April 28, 2011

(10/2/1924 - 5/2/2011)

Theona "Tony" Blackstun, 86, of Memphis, Missouri and formerly of Hannibal, Missouri, died at 5:15 AM Monday, May 2, 2011 at Scotland County Care Center in Memphis, Missouri.

Graveside Services and Burial will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 6, 2011 at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal. Pastor Dee Wiley will officiate.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the time of services Friday, May 6, 2011 at the James O'Donnell Funeral Home.

Mrs. Blackstun was born October 2, 1924, in Hannibal, Missouri to George R. and Laura V. Robinson Magee Sr.

She was married to Lawrence F. Blackstun on October 5, 1943 in Hannibal, MO. He preceded her in death June 17, 1987.

Survivors include 4 children, Linda Kearnaghan, Larry Blackstun (Heidi), John Blackstun (Yolanda), Laura Hines (Curtis), 11 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents, 1 son-in-law; Doug Kearnaghan, 1 brother; George Magee and 1 sister in law; Irene Magee.

Mrs. Blackstun was a member of the Lillian Lane Circle of Kings Daughters. She was a sports fanatic and an excellent athlete in her youth. Tony attended Tilden School in Oakwood and was instrumental in setting up the class reunions. She attended Prince Ave. Baptist Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Scotland County Care Center Auxiliary.

Online condolences may be made and video tribute maybe viewed at www.jamesdonnellfuneralhome.com.

Living Life Over


Steve Oliver, alumnus of Gorin High School (’63), and his wife Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, were inducted into the International Council of Airshow (ICAS) Hall of Fame in December 2011.  Every year, ICAS recognizes the industry’s top performers.  Recipients are nominated by their peers.  To qualify, nominees must have made a contribution through showmanship, performance or innovation, and had a significant impact upon the air show industry.  Following 32 years of flying together, the husband-and-wife aerobatic, pyrobatic and skywriting duo were honored to receive this award.


When is a coconut cream pie worth $200?  For several buyers it was on Saturday evening at the third annual dinner and benefit auction for the Scotland County Cancer Fund.

Bidders sent pie prices sky high as a total of $6,576 was raised for the charity that supports local cancer patients.  The high-priced desserts were just a few of the items that were auctioned off during the event held at Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the V.F.W. in Memphis on February 24th.

“Everything sold extremely well, but the pies stole the show,” said Cancer Fund board member David Trueblood.  “We had a few pies leftover from dinner last year and they sold well, so this year the ladies baked several pies specifically for the auction – and they did not disappoint.”

While the benefit dinner and auction are the main source of revenue for the organization, the charity also accepts donations year-round, including memorial gifts or similar contributions.


Truck owners can start revving up their engines as RPM Truck Accessories opened for business March 1st in Memphis.

Robert and Sara Jo Phillips opened the store which is located on Highway 136 just west of Gas and More.  RPM offers a full line of accessories from wheels and tires for both cars and trucks to bucket and bench seats to running boards and tool boxes.  The store also will carry a full line of CB radios, scanners, and audio equipment.  Take-off items such as Lund and DZ are also available.

Robert Phillips said the store will feature sales as well as installation.  He added that items not in stock can easily be special ordered for customers.


A new business, “Dancing Camel Ceramics”, located at 123 S. Cecil, Memphis, is now open for business.

Dancing Camel Ceramics is owned and operated by Debbie Bradley.  Debbie and her husband Steve, and their family recently moved to Memphis from New London.

Debbie and Steve are both graduates of Scotland County R-1.  She is a graduate of Hannibal-LaGrange College with a Bachelor in Education Degree.  Steve is an employee of the Missouri Highway Department and his transfer brought the Bradley’s back to Memphis.


Scotland County Tigers finished out a fine season with a disappointing loss to the Knox County Eagles 65-54 in semi-final action of the class 2-A Regionals in Canton.


The 790th Radar Squadron confirmed last week that there have been several reports of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) west of Kirksville.

At least eight area residents reported seeing an odd-shaped object with red, white and green lights Wednesday night.  It hovered over a lake in the Thousand Hills State Park then glided away quickly.

Officials at the radar base would not comment, but a source close to the base said there was something in the sky.


Fire badly damaged the interior of the Billy Hall residence northwest of Memphis Sunday morning about 11:30.  Billy’s father, James R. Hall who lives nearby had gone to the home to build up the fire, getting the house warm for Mr. and Mrs. Billy Hall who were returning home that afternoon.

He opened the wood stove and remained at the home for about a half hour, shut the stove off and returned to his home.

Not over thirty minutes later, Mrs. Victor Patton, another neighbor called Mr. Hall and told him that Billy’s house was on fire.

A call was put in to the Memphis fire department and in a few minutes neighbors had gathered at the home and succeeded in keeping the fire from spreading until the fire truck arrived and quickly extinguished the blaze.


A movement, which has been on foot in Scotland County for the past few months to organize a new bank in Memphis, reached a climax this week when the $50,000 capital stock and $25,000 surplus was oversubscribed, it is said.

Application has been made for a charter, according to W. A. Southerland, and all the requirements have been met.  After approval by the comptroller at Washington, the organization will be perfected.

No quarters for the new bank have been obtained although several buildings are under consideration.

At the present, there is said to be a total of 28 stock subscribers to the proposed institution.

Shrine of St. Patrick to Host Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival March 19th

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival hosted by the Shrine of St. Patrick is being held Sunday, March 19th in St. Patrick, MO.

The day’s events will begin at 9:00 a.m. with coffee and donuts.  Registration for the Leprechaun 5K race is from 9:00 to 9:45 with race time at 10:00 a.m.  Awards for the 5K race will be announced at 10:45 a.m.

Live Irish Music featuring Roger and Aaron Watson will also be held at 11:00 a.m.

A Roast Beef dinner will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The price for the meal is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and 5 and under eat free.  The meal is being served in the church basement.

Tours of the church and museum can be taken from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Silent auction bids will be taken on items with prizes pleasing to all.  The Daughters of Isabella will host a bake sale.

Additionally, throughout the day you can purchase grab bags at a cost of $1.00 and get an Irish surprise.  Envelopes, postcards, religious goods and souvenirs will be available all day in the church basement.

Fr. Christopher Aubuchon will celebrate Mass at the Shrine of St. Patrick at 3:00 p.m.

All events of the day will be at the Shrine of St. Patrick except for the pictorial cancellation and postal mailings at the St. Patrick Post Office.

For more information, please contact Kristin Roth at 660-727-3472 or visit their website at www.saintpatrickshrine.com

Be Sure To Change Your Mind Every 10,000 Miles 

The mind  plays a major, major role in the Kingdom system of God.  His very reach toward us comes with a package.  Within it we find helps and directives designed for us to enter an entirely new world.  Look at II Corinthians 5:16-17.  Old things pass away.  New things have come.  It’s a new world.

Here’s where Christianity becomes sluggish.  Rather than changing our minds, we simply top them off by adding a quart of new information.  This will help us keep running fairly good…. for a while.  But somewhere along the way, we are going to be required to switch minds (change our mind) ridding the old and receiving the new.  Some things in our minds are to be discarded.

I reached a point long ago where I needed to rid myself of believing that God worked only through the Bible.  I had to abandon such training in order to receive an entirely new thread of the information.  I had to empty out my mind of old thinking and refill it with the truth of the Holy Spirit working directly in our lives.

I had to empty my mind that I can’t be effective because I am not worthy.  My confidence is in the Spirit of God due to changing out my mind.  I learned to empty my mind of believing that I didn’t deserve to be mistreated for serving God.  I needed to replace the old thinking of my mind and refill with the new understanding that I am to take up my cross daily.

Okay, the changing of our mind won’t actually be every 10,000 miles.  Rather, it will be daily.  We can anticipate learning from God very new things; several of which will require more than accumulation of information.  Rather, it will mean we pull in to God’s service station for a mind-change.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day; II Cor. 4:16.


LAVAIN CALVIN “L.C.” CURRENT (8/10/1923 – 2/24/2017)

Lavain Calvin “L.C.” Current, age 93, of Canton, Missouri died Friday, February 24, 2017, at 8:15 p.m. in Hannibal Regional Hospital.

L.C. was born August 10, 1923 in Putnam County, Missouri, the son of George Edmun and Zelpha Delia Forbes Current. He married Dorothy Jean Baker on July 18, 1945 in Memphis, Missouri. She survives.

L.C. earned his Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Northeast Missouri State Teachers’ College in Kirksville, and his Master’s and 6th Year degrees from Western Illinois University. He began his teaching career in country schools in Missouri. He then taught 5th & 6th grades at Madison School in Quincy from 1957 until 1966 where he also was the intramural director for those grades. He was then the principal at Dewey School in Quincy from 1966 until his retirement in 1985. He was instrumental in the development of the progressive reading programs at Dewey.

L.C. was a member of Union United Methodist Church and also had attended The Crossing. He was a former board member of Sunset Home and former tutor at Chaddock School. He was a member of the National Education Association and the Illinois Retired Teachers’ Association. L.C. was also an avid woodworker, and he loved to play the guitar and harmonica.

L.C. is survived by six children, Linda (Chuck) DeVerger of Quincy, IL Deborah Current of Canton, Wanda Plawer of Fithian, IL, Nina Kyler of Normal, IL, Janet (Mark) Gall of Quincy, IL and Calvin Douglas Current of Canton; 14 grandchildren, Anthony DeVerger, Robyn Willing, Jason DeVerger, Sarah DeVerger, Shane Calvert, Dustin Calvert, Amanda Sperry, Dr. Miriah Plawer-Volmerding, Adam Plawer, Dr. Erik Kyler, Brenda Simons, Katherine Kyler, Frederic Gall and Nina Marie Gall; 24 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.

L.C. was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws Andrew and Blanche Baker; a brother, Darl Current; a sister, Derotha McNary; a son-in-law Brian Plawer; and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 3, 2017 at The Crossing, in Quincy, IL with Rev. Jim Dennis officiating. Inurnment will be in the Downing City Cemetery. A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 4th..

Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m., Friday March 3, 2017 at The Crossing.

Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society or Chaddock School.

Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of the arrangements. www.hansenspear.com

Little Johnny

John’s dad, Johnny, propped his gun up on the shooting stick. It was too heavy for him to hold himself. He gathered his boy close to his bosom and carefully tried to help him aim at the turkey’s neck. In the meantime, Little John was intent on looking down the barrel and putting the bead on the target, just like he had been taught. At seven years old it was a lot to remember, but he seemed to be doing just fine. It was his dad who was a nervous wreck. This was his son’s first shot at a turkey and it was a full-fledged strutter; a trophy for anyone, man or child.

Little John had laid his cheek on the stock of the gun. His hat and facemask were covering any lingering evidence of flesh. It was just a matter of time before the gobbler would appear in his line of fire. His dad gave him final instructions; “Pull the trigger when you have him in your sights.” As quickly as the words were spoken, Little John shot – and missed. The turkey turned and took flight, unscathed by the experience.

We gathered up any possibility of hope and looked for a sign on the ground of where the bird might have been hit. It was not to be. About five minutes passed and Little John was playing with his handheld game. His miss had somehow made its way to the list of things to not get overly discouraged about. He somehow knew that as long as dad was around, there would be other days and other opportunities. It even seemed his success had already taken place. It was when his dad invited him to go. Johnny on the other hand, kept reliving what had just happened. He mourned his son’s miss. He grieved the failed attempt. He so wanted his boy to shoot his first turkey. Tonight, Little John will sleep soundly; Johnny will not.

Our heavenly Father’s desire is for us to prosper. This doesn’t mean it’s His will for us to have a lot of money. Money could not replace this dad’s loss of joy. God’s prosperity, however, runs deeper than dollars.  He wants to bless our experiences as much as Johnny wanted Little John to be successful. This may on occasion involve finances, but more often it involves other things He brings into our lives. When we really know God’s heartfelt desire to bless us, we don’t have to linger too long on the times we missed, because we know another opportunity will come if we’ll listen for the invitation from the Father.

 Gary Miller

Outdoor Truths Ministries



Phillis Wheatley, born in West Africa about 1753, was kidnapped and brought to America on a slave ship in 1761. She was purchased by John Wheatley of Boston, Massachusetts as a personal servant for his wife, Susanna. According to custom, Phillis took the surname of her owners. Mrs. Wheatley took Phillis under her wing and soon recognized the young girl’s quick intelligence. Phillis was taught to read and write and received lessons in theology, English, Latin, and Greek. She was also instructed in ancient history, mythology and literature. This occurred at a time when African-Americans were discouraged from learning to read and write. Phillis Wheatley found her passion in writing poetry, and wrote her first published poem around age 13. She was encouraged in her literary pursuits by the Wheatley family. In 1773, her first book of poetry was published, with a preface in which seventeen Boston men, including John Hancock, affirmed that Wheatley was indeed the author. She was a strong supporter of America’s fight for independence, and wrote several poems in honor of the Continental Army’s commander, General George Washington. In response to his invitation, she visited him at his headquarters in Massachusetts in 1776. Phillis Wheatley became a free person sometime between 1774 and 1778. In 1778 she married John Peters, a free African-American from Boston. Three children were born, and the family struggled with constant poverty. John Peters eventually deserted Phillis, who died in her early 30s, along with her last surviving child, on December 5, 1784.

From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

McBee, Alexander Named to Truman State University VP’s Honor Roll

The Office of the Registrar at Truman State University has released the Fall 2016 Vice President for Academic Affairs’ List.

To qualify for this list, an undergraduate student must attain a semester 3.50-3.99 grade point average and must complete 12 semester hours of credit.

Scotland County R-I graduates Lorrin McBee and Morgan Alexander were named to the honor roll.

Founded in 1867, Truman is Missouri’s public liberal arts and sciences university. Truman has the highest graduation rate among the state’s public colleges and universities. U.S. News & World Report has rated Truman as the No. 1 public university in the Midwest region for 19 consecutive years. Consumers Digest rated Truman as the No. 1 value in the nation among public colleges and universities.

BLEND to Perform at First Christian Church in Memphis on March 1st

Blend, an a cappella quartet, is returning to Memphis at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1st at the First Christian Church in Memphis.  The a cappella group has made previous appearances in Memphis at both the First Baptist Church and the Memphis Theatre.

Blend was formed at John A. Logan College as a minor project that quickly blossomed into the makings of a successful career for its four members.  Johnathan Estes of the group says, “We started several years ago for a talent show and ended up winning.  From there, found we had a unique sound, so we decided to pursue it as a career.”   The real strength of Blend lies in their ability to entertain crowds of all ages with their energy, humor, renditions of songs which most everyone has heard at some time, all while keeping a Christian undertone.  In addition to their classic doo-wop routine, they are also a deeply spiritual group and love to share their gospel music as well.

The group has performed at churches with their Gospel arrangements and has wowed the crowds at other venues such as fairs, festivals and performing arts centers with their amazing a cappella version of the 50’s and 60’s.  They have been recognized and awarded “BEST OF SHOW 2006 and 2007” in Murray, Kentucky as well as many other awards.  In 2008, Blend appeared as special guests at the Dick Clark American Band Stand Theater in Branson, Missouri.  This led to an offer to perform their show in Branson at the Gene Williams Country Music Theater on a regular basis.  However, the timing was not right.  Blend had to decline the great opportunity due to their dedication to educational responsibilities and pursuits.

While 2008 proved to be a successful year for them, the group made some changes to the presentation of their show.  Developing a show fit for performing arts centers with a bit of nostalgic and unique flair, Blend began touring as far south as Florida and into the northern part of the country in states like Minnesota and South Dakota.  The show quickly gained attention as audiences across the Midwest grew fond of the sounds and entertainment that these four guys bring to the stage with each performance.  Due to this overwhelmingly positive response, Blend was offered the opportunity to perform full-time in the cities of Hannibal, MO and Paducah, KY in 2010.  The group, however, has continued to travel the country in order to be heard more broadly.

After making several appearances through the years in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the city proudly welcomed Blend to present shows daily at the Vienna Theatre through the summer of 2011 and 2012.  In 2014, they were asked to perform regularly at the Five Star Dinner Theatre. Nestled in the heart of downtown Hot Springs, Blend quickly became a “must see” show.  The success has continued for the group in the past few years as they have traveled and performed in spots all over the country.  Blend has worked with various artists, and can be seen performing backup vocals on Ronnie McDowell’s show as well as on his album entitled, “I’m Gonna Dance with the Ones that Brought Me.”  Come see for yourself why people across the country are raving about the very entertaining a cappella quartet from Southern Illinois.  You won’t be disappointed.

For more information about the quartet, visit their website at http://www.blend-acappella.com/.

International Eyecare Center Memphis Office Has Moved


International Eyecare Center in Memphis, Missouri has moved to a new location! IEC is still located on the Scotland County Hospital campus, but has moved to the former Scotland County Health Department building.  Optometrist Dr. Kelly Sharpe will begin seeing patients in the new facility on Tuesday, February 21st.

“We are looking forward to utilizing the added space to offer our patients a more comfortable overall experience when they visit us,” said Dr. Kelly Sharpe.  Sharpe sees patients in the Memphis, MO location on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“We love being a part of the Memphis medical community,” said Ashley Lay, Regional Manager at International Eyecare Center.  “For a smaller town, it is very impressive that Memphis has so much to offer its community and we are excited to continue to add to it.”

International Eyecare Center has been serving the Memphis, MO community for over five years.  IEC has thirteen offices in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri and was founded in 1981 in Quincy, IL.  International Eyecare Center offers the latest in eye healthcare, contact lens innovations, fashion eyewear, and comprehensive eye exams for the entire family.

To schedule an appointment call toll-free at (877) 457-6485.  Appointments can also be made online at www.iec2020.com.

Lady Tigers Withstand Hot Start by Van-Far to Win District Opener 75-56

Ashleigh Creek had a big first period to help Scotland County withstand a hot start by Van-Far in the district opener.

Early on in Monday night’s district opener, it appeared like the bracket builders may have made a mistake as the #7 seed Van- Far looked like state champions. The Lady Indians came out on fire, scoring 24 first period points to give #2 seed Scotland County a scare.

Van-Far was on fire from three-point range in the opening eight minutes, sinking six shots from behind the arc.

The Lady Indians opened the scoring with a pair of three-pointers. Abi Feeney started Scotland County off with a drive to the hoop. Chelsea Wood then sank a pair of free throws before Ashleigh Creek hit back-to-back jumpers to pull SCR-I within 9-8. Wood and Creek each had buckets in the paint before Maddie Brassfield sank a three-pointer. A Brassfield free throw knotted the score at 16-16 with 1:31 left in the first period.

Van-Far sank a pair of three-pointers to close the opening frame on top 24-18.

“Obviously that’s not the start you want,” said Coach Cory Shultz. “But I knew our defense was better than that, and it was going to be extremely difficult for them to maintain that level of shooting for four quarters.”

Madie Bondurant made a steal and scored on the fast break to start the second period. Brassfield sank a three-pointer before Abi Feeney converted two free throws. Brassfield scored in the paint with 5:55 left in the second period to give the Lady Tigers their first lead of the game at 27-26.

Calesse Bair scored on an offensive rebound and Feeney followed with a drive to the rim. Bair then stole the inbounds pass and scored a transition bucket to extend the lead to 33-26 and force a Van-Far timeout.

The Lady Indians pulled within two points before Feeney sank two more free throws. A jumper by Creek ended the second period with SCR-I on top 40-35.

Scotland County began to pull away in the third period. Wood opened the quarter with a pair of buckets in the paint and Feeney added a three-point play to push the lead to 47-37.

Chelsea Wood

Scotland County went to the free throw line 13 times in the third period, converting on nine of those chances, before Brassfield capped off the quarter with a three-pointer to put Scotland County out in front 58-42.

Brassfield opened the fourth quarter with a basket off an offensive rebound. Feeney sank four straight free throws to make the score 64-45 with 6:40 left to play. Wood scored on a drive to the hoop and added two more field goals in the paint to cap off a big night. Feeney continued to beat Van-Far off the dribble, scoring on a drive to the hoop before heading back to the free throw line for two more points. The senior made 14 of 15 from the charity stripe on the night, finishing off the 75-56 win for SCR-I.

Scotland County improved to 23-1 on the year and advances to the Class 2 District 6 semifinals to take on #3 seed Paris, a 60-31 winner over Canton.

Feeney led the Lady Tigers with 22 points. Wood finished with 20 while Brassfield had 14 and Creek added nine.

Abi Feeney

« Older Entries