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Local News

  • Frank Watson resigns Senate seat

    Three months after stepping down as the minority leader in the Illinois Senate, Frank Watson has announced that he will resign from his Senate seat.

    Watson, the Greenville pharmacist who has represented this region in the Illinois General Assembly for more than three decades, said Monday that his resignation from the Senate will be effective on Monday, Feb. 16.

    Watson cited several reasons for leaving the Senate, among those the need to continue vigorous rehabilitation from a stroke he suffered last October.

  • Consolidation meetings held in Brownstown, St. Elmo

    Residents of Brownstown and St. Elmo had two opportunities last week to learn about the proposed consolidation of their school districts.

    They also had the chance to ask questions about the proposed consolidation, which will go before the voters on April 7.

    Each of the two informational meetings – on Wednesday in Brownstown and on Thursday in St. Elmo – drew about 90 people.

  • Wehrle wins top ballot spot for mayoral election

    By winning a coin toss last Wednesday, John D. Wehrle Jr. gained the top spot on the ballot in Vandalia's mayoral election this April.

    The coin toss was held because Wehrle and Rick Gottman, who is seeking a third term as mayor, both filed nominating petitions at the same time.

    The third mayoral candidate, Neil Clark, will appear third on the ballot.

    A coin toss was also held for the race for a two-year Ward II aldermanic seat.

  • Vandalia will hold a larger Lincoln's Birthday celebration

    While Vandalia traditionally has observed Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with a celebration, the one for his 200th birthday next Thursday will be a little bit bigger.

    As always, the main birthday celebration will be at the Vandalia Statehouse, but even that program will be a little different than the one in years past.

    This year’s birthday program will be on the second floor of the Statehouse, in the House of Representatives chambers, where Lincoln began his career in politics.

  • Family Y gets big donation, 99-year lease at Grand Raffle

    The Family Y of Fayette County, at its annual Grand Raffle event on Saturday, announced several major developments in its efforts to build a new facility in Vandalia.

    Under the theme of “Building the Future,” the fund-raising event raised money for the YMCA’s 2009 operating budget.

    But this year, it also served as a platform to announce the receipt of two significant donations toward the construction of the organization’s proposed $2 million building.

  • Monday at 9 a.m.: Frank Watson stepping down

    State Sen. Frank Watson announced on Monday morning that he will be resigning from the Illinois Senate.

    Watson, a Greenville resident who has served as the Senate minority leader in recent years, continues to recover from a stroke he suffered last October.

    Watson said Monday morning that he is resigning for several reasons, including his need to continue rehabilitation and his desire to spend more time with his family, which includes wife Susan, two children and a grandson.

    For the complete story, see this Thursday's issue of The Leader-Union.

  • VCC warden placed on leave

    The warden of Vandalia Correctional Center has been placed on administrative leave.

    Derek Schnapp, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Corrections, confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that Vandalia Correctional Center Warden Steve Mensing had been placed on administrative leave.

    Schnapp declined to release the reason for the disciplinary action against Mensing, citing the IDOC policy on personnel matters.

    Schnapp said that Mensing will continue to be paid while on administrative leave.

  • Deem, McCarty receive Abe Awards

    Rodney Deem and Tom McCarty were named the 2009 recipients of the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce's Abe Awards at the chamber's annual banquet on Thursday evening.

    Also at the banquet, the chamber's 2008 president, Doug Knebel, handed over the reins of the organization to the 2009 president, Joanna Helm.

    The complete story will appear in Thursday's issue of The Leader-Union.

     

  • Two meetings on consolidation of St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts held
  • York makes first appearance in court with new attorney

    A rural Ramsey man who pleaded guilty late last year to the murder of his unborn child will likely have to wait two months to argue for a reduced sentence.

    Michael York of rural Ramsey made his first appearance in court with his new attorney on Tuesday, about six weeks after he made known that he wants a reduction in his sentence.