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Editorials

  • Public input has value

    Twice in recent weeks have we seen local residents take advantage of an opportunity to let their voices be heard. And on Monday night, we saw how citizens’ input can pay dividends.
    The Vandalia City Council on Monday approved an agreement with the Illinois Commerce Commission on changes for downtown rail crossings.
    And while Mayor Rick Gottman and city aldermen played key roles in getting the best possible solution, the opinions of local residents were a factor.

  • Parks forum is Thursday

    Do you have a strong opinion on whether the Vandalia Park District should allow the presence of alcohol at softball games and special events in the city's parks? If so, next Thursday is the time to voice those opinions.
    The park district is holding a public hearing on the issue at 6 p.m. next Thursday in the Little Theater at Vandalia Elementary School.

  • Pinnacle growth good news for St. Elmo, region

    Given our state’s current climate, it’s almost impossible for any community in Illinois – especially smaller ones – to land a sizeable number of manufacturing jobs. But St. Elmo has done just that.
    That community, working with state and county officials, and touting the ethic of its current work force, has encouraged Pinnacle Foods to more than double the number of employees at its St. Elmo facility.

  • Memories page keeps our town's history alive

    It’s yet another way of preserving our community’s history, although that’s not its main purpose. It was created to be a forum through which memories of our community can be shared.
    Almost five years after Kathy Schultz started the Vandalia Memories page on Facebook, that page has about 1,700 members, with many of those members sharing old photos that look back over the years.
    On that Facebook page, members can recall their childhoods … and who doesn’t enjoy that?

  • Voice your opinion on alcohol in parks

    At recent meetings, Vandalia Park District commissioners have discussed a request to allow alcohol at softball fields as a way of enticing more teams to come to Vandalia. The discussion has expanded to include allowing alcohol in the parks for such things as special events and reunions.
    Last Thursday, the park district board agreed to hold a public hearing on the issue. That hearing has been set for 6 p.m. in the Little Theater at Vandalia Elementary School.

  • State tax cut would be big hit to the city

    As he prepares to address the state's long-running financial problems, new Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has said that everyone will not like his actions and that many will suffer. That's certainly the case for the city of Vandalia.
    One of Rauner's proposals is to cut in half the state income tax traditionally given to municipalities. In Vandalia's case, that would mean a loss of close to $350,000.

  • Hard work paying off

    Vandalia wrestlers Dalton Blankenship and Kendrick Woolsey are perfect examples of the "perseverance and hard work" that coach Jason Clay talks about when he explains the success of this year's grapplers.
    Just a week and a half after sustaining bruised ribs, Blankenship returned to the mat to give his team some very important points.
    Woolsey, facing an opponent who had already beaten him twice this season, provided the sectional-clinching points by edging that opponent in a hotly contested overtime match.

  • Good luck, Wrestlers!

    It's pretty commonplace for Vandalia Community High School wrestlers to make the trek to Champaign for the state finals. But that doesn't make their accomplishments any less fantastic.
    Five of wrestlers, along with coach Jason Clay and assistants Matt Shroyer and Alex Foster, are heading to the University of Illinois State Farm Center this Thursday to square off with other top wrestlers in the state.
    Then, the team competes for another trip to the state team finals in Bloomington.

  • Promoting our positives

    As he took the reins of chamber president late last month, Todd Stapleton expressed a desire to lead that organization’s efforts to be involved in economic development.
    And, in doing so, Stapleton said, “We need to focus on what we are and what we do have, and quit focusing on the negatives.
    “Sometimes we focus on what we don’t have, what we’re lacking. When you’re positive, you’re working together with what you have, and I think that brings out a positive side for anybody who comes through our community.”

  • Abe winners show the value of volunteers

    The two individuals who received an Abe Award from the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce last Thursday truly represent what that award is all about.
    Carl Rhodes and Linda Hanabarger are both well-known in the community and it is because of their volunteer work.
    Since he and his wife, Pat, moved to Vandalia about eight years ago, Rhodes has helped lead programs to help veterans, including the establishment of a Veterans' Outreach Center, which focuses primarily on helping those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder issues.