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Local News

  • Another fund loan, different reason

    The Fayette County Board approved a budget amendment on Tuesday that includes another $250,000 transfer from the capital improvement fund, but not for the same reason as in the past.
    While the board has loaned money from the capital improvement fund in the past to meet payroll, this time the loan is to, among other things, take care of workers’ compensation expenses.

  • Meeting New Extension Director

    Local residents who are University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners talk with Carl Baker, the new Extension director for Fayette, Effingham, Jasper and Clay counties, during a reception at the Vandalia Extension office on Monday.
    A profile on Baker will appear in next week's issue of The Leader-Union.

  • Sheriff using Facebook

    Much of Tuesday’s Fayette County Board meeting was taken up by issues related to improving the operations of the county’s sheriff’s department, including the use of Facebook.
    During his report to the board, Sheriff Chris Smith said that he recently began posting outstanding warrants on his office’s Facebook page.
    In the short time that practice has been used, Smith said, “It’s drawing a lot of attention.
    “The success rate is extremely high,” he said.

  • VCC escapee charged Tuesday

    On the same day that a Centralia radio station erroneously reported that the Vandalia Correctional Center inmate who escaped last fall was being released on parole, that inmate was formally charged with escape in Fayette County.

    Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison said on Tuesday afternoon that his office had filed information charging Marcus J. Battice with escape, a Class 2 felony.
    While the offense is ordinarily punishable by up to seven years in prison, Battice can be sentenced, if convicted, to up to 14 years.

  • Using gaming revenue

    Though no action has been taken since the Vandalia City Council decided more than five months ago to hire a city administrator, one alderman has an idea of how to fund the salary for that position.
    While in recent months the presence of gaming devices has been viewed by some residents as a negative, Alderman Neil Clark believes something good can come from them.
    At Monday’s council meeting, Clark noted that the city’s revenue from 50 gaming machines for the first eight months of the current fiscal year has totaled $73,577.83.

  • City mulls buying gas on contract

    With fuel prices dropping to levels not seen in a number of years, this might be a good time for the city of Vandalia to lock in their costs for up to a year.
    Barry Jahraus of South Central FS made that offer at Monday’s city council meeting, saying that by locking in gas and diesel prices, the city’s cost would be about $1 less per gallon over its cost for the "past four or five years."
    The city has never purchased gas and diesel under contract, but Jahraus said, “Now might be a good time to lock in prices for your budget.”

  • Chamber banquet tickets now on sale

    The Vandalia Chamber of Commerce will honor two local individuals for their community service later this month.
    One member of the chamber and one non-member will receive Abe Awards at the chamber’s annual banquet, set for Thursday, Jan. 29.
    The banquet is again being held at the Moose Lodge, with a 5:30 p.m. social hour and dinner at 6:30 p.m., followed by the presentation of the Abe Awards and entertainment.
    The banquet has a Mardi Gras theme this year, and musical entertainment is being provided by “Zydeco Crawdaddys.”

  • Calendar

    Thursday, Jan. 8

    ✔ The Vandalia Park District Board of Trustees meets at 4 p.m. in the conference room at the Okaw Area Vocational Center, located on the Vandalia Community High School campus west of the high school.

    Friday, Jan. 9

  • Cripe wins Big Buck contest

    Ben Cripe is the winner of an inaugural deer hunting contest held by the Fayette County Young Leaders of the Fayette County Farm Bureau.
    Cripe took first place in the Young Leaders’ Big Buck contest, held during the first deer shotgun season.
    Twenty-three members participated in the contest, which the Young Leaders hope to establish as a tradition during the firearm deer season.
    Tyler Westendorf placed second in the contest and Kyle Reiss took third place.

  • Calendar

    Monday, Jan. 5

    ✔ The Women of the Moose will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Vandalia Moose Lodge.
    ✔ The Vandalia City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. at city hall.

    Tuesday, Jan. 6

    ✔ The Vandalia Rotary Club meets at noon at Ponderosa Steakhouse.