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Today's News

  • Smiths participate in mission trip to Greece

    Gary Smith went to Santa Cru, South America, last year on a construction mission, and the experience opened his eyes about how fortunate Americans are.

    “We don’t realize how blessed we are. Simple things in South America, like turning on tap water, safe water to drink is not available. We take it for granted,” he said.

  • Learning how to handle the active shooter

    Until now, local police officers confronted by an individual threatening to use a gun or other dangerous weapon have had to rely on their instincts and basic skills learned in regular training sessions.

    That’s not the case anymore, as they have completed special training sessions taught by two of their own.

    Brent Ellis, chief deputy with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, and Jeff Ray, a sergeant with the Vandalia Police Department, recently conducted their second round of training for city and county officers at the former Washington School inVandalia.

  • Tools for School now operating

    Tools for School, a program that provides free school supplies for Fayette County students needing help with supplies, is now in operation at First Prebyterian Church, 1221 W. Fillmore St., Vandalia.

    Tools for School will be open under the following schedule:

    Tuesday, Aug. 11 - 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

    Wednesday, Aug. 12 – 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Thursday, Aug. 13 – 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

    Friday, Aug. 14 – 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Saturday, Aug. 15 – 9 a.m.-noon.

  • City goes back to circles for insets, switches to new bricks

    A week after Vandalia’s downtown advisory committee recommended a diamond pattern for brick sidewalk insets, and to use original bricks pulled from Gallatin Street for those insets, it shifted gears.

    Acting on a committee recommendation made earlier in the evening, the city council voted to switch back to a circular design for the brick sidewalk insets, and to go with new bricks for the insets and for sidewalk edging.

  • City has to scale back sidewalk improvements

    Two weeks after the Vandalia City Council OK’d the startup of a sidewalk replacement program, city officials learned that their eyes were bigger than their pocketbook.

    With Mayor Rick Gottman reporting that the city had included $25,000 in its budget for sidewalk replacement, the council voted on July 22 to solicit bids for improvements in 22 areas of town.

    But the council learned on Monday night that the $25,000 would not go as far as earlier hoped.

  • Action by Quinn restores some school programs

    Educational programs for preschool children, high school agriculture students and alternative education students were rescued from the budget ax this week as Gov. Pat Quinn restored some of the previously announced cuts.

    “Things aren’t as bleak as they were,” Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well said on Tuesday. “We’re slowly piecing it back together. The picture is better this week than it was last week.”

  • Tracy Jones grows, processes food for her family

    Tracy Jones decided about 15 years ago that she wanted to be sure her family was eating healthy, nourishing and flavorful foods, so she decided to raise their own food, and process and preserve it herself.

    She consulted with her mother – who always canned, as did her mother before her – and began continuing the family tradition.

    “I’ve been canning since I was 20 or 21. My mother, Martha Rambo, taught me,” Tracy said.

  • Lend a hand to paint downtown

    As the work in downtown Vandalia continues, it’s easy to get enthused about the new face we’re seeing emerge for our downtown business district.

    Already, the project is more than one-third done, more than a month ahead of schedule and well under budget. Those are, indeed, cause for excitement.

    But short of standing on a street corner and watching the work, there’s not much the common citizen can do to feel like they’re really a part of the project.

    Or is there?

  • Author's health is 'the talk of Harvard'

    I’m the talk of Harvard University. At least that is what my oncologist, Dr. Philip Dy of Crossroads Cancer Center in Effingham, tells me.

    Let me explain that statement. I’m the talk of a group of 23 Harvard doctors specializing in the study and treatment of breast cancer. Their names are unknown to me, and my name is unknown to them. However, I’m sure my patient profile number reads something like BR-549.

  • Heartbreaker

    Losing is never easy.

    For the Guaranteed Air Freight Fast Pitch Softball team, losing in the ASA State Championship game to the Decatur Pride is just heartbreaking.

    After a weekend of five games, two rain delays, a fog delay and a 10-inning championship game, second place wasn’t enough to buoy The Freight's spirits.

    The narrow loss against The Pride is Vandalia's third straight loss to Decatur, after Vandalia started the season 2-0 against The Pride.