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Today's News

  • IDOT considering roundabout for Veterans and Sunset

    The Illinois Department of Transportation is studying the feasibility of a traffic roundabout at Veterans Avenue and Sunset Drive, city officials reported last week. Traffic often gets clogged at the intersection, Mayor Rick Gottman said. “It could make it more flowable,” he said. “[IDOT] has to do a lot of surveying, studies, public hearings. The idea is very much in the infancy stage now.” The circular road junction – popularized in Europe – is designed to slow traffic and redirect drivers in a one-way stream around a central island.

  • Workers finishing up second block of downtown project

    At least one block of downtown Vandalia that has been left dark because of the streetscape project should be illuminated in the near future.

    At Vandalia Main Street’s “Mornings on Main Street” meeting on Tuesday, Lorne Jackson of HMG Engineers told city officials and downtown merchants that the general contractor, Hank’s Excavating of Belleville, is waiting for a key piece of lighting equipment.

  • McCarter will seek election to Senate

    The man who eight months ago was appointed to fill Frank Watson’s vacated state senate seat, last week announced his intentions to run for a full term in that office.

    State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, was in Vandalia last Wednesday to announce his re-election plans from the steps of the Vandalia Statehouse. He also spoke that day in Decatur, Greenville and Highland.

  • National Road Center receives grant

    The Federal Highway Administration has announced that a grant of $101,750 has been awarded to the National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia, Illinois. The project will allow the Illinois National Road Association to develop a prime Interpretive Center that will house exhibit materials, an interpretive guide and planning materials.

  • Patty Sprague writes about Down syndrome

    Down syndrome is usually described as a congenital defect caused by an extra chromosome, characterized by moderate to severe mental retardation and marked physical traits that are often easily identifiable in the person with the condition.

    The above information can be found in medical books and dictionaries. What is not described are the initial heartbreak, struggles and coping of the parents and, especially, the very special gifts ­ the unexpected joys, triumphs, love, sweetness of spirit and affection brought by the child with Down syndrome.

  • FAYETTE FACES: Locals take part in 'Honor Flight'

    When U.S. Navy veteran, Robyn Pontious, learned of the need for guardians to travel with World War II veterans to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C, she answered the call.

    Moreover, she arranged for her sister, Kelly Washburn, to serve also as a guardian.

    The enthusiasm the two sisters share over the experience is approached only by the compassion they show for the two veterans’ emotional reactions as waiting American citizens met them with respect, displays of gratitude and recognition of their service to their country during WWII.

  • Judge puts state layoffs on hold

    Just two days before Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to layoff more than 2,600 state employees – including 127 at Vandalia Correctional Center – was to kick in, a Southern Illinois judge put that plan on hold.

    Judge Todd Lambert issues in Johnson County Circuit Court on Monday a preliminary injunction that provides more time for the governor and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union representing the majority of Illinois Department of Corrections employees, for bargaining on three AFSCME grievances.

  • Corn, bean yield estimates are decent, but deceptive

    On the surface, the yield estimates generated through last week’s crop survey look decent when compared to figures from recent years.

    But those yield estimates don’t really give an accurate assessment of this year’s corn and soybean crops in Fayette County.

    The survey, held by the Fayette County Farm Bureau’s marketing committee, produced average yields of 149.97 for corn and 33.54 for soybeans.

    With 27 farmers, agribusiness representatives and bankers breaking up into seven teams, the coverage of Fayette County was thorough.

  • Keep recycling momentum going

    It’s been a long time since residents of this area were offered any type of recycling program. If the participation in recent recycling drives are any indication, they are ready and willing to start recycling again.

    In recent months, area residents have had the opportunity to turn in old electronic items and paper products, instead of throwing those items into the trash. Those drives have kept several tractor-trailer loads of old TVs, computers, cardboard boxes, newspapers and other pieces of what is normally considered to be garbage out of our landfills.

  • More War of 1812 veterans buried here

    Last week, I wrote of my work to compile a list of War of 1812 veterans buried in Fayette County. Beginning with seven names, the list had grown to 11 by publication time.

    After receiving her newspaper, Lucille Fisher telephoned to remind me of the War of 1812 veteran marker in the Pilcher Cemetery for Winslow Pilcher. Winslow served in Captain G. Smith’s Company of the Virginia Militia.