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Local News

  • Ramsey, Kinmundy state parks are still open

    While Illinois residents have lost the ability to visit most of the state’s historic sites, they can still use two area state parks.

    Tim Pryor at Ramsey Lake State Park and Glenn Wegener at Stephen A. Forbes State Park in Kinmundy said that those two state parks are still open.

    Those state parks are not among those that have been closed by the state as a result of budget cuts.

    Pryor and Wegener said that the cuts have had an impact on staffing, but they have not had resulted in any restrictions on use of the facilities by the public.

  • State gives update on U.S. Route 51 expansion project

    The Illinois Department of Transportation may not be ready to bid out the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 in Fayette County, but that doesn’t mean the state agency is waiting to get comments from residents of local communities.

    The agency and its Route 51 consultants are holding regular meetings with both community and regional advisory committees, and soliciting comments from the general public as it reaches “milestones” in the initial phase of highway improvements in this area, according to a representative of one of the consulting firms.

  • Storyboard dedication ceremony moved to City Hall

    Vandalia’s Looking for Lincoln Committee believed that the perfect time to officially unveil the community’s new Abraham Lincoln storyboards was Dec. 14, during the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse.

    And while the unveiling ceremony has been kept on that day, the committee has had to move its celebration.

    The dedication ceremony for Vandalia’s 10 Lincoln wayside exhibits will now be held at Vandalia City Hall on Sunday, Dec. 13.

  • Statehouse closing at end of day on Sunday

    One of the biggest local events during the holiday season is the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse. Each year, several hundred people enjoy the old state capitol bathed in candlelight, period music and holiday refreshments.

    But, this December, both local residents and those who come from miles away, won’t be able to enjoy the holiday event.

    The Christmas Open House won’t be held on Dec. 14 as planned, because the Vandalia Statehouse will be closed as of Monday.

  • Route 51 meetings are next week in Ramsey, Vandalia

    The Illinois Department of Transportation will again seek comments from Fayette County residents as it continues to work on the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 between Decatur and Centralia.

    Representatives of IDOT and Clark-Dietz Engineers, which is serving as a consulting engineering firm for the Route 51 project, will be present at public meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday.

    From 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday, those representatives will be at the Ramsey Village Hall. They will also be at the Ramada Inn Ltd. in Vandalia on Wednesday from noon-6 p.m.

  • Improvements made to Leader-Union Web site

    Starting this week, people who go online to www.leaderunion.com to get local news, weather, sports, obituaries and advertising information will notice a few changes in The Leader-Union Web site.

    The newspaper is in the midst of a platform change for the Web site, with some improvements being added in the initial stage of that change.

    All of the information that has been available at www.leaderunion.com, including complete obituary information that goes online as we receive it, will still be there, albeit in a slightly different format.

  • County Board OKs loan to health department, but not before a lengthy discussion

    The Fayette County Health Department moved its staff from the basement of the Fayette County Courthouse and a building on North Fifth Street in Vandalia into a former residence 21 years ago.

    Renovations were made to the home at 509 W. Edwards St. in order to prepare the building for the staff, and a number of subsequent renovations followed.

  • Olde Tyme Christmas is this Friday

    Vandalia Main Street Program Activities

    • 5:30 p.m. – Lamplighter, accompanied by carolers, lights the storefronts on Gallatin Street.

    • 6 p.m. – Lighting of community Christmas tree at Seventh and Gallatin streets.

    • 6:30 p.m. – Children's story time at Evans Public Library.

    • Other activities between 5 and 8 p.m. – Strolling carolers, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, free horse-drawn carriage rides, chainsaw-carved ice sculptures, photos with Santa and silent action play of the nativity.

    Also Downtown

  • York gets 25 years in prison

    A rural Ramsey man who was convicted last month of killing his unborn child will serve more than 20 years in prison.

    Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm approved on Monday a sentencing agreement that includes a 20-year prison term for Michael York.

    Also part of the sentence is a five-year prison term for a conviction on a charge of aggravated battery.

    At the conclusion of a two-day trial in October, a Fayette County jury deliberated for about three hours before returning guilty verdicts on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery.

  • County board OKs loan to FCHD for new building after long discussion

    After a lengthy discussion during which some members spoke out against the Fayette County Health Department's choice for a new home, the Fayette County Board approved on Thursday a $400,000 loan for the renovation of that facility.

    The board was asked to approve a loan which would be used to make renovations to the building in the 400 block of West Edwards Street that formerly housed Leo Brown Lumber.

    The board approved the loan in a 13-3 vote, with Dan Barenfanger, Jeff Beckman and Dean Bernhardt casting dissenting votes.