January 3, 2002

2001 Will Be A Year To Remember Thanks To September 11th (Year in Review Part 1)

January 4, 2001
Governor Roger Wilson asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand two earlier requests for agricultural disaster aid to include all 114 Missouri counties due to adverse weather conditions in 2000 including the late summer drought.

January 11, 2001

Dr. Robert Schneider reaffirmed his commitment to area citizens when he signed a new contract to remain affiliated with Scotland County Memorial Hospital and the Memphis Medical Services clinic.

January 18, 2001

CaLea Ann Powell was born Friday, January 12 as the first baby of 2001 at Scotland County Memorial Hospital. She is the daughter of Charlotte Powell of Kahoka.

January, 25, 2001

Scotland County ranked 62nd in the eighth annual KIDS COUNT report that records measures of child well being. The ranking marked an improvement as the county ranked 73rd in 1999.

February 1, 2001

Scotland County voted nearly 2 to 1 in favor of Republican John Cauthorn who was elected to the Missouri Senate to represent the 18th Senatorial District. Cauthorn defeated Rep. Robert Clayton from Hannibal.

February 8, 2001

Dollar General workers took less than a week to complete the stores move from the site on the Memphis Square to the new facility located on Highway 136. The new store was open for business February 5.

February 15, 2001

A home located on Route D in Scotland County and owned by Richard Jutte was destroyed by fire on Sunday, February 11. The residence was unoccupied at the time of the blaze.

February 22, 2001

Area residents received an unpleasant surprise in their natural gas bills after a price hike was approved in February. The price increase completed a nearly 400% cost increase for natural gas customers from January 2000 to January 2001.

March 1, 2001

Boyer Broadcasting Company finalized its sale of KMEM radio to an Iowa group at the end of February. The purchasing group consisted of Mark and Karen McVey, Mark and Lisa Denney and Rich Brown.

March 8, 2001

A fire gutted the Geneva Brown residence at 504 N. Adams Street on March 4. A neighbor reported the blaze at 10:30 a.m. It was believed to have started in the garage area.

March 15, 2001

The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission gave final approval to the proposed swap of roads in Scotland County between the county and MoDOT. MoDOT will take over 2.5 miles of County Road #253, or "Miller Bottom Road" in exchange for the county taking over 2.9 miles of Route Y.

March 22, 2001

The 2000 Census report indicated the population in Scotland County had risen approximately three percent during the decade. The county's population was reported at 4,983, and increase of more than 100 from the 1990 population of 4,822.

March 29, 2001

Typically foreclosure sales involve a small number of parties and don't make big news, but the March 21 sale on the steps of the Scotland County Court-house could affect the entire community in more ways than one. The MicroEnergy building on Highway 136 in Memphis was sold at the public foreclosure sale. The Scotland County Rec-Plex, a local not-for-profit organization, purchased the building to serve as the home for a proposed community recreational facility to serve Scotland County and the surrounding area. The move leaves the future of Converter Concepts, Inc. up in the air.

April 5, 2001

Brock Meeks returned home to Memphis 52 days after a near-fatal car crash. The teenager spent several weeks in the neuro-intensive care unit of University Hospital in Columbia before beginning his recovery at Ruske Rehabilitation Center.

April 12, 2001

The handwriting was on the wall two weeks earlier when no representatives from the company were present at the public foreclosure sale on the building, but Converter Concepts, Inc., made it official April 9 that the power-source manufacturer will be closing its Memphis plant. The roughly 30 employees at the plant had been wondering about their future ever since the February publication of the impending sale of the former MicroEnergy building.

April 19, 2001

A Rutledge woman and her passenger were both seriously injured in a one-vehicle accident at 9:39 p.m. April 12 in Knox County. Tina Brogan, 23, of Rutledge, was northbound on Highway 15, approximately mile north of Edina, in a 1989 Ford van when the vehicle struck the east side of a bridge. Brogan apparently lost control of the vehicle as it crossed the road and struck the west side of the bridge before coming to rest in the middle of the road on the bridge. A passenger in the vehicle, 36-year-old Tracy Howes also suffered serious injuries in the crash.

April 26, 2001

Two suspects in an armed robbery in Downing remained at large following the April 20 crime. Two suspects reportedly entered the Cheese Post in Downing and held the clerk at gun point while robbing the store.

May 3, 2001

The SCR-I Board of Education voted to place a petition on the August ballot that would consider adding approximately 3,900 acres from the Wyaconda C-I School District to the SCR-I District. The issue was later shot down in the courts but is currently being appealed.

May 10, 2001

After tireless work by area residents, special funding through the bond financing was approved to complete a 10.5 mile stretch of four lanes on Highway 61 from LaGrange to Canton. The Avenue of the Saints project remains a top transportation priority for all of northeast Missouri.

May 17, 2001

Mother Nature must have been a bit emotional, to the point of tears, from the celebration of Mother's Day in Scotland County as she stayed around all day May 13 dropping anywhere from five to eight-plus inches of rain across the county. The severe thunderstorms were isolated mainly to Scotland County in Missouri and Van Buren County in southern Iowa. After raining off and on all day Sunday, the brunt of the storm hit the region at approximately 9:30 p.m. and lasted for more than two hours. During that time period as much as five inches of rain fell in the Memphis area

May 24, 2001

Gov. Bob Holden asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman to declare 12 northeastern Missouri counties eligible for federal disaster assistance because of recent heavy rain and flooding that has swamped fields. Counties included in Holden's request are Clark, Lewis, Scotland, Knox, Schuyler, Marion, Monroe, Shelby, Ralls, Pike, Lincoln and St. Charles.

May 31, 2001

The Memphis Democrat may have been a little out of place among the "big boys" covering the final day of the Missouri State House of Representatives. However the Scotland County newspaper was in agreement with the likes of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Associated Press, that it was a productive legislative session that came to a close May 18. First District Representative Sam Berkowitz agreed that the law making session provided numerous improvements for citizens of his district as was the case for the entire state.

June 7, 2001

According to the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service, Scotland County received 9.37 inches of rain during the period of April 30 to May 27. And it just kept coming, as rain fell on the region nearly every day through the first week of June. The wet weather threw local farm production well behind the 2000 pace. Less than half the local soybean crop had been planted for the first time, with many producers convinced they would have to replant much of the crop that was already in the ground. If the rain was not enough to cause concern, temperatures were an average of 10 degrees below the 30-year average during May, decreasing growing degree days dramatically over the first 30 days of the farm season

June 14, 2001

A Memphis man was in serious condition after being shot in the face following an altercation in northeast Schuyler County. Robert L. Barnes, 39, was shot at approximately 10:00 p.m. at the junction of Routes N and C. Two suspects in the shooting were taken into custody without incident at a motel in Bethany Monday, June 11. Officers from the Bethany Police Department and the Harrison County Sheriff's Department arrested Timothy G. Squires, 23, and Rae Ann Murray, 22, both of Memphis. They were taken to the Harrison County Jail on a 20-hour investigative hold on suspicion of committing class A felony assault in the first degree.

June 21, 2001

Scotland County will have a strong voice in future agricultural policy in the state of Missouri. Two local residents were named to the recently formed agricultural task force that is expected to provide key input on Missouri's farm policies to be shaped by the state government. John Eggleston and Brent Rockhold were among the 38 members named by Missouri Governor Bob Holden to serve on the newly formed committee.

June 28, 2001

A June real estate deal will help the Scotland County R-I School District meet special education and will allow the project to be fully paid for by federal funds. The board approved a lease agreement for the district to rent the metal building owned by Otho and Dorva Harbur, which is located just across the street from the North Elementary School. The building will house a Lifetime Learning Center for students of the district that require federally mandated special education programming.

July 5, 2001

The Highway 136 Corridor East group is under new leadership. The local trans-portation lobby group elected new officers at its last meeting. Cathy Middleton of Downing was elected chairperson. John Johnson of Memphis will serve as vice-chairman. Ann Marie Kuchinski will be the secretary and Rick Gregory will continue to serve as treasurer.

July 12, 2001

Two new city ordinances took effect July 5th following the final reading by the Board of Alderman at the July Memphis City Council meeting. Bill 2-01 deleted section 387.030 regarding safety equipment requirements for roller blading and skate boarding. The new ordinance repealed the requirements that a helmet, knee and elbow pads be worn by individuals participating in the outdoor sports on city property. Bill 3-01 amended section 340.120 of the municipal code which regulates the riding of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) within city limits. The new ordinance added a subsection to 340.120 pertaining to exemptions from the prohibition against ATV use in the city.

July 19, 2001

Incentives for beginning farmers and those wanting to add value to their goods. Better access to organic and locally grown foods. Technical and financial support for the state's struggling dairy industry. Programs that encourage cattle owners to finish their livestock in Missouri, rather than shipping them to other states to be fed. These are just a few of the ideas that cropped up at the first two regional meetings conducted by members of Gov. Bob Holden's "One Missouri, One Agriculture" task force. The task force held public meetings in St. Joseph and Kirksville on July 10 and 11 respectively.

July 26, 2001

The Northeast Missouri Solid Waste Management District was set to break the 50,000-tire mark when the organization opened its fourth round of waste tire collection sites across the region. The organization had collected 46,906 waste tires in Scotland, Schuyler, Clark, Knox, Lewis and Adair counties since 1997. In conjunction with the Scotland County Commission, the NEMO SWMD held a collection in Scotland County on August 2 and 3 at the Scotland County Fairgrounds.

Bible Grove Bar B Saddle Club Meets

The Bar B Saddle Club had their monthly meeting on April 27 at the club building. They will be holding a poker ride for horses and ATV’s this Saturday, May 7th starting at the club house with sign up starting at noon and the ride starting at 1:00 p.m. Entry fee is $5.00 per hand with a carry-in wiener roast following. All are welcome to attend!

Final preparations were made for the poker ride and wiener roast at the meeting. The next meeting will be Thursday, May 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the club house. Come on out to their event and support the newly formed saddle club.

Music Department Hosting Used Instrument Drive

sax web

That trumpet in the attic was made to make music. The guitar case in the garage is collecting dust instead of being played by the next great musician.

If you have any good used, or easily repairable musical instruments would you consider putting them back to work? The Scotland County R-I Band is hosting a used instrument drive to find more pieces to put in the hands of youth wanting to learn how to make music.

“This is an excellent way for donors to ensure that their unused instruments find a new home in the hands of promising young students who are unable to afford or obtain a suitable instrument of their own,” said SCR-I band booster Ellen Aylward. Of course, cash donations will also be accepted to help offset the costs of repairs and refitting these instruments for future use.”

A starter trumpet can cost several hundred dollars, with violins, guitars and drum sets being even more expensive.

Donors to the SCR-I instrument drive will receive a receipt for fair market value for the music item, making the donation tax deductible.

For more information contact SCR-I music director Nathaniel Orr at 660-216-5426 or the SCR-I High School at 465-8907.

Sheriff’s Office to Join Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown

sober WEB

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign is joining the National Crackdown in an effort to reduce drunk driving fatalities.  The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will target substance-impaired drivers.

Local and state law enforcement will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide May/Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ substance-impaired driving crackdown.  The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Scotland County, will run from May 5-16, 2016.

The effective nationwide substance-impaired driving crackdown will also include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance-impaired driving during the enforcement period.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies will be aggressively looking for substance-impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or other illegal drugs. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.

“Every year, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more substance-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Chief Deputy Bryan Whitney. “In 2015, 178 people were killed and 605 seriously injured on Missouri’s roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver.” That works out to approximately one substance-impaired driver involved fatality every two days.

Whitney added the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is particularly dangerous. During the Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign May 1-12, 2015, four people were killed and eighteen seriously injured involving at least one substance-impaired driver that was under 21 years of age.

Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces substance-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Scotland County’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday,” said Whitney.

“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses,” Whitney said.

He also noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Substance—impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of their job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

“Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” said Whitney.

For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, or www.saveMOlives.com.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, May 5 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, May 6 – Muffin for Mom, Muffins, Choice of Cereal, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Monday, May 9 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, May 10 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, May 11 – Breakfast Pizza, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Toast, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk.

Thursday, May 12 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, May 5 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Buttered Corn, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, May 6 – Sack Lunch

Monday, May 9 – Hot Dog/Bun, Bar BQ Ribb/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Scalloped Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, May 10 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, May 11 – Chicken and Noodles, Sliced Ham, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, May 12 – Corn Dog, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Help Us Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Superintendent’s Corner

by SCR-I Superintendent Ryan Bergeson

On teacher appreciation week, we would like to take time to thank the teachers and faculty members at the Scotland County R-1 School District for their dedication and commitment to our students.  To quote the great Todd Whitaker “it is people and not programs that make the biggest difference.”  Great teachers make great public schools and the Scotland County R-1 School District is fortunate to have so many great teachers. faculty and coaches leading our youth.   Teacher Appreciation Week is recognized Monday, May 2 through Friday, May 6 this week at the Scotland County R-1 School District and we encourage you to thank a teacher this week that has made a positive impact on your life.

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
John F. Kennedy

ANNA GENEVA PARRISH (10/5/1928 – 5/1/2016)

Anna Geneva Parrish, age 87, of Montevallo, MO, passed away May 1, 2016 at Cedar County Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

She was born October 5, 1928, to Arthur and Eunice Egbert in Gorin, MO. She attended and graduated from Gorin School in 1947. Anna was a member of Gorin Methodist Church since her childhood.

After graduation she worked at National Fidelity Life Insurance in Kansas City, MO where she met many life-long friends, including her future sister-in-law, Madelene Parrish, who introduced her to her husband, Cap.

They married November 18, 1961 in Kansas City, MO. At that time Anna began her life-long career of being a homemaker and farm wife. She enjoyed raising chickens, working in the garden and attending to her flowers. After the tornado in 2006, Anna and Cap still remained on the farm in their new home.

On July 10, 1963, her son, Jeff, was born. The biggest joy of her life came in September 9, 2002 when her grandson Cameron Albert Parrish (Little Cap) was born. She enjoyed helping Cameron with all of his activities and getting his chickens ready for the fair. Even after Cap’s death, she enjoyed going with her son Jeff and grandson, Cameron to toy tractor shows.

Anna was a very loving and caring person. She enjoyed special occasions at Chicken Annies which was her favorite place to eat. She was looking forward to going there on Mother’s Day.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Cap Parrish; her parents, Arthur and Eunice Egbert; one son, Larry; one brother, Arthur Parrish; nephews, Kevin Parrish and Gray Calvin, her in-laws, Grace and Albert Parrish.

Anna is survived by one son, Jeff Parrish of Montevallo, MO; grandchildren, Cameron and Kelsey; two sisters-in-law, Madelene Parrish and Virginia Egbert; and a niece, Kim Calvin.

Funeral services are being held Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Sheldon Funeral Home in El Dorado Springs, MO.  Interment will be in the Virgil City Cemetery, Virgil City, MO.

National Nursing Home Week is May 8 – May 14, 2016

senior

Every skilled nursing care center is a small, vibrant world.  Care centers are sharing, welcoming communities that encourage everyone to interact with the wonderful folks who populate them.  Once a year, always beginning on Mother’s Day, care centers nationwide take pride in publicly honoring the indomitable spirit of residents and recognizing staff who face each day with a sense of purpose and compassion.

During National Nursing Home Week, May 8 to 14, 2016, skilled nursing care centers will coalesce under the theme, “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart”.  This theme underscores the bond between staff, older adults, and individuals receiving therapies or with developmental disabilities.  Staff and residents view each other in the spirit of family.  For staff, this reality is often a calling to a special mission and life’s work.

In observance of Nursing Home Week, the Scotland County Care Center will be hosting several events meant to encourage residents, families and other relatives to reach out to and visit with their loved ones and caregivers.  SCCC’s theme is Carnival/Fair Craze Days.

The week will begin on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9th with a Cheesecake Social at 2:00 p.m.  Amazing Grace will be entertaining that afternoon.

On Monday, May 9th, the theme for the day is Messed Up Monday and the dress style is mismatch.  Terri and Tammy, the activity girls, will lead devotions at 10:00 a.m. followed by Carnival Fun Facts/1904 St. Louis World Fair at 10:30 and a photo booth with deep fried ice cream Twinkies at 2:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 10th the theme is Topsy Turvy Tuesday with the dress style being Red and White.  Devotions will be lead by Robert and Sheila Moseley at 10:00 followed by exercise at 10:30 a.m. Corn Scramble Bingo will start at 2:00 p.m. followed with Cotton Candy Ice Cream.

The theme for Wednesday, May 11th will be Wacky Tacky Wednesday and the dress theme is wacky and colorful.  Dr. Harlo Donelson will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by a Muffin Walk at 10:30. At 2:00 will be Carnival Games/Teamwork followed with funnel cakes.

On Thursday, May 12th the theme is Throwback Thursday with a 50-60 style dress theme.  Sue Kirchner will lead devotions at 10:00 and the 10:30 activity will be Big Top Trivia.  The SCCC Queen Pageant will be held at 2:00 followed with root beer floats. A hymn sing will take place at 7:00 p.m.

The theme for Friday, May 13th is Finally Friday with a jeans and care center shirt dress theme. Departure for the Golden Age Games in Hannibal is at 7:00 a.m.  Dan Hite will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by Carnival Food Information at 10:30.  At 2:00 p.m. Nancy Tague Platz will present a program and refreshments will be served.

The week’s activities will conclude on Saturday, May 14th with the 19th Annual Car Show.  Registration will start at 9:00 a.m. with judging at 1:00 p.m.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, May 5 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Friday, May 6 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, May 9 – Office closed for Truman Day.

Tuesday, May 10 – Skin screening clinic from 9:30-3:30.  Please call 465-7275 to schedule an appointment. Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.  Board of Trustees meeting at the Health Department at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 12 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, Installed as President of MAOPS

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, of Memphis, Missouri was recently installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS). Dr. Davis has been a member of MAOPS since 2000 and is a prestigious Wetzel Scholar. During his membership, he has held the leadership positions of Education and Convention Committee Chair, Convention Program Chair and Young Physicians Committee Chair.

As President, he will ensure the association adheres to its mission and vision through its strategies.  He will also lead the Missouri Delegates to the American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates, the AOA’s policy making body for the national association, and will be responsible for ensuring that the voice of Missouri’s almost 3,000 osteopathic physicians is heard.

Dr. Davis is a graduate of A. T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri and is currently Chief Medical Officer at Scotland County Hospital and the Medical Director of Memphis Medical Services, Wyaconda Medical Services & Scotland County Care Center in Memphis, Missouri.  Additionally, he is the Coroner of Scotland County, the Physician for Scotland County R-1 Schools and the Medical Director of Clark County Ambulance District in Kahoka, MO.

The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, is a not-for-profit professional membership association dedicated to osteopathic physicians and their patients in the state of Missouri.  Its mission is to preserve and protect the distinct philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine in the state of Missouri and to serve and advocate for its members in their quest to provide the highest quality of medical care.  For more information about MAOPS, visit www.maops.org or call Executive Director Brian Bowles at (573) 634-3415.

Behind The Lens: Spring Cleaning Your Camera

camera

By Taylor Lloyd

April showers might bring May flowers but to a photographer, this equates to mud and pollen producing flowers. With these conditions in mind, it is important to once in a while deep clean your camera.

While it is important to clean your gear, you certainly don’t want to overdo it. A good rule of thumb is, if it’s not dirty, don’t clean it. But when it does get dirty, the first thing you’ll want to do is start with the exterior of the camera. Start by taking a soft bristle brush, like a toothbrush, and gently remove any large particles of dust or grit in the harder to reach crevices. Obviously, if your camera is muddy, now is a good time to use a slightly damp cloth to wipe it down.

Once your camera body is clean, move onto your lens by cleaning the lens barrel with a softer bristle brush, like a makeup brush. Be sure to extend the barrel all the way to get all the grit off in those close knit places. Next, remove the lens cap, lens hood, and any filters that may be on your lens. Use a hand blower or a condensed air canister to first blow off the big particles of dirt and dust and then move the soft bristle brush over the glass. Then take a soft cloth, like a microfiber or disposable lens tissue, and put just a drop or two of lens cleaning solution (some people recommend using a highly concentrated isopropyl alcohol) onto the cloth to remove any stubborn smudges. Clean the glass in a circular motion starting from the middle and working your way outward. My recommended cleaning regimen is to breathe upon the lens in most situations and to only use the cleaning solution when tough smudges are present. A few things to keep in mind is to use only lens cleaning solution or alcohol. Household cleaners contain harsh chemicals which could damage your glass. You also want to apply the solution to your cloth first, not your lens. Paper towels are too abrasive and regular tissues are too linty so it is often best to use microfiber cloths or lens cloths specifically made for cleaning lenses.

If your camera has a detachable lens, check and make sure all the contacts and lens mounts are clean and shiny. If they are not, your auto focus may have trouble focusing. Your contacts shouldn’t ever get too dirty, but if they ever do, clean them by applying a drop of lens cleaning solution onto a Q-Tip and place a microfiber cloth or disposable lens cleaning wipe over the Q-Tip. Very carefully swab the contacts on your lens and allow it to dry for a few minutes before replacing it on your camera body. Most photographers recommend never using erasers to clean your electrical contacts because they can scratch or wear off the protective coatings.

Now comes the scariest part, cleaning the inside of your camera. The biggest components inside most DSLRs are the mirror and the image sensor. The mirror is often the first thing you will see when you remove the lens, if it isn’t a mirrorless camera of course. It sits at a slight angle in front of the image sensor and its purpose is to reflect light from the lens into the viewfinder pentaprism, allowing you to capture exactly what the camera “sees”. When you push down the shutter button to take a picture, this mirror folds up briefly (which is why your viewfinder goes dark) to expose the image sensor to light. If the mirror looks clean, don’t clean it and never touch anything inside the camera with your bare hands since small traces of oil can remain on your hands even when washed thoroughly.

Ok so you notice some lint and dust on your mirror, now what? Your first go-to should be to face the camera downward to allow gravity to do its thing, then grab a hand held blower and proceed to blow air onto the mirror. Never use compressed air inside your camera. Compressed air, like the kind you buy in a can, is too forceful and can either cause dirt and dust particles to lodge deeper into your camera or damage fragile components. Also avoid using your breath to clean the inside mechanisms because small moisture particles can get onto delicate electronic parts and cause them to malfunction. After you use the hand blower, if dust still remains on the mirror, you can use the Q-Tip and cloth method like as you would when cleaning your electrical contacts.

Once finished with your mirror, you should proceed onto the sensor. If you notice spots on your images, often resembling small dark specks, this might be from a dirty sensor. If you are unsure if your sensor needs cleaning, a good way to check is by taking a plain, white piece of paper (I usually use cardstock since the underside won’t show through) and placing it on a well lit, flat surface. Turn your camera to manual mode and turn your ISO as low as it will go and set your aperture to the smallest possible aperture (large F number). Pre focus on something the same distance from you as the paper, like the wood grain on a table so that any noticeable grit will be visible on your image. Take a few test pictures and review them at 100% on your LCD screen. Any dark spots you see are either dirt or dust.

Since the mirror covers up the sensor, refer to your camera manual on how to raise or “lock” your mirror up. On my Canon, I raise the mirror up by going to my camera’s menu and finding the Sensor Cleaning option. Once there, I then choose the Clean Manually mode, which folds up my mirror, allowing clear access to the sensor. When you choose to clean your sensor manually, it is important that your battery is charged up since many cameras have to stay on in order for the mirror to stayed folded up.

Once the mirror is up, tilt your camera upside down again and gently use the hand blower a few times. These blowers, usually called rocket blowers, sell on Amazon for $10 but in a pinch, I’ve used a clean turkey baster from my kitchen or even a sterile, disposable syringe like what you’d get at an animal health store. If the dust isn’t coming off, you may have to avert to a sensor brush. Since most sensor dust is caused by static from changing your lens while your camera is on, this brush works by using your blower to statically charge the bristles, and allows dust to cling to the brush.

Cleaning your gear can be tedious but it is a satisfying feeling when your gear is all spick and span and functions better. Until next time, happy cleaning, I mean shooting!

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