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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Vandalism of tribute tree is sad

    All vandalism is a senseless crime – there's no arguing that. Damaging property that belongs to someone else is nothing but mean and cruel.

    It's even worse when the target of acts of vandalism, whether or not it is the intent, is to something that has been erected to pay tribute to an individual.

    Such is the case with the evergreen tree that has been planted near the start of the Lincoln Loop Walking Trail that runs through three of Vandalias city parks.

  • State's first woman voter from Ramsey

    Now that were in the middle of all the election excitement, it seems a good time to retell a story of the first election ever held in the Hurricane Precinct near VanBurensburg.

    At this early day, Montgomery County and a portion of Fayette County were within the environs of what was then Bond County.

    Perrysville, while located in what is known as Seminary Township, Fayette County, was, in those days, the county seat of Bond County. The seat of government was later moved to Greenville, and within a few years the log cabin village of Perrysville was abandoned.

  • Event helps fund cancer research

    Pediatric cancer is the No. 1 killer of our country's children, but there is an effort under way to change that ... and you can be a part of that effort.

    Area residents can help to fight pediatric cancer, and raise awareness of the disease, by participating in a special event this Sunday in St. Elmo.

    Regional firefighters are holding a St. Baldricks Foundation fundraiser at the St. Elmo Fire Station. A ham and beans dinner that begins at 11:30 a.m. is followed by the shaving of about 50 heads.