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Columns

  • The Way We Were-Oct. 21, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – Brent Ellis, 31, joined the Vandalia Police Department as a patrolman, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of “Sonny” Banal.
    Bill Donaldson was the keynote speaker for a Veterans Day program at Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95.
    John Burnam was re-elected president of the Vandalia Board of Education. John Gehrke took a seat on the board, succeeding Calvin Scott.
    Fayette County began a search for a new animal control warden following the resignation of Max Pummill.

  • Modern medicine helps fight disease

    It has been 12 years now since I was told that I had breast cancer…a fast growing type they said. On a scale of two to nine, I was a seven – not a good number to be.
    Being the first in my immediate family to be diagnosed with cancer, I searched my ancestor charts for kin who may have died as a result of this particular immune system disease. I came up nearly blank. In fact, throughout the lives of my family members, the most common "disease" seemed to have been old age.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Oct. 14, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These young women were pictured during a physical education class at Brownstown High School more than 60 years ago. Two now live in Vandalia, one in Beecher City and one in Freeport.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Gary Stine.
    Identifying her was: Charlotte Bone.
    This week’s Scrambler:  cussesc lysluau mosec ot sehot ohw rea oto sybu ot eb glinkoo rof ti.

  • The Way We Were-Oct. 14, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – The cost of extending sewer lines to Vandalia’s western Interstate 70 interchange was less than expected. Thus, Mayor Rich Walker was proposing additional infrastructure improvements, including new sewer lines and manholes along the river bottoms in the city.
    Judge Dennis Middendorff ruled that Stuart Heaton, a Bluff City man convicted of murder in 1992, could continue to use a Chicago law firm. Jenner & Block took on Heaton’s case on a pro bono (free) basis.

  • Edward Beck – a quiet, earnest man

    We hear a lot about Paul Beck, who with his son, Guy, are credited with being the first white settlers in Fayette County, entering the dense virgin forest as early as 1805.
    There is another Beck – John Beck – who deserves a moment in the spotlight of history. He was Paul’s younger brother, and also came to Illinois before statehood, settling in neighboring Montgomery County.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Oct. 7, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured 60 years ago as a 13-year-old, is now retired from his job as a molder at Graham Packaging. He and his wife (who still works at Graham Packaging) have a daughter and a stepson.
    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Mary Greer Rendleman and John David Greer.

    Identifying them were: Carole White, Doris Wehrle, and Beeb and Billye Staff.

  • The Way We Were-Oct. 7, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – The Interstate Commerce Commission and Clinton County officials touted Enhanced 911 emergency phone services as Fayette County voters were preparing to vote on an Enhanced 911 referendum.
    The Vandalia Chamber of Commerce’s downtown revitalization committee announced its City of Candles project. The committee was encouraging local residents and business owners to put electric candles in their windows during the upcoming holiday season.

    20 Years Ago

  • Responding to emergencies takes guts

    We live on a road with a dangerous s-curve. Over the years, many vehicles have failed to negotiate that difficult stretch. Just before 3 a.m. Monday, another one ended up in the ditch.
    For some reason, I was awake enough to hear the vehicle approaching. Then came squealing tires, a thud and an eerie silence.
    I went to the window to confirm what I thought I’d heard…hoping that my sleep-clouded brain had manufactured the incident. No such luck; I could hear voices yelling for help.

  • Perrysville became Perryville, then disappeared

    A query from B.J. Mueller, publisher of  The Ramsey News-Journal, about the historic village of Perryville, located south of Pittsburg, caused me to pull out my file on this ancient village.
    Perryville was platted in 1817 as the first county seat of Bond County. It stood on the bluff west of the Hurricane fork of the Kaskaskia River.
    The village has long since turned to soil, but to stand near the millstone and read the signboard erected there by Steve Schildknecht in 1990 gives the visitor a sense of the history of the primitive village.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Sept. 30, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two young cousins, pictured in about 1935 grew up in the area. The girl now lives in Carbondale and the boy lives in Vandalia.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Clockwise, from upper left: Wilma Rook Kruger, Frank Rook Sr., Frank Rook Jr. and Mary Rook Gebke.
    Identifying them were: Norma Terry, Shirley Mattes, JoAnn Corry, Paul and Phyllis Sarver, Carolyn Grames and Karen Zimmerman.