Debate teaches history, life-skills

Jarvis Woodson, left and Keyonte Graham formulate a rebuttal July 20 during the debate sponsored by the Dusable Museum of African American History and the Amistad Commission in the library in Cairo.--Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Jarvis Woodson, left and Keyonte Graham formulate a rebuttal July 20 during the debate sponsored by the Dusable Museum of African American History and the Amistad Commission in the library in Cairo.–Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Cairo junior and senior high school students got the chance to argue in public July 20 and instead of posturing and raised voices, the kids were calm and used note cards to get their points across.

Eight Cairo students participated in a debate which centered around the theme of “The Colored Soldier and the Civil War, What Were They Fighting For.” The event, sponsored by the Dusable Museum of African American History and the Amistad Coalition, drew a crowd of nearly fifty community members to the Cairo Library.

The question was simple: Why did Abraham Lincoln free the slaves? Both teams had plenty of answers.

D’Erik Menz’s team argued it was a moral imperative that lead to the decision. They argued that because of his Christian beliefs, Lincoln made the order to abolish slavery.

It did not take long for Keyonte Graham and his teammates to find fault with this logic. It was their opinion Lincoln abolished slavery for political reasons only, citing a famous quote from the former president,” If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it.”

Menz and his team were quick to point out, however, this was not the entire quote. They reminded their opponents Lincoln followed this statement by saying, “If I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it.”

The dialogue was lively and professional and Brian Brandtner said this was the point.

“You can disagree with people in the real world … but there is a way to go about it and exercises like this kind of reinforces that,” he said. Brandtner, Cairo’s high school basketball coach, trained one of the teams and he said he saw a lot of growth in his debaters in a very short amount of time.

The teams started practicing July 12 and had just over two weeks to get ready. Brandtner said in the beginning, it was a bit overwhelming but once they began to narrow their focus, the students began to get more involved in the research and put their own ideas out on the table for discussion.

“Once you get to the point where the kids are putting their thoughts into it, then you have done your job,” Brandtner said. He added that independent thought is the goal of any teacher.

“As a teacher, as a coach, you want the kids to be as independent thinkers as possible … You want the kids to think critically.”

Jomo Cheatham, project coordinator for the Dusable Museum’s participation with the Amistad Commission, said this kind of education through action is a big part of his group’s initiative.

“The Amistad Coalition’s participation with the museum is to integrate all forms of education so it is not just specifically focused on the subject, but looks at how it can interconnect to other real, live, relevant parts of society,” he said.

D’Erik Menz, left, Mack Hicks, middle and Monte Ellis- Mitchell consult their notes during a debate July 20 regarding why Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Menz’s team argued he did it for moral reasons while Woodson’s team said it was for political reasons. Everyone came out a winner at the event. For their participation, each of the debaters received $150 from the debate’s sponsor, The Dusable Museum of African American History in Chicago. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
D’Erik Menz, left, Mack Hicks, middle and Monte Ellis- Mitchell consult their notes during a debate July 20 regarding why Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Menz’s team argued he did it for moral reasons while Woodson’s team said it was for political reasons. Everyone came out a winner at the event. For their participation, each of the debaters received $150 from the debate’s sponsor, The Dusable Museum of African American History in Chicago. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

He said each student learned just by participating in the debate and he said the results were clear.

“What we saw on display here … [were] some very intelligent young men who were able to speak really eloquently at times and in-depth in some instances about a topic that they probably did not know nearly as well, about a month ago,” Cheatham said.

Cairo superintendent of schools and team coach Andrea Evers agreed.

“I think both teams showed tremendous poise,” she said. “They had passion, they had reasons behind their decisions.”

Menz said through the process of preparing for the event, he realized there are strengths in disagreeing calmly. Graham said he learned it took a calm, clear point to be effective in arguing a point.

“It takes a lot to win … It takes a lot of information,” he said.

Menz said he really enjoyed participating in the debate and hopes he get the chance to hone his skills on a team. Evers said because of the success this first debate, she is strongly looking into starting a debate or forensics team at the Junior/Senior High School.

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

The Week in Photos: July 11, 2013

Vera Calhoun-Russell, 104, looks out the window from her bed May 1 in her home in Villa Ridge. Vera’s bed sits less than ten feet from the place she was born. She has lived most of her life in the house, which her father built, and has helped raise many foster children there. Now, in her advanced age, she is the one being taken care of. Her youngest daughter, Janice Russell-Couch lives  with and cares for her mother with the help of her husband, Allen Couch. Because of arthritis in her right knee, Russell has lost her mobility over the last 4 years. So, between Janice and Allen and part-time nursing care, they tend to all Vera’s needs. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Vera Calhoun-Russell, 104, looks out the window from her bed May 1 in her home in Villa Ridge. Vera’s bed sits less than ten feet from the place she was born. She has lived most of her life in the house, which her father built, and has helped raise many foster children there. Now, in her advanced age, she is the one being taken care of. Her youngest daughter, Janice Russell-Couch lives with and cares for her mother with the help of her husband, Allen Couch. Because of arthritis in her right knee, Russell has lost her mobility over the last 4 years. So, between Janice and Allen and part-time nursing care, they tend to all Vera’s needs. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Couch, right, attempts to feed Vera Calhoun-Russell, his 104-year-old mother-in-law March 10 in Russell’s home in Villa Ridge. Allen said though he may only be related to Russell through marriage, he still enjoys taking care of her. “It gives me a good feeling inside that I can do for others,”he said. Allen provided similar care to his father for seven years from 1992-1999, so when he married Russell’s daughter, Janice, he was able to step right in and help with her daily routine. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Couch, right, attempts to feed Vera Calhoun-Russell, his 104-year-old mother-in-law March 10 in Russell’s home in Villa Ridge. Allen said though he may only be related to Russell through marriage, he still enjoys taking care of her. “It gives me a good feeling inside that I can do for others,”he said. Allen provided similar care to his father for seven years from 1992-1999, so when he married Russell’s daughter, Janice, he was able to step right in and help with her daily routine. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Couch, middle, and Janice Russell-Couch, left, load their trunk with groceries while 104-year-old Vera Calhoun Russell waits in the car March 30 at Wal-Mart in Sikeston, Mo. Despite her age and lack of mobility, Russell often goes on trips, both big and small, with her daughter Janice and son-in-law Allen, be it to the grocery store, visiting family out of state or even just for a drive. Janice said traveling has always been something Russell has enjoyed doing. Allen said she does well with knowing where she is when they travel and often reads the signs along the road. There is one sign Allen said she never misses and that is the golden arches of McDonald’s. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Couch, middle, and Janice Russell-Couch, left, load their trunk with groceries while 104-year-old Vera Calhoun Russell waits in the car March 30 at Wal-Mart in Sikeston, Mo. Despite her age and lack of mobility, Russell often goes on trips, both big and small, with her daughter Janice and son-in-law Allen, be it to the grocery store, visiting family out of state or even just for a drive. Janice said traveling has always been something Russell has enjoyed doing. Allen said she does well with knowing where she is when they travel and often reads the signs along the road. There is one sign Allen said she never misses and that is the golden arches of McDonald’s. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Couch, right, waits with Vera Calhoun-Russell June 19 at Cape Foot Clinic in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Allen said caring for his 104-year-old mother-in-law is a task he is honored to do. He said when he fell in love with his wife, Janice Russell-Couch, he knew he was there to be with her and help her care for her mother. “It’s like God said, ‘This is where you belong. You are needed there,’” Allen said. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Couch, right, waits with Vera Calhoun-Russell June 19 at Cape Foot Clinic in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Allen said caring for his 104-year-old mother-in-law is a task he is honored to do. He said when he fell in love with his wife, Janice Russell-Couch, he knew he was there to be with her and help her care for her mother. “It’s like God said, ‘This is where you belong. You are needed there,’” Allen said. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Luke Mitchell readies barbecue to be sold July 4 in Tamms. Mitchell said he and the other firemen working the pit had been cooking pork butts and shoulders for 24 hours. He also said the pits they were using are more than 50-years-old. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Luke Mitchell readies barbecue to be sold July 4 in Tamms. Mitchell said he and the other firemen working the pit had been cooking pork butts and shoulders for 24 hours. He also said the pits they were using are more than 50-years-old. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Her Turn

Vera Calhoun-Russell, 104, looks out the window from her bed May 1 in her home in Villa Ridge. Vera’s bed sits less than ten feet from the place she was born. She has lived most of her life in the house, which her father built, and has helped raise many foster children there. Now, in her advanced age, she is the one being taken care of. Her youngest daughter, Janice Russell-Couch lives  with and cares for her mother with the help of her husband, Allen Couch. Because of arthritis in her right knee, Russell has lost her mobility over the last 4 years. So, between Janice and Allen and part-time nursing care, they tend to all Vera’s needs. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Vera Calhoun-Russell, 104, looks out the window from her bed May 1 in her home in Villa Ridge. Vera’s bed sits less than ten feet from the place she was born. She has lived most of her life in the house, which her father built, and has helped raise many foster children there. Now, in her advanced age, she is the one being taken care of. Her youngest daughter, Janice Russell-Couch lives with and cares for her mother with the help of her husband, Allen Couch. Because of arthritis in her right knee, Russell has lost her mobility over the last 4 years. So, between Janice and Allen and part-time nursing care, they tend to all Vera’s needs. See the bottom of the story for more photos. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 

Vera Calhoun-Russell sleeps soundly just ten feet from where she was born more than 100 years ago in a house her father built on a hill in Villa Ridge.

Despite losing her husband to World War II before having children of their own, Vera took in and cared for others for most of her adult life.

“We went to church every Sunday and there was no excuse about not going,” Vera’s youngest daughter, Janice Russell-Couch said. “She will tell you about the old days, when they come back to her memory.”

Born January 15, 1909 to parents Pearl and Ralph Calhoun, Vera was the seventh of eight children. She ended a 20-year teaching career she held in Chicago to return to Villa Ridge and help her parents take care of the house and family.  She has not left since.

“She says, ‘I have been here a long time,’ and I say, ‘Yes you have,’” Janice said of her 104-year-old mother. “She has her good days and her bad days.”

Signs of dementia began to set in around 2004, said Janice, adding that she had to learn to accept that her mother was not as strong or able as she once was.

“I always see it this way,” Janice said.  “She took care of me when I was little, so now it is my turn to make sure I take care of her.”

The room in which Vera stays is filled with family photos and artifacts. Hung above her head is a painted portrait of her father, Ralph Calhoun, who built the family home, and across the room is her high school diploma, presented to her June 16, 1923.  She often tells stories of the “old days,” of picking strawberries, raising children and preparing family meals.

“Mom was a fun person. She liked to do things. She liked to travel,” Janice said. “She always told us you had to work hard for your money.”

As an avid gardener and independent person, it was not easy for Vera to give up doing for herself.  Throughout her life, she took in and brought up more than ten children, some for only a few months or a few years, but others she raised through to adulthood.  Despite the change in their roles as caretakers, her daughter Janice still sees Vera as a caring mother who was firm but loving.

“When you love somebody and help somebody that can’t take care of themselves, that’s just a blessing,” Janice said, adding,  “One day you are going to be blessed for helping them.”

In 2000, Vera learned of her daughter’s husband-to-be, Allen Couch.

“She wanted to make sure Allen would take care of me,” Janice said.

The two married in 2005 and for Janice the role of caretaker now took on a new meaning: co-caretaker. When they met, Janice was finishing a master’s degree in education, working as a Pre-K teacher for Meridian School District and took care of her mother on her own.  After they married, Allen took on many of the tasks Janice previously juggled to complete.

“Most of the things I have done in my life were basically for me,” Allen said.  “But, when I began to care for other people, I found that this is what I am good at doing.”

Allen said it was love that drew him to Janice; however, her situation was one he identified with and his affection for her grew out of her passion and commitment to helping her mother.

“It’s like God said, ‘This is where you belong. You are needed there,’” he said.  “I accepted it very easily.”

Allen said he has grown to love and care for Vera as his own mother, whom he lost soon after he and Janice began dating.  No stranger to the difficulties of caring for an elderly parent, Allen said he brought solace to Janice’s hectic life.

“It was easier for me because I [did] this kind of live-in and health aid for other people … and then, dealing with my mom and my dad.”Allen said.  He he understood what she was going through.

Today, the couple continues to care for Vera but recently she qualified for 30 hours a week of in-home care through Shawnee Development Council and Medicare, allowing them to pursue activities previously difficult to maintain.  While Allen often spends time with family in Tennessee and Janice maintains an active role in church and work, one always remains available for Vera.

Janice said her mother often says something in preparing her for the inevitable.

“She will say, ‘I’m not going to be here long with you, my days are numbered,’” Janice said. “I think about it. I know one day she is not going to be here.”

At 104 years old, Vera’s regular check ups provide her with a clean bill of health each time.  While she lost much of her mobility four years ago and spends most of her days in bed, other than arthritis in her knees, she has no other chronic medical problems.

Allen said spending time with Vera has helped him put his own life into perspective.

“We don’t realize how blessed we are that we are able to get up and walk out of the house and come back in and fix our food and go to the bathroom when we want to,” Allen said.  “So she really makes you think about how blessed and how thankful we should be.”

A typical day in the Russell-Couch household starts before the sun rises. Prayers are said and breakfast is made. Allen and Janice help bathe and dress Vera before her home care workers arrive by 9 a.m. When Allen is at home, he will often stay on to help the nurses throughout the day while Janice is working or running errands.  For many, providing such intimate care for an in-law would be difficult, said Allen, adding he finds it an honor to be able to tend to her.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,” Allen said, quoting a Bible verse from the book of Ephesians. He said prayer is a big part of Vera’s life, too.

“Sometimes she will be in pain and she will say, ‘I’m praying that God will come here and take this away from me,’” Allen said. “I think that is what [keeps] her here today, her faithfulness and trust in God taking care of her.”He said Vera enjoys hearing him read from the Bible and hearing his prayers. “One thing that she does remember …  is who God is.”

Janice recalls those Sundays when she and her family would walk from their house to the nearby Methodist church, which now sits on her family’s property. She would sit in the pew, her and her siblings in handmade dress clothes, listening to the sermon as one big family.

“She talks about how good God has been to her,” Janice said, not wanting to dwell on Vera’s next step.

“It will be a difficult thing whenever it happens,” Allen said, though he trusts in God to do what is best.

“God knows what he is doing,” he said.

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

Speaking with stone

John Bell works on a design for a grave marker June 10 in his shop at Bell Monument Works in Cairo. Bell has been in the monument making business since he was a child, learning the craft from his father and grandfather. He said he has consciously chosen to keep his shop as traditional as possible. “We just wanted to follow the same type of path that my grandfather would have taken,” Bell said. He  said the techniques he uses now are almost identical to the ones a shop such as his would have used 60-70 years ago. He also said Bell Monument Works is unique in that, unlike many other monument and memorial shops, he does not ship out his work. The majority of projects he takes on are finished in house.--Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
John Bell works on a design for a grave marker June 10 in his shop at Bell Monument Works in Cairo. Bell has been in the monument making business since he was a child, learning the craft from his father and grandfather. He said he has consciously chosen to keep his shop as traditional as possible. “We just wanted to follow the same type of path that my grandfather would have taken,” Bell said. He said the techniques he uses now are almost identical to the ones a shop such as his would have used 60-70 years ago. He also said Bell Monument Works is unique in that, unlike many other monument and memorial shops, he does not ship out his work. The majority of projects he takes on are finished in house.–Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

John Bell was born into the monument business

“Right around age eight I had my own little set of hammer and chisels,” Bell said. “I grew up in it.”

His grandfather started the Bell family monument business in Cairo in 1914. Since then it has moved to Bells father and in 1982 to Bell himself. He purchased the business when his father took ill. He gave a career up in environmental science to return home and take over the family business. In fact, he turned down a solid job offer.

“I was given the offer when I was in Springfield [Ill.] to be the manager for the Ill. EPA air monitoring network and I turned it down,” Bell said. “I basically resigned from there to come home and to maintain the family businesses.”

He never went to trade school to learn stonesmithing, instead he watched and mimicked the way his father and grandfather worked. Those techniques are the ones he still uses in his shop today. In fact, there is not a computer in sight in his office. All the designs he has are on onionskin paper organized on racks along his wall. Bell said it was a conscious decision he made not to use computers or hi –tech tools and he prefers to do as much of his work in shop.

“There are those memorialists out there who have utilized the up and coming technologies … With our thing here we have tried to maintain an old world craft,” he said. Bell explained that the techniques he uses now are the same ones used 60-70 years ago and he likes it that way.

“We just wanted to follow the same type of path that my grandfather would have taken,” he said. Because many of the techniques used in his trade are falling to the wayside, Bell said his shop decided to keep it traditional nearly twenty years ago in order to help preserve his craft.

Working with stone is only half his business, however. The other half is serving customers, many of whom are grieving the loss of a loved one. Bell said working with people in the state of mind takes a special touch.

“You have to have an empathic relationship with the customer,” he explained. Bell said for many, visiting his shop is often the end of the funeral planning process.

While they have been in the monument business for the last 99 years, the Bells have only been in the cemetery business for the last 38. In 1975, Bell’s family purchased Green Lawn Memorial Gardens in Villa Ridge and in 2006, Bell purchased it from his mother, who at the time had fallen ill.

Bell was recently certified to be a cemetery manager, a title that the State has said all cemetery owners in the state are required to hold by 2014.

John Riston sweeps out the sandblasting chamber June 11 at Bell Monument Works in Cairo. Sandblasting is the primary technique used in the shop to created designs on stones. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
John Riston sweeps out the sandblasting chamber June 11 at Bell Monument Works in Cairo. Sandblasting is the primary technique used in the shop to created designs on stones. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Over the past forty years, Bell has built a relationship with stone. He said there is a connection to working with it he does not get with any other medium.

“[I like] to talk to the stone,” he said.

As time and success has shown, Bell must be a great conversationalist. He said this kind of dialogue with the material is vital. If you do not understand what you are working with and are unable to read the signs it is sending you, he said you will not be able to successfully sculpt it.

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

The end of an era

After nearly 70 years, Carl Swoboda closed his Maytag store in Cairo.

A Maytag poster fades in the sun June 7 in the store window of the old Maytag store in downtown Cairo. Business owner Carl Swoboda called it quits June 6. He sold the building to Cairo Public Utility to be demolished. Swoboda declined to comment on his decision or the history of his store, which opened its doors in the late 1940’s. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
A Maytag poster fades in the sun June 7 in the store window of the old Maytag store in downtown Cairo. Business owner Carl Swoboda called it quits June 6. He sold the building to Cairo Public Utility to be demolished. Swoboda declined to comment on his decision or the history of his store, which opened its doors in the late 1940’s. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Taking the next step

Cairo and Meridian High Schools graduated their 2013 class May 18.

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
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

 

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

Winds damage Alexander County Courthouse

An early morning storm May 21 damaged nearly 50% of the Alexander County Courthouse’s roof.

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 getting caught on the edge of the roof, 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
Winds nearly tore off half of the Alexander County Courthouse's roof.
Winds nearly tore off half of the Alexander County Courthouse’s roof.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 

The Week in Photos: May 16, 2013

The visual report from the week of May 16, 2013.

Angela Thomas, right, shares a tearful hug with her son Eric Dent after he his graduation ceremony May 10 at Egyptian High School. Dent said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College and hopes to play basketball. Dent graduated with 30 of his fellow seniors. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Angela Thomas, right, shares a tearful hug with her son Eric Dent after he his graduation ceremony May 10 at Egyptian High School. Dent said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College and hopes to play basketball. Dent graduated with 30 of his fellow seniors. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Lacey Hacker, left, waits for her friend Jade Yates to put on her gown just before graduation May 10 at Century High School. Hacker and Yates were among the first of Century’s 20 graduates to arrive for the ceremony. Yates said she has plans to attend Shawnee Community College to get her associate degree. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Lacey Hacker, left, waits for her friend Jade Yates to put on her gown just before graduation May 10 at Century High School. Hacker and Yates were among the first of Century’s 20 graduates to arrive for the ceremony. Yates said she has plans to attend Shawnee Community College to get her associate degree. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Danny Kohn, left, insists the held of Century High School teacher’s aid Michelle Nale to fasten his tassel to his cap May 10 before Century’s graduation ceremony. Kohn said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College before transferring to SIU where he hopes to get a degree in international studies. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Danny Kohn, left, insists the held of Century High School teacher’s aid Michelle Nale to fasten his tassel to his cap May 10 before Century’s graduation ceremony. Kohn said he plans to attend Shawnee Community College before transferring to SIU where he hopes to get a degree in international studies. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson just misses tagging out an opponent May 13 during the Pilot’s regional loss against the Dongola Demons. The Pilots lost 25-3. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson just misses tagging out an opponent May 13 during the Pilot’s regional loss against the Dongola Demons. The Pilots lost 25-3. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Kylee Wright, of Charleson, looks out the window of the Airbrush Dreamz trailer May 9 in Cairo. Derik Davis, Wright’s mother’s boyfriend, sells airbrushed clothing and accessories out of the trailer. Davis said he primarily sets up shop at carnivals and festivals but said he does come to sell his wares in towns like Cairo from time to time. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Kylee Wright, of Charleson, looks out the window of the Airbrush Dreamz trailer May 9 in Cairo. Derik Davis, Wright’s mother’s boyfriend, sells airbrushed clothing and accessories out of the trailer. Davis said he primarily sets up shop at carnivals and festivals but said he does come to sell his wares in towns like Cairo from time to time. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Airbrush art

Airbrush Dreamz set up its mobile shop in Cairo May 9.

Kylee Wright, of Charleson, looks out the window of the Airbrush Dreamz trailer May 9 in Cairo. Derik Davis, Wright’s mother’s boyfriend, sells airbrushed clothing and accessories out of the trailer. Davis said he primarily sets up shop at carnivals and festivals but said he does come to sell his wares in towns like Cairo from time to time. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Kylee Wright, of Charleson, looks out the window of the Airbrush Dreamz trailer May 9 in Cairo. Derik Davis, Wright’s mother’s boyfriend, sells airbrushed clothing and accessories out of the trailer. Davis said he primarily sets up shop at carnivals and festivals but said he does come to sell his wares in towns like Cairo from time to time. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

The Week in Photos: May 9, 2013

The visual report from the week of May 9, 2013.

Cairo junior Jordan Holder, right, takes a look at Cairo Junior Jalecia Purdiman’s cell phone May 4 while taking a break from dancing during the Cairo High School senior prom. Later that evening, prom attendees voted seniors Jeleigha Johnson and Terion Taylor as prom queen and prom king. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo junior Jordan Holder, right, takes a look at Cairo Junior Jalecia Purdiman’s cell phone May 4 while taking a break from dancing during the Cairo High School senior prom. Later that evening, prom attendees voted seniors Jeleigha Johnson and Terion Taylor as prom queen and prom king. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Senior Jeleigha Johnson, left, and senior Terion Taylor pose for a portrait May 4 after being named prom queen and king during Cairo High School’s senior prom. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Senior Jeleigha Johnson, left, and senior Terion Taylor pose for a portrait May 4 after being named prom queen and king during Cairo High School’s senior prom. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Shanna Farris, left, is comforted by her father, John Timmons, during her mother’s funeral May 1 at Jones Funeral Home in Villa Ridge. Farris’ mother, Sandra Farris, went missing March 28 after a walk near her home in Cairo. Her body was found April 24 in the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky. The cause of death was deemed undetermined.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Shanna Farris, left, is comforted by her father, John Timmons, during her mother’s funeral May 1 at Jones Funeral Home in Villa Ridge. Farris’ mother, Sandra Farris, went missing March 28 after a walk near her home in Cairo. Her body was found April 24 in the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky. The cause of death was deemed undetermined.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Rita Flummer, middle, takes her oath of office as mayor of the City of Mounds May 6 with the help of former mayor, Waymon Butler, right and city clerk Robin Barksdale. After being sworn in, Flumer then lead her first city council meeting.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Rita Flummer, middle, takes her oath of office as mayor of the City of Mounds May 6 with the help of former mayor, Waymon Butler, right and city clerk Robin Barksdale. After being sworn in, Flumer then lead her first city council meeting.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Myron Jordan rounds third base April 30 during the Pilots’ double header home win over Agape Christian. The Pilots had a slow start, narrowly winning the first game 6-5. However, they picked up momentum in the second, defeating the Knights 12-8. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Myron Jordan rounds third base April 30 during the Pilots’ double header home win over Agape Christian. The Pilots had a slow start, narrowly winning the first game 6-5. However, they picked up momentum in the second, defeating the Knights 12-8. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson jumps for a line-drive April 30 during The Pilots' double home win against the Agape Christian Knights. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo Pilots third baseman Lorenzo Nelson jumps for a line-drive April 30 during The Pilots’ double home win against the Agape Christian Knights. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen