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Local News

  • Council will vote on changes to Gallatin Street parking restrictions

    The Vandalia City Council could vote on a change to the parking restrictions along Gallatin Street as early as next week.

    The council’s streets and sewers committee voted unanimously to recommend a change that would allow residents living in buildings on Gallatin Street to park on the street in the evening.

    Currently, parking on Gallatin Street between Kennedy Boulevard (Third Street) and Sixth Street is limited to two hours at a time around the clock, seven days a week.

  • Mary Albert O'Neill bequeaths $1 million for fine arts wing at KC Campus

    The Kaskaskia College Foundation will receive more than $1 million from the estate of a Vandalia woman to construct a fine arts building or a fine arts wing onto an existing building on the college’s Vandalia campus.

    College officials announced the major gift from the estate of Mary C. Albert O’Neill at the annual meeting of the Kaskaskia College Foundation at the Centralia campus on Monday.

  • HMG claims city breached contract

    In responding to the lawsuit filed by the city of Vandalia on a project in the western Interstate 70 interchange, its consulting engineering firm claims that the suit should be dismissed because the city didn’t comply with a contract signed for the project.

    HMG Engineers of Carlyle responded last week to the suit filed last month in which the city seeks a judgment of $361,370.18. The city alleges that the engineering firm was negligent in preparing plans and specifications for a boring project.

  • Downtown project off to a good start

    At the first merchants meeting held since the start of Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project, the general contractor heard a concern about people being able to get to downtown businesses.

    And a representative of that firm reiterated to the merchants that it will do everything possible to allow for access to every downtown business throughout the construction process.

  • Fillmore Street improvements out; Coles Street in

    Two weeks ago, the Vandalia City Council approved the use of federal stimulus funds to build new sidewalks between Vandalia Community High School and the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus.

    Subsequent to that April 6 meeting, city officials learned that they would have to go with its second option for the $210,978 in stimulus funds

  • School district focusing on new teaching practices

    After hearing several groups of teachers report on their efforts to incorporate Standards Aligned Classroom teaching practices, the Vandalia Board of Education discussed a number of personnel issues in a two-hour executive session on Tuesday.

    The district began the SAC program last year, and Superintendent Rich Well said that more teachers will be trained each year. “It’s our goal to get all our teachers through the program,” Well said. “It meshes well with our curriculum mapping, and we feel it’s been very beneficial.”

  • AT&T finally adds 911 surcharge

    Fayette County residents who have landline phone service through AT&T were expecting the surcharge for Enhanced 911 to begin showing up on their bills as early as last December … or January … or February.

    The surcharge began showing up on the most recent AT&T bills, and residents were surprised to see about $30 added to their bills for E911.

    The members of Fayette County’s Emergency Telephone Systems Board discussed the surcharge billing at their monthly meeting last Thursday evening.

  • TIF committee recommends funds for seven projects

    Vandalia’s Tax Increment Financing Committee is recommending to the city council that it use the limited TIF monies now available to help fund seven improvement projects.

    The TIF Committee decided on Tuesday to recommend several smaller TIF grants and to allow a property tax benefit for two of the seven projects.

    The committee voted to endorse TIF grants for:

    • Thompson’s Home Center, $7,500

    • Dr. Mark Brunk, $7,500.

    • Fred Metzger, $1,554.

    • The Leader-Union, $2,630.

  • VCC warden terminated

    The Illinois Department of Corrections on Wednesday terminated the Vandalia Correctional Center warden who has been on administrative leave for more than two months.

    Derek Scnhapp, a spokesperson for the IDOC, said early Wednesday afternoon that Steve Mensing's termination had become effective that day.

    Mensing, who has served as the warden of VCC since the fall of 2004, has been on administrative leave since late January.

  • Gottman wins third term; Tish, Deal win Brownstown, St. Elmo posts

    Rick Gottman garnered two-thirds of the vote on Tuesday in winning a third term as Vandalia’s mayor.

    But residents of Brownstown and St. Elmo decided it was time for a change, unseating their incumbent leaders.

    In Brownstown, Billy “B.J.” Deal defeated incumbent Chuck Fitch in the village president’s race, and in St. Elmo, incumbent Jayson Porter was beaten by challenger Larry Tish.