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Today's Opinions

  • Arthur Wilson a blacksmith, inventor

    I pulled my copy of the 1910 History of Fayette County from the shelf and paged through it. As usual, I was looking at the pictures, and one of Arthur H. Wilson, looking straight into the cameras lens, made me pause.

    He looked like an interesting fellow. And when I turned to the biography section of the book, I found that, yes, indeed, Arthur H. Wilson was a very interesting fellow.

  • KC growth shows need for second facility

    In the first semester in its new building in Vandalia, Kaskaskia Colleges enrollment already has surpassed anticipated levels and the facility is fully utilized.

    It has exceeded our expectations, said KC Board Chairman Jim Beasley. Were already to the point that we wish we would have built a bigger building.

    Beasley, along with Kaskaskia College President Dr. James Underwood, addressed participants at a breakfast meeting in Vandalia last Wednesday. Both expressed excitement with the growth at the Vandalia campus.

  • Immigrants came here by many routes

    Some of our ancestors scrimped and saved enough money to pay their passage across the Atlantic to America. Others were dragged kicking and screaming.

    Such is the story of John Christian Forbes of Braunschweig, Germany. His great-grandson, Stan Forbes, shared the tale of how his family came to live in America.

  • State must not cut school funds

    At last weeks monthly meeting of the Vandalia Board of Education, Superintendent Rich Well told the board that hes hearing through the state education hierarchy that there may be a plan afoot to cut state expenses by not fulfilling the last two state aid payments at the end of the current fiscal year.

    Though there is no proof at this point that the state does indeed plan to eliminate those payments (which amount to $300,000 each for Vandalia), the prospects of such reductions have the states school districts very concerned.

    And with good reason.

  • Former teacher, preacher impacted many

    Last week I mentioned in this column that F. M. Bolt, former editor of the Ramsey News-Journal, contributed stories to his hometown newspaper on a regular basis.

    Over the years, I have looked at many back issues of the News-Journal on microfilm, and when I came across a Bolt article, I would print a copy and add it to my file.

    It was this file I was looking through for my column about voting in the early days. The name Peter W. Blair kept popping up in F. M.s articles. I knew I had seen that name before.

  • Sunshine Week empowers people

    It happens every time I walk into a voting booth.

    At those times, when Im preparing to do my civic duty, I always wonder if Ive gotten enough information about the candidates. Do I know all I need to know to cast an informed vote? Am I missing important information about the activities and character of the people for whom Im voting?

  • Area gives strong support to St. Elmo fundraiser

    Austin Adams has lost his hair, because of chemotherapy treatments he has taken to battle cancer. By late afternoon on Sunday, about 70 people at the St. Elmo Fire Station had similar hairstyles.

    Those individuals who agreed to have their heads shaved did so both as a show of support for Austin and other children with pediatric cancer, and to raise funds to fight that type of cancer.

  • Smoke-Free Act too hazy to work

    What appears to be a poorly drafted piece of legislation has the states restaurant and bar owners enveloped in a cloud of smoke, with no easy way to clear the air.

    The new Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which went into effect the first of the year, attempts to ban smoking in virtually all public areas. Thats good news for those who are bothered by second-hand cigarette smoke. But its extremely confusing for business owners, government officials and law enforcement personnel who are expected to enforce the vague measure.