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Today's Opinions

  • Election a wake-up call for change

    Even though the Illinois governor’s race was too close to call on Wednesday morning, it represented a number of races across the state and nation in which Republicans made significant inroads into Democratic strongholds.
    Incumbent Democratic governor Pat Quinn held a lead of about 9,000 votes over challenger state Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington). About 97.5 percent of the precincts – representing 3.3 million votes – had been tallied, but the margin was too small to declare a winner.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Oct. 21, 2010

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Barbara (Austin) Randall, Betty (Francis) Schaub, Shirley (Davis) Jones and Anna Ruth (Radliff) Lilly.
    Identifying them were: Don and Ellen Willms, Howard Koester, Normalee Terry and Elizabeth Kasten.
    This week’s Scrambler:  fi ouy tel rafulie hobret yuo, uyo liwl veren dececsu.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. (Henry David Thoreau)

  • The Way We Were-Oct. 21, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – Brent Ellis, 31, joined the Vandalia Police Department as a patrolman, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of “Sonny” Banal.
    Bill Donaldson was the keynote speaker for a Veterans Day program at Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95.
    John Burnam was re-elected president of the Vandalia Board of Education. John Gehrke took a seat on the board, succeeding Calvin Scott.
    Fayette County began a search for a new animal control warden following the resignation of Max Pummill.

  • Modern medicine helps fight disease

    It has been 12 years now since I was told that I had breast cancer…a fast growing type they said. On a scale of two to nine, I was a seven – not a good number to be.
    Being the first in my immediate family to be diagnosed with cancer, I searched my ancestor charts for kin who may have died as a result of this particular immune system disease. I came up nearly blank. In fact, throughout the lives of my family members, the most common "disease" seemed to have been old age.

  • City officials take first step to cut shortfall

    When things get tough, drastic measures often are required to fix them.
    Vandalia city officials now find themselves in such a situation.
    Facing a budget deficit of $600,000, uncertain funding from the state and an unfilled city manager’s position, city officials took some drastic measures of their own at Monday night’s city council meeting.

  • Banks of the Okaw-Oct. 14, 2010

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These young women were pictured during a physical education class at Brownstown High School more than 60 years ago. Two now live in Vandalia, one in Beecher City and one in Freeport.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Gary Stine.
    Identifying her was: Charlotte Bone.
    This week’s Scrambler:  cussesc lysluau mosec ot sehot ohw rea oto sybu ot eb glinkoo rof ti.

  • The Way We Were-Oct. 14, 2010

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – The cost of extending sewer lines to Vandalia’s western Interstate 70 interchange was less than expected. Thus, Mayor Rich Walker was proposing additional infrastructure improvements, including new sewer lines and manholes along the river bottoms in the city.
    Judge Dennis Middendorff ruled that Stuart Heaton, a Bluff City man convicted of murder in 1992, could continue to use a Chicago law firm. Jenner & Block took on Heaton’s case on a pro bono (free) basis.

  • Edward Beck – a quiet, earnest man

    We hear a lot about Paul Beck, who with his son, Guy, are credited with being the first white settlers in Fayette County, entering the dense virgin forest as early as 1805.
    There is another Beck – John Beck – who deserves a moment in the spotlight of history. He was Paul’s younger brother, and also came to Illinois before statehood, settling in neighboring Montgomery County.