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Today's Opinions

  • Wait's dream became a reality

    William S. Wait was a visionary who died before he could see his vision become a reality.

    As far back as 1835, Wait, of Greenville, was thinking of a rail line stretching across Illinois from Terre Haute to St. Louis linking Greenville to both Eastern and Western markets.

    He actively lobbied members of the legislature, and got some positive support. But when it came to a vote, the charter was given not to Waits project the Mississippi & Atlantic Railroad but instead to backers of the Alton & Terre Haute Railroad.

  • Congratulations to state champs!

    Four girls from Vandalia Community High School have done something no other girls from their school have ever done.

    The 4 by 400 relay team of Paige Dodson, Kris Stunkel, Kayla Houston and Ashley Durbin brought home a state championship the first in the history of the girls track program. And they did it in convincing style beating the competition by about 1.5 seconds and eclipsing their own school record (set in the prelims on Friday) by nearly three seconds.

  • On Monday, remember our vets

    On Monday, our nation will pause to remember.

    Well recall the freedoms we often take for granted.

    Well remember the men and women who have sacrificed to keep us free.

    Well reflect on our responsibilities as citizens.

    But will we really fully appreciate the importance of Memorial Day? Probably not. For the majority of us, sacrificing for our country is still an abstract concept one to which we have no direct personal connection.

  • Cherokee Indian chief buried in Vandalia

    Chief Bull Moose made his last stand in Vandalia on April 7, 1952.

    The 70-year-old man, along with his wife and daughters, had been staying at Bill Mareks DX Motor Court, located on U.S. Route 51, just south of the former Coca-Cola Distribution Center, when he suffered a heart attack.

    The brick building that housed the Coca-Cola Distribution Center became home to the now-defunct Waggoner Trucking Co., and is adjacent to the Chuckwagon Restaurant.

  • Process needed to study prisons

    With the announcement early last week that the Blagojevich administration wants to close the maximum-security prison in Pontiac, the disruptive process that gripped Vandalia several years ago has now enveloped Pontiac.

    As was the case when the governor released his plan to shutter the Vandalia Correctional Center, the Pontiac area is faced with a daunting economic blow if hundreds of jobs evaporate.

  • Uncle Jake's Model T Ford still kicking

    My dad, Edmund Torbeck, was born and reared one mile south of St. Paul in Wilberton Township.

    The farm on which he was reared was also the birthplace of his mother, Anna Yund, and had been given to her by her parents when she married Henry Torbeck in 1903.

    About a mile south of dads house lived his mothers bachelor brothers, Jacob and Albert Yund. Their unmarried sister, Wilhelmina "Minnie," moved in with them following their mothers death in 1929.

  • Wall vandalism is unacceptable

    As noted in two letters to the editor, printed elsewhere on this page, the Veterans Wall at the Crawford-Hale American Legion Home in Vandalia has been the target of vandals recently.

    Though no form of vandalism makes sense, this one is especially disturbing. In a time when patriotism runs high and our society honors the sacrifices of our men and women who have served or are serving in the military, it's baffling that anyone would feel the need to deface a monument such as the wall.

  • Amish settlement flourished then failed

    The Amish presence in Fayette County began in 1893, when three men from the Arthur settlement David K. Beiler, Noah S. Beachy and Moses J. Yoder visited the county searching for affordable land.

    They liked what they saw in central Sefton Township, and in November 1893, each bought a farm.

    These three families were the vanguard for the 30-plus families who would move to this area from Amish-Mennonite settlements in Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa and Oregon.