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Today's News

  • Ethics reform, openness vital

    There’s a fresh breeze blowing in Springfield.

    After the embarrassing events surrounding the arrest and impeachment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on alleged ethics violations, people are actually talking about the need for more openness in government and for shoring up the ethical standards we expect from our elected representatives.

  • Vandalia connections followed Lincoln

    In my previous column, I mentioned that Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s neighbor, Julia Remann Sprigg, was reared in Vandalia. The Lincolns lived across Eighth Street from the Sprigg household.

    Julia, a widow, had boys, too, and Willie and Tad Lincoln were frequent guests in the home with the Sprigg back yard one of the children’s familiar haunts.

    Julia’s brother, Henry Remann, lived a block from his sister, so members of his family, too, were Lincoln neighbors. Both Henry and Julia left Vandalia after the capital was moved to Springfield.

  • Vandalia to receive stimulus road monies

    Vandalia will be getting at least $200,000 in federal stimulus monies.

    Mayor Rick Gottman told the Vandalia City Council on Monday that the Illinois Department of Transportation notified him last Wednesday that the city’s share of $281 million for transportation improvements is $210,978.

    “We haven’t decided yet how we will use those funds,” Gottman said on Wednesday.

    “We need to sit down and take a look at how we can best use that money to benefit the city.”

    Fayette County’s allotment is $410,144.

  • New senator traveling throughout the 51st District

    Kyle McCarter sees his service in the Illinois Senate as another step in his commitment to serving people.

    And while McCarter is excited to get started in serving the 51st District, which includes Fayette County, is quick to admit that he’s not the first in his family to want a seat in the Senate.

    “Actually, it’s my son’s goal,” said McCarter, who was chosen on Saturday, Feb. 21, to succeed Frank Watson, the Greenville Republican who stepped down after more than 25 years in the Senate and the past six as the minority leader.

  • Long-time pianist Polly Grinnell honored at EO

    Last Monday, the Evergreen Outreach party was a special one, as they celebrated EO charter member Polly Grinnell’s 90th birthday with songs, well wishes, refreshments, and balloons.

    And the guest of honor reciprocated by sitting down at the piano and playing one of her favorite songs, “Turkey In the Straw.”

    Polly, who was born on Feb. 15, 1919, began taking piano lessons when she was 8 years old and was urged diligently by her mother to practice, practice, practice.

  • Home and Lifestyle Expo is Saturday

    Prizes! Giveaways! Booth after booth of area merchants offering goods and services for your home, your back yard or your business!

    It’s all at the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce’s Home & Lifestyle Expo. And it’s this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the gymnasium and cafeteria of Vandalia Junior High School.

  • Five get big sentences for meth

    Five Fayette County men who previously pleaded guilty in federal court to having roles in a large methamphetamine conspiracy were given lengthy prison sentences late last week.

    A. Courtney Cox, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced on Friday that Thomas E. Wilkerson of Shobonier and Vandalia residents David M. Murray, Donald R. Schultz, Billy D. York and Wesley Dean Conner were sentenced for conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with the intent to deliver 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

  • Lebanon business owner tabbed to succeed Watson

    A Lebanon business owner who has been serving on the St. Clair County Board has been picked to succeed Frank Watson as state senator for the 51st District.

    Kyle McCarter was chosen from a field of 11 candidates for the seat, which Watson vacated on Feb. 16. Among those candidates was Randy Pollard of Vandalia, the Fayette County Republican Central Committee chairman.

    McCarter was chosen by the 51st District Legislative Committee on Saturday afternoon, after a day-long interview process involving the 11 candidates.

  • York decides to accept sentence

    A rural Ramsey man convicted of killing his unborn child has decided not to fight for a lighter sentence.

    In a court hearing that lasted only about a minute, Michael York confirmed to Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm that he was withdrawing his attempt to have his sentence reduced.

    A Fayette County jury found York guilty in October of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated battery of a pregnant person. He was charged with beating Krystal Heggie, who was pregnant with his baby.

  • Teens, adults help youth through Learning Link

    OUR PLACE Youth Center in downtown Vandalia is a popular gathering place for young people, offering a highly-visible, safe and pleasant environment, with entertainment, games and opportunities to grow in character, individuality, self-esteem and tutoring to aid their education.

    Seeing the need for an attractive and safe place for youth to gather, Phyllis Rames set forth to provide such a place and campaigned for volunteers and the support of others to make this happen..