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Hey all,

I wanted to let everyone know I have continued this blog on my new website. This happened some months ago sorry for the delay.

Here is the URL

Come by and visit!


John Balogach, left, feeds his son, Vincent Balogach, Jan. 30 in his home at Cornerstone Village in Carbondale. John Balogach said he moved into the renovated trailer this month.

Southern University runner May Dozier is cooled down after her event Saturday by the team’s athletic trainer, Jamar Johnson.

— I spent Saturday in a duck pit with wounded soldiers, hoping to see some duck.

Freshman wrestler Kwaician Traylor stretches Monday before wrestling practice at Carbondale High School.  The Carbondale Terriers will wrestle the Herrin Tigers, the Carterville Lions and the Sparta Bulldogs at home today where they hope to improve their record of 6-6.  “The Herrin one will be tough,” assistant coach Jerry Richards said. However Richards and head coach Dennis Ragan said they have faith their team will do well. “It should be good for the fans,” Ragan said.

–I was looking through files from last year and realized I never put this story up here. This is a story I did in October about a ten-year-old boy named Dakota I met during the South of 64 Workshop.

Dakota Needham, 10, plays during recess Sept. 30 at Carterville Intermediate School in Carterville. Andrea Needham, Dakota’s mother, said he was born with a cleft lip and palate, and has undergone three surgeries since then. She said his medical problems have left him with a speech impediment. Andrea Needham said other than not reading aloud in class, his impediment has not caused him any real social problems. Though he said he does get bullied from-time-to-time, Dakota said he does not let it get him down. – Isaac Smith | Daily Egyptian

Dakota Needham plays with Matchbox Cars Sept. 30 in the living room of his Cambria home. “I like playing alone sometimes,” Dakota said. He also said he enjoys playing with his cousin, McKala Needham. “He’s very independent,” his mother Andrea Needham said.

McKala Needham, 10, left, helps her cousin Dakota Needham, right, put away dishes Sept. 30 in Dakota’s home in Cambria. Andrea Needham said McKala stays with them during the week but on the weekends she often stays with her mother, Heather Needham.

Dakota waits to be put back into the game Saturday Oct. 1 at the Carterville Soccer Fields with fellow teammate Luke Stritzel, left, and assistant coach Chris Culp. Dakota said when he grows up he wants to be both a soccer coach and a police officer. Dakota made the All Star Traveling Team for his division Oct. 11. Dan Turnquist, Dakota’s coach, said though he was in the top five for talent, he was number one in terms of effort.

Dakota Needham, left, eats lunch during his cousin Jasmine Beckette’s birthday party Oct. 1 at his home in Cambria. Despite Dakota’s extended family being complicated, his mother said they try to get together as much as possible. – Isaac Smith | Daily Egyptian

Dakota Needham falls asleep Sept. 31 under the glow of a television set in his room.