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Local News

  • Murder case goes to jury

    The jury in the Clifford Baker murder trial has begun deliberating.

    Jurors were given the case shortly after 11 a.m. today (Tuesday), after hearing closing arguments presented by Fayette County State's Attorney Stephen Friedel and Mark Havera, one of three defense attorneys representing Baker.

    Jurors began deliberations after choosing a foreperson, and they were served lunch at about noon.

    Keep on eye on www.leaderunion.com for news of the verdict.

  • Insanity defense dropped in Baker case

    As previously scheduled, the prosecution and defense attorneys in the Clifford Baker murder trial will deliver closing arguments first thing on Tuesday morning.

    But as the attorneys met with Judge Michael McHaney to prepare jury instructions, Baker's defense team, led by Monroe McWard of Taylorville, announced that it would no longer present arguments for an insanity defense.
     That leaves the defense of involuntary intoxication.

  • Habitat Resale Store opens

    Fayette County Habitat for Humanity will host a grand opening its Habitat Resale Store this Thursday.
    To mark the occasion, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m.
    Light refreshments will be served.
    Located at 418 W. Gallatin St. (in the old Nice Twice building), the store will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    The store will sell clothing for infants, children and adults, in addition to household items, toys and some furniture.

  • Baker defense rests; jury to get case Tuesday

    The defense attorneys for Clifford Baker, the Loogootee teen accused of murdering a neighbor couple, wrapped up their case mid-afternoon on Friday, and the case is scheduled to go to the jury sometime on Tuesday.

    Baker's attorney's presented only three witnesses, Clifford Baker's uncle and two expert witnesses, a forensic pharmacologist, and a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

    As the defense wrapped up its case, the schedule was set for the remainder of the trial by Judge Michael McHaney.

  • Thursday update: Prosecution in murder trial close to wrapping up its case

    Attorneys for the Loogootee teen accused of murdering a neighbor couple and attacking another neighbor are expected to begin presenting Clifford Baker's defense on Friday morning.

    As the trial recessed for lunch on Thursday, Fayette County State's Attorney Stephen Friedel told trial Judge Michael McHaney that he expected to wrap up the prosecution's case by the end of the day.

  • News Briefs Aug. 18

    BHS class of 2001 planning reunion

    The Brownstown High School class of 2001 will hold its 10-year reunion at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, in the meeting room at Ponderosa Steakhouse in Vandalia.
    Each person will be responsible for paying for his or her meal. Spouses and other guests are invited.
    For more information, contact Kassie Washburn Austin at 1-217-240-6007.

    Final Midnight Madness is Friday

  • 2011 Vandalia available the week of Aug. 29

    2011 Vandalois available on Aug. 29

    Copies of the 2011 Vandalia Community High School yearbook will be handed out the week of Aug. 29. Copies of the Vandalois may be picked up between 11 a.m. and noon in the cafeteria, or before or after school in the VCHS office.
    For more information, contact Amy Vieregge at 283-5155 or e-mail her at avieregge@vandals.k12.us.
     

  • City about ready to bid more streetscape work

    The city of Vandalia will be ready to put out for bid in the near future the streetscape improvements project in the 700 block of West Gallatin Street.
    That project will include a new road surface and a number of streetscape features that have been done on Gallatin from Third to Seventh streets, including new sidewalks, period lighting, brick strips and dogwood trees.

  • Community Calendar-Aug. 18, 2011

    Thursday, August 18

    ✔ Historical Vandalia is sponsoring a carnival in the field next to Los Amigos Restaurant on Veterans Avenue through Saturday. The carnival opens at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Armband Night is Thursday from 6-10 p.m., with an unlimited ride armband available for $16.
    ✔ TOPS IL 2490 will meet from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is from 9-9:30 a.m. For more information, contact Dovie Heaton-Bergin at 283-1729.

  • School board discusses finances, the startup of a new school year

    In its final meeting before the beginning of the new school year, the Vandalia Board of Education on Tuesday breezed through a 35-minute meeting that centered on reports from building administrators about registration and startup of activities throughout the district.
    Superintendent Rich Well told the board that, as is typical during summer months, the district spent more money than it took in during July. Operating expenditures for July were $948,723, while revenues of only $237,271 trickled in.