American Legion, local photographer collaborate on new veterans photo for courthouse

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
From left, Jim Brown, of Malta Bend American Legion Post No. 558, and Northern District Commissioner Charlie Guthrie hold a new photo of Saline County veterans that will be placed beside a 2004 photo, held by Presiding Commission Tom Stallings, Southern District Commissioner Monte Fenner and Lees Studio photographer Tammy Kerksiek. (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

A new photo of Saline County military veterans will soon hang in the courthouse rotunda near a previous group photo taken in 2004.

Jim Brown, of Malta Bend American Legion Post No. 558, and Tammy Kerksiek, of Lees Studio, presented the new framed four-photo package to county commissioners at the commission's meeting Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The new display includes group photos of World War II veterans; Korean War veterans; Vietnam War veterans; and Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans.

Kerksiek donated her photography services for the project, Brown said. Square Corner donated framing materials, and Post No. 558 donated the frames.

Brown said he, Dennnis Desmond and Charlie Guthrie organized the Armed Forces Day ceremony in May, at which the new photos were taken.

Presiding Commissioner Tom Stallings thanked Brown and Kerksiek for their work on the project, "So we don't forget the folks who served."

"It was a touching day for me," Kerksiek said.

In other business, Stallings reported on a meeting with Marshall City Administrator Connie Latimer and Russ Donnell about details of an emergency planning grant that will be a city-county collaboration.

Marshall City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday, Feb. 19, authorizing the city to take part in the grant program.

If the grant is approved, it will help support the position of countywide emergency planning director, a position officials presume Donnell will fill.

Northern District Commissioner Charlie Guthrie noted that Saline County is the only county in Region 8 that does not currently have a funded director position. In the absence of director, the presiding commissioner of the county must serve in that role.

"We're lucky to have someone like Russ," Stallings said, noting Donnell's service in recent years to area emergency planning and preparedness efforts.

The commission also approved a request from Marshall Cultural Council to host a Battle of Marshall 150th Anniversary Commemoration event on the west side of the courthouse from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11.

Organizers plan to host a children's fair, with a storyteller, period games and a return of the State Museum air cannon, which was popular with kids during the project kickoff event in November.

With the Quartz Avenue bridge project finished, Guthrie thanked property owners in that area for their cooperation with the county on the project.

"The property owners have been very gracious and good to work with," he said.

Sue Sleeper, filling in for absent County Clerk Debbie Russell, said absentee voting for the April election is now available.

Editor's note: The author is president of Marshall Cultural Council and made the request for use of the courthouse lawn for the May 11 event.

Contact Eric Crump at ecrump@marshallnews.com

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