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Local News

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project continues to progress ahead of schedule, and – weather permitting – much of the major work could be done by the end of this year.

    “I’d say that we’re every bit of three weeks (ahead of schedule),” Terry Fields of Hank’s Excavating said after Vandalia Main Street’s “Mornings on Main Street” meeting on Wednesday morning.

  • County approves two court filing fee increases

    Several years ago, the Fayette County board turned down a request from the circuit clerk to increase two filing fees collected by her office, saying that the monies generated by those fees were not being used.

    On Tuesday night, as another request was made by the new circuit clerk, the board found out why those increases are needed at this time.

    Board members unanimously approved increasing both the automation and document storage fees to $15 after Circuit Clerk Mary Sue Ruot told them about a mandate passed down by the Illinois Supreme Court.

  • Water, sewer rate hikes recommended

    One year after approving a small sewer rate increase and scaling back the recommended water rate increase, the Vandalia City Council has been asked to increase both rates again this year.

    In presenting the annual city audit, Dale Timmermann of Timmermann & Co. Ltd. recommended a 7.19-percent increase in water rates and a 2.19-percent hike in sewer rates.

    Those recommended increases mirror the percentage increases in water and sewer expenses over the past year, Timmermann said.

  • Study needed for Vandalia's river intake

    An engineering firm that the city of Vandalia hired two months ago to resolve problems with its raw water intake on the Kaskaskia River says it will need to do an additional study before formulating a recommendation.

    Jim Wells of Gonzalez Companies told the city council on Monday that its initial inspection of the intake was delayed by high river levels.

    Once the level of the river dropped, Wells said, the engineers found that up to half of a finger dyke near the intake had been washed away.

  • Vernon man pleads to federal meth charges

    A Vernon man has pleaded guilty in federal court to three methamphetamine charges.

    Conrad J. Wynn, 28, pleaded guilty last Thursday to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, according to A. Courtney Cox, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

    Wynn also pleaded guilty to a count of possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and a count of possession of products, chemicals and materials for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine.

  • Bond set at $25,000 for two arrested for Brownstown burglaries.

    Bond has been set at $25,000 for two Brownstown men who are charged with breaking into six Brownstown businesses early last week.

    Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel last week filed felony burglary charges against Justin Michael Waterman and Gaige S. Jackson.

  • City awarded $400,000 grant for Gallatin work

    The city of Vandalia learned on Wednesday that it had been awarded a grant for work on the downtown enhancement project.

    Mayor Rick Gottman announced at the monthly meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce that the city will be receiving $400,000 in Motor Fuel Tax funds from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s emergency repair program.

    The grant announcement was made earlier in the day by state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), who was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s chamber meeting.

  • Quinn wants union's help in resolving prison layoffs issue

    As he met with Gov. Pat Quinn on Saturday, Mayor Rick Gottman had it reiterated to him that the union representing employees in state prisons are the key player in preventing a massive layoff of those workers.

    Gottman had the opportunity to present to Quinn at the DuQuoin State Fair on Saturday his arguments for reversing the plan to lay off about 1,000 Illinois Department of Corrections employees, including 127 workers at Vandalia Correctional Center, at the end of this month.

  • Sen. McCarter to speak to Chamber

    State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) will be the guest speaker at Wednesday's meeting of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.

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

  • Former resident gets eight years for child pornography

    A former Vandalia man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to possessing child pornography has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

    The eight-year sentence handed down for Dustin K. Haupt, 31, of Carlyle, will run concurrently with a three-year sentence for aggravated battery.

    The two sentences issued earlier this month by Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm a little more than three months after Haupt pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.