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Local News

  • Candidates speak at forum

    While the three incumbents running for county officer positions touted their experience on Tuesday night, their challengers told a crowd of about 60 people what they could bring to those positions.

    But the candidates’ forum hosted by the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce also had the two candidates for one of those positions raising their voices about their opponents’ actions.

  • Murder sentencing delayed

    The sentencing hearing for a Ramsey man convicted of first-degree murder earlier this month has been postponed for a little more than three weeks.

    A sentencing hearing for Michael York, 29, was set for last Friday, but Fayette County Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm granted a continuance as requested by York’s attorney, Ed Potter.

    York’s sentencing hearing has been reset for Tuesday, Oct. 18. He faces up to 60 years in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder on Oct. 2.

  • L-U sent to all households in Fayette County

    If the appearance of today’s Leader-Union in your mailbox is a surprise, it’s because this issue is being sent to every household in Fayette County.

    “We’ve invested in this sampling because we want non-subscribers to see what they’re missing,” said Dave Bell, publisher. “We think it’s important for citizens to be informed about what’s going on in Fayette County – the news, the features, the sports and the advertising specials. And there’s no better way to do that than reading The Leader-Union.”

  • Abe Lincoln is marshal for Lions Parade

    With the celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday just around the corner, the Vandalia Lions Club will recognize Lincoln’s ties to the community and the town’s rich heritage at the club’s 66th annual Halloween parade this Thursday night.

    Vandalia’s Abe Lincoln, local merchant Abe Clymer, is the grand marshal for this year’s parade, which kicks off at 7 p.m. at Seventh and Gallatin streets.

    As always, the parade travels east on Gallatin Street and ends at Kennedy Boulevard (Third Street).

  • Enhanced 911 vote is next Tuesday

    An elderly woman living alone awakes in the middle of the night after hearing noises in her home. Realizing that someone is in her house, she wants to call the police, but thinks that the intruder may hear her making the call and attack her.

    But making that phone call is her only way of getting assistance, and – with basic 911 service – she can’t get police to her home without telling them her address.

    “With the basic 911 that we have know, 911 is just a phone number, just like every other phone number,” said Vandalia Police Chief Larry Eason.

  • 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.