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Today's Opinions

  • Hiram Beck Cemetery found again

    There are many cemeteries scattered about Fayette County – more than 230 at last count. 

    Thanks to the work of volunteers from the Fayette County Genealogical & Historical Society, headstone readings from all known county cemeteries have been recorded and published. This leaves about 30 cemeteries that are known to exist, but their location has been lost over the years. 

  • Bank robbery, fire lead to death of man

     The young bank clerk yawned and reached for his coat. James Kelley had worked into his supper hour again that evening and was anxious to leave the State Bank building in Vandalia where he worked.

  • Downtown work worth celebrating

    It was more than a decade ago that Sandy Leidner, while serving as Vandalia’s mayor, had a vision to improve the community’s downtown business district. On Monday, we will celebrate that vision becoming a reality.

    Leidner, and others, realized that Vandalia’s downtown would never be like it was prior to the introduction of large retail department stores. But she also realized that the downtown would suffer even greater damage by letting the streetscape, and the infrastructure beneath it, continue to age and deteriorate.

  • Solution needed for budget crisis

    Unless you’ve been locked away in a cage in recent months, you’ve noticed that virtually every government entity has begun initiating significant budget cuts.

    In this week’s issue alone, we have stories about the city of Vandalia approving furlough days for all of its full-time employees and the Vandalia School District cutting staff and programs.

  • Justice was swift in county's first murder

     The 1878 History of Fayette County makes mention of all the “firsts” to occur in each township in the county – the earliest settlers, first birth, first death, first marriage, first mill, first school, first burying ground and, in the case of Pope Township, the first murder.

  • Protect yourself and your property

    How can you tell that spring has arrived? The sound of mowers and the smell of cut grass. The chirping of birds. An increase in the theft and vandalism of personal and public property.

    Vandalia’s police officers have been kept busy recently handling numerous complaints of criminal damage to property and theft, as well as several reports of the passing of counterfeit bills.

  • Rural King plan good for Vandalia

    Any time a new company comes to town, we're ready to celebrate and welcome them with open arms.

    We ought to welcome growth by existing local firms with the same enthusiasm. After all, both types of growth bring valuable jobs and expanded opportunities to our community. 

    This week, we have reason to celebrate. Rural King's plans to move into the former home of Orgill and significantly expand its business here was given approval by the Vandalia Planning Commission. The issue now goes before the Vandalia City Council for its approval.

  • 'Orphan Train' brought many children west

    John J. Brown, who went on to become a well-respected Vandalia attorney, was a boy of 7 when he, along with 26 other boys, including his brother, William, were brought to Fayette County on what was called the "Orphan Train." 

    John J. and William Brown, both born in New York City, were the sons of John and Mary Brown, immigrants from Dublin, Ireland. Following the death of their parents in 1858, the boys were placed with the New York Orphan Asylum.