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Today's News

  • Hulda and Clifford Nickels celebrating 98th Christmases

    Hulda and Clifford Nickels, who are celebrating their 98th Christmases this year, reached back into their memories to recall Christmases of many years ago.

    They were both born in 1910, and met and married much later in their lives. They lived south on Ill. Route 185 for years, until moving to Fayette County Hospital Long Term Care several years ago. They seem very content in their room, which is furnished with comfortable furniture and personalized with their own belongings and family pictures.

  • Jeweled frame gift keeps memories alive

    At our annual Torbeck Family Reunion this past July at the Senior Citizen’s Center in Vandalia, I arrived with my family and looked around to see who was already there.

    As I looked around the room, I saw some of my immediate family, and cousins of my dad, the oldest members of the family. In the days of my childhood, the numbers attending the reunion numbered 100, but now it is down to the 20-plus dutiful family members, for the most part descendents of Johann Joachim Torbeck, who was 3 years old when his parents sailed to America.

  • 'Tis the season to shop locally

    With the Christmas season in Vandalia successfully kicked off by Vandalia Main Street's recent Olde Tyme Christmas celebration, it's now time to make the arrival of the season official. That will be accomplished when Santa Claus comes to town in this Saturday's Rotary Christmas Parade.

    The 10 a.m. event, sponsored by the Vandalia Rotary Club, begins near the Fayette County Courthouse and proceeds east on Gallatin Street to Fourth Street, where Santa will exit his sleigh and visit with children in the Lincoln Park gazebo.

  • Storyboard dedication ceremony moved to City Hall

    Vandalia’s Looking for Lincoln Committee believed that the perfect time to officially unveil the community’s new Abraham Lincoln storyboards was Dec. 14, during the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse.

    And while the unveiling ceremony has been kept on that day, the committee has had to move its celebration.

    The dedication ceremony for Vandalia’s 10 Lincoln wayside exhibits will now be held at Vandalia City Hall on Sunday, Dec. 13.

  • Norma Englejohn retiring after close to 50 years as a nurse

    When Norma Englejohn was just a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a nurse.

    “I was born and raised in Loogootee,” she said, “and I honestly can’t remember when I didn’t want to be a nurse.”

    That goal never changed, and further influenced by her pastor’s wife, who was a retired registered nurse, she attained her goal, graduating from Deaconess School of Nursing in St. Louis in 1960.

    Her career with Fayette County Hospital actually began in 1958, when she worked as a nurse’s aide while attending nursing school.

  • Statehouse closing at end of day on Sunday

    One of the biggest local events during the holiday season is the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse. Each year, several hundred people enjoy the old state capitol bathed in candlelight, period music and holiday refreshments.

    But, this December, both local residents and those who come from miles away, won’t be able to enjoy the holiday event.

    The Christmas Open House won’t be held on Dec. 14 as planned, because the Vandalia Statehouse will be closed as of Monday.

  • Etcheson earns all-state Honor

    Sometimes, in order to be considered among of the best, you have to beat the best.

    That old saying has proved doubly true for VCHS senior Jake Etcheson.

    Vandalia football coach John Stout decided to move Etcheson from safety to cornerback in the Vandals’ pivotal Week 7 showdown with Staunton in an effort to shut down the aptly-named Cody Best – considered one of the top wideouts in the region.

    Etcheson did just that, finishing with four pass breakups, including two that saved touchdowns late in the game, helping Vandalia hang on for a 7-0 win.

  • Route 51 meetings are next week in Ramsey, Vandalia

    The Illinois Department of Transportation will again seek comments from Fayette County residents as it continues to work on the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 between Decatur and Centralia.

    Representatives of IDOT and Clark-Dietz Engineers, which is serving as a consulting engineering firm for the Route 51 project, will be present at public meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday.

    From 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday, those representatives will be at the Ramsey Village Hall. They will also be at the Ramada Inn Ltd. in Vandalia on Wednesday from noon-6 p.m.

  • Improvements made to Leader-Union Web site

    Starting this week, people who go online to www.leaderunion.com to get local news, weather, sports, obituaries and advertising information will notice a few changes in The Leader-Union Web site.

    The newspaper is in the midst of a platform change for the Web site, with some improvements being added in the initial stage of that change.

    All of the information that has been available at www.leaderunion.com, including complete obituary information that goes online as we receive it, will still be there, albeit in a slightly different format.

  • Watson needs to take care of himself for now

    State government just won’t be the same in the future.

    But more important than losing state Sen. Frank Watson’s presence among the state’s leaders at the bargaining table is the future health of our long-time representative in Springfield.

    Watson made his first visit to Springfield last week after suffering a stroke. Yet his recovery is far from over, with many challenging days, weeks and months ahead.