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Today's News

  • BREAKING NEWS – Vandalia Statehouse will close

    The doors to the Vandalia Statehouse will be closed to tourists in a month.

    A spokesperson for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency confirmed early Friday morning that the Statehouse is one of 12 state historic sites that are being closed as part of massive cuts implemented by the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    The cutbacks include laying off 450 state workers, closing two dozen state parks and cutbacks in the state departments of Children and Family Services, Natural Resources and Human Services.

  • Goggin officially a write-in candidate

    Dan Goggin officially became a write-in state's attorney candidate on Friday.

    Goggin filed the paperwork with Fayette County Clerk and Recorder Terri D. Braun that entitles him to be a write-in candidate.

    He is seeking to defeat two-term incumbent Stephen Friedel, a Democrat.

  • Historic sites cuts listed

    The following cuts at Illinois' state historic sites are as follows:

    • Lincoln’s New Salem, Petersburg: Will open seven days per week starting in spring 2009 using funds from the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. The site is currently open five days per week, and received 432,176 visitors in 2007.

  • Vandals hope to weather 'Storm'

    The National Weather Service is forecasting a slight chance of thunderstorms in the area Friday night.

    But you can rest assured, there is a 100 percent chance of a storm passing through Vandalia at about 7 p.m.

    The only question is whether it'll be of the severe variety or a mere thundershower.

    The Sangamon Valley Storm will be visiting Mark Greer Field for its first-ever meeting with the Vandals in both teams' 2008 season-opener.

  • Earnest selected for Junior Team USA

    Patience has never been Jessica Earnest's strong suit.

    For years, people have been telling the VCHS senior bowling standout that her day in the sun was coming soon.

    "But I didn't want to hear that," Earnest said. "I wanted it now. I am very impatient."

    So after placing eighth last month at the 11th annual Junior Gold Championships in Detroit, Earnest was distinctly out of her element.

  • Both sides win

    The agreement inked last week between the Vandalia Board of Education and the Vandalia Unit Teachers' Association marks a successful conclusion to an important negotiation process.

  • Old family photos spawn identity question

    Helen Luster, of the Pinhook community, and I have corresponded for several years now. In her occasional letters, she has shared with me old stories passed down through the Luster family, several of which I have repeated in this column.

    Last week, I received a note from Helen, accompanied by two pictures. She wrote about a mild controversy in the Luster family over the identification of a couple in an old photo.

  • Brushing up

    First National Bank of Vandalia, Ramsey and Patoka has decided to follow recommendations from Illinois Historic Preservation Agency architects in making improvements to the exterior of the bank's main branch in downtown Vandalia. Those improvements include the removal of window awnings and painting the upper level of the exterior. Above, Shawn Ritchey (left) and Dwayne Ritchey of Ritchey Painting apply a new coat of paint to the brick exterior and wooden window frames.

  • Discover Fayette County in this week's issue

    Our annual section to showcases Fayette County individuals, organizations and businesses is included in this week's issue of The Leader-Union.

    Featured in this year's section are:

    Ronnie Stevens, Ramsey police officer and fire chief.

    Michel's Feed Store in Vandalia.

    Main Street Flowers and Gifts in St. Elmo.

    Farmer and Fayette County Farm Bureau director Keith Sanders.

    Brownstown native Alex Schwarm, who is making a film about his grandparents, Stanley and Edith Schwarm.

    Words, Wicks and Wood in Vandalia.

  • Committee supports 5 TIF projects

    A committee charged with making recommendations on the distribution of funds generated through Vandalia’s Tax Increment Financing program is supporting TIF aid to five applicants.

    That committee also tabled two applications, including one for assistance to make needed improvements to the Liberty Theater building on South Fourth Street and one for improvements to Vandalia Community High School.