This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, and supporters from across southern Illinois are doing what they can to let state government know that they are still thriving and still fighting to keep the facility open. While area municipalities and organizations are hosting fundraising events in conjunction with the special week, the Murray Parents Association (MPA) is inviting parents and guardians, residents, staff and families, retirees and community members to a 50th anniversary “Celebration of Joy and Thanksgiving” at Murray Center from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5.
According to MPA president Rita Winkeler, the gymnasium will be decorated with photographs and memorabilia from 50 years of the very unique place that many special people have called home.
There will be music, food and entertainment. The Epics, who first played at Murray Center over 40 years ago, will be the featured band from 3 to 5 p.m.
“We don’t know what the future will bring, but we know that Murray Center can never be replaced, and we are going to enjoy celebrating on Oct. 5,” Winkeler said.
“Surrounding communities have been participating in activities that honor the many residents who have lived at Murray and the staff who have worked throughout these 50 years,” she added. “As we are celebrating 50 years of Murray Center we are also celebrating over 40 years of the MPA.”
One of MPA’s founding members is Anita Becherer who began the organization with just three members, holding the first meeting in her living room. Becherer, who just celebrated her 90th birthday, is still very active in the MPA, and is the group’s “computer guru” responsible for all e-mail communication with MPA members.
Excel Brewing Company in Breese introduces new line of beers —five new originally crafted beers and a limited edition Oktoberfest.
Craft beer brewer Excel Brewing Company of Breese has unveiled its new look with five new beers and a seasonal Oktoberfest. The introduction will be the first phase of Excel’s plans for additional distribution in the St. Louis and the Metro East area.
“We are quite excited about our new beers because the taste testing has been quite positive on all beers,” said Rod Burguiere, head brewer. “Plus, we love our new simpler, cleaner more consistent look of our labeling.”
The new beers are as follows: • Lefty Lager - named after Excel’s founding father, Edward “Lefty” Meier, is an all-malt Munich style Helles lager. It’s a classic, easy drinking German beer.
• Eastside IPA - intensely hoppy with notes of lemon zest, grapefruit and pine, a West Coast style India Pale brewed on the east side.
• Southside Stout - brewed with loads of roasted barley and dark caramel malts combined with citrusy American hops.
• Flash Bang - extremely hoppy and refreshing. This is an unfiltered American wheat beer brewed and dry hopped exclusively with Amarillo hops.
• Bose Roggen - a black lager brewed with 50 percent rye malt and chocolate rye. It’s dark, crisp and smooth.
• Oktoberfest (limited edition) - malty smooth with just enough balancing hop bitterness. A traditional German style Märzen.
Students in Katherine Prange’s Central Community High School journalism class will soon be getting a lesson in Holocaust history. Prange is one of 20 participants who recently completed an invitation-only series of workshops for teachers hosted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The program is a vital part of the museum’s ongoing effort to equip educators throughout the country with the knowledge and skills to effectively bring Holocaust education into their classrooms.
The workshop participants (who were selected out of over 100 applicants) were required to have had five or more years of experience in Holocaust education.
Prange, a 13-year faculty member at Central, has been teaching Holocaust education to students for about seven years. She recently began teaching her journalism students about the historical occurrence.
Prange said two years ago she applied for a fellowship at the museum in which they train you to be an extension of the museum.
“I did not get the fellowship but I was invited to a 3-day conference that helps teachers teach the Holocaust,” she said.
This past winter, she applied again for the fellowship and she was one of 20 applicants who were selected.
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