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Blind Man is a True Contender in Local MMA Circuit

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-Bee Hive owner talks natural health -Almost Famous: Dexter musician big in Canada -Cozart goes on a quest for coffee experience -Opinion: Local businessman gives take on job creation -Food: Jim & Jerry’s


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SEMO TIMES 1.27.11 Volume 3 Issue 16 Poplar Bluff, Missouri 573-785-2200

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The Week in Review - 3 The Social Network - 3 Fearless Fighter- 4 SEMO News Briefs - 5 Business - 6 Opinion - 7 MMA Take Over - 10 Fork in the Road - 11 Cozart’s Quest - 11 SEMO Review Team - 11 Almost Famous - 13 +bluffee Event’s Calendar - 15 Hooked on Science - 15 That’s What She Said - 15

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MONDAY - almost famous Tuesday - fork in the road WEDNESDAY - opinion thursday-print TIMES friday - review team Scott R. Faughn, proprietor scottfaughn@semotimes.com Joe Clark, publisher joe@semotimes.com Tim Krakowiak, managing editor tim@semotimes.com Mark Cozart, distribution Jason DeBerry, intern Shawna Kanell, sales

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The Week in Review It was a bad week for Governor Jay Nixon. The honeymoon is officially over for the nearly Republican, with state Republicans even criticizing his conservative ideas. It was a bad week for the Butler County Commission. After making a decision on the Sheriff’s Department budget they flip-flopped. It was a good week for new State Representative Todd Richardson. Many see it as a sign of his growing clout that the first public hearing of a key redistricting committee was held in Southeast Missouri, but not at SEMO...at TRCC. Nice!!!! It was a bad week for Apple users. Apple CEO and icon Steve Jobs announced he would be taking a medical leave of absence leaving many appleites worried about the iPad 2 and iPhone 5 due out in the first half of 2011.

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# 1 The Big Hit

# 2 Not Really

# 1 Stand and Deliver

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# 1 Dakota

# 2 Moot Point

# 1 La Bamba

# 2 YES!!!

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It was a bad week for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Many Bears fans were left thinking their franchise QB milked a knee injury in the NFC Championship game....weak.

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F E A R L E S S Blind Man is a True Contender in Local MMA Circuit Tim Krakowiak Managing Editor

At Impact Sports, ‘Humans versus Zombies’ is kind of like freeze tag, except the objective for the person who is “it” is to wrestle an opponent to the mat, thus turning him into an allied “zombie,” and so on, until the living dead rule. Danny Sisco, the remaining human, stood on guard with his back against the wall in the corner of the gym at Poplar Bluff Industrial Park last week, but his effort to fend off a testosterone-driven dozen did not last very long. Even though he turned 48 years old Monday, Sisco remains ada-

mant about his goal of obtaining his purple belt in mixed martial arts. Purple is his favorite color. He could still imagine what it looked like from when he was a boy, prior to completely losing his eyesight. “I’m blind, but I don’t want to act like I’m blind,” explained Sisco, “just like I’m old, but I don’t want to act like I’m old.” That is the Tao of Sisco, who was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary disease that gradually destroys the vision, in his case sooner than later on in life. Despite his disability, the Poplar Bluff man does not let it prevent him from living independently with his guide dog Frazier, pastor-

SEMO Times/Tim Krakowiak Blind fighter Danny Sisco traps the arms of opponent Brandon Glazier, gaining a dominant position to win a grappling match.

ing Morgan Corner Pentecostal Church, writing fiction books and training MMA with his two sons. “He’s the reason I’m where I’m at now,” said 22-year-old Brandon Sisco of his father. Along with his brother P.J. Sisco, who is a year older, Brandon has experienced success in the amateur MMA circuit, having won multiple regional titles. Danny attends his son’s fights and is able to root them on with a guest providing commentary, or just by picking up on the energy of the crowd. “I’m the first one on my SEMO Times/Tim Krakowiak feet,” Danny exclaimed. Michael Eyraud (left) and Danny Sisco shadow box during MMA training “’That’s my boy,’ I say.” at Impact Sports last week. A believer in physical “He has really stepped in there activity his entire life, Danny purchased Brandon and P.J. boxing and made a great fighter,” said Brandon Glazier, 26, of Corning, gloves when they were just boys, Ark. “I have a lot of respect for he recalled. him, because most people with Today the siblings run Sisco Fighting Systems, a training camp that meets Wednesday and Friday “I’m blind, but I nights. The members call Danny, don’t want to act ‘Dad.’ like I’m blind,” ex“I don’t even know if anyone knows my real name,” Danny said, plained Sisco, “just jokingly. like I’m old, but I There are very few drills he don’t want to act cannot participate in with the aslike I’m old.” sistance of his sons. If the exercise involves running and jumping over - Danny Sisco something, however, he keeps his cardio up by practicing sprawls.

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octagon, but not full contact. that’s hard for me to see—not “If there’s something I want to just physically—because it comes do, I’m going to push for it, and I natural.” don’t want to feel like I’m being Tim Krakowiak can be reached held back,” Danny said. “One of by e-mailing tim@semotimes.com. my friends was telling me I had perseverance, but that’s something

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@ semotimes.com Gun Raffle Kicks off to Honor Poplar Bluff War Hero

The “Remembering Billie Kanell Committee” is raffling off a Beretta Model 21 pistol donated by Shooters Shack owner Allen Shackleford in order to reach their goal of raising $5,000. Read the full story on the daily fix over at the .com. SEMO Times/Tim Krakowiak Danny Sisco of Poplar Bluff winds down after completing a drill with his son Brandon Sisco’s assistance.

Local Woman to Compete for Mrs. Missouri

Marsha Woolard will represent the area as Mrs. Southeast Missouri in the Mrs. Missouri America Pageant to be held Feb. 4-5 in Branson. Read the full story on the daily fix over at the .com.

his condition would have just sat down.” Sometimes practical jokes are played on Danny like the time heavyweight Jason Aldridge, 31, of Greenville was placed in front him after he was led to believe he was going to be grappling with flyweight Michael Eyraud, 18, of Puxico. “Mean sons,” Danny commented, laughing. “That’s what I have to put up with, but it’s all in fun.” When teaching submissions, P.J. explained that he employs “perfect correction,” a method that involves physically resetting the body of a pupil into proper position. This works out for Danny, who relies so heavily on his sense of touch. “The issue is the striking,” P.J. noted. Danny is learning how to close the distance with his opponent by probing with a kick or jab, sidestepping and applying dirty boxing in the clinch, he described. He is interested in having an official fight in the

Butler County Sanitary Landfill Notifies Neighbors of Methane Issues

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has issued a notice of violation to Republic Services Inc. for exceeding regulatory limits for methane gas at the Butler County Landfill. Read the full story on the daily fix over at the .com.

Local Authors to Write Definitive History of TRCC

Two Poplar Bluffians with strong ties to Three Rivers Community College and extensive backgrounds in writing and editing announced they are writing the definitive history of the college from the beginning to the present day. Read the full story on the daily fix over at the .com.

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Business

Business Section

Natural Health

Tim Krakowiak Managing Editor

The Bee Hive stocks one-of-a-kind commodities like Butt Dust, the actual name of talc-free baby powder by GentleCare, to more common products such as Aloe vera, used to treat dry skin and burns. Poplar Bluff-native Betty Pruitt has operated the natural foods store for 30 years, most of the time out of its current Sycamore Plaza location, which she retains partial ownership of. “If we all only knew a fraction of her knowledge, we’d be better off,” stated Alison Clodfelter, a longtime customer. Pruitt’s daily nutritional supplement regimen includes hawthorn berry for strengthening the heart, chromium to boost the metabolism, and selenium, said to prevent oxidative stress. On occasion she takes elderberries for its antioxidant value, which lowers the cholesterol, and the vitamin silica to maintain healthy hair, skin, nails and teeth. When her chest is congested, Pruitt drinks herbal tea with Echinacea, she said, to give the immune system a boost. “I use a lot of natural products,” said Pruitt, admitting “but I still enjoy my Fazoli’s and Pizza Hut.” She inherited much of her earthly wisdom from her grandmother, Elizabeth Walker, who lived until she was 92. Walker was a midwife with a garden that included sage, lavender and red clover. “There were not a lot of doctors around, so people had to know what to do for themselves,” Pruitt explained. “We were raised organic—we didn’t know what that meant, of course—but we had our own beef and pork, from cows and pigs.”

supplement what their doctors prescribe. But when someone has an ailment, chances are she has a home remedy to share. “Everyb o d y ’ s got a belief—some believe in ghosts— and that’s what is Betty Pruitt great about owner, the Bee Hive this country,” Pruitt stated. “I wouldn’t want someone telling me to believe a certain way.” People come to Bee Hive Natural Foods to purchase herbs, vitamins, bulk spices, natural cosmetics, herbal teas, specialty foods, health books, aroma candles and oils. While grocery chains, pharmacies and the Internet may have some of the same products available today, there is only one Betty Pruitt. “My customers are like my family [in that] I laugh and cry with them, or just sit down and talk,” Pruitt said. “Sometimes talking is as much therapy as a bottle of vitamins.”

Since she is not a licensed naturopath, Pruitt encourages her clientele to use alternative medicine only to

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News & Opinion Section

Opinion & Editorial 2011 Session Focus: Putting Missourians Back to Work

Special to the SEMO Times As we began the 2011 Legislative Session, I was honored by my colleagues in the Senate to be elected as Senate Leader. In this role, I am responsible for appointing committee members, assigning legislation to committees, and ruling on points of order raised during debate. I am truly grateful to serve the Senate and our state in this way. That said, my job will be tough as our state is facing serious challenges. For the third year in a row, Senator we will begin the fiscal year with Rob Mayer (R-25) a budget shortfall. While our revenues are showing some signs of growth, it is not enough to avoid facing a $300 to $500 million shortfall. This means we must continue to make tough decisions to fund the critical functions of government in a way taxpayers can afford. I remain dedicated to protecting taxpayers by passing a balanced budget without a tax increase. With more than 280,000 Missourians out of work, it’s time our state was presented a balanced and accountable budget – but, par for the course, Governor Jay Nixon again presented us an unbalanced budget in his State of the State last week. The governor’s budget relies on special legislation to pass in order to be balanced, plus it depends on the state receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal budget stabilization extensions. Put simply, our state’s constitution requires us not to spend more than we take in. It’s time the governor recognized this when presenting his budget plan. Improving our budget situation is directly related to improving our economy. That is why the Senate is focused on putting Missourians back to work in good paying jobs with benefits. Our state has lost 104,000 jobs since June of 2008, one out of every six Missourians are currently receiving food stamps, and the number of citizens settling for part-time jobs has doubled in the past two years to approximately 150,000 Missourians – hardworking Missourians who need full-time jobs. Our comprehensive jobs plan is our answer to spur job creation — allowing current companies to expand and attracting new businesses to the Show-Me State. We can do this by capping the corporate franchise tax, restoring balance to employment law in regard to the Missouri Human Rights Act, addressing our state’s “whistleblower” provisions, fixing a judicial decision in Missouri that had a negative effect on our workers’ compensation system, and making Missouri a “Right to Work” state. We are also looking at ways to reduce the size and scope of state government. Rebooting Government takes ideas from the public on how we can make government smaller and more efficient — through more control, alterations or deletions. This session, we will continue to take your suggestions – please submit your idea today at www.senate.mo.gov/rebootMO. As I told my staff at the start of session, “it’s time to get to work.” And that is exactly what we’re doing in the Missouri Senate for you, the hard-working people of Missouri. I look forward to keeping you apprised of what we are able to accomplish for you this session.

Jobs… Jobs…. Jobs….. The word ‘jobs’ seems to monopolize the airwaves as the answer to economic woes in this country. Although [U.S. House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi seems to think unemployment benefits have some sort of long-term positive effect on our economy, most logical thinkers realize, when people go to work— and by doing so pay taxes and spend their pay—our economy begins to grow at a sustainable rate. The major thing to remember in this discussion is that government does not create jobs! The invisible hand of the free market economy creates jobs. The government in a free society cannot dictate to any business or corporation to hire a certain number of people. Yes, it can create government jobs by taking from the private sector and paying more people to work for the government, but this does not help the economy. The economy is directly affected by jobs created in the private sector that actually produce something tangible and accomplish more than mere wealth redistribution. With this in mind, the next logical question would be “what can be done to create more jobs in Southeast Missouri?” The number one action that needs to happen to create jobs is to tell the government to get out of the way. There are thousands of pages of needless, job killing regulations on the books in Missouri. How can any employer be motivated to hire more workers and create more jobs when regulations are causing employers to spend endless amounts of time and resources to fulfill the reporting paperwork required by state law? Would it not be reasonable to think that the more resources an employer used to expand their operation would directly result in more jobs? Another reform that would increase the employment level in the State of Missouri would be tax reform. Right now, there are countless taxes on small business that restrict their ability and motivation to hire. Beyond taxes on small business, the franchise tax, the income tax, the user tax, et cetera, continue to limit growth in business and thus limit our economy from creating jobs. The bottom line is this… bigger, more regulatory government is not the answer to our economic issues in Southeast Missouri. We can pull ourselves up out of this economic situation if the government will get out of our way, stay off our backs and work to protect our opportunity rather than stifle our initiative and penalize our hard work.

ODE TO READERS

Framed in my office is a newspaper carrier permit that the New York State Education Department issued to me when I was 12. It holds more significance than any plaque or certificate I have achieved. I always took special care rubber banding the Finger Lakes Times. I can’t say I ever imagined I would become a news intern there following college. I just realized the information was important for people to read. The satisfaction I get out of being a member of the media today pretty much remains the same as when I was a paperboy. In addition to playing a role in keeping the community informed, I get to take a glimpse into other people’s worlds. I still remember getting off my bike to walk up the ramp leading to their front door, after fetching the mail for my elderly newspaper customers, Mr. and Mrs. Hicks. They would scoot their wheelchairs toward the dining room, probably eager to find out what was happening outside of the confines of their home. Congregating at the dinner table to keep up with the news was such a vital part of the Hicks’ ritual, that maybe it was still in the back of my mind when I chose journalism as my concentration at Fredonia University. I remember telling professor Elmer Ploetz—who ended his first career as an editor for The Buffalo News—how I wanted to write music reviews for Rolling Stone. Having heard the aspiration before, he laughed, advising me that in order to be successful in this industry, one must be versatile in the coverage s/he can provide. From that day forward I believe I began to develop pride in the watchdog’s responsibility. My very first article, published six years ago in the Fredonia Leader student newspaper, was an investigative report busting the myth that the 1960s college campus was designed to be a wind tunnel. During my research, which didn’t stop shy of getting a comment from the lead designer himself, I discovered that my English professor, the late Albert Dunn, claimed he had started the rumor 40 years prior, having migrated north from a warmer climate. A good reporter knows how to connect the right dots so the readers can formulate a picture themselves. In my tenure reporting at dailies in Southeast Missouri, what sticks out to me over the hundreds of headlines are the people I was privileged to meet. In November, I was assigned to write an article about Helen Gower of Poplar Bluff, who grew a tree in her greenhouse that produced lemons the size of grapefruit. Now I’m no horticulturist, but from my days of writing press releases for Cornell University’s NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, I know that oversized does not always mean more flavorful when it comes to fruit. I kept that tidbit to myself. In interviewing this woman, I realized the real story wasn’t her lemons, but that somehow what she had cultivated was her tree of life. Gower had an aggressive stage of cancer, and discussing her victory with someone was enough to get her walking for the first time in days. Gower still had the clipping from the last time the daily reported on the 16-year-old tree. She told me she was glad that her lemon tree made the news again. On Dec. 10, Gower’s obituary appeared in the paper. It’s the smaller milestones in life that matter most, like helping to put out my premier edition of the SEMO Times as managing editor. Finding out that someone hung an article containing my byline on their refrigerator will continue to mean more to me than whether the Associated Press picks up one of my stories.

To submit a letter to the editor or become a contributing columnist, e-mail the managing editor Tim Krakowiak at tim@semotimes.com.

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Mixed Martial Arts Takes Over Poplar Bluff

brawling, but there’s really a science Tim Krakowiak to it.” Managing Editor The fan base has perhaps an even Beginning with the first golden age wider reaching demographic, from of martial arts ushered in by Bruce Lee in the early 1970s, a fighting style local members of the pastoral commuseems to sweep the Western world ev- nity to MMA moms. When a UFC Pay-Per-View event ery decade, according to the theory of a local instructor of hapkido, a Korean airs at Buffalo Wild Wings in Mansion Mall, Barb Hughey leaves her day job style of self-defense. as customer service representative at Kung fu gained esteem off the Tax Depot strength of the television behind to series that starred David cheer for her Carradine until the mid-70s, favorite fightNinjutsu crept in during the ers. late ‘80s perhaps peaking with “I’m the the “Teenage Mutant Ninja loudest and Turtles,” and over the next the proud10 years, Taekwondo gyms est,” Hughey opened across the country due Photo Provided to the newly introduced Olym- A crowd Gathers at Buffalo exclaimed. Wild Wings to WATCH THE ufc With a pic sport. capacity of The new millennium unabout 230 customers, BWW has been doubtedly was taken over by mixed martial arts based on the popularity of presenting UFC events since the sports restaurant opened its doors in 2007. the Ultimate Fighting Championship During major title defenses, the bar that caught on with the reality series and grill rents dozens of extra chairs on Spike TV. “Nobody really knows where the top from Bob’s General Rental, B-Dubs end is,” owner of Black Belt Academy general manager Becky Johnson said. “With particular fighters, you’ll have Tony Page said. “I mean, who would two sections cheering for different have thought ‘Kung Fu’ featuring a white guy kicking people’s butts in a Western would have been a winner in the studio? Could you picture the writers pitching that?” If Southeast Missouri is an indicator, MMA is not just a fad. People from varying walks of life are training, the majority with the intent to compete, which is a rare thing compared to say Taekwondo, according to Page. Justin Moyers, 29, practices MMA to stay in shape for his career as a firefighter with the Poplar Bluff Fire Department. He was on a winning streak in the amateur light heavyweight division, but experienced his first loss inside the octagon last month. “It’s really become a mainstream sport, like boxing,” Moyers stated. “Some people still may view it as

guys, and you get to see these fanatics in their true form,” Johnson explained. “I’ve been totally shocked at the level of excitement and participation in this

community, and what MMA has done for the country as a whole.”

Tim Krakowiak can be reached by e-mailing tim@semotimes.com.

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Jim & Jerry’s

Great food in the 573 that you just gotta try! Neighborhood Bars and Grills. I’ve been in a buttload of them! I’ve seen the ones where they cover the walls with antiques. The ones with all the old local high school jerseys. And the bars with a TV every six feet and the game cranked up to 11. All of them are trying to achieve a certain ambiance. And none of them accomplish it as well as Jim & Jerry’s......and they don’t even seem to be trying. It just happens....naturally. Whether you stop in for lunch (try the Cowboy Burger) or dinner (some of the best catfish around) or just for a drink with friends (not just a bunch of kids hanging out), this is a hidden treasure in the Poplar Bluff food and drink scene. Whoa! Back up. That was too fast and didn’t do any of these areas justice. Let me start over. Lunch is great. The burgers are off the chain! And if you dine at Jim & Jerry’s and don’t try the fresh, homemade potato chips with cheese sauce, you blew it. The Cowboy Burger is covered with barbecue sauce and grilled onions. And it tastes like a real burger. The kind you can’t find anywhere anymore.....anywhere but here. For dinner, check out their specials. If it’s pork steak, grab it quick. Because when they’re gone, they’re gone, and you lose! And you can’t miss with the catfish. I will admit that I haven’t tried their steaks there yet, but am betting they are right up there with the rest. And for a night out on the town, Jim & Jerry’s is worth checking out. It’s not a hangout for the 20-yearolds (which is a big plus for me). If you walk in and the pool tables are all moved out, you’re in for a fun night of music and dancing. It’s one of the most laid back, easy going places around. And you will always find Poplar Bluff’s best looking 30-and-over crowd there. Always! So forget the loud football game, antiques on the walls, and worn out jerseys. If you want to feel at home in the 573 neighborhood, this is the bar and grill for you! (Jim & Jerry’s is downtown at 336 Vine, just a block south of the Rodger’s Theater)

For a Cup of Ambition I never had a cup of coffee until after I became a father.

Now, I want to bathe in java just to function at 5 a.m. I went from staying up late watching Leno to praying for sleep at prime time. Soon, Taco Bell binges were replaced with more sophisticated coffee and sandwich shops. The 573 has a lot of options for coffee including fast food service and convenience stores. However, I am an adult now and I want my coffee like I want life: rich, bold and full of flavor. This is why I am considering making Hot Shotz Coffee Haus on North Westwood Boulevard my second home. Hot Shotz sets the bar and then raises it, just because they can. The haus ambiance is that of a well kept and stylish living room with a glass china hutch, kitchen style tables and wooden floors. The vintage hutch is adorned with dolls, antique coffee grounders and old coffee pots. The tables, set with sunflowers in Mason jars, are perfect for an intimate conversation over a cup of joe. Melissa Graber, store owner, makes the coffee with a clear appreciation and passion for being a barista. It may sound clique, but the coffee is made with love and it showed when I ordered a pumpkin frappe. Graber walked into the kitchen and came back with some nutmeg that she had purchased on Saint John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She grinded the fine spice on top of the whipped cream. I took out my laptop and quickly Wikipediad that the Caribbean is the second largest producer of nutmeg after Asia. The purpose of coffee is to drink, but I kept inhaling this sweet cinnamon to massage the senses. The pumpkin taste expounded the sensation and extended the spirit of Christmas deep into January. Most notably, the nutmeg smell lingered around for eight to ten hours making a 20 minute coffee stop into an all day affair. The frappe was more than just a drink; it was an experience that you wouldn’t find at say McDonald’s. There is a lot of value in the atmosphere of a mom and pop shop. The value is a bond that only a place born from the community can provide. Graber is one of the myriad of faces in Poplar Bluff whom the word ‘corporate’ is foreign to. In fact, I’d bet ‘corporate’ would be ran out of her shop quicker than you can say, ‘latte.’

“Fall of Giants” by Ken Follet

Which is better, the book or the movie? I recently found myself reading Ken Follet’s new historical fiction “Fall of Giants,” but only after seeing an HBO series based Jackie Thomas, Director Poplar Bluff Public Library on another of Follet’s books The 2010 television series, “The Pillars of the Earth,” was based on the historical novel he published more than 20 years prior. The series motivated me enough to read the book, and then read his new book, “Fall of Giants,” published last year. “Fall of Giants” is set just before the outbreak of World War I, and weaves its story around the loss of thousands of Englishmen during the war. It is the first title in the trilogy. The second book is due out in 2012. The plot begins by describing the life of the pregnant housekeeper working in the household of an Earl, who is later wounded in battle. He is dragged from the battlefield by the brother of the pregnant housekeeper, who gave birth to the Earl’s illegitimate son. She is ostracized by her father and small town. She goes to London after negotiating a deal with the Earl’s lawyer. The pregnant housekeeper/unwed mother begins a career as newspaper editor, and lobbies against the Earl in parliament to secure the woman’s right to vote. The description of the Bolshevik Revolution includes lots of murder and starvation among the peasants. Two Russian brothers are separated before the revolution begins. One brother leaves the country along with his pregnant girlfriend. This forces the remaining brother into a marriage with the pregnant woman. The soap opera entanglements remind me of a Charles Dickens novel in that Follet weaves the lives and events of his characters. The description of the land battles in France and the peasant revolt are well done and agree with most historical accounts. The book praises the superiority of the German engineers, who built the army trenches. Follet’s story about how the Germans would lure the English and French into open battleground and then use a machine gun to kill thousands is poignant. Is the book a good soap opera or good historical fiction? A little of both, I think. If a reader enjoys historical fiction, then Edward Rutherfurd’s “London” is good historical fiction without the soap opera. I’m not sure if I would add Follet’s new book to my Mark Cozart can be reached by e-mailing mark@semo- personal collection, but I will definitely check out the next times.com book in the trilogy from the library.

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Tyler Montgomery

The yearning to fill the cultural void in small town America is often left undone as the foot-tapping, boot-scooting and most noticeably live honkytonk bands are being replaced with a DJ and strobe lights. For the aspiring singer, actor or artist, the trajectory of pop culture could be a bit discouraging for the next star-to-be, but that didn’t damper the spirit of at least one Southeast Missouri native. SEMO Times: What do you consider was your first musical endeavor? Montgomery: I had the ball rolling back in high school, being on TV in Canada, but it was put on hold when I went to college. After that I got sick of not doing what I’m meant to do—you know, not creating music. I had people in my life pushing me in the opposite direction. I finally pushed off that and dropped out of school, which is when I went straight to the recording studio. Between that and a bad breakup, I created my style and [the combination has] gotten it to a place I didn’t think it would go. ST: Tell me about your first CD. Montgomery: The first CD I put out was a Christian CD called “Unexpected Turn,” which was [a compilation of songs] from my point of view at that time. It all came from dad’s death because that’s what my mind was dwelling on a lot. I just wanted to have fun with it and worship God while playing music. One of the songs from the CD [“Not on My Own”] made it into an independent Christian film [“Song Man”] and gave me an opportunity to be on a Canadian television show after the CD release concert. ST: So, you did the first CD. You’ve gotten all the publicity. You graduated high school and go to college only to make the decision to quit and do music full time. Tell me how the new EP started. Montgomery: Well, two years after high school, I was writing both Christian and non-Christian music and was wavering back and forth between doing the secular thing. Finally, I decided I’m just going to play music. I didn’t care if people got mad that I wasn’t doing Christian music because I still praise God, but there were things in my life that needed to be expressed. There’s a lot of pressure to not mess up because people in the church put you on a pedestal and I wanted to get away from that and express myself musically. I took a road that had a lot less gravity and stress. ST: Would you say that your relationship problems were the leading impetus behind the lyrics for this new EP? Montgomery: Well, the way I write songs is trying to get things that keep building up off my chest. The rockier it is, the better the song. I wrote “Curbside Confessions” on Valentine’s Day for a girlfriend because I forgot to buy her a present, and she cheated on me two weeks later, which “Moving On” came out of. The rest are in between. ST: Just for the ‘wow’ factor; who all has heard your EP? Montgomery: Warner Brothers, Interscope, Queen Latifah and Tom Whitlock [writer of Take My Breath Away]. I just started recording in the summer of 2010, and already have some big hitters at my door. Jason DeBerry can be contacted by e-mailing jason@semotimes.com SOUTHEAST MISSOURI’S NEWS-MAGAZINE OF POLITICS AND CULTURE

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Entertainment section

www.semotimes.com

FRIday Jan 29 TRCC vs Moberly Bess Activity Center 7 PM FRIday Feb 4 Indoor Yard Sale Black River Coliseum 10 AM Saturday Feb 5 Opry at the Rodgers Rodgers Theatre 7 PM Wednesday Feb 10 Mark Lowry LIVE Rodgers Theatre 7 PM Friday Feb 11 through Sunday the 13th Couples Valentine Weekend The Landing Call 573 718 1651 for more info Friday Feb 11 ONeal Elementary Chili SupperONeal School 4 to 7 PM Saturday Feb 12 Early Childhood Fair Black River Coliseum 10 AM Saturday Feb 26 United Gospel Rescue Mission Chili CookoffBlack River Coliseum

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI’S NEWS-MAGAZINE OF POLITICS AND CULTURE

www.semotimes.com

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1.27.11 SEMO Times  

SEMO Times web edition

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