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Today's News

  • Downtown fire sparks old memories

    As I sipped my coffee early in the morning on Feb. 23 and watched a local St. Louis morning television station, it was with surprise and alarm that I saw the name of our town running across the bottom, accompanied by a brief photo of a fire.

    The commentator began the lead-in to the story, and the first image I saw was from a helicopter, with the majestic capitol in the background. As the flames roared and the camera angle changed, I looked for the 1867 M. Hall building that housed Denny Gerkin’s insurance agency, and was relieved to see it standing.

  • Bushue waits to hear for spring assignment

    It was about nine months ago that Houston Astros’ legend Craig Biggio walked to the podium on draft day and called out Tanner Bushue’s name.

    This spring, the former South Central High School pitcher is gearing up for his first full season in the minor leagues. Bushue was drafted last summer in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The righty was taken in the second round, 69th overall, by the Astros.

    Shortly after being drafted, Bushue signed a deal worth $530,000, plus about $1,200 a month.

  • The Depot reopens on Monday evening

    Other than the Statehouse, no other building in Vandalia has captured the imagination of the people of Vandalia like The Depot.

  • Downtown work scheduled to resume on Monday

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman received confirmation on Thursday that work on the downtown enhancement project is scheduled to resume on Monday.

    Gottman said that Hank's Excavating and Landscaping of Belleville, the general contractor for the work, told him that workers will be back on the job at the beginning of next week, weather permitting.

  • VJHS seventh-graders win regional title

    The Vandalia Junior High School seventh-grade volleyball team advanced to sectional play by winning their IESA regional on Thursday.

    This is the first seventh-grade regional title won by VJHS since 2001.

    The VJHS squad will play Casey-Westfield for the sectional tile at 6 p.m. on Monday at Casey-Westfield.

  • Just a day after the fire that destroyed his business, Art Martin was counting his blessings.

    With smoke still rising from the corner where his business stood, the owner of Donaldson’s Carpet, said, “We are fortunate enough to be in a small town.”

    Donaldson was referring to the offers for help he received, including one from his main competitor, Tom DePaolo of DePaolo’s Floor Covering and Home Decorating Center.

  • Aftermath of fire shows character

    Just a day after the fire that destroyed his business, Art Martin was counting his blessings.

    With smoke still rising from the corner where his business stood, the owner of Donaldson’s Carpet, said, “We are fortunate enough to be in a small town.”

    Donaldson was referring to the offers for help he received, including one from his main competitor, Tom DePaolo of DePaolo’s Floor Covering and Home Decorating Center.

  • History of schools full of interesting facts

    My last column dealt with some of the 150-plus Fayette County one-room schools,  through whose doors generations of Fayette County citizens passed. 

    In that column, I mentioned that County Superintendent C.F. Easterday had visited more than 20 country schools, and he shared his report in an issue of The Vandalia Union newspaper.

  • Investigation into last Tuesday's fire continuing

    As the investigation into last week’s downtown fire winds down, and as businesses dislocated by that fire settle into temporary quarters, Vandalia officials have begun efforts to assist those businesses and clean up the charred remains.

    The Vandalia Main Street Program also has announced that it wants to provide information to owners of downtown buildings on preventing both the start and spread of fires.

  • City will ask unions for wage freezes

    In hopes of avoiding layoffs and furlough days, Vandalia officials will be asking city employees to agree to wage freezes for six months.

    After meeting in closed session for close to an hour on Monday, the city council agreed to take proposals for wage increases to the unions representing the city’s laborers, police officers and telecommunicators.

    The city has prepared memorandums of understanding for the pay freezes, which would run from May 1-Oct. 31, and Mayor Rick Gottman said the city will attempt to set up a meeting with the union representatives.