• Take in Olde Tyme Christmas

    This weekend is the perfect time to find out exactly what downtown Vandalia has to offer, and have an enjoyable time doing it.
    The holiday season gets off to an early start this Friday night and Saturday with Olde Tyme Christmas.
    The Downtown Vandalia Merchants Association and Vandalia Tourism Commission have joined together to offer the event, which includes the lighting of the city Christmas tree at Seventh and Gallatin streets on Friday at 5 p.m., followed by the Vandalia Rotary Club's annual Christmas parade.

  • State needs to act on a new budget

    When Bruce Rauner was campaigning for governor, he said that he wanted to shake up state government. He has done that, but not in the way that he envisioned.
    A budget impasse has caused monumental problems in Illinois. State agencies aren't receiving the funds they need to provide necessary services to Illinois residents, vendors aren't being paid, and the list goes on.
    Those affected by the impasse, Mayor Rick Gottman pointed out at Monday's city council meeting, include municipalities that are owed various types of funds by the state.

  • Sexting causes moral, legal issues

    Sending a sexual text message that include an inappropriate photo can cause all kinds of problems, especially when the parties involved are underage teens.
    As students at Vandalia Community High School learned last Thursday, nude photos of underage teens are considered child pornography, and both those sending and receiving them are subject to criminal prosecution.

  • Have a fun – and safe – Halloween

    The Halloween season is upon us, which means that it's time for trick-or-treating, a haunted house and, of course, our largest parade of the year, the Vandalia Lions Club's Halloween parade.
    It's a time to enjoy dressing up in costume, getting all kinds of Halloween treats and enjoying the seasonal decorations created by our local residents.
    But, there are some safety issues that everyone needs to remember, particularly on the night of the parade.

  • Three alumni worthy of tribute

    If they take advantage of it, the education that students can acquire in Vandalia's schools can take them far – the recipients of the Vandalia Alumni and Friends Foundation are proof of that.
    This Saturday, the foundation will honor Robert E. Chandler, Tim Merriman and Jim Staff.
    Chandler has completed a successful career in the auto industry, Merriman is well-known for his work and Staff has served his hometown as a leader in both the field of education and in community service.

  • 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.