eight-week camp. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Kameron English, Demarion Duncan, and William Wilterson watch an ongoing game between peers at Cairo High School on Saturday afternoon. The intramural tournament gave younger students the opportunity to play against eachother and show the community skills learned over the course of an eight-week camp. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

Area Districts Cope With Missed School Days

Harsh winter conditions have forced schools in Alexander and Pulaski Counties to close for multiple days this year.  While snow days are generally allotted to each school, persistent extreme weather has caused many districts to surpass their original rations.

Currently, the Cairo School District has missed 11 days of school due to severe weather. The District quickly surpassed the five allotted days however, have been granted forgiveness by the State of Illinois for four of the days so far.

Superintendant Angie Evers explained that because Illinois as a whole has experience a rough winter, Act of God days, which are applied for by the district as a means of forgiveness, are being approved more liberally than usual.

“I’m quite certain that we’ll be granted the other days which are pending at this time,” said Evers. “We were scheduled to have Monday off for Casmir Pulaski so that didn’t effect us.”

The biggest concern for the school is the effects on I-SAT testing that is scheduled to begin this week.  With the week before the tests shortened, preparation and scheduled curriculum are being squeezed into fewer hours.

“It’s a delicate balancing act,” said Evers.  “I desperately want children in the classrooms but you have to consider keeping people safe when they’re trying to get to school. Mother Nature has really been working against us.”

At this time the last day of school for the district is planned for June 4.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed,” said Evers.

Pulaski County schools are in much of the same situation.  Weather caused closures throughout the week for Meridian schools.

Elementary principal Brent Boren stated that at time of printing the district has been out of school 18 days due to winter weather.

“We’ve lost almost a full month of school,” said Boren.  “It’s been detrimental in respect to the time we’ve had to prepare for state testing.”

Boren also spoke of the toll missed school days take on student’s retention and comprehension.

“When children miss school it takes them out of the rhythm of education and can often break any momentum they have going for them,” said Boren.

A major factor in determining whether schools remain in service are the road conditions.  Administration agreed that  student’s safety is the number one priority when it comes to deciding whether school will close.

“It’s most important to keep the children safe,” said Boren

Temperatures have began to rise across the region, giving many hope that the end of the brutal winter Illinois has experienced is in sight.

“We’re just going to keep plugging along and sooner or later it’s going to improve,” said Boren.

Alicia Rames and Erica McDowell enjoy playing in the snow in Cairo on Thursday. Severe weather in the area has prompted districts to apply for pardons from the state of Illinois. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Alicia Rames and Erica McDowell enjoy playing in the snow in Cairo on Thursday. Severe weather in the area has prompted districts to apply for pardons from the state of Illinois. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

The Week in Photos: February 27, 2014

The Visual Report for the Week of February 27, 2014:

The Villa Ridge American Legion offered a fish dinner for residents of the area on Saturday evening.  Approximately 175 pounds of fish was prepared and fried, feeding numerous family and friends of American Legion members. The Legion’s kitchen and cooking trailer were occupied with a flurry of activity throughout the afternoon.  Members and volunteers took turns manning the cooking stations and running food from the outside fryers to the kitchen to be served.  While children played throughout the Legion’s yard, older members of the organization were given the chance to dine together, socialize, and catch up on the winter’s happenings. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Villa Ridge American Legion offered a fish dinner for residents of the area on Saturday evening. Approximately 175 pounds of fish was prepared and fried, feeding numerous family and friends of American Legion members.
The Legion’s kitchen and cooking trailer were occupied with a flurry of activity throughout the afternoon. Members and volunteers took turns manning the cooking stations and running food from the outside fryers to the kitchen to be served. While children played throughout the Legion’s yard, older members of the organization were given the chance to dine together, socialize, and catch up on the winter’s happenings. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Billy Coleman repairs a headlight on his truck in Cairo on Saturday. Coleman made the repairs in preparation for a road trip and enjoyed the company of his son and passing cats.  “At least it’s not so horribly cold out today,” said Coleman. With temperatures rising into the low 50s, many throughout the area took the opportunity to get out of their homes and accomplish some long delayed chores.  The warm up comes after several weeks of frigid weather for the state of Illinois. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Billy Coleman repairs a headlight on his truck in Cairo on Saturday. Coleman made the repairs in preparation for a road trip and enjoyed the company of his son and passing cats.
“At least it’s not so horribly cold out today,” said Coleman.
With temperatures rising into the low 50s, many throughout the area took the opportunity to get out of their homes and accomplish some long delayed chores. The warm up comes after several weeks of frigid weather for the state of Illinois. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
CPU workers began the task of converting old bricks possessed by the city into a fine mix.  The recycled mix will be used around town to fill holes and cracks in the roadway. “This operation is going to benefit the city in a very cost effective and positive manner,” said Mayor Tyrone Coleman. The bricks that have occupied lots on the Southeast end of Cairo are being grinded using industrial machinery rented with money Cairo’s demolition fund.  The process is expected to leave the city of Cairo in possession of over 10 tons of usable fill. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
CPU workers began the task of converting old bricks possessed by the city into a fine mix. The recycled mix will be used around town to fill holes and cracks in the roadway.
“This operation is going to benefit the city in a very cost effective and positive manner,” said Mayor Tyrone Coleman.
The bricks that have occupied lots on the Southeast end of Cairo are being grinded using industrial machinery rented with money Cairo’s demolition fund. The process is expected to leave the city of Cairo in possession of over 10 tons of usable fill. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Scott Henderson and Link Warren take a break from their work of repairing the upper windows of The Custom House in Cairo on Friday. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Scott Henderson and Link Warren take a break from their work of repairing the upper windows of The Custom House in Cairo on Friday. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Cairo Pilots battled Lovejoy Saturday as part of the High School’s Homecoming festivities. The Junior Varsity Pilots were victorious over Lovejoy with a score of 57 -50. The Pilots controlled the ball for a majority of the game, remaining in the lead throughout play.-- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Cairo Pilots battled Lovejoy Saturday as part of the High School’s Homecoming festivities. The Junior Varsity Pilots were victorious over Lovejoy with a score of 57 -50. The Pilots controlled the ball for a majority of the game, remaining in the lead throughout play.– George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo High School crowned their homecoming royalty on Saturday.  Jarvis Woodson and Alexis Murray were selected by the student body as the 2014 homecoming king and queen.  The school held a dance after the Homecoming basketball game against Lovejoy. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo High School crowned their homecoming royalty on Saturday. Jarvis Woodson and Alexis Murray were selected by the student body as the 2014 homecoming king and queen. The school held a dance after the Homecoming basketball game against Lovejoy. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

 

 

 

 

Cairo High School Homecoming 2014

Alexis Murray and Jarvis Woodson were crowned Cairo High School's 2014 Homecoming king and queen.
Alexis Murray and Jarvis Woodson were crowned Cairo High School’s 2014 Homecoming king and queen. — Photo Provided | The Cairo Citizen

Cairo High School crowned their homecoming royalty on Saturday.  Jarvis Woodson and Alexis Murray were selected by the student body as the 2014 homecoming king and queen.  The school held a dance after the Homecoming basketball game against Lovejoy. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen 

 

Pyramid Chess Club Teaches Members New Moves

The Pyramid Chess Club, a gathering of students interested in the game of chess, has become a positive resource for all who are involved.

The club allows students who are involved the chance to progress their chess-playing abilities as well as socialize with peers who share the same interests and love of the game.

Members of The Pyramid Chess Club plan to attend the upcoming 6th Annual Metro Saint Louis Class Championship held on February 22 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

The annual tournament pits students of the same age groups against eachother over the course of three rounds.

Chess philosopher and editor of “The Chess Club Chronicles” newsletter Zayn Hollis describes playing chess as “seeing tactical patterns as a sphere rotating through the time-space continuum.”

While chess is seen merely as a game to some, others find the strategy and foresight utilized throughout the game as an ever evolving and progressing war between two opponents. Opponents command tiny armies and mount attacks, hoping to capture the other side’s king and queen.

“To me, chess is like a passport to wealthy living,” said Hollis.  I think of all the great minds and how they live and what they have done.”

The Pyramid Chess Club meets regularly throughout the school year and encourages those interested to check out what is offered.

Member’s of the Pyramid Chess Club pose for a photo with Mayor of Cairo Tyrone Coleman.  The club offers members the opportunity to progress their chess skills while playing with peers who share interest in the game. -- Photo Provided | The Cairo Citizen
Member’s of the Pyramid Chess Club pose for a photo with Mayor of Cairo Tyrone Coleman. The club offers members the opportunity to progress their chess skills while playing with peers who share interest in the game. — Photo Provided | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

School board gives green light for new hires

New students will not be the only fresh faces at Cairo Junior/Senior High School this fall.

During their monthly meeting, the Cairo School Board approved two new hires for the school. Guidance Councilor Leah Hooper will be making the move from Carbondale School District and starting in Cairo this summer.  The Board also approved the hire of Nicholas Cannady to step in as English teacher at the high school, replacing Allen Pearman, who  tendered his resignation for the fall..

School superintendent Andrea Evers said Cannady, who studied at Eastern Illinois University, came highly recommended. Evers said she and Zena Maddison, Cairo Junior/Senior High School principal, were both excited by his integration of technology and new media in his lesson plans.

Evers said he was chosen out of 12-15 applicants and received a unanimous vote from the Board.

Evers also said the Board debated different, cost effective, ways to provide security for Cairo Junior/Senior High this fall. She said the board discussed using the Alexander County Police Department, retaining Securitas, the current security provider as well as hiring an individual. In the end, they gave the go-ahead for the district to post the position at $10.00 an hour. However no decision has been made as to how the District will provide security.

–Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242

The Week in Photos: May 23, 2013

The visual report from the week of May 23, 2013.

Alexander County circuit clerk Paul Jones, left, answers the phone and eats a standing lunch May 21 in his office in the Alexander County Courthouse in Cairo as his staff works to box up any paper documents after a storm early that morning damaged the roof. Jerry Held, Alexander County Emergency Management coordinator, said around 3 a.m. winds pulled the west side of the roof eastward. It is estimated nearly half of the roof was lifted up. This left several large holes in the roof, causing wide-spread leaking throughout the Courthouse. John Price, Alexander County building commissioner, said were it not for the antenna on the roof of the building, it is likely most of the roof would have been ripped off. The storm also left four air conditioning units irreparable. Several offices were boxed up and temporarily relocated so clean up and repair could take place in the building. Jones and his team will be operating out of the Cairo Junior High School until their office has been cleaned up. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Alexander County circuit clerk Paul Jones, left, answers the phone and eats a standing lunch May 21 in his office in the Alexander County Courthouse in Cairo as his staff works to box up any paper documents after a storm early that morning damaged the roof. Jerry Held, Alexander County Emergency Management coordinator, said around 3 a.m. winds pulled the west side of the roof eastward. It is estimated nearly half of the roof was lifted up. This left several large holes in the roof, causing wide-spread leaking throughout the Courthouse. John Price, Alexander County building commissioner, said were it not for the antenna on the roof of the building, it is likely most of the roof would have been ripped off. The storm also left four air conditioning units irreparable. Several offices were boxed up and temporarily relocated so clean up and repair could take place in the building. Jones and his team will be operating out of the Cairo Junior High School until their office has been cleaned up. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Tatyana Graham cries after May 18 after graduating from Cairo High School. Graham said she intends on attending Shawnee Community College where she will study early childhood education.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Tatyana Graham cries after May 18 after graduating from Cairo High School. Graham said she intends on attending Shawnee Community College where she will study early childhood education.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo graduates Shatoyria Jangjiraway, valedictorian, left, and Joecelyn Coleman, salutatorian, celebrate in front of their lockers May 18, after the graduation ceremony at Cairo High School. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo graduates Shatoyria Jangjiraway, valedictorian, left, and Joecelyn Coleman, salutatorian, celebrate in front of their lockers May 18, after the graduation ceremony at Cairo High School. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Blaine Crow, right, fixes Josh Jones’ collar before graduation May 18 at Meridian High School. Jones and Crow were two of 28 graduates that walked across the stage at Meridian that day. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Blaine Crow, right, fixes Josh Jones’ collar before graduation May 18 at Meridian High School. Jones and Crow were two of 28 graduates that walked across the stage at Meridian that day. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Melissa McCutchan, left, a former Meridian High School graduate and now a social worker at the High School, passes out gifts to graduating seniors May 18 at Meridian High School. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Melissa McCutchan, left, a former Meridian High School graduate and now a social worker at the High School, passes out gifts to graduating seniors May 18 at Meridian High School. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cleo King, of Villa Ridge, middle, sits with his wife Betty King, left, as the two listen to a band during the annual Strawberry Day celebration in Villa Ridge. --Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cleo King, of Villa Ridge, middle, sits with his wife Betty King, left, as the two listen to a band during the annual Strawberry Day celebration in Villa Ridge. –Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian senior catcher Jammerio Moore, right, attempts to make an out May 18 during the regional championship against the Shawnee Redskins at Shawnee High School. The Bobcats lost  the game in the 5th inning with a score of 10-0. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian senior catcher Jammerio Moore, right, attempts to make an out May 18 during the regional championship against the Shawnee Redskins at Shawnee High School. The Bobcats lost the game in the 5th inning with a score of 10-0. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Shawnee Elementary School students accept their first place trophy May 15 after winning their annual school track meet. The event got a late start because of a school lock down. Because of the delay, Century Elementary did not compete, however this did not stop Lick Creek Elementary from taking part. The Hornets were awarded 23 first place awards to take first overall.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Shawnee Elementary School students accept their first place trophy May 15 after winning their annual school track meet. The event got a late start because of a school lock down. Because of the delay, Century Elementary did not compete, however this did not stop Lick Creek Elementary from taking part. The Hornets were awarded 23 first place awards to take first overall.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Third grader Lane Matlock crosses the finish line ahead of the pack May 15 as he completes the boys’ 440 yard race at Shawnee Elementary School South. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Third grader Lane Matlock crosses the finish line ahead of the pack May 15 as he completes the boys’ 440 yard race at Shawnee Elementary School South. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 

Third grader Koda Abraham practices for the broad jump May 15. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Third grader Koda Abraham practices for the broad jump May 15. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Lick Creek second grader Brodie Denny, right, is hugged by her friends fourth graders Hannah Miller, left and Miranda Miller May 15 after she bested her competitors during the girls’ 440 yard race at Shawnee Elementary School South. Lick Creek took second at the track meet, winning 14 first place awards. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Lick Creek second grader Brodie Denny, right, is hugged by her friends fourth graders Hannah Miller, left and Miranda Miller May 15 after she bested her competitors during the girls’ 440 yard race at Shawnee Elementary School South. Lick Creek took second at the track meet, winning 14 first place awards. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 

Fights disrupt regionals

Pulaski County police control a crowd Feb. 20 after fights broke out following the Cairo and Meridian Regional Semifinal game at Meridian High School. Police presence was increased and new protocols put in place at all the following Regional games to ensure no more fights broke out amongst fans. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Pulaski County police control a crowd Feb. 20 after fights broke out following the Cairo and Meridian Regional Semifinal game at Meridian High School. Police presence was increased and new protocols put in place at all the following Regional games to ensure no more fights broke out amongst fans. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

The Meridian Bobcats toppled the Cairo Pilots in post-season play, but this was not the news of the day Feb. 20.

The story that developed came after the historic rivalry between Cairo and Meridian fans boiled over. Fights between after the game caused the second competition of the night between Century and Egyptian to be postponed for two days.

Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern said the violence came as a surprise. He was in the hallway when the first fight broke out.

“I grabbed a hold of one of them and the next thing I know they are jumping on me, on my back and I’m on the floor,” he said. Kern said he quickly realized he and his 11 officers were outnumbered.

“We were going fight to fight to fight. We were totally out numbered,” Kern said. Kern said no ballplayers were involved in the incidents.

School officials from both Meridian and Cairo decided to take steps to help prevent any other disruptions to the tournament. Kern attended a meeting Feb. 21 with school officials, the lieutenant of the State Police, his chief deputy and the principal of Meridian High School to draw up the game plan to be implemented at all high priority sporting events at the high school. At the rescheduled semi-final game and the Regional Championship Kern  and 14 other officers covered all the doors and separated fans as they left the gym in hopes to prevent any more fights, a solution that Meridian School District Superintendent Terry Moreland said was sufficient. Athletic Director for Cairo Jr. / Sr. High School Ronnie Woods was also at both games to make sure no one from Cairo involved in the incident Feb. 20 was let in to the game.

Woods said while these kinds of measures are necessary, he it is sad and these kinds of incidents do more than just disrupt a night of basketball.

“It hurts the kids that participate. It hurts the community that wants to come together to see a good competition,” Woods said. Headcoach for the Bobcats Jeff Mandrell said while the schools can’t be blamed it defiantly hurts public perception.

“I think it makes the schools look bad,” he said. Mandrell said he wishes those who come to games to start trouble would simply stay home.

“You wish people would either go to the games to watch or just not go,” he said.

Linda Blake, left, hands out tickets for the rescheduled Century/Egyptian Regional Semifinal basketball game Feb. 20. The game was postponed because of fights that broke out after the Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Police said no arrests were made that night, though some are pending and no players were involved in the incidents. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Linda Blake, left, hands out tickets for the rescheduled Century/Egyptian Regional Semifinal basketball game Feb. 20. The game was postponed because of fights that broke out after the Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Police said no arrests were made that night, though some are pending. No players were involved in the incidents. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Cairo School District Superintendent Andrea  Evers said she was emotional leaving the Feb. 20 game.

“My heart is really heavy,” Evers said. She said to have this incident be the bookend to a very good season is disheartening.

“To have a negative shadow cast over their season because of the choices of an adult is just saddening,” she said.

Kern said no arrests were made Feb. 20 in regards to the fights at the basketball game, though investigations are being conducted and arrests are pending.

Woods said the two schools are primarily looking to get beyond this season, after that they will look at how to make sure next year runs smoother. He said several options have been proposed including having no fans attend future Cairo, Meridian games or having a student only game, though, Woods is not a fan of any of these ideas.

“All those options …  are sad. It says a statement about your community,” Woods said. While he sees how dire things may seem now, Woods is hopeful they will get better.

“I think it’s something that can be solved,” he said.

For an editorial regarding the Feb. 20 regional game, please visit:
www.thecairocitizen.com

— Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242

Beta brings in new members

On Nov. 14 the Cairo High School Beta Club held an induction ceremony for new members.

Ryan O’Shea, left, gives instructions to Beta Club inductees before they enter the Nov. 14 Beta Club Induction Ceremony at the Cairo Jr. / Sr. High School. That night, O’Shea’s group inducted 18 new members. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Pilots hold their own in tight match

DeBran Sudduth, top right, of Cairo, cheers on his daughter Mekayla Sudduth, Monday during the volleyball game at Egyptian High School. “I am so proud of them tonight, they worked hard and did a great job,” DeBran said. — Lynnette Oostmeyer
Moyshia Haynes, of Cairo, watches the ball pass by Oct. 1 during the team’s match at Egyptian High School. Though the Pilots lost both the junior varsity and varsity matches, head coach Charlotte Loveless said she is proud of the way her teamed performed on the court. – Lynnette Oostmeyer | The Cairo Citizen
Kimalee Story, left, and Ashanti Wade, wait for their teammate to serve the ball Oct. 1 during the volleyball match at Egyptian High School. Cairo coach Charlotte Loveless said the team put in a good effort but they just could not keep up with the Pharaohs. — Lynnette Oostmeyer | The Cairo Citizen