Documentaries produced by Mass Communication Students
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Lake Murphysboro

With its gentle hills and ample woods and wildlife, Lake Murphysboro State Park, located about one mile west of Murphysboro, offers visitors a way to escape their daily routine and enjoy the outdoors. The 145‒acre lake was built in 1950, and today offers anglers a variety of fish, as well as being a popular location for boaters. A three‒mile hiking trail winds through the park, and several campsites can be found across the area‘s 1,022 acres. [...]

Photo by Genna Ord

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Police Patrol

Police Patrol

I arrived at the police station Friday morning just in time to find Police Chief Jeff Bock sitting down with a hot cup of coffee. Within the next few hours I had been given a tour of the station, taught about some pretty intense dispatching software, was taken on a personal tour of Murphysboro by Bock while he explained to me the processes of a routine patrol [...]

Photos by Emily Sunblade

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Youth Bootcamp

Each morning, often before the sun rises, the 75 inmates at the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro can be found outside performing drills to begin their day. The center works with boys from ages 14 to 18 who are sent to the center after getting in trouble with the law. Two of the oldest kids at the center, Carlos Alfaro and Rakeem Ball, are examples of many inmates at the center as they have both been there more than once. [...]

Photos by James Durbin

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Hot Air Balloon Pilot

When Mark Gindlesparger spits from 2,000 feet above ground, he hopes he doesn"t offend anyone. It is a simple tool he uses when piloting a hot air balloon. Gindlesparger said he and his wife Sue gained a true appreciation for hot air ballooning in 1995 after volunteering at Cascades of Colors, a balloon festival in Carbondale, with their children Emily and Matt. “We crewed for the festival, pretty well got involved,” he said. [...]

Photos by Edyta Blaszczyk and Al Anderson

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17th Street Bar & Grill

Known throughout the BBQ world simply as "The Legend," Mike Mills and his Apple City Barbecue Team is a three-time World Grand Champion of the Memphis in May Barbecue Competition. “I barbecued all my life. I‘ve learned from a lot of people and I‘ve helped a lot of people,” Mills said. Well known for his willingness to share his knowledge of barbecue, Mills has helped many people get into the barbecue business. [...]

Photo by Bruno Maestrini

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H.S. Football

“Murphy Pride” The saying is well known around the town of Murphysboro, but it is most used at the local high school. Teachers, administrators, coaches and teammates all use the slogan to encourage and inspire students. The Red Devils football team knows all to well what it means to have Murphy pride. They work hard in school and on the field. Whether they win or lose they show satisfaction in their accomplishments, and [...]

Photo by Evan Davis

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Metal Artist

John Medwedeff has been creating beautiful metal sculptures in Murphysboro since he first opened the doors of Medwedeff Forge and Design in 1988. Medwedeff, who originally moved to southern Illinois to complete his Master‘s Degree in metalsmithing at SIUC, caters to a wide variety of customers that range from corporations to city governments to private individuals. [...]

Photo by James McDonnough

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Thrift Store

Gary and Cherie Green opened the Supported People In Need (S.P.I.N.) thrift store three years ago at 1501 Shoemaker Drive. The couple is taking profits from the sales of second hand items and investing the money back into the building, a dilapidated former nursing home. They hope to open what would be Murphysboro only homeless shelter in the near future. [...]

Video and Photos by Devin Miller

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Meat Rabbits

Robert Moore, 75, works alone on his 60-acre farm in Murphysboro, Ill. Moore, who has operated the farm by himself for over 40 years, primarily raises rabbits for meat. He sells the rabbits frozen and dressed for $6 each, or about $2 a pound. “There ain‘t no money in it (rabbit farming). I don’t know why I do it - for somethign to do I guess,” Moore said. [...]

Photo by Julia Rendleman

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Barber Shop

After high school, David “Purp” Lavender took a chance on barber school and has been cutting hair ever since. After a period in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam, Lavender came back to work at Gibbs Barber Shop, one of 18 barbershops in Murphysboro at the time. [...]

Photo by Isaac Smith

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