Photos and Audio by Suzanne M. Caraker
For the past 20-years, the General John A. Logan Museum has had a home in Murphysboro.
Michael Jones, the director of the Museum, has been there since the beginning and was one of the driving forces to the opening of the museum. “It’s funny where Logan pops up, he is a national figure and I don’t think a lot of people in Murphysboro or Carbondale or Marion, you know, any of Southern Illinois realize he’s a national figure,” Jones said.
Photos by Edyta Blaszczyk, audio and video by Kerry Dougherty
Each morning at Murphysboro Middle School, instead of going directly to class, the students gather in the gymnasium for the lesson of the day from Assistant Principal David Brauer.
The sessions are intended to give the students a positive start to their day, while teaching them life lessons about character, respect and responsibility. Through this program Brauer said students have learned how to treat others and how to make positive choices in their life. Before sending them off to class, Brauer tells students to “Have a great day (or not) the choice is yours.”
Photos and audio by Samantha Bowden
The Crimson Express is a well-known part of the band program at Murphysboro High School. The Crimson Express is accompanied by the Jazz band, Concert band, Pep band, and Solo & Ensemble It is also the most well known part of the band program.
The band room is covered with trophies from the past 15 years. The band was first formed by Mark Mikulay back in 1991. They pride themselves on their hard work and commitment to the program. The band has become a valuable asset to the Murphysboro community.
The band has traveled the United States for competitions; they have gone all the way from Canada to Disney world to Denver Colorado. They have performed at many international contests and festivals also. They also compete in the Mid-West Championships in Dekalb, IL. During the Weekend in Murphysboro Weekend the Crimson Express competed in the McKendree University Preview of Champions in Lebanon, Illinois. The band ended up taking first place in the 2A class beating out another local high school, Carterville.
Photos by James Durbin, Story by Jacob Mayer
Video by Ian Preston
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. “I was sent here for a 90 day sentence, then I paroled out and I violated parole when I got out,” Ball said. Ball is hoping his life will change for the better after this, and guard William Leggett believes going through the program gives kids like Alfaro and Ball a chance to get back on track. “Both of those young men have a big opportunity, and a good chance at being successful,” Leggett said.
Photos and audio by Adriane Matkovitch
Beth Smout, a traveling art teacher who works with students at both Caruthers Elementary School and the John A Logan School, says two things motivate her in her classroom. First is her love for children, and second is her love for teaching them how to use different materials and techniques and then seeing their excitement for what they create.
Over the course of six days, Beth teaches approximately 1,000 elementary students in Kindergarten through fifth grade at the two schools. On her own time, Beth enjoys painting and drawing and often has more than one project going at a time. In their home pottery studio, Beth and her husband Gene collaborate on potter pieces together. They enjoy different parts of the process, Gene the symmetry of the potter’s wheel and the problem solving aspects of design and developing the right glaze while Beth enjoys designing and altering pieces through carving or adding carved pieces to something that Gene has thrown for her.