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Today's Opinions

  • Company has 1968 aerial photos of area

    Ed Miller of State Aerial Farm Statistics Inc., telephoned the other day to tell me he was in the area. Ed and I have played phone tag during the past year, because he has something that I, as a historian, am interested in.

    Back in 1968, when I was a high school junior, this firm took photographs of Fayette County’s farms and towns. Once this was done, salespeople visited the farms and businesses to see if the owner would like to purchase the image painted on canvas.

  • Help fight crime by calling in tips

    With about 720 square miles to cover, it’s no surprise that Fayette County law enforcement officials have welcomed the idea of resurrecting an organization through which citizens can help solve crimes.

    The launch of CrimeWatchers was announced earlier this month by Vandalia Police Chief Larry Eason. His office, in conjunction with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the police departments in all county communities, are joining together to operate the program.

  • Airplane crash in 1951 remembered

    On the morning of Aug. 27, 1951, folks in Vandalia were shaken up when sounds of a small airplane in distress filled the morning sky.

    Witnesses told The Vandalia Leader that the airplane was observed making three or more spirals through the clouds, and next they observed its rapid angular descent with throttle wide open, virtually skimming treetops.

    The four-passenger Bonanza Beechcraft airplane made a nose-dive into Carl Boggs’ car, which was parked along Sixth Street near the Old Capitol Monument Works, where he was employed at the time.

  • Candidate sign damage is a crime

    In this space last week, we talked about how vandalism always seems to increase this time of year, with many of those acts being inappropriate pranks. But it’s not just Halloween that we’re talking about here.

    We’ve gotten reports within the past week of campaign signs being damaged or stolen.

  • Christiana Tillson recorded pioneer life

    Born Christiana Holmes at Kingston, Mass., she suffered culture shock when she moved with her new husband, John Tillson, to the backwoods of Montgomery County, Ill., in October 1822.

    Last week, I referred to Christiana’s book, "A Woman’s Story Of Pioneer Illinois," written two years before her death in 1872. The book was privately printed in Massachusetts, and intended for family and close friends.

  • Destructive acts no longer just fun

    It happens every year about this time.

    Law-enforcement officials will tell you that Halloween is one of the most active seasons for complaints of vandalism.

    Many of the seasonal pranks start innocently enough – decorating a friend’s house with toilet paper, wrapping a friend’s car with plastic wrap or soaping a friend’s car windows. It’s all fun and games among friends.

    But those innocent pranks turn serious – and expensive – when they begin damaging property or intimidating innocent people.

  • Early church services long and colorful

    Lately, the book that has sat on my bedside table for nightly reading has been the "1882 History of Bond and Montgomery County, Illinois." W. H. Perrin was the editor, and he gathered together an excellent array of writers for this book.

    Perrin’s writers traveled about both counties and interviewed old settlers, thereby preserving the earliest memories of when the white men first settled in this territory.

  • Attend E911 hearing

    At the general election about a month from now, Fayette County residents will be asked for the third time to approve a telephone surcharge to fund emergency phone service. We’re hoping that the third time is a charm.

    We’ve given residents information prior to the first two votes on the issue, and we will be doing that again prior to the Nov. 4 election.

    But we’re hoping that residents also take the initiative to gather information on their own and ask questions.