Today's News

  • 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.

  • Vandalia man gets 12 years for meth offenses

    A Vandalia man has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison in federal court on methamphetamine charges.

    A. Courtney Cox, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said on Monday that Brenton D. Bliss, 38, of rural Vandalia, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to two terms of 151 months in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The two prison terms will run concurrently (at the same time).

  • Monday at 4 p.m.-Vandalia man sentenced in federal prison

    Brenton D. Bliss of rural Vandalia was sentenced to 151 months in prison in federal court.

    Bliss was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of meth with the intent to distribute and on a second county of possession of meth with the intent to deliver.

    For more, see this week's issue of The Leader-Union.

  • Oldham pitches MGJHS past St. Elmo

    Rebecca Oldham continued her dominating ways Tuesday, pitching the Mulberry Grove Junior High School softball team to a 3-0 home victory over St. Elmo.

    Oldham struck out 17 and allowed just one hit, out-dueling St. Elmo starter Samantha Austin, who allowed just one hit of her own, while striking out 10.

    Bases on balls proved to be the difference in the game, as Oldham issued just one walk, compared to seven by Austin.

    Sam Goodin had Mulberry Grove's only hit, while Megan Maxey had St. Elmo's safety.

  • Butler takes over as VCHS AD

    It's a job that can be obscure at best, or thankless at worst.

    Mike Butler understands that.

    "It's the kind of job that nobody realizes what you do until something goes wrong," said VCHS's longtime girls basketball coach of being an athletic director.

    Butler speaks from experience, as he was the AD at Hardin Calhoun High School in western Illinois for four years prior to coming to Vandalia 22 years ago.