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Local News

  • Police alert residents of burglaries, ask for help

    The cold weather doesn’t seem to be having much of an effect on criminals.

    The Vandalia Police Department has been handling a number of burglary reports in recent weeks, and it’s asking for the public’s help in apprehending the criminals.

    Chief Larry Eason reported on Monday that his officers had handled three reports of burglaries and three more attempted burglaries.

    On Jan. 1, police received a report that someone had broken into a storage shed on a Vandalia Lake lot and taken an unknown number of power tools.

  • Voter deadlines for Feb. 2 election approaching

    Though a number of local and state offices won’t be filled through election more than 10 months from now, those wishing to have a say in who’s elected need to make sure right now that they are eligible to vote.

    Next Tuesday is the final day that Fayette County residents may register to vote or transfer their registration for the Feb. 2 primary election.

  • Recycling continues to be popular

    The efforts of a committee heading up recycling drives in Fayette County continue to be well-received.

    “We collected more at the last two drives than we did at the first one,” said Tony Pals of the Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District.

    At the Dec. 12 drive, 18 large boxes of recyclable items were collected, three more than at the initial drive, Pals said.

  • Statehouse among 'Build Your Own Lincoln Sites' scale models

    Anyone with a computer, printer, scissors and glue can now be the proud owner of five new scale models of Abraham Lincoln sites, including the Vandalia Statehouse, joining five other scale models that debuted earlier this year.

    The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission’s “Build Your Own Lincoln Sites” project now offers HO-scale models of the Lincoln Home and Lincoln Tomb, both in Springfield; Beecher Hall in Jacksonville; the Shastid Cabin in Pittsfield; and the Vandalia Statehouse.

  • City receives report on river intake

    Vandalia officials are hoping to hear just after the first of the year an answer to its problem with the city’s raw water intake on the Kaskaskia River.

    Alderman Larry Cable, chairman of the city council’s water and disposal plants committee, reported at Monday’s council meeting that an engineering firm hired by the city to inspect the intake will present its findings on Jan. 4.

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Because of the weather and the holidays, work on the downtown enhancement project has come to a stop until after the first of next year.

    But that will not cause the project to be delayed past the scheduled completion date.

    In fact, the downtown project continues to be far ahead of schedule, according to reports from city officials.

    At Monday’s meeting of the Vandalia City Council, Mayor Rick Gottman reported that the project is about 85-percent complete.

  • Two homes damaged by fire last week

    Two area homes sustained substantial damage from fires late last week.

    Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Vandalia firefighters were summoned to the home of Terry Alsbury northeast of Vandalia.

    When it was discovered that the home is in the Brownstown Fire Protection District, firefighters from Brownstown were also dispatched.

    Both fire departments arrived at the scene at the same time, 12:47 p.m., and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves of the home.

  • School administrative staff will be reorganized

    Like other school districts around the state, the Vandalia Community School District is watching its finances carefully. Delinquent payments from the state and rising operating costs are chipping away at districts' reserves – if they’re fortunate enough to have any.

    To maximize the local district’s chances of success in the midst of that budget squeeze, Superintendent Rich Well announced on Tuesday a plan to reorganize the district office administrative staff.

  • Prison workers' union supports study of early-release program

    A hostage situation, the third in recent history, offers continuing proof that Illinois needs to address staffing shortages at state prisons, according to a union official at Vandalia Correctional Center.

    On Monday, an inmate at Pinckneyville Correctional Center held a 62-year-old prison employee hostage. The hostage situation was resolved when that inmate, who was serving a sentence for aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping, was fatally shot.

    This kidnapping followed sexual assaults of prison workers by inmates at Jacksonville and Dwight prisons.

  • New law prohibits texting while driving

    A state law that was enacted several years ago prohibits teens from talking on cell phones while driving. A new law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 further addresses the use of phones and other devices while driving, and this one affects drivers of all ages.

    Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law in August two Illinois House bills pertaining to cell phones and computers.

    One law bans motorists from text messaging while driving. More specifically, motorists may not read, compose or send text messages, instant messages or e-mails while moving in traffic.