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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Remember why we celebrate

    On Saturday, we will celebrate the birth of our nation.

    This year marks the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As usual, it will be observed across our nation with celebrations and fireworks displays.

    In Vandalia, the festivities take place on Saturday night, when the Vandalia Lions Club once again will sponsor the fireworks display at Vandalia Lake. Check our calendar on page 2 for other events in the area.

  • Picture of St. Paul house completes collection

    As a result of revisiting the history of St. Paul’s two village merchants, John Boye and my great-grandfather, Jacob Yund, in my April 30 column, I received a packet in the mail from Roger O’Dell of St. Peter.

    Included with newspaper clippings he had saved over the years, mementos from St. Paul Church and assorted information, Mr. O’Dell included a photograph of the Boye house in St. Paul. This was a photo I had never seen before, although I remember the bright red brick structure from my visits to this Wilberton Township village.

  • FAYCO deserving of our support

    An organization that has given the developmentally disabled individuals of this area a higher quality of life for more than 33 years is being threatened by the infighting at our state capitol.

    FAYCO Enterprises stands to lose much of its state funding as a result of the budget battle between Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly.

  • Bluegrass Festival worth repeating

    Any assessment of Vandalia’s first National Road Bluegrass Festival is, for the most part, subjective.

    Some people say that the crowds weren’t that big, and there wasn’t a lot to see or do.

    Others would say that the festival was a big success, and that it’s worth repeating.

    In reality, it would probably fall somewhere between the two.