Today's Opinions

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These brothers, raised in the Loogootee area, are pictured about 68 years ago. One lives in Florida, one lives in Kankakee and the third still lives in the area.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – A crew from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency came to St. Elmo for an anhydrous ammonia spill caused when tanks broke loose from a truck pulling them.
    Parents of seniors at Ramsey High School were fighting to keep prayer at commencement exercises.
    Outgoing Vandalia Mayor Rich Walker and other city officials hosted a reception for the incoming mayor, Sandra Leidner, and other newly elected officials.
    Mr. and Mrs. Burt Powell of Brownstown were celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

  • Take time to look closely at Madonna statue

    Dedicated to the mothers of covered wagon days, Vandalia’s Madonna of the Trail statue was one of 12 monuments erected in the United States to mark major migration paths.

  • Congratulations, graduates!

    It’s the time of year when “Pomp & Circumstance” can be heard wafting from high school gymnasiums across the country.
    Proud parents and family members gather to celebrate the milestones being completed by their graduates, and the schools pass out awards to note those graduates’ accomplishments.
    On many fronts, it’s a fun time. Families are gathered. Compliments are shared. Futures are contemplated. And friendships are affirmed.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – The St. Elmo Board of Education interviewed one candidate for the district’s superintendent position.
    A fire in the laundry room caused an estimated $50,000 in damage at TraveLodge.
    The Fayette County Board discussed the need to begin addressing problems with the county courthouse.
    At his final meeting as a member of the South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission, Vandalia Mayor Rich Walker received special recognition from the commission.

    20 Years Ago

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two brothers and a sister are pictured in 1948. The oldest brother lives in Fillmore and is retired from the Hillsboro Correctional Center. He has been a minister all of his adult life. The younger brother worked at Caterpillar in East Peoria. He is  retired and living in Tennessee. The sister is married, with four children, and worked as a beautician for 40 years and as a breakfast manager at McDonald's for almost 30 years. She lives in rural Vandalia.

  • National Road: History in every mile

    Imagine covered wagons pulled by plodding oxen, dusty trails and arched stone bridges. In your mind’s eye, picture the weary travelers, the men, women and children walking the 1,000 miles beside the wagon as they headed west…to the unknown.
    The National Road, also known as the Cumberland Trail, was the first federally funded road in the country. Beginning in Cumberland, Md., the road was completed  to Vandalia by 1836.
    The financial panic of 1837 would stop construction at Illinois’ 90th mile – at Vandalia.

  • Take advantage of cleanup week

    Are you tired of parking the car in the driveway because the garage is full of junk? Do you have old appliances and other large items sitting around because the trash company won't accept them?
    Well, next week is your chance to rid your life of that unwanted clutter. It's cleanup week in Vandalia.
    City residents who are customers of Doty Sanitation will have the chance to set out unwanted items alongside their regular trash on their normal trash pickup day. Then, city workers will follow after the trash crews on May 14-18 to pick up the large items.