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Local News

  • Tish responds to Thomason suit

    When Ken Thomason filed a lawsuit alleging that Larry Tish slandered him, Thomason did not make any mention of Tish committing those actions as St. Elmo’s mayor. But, in answering allegations, Tish mentions his role of supervising the city’s police chief.

    Tish filed on Monday in Fayette County Circuit Court a motion seeking dismissal of the suit that Thomason, who was fired as St. Elmo’s police chief, filed in February. He also filed a five-page memorandum supporting that motion.

  • Recycling continues to grow in Fayette County

    Recycling is not a passing fad in Fayette County.

    Area residents quickly latched onto the idea of turning in recyclable materials when the Fayette County Recycling Committee offered its first collection last fall, and participation in the monthly collections has continued to grow.

    “It is really going over strong,” said Karen Sanders of the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District, one of the people who got the recycling efforts off the ground.

  • Health department working on new quarters

    The Fayette County Health Department is moving ahead with plans to renovate the building that will serve as its new home.

    FCHD Administrator Rhonda Andrews told the Fayette County Board on Tuesday night that the department has hired a law firm and architect as it proceeds toward the renovation of the former home of Leo Brown Lumber in Vandalia.

    The health department purchased the building in the 400 block of West Edwards Street in the fall of 2008, and the county approved a 10-year, $400,000 loan to the department for the renovation project.

  • Downtown work scheduled to resume on Monday

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman received confirmation on Thursday that work on the downtown enhancement project is scheduled to resume on Monday.

    Gottman said that Hank's Excavating and Landscaping of Belleville, the general contractor for the work, told him that workers will be back on the job at the beginning of next week, weather permitting.

  • Investigation into last Tuesday's fire continuing

    As the investigation into last week’s downtown fire winds down, and as businesses dislocated by that fire settle into temporary quarters, Vandalia officials have begun efforts to assist those businesses and clean up the charred remains.

    The Vandalia Main Street Program also has announced that it wants to provide information to owners of downtown buildings on preventing both the start and spread of fires.

  • City will ask unions for wage freezes

    In hopes of avoiding layoffs and furlough days, Vandalia officials will be asking city employees to agree to wage freezes for six months.

    After meeting in closed session for close to an hour on Monday, the city council agreed to take proposals for wage increases to the unions representing the city’s laborers, police officers and telecommunicators.

    The city has prepared memorandums of understanding for the pay freezes, which would run from May 1-Oct. 31, and Mayor Rick Gottman said the city will attempt to set up a meeting with the union representatives.

  • City has to search for owners of Letters and Logos

    One of the city of Vandalia’s first steps in attempting to recoup loan money given to a local industry is finding the owners of that industry.

    In January and February in Fayette County Circuit Court, the city was granted temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions against Letters and Logos Inc., and its owners, Mr. and Mrs. Jess Buehler.

  • Neighbors United for St. Elmo's Future plans to address many issues

    After Mayor Larry Tish fired Ken Thomason late last year, several factions of St. Elmo residents began efforts to get Thomason reinstated as police chief. Several months later, those factions came together to form one group.

    And while the reinstatement of Thomason is currently the main focus of Neighbors United for St. Elmo’s Future, the president of the new group said it plans to get involved on all issues affecting the community and its residents.

  • Chamber meeting is Wednesday

    The Vandalia Chamber of Commerce will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday in the Lincoln Room at Ponderosa Steakhouse.

     

    The meeting includes a noon luncheon, followed by a business meeting and a program. This month's program is Desiree Bennyhoff, communications director of the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, speaking on the Member to Member Privilege Program.

  • Fire destroys four businesses

    Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a fire early Tuesday morning that destroyed four buildings in downtown Vandalia.

    Cages, Donaldson Carpet, Gathe’s Tax and Accounting Service, and Dennis Gerkin’s State Farm Insurance Agency were destroyed in that blaze, which kept Vandalia firemen busy through much of the day.

    Two investigators with the Office of the State Fire Marshal visited the scene on Tuesday, and a determination on the cause had not been made by press time on Wednesday.