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Local News

  • Tonight's consolidation meeting in Brownstown still on

    Note from Brownstown and St. Elmo school district officials:

    Tonight’s Consolidation Informational Meeting will still be held at the Brownstown Elementary Cafeteria at 6:00 p.m. for anyone who wishes to travel this evening. The same meeting format will be held Thursday evening at St. Elmo High School Cafeteria at 7:00 p.m. Please note that there will be other meetings scheduled between now and the April elections for those who do not wish to journey out.

  • Winter storm hits Fayette County

    Fayette County received its biggest snowfall in recent years via winter storms on Monday and Tuesday.

    The storm meant work for some people, including Marlin Filer, shown here using a road grader to clear streets in downtown Vandalia.

    For others, the storm brought enjoyment. Two photos here show sisters Haley and Sarah Bigelow sledding on Tuesday afternoon at the former Washington School, and a third photo shows Cheslea Kozak (left) and Carley Rathbone sledding on the Evans Scout House grounds on Randolph Street in Vandalia.

  • Four towns will have mayoral races

    Residents in four Fayette County communities will have a choice when voting for mayor in April.

    As the filing period for the April 7 consolidated election ended on Monday, races for mayor (or village president) formed in Vandalia, Brownstown, St. Elmo and Farina.

    VANDALIA

    Mayor Rick Gottman has two challengers as he seeks a third term in office. Also filing for the mayoral race were John David Wehrle Jr. and Neil F. Clark.

    City Clerk Peggy Bowen and City Treasurer Marjorie Blythe are both unopposed in running for their fourth terms in office.

  • Main Street's 'Nite at the Races' is Feb. 7

    The Vandalia Main Street Program will hold its fifth annual "Nite at the Races" on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Vandalia Country & Golf Club.

    A social hour at 6 p.m. is followed by eight consecutive horse races, with the first getting under way at 7 p.m.

    Tickets are $15 per person in advance and $20 at the door. Prizes will be awarded for best-decorated tables, best-dressed jockey and ladies with fancy hats. The evening concludes with a live auction.

    For tickets, contact the Main Street office, 283-8751.

  • Agendas set for St. Elmo-Brownstown consolidation hearings

    The St. Elmo and Brownstown school district officials have set the agendas for the public hearings being held this week on the proposed consolidation.

    The first hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the Brownstown Elementary School cafeteria, and the second will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the St. Elmo Junior-Senior High School cafeteria.

    The agenda for both meetings is as follows:

    1) Roll Call.

    2) Opening statements by Dean Buzzard, co-chairman of the Committee of Ten formed for the consolidation.

  • City approves bid for streetscape work

    Two weeks after approving a bid for infrastructure improvements in the downtown business district, the Vandalia City Council has OK’d a bid for above-ground enhancements.

    The council voted 5-2 on Monday to accept the bid of Hanks Excavating & Landscaping Inc. of Belleville for streetscape work along Gallatin Street that will include new sidewalks, period lighting and the relocation of utility lines underground.

  • 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