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Today's News

  • School district focusing on new teaching practices

    After hearing several groups of teachers report on their efforts to incorporate Standards Aligned Classroom teaching practices, the Vandalia Board of Education discussed a number of personnel issues in a two-hour executive session on Tuesday.

    The district began the SAC program last year, and Superintendent Rich Well said that more teachers will be trained each year. “It’s our goal to get all our teachers through the program,” Well said. “It meshes well with our curriculum mapping, and we feel it’s been very beneficial.”

  • AT&T finally adds 911 surcharge

    Fayette County residents who have landline phone service through AT&T were expecting the surcharge for Enhanced 911 to begin showing up on their bills as early as last December … or January … or February.

    The surcharge began showing up on the most recent AT&T bills, and residents were surprised to see about $30 added to their bills for E911.

    The members of Fayette County’s Emergency Telephone Systems Board discussed the surcharge billing at their monthly meeting last Thursday evening.

  • Betty Feezel remembers Carter Oil's Williams Camp

    “One Happy Family” is the title of an article published in the August 1946 issue of “The Link” a Carter Oil Co. publication.

    In part, the article states: “Life in a Carter camp is like life everywhere – just about what one chooses to make it. … 200 people in the Williams Camp are taking full advantage of the opportunity to make a small community like a rich one for all concerned.

  • Vandalia track squads continue setting records

    Three individuals and one relay team on the Vandalia boys track team earned a place at Saturday’s Pana Open track meet.

    Angel Osorio led the Vandals with a first-place performance in the high jump. The junior cleared 6 feet, 4 inches to lead the field. The second-place jump was 6 feet.

    Senior Drew Bell battled rival Blake Delong of Hillsboro for most of the race, but had to settle for second place as Delong pulled away to set a new meet record of 4:29.82. Bell’s time was 4:33.98.

  • Josie Earnest leads the country in average pin count

    Most teams in the country would have been tremendously happy.

    But when you are hoping for another NCAA Division I championship, finishing fifth can be a bitter pill to swallow. The Vanderbilt University bowling team was ousted from the national championships by the University of Central Missouri, which defeated Vanderbilt 4-0.

    “The 2009-10 season started on Friday afternoon as soon as that game ended,” said Vandalia grad Josie Earnest, a Vanderbilt junior.

  • Area softball roundup

    Mulberry Grove 11, Vandalia 0

    Mulberry Grove held the Lady Vandals to five hits in a five-inning contest on Tuesday.

    Audra Donaldson suffered the loss, giving up six hits while striking out three. None of the Lady Aces’ runs were earned.

    Donaldson also had two of Vandalia’s five hits. Amanda Walton and Laura Hobbie both doubled in the first inning, but neither was able to score. Taylor Brown reached on a single also in the first inning.

    Endia Fletcher’s 2-for-3 performance at the plate included two triples, and she scored twice.

  • TIF committee recommends funds for seven projects

    Vandalia’s Tax Increment Financing Committee is recommending to the city council that it use the limited TIF monies now available to help fund seven improvement projects.

    The TIF Committee decided on Tuesday to recommend several smaller TIF grants and to allow a property tax benefit for two of the seven projects.

    The committee voted to endorse TIF grants for:

    • Thompson’s Home Center, $7,500

    • Dr. Mark Brunk, $7,500.

    • Fred Metzger, $1,554.

    • The Leader-Union, $2,630.

  • Mason has long history working with horses

    If you see a cowboy riding his horse down the street amid traffic in Vandalia, you could be reminded of the old big-city-based TV series, “McCloud."

    That cowboy is Brad Mason, doing what he likes to do best – work with horses

    Brad, one of Don Mason’s sons, was born and reared with his dad’s horses, and his background includes roping cattle, breaking horses to ride, working as a farrier for 13 years and working with horses at a racetrack. He still practices roping locally, but hasn’t made the rodeo circuit recently.

  • Closing DHS office not a sensible move

    A state office that is ostensibly designed to help people who are down on their luck or have specials needs will become inaccessible to many of those people if a recently announced plan is enacted.

    Late last month, the Illinois Department of Human Services announced its plans to close 17 of its rural offices – including the one in Vandalia that serves Fayette County residents – as a cost-savings move. State officials said that Fayette County residents would be served out of an office in Centralia if the proposal goes into effect on July 16 as planned.

  • Sharing the joy of music was way of life

    This past week, the music emitting from my "antique" cassette player has been old country from a March 13, 1989, “Okaw Valley Opry” show.

    Joining Bill and Evelyn Oliver on stage were daughter Connie Lee, vocals; Mike Eulberg, bass and vocals; Rick Stanbery, drums; Buddy Olsteen, banjo, steel guitar and vocals; and Dale Torbeck, fiddle and general cuttin’ up.

    Listening to the show, I feel as though I am a member of the audience. I laugh at Dale’s jokes and applaud the musicians along with the live audience. What fun!