County Clerk Kicks Off Alexander Co. Primary

On February 27th County Clerk Frances Lee held the public testing of automatic tabulating equipment in her office at Alexander County Courthouse.

The testing of equipment was run by Deb Oldham of Election Management Associates and saw that the precincts of Cairo #1, Thebes, and Tamms were in accurate working order.

Spread about the back room of the County Clerk office were several Automark Systems,  ready to be placed at each precinct in the county.  The systems are computerized and required by the Attorney General to assist handicapped voters.

The primary election in Alexander County began early voting on Monday, March 3.  Registered voters are able to vote for their choices after signing an affidavit with the County Clerk’s office and having their eligibility verified.

The County Clerk’s office will be open on Saturday, March 15 to service early voters.

“I’m not usually open on Saturdays but we need to give people a chance to get their voting taken care of if they’ll be absent on election day,” said Lee.

The primary election gives area voters the opportunity to influence the county and state through their choices of candidates. This influence can often mean the difference in state and federal policies that have long-standing effects on the economy and population.

Alexander County residents are encouraged to cast their vote in the general primary election on March 18 at one of the 11 polling locations in the county.

Deb Oldham, with Election Management Associates, conducts accuracy testing on Alexander County ballot tabulating systems. The public test was held at Alexander County  Clerk’s office on Thursday afternoon. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Deb Oldham, with Election Management Associates, conducts accuracy testing on Alexander County ballot tabulating systems. The public test was held at Alexander County Clerk’s office on Thursday afternoon. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

Donald Graham

Donald Graham of Cairo, IL was born October 18, 1955 in Wyatt, Missouri to the late M.L and Willie Bell Graham. He was called from labor to rest on February 21, 2014 at the St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

He was baptized at an early age, and he also confessed a hope in Christ in August of last year.

Donald received his education through Douglas and Meridian school systems. His occupation was that of a laborer.

He enjoyed traveling which allowed him to travel from coast to to coast, until his health started to fail which led him to come back home.

He leaves to cherish his memories; a son Alfonzo Frazier, grandson Alijah Frazier, granddaughter Airyn Frazier all of Cairo, Illinois. One brother; Lester Jones of Detroit, MI., seven sisters; Dorothy Foster, and Mary(Lamont) Brown of Mounds, IL, Omie Graham of Ullin, IL, Ethel(George) Boyd and Linda Eason of Olmsted, IL, Francis Graham and Sylvia Graham of Cape Girardeau, MO, and a special cousin Mary Miller of Mounds, IL. He also is survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, many friends, and his adopted family the Bridges family. Donald shared a special bond with his nephews, Quincy and Kamauri.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings Eldress Willie Bell Brimmage, Flora Davis and Fred Jones.

Services for Donald Graham were held on Friday February 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm at the St. John Free Will Baptist Church in Olmsted, IL with Pastor Percy Flowers, and Rev. Tronzo Graham, officiating, Interment was in the Green Lawn Memorial Garden in Villa Ridge, IL. Friends called on Friday February 28, 2014 at the Church from 11:00 am until the Funeral hour at 1:00 pm Massie Funeral Home in Mounds, IL was in charge of the arrangements.

Henry Johnson Sr.

Henry G. Johnson, SR. age 48 of Cairo, Illinois was born March 4, 1965 to the union of the late Fred Johnson and Catherine Patton Johnson in Cairo, Illinois. He was called to rest by God on Friday February 21, 2014 at 5:18 am at the St. Francis Medical center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Henry accepted Christ early in his life and was baptized by his brother Pastor Fred Johnson, Jr.  He joined in holy matrimony to the love of his life Barbara Blackwell Johnson in 1986 and to their union four children was born. Henry was employed for the City of Cairo for number of years. He enjoyed fishing, Barbecuing, working and spending time with his family.

He was preceded in death by parents; Fred and Catherine Johnson, ten brothers and sisters; Fred Johnson, Jr.,  Haywood Johnson, Sylvester Johnson, Alysha Johnson, Estella Johnson, Melvin Johnson, Samuel Johnson, James Whitney, Narvis Whitney and Larry Coleman.

Henry leaves to cherish his memory; his wife Barbara Johnson, four children; Henry Johnson, Jr., Jasmine Johnson, Raven Johnson and Symone Johnson all of Cairo, Illinois. He also leaves siblings; Celestine Holman, Mary Tolbert, Lowell (Felicia) Johnson, Marvin(Linda) Johnson, Maevella(Lamont) Van, Lorraine Johnson, Matilda(Ralph) Phelan, Catherine(Jimmy) Thacker, Rochelle Jackson, Frederick Jackson, Carletus Jackson, Darryl Jackson, Barbara Jackson, Gina Jackson, Ruby Whitney, Melissa Whitney, Michael Whitney, Freddie Lee Whitney, two aunts; Luella Barber and Mary B. Johnson. Special friends; Richard McElrath, James Graves, Roy Simelton, and Dale Garrett and a host of nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.

Services for Henry G. Johnson, Sr. was held Saturday March 1, 2014 at 11:00 am at the Massie Funeral Home in Mounds, IL with Pastor Enloe Clemons officiating. Interment was in the Spencer Heights Memorial Park in Mounds, IL. Friends called on Saturday March 1, 2014 from 10:30 am until the funeral hour at 11:00 am. Massie Funeral Home in Mounds, IL was in charge of the arrangements.

 

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 

 

Alexander County Board Meeting: February 25, 2014

The Alexander County Board of commisioners met at the Alexander County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon fo a regularly scheduled meeting.

The Board approved the minutes from the February 11 meeting.

County Clerk Frances Lee reminded those present of the upcoming primary election ans stated that her office would be open to service early voters on Monday, March 3. Regular voting will take place throughout Alexander County on Tuesday, March 18.

Alexander County Highway Engineer Jeff Denny informed members of the Board that his department had began accepting bids from contractors on the demolition of the old Burkhart building in Cairo.  Denny also gave an update about the ongoing status of flood buyouts throughout county. Denny stated that the process is moving forward, with approximately 70 assessments completed at this time.

Payroll , recurring, and Highway Department bills were approved to be paid for .

Chairman Harold McNelly chose to appoint Lorrie Hesselrode and Danny Brown to the Southern 7 Health Department.

Chalen Tatem made the Board aware of a $1,032.00 credit that he is in the process of acquiring from the county’s telephone service provider.

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

McNelly Calls Special Meeting for County Board

 

 The Alexander County Board of Commissioners met before their regularly scheduled  meeting Tuesday at the Alexander County Courthouse. The meeting was called by board chairman Harold McNeely.The members met with Kim Meyers, of Hudgens & Meyers, an accounting firm from Marion, about possible strategies to save the county desperately needed money.Meyer offered a number of options to be considered by Alexander County as cost-cutting measures.  Among the list were ideas about reviewing the County’s tax levy on a yearly basis, paying actual unemployment claims instead of a flat rate, amd reviewing the Ambulance Fund to determine if any fringe benefit costs can be reimbursed to the respective fringe benefit funds. Meyer reminded those present that they were not obliged to take her advice however, the different options were worth considering.“You don’t have to listen to a word of my advice and you never have to see me again but, I do enjoy working with people and helping alleviate some of the financial stress,” said Meyer.

The possibility of having cost studies performed on the Sheriff’s Department and County Clerk.  After the studies are performed increases in Civil Service fees and Bail Bonds fees are often allowed and can be used to assist the general fund. A capital asset fund was also proposed as a means of handling future unforseen expenses.

During the regularly scheduled meeting board members heard from Nancy Holtz of Southern 7 Health Department.  Holtz presented Southern 7’s fiscal year report for 2013.

A motion to approve a contract with Shawnee Professional Service for land surveying in the area was passed.  The premise plat is  required by the state before the FEMA buyout can continue. The process is to be completed in seven weeks and will cost  roughly $82,800 altogether.

County Clerk Frances Lee made board members aware that in the near future six computers, three printers, and a server will need to be purchased to keep the county office’s operating.  Lee stated that she recieved an estimate of $39,800 for the total cost of the upgrade.

State’s Attorney Jeff Ferris  stated that he believed the equipment could be obtained for far less money.

“That seems incredibly high to me,” said Ferris.

The Board of Commissioners then adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel and litigation.

Chairman Harold McNeely shares a laugh with Llamar Houston at the Alexander County Board meeting on Tuesday.  The Board sought the advice of Kim Meyers, an accountant from Marion, Ill. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Chairman Harold McNeely shares a laugh with Llamar Houston at the Alexander County Board meeting on Tuesday. The Board sought the advice of Kim Meyers, an accountant from Marion, Ill. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

Danny Mac

Danny Mac, 62, of Cairo, died suddenly Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 at his home.

He was born Oct. 13, 1951 in Washington Courthouse, OH, son of Clarence and Martha (Heidy) McDonald.  He married Catherine Anderson Aug. 27, 1976, she survives.

Danny Mac began his career in radio Sept. 1975 with WKRO. He retired Aug. 31, 2013.  He sang in bands his entire adult life, more recently with Nyte Flyte, others include Bounty Hunter, Country Outlaws, Robin and his Band of Hoods. In earlier years he coached girls softball. For many years he played Santa Claus at Elias Family Center, Mound City Christmas parade and for area nursing homes.

He is survived by his wife, Cathy McDonald of Cairo; 2 daughters, Amber Cossey of Wyatt, MO, Ann Alston of Sikeston, MO; son, Daniel McDonald of Cairo; 5 grandchildren, Jacob, Damian, Jaidyn, Levi and Liam; 2 sisters, Patty Zimmerman of Washington Courthouse, OH, Toni Brabson of Chillicothe, OH; brother, Tom McDonald of Washington Courthouse, OH; nieces and nephews and other relatives.

Danny was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Mike.

Visitation for Danny Mac will be Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 from 4PM to 8PM at Crain Funeral Home in Cairo.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at 11AM at Crain Funeral Home in Cairo with Dr. Larry Potts officiating. Interment will be at Green Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Memorial contributions can be made to Kenny Rogers Center in Sikeston or the Special Olympics. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

To leave online condolences visit www.crainsonline.com

Danny Mac
Danny Mac

Alexander County Moves Towards Digital Efficiency

Over the last week Alexander County has moved toawards the implementatioin of a digital records keeping system.  The current system for recordings and deeds has become a liability as well as an inconvience for members of the public who need access to the files.

Monday afternoon saw Tara Harris, Chief Deputy, working through the required training for the new system with Ramie Rausch, a representative for Computer Information Concepts.

The Colorado-based company is tasked with setting up the new server farm as well as helping train county employees on the use of the new applications.  The server farm will allow old and new records to be downloaded into a digital form and stored safely in a secondary location.

County Clerk Frances Lee explained the many shortcomings of the old, analog system for filling.  Lee stated that the analog system is very consuming in regards to space and time.  The many volumes of past records line the walls of the County Clerk’s back office and pose a risk when it comes to loss of important documents.

“In 2011 when Cairo was evacuated because of flooding we had to use the National Gaurd to transport the files by truck out of the building,” said Lee. “By keeping our records saved digitally we reduce the risk of losing important files.”

Much of the money for the upgrade was provided in a donation from an anonymous Alexander County resident.

The back records will be transfered to the new server as time goes on.  New files can be scanned into the computers through a work station in the County Clerk’s office and can be processed quicker than ever.

The public will also experience the benefits of the new record keeping service.  With files and recordings made digital searching through the vast amount of back records is made more managabel and efficient.

Mike Myer, the Illinois Representative for CIC believes that the ne system will greatly improve and streamline the day-to-day operations of the office.

“I’m feeling like this will help them out immensly,” said Myer. “I think everybody ivolved with the project is excited about moving forward in a positive manner.”

Larry Bohlender, owner of CIC, believes the support his company offers will make an incredible difference when it comes to working with the records and documents.

“You take the experience that members of our company have and the unlimited support we offer and I think it amounts to what Alexander County really needs,” said Bohlender.  “We hope that the county can utilize our resources and improve how they function.”

With much of the setup complete the new filing system will be ready for use in the next week allowing quick and easy processing and navigation of files.

“We think this is going to be a really good thing for us,” said Frances Lee. “We want people to be able to use the workstation and accomplish what they need.  It also keeps us safe from losing the really important files and records.”

Alexander County Clerk and Recorder Frances Lee looks over a binder containing some of the county’s old deeds and recordings.  Alexander County is implementing a new digital system to streamline the process of accessing the documents.  The new server system also keeps digital copies of uploaded documents as a means of preservation and safety.  A major contribution by an anonymous Alexander County resident helped pay for a portion of the new technology. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Alexander County Clerk and Recorder Frances Lee looks over a binder containing some of the county’s old deeds and recordings. Alexander County is implementing a new digital system to streamline the process of accessing the documents. The new server system also keeps digital copies of uploaded documents as a means of preservation and safety. A major contribution by an anonymous Alexander County resident helped pay for a portion of the new technology. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley can be reached in his office at (618) 734-4242

Cairo Junior High Claims Regional Championship

The Juninor High Cairo Pilots beat Meridian High School to claim the Class M Regional Championship on Saturday.

The Cairo Junior High basketball team is shown after being crowned Class M Regional champions on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Meridian High School in Mounds. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Cairo Junior High basketball team is shown after being crowned Class M Regional champions on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Meridian High School in Mounds. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo's Tyler Lewis Drives past Meridian defense on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The Junior High Cairo Pilots went on to win the Class M Regional Championship. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo’s Tyler Lewis Drives past Meridian defense on Saturday, February 1, 2014. The Junior High Cairo Pilots went on to win the Class M Regional Championship. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

Fire Claims Mounds Home

On the evening of January 23 Mounds Police Officer Edwards observed smoke coming from the residence of 130 South Mckinley Street in Mounds during his routine patrol.  Edwards found the resident of the home on the front port.  The resident then reentered the home and was helped to safety by Officer Edwards. The resident was then transported to a family members home by Mounds Police.  Fire crews remained on the scene throughout the night fighting the fire.  The residence was deemed a total loss.

The Mounds home that was destroyed by a fire on January 23 is shown.  -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Mounds home that was destroyed by a fire on January 23 is shown. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen