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Today's Opinions

  • Election shows the system still works

    Though there weren’t many contested or controversial races in Tuesday’s election, there were enough to spark significant interest in certain parts of the county.

    For instance, several mayoral races were hotly contested – including contests that resulted in new mayors in St. Elmo and Brownstown and a new village president in St. Peter. In Vandalia, two-term incumbent mayor Rick Gottman fended off efforts by two challengers to secure his third term.

  • Bermuda Triangle story makes rounds

    Little did I know when my Feb. 5 story about a Vandalia connection to the mysterious Bermuda Triangle was published in this newspaper that a copy of the article would make it to a family member, Don Garner.

    You may recall from that article that Aviation Machinist Mate (AMM3) Thomas Garner was lost with 11 crew members aboard a PBM Mariner flying boat on July 10, 1945, while on a routine training mission. It was last sighted over New Providence Islands, going north, apparently headed into a rain squall.

  • Cast an informed vote on Tuesday

    You’ve read the ads. You’ve heard the rhetoric. You’ve formed your opinions.

    Now, it’s time to prepare to vote.

  • Military records show Jarrett's local ties

    Since I’ve put Dale Reeves, a local Civil War aficionado, in the spotlight with the photo of Civil War soldier, Pvt. John Strobel, I think I’ll leave him there a little longer.

    On the same day Dale shared the Strobel photograph with me, he gave me a photo of a man by the name of Jarrett, who had enlisted on Aug. 5, 1861, at Kinmundy, Marion County. Dale said that this man was not a Fayette County soldier.

  • Common sense best in parking

    As the city begins the process of spending millions of dollars to repair streets, upgrade utilities and beautify the appearance of downtown Vandalia, it’s also time to consider carefully the city’s policies governing parking in the central business district.

    Currently, the city limits parking to two hours – day and night – on Gallatin Street. Several side streets off of Gallatin Street have two-hour parking between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., with no restrictions on overnight parking.

  • Charcoal drawing confirms soldier's identity

    From time to time, my friend, Dale Reeves, a Civil War aficionado, stops by to visit and share history.

    Not long ago, I handed him a photograph of Vandalia’s Civil War hero, Col. Lucien Greathouse, in full military dress, one that has been published in this newspaper on several occasions.

  • Seeing world through grandmother's eyes

    After I reached my early 20s and opted for contact lenses, I realized that not only had I inherited by father’s big toe, I also had his eyes.

    The reason I hadn’t noticed before was because my eyes had been hidden behind thick black-framed glasses since the sixth grade. In those days, almost all light-haired and fair-skinned kids were fitted with those black frames. One style for girls came with tiny rhinestones in the corner.

  • Sunshine Week's message needed

    If ever there was a year to observe Sunshine Week in Illinois, this is it.

    The week, which runs March 15-21, is set aside each year to raise awareness about the importance of openness in government.