Today's Opinions

  • More information surfaces on country schools

    Several weeks ago, I wrote a column about the one-room country schools dotting the countryside of Fayette County. A question from Vandalia resident Jane Cox prompted the column; and since it was published, interest has grown.

    Bill Stolte of Vandalia telephoned to tell me that he had a school record book from Maple Grove School in Seminary Township that he had saved from destruction. He asked if I would like to look at it.

  • Take time to fill out census form

    Once every decade, the U.S. government asks us to stand up and be counted.

    It’s not some effort to make us feel important. Nor is it an exercise to solicit our opinion on some issue.

    No, it’s more basic than that. The government bean counters want a head count. Yes, it’s census time.

  • Time to pull the plug on Motown

    Two months ago, we asked that the city of Vandalia seriously consider discontinuing its relationship with Motown Technology and Sports Facility Inc. We’re glad to see that city officials are moving in that direction.

    Alderman Mike Hobler suggested at Monday’s city council meeting that the city look at initiating legal action against the Michigan-based group, and Alderman Larry Bennett agreed.

  • Thanks to farmers

    Included in today's issue of The Leader-Union is a special section called "Salute to Agriculture 2010.

    In that section, brought to you by several of the leading ag-related businesses, we highlight the many contributions of our farmers.

    In a county like Fayette, it's hard to overestimate the impact of agriculture on our local economy. In most years, the fortunes of our farmers have a direct impact on the health of all other aspects of our business community. The ripples are that significant.

  • Phone calls lead to discovery of body in well

    The case began with a telephone call to the Shelby County Sheriff’s office in early December 1962.

    Lyle McDonald, the newly elected sheriff, took the call, and was asked whether a loss claim for a wallet found in a schoolyard near Herrick had been made. The wallet contained $500 and belonged to a man named Tony O’Dell.

    The caller said he did not want to get involved, but the sheriff should check some schoolhouse wells in the Herrick area for a body.

  • Think before doing any burning

    Saturday was one of the best indications that spring is just around the corner – a relatively warm day with very little wind. It was the perfect day for many types of outdoor activities, but burning trash or brush was not one of them.

    Saturday was a reminder that people need to take several factors into consideration when they do any type of outdoor burning, including the wind. And they need to watch over their fires at all times, a hose at the ready in case the fire starts to spread.

  • Downtown fire sparks old memories

    As I sipped my coffee early in the morning on Feb. 23 and watched a local St. Louis morning television station, it was with surprise and alarm that I saw the name of our town running across the bottom, accompanied by a brief photo of a fire.

    The commentator began the lead-in to the story, and the first image I saw was from a helicopter, with the majestic capitol in the background. As the flames roared and the camera angle changed, I looked for the 1867 M. Hall building that housed Denny Gerkin’s insurance agency, and was relieved to see it standing.

  • Just a day after the fire that destroyed his business, Art Martin was counting his blessings.

    With smoke still rising from the corner where his business stood, the owner of Donaldson’s Carpet, said, “We are fortunate enough to be in a small town.”

    Donaldson was referring to the offers for help he received, including one from his main competitor, Tom DePaolo of DePaolo’s Floor Covering and Home Decorating Center.