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Features

  • 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.

  • Something different is being added to downtown Vandalia – life-sized works of arts are appearing on various buildings.

    The colorful, paintings appear three dimensional, and although the subjects are dressed in Victorian-style clothing, their faces may seem very familiar.

    That is because the artist often is inspired by the faces of his friends, family and acquaintances.

  • Every year at this time there are many reunions and celebrations of family, high school graduations and other milestones reached.

    One of the foremost annual events is the Fayette County Relay for Life, an all-night event featuring various activities and entertainment, as well as a community walk in celebration of life by cancer survivors, and families, neighbors and friends of the many whose lives have been touched by the disease.

  • The Browstown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #9770 recently announced Kelsey Shelton as the winner of its annual Voice of Democracy Scholarship Award for her winning essay.

    The opportunity to submit an entry is offered to high school seniors. If the winner is going on to college, the amount of the scholarship is $250. If no further schooling is planned, the award is $50.

    A 2009 Brownstown High School graduate, Kelsey has NASCAR among her interests. In fact, she likes NASCAR’s Jimmy Johnson to the extent of having his initials on her license plate.

  • Some years ago, it was the dream of most little boys to have an electric train for Christmas. The name “Lionel” was probably almost synonymous with “Christmas wish” for young boys.

    It was not unusual to see Christmas trees, often decorated with colorful Noma Bubble lights and little electric trains running around their base.

    The electric trains, with maybe a few more feet of track and accessories added, eventually were packed away and stored in the attic as the boys became interested in other toys and pastimes.

    Not so with Mark Miller.

  • When one approaches the American Legion Home in Ramsey, the first impression is one of reverence and appreciation of the serene setting for the memorial walls and benches dedicated to the area’s veterans.

    As you enter the building on any given weekday at the noon hour, you may again be impressed, this time by the small group of senior citizens who gather for a nutritious noon meal, conversation and companionship. This is the highlight of the day for some, and a time of enjoyment for all.