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Editorials

  • Remember the lessons of 9/11

    Though it’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years, the calendar insists that, indeed, a decade has passed since terrorists staged a series of attacks on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001.
    On that sunny September morning, hijacked planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, as well as the Pentagon, killing thousands of innocent people. Another airliner, apparently headed for the White House, crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers overpowered the hijackers.

  • Many activities for Labor Day

    As we prepare to celebrate the Labor Day weekend as the unofficial "end of summer" holiday and as a celebration of our nation's workers, there are many activities in the area that are worth noting.

  • Shutoff of checks not playing fairly

    A short-sighted and poorly-planned attempt by Gov. Pat Quinn to save money in the education sector of state government has left the state's 44 regional superintendents and their assistants working without a paycheck.
    The governor's move has not changed the ways the duties are delivered or eliminated the services provided by the regional offices. The superintendents just aren't getting paid.

  • Return of Pre-K to help students

    A safety-net program that for years had provided early intervention for at-risk students but was dropped last year when state funding dried up, has now been reinstated.
    At least for a year.
    A state grant that will fund the Pre-K program has allowed the Vandalia school district to bring back the program, albeit in a reduced format. About 40 area students will benefit from the program that is designed to get them up to speed and ready to start school with their peers.
    The grant also funds smaller Pre-K programs in Brownstown, Ramsey and St. Elmo.

  • Make safety a top priority in new school year

    In case you don't have children in the house, let this be your reminder that a new school year is about to begin.
    Activity is increasing around our schools – registration sessions have been held, athletic pre-season practices are under way and, hopefully, shopping trips for school clothes and supplies have been completed.
    It's a busy time of year.

  • Volunteers will be needed for Lincoln Park

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since retired U.S. Sen. Paul Simon came to help Vandalia Main Street dedicate its downtown park and “Sitting with Lincoln” statue.
    On Monday, that park, and statue, officially became the property of the city of Vandalia.
    That means the city is now responsible for the expenses related to the park, which are, essentially, insurance premiums and electric bills.

  • Weather is a big factor for activities

    Many communities and organizations hold festivals and other activities in the summer months, which makes a lot of sense when you consider that the kids are out of school and many families are out and about.
    But this summer is a good example of why spring and fall may be better times for those special events.
    Take the Grande Levée, for example. The period celebration was traditionally held on Father’s Day weekend, which was good for the fact that everybody remembered when it was being held.

  • Give your input on bypass routes

    As the project to determine an Ill. Route 51 bypasses around area communities continues to creep along, the public once again has an opportunity to see the progress and offer input.
    The first of the local meetings was held Tuesday in Ramsey. Additional meetings are planned next week in Patoka (Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Patoka Civic Center) and in Vandalia (Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at  Mother of Dolors Parish Center).

  • Still time to enjoy the fair

    Though the Fayette County Fair has been going on since last Saturday, there's still plenty of action to come before it completes its run this Saturday.
    One of the early activities this week was the crowning of the fair royalty. Reigning over the fair are Marisa Thomason (Miss Fayette County Fair), Brooke Mayfield  (Junior Miss Fayette County Fair) and Emma Grace Smith (Little Miss Fayette County Fair). Congratulations to those young women. They will continue to represent Fayette County at events throughout the next year.

  • Would've been nice to get bids for trash pickup

    In the near future, Vandalia officials will be deciding on a new contract for residential garbage pickup that includes rate increases in each of the five years of that agreement. Unfortunately, it's likely that we won't be able to determine whether the city could have gotten a better deal.
    The city council’s cemetery and landfill committee agreed on Monday to support a new five-year contract with Doty Sanitation Service, which has provided the service since 1999.