http://www.leaderunion.com/todaysopinions/rss.xml en Sports provides an economic boost to the community http://www.leaderunion.com/content/sports-provides-economic-boost-community <p> Editor,<br /> Many don&rsquo;t seem to realize that any type of organized activities, especially sports is critical to the economics of our community, whether it is a youth baseball game, high school sports, car shows, Lincoln Festival and so forth.<br /> All these activities help to drive tourism, to bring money into this town. And as a community, we (all) need to support these activities. With the dying off of businesses in our state, we have to look for other ways to drive money into this community.<br /> Vandalia Memories http://www.leaderunion.com/content/vandalia-memories-59 <img src="http://www.leaderunion.com/sites/www.leaderunion.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/feb4_2016_memories_400gallatin.jpg" alt="Kathy Schultz, administrator of the Vandalia Memories page on Facebook, recently posted this photo of the south side of the 400 block of West Gallatin Street." title="Kathy Schultz, administrator of the Vandalia Memories page on Facebook, recently posted this photo of the south side of the 400 block of West Gallatin Street." align="left" hspace="6" width="118" height="85" /> The livery stables in early Vandalia http://www.leaderunion.com/content/livery-stables-early-vandalia <img src="http://www.leaderunion.com/sites/www.leaderunion.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/doyleemericklivery.jpg" alt="Doyle &amp; Emerick Livery was built about 1900 on South Fifth Street, across from the current location of the Vandalia Police Department." title="Doyle &amp; Emerick Livery was built about 1900 on South Fifth Street, across from the current location of the Vandalia Police Department." align="left" hspace="6" width="119" height="85" /><p> In Vandalia&rsquo;s early years, the livery stable played an essential part in the fabric of the community. Our early inns, such as Maddox House and Charter Hotel, both had a stable and their rate list was for both man and beast.</p> Put an end to the madness http://www.leaderunion.com/content/put-end-madness <p> The local impact of the failure of this state&#39;s governor and legislators to come to terms on a state budget was brought to the forefront again on Monday night.<br /> Mayor Rick Gottman and Clerk Peggy Bowen told alderman that the state owes the city close to $400,000 for services provided to Vandalia Correctional Center.<br /> Banks of the Okaw http://www.leaderunion.com/content/banks-okaw-206 <p> There is no photo this week.<br /> There was no photo last week.<br /> This week&rsquo;s Scrambler: oiysuirct si neo fo eth naetmrepn nda teiranc rceciscahstairt fo a orguoivs ndmi.<br /> Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.<br /> Last week&rsquo;s Scrambler: Our aspirations are our possibilities.<br /> Unscrambling it were: Cy and Lorene Locke, Mrs. Whitten&#39;s fifth-grade class, Andrew Crosswait, RuthAnn Garrison, Wanda Green, Larry Cable, Juanita Workman, Elizabeth Kasten, and Harold and Loretta Tidwell.<br /> <br /> Younger generation will need to step up http://www.leaderunion.com/content/younger-generation-will-need-step <p> Every December for the past several decades, families picking up their Caring and Sharing baskets in Vandalia were initially greeted by a man wearing a Santa hat bearing the words, &ldquo;Bah, Humbag.&rdquo; But, in reality, the guy wearing that hat expressed the true meaning of Christmas.<br /> Bob Hayner also expressed the true meaning and value of volunteerism.<br /> We&rsquo;ve talked many times in this space about the importance of a community having residents willing to step forward to give of their time and effort for volunteer groups and projects.<br /> Banks of the Okaw http://www.leaderunion.com/content/banks-okaw-205 <p> There is no photo this week.<br /> Last week&#39;s photo: Shirley Hoyle Lacey.<br /> Identifying her were: Carole Mitchell, Janet Lach, Carolyn Sasse, Jeanette Dippold and Doris Young.<br /> This week&rsquo;s Scrambler: uro tpisaoirsna ear rou isbsipeosilti.<br /> Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.<br /> Last week&rsquo;s Scrambler: Experience is the name we give our mistakes.<br /> The Way We Were http://www.leaderunion.com/content/way-we-were-179 <p> 20 Years Ago<br /> <br /> 1996 &ndash; The Vandalia City Council accepted the resignation of Jeanne Gustafson, who had headed up the city&rsquo;s economic development efforts for the previous 6&frac12; years. Gustafson accepted a similar job in Mt. Vernon.<br /> Vandalia Correctional Center Warden Mike Baker reported that the construction of a new work camp at VCC was &ldquo;moving right along.&rdquo; The work camp was to house 400 minimum-security beds and employ 155 staff members.<br /> Albert and Rena Torbeck were planning to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.<br />