- Associated Press - Sunday, September 20, 2015

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A World War II-era plane that’s a new addition to the Missouri Veterans Home came right in through the front door.

The model B-17 Flying Fortress delivered Friday to the Cape Girardeau site was crafted by inmates of the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston, Missouri, the (Cape Girardeau) Southeast Missourian (https://bit.ly/1Ok5KPU) reported.

And it’s made of popsicle sticks and toothpicks, along with a few small pieces of clear plastic that serve as windows.

Guided by diagrams from books in the prison library, the inmates built the model in about three to four months.

The inmates aren’t allowed to have anything with a sharp point or edge. So they creased and broke the materials, then filed them down as needed with emery boards, said Mark Bartlett, coordinator of the prison’s restorative justice program that’s in collaboration with Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.

As part of the program, inmates work on crafts, record books on tape to send to children, and work in a vegetable garden that has provided more than 110 pounds of produce to southeast Missouri, said Bartlett, who presented the model plane to the veterans home. The garden has provided more than 110 pounds of vegetables to Southeast Missouri.

Bartlett said there’s a new popsicle-stick project afoot by the inmates - an aircraft carrier, complete with tiny planes and a base that will allow the carrier to rock.

To Army veteran James Slinkard, the B-17 “will be appreciated.”

“This’ll be a good place for it,” he said.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian, https://www.semissourian.com

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