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Local News

  • 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.

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Despite some unforeseen delays, Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project continues to progress at a good pace.

    Terry Fields, site superintendent for Hank’s Excavating of Belleville, the general contractor on the project, said the project that includes infrastructure and streetscape improvements is still ahead of schedule.

    “Everything is going along fine. We’ve had a couple of issues that we didn’t anticipate, such as the bricks for the sidewalks, but we’re still doing pretty good on the schedule,” Fields said.

  • City hires firm to help with VCC fight

    The work of Vandalia officials to prevent the scheduled layoff of more than 120 employees at Vandalia Correctional Center will continue later this month when Mayor Rick Gottman meets with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

    They are also hoping that a Springfield-based consultant can have a positive impact on the issue.

    In a split vote, the Vandalia City Council agreed to hire Governmental Consulting Solutions to lobby state legislators on behalf of the city in the fight to prevent the state layoffs.

  • Police can send messages to cell phones, computers

    In the past, Vandalia residents had to rely on city sirens or radio and television bulletins for warnings of severe weather or other emergencies. Now, they can have that information sent directly to their cell phones and computers.

    Vandalia Police Chief Larry Eason told the Vandalia City Council on Monday night that his department has begun using Nixle, a community information service.

  • School board discusses budget, start of new school year

    With the school year ready to begin this week, the Vandalia Board of Education on Tuesday dealt with budgets, school startup preparations and a variety of personnel issues in a 70-minute meeting.

    As has been the case in the past several meetings, state funding concerns dominated many board discussions.

  • Friedel to run for judge's seat

    The Vandalia lawyer who has served as Fayette County’s state’s attorney since December 2000 has decided to run for a judge’s seat.

    Stephen G. Friedel announced this week that he will be a candidate for the seat in Christian County that will become vacant when Circuit Judge John Coady of Taylorville retires in October of this year.

    At this point, Friedel is one of three candidates for the judicial seat.

    Others who have announced their candidacy are Tom Finks, the state’s attorney in Christian County, and Taylorville attorney Michelle Coady.

  • Legislators visit VCC, ask questions

    In his first five months as a state senator, Kyle McCarter is quickly learning a lot about state government. And already, he’s seeing some things that he doesn’t like or understand.

    At the top of that list is the plan of Gov. Pat Quinn to lay off 2,600 state employees, including 127 at Vandalia Correctional Center.

    McCarter (R-Lebanon) has been opposed to that plan from the time Quinn introduced it early in July, but is now even more prepared to fight it after taking his first visit of VCC.