• Shoe box project makes difference for children

    Because of the amazing generosity of the residents of Fayette and Montgomery counties, Operation Christmas Child  was able to send 1,512 shoe boxes  filled with gifts to children  living in war-torn countries, areas of extreme poverty or nations affected by natural disasters.
    No one could tell that the world is going through tough economic times. The generosity of these residents came through once again.

  • Say thanks to police officers for all they do

    It’s Thanksgiving and it seems an appropriate time to say “thank you” to the Vandalia Police Department.
    Leaving Vandalia to take a friend home this fall (after eating beans and cornbread at the Grande Levée), my car stalled. It was dark and I panicked – not remembering even how to turn my emergency lights on. I flashed my flashlight to be seen by passing motorists, and I called 911.

  • Younger people must help our senior citizens

    I am writing to encourage people to help seniors more in Fayette County.
    Most of the seniors are very polite and knowledgeable. The are part of what Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation” because they lived through the Great Depression and World War II.
    They all have something to offer. They can give good advice.
    But most feel lonely and in despair – especially around the holidays.

  • Letter to the Editor

    Is it true that the work programs were taken away from the prisoners at Vandalia Correctional Center? The prisoners are supposed to be there for rehabilitation. It seems that a good work ethic would be a good part of that rehabilitation. My guess is that the prisoners would be more content, easier to handle and sure to learn many things if the work programs were put into place.

  • Too many regulations hurt volunteer efforts

    I'm writing in response to an article in Panzi Blackwell's column about not being able to make apple butter at the Golden  Years Club anymore.
    There are still some people in Fayette County making apple butter.
    It's very unfair, in my opinion.
    The county said that one reason is that the copper kettle, which  gives the apple butter its flavor, could give people copper poisoning. It hasn't in the last 300 to 400 years.

  • Letter to the Editor


  • Teachers seek support on pension benefits

    I am writing on behalf of my fellow teachers and retired teachers. We are deeply concerned that our pension benefits may be in serious peril.
    Within the next few days, our legislators will be debating changes to the teachers’ retirement system. As many of you may know, our pension plan was already altered last year.
    The changes increased Illinois teachers’ retirement age to 67 for any teacher hired after Jan. 1 of this year. Illinois now has the oldest retirement age of any state in the country.

  • Letter to the Editor

    The United States Postal Service is seeking comments on a proposal to eliminate the expectation of overnight service fro first-class mail and periodicals.
    Most local mail would be two-day delivery and, supposedly, the rest of the mail would be three-day delivery for first-class mail.
    The result of this would be a huge consolidation of mail processing plants and a huge loss of jobs.

  • Reader prefers five-day weather outlook

    I want to encourage those who object to the different weather channel presentation on our cable television to call and register their objection.
    Locally, call 283-3567, or visit the office at 318 N. Fourth St. Statewide, call 1-888-863-9928.
    If enough people act, we may get a change back to more what we used to have – a five-day forecast, compared to a one-day-only forecast.
    Laurie Mabry

  • In tough economic times, think before spending

    In these tough economic times, everyone is thinking before spending.
    The railroad closed one of our crossings in Brownstown. This created a hardship for the people on the north side of town, especially for the people who walked to the post office and the bank.
    The village did not have the money to create a walkway at the crossing.
    Our children walk and ride bikes in the street because the village does not have the money for sidewalks.