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

 

Fatal Shooting in Cairo Leaves One Dead

After a fatal shooting in Cairo on Friday a man accused of murder turned himself in to Illinois State Police Headquarters in Ullin, Ill on Saturday.

Chauncy M. Hughes, 30, is now being held at Tri-County Justice and Detention Center in Ullin.  Hughes, the victim’s husband was named as a suspect shortly after the shooting occurred and fled the area.

According to Illinois State Police, the Cairo Police Department responded to 733 35th Street around 8:30 p.m. for a victim not breathing.  When officers arrived at the residence, they found a single gunshot victim.

Heather N. Davis, 22, was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau where she was pronounced dead.

A cameraman for WSIU passes the scene of the fatal shooting which occurred in Cairo on Friday evening. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
A cameraman for WSIU passes the scene of the fatal shooting which occurred in Cairo on Friday evening. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

Officers recover from 57 crash

After rear-ending a squad car June 18, a semi-truck heading North on Interstate 57 struck an a state trooper.

Emergency workers respond to a truck fire June 18 on northbound Interstate 57 near mile marker 8. The truck caught fire as result of an accident involving one Mounds police officer and state trooper Kent Ray. Pulaski County sheriff Randy Kern said around 4 p.m. June 18, Ray was being supported by a Mounds K-9 unit as he picked up debris from a blown semi-truck tire when a big rig collided with the Mounds K-9 Unit car. After the truck rear-ended the Mounds officer, it hit Ray as he was standing in the road. Kern said both Ray and the Mounds officer were released from St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Ray may have a broken foot and the Mounds officer has whiplash. Kern said the officer who performed the reconstruction of the scene has deemed it to be the truck-driver’s fault, however he has not been given the official report and could not offer more details. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Emergency workers respond to a truck fire June 18 on northbound Interstate 57 near mile marker 8. The truck caught fire as result of an accident involving one Mounds police officer and state trooper Kent Ray. Pulaski County sheriff Randy Kern said around 4 p.m. June 18, Ray was being supported by a Mounds K-9 unit as he picked up debris from a blown semi-truck tire when a big rig collided with the Mounds K-9 Unit car. After the truck rear-ended the Mounds officer, it hit Ray as he was standing in the road. Kern said both Ray and the Mounds officer were released from St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Ray may have a broken foot and the Mounds officer has whiplash. Kern said the officer who performed the reconstruction of the scene has deemed it to be the truck-driver’s fault, however he has not been given the official report and could not offer more details. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Council makes quorum

It was a full house June 25 when the Cairo City Council met for the first time in a month.

All councilpersons were in attendance and mayor Tyrone Coleman, who has been out of the office for nearly four weeks for medical reasons, led the meeting. Perhaps the most notable attendee, however, was Linda Jackson who, despite poor health, came in person to the meeting. Jackson usually attends via telephone and therefore cannot be counted towards quorum. Jackson said she decided to attend in person to ensure there was a quorum.

“I was do or die to get down here so we could get some business done,” Jackson said.

There was a lot business to get caught up on. The agenda consisted of items dating back nearly six weeks and first on the list was to decide how much to pay Cairo Emergency Manager Phillip Matthews. The Council voted 4-3 with mayor Coleman breaking the tie, to assign to the position a yearly salary of $2,400 to be paid monthly in $200 increments. Councilpersons Thomas Simspon, Jackson and Richard Pitcher voted against the motion. Jackson voted yes on a previous motion that would have paid a yearly salary of $1,200 and said they city could not afford the position to begin with but because it was created, some compensation should be established.

In a vote of 4-3 with Coleman weighing in, the Council approved a motion to establish of a licensing fee of $25 for video gambling machines registered in the City.  In discussion Philip Hodges said he thought the amount was too low. City clerk Lori Hesselrode noted it was the maximum they were allowed to charge by law. Simpson voted against the motion and Lorenzo Nelson passed. The Council also voted to approve the application form for gaming machines, however for this motion, Purchase voted yes, providing enough votes in favor that the mayor did not have to cast a vote.

The council also approved to release $5,000 for street maintenance near 20th St. and to rezone lots 19 and 20 as well as block 44 from multi-family to business at the request of property owners Jack and John Guetterman.

During his remarks, Coleman requested each department head draft and turn in to him department procedures detailing work to be completed and a chain of command. He said there is a lot of time not being managed and a lot of work not being done. Coleman said he wants accountability for each department and he said the documents he is requesting will help bring this. Coleman said once these are drafted they will be presented to the Council.

Nelson approached the Council about a community member who wishes to make a donation of two basketball hoops to be placed in one of the tennis courts in St. Mary’s Park. It was decided the quality of the donated equipment should be determined before committing to installation.

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

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

Pilots take two

The Cairo Pilots baseball team won a double header April 30 against Agape Christian.

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

 

Family, friends celebrate life of Sandra Farris

The family of Sandra Farris laid her to rest May 1 at Jones Funeral Home.

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

Packing up the polls

On April 9, the polls opened for the Consolidated Election.

Barbara B. Johnson, left, Tyrus Davis, middle, and Vernon Stubblefield finish packing up the third ward polling location April 9 at the Alexander County Courthouse in Cairo. Many of the polling places throughout the county had a slow day, one not even seeing its first voter until after noon. Stubblefield said in 13 hours of being open, Ward 3 had 30 voters. In all 660 people in Alexander County went out to vote. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Barbara B. Johnson, left, Tyrus Davis, middle, and Vernon Stubblefield finish packing up the third ward polling location April 9 at the Alexander County Courthouse in Cairo. Many of the polling places throughout the county had a slow day, one not even seeing its first voter until after noon. Stubblefield said in 13 hours of being open, Ward 3 had 30 voters. In all 660 people in Alexander County went out to vote. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Longtime board member steps down

County commissioner Chalen Tatum, left, and Board chairman Harold McNelly, middle, share a joke with Rollie Matlock March 29 after Matlock formally announced his resignation from the County Board. | Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
County commissioner Chalen Tatum, left, and Board chairman Harold McNelly, middle, share a joke with Rollie Matlock March 29 after Matlock formally announced his resignation from the County Board. | Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

During a special meeting of the Alexander County Board March 29, 23-year member Rollie Matlock announced his retirement.

During the meeting Matlock formally presented his letter of resignation. The boilerplate letter was brief.

“Please be advised that after careful thought and consideration I am resigning my position on the Alexander Board of Commissioners effective March 31, 2013,” Matlock wrote.

Alexander County state’s attorney Jeff Farris attended the meeting and guided the Board through the proper steps of accepting the resignation. Farris said they would need to promptly contact the two major political parties to notify them of the vacancy so they could present a candidate to the board to fill Matlock’s seat.

Farris came with letters to both parties he had prepared prior to the meeting and with the Board’s approval said he would mail them.

Farris said because there is less than 28 months left in the term, Board chairman Harold McNelly would be able to appoint Matlock’s successor.

McNelly said he is close to Matlock and will miss having him on the board. He said though he came from a simple background, Matlock is a strong thinker. McNelly said part of the reason Matlock stepped down was because of his difficulty speaking. However, he said when he did speak his point was always heard.

“When he did say something, everybody listened,” McNelly said.

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

The Week in Photos: March 28, 2013

The visual report from the week of March 28, 2013

Clinton Pecord looks at floodwaters March 25 on the back of his property in Cache. Pecord lives a few hundred yards from the house he grew up in and said flooding has been something he has dealt with all of his life. However the flooding in 2011 was the highest he has seen on the property. He said even though the flood was difficult, he is not sure he will accept a buyout. “It really depends on what kind of offer they give us,” Pecord said.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Clinton Pecord looks at floodwaters March 25 on the back of his property in Cache. Pecord lives a few hundred yards from the house he grew up in and said flooding has been something he has dealt with all of his life. However the flooding in 2011 was the highest he has seen on the property. He said even though the flood was difficult, he is not sure he will accept a buyout. “It really depends on what kind of offer they give us,” Pecord said.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
O.J. Taake, right, finishes cutting Morgan Laird’s hair March 22 in his barber shop in Olmsted. 84-year-old Taake said he has been barbering for the last 49 years, 44 of those years in that same shop in Olmsted. Taake said he took up barbering at age 35 after he had quit farming. A highlight of his job Taake said is talking to all kinds of people. His shop is only open three days but he said it keeps him plenty busy. “For a retired person now it makes a pretty good pastime,” he said. Taake recently shortened his hours from opening at 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. and said  it was because of his age. “The more birthdays I had it got harder to stay here that many hours,” Taake said. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
O.J. Taake, right, finishes cutting Morgan Laird’s hair March 22 in his barber shop in Olmsted. 84-year-old Taake said he has been barbering for the last 49 years, 44 of those years in that same shop in Olmsted. Taake said he took up barbering at age 35 after he had quit farming. A highlight of his job Taake said is talking to all kinds of people. His shop is only open three days but he said it keeps him plenty busy. “For a retired person now it makes a pretty good pastime,” he said. Taake recently shortened his hours from opening at 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. and said it was because of his age. “The more birthdays I had it got harder to stay here that many hours,” Taake said. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Senior Egyptian guard Devante Price puts up a shot Jan. 25 during a home game against Meridian.  Price‘s team won the first round of the All Star Game at John A. Logan. Price also took first in the  in the tournament’s dunk contest. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Senior Egyptian guard Devante Price puts up a shot Jan. 25 during a home game against Meridian. Price‘s team won the first round of the All Star Game at John A. Logan. Price also took first in the in the tournament’s dunk contest. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen