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Editorials

  • We have much to celebrate on Fourth of July

    Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago, representatives of the 13 American colonies gathered together to do something radical. In essence, they said, “Enough is enough.” They declared their independence from Great Britain.
    Thomas Jefferson, always a man with a flair for words, put in their sentiments into a document known as the Declaration of Independence. It read:

  • Positively better on Fourth Street

    With only a few details remaining to be completed, Vandalia residents now can see what the streetscape project will do to improve the appearance of the 100 and 200 blocks of South Fourth Street.
    And it’s significant.
    The new sidewalks are a huge improvement (for cosmetics appearance as well as pedestrian safety), the period lighting ties those blocks into the improvements made on Gallatin Street and the asphalt overlay gives the street a like-new appearance.

  • Pension reform must be faced

    It’s time. In fact, it’s well past time.
    Illinois legislators must deal with the state’s pension crisis.
    They had an opportunity during the recent legislative session, but left Springfield without any meaningful progress.

  • Sharing the road with ag vehicles not an easy task

    Usually, we run editorials about safely sharing the roads with farm equipment in April. We do it then because in most years, that’s when our farmers are most active traveling to and from fields during the planting season.
    Not this year.
    This spring’s persistent rains have produced soggy fields that – until recently – made it impossible for farmers to get into the fields. Thus, the planting season didn’t even get under way until well into May. And it’s not done yet.

  • Opportunities lost by IHSA decisions

    There’s something about unrealized potential that prompts a strong emotional reaction.
    When it’s caused by a lack of effort or discipline, it makes us mad. When it’s caused by seemingly random circumstances, it makes us sad.
    But when it’s caused by ill-conceived and apparently cold-hearted decisions by those in authority, it makes us furious.
    Such was a decision made by Illinois High School Association officials at Saturday’s soggy state track meet.

  • Band: Mission accomplished

    What began as a sour note in March ended with an emotional crescendo Tuesday night as the Vandalia Board of Education reinstated the position of high school band director Tony Hicks.

  • Congratulations to graduates

    During the next few days, the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” will drift out of gymnasiums throughout the area.
    Graduates will don robes and turn tassels. Speakers will affirm and exhort. And parents will offer sighs of relief and shed tears of joy.
    It’s graduation time in Fayette County. It’s a time of endings and beginnings. It’s a time when students are making plans for their futures – whether that be in college, the military or the working world.

  • Ray good choice for police chief

    Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the contributions and the capabilities of local people. Often those people are passed over in favor of outsiders when openings come up.
    Thankfully, that wasn’t the case when the city of Vandalia began its search for a police chief.
    In fact, Jeff Ray has been serving as sergeant and periodically as acting chief during the past year when Chief Larry Eason has been struggling with health issues. Eason said last month that he did not want to seek reappointment.

  • Cleanup Week is coming

    Are you having trouble walking through your garage because of all the “treasures” that have accumulated there? Have you tired of the junked items that have taken up residence in your back yard? Or are you fed up with the lawn mower you thought you could resurrect, but steadfastly refuses to run?
    If any of those scenarios sound familiar, you’re in luck.

  • Flooding shows need for fixes

    Once again, weather patterns have stacked up to bring significant precipitation to Fayette County.
    And once again, that precipitation has produced widespread flooding. Local streams, as well as the Kaskaskia River, were well out of their banks over the weekend – with the Kaskaskia rising to near-record levels.