Today's Opinions

  • A woman got pushed into a well

    My son, Ethan, and I were picking blackberries the other day, and as we continued our conversation amidst the canes laden with berries and thorns, several stories came to mind.
    Of course, my first thought was of bears and their love of blackberries; however, their numbers are so depleted that they are not generally seen by the public. Several birds chortled at us, but with the idea that there was enough for all, we continued until we had a gallon pail full.

  • Good news at city meeting

    Many local residents are often lamenting about nothing good ever happening in Vandalia. While it wasn't the landing of a large industry with a lot of jobs, there were two positive announcements at Monday's city council meeting.
    First, Mayor Rick Gottman announced that Schutt Sports, a company that makes football helmets, including those used by more than one-third of National Football League players, and other sports equipment, will be using part of the building that formerly housed Statewide Tire.

  • Another budget impasse effect

    Local residents learned last week of another effect of the state's inability to come up with a permanent budget – Kaskaskia College announced it planned to discontinue its licensed practical nursing progam in Vandalia.
    Although we hate to see that decision, we can understand what it's based on. Many, many tough decisions have come from many sources as a result of the state's inability to pay out the money that it owes, and this is one of those.

  • A history of the Miller brothers

    I am often asked where the ideas come for my articles that are published weekly in this newspaper. Often the idea comes from a question that someone asks me that I am unable to answer.
    One of these was asked some years back by the late John Leander of Vandalia, who volunteered at the Fayette County Museum. John told me he had a visitor in the museum who asked what he knew about the two Miller brothers of Ramsey who were both doctors. One of the brothers participated in the Oklahoma land rush.

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1996 – City police officer Danny Carman was injured in a two-vehicle accident at Randolph and Coles streets that occurred while he was responding to a call.
    Mr. and Mrs. W. Wilson Stein of St. James were planning to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
    The Vandalia City Council narrowed the list of candidates for economic development director from 38 to five.
    Eric Kingery of Ramsey signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Lake Land College in Mattoon.

  • Vandalia Memories
  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week's photo: All three of these boys grew up in Bluff City, and they all still live in Fayette County.

    Last week's photo: Bill Robison and Virginia "Ginny" Wilbur.
    Identifying them were: Linda Townsend, Juanita Workman, Sandy Guffey and John Schaub.
    This week’s Scrambler: tevrenaud si owlhtwheri ni sifelt.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: Hindsight is an exact science.

  • The second capitol in Vandalia

    In my last column I wrote about the founding of Vandalia as capital of Illinois, and the construction and destruction of the first capitol building.
    As daylight dawned on Dec. 23 and all of Vandalia’s residents discovered that the capitol building had burned to the ground in the middle of the night, a subscription list to rebuild was started and $3,000 was raised within six days.