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Today's News

  • Friday-10:45 a.m. McCarter visits VCC; calls layoffs 'short-sighted,' 'dangerous'

    State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) on Friday characterized as "short-sighted" and "dangerous" the decision by the Quinn administration and the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) to release 1,000 convicted felons early and cut front line prison staff at the Vandalia and Decatur correctional centers.

  • Judge to rule on AFSCME suit on Monday

    After hearing a full day of testimony, a Southern Illinois judge said he issue a ruling on Monday on a lawsuit filed by the union that represents the majority of Vandalia Correctional Center employees.

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman was among those in the courtroom as arguments were made on the request for a preliminary injunction filed by the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees-Council 31.

    The union has filed the suit to try to prevent the state from laying off more than 500 of its members, including 127 who work at VCC.

  • Lincoln Harley at Statehouse through Saturday

    The “Circuit Rider,” a custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle designed and built in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, will arrive at Vandalia Statehouse on Sept. 22 and may be viewed free of charge until Sept. 26.

    The “Circuit Rider” features one-of-a-kind, custom copper plated wheels with Lincoln penny designs and matching copper plating on numerous small metal parts. The gas tank, rear fender and battery covers feature airbrushed Lincoln portraits and depictions of Lincoln sites.

  • City, senator still working to prevent VCC layoffs

    A week before the planned layoffs of 127 employees at Vandalia Correctional Center, Vandalia officials have reiterated their commitment to doing what they can to prevent those layoffs.

    The Vandalia City Council approved on Monday night a resolution voicing opposition to Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to layoff 2,600 state workers, including 1,000 Illinois Department of Corrections employees, at the end of this month.

  • New school budget totals $17 million

    After a 15-minute discussion and no input from the public, the Vandalia Board of Education passed a $17 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2010.

    Though the budget includes several accounts with significant surpluses, the overall budget contains a deficit of $158,184 (less than 1 percent) in the four main operating accounts.

  • City sets Oct. 31 as trick-or-trick night

    At Monday's Vandalia City Council meeting:

    • The council set Saturday, Oct. 31, as trick-or-treat night in Vandalia. Trick-or-treating will be allowed for children up through sixth-grade age from 6-8 o’clock that evening.

    • The council approved an agreement with the Farnsworth Group of Effingham for engineering services related to the city’s attempt to get its Kaskaskia River raw water intake working properly.

    The Farnsworth will perform a hydrographic survey of six sections of the river near the intake.

  • Leader-Union increasing to 75 cents on Oct. 1

    After 16 years without changing the cost of single copies of the paper, The Leader-Union will increase that price to 75 cents, beginning next week.

    “We held off for as long as we could,” said Dave Bell, publisher. “Our mailing, distribution, production and personnel costs all have gone up significantly in recent years, and we simply must reflect those increases in our single-copy prices.”

  • Vandalia's water, sewer rates increasing

    Over the objection of two aldermen, the Vandalia City Council decided to allow recommended increases in water and sewer rates to go into effect next Thursday.

    Those rate increases – 7.19 percent for water and 2.19-percent for water – were recommended by the city’s auditor, Timmermann & Co., as they mirror the percentage increases in water and sewer expenses over the past year.

  • Saturday collection nets almost 8,000 pounds of paper products

    For Karen Sanders of the Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District, Saturday’s collection for paper and cardboard was affirmation that Vandalia area residents are interested in recycling programs.

    That three-hour collection drive netted 7,860 pounds of newspaper, cardboard and other types of paper.

    “We had people waiting first-thing in the morning, and it was pretty much steady all morning long,” said Sanders, who has done much of the leg work in setting up this and other recycling drives that have been held in recent months.

  • Helen Ray has seen many changes in 105 years

    One-hundred and five years ago, the World’s Fair was in full swing in Forest Park in St. Louis. Some of the amazing facts about that event were: it featured an 18-foot high lighthouse built of pure salt; there were 142 miles of exhibits in the eight main places for people to explore; and 90 million feet of pine was used in constructing the framework for the buildings.

    And the same year, 1904, a little girl was born in St. Louis to Ann Gibbons Kupferer, whose parents were emigrants from Ireland, and Charles Andrew Kupferer, whose parents came to this country from Germany.