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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Guest Column-Illinois needs moratorium on prison closures

    It's time to quit playing with peoples lives with regard to prison closures, and end the political gamesmanship that surrounds prison site decisions. A bipartisan group of my colleagues in the General Assembly are advocating a comprehensive review of Illinois correctional facilities and programs.

  • Peter Hill wrote account of early settlers

    With the celebration of the 40th Grande Leve over the weekend, it seems that this is the proper place and time for Peter B. Hill to tell his story.

    His first-person account of the hardships in the early days of white habitation of the Illinois Territory was written in 1873, and gives us a first-person look at those days and times.

    Peter Bruns Hill was born April 14, 1808, in Kentucky, the youngest son of Henry and Elizabeth Bruns Hill. He was eight years old when his parents came to the territory.

  • Railroad must fix unsafe crossings

    Were told time and time again that railroad crossings can be hazardous. Thats particularly true in Vandalia.

    However, while oncoming trains certainly pose dangers at the local crossings, they are not the only hazard.

    As signs posted by residents of that area point out, the crossing at Remann Street near Main Street is in itself a hazard.

  • Fayette County woman ran for president

    So, you think Hillary Clinton was the first woman to run for president? Think again.

    Her name was Victoria Woodhull, and in the year 1872 she was chosen by the Equal Rights Party to run as its candidate for president. She couldnt vote, but she could run for office.

    Born in Homer, Ohio, on Sept. 23, 1838, Victoria California Claflin was married at age 15 to Canning Woodhull. It was her marriage that brought her to Fayette County.