Today's News

  • Recycling continues to grow in Fayette County

    Recycling is not a passing fad in Fayette County.

    Area residents quickly latched onto the idea of turning in recyclable materials when the Fayette County Recycling Committee offered its first collection last fall, and participation in the monthly collections has continued to grow.

    “It is really going over strong,” said Karen Sanders of the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District, one of the people who got the recycling efforts off the ground.

  • Health department working on new quarters

    The Fayette County Health Department is moving ahead with plans to renovate the building that will serve as its new home.

    FCHD Administrator Rhonda Andrews told the Fayette County Board on Tuesday night that the department has hired a law firm and architect as it proceeds toward the renovation of the former home of Leo Brown Lumber in Vandalia.

    The health department purchased the building in the 400 block of West Edwards Street in the fall of 2008, and the county approved a 10-year, $400,000 loan to the department for the renovation project.

  • New Catholic priest happy to be back in the area

    The Rev. Joseph Havrilka, often referred to as the new priest of Mother of Dolors Catholic Church in Vandalia, has followed his calling for God’s service in several states, and in various areas of service. He came to Vandalia in July 2009.

    A native of Pana, he has lived in Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas in previous assignments with the Catholic Church. He taught in parochial schools, and before coming to Vandalia, was a hospital chaplain in Alton. He also filled in on weekends for priests who were ill or on vacation.

  • Seventh-graders win first regional since 2001

    The Vandalia Junior High School seventh-grade girls volleyball team won its first regional title since 2001, defeating Toledo Cumberland, 25-23, 21-25 and 25-17 on last Thursday night.

    The Lady Vandals advanced to the sectional on Monday night, with a trip to state on the line. They couldn't overcome Casey-Westfield attack heavy offense and lost, 25-14, 25-23.

    "This was the best team we've played all year," Coach Jane Bell said. "They had the most attacks on us all year."

  • Think before doing any burning

    Saturday was one of the best indications that spring is just around the corner – a relatively warm day with very little wind. It was the perfect day for many types of outdoor activities, but burning trash or brush was not one of them.

    Saturday was a reminder that people need to take several factors into consideration when they do any type of outdoor burning, including the wind. And they need to watch over their fires at all times, a hose at the ready in case the fire starts to spread.

  • Downtown fire sparks old memories

    As I sipped my coffee early in the morning on Feb. 23 and watched a local St. Louis morning television station, it was with surprise and alarm that I saw the name of our town running across the bottom, accompanied by a brief photo of a fire.

    The commentator began the lead-in to the story, and the first image I saw was from a helicopter, with the majestic capitol in the background. As the flames roared and the camera angle changed, I looked for the 1867 M. Hall building that housed Denny Gerkin’s insurance agency, and was relieved to see it standing.

  • Bushue waits to hear for spring assignment

    It was about nine months ago that Houston Astros’ legend Craig Biggio walked to the podium on draft day and called out Tanner Bushue’s name.

    This spring, the former South Central High School pitcher is gearing up for his first full season in the minor leagues. Bushue was drafted last summer in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The righty was taken in the second round, 69th overall, by the Astros.

    Shortly after being drafted, Bushue signed a deal worth $530,000, plus about $1,200 a month.

  • The Depot reopens on Monday evening

    Other than the Statehouse, no other building in Vandalia has captured the imagination of the people of Vandalia like The Depot.

  • Downtown work scheduled to resume on Monday

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman received confirmation on Thursday that work on the downtown enhancement project is scheduled to resume on Monday.

    Gottman said that Hank's Excavating and Landscaping of Belleville, the general contractor for the work, told him that workers will be back on the job at the beginning of next week, weather permitting.

  • VJHS seventh-graders win regional title

    The Vandalia Junior High School seventh-grade volleyball team advanced to sectional play by winning their IESA regional on Thursday.

    This is the first seventh-grade regional title won by VJHS since 2001.

    The VJHS squad will play Casey-Westfield for the sectional tile at 6 p.m. on Monday at Casey-Westfield.