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Today's News

  • Out with the old, in with the new

    As we close the door on 2009 and prepare to launch into 2010, it’s an appropriate time to take stock of what has happened in the past 12 months, and to look ahead to what the new year may hold.

    For most of us, bidding goodbye to 2009 is a welcome relief. It’s been a tough year on several fronts. Yet, many of the year's clouds were not without silver linings. Better times lie ahead.

    Following is a summary of the highlights.

    The Economy

  • Old-time Christmas stories recalled

    Christmases past were celebrated in a somewhat different way than today.

    It appears that "spreeing" was a common denominator in the tales told by the early settlers of the county. For "spreeing," insert the word "whiskey."

    This time next year, a new book, “Christmas Anthology of Illinois,” by James Ballowe of Ottawa will be in the bookstores. Included in this work are stories from around the state, Fayette County included, of how the holiday was celebrated in years past.

  • Altamont upsets Stew-Stras on day one

    Saturday's games may have been the most exciting of the tournament, as there were several close games and one major upset that threatened to throw the whole tournament into a tailspin.

    Game one

    Flora 67

    South Central 36

    South Central’s chances entering the Vandalia Holiday tournament were slim. The No. 10 Cougars had just one win on the season and had yet to really play as a team or put together a complete game.

  • Pana continues to roll on Monday, Cougars drop two

    Teams fell into familiar patterns on Monday as Pana, Flora and Wesclin all picked up wins and South Central Vandalia, and Central A&M fell.

    Session III

    Game eight

    Pana 53

    South Central 19

    In what was probably the worst team performance of the tournament during pool play, South Central scored only 19 points in a dreadful 34-point loss to Pana, 53-19.

  • Stew-Stras punches ticket to title game with free throws, Flora runs the table

    Tuesday night's games decided who would end up in Wednesday's title game, as Stew-Stras defeated Wesclin to head to the championship for the second straight year, while Flora went undefeated in pool play to cruise into the championship.

    Session V

    Game 15

    Central A&M 51

    South Central 37

    In its pool play finale, South Central looked the best it had all tournament.

    The Cougars played well throughout the game, despite losing by 14, and were as close as 10 with two minutes to go.

  • Baseball academy coming to Vandalia

    In Vandalia, there are sports camps and leagues for just about everything.

    There are basketball camps and shootouts for kids of all ages throughout the year. There is VYO football and flag football. There is Jr. Pro wrestling and numerous other camps and leagues for sports.

    But one sport that has been lagging behind in these areas is baseball. Vandalia has struggled to cultivate a "farm system" for the high school baseball teams the way other sports have.

    The interest level for baseball isn't as high in the area as it is for basketball and football.

  • Vandals win streak at five games

    After seeing the junior varisty win in double overtime, Tuesday night, the Vandalia varsity refused to be upstaged by the underclassmen and had two overtimes of its own.

    "We were fortunate to come out on top at the end of the game," Vandalia coach Kevin Jackson said. "They kept battling."

    Carlyle took three game-winning shots but none fell as Vandalia won, 52-51.

  • Decorating the tree brings back memories

    Last Thursday my son, Ethan, and I put up our Christmas tree. It was fairly simple – fit tab A into slot B and so forth. I’ve never had an artificial tree before, so this was a new experience.

    After the metal pieces had been slotted, we stood back and Ethan said, "Mom that doesn’t look like the box." I assured him that the metal branches extending from the metal trunk could be covered with cuttings from our cedar tree outside – not to worry.

    I was worried. It looked like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

  • Merry Christmas!

    The decorations are up, the cards are sent, the carols are being played, the holiday goodies have been baked and – unless you’re a world-class procrastinator – the gifts have been purchased.

    It’s nearly Christmas time!

    As we approach Christmas Day this Friday, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the many things for which we are thankful. Family, friends and health come to mind easily.

  • St. Elmo outlasts Beecher for third place, freshman Beasley named tourney MVP

    St. Elmo’s basketball future looks brighter everyday. The reason the next few seasons hold so much promise is because of Connor Beasley and Blake Pruett. Beasley, who is only a freshman, has had a sensational first half of the season and capped it off with a 17-point performance in the third-place game of the 50th annual St. Elmo Holiday Tournament on Saturday night. Beasley was named tournament MVP later in the evening and has all of St. Elmo buzzing.