Mural celebrates African American history in Pulaski County

SIU art professor, Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, discusses his progress on the mural of African Americans in Pulaski County June 21 in Pulaski. He allowed community members, mostly children, to help paint portions of the mural. Once the mural is complete, it will be in front of the Pulaski Community Building. --Lindsey Vaughn | The Cairo Citizen
SIU art professor, Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, discusses his progress on the mural of African Americans in Pulaski County June 21 in Pulaski. He allowed community members, mostly children, to help paint portions of the mural. Once the mural is complete, it will be in front of the Pulaski Community Building. –Lindsey Vaughn | The Cairo Citizen

Najjar Abdul-Musawwir is almost finished with a mural to honor African Americans contribution to Pulaski County.

Abdul-Musawwir, an art professor at SIU, and his daughter began the project by collecting information from residents of Pulaski.

Once he collected some history and old pictures, he began sketching out the mural.

“I’m fascinated in the history of Pulaski…it is a sad and romantic feeling to me,” said Abdul-Musawwir.

Included in the mural is the Pulaski depot, the first African American postal worker, two women who began the grocery store and other buildings from the 1980’s.

The mural will be on display in front of the Pulaski Community Building where both the front and back sides will be exposed. Abdul-Musawwir decided to make the back of the mural a quilt pattern along with positive words, like love, faith and happiness.

Most of the mural was complete before his visit, save some colors on the mural and the quilted back. Abdul-Musawwir asked community members from Pulaski to come to help finish the mural. Several children decorated the quilted back while older kids helped fill in the colors on the front.

Legacy training, the Pulaski community and SIU helped sponsor and support Abdul-Musawwir in the painting of the mural.

– Lindsey Vaughn can be reached at (618)-734-4242

The Week in Photos: June 6, 2013

The visual report from the week of June 6, 2013.

 Michael Barta, music instructor at SIU, warms up June 3 before performing at the Cairo Library during the Southern Illinois Music Festival. Barta performed with three other musicians part of Beethoven’s Op. 131, a piece Barta said many ensembles do not attempt because of its length and difficulty. To perform the piece in its entirety, the musicians would play through seven movements with no breaks. Barta likened it to a mountain climber scaling Mount Everest. The performance was part of a program highlighting classical composers whose names begin with the letter B. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Michael Barta, music instructor at SIU, warms up June 3 before performing at the Cairo Library during the Southern Illinois Music Festival. Barta performed with three other musicians part of Beethoven’s Op. 131, a piece Barta said many ensembles do not attempt because of its length and difficulty. To perform the piece in its entirety, the musicians would play through seven movements with no breaks. Barta likened it to a mountain climber scaling Mount Everest. The performance was part of a program highlighting classical composers whose names begin with the letter B. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Eight-year-old Letrevion Lynch looks through a handful of mud in hopes of finding a crawfish June 1 on Washington Ave in Cairo. Lynch rode his bike through floodwaters looking for crawfish after heavy rains caused portions of the city to flood. Lynch later abandoned fishing and decided to play in the water instead. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Eight-year-old Letrevion Lynch looks through a handful of mud in hopes of finding a crawfish June 1 on Washington Ave in Cairo. Lynch rode his bike through floodwaters looking for crawfish after heavy rains caused portions of the city to flood. Lynch later abandoned fishing and decided to play in the water instead. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Eight-year-old Issac Turner, left, of Thebes, eats lunch June 3 with his friend, Anthony Henderson, 8, of East Cape at the Olive Branch Community Center in Olive Branch. The two ate lunch as part of the free meal program from the Olive Branch Area Community Development Corporation. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Eight-year-old Issac Turner, left, of Thebes, eats lunch June 3 with his friend, Anthony Henderson, 8, of East Cape at the Olive Branch Community Center in Olive Branch. The two ate lunch as part of the free meal program from the Olive Branch Area Community Development Corporation. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Jaron Willis, of Pulaski, tends to a lettuce field May 30 at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski. Willis, one of farm co-owner Jerry Pat Thurston’s most trusted employees, has worked for the Thurstons for the last four years. He comes most mornings at 7 a.m. to feed the hogs, chickens and goats on the farm. The vegetables, eggs and meat harvested from Spring Valley Farm are sold up the road at Thurston’s grocery store, The Old General Store. For more photos and a video about Spring Valley. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Jaron Willis, of Pulaski, tends to a lettuce field May 30 at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski. Willis, one of farm co-owner Jerry Pat Thurston’s most trusted employees, has worked for the Thurstons for the last four years. He comes most mornings at 7 a.m. to feed the hogs, chickens and goats on the farm. The vegetables, eggs and meat harvested from Spring Valley Farm are sold up the road at Thurston’s grocery store, The Old General Store. For more photos and a video about Spring Valley. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Right to left, farm foreman, Josh Provo, Gus Corbroth, Ozell Jones and James Hale fill a truck with collard greens May 16 at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski. The 30 acre portion of the farm dedicated to vegetables sits on the original 120 acre lot, which Jerry Pat Thurston’s great-grandfather purchased in 1911. Since then, the farm has grown nearly 10 times that size. The vegetables grown on the farm are shipped to local markets as well as sold in Thurston’s own grocery store in Pulaski. Thurston, said local vegetables are often fresher than those shipped from out of state. “There are a lot of vegetables that we can raise right here in this area that are currently being brought in from either Calif. or Fla.,” he said.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Right to left, farm foreman, Josh Provo, Gus Corbroth, Ozell Jones and James Hale fill a truck with collard greens May 16 at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski. The 30 acre portion of the farm dedicated to vegetables sits on the original 120 acre lot, which Jerry Pat Thurston’s great-grandfather purchased in 1911. Since then, the farm has grown nearly 10 times that size. The vegetables grown on the farm are shipped to local markets as well as sold in Thurston’s own grocery store in Pulaski. Thurston, said local vegetables are often fresher than those shipped from out of state. “There are a lot of vegetables that we can raise right here in this area that are currently being brought in from either Calif. or Fla.,” he said.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
James Hale takes a breather June 6 between pruning tomato plants at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski.
James Hale takes a breather June 6 between pruning tomato plants at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski.
A farm worker bunches collard greens May 16 in the packing barn at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
A farm worker bunches collard greens May 16 in the packing barn at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Tomatoes ripen on the vine in a high tunnel at Spring Valley Farm. Farm co-owner, Jerry Pat Thurston said the 102-year-old farm planted vegetables for the first time in nearly 20 years in 2009. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Tomatoes ripen on the vine in a high tunnel at Spring Valley Farm. Farm co-owner, Jerry Pat Thurston said the 102-year-old farm planted vegetables for the first time in nearly 20 years in 2009. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Andrew Thurston, 17, takes a break between hammering down steaks in a row of pepper plants May 31 at his father’s farm in Pulaski. Thurston, who just graduated from Meridian High School, said he plans on going to SIU for agricultural business and wants to return to someday run his family’s farm. “It’s already got 100 years under its belt, I might as well add another hundred under it,” he said. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Andrew Thurston, 17, takes a break between hammering down steaks in a row of pepper plants May 31 at his father’s farm in Pulaski. Thurston, who just graduated from Meridian High School, said he plans on going to SIU for agricultural business and wants to return to someday run his family’s farm. “It’s already got 100 years under its belt, I might as well add another hundred under it,” he said. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Customers leave the Old General Store May 30 in Pulaski. The store started as a way for Jerry Pat Thurston to sell the vegetables his farm was growing. Though he said it was never their intent to own a grocery store,The Old General Store has since morphed into a full service grocery store with an emphasis on locally grown meats and vegetables.  -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Customers leave the Old General Store May 30 in Pulaski. The store started as a way for Jerry Pat Thurston to sell the vegetables his farm was growing. Though he said it was never their intent to own a grocery store,The Old General Store has since morphed into a full service grocery store with an emphasis on locally grown meats and vegetables. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 

A Legacy in the Land

Jerry Pat Thurston is the third generation to run his family’s centennial farm in Pulaski, Illinois and he is working to keep it relevant in the modern market, as well as to maintain the legacy his ancestors have built.

 

A legacy in the land

Jaron Willis, of Pulaski, tends to a lettuce field May 30 at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski. Willis, one of farm co-owner Jerry Pat Thurston’s most trusted employees, has worked for the Thurstons for the last four years. He comes most mornings at 7 a.m. to feed the hogs, chickens and goats on the farm. The vegetables, eggs and meat harvested from Spring Valley Farm are sold up the road at Thurston’s grocery store, The Old General Store. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Jaron Willis, of Pulaski, tends to a lettuce field May 30 at Spring Valley Farm in Pulaski. Willis, one of farm co-owner Jerry Pat Thurston’s most trusted employees, has worked for the Thurstons for the last four years. He comes most mornings at 7 a.m. to feed the hogs, chickens and goats on the farm. The vegetables, eggs and meat harvested from Spring Valley Farm are sold up the road at Thurston’s grocery store, The Old General Store. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Located less than five miles outside of Pulaski, Spring Valley Farm, Jerry Pat Thurston’s family farm is nestled between patches of woodland and has fields stretching to the horizon. On the property is the original homestead his great-grandparents moved into when they purchased the original 120 acre lot in 1911 and in front of the house is the quintessential red barn and clean, pink pig roaming the barnyard. In the quiet of the morning the place feels idyllic.

“This is my favorite place in the world,” Jerry Pat said.

Since the original purchase 102 years ago, Jerry Pat Thurston and his father, Jerry Thurston, have grown the farm to more than 1000 farmed acres. However, the 30 acres of vegetables are still on the original plot of land.

While vegetables may not be the bulk of what is farmed, it is one of Jerry Pat’s favorite things to grow.

“Vegetables were something I always really enjoyed doing,” he said. However, until four years ago, the Thurston farm had not had any vegetables for nearly twenty years. It was only when Jerry Pat saw the growing interest in local food that he decided to start growing produce again. This decision also lined up with his ethos of supporting local farmers.

“I always have seen a value in it and I think it is good that the consumers are starting to look for that now,” he said.

Thurston said his vegetable farm is directly influenced by the garden his grandmother grew, which Thurston still plants in the same plot in front the house at the farm, though no one lives in it anymore. He said he is always reminded of the legacy he has been left and is constantly working to maintain it.

“It is … a challenge that you do justice to the history of the farm and the family that put in a lot of hard work before you,” he said.

While it may seem the Thurstons would be pushing their luck to think the farm will be around another generation, there is hope that it will see another centennial. Jerry Pat’s 17-year-old son, Andrew Thurston, has plans of continuing his family’s tradition after he finishes college.

“It’s already got 100 years under its belt, I might as well add another hundred under it,” Andrew said.

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

 

The Week In Photos: March 14, 2013

The visual report from the week of March 14, 2013.

Cairo head baseball coach Allan Pearman gives a talk to his players March 8 after practice at Cairo High School. The Pilots will play their first game of the season march 14 against the Egyptian Pharaohs. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo head baseball coach Allan Pearman gives a talk to his players March 8 after practice at Cairo High School. The Pilots will play their first game of the season march 14 against the Egyptian Pharaohs. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
A Chester’s Chicken employee, middle, tells anxious customers it would only be a few moments before Chester’s Chicken would open for the first time March 8 in Cairo. Chester’s manager Melissa Palmer said business was booming the first day. She said there was a line out the door for most of business. Chester’s Chicken is the third business Zach Short of Anna has opened in Cairo.  Short also has Blue Fish General Store slated to open in the coming weeks. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
A Chester’s Chicken employee, middle, tells anxious customers it would only be a few moments before Chester’s Chicken would open for the first time March 8 in Cairo. Chester’s manager Melissa Palmer said business was booming the first day. She said there was a line out the door for most of business. Chester’s Chicken is the third business Zach Short of Anna has opened in Cairo. Short also has Blue Fish General Store slated to open in the coming weeks. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

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From top to bottom:  Jeremiah Hale collects, washes and dries  eggs March 11 at his home in McClure. Hale and his grandfather, James Williams, raise a flock of four hens and two roosters, though the two hope to grow their operation by 20 birds in the not-too-distant future. Hale and his grandfather put a sign up advertising eggs for sale. Since they got the birds late last year, Hale said he has sold between five and six dozen and  has gotten to keep all the profits. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
From top to bottom: Jeremiah Hale collects, washes and dries eggs March 11 at his home in McClure. Hale and his grandfather, James Williams, raise a flock of four hens and two roosters, though the two hope to grow their operation by 20 birds in the not-too-distant future. Hale and his grandfather put a sign up advertising eggs for sale. Since they got the birds late last year, Hale said he has sold between five and six dozen and has gotten to keep all the profits. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Spring baseball preview

Cairo head baseball coach Allan Pearman gives a talk to his players March 8 after practice at Cairo High School. The Pilots will play their first game of the season march 14 against the Egyptian Pharaohs. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo head baseball coach Allan Pearman gives a talk to his players March 8 after practice at Cairo High School. The Pilots will play their first game of the season march 14 against the Egyptian Pharaohs. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Cairo

-Conference: Independent

-Head Coach: Allen Pearman

-Assistant Coach: Julian Watkins

-Last Year Spring Record: 3-16

Returning Starters from Last Spring:  Devante Johnson, Raquan Nelson, Bryce Gardner, Josh Jordan, Les Williams, Devin Menz, Lavonte Merrit

Cairo Head Coach Allen Pearman and assistant coach Julian Watkins said they are expecting a lot of good things from their squad this season.  Cairo has seven returning starters on this year’s team and four seniors.  With the amount of underclassmen that the Pilots have, they will be able to gain valuable experience going forward.

The Pilots have six pitchers on their roster which will help in a season with more than 25 games.

“This is the most athletic team I’ve ever coached.” Pearman said. Pearman is also very pleased with his 1st year assistant Julian Watkins.

“It will be fun to work with him,” Pearman said.

The Pilots first home game is March. 18 against Eagle Ridge Christian School.  Cairo did not play fall baseball.

Century

-Conference: SEC

-Head Coach: Garret Wilson

-Assistant Coach: Richard Jones

-Last Year Fall Record: 10-4

Returning Starters from Last Fall: Brandon Jackson, Cordon Hight, Brad Wilson, Aaron Jones, Caden Hight, Collin Jones, Blake Crane, Adam Jones, Zach Sauerbrunn, Jeff Wright

Century has only two seniors on the roster: Brandon Jackson and Cordon Hight.  Coach Garret Wilson said the core of his team is the junior high team that won state a few years ago.

Even with two seniors, Century is not an inexperienced team.

Century has several pitchers which will help when playing around 30 games this season.

When Senior Cordon Hight was asked about his team he said his team has what it takes to do well this season.

“We have all the tools to win a regional and this could be our year,” he said.

Century’s first home game is March. 15 against Massac County.

Egyptian

-Conference: SEC
-Head Coach: Elmo Venson
The Pharaohs first home game is March. 14 against the Cairo Pilots.

Meridian

Conference: SEC

-Head Coach: Mike Hileman

-Assistant Coach: Greg Harris

Last Year Spring Record: 13-10

Returning Starters

The Meridian Bobcats return with eight seniors from a team that made the Regional Championship last spring.  Seniors Tyler Hileman and Blaine Crow each made the all-conference team.  Head Coach Mike Hileman said they have the toughest regional in Southern Illinois.

“Any five teams could win the regional,” coach said.

The key idea to senior Jammerio Moore is dedication.

“We have to come on the field each and every day ready to play,” Moore said.

Meridian will start their season March. 14 against the Gallatin County Hawks.

– Tyler Dixon can be reached at (618)-734-4242

The Week In Photos: January 3, 2012

The visual report for the week of January 3, 2012

Arbery Agnew finishes shoveling the sidewalk in front of his house Dec. 27 in Cairo. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Alexander County received 8 in. of snow from the system that moved through the area Christmas night. Agnew said he does not mind the snow so long as he does not have to shovel too much of it. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Arbery Agnew finishes shoveling the sidewalk in front of his house Dec. 27 in Cairo. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Alexander County received 8 in. of snow from the system that moved through the area Christmas night. Agnew said he does not mind the snow so long as he does not have to shovel too much of it. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Delaney Potts, 7, left, is pulled on a sled behind her father Joseph Potts Dec. 27 in Urbandale. Delaney, of Houston Tx., had never seen snow until this Christmas when her family came to visit her grandfather Ed Potts for the holidays. Her father said she made the most out of the experience while she could going sledding on the levee, throwing snowballs and building snow forts. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Delaney Potts, 7, left, is pulled on a sled behind her father Joseph Potts Dec. 27 in Urbandale. Delaney, of Houston Tx., had never seen snow until this Christmas when her family came to visit her grandfather Ed Potts for the holidays. Her father said she made the most out of the experience while she could going sledding on the levee, throwing snowballs and building snow forts. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Delaney Potts, 7, of Houston Tx., builds her first snow fort Dec. 27 in Urbandale. Potts caught her first glimpse of snow while visiting her grandfather, Ed Potts, over the Christmas holiday. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Delaney Potts, 7, of Houston Tx., builds her first snow fort Dec. 27 in Urbandale. Potts caught her first glimpse of snow while visiting her grandfather, Ed Potts, over the Christmas holiday. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

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Nanny White, 95, left, is assisted by Patina Atherton in exeresis to strengthen her arms Dec. 31 at Daystar Care Center in Cairo. White, who came to the facility in July as a permanent patient, receives occupational therapy three times a week.  She said she enjoys coming to therapy because it loosens her up. Atherton said she works with White primarily on improving her upper-body strength. “I’m a lot better than I was,” White said referring to her strength. She said her health took a hit after she fell in recent months, though she said she was lucky to not have broken any bones. Atherton said watching her patients improve is why she loves her job. “It’s a joy getting to see people regain their independence,” she said. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Nanny White, 95, left, is assisted by Patina Atherton in exeresis to strengthen her arms Dec. 31 at Daystar Care Center in Cairo. White, who came to the facility in July as a permanent patient, receives occupational therapy three times a week. She said she enjoys coming to therapy because it loosens her up. Atherton said she works with White primarily on improving her upper-body strength. “I’m a lot better than I was,” White said referring to her strength. She said her health took a hit after she fell in recent months, though she said she was lucky to not have broken any bones. Atherton said watching her patients improve is why she loves her job. “It’s a joy getting to see people regain their independence,” she said. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Snow coats trees Dec. 27 near Pulaski. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Alexander and Pulaski Counties have received between 9 and 10 inches of snow since Dec. 25. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Snow coats trees Dec. 27 near Pulaski. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Alexander and Pulaski Counties have received between 9 and 10 inches of snow since Dec. 25. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 

2012: The Year In Photos

This week we are taking a look at photographs that made the news in 2012.

Feature and Human Interest

Keyonte Anderson, 14, left, puts up a shot against Chris Anderson, 13, right, July 9 on 17th Street in Cairo. Keyonte said he and his friend were happy about the cooler temperatures because it means they will get to play more basketball. He said they were only able to get out and play 3 times while the temperatures were so hot. .– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Mayor Tyrone Coleman, left, and Bishop Derek Eurales, right, listen to the eulogy delivered by Pastor Eddie Pierce for Ollie Lee during her funeral Aug. 11 at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Cairo. The church was packed with family and friends, all there to celebrate the life of Lee. With selected hymns sung by Larry Baldwin and the Oliver family as well as the general upbeat nature of the service, the event resembled more of a celebration than a somber funeral. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Emily Travis, right, of Belknap, and Clare Bunyan, cut up with fellow pageant girls Aug. 9 before taking the stage to compete in the second round of the Miss Southern Illinois Electric Co-op annual beauty pageant at Shawnee Community College. After both swimsuit and evening-wear competitions, the judges awarded Travis the crown.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Elijah Whitaker, 14 months, gets his first haircut Dec. 7 at Trinity Cutz in Mounds. Whitaker howled and cried as barber Macus Davis buzzed off his long hair.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Joe Woodson, middle, movies books through a crowded hallway just after the bell rings Aug. 15 at the Cairo Junior/Senior High School. Woodson said he has worked for the school for the last 17 years. He said he enjoys it because he likes working around people. Woodson has a good relationship with the students. He passes through the halls with a smile and a kind word to the kids. “I respect them, they respect me,” Woodson said.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Rodney Bell prepares to prime a 1976 Monte Carlo Nov. 21 in his garage in Ullin. Bell, who has been painting cars for the last 35 years, said he particularly enjoys working on mid century, American made cars for their originality and quality. “They had muscle and the cars lasted,” he said.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo citizen

Left to right, Tysi Posey- Howard, Victor Posey and Duane Posey perform gospel songs Oct. 6 during the Toll House Jam fundraiser at Fort Defiance Park in Cairo. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

From left to right, Harley Showalter, Sr., Harley Showalter Jr. and Frankie Temke, rush to get Showater Jr.’s car ready for the final heat during the Aug. 17 Pulaski County Fair demolition derby in Pulaski. Showalter Jr. is a third generation derbier. Despite his efforts, Showalter’s vehicle did not make it to the end of either heat he competed in. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Eddie Barfield, right, and his son Jayce Barfield, 12, both of Collinsville, leave the woods Nov. 17 near Unity. The two left the hunt because Jayce Barfield, who was on his first deer hunting trip, had gotten his fill of the cold. Eddie Barfield said he has been hunting those same woods for decades and enjoyed being out with his youngest son, pointing out different wildlife sounds. He said hunting is a good history lesson. “It gives better perspective on how men used to live,” Eddie Barfield said. November 16 marked the opening of shotgun season for deer in Ill. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Nathan Kaufman, 7, right, and his brother Caleb, 11, both of Buncombe sell a dead raccoon Dec. 12 at McClellan Fur Company in Pulaski. This trapping season is the second Nathan and Caleb have participated in. Their father, Jay Kaufman, said whatever money the family gets from selling pelts, the boys split down the middle. For two days of trapping, the brothers each were paid $43. Stanley McClellan, owner of the Fur Company, said hunting and trapping is traditionally a family activity. He often has families come in to sell furs. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Nathan Kaufman, 7, right, and his brother Caleb, 11, both of Buncombe sell a dead raccoon Dec. 12 at McClellan Fur Company in Pulaski. This trapping season is the second Nathan and Caleb have participated in. Their father, Jay Kaufman, said whatever money the family gets from selling pelts, the boys split down the middle. For two days of trapping, the brothers each were paid $43. Stanley McClellan, owner of the Fur Company, said hunting and trapping is traditionally a family activity. He often has families come in to sell furs. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Gus Colbroth, of mounds, takes a cigarette break Dec. 12 while working for Spring Valley Farms in Pulaski. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Nina Ellis, right, is congratulated by friends and family Nov. 24 after winning the Unheard Gospel Voices competition held in Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Cairo. “I haven’t ever won anything before in my life,” Ellis said after she was awarded the $1,000 cash prize. Ellis, 34, said she grew up singing and was unsure about her abilities going into the contest. Normally not an outgoing person, Ellis said she was drawn out by her friend, and competition organizer Yolanda Wilkins The event, lasted for nearly 60 days and drew talent from around the local area. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Nina Ellis, right, is congratulated by friends and family Nov. 24 after winning the Unheard Gospel Voices competition held in Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Cairo. “I haven’t ever won anything before in my life,” Ellis said after she was awarded the $1,000 cash prize. Ellis, 34, said she grew up singing and was unsure about her abilities going into the contest. Normally not an outgoing person, Ellis said she was drawn out by her friend, and competition organizer Yolanda Wilkins The event, lasted for nearly 60 days and drew talent from around the local area. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

News

Kenneth Taake inspects an ear of corn from one of his farm fields July 13 near his home in Ullin. Taake said he thought only 25-30% of his corn crop would yield and that he would have to file a claim with his crop insurance. Taake said because of the triple digit temperatures, the corn was stressed during pollination and were only 10-20% developed. Taake said he was still hopeful for his soybean crop, however. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Kenneth Taake inspects an ear of corn from one of his farm fields July 13 near his home in Ullin. Taake said he thought only 25-30% of his corn crop would yield and that he would have to file a claim with his crop insurance. Taake said because of the triple digit temperatures, the corn was stressed during pollination and were only 10-20% developed. Taake said he was still hopeful for his soybean crop, however. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Marty Nicholson, left, gives instructions to a line of Cairo residents waiting to get water behind city hall Oct. 14 after the city lost water service. The evening of Oct. 13 Illinois American Water noticed a drop in water pressure in Cairo and asked residents to conserve water and by the 14th, the city had lost water pressure almost entirely. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Marty Nicholson, left, gives instructions to a line of Cairo residents waiting to get water behind city hall Oct. 14 after the city lost water service. The evening of Oct. 13 Illinois American Water noticed a drop in water pressure in Cairo and asked residents to conserve water and by the 14th, the city had lost water pressure almost entirely. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Allen Cruthird, right, follows Cairo fire chief John Meyer into a burned building Oct. 29 on the corner of Poplar and 32 St. in Cairo. Meyer said the fire, which started the night before, continued to smolder because the roof collapsed, leaving several layers of shingles between the fire itself and the water being used to put it out. After an investigation by the state fire marshal’s office, the cause of the fire was determined to be arson. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Cruthird, right, follows Cairo fire chief John Meyer into a burned building Oct. 29 on the corner of Poplar and 32 St. in Cairo. Meyer said the fire, which started the night before, continued to smolder because the roof collapsed, leaving several layers of shingles between the fire itself and the water being used to put it out. After an investigation by the state fire marshal’s office, the cause of the fire was determined to be arson. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Jabarrie Rice, son of Tim Rice, who was murdered Nov. 10, plays with a balloon Nov. 12 from his father’s memorial service in McBride Place. Rice’s mother, Jeannifer Giden, said her son is too young to fully grasp what happened to his father. As of press time, the case was still under investigation -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Jabarrie Rice, son of Tim Rice, who was murdered Nov. 10, plays with a balloon Nov. 12 from his father’s memorial service in McBride Place. Rice’s mother, Jeannifer Giden, said her son is too young to fully grasp what happened to his father. As of press time, the case was still under investigation — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Jesse Russell, left, of America, Leonard Johnson, center, of Mounds City, and Artie Dickerson of Mounds City, wait for election results Nov. 6 at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Mounds City. Russell wandered around the courthouse for hours waiting to see if his dad, Monte Russell, would be reelected as County Commissioner. When the votes were tallied, Monte Russell won with 1,668 votes cast in his favor. – Lynnette Oostmeyer | The Cairo Citizen
Jesse Russell, left, of America, Leonard Johnson, center, of Mounds City, and Artie Dickerson of Mounds City, wait for election results Nov. 6 at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Mounds City. Russell wandered around the courthouse for hours waiting to see if his dad, Monte Russell, would be reelected as County Commissioner. When the votes were tallied, Monte Russell won with 1,668 votes cast in his favor. – Lynnette Oostmeyer | The Cairo Citizen

William "Buchie" Bingham waits to be sworn in for the second time as Alexander County Coroner Dec. 3 at the Alexander County Courthouse in Cairo.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
William “Buchie” Bingham waits to be sworn in for the second time as Alexander County Coroner Dec. 3 at the Alexander County Courthouse in Cairo.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Lawanda Harris, right, owner of G &L Shoe Emporium, rings up her first customer, Mayor Tyrone Coleman, Aug. 31 during the store’s grand opening in Cairo. Coleman said he spotted a tie, which came in a color he had been searching for, for months. Coleman said it is great that the citizens of Cairo will not have to always travel out of town to buy clothes or shoes. “It’s a good day,” Coleman said. “We don’t have businesses opening too often.” – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Lawanda Harris, right, owner of G &L Shoe Emporium, rings up her first customer, Mayor Tyrone Coleman, Aug. 31 during the store’s grand opening in Cairo. Coleman said he spotted a tie, which came in a color he had been searching for, for months. Coleman said it is great that the citizens of Cairo will not have to always travel out of town to buy clothes or shoes. “It’s a good day,” Coleman said. “We don’t have businesses opening too often.” – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Jackie Jones, right, gets help shampooing her first customer from Kylie Graham, left Oct. 31 on after Jones’ grand opening for her beauty salon, Razor Sharp. Jones said she has wanted to cut hair since she was young when she remembers going to her mother’s beauty shop. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Jackie Jones, right, gets help shampooing her first customer from Kylie Graham, left Oct. 31 on after Jones’ grand opening for her beauty salon, Razor Sharp. Jones said she has wanted to cut hair since she was young when she remembers going to her mother’s beauty shop. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Davis Flood, left and Darren Nauce work to put up doors Dec. 3 outside the old Piggly Wiggly in Cairo. The shopping center will soon be transformed into a Subway, Chester’s Chicken and Blue Fish General Store which could bring as many as 25 jobs to the city. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Davis Flood, left and Darren Nauce work to put up doors Dec. 3 outside the old Piggly Wiggly in Cairo. The shopping center will soon be transformed into a Subway, Chester’s Chicken and Blue Fish General Store which could bring as many as 25 jobs to the city. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Sherry Windings, president of the Ladies Auxiliary for the American Legion in Villa Ridge, places a holiday wreath on her husbands grave Dec. 15 at the Mound City National Cemetery after the annual Wreaths Across America service. Windings also brought a wreath for her brother, who died nearly a year after her husband in 2011. She said she feels the ceremony is important for honoring those who have served in the military. “I think they need to be honored in this kind of way,” Windings said. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Sherry Windings, president of the Ladies Auxiliary for the American Legion in Villa Ridge, places a holiday wreath on her husbands grave Dec. 15 at the Mound City National Cemetery after the annual Wreaths Across America service. Windings also brought a wreath for her brother, who died nearly a year after her husband in 2011. She said she feels the ceremony is important for honoring those who have served in the military. “I think they need to be honored in this kind of way,” Windings said. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Sports

Brian Brandtner watches the junior high school basketball team run sprints during practice Sept. 24 in the Cairo Junior / Senior High School gymnasium. Brandtner was hired as the new Cairo High School basketball Coach during the Cairo School Board meeting Sept. 20. Though he stepped down as the junior high coach, he stayed on until the board hired Bernard Brown to replace him as coach for the team. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Brian Brandtner watches the junior high school basketball team run sprints during practice Sept. 24 in the Cairo Junior / Senior High School gymnasium. Brandtner was hired as the new Cairo High School basketball Coach during the Cairo School Board meeting Sept. 20. Though he stepped down as the junior high coach, he stayed on until the board hired Bernard Brown to replace him as coach for the team. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Daneesha Carthell drives past Meridian’s defense Dec. 17 during the Egyptian home loss against the Meridian Lady Bobkits. The varsity  Lady Falcons  fell to the Bobkits with a final score of 39-10. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Daneesha Carthell drives past Meridian’s defense Dec. 17 during the Egyptian home loss against the Meridian Lady Bobkits. The varsity Lady Falcons fell to the Bobkits with a final score of 39-10. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Allen Cruthird, left, and assistant coach Brian Brantner, right help Jahmei Salley gear up to take the plate Aug. 22 during the Junior Pilots' game against the Jonesboro Bulldogs.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Allen Cruthird, left, and assistant coach Brian Brantner, right help Jahmei Salley gear up to take the plate Aug. 22 during the Junior Pilots’ game against the Jonesboro Bulldogs.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Meridian Bobkits head coach Robert Andrews, left, give a pep talk at halftime Nov. 9 during the 8th grade away game against the Anna Indians. The team secured a win over the Indians with a final score of 40-38. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian Bobkits head coach Robert Andrews, left, give a pep talk at halftime Nov. 9 during the 8th grade away game against the Anna Indians. The team secured a win over the Indians with a final score of 40-38. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Sophomore Koree Simelton prepares to serve during the Pilot’s Sept. 17 away game against the Trinity Falcons at the old Carbondale High School. Simelton said she is very excited about volleyball now being offered at the high school level. She said she has always wanted to play.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Sophomore Koree Simelton prepares to serve during the Pilot’s Sept. 17 away game against the Trinity Falcons at the old Carbondale High School. Simelton said she is very excited about volleyball now being offered at the high school level. She said she has always wanted to play.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 Kim Harris, left, talks with her husband Todd Harris, after his team lost the first finals round during the Cache River Days softball tournament Sept. 9 in Ullin.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Kim Harris, left, talks with her husband Todd Harris, after his team lost the first finals round during the Cache River Days softball tournament Sept. 9 in Ullin.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Chris Nelson, 7th grade, left, protects the ball during the Junior Pilots’ Nov. 1 win against the Jonesboro Bulldogs. The final score of the game was 47-19. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Chris Nelson, 7th grade, left, protects the ball during the Junior Pilots’ Nov. 1 win against the Jonesboro Bulldogs. The final score of the game was 47-19. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Meridian junior baseball assistant coach Curtland Sawyer, left, and Seth Sharp, wait in the dugout before their game against the Dongola Demons Aug. 31.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian junior baseball assistant coach Curtland Sawyer, left, and Seth Sharp, wait in the dugout before their game against the Dongola Demons Aug. 31.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

 

A furry family tradition

Nathan Kaufman, 7, right, and his brother Caleb, 11, both of Buncombe sell a dead raccoon Dec. 12 at McClellan Fur Company in Pulaski. This trapping season is the second Nathan and Caleb have participated in. Their father, Jay Kaufman, said whatever money the family gets from selling pelts, the boys split down the middle. For two days of trapping, the brothers each were paid $43. Stanley McClellan, owner of the Fur Company, said hunting and trapping is traditionally a family activity. He often has families come in to sell furs. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Nathan Kaufman, 7, right, and his brother Caleb, 11, both of Buncombe sell a dead raccoon Dec. 12 at McClellan Fur Company in Pulaski. This trapping season is the second Nathan and Caleb have participated in. Their father, Jay Kaufman, said whatever money the family gets from selling pelts, the boys split down the middle. For two days of trapping, the brothers each were paid $43. Stanley McClellan, owner of the Fur Company, said hunting and trapping is traditionally a family activity. He often has families come in to sell furs. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

Stanley McClellan cannot remember a time when he was not in the fur house.

McClellan, said his father started McCllan Fur Company nearly 60 years ago in Pulaski and he can hardly remember a time when he was not involved. McClellan now runs the business with his son, Clayton.

During hunting and trapping season Stanley and Clayton purchase from hunters animal hides ranging from deer to raccoon and anything else in season. Once the skins have been stretched and dried, Stanley said he often sells them to the garment trade over seas. Of the animals trappers bring in, McClellan said he primarily buys raccoon hides. He said he annually buys an average of them.

Like his family business, McClellan said hunting and trapping is also passed down amongst families.

“It’s something families do and it’s just handed down from generation to generation,” Stanley said.

While there are not as many trappers now as there were when he his father started the Fur Company, Stanley said there has been an upswing for trapping in recent years.

“Prices are a little better than they have been in quite some time, so therefore there’s actually more people in the woods,” he said.

Trapping season for raccoons began Nov. 5 and will end January 20 2013 and Clayton said he anticipates the fur house in Pulaski will remain busy until after the season ends.
— Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242