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Today's Opinions

  • Lincoln wayside exhibits a great addition to the community

    As much history as there is inside the Vandalia Statehouse, tourists visiting Illinois’ oldest capitol have only been able to learn part of the story about Abraham Lincoln’s time in our community.

    Now, they can learn the rest of the story, thanks to local historian Dale Timmermann and Vandalia’s Looking for Lincoln Committee.

    The committee, led by Bill Donaldson, celebrated yet another milestone on Sunday, when it dedicated its 10 Lincoln wayside exhibits.

    Those exhibits tell important stories about Lincoln’s time in Vandalia.

  • Schwarms settle Hickory Creek bottoms

    Several years ago, I was caught unawares at the Ingram Log Cabin Village in Kinmundy. There I was, without a camera, standing in front of the Schwarm family log cabin that had once stood along Hickory Creek, right here in Fayette County!

    So, when an ad in the newspaper told that the village was open the weekend of Oct. 13, I grabbed my husband, Dale, and my camera, hopped in the car and visited the village.

  • Governor betrays citizens of state

    Tuesday was a sad day for Illinois.

    With former governor George Ryan already in prison, Gov. Rod Blagojevich was taken into custody by FBI agents at his Chicago home Tuesday morning on a wide variety of corruption charges.

  • Attend storyboard dedication Sunday

    Like nothing else our community has done in the recent years, the soon-to-be-installed Looking For Lincoln storyboards will tell visitors the fascinating story of Vandalia’s intersection with Abraham Lincoln.

  • Uncles tell of family history in St. Peter

    I think I learned more about my dad’s family from my two bachelor uncles, Renatus "Noddy" and Harold Torbeck, than just about anyone else.

    Of course, by the time I began to drive out to the German Prairie to visit the pair, they were semi-retired and had the time to visit. Uncle Harold would join right in on the conversation, but Uncle Noddy would more or less study the green patterned linoleum in front of his feet and offer a few words here and there.

  • Local gift may save Statehouse

    When the key turned in the door of the Vandalia Statehouse on Sunday evening, the state said it would be the last time the facility would be open to the public for the foreseeable future.

    Gov. Rod Blagojevich had slashed the funding, and that was that.

    But state officials don't know the people of Vandalia – though they should be getting an idea of the character of the residents by now. Remember the effort to save the Vandalia Correctional Center? Remember the effort to build the first phase of the Kaskaskia College campus?

  • Jeweled frame gift keeps memories alive

    At our annual Torbeck Family Reunion this past July at the Senior Citizen’s Center in Vandalia, I arrived with my family and looked around to see who was already there.

    As I looked around the room, I saw some of my immediate family, and cousins of my dad, the oldest members of the family. In the days of my childhood, the numbers attending the reunion numbered 100, but now it is down to the 20-plus dutiful family members, for the most part descendents of Johann Joachim Torbeck, who was 3 years old when his parents sailed to America.

  • 'Tis the season to shop locally

    With the Christmas season in Vandalia successfully kicked off by Vandalia Main Street's recent Olde Tyme Christmas celebration, it's now time to make the arrival of the season official. That will be accomplished when Santa Claus comes to town in this Saturday's Rotary Christmas Parade.

    The 10 a.m. event, sponsored by the Vandalia Rotary Club, begins near the Fayette County Courthouse and proceeds east on Gallatin Street to Fourth Street, where Santa will exit his sleigh and visit with children in the Lincoln Park gazebo.