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Local News

  • Learning how to handle the active shooter

    Until now, local police officers confronted by an individual threatening to use a gun or other dangerous weapon have had to rely on their instincts and basic skills learned in regular training sessions.

    That’s not the case anymore, as they have completed special training sessions taught by two of their own.

    Brent Ellis, chief deputy with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, and Jeff Ray, a sergeant with the Vandalia Police Department, recently conducted their second round of training for city and county officers at the former Washington School inVandalia.

  • Tools for School now operating

    Tools for School, a program that provides free school supplies for Fayette County students needing help with supplies, is now in operation at First Prebyterian Church, 1221 W. Fillmore St., Vandalia.

    Tools for School will be open under the following schedule:

    Tuesday, Aug. 11 - 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

    Wednesday, Aug. 12 – 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Thursday, Aug. 13 – 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

    Friday, Aug. 14 – 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Saturday, Aug. 15 – 9 a.m.-noon.

  • City goes back to circles for insets, switches to new bricks

    A week after Vandalia’s downtown advisory committee recommended a diamond pattern for brick sidewalk insets, and to use original bricks pulled from Gallatin Street for those insets, it shifted gears.

    Acting on a committee recommendation made earlier in the evening, the city council voted to switch back to a circular design for the brick sidewalk insets, and to go with new bricks for the insets and for sidewalk edging.

  • City has to scale back sidewalk improvements

    Two weeks after the Vandalia City Council OK’d the startup of a sidewalk replacement program, city officials learned that their eyes were bigger than their pocketbook.

    With Mayor Rick Gottman reporting that the city had included $25,000 in its budget for sidewalk replacement, the council voted on July 22 to solicit bids for improvements in 22 areas of town.

    But the council learned on Monday night that the $25,000 would not go as far as earlier hoped.

  • Action by Quinn restores some school programs

    Educational programs for preschool children, high school agriculture students and alternative education students were rescued from the budget ax this week as Gov. Pat Quinn restored some of the previously announced cuts.

    “Things aren’t as bleak as they were,” Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well said on Tuesday. “We’re slowly piecing it back together. The picture is better this week than it was last week.”

  • Sidewalks will have bricks

    The original plan for Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project called for brick pavers to be used to enhance the sidewalks. That plan was revised, with stamped concrete instead of brick, to cut project costs.

    But city officials have learned that it will actually be cheaper to use brick pavers for sidewalk edging and insets.

    And the advisory committee formed by Mayor Rick Gottman for the downtown enhancement project is hoping that the bricks used are ones taken from Gallatin Street.

  • VCC fight petitions being circulated

    As the fight to prevent layoffs at Vandalia Correctional Center continues, Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman is encouraging local residents to get involved.

    Gottman announced earlier this week that the city is providing petitions forms at city hall and numerous businesses that residents may sign. Employees at VCC also have petition forms, he said.

    The signed petitions will be passed on to state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), who will present them to Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Corrections Director Michael P. Randle.

  • City will begin repairing sidewalks

    For several years, the city of Vandalia has talked about improving sidewalks throughout town. The process of doing that has begun.

    The Vandalia City Council last week authorized city officials to solicit bids for a considerable number of sidewalk repairs.

    John Moyer, the city’s director of public works, presented to the council a list of sidewalk repairs to be done in the near future. Moyer developed that listed after being asked by Mayor Rick Gottman to drive through town and find the worst sidewalk problems.

  • City OKs more new water lines on Gallatin

    By now, you’ve probably heard a number of problems caused by state officials trying to finalize a new budget. As Vandalia officials worked on a significant addition to the downtown project, they discovered one of those problems.

    City officials decided that it made sense to replace an aging water main along Gallatin Street while the roadway was torn up for the enhancement project.

    And they were told by state officials that Vandalia stood a good chance of receiving Community Development Assistance Program grant funds to pay for the new water main.

  • Council OKs TIF agreement for Depot

    The family planning to revive The Depot restaurant and bar has had two parts of its funding packets approved within the past week.

    Four days after the Fayette County Board approved a $21,500 loan from the county’s revolving loan fund to the Truitt family, the Vandalia City Council approved a Tax Increment Financing agreement with the Truitts.