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Local News

  • Watson continues to fight proposed VCC cuts

    The Illinois Department of Corrections is continuing to propose the shutdown of farming operations at Vandalia Correctional Center.

    And state Sen. Frank Watson (R-Greenville) is continuing to lead the battle to prevent that from happening.

    Watson, the Illinois Senates minority leader, said late Wednesday morning that he will be meeting with IDOC officials on Thursday to present his arguments for not eliminating farming operations at VCC.

  • Vandalia's police officers now armed with tasers

    Twelve of the Vandalia Police Departments officers recently completed a days worth of training on the departments newest piece of equipment. The 13th officer was unable to complete that training because he was disabled from an injury he sustained in the line of duty, an injury that could have been prevented through the use of that new equipment.

    The city recently purchased for the department tasers, a gun-like device that can be used to temporarily stun an individual who is resisting arrest or threatening bodily harm to an officer or another individual.

  • Vandalia Schools dismissing early

    Due to the arrival of another winter storm, the Vandalia School District is dismissing students early today (Thursday).

    The early dismissal schedule is as follows:

    Jefferson Primary and students who walk to and from school: Noon.

    Vandalia Elementary School-12:10 p.m.

    Vandalia Junior High School-12:15 p.m.

    Vandalia Community High School-12:20 p.m.

    There is no KRP on Thursday afternoon.

    A decision on Friday has not yet been made.

  • Brownstown firefighters kept busy

    Brownstown firefighters begin battling a Thursday afternoon blaze that caused major damage to the home of Delbert Frailey in the Four Mile area. Firefighters from Vandalia, St. Elmo and St. Peter provided mutual aid assistance for the fire, and they were at the scene for about four hours. A cause of the fire has not been determined, but fire officials suspect a gas leak. Firefighters drafted water from a nearby pond as part of their efforts to extinguish the fire. Brownstown firefighters were called late Friday afternoon for a fire at the home of Marty Evans north of the village.

  • VVFD re-elects officers; has 125 calls in '07

    Merle Adermann, who has served as chief of the Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department for more than 15 years, was re-elected to that post at the departments annual meeting last week.

    Adermann, who has been a member of the department for 33 years, was first elected chief in October 1992.

    The other officers of the department were also re-elected last Wednesday, including First Assistant Chief Ed Taylor and Second Assistant Chief Keith Meadows.

  • Brad Etcheson wrote journal as he fought cancer

    Brad Etcheson died on Feb. 19, 1998, at the age of 42, following a 2 -year battle with cancer. During this battle, he kept a journal, filling five notebooks to record what he came to refer as his Spiritual Biography.

    During school years, Brad excelled in all sports, and later became an avid golfer. He later played with a group of older men that was affectionately called The Wobblys.

  • Security tightened for city meetings

    A week after stricter security measures were put in place at the Fayette County Courthouse, and about three weeks after five people were fatally shot in a public meeting in Missouri, the city of Vandalia announced tighter security practices for its city council meetings.

    As the council met for the first time in the new city hall on Tuesday, Mayor Rick Gottman announced the new security measures.

    Police Chief Larry Eason, who serves as sergeant-at-arms for council meetings, now sits at a desk facing the entrance to council chambers.

  • Closed campus for VCHS OK'd

    Just a week after holding a public roundtable discussion on the topic, the Vandalia Board of Education on Tuesday passed, without discussion, a proposal to close the lunch hour at Vandalia Community High School.

    That move to a closed campus at noon brings the local district into line with all other districts in Fayette, Bond and Effingham counties.

    The change will be effective with the start of the school year next fall.

  • Lincoln's Birthday celebrated at Statehouse

    The Vandalia Historical Society celebrated Lincoln's Birthday with a program on Tuesday afternoon at the Vandalia Statehouse. The program was presented by Dale Timmermann, president of the historical society. Timmermann read some of the narratives he has written for Vandalia's Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits.

  • Shobonier man sentenced to 17 years in prison

    A Shobonier man who was charged with sex acts with a minor has agreed to a lengthy prison term.

    Michael E. Cunningham Sr., 57, signed a plea agreement last week for two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

    In doing so, Cunningham accepted a nine-year prison term for one count and an eight-year term for the second. Those terms will be served consecutively, which translates to a total of 17 years in prison.

    Under Illinois law, in major felony cases such as this, the offender is required to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence.