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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Fire-damaged property must be cleaned up

    In March 1969, the five-story Evans Hotel in downtown Vandalia was destroyed by fire. More than four years later, the northwest corner of Fourth and Gallatin streets was still filled with rubble.

    That’s what city officials are trying to prevent now, six weeks after a fire destroyed four downtown buildings and caused major damage to a fifth.

    This situation is not unlike any others when fire destroys property; the city has guidelines to follow in requiring property owners to take care of the damage.

  • Kudos for getting Gallatin Street open

    Nearly two months ago, we urged the city to do whatever it could to get Gallatin Street open. Having been closed to vehicular traffic since October, we felt it was high time that the merchants there were given some relief. At that time, very little work remained to be done, yet the barricades stayed in place.

    Last week, the barricades came down.

  • 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.