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Today's News

  • Out with the old, in with the new

    As we prepare to close out 2008, we pause to remember the good, the bad and the ugly of the year just past ­– and to anticipate the year ahead.

    For a few, 2008 was a banner year. Others, however, can’t wait to tear off the last month of the calendar and put the year behind them. For most, it was a mixed bag.

    National Politics

  • Caring mom overcomes soldiers' loneliness

    In several of my past columns, I have relied on the experiences of my sister, Sandy, a retired-Navy wife, for stories about hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, earth tremors and such.

    Sandy has another experience that I have never shared – sending a son off to the military.

    Sandy was 18 when she married a career Navy man, Jim "Zeke" Sampson, formerly of the Jimpson neighborhood in Ramsey township.

  • WEEKEND UPDATE: Cougars move to 3-0, Vandals fall to Altamont

    South Central moved to 3-0 in Vandalia Holiday Tournament play Saturday night with a 45-40 win over three-time defending champion Wesclin.

    The fourth-seeded Cougars thrashed No. 8 Shelbyville, 70-43, in its Pool B opener Friday and used a big second half to cruise past 10th-seeded Flora in its first game Saturday, 61-40.

    They will look to clinch a spot in Tuesday's title game for the second year in a row with an upset of top-seeded Greenville (3-0) Monday at 8 p.m.

  • Lady Vandals move to 10-0

     Improving to 10-0 is going to get a team noticed, no matter who they beat to get there.

    Doing so against Breese Central - and doing so by 11 points - will get a team something much more than recognition, however.

    Beating a program the caliber of the Lady Cougars equals respect.

  • Nave family has links to Cherokee nation

    It was a query from a Texas woman, Dara Gray Brown, which piqued my interest in the Nave and Pugh families of Ramsey Township.

    Dara was descended from Tennessee Teter and Sara Pugh Nave through their son, David Pugh Nave, and told me that her Nave family was a member of the Bird Clan of the Cherokee nation.

    Through her family research, Dara had identified the Nave, Pugh, Gray, Wesner and Lippert (Leopard) families of Fayette County as having Cherokee lineage.

  • Giving us the gift we don't deserve

    It’s nearly Christmas time! We’ve come to the end of the most wonderful holiday season of the year – one anticipated by young and old alike.

    It’s a season that’s easy to love. Of course, there are the presents; we all enjoy giving and receiving things. There are the holiday traditions – the sights and sounds and smells we have filed away in our memories from Christmases past. And there are the many opportunities to gather with friends and family.

  • York will get to argue on conflict of interest

    A rural Ramsey man who was found guilty of first-degree murder in October will have the opportunity to argue for a new sentence.

    At a hearing on Tuesday morning, Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge S. Gene Schwarm appointed Vandalia attorney Marc Kelly to represent Michael York in future court proceedings.

  • Warrants issued for Vandalia burglaries

    Warrants have been issued for two individuals in connection with a string of burglaries in Vandalia, and the investigation into those burglaries is continuing.

    Vandalia Police Chief Larry Eason said on Monday that his department received reports on Dec. 11 of several burglaries to vehicles and residences in an area between Fourth and Sixth streets, north of Randolph Street.

    On Dec. 17, Eason said, the VPD made a controlled buy of an item stolen during the burglaries.

  • Statehouse will reopen

    Local residents who were excited about planning local activities at the Vandalia Statehouse to honor the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln in 2009 can now get busy making those plans.

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman learned late Thursday that the state had accepted an offer from the city that allows for the reopening of the Statehouse.

    That offer includes a gift of up to about $35,000 from an anonymous donor. The money given by the individual to the Old Capitol Foundation is enough to pay the annual salary of a second employee at the Vandalia Statehouse.

  • Jury finds Vandalia man guilty of sex crime

    A Fayette County jury last Thursday found a Vandalia man guilty of criminal sexual assault.

    That jury deliberated a little more than five hours before returning a guilty verdict in the case of Taylor D. Killen, 18.

    Killen was charged with the Class 1 felony on March 3 of this year by the office of Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel.

    The charge alleges that Killen sexually assaulted a female under the age of 17.