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Today's Opinions

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1996 – Seniors Clint Flowers and Jani Torrence were crowned Homecoming king and queen at Patoka High School.
    The city of Vandalia was gathering information about downtown buildings to use for such things as recruiting tenants for vacant buildings and firefighting preplanning.
    Dana Adermann, the 1995 Miss Fayette County Fair queen, was representing the county at the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant in Springfield.

  • We have Jake to thank for turkeys

    My son called me to the window a couple of weeks ago when, not 20 feet away, walked a wild hen turkey. The bird paused as though to give us plenty of time to run for a camera. Not knowing much about turkey habit, I wondered if this bird was a lookout for a larger flock.
    Ethan and I waited for what seemed a long time before the hen continued her trek. As soon as she was out of site, first one baby and then two more hurriedly followed her.

  • A new year, new opportunities

    With the start of a new year, many of us have made resolutions for 2016, whether it's losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking or spending more time with family.
    While each of those applies to certain people, there's a resolution that all of us can make – getting more involved in our community.
    Vandalia and Fayette County have many people who give countless hours for volunteer work, joining with others who contribute much of their free time for organizations and groups that have a common goal of improving the lives of their fellow man.

  • Navy mom takes care of Army son

    In several of my past columns I have relied on the experiences of my sister, Sandy, a retired Navy wife, for stories about hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, earth tremors and such.
    Sandy has another experience that I have never shared – sending a son off to the military.
    Sandy was 18 when she married a career Navy man, Jim “Zeke” Sampson, formerly of the Jimpson neighborhood in Ramsey township.  

  • More Christmas fun coming up

    Several weeks after Vandalia kicked off the holiday season with Olde Tyme Christmas, Fayette County is offering more holiday festivities in the next couple of weeks.
    This Saturday, Soroptimist International of Vandalia is holding Breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m. at St. James Lutheran Church. After that, downtown merchants are offering Super Santa Sales.

  • Vandalia Memories
  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1995 – Judy Vaughn’s second-grade class at Washington Elementary School decorated the Christmas tree at the Vandalia Statehouse in preparation of the Statehouse’s Christmas Open House.
    Two performances of “Christmas Presents,” a holiday concert sponsored by The Leader-Union, raised monetary donations totaling $1,444 for Fayette County Caring & Sharing.
    Robert Young, a defensive end for the St. Louis Rams, visited Hosick Motors in Vandalia to help in the promotion of a special Dodge Rams truck.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week's photo: Every day at a local day care, this young boy played with his favorite car.