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Today's Opinions

  • Morale soared with 'Captain Sam'

    Capt. Sam Houston was an honored member of Co. I, Fourth Infantry, of the Illinois National Guard, joining the unit in 1898 at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war.
    Lest I confuse someone, I’m talking about a golden eagle who served as the mascot for Fayette County’s local National Guard company.
    According to Major E.P. Clayton, one of the commanders of Co. I, “Captain Sam” was captured four miles south of Vandalia by Frank Williams in April 1898 and sold to Martin F. Houston.

  • Storm a wake-up call to get ready

    The storm that roared through Fayette County on Sunday night and early Monday morning should serve as a wake-up call that the spring storm season is upon us.
    Though no injuries or fatalities were reported, this week’s storm did cause significant property damage in a variety of locations throughout the county. Some appeared to be straight-line wind damage, others had some of the characteristics of tornado winds.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Feb. 24, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three siblings were born and reared in Fayette County and graduated from Vandalia Community High School. The two brothers live around Vandalia, and their sister lives in a Southern state.

  • The Way We Were-Feb. 24, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Mayor Rich Walker reported that the project to extend sewer lines to the city’s western Interstate 70 interchange was nearing completion.
    South Central was knocked out of postseason play with a 79-55 loss to Freeburg at the Vandalia Sectional Tournament.
    During a meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce, Fayette County State’s Attorney Rod Irvin and Vandalia Police Department Sgt. Fred Willms told local business owners what they could do to fight shoplifting and bad check offenses.

  • Public notices vital to keep the public informed

    A bill has been proposed in the Illinois House of Representatives that – if passed – would significantly reduce the information available to citizens about the activities of the state’s governing bodies.
    That bill – House Bill 1869 – would eliminate the publication of all public notices in newspapers in favor of placing those notices on government websites.
    It’s a dangerous proposal that inevitably will inhibit citizens’ access to information that affects them.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Feb. 17, 2011

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Maurice Whitford.
    Identifying him was: Mary Cripe.
    This week’s Scrambler:  lewl-drimare, a amn si degniw; lli chetdam, eh si dleksach.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. (Bertrand Russell)

  • The Way We Were-Feb. 17, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – A big crowd turned out on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25, to welcome home the Vandalia Community High School wrestling team, the new state champions in Class A.
    South Central won the Class A Regional Tournament in St. Elmo, defeating Patoka, 80-55, in the championship game.
    Judge Harold Pennock III of Centralia took under advisement a request for a new trial for Stuart Heaton of Bluff City. Heaton was convicted the year before of murdering 16-year-old Krystal Lynn Naab of rural Ramsey.

  • Lincoln is only president to hold a patent

    I learned something new about President Abraham Lincoln last week while reading the “Historical Sketch” section of the Mt. Pulaski Times. President Lincoln held a patent.
    He gave his invention the title, “A Device For Buoying Vessels Over Shoals,” for which he received Patent No. 6,469. It was recorded on May 22, 1849, in the U.S. Patent Office.