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Local News

  • Superintendent hopeful that school district will get more state funds before end of fiscal year

    Though the Vandalia School District has received only one of four categorical payments due it from the state, Superintendent Rich Well told the school board Tuesday night that he anticipates one more payment will be received before the fiscal year ends June 30.

    “The Illinois Board of Education is telling us that we will not get the second and third payments, but we’re likely to get the fourth payment,” Well said, noting that the state currently owes the district $800,000.

  • New Route 51 maps presented at recent public hearings

    The Illinois Department of Transportation is one step closer toward final four-lane corridors for U.S. Route 51 through Fayette County.

    The proposed corridor alternatives were presented at recent public meetings in Vandalia, Patoka and Centralia. Those alternatives had changed only slightly since similar public meetings held in area communities last November.

  • Businesses hit by fires moving on

    As the owners of a furniture store that was damaged by fire last week initiate the work of getting back in business, the owner of a business destroyed by a February is taking the final steps of rebuilding.

    Two days after an early morning fire at Allen’s Furniture, while a large crew from ServPro was removing furniture and beginning to clean, Lorraine Allen said on Friday that she and her sister, Rita Mae, hope to get their store open as soon as possible.

  • BREAKING NEWS-6:45 a.m. - Fire early Wednesday damages Allen's Furniture

    A fire shortly before daybreak on Wednesday, in the middle of a severe thunderstorm, caused substantial damage to Allen's Furniture in downtown Vandalia.

    Vandalia's volunteer firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 5 a.m. and had the fire under control by 6:30 p.m. Brownstown firefighters provided mutual aid assistance, both at the scene and with the cleanup of equipment at the fire station.

    The fire was at the other end of the block containing four businesses that were destroyed by fire at the end of February.

  • County makes another transfer to meet payroll

    For the second straight month, the Fayette County Board has transferred monies into its general fund in order to meet its payroll obligations.

    As it made that transfer, the board chairman said he plans to hold serious discussions on action to take if the state continues to fall behind on its income tax payments to the county.

  • FCH planning to keep providing ambulance service

    In a meeting continued from its regular meeting two weeks ago, the Fayette County Hospital Board on Monday voted to sell one of its ambulances and put out for bid a renovation project in the Special Care Unit.

    The ambulance, a large Freightliner unit, is one of two similar vehicles that were purchased about three years ago. This unit, however, was never put into service because of electrical issues and other problems that surfaced shortly after it arrived in Vandalia from its previous location in Ohio.

  • Fire damages Allen's Furniture

    About 2 ½ months after a fire destroyed four businesses in the 300 block of West Gallatin Street, a business at the other end of that block has sustained substantial damage from a blaze.

    Vandalia fire officials believe that lightning is to blame for a fire early Wednesday morning at Allen’s Furniture.

  • Ceremony marks completion of downtown project

    Sandra Leidner reminded a large crowd on Monday afternoon that when she ran for mayor 13 years ago, she had as one of her goals promoting Vandalia’s rich history. And it is that history, she said, that allowed Vandalia to receive federal funding for the project that has improved the city’s downtown business district.

    Leidner was one of the speakers as the city celebrated the completion of the downtown enhancement project. That project was essentially completed at the beginning of April.

  • Council OKs spending cuts

    Several months after talking about substantial budget cuts, the Vandalia City Council approved a spending plan for the coming fiscal year that reflects those cuts.

    The council OK'd an appropriations ordinance that projects city spending to total no more than $9,972,406.

    That total is $2,340,283 below the appropriations figure for the fiscal year that ended on April 30, $12,312,689.

  • City will interview five administrator candidates

    A search committee heading up the selection of a new city administrator for Vandalia has narrowed the field of candidates.

    Alderman Larry Bennett, chairman of the city council’s personnel and finance committee, announced at Monday’s council meeting that the field had been narrowed from 29 to 10, and that the committee currently plans to interview five of those finalists.

    Mayor Rick Gottman will be setting up those interviews with the committee, which includes the mayor, city aldermen, four city department heads and several community leaders.