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Today's Opinions

  • Public participation key to school issue

    While the Brownstown and St. Elmo school boards voted recently to take another step toward the possible reorganization of the two districts into one, there is much to be done before that possibility comes to a final vote.

    The action by the school boards means that officials in the two districts will only continue to study reorganization. We encourage residents of the two districts to do the same.

    Reorganization obviously has both advantages and disadvantages, and its the job of everyone in the two districts to weigh both sides.

  • Old Johnson Store a Pittsburg landmark

    Named for William M. Pitt, Pittsburg is a crossroads community located at the junction of sections 16, 17, 20 and 21 in Seminary Township. Originally spelled Pittsburgh, the "h" was dropped from the spelling in 1889 when the post office was established.

    In a letter to the editor from Walter H. Evans, published in the Jan. 31, 1974, edition of The Vandalia Leader, Evans wrote that his earliest recollections began about 1890, when he was four years old.

  • Merry Christmas!

    As the above editorial indicates, Caring and Sharing has done many good things for needy residents of Fayette County. But it's not alone.

    Many other acts of charity and many holiday activities have been performed by other local groups.

    It's a characteristic of our community that we've grown to expect. The people of Vandalia – and all of Fayette County, for that matter – are a very giving lot. It's one quality that makes this a special place to live.

    This week, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas, we are reminded of the importance of that giving spirit.

  • Caring & Sharing the season's spirit

    It's hard to believe, but it's been more than 30 years since a program that provides a Merry Christmas for the less-fortunate families in Fayette County got its start.

    The program that would grow into what is now known as Fayette County Caring & Sharing was initiated in the mid-1970s, when Fayette County Health Department Administrators Cara Kelly and Rhea McCarty of the Community Action Center spearheaded a drive that would serve six families.

  • Fight at party results in shooting, trial

    Hurricane Township, in the northwestern corner of Fayette County, was a hotbed of Southern sympathy during the Civil War.

    There was a great deal of unrest throughout the county because a group of outlaws, numbering in the hundreds, roamed throughout a five-county area, including Bond, Montgomery and Fayette counties, terrorizing the inhabitants, murdering, thieving and burning bridges.

  • Issues require civil discussion

    The fact that the community of St. Elmo is pretty evenly split on the issue of liquor sales was evidenced by the referendum vote on the issue in April 2005. At that election, liquor sales were returned after an absence of more than 60 years in a 244-240 vote.

    Sadly, such a division on the issue both on the city council and among city residents continues about 20 months later.

  • Vandalia films from 1930s now on DVD

    Earlier this spring, I was standing with my husband, Dale, and Gary Carroll in front of the Liberty Theatre in downtown Vandalia. We were watching Eldon Brackenbush maneuver the cherrypicker lift as he applied new paint to the Liberty marquee sign.

    As we stood there, Dale asked Gary if any type of memorabilia had been left in the old movie house when he bought it. Gary laughed and said that very little had been left behind. He had found one silk movie advertisement rolled up and stored up on a high shelf, along with two reels of an old Vandalia movie from 1936.

  • Statehouse Open House shows Christmas of 1830s

    Back in the days that Vandalia served as Illinois' capital, people didn't have strings of brightly colored lights, dancing Santas or shiny ornaments to use as decorations. So they used fresh greenery, nuts, fruits and candles to decorate their homes and workplaces.

    Local residents can get a taste of 1830s decorations by attending the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse this Saturday evening.