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Today's Features

  • By Belinda Harpster

  • By Panzi Blackwell

  • By Anna Jean Rhodes

  • Kaden Lane Schaefer
    Ryan and Jeanifer Schaefer of Beecher City are the parents of a boy born at 6:44 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, at St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham.
    He weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces, and was 20 inches long. He was named Kaden Lane.
    Grandparents are Kenny and Kathy Bogart of Brownstown, and Evan Schaefer, and Matt and Amy Jones, all of Beecher City.

  • Volunteers at First United Methodist Church of Vandalia recently loaded up boxes packed with shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts that were sent around the world to war-torn countries, areas experiencing natural disasters and areas of extreme poverty. Locally, 1,080 shoeboxes were filled, about 200 more than last year.

  • Caring & Sharing to give 410 baskets

    More than 400 Fayette County families will have a brighter Christmas this year because of the work of Caring & Sharing.

    "Times are tough, but the people of Fayette County have responded generously once again," said Marlys Hayner, one of the organization's founders, who continues to help with the annual collection of food and Christmas presents for needy families in the area.

  • Area food pantries are running low on supplies as winter weather sets in and more people are finding their resources dwindling.
    "We're seeing a lot of unemployment," said Janet Wise, outreach coordinator of the  Vandalia CEFS office. "That includes people who have lost their job and seasonal employees who can't work because of the weather."
    She said that CEFS served 422 households (representing 1,018 individuals) in November – the highest monthly total of the year.

  • My youngest son, Casey, called me from Ft. Bliss, Texas, a couple of days ago to talk about some bad news he had received.
    He discovered that some soldiers from his former unit of the 101st Airborne Division were killed in Afghanistan last week. Two of them were close friends of his – having served with them two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. He told me that what troubled him the most was the circumstances surrounding their deaths – they were shot by an Afghan police recruit they were training!