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Today's Opinions

  • Question prompts look at county schools

    An internet query from Jane Cox, a Leader-Union reader, is the impetus for this column. Jane wanted to know if a list of county schools was available, along with information about those still standing. 

    The answer is “yes.”

  • Response to fire will be watched

    For the owners and employees of six downtown Vandalia businesses, the world changed early Tuesday morning.

    A fire that swept through Cages, Donaldson’s Carpet, Gathe’s Tax & Accounting and Gerkin Insurance Agency has left a darkened scar in the 300 block of Gallatin Street, directly across the street from the Vandalia Statehouse.

  • Find a way to open Gallatin Street

    Even though no work has been done on Gallatin Street since Dec. 22, the two-block stretch between Third and Fifth streets remains closed to traffic.

    That means continuing hardship for merchants in those blocks trying to stay afloat during the downtown renovation project. In fact, since those two blocks have been closed to vehicular traffic since October, the total time without curb access there could be approaching six months by the time the weather allows construction workers to return to the job – probably in April.

  • Granny-isms become part of family lore

    The recipe I was preparing called for American cheese slices, and as I substituted Velveeta brand cheese, I had to laugh.

    When I first married into my husband’s family, 33 years ago now, we were at Grandma Berniece Spires’ home in Bingham for the weekly Sunday supper.

    Grandma asked me to go “in yonder” to the back porch to fetch a cheese box. I walked down the hallway to the porch and searched the shelves for a Velveeta cheese box, that being the only cheese I knew of being packaged in a box.

  • The check is not in the mail

    Two months after the Vandalia City Council granted an extension to the Motown Technology & Sports Facility Inc., our city’s relationship with that Michigan-based group is, unfortunately, starting to look like Motown’s connection to a community in Kentucky.

    In an agreement the council approved on Dec. 7, Motown agreed to present, under the terms of that agreement, a $17,500 check to reimburse the city for a traffic study performed as part of the group’s plan to build a $300-million sports and entertainment facility in Vandalia.

  • Indian scout had connections in area

    Perry Commodore Oller was born in Bourbon County, Ky., on Feb. 4, 1819, and would go on to become one of the foremost Indian scouts in America.

    What would become his career began one day when Perry was 12. His parents, George and Elizabeth Taylor Oller, had moved to Illinois by this time, and were attacked by Indians near Swan Lake.

    It was Perry who traveled the 70 miles through an unknown wilderness to carry a message to the frontier village of Kaskaskia about the attack.

  • Abe winners make others' lives better

    The Vandalia Chamber of Commerce each year picks two individuals to honor for their contributions to the chamber and the community. The two people picked this year represent what the Abe Award means.

    Sharon LaDage is probably most well-known as an educator. The Vandalia native taught English at the junior high and high school levels for 34 years, and also served as the Vandalia Community High School yearbook adviser and gifted coordinator for the Vandalia School District.

  • Adelyn Connors returned to Vandalia roots

    It wasn’t a total surprise to see an obituary for Adelyn Meek Connors in The Leader-Union a few weeks back. Adelyn was 94 years old, having been born in Vandalia on Dec. 30, 1914, the youngest of six children of George and Dora Luker Meek.

    Ten years earlier, Adelyn had contacted me for information about her Meek family. Having left Vandalia when she was 18 to further her education at Northwestern University, Adelyn knew to whom she was related, but wanted to get the names organized so she could see the relationships more clearly.