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Today's Opinions

  • Jacket offers unexpected history lesson

    There are many places I can visit if I am in search of history – a historic site, library, antique store or museum. Each of these places pretty much guarantees a look at the past through interpretive displays, a guided tour or use of research materials.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – The Vandalia City Council approved a pay hike of 3 percent for those city employees who are not covered by unions. Those union employees, in the public works and police departments, received the same pay hikes through union contracts. Those given pay increases by the council include workers in the city clerk’s office.
    The list of candidates for chief of police in Vandalia was narrowed from 32 to seven by city officials.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These four brothers and a sister were pictured about 55 years ago.

  • Positively better on Fourth Street

    With only a few details remaining to be completed, Vandalia residents now can see what the streetscape project will do to improve the appearance of the 100 and 200 blocks of South Fourth Street.
    And it’s significant.
    The new sidewalks are a huge improvement (for cosmetics appearance as well as pedestrian safety), the period lighting ties those blocks into the improvements made on Gallatin Street and the asphalt overlay gives the street a like-new appearance.

  • Jeremiah, Mary Evans were early settlers

    Jeremiah and Mary "Polly" Larimer Evans of Washington County, Va., were among the first group of settlers, mostly kin, to come to what is now Bear Grove Township in Fayette County before 1820. This was then Bond County.

  • Pension reform must be faced

    It’s time. In fact, it’s well past time.
    Illinois legislators must deal with the state’s pension crisis.
    They had an opportunity during the recent legislative session, but left Springfield without any meaningful progress.

  • Rich, black soil draws farmers to area

    While leafing through a back issue of the genealogy quarterly of the Montgomery County Genealogical Society, headquartered in Litchfield, a series of letters written by Jacob Cress and Daniel Ludwick in the 1830s caught my attention.
    Addressed to family members still living in  Cabarrus County, N.C., the men, who were brothers-in-law, wrote letters encouraging their family to leave the “old wourn out red fields” of North Carolina and come to Illinois, were the land “is as rich and black as you wold want it.”

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured about 50 years ago, still plays the drums. He is semi-retired and still lives in the Vandalia area.