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Local News

  • School district prepares for action on Pre-K

    In a meeting that lasted only 50 minutes, the Vandalia Board of Education handled a short agenda, received updates from the principals of all buildings in the district and heard a report from Superintendent Rich Well about shortfalls in state funding that could impact several programs in the district.

  • Still no luck with opening Gallatin Street

    Several parties at Tuesday’s meeting of the Vandalia City Council volunteered to do whatever would be necessary to get the 300 and 400 blocks of Gallatin Street open to traffic while weather prevents work in that area.

    But, Mayor Rick Gottman said, it’s of no use – nothing can be done.

    “We’re tying to get it open, but it’s not worth it,” Gottman said.

    The council learned at its Feb. 1 meeting that it would be charged $3,870.33 each time that the two blocks are opened up while work is delayed because of weather.

  • Lack of state funds hurting school district

    As the state’s financial crisis worsens, school districts and other entities that depend on state funding are feeling the squeeze.

    State aid payments are being missed and grants are not being funded. Consequently, local districts are being forced to use their surplus funds – if they have any – to keep existing programs going and to pay their bills.

  • Thomason files suit against Tish alleging slander

    The St. Elmo man who served as that town’s police chief until being fired last November is suing the man who fired him.

    Ken Thomason, who was St. Elmo’s police chief for about 16 years, is alleging in a complaint filed last Thursday in Fayette County Circuit Court that Larry Tish slandered him a number of times.

    Thomason is suing Tish as an individual and not for any actions while serving as mayor of the community. He is alleging that Tish’s slanderous comments stem from his arrest by Thomason in the past.

  • County OKs drug court partnership

    Fayette County will join Effingham County to comply with a new state law mandating a new way of handling many drug offenders.

    The county board on Tuesday approved Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel’s recommendation to become a part of Effingham County’s existing Drug Court Program.

    Friedel explained to the county board that recent legislation mandates that each county have its own such program or partner with another county. He said the partnership with Effingham County seems to be this county’s best option.

  • City learns it's costly to open Gallatin blocks

    Once they found out the cost, Vandalia officials weren’t so interested in getting a two-block stretch of Gallatin Street open when construction is delayed.

    The council declined on Monday night to take any action on a request from numerous individuals, including some aldermen and businesses in that two-block section, to open the 300 and 400 blocks of Gallatin open to traffic when weather brought a halt to work on the downtown project.

  • LaDage, Bell receive Abe Awards

    Two individuals with long careers in Vandalia and equally long lists of volunteer involvements were presented Abe Awards at last Thursday’s annual banquet of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.

    Sharon LaDage received the Abe Award for non-chamber members, while Dave Bell received the award for chamber members.

  • Low voter turnout on Tuesday

    With only one local candidate on the ballot involved in contested race, the main attraction in Tuesday’s election for Fayette County voters was the input in regional and statewide races.

    And because most of the local candidates were running unopposed, many county residents decided not to go to the polls. According to Fayette County Clerk and Recorder Terri D. Braun, only about 12 percent of the county’s registered voters turned out for the primary election.

    The county officeholders whose terms expire this year all ran unchallenged on Tuesday.

  • Field of Dreams leaders to address chamber

    Two men who are involved in the Vandalia Field of Dreams project will present the program at this Wednesday's meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.

    Luke Hohlt and Brian Buscher are among the local people involved in the project to improve the baseball fields in Vandalia.

    Also on Wednesday, new chamber President Shaun Murray will conduct his first meeting as president of the organization.

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

     

  • LaDage, Bell receive Abe Awards

    A long-time educator and the publisher of The Leader-Union were honored on Thursday night for their service to the community.

    Sharon LaDage and Dave Bell each received an Abe Award from the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce during the chamber's annual banquet on Thursday night at the American Legion Home.

    Also at the banquet, the outgoing chamber president, Joanna Helm, handed the gavel to the 2010 president, Shaun Murray.

    For the complete story, see next week's issue of The Leader-Union.