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Editorials

  • 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.

  • Enjoy the Lincoln Festival and fair

    If you're looking for something fun and interesting to do, there's there's no shortage of either in Fayette County during the next few days.
    This Saturday and Sunday, the second annual Lincoln Heritage Festival will be held in the Vandalia city parks along Fillmore and Locust streets.
    The activity lineup includes a wide array of historical events – including Civil War camps and skirmishes,  period arts and crafts, children's games, live music, horse-drawn carriage rides and a wide variety of food vendors.

  • Celebrate safely this weekend

    The Fourth of July is a celebration of our country’s independence that always includes gathering of friends and family, community festivals and, in general, a lot of summer fun.
    Unfortunately, many times it also includes injuries due to unsafe use of consumer fireworks.
    As area residents prepare for the three-day holiday weekend, the Office of the State Fire Marshal is urging everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals trained to handle them.

  • Residents show support for pool

    A politician once said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In Vandalia, it can be said, “It takes a community to save its pool.”
    And, that is what’s happening here, with local residents responding to the efforts of Manager Lisa Robbins and the Vandalia Swimming Pool staff to keep that facility afloat.
    In less than a year, the pool staff has raised just under $18,000 through various fundraisers and donations.