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Today's Opinions

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Mike Baker, a former assistant warden at the Vandalia Correctional Center, was appointed to the warden’s post at VCC by the Illinois Department of Corrections. Austin Randolph Jr. was named assistant warden of operations.
    The Vandalia Lady Vandals defeated state-ranked Breese Mater Dei, 49-45, recording their first win over that school in girls basketball.
    Dannon Cole of Vandalia was given honorable mention honors as an NAIA Division II All-American. He was a defensive back at Greenville College.

  • Capps brothers were business leaders

    Ebenezer Capps was one of the best known men to live in Vandalia during the capital years.

  • Flowers, Lindberg deserving of Abes

    Each year, the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce presents a pair of Abe Awards. And most years, the announcement of the recipients elicits the same reaction: “It’s about time they were recognized for all the things they have done.”
    This year’s honorees – Tony Flowers and Bob Lindberg – fit that pattern. They’ve both toiled for years, sometimes in obscurity and sometimes in the spotlight, but always working for the good of others.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These three young people from Vandalia are pictured in 1954.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – U.S. Rep. Dick Durbin (D-Springfield) held his first town meeting in Fayette County since picking up all of this county through a redrawing of congressional district boundaries. The town meeting drew about 50 people.
    H. Edward Smith, a former employee of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA), visited with students of Vandalia Junior High School.
    Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Harner of rural St. Elmo were planning to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Jan 23.

  • Names of Fayette County towns have story

    Nearly 20 years ago, I compiled a list of Fayette County towns, villages and neighborhoods. My main source for the list was back issues of "Fayette Facts," where, in addition to information on schools, churches and cemeteries for each township, various place names within the township were listed. Many of the villages have long since disappeared.

  • Openness at VCC helps public see challenges there

    For most area residents, the only view of the Vandalia Correctional Center is the one they get from driving past on Ill. Route 51.
    From that vantage point, they can see the fences, the buildings and the 1,500-acres of land on which the facility is located. They may occasionally observe inmates in the exercise area, when the weather allows. But those superficial glimpses are about the extent of the contact most residents have with the county’s largest employer.

  • Griffin Tipsword averts a massacre

    Long before the French traders and pelters discovered the Kaskaskia River and her tributaries, the land encompassed by Fayette County was part of vast hunting grounds for various Indian tribes.