• It seems nearly impossible to fathom that someone as brilliant and funny as Robin Williams could be so tortured emotionally that he takes himself out of the human race. Yet, last week, one by one, each of us across the whole globe, fixed our attention on the sad news of this beloved actor’s suicide. Sometimes, a blip of news in the vast sea of information we are bombarded with daily, seems to slap us so hard in the face that we can almost hear the collective groan rippling through space and time. Then we all try our best to reckon with reality. And what a devastating reality Robin Williams’ death reveals - that someone who, by his very nature, brought

    Aug 26,
  • PHOTO: From left, lifelong friends Melanie Walton, Sgt. Tara Shepard, Maria Stevenson   A few members of our extended family responded to our country's call to service. My father served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict. He gave the country four years of his life. The country repaid him with a college education at the University of Missouri, a first for our family; a home bought with a loan backed by the federal government; a successful, rewarding career as an electronic engineer for the Federal Aviation Administration that allowed him to work at headquarters in Washington, D.C.; and a retirement plan that he was able to pay toward and afford. He's retired now. But probably busier

    Nov 17,
  • PHOTO: Early photo of building now housing Hays The Music Store Most folks would agree that music can be spiritually uplifting. But one musical instrument store in downtown Poplar Bluff might be the haunted home of spirits that lift and toss objects around for fun, longtime employees and owner said. The Beigley Building that houses Hays the Music Store at 401 Vine Street was spared from destruction in 1927 when a formidable tornado ran roughshod over the area. The building was utilized to serve the many traumatized people who found themselves injured - or worse - as a result of the cataclysmic event. "It really was nearly beyond belief," said Allen Gallamore, longtime employee at Hays. "There were 102 people killed.

    Nov 14,
  • DEXTER - Musicians by nature are a different lot. As destructive as they are creative, musicians are artists that seek to touch the intangible; to invent beauty from thin air. Since Pythagoras discovered octaves, they have been aided by instruments. And those who gather instruments to supply musicians are necessary allies. Combining business skills with musical ambition is a talent of which few people are blessed. Instrument retailers in the brick and mortar world are becoming scarce thanks to Internet sales and a less than robust economy. So when one such retailer reaches a decade in business, it's reason to celebrate. And that's exactly what Dexter Music Center's Steve Agee and his five-star crew intend to do Nov. 22. That

    Nov 12,
  • PHOTO: Boy Scout Troop 603 performed the Color Guard Ceremony   MALDEN - High School students here were treated Tuesday to a Veterans Day assembly that featured orchestral music, songs and speeches. The event was designed to increase students' awareness and to pay homage to American Armed Forces veterans. After a welcome by Mrs. Hardy and a student opening by Javiel Cooper, Malden area Boy Scouts participated in the presentation of the American flag. Justice Carlock and Cooper led the audience's recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a performance by the Malden High School Band of the National Anthem. Cierra Harris and Tristan HIte spoke about patriotism, and the Malden HIgh School Audition Choir performed the song, "Freedom

    Nov 12,
  • BLOOMFIELD - Tuesday's Veterans Day observance here at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery included a Prisoners of War/Missing in Action ceremony, along with a Keynote speech offered by Lt. Col. Edward Gargas of the Missouri Army National Guard. After entrance music performed by the Bloomfield High School Band; Director's comments by SMSgt. USAF (ret.) Kenneth G. Swearengin; the Invocation offered by First General Baptist Church Pastor Ronnie Stevens; and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Elmer Wilson, the band performed the "Star Spangled Banner." The POW/MIA Table Ceremony followed, led by narrator Gary Kitchen, SFC USA (ret.). Allison Statler performed the traditional hymn, "Amazing Grace." Branches of the Armed Services were represented by the United States Army's James Adams, SFC

    Nov 11,
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