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Today's News

  • Slowed by an accident, Elliott turns to his love for poetry

    A framed photograph in Roy Elliott’s room shows his shirt tail being cut off, a traditional ritual when someone becomes a licensed airplane pilot.

    A member of Fayette County Civil Defense (now Emergency Management Agency)  for years, he was a jack-of-all-trades with many skills, until a fateful day three years ago when a tree he was trimming fell on him, fracturing his back in two places. Parkinson’s disease entered the picture, rendering him unable to perform routine daily activities.

  • Thiele's hot bat helps Vandals pick up first wins

    The Vandalia baseball team picked up its first two wins of the season this past week, due in large part to Ryan Thiele's contributions at the plate. Thiele has hit three home runs in the past three games.

    "He's played a lot of varsity baseball. He's seen a lot of pitching, and it's paying off his senior year," Vandalia coach Luke Hohlt said. "He just needs to keep driving the ball."

    Vandalia hosted St. Elmo on Monday and came away with its second win of the season in a 16-6 thrashing.

  • Vandals triumphant at Litchfield

    Prior to the season, Vandalia boys track and field coach Jane Bell wasn't sure how many meets the boys team would win this season. After Tuesday's meet at Litchfield, the number is now at least one. Placing first in six events and second or third in 11 more events, the Vandals took first with a team score of 149, edging host school Litchfield by 25 points.

  • BREAKING NEWS--400 block of Gallatin Street open

     The 400 block of Gallatin Street in downtown Vandalia was opened to traffic shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

    Mayor Rick Gottman announced the opening at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, adding that the 300 block of Gallatin, the final block of the project, should be opened to traffic by early next week.

     

  • More information surfaces on country schools

    Several weeks ago, I wrote a column about the one-room country schools dotting the countryside of Fayette County. A question from Vandalia resident Jane Cox prompted the column; and since it was published, interest has grown.

    Bill Stolte of Vandalia telephoned to tell me that he had a school record book from Maple Grove School in Seminary Township that he had saved from destruction. He asked if I would like to look at it.

  • Take time to fill out census form

    Once every decade, the U.S. government asks us to stand up and be counted.

    It’s not some effort to make us feel important. Nor is it an exercise to solicit our opinion on some issue.

    No, it’s more basic than that. The government bean counters want a head count. Yes, it’s census time.

  • Hoffman aids others through counseling

    At last Wednesday’s Lenten Luncheon at First United Methodist Church in Vandalia, Beth Hoffman spoke on the topic of “sacrifice.”

    Sharing in a sincere manner, Hoffman spoke of a time in her life that was a personal struggle, a time of sacrifice that she later came to see as a blessed time, and a time of growth spiritually.

    An accomplished vocalist, she also provided inspirational music for the program, performing a duet with her daughter, Megan.

  • Main Street has architect look at fire damage

    An architect who specializes in historical structures believes that at least part of two buildings damaged by the fire in downtown Vandalia last month can be salvaged.

    Through its affiliation with Illinois Main Street, Vandalia Main Street was able to bring Gail White to town on Monday afternoon.

    White works for White and Borgognoni Architects in Carbondale and is a regional adviser for Landmarks of Illinois, an organization that supports historic preservation in the state.

  • FCH still studying future of ambulance service

    Fayette County Hospital is not ready to abandon its ambulance service just yet.

    At the monthly meeting of the hospital district board on Monday, hospital CEO Greg Starnes said that he’s studied the situation since last month’s board meeting and found that there are “more questions than answers so far.”

    He was referring to a proposal presented at the February meeting from Terry White of the Altamont Ambulance Service, who told the board that he planned to begin offering ambulance service in Fayette County by mid year.

  • Downtown project could be done in a few weeks

    With good weather, Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project could be completed within a month.

    At Vandalia Main Street’s “Mornings on Main Street” gathering last Friday, Terry Fields of Hank’s Excavating & Landscaping of Belleville said workers are making good progress on wrapping up the final two blocks of the project.

    “The bricklayers should be done next week,” Fields said, “and the electricians are coming in next week and by the end of March, they should be done, barring problems with the weather.”