Today's News

  • 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.

  • British invasion as Challenger Sports hosts soccer clinic

    For the United States, it’s soccer. But for Ryan Elsbury and just about every other country in the world, it’s football.

    Elsbury, a native of Bristol, a city in south west England, was in Vandalia last week coaching the Challenger Sports Soccer Clinic. In addition to trying to say soccer instead of football, Elsbury worked with groups of kids 9 and under and ages 10-14 on soccer skills.

  • City posts highway signs honoring athletic achievements

    Over the past few weeks, city officials have posted highway signs acknowledging Vandalia’s achievements in both junior high and high school athletics.

    This past spring, as an eighth grader at Vandalia Junior High School, Sierah Ruffner placed third in the high jump at the ISEA State Track and Field Meet.

    Ruffner qualified for state with a jump of 5 feet at the sectional championships. At the state meet in Peoria, Ruffner placed third with another jump of 5 feet. Her jump is also the school record in the event.

  • Field of Dreams Committee outlines renovation plans

    Tuesday night, the newly formed “Field of Dreams Committee” held its first meeting regarding renovating and upgrading baseball and softball fields throughout the city of Vandalia.

    The committee outlined its proposed goals in a four-phase plan.

  • Cowger takes home MVP honors at Rivals.com's Top 100 camp in July

    While most high school students pass the summer months working at odd jobs around town, playing video games or simply relaxing, Will Cowger has spent his summer trying improve his chances of playing college football.

    Cowger, entering his senior year as a defensive lineman for VCHS, finished last season with 36 solo tackles, sixth on the team and second among returning players. He assisted in another 32 stops. Cowger had a team-high 15 tackles for a loss, totaling 113 lost yards for opponents.

  • It's up to us to save VCC jobs

    Once again, Vandalia officials are doing everything possible to preserve jobs at Vandalia Correctional Center. And, once again, local residents are encouraged to be part of that effort.

    This latest tussle between the state and our community comes about five years after a local effort, led by Mayor Rick Gottman, staved off then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to close VCC. The key player in that fight was the public.