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Local News

  • Extreme cold puts freeze on downtown enhancement work

    A few weeks ago, the city was hopeful that new sidewalks could be poured – and the roadway opened to traffic – in the last two blocks of Gallatin Street being improved by the downtown enhancement project.

    Not only did city officials find out recently that that would not be a possibility in the near future, but they also learned that some of the sidewalk work already completed would have to be redone.

  • City works on two fronts for good census figures

    Knowing how the data gathered through the 2010 Census will impact their wallet, Vandalia officials are working through a couple of different channels to make sure that every local resident is counted.

    Mayor Rick Gottman announced at Monday’s Vandalia City Council meeting that the first meeting of the city’s 2010 Census Complete Count Committee will be held at 5 p.m. this Wednesday.

  • State still behind on school funding

    Though the Vandalia Community School District will probably not have to dip into its working cash reserves to make it through the current fiscal year, Superintendent Rich Well said Tuesday that the district is “still dramatically behind in categorical payments from the state.”

    In his report to the school board, Well said that the state now owes the district $379,927.

  • Brownstown man killed in Wednesday crash

    A Brownstown man was killed in a two-vehicle accident near Ramsey on Wednesday afternoon.

    According to Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen, Micky A. Koehler, 40, sustained fatal injuries in an accident on County Road 2700North, one mile west of Ramsey.

    Bowen said Koehler was eastbound on the county road when he crossed the center line and hit a westbound van head-on. He pronounced Koehler dead at the scene at 5:33 p.m.

    The crash remains under investigation by Bowen’s office and the Illinois State Police.

  • Ramsey man dies in Wednesday accident

    A Ramsey man was killed in a two-vehicle accident south of Brownstown on Wednesday afternoon.

    According to the Illinois State Police, Forest Stokes, 32, died after a 1997 Dodge Neon collided with a 1993 Ford pickup truck driven by Carl J. Sefton, 20, of Brownstown.

  • News about Motown coming

    A Leader-Union exclusive on the city of Vandalia's agreement with Motown Technology & Sports Facility is coming in this week's issue.

  • City sues Letters & Logos for loan defaults

    The city of Vandalia has filed suit asking that a local company that received city loans as part of an incentive package to repay those loans in full due to their failure to comply with the terms of the loan agreements.

    The city filed suit against Letters and Logos Inc. in Fayette County Circuit Court last Thursday, seeking a judgment of just under $90,000.

  • County will seek health insurance rate hikes

    As it continues discussions with the provider of health insurance for county employees, a Fayette County Board committee warns about a significant increase in premiums.

    Dean Bernhardt of the insurance and personnel committee told board members on Tuesday night that the committee has negotiated the upcoming increase down from 29.2 percent to 26.44.

  • Motown's check returned

    When Kenneth Bardwell brought a large contingent to town on Dec. 7, he pointed out to a large audience at the Vandalia City Council meeting that he had brought with him a reimbursement check for a traffic study the city had performed. Four days later, city officials learned that the check was no good.

    And while the bank stamp indicated that the $17,500 check was returned for insufficient funds, Bardwell’s group and city officials say that it was rejected because it lacked proper authorization.

  • Firm offers solution for river intake

    A firm specializing in engineering and construction guidance presented on Monday what it believes to be the solution to Vandalia’s river intake problems.

    But some of those on hand for the presentation feel that the city should consider some other, less-costly, options for the troublesome intake.

    The city hired Gonzalez Companies in July, agreeing to pay the firm up to $22,500 to study the raw water intake on the Kaskaskia River, which has been largely unusable since its installation in the spring of 2005 because of sediment deposits.