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Local News

  • VCHS truancies, disciplinary cases drop dramatically

    After a full semester of operating Vandalia Community High School with a closed noon hour, administrators are crediting that change for a dramatic decline in absenteeism and other disciplinary problems.

    Citing numerous comparisons between this fall’s statistics and those from a year ago, Brian Kern, assistant principal at the school, told the Vandalia Board of Education on Tuesday that the results were “surprising.”

    In the case of truancy or skipping school, his term was “unbelievable.”

  • St. Elmo man found guilty of sex offenses

    A St. Elmo man will be sentenced on three major sex offenses next month.

    Derek M. Klincar, 22, was found guilty of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse at the conclusion of a two-day jury trial in Fayette County Circuit Court.

    The jury deliberated just 30 minutes before returning the guilty verdicts on the afternoon of Jan. 6. His sentencing hearing is set for 9 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 30.

  • Vandalia already has two candidates for mayor

    Rick Gottman will have at least one challenger as he seeks a third term as Vandalia's mayor.

    Gottman and John David Wehrle Jr. have filed nominating petitions for the April 7 mayoral race, according to City Clerk Peggy Bowen.

    Neil Clark has also taken out a petition, but he had not filed that petition as of Wednesday morning.

    Petitions for municipal and school boards may be filed through the end of the day Monday.

  • History-Making President
  • New Wave switches to high-def; some channels have new numbers

    If you are a New Wave subscriber, you may have already noticed something different about your cable TV channels – many of them now have a different number.

    Vandalia City Administrator Jimmy Morani told the Vandalia City Council on Monday night that a New Wave official told him recently that changes in some cable TV numbers are part of the cable provider’s switch over to high-definition quality for its channels.

    The switch was to take place on Tuesday morning, Morani said.

  • Gottman, Wehrle file for mayoral race

    Rick Gottman will have at least one challenger as he seeks a third term as a Vandalia mayor.

    Gottman and John David Wehrle Jr. have filed nominating petitions for the April 7 mayoral race, according to City Clerk Peggy Bowen.

    Others who have filed include Bowen, who is seeking a fourth term as clerk, and Marjorie Blythe, running for a fourth term as treasurer. Both are unopposed at this point.

    Four incumbents are among the five individuals who have filed as aldermanic candidates:

    Ward I – Incumbent Jerry Swarm.

  • Fundraising effort for new Family Y recreation center runs through May 1

    For more than a decade, Family YMCA of Fayette County leaders have hoped for and worked toward a new facility that would allow the entity to better serve the residents of this area.

    With architectural drawings in hand and a substantial amount of money in its coffers, the Family Y is getting closer to that goal.

    In a presentation to the Vandalia City Council last Monday, John Ashdown said the Family Y is working on a 16,900-square-foot facility on the city’s west side.

  • FCH hosts two community discussions on health care

    Health care was one of the major issues in last November’s presidential election. And it was one of the first things the winner of that election began to focus on.

    As a way of better knowing how Americans feel about the future of health care, and the problems they now encounter, President-elect Barack Obama asked health care providers to host community discussions.

    Fayette County Hospital was among those taking Obama up on the offer, holding two such discussions last Thursday.

  • 2008 in Review: Statehouse closed, voters approve E911

    The second half of 2008 saw member of Vandalia’s Looking for Lincoln committee wrapping up its work on Abraham Lincoln storyboards, and a committee made up of residents from Brownstown and St. Elmo continuing to study a reorganization of those two school districts.

    Later in the year, Vandalia officials scrambled to get the Vandalia Statehouse open again in time for Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

    Our look back at 2008 continues in this issue.

    JULY

  • Illinois House votes to impeach Blagojevich

    The Illinois House of Representatives voted 114-1 to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Rep. Milt Patterson (D-Chicago) cast the lone dissenting vote, and Rep. Elga Jefferies (D-Chicago) voted "present."

    The impeachment comes one month after Blagojevich was arrested at his home by federal agents on fraud and bribery charges.

    Blagojevich visited Vandalia twice when running for governor in 2002, but did not come to town during the 2006 campaign.