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Today's News

  • Josie Earnest leads the country in average pin count

    Most teams in the country would have been tremendously happy.

    But when you are hoping for another NCAA Division I championship, finishing fifth can be a bitter pill to swallow. The Vanderbilt University bowling team was ousted from the national championships by the University of Central Missouri, which defeated Vanderbilt 4-0.

    “The 2009-10 season started on Friday afternoon as soon as that game ended,” said Vandalia grad Josie Earnest, a Vanderbilt junior.

  • Area softball roundup

    Mulberry Grove 11, Vandalia 0

    Mulberry Grove held the Lady Vandals to five hits in a five-inning contest on Tuesday.

    Audra Donaldson suffered the loss, giving up six hits while striking out three. None of the Lady Aces’ runs were earned.

    Donaldson also had two of Vandalia’s five hits. Amanda Walton and Laura Hobbie both doubled in the first inning, but neither was able to score. Taylor Brown reached on a single also in the first inning.

    Endia Fletcher’s 2-for-3 performance at the plate included two triples, and she scored twice.

  • TIF committee recommends funds for seven projects

    Vandalia’s Tax Increment Financing Committee is recommending to the city council that it use the limited TIF monies now available to help fund seven improvement projects.

    The TIF Committee decided on Tuesday to recommend several smaller TIF grants and to allow a property tax benefit for two of the seven projects.

    The committee voted to endorse TIF grants for:

    • Thompson’s Home Center, $7,500

    • Dr. Mark Brunk, $7,500.

    • Fred Metzger, $1,554.

    • The Leader-Union, $2,630.

  • Mason has long history working with horses

    If you see a cowboy riding his horse down the street amid traffic in Vandalia, you could be reminded of the old big-city-based TV series, “McCloud."

    That cowboy is Brad Mason, doing what he likes to do best – work with horses

    Brad, one of Don Mason’s sons, was born and reared with his dad’s horses, and his background includes roping cattle, breaking horses to ride, working as a farrier for 13 years and working with horses at a racetrack. He still practices roping locally, but hasn’t made the rodeo circuit recently.

  • Closing DHS office not a sensible move

    A state office that is ostensibly designed to help people who are down on their luck or have specials needs will become inaccessible to many of those people if a recently announced plan is enacted.

    Late last month, the Illinois Department of Human Services announced its plans to close 17 of its rural offices – including the one in Vandalia that serves Fayette County residents – as a cost-savings move. State officials said that Fayette County residents would be served out of an office in Centralia if the proposal goes into effect on July 16 as planned.

  • Sharing the joy of music was way of life

    This past week, the music emitting from my "antique" cassette player has been old country from a March 13, 1989, “Okaw Valley Opry” show.

    Joining Bill and Evelyn Oliver on stage were daughter Connie Lee, vocals; Mike Eulberg, bass and vocals; Rick Stanbery, drums; Buddy Olsteen, banjo, steel guitar and vocals; and Dale Torbeck, fiddle and general cuttin’ up.

    Listening to the show, I feel as though I am a member of the audience. I laugh at Dale’s jokes and applaud the musicians along with the live audience. What fun!

  • VCC warden terminated

    The Illinois Department of Corrections on Wednesday terminated the Vandalia Correctional Center warden who has been on administrative leave for more than two months.

    Derek Scnhapp, a spokesperson for the IDOC, said early Wednesday afternoon that Steve Mensing's termination had become effective that day.

    Mensing, who has served as the warden of VCC since the fall of 2004, has been on administrative leave since late January.

  • Grapperhaus will play at Illinois College

    Illinois College announced on Tuesday that South Central multi-sport standout Isaac Grapperhaus will play basketball at the Jacksonville school.

    The 6-foot, 6-inch Grapperhaus scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds per game in helping guide South Central to a 23-7 mark in Gary Shirley’s final season as head coach.

    Grapperhaus was a second-team selection for the 2008-09 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association all-state squad.

  • Girls Softball Action

    St. Elmo 12, Neoga 4

    Neoga 5, St. Elmo 0

    The St. Elmo girls picked up their first win of the season with a 12-4 victory over Neoga in a doubleheader last Thursday.

    Shelby Sapp led St. Elmo hitters with a 2-for-4 performance and 4 RBIs. Also having two hits in the contest were Lindsey Mills, Cortney Calhoun, Taylor Carson and Meghan Evans.

    Mills drove in two runs, and Brooke Maxey, Calhoun, Dylan Dilley, Taylor and Evans each had one RBI.

  • Top Guns

    Five area natives helped their respective college shooting teams to impressive finishes at the Association of College Unions International National Shotgun Championships, held March 18-22 at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas.

    Brett Pruett of Brownstown and Mulberry Grove natives Garrett Blankenship and Matt Blankenship helped Lindenwood University win its sixth straight national championship.

    The Lions finished by hitting 1,562 targets, 67 more than runner-up Missouri.