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Today's News

  • Senior Legion ends season with 'ugly' loss to Olney

    Following Monday night’s loss in the opening round of the district tournament, Post 95 would have to win five straight games in order to be district champions. Vandalia only won eight games all season.

    Post 95 could not even manage to win the first game in what would be a near-impossible comeback through the loser’s bracket. Vandalia lost Tuesday night to Olney, 26-6, in Effingham.

  • Two screenings set for film by Brownstown resident

    The scene opens on a young woman, her emotions obviously intense and personal. She had received word of her soldier husband’s return home after months of not knowing if he was even alive.

    A voice-over of a male speaks the words of her husband’s letters as she gets ready for the day… and leaving the viewer intensely interested and wanting the movie to continue with the story.

    This is the trailer for the film, “As Ever, Stan,” written and directed by Alex Schwarm.

  • Downtown project still ahead of schedule

    Some local residents may have the impression that Vandalia’s downtown enhancement project is moving rather slow. Actually, however, quite the opposite is true.

    “We’re about five weeks ahead of schedule,” Terry Fields, site superintendent for Hank’s Excavating of Belleville, said on Wednesday morning.

    Fields and Lorne Jackson of HMG Engineers in Carlyle gave favorable updates on the project during Vandalia Main Street’s “Mornings on Main Street” meeting at the Fayette County Museum.

  • Local fight to save VCC jobs under way

    Shortly after the state’s top legislators worked with Gov. Pat Quinn on hammering out a new state budget, local legislators had no new information about proposed layoffs at Vandalia Correctional Center.

    State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) and state Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Highland) were among those attending a meeting last Thursday that was set up by Vandalia officials to develop a plan to fend off the proposed layoffs.

    After lawmakers continued their opposition to tax increases, Quinn said the state would begin the process of laying off 2,600 state employees.

  • Randi Evans wins Junior Miss crown

    Randi Evans won the Junior Miss Fayette County crown on Tuesday evening.

    The Junior Miss pageant was held on Tuesday evening during the Fayette County Fair in Brownstown.

  • We must fight Quinn's plan for layoffs at VCC

    Though Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly this week moved closer to a budget compromise, at least one element proposed last week by Quinn needs to be revisited.

    Last Tuesday, the governor rolled out a plan that called for sweeping layoffs in a number of state agencies. In all, his proposal would cut thousands of state jobs. Many of those cuts would dismantle social service agencies that serve the most vulnerable among us. Others target correctional facilities.

  • G.A.R. encampment records tell story

    For my article last week on Thomas C. Grandfield, I depended on the family history to tell his story, although it was the reunion ribbons from encampments, or reunions, of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) pinned to his coat that first piqued my interest.

    The G.A.R., an organization of Union Civil War veterans, was founded in 1876. From that year, they hosted annual reunions, called encampments.

    The 45th annual encampment, "Along the Rivers," was held at Joliet on June 13-15, 1911, and the following is an excerpt from an account by a person who was there.

  • Tritt, Hayes win pageants

    Lauren Tritt, 18, of Vandalia, was crowned the 2009 Miss Fayette County Fair on Monday night at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in Brownstown.

    Brenna Hayes, 6, won the Little Miss Fayette County Fair crown on Monday night.

    Videos of dances from the pageants area available in the Slide Show/Local Videos area of our Web site. Scroll down on the home page to access those videos.

    The Junior Miss Fayette County pageant is at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

    More photos from the pageants will appear on www.leaderunion.com this week.

  • Find a solution for river intake

    It’s way past time to do something.

    It was about a decade ago that the city of Vandalia had to turn to an outside engineering firm to solve the problem of odor spreading from its sewage treatment plant. City officials are now trying the same approach with its new Kaskaskia River intake.

    The city council agreed on Monday to hire Gonzalez Companies to look into that problem, and that action is none too soon.

  • Thomas C. Grandfield had colorful life

    From the first moment that Jerry Jones of Ramsey handed me this photograph of Thomas C. Grandfield at a genealogical society meeting, it captured my attention.

    To begin with, it is a nice picture of an elderly gentleman. He looks straight into the camera lens, his strong hand resting on the head of the cane. His beard is neatly combed and his jacket is made from a nice material, although a few years old.