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Today's Features

  • 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.