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Local News

  • Feldpouch, Morani resign on Tuesday

    The Vandalia City Council accepted two resignations on Tuesday night, and quickly acted to fill a vacancy created by one of the resignations.

    Chad Feldpouch, who has been a Ward IV alderman for eight years, resigned due to a resident's complaint about a conflict of interest.

    After accepting his resignation, the council approved Mayor Rick Gottman's appointment of Andy Lester to that Ward IV seat.

  • City administrator accepts job in New Baden

    The man who moved from Troy three years ago to serve as Vandalia’s city administrator has accepted a similar job that puts him back in that area.

    Jimmy Morani submitted his resignation to Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman on Tuesday, saying that he has accepted a job as city administrator for the village of New Baden. He will work in Vandalia through April 16.

  • Feldpouch resigns; Lester appointed

    A Vandalia aldermen known for openly voicing his opinion and asking questions resigned on Tuesday night, citing a resident’s plan to pursue a conflict of interest claim against him.

    And even after he resigned from his Ward IV seat, Chad Feldpouch asked a question about a pending city project.

    Right after the council accepted Feldpouch’s resignation, it approved local contractor Andy Lester as his successor.

  • School district prepares for action on Pre-K

    In a meeting that lasted only 50 minutes, the Vandalia Board of Education handled a short agenda, received updates from the principals of all buildings in the district and heard a report from Superintendent Rich Well about shortfalls in state funding that could impact several programs in the district.

  • Still no luck with opening Gallatin Street

    Several parties at Tuesday’s meeting of the Vandalia City Council volunteered to do whatever would be necessary to get the 300 and 400 blocks of Gallatin Street open to traffic while weather prevents work in that area.

    But, Mayor Rick Gottman said, it’s of no use – nothing can be done.

    “We’re tying to get it open, but it’s not worth it,” Gottman said.

    The council learned at its Feb. 1 meeting that it would be charged $3,870.33 each time that the two blocks are opened up while work is delayed because of weather.

  • Lack of state funds hurting school district

    As the state’s financial crisis worsens, school districts and other entities that depend on state funding are feeling the squeeze.

    State aid payments are being missed and grants are not being funded. Consequently, local districts are being forced to use their surplus funds – if they have any – to keep existing programs going and to pay their bills.

  • Thomason files suit against Tish alleging slander

    The St. Elmo man who served as that town’s police chief until being fired last November is suing the man who fired him.

    Ken Thomason, who was St. Elmo’s police chief for about 16 years, is alleging in a complaint filed last Thursday in Fayette County Circuit Court that Larry Tish slandered him a number of times.

    Thomason is suing Tish as an individual and not for any actions while serving as mayor of the community. He is alleging that Tish’s slanderous comments stem from his arrest by Thomason in the past.

  • County OKs drug court partnership

    Fayette County will join Effingham County to comply with a new state law mandating a new way of handling many drug offenders.

    The county board on Tuesday approved Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel’s recommendation to become a part of Effingham County’s existing Drug Court Program.

    Friedel explained to the county board that recent legislation mandates that each county have its own such program or partner with another county. He said the partnership with Effingham County seems to be this county’s best option.

  • City learns it's costly to open Gallatin blocks

    Once they found out the cost, Vandalia officials weren’t so interested in getting a two-block stretch of Gallatin Street open when construction is delayed.

    The council declined on Monday night to take any action on a request from numerous individuals, including some aldermen and businesses in that two-block section, to open the 300 and 400 blocks of Gallatin open to traffic when weather brought a halt to work on the downtown project.

  • LaDage, Bell receive Abe Awards

    Two individuals with long careers in Vandalia and equally long lists of volunteer involvements were presented Abe Awards at last Thursday’s annual banquet of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.

    Sharon LaDage received the Abe Award for non-chamber members, while Dave Bell received the award for chamber members.