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Local News

  • 400 block of Gallatin open

    A little more than a year after the first piece of Gallatin Street was ripped up, and two months ahead of schedule, Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project is within days of completion.

    After looking over the work done in the 300 and 400 block of Gallatin Street with Mayor Rick Gottman and representatives of Hank’s Excavating and Landscaping of Belleville, the general contractor on the project, Illinois Department of Transportation officials told  the city shortly after noon on Tuesday that it could open the 400 block to traffic.

  • KC planning for growth at Vandalia Campus

    Just like everyone else, Kaskaskia College has been hurt by a sagging economy and the state’s failure to meet its financial obligations. But, KC’s president said on Tuesday, the college is through the tough times due to a savings-type fund established several years ago.

    In fact, Dr. James Underwood said at a community meeting held at the KC Vandalia Campus, the college is looking toward continued growth, both in facilities and programs.

  • BREAKING NEWS--400 block of Gallatin Street open

     The 400 block of Gallatin Street in downtown Vandalia was opened to traffic shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

    Mayor Rick Gottman announced the opening at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, adding that the 300 block of Gallatin, the final block of the project, should be opened to traffic by early next week.

     

  • Main Street has architect look at fire damage

    An architect who specializes in historical structures believes that at least part of two buildings damaged by the fire in downtown Vandalia last month can be salvaged.

    Through its affiliation with Illinois Main Street, Vandalia Main Street was able to bring Gail White to town on Monday afternoon.

    White works for White and Borgognoni Architects in Carbondale and is a regional adviser for Landmarks of Illinois, an organization that supports historic preservation in the state.

  • FCH still studying future of ambulance service

    Fayette County Hospital is not ready to abandon its ambulance service just yet.

    At the monthly meeting of the hospital district board on Monday, hospital CEO Greg Starnes said that he’s studied the situation since last month’s board meeting and found that there are “more questions than answers so far.”

    He was referring to a proposal presented at the February meeting from Terry White of the Altamont Ambulance Service, who told the board that he planned to begin offering ambulance service in Fayette County by mid year.

  • Downtown project could be done in a few weeks

    With good weather, Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project could be completed within a month.

    At Vandalia Main Street’s “Mornings on Main Street” gathering last Friday, Terry Fields of Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping of Belleville said workers are making good progress on wrapping up the final two blocks of the project.

    “The bricklayers should be done next week,” Fields said, “and the electricians are coming in next week and by the end of March, they should be done, barring problems with the weather.”

  • Some Gallatin benches still available

    As city officials anxiously await the completion of the downtown enhancement work, they say there still a chance for local individuals, businesses and organizations to leave their mark on the project.

    The city is selling benches that will be installed along Gallatin Street between Third and Seventh streets. As of Tuesday, the city had sold 15 of the 28 bench locations.

    LaTisha Paslay, administration secretary for the city, said the benches are $600 each. That cost includes a plaque on which will appear information submitted by the donor.

  • St. Elmo, Brownstown board disagree on status of co-op agreement

    Members of the Brownstown Board of Education told a large group of people having questions about the proposed cooperative agreement with the St. Elmo School District for extracurricular activities that they want to continue negotiations on that agreement.

    One day later, the St. Elmo Board of Education made it clear that it is not interested in further negotiations. Board members said they are happy with the proposal drawn up by a committee made up of representatives of both districts.

  • Public safety officials issue advice on storms

    The arrival of spring also means the start of the severe storm season.

    With tornados and other types of severe storms possible this time of year, Vandalia’s public safety officials, Police Chief Larry Eason and Fire Chief Merle Adermann, issued the following severe storm advice:

    • Be prepared. Use local radio and television reports to stay updated on current weather conditions.

    Also, make sure to have a flashlight with fresh batteries, a battery-operated radio and a phone readily available.

  • ATV riders continue to cause damage at lake

    The Vandalia City Council last week discussed an ongoing problem, one which no one seems to have an answer to.

    Alderman Jerry Swarm said he’s become aware of all-terrain vehicle riders causing ruts in the campground area, and lake committee Chairman Mike Hobler said the committee is aware of the problem.

    “The spillway’s a greater problem,” Hobler said, noting that the city has posted signs and put up fencing in an attempt to keep ATV riders from causing ruts and erosion in the area of the spillway.