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Today's News

  • Jack and Jerry Bail, 60th birthdays

    Jack Bail of St. Elmo and Jerry Bail of Shabbona, celebrated their 60th birthday on July 18. They spent a weekend at Bail Cottage near St. Elmo.
    On Saturday evening, a family dinner was served. On Sunday, the dinner included extended family members.
    Attending were brothers, Jim and Linda Bail of Chelsea, Mich., and Scott, Sharon, Jason and Justin Bail, all of Indiana, along with their mother, Erma and Jim Budlove of San Diego, Calif.

  • Richard Williams, 90th birthday

    Richard Williams of Farina will celebrate his 90th birthday with an open house from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Farina American Legion Community Center.
    He was born on Aug. 15, 1920, in rural Kinmundy, the son of the late James E. and Cora Vallow Williams. He is a retired farmer. He and his wife Ruth recently celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured nearly 50 years ago, has lived most of his life in Vandalia. He and his wife have three grown children and five grandchildren. In this picture, he was advertising a local car dealership.
    Do you know him? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374.
    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo were: Tammy Stine Votrain, G.R. Stine II and Kelly Stine Redenbo.
    Identifying them were: Juanita and Ted Workman, Danny Donaldson, Shirley Ferguson, Bailee Workman and Debbie Smith.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1995 – The chief of staff preservation services for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency came to Vandalia to view the rehabilitation work being done on the Fayette County Museum building.
    Tom Isbell, a Vandalia alderman and former member of the city planning commission, died after suffering a stroke.
    The Vandalia Vandals opened the 1995 football season with a 40-0 trouncing of Litchfield. Travis Blain led the Vandals’ offense with 73 yards, and Zach Gummert completed seven of 17 passes for 103 yards.

  • Blankenship's hobby preserved history

    Granville Blankenship was born on April 5, 1890, in Bear Grove Township, the son of Francis Marion Blankenship and Barbara Tirzah Carpenter.
    Barbara was a daughter of Peter and Mary Dickson Carpenter, and came to Illinois with members of her family from Cleveland County, N.C., soon after the death of her father on May 27, 1865, in a Union prisoner of war camp at Point Lookout, Md.

  • Ferne Keppler Dean, 90th birthday

    Ferne Keppler Dean of Quincy, formerly of Vandalia, will celebrate her 90th birthday on Wednesday, Aug. 18.
    Cards or just a note may be sent to her at: 2834 Bluff Ridge Drive, Quincy, Ill. 62305-1388.

  • Keep up search for bypass plan

    Though the Illinois Department of Transportation had already announced its intentions to “take a couple steps back” in the process of determining a route for a U.S. Route 51 bypass around Vandalia, a meeting last Wednesday with more than 125 northside residents gave the engineers a clear sense of the local concerns about the proposed bypass route.
     It was, as state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) described it, evidence that “democracy works.”

  • Reunions Aug. 12

    Sefton
    The 6th annual Southern Illinois Sefton reunion will be held in the Liberty Christian Church fellowship hall in Brownstown on Saturday, with a noon potluck dinner. Tableware and beverages will be provided.
    Liberty Church is located five miles north of Brownstown.

    Owen-Miller
    The Owen-Miller family reunion will be held on Sunday, at the Good Old Days Banquet Hall in Brownstown, with a potluck meal at noon.
    All family and friends are invited to attend.

  • Frey — Hebenstreit

    Kristie Frey and Thomas “TJ” Hebenstreit, both of Ramsey, have announced their engagement and upcoming wedding.
    The future bride is the daughter of Wayne “Wiener” Frey of Highland. She is a 2006 graduate of Highland High School and is currently attending Lake Land College in Mattoon for early childhood education. She is currently employed as a cashier at Rural King in Vandalia.

  • Helen Tompkins celebrates her 99th birthday

    When 99-year-old Helen Tompkins consented to an interview, she said she could not do it on a Tuesday, because that's when she always goes to a nursing home to sing for the residents.
    Within a few minutes of meeting her, this amazing lady’s statement seemed not only a possibility, but a not-surprising probability.
    She easily recalls dates, events, and people of long ago, looking to her daughter-in-law, Georgianne Tompkins, only rarely to offer a comment, to clarify or add information to a statement.