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Today's News

  • School district gets first of two state aid payments

    After several anxious weeks of waiting for Gov. Rod Blagojevich to release funds for the final two state aid payments of the fiscal year, the Vandalia School District last Friday received the first of those two installments for June.

    And the final one should be coming soon, Superintendent Rich Well told the Vandalia Board of Education at its monthly meeting Tuesday.

  • Earnest named NCAA 'National Player of the Year'

    Each and every time Vanderbilt bowling coach John Williamson calls Josie Earnest, he says the Vandalia native is doing one of three things.

    Getting ready to practice. Practicing. Or finishing up a practice.

    "She's a relentless worker," Williamson said. "She's always trying to do something a little bit better."

    And thanks in large part to that relentless work ethic, Williamson had the pleasure of dialing up the MVP of his 2007 national championship team last Thursday with news no Vanderbilt coach before him has had the pleasure of delivering.

  • Four local players sign to play softball at KC

    If the Kaskaskia College softball program continues its upward trend over the next two seasons, there's a pretty good chance some familiar names will have a lot to do with it.

    Blue Devils coach Lori Cox describes her 2008 recruiting class as a "great" one. And that class just so happens to include South Central graduate Lauren Matheny and three players from a Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick team that won a program-record 20 games last season - Randi Lilly, Heather Shelton and Kayla Ohnesorge.

  • COLLEGE REPORT: Lovett still optimistic despite not being selected in MLB draft

    Brownstown grad Aaron Lovett wouldn't change a thing about his pitching career at the University of Kentucky.

    He finished a two-year stint at the Southeastern Conference School with the fourth-best career earned run average (3.38) in the program's history, after all, and he helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA Tournament by going 5-1 his senior year.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for Lovett to hear his name called during last weekend's Major League Baseball amateur draft.

  • Sr. Legion has plenty of pitching and catching depth

    Pitchers and catchers are to summer-league baseball what oil is to the world market at the moment.

    Scarce and in demand.

    That said, Post 95 Senior American Legion baseball coach Steve Hosick has to feel like a Saudi Arabian prince right now, as his roster features an unprecedented reserve of pitchers and catchers.

    "We have at least eight pretty salty pitchers right now," said Hosick as he scanned his roster last Thursday. "And we've got at least three guys who can catch for us."

    Potential battery combinations will, indeed, be numerous for the Cardinals.

  • Take in this year's Grande Leve

    During the period that Vandalia served as Illinois capital, Abraham Lincoln and others who walked these streets couldnt just buy a quilt or a basket. They had to make them.

    The people of Vandalia, back in the 1830s, didnt have a radio or television for entertainment. They had only bands that performed the popular music of that period.

    Illinois earliest residents didnt have restaurants that served fast food or family meals. They had to cook their meals over a fire.

  • Fayette County woman ran for president

    So, you think Hillary Clinton was the first woman to run for president? Think again.

    Her name was Victoria Woodhull, and in the year 1872 she was chosen by the Equal Rights Party to run as its candidate for president. She couldnt vote, but she could run for office.

    Born in Homer, Ohio, on Sept. 23, 1838, Victoria California Claflin was married at age 15 to Canning Woodhull. It was her marriage that brought her to Fayette County.

  • November vote on Enhanced 911 expected

    Fayette County residents are likely to vote in November on the addition of Enhanced 911 emergency phone service for the county.

    Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel said at Tuesdays county board meeting that he plans to have the issue on the general election ballot.

    With Enhanced 911 service, county residents provide information about their property, including the presence of hazardous materials, and their family, including particular health issues of family members.

  • Fayette County Relay for Life walking toward 2008 goal

    Though this years Fayette County Relay For Life hasnt yet reached its aggressive goal, co-chair Anita Gottman said she is pretty happy about our progress.

    By midnight Saturday, about halfway through the 12-hour overnight event, she said the effort had raised $56,671 and money is still being turned in, she said Monday. This years goal was $70,000.

    Hopefully, were in reach of our goal, said Gottman, who teamed with co-chair Vickie Miller to organize this years relay.

    Gottman noted that teams are still turning in their pledges and donations.

  • Marsha Wodtka retiring

    Marsha Wodtka has served as Fayette Countys circuit clerk for close to three decades. Now that shes reaching retirement age, shes ready to turn the reins over to someone else and enjoy time with her family.

    Wodtka, who is completing her seventh four-year term as circuit clerk, submitted her resignation to the Fayette County Board on Tuesday night. Her retirement is effective at the end of July.