Local News

  • Early Christmas gift for VVFD

    The Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department received an early Christmas gift earlier this month – a $2,000 donation from TransCanada, a natural gas and oil pipleline company.

    TransCanada employee Galen Frailey of Patoka (second from right) presented the donation, which will be used to purchase equipment. Pictured, from left, are VVFD Second Assistant Chief Steve Stombaugh, VVFD First Assistant Chief Keith Meadows, Frailey and VVFD Chief Ed Taylor Jr.

  • Year in Review

    A struggling economy continued to be one of the top stories in Vandalia and Fayette County, as the area lost more jobs and the county dealt with financial matters for most of 2012.
    A look back at 2012 begins in this issue with the first six months of the year.
    • About six months after an Illinois State Police investigation, St. Elmo librarian Terri E. Gillespie was arrested on theft charges.  Gillespie was charged with two counts, one alleging the theft of up to $500,000 in library funds and the other alleging the theft of up to $100,000.

  • Council to vote on putting electric aggregation on ballot

    The Vandalia City Council is expected to consider at its next meeting that could possibly lead to lower electrical rates for city residents.
    The council is scheduled to vote at its Jan. 7 meeting on an ordinance amendment that would putan electric aggregation referendum before voters.
    If the council approves that amendment, residents will vote on the electric aggregation issue at the April 9 consolidated election.
    City officials discussed the issue at last week’s meeting after a presentation of electric aggregation by Steve Bryant of Good Energy.

  • City, laborers OK 3-year agreement

    The Vandalia City Council approved on Monday a new contract with city employees who are members of a laborers’ union.
    That three-year contract with the Southern and Central Illinois Laborers’ District Council and Laborers’ Local 1197 is retroactive to May 1 of last year.
    While the contract provides for salaries to be frozen last year, it gives city employees who are members of the union a 3-percent pay hike in each of the final two years.

  • Wreaths Across America
  • Subordinate Clauses

    The three children of Troy and Christina Payne – Eva, Autumn and Eli – helped out at the Caring & Sharing distribution on Saturday by handing out candy canes to families receiving Christmas baskets.

  • Gottman, Stout file for mayor

    It’s official – Vandalia will have a mayoral race in April.
    Rick Gottman, who will seek a fourth mayoral term in the spring, was among the municipal candidates turning in petitions as the filing period for the April election began on Monday.
    Petitions for the spring elections are being accepted through the end of the day on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
    Also filing for the mayoral race on Monday was Brian Stout, who announced in August his plans to run for the city’s top office.

  • School officials began talks on possible cuts

    The Vandalia Board of Education, at a two-hour retreat prior to its monthly meeting on Tuesday, began laying the groundwork for potential cuts in the district’s 2013-14 budget.
    Though Superintendent Rich Well characterized the retreat as a “number-crunching” meeting, he emphasized that no specific cuts have been discussed or determined.
    “We’re still in the conversation mode,” he said following the school board meeting. “After the first of the year, we’ll start making specific plans.

  • School security reviewed

    In the wake of last Friday’s shootings at a Connecticut elementary school, Vandalia school officials are reviewing their security practices and emergency procedures.
    “It certainly produces a heightened sense of urgency about the dangers,” said Superintendent of Schools Rich Well. “It makes you realize that we’re as vulnerable as the next school.”
    Law enforcement officials in Newtown, Conn., are still trying to piece together a motive that caused 20-year-old Adam Lanza to kill 26 people – 20 of them children.

  • City delays action on water pact

    Vandalia aldermen decided to postpone action on a possible third water source for the city after hearing concerns from several people living just outside the city.
    The city council tabled an agreement with Kaskaskia Springs Water Co. after a public hearing caused aldermen to look at a possible addition to that agreement.
    During the public hearing, several people living in the Thrill Hill area told city officials that they are concerned that two wells drilled by Kaskaskia Springs could cause their private wells to go dry.