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Today's Opinions

  • Sales tax option may help schools

    Though we have to start from the premise that the last thing most people want is another tax, there may be some merit in studying the benefits of a countywide sales tax to benefit our schools.

    The concept of a sales tax to provide funding for education is new in Illinois, but has been used successfully in several other states.

    The difference between this proposal and other current school taxes is that under this plan, funds are generated by retail sales rather than the more traditional property taxes.

  • Paper preserves Pennington story

    Back in 1914, the editor of The Vandalia Union newspaper asked the old settlers to write down what they remembered about the county 50 years before. There were 20 or more replies, and they were published in the newspaper, beginning on April 9, 1914.

    Maranda Pennington was one of the first to respond, and her personal story of the days of 1865 is very interesting.

    She wrote, Editors and readers of the Union I do not remember any certain incidents that transpired in the year 1864, but well do I remember my experiences during 1865.

  • County needs Enhanced 911

    The Fayette County Board is expected to vote this week on putting an Enhanced 911 referendum on Novembers general election. Were advocating for that board action, and also for the support of E911 at the general election.

    On the agenda for the boards regular meeting this Thursday night is a proposed ordinance that would put the measure before the voters, with the recommended monthly E911 surcharge set at $2.75.

  • Charles Evans served community in many ways

    With the involvement of the United States in World War I, the nations citizens became well aware that the resources of our allies were nearly exhausted. Eyes turned to America for necessary food, fuel and supplies to continue the conflict.

    In Fayette County, as in other counties throughout the nation, agencies were formed to not only gather clothes for the Belgian war effort, but also to be sure that local residents had enough food and fuel.

  • Proposal would help stop game playing with prisons

    Its time to stop the prison-closure madness. A proposal by state legislators will hopefully do just that.

    Four years after he proposed the closure of Vandalia Correctional Center and the states youth facility in St. Charles, Gov. Rod Blagojevich is once again threatening the closure of a state prison. How are his actions in 2004 similar to those this summer each has been about politics.

  • Flood challenges us to enjoy life's detours

    A week and a half ago, I ventured into the Everglades-like country that – at most times of the year – is the fertile farmland of central Iowa.

    Never, ever, have I seen it like that. Not in all of my growing-up years there have I seen flooding like they experienced in the southeastern part of the state.

    Of course, my first thoughts were for the poor people whose lives have been turned upside down by the flooding. The damage they face is truly devastating, and the cleanup effort will take months – years in some cases.

  • County native was pioneer in aviation

    Many years ago, I became custodian of an old handkerchief box containing obituaries and family information about the Charles and Gertrude Clark St. Pierre family. It had been kept by Miss Genevieve Capps, and passed on by Mary Joyce Capps.

    I had heard of the St. Pierre family the St. Pierre corner south of Bayle City being notorious as a dangerous intersection. The family came to this area before the Civil War. Edmond St. Pierre was born in Canada, and his wife, Catharine LaGarce, was born in Versailles, France.

  • Pull out all the stops to attract, keep industries

    Vandalia's latest attempt to both keep the jobs it has and create more jobs is a clear reminder of the current status of economic development.

    Fortunately, city officials have garnered the help of state legislators in their attempt to present an incentive package that is attractive enough to maintain Orgill's presence in our community.