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Today's News

  • Make your mark; help with census

    Residents who feel that they are not valuable participants in the workings of local government can be just that this year.

    The federal government will conduct the 2010 Decennial Census this year in an effort to make sure that every person in this country is counted in the United States' population.

    Why does it matter whether you and I participate in the census?

  • Several freed slaves owned land in county

    At the suggestion of Gale Red, I sat down one day and worked my way through the 1870 Federal Census of Fayette County, searching for men who may have been soldiers of the Confederacy.

    Gale, a member of the Dixon Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is heading up the effort in Illinois to compile a list of all known Confederate veterans buried in the state.

    The results surprised me a little, because as I scanned the entries and identified families from Virginia, Tennessee, etc., all of the Confederate veterans known to us showed up in this census.

  • Brownstown man killed in Wednesday crash

    A Brownstown man was killed in a two-vehicle accident near Ramsey on Wednesday afternoon.

    According to Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen, Micky A. Koehler, 40, sustained fatal injuries in an accident on County Road 2700North, one mile west of Ramsey.

    Bowen said Koehler was eastbound on the county road when he crossed the center line and hit a westbound van head-on. He pronounced Koehler dead at the scene at 5:33 p.m.

    The crash remains under investigation by Bowen’s office and the Illinois State Police.

  • Ramsey man dies in Wednesday accident

    A Ramsey man was killed in a two-vehicle accident south of Brownstown on Wednesday afternoon.

    According to the Illinois State Police, Forest Stokes, 32, died after a 1997 Dodge Neon collided with a 1993 Ford pickup truck driven by Carl J. Sefton, 20, of Brownstown.

  • News about Motown coming

    A Leader-Union exclusive on the city of Vandalia's agreement with Motown Technology & Sports Facility is coming in this week's issue.

  • City sues Letters & Logos for loan defaults

    The city of Vandalia has filed suit asking that a local company that received city loans as part of an incentive package to repay those loans in full due to their failure to comply with the terms of the loan agreements.

    The city filed suit against Letters and Logos Inc. in Fayette County Circuit Court last Thursday, seeking a judgment of just under $90,000.

  • County will seek health insurance rate hikes

    As it continues discussions with the provider of health insurance for county employees, a Fayette County Board committee warns about a significant increase in premiums.

    Dean Bernhardt of the insurance and personnel committee told board members on Tuesday night that the committee has negotiated the upcoming increase down from 29.2 percent to 26.44.

  • Eagles celebrating 30th anniversary

    It is documented that on Feb. 6, 1898, six men sitting on a lumber pile in a shipyard in Seattle, Wash., decided to form an organization that, while providing activities and events for its members, would also focus on helping other individuals, communities and the nation.

    Starting out as a fledgling project, they called it the Order of Good Things. As it grew, and after its formal organization, the name was changed to Fraternal Order of Eagles.

  • Motown project raises red flags

    It’s time for the city of Vandalia to seriously look at discontinuing its relationship with the group that says it wants to build a $300-million sports and entertainment complex in Vandalia.

    Why do we feel that way, in light of all of the jobs and money that the Motown project could bring into our community? The bad check the city received for the traffic study, of course, is one reason; but it is not the only reason.

  • 'Weary Willy' had Fayette connections

    Emmett Kelly, who became famous worldwide as "Weary Willie," the sad-faced clown, had his beginnings in a small Kansas town. But there is a local connection, too.

    Born in Sedan, Kan., on Dec. 9, 1898, Emmett was called “Tater” in his youth, alluding to his Irish heritage. His father, for whom he was named, was a section foreman for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad, and owned the house in which Emmett Jr. saw the first light of day.