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Today's Opinions

  • Statehouse's value seen Thursday

    Do you doubt whether a lot of people are excited about the reopening of the Vandalia Statehouse? If you would have seen the crowd last Thursday night at the Statehouse, you wouldn’t have such doubts.

    More than 300 people turned out for the program held to celebrate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln at the state’s oldest existing capitol.

    It’s not unusual for many people to walk through the Statehouse for events such as the Christmas Open House. But it’s been a long, long time since there have been so many people in that building at one time.

  • This past Thursday afternoon, a nice crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Vandalia’s new National Road Interpretive Center downtown.

    John Goldsmith, president of the organization, along with Jerry Swarm and Mayor Rick Gottman, each gave a brief speech. Jerry received special thanks for the long hours he spent working on the center, and he spoke volumes when he said, “I had a lot of help.”

    This is what the National Road Association of Illinois has exemplified since its inception in 1997. People working together for a common interest.

  • Happy 200th birthday, Abe!

    He’s long been referred to as the most respected and beloved president in our nation’s history.

    And now, as we pause to observe the 200th anniversary of his birth, Abraham Lincoln is once again front and center. Across the nation – but particularly here in Illinois – we’re celebrating the life and character of this remarkable man.

  • Lincoln's time in Vandalia

    This Thursday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln in grand style at the old state capitol in Vandalia.

    Although Lincoln belongs to the nation and to the world beyond, there was a time when Abraham Lincoln’s world was Vandalia.

    The newly elected legislator arrived in Vandalia by stage on a blustery November day, squeezed in with the other five members of the Sangamon County delegation, including his mentor, John T. Stuart.

  • Deem, McCarty good Abe Award choices

    Last week, as our community prepared to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce presented two awards named after our 16th president.

    Those Abe Awards, presented annually by the chamber, honor those who have made significant contributions to our community. This marks the 35th year that the awards have been given.

  • Watson served us for three decades

    There was quite a bit of irony in one of the last speeches given in the Illinois Senate chambers by state Sen. Frank Watson.

    As he addressed the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Greenville senator asked, supposedly in a rhetorical tone, who had been there to stop Blagojevich from going against the wishes of the Illinois General Assembly and the residents of the state.

    He answered his own question, saying, “No one.”

  • Bermuda Triangle has local connection

    The Western Union telegram came late in the day of July 11, 1945, to Mr. and Mrs. O.E. Garner of Rural Route 1, Vandalia.

    Dispatched by the Commanding Officer at Naval Air Station, Banana River, Fla., the standard tersely written telegram read: "Regret to inform you that your son Thomas Arthur Garner AMM3C missing since about 0215 July 10, 1945, while on a routine training flight search being conducted will keep you promptly advised.”

  • Closed campus improves stats

    When the Vandalia School Board last February voted to close the Vandalia Community High School campus, it was with the hope that keeping students on school property during the lunch period would enhance the overall learning atmosphere.

    But they couldn’t have imagined that the results would be so dramatic.