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Features

  • Herb Woolsey was released from active duty with the Army Infantry in September 1953. However, in early 1954, an armored tank unit in Vandalia needed a company commander, and Woolsey was asked to take the job.

    He did and remained with the reserve unit as the commander until June 30, 1985, when it was disbanded. He served 34 years in the service and retired a colonel. An all-American patriot, he is often asked to speak at Memorial Day and Veterans Day events.

  • When Charlie Durbin was a young boy living on his parents’ farm, he knew that he wanted to be a veterinarian. He also knew that he especially wanted to work with cattle.

    Last Tuesday evening, Dr. Charlie R. Durbin hosted a community cookout in St.Peter City Park in celebration of 25 years in St. Peter doing just what that little 8-year-old boy dreamed of … and more.

    He has served all of Fayette County, including serving 15 years on the Fayette County Fair Board and as the county fair veterinarian, a position he still holds.

  • Down syndrome is usually described as a congenital defect caused by an extra chromosome, characterized by moderate to severe mental retardation and marked physical traits that are often easily identifiable in the person with the condition.

    The above information can be found in medical books and dictionaries. What is not described are the initial heartbreak, struggles and coping of the parents and, especially, the very special gifts ­ the unexpected joys, triumphs, love, sweetness of spirit and affection brought by the child with Down syndrome.

  • When U.S. Navy veteran, Robyn Pontious, learned of the need for guardians to travel with World War II veterans to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C, she answered the call.

    Moreover, she arranged for her sister, Kelly Washburn, to serve also as a guardian.

    The enthusiasm the two sisters share over the experience is approached only by the compassion they show for the two veterans’ emotional reactions as waiting American citizens met them with respect, displays of gratitude and recognition of their service to their country during WWII.

  • Leroy “Bud” Taylor has been a “builder” most of his life. The Taylor name has long been synonymous with integrity, honesty and dependability in the business of construction, whether it be a church, houses, businesses or various other jobs handled by Taylor Construction.

    “Bud” shares his story, which also proves to be a tribute to his late father, Forrest Taylor, another well-known and respected name in Fayette County.

    Meet Bud and Mary Ann Taylor as they welcome us into their lovely Vandalia home.

    Bud’s Early Memories

  • One-hundred and five years ago, the World’s Fair was in full swing in Forest Park in St. Louis. Some of the amazing facts about that event were: it featured an 18-foot high lighthouse built of pure salt; there were 142 miles of exhibits in the eight main places for people to explore; and 90 million feet of pine was used in constructing the framework for the buildings.

    And the same year, 1904, a little girl was born in St. Louis to Ann Gibbons Kupferer, whose parents were emigrants from Ireland, and Charles Andrew Kupferer, whose parents came to this country from Germany.

  • Fifty years ago, Iris Kruenegel and her friend and neighbor, Carol (then Wasmuth) Fenton, thought it would be fun and relaxing for their friends and neighbors in rural Shobonier to have a “girls only” card club.

    Thus, the Country Cousins card club was born.

    Several of the original members still meet, along with newer members, for their monthly “girls night out,” rotating as hosts for their gatherings.

  • Tammie Rogers and her husband, Robert, who live and operate their Darn Far Ranch northwest of Brownstown are doing what they love to do best – working with and training dogs…and the dogs’ humans.

    Sometimes, a really special dog comes along that is needed by a special person. Tammie recently shared this touching story that has a happy, tail-wagging ending. “Bree” is that special dog and Kevin Boston of Greenville the special person.

  • Last week, the Faulkner family – Rev. Raymond; his wife, Mollie; and daughter, Pricilla – were introduced, as they shared the story of Rev. Raymond’s decision to design and build a dream home for his wife, doing all the work himself, with the help of only Priscilla.

    Rev. Raymond began the project in 2002, after two years of purchasing and storing all the materials and supplies he would need for the 10-room two-story house, with five bathrooms, a utility room and large balcony.

  • Approximately nine years ago, the Rev. Raymond P. Faulkner decided to build a house … not a run-of-the-mill house, one designed and drawn on blueprints by a professional. Nor did he want it built by professionals.

    He wanted to build the dream house of wife Mollie and daughter Priscilla, with the emphasis on “home,” not “house,” a “home that love built.”

    A minister, not a professional carpenter, he set about to accomplish the self-appointed task.

  • Last Thursday, six 4-H kids and their leaders and escorts visited the Sefton Unit HCE Club, delighting the ladies as they brought and explained their 4-H projects…even “Chad,” the rooster, live and in person.

    The 4-H program has a record of longevity, as it was founded more than 70 years ago, and still remains a large part of the attractions at county and state fairs.

  • Gary Smith went to Santa Cru, South America, last year on a construction mission, and the experience opened his eyes about how fortunate Americans are.

    “We don’t realize how blessed we are. Simple things in South America, like turning on tap water, safe water to drink is not available. We take it for granted,” he said.

  • Tracy Jones decided about 15 years ago that she wanted to be sure her family was eating healthy, nourishing and flavorful foods, so she decided to raise their own food, and process and preserve it herself.

    She consulted with her mother – who always canned, as did her mother before her – and began continuing the family tradition.

    “I’ve been canning since I was 20 or 21. My mother, Martha Rambo, taught me,” Tracy said.

  • Lisa Robbins wears more than one hat…and is more than happy to do so.

    She loves children and feels she has the best of both worlds, as she teaches kindergarten at Jefferson School during the school year and works with them in the summer as manager of the Vandalia Municipal Swimming Pool.

    She will begin her 24th year teaching kindergarten this year, and has worked at the swimming pool for 30 years.

    She began working at the pool as a lifeguard.

  • We often perceive others only on the surface, a part of a group or team, a familiar face expected to be seen in a certain setting, without thought of that person being considered as an individual.

  • The scene opens on a young woman, her emotions obviously intense and personal. She had received word of her soldier husband’s return home after months of not knowing if he was even alive.

    A voice-over of a male speaks the words of her husband’s letters as she gets ready for the day… and leaving the viewer intensely interested and wanting the movie to continue with the story.

    This is the trailer for the film, “As Ever, Stan,” written and directed by Alex Schwarm.

  • Peter “Pete” Sutherland Jr. had stories within a story to tell about his family, and he has told those stories in his recently published book, “The Five Sutherland Boys – A Family Saga.”

    The “five boys” are Pete’s father, the late Peter Sutherland Sr. and his four uncles, Willie, Johnny, Louis “Fat” and Luther.

    The book features the exploits of Louis, who was nicknamed “Fat” as a boy. Though the nickname did not describe his physical appearance, it was moniker that stuck to him until death.

  • The stately building standing at 321 S. Seventh St. in Vandalia is actually an old mansion built around 1864 and has served as the home of American Legion 95 in Vandalia for many years.

    A veterans’ museum was started within its walls in 2004, in which many artifacts – items, photographs…and memories – are displayed for the public to view

  • Carolyn Daniels is small in stature, but a giant in terms of the service, heart and dedication she has given to the Fayette County residents in need of counseling, help and advocacy in the courts.

    Daniels, as the executive director of SAFE (Sexual Assault and Family Emergencies) for the past 23 years, she has been an understanding, compassionate person who cares enough to make a difference in the lives of others.

  • At this time of the year, it is usual to see the farmers working their fields, or the planted fields showing the evidence of the work done.

    The heavy, frequent rains have changed the countryside this year, as they have prevented most farmers from having access to their fields with the farm machinery.

    Ron Marshel recognizes the seriousness of the situation, sympathizes with the area farmers and continues to work to help better the agriculture industry for the farmers in his position of manager of the Fayette County Farm Bureau.