.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Local News

  • Tish, Mahon families speak on verdict

    "We would like to say how great it is that justice was served today. When Clifford Baker killed Deb and Mike he took from us what could never be replaced.
    "Deb and Mike were two of the greatest people anyone could have ever met – they always had a smile, a joke to brighten your day and were always there for anyone who needed them.
    "We would like to thank Fayette County State's Attorney Steve Friedel for a job well done in this case. He did a fantastic job and kept us informed the entire time.

  • Vandalia teachers OK new contract

    A one-year contract that had been approved by Vandalia teachers last Thursday was expected to be OK’d by the Vandalia Board of Education on Wednesday night.
    “I feel that it will be passed by the board,” Todd Ehlers, president of Vandalia Unit Teachers Association, said Tuesday night.
    Though he declined to discuss the specifics of the contract, he did confirm that because of state funding uncertainties, it is only for one year.

  • Community Calendar-Aug. 25, 2011

    Thursday, August 25

    ✔ 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, August 26

    ✔ An American Red Cross blood drive will be held from 4-7 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church, located northwest of Vandalia on Ill. Route 185.

  • 2:46 p.m. Tuesday: Baker guilty of murder, home invasion

    Loogootee teen Clifford Baker has been found guilty of first-degree murder and home invasion.

    The jury received the case at 11:06 a.m., and at 1:45 p.m., trial Judge Michael McHaney read a question from the jury, in which they asked whether they would be allowed to leave the building before the courtroom was emptied.

    The judge replied with a question: "Does this mean you've reached a verdict?" The answer: "Yes."

  • 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