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Local News

  • Judge Schwarm receives Lifetime Achievement Award

    S. Gene Schwarm, resident circuit judge for Fayette County and chief judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Judges Association (IJA) at its Midyear Meeting last Friday at a noon luncheon at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.
    Schwarm received the award in recognition of his many years of devotion to promoting a strong and independent judiciary and in appreciation for his time and valuable contributions to the Illinois judiciary.

  • Seven file for aldermanic seats in Vandalia

    Seven individuals ­– including three incumbents – wasted no time in getting on the ballot for Vandalia’s municipal election in the spring.
    The filing period for the spring election got under way on Monday morning, and right away, an aldermanic race was formed in one of Vandalia’s four wards.
    Up for election in the spring are four four-year terms, one in each of the wards, and a two-year term in Ward IV.
    In Ward I, those filing petitions included incumbent Bret Brosman, Jason Paslay and Kenneth Hubler.

  • Community Calendar

    Thursday, December 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.
    ✔ TOPS IL 1872, Ramsey, will meet at the Christian Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is at 6:20  p.m., and the meeting is at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Donna Morell at 423-2916.

    Friday, December 17

  • Holiday Festivities in Vandalia

    Holiday activities over the weekend included the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse and the Christmas program presented by the Vandalia Elementary School's Honor Chorus. In the first photo, local historian Dale Timmermann tells visitors to the Statehouse about the history of the building and the state of Illinois. In the second photo, Audrey Myers (left) and Alexis Beckman dance during the Honor Chorus program. More photos from the events are on Page 1 B and will appear in slideshows at www.leaderunion.com this week.

  • Teen pleads not guilty to murder, home invasion

    A 15-year-old Loogootee youth charged with fatally shooting a couple who lived a short distance from his home pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and home invasion.
    Clifford W. Baker entered the plea after a judge ruled that Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel had presented sufficient evidence to hold the youth for trial.

  • Council will vote on levy with 10% hike

    Presented with three options for a new tax levy, the Vandalia City Council decided on Monday not to go with any of those.
    Instead, the council voted to proceed with the approval of a levy with a total that is 10 percent above last year’s total tax extension.
    At a special meeting, the council received three levy options from Dale Timmermann of Timmermann & Co. Ltd. – one that mirrors the 2009 extended levy total of $559,070.41; one that’s 5 percent above that total, $587,0245; and one with a 20.94-percent increase, $676,153.

  • County puts 1% sales tax issue on ballot

    The Fayette County Board approved a resolution putting on the April election ballot a referendum for a 1-percent sales tax that would benefit school districts in the county.
    The board approved the resolution in a 9-4 vote on Tuesday, with a couple of board members voicing the opposition to the plan presented by superintendents in the Vandalia, Brownstown, Ramsey and St. Elmo school districts.

  • St. Elmo Elementary concert canceled; reset for next Monday

    The St. Elmo Elementary School Christmas concert scheduled for tonight has been canceled.

    The concert will be held at 7 pm. next Monday.

  • Loogootee teen pleads not guilty to murder, home invasion

    The Loogootee teen who has been charged with murdering a couple in their home in August has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

    At an arraignment in Fayette County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon, Clifford W. Baker, through his attorney, Monroe McWard of Taylorville, entered the plea.

    The brief arraignment hearing followed a preliminary hearing at which Judge Michael McHaney of Salem ruled that Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel had presented sufficient evidence to hold Baker over for trial.

  • Vandalia Rotary Club Christmas Parade

    The Vandalia Rotary Club held its annual Christmas Parade on Saturday morning in downtown Vandalia. In the first photo, Santa and Mrs. Claus ride in a horse-drawn carriage. In the second photo, riding in the parade were the three Fayette County queens: Little Miss Marissa Summers, Jr. Miss Jaedyn Worker and Miss Fayette County Amy Pippin. In the third photo, members of the Vandalia Junior High School band perform while marching on Gallatin Street.