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Today's News

  • Watson served us for three decades

    There was quite a bit of irony in one of the last speeches given in the Illinois Senate chambers by state Sen. Frank Watson.

    As he addressed the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Greenville senator asked, supposedly in a rhetorical tone, who had been there to stop Blagojevich from going against the wishes of the Illinois General Assembly and the residents of the state.

    He answered his own question, saying, “No one.”

  • Bermuda Triangle has local connection

    The Western Union telegram came late in the day of July 11, 1945, to Mr. and Mrs. O.E. Garner of Rural Route 1, Vandalia.

    Dispatched by the Commanding Officer at Naval Air Station, Banana River, Fla., the standard tersely written telegram read: "Regret to inform you that your son Thomas Arthur Garner AMM3C missing since about 0215 July 10, 1945, while on a routine training flight search being conducted will keep you promptly advised.”

  • Lady Vandals wrap up perfect conference season

     There's an old saying that proclaims that it's not how you start that's important - but how you finish.

    That said, the Vandalia girls basketball team is feeling great heading into the postseason following its fourth-straight strong showing to close out the regular season, a 45-32 victory Monday at Staunton.

    But, ironically, a key to the Lady Vandals' strong finish has been a string of outstanding starts.

  • Frank Watson resigns Senate seat

    Three months after stepping down as the minority leader in the Illinois Senate, Frank Watson has announced that he will resign from his Senate seat.

    Watson, the Greenville pharmacist who has represented this region in the Illinois General Assembly for more than three decades, said Monday that his resignation from the Senate will be effective on Monday, Feb. 16.

    Watson cited several reasons for leaving the Senate, among those the need to continue vigorous rehabilitation from a stroke he suffered last October.

  • Consolidation meetings held in Brownstown, St. Elmo

    Residents of Brownstown and St. Elmo had two opportunities last week to learn about the proposed consolidation of their school districts.

    They also had the chance to ask questions about the proposed consolidation, which will go before the voters on April 7.

    Each of the two informational meetings – on Wednesday in Brownstown and on Thursday in St. Elmo – drew about 90 people.

  • Wehrle wins top ballot spot for mayoral election

    By winning a coin toss last Wednesday, John D. Wehrle Jr. gained the top spot on the ballot in Vandalia's mayoral election this April.

    The coin toss was held because Wehrle and Rick Gottman, who is seeking a third term as mayor, both filed nominating petitions at the same time.

    The third mayoral candidate, Neil Clark, will appear third on the ballot.

    A coin toss was also held for the race for a two-year Ward II aldermanic seat.

  • Vandalia will hold a larger Lincoln's Birthday celebration

    While Vandalia traditionally has observed Abraham Lincoln’s birthday with a celebration, the one for his 200th birthday next Thursday will be a little bit bigger.

    As always, the main birthday celebration will be at the Vandalia Statehouse, but even that program will be a little different than the one in years past.

    This year’s birthday program will be on the second floor of the Statehouse, in the House of Representatives chambers, where Lincoln began his career in politics.

  • Family Y gets big donation, 99-year lease at Grand Raffle

    The Family Y of Fayette County, at its annual Grand Raffle event on Saturday, announced several major developments in its efforts to build a new facility in Vandalia.

    Under the theme of “Building the Future,” the fund-raising event raised money for the YMCA’s 2009 operating budget.

    But this year, it also served as a platform to announce the receipt of two significant donations toward the construction of the organization’s proposed $2 million building.

  • Monday at 9 a.m.: Frank Watson stepping down

    State Sen. Frank Watson announced on Monday morning that he will be resigning from the Illinois Senate.

    Watson, a Greenville resident who has served as the Senate minority leader in recent years, continues to recover from a stroke he suffered last October.

    Watson said Monday morning that he is resigning for several reasons, including his need to continue rehabilitation and his desire to spend more time with his family, which includes wife Susan, two children and a grandson.

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

  • Lady Vandals set wins record on Senior Night

    Senior Night could not have been sweeter Monday for the Vandalia girls basketball team.

    Not only did the Lady Vandals pick up their 23rd win of the season – breaking last year's program record – they did it against their biggest rival, beating Pana for the second time in as many weeks, 48-34.