September 26, 2013

Writing Takes Former Memphis Resident to United Kingdom

Former Memphis resident Janet Trueblood Baldwin Heptigs writing took her to the United Kingdom this summer to study at the renowned Exeter College.

Writing has taken Janet Trueblood Baldwin Heptig a long way from her roots in Scotland County but never as far as it did this summer.

The English teacher who now calls the St. Louis area home, was named the region's English Speaking Union Fellow. The prestigious honor allowed her to travel to the United Kingdom to study for three weeks.

Janet was the guest of Exeter College, Oxford, the fourth oldest college of the university, which was founded in 1314 with a tower from the late fifteen-century (1492) still anchoring the quadrangle.

"The course began with a formal dinner straight from a scene in Harry Potter," said Janet. "In the old classically decorated, candlelit room, the seated students rose upon the entrance of the gowned faculty and after a few introductory words, the meal began."

The Missourian joined a diverse group of students from Australia, Germany, Poland, Sri Lanka, Nairobi, and the USA. Most of the 50 students in the program were writers with only a few teachers in the program. And there were just a few English Speaking Union fellows.

"Each day, I would walk the well-worn steps tread upon by many before including masters such as J.R.R. Tolkein, Philip Pullman, and Richard Burton," Janet said.

She attended classes entitled "Learning from the Masters" & "Developing Creative Writers", each two hours long, twice a week with assigned homework taught by published professors. Janet also heard daily lectures on topics such as radio drama, publishing children's literature, how to get an agent/ publisher, digital publishing, working with an editor, travel writing, memoirs, crime fiction, poetry, published writers about the writing process, the creative process, what makes a romance novel work, screenwriting for Hollywood, journalism in today's world, bookselling in today's world, and competitions to get published.

"I personally wrote daily from micro fiction to a 2,500 word original short stories to a 2,000 word literary analysis," said Janet. "The experience has changed the way I look at how something is written when I read as well as how I write. I intend to both live these new skills and to share them with students."

It wasn't all work for the teacher. Janet said she was able to have her husband, Joe Heptig, and youngest daughter, Diane Baldwin of Los Angeles, joined her in exploring Oxford, the Oxfordshire countryside (including the village where Downton Abbey is filmed), and London when she wasn't in class or doing homework.

"And all of this started in Mrs. Leeper's kindergarten class at the old elementary school there in Memphis," she said.

Janet Heptig is a 1974 graduate of Scotland County R-I. She went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Truman University in Secondary Education/ Social Studies with a minor in Language Arts. Her master's degree was from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Gifted and Talented Education, and Janet also holds a doctorate degree (Ed. D.) from Saint Louis University in Educational Leadership. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher (2000, Early Adolescent Generalist, 2010 renewed).

She currently teaches Gifted Honors English at Pattonville R-3 High School and also serves as an adjunct professor at Fontbonne University.

Janet is the daughter of Bob Trueblood of Arbela and Lela Trueblood of Memphis.

VIRGINIA EILENE (KASSAHN) MCCABE (3/23/1927 – 12/11/2018)

Virginia Eilene (Kassahn) McCabe, 91, of Rutledge died Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville.

Shewas born on March 23, 1927, at home south of Rutledge in Benton Township, in Knox County, Missouri the daughter of John and Ula Arehart Kassahn and was welcomed by sister, Winnie.

Eilene married Hillis McCabe at her parents’ home on July 13, 1947 surrounded by their beautiful flower garden.   Hillis preceded her in death on June 4, 2007. To this union three daughters were born.   

Eilene walked to Millport to attend grade school and when her sister started high school they walked to the Rutledge School, from where she graduated.   She was “Baby” in the school play “Bringing Up Baby”.   Eilene also played on the girls’ basketball team.   She moved to Kansas City, following graduation, to work at Pratte Whitney and then to Ft. Madison to work at Schaefer Pen.   When she visited Rutledge, she rode the “Doodle Bug” train.   She returned to Rutledge after she married Hillis.

She was a wonderful homemaker – cooking delicious meals for her family.   Eilene had a large garden and raised chickens for butchering and made many of her children’s clothing.   Eilene sold Avon as a part-time job. 

She worked in the “cook shack” at the Irvin Johnston’s Dog and Flea Market.  When the Methodist Church consolidated with Memphis, she and her good friend Marge Ward came up with the idea of purchasing  the building for the Rutledge OES and Masonic Hall.   It was from this idea that started the ladies’ 35 year career of managing the “cook shack” to raise funds for this purchase and other non-profit organizations in Rutledge and surrounding communities.

Eilene loved living in the Rutledge community – attending and volunteering for many activities.   When her children were young, she was a 4-H leader and an active member of the PTA.  One major activity her children remember was the ladies making new curtains for the Rutledge school stage.    Eilene sewed vests for riders, flags and horse decorations for the Rutledge Saddle Club.   She was a 50 year plus member of the Rutledge Eastern Star Chapter 343, serving as “Worthy Matron” and other offices  in the chapter.

She enjoyed spending time with her family – visiting and participating in a lot of fun activities, celebrating birthdays and the holidays together.   Her grandchildren and great- grandchildren were the apples of her eye.   She was a loving and caring wife, mom, grandmother, sister and sister-in-law who will be sadly missed by her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; granddaughter Melanie,father-in-law and mother-in-law, Letus and Mildred McCabe; sister and brother-in-law, Winnie and Forrest Parrish; son-in-law, Jack Guthrie;brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Leon and Patricia McCabe; and a nephew, Jerry Parrish.

Sheis survived by her daughters, Cheryl (Jim) Nowell of Gower, MO, Carol McCabe of Rutledge and Lucinda Guthrie of Trenton; grandchildren, Sara (Edward) Gize, Lori (John) Casteel, Nick (Kelli) Oldham, Valarie Oldham and fiancé Jesse Jarvis and Jon(Amy) Guthrie; grandchildren, Lydia and Alana Gize, Henry Casteel, Reid Oldham and brother due in March, Levi and Gunner Oldham, James, Nora Eilene and Lucille (Lucy) Guthrie; nieces Janice Kay Duran and Lisa Parish; and a host of friends.

Funeral services were December 15, 2018 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with Jon Guthrie officiating.   Burial was in the Pauline Cemetery in Rutledge.   An Eastern Star service was performed by the Rutledge Eastern Star Chapter #343.   Her grandchildren served as pallbearers.

Memorials are suggested to the Pauline Cemetery and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Condolences may be sent to the McCabe family by signing the online guest book at

Arrangements are under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service.

Christmas Trees

It’s that time of year when you either already have your tree up, or wanting to take a trip to a local tree farm and get one.  What fun it is for the kiddos to go tree shopping. All those candy canes and watching them shake the dead needles off the tree, excitement.

There are over a dozen different types of evergreens sold in the United States for use as Christmas trees! The most popular are the Douglas fir, balsam fir, and Scotch Pine. How do you find the one that’s right for your family?

Firs have a strong fragrance, and they, along with the Scotch pine, are long-lasting. Both are good choices if you like to leave your tree up for a long time.  Scotch pine is hardy; even if you forget to water it, it rarely loses its needles.  Blue spruce trees have sturdy branches for those heavy ornaments, but they are the quickest tree to dry out.

Test your tree to see how fresh it is.  Bounce it on the ground; if its fresh you should lose very few needles. Another test is to pull needles at the end of a branch. If they come out easily, the tree’s already too dry. Other trees have been dyed to look fresher than they are. Look underneath the needles to check that out. 

I know most of you go to a tree farm, not the local tree lot. I am sure in bigger places, the tree lots are also a choice. You might consider buying a live tree.  You can dig a hole in October for where you think you want the tree and then get a nice tree. When you bring the tree home let it soak up as much water as possible. Remove burlap wrapping and let excess water drain in laundry sink or bucket.  Wrap the ball of the tree in plastic and secure tightly.  Remember, if you choose to do this, live trees can’t be kept indoors for more than a week.  If you forgot to dig the hole before the ground was frozen, keep your tree in an unseated but sheltered place and cover the root ball with a blanket until you are ready to plant the tree in the spring.  This would be fun for children,and planting in the spring, memories would be made. 

Or, you can do like I do, bring my tree upstairs, decorate,and purchase small tubes that smell like evergreen and I’m ready.  I’m allergic to real trees, and gave up the real tree many years ago.  If you do have a real tree, you can also put it out after Christmas for the birds to sit in near a feeding station.

What fun the holidays are, until next time good bird watching.

Living Life Over


Scotland County Hospital Board of Directors and Administration were pleased to announce this week the signing of an employment contract with Lisa Rollison, DO.

Dr. Rollison is no stranger to this area.  She is the daughter of Stan and Brenda Prather, was a 1992 graduate of Scotland County R-1 High School, and a 1997 graduate of Truman State University in Kirksville.  She earned her medical degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and is board certified in general surgery.


A Gorin home sustained extensive damage during a Saturday night fire.  According to the Gorin Fire Department, the blaze was reported at the home of Guy McConnell on the south edge of the rural Scotland County town at approximately 9:20 p.m.

Volunteers from the fire department responded to the home to find the roof area of the residence engulfed by flames.  The firemen were able to douse the blaze but not before the one-story building sustained extensive fire,smoke, and water damage.

The blaze was believed to have started in the attic near a vent-less heater and was believed to be possibly electrical in nature.

McConnell was home at the time of the fire, and was able to escape the blaze uninjured.


They have held three very different jobs and served the county for different lengths of time, but one thing is the same for Carolyn Blake, Joan DeRosear, and John Luther, none of them have any idea what they are going to do following their retirement this year.

The three public servants were honored at an open house at the Scotland County Courthouse December 11th.  None of the public servants offered any immediate plans of action following their retirement this year, beyond relaxing and enjoying the time at home.


Lori (Johnson) Al-Jundi, a native of Scotland County, spent several Christmas holidays in Kuwait.  She shares some of the ways people there observe Christmas.

“Christmas in Kuwait was not celebrated too differently than here in the U.S.  The biggest difference was that Arab Christians do not celebrate Christmas on December 25th.  They follow the old Roman calendar so Christmas is not celebrated until January 6 or 7.  Most years we would get together with all our English and American friends on Christmas Eve and go ice skating or just be together to celebrate the holiday.

The last year we were in Kuwait they imported pine trees, which was something that had never happened before.  Everyone that I knew or would meet at work were very nice in remembering me at Christmas time whether they were Christian or Muslim.

One of the nicest things I heard while I was in Kuwait was from an older Kuwaiti citizen.  He told me one day that there is no place else on earth that he would rather be than in the U. S. at Christmas time.  It sure brightened up my holiday to hear a compliment about the U.S.


The Gorin Young Homemakers held their Christmas supper at the Community Hall, Saturday night, December 2nd.

A bountiful supper was enjoyed by all.  A short meeting was conducted by Mrs. D. J. Tague, Vice President.  Christmas songs were sung by the group, led by D. J. A gift exchange was also held.

Those present for the supper were Mr. and Mrs. Don Tague and son Paul, Timmy Frazier, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Brown and Jimmy Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Cleon Rhodes, Jennie Lane, and Helen Chambers.


Robert Foss, owner and manager of Foss Grain Company here, fell 10 feet to a concrete platform while at work here Saturday morning.  After being treated by the local doctor, he was taken to Davis County Hospital at Bloomfield, IA,where he remained a patient until Tuesday evening.

Foss and his 17-year-old son, Chris, were getting ready to load corn into a box car at the time of the accident.  Foss was working on a scaffolding near the box car loading facility when a pipe broke under him, throwing him to the platform.  He suffered a concussion,broken bones in both wrists, and a laceration on his head.


The Missouri State High School basketball tournaments, to be played next spring, were announced as to location and sites of the regionals included Gorin for Class S schools.  Kirksville is listed as the site of the Class M regional tourney play.

The first round Class S state tournament games will be played at Kirksville March 2 as will the first round of Class M.  Second round play will be March 4 at Kirksville.

The class M and S semi-finals and finals will be played at Columbia, March 6th and 7th, according to a recent announcement.


President Truman will start his Christmas holiday Wednesday when he will fly to his home in Independence, MO.

The President will address the nation on Christmas Eve in a radio broadcast from Independence.

Mr. Truman will take off for Missouri at 10 a.m. Wednesday aboard “The Independence,” the White House plane, the White House announced Monday.

Mr. Truman will remain in Missouri probably until Dec. 29, when he will fly back to Washington.

Although he will be home during the Christmas season, Mr. Truman will have to keep up with his White House work. Consequently, he will be accompanied by two of his secretaries, Mathew J. Connelly and Charles G. Ross.

The President will participate in the annual White House Christmas tree ceremony on Christmas Eve.  From his home in Independence, Mr. Truman will light the tree by pressing an electric key.  Then he will address the nation by radio.

Rutledge Renegades

Our sympathy to family and friends of Eilene McCabe.

Also sympathy to family and friends of Ercel Corwin. (He lived in Kansas City.)

On Sunday, December 9, 2018, Martin Guinn and Reva hosted a Christmas dinner for Reva’s family. Others attending were Jenny and Randy Walker, Neta Phillips, LaCrisha and Rich Wagy, Jr., LeKaylee Austin, Ivy Waggy, Travis Waggy, Penny Hustead and friend Michael, Will Hustead, Waid Kaylar, Carley and Ethan Sharp, and Teddy Ammons.

Emma Shirk’s parents from Wisconsin were here visiting.

Joyce Bradley, from Camp Point, IL, came to visit Aunt Maxine and Emmett Phillips.  She also visited with her brother, Pat Bradley, of Bible Grove.

Martin and Reva went to Kirksville.

Neta Phillips went to Kirksville.

Ronnie and Bonnie Young went to Columbia.

Troy and Marissa Tague and children, Trevor and Travis, came from Carrollton, MO to visit dad/granddad Dale Tague and other family.

Martin and Reva hosted a Christmas dinner for Martin’s family on Thursday, December 13, 2018. Others attending were Joe and Carol Murffin, Terry and Debbie Guinn, Michelle Bickhouse, Gloria Guinn, Madilyn Rose Bickhouse, and Prudence and Shoby Martin.

Dixie and Waverly Bunting, Jr. visited with Ann and Leon Shaw.

Neta Phillips celebrated her birthday (Dec. 17) on Saturday,December 15.  Those attending were Dale Tague, Ruth Ludwick, Ronnie and Bonnie Young, Dixie and Waverly Bunting Jr.,Mike and Pam Blaine, Leon and Ann Shaw, Reva Hustead, Martin Guinn, Bob andDorothy Hunolt, and Nancy Jo Waack.

Others in this week were Emmett and Maxine Phillips.

LISA JANETTE (BIRK)WASHINGTON (5/7/1957 – 12/14/2018)

Lisa Janette (Birk) Washington, 61, of Iowa City, IA, died Friday, December 14,2018, at home.

Lisa was born May 7, 1957 in Ottumwa, Iowa, the daughter of Jan Huffman. Afterbirth, she was adopted by the lovely Earl and Beverly Birk of Memphis, Missouri. She grew up in Memphis and graduated from Scotland County High School in 1975. She went on to graduate from Southeastern Community College in Burlington, Iowa in 1978, with her licensed practical nursing degree. She moved to Iowa City that same year and in July of 1979 started working as an LPN at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. 

In 1981 she met the love of her life, Ronnie Washington and in 1983, Lisa moved in with Ronnie and his daughter Nicole – and they became a family. Lisa embraced Nicole as her own daughter and loved her as such and Nicole loved her just the same. In August of 1991, Lisa and Ronnie were married. To that union her beloved son Miles was born in August of 1993. In December of 2004, Lisa was blessed with twin granddaughters, Nikayla and Nichelle, that she loved very much. 

Time went on and Lisa continued to work at the University of Iowa making many friends. 

She worked on ENT-GH and the pediatric bone marrow transplant unit, before leaving the unit and working in Epidemiology, where she retired from in 2015.

Lisa leaves to cherish her memory, her husband Ronnie Washington of Iowa City; her daughter, Nicole Marie Johnson (Steven) of Meridian, Mississippi; her son, Miles Washington of Iowa City; granddaughters, Nikayla and Nichelle Johnson and a loving mother-in-law, Willie Lang, all of Meridian, Mississippi; her best friend and acquired sister, Joan Barr of Coralville; close friends and acquired family, Terry and Shellie Irwin and family of Mission Viejo, California; a godson, Derek Irwin of Minneapolis, Minnesota and a host of cousins and friends. 

Her parents, Earl and Beverly Birk and her close cousin, Diana (Donaldson) Billingsley preceded her in death.

Visitation was held December 19th at Lensing Funeral Home in Coralville, IA. Instead of flowers and plants, the family requests memorials to Iowa City Hospice or Diabetes Research, c/o The University of Iowa Foundation.

Clark County Tackles Tigers 66-36 in Makeup Contest

Will Fromm drives through the Clark County defense for two points.

Because of a state football playoff run, Clark County had to postpone its basketball season opener earlier this year versus Scotland County.The wait didn’t help the Tigers any, as Clark County rolled to a 66-36 victory on Monday night in Memphis.

Clark County forced SCR-I out of a zone defense early with some sharp shooting from behind the three-point line. The Indians locked down leading scorer Will Fromm, holding him scoreless in the opening period as the Tigers were also without starter Parker Triplett who missed the game due to illness. Jared Dunn picked up the slack, scoring nine points for the Tigers who trailed 24-9 at the end of one quarter of play.

Fromm opened the second period with a basket in the paint before Jace Morrow canned a deep three-pointer to cut the deficit to 26-14 early in the second period. That was as close as SCR-I would get as SCR-I went the rest of the period without a field goal, allowing Clark County to extend the margin to 38-18 at the half.

Kaden Anders gave the home crowd something to cheer about with an acrobatic three-point play midway through the third period but it was academic as the Indians rolled to the 66-36 victory.

Scotland County dropped to 2-6 on the year. Dunn and Fromm each scored 13 points to lead the Tigers.

Harrisburg Hammers Tigers 73-35 in Conference Opener

A three-pointer by Jared Dunn at the outset of Friday night’s Lewis & Clark Conference opener proved to be the lone ray of hope for Scotland County, as a talented youthful Harrisburg roster ran away with the contest after that point en route to a 73-35 victory.

Scotland County struggled to make shots, with the only other field goal in the first period a driving score by Will Fromm. That allowed Harrisburg to take a 14-5 lead by the end of the first period.

The Bulldogs truly took charge of the contest in the second period, as SCR-I was unable to answer the shooting of Tanner Lanes. The freshman got hot from behind the arc, knocking down a  trio of three-pointers to pace a 10-0 Harrisburg run to extend the home team’s lead to 33-12 late in the second period.

Lanes kept up the scoring in the second half, finishing with a game-high 24 points as Harrisburg (2-4) rolled to the 73-35 victory.

Fromm finished with 15 points to lead Scotland County in scoring. Dunn added seven points as SCR-I dropped to 2-5 on the year and 0-1 in the Lewis & Clark Conference.

Lady Tigers Rout Rams 48-20 Behind Stifling Defense

Kilee Bradley-Robinson drives to the basket with a Schuyler County defender saddled to her back.

Schuyler County simply had no answer for the relentless Scotland County pressure on Tuesday night in Memphis. In the annual “Pink Out” game to honor the fight against cancer, Scotland County did its best to bring an end to scoring, holding Schuyler County to just 20 points on the evening to cruise to the easy victory.

SCR-I set the tone early with its full court press that setup scoring opportunities for Hannah Feeney and Madie Bondurant. The guard tandem combined for 14 points in the opening frame as SCR-I ran out to a 17-7 advantage.

The defense clamped down even further in the second quarter,holding Schuyler County to a lone field goal. Baskets by Micah Cooley and Kaylyn Anders helped extend the lead to 27-10 at the half.

Anders opened the third period with back-to-back scores before Katie Feeney sank a three-pointer. Kylee Stott scored off a steal and then added a three-point play as the Lady Tigers kept their foot on the gas to extend the lead to 40-16 to end the third quarter.

The Lady Tigers spread the wealth in the fourth period with a running clock. Morgan Blessing, Aayla Humphrey and Emiley Dial all got into the scorebook as nine different Lady Tigers scored in the 48-20 victory.

Scotland County improved to 4-3 on the season with the victory. Anders and Feeney each finished with nine points to pace the Lady Tigers offense. Bondurant had eight and Stott finished with seven.

Tigers Top Schuyler County for 50-36 Victory in Pink Out Game

Scotland County had a big crowd Tuesday night for the annual Pink Out game to raise awareness for the fight against cancer, and the Tigers didn’t disappoint, posting a 50-36 victory over Schuyler County.

Scotland County never trailed on the night as baskets by Kaden Anders, Jared Dunn and Will Fromm opened a 6-0 lead.  Fromm added a pair of three-pointers before the Rams trimmed the deficit to 14-11 to close the first period.

Dunn opened the second period with five straight points before finding Parker Triplett with a nice pass for an easy score in the paint to build a 21-13 lead. Fromm again connected from behind the arc and SCR-I went on to extend the lead to double digits at 28-18 at the half.

The Tigers looked poised to blow the contest open with a solid third period. Triplett opened the run with a three point play and Dunn had a pair of field goals as SCR-I went ahead 39-23 with just eight minutes to play.

Kade Richmond scored on a drive to the rim to start the fourth period and the lead grew to 41-23. But the Rams answered with a 7-0 run to force a SCR-I timeout with 5:19 left to play and the lead down to 41-30.

Anders hit a jumper and Fromm converted a three-point play to swing the momentum back to the Tigers, who put the game away at the free throw line down the stretch.

Scotland County improved to 2-5 on the year with the win.Fromm led the way with 20 points. Dunn finished with 14 points and Triplett added nine.

Lady Tigers Overcome Injury, Free Throw Struggles to Win Conference Opener

Micah Cooley puts up the shot versus Harrisburg.

After seeing a teammate helped off the court with an apparent knee injury just seconds into the start of Friday night’s game at Harrisburg it is easy to understand why the Lady Tigers’ minds may have been elsewhere.

Despite losing starter Kylee Stott 30 seconds into the game, SCR-I was still able to pull ahead of the Lady Bulldogs 9-5 in SCR-I’s conference opener, as Harrisburg struggled to handle the Scotland County press.

Unfortunately SCR-I battled turnover troubles early on as well, limiting the lead to just three points in the opening eight minutes.

The second quarter was the difference maker, as Scotland County started clicking on offense. Katie Feeney sank a three-pointer and Micah Cooley had a pair of field goals in the paint. After Hannah Feeney scored on a drive to the rim, fellow freshman Emiley Dial had back-to-back scores. Katie Feeney dribbled the length of the court in less than five seconds and beat the buzzer with a deep runner that gave SCR-I a 25-13 lead at the half.

Unfortunately the Lady Tigers left their shooting touch in the locker room. Scotland County managed just three field goals the entire second half.

Madie Bondurant sank a three pointer and Cooley added a pair of free throws as SCR-I was held to just six third quarter points. Harrisburg cut the deficit to 31-22 with just eight minutes to play.

After a bucket by Cooley returned the lead to double digits in the first period, Harrisburg rallied to make the score 34-29 with 5:03 left to play.

A three-point play by Kaylyn Anders gave SCR-I some breathing room, but sketchy free throw shooting down the stretch had SCR-I fans holding their breath. The Lady Tigers made just three of 12 attempts over the next three minutes. Fortunately Harrisburg was not able to take advantage of the opportunities on the other end, and Scotland County held on for the 42-32 victory.

Scotland County won the turnover battle, forcing 34 Harrisburg miscues to 19 for the Lady Tigers. Micah Cooley led the way for SCR-I with 12 points and 12 rebounds as SCR-I improved to 5-3 on the season and 1-0 in Lewis & Clark Conference play. Kaylyn Anders finished with 11 points and also had eight steals.

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