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Today's News

  • The stories of Smith, Crump & Cronk

    While working on decorating the tree at the Vandalia Statehouse last week we got into a conversation about names.
    One of the stories we tell to visitors at the old capitol is of Supreme Justice Theophilus Washington Smith, who pulled a gun on Gov. Ninian Edwards. Edwards took it away from him, pistol-whipped him and broke his jaw.
    Another of the justices, Stephen Lockwood, in a letter to his wife, Mary, wrote that Smith’s jaw "had not yet reunited."

  • Vandalia Memories

    As part of their campaign tour across the Midwest in 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton and his running mate, Al Gore, stopped at the Vandalia Statehouse, where they spoke to a crowd estimated at 10,000.

    After their speeches, Clinton and Gore, and their wives, Hillary and Tipper, were led on a tour of the Statehouse by Judy Baumann, who was then the site superintendent. Also in this photo, taken by Leader-Union Editor Rich Bauer, is Roland Burrus, a Centralia native who was the state's attorney general at the time.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week's photo: All of the members of this family grew up in the Sefton community. Three still live in the Brownstown community.

  • The Way We Were

    25 Years Ago

    1989 –  The annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament was under way.
    The Leader-Union and area merchants were sponsoring the First Baby of the New Year contest.

    30 Years Ago

    1984 – Beginning Feb. 17, one had to pay 22 cents to mail a letter. Postcard rates raised to 14 cents.

  • Holiday Weekend at Statehouse

    Prior to the start of the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse on Saturday night, Statehouse volunteer Linda Hanabarger, left, talks to Christina Pennington, one of the local Girl Scouts volunteering at the open house, about the history of the old state capitol.

  • Lake House wins in court

    The owners of The Lake House have won a court battle that allows them to continue operating their restaurant on Lake Vandalia.
    And the city will allow that victory to stand without a fight.
    Six days before a jury trial was set to begin, a judge has ruled unconstitutional an ordinance that the city argued prohibits Steve “Luke” and Latisha Mabry from running a restaurant on the lake.

  • City closer to a third water source

    Two local men who have been working for about six years to provide Vandalia with a third water source are getting closer to meeting that goal.
    Walt Barenfanger of Kaskaskia Springs Water Co. told the Vandalia City Council on Monday that he and his partner, Jeff Beckman, recently received Illinois Environmental Protection Agency approval on their permits for three wells.
    “The next permit we need is the operating permit, and, hopefully, that’s the last permit that we need,” Barenfanger told the council.

  • Liberty Utilities breaks ground for new facilities

    The need for more space to house equipment and a desire to improve customer service are among the reasons that a utility company with a local office is building a new home.

  • BFD makes Jim Green the department's chaplain

    When Jim Green attended the annual Methodist Christmas dinner at Emmanuel Church on Saturday evening, along with others from the Brownstown Methodist Church, he had no idea of the surprise that was in store for him.

  • Shop with a Cop

    Chief Jeff Ray and the Vandalia Police Department conducted its first Shop with a Cop this year, taking 11 children shopping for Christmas on Sunday (first photo).

    Volunteering with Ray were officers Jake Bowling, Rob Blackerby, Darrell Glore, Brian Roedl and Rob Thompson. Donations for the new program totaled $3,452. In the second photo, Jim Pryor and other members of Shoal Creek Chapter of ABATE donate $1,000 for Shop with a Cop. The chapter holds fundraisers for this and other programs in the area.