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Today's Opinions

  • Koehler recalls days as prisoner of war

    A couple of weeks ago, my cousin, Mike Koehler, from Mt. Pulaski telephoned. Mike calls at least twice a month, and at the beginning of this call he asked, “Do you know what day it is?”
    Actually, I had no idea what day it was, although I was fairly certain it was December.
    “December 19,” he said. “Sixty-six years ago today, I was captured by the Germans.  You know that recipe I sent you? That is what I had to eat on Christmas Day.”

  • Volunteers vital to Main Street

    Volunteers were the base as the Vandalia Main Street Program was started more than a decade ago, and volunteers have been a vital part of keeping the program going. Now, they will be more important than ever.
    The Vandalia City Council learned on Monday night that Main Street, because it has lost its funding from the city, can no longer afford to pay an executive director, and that Dana Whiteman, the person most recently serving in that position, has already been let go.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Dec. 30, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: In this photo are the owner, driver and crew of a stock car that raced in Brownstown in the 1970s.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Robert P. "Bob" Meyer.
    Identifying him were: Ronnie and Norma Heather, and John Schaub.
    This week’s Scrambler: iescelnsnla mesobce reom tnapomtri henw lsegidons si kylenuil

  • Many challenges ahead in 2011

    We are coming to the end of a year that has been tough for many individuals, businesses and governmental entities.
    In 2010, we experienced individuals directed to take furlough days, being laid off or losing their jobs as the struggle to get our economy back on strong footing continues. Local business owners continued to be impacted by the economy, and several fires put a major hurt on our downtown business district.

  • The Way We Were-Dec. 30, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – A space heater was believed to be the cause of a fire which gutted the building on North Eighth Street housing the Sunshine House Health Food store. Vandalia firefighters battled extremely cold weather in putting out the blaze.
    The Fayette County Board continued to study the county’s need for more space. The board met in closed session for about 40 minutes to discuss property acquisition.
    Andrea Lilly and Nick Hopfensperger were winners of “I Dare You” leadership awards.

    20 Years Ago

  • "The Year of the Deep Snow"

    Hughea Davenport was not a resident of our county, but his descendents were. It is through the late Berle Mattes that I received a copy of a memoir, written in May 1876 by his great-grandfather Davenport.
    Hughea was 12 years old when he came to Illinois from Kentucky in 1824, settling with his family six miles west of the hamlet of Springfield, which Hughea told consisted of eight to 10 houses, several stores –  including one with a whiskey barrel owned by Herndon – and the Capps brothers’ hardware and shoe shop.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Dec. 23, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This man, who has farmed all his life in rural Vandalia, is turning 60 today. He is married and has four children (two girls and two boys). The two boys help him farm. If you know him, give him a call and wish him a happy birthday.
    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Zachary Ryan Townsend.

  • The Way We Were-Dec. 23, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – Springfield Calvary upset Shelbyville, the team rated No. 1 in Class A basketball, to win the Vandalia Holiday Tournament. Mario Brown of Calvary was named the tournament MVP.
    State Sen. Frank Watson (R-Greenville), along with several representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, held a meeting at Days Inn in Vandalia to hear concerns about the future of Carlyle Lake. About 70 local residents attended the meeting.