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Today's Opinions

  • Downtown ordeal nearly over

    A little more than a year after workers dug up the first section of Gallatin Street, there’s light at the end of the tunnel or, more specifically, light at the east end of Vandalia’s downtown business district.

    The 400 block of Gallatin Street was opened to traffic on Tuesday afternoon, and city officials say the 300 block – the final block of the downtown enhancement project – could be opened up as early as Friday.

  • Check your smoke detectors!

    All of us can’t depend on someone like Larry Peyton driving by at the right time; therefore, we need to make sure that we have smoke detectors in our homes … and that they’re working.

    Peyton was driving by Washburn Trailer Court at Vandalia Lake early Saturday morning when he noticed smoke coming from one of the mobile homes. As the residents heard Peyton pounding on the door, they noticed that their smoke detector was beeping, giving them time to get outside safely.

  • Thomas Lakin writes memoir of his life

    In 1893, after living on a farm and teaching school for 38 years in Christian County, Thomas N. Lakin purchased The Vandalia Union newspaper. 

    His son, Ira, was only 18 years old when his father sent him to Vandalia, in March 1893, to take over publication of the weekly newspaper.

    Accompanying him in the move to Vandalia were his wife, Rebecca, sons, Jesse and Ira, and daughters, Lulu, Minnie and Ara. A third son, Will, stayed behind in Christian County, where he died in 1914.

  • More information surfaces on country schools

    Several weeks ago, I wrote a column about the one-room country schools dotting the countryside of Fayette County. A question from Vandalia resident Jane Cox prompted the column; and since it was published, interest has grown.

    Bill Stolte of Vandalia telephoned to tell me that he had a school record book from Maple Grove School in Seminary Township that he had saved from destruction. He asked if I would like to look at it.

  • More information surfaces on country schools

    Several weeks ago, I wrote a column about the one-room country schools dotting the countryside of Fayette County. A question from Vandalia resident Jane Cox prompted the column; and since it was published, interest has grown.

    Bill Stolte of Vandalia telephoned to tell me that he had a school record book from Maple Grove School in Seminary Township that he had saved from destruction. He asked if I would like to look at it.

  • Take time to fill out census form

    Once every decade, the U.S. government asks us to stand up and be counted.

    It’s not some effort to make us feel important. Nor is it an exercise to solicit our opinion on some issue.

    No, it’s more basic than that. The government bean counters want a head count. Yes, it’s census time.

  • Time to pull the plug on Motown

    Two months ago, we asked that the city of Vandalia seriously consider discontinuing its relationship with Motown Technology and Sports Facility Inc. We’re glad to see that city officials are moving in that direction.

    Alderman Mike Hobler suggested at Monday’s city council meeting that the city look at initiating legal action against the Michigan-based group, and Alderman Larry Bennett agreed.

  • Thanks to farmers

    Included in today's issue of The Leader-Union is a special section called "Salute to Agriculture 2010.

    In that section, brought to you by several of the leading ag-related businesses, we highlight the many contributions of our farmers.

    In a county like Fayette, it's hard to overestimate the impact of agriculture on our local economy. In most years, the fortunes of our farmers have a direct impact on the health of all other aspects of our business community. The ripples are that significant.