Local News

  • Meth maker gets 10 years; husband's trial is this week

    Five days before her husband went to trial on a charge alleging the manufacture of methamphetamine, a rural Beecher City woman pleaded guilty to that offense.

    Diana L. Griffith, 47, accepted a 10-year prison sentence in pleading guilty last Wednesday in Fayette County Circuit Court.

    In accepting a plea bargain, Griffith pleaded guilty to the manufacture of less than 400 grams of methamphetamine.

    Griffith and her husband, Charles E. Griffith, 48, were arrested on methamphetamine manufacture charges after a raid on their residence by the Fayette County Sheriffs Office.

  • St. Elmo-Brownstown reorganization committee making progress

    The committee working to prepare for a referendum on the reorganization of the St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts has essentially gone as far as it can without legal counsel.

    So, when it meets again in two weeks, the priority of that 10-member committee is hiring an attorney who will guide them through the steps required to get the reorganization issue on next Aprils ballot.

    The 10-member committee is headed up by Clint Feezel of the Brownstown district and Dean Buzzard of the St. Elmo district.

  • First National acquires Mulberry Grove, Greenville banks

    Ernie Chappel, president of The First National Bank of Vandalia, and Preston Smith, president of The First National Bank of Mulberry Grove, announced on Tuesday that the two institutions have reached an agreement by which First National Bank of Vandalia will purchase The First National Banking Centers located in Mulberry Grove and Greenville.

    In that acquisition, The First National Bank of Vandalia will acquire the deposits and certain assets, including loans, of the two Bond County banks.

  • Open house Thursday for cancer center at FCH

    Where can you find answers about cancer, even when the resources seem out of reach? The American Cancer Society recognizes the need for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to have access to up-to-date information on cancer and is providing that information and support through its local Patient Resource Center at Fayette County Hospital. A grand opening celebration open house will be held Thursday, July 31, from 1 3 p.m. Area residents are invited to stop by, enjoy refreshments and learn about the variety of help available to cancer patients and their families.

  • Vandalia man gets 16 years for sex crimes

    A Vandalia man convicted in May on three charges alleging sex with a minor was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Tuesday.

    A Fayette County jury found Jonathan L. Matthews, 20, guilty on May 29 of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and one count aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The jury deliberated for 90 minutes before returning the three guilty verdicts.

    The felony charges filed by Fayette County States Attorney Stephen Friedel in February alleged that the sex offenses occurred between April 1 and Dec. 27 of last year.

  • Vandalia officials' pay increases voted down

    With the mayor and one of the aldermen speaking out against pay increases for their positions, the Vandalia City Council narrowly voted down salary hikes for all city officials whose posts are up for election next spring.

    The council voted 4-3 on Monday night to reject 3 1/2-percent pay raises in each of the next four years for the mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and the four aldermanic seats on the ballot in the municipal election next spring.

  • Mattoon man arrested for armed robbery of St. Peter bank

    A Mattoon man who allegedly robbed the bank in St. Peter at gunpoint on Tuesday was in Fayette County Jail on Wednesday awaiting the filing of formal charges.

    W. Kelly Campbell, 39, of Mattoon, is in jail on pending charges of armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon after he allegedly surrendered to authorities without incident shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

    According to the Illinois State Police, a man obtained an undisclosed amount of money at First State Bank of St. Peter after presenting a gun to a bank employee.

  • Vandalia plans to continue agressive recruitment efforts after Orgill picks Sikeston

    Within a week of learning that Vandalia will be losing one of its major employers, city officials voiced optimism about moving forward by continuing to aggressively market Vandalia to industrial and commercial prospects.

    Orgill announced last Wednesday afternoon that it had chosen Sikeston, Mo., over Vandalia as the home for a new distribution center. That center will replace the ones currently being operated in Vandalia and Memphis, Tenn.

  • Orgill picks Sikeston over Vandalia

    Vandalia officials learned late Wednesday that their efforts to retain jobs at the local Orgill facility and procure more jobs at a new company facility were unsuccessful.

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman and Orgill President Ron Beal both issued press releases confirming that Orgill had chosen Sikeston, Mo., as the home for a Mid-America SuperCenter.

    Vandalia and Sikeston were the finalists for the new distribution center that will reportedly employ about 350 people.

    Orgill officials said Wednesday that the new 795,000-square-foot facility will be built on a 70-acre site.

  • Delay on picking Wodtka's successor

    Marsha Wodtka still doesn't know who will serve as her temporary successor when she retires at the end of this month.

    Wodtka announced in July of last year that she would not seek an eighth term as Fayette County's circuit clerk, and submitted in June of this year her plans to retire on July 31.

    In her retirement letter, Wodtka recommended that the Fayette County Board appoint Mary Sue Ruot to serve as the circuit clerk until the November general election.