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Editorials

  • KC Phase II opens new opportunities

    The dream of continued growth at the Vandalia campus of Kaskaskia College moved one step closer to reality with last week’s unveiling of the college’s plans for Phase II of the project.
    It’s an exciting next step for the campus, which opened with the 22,000-square-foot Simma-Kelly Education Building in 2008. Prior to that, the college operated out of rented facilities in Vandalia.

  • Ward boundaries need adjustment

    It’s unlikely that the Vandalia City Council will act on Treasurer Marjorie Blythe’s recommendation to cut the number of city aldermen from eight to four. And while that suggestion may not spur any action, it should at least remind city officials that they should consider some action on the areas that aldermen represent.
    City officials talked several years ago about a study that would ultimately result in new boundaries for the four city wards.

  • New water source worth considering

    With the Kaskaskia River shrinking to a trickle and Vandalia Lake levels dropping due to this summer’s drought, it’s a prime time to think about alternative water sources. Add to those woes the ongoing problems the city has had keeping its river intake functioning, and the possibility of another source is particularly attractive.

  • Drought shows our connections

    It’s no secret that Fayette County will be severely impacted by this summer’s drought.
    Corn yields are estimated to be only one-third of the norm, and soybeans will generate about two-thirds of an average crop.
    Last week’s crop survey, conducted by the Fayette County Farm Bureau, predicted an average corn yield of 41.65 bushels per acre, significantly below last year’s county average of 149.69 bushels per acre. And soybeans are projected to yield 21.49 bushels per acre, down from last year’s harvest of 32.48 bushels per acre.

  • Locked car doors prevent break-ins

    The Vandalia Police Department has reported handling numerous reports of vehicle break-ins in recent weeks. But, in most of those cases, the perpetrators didn’t actually have to break into the vehicles.
    Addressing the Vandalia City Council on Monday night, VPD Sgt. Jeff Ray said that some residents are not making it difficult for criminals to steal their property.
    “With almost every vehicle break-in, the vehicle was unlocked,” Ray said.

  • Recycling program is moving forward

    Fayette County’s baby steps toward having a legitimate recycling program recently received a major boost when FAYCO Enterprises recently announced its plans to purchase a building that will add significant credibility – and a lot of space – to its recycling effort.
    Officials with the sheltered workshop for mentally handicapped individuals have purchased a vacant 14,000-square-foot manufacturing building on Vandalia’s north side and plan to greatly expand the recycling program.

  • Take precautions with severe heat

    This week has been another scorcher, with searing sunlight and temperatures in the triple digits. It’s the kind of weather that can get you in trouble before you know it.
    Even the nights haven’t offered much relief, often barely falling below 80 degrees.
    This uncomfortable weather pattern has lingered over the Midwest for the past several weeks. Yet, just because that kind of heat and humidity has become the norm, it hasn’t lost any of its dangerous potential.

  • Decision on treasurer's post made quickly

    Whether the city of Vandalia should switch the city treasurer from an elected position to an appointed one can be debated. One factor fueling that debate was the pace at which that action was taken.
    It was less than a month ago that the Vandalia City Council’s personnel, finance and insurance committee held its first meeting about  possible pay increases for the city officials to be elected next spring – mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and four aldermen.

  • Being atop list of deficit states not a good spot

    As the fiscal year came to a close June 30, state financial officers issued their annual report on the state’s financial condition.
    It’s not a pretty picture.
    Though the report lags one year behind, it shows that the state is now in the worst financial condition of any state in the nation. As of June 30, 2011, our deficit of just under $44 billion easily topped runners up New Jersey ($34 billion) and California ($11 billion). The Land of Lincoln’s shortfall grew by 16.8 percent from the previous year, according to William Holland, auditor general.

  • Celebrate the Fourth safely

    As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July next Wednesday, it’s more important than ever to celebrate safely.
    Not only do we face the usual dangers related to fireworks, this year’s dry conditions make it extra important that we celebrate safely. And with triple-digit temperatures forecast for the next several days, the dry conditions will only get worse. When things are this dry, it doesn’t take much to get a brush fire started.