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Today's Opinions

  • Re-enactment groups perform funeral

    It is Saturday evening and I am sitting here reliving the events of earlier today.

    Amidst the tombstones in Liberty Cemetery near Bingham, the honor guard from Ramsey’s American Legion Post #460, along with members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, 22nd North Carolina Infantry and 15th Northwest Arkansas re-enactment groups, stood at attention, their muskets and rifles in mourn position.

  • Budget pact key to KC progress

    The educational crown jewel of Vandalia – the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus building – stands as a testament to our community’s commitment to education.

    It’s a beautiful structure that combines functionality with an architectural theme that’s a throwback to the lines contained in the Vandalia Statehouse.

  • Relay for Life is Saturday night

    Each year, the people of Fayette County gather to remember relatives and family members who have been touched by cancer.

    That gathering also has as one of its goals to raise money to help wipe out that disease.

    It's the Fayette County Relay for Life. And it is scheduled for this weekend.

  • Olivers WERE the Okaw Valley Opry

    This story started out as a history of the Okaw Valley Opry, with my timeline beginning around 1962.

    Bill Oliver and I had spoken on the telephone several times before an appointment was made to visit him at his Bluff City home to talk in-depth about how it all began.

    It was not until our second visit that it came to me – Bill Oliver, with the influence of his wife, Evelyn, was the Okaw Valley Opry.

  • Thank a veteran on Memorial Day

    Two weeks ago, we ran a feature story in The Leader-Union about two local men who traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of a program called Honor Flight.

    In that program, veterans – particularly those who served in World War II – are treated to a free one-day trip to see our nation’s capital and the war memorials there. Organizers want it to be a way to say thanks to those men for the sacrifices they made for their country.

  • Mary Burtschi was 'historical treasure'

    I was working on an article about some of Fayette County’s settlements and villages when my sister Jane telephoned to tell me that Mary Burtschi had passed away.

    It was then that I decided my column this week would be about my friend and mentor, Mary Pauline Burtschi.

    I first met Mary on July 5, 1981, at “The Little Brick House” on St. Clair Street in Vandalia.

  • Louis Schutz home grew a second story

    The two photographs pictured with this story absolutely captivated me from the first moment I saw them. Why? Both pictures are of the same house.

    Home and business of tailor, Louis Schutz, and his seamstress sister, Anna, the address was 215 S. Fourth St., across the street from Gloria’s Christian Supply.

    The one-story structure is very old, probably older than Louie Schutz, who was born 1877 in Vandalia. This photo dates to the early 1900s.

  • Downtown project to hit high gear

    If you've driven in downtown Vandalia recently, you know that the enhancement project there is clearly under way.

    For now, the work is confined primarily to upgrading the city's storm sewer system on Fifth and Sixth streets. Though not as visible as later portions of the project will be, fixing the storm sewers is vitally important in making the downtown area attractive for current and future businesses. We must fix that system if we're to end the basement flooding and other problems that have plagued the antiquated existing sewer system.