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Today's Opinions

  • New senator brings assets to position

    After nearly three decades of being represented in Springfield by former state Sen. Frank Watson, it's difficult to imagine someone else in that position.

    But with Watson's decision to retire after suffering a stroke last fall, we must shift gears.

    This week's selection of Kyle McCarter, a Lebanon business owner, to fill the seat as state senator in the 51st District appears to be a good one.

  • Lincoln's 200th 'a downright good time'

    The 300-plus guests for Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday at the capitol last Thursday evening were treated to a wonderful spectacle and a downright good time.

    The capitol building, built in 1836, was bathed in the soft glow of accent lights around the building’s foundation, complemented by the period streetlights surrounding the Public Square.

    The chandeliers sparkled through the windows of the two-story building, adding to the beauty of the historic structure and enhancing the feeling of expectancy that my son, Ethan, and I were already feeling.

  • Burris not worthy to represent us

    Illinois continues to have a place in the national spotlight … for all of the wrong reasons.

    When U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin first spoke out on the search for Barack Obama’s successor in the U.S. Senate, he said that Gov. Rod Blagojevich should not be allowed to make the appointment. Anyone appointed by Blagojevich, Durbin said, would be “tainted.”

    Durbin eventually relented, supporting Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris, and oh, what a fortune-teller Durbin has turned out to be.

  • Statehouse's value seen Thursday

    Do you doubt whether a lot of people are excited about the reopening of the Vandalia Statehouse? If you would have seen the crowd last Thursday night at the Statehouse, you wouldn’t have such doubts.

    More than 300 people turned out for the program held to celebrate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln at the state’s oldest existing capitol.

    It’s not unusual for many people to walk through the Statehouse for events such as the Christmas Open House. But it’s been a long, long time since there have been so many people in that building at one time.

  • This past Thursday afternoon, a nice crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Vandalia’s new National Road Interpretive Center downtown.

    John Goldsmith, president of the organization, along with Jerry Swarm and Mayor Rick Gottman, each gave a brief speech. Jerry received special thanks for the long hours he spent working on the center, and he spoke volumes when he said, “I had a lot of help.”

    This is what the National Road Association of Illinois has exemplified since its inception in 1997. People working together for a common interest.

  • Happy 200th birthday, Abe!

    He’s long been referred to as the most respected and beloved president in our nation’s history.

    And now, as we pause to observe the 200th anniversary of his birth, Abraham Lincoln is once again front and center. Across the nation – but particularly here in Illinois – we’re celebrating the life and character of this remarkable man.

  • Lincoln's time in Vandalia

    This Thursday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln in grand style at the old state capitol in Vandalia.

    Although Lincoln belongs to the nation and to the world beyond, there was a time when Abraham Lincoln’s world was Vandalia.

    The newly elected legislator arrived in Vandalia by stage on a blustery November day, squeezed in with the other five members of the Sangamon County delegation, including his mentor, John T. Stuart.

  • Deem, McCarty good Abe Award choices

    Last week, as our community prepared to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce presented two awards named after our 16th president.

    Those Abe Awards, presented annually by the chamber, honor those who have made significant contributions to our community. This marks the 35th year that the awards have been given.