The Levee Blog archives
Archived Levee Blog for Sept. 21, 2005 - Dec. 31, 2005
June 22, 2006: I'm back. Please send anything you want
posted. Letters to the Editor, photos, recipes, announcements, etc. Sorry for
the long delay in updating. I still have to complete the slideshow of Ms.
Herbert's art exhibit. And WKRO dj, Scott Porche, is ready to get the
Entertainment section shaking:) More later....Carla
April 19, 2006: As many of you know, I have been away for
over a month. I'm trying to get caught up with the updating. If you visit
the different sections of this site, you will find numerous new articles. I still have
the Minutes to add (thanks DeBran) and many documents the residents want posted
online. Most have to do with the Council v. Mayor debate. I will scan and post
them as soon as possible. // I have been working on a large image gallery of
the recent Cairo schools art show. It was a wonderful show. Very impressive.
Ms. Herbert is one of the finest art instructors I've known (and I majored in
Fine Art in college.) The assignments Ms. Herbert requires of her students
are challenging & relate to their other coursework. Ms. Herbert is an asset to
the Cairo school district.// Please visit the Cairo
section, as there are several ads posted.
March 8, 2006: Attorney Michael O'Shea passed away this
morning. He was the acting City Attorney for Cairo. He helped me when I moved
here, refusing to accept a dime and was a big fan of this website. He was
tickled to see Cairo on the WWW. His death is a great loss for Cairo.
March 2, 2006: Message In A Basket is a new flower shop at
617 N. 4th Street, Vienna. Visit their website at
www.messageinabasket.us. // Town &
Country Cleaners announces their opening in Mounds, IL. It's located in the
Jackson Hewitt building at 704 S. Blanche. Hours are 8:00AM - 6:00PM M-F and
9:00AM - 3:00PM on Saturdays. Phone is 745-6100. // A circus is coming to
Cairo at Box Park on April 29! The Cairo Rotary Club is sponsoring it. I'll
have more info for you soon. // On March 9th there will be an Art Show at the
Cairo Community Education Center (former junior high). // Diversified Rehab
in Mounds is having a website built. I'll post the address once it's
up & running.
March 1, 2006: The City Council meeting was disruptive
last night. I may share my notes here, if I have time. A reporter with the
Chicago Tribune was in attendance. // The EPA is here today checking out
the abandoned hospital. // A former CHS asst. basketball coach was charged
with inciting a riot at the Massac County game two years ago. // The dog pound
in Cairo is past capacity. Please consider adopting from the pound. There are
four to a pen and three litters in the center aisle. The only solution I can
think of is to contact the University of Illinois Veterinary School to see
if they could come here twice a year to spay or neuter pets for free.
February 23, 2006: I had a hectic week. Sorry the site hasn't
been updated. I'm working on it now. // The administrators in
the Cairo School District cut the football program. Just what we needed,
one less activity for kids on a Friday night. Read up on it on the
Port of Cairo Message Board.
More on that later. I have to do some updating.
February 17, 2006: Sorry for the slow loading page. Too
many banner ads, due to the Primary coming up. I'll update tomorrow night & get
some images off this page. -- Carla
February 14, 2006: The Cairo City Council
meets tonight at 5:30PM at City Hall. It's Valentine's Day, so expect lots of
February 12, 2006: ELECTION NEWS! All candidates in Alexander County will
be participating in a Speaker's Forum on Monday, February 13, 2006 at 7:00 P.M.
at the Mescher Gym (the old Cairo Junior High; now the Cairo Community
Education Center). Another session will be held at the Olive Branch Community
Center on February 20 at 7:00 P.M. Both sessions are sponsored by the Concerned
Citizens for the Recovery of Cairo.
February 9, 2006: Shawnee Community College is hosting
the Southern Illinois Extreme Talent Contest on Friday and Saturday, February
10 and 11 in the SCC Educational Center located on the main campus near
Ullin. The Friday evening contest will feature performers age 14 and
under, while the Saturday performance features entertainers age 15 and older.
Both shows will begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. For more info,
contact John Windings, at 618-634-3206. // Cairo City Hall is not abiding by the Freedom of Information Act, according to
an article in the Southeast Missourian. The newspaper requested numerous
documents, including: city ordinances governing the operation, powers,
responsibilities and pay of council, etc., list of city employees and their
salaries, invoices for metal detectors used to screen visitors to city council
meetings and any threatening letters that justified the use of searches
at those meetings. Sounds like the SE Missourian is
going to make this city get back on track...or else! Oh, I think the article
said someone from Atty. General Lisa Madigan's office is doing inquiries, as
well. While we have the AG's attention, why not send an email to her,
requesting that she send a mediator to end this madness. Here's the link to
the Attorney General's email form:
This website is getting close to 4,000 visitors a month now. Imagine if we all
emailed for help!? Read the full story from the SE Missourian:
// I have been thinking about doing a FOIA request myself, in order to gain
access to the police reports.
February 8, 2006: View a photo gallery of Captain Magic
Valentino of the Harlem Swish at Bennett School. Captain Magic Valentino
(Valentino Willis) spoke to students about
avoiding drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as part of the Dare program. I have a
couple precious videos of teachers failing to perform Valentino's routines,
but they are 15MB each. If a teacher wants one, I can burn a CD. They are very funny!
February 7, 2006: The SE Missourian reported that First
National Bank in Cairo sent a letter, signed by bank president Jay Manus, to
Mayor Farris and the city council, informing them that the city accounts
are frozen. The city council will meet today to consider borrowing $136,000 in
anticipation of future tax revenue in order to meet current obligations. The
city is 110 days late on payments totaling $3,123.76 for one loan and 45 days
late paying $14,221.80 on a second obligation.
See: http://www.semissourian.com/story/1138791.html //
Since moving here last summer, I noticed that a rumor persists that Cairo is
filled with AIDs. I checked the stats at the State's Dept. of Health website and
discovered that there has only been one new case of AIDs in Alexander county
since 1999. I also learned that gonorrhea and chlamydia are at nearly epidemic
rates! Read up on the Port of Cairo
message board. //
This is National Burn Awareness Week. Please visit http://www.shrinershq.org/.
It is also Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Visit: www.tchin.org/aware
February 3, 2006: WSIU's Black History Month programming can
be found here: www.wsiu.org //
I heard the liquor stores in town are closed. Update: they are open:) //
Today is National Wear Red Day to inform people that heart disease is the
number one killer of women. Read more at www.hearttruth.gov
February 2, 2006: Cairo Gate.com wants musicians!
Read more in Entertainment. //
My son was at Nonny's about noon today when a reporter
offered him a hamburger if he'd talk about Cairo. He declined the
offer. Oh, he said everyone at Nonny's was offered the deal. // Lots of broken windows and slashed tires in Cairo this past week. // My
daughter told me a Harlem Globetrotter will be at an assembly at Bennett
School at 1:00PM today. // The state police report is finished regarding the
death of Demetrius Flowers. The news reports state that Mr. Flowers died when he was
attempting to get the attention of those on staff at the station, but he was
ignored. Three Cairo Police Dept. personnel were fired as a result. // According to the
weekly Citizen newspaper, a transloading facility is in the works for
downtown Cairo, near CGB Waterfront. If you've been following this blog and
the Port of Cairo Message Board, you know I've been hoping for an
intermodal transportation hub for a long time. Never, did I imagine that it
would be located in the downtown area. The residents have few places to access
the river. Cairo is surrounded by two rivers, the Mississippi and Ohio, but
we are surrounded by a 60 foot flood wall on one side and an earthen levee
on the other. The dilapidated downtown is our access point for the riverfront.
All over the country cities are realizing the value of their riverfronts.
Restaurants and boardwalks are being built to host tourists and allow street
vendors to trade their wares. People want to see and feel the river. They want
to fish off piers and watch the sun rise and set from the riverfront.
I envisioned a park and pier at the foot of 8th Street, not semi-trucks and
noise. There are much more suitable locations for a transloading facility.
A facility that will be large enough to lease space & offer transfer
facilities to many companies. I was told the facility will incorporate rail,
river and highways, which an intermodal hub should. The 4th Street location
only has direct access to the river. The north end of town has access to the
river, rail lines, the highway and an airport, which could be used for
cargo, someday. Why 4th Street!? Another problem with that location, is that
it's almost the exact spot where
Lewis and Clark set up camp.
January 24, 2006: Two women are planning a book on closed
Catholic high schools in southern Illinois. "They know of schools in Aviston, Breese, Cairo, Carlyle, Herrin,
Mascoutah, Ruma, St. Libory and Waterloo but think there may be more." Anyone
with information is asked to call 632-5245 or send an e-mail to
Belleville News-Democrat, Jan. 21. //
The Southern Illinoisan
gave Cairo city officials a big "Thumbs Down" in an editorial yesterday. // Julia Schubert,
Computer Solution, was
polled at random and a DeKalb, IL newspaper quoted her
(out of the 800 polled) in a story about Gov. Blagojevich.
January 22, 2006: The Southern Illinoisan
and Southeast Missourian
covered the meeting yesterday of city officials and those wanting more
information about the death of Demetrius Flowers. The following info is
derived from those press accounts: It was revealed by City
Attorney Michael O'Shea that Flowers was not elevated and did not have a
broken neck typical of a hanging victim. Mayor Farris said he had hoped to
deliver a copy of the videotape from the jail cell to the Flowers family, but
the Illinois State Police refused to release it. After Flowers' death, two pairs of shoes were found.
One pair was in the police locker, but another pair was in Flowers' cell.
Addressing Arby Davis, Demetrius' father,
Farris said, "I can't even fathom what it would be like 30 days later to have
no closure on your son." Click on the previous links to read the full articles.
January 21, 2006: The Cairo Junior High School Lady
Colts beat Christopher last night, 40-38 and advance to the semi-finals on
January 23 at 7:15 when they play Pope County.
January 18, 2006: A meeting organized by the family of
Demetrius Flowers will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Holy City Church of
God in Christ at 18th Street and Martin Luther King Avenue. "It is the second
meeting organized by the family to keep the death and the need for answers
before the public, said Melinda Flowers, sister of Demetrius Flowers." -
from the Southeast
Missourian. // I missed this article from Tuesday, January 10, "Business,
not peace, spurs Cairo council to stop its boycott," by Rudi Keller,
January 16, 2006: Robert Swenson, Associate Professor and
Architect in the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University wants
you to know about the new
Southern Illinois History and Culture website
hosted at Shawnee Community College. The site is under development, but there
is already much info there. // The sinking of the Sultana on April 27, 1865 was unknown to
me until today. The Sultana was a ship, filled way past capacity, transporting POW's returning
to the north at the close of the Civil War. The ship was bound for Cairo, but
sunk seven miles outside of Memphis. More died than in the sinking of the
Titanic. Read pages at news.nationalgeographic.com and www.rootsweb.com //
Take a virtual reality trip to Camel Rock in Shawnee National Forest at Zola Van's website. //
Also learned today about Miller Grove, a village founded by freed slaves.
Visit www.passportintime.com Passport in Time, a
project of the USDA Forest Service, has openings for a May 8–12 activity
in an area around Lusk Creek in Illinois. // Former County Commissioner Chairman Andy
Clarke is informing us about local politics on the Port of Cairo message
board. Please join in the discussion. All political parties welcome!
January 11, 2006: The council meeting was a little bumpy,
but the next one will be fine. Maybe both sides will agree to a mediator
stepping in for a little guidance. Both sides want Cairo to prosper, so there's a
common ground. A mediator can resolve communication lapses. Non-binding
arbitration is what it's called, I think. But, I'm thinking of something very
informal, yet done by an expert in the field of mediation. The city will
be fine. And, Cairo will prosper. She's
going through a lengthy rough spot:) // Channel 12 (aka Live! Late
breaking! ...) added a short bit about Stace England after their
Cairo council coverage. Stace was interviewed on Commercial Avenue (great PR). I'm
guessing the early edition of the news tomorrow morning will have a longer
segment about Stace. Get up early & watch it! // I'm taking some time off.
There's a great newspaper up north that I've been neglecting & I'm close to
getting canned (I need the job), so I will not be updating here for a few days (at least).
Unless there's something urgent to post. But then kick me out. Cairo is
addicting. I heard it's something in the water. You can watch me update for
that paper here, if you get bored.
(Yikes! I haven't updated there since Nov. 28th! Oh boy. My boss is going to
be very upset.) // Remember! Don't pay attention to the press coverage!
Cairo will be fine.
January 10, 2006: The boycott has ended and council members
will attend tonight's meeting. That's very good news. I hope those in power
will focus on jobs.
January 9, 2006: UPDATE: Bobby Mayberry is going to help me
understand the importance of GIS. It is used for 9-1-1 services.
Maybe he'll send an article explaining it, so you can read up
on it, too. Think I was a little crabby last night. // In a December 22, 2005 press release,
Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL) announced that several Delta Regional
Authority (DRA) grants have been awarded in Southern Illinois. The funds will
be used for economic development projects. "These projects will promote
economic development in the region," said Costello. "...to improve the
quality of life of the citizens of Southern Illinois." One of the organizations to
receive funds is the Southern Five Regional Planning & Development Commission
in Ullin (check the date on their newsletter!). The $100,000.00 grant will be used to create a regional GIS
database to provide uniform data and capabilities to a five county region. I
suppose that's a good thing...getting $100,000.00 for economic development
and GIS.com explain what
GIS is. GIS is a method of mapping information. Take satellite images, land elevations,
Census data, crime statistics, lead levels in children, number of AIDS cases
in white males over the age of 60, water tables...any data you can find about a geographic
location, then input the figures and images into a database & you have created a map
using GIS. Kind of like one-stop shopping for statistics and geological info
and images. I think that's what GIS is:) Costello says it has something to do with
improving the economy. Hear that sucking sound? That's the $100,000.00.
Kidding! It's not a complete waste; part of it may offset the salaries of
government workers who are paid to improve the economy. I have an idea, let's ask Congressman
Costello what GIS is and how it will create jobs for Cairo.
January 7, 2006: There is a very informative article in the
Southeast Missourian regarding the meeting held by the Cairo City Council members who
are boycotting Mayor Farris. Read it at www.semissourian.com //
According to the Southern Illinoisan, Illinois
State Police suspect homicide in the death of 23-year-old Trea Hannah, of Anna, found
Wednesday in a burned-out vehicle in Pulaski County. He was last seen in
the vehicle, a white 1993 Mercury Tracer, Dec. 29 in the Union-Pulaski
County area. Tags are 819 6695. Contact the State police at (618) 845-3740 or the
Pulaski County Sheriff's Office at (618) 748-9124 if you have any information.
January 6, 2006: Today's Southeast Missourian covered the
controversy surrounding the City Council and Mayor Farris. Visit:
There's a meeting today at noon of the
Council Members who refuse to attend regularly scheduled council
meetings. Only one council member attended the Special Called Meeting yesterday
regarding the $500,000 sewer grant. // A few people have inquired about
advertising rates at Cairo Gate. There's a page which explains rates
here: http://www.cairogate.com/advertise.html //
I'm updating today. Sorry for the long delay.
January 5, 2006: The SIDEZ
Annual Public Input Meeting & Resource Fair has been rescheduled for
Jan. 12. It was rescheduled due to inclement weather. Contact Donna Raynalds
at (618) 745-6307 for more info. // Found this
online last night, "Some sports predictions for 2006," By Mike Murphy, For the
"Johnston City and Carterville will continue to be at the top in
Black Diamond football but look for some changes in '06 — it’s only a matter
of time till Cairo drops the sport, " said Murphy. Drop football in Cairo? Why
not BUILD the program instead? // Regarding the sewer grant for Cairo and
today's Special Called Meeting (to be held at noon at City Hall), the Southeast Missourian interviewed Council member Bobby Whitaker. "Accepting
the grant would be a good idea, Whitaker said, but it would be difficult if
not impossible for the city to provide matching funds." See:
makes a good point...do we have the funds to match the grant? // I missed the
interview about Cairo Gate on KFVS. I saw a short clip on the 10:00 PM news
last night, but I heard the longer interview was on this morning's newscast.
And, there is no midnight newscast. Sorry! I was nervous and got the broadcast
January 4, 2006: KFVS,
Channel 12, in Cape Girardeau, interviewed me about Cairogate.com. It'll
be on the 10:00 P.M and 12:00 A.M. // Tomorrow at noon there will be a Special
Called Meeting of the Cairo City Council. If the council members don't have a
majority vote, Cairo stands to lose a $500,000 grant for sewer improvements.
Something like that. Thank you, Channel 12, for that info. Those council
members better be there. We can't stand to lose that kind of money for
infrastructure! The sewer grant story will be on Channel 12, as well. BTW, Channel 12
interviewed Julia Schubert at The Computer Solution about the sewer grant. //
SIDEZ wants you to know that the Annual Community Input Meeting has been rescheduled
for January 12. More info will be posted tonight about that.
January 1, 2006: I'm very upset with the Cairo Police
Department. Here's just one reason why.