Today's News

  • Shobonier man sentenced to 17 years in prison

    A Shobonier man who was charged with sex acts with a minor has agreed to a lengthy prison term.

    Michael E. Cunningham Sr., 57, signed a plea agreement last week for two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

    In doing so, Cunningham accepted a nine-year prison term for one count and an eight-year term for the second. Those terms will be served consecutively, which translates to a total of 17 years in prison.

    Under Illinois law, in major felony cases such as this, the offender is required to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence.

  • County steps up security at courthouse

    Members of the Fayette County Board learned first-hand on Tuesday night of the county sheriff's efforts to step up security at the county courthouse.

    As they entered the courthouse for their regular monthly meeting, board members were required like everyone else attending that meeting to pass through the county's metal detector.

    As he gave his report to the board, Sheriff Aaron Lay explained that he was planning to upgrade security measures, and that an incident in Kirkwood, Mo., spurred him to move quickly on those actions.

  • School board likely to vote Tuesday on discontinuing open campus at VCHS

    The Vandalia Board of Education is likely to vote next Tuesday night on closing the Vandalia Community High School campus.

    If approved, VCHS students will no longer be allowed to leave the school grounds at any time during the school day, including lunchtime.

    Based on discussions at a public meeting on Monday evening, there is heavy sentiment for Vandalia to become the final district within Bond, Fayette and Effingham counties to go to a closed campus.

  • Area Community Calendar

    Thursday, February 14

    eoe" TOPS IL 1872, Ramsey, will meet at the Christian Church in Ramsey. Weigh-in is at 6 p.m., and the meeting is at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Tami Washburn at 283-4664.

    eoe" Al-Anon will meet at 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church on Fillmore Street in Vandalia.

    Friday, February 15

  • Seven Vandal wrestlers heading to state

    Five Vandalia wrestlers won titles Saturday at the Class A Robinson Sectional, and a grand total of seven VCHS grapplers will be heading to Champaign this weekend for the individual state tournament.

    Seniors Josh Eller (112), Cody Pyle (135), Adam Bowling (145), Matt Shroyer (189) and Nate Stone (285) all won championships in their respective divisions, while senior Curtis Hemminghaus and sophomore Alex Foster clinched their first-ever state appearances with thrilling wins in their respective third-place matches.

  • Lady Vandals advance to regional title game

    In fitting fashion, the Vandalia girls basketball team broke the program's single-season wins mark by dominating on the defensive end against an overwhelmed St. Anthony squad Thursday, rolling to a 52-35 victory in a semifinal game of their own Class 2A Regional.

    Vandalia (22-4) will go for its first regional title since 1993 tonight at 7:30 against Teutopolis. The Lady Wooden Shoes (26-4) will be shooting for their 17th regional crown.

  • Lady Vandals in regional final

    The Lady Vandals advanced to the championship game by virtue of a 52-35 win over Effingham St. Anthony on Thursday night.

    Vandalia, which is now 22-4, will face Teutopolis in the championship game, which gets under way at 7:30 p.m. at VCHS.

    For more information, check out the Sports section of our Web site.

  • It's all about appreciating what we have

    It's not uncommon for people to not fully appreciate their hometown ... and its people. Ed Taylor Jr. is not one of those people.

    Taylor was one of two people honored recently by the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce for community service. As he accepted the award, Taylor explained why he has given a lifetime of service to the Vandalia area and its people.

  • Chelsy Durbin to play softball at McKendree

    McKendree University softball coach Evelyn Bean admits Chelsy Durbin came in "under the radar" when she participated in a recent Bearcats tryout.

    Initially, not much was known about the St. Elmo High School senior.

    But by the time Durbin left the camp, her ability to play all over the diamond was just one aspect that helped raise Durbin's profile to the point that Bean felt compelled to make her part of McKendree's up-and-coming program.

  • IHSA does Lady Vandals few favors

    Pop quiz.

    What does a 21-4 record, two tournament titles and a second-place finish in a conference featuring the top-ranked 2A team in the state get you in the opening round of the postseason?

    A matchup against a sub-.500 would seem to be the obvious answer.

    But it's not in bizzaro world.

    And, unfortunately, the IHSA has set up permanent residence there.