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Today's Opinions

  • Schools are in session; use extra caution

    In case you haven’t noticed the increased morning and afternoon traffic around area schools, we’ll give you a gentle reminder that school is now in session.
    For those of us whose daily route takes us past a school, that means we must pay closer attention to students on their way to or from school. Whether they’re elementary school students who are prone to dash into the street or teens who are preoccupied with their cell phones as they walk or drive, school zones can be dangerous areas.

  • Don Funk exemplified a 'life well-lived'

     When I received my copy of The Leader- Union in the mail this past Thursday, I learned that my longtime chemo buddy, Don Funk, had passed.
    My first thoughts were of the place he had in my life.  
    I met Don Funk in 1999 when I began the long haul of chemotherapy for breast cancer.  We visited from time to time as we occupied easy chairs in the treatment rooms at Fayette County Hospital.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These siblings, pictured about 55 years ago, all grew up in Vandalia. The girl on the left was an Army wife and now lives in Lebanon, the girl in the center has been a familiar face around Fayette County Hospital and the boy on the right deals in antiques.
    Do you know them? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Larry Peyton.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – A ground-breaking ceremony was held for an addition to Fayette County Hospital & Long Term Care.
    The Vandalia Police Department received a $6,664 federal COPS MORE grant. The department was to buy up to six cages for squad cars.
    Ralston Edwards, a community leader and grocer in Vandalia for more than 60 years, died at the age of 82.
    Ann Schwarm of Loogootee was appointed coordinator of educational services for the Regional Superintendent of Schools.

  • Notable houses also lined Gasoline Alley

    In April 1933, a former Vandalia resident, Jeff Freeman, visited his old hometown and sat down with the editor of The Vandalia Union newspaper to reminiscence about the businesses that lined Gallatin Street during his boyhood in the late 1870s and 1880s.
    “The famous National Old Trails Road on Vandalia’s leading street was just a sea of mud in which horses and wagons bogged down and citizens feared to cross 50 years ago.

  • School budgets getting squeezed by state's crisis

    Though the State of Illinois’ fiscal crisis has impacted nearly every citizen, business and organization operating in the state, it has come home to roost visibly this time of year for Illinois school districts.
    All across the state, school boards and administrators are launching into a new school year with absolutely no idea of how they’re going to keep their schools operating.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured nearly 50 years ago, has lived most of his life in Vandalia. He and his wife have three grown children and five grandchildren. In this picture, he was advertising a local car dealership.
    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Tammy Stine Votrain, G.R. Stine II and Kelly Stine Redenbo.
    Identifying them were: Juanita and Ted Workman, Danny Donaldson, Shirley Ferguson, Bailee Workman and Debbie Smith.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – The chief of staff preservation services for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency came to Vandalia to view the rehabilitation work being done on the Fayette County Museum building.
    Tom Isbell, a Vandalia alderman and former member of the city planning commission, died after suffering a stroke.
    The Vandalia Vandals opened the 1995 football season with a 40-0 trouncing of Litchfield. Travis Blain led the Vandals’ offense with 73 yards, and Zach Gummert completed seven of 17 passes for 103 yards.