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Today's News

  • House, Senate must reverse misguided cuts

    After a couple of weeks of feeling the sting of the public’s frustration, members of the Illinois House of Representatives this week have an opportunity to correct the misguided budget cuts mandated by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    As they gather in Springfield, state House members must come up with an alternative budget plan that makes more sense than the random cuts the governor required of state agency heads in late August. Then, they must convince their counterparts in the state Senate to follow suit.

  • Grocer fleeced in raccoon skin scam

    From the time of the earliest settlements in Fayette County, money was rarely used. The settlers bartered skins for goods.

    James Evans, whose father, Akin, was Fayette County’s sheriff and tax collector in 1836-1839, 1846-1849 and 1852-1854, wrote that if you did not have gold or silver to pay your taxes, you could catch a few raccoons and pay your taxes with their skins. You could not pay with paper money, as it was not legal tender.

  • City gets $454,000 settlement from ICG

    After it shut down its north-side line from Freeport to Centralia in the early 1980s, Illinois Central Gulf Railroad began selling off the rail line right of way. The problem was that the land wasn’t ICG’s to sell.

    The recent conclusion of a class action suit provided reimbursement to the municipalities, organizations and individuals that purchased the land from ICG. Included in the settlement was the city of Vandalia.

  • Water, sewer rate hike likely

    Vandalia residents will likely see small increases in their water and sewer rates, starting next month.

    A 6.08-percent increase in water rates and a .59-percent hike in sewer rates are what’s being recommended, and what will go into effect unless the city council decides otherwise at its meeting next Monday night.

  • Committee recommends implementation of boulevard parking restrictions

    Vandalia residents whose vehicles have been blocking passages for pedestrians and vehicular traffic – even when they use their driveway – have been given a few weeks to come up with a new parking spot.

    And as the enforcement of the city ordinance that prohibits obstructing traffic is stepped up, the city is putting in place new guidelines for parking vehicles on residential boulevards.

    At a lengthy meeting last Wednesday night, the Vandalia City Council’s streets and sewers committee agreed to have the city enforce the following ordinance:

  • City likely will implement boulevard parking restrictions

    The days in which Vandalia residents can park on unimproved boulevards are likely limited.

    That's because a Vandalia City Council committee is recommended that in order for residents to park on boulevards in front of their homes, that area must covered with either concrete, asphalt or CA-6 rock.

    That's the recommendation formulated by the council's streets and sewers committee at a meeting last Wednesday.

    That committee recommended that enforcement of that ordinance amendment begin on Oct. 1.

    For the full story, see this Thursday's issue of The Leader-Union.

  • Ramsey bank robber gets 20 years

    About two months after pleading guilty to the robbery of First National Bank in Ramsey last November, a Springfield man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    Jason M. Echols, 33, was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Benton.

    Courtney Cox, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said that the 20-year sentence will run consecutively with an 11-month sentence imposed in federal court for violating the terms of supervised release in that district.

  • Midland States Bank buy two Peoples National Bank facilities

    Peoples National Bank announced on Wednesday that Midland States Bank will be acquiring its Effingham and Vandalia banking facilities.

    “We are very happy with the Effingham and Vandalia branches and are proud to have had the opportunity to serve our customers in these two markets. The sale of these two branches provides a great opportunity for us to redeploy assets to take advantage of growth opportunities in our core market areas,” said President Bill Bonan.

  • Area Community Calendar

    Thursday, September 4

    • 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 Sylvia Davis at 217-823-2607.

    •The Fayette County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors will meet at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1221 W. Fillmore St., Vandalia.

  • Technicality costs Vandals a 7-0 start

    Synergy has helped a young Vandalia golf team race out to a strong start this season.

    But a technicality kept the Vandals from continuing a perfect start Monday at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course in Alton.

    Freshman Derrick Herker's 41 would have led the Vandals to victories over host Marquette and Piasa-Southwestern, improving Vandalia's record to 7-0.

    But he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

    Due to the disqualification, VCHS had to count a 51, which dropped its score to 192 - five strokes behind Marquette (187) and just one behind the Birds (191).