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Editorials

  • No 'business as usual' is usually hard on business

    When he campaigned for governor about six years ago, Rod Blagojevich promised to change state government. It would no longer be business as usual.

    That is one campaign promise that Blagojevich has kept. Unfortunately, it has been a change for the worse.

    In a term and a half, Blagojevich has drug out the budget process, alienated state legislators in both parties and has even played a key role in the divisiveness of his own party.

  • IHSA, IPA settle suit over photos

    After months of acrimonious banter and legal maneuvering, the Illinois High School Association has agreed to abandon its efforts to control the states newspapers access to IHSA state championships and the use of photographs taken at those events.

    In a court-sanctioned binding settlement announced Tuesday, IHSA and the Illinois Press Association agreed to four key points:

    Newspapers are allowed unrestricted use and sale of images taken at IHSA events.

  • KC growth shows need for second facility

    In the first semester in its new building in Vandalia, Kaskaskia Colleges enrollment already has surpassed anticipated levels and the facility is fully utilized.

    It has exceeded our expectations, said KC Board Chairman Jim Beasley. Were already to the point that we wish we would have built a bigger building.

    Beasley, along with Kaskaskia College President Dr. James Underwood, addressed participants at a breakfast meeting in Vandalia last Wednesday. Both expressed excitement with the growth at the Vandalia campus.

  • State must not cut school funds

    At last weeks monthly meeting of the Vandalia Board of Education, Superintendent Rich Well told the board that hes hearing through the state education hierarchy that there may be a plan afoot to cut state expenses by not fulfilling the last two state aid payments at the end of the current fiscal year.

    Though there is no proof at this point that the state does indeed plan to eliminate those payments (which amount to $300,000 each for Vandalia), the prospects of such reductions have the states school districts very concerned.

    And with good reason.

  • Area gives strong support to St. Elmo fundraiser

    Austin Adams has lost his hair, because of chemotherapy treatments he has taken to battle cancer. By late afternoon on Sunday, about 70 people at the St. Elmo Fire Station had similar hairstyles.

    Those individuals who agreed to have their heads shaved did so both as a show of support for Austin and other children with pediatric cancer, and to raise funds to fight that type of cancer.

  • Smoke-Free Act too hazy to work

    What appears to be a poorly drafted piece of legislation has the states restaurant and bar owners enveloped in a cloud of smoke, with no easy way to clear the air.

    The new Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which went into effect the first of the year, attempts to ban smoking in virtually all public areas. Thats good news for those who are bothered by second-hand cigarette smoke. But its extremely confusing for business owners, government officials and law enforcement personnel who are expected to enforce the vague measure.

  • Event helps fund cancer research

    Pediatric cancer is the No. 1 killer of our country's children, but there is an effort under way to change that ... and you can be a part of that effort.

    Area residents can help to fight pediatric cancer, and raise awareness of the disease, by participating in a special event this Sunday in St. Elmo.

    Regional firefighters are holding a St. Baldricks Foundation fundraiser at the St. Elmo Fire Station. A ham and beans dinner that begins at 11:30 a.m. is followed by the shaving of about 50 heads.

  • Enhanced 911 saves lives

    Fayette County residents have been asked twice to pay a nominal monthly surcharge for an emergency phone service that saves countless lives each year and twice they have chose not to do so.

    County residents will again be asked to fund an Enhanced 911 phone service, possibly this fall, and this time, we hope that they support that program.

    We agree with Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel, an Illinois State Police officer, when he says that he wants Fayette County to no longer be among the few counties that dont have that service.

  • It's time to find solution for intake

    If its not one thing, its another or another or another.

    There have been several reasons why Vandalias new raw water intake hasnt worked properly since the project was started more than four years ago. But, as Alderman Chad Feldpouch pointed out Monday night, the city has gotten very little use out of the intake.

    The citys consulting engineers, HMG Engineers, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have tried a couple of different ways to get the intake working properly, but nothing has worked.

  • Security measures are necessary

    As a nation, we've been horrified by the acts of violence that have made the headlines recently. Campus massacres. Violence in our streets and homes. Shootings at public meetings.

    Such violence undermines our sense of security and exposes our vulnerability. For those of us in small communities, those acts are ones from which we assumed we were insulated.

    But were not. As the recent incidents show, disturbed individuals can strike anywhere.