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Local News

  • City tax hike hearing is Monday at 5 p.m.

    Vandalia officials will explain at a meeting next Monday evening their plan to increase three of the city’s tax rates.
    The Vandalia City Council will hold, as required by state law, a Truth in Taxation hearing because the total on the city’s proposed property tax levy is more than 5 percent higher than the last property tax extension.

  • Meeting on Route 51 path is Tuesday

    Local residents will be able next Tuesday evening to view the latest proposals for the four-lane path of U.S. Route 51 through the Vandalia area, and to offer their comments on those proposals.
    A public information meeting on the potential Route 51 alignments at Vandalia will be held from 3-7 p.m. at Mother of Dolors Parish Center, 705 W. St. Clair St. in Vandalia.

  • School district responds to death of VCHS student

    Officials and teachers at Vandalia Community High School on Wednesday were helping students cope with the death of a sophomore student Tuesday evening.
    The 15-year-old femalewas found dead in her home.
    Information on the death was not available from Coroner Bruce Bowen at press time on Wednesday. That information will be posted on www.leaderunion.com when it becomes available.
    “We have several members of our crisis intervention team available to help students,” Superintendent Rich Well said Wednesday morning.

  • CEFS Elects Board Officers

    The CEFS Economic Opportunity Corp. Board of Directors recently elected officers for the fiscal year beginning on Sept. 1. In front, from left to right, are: Jean Finley of Ramsey, chairperson; and Amanda Watson of Beecher City, secretary. In back are: Joan Lawrence of Taylorville, first vice chairperson; Jesse James of Flora, second vice chairperson; and Pat Green of Effingham, treasurer.

  • SCIRPDC gets grant to help small businesses

    In an effort to combat the region's high unemployment rate, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has approved a loan of $300,000 and a $25,000 grant to the South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission: Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19) has announced.
    "The loan will capitalize a Rural Microloan Revolving Fund accessible to rural small businesses, called microenterprises in this program," Shimkus said.
    "The grant will be used to provide technical assistance and training."

  • 'Seasons of Caring'

    Hospice care helps patients and families focus on living. This is the message that the Fayette County Health Department Hospice is sharing with the community during National Hospice/Palliative Care Month.
    However, this important message lasts beyond the month of November and is important year-round.
    Every November, hospices across the country reach out to raise awareness of the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care provides patients and families copmg with serious and life-limiting illness.

  • Veterans Day program is Thursday afternoon

    Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95 in Vandalia will hold its annual Veterans Day program at 1:30 p.m. at the Legion Home.
    The program will include the performance of patriotic songs by Mariann Timmermann, Jake Hathaway and Jerry Brugoto, and brief patriotic speeches by Jeff Bradley, Christina Pennington, Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman and LaTisha Paslay.
    Dale Timmermann will be the keynote speaker for the Veterans Day program.

  • Hollinshead tabbed for local Extension post

    As a result of the reorganization of University of Illinois Extension, the Fayette County office has a new director. But that new director is a familiar face in this county.
    Rachelle Hollinshead, who has served as the Extension community and economic development educator for the past two years for Fayette and Clay counties, is the director of the newly created unit that includes Fayette, Clay, Effingham and Jasper counties.

  • Family YMCA numbers up dramatically since June

    The Family YMCA of Fayette County has only been in its new facility for four months, but in that short period, it has seen memberships increase significantly.
    And it’s offering non-members two chances in the near future to experience those new facilities.
    The Family YMCA is offering a free workout day for all veterans this Thursday, and from 7-10 a.m. on Thanksgiving, the new YMCA facility will be open free of charge to the public.
    The Family YMCA began using its new 16,952-square-foot facility located off of Rock Island Avenue in Vandalia in July.

  • County's request for furlough days rejected

    As Fayette County struggles through trying financial times, it appears that at least one group representing county employees is not willing to make concessions.
    Last month, Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel said that the board was looking at furlough days for employees as it works through financial shortfalls.
    But Knebel said at Tuesday’s board meeting that at least one group representing county employees is not willing to take furlough days.