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Today's News

  • Railroad must fix unsafe crossings

    Were told time and time again that railroad crossings can be hazardous. Thats particularly true in Vandalia.

    However, while oncoming trains certainly pose dangers at the local crossings, they are not the only hazard.

    As signs posted by residents of that area point out, the crossing at Remann Street near Main Street is in itself a hazard.

  • Guest Column-Illinois needs moratorium on prison closures

    It's time to quit playing with peoples lives with regard to prison closures, and end the political gamesmanship that surrounds prison site decisions. A bipartisan group of my colleagues in the General Assembly are advocating a comprehensive review of Illinois correctional facilities and programs.

  • Peter Hill wrote account of early settlers

    With the celebration of the 40th Grande Leve over the weekend, it seems that this is the proper place and time for Peter B. Hill to tell his story.

    His first-person account of the hardships in the early days of white habitation of the Illinois Territory was written in 1873, and gives us a first-person look at those days and times.

    Peter Bruns Hill was born April 14, 1808, in Kentucky, the youngest son of Henry and Elizabeth Bruns Hill. He was eight years old when his parents came to the territory.

  • 40th Grande Leve draws good crowds over the weekend

    A storm earlier in the day and a forecast predicting severe weather that evening led to an outlook for an inauspicious start of the Grande Leve on Friday.

    But many of the activities planned for that evening went off as planned, and perfect weather led to good crowds for the remainder of the weekend.

    This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Grande Leve, a period celebration held each year on Fathers Day weekend to recall the grand receptions held in the 1800s, when Vandalia served as Illinois capital.

  • School district gets first of two state aid payments

    After several anxious weeks of waiting for Gov. Rod Blagojevich to release funds for the final two state aid payments of the fiscal year, the Vandalia School District last Friday received the first of those two installments for June.

    And the final one should be coming soon, Superintendent Rich Well told the Vandalia Board of Education at its monthly meeting Tuesday.

  • Earnest named NCAA 'National Player of the Year'

    Each and every time Vanderbilt bowling coach John Williamson calls Josie Earnest, he says the Vandalia native is doing one of three things.

    Getting ready to practice. Practicing. Or finishing up a practice.

    "She's a relentless worker," Williamson said. "She's always trying to do something a little bit better."

    And thanks in large part to that relentless work ethic, Williamson had the pleasure of dialing up the MVP of his 2007 national championship team last Thursday with news no Vanderbilt coach before him has had the pleasure of delivering.

  • Four local players sign to play softball at KC

    If the Kaskaskia College softball program continues its upward trend over the next two seasons, there's a pretty good chance some familiar names will have a lot to do with it.

    Blue Devils coach Lori Cox describes her 2008 recruiting class as a "great" one. And that class just so happens to include South Central graduate Lauren Matheny and three players from a Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick team that won a program-record 20 games last season - Randi Lilly, Heather Shelton and Kayla Ohnesorge.

  • COLLEGE REPORT: Lovett still optimistic despite not being selected in MLB draft

    Brownstown grad Aaron Lovett wouldn't change a thing about his pitching career at the University of Kentucky.

    He finished a two-year stint at the Southeastern Conference School with the fourth-best career earned run average (3.38) in the program's history, after all, and he helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA Tournament by going 5-1 his senior year.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for Lovett to hear his name called during last weekend's Major League Baseball amateur draft.

  • Sr. Legion has plenty of pitching and catching depth

    Pitchers and catchers are to summer-league baseball what oil is to the world market at the moment.

    Scarce and in demand.

    That said, Post 95 Senior American Legion baseball coach Steve Hosick has to feel like a Saudi Arabian prince right now, as his roster features an unprecedented reserve of pitchers and catchers.

    "We have at least eight pretty salty pitchers right now," said Hosick as he scanned his roster last Thursday. "And we've got at least three guys who can catch for us."

    Potential battery combinations will, indeed, be numerous for the Cardinals.

  • Take in this year's Grande Leve

    During the period that Vandalia served as Illinois capital, Abraham Lincoln and others who walked these streets couldnt just buy a quilt or a basket. They had to make them.

    The people of Vandalia, back in the 1830s, didnt have a radio or television for entertainment. They had only bands that performed the popular music of that period.

    Illinois earliest residents didnt have restaurants that served fast food or family meals. They had to cook their meals over a fire.