Courtney's Comments by Courtney Luke en-us Self checks save lives Courtney Luke DNC Staff Reporter "This was actually the first mammogram I'd ever had," Dana Gough shared of her recent fight against breast cancer. Dana was watching an interview with Monica Edmonds, a friend from Bernie who has been fighting breast cancer, when she decided she had better check herself. "She was talking about what she had found and I thought I should look," she explained. "I noticed something." She followed her self-examination with a doctor's visit and a mammogram.... Mon, 26 Oct 2015 17:30:02 -0500 A Tale of Two Annes By Courtney Luke Eighth grade Caitlin Dollins is already a veteran of the stage. Within the year, she has acted the title lead in two separate productions of The Stage Company of Poplar Bluff. She excelled at portraying two very different young girls named Anne. In The Diary of Anne Frank, she portrayed a young Jewish girl forced to live in hiding with her own family and others during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. As most of us remember from our years in school, the real Anne... Mon, 28 Sep 2015 23:22:01 -0500 Just Take Me To The Fair By Courtney Luke I want to go to the county fair. They have things to see out there, The goats and gulls, The bucks and bulls. The spinning of the ferris wheel. Betty Sue and Sally Lou, They both want to see it, too. Together, we will laugh and sing And hang the bottle with a ring. I've worked all month to earn a buck And now it's time to try my luck. I'll throw the ball, I'll throw the dart. Can't hardly wait until I hear "Start". I'll aim straight and toss real... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:42:12 -0500 Salute to Shaw Courtney Luke DNC Staff Reporter During his ninety years here on earth, David Shaw has seen and done many things. He still maintains an active lifestyle managing Bingo at Malden's American Legion and playing a prominent role in local veteran activities. Recently, he shared some military stories with the crowd gathered at the Cotton Belt Park for a Memorial Day ceremony. Two weeks after his high school graduation in 1943, Uncle Sam called young David up for service in the Army Air Corps.... Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:55:25 -0500 Jeri Kay Hardy, 39 Jerri Kay Hardy is not a new face to the education system in Missouri's Bootheel. She is a 1994 graduate of Senath-Hornersville High School and has, since 2002, worked in education throughout the region. When Jeri Kay was only in third grade at Kennett Elementary School, she was inspired by her teacher, Judy Montgomery, whose classroom motto was to always do your best. She has tried to live by that motto since. "I believe whatever you do, you should strive for excellence. If I come to work... Wed, 03 Jun 2015 13:46:01 -0500 Mark Pickard, 38 "My whole life has led to this path," explained Mark Pickard in reference to his ministry as pastor of Semo Community Church in Malden. He believes that all his other life experiences have given him a background for this ministry. Mark was born in 1976 in St. Louis- the son of a police officer and a stay-at-home mom. He has one brother. The family soon moved to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri when his father transferred. In 1989, they moved to Malden when his father retired from the police... Wed, 03 Jun 2015 13:41:59 -0500 Meredith Garris, 36 Meredith Garris was elected as a Malden City Councilperson for Ward IV in 2013. Her primary goal as a Councilperson has been to assist with the annual budget and continue to help ensure that good financial decisions are made for the City and that the budget remains balanced. From 2002-2008, Meredith worked as Malden's Deputy City Clerk and Treasurer. She felt that experience in City Hall could be a benefit in a City Council position and assist with budget concerns. She was encouraged by... Wed, 03 Jun 2015 13:39:45 -0500 Ben Foster, 28 When considering a career, Ben Foster looked back through the years and thought about those who had influenced him- they were teachers, coaches, and administrators. "I wanted to have an impact on lives," he remembers. Ben was an athlete and says his life revolved around sports, especially baseball and football. He was also a member of the National Honor Society. Following his 2005 graduation from Kennett High School, he began pursuing a degree at St. Louis Community College before... Tue, 26 May 2015 23:28:54 -0500 Mike Vipperman, 32 In 1982, Mike Vipperman was born in Mansfield, Ohio, the youngest of four brothers. As a young person, he enjoyed football, basketball, and soccer. Mike was also involved in his church's choir and drama programs and youth outreach team. He was an active member of his local FCA group. After his 2000 graduation from Ashland High School, he continued his football and basketball career playing at Ashland University. Eventually, he transferred to Graceland University in Iowa, and there his life... Tue, 26 May 2015 23:27:39 -0500 Sandra Saulsbery, 39 Since 1994, Sandra Saulsbery has worked in banking. Fresh out of high school, she started a part-time job as a teller at Roosevelt Bank in Malden. She was soon hired on as a full-time employee and has over the last 21 years, worked her way up to Branch Manager at First State Community Bank in Malden and Retail Regional Manager over the Kennett, Malden, Hayti, Portageville, and Risco facilities. As Sandra was working her way up "from the bottom", she made it a practice to learn as much as she... Tue, 26 May 2015 23:26:20 -0500 Josh Blaylock, 35 In 1980, Josh Blaylock was born into a family of athletes and educators. It seemed inevitable he would follow a similar path. He is the only son of retired Malden School teachers, Gary and Pat Blaylock. He had a love for sports from the beginning and typically played whatever was in season. From the time he was in Little League through his final year of high school, his dad coached him in some capacity. An especially important memory to Josh is, when in his senior year, his dad was his... Tue, 26 May 2015 23:24:59 -0500 Phillip Wilkins, Jr., 26 "I would see him, the way that he could really help patients out and I wanted to be able to do that too," said Phillip Wilkins, Jr., pharmacist at Malden Pharmacy, of his father, Phillip Wilkins who has for many years been a successful pharmacist. "I always wanted to do something where you can be beneficial to others- make a noticeable difference." Helping others is, in fact, one of the main things he likes about his occupation. He remembers many times when he's seen his dad help customers... Tue, 26 May 2015 23:22:58 -0500 Samuel Pulley, 36 Samuel Pulley grew up a pastor's kid. After seeing first hand a dad who ministered for the Lord, Samuel began feeling a call to the same work. After many years serving in various types of ministry, Samuel began to make plans to start a church in Malden. He felt that God led him directly to that location- one he was familiar with, having spent many years there in his childhood. In 1978, Samuel was born the youngest child having seven older brothers and sisters. The family lived in Malden at... Tue, 26 May 2015 23:21:39 -0500 Kassandra Browning, 30 Malden chiropractor Kassandra Browning knew she wanted to be part of the medical field but was uncertain in what direction. After consulting with her friend Leslie, who was also interested in chiropractic, Kassandra researched the field and realized that was the direction she wanted to go. The natural approach of chiropractic appealed to her. She had personally witnessed how surgery and medication can be overused and felt there had to be a more positive alternative. "For us [chiropractors],... Tue, 26 May 2015 23:19:04 -0500 Aulden LeBlanc, 39 Aulden LeBlanc spent the majority of his life living in southwest Louisiana. In 1975, he was born in a small, unincorporated town called Hathaway, which was part of the Jennings, Louisiana address. His dad, mom, and sister all still live in the area. The family enjoyed camping, waterskiing at Lake Altun, which connects to the intercoastal waterway and on to the Gulf of Mexico. He was involved in 4-H and FFA and enjoyed many outdoor activities. Aulden's dad was a welder and allowed Aulden to... Wed, 06 May 2015 15:57:18 -0500 Denton Kooyman, 38 Denton Kooyman is a familiar face to area children as he is the assistant director at the popular Bootheel Youth Museum in Malden. He has also been a coach and referee for the local soccer league and has been a soccer commissioner for the last four years. He's also coached boys and girls basketball, t-ball, and youth football. He was also a cub scout leader for five years and a cub scout master for three years. Denton doesn't limit his coaching to just the teams his own kids, sons Johnny and... Wed, 06 May 2015 15:55:26 -0500 Lytyron Robinson, 37 In 2011, Lytyron Robinson became a volunteer for the Malden Fire Department and recently joined on as a full-time engineer and firefighter. He appreciates the comradery of being a member of the Fire Department and has, since he first volunteered, enjoyed being around the other fire fighters. "I'd walk through fire for every last one of them," he has said. Lytyron grew up in Malden, graduated from Malden High School, and was twice elected a member of the Malden City Council representing Ward... Wed, 06 May 2015 15:53:48 -0500 Jonce Chidister, 34 By Courtney Luke Jonce Chidister has been Dunklin County's assistant prosecuting attorney since 2006, serving under both Steve Sokoloff and Jeff McCormick. He was born in 1980 growing up in Malden. His mother is now a retired junior high and high school math teacher and his father has been in management at Helena Chemical, formerly Hawkins MFA, since 1983. As a child, he played Little League baseball and attended Malden's First Southern Baptist Church where he is now chairman of the... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:27:48 -0500 Amy Baker, 38 By Courtney Luke "Don't be afraid to take risks," advises Amy Baker, the thirty-eight year old school superintendent of the Risco School District. "As long as you learn from them and a make a commitment to improve- it's going to happen." Amy has found that the saying is true that if you find a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life. She has been pursuing her education continuously since she first began as a young child. Attending the Risco School District, she is a... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 15:22:58 -0500 Tyler Miller, 30 By Courtney Luke Clarkton's Tyler Miller has been a member of the Clarkton City Council and a member of the Clarkton Board of Education. A 2003 graduate of the high school, both the school and the town have always been important to him. "You can come here with nothing- no matter your color or income or name," he explains of the school district , continuing "Here, politics matter a little less." Tyler attended elementary school at both Clarkton and in Warrenton, Missouri before returning... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 14:51:12 -0500