April 18, 2014
Local Columnists
Copperheads, the draft, corn whiskey, murder

Following Abraham Lincoln’s election and the subsequent secession of 11 states, there sprang an eclectic amalgam of big city bosses, laborers, immigrant groups, farmers, and others who opposed war. Their slogan, “The Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was,” supported the restoration of the pre-secession balance between the industrial North and the agrarian South.
These anti-war agitators became known as “Copperheads.” Most likely this label originated with an incident that occurred soon after Lincoln’s inauguration. In a post office near the Capitol a box broke open. Inside were two snakes. On April 10, 1861, the New York Times frantically reported Southerners had sent copperhead snakes as “weapons of war.” The story quickly spread across the country amid speculation the box had been sent to the White House in an attempt to assassinate Lincoln.
Seven days later, the Chicago Tribune calmly explained the box actually contained benign scarlet snakes, which are native to the Southern states. The newspaper speculated the box had been addressed to the Smithsonian Institution. Nonetheless, by the summer of 1861, Northern newspapers and Unionists used “Copperhead” to identify anyone who opposed the war or sympathized with the South.

 
The down-to-earth weddings of years past

The two most important and memory incidents in one’s life is the honeymoon and the birth of one’s first baby.
Our good friends, Lois and Frank Matsler told about their honeymoon and that started me asking many others of the senior citizens here where we live. They were all willing to talk, and I received a variety of answers. Since most lived during the depression when money was scarce a lot of their stories were similar.

 
The down-to-earth weddings of years past

The two most important and memory incidents in one’s life is the honeymoon and the birth of one’s first baby.
Our good friends, Lois and Frank Matsler told about their honeymoon and that started me asking many others of the senior citizens here where we live. They were all willing to talk, and I received a variety of answers. Since most lived during the depression when money was scarce a lot of their stories were similar.

 
Virginia’s perfect day spawns an ugly storm

It had been the perfect Indian Summer, and the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year promised to be the best day of the entire season.
In Virginia, the optimism ushered in by dawn began to change as the warmth of morning gave way to intense afternoon heat accompanied by an exceptionally strong southerly wind. Concern only grew when the wind abruptly stopped.
The eerie silence caused women to leave their kitchens and men to put aside their tools so they could look toward the heavens. The sky was blue, but the heat was oppressive. Instinctively, they knew something was wrong, very wrong.
Small groups gathered at the city’s two railroad depots, hoping the telegraph would bring some news about the strange weather. Nothing.

 
Virginia fundraising dinner a fun event

Talk about a fun fundraiser, that is exactly what occurred on February 22 at the Virginia Square One, Inc. BBQ Fundraising Dinner/Silent Auction at Dr. Ugs Drugstore Cafe.
An energized group of supporters spent a fantastic evening dining on Bent Bones BBQ (Mike Bentley provided another winning bunch of ribs), listening to great music played by Stuart Smith and bidding on wonderful items donated by fabulous folks engaged in the cause of rebuilding the downtown square.

 
Bacon recipes inspires this bacon nut

I take a magazine called Food Network. March’s issue is called The Bacon Issue. I am a bacon nut. I love the stuff and have it every Sunday while watching my church programs.
I would eat it every breakfast but I know its not the best thing for me. I try to mix oatmeal and eggs in between. In the issue there are 108 recipes using bacon, from appetizers to cookies and candy.

 
Don’t overlook judicial elections

Editor:
On Tuesday, March 18, Illinois voters will have a chance to cast their ballot in the primary election for national, state and local offices.
Sadly, voters often overlook the many candidates running for retention or election as judges. This is unfortunate as judges make critical decisions that directly affect our daily lives. Learning about the qualifications of judicial candidates, and voting for those who are most qualified, will help ensure that we have a quality judiciary. Bar association evaluations and newspaper endorsements are a reliable, independent and relevant source of information about the candidates’ qualifications.

 
Hopes for a new, stronger district

Editor:
As the current board president for the PORTA School District, I wish to express my hope that our two districts can come together to create a new, stronger district. Our two districts have terrific students who get along well and outstanding teachers who are dedicated to our kids’ futures. Also, I wish to offer some history and respond to some misleading statements that have been made about PORTA.

 
Overview of proposed consolidation

To citizens and taxpayers of Ashland-Chandlerville District #262:
OVERVIEW: In recent years, A-C Central District has had two different Committees of Ten recommend consolidation. I am not a great believer in the Committee of Ten process. Members are usually chosen because they are in favor of consolidation and I have never known a Committee of Ten that didn’t recommend consolidation. They should gather information, present it to each Board of Education and then stand back. There should be no pressure on individual boards for or against the consolidation movement.

 
Consolidation a step backward for A-C

Editor:
As the seven-term Cass County Board Chairman, a local business owner, and an educator, I considered myself a progressive person in key areas... including local schools. So... I worked for the Ashland-Chandlerville consolidation, and supported the original A-C Central-Virginia consolidation plan with a high school in the Philadelphia area.

 
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