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Today's Opinions

  • Sunshine Week promotes access

    Welcome to Sunshine Week 2013. This is the week during which media outlets across the nation point out the importance of openness in government offices and access to vital information.
    A transparent and accessible government is obviously a priority for newspapers and the media generally. But it’s also important to all citizens, businesses and organizations that need to interact with government entities at all levels.
    When our government is responsive to its constituents, we all win.

  • Joseph Boleyjack was larger than life

    The early history of Fayette County, published in book form in 1878, lists Joseph Boleyjack as one of the earliest settlers in Loudon Township. Many others are listed as well, but it is Boleyjack, or “Old Buckskin,” as he was called, who garnered more than a brief mention in the history book.
    Joseph Boleyjack was born about 1809 in Ohio. He married Sarah Cronk in Fayette County on July 3, 1843.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – As landscape waste­ – and leaf burning – became a major issue statewide, Vandalia officials were looking at the community’s disposal options.
    Mindy Williams and Josh Kreke were crowned queen and king at the South Central High School homecoming dance.
    A 9-year-old rural Brownstown resident was injured when a friend accidentally fired a .22-caliber rifle they had while playing in a treehouse.
    Jerilyn Reed and Shawn Cripe were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

  • It's time to step up to keep our school programs

    Once again, the resilience of Vandalia’s residents has been shown. They’ve been given a sour lemon in the form of multiple cuts to our school programs, and they’re well on their way to making lemonade.
    Though last month’s cuts to district programs touched nearly all areas of the school district, two of the most visible cuts were in music and athletics. And those are the areas in which we’ve seen people step up.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – A 20-member committee began a study on the needs and problems in Vandalia School District facilities.
    Rachel Engel, the reigning Miss Fayette County Fair, was competing in the Miss Illinois County Fair pageant in Springfield.
    About seven years after the Fayette County Board agreed to begin setting monies aside for such a project, the current board voted to begin work on an addition to the county courthouse and improvements to the existing building.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured about 73 years ago, was in the service and then farmed. He lives south of Brownstown and has three daughters.

    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: No photo last week.

  • Vandalia's first schools were by subscription

    The first school in Vandalia was taught by a Mr. Jackson in a little log shed in 1819. This tidbit of historical data, from the History of Fayette County, Illinois, published in 1878, sets the scene for this article.

  • Legal Notices a vital window

    Each week, in the pages of The Leader-Union, we strive to keep you informed about the news of Fayette County.