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Today's Opinions

  • Dr. James A. Black served in Civil War

    James A. Black was born July 2, 1835, eight miles east of Salem, the son of Willis and Emilla Hensley Black.

    After finishing his schooling, he taught school for a while in Marion County, and began to study medicine. In 1860, now Dr. James A. Black, he established a medical practice at Keensville in Wayne County.

  • Illinois suffering; Blagojevich must resign

    You almost have to wonder whether Gov. Rod Blagojevich is clicking his heels when he speaks publicly.

    Remember Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”? Clicking her heels three times, Dorothy chanted, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

    That’s been a Blagojevich theme.

    In Vandalia for the first time, in 2002, Blagojevich said, “I want to bring jobs to Illinois. I want to bring jobs to Illinois. I want to bring jobs to Illinois.”

  • Ration books tell story of wartime life

    In my collection of "old" things are several ration books from the 1940s. The small books fit into a 5-inch-by-7-inch brown envelope, and contain pages of stamps with pictures of howitzers, aircraft carriers, tanks and airplanes.

    Some of the stamps have numbers on a colored background, while other stamps in the book are imprinted with letters and numbers.

  • St. Elmo, Brownstown residents urged to be informed about consolidation

    For a little more than two years, a dozen residents of the Brownstown and St. Elmo school districts have studied how a consolidation of the two districts would improve the educational offerings for their children. Now, they are anxious to share their findings with their fellow residents.

    At a meeting on Tuesday night, the consolidation Committee of 10 hashed out at length just how they can best relay their findings to residents of the two districts.

  • Vera formerly called Canaan, Rosecranz

    “In 1861, there was not a house where Vera is now – nothing but a switch – and it was called Canaan.” So read the recollections of Marcella B. Doyle, published in The Vandalia Union in 1913 to commemorate its first 50 years of publication.

    Mrs. Doyle was one of Fayette County’s many old settlers who responded to the editor’s request for stories about what Fayette County was like "back in the day," as the younger generation phrases it.

  • 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.