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Today's Opinions

  • Residents' impact felt after they moved

    Last week, I told the story of James Thomas Burbridge Stapp, who after living the first 41 years of his life in Vandalia, took his ideas and dollars – 20,000 of them – and moved to Decatur.

  • Return of Pre-K to help students

    A safety-net program that for years had provided early intervention for at-risk students but was dropped last year when state funding dried up, has now been reinstated.
    At least for a year.
    A state grant that will fund the Pre-K program has allowed the Vandalia school district to bring back the program, albeit in a reduced format. About 40 area students will benefit from the program that is designed to get them up to speed and ready to start school with their peers.
    The grant also funds smaller Pre-K programs in Brownstown, Ramsey and St. Elmo.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young woman, pictured when she was about 16, now lives in Brownstown. She has three children and three grandchildren. She worked at a local warehouse for 29 years.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Aug. 11, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This brother and sister, pictured about 65 years ago, were born in Oklahoma, but moved to the Brownstown area  during the oil boom in the late 1930s.

  • The Way We Were-Aug. 11, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and Odie Washington, director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, visited Vandalia for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new work camp at Vandalia Correctional Center.
    Jeff Bullard, 27, of Mt. Vernon, joined the Vandalia Police Department as a patrolman.
    More than 50 people attended a kickoff meeting for Vandalia Main Street.
    Sam and Evelyn Jolliff of Patoka were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.

    20 Years Ago

  • Stapp helped build Vandalia, Decatur

    James Thomas Burbridge Stapp cut quite a swath through the political life of early Illinois.

  • Make safety a top priority in new school year

    In case you don't have children in the house, let this be your reminder that a new school year is about to begin.
    Activity is increasing around our schools – registration sessions have been held, athletic pre-season practices are under way and, hopefully, shopping trips for school clothes and supplies have been completed.
    It's a busy time of year.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Aug. 4, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These two cousins are pictured 45 years ago. The one on the left works for the county and lives in the southeast part of the county. The one on the right lives out of state, but grew up in the Ramsey area. She is a registered nurse.