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Today's Opinions

  • Get out and vote!

    Next Tuesdays primary election will feature only three contested races, and only residents in three county board districts will be voting on those contests. But that doesnt mean that everyone else in the county should not bother going to the polls on Tuesday.

    Fayette County residents should take advantage of the rescheduling of Illinois primary, to allow it to be included in Super Tuesday. On that day, voters in 20 states will be selecting their presidential candidates.

  • Helm, Taylor worthy of Abes

    The two individuals who last Thursday received an Abe Award from the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce have a lot in common. Its just that they have taken different paths in reaching a similar goal serving the community and its people.

    Saundra Helm and Ed Taylor Jr. are also similar in that they have quietly and modestly done numerous things to benefit other residents of the area.

  • L-U clipping identifies musicians on postcard

    It had been quite a while since I had logged onto eBay, the Web site where you can buy or sell just about anything.

    I collect Vandalia postcards, and one evening as I went on line, I decided to see what Vandalia items eBay had to offer.

    About half way down the list was a postcard of the "Vandalia Band." Knowing this could be Vandalia, Ohio, or Indiana, I was pleasantly surprised to see it for Vandalia, Ill., and the seller had dated it at 1905.

    The leader of the band, who was seated and holding a baton, looked familiar, although I couldnt put a name to his face.

  • Route 51 hearings need public input

    Though we said it last week, it bears repeating once again that two important hearings regarding the future of U.S. Route 51 will be held this Thursday.

    These hearings will allow area residents to hear information from Illinois Department of Transportation officials and then to share their opinions about the options available for the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 in Fayette County.

    The first will be from 1-4 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus. The second will follow from 5:30-8 p.m. at Ramsey High School.

  • Use new school funding wisely

    Though its been passed by legislators and signed by the governor, a bill authorizing an increase in state aid to Illinois school districts has yet to produce any increased cash in local districts coffers.

    But, thankfully, that aid is coming.

    When it arrives, the $400 per student per year hike will represent the first increase in school funding since 1985. For the Vandalia district, that will mean an additional $250,000 to $300,000 per year to educate our children. Our per-pupil annual funding now stands at $5,734.

  • Jack Ruby spent time in Fayette County

    I can remember this so clearly," Gene Etchason said. "My dad was reclining in his easy chair, while mom was in the kitchen getting dinner ready. We were watching the mid-day news, when, all of a sudden, dad sat up straight and said 'Jack Ruby!'

    "On the television screen was the scene where (Lee Harvey) Oswald was being taken from the Dallas jail when a dark-haired man holding a gun stepped forward.

    Within 15 minutes, there was a banging on the front door. There stood Wilson Hill, and he rushed in the room saying, Ruby! Jack Ruby!

  • Route 51 hearing vital to our future

    One doesnt have to stand along Interstate 70 very long to realize just how much east-west traffic travels through Vandalia on that four-lane highway. Hopefully, the same will be true for north-south traffic in the not-too-distant future.

    The Illinois Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing here next Thursday as it progresses with its four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51. We hope that the hearing draws a good crowd of local residents.

  • Photographic plates a real steal at auction

    Several years ago, I attended an auction in Ramsey for the late Lois Stoddard.

    Among the treasures I carried home that day were three shoeboxes of photographic glass plates. As my bid was accepted, a man over my shoulder said, "You probably just got the best deal of the day." I had to agree.

    Lucky for me, Judy Stoddard Lampkin of Chicago was attending the auction. BJ Mueller introduced us, for which Im grateful, because Judy knew a lot about the plates. She told me they were most probably those of Frances Willis Mattes, who had been dead for many years.