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Editorials

  • Getting officers on the same page

    It’s not unusual for two or more law enforcement entities to respond to an accident or other type of incident. Sometimes, the officers don’t even know each other or what each other is capable of doing.
    Even before he takes over as Fayette County’s sheriff, Chris Smith wants to remedy that. He also wants to be involved in the training of all of those officers.
    Last Tuesday, Smith, working with Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison, held the first Fayette County law enforcement meetings.

  • County website is a good project

    If you have visited the Fayette County website, you have noticed that it’s not really useful in your daily dealings with the county. And, some of the information there is even outdated.
    On Tuesday, the Fayette County Board approved a proposal to have a company that specializes in the development and design of government websites.
    Hopefully, that partnership will create and maintain a website that is increasingly more valuable to county residents and others who have dealings with the county.

  • Visit with Lincoln this Saturday night

    While all of us surely know that Abraham Lincoln served in the Vandalia Statehouse, some may not know what he did while he was there. The opportunity to learn about that comes this Saturday night.
    A Lincoln historic interpreter is taking a road trip on Saturday, with the last of his three stops being the Statehouse. Lincoln will visit Illinois’ oldest existing capitol from 7-9 p.m.
    While there, Lincoln will talk about his early days in the Illinois Legislature, which included making his first public stance against slavery.

  • Last chance for input on bypass

    After years of public hearings, environmental impact studies and more public hearings, the Illinois Department of Transportation has come up with its recommended route to get U.S. Route 51 motorists through Vandalia when the road is upgraded to four lanes.
     Though it’s not a perfect plan – none of the final four alternatives were without problems – the route selected by IDOT seems to make the most sense. The plan now will be forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration for its consideration and approval.

  • Motorists beware around schools

    The big yellow buses are back on our streets and roads again, and pedestrian traffic has stepped up significantly in areas around our schools.
    Those signs can mean only one thing – school is in session again.
    For our children, it’s the renewing of school routines, with all the activities and challenges that come with a new school year.

  • Alumni awards well deserved

    Over the years, we've done a good job of honoring the standout athletes who have worn the Vandalia Community High School colors. They get plenty of attention and awards during their competitive years – and in recent years a structure has been in place to nominate them for inclusion in the VCHS Hall of Fame.
    That's great and their efforts should be recognized.

  • Statehouse hours must be preserved

    Last week in this space, we touted the importance of tourism to the economies of Fayette County and Illinois.
    State officials  trumpeted the fact that the Land of Lincoln just recorded its third consecutive year of record-breaking tourism numbers. And tourism-related expenditures total $26.5 million in Fayette County and $2.6 billion statewide.
    The state's tourism director even paid us a visit to underscore the need to value and enhance the money coming from the traveling public.

  • Tourism impact 'huge' in county

    Tourism is a big deal in Vandalia and Fayette County. We've known that for some time, but state tourism officials this week made it official.
    As a part of a five-day statewide barnstorming tour, Illinois Office of Tourism Director Jen Hoelzle and other tourism officials stopped in Vandalia on Tuesday. During a program at the Vandalia Statehouse, Hoelzle praised the local tourism effort and underscored the economic impact of tourism on the state and local economies.

  • Hiring administrator is right move for city

    The Vandalia City Council is right to begin the process of filling its city administrator position after operating for about 4½ years without one.
    Since the position became vacant in 2010, Mayor Rick Gottman has stepped in to perform many of the duties formerly done by the city administrator. Also helping fill the void has been executive secretary LaTisha Paslay.

  • Sign enforcement must be consistent

    A complaint lodged against a Vandalia citizen who posted signs on public property near his home advertising garden produce for sale has resulted in discussions of how the city’s sign ordinance should be enforced.
    Currently, enforcement of the city’s lengthy sign ordinance is driven by complaints – meaning that the city doesn’t enforce it unless someone complains.
    Well, someone complained about Dave Hill’s vegetable sign. So now he’s complained to city aldermen about the city’s enforcement practices.