• Survey shows teens need help

    The numbers are staggering:
    • Almost 60 percent of sophomores in Fayette County have tried alcohol or regularly drink it.
    • Almost half of them have tried cigarettes or currently smoke.
    • 15 percent have tried marijuana or use it regularly.
    • 36 percent have been sexually active before the age of 17, of those, only 15 percent say that they always practice safe sex.
    • Almost a third reported feeling "sad or hopeless" for two weeks or more in a row.

  • There's still a big festival

    We won't have the period crafts, food and music that we've grown to be accustomed to during our community's largest annual festival. But this weekend still offers a lot for both Vandalia residents and visitors.
    State cuts have resulted in the cancellation of this year's Grande Levée, but a festival that has been held in conjunction with the period celebration continues.

  • Sheriff needs newer vehicles

    Many, many times, Steve Knebel told other members, and the public, that the county should be using the proceeds from the sale of the county's coal rights for capital improvements, not salaries. It appears that some of those funds should be used for county squad cars.
    The county sheriff, Chris Smith, is driving a pickup truck with more than 150,000 miles on the odometer, one of the vehicles that the department has seized in recent years. He's driving that truck because his regular vehicle, an SUV with more than 180,000 miles, is in the shop ... again.

  • Arrests prove that people help fight crime

    On the front page of this issue, we have a story telling how two individuals were arrested for a number of local burglaries. Those arrests were possible through the help of a private citizen.
    Among the items stolen on Sunday were credit cards, and when one of the cards couldn't be validated at a Salem business, the employee handling the transaction got suspicious. So, he wrote down the license plate of the car driven by the person attempting to use the card.

  • Traffic flow will require some patience

    There is no perfect solution.
    Traffic is going to get more congested on the north end of Vandalia in a few weeks, and there's not really anything that can be done about it.
    The shifting of students from Jefferson Primary School to Vandalia Elementary School means that more parents will be dropping off and picking up their children before and after school each day.

  • School year starting soon

    As you can see by reading this issue, the start of a new school year is just around the corner, and everyone is helping students and their parents be prepared.
    In this issue, we include the times and dates for area school registrations, as well as information about the Back(Packs) 2 School and Tools for School programs. At the request of Vandalia School District officials, we are repeating detailed information about registration and school supply lists.

  • New school year nearing

    Before you know it, you'll be again sending your children off to school each morning. Yes, a new school year is just around the corner.
    Perhaps you've already started preparing for another year, buying new supplies and clothes. Local school officials are also gearing up for the 2015-16 school year.
    In this issue, we have two pages of registration information provided by Vandalia School District officials.

  • Our fair offers a wide variety

    For some, it's the pageants. For others, it's the 4-H shows. And yet others enjoy the stock car races, tractor and truck pulls, and other grandstand attraction. And, of course, there are the rides and the food.
    The Fayette County Fair offers all of that, and more.
    The fair gets under way on Sunday, as the county's 4-H members prepare for the shows that run through much of the week and the fair association presents a new grandstand attraction, an a capella quartet, that evening.

  • Take in the Lincoln Festival

    While you are enjoying an outdoor theater, you probably won't even notice that you are taking in a history lesson.
    The third annual Lincoln Heritage Festival is being held on Saturday and Sunday in Vandalia's parks along Fillmore Street.
    Sandra Leidner, a former mayor, and the Vandalia Tourism  Committee are once again providing a two-day festival that includes a wide variety of activities.

  • Be safe on the Fourth

    It's a three-day, midsummer celebration likely to be full of picnics, barbecues, boating and other outdoor activities. It's also something that can turn tragic in a second.
    According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 200 people, on average, go to the emergency room with injuries caused by fireworks around the Fourth of July.
    Of those injured, 40 percent are between the ages of 25 and 44, and 14 percent are in the 45-64 age range. Twenty percent of those injured are between the ages of 10 and 19.