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Local News

  • Senior dances on first and third Tuesdays

    Dances for seniors at the Patoka Service Center are now being held on only the first and third Tuesdays, starting at 7 p.m.

    A potluck will be held at both dances, with those attending asked to take dishes. Admission is $5 per person.

  • Fire destroys unoccupied house early Tuesday

    Vandalia Fire Chief Merle Adermann (standing) looks on as firefighters Tom DePaolo and Mark Meadows battle a fire early Tuesday morning that destroyed an unoccupied home. Firefighters were called to 411 S. Poplar St. at 6 a.m., and upon their arrival three minutes later, they found the home fully involved in flames. The home, owned by Rob Schukar, was undergoing an extensive remodeling project. An investigator with the Office of the State Fire Marshal visited the scene on Tuesday morning and told local fire officials he did not believe the fire was of suspicious nature.

  • Fighting another state closure

    With the Illinois Department of Human Services planning to close 17 of its rural offices, including the one in Fayette County, Vandalia’s mayor and this area’s legislators have begun working to get a full explanation of those plans.

    Mayor Rick Gottman, state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) and state Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Greenville) have also begun the fight to prevent the implementation of those plans.

  • New state senator begins teleconferences

    Fayette County residents who have been getting phone calls from this area’s new state senator may have been a little leery about the true identity of the caller or confused about why Kyle McCarter would be calling them.

    But McCarter is, indeed, offering the invitations to participate in teleconferences, as a way of getting a feel for the wants, needs and opinions of his constituents.

  • Consolidated election is next Tuesday

    It’s a simple “yes” or “no” question.

    But the answer will determine the education of hundreds of students in the Brownstown and St. Elmo school districts.

    The proposed consolidation of those two school districts is on the ballot in next Tuesday’s consolidated election, along with races for municipal, school board, park district, library district and township seats.

    Residents in all Fayette County communities will be picking a new mayor or village president.

  • Painting the town red...

    The effort to make below-ground improvements in downtown Vandalia has begun. In the near future, improvements to the streetscape on Gallatin Street will get under way.

    And as those improvements are made using city, state and federal funds, Vandalia Main Street volunteers will begin adding their own enhancements to the downtown business district.

    Main Street’s design committee plans to kick off its “Paint the Town” program sometime in April by painting the exteriors of three downtown businesses.

  • Vandalia suing HMG over I-70 interchange boring

    The city of Vandalia is suing its consulting engineers in an attempt to recoup funds it paid for a boring at the western Interstate 70 interchange.

    In a two-count suit filed earlier this month, the city is seeking a judgment of $361,370.18 from HMG Engineers of Carlyle. That total includes legal fees and services provided by another engineering firm.

    The amount being sought equals the amount that the city has spent to date on the extension of water and sewer lines to the northwest quadrant of the western interchange.

  • Shobonier pleads guilty to federal meth charge

    A Shobonier man pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine charge in federal court last Friday.

    Larry G. Tinker, 58, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, according to A. Courtney Cox, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois,

  • The Work Begins (Finally!)

    Ten years after an expansive streetscape project for Vandalia’s downtown business district was first discussed, work on that project is under way on Gallatin Street.

    As local operator Ronnie Smith began digging at the intersection of Fifth and Gallatin streets on Tuesday morning, Mayor Rick Gottman and engineer Lorne Jackson stood half a block away, explaining the flow of the project to a group of downtown merchants.

    Eleven hours later, merchants, city officials and other Vandalia residents received a similar report on the project.

  • Shobonier man pleads guilty to federal meth charge

    A Shobonier man pleaded guilty to a methamphetamine charge in federal court on Thursday.

    Larry Tinker, 58, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

    See more in the next issue of The Leader-Union.