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Today's Opinions

  • Cherokee Indian chief buried in Vandalia

    Chief Bull Moose made his last stand in Vandalia on April 7, 1952.

    The 70-year-old man, along with his wife and daughters, had been staying at Bill Mareks DX Motor Court, located on U.S. Route 51, just south of the former Coca-Cola Distribution Center, when he suffered a heart attack.

    The brick building that housed the Coca-Cola Distribution Center became home to the now-defunct Waggoner Trucking Co., and is adjacent to the Chuckwagon Restaurant.

  • Process needed to study prisons

    With the announcement early last week that the Blagojevich administration wants to close the maximum-security prison in Pontiac, the disruptive process that gripped Vandalia several years ago has now enveloped Pontiac.

    As was the case when the governor released his plan to shutter the Vandalia Correctional Center, the Pontiac area is faced with a daunting economic blow if hundreds of jobs evaporate.

  • Uncle Jake's Model T Ford still kicking

    My dad, Edmund Torbeck, was born and reared one mile south of St. Paul in Wilberton Township.

    The farm on which he was reared was also the birthplace of his mother, Anna Yund, and had been given to her by her parents when she married Henry Torbeck in 1903.

    About a mile south of dads house lived his mothers bachelor brothers, Jacob and Albert Yund. Their unmarried sister, Wilhelmina "Minnie," moved in with them following their mothers death in 1929.

  • Wall vandalism is unacceptable

    As noted in two letters to the editor, printed elsewhere on this page, the Veterans Wall at the Crawford-Hale American Legion Home in Vandalia has been the target of vandals recently.

    Though no form of vandalism makes sense, this one is especially disturbing. In a time when patriotism runs high and our society honors the sacrifices of our men and women who have served or are serving in the military, it's baffling that anyone would feel the need to deface a monument such as the wall.

  • Amish settlement flourished then failed

    The Amish presence in Fayette County began in 1893, when three men from the Arthur settlement David K. Beiler, Noah S. Beachy and Moses J. Yoder visited the county searching for affordable land.

    They liked what they saw in central Sefton Township, and in November 1893, each bought a farm.

    These three families were the vanguard for the 30-plus families who would move to this area from Amish-Mennonite settlements in Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa and Oregon.

  • Make good choices on prom night

    Prom night is one of the most anticipated and most feared nights of the year.

    So many wonderful memories to make. So many activities to share. Yet, so many dangers.

    The camp you fall into generally depends on whether youre a student or a parent. Students look forward to an extravagant adult-like event dressing up, going out for a nice meal, attending a dance. Parents are left at home, hoping and praying for the safe return of their child.

    Thankfully, there are people in our community who are committed to making this special evening both memorable and safe.

  • Whole lotta shakin' going on in quake area

    "I feel the earth move under my feet; I feel the sky tumbling down. I feel my heart start to trembling; whenever you're around."

    When Carole King wrote those lyrics in 1971, she was musing about the physical impact of a lover's presence.

    The same could be said for the effect of an early-morning earthquake that struck the area at 4:37 a.m. last Friday.

    Some people snoozed right through the 5.2-magnitude quake. Not us.

  • Surveyor report: 'Grond shook, springs roiled'

    Were you shaken from your bed in the early hours of this past Friday morning? Not me I slept right through it, although the 20-second shaking roused my husband, son and the family dog.

    Not feeling up to par, I took a nap in the morning, and missed the second tremor, too!

    The St. Louis television stations reported on the event, and I noticed that the stylus on the Richter machine recorded 5.2 right off the bat there were no small tremors in the seconds leading up to the quake.