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Today's News

  • Darn Far Ranch provides man with service dog

    Tammie Rogers and her husband, Robert, who live and operate their Darn Far Ranch northwest of Brownstown are doing what they love to do best – working with and training dogs…and the dogs’ humans.

    Sometimes, a really special dog comes along that is needed by a special person. Tammie recently shared this touching story that has a happy, tail-wagging ending. “Bree” is that special dog and Kevin Boston of Greenville the special person.

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project continues to progress ahead of schedule, and – weather permitting – much of the major work could be done by the end of this year.

    “I’d say that we’re every bit of three weeks (ahead of schedule),” Terry Fields of Hank’s Excavating said after Vandalia Main Street’s “Mornings on Main Street” meeting on Wednesday morning.

  • County approves two court filing fee increases

    Several years ago, the Fayette County board turned down a request from the circuit clerk to increase two filing fees collected by her office, saying that the monies generated by those fees were not being used.

    On Tuesday night, as another request was made by the new circuit clerk, the board found out why those increases are needed at this time.

    Board members unanimously approved increasing both the automation and document storage fees to $15 after Circuit Clerk Mary Sue Ruot told them about a mandate passed down by the Illinois Supreme Court.

  • Water, sewer rate hikes recommended

    One year after approving a small sewer rate increase and scaling back the recommended water rate increase, the Vandalia City Council has been asked to increase both rates again this year.

    In presenting the annual city audit, Dale Timmermann of Timmermann & Co. Ltd. recommended a 7.19-percent increase in water rates and a 2.19-percent hike in sewer rates.

    Those recommended increases mirror the percentage increases in water and sewer expenses over the past year, Timmermann said.

  • Study needed for Vandalia's river intake

    An engineering firm that the city of Vandalia hired two months ago to resolve problems with its raw water intake on the Kaskaskia River says it will need to do an additional study before formulating a recommendation.

    Jim Wells of Gonzalez Companies told the city council on Monday that its initial inspection of the intake was delayed by high river levels.

    Once the level of the river dropped, Wells said, the engineers found that up to half of a finger dyke near the intake had been washed away.

  • Ed Mills influenced many as a teacher

    Though teachers and coaches have a unique opportunity to influence young people, few have done the job as well as Edward W. Mills.

    For 65 years, he worked in either a full-time or part-time capacity as a teacher, coach or volunteer at area schools. He began teaching at Vandalia High School in 1946, after serving in World War II. He taught general science and biology, but he also coached a number of sports and served as the basketball scorekeeper for 50 years

  • Greathouse stone survived toppling tree

    “War, like the thunderbolt, follows its laws and turns not aside even if the beautiful, the virtuous and the charitable stand in its path.”

    – Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

    These are the words that came to mind Friday afternoon when I first saw the fallen "capital" oak, its trunk splintered as it lay on the ground in the Old State Burial Ground in Vandalia, a victim of the strong storms that passed through two weeks ago.

  • Jazz musicians share the gift at concert

    When you’re a jazz fan, you’re accustomed to being a minority. Popular musical tastes run in other directions.

    So it was on Saturday night, when my wife and I attended a jazz concert at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. We were among a decided minority of whites in a predominantly black audience. But it wasn’t uncomfortable in the least.

    In fact, race didn’t seem to matter. What bound us together in color-blind unity was our love of music. And there was plenty of that to love.

  • Faulkners live in the 'House that Love Built'

    Last week, the Faulkner family – Rev. Raymond; his wife, Mollie; and daughter, Pricilla – were introduced, as they shared the story of Rev. Raymond’s decision to design and build a dream home for his wife, doing all the work himself, with the help of only Priscilla.

    Rev. Raymond began the project in 2002, after two years of purchasing and storing all the materials and supplies he would need for the 10-room two-story house, with five bathrooms, a utility room and large balcony.

  • Vernon man pleads to federal meth charges

    A Vernon man has pleaded guilty in federal court to three methamphetamine charges.

    Conrad J. Wynn, 28, pleaded guilty last Thursday to conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, according to A. Courtney Cox, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

    Wynn also pleaded guilty to a count of possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and a count of possession of products, chemicals and materials for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine.