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Today's Opinions

  • Out with the old, in with the new

    As we prepare to close out 2008, we pause to remember the good, the bad and the ugly of the year just past ­– and to anticipate the year ahead.

    For a few, 2008 was a banner year. Others, however, can’t wait to tear off the last month of the calendar and put the year behind them. For most, it was a mixed bag.

    National Politics

  • Caring mom overcomes soldiers' loneliness

    In several of my past columns, I have relied on the experiences of my sister, Sandy, a retired-Navy wife, for stories about hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, earth tremors and such.

    Sandy has another experience that I have never shared – sending a son off to the military.

    Sandy was 18 when she married a career Navy man, Jim "Zeke" Sampson, formerly of the Jimpson neighborhood in Ramsey township.

  • Nave family has links to Cherokee nation

    It was a query from a Texas woman, Dara Gray Brown, which piqued my interest in the Nave and Pugh families of Ramsey Township.

    Dara was descended from Tennessee Teter and Sara Pugh Nave through their son, David Pugh Nave, and told me that her Nave family was a member of the Bird Clan of the Cherokee nation.

    Through her family research, Dara had identified the Nave, Pugh, Gray, Wesner and Lippert (Leopard) families of Fayette County as having Cherokee lineage.

  • Giving us the gift we don't deserve

    It’s nearly Christmas time! We’ve come to the end of the most wonderful holiday season of the year – one anticipated by young and old alike.

    It’s a season that’s easy to love. Of course, there are the presents; we all enjoy giving and receiving things. There are the holiday traditions – the sights and sounds and smells we have filed away in our memories from Christmases past. And there are the many opportunities to gather with friends and family.

  • Even governor must get his day in court

    What a difference a week can make.

    It was a little more than a week ago that almost everyone had said that Rod Blagojevich was done as governor, that he should resign from office, after being arrested on federal corruption charges.

    Now, many are changing their tune, pointing out that Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty, and that some of the allegations aren’t nearly as bad as they sounded just a week ago.

    Indeed, Blagojevich deserves his day in court.

  • 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.