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Local News

  • Home and Lifestyle Expo is Saturday

    Prizes! Giveaways! Booth after booth of area merchants offering goods and services for your home, your back yard or your business!

    It’s all at the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce’s Home & Lifestyle Expo. And it’s this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the gymnasium and cafeteria of Vandalia Junior High School.

  • Five get big sentences for meth

    Five Fayette County men who previously pleaded guilty in federal court to having roles in a large methamphetamine conspiracy were given lengthy prison sentences late last week.

    A. Courtney Cox, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced on Friday that Thomas E. Wilkerson of Shobonier and Vandalia residents David M. Murray, Donald R. Schultz, Billy D. York and Wesley Dean Conner were sentenced for conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intent to deliver 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

  • Lebanon business owner tabbed to succeed Watson

    A Lebanon business owner who has been serving on the St. Clair County Board has been picked to succeed Frank Watson as state senator for the 51st District.

    Kyle McCarter was chosen from a field of 11 candidates for the seat, which Watson vacated on Feb. 16. Among those candidates was Randy Pollard of Vandalia, the Fayette County Republican Central Committee chairman.

    McCarter was chosen by the 51st District Legislative Committee on Saturday afternoon, after a day-long interview process involving the 11 candidates.

  • York decides to accept sentence

    A rural Ramsey man convicted of killing his unborn child has decided not to fight for a lighter sentence.

    In a court hearing that lasted only about a minute, Michael York confirmed to Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm that he was withdrawing his attempt to have his sentence reduced.

    A Fayette County jury found York guilty in October of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated battery of a pregnant person. He was charged with beating Krystal Heggie, who was pregnant with his baby.

  • Learning about land use

    Ron Marshel, manager of the Fayette County Farm Bureau, was among the county residents participating in a followup meeting on the University of Illinois Extension's LEAM (Landuse Evolution and Impact Assessment Model) program. Through the program, U of I Extension is providing a variety of information about land in South Central Illinois, along with models that describe how local decisions, events and investments impact land use. Tuesday's meeting was held at the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus.

  • Lebanon business owner picked to succeed Watson

    The nine member 51st Senate District Legislative Committee selected St. Clair County Board member Kyle McCarter on Saturday to succeed Frank Watson as State Senator, after a day long interview process involving 11 candidates.

    “I’m excited by this choice,” said Jerry Stocks, Chairman of the Legislative Committee and Macon County GOP Party Chairman. “We have a fine state senator.”

  • Lincoln program draws about 350 people

    Kevin Kaegy guessed that the crowd in the House of Representatives chambers at the Vandalia Statehouse on Thursday evening was the largest since Abraham Lincoln worked in that room.

    Kaegy was the keynote speaker for the Lincoln’s Birthday program at the Statehouse, which attracted about 350 people.

    Thursday was the first time since the end of November that the public was allowed to enter the Statehouse. That’s when all state historic sites and state parks were closed by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich as a way of cutting state expenses.

  • Family Y rec center meetings are Monday night

    The Family Y of Fayette County plans to build a community recreation center in Vandalia – and they’d like to tell you more about it.

    To accomplish that, two public meetings will be held next Monday, Feb. 23, in the Little Theater of Vandalia Elementary School – one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 7 p.m.

    “The purpose of these meetings,” said Family Y Executive Director John Ashdown, “is to let the public know what our plans are.

  • Downtown work will start soon

    The reopening of the Vandalia Statehouse seems imminent – all that’s needed is one signature.

    Mayor Rick Gottman told the Vandalia City Council on Monday night that the only thing delaying the reopening of the Statehouse is Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature.

    Gottman said the state’s Central Management Services has OK’d the hiring of a laid-off state employee to assist Site Superintendent Mary Cole.

  • Vandalia school administrators rehired

    The Vandalia School Board on Tuesday approved the re-employment of all district administrators for the 2008-2009 school year.

    On that list are Rich Well as superintendent, Randy Protz as Vandalia Community High School principal, Brian Kern as Vandalia Community High School assistant principal, Rod Grimsley as Vandalia Junior High School principal, Brian Holliday as Vandalia Junior High School assistant principal, Stacy South as Vandalia Elementary School principal and Donna Cripe as Jefferson Elementary School principal.