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Local News

  • Bennyhoff gets three years in prison for aggravated DUI

    A rural Farina man who served a prison sentence for a drunk-driving wreck in 1995 that killed two people was sent back to prison last week for another drunk-driving conviction.
    Rocky Bennyhoff, 56, was given a three-year prison term through a plea agreement approved by Judge Allan Lolie of Shelbyville last Wednesday in Fayette County Circuit Court.
    Bennyhoff pleaded guilty to aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and Lolie agreed to delay the start of the prison term until Sept. 1.

  • Make your pet our Pet of the Week

    Make your pet our Pet of the Week. Go to the Pet of the Week on our homepage, click on the More button, then click on Nominate Your Pet.

  • Murder trial stays here

    After initially appearing to lean toward moving Clifford Baker’s murder trial to another county, the judge in that case has decided it will stay in Fayette County.
    One day after taking under advisement a renewed motion by Baker’s attorneys to move the trial for the Loogootee teen, Judge Michael McHaney denied that motion.
    Baker is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly fatally shooting Mike Mahon, 60, and Deb Tish, 53, in their Loogootee home in the early morning hours of Aug. 4, 2010.

  • Main Street is being dissolved

    Vandalia and its downtown business district will lose a big supporter at the end of this month.
    Mayor Rick Gottman announced at Monday’s Vandalia City Council meeting that the Vandalia Main Street Program would be dissolved.
    The mayor said on Tuesday that the particulars related to the dissolution of the organization – including what happens with property owned by Vandalia Main Street – are currently being worked on.

  • City makes employee cuts

    Saying that they were unable to avoid the inevitable, Vandalia officials on Monday approved personnel cutbacks that include the elimination of the director of economic development and tourism position.
    In addition to cutting the post held by JoAnn Sasse Givens for the past 3½ years, the city council voted to lay off three city employees and not fill three vacancies.

  • City eliminates director of economic development/tourism

    As part of their effort to finalize a balanced budget, the Vandalia City Council on Monday acted on personnel matters that included the elimination of the director of economic development and tourism position.

    In addition to terminating the post held by JoAnn Sasse Givens, the council also approved three layoffs -Brian Tedrick of public works department, Judy Kaiser of the city clerk's office and Linda Townsend, custodian at city hall and the public safety building.

    For the complete story, see this week's issue of The Leader-Union.

  • UPDATE-Friday, 2:45 p.m.: Murder trial to stay in Fayette County

    The jury trial for a Loogootee teen charged with murdering a neighbor couple is now scheduled to begin on Aug. 15, and it's scheduled to be held in Fayette County.

    In a written ruling he issued late this week, Judge Michael McHaney denied a motion in which attorneys for Clifford Baker asked that his trial be moved to another county.

  • Kern named VJHS principal

    Brian Kern, assistant principal Vandalia Community High School for the past five years, has been named principal of Vandalia Junior High School. His selection was made by the Vandalia Board of Education at a special meeting Thursday night.

    He replaces Rod Grimsley, who announced in mid May that he had accepted the superintendent’s position at Gifford Grade School in Champaign County.

  • Village-wide garage sales Friday and Saturday in Brownstown

    The village of Brownstown will host village-wide garage sales from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. this Friday and from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Saturday.
    Garage sale maps are available at Victory Lane and Mark's Cafe in Brownstown.

  • Nice Twice future hinges on finding a new sponsor

    An institution that has helped Fayette County’s poor for nearly two decades is about to disappear unless a new sponsoring agency is found.
    Nice Twice, a resale store located at 418 W. Gallatin in Vandalia, will close within a month if some group doesn’t step in, according to store manager Joan Shafer-Siebert.