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Today's Opinions

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – A fire that apparently started in the kitchen area destroyed the home of the David Smith family in Vandalia.
    The Leader-Union placed third in the annual advertising and marketing contest sponsored by the Illinois Press Association.
    Sandra Leidner won six of nine precincts to become the first woman elected mayor of Vandalia.
    Betty Anne and Duane Luallen of Vandalia were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary .

  • Depew family cemetery finally located

    On Sept. 15, 1995, with my sons, Aaron and Ethan, I accompanied the late Agnes Grubaugh on a cemetery hunt. We were looking for the burial ground of Agnes’ ancestors, John and Mary Seagraves Depew, who settled in Fayette County around 1821.

  • Departure of Graham a test of our fortitude

    In spite of months of intense efforts by local officials and business representatives, Graham Packaging announced this week its plan to close its plant in Vandalia. The closure will be effective in July.
    That decision leaves 126 hourly employees and 12 salaried employees – along with 77 hourly employees who are currently on layoff – without jobs. And it puts a giant dent in the Vandalia economy, as the buying power of those 215 families is diminished.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young lady, pictured when she was a student nurse, graduated from St. John's Hospital School of Nursing and is celebrating her 40th year as a registered nurse.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1997 – The Vandalia City Council was closer to hiring the first city administrator for the town. The field of 43 applicants was narrowed to four finalists, and they were interviewed by aldermen.
    The Deb Keeling family was chosen as the first partner family for a Fayette County Habitat for Humanity house.
    Rebecca and Jack Hill of Ramsey were celebrating their 40th anniversary.

  • Harner family still calls Avena home

    The Harner family came to Fayette County by covered wagon from Rockingham County, Va., in 1860.

  • Keep prom night safe – not tragic

    With the school year winding down, this is an activity-packed time of year.
    Graduation plans are being made, band and chorus concerts are scheduled, spring sports are moving toward the culmination of their season and proms are being held at schools throughout the county.
    It is the proms that give parents and school officials the most reason to worry.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young lady, who was 18 at the time this photo was taken, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of her graduation from Vandalia High School this year.