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Today's News

  • Lady Vandals improve to 2-3

    Vandalia picked up its first win of the season in girls softball in placing third at the Woodlawn Tournament over the weekend, then added its second win on Tuesday.

    The Lady Vandals fell to Sparta, 4-0, in their Woodlawn Tourney opener, but bounced back with a 7-6 win over Webber Township to take third.

    Audra Donaldson took the loss against Sparta, then recorded the win against Webber as the Lady Vandals improved to 1-3 on the season.

    On Tuesday, Donaldson tossed a no-hitter as the Lady Vandals defeated St. Elmo, 23-0, in a four-inning contest at St. Elmo.

  • Election shows the system still works

    Though there weren’t many contested or controversial races in Tuesday’s election, there were enough to spark significant interest in certain parts of the county.

    For instance, several mayoral races were hotly contested – including contests that resulted in new mayors in St. Elmo and Brownstown and a new village president in St. Peter. In Vandalia, two-term incumbent mayor Rick Gottman fended off efforts by two challengers to secure his third term.

  • Bermuda Triangle story makes rounds

    Little did I know when my Feb. 5 story about a Vandalia connection to the mysterious Bermuda Triangle was published in this newspaper that a copy of the article would make it to a family member, Don Garner.

    You may recall from that article that Aviation Machinist Mate (AMM3) Thomas Garner was lost with 11 crew members aboard a PBM Mariner flying boat on July 10, 1945, while on a routine training mission. It was last sighted over New Providence Islands, going north, apparently headed into a rain squall.

  • Gottman wins third term; Tish, Deal win Brownstown, St. Elmo posts

    Rick Gottman garnered two-thirds of the vote on Tuesday in winning a third term as Vandalia’s mayor.

    But residents of Brownstown and St. Elmo decided it was time for a change, unseating their incumbent leaders.

    In Brownstown, Billy “B.J.” Deal defeated incumbent Chuck Fitch in the village president’s race, and in St. Elmo, incumbent Jayson Porter was beaten by challenger Larry Tish.

  • City OKs change order policy for downtown project

    The Vandalia City Council voted on Monday to give the mayor, city administrator and director of public works the authority to approve minor change orders for the downtown improvement project.

    But not without considerable discussion.

    Mayor Rick Gottman submitted the request to allow him, City Administrator Jimmy Morani and Director of Public Works John Moyer to handle minor change orders in the two-week periods between council meetings. In presenting the request, Gottman told aldermen that it was up to them to set the monetary limit on change order approvals.

  • Alender enjoys number of careers over the years

    If you remember Gerkin’s Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Vandalia, you may also remember a young Vandalia high school student who worked there as a soda jerk, Clarence Alender, better known as “Butch” in those days.

    “Butch” would hurry (walking, no car) from the high school (now known as High School Apartments) and work during his 45-minute lunch break, then hurry back to school

  • Gottman wins; St. Elmo, Brownstown get new mayors

    Rick Gottman received two-thirds of the vote in gaining a third term as Vandalia's mayor. But the incumbent mayors in Brownstown and St. Elmo were defeated.

    Also in Tuesday's election, the consolidation of the St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts was approved in St. Elmo, but rejected in Brownstown, meaning that the measure failed.

    Gottman received 886 votes, easily outdistancing his two challengers, Neil Clark (299) and John D. Wehrle Jr. (156).

  • Senior dances on first and third Tuesdays

    Dances for seniors at the Patoka Service Center are now being held on only the first and third Tuesdays, starting at 7 p.m.

    A potluck will be held at both dances, with those attending asked to take dishes. Admission is $5 per person.

  • Whightsil to continue football career at Illinois College

    Versatility has been Mitch Whightsil's forté during his time at Vandalia Community High School.

    In addition to being an honor roll student, the senior has found time to excel in football and baseball and as the unofficial leader of Code Red - VCHS's raucous student section (Whightsil was the guy in the Super Man costume... or, on special  occasions, a cheerleader's uniform).

  • Fire destroys unoccupied house early Tuesday

    Vandalia Fire Chief Merle Adermann (standing) looks on as firefighters Tom DePaolo and Mark Meadows battle a fire early Tuesday morning that destroyed an unoccupied home. Firefighters were called to 411 S. Poplar St. at 6 a.m., and upon their arrival three minutes later, they found the home fully involved in flames. The home, owned by Rob Schukar, was undergoing an extensive remodeling project. An investigator with the Office of the State Fire Marshal visited the scene on Tuesday morning and told local fire officials he did not believe the fire was of suspicious nature.