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Local News

  • St. Elmo, Brownstown consolidation hearings later this month

    Residents of the St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts will have two opportunities at the end of this month to learn about the proposed consolidation of the two districts.

    Meeting three weeks after the state superintendent of education approved an application to put a consolidation referendum on the April 7 ballot, the Committee of 10 that submitted the application set two meetings to present consolidation information to residents.

    The public hearings have been set for:

    • Wednesday, Jan. 28 – 6 p.m. in the Brownstown Elementary School cafeteria.

  • 2008 a year of successes

    Fayette County students began taking classes at Kaskaskia College’s new campus in Vandalia.

    A fight to get the Vandalia Statehouse reopened ended when an anonyomous donor stepped forward with the funds needed to pay a state employee.

    Fayette County residents had choices when it came to electing a state’s attorney, circuit clerk and coroner in November.

    Those were among the stories from 2008. Today, we continue our look back at last year.

    APRIL

  • Ice Sculpture

    Area residents awoke on Tuesday morning to find everything covered with a thin layer of ice. The freezing rain left icicles hanging from Vandalia Main Street's statue of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Park.

  • FCH will host two health care discussions this Thursday

    President-Elect Barack Obama has made it clear that health care reform is one of his top priorities.

    That’s why the Obama-Biden transition team is asking people to give their own thoughts and ideas how to fix the system at Health Care Community Discussions all across the country.

    It will take all of us working together to tackle health care reform, and we are counting on Americans from every walk of life to get involved.

    Fayette County Hospital and Long Term Care will host two community discussions, both on Thursday, Jan. 8.

  • County to make offer on Washington School

    The Fayette County Board is on the verge of buying property that served as a Vandalia school for about 70 years.

    Meeting in special session on Monday night, the board voted unanimously to make an offer on the Washington School building.

    The board approved a $1,000 earnest check, then voted to make a $75,000 offer to the Fayette County Knights of Columbus for the building in the 300 block of South Eighth Street in Vandalia.

  • Despite some uncertainty, 2008 had some successes

    A word that could best describe 2008 in Vandalia and Fayette County is “uncertainty.”

    In the past year, rains that came often and early caused Fayette County farmers to be uncertain about this year’s crops.

    Area residents employed at Orgill’s distribution center were uncertain about the future of their jobs for an extended period. In July, those workers learned that Orgill will close the local center when it opens a new distribution center in Missouri.

  • York will get to argue on conflict of interest

    A rural Ramsey man who was found guilty of first-degree murder in October will have the opportunity to argue for a new sentence.

    At a hearing on Tuesday morning, Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm appointed Vandalia attorney Marc Kelly to represent Michael York in future court proceedings.

  • Warrants issued for Vandalia burglaries

    Warrants have been issued for two individuals in connection with a string of burglaries in Vandalia, and the investigation into those burglaries is continuing.

    Vandalia Police Chief Larry Eason said on Monday that his department received reports on Dec. 11 of several burglaries to vehicles and residences in an area between Fourth and Sixth streets, north of Randolph Street.

    On Dec. 17, Eason said, the VPD made a controlled buy of an item stolen during the burglaries.

  • Statehouse will reopen

    Local residents who were excited about planning local activities at the Vandalia Statehouse to honor the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln in 2009 can now get busy making those plans.

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman learned late Thursday that the state had accepted an offer from the city that allows for the reopening of the Statehouse.

    That offer includes a gift of up to about $35,000 from an anonymous donor. The money given by the individual to the Old Capitol Foundation is enough to pay the annual salary of a second employee at the Vandalia Statehouse.

  • Jury finds Vandalia man guilty of sex crime

    A Fayette County jury last Thursday found a Vandalia man guilty of criminal sexual assault.

    That jury deliberated a little more than five hours before returning a guilty verdict in the case of Taylor D. Killen, 18.

    Killen was charged with the Class 1 felony on March 3 of this year by the office of Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel.

    The charge alleges that Killen sexually assaulted a female under the age of 17.