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Today's News

  • Sixty-six years of wedded bliss for Dwight and Darlene Denning

    Seventy years ago, a young girl saw a photo in a local newspaper of a young boy, a member of the Vandalia High School FFA chapter … and fell in love with him.

    She didn’t know who he was, but she cut the picture out of the paper, and showed it to friends and family as the guy she was going to marry.

    Meet Dwight and Darlene Denning as they share their unique and lasting love story. As they celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary, Darlene still has that same 70-year-old newspaper clipping in her purse.

    The Photo

  • There's a lot to do this weekend

    Are you the type of person who looks for something fun and exciting to do on the weekends? If so, you will have a lot of choices this weekend.

    Fayette County’s weekend schedule includes the return of the Grande Levée on the Vandalia Statehouse grounds. The celebration kicks off, as usual, with dinner and old-time music, and gets into full gear on Saturday.

  • The story of Vandalia's 'roaming house'

    My cousin, Connie Torbeck, who works in historic preservation in Pennsylvania, sent a clipping to me from a 1908 Vandalia Union with a question – where is the Henry Gochenour home located?

    “Old Landmark Going,” read the headline.

    “The old building known best by citizens of Vandalia as the Mrs. Slade residence is being torn down and will be replaced by a modern residence at once by Henry Gochenour, who has purchased the property. 

  • Sr. Legion outlasts Taylorville to move to 6-3

    Post 95 rolled to its sixth win of the season last Wednesday, defeating Taylorville, 10-8. The Senior Legion team demonstrated on Wednesday that it can score runs at an impressive clip, and despite giving up eight runs, the pitching was strong, for the most part.

    "The offense looked pretty good. We started to finally get most of our kids here," coach Mark Lewis said. "We looked pretty solid tonight

  • Grande Leve Schedule
  • Thomason files suit in federal court

    About four months after filing a lawsuit against St. Elmo’s mayor in Fayette County, Ken Thomason has initiated a federal suit against Larry Tish.

    In the three-count suit filed in the Southern District of U.S. District Court, Thomason claims that Tish violated his civil rights and also violated the state’s Whistleblower Act.

    Thomason has filed the lawsuits in response to Tish’s decision last November to remove him from the police chief position. He had served as St. Elmo’s chief of police for about 16 ½ years prior to his dismissal.

  • County meets payroll without fund transfer

    For at least one month, Fayette County will be able to meet its payroll obligations without having to shift monies from one fund to another.

    Fayette County Board Chairman Steve Knebel announced at last week’s meeting that the county would not need to transfer money from its capital improvement fund in June “because the state came through with some money.”

  • Removal of canvas reveals stenciled oilcloth at museum

    In addition to experiencing the annual art and photography exhibits at the Town & Country Amateur Art Show this weekend, visitors to the Fayette County Museum will also be able to view some rare history.

    Visitors to the show will be among the first to see the recently unveiled oilcloth ceiling in the historic church building that houses Artworks Gallery and the Fayette County Museum.

    That oilcloth design has been covered by white canvas for the past century, but now is available for residents to admire.

  • Rev. Hart gained fame as movie preacher

    The Dec. 21, 1916, issue of The Vandalia Union proudly announced that former area preacher, the Rev. William S. Hart, was attaining some distinction as a moving picture star.

    Hart, a native of Newburgh, N. Y., had a younger brother who came north when a young man and settled on a farm near Farina. He became quite a ventriloquist, and for several years followed the county fairs with a Punch and Judy show, but later became an evangelist, a Baptist, up to the time of his death.

  • IDOT must hear our concerns

    A month ago in this space, we urged area citizens to provide more input to the Illinois Department of Transportation about the agency’s proposed routes for a western bypass for U.S. Route 51.

    Previous public meetings had drawn only modest participation, and we didn’t feel that IDOT officials were hearing enough from us.

    Last week, however, at a follow-up meeting just for residents of Vandalia’s northern neighborhoods, the highway engineers got an earful.