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Features

  • As February is traditionally the month for expressions of love, Wanda Puleo’s labor of love,  a gift  to her mother, seemed to be an appropriate valentine story this week.
    Meet Wanda Puleo and her extraordinary 100-year-old mother.
    As the 100th birthday of Wanda Puleo’s mother, Ethel Pittman, approached, Wanda wanted to give a special, meaningful, gift to a very special, alert, mentally active and up-to-date lady.

  • Ivan Swofford is friendly and upbeat, has a quick, ready smile and laughs easily at something humorous.

  • Picture this. It is a brisk mid-winter evening in Vandalia, in the year 1861, 150 years ago.

  • For most of her 100 years, Farrell Gruenbaum has been an athlete.

  • Dave Denning was already firmly ensconced in a job he had worked at since graduating from high school, one he was steadfastly committed to, when he happened by a physical therapy room one day.
    He thought to himself, “I’d like to work at that.” Little did he know, or even dream,  that he would become a physical therapist, helping others strive for a more comfortable and active life, while also lifting their spirits.

  • One-year-old Serenity Myers cuddles and sleeps under a beautiful, unique, work of art, a quilt designed and stitched for her by her mother, Stephanie Myers.
    The quilt is in soft shades of brown and pink, and made of different materials and textures, but all coordinated. Pretty satin butterflies cavort and colorful flowers cheerily decorate the quilt, all designed and arranged by Stephanie.

  • “Larry’s Country Diner” is a popular television show on the cable network RFD, located in Nashville, Tenn. Fred and Connie Bingaman of Brownstown met the people of the show while on vacation in Branson, Mo., where the show was in production.
    The set of Larry’s Country Diner is, as the title indicates, a country diner with checkered tablecloths, matching curtains, and tables and chairs where the audience sits and is actually served food during the show.

  • The recent tornado and severe storms warnings gave one pause to think about how Fayette County would be prepared to cope with a devastating disaster situation.

  • Through the ages, the faces and sounds of Christmas have been at the traditional nativity manger scene. The songs have described the appearance of angels and the lowing of the cattle.
    Over the years, in the church and Sunday school Christmas plays, the different faces around the manger have been many and of various ages. It is likely that many young children learned the names of animals such as the camels, sheep and donkeys from the representations of the manger scene.

  • This week, in the traditional season of the giving of gifts,  Fayette Faces continues the theme of “Unwrapped Gifts” with  the story of the Sprague sisters and the life-giving gift Becca gave to her sister, Samantha.
    Becca gave Samantha the chance of a better life through the ”unwrapped gift” of a kidney.
    The most precious of gifts are not wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons, but rather in the love, compassion and caring of the giver, the gifts from the heart. Meet Becca and Samantha Sprague.

  • The fourth Fayette Faces story under the theme of “Unwrapped Gifts” features the Vandalia Ministerial Alliance and the many volunteers who, for the fourth straight year, provided a free Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion Home in Vandalia.
    The free meal is for all who wish to come together in the spirit of sharing a community meal, regardless of financial status.
    Many benefit and enjoy these “unwrapped gifts” and are as blessed by it as the many hands and hearts who prepare and contribute to it.

  • This week’s Fayette Faces is the third in the theme of “Unwrapped Gifts.” Probably the most precious of all gifts are not wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons. Rather, they are wrapped with the warmth and caring love of the heart of the giver(s) … and that is what these stories are about.
    This week, it is about many people working together to make life a little better for those who have already given for others – our veterans – in the VA hospitals and also those who are homeless.

  • ‘Tis the season for giving, and a potpourri of  “gift stories” is being featured in Fayette Faces   The theme – gifts do not always come wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons.

    Recently, the story of Adrian and the unselfish gifts given to him by his birth mother and his adoptive mother was told.

    This week, it is gift-giving of a different nature, but still in the spirit of giving. Meet the women of Brookstone Estates and their gifts to the less-fortunate—homeless dogs:

  • “Many hands make light work” is an old adage that, according to Ben Forbis, chairman of the Emmanual Methodist Church Board, is true … to some extent.
    As the poem that accompanies this story indicates, the church stands on the prairie land in Sefton, north of Brownstown, as it has for over a century.
    In these days of extravagant, beautiful and ornate buildings, part of the charm of the Emmanuel Church in its country setting is the refreshing simplicity, which it has retained all these many years.

  • The year was 1908 – Theodore Roosevelt was president, Oklahoma was a new state coming into the Union, the average income was $490 a year, a loaf of bread cost five cents, the United States was in a Depression, population in U.S. was a little more than 87 million … and Mildred M. McDowell was born on Feb. 17.
    The year was 1916 – A little girl was driving her family’s cows home on their rural Fayette County rural when a formation of four or five “flying machines” flew overhead.

  • During a recent visit to Brookstone Estates, members of the Sefton Unit of Home and Community Education were talking about their current project, “Little Dresses for Africa.”
    A resident sitting nearby overheard the conversation and asked for, and received, a pattern.
    Much to the club’s surprise, the resident soon had several of the dresses ready for the HCE project – the final products being like those done by a professional seamstress … and given with the promise of more to come.

  • Vandalia Main Street held its Spooktacular Saturday on Saturday in downtown available. In the first photo, Linda Kelly of the Evans Public Library staff, right, reads Halloween stories to a group of children. In the second photo, JoAnna Helm, owner of Word, Wicks and Wood, hands out candy to some of the children trick-or-treating at downtown businesses.

  • Betty Miller recently presented the Friends of the Brownstown Branch Library with a photo album that holds a part of Brownstown’s history, a part of her late husband’s legacy.
    It is inscribed: “Presented to the Brownstown Branch Library, Aug. 24, 2010; Celebraton Memorial of the 125th Anniversary of Brownstown, June 24-25, 1995, Brownstown, Illinois,”  presented by the family of Mayor Jesse Miller, Betty, Julia and Ted.”

  • It would be a thrill for anyone to meet and talk with his or her hero or favorite television/movie personality … and that is exactly what the young Kirk brothers, Austin and Richard got to do recently. The visit came about thanks to their grandmother, Jodie Carnes Weaver, and some compassionate, understanding and professional people.
    They not only met “Shrek,” the big green ogre, but they lunched with him in his dressing room.

  • Last week-Adrian Curley’s story began with his birth mother, Janet, giving him up for adoption…because of her love for him,  And of his adoptive mother’s (Orla Jo)  efforts to help him in his quest to find his birth mother …because of her love for him.
    Although all adoption records seemed to be lost to him, Adrian, with the help of his adoptive mother, found his birth mother, Janet.   Janet wrote a poem as she remembered "The first time I saw you through a window’ and telling him good-bye," she thought, forever.