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Today's Opinions

  • Newspaper Week a chance to reflect on changes

    Given the roller-coaster ride that those of us in the media have been on this past year, it’s more appropriate than ever to pause and take a deep breath during National Newspaper Week.

    And as we do, it’s time to take stock of this always fascinating but sometimes maddening institution in which we toil.

  • Cooperation key to halt VCC cuts

    It’s down to crunch time.

    One week from today, the state is scheduled to lay off 2,600 state workers, including 1,000 employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections. About 125 of those layoffs would be at Vandalia Correctional Center.

  • Fayette County's War of 1812 veterans

    Last Tuesday evening, my friend Bill Wilson, president of the Hill’s Fort Society, telephoned to remind me that I had promised him a list of War of 1812 veterans buried in Fayette County.

    This sounded like something I would do, and the fact that Bill needed it for a talk on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Society’s “Living History Days” in Greenville, spurred me to begin my research right then and there.

  • Fayette County's War of 1812 veterans

    Last Tuesday evening, my friend Bill Wilson, president of the Hill’s Fort Society, telephoned to remind me that I had promised him a list of War of 1812 veterans buried in Fayette County.

    This sounded like something I would do, and the fact that Bill needed it for a talk on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Society’s “Living History Days” in Greenville, spurred me to begin my research right then and there.

  • Thomas Lakin recalls newspaper career

    Three weeks ago, I contributed a story for this column telling how I had been contacted by editor and publisher Mike Lakin of The Mt. Pulaski Times for permission to reprint an earlier column.

    Immediately, my antennae went up, because Thomas N. Lakin was editor and publisher of The Vandalia Union. I learned from Mike that his grandfather, William Lakin, and Thomas Lakin were cousins.

  • Celebrate progress during Corn Days

    As construction work advances down Gallatin Street, the rebirth of Vandalia’s downtown is becoming more apparent each day. Much of the underground infrastructure work is now complete, and workers are preparing to pour the second block of concrete street surface.

    There’s a lot to be excited about as a new and improved downtown Vandalia gradually takes shape.

  • Pro-business plan is best budget fix

    In his life outside his duties as a state senator, Kyle McCarter is a businessman. And he plans to keep his business ties to remind himself that his votes as a senator have a real-world impact on the state's businesses.

    It's a perspective some of his fellow legislators apparently have forgotten.

  • Local inventors made their mark

    The late Dr. George Ross published a history column in The Centralia Sentinel newspaper, and from time-to-time my friend, Emory Meador, would hand me an envelope stuffed with some of Dr. Ross’ articles that he thought would interest me.

    One of these was a compiled list of 42 Marion County inventors. I came across this list the other day and thought to myself, if Marion County has 42 inventors, then so does Fayette County.