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Today's News

  • St. Elmo outlasts Beecher for third place, freshman Beasley named tourney MVP

    St. Elmo’s basketball future looks brighter everyday. The reason the next few seasons hold so much promise is because of Connor Beasley and Blake Pruett. Beasley, who is only a freshman, has had a sensational first half of the season and capped it off with a 17-point performance in the third-place game of the 50th annual St. Elmo Holiday Tournament on Saturday night. Beasley was named tournament MVP later in the evening and has all of St. Elmo buzzing.

  • City receives report on river intake

    Vandalia officials are hoping to hear just after the first of the year an answer to its problem with the city’s raw water intake on the Kaskaskia River.

    Alderman Larry Cable, chairman of the city council’s water and disposal plants committee, reported at Monday’s council meeting that an engineering firm hired by the city to inspect the intake will present its findings on Jan. 4.

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Because of the weather and the holidays, work on the downtown enhancement project has come to a stop until after the first of next year.

    But that will not cause the project to be delayed past the scheduled completion date.

    In fact, the downtown project continues to be far ahead of schedule, according to reports from city officials.

    At Monday’s meeting of the Vandalia City Council, Mayor Rick Gottman reported that the project is about 85-percent complete.

  • Two homes damaged by fire last week

    Two area homes sustained substantial damage from fires late last week.

    Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Vandalia firefighters were summoned to the home of Terry Alsbury northeast of Vandalia.

    When it was discovered that the home is in the Brownstown Fire Protection District, firefighters from Brownstown were also dispatched.

    Both fire departments arrived at the scene at the same time, 12:47 p.m., and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves of the home.

  • Arnold shares his best, worst Christmases

    Dave Arnold, custodian at Brownstown Elementary School, is well known as the “school custodian poet,” not only in this area, but also far and wide in the nation’s public schools network and associations.

    He also is known for his moral standards, sense of humor, generosity and various other gifts and talents, such as woodworking.

    Dave’s love for his job as the elementary school custodian and his respect, support and understanding for the teachers and school officials is also notable, as is his rapport with the children.

  • 99, 100, 101...

    Starting in his freshman year, Vandalia Community High School wrestler Alex Foster got off to a pretty good clip in stacking up victories. After his sophomore season, he was already at 62 wins, more than halfway to the coveted 100 wins club. It's an exclusive club that only 18 former Vandal wrestlers are a part of.

    “Knowing that not everyone is going to get their hundred wins, this is a pretty hard achievement,” Foster said.

    On Saturday afternoon, the group welcomed Foster as its first new member since Adam Bowling a few years ago.

  • Grandma's long-distance love affair

    Grandma (Berniece Meyer Davidson Spires) first met Eddie Spires in 1928, when she was 16 years old. Eddie had accompanied his buddy, Ed McNutt, to Bingham to visit Ed’s girl, Lenore Harrison, who lived there. Ed and Lenore later married.

    Both men lived east of Ramsey – Eddie Spires in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. For Eddie, it was love at first sight, although Berniece did not know this. Distance and lack of transportation kept them from meeting again – until after World War II.

  • Generosity sets Fayette County apart

    Perhaps more than any other time of the year, the Christmas holiday season brings out the generous spirit of the people of Fayette County.

    Though we’ve come to expect acts of selfless generosity from area residents, this year has produced more than normal, it seems.

    Everywhere one turns, another group has taken on another project to help those less fortunate, to support someone through an illness or to brighten the Christmas season for the needy. It is, indeed, a heartwarming thing to witness.

    A sampling:

  • School administrative staff will be reorganized

    Like other school districts around the state, the Vandalia Community School District is watching its finances carefully. Delinquent payments from the state and rising operating costs are chipping away at districts' reserves – if they’re fortunate enough to have any.

    To maximize the local district’s chances of success in the midst of that budget squeeze, Superintendent Rich Well announced on Tuesday a plan to reorganize the district office administrative staff.

  • Prison workers' union supports study of early-release program

    A hostage situation, the third in recent history, offers continuing proof that Illinois needs to address staffing shortages at state prisons, according to a union official at Vandalia Correctional Center.

    On Monday, an inmate at Pinckneyville Correctional Center held a 62-year-old prison employee hostage. The hostage situation was resolved when that inmate, who was serving a sentence for aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping, was fatally shot.

    This kidnapping followed sexual assaults of prison workers by inmates at Jacksonville and Dwight prisons.