.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Features

  • Megan Roper grew up on a farm and loves animals so much that her heart’s desire was to be a veterinarian. However, she also loved animals so much that she decided her sensitivity for them would cause her too much distress to see them suffer, from illness, injury, abuse or neglect.

    “I knew I couldn’t take seeing them in pain and abused, and I’d end up taking them all home with me.” So she decided to become a photographer and take photographs of animals. Thus, the startup of Diekemper Photography.

  • Many around Vandalia will remember a little, red-headed, freckle-faced paperboy of years ago, delivering the Decatur Herald and Decatur Review newspapers on his bicycle in all kinds of weather.

    Few probably ever imagined that little boy, Donald “Ferd” Funk, would grow up to contribute so much to his hometown of Vandalia and surrounding communities with the same conscientious commitment to the task at hand, industrious, but with a friendly, willing spirit,

  • The word shawl is described in the Microsoft Encarta Dictionary simply as “a fabric square for the head and shoulder.”

    The word “shawl” also brings to mind thoughts of being wrapped or enfolded in warmth, shelter and comfort.

    These are the feelings and sensitivities a group of Brownstown–Sefton United Methodist Women members is endeavoring to give to others with their hand-crocheted prayer shawls. The shawls also symbolize encouragement, understanding and Christian love through prayers for the recipient.

  • As millions of people the world over watched on television, Barack Obama took the oath of office to become the 44th and first African-American president of the United States.

    Literally countless others attended the event in person in Washington, D.C. The volume of people was such that a photograph taken from space indicated the masses of humanity.

    Vandalia Community High School senior Brittany “Nikki” Stine, was among those huge crowds on the mall braving the very cold day of January 20, 2009, an experience she will always treasure.

  • “Parkinson's is a long, lonely road … for the afflicted and for the caregivers. It’s just as bad as Alzheimer’s. At least with Alzheimer’s, they are still moving. With Parkinson’s, everything shuts down, and it’s a long, lonely road.”

    These are the words of Charlene “Pokie” Pryor, as she described the disease that began to claim her lifestyle when she had two grand mal seizures in 1996.

  • Many of our readers are familiar with the music and ministry of Laurel Jean, who has been blind since birth. Her gift of reaching people spiritually and joyfully through her music, as a creative pianist, composer, vocalist and speaker, has blessed many through her ministry.

  • More people are reaching the age of 100 years these days, but probably few of them are retaining the energy, mental capacity, enthusiasm and appearance of Erma L. Warner.

    Erma seems to have put the brakes on aging at about 75, although she reached her 100th birthday on Dec. 17, 2008, and celebrated it with a party.

    When Erma was called to set up an interview, she gave detailed directions to her rural home, down to the finer details of “you will cross a crick and go up a hill, to the second mailbox.”

  • Twenty-four years ago, Jerry Stine donned a red suit and white beard for a Four Mile Church Christmas celebration, and it has become his “seasonal uniform” every Christmas since.

    Stine has become a Christmas-time regular at the Golden Circle Nutrition Senior Citizens building in Vandalia for several years.

  • Sally (Bergin) Behrends and her brother, Harold Bergin, remembered the bells their father used to put on his horses when they pulled the sleigh at Christmastime.

    Although it was a common sight and sound in those days, a local newspaper in February 1936 referred to their father, John Bergin, driving his sleigh to town as a “spectacular sight.”

    The newspaper article also stated that it was “a fine looking sleigh, all polished and ornamental, with two different sets of bells, one large set and the other smaller.”

  • Usually, when one thinks of barbershop singing, one pictures men in old-fashioned shirts and striped vests, ties and “garters” on their shirt sleeves, their hair parted in the center and even sporting long, luxurious handlebar mustaches.

    The award-winning “Sweet Adelines,” a group of harmonizing ladies, has provided quite a different picture.

    Jean Freeman of Vandalia is a member of this group and part of the performance that recently won the award for the best small chorus in the world, the Harmony Achievement Award.

  •   This Christmas season is a milestone in Bobby “Bob” Cox’s life. It marks 50 years of singing in a church choir and 50 years of performing and/or directing Christmas Cantatas and concerts – well over half of his age of 79. 

  • Hulda and Clifford Nickels, who are celebrating their 98th Christmases this year, reached back into their memories to recall Christmases of many years ago.

    They were both born in 1910, and met and married much later in their lives. They lived south on Ill. Route 185 for years, until moving to Fayette County Hospital Long Term Care several years ago. They seem very content in their room, which is furnished with comfortable furniture and personalized with their own belongings and family pictures.

  • When Norma Englejohn was just a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a nurse.

    “I was born and raised in Loogootee,” she said, “and I honestly can’t remember when I didn’t want to be a nurse.”

    That goal never changed, and further influenced by her pastor’s wife, who was a retired registered nurse, she attained her goal, graduating from Deaconess School of Nursing in St. Louis in 1960.

    Her career with Fayette County Hospital actually began in 1958, when she worked as a nurse’s aide while attending nursing school.

  • Paul McConkey operated the Victory Lane Service Station and Convenience Store in Brownstown for 16 1/2 years, something he began in 1992, because he saw a need in the community.

    And it proved to be something he enjoyed over the years.

    However, Sept. 30 was his last day in the business, as he handed the keys over to a new owner.

    “I don’t think of it as retiring,” McConkey said, “It was a chapter in my life, and now I’m just going on to another chapter.”

  • Thursday, November 13

    4 The Fayette County Farm Bureau will host stroke and vascular screening from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 21 Mattes Ave., Vandalia. Tests will be offered for strokes; abdominal aortic aneurysms, peripheral vascular disease and osteoporosis. The cost is $40 for one test, $100 for three tests and $120 for all four tests. Appointments are necessary and may be made by calling 877-732-8258.

  • Thursday, October 30

    4 The Fayette County Health Department will hold an additional adult flu shot clinic from 9-11 a.m. at the Vandalia Moose Lodge. No appointment is necessary. The cost is $35 for flu shots and $50 for pneumonia shots; Medicare Part B will be billed.

    4 TOPS IL 1872, Ramsey, will meet at the Christian Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is at 6 p.m., and the meeting is at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Sylvia Davis at 217-823-2607.

  • Thursday, October 9

    4 TOPS IL 1872, Ramsey, will meet at the Christian Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is at 6 p.m., and the meeting is at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Sylvia Davis at 217-823-2607.

    Friday, October 10

  • Thursday, October 9

    4 TOPS IL 1872, Ramsey, will meet at the Christian Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is at 6 p.m., and the meeting is at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Sylvia Davis at 217-823-2607.

    Friday, October 10

  • Wednesday, October 1

    eoe" A flu clinic will be held from 3-5 p.m. at the American Legion Home in Vandalia.

    Thursday, October 2

    eoe" Soroptimist International of Vandalia will meet at noon at Ponderosa Steakhouse.

    eoe" TOPS IL 1872, Ramsey, will meet at the Christian Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is at 6 p.m., and the meeting is at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Sylvia Davis at 217-823-2607.

    eoe" The Fayette County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors will meet at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1221 W. Fillmore St., Vandalia.

  • Thursday, September 18

    eoe" The Fayette County Farm Bureau will hold its annual crop survey. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Farm Bureau office on Sunset Drive, with local farmers, bank personnel and representatives of local agri-businesses canvassing the county. The results of the survey will be presented at the Farm Bureau's Market Outlook, a steak cookout at 6 p.m. at the Farm Bureau building. Tickets for the meal are $5 each and available at the Farm Bureau office. The guest speaker will be Adam Nielson, the Illinois Farm Bureau's director of issue management.