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Today's Opinions

  • 'Those Were The Days' event stirs residents' memories of earlier times in Brownstown

    A week ago Sunday, on July 19, the Brownstown Library sponsored "Those Were The Days" history day at Brownstown City Hall.

    The event gathered in one place some of Brownstown’s older residents, who had been asked to pass on their knowledge and memories about early Brownstown to the younger generations.

  • City right to fix old water lines during project

    Just a couple of months into the project, we’re beginning to see signs of how the TEA-21 project will enhance our downtown business district. And beyond those visible indicators, there are facets of the project that we will not see.

    Among those facets are new water lines along Gallatin Street.

    Action taken by the Vandalia City Council on Monday helps to prove the worthiness of the enhancement project.

    City officials knew beforehand that significant work was needed underground. Separate storm sewer and sanitary sewer lines ranked at the top of that list.

  • Fayette County Fair has a colorful past

    The 80th anniversary of the Fayette County Fair was celebrated this year with events the organizers could not have imagined back in 1930, when it all began.

    It has always puzzled me that the county fair was not located at the county seat. Same with Effingham and Montgomery counties, where smaller towns, Altamont and Butler, respectively, host the annual county fair.

    I figured it was politics, or because there was a sulky track already in Brownstown. However, my research into the beginnings of the Fayette County Fair held another explanation.

  • We must fight Quinn's plan for layoffs at VCC

    Though Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly this week moved closer to a budget compromise, at least one element proposed last week by Quinn needs to be revisited.

    Last Tuesday, the governor rolled out a plan that called for sweeping layoffs in a number of state agencies. In all, his proposal would cut thousands of state jobs. Many of those cuts would dismantle social service agencies that serve the most vulnerable among us. Others target correctional facilities.

  • G.A.R. encampment records tell story

    For my article last week on Thomas C. Grandfield, I depended on the family history to tell his story, although it was the reunion ribbons from encampments, or reunions, of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) pinned to his coat that first piqued my interest.

    The G.A.R., an organization of Union Civil War veterans, was founded in 1876. From that year, they hosted annual reunions, called encampments.

    The 45th annual encampment, "Along the Rivers," was held at Joliet on June 13-15, 1911, and the following is an excerpt from an account by a person who was there.

  • Find a solution for river intake

    It’s way past time to do something.

    It was about a decade ago that the city of Vandalia had to turn to an outside engineering firm to solve the problem of odor spreading from its sewage treatment plant. City officials are now trying the same approach with its new Kaskaskia River intake.

    The city council agreed on Monday to hire Gonzalez Companies to look into that problem, and that action is none too soon.

  • Thomas C. Grandfield had colorful life

    From the first moment that Jerry Jones of Ramsey handed me this photograph of Thomas C. Grandfield at a genealogical society meeting, it captured my attention.

    To begin with, it is a nice picture of an elderly gentleman. He looks straight into the camera lens, his strong hand resting on the head of the cane. His beard is neatly combed and his jacket is made from a nice material, although a few years old.

  • Enjoy the fair!

    It's fair time in Fayette County!

    Beginning this Saturday, the sights and sounds and smells will return to the Fayette County Fairgrounds in Brownstown. And until the gates close a week later, the fair is THE place to be.

    Haven't been to the fair for a while? You'll be surprised at the variety of events and activities there. There are beauty contests, livestock judging, carnival rides, tractor pulls, 4-H project judging, a rodeo, musical performances, and races for motorcycles and ATVs. And don't forget about the food stands that offer a variety of delicious treats.