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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Let's talk turkey about presidential pardons

    On the news this past week was the clip of President Bush issuing an official pardon to the presidential turkey during a photo op at the White House.

    Wishing to know a little more about the presidential pardons offered these birds, and how long it had been going on, I booted up my computer and Googled the phrase, "presidential turkey."

    Among the top four choices was a news story about "Biscuits," the 2007 presidential bird, whose pardon made headline news.

  • Thanks for serving

    Its often a thankless job, attending numerous meetings, doing research, getting feedback from constituents and making decisions that affect the populace. But fortunately, we have people who are willing to represent us in local government and on the various bodies overseeing our taxing entities.

    One such individual is Dean Black, who has stepped down after serving on the Fayette County Board as a representative of the St. Elmo area for nine years and as chairman of the board for half a decade.