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Local News

  • Video-SpiritSingers perform at Lincoln Program
  • Bluegrass festival will replace Grande Leve this year

    The Vandalia Statehouse will reopen in the near future, but it does not look like the state’s oldest existing capitol will host its annual period celebration on Father’s Day weekend.

    But a local organization is ready to step in and offer a substitute festival that weekend.

    The Vandalia Tourism Commission is working on a three-day bluegrass festival, according to Dean Black, commission member and city alderman.

    “I think we’ll have something that people are really going to enjoy,” Black told the city council last week.

  • Fayette County to receive emergency food and shelter funds

    Fayette County has been chosen to receive $20,003.00 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the County.

    The selection was made by the National Board that is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, United Jewish Communities, and the United Way of America. The local board is charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the county.

  • E911 board gets to work

    The committee charged with implementing Enhanced 911 service in Fayette County learned pretty quickly that it has a monumental task.

    But the person leading that committee still believes that the task can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time.

    Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel, who also serves as chairman of the county’s new Emergency Telephone System Board, told county board members on Tuesday that the new group has held one meeting.

  • The process of picking Watson's successor gets under way

    The process of selecting state Sen. Frank Watson’s replacement is under way, and one of the candidates for the job is a local resident.

    Randy Pollard, the Fayette County Republican Central Committee chairman, is among the candidates for Watson’s seat, which becomes vacant next Monday.

    Watson, who has served as this area’s senator for more than a quarter of a century and as the senate minority leader for the past six years, announced last week that he is stepping down.

  • Deem, McCarty receive Abes from Chamber

    One of two people honored by the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce last Thursday for their service to the community said he didn’t think much about the time he has volunteered to serve children in the community.

    The other recipient of an Abe Award said he’s only one of many giving time to improve the quality of life in Vandalia.

    Both Rod Deem and Tom McCarty were recognized for serving the community in numerous ways.

  • 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.