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Local News

  • 6 plead guilty to federal meth charges

    Five Fayette County residents and a former resident of the county pleaded guilty in federal court to a methamphetamine offense.

    A. Courtney Cox, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said on Monday that four of the individuals pleaded guilty on Thursday, and the two others entered guilty pleas on Friday.

    Pleading guilty to a county of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess 500 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver were:

    • Thomas E. Wilkerson, 47, Shobonier.

  • Candidates' forum is Tuesday; coverage on www.leaderunion.com

    The Vandalia Chamber of Commerce will hold a Candidates' Forum for county officer candidates at 7 p.m. this Tuesday at Los Amigos Restaurant on Veterans Avenue in Vandalia.

    Coverage of the forum will appear this week on The Leader-Union Web site, www.leaderunion.com.

  • Bi-Phy-Chem takes donations

    The Bi-Phy-Chem, a club whose members are interested in both the environment and community service, will be accepting donations as it participates in a fundraiser to help hurricane victims in Galveston, Texas.

    Members of the club will be out during trick-or-treat hours in Vandalia, 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31, accepting donations for Operation H.E.A.R.T. The goal is $600.

    Individuals interested in making donations may contact the Bi-Phy-Chem adviser, Amber Redman, at aredman@fayette.k12.il.us.

    The fundraiser is continuing through Friday, Nov. 7.

  • Auditor says school district doing good job of handling expenses

    For the second year in a row, the Vandalia Board of Education on Tuesday received a positive report from the accounting firm that conducts the district’s financial audit.

    Joe Barth, representing Luallen, Cearlock and Barth Certified Public Accountants, told the board that “the school district is doing a good job in budgeting. Not one account was over in expenses; you have a good handle on your costs.”

  • City to bid two downtown projects separately

    Going against a recommendation from its consulting engineers, Vandalia officials decided on Monday to keep two aspects of a downtown improvement project separate in the bidding process.

    Lorne Jackson of HMG Engineers of Carlyle told the city council that while the firm initially recommended taking separate bids for streetscape and infrastructure improvements, it had recently changed its mind.

    HMG was endorsing that change of course due to the fact that the city had decided to downsize the improvements to water and sewer lines from about $2 million to about $100,000.

  • Vandalia council passes ordinance on right of way parking

    AN ORDINANCE CONTROLLING PARKING ON CITY OF VANDALIA RIGHT OF WAY

    BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VANDALIA, ILLINOIS:

  • Early voting numbers high

    In less than two weeks, Fayette County residents will be going to the polls to vote in local, state and national elections. A lot of residents, however, have already performed their civic duty.

    “They’ve been coming in in bunches,” Fayette County Clerk and Recorder Terri Braun said about residents taking advantage of the state’s early voting option.

    Unlike absentee voting, those casting early ballots are not required to give a reason.

  • County settles with insurance trust

    After two years of haggling, Fayette County is on the verge of breaking its ties to a group that formerly provided health insurance for this and other nearby counties.

    The Fayette County Board voted on Tuesday to give board Chairman Steve Knebel the authority to sign an agreement for a settlement with the Illinois Counties Insurance Trust.

    The county’s approval of that settlement will not become final until after the Coles County Board, one of three counties that initiated litigation against ICIT, takes action on the settlement proposal.

  • Only a few attend E911 public hearing

    A

    public hearing held on Monday to educate Fayette County residents about the Enhanced 911 referendum on the general election ballot drew only several people, the majority of whom are already well educated on the emergency phone system.

    “It (the turnout) was quite disappointing,” Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel said at Tuesday’s county board meeting.

    Knebel said he doesn’t know what the light turnout means, “but I hope it means that people have already decided to pass it.”

  • Law enforcement agencies join for CrimeWatchers program

    Law enforcement agencies in Fayette County are teaming up to reinstitute a program through which county residents get paid to help fight crime.

    But the program will be known under a different name.

    Fayette County had been a participant in the CrimeStoppers program, but the county lost its certification a couple of years ago through lack of activity.