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Local News

  • Vernon man pleads to federal meth charges

    A Vernon man has pleaded guilty in federal court to three methamphetamine charges.

    Conrad J. Wynn, 28, pleaded guilty last Thursday to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, according to A. Courtney Cox, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

    Wynn also pleaded guilty to a count of possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and a count of possession of products, chemicals and materials for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine.

  • Bond set at $25,000 for two arrested for Brownstown burglaries.

    Bond has been set at $25,000 for two Brownstown men who are charged with breaking into six Brownstown businesses early last week.

    Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel last week filed felony burglary charges against Justin Michael Waterman and Gaige S. Jackson.

  • City awarded $400,000 grant for Gallatin work

    The city of Vandalia learned on Wednesday that it had been awarded a grant for work on the downtown enhancement project.

    Mayor Rick Gottman announced at the monthly meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce that the city will be receiving $400,000 in Motor Fuel Tax funds from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s emergency repair program.

    The grant announcement was made earlier in the day by state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), who was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s chamber meeting.

  • Quinn wants union's help in resolving prison layoffs issue

    As he met with Gov. Pat Quinn on Saturday, Mayor Rick Gottman had it reiterated to him that the union representing employees in state prisons are the key player in preventing a massive layoff of those workers.

    Gottman had the opportunity to present to Quinn at the DuQuoin State Fair on Saturday his arguments for reversing the plan to lay off about 1,000 Illinois Department of Corrections employees, including 127 workers at Vandalia Correctional Center, at the end of this month.

  • Sen. McCarter to speak to Chamber

    State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) will be the guest speaker at Wednesday's meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.

    The chamber meets at noon in the Lincoln Room at Ponderosa Steakhouse, with a luncheon followed by a business meeting and the program.

  • Former resident gets eight years for child pornography

    A former Vandalia man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to possessing child pornography has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

    The eight-year sentence handed down for Dustin K. Haupt, 31, of Carlyle, will run concurrently with a three-year sentence for aggravated battery.

    The two sentences issued earlier this month by Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm a little more than three months after Haupt pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Despite some unforeseen delays, Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project continues to progress at a good pace.

    Terry Fields, site superintendent for Hank’s Excavating of Belleville, the general contractor on the project, said the project that includes infrastructure and streetscape improvements is still ahead of schedule.

    “Everything is going along fine. We’ve had a couple of issues that we didn’t anticipate, such as the bricks for the sidewalks, but we’re still doing pretty good on the schedule,” Fields said.

  • City hires firm to help with VCC fight

    The work of Vandalia officials to prevent the scheduled layoff of more than 120 employees at Vandalia Correctional Center will continue later this month when Mayor Rick Gottman meets with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

    They are also hoping that a Springfield-based consultant can have a positive impact on the issue.

    In a split vote, the Vandalia City Council agreed to hire Governmental Consulting Solutions to lobby state legislators on behalf of the city in the fight to prevent the state layoffs.

  • Police can send messages to cell phones, computers

    In the past, Vandalia residents had to rely on city sirens or radio and television bulletins for warnings of severe weather or other emergencies. Now, they can have that information sent directly to their cell phones and computers.

    Vandalia Police Chief Larry Eason told the Vandalia City Council on Monday night that his department has begun using Nixle, a community information service.

  • School board discusses budget, start of new school year

    With the school year ready to begin this week, the Vandalia Board of Education on Tuesday dealt with budgets, school startup preparations and a variety of personnel issues in a 70-minute meeting.

    As has been the case in the past several meetings, state funding concerns dominated many board discussions.