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Today's News

  • County board OKs sheriff transport van

    As Fayette County officials worked to trim this year’s spending, Fayette County Sheriff Aaron Lay agreed to take out of his budget about $50,000 for the purchase of vehicles. On Tuesday, the county board agreed to use money from its general fund for a new sheriff’s vehicle.
    In taking that action, board members agreed that having that vehicle will allow the sheriff to make money for the county.
    Lay asked the board to purchase a transport van, because the one that was being used, a 1994 model with more than 200,000 miles, is no longer feasible to repair.

  • Schools oppose Quinn's consolidation idea

    Though it might have played well as a part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to reduce the state’s deficit, a proposal to force consolidations of two thirds of the state’s school districts is getting some push-back from educators.
    Quinn announced his proposal to cut the state’s 868 districts down to 300 in his budget address last month. Such cuts, he said, could save taxpayers as much as $100 million each year. Since then, he’s gotten an earful from legislators and school officials across the state.

  • More downtown work

    Vandalia officials will begin working toward more improvements in the downtown business district with a meeting next week.
    Mayor Rick Gottman announced at Monday’s city council meeting that the council’s streets committee will meet at 4:30 p.m. next Wednesday to talk about improvements in the 700 block of West Gallatin Street and the 100 block of South Fourth Street.
    Gottman has also invited the members of the city’s downtown enhancement committee to attend that meeting.

  • City committee holds meetings on animal control

    All Fayette County communities except Vandalia have signed contracts with the county for animal control services.
    Vandalia officials have discussed that issue, but are asking for more information before signing on the dotted line.
    The Vandalia City Council’s public safety committee met last Wednesday and again on Monday to discuss animal control, which is provided by Vandalia veterinarian Dr. Connie Heaton.

  • Business Briefs

    Troy Payne attends family law seminar

    Troy G. Payne, an attorney with LeFevre Oldfield Myers Apke & Payne Law Group Ltd. of Vandalia, participated in a one-day continuing legal education seminar on family law in Peoria on Feb. 24.

    The seminar addressed several aspects of family law and divorce cases involving financial issues, trials and appeals. It also covered the ethical considerations of representing someone through a family matter.

  • Fayette County Health Department Ribbon-Cutting

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday at the new home of the Fayette County Health Department at 419 W. Edwards St. in Vandalia. The building, the former home of Leo Brown Lumber, now allows all of the functions of the health department to be housed in one building. FCHD Administrator Rhonda Andrews, fourth from the left in the front row, said that more than 250 people toured the facility. She said that she's excited about the new building "because it allows us to integrate our services like never before."

  • Copper Penny Ribbon-Cutting

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday at the Copper Penny, a new restaurant and bar in downtown Vandalia. The business is owned by Amy Gaffney, second from left in the front row. Shown with Gaffney are her mother, Sandy Michel (far left, front row), and her grandfather, Dean Bowen (second from right, front row).

  • Banks of the Okaw-March 10, 2011

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: These five girls, pictured in April 1963, were all from the Bingham area. Though they now live in Ramsey, Herrick, Pana, Springfield and Willow Hill, they remain very close friends.

  • The Way We Were-March 10, 2011

    15 Years Ago

    1996 – The Vandalia City Council voted to seek candidates for the vacant position of director of community development.
    The Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department purchased a new set of hydraulic cutters and a new power unit. Half of the $7,500 for the equipment came from city funds, and the fire department paid the other half of the bill.
    Landreth Lumber & Home Center in Vandalia was sold to R.P. Lumber, the owner of lumber yards in a number of Central Illinois towns.

  • Gold rush of '49 included Fayette men

    The "Forty-Niners" took their name from the year the gold rush began. On Jan. 24, 1848, James Marshall discovered gold in the mill race of his employer, John Sutter, while making his daily inspection.
    The news was told in a short paragraph in the March 15, 1848, issue of “The Californian.” In 1849 alone, it was estimated that 9,000 men traveled the southwestern route by way of Santa Fe, while 22,500 traveled the emigrant trails.
    St. Joseph and Independence, Mo., as well as Council Bluffs, Iowa, were staging areas for the westbound wagon trains.