Local News

  • Relay for Life is Saturday

    The annual event to raise money locally for the fight against cancer is held this weekend in Vandalia.

    The Fayette County Relay for Life on Mark Greer Field at Vandalia Community High School gets under way when the gates open at 4:30 p.m., 5 hours after a new part of the event begins.

    A softball challenge has been added to this years Relay for Life, with several teams squaring off in contests at Ruemmelin Park on Locust Street.

    The Vandalia Fire Department and Vandalia Police Department are scheduled to play a doubleheader, with the first game set for 11 a.m.

  • Judge Schwarm delivers St. Elmo Memorial Day address

    I am quite proud and feel privileged to be invited to be the speaker here today as the Veterans Memorial is dedicated. This is an impressive tribute to all who have served. St. Elmo is to be commended for coming together as a community to make this happen.

    I am also humbled to be asked to speak here today. Humbled because I have never served in the military, never worn the uniform. My father, Stanley Schwarm, was a World War II veteran and a prisoner of war in Germany. I am quite proud of his service.

  • Two-time cancer survivor cites benefits of Relay for Life

    Vera Durbin is a two-time survivor of cancerand looking and feeling great! However, she realizes the battle against cancer and the quest for the prevention of and cure for the dreaded disease must go on.

    Therefore, she is a worthy advocate for the Fayette County Relay for Life, which will take place June 7-8 on the Vandalia Community High School track.

    The National Relay for Life began approximately 20 years ago in Tacoma, Wash., and this is the 11th year for Relay for Life in Fayette County.

    Durbin remembers being diagnosed with uterine cancer.

  • District to create master plan for athletic facilities

    A meeting between Vandalia school officials and representatives of several community organizations was held last Thursday to launch the process of creating a master plan for sports facilities in the community.

    Superintendent of Schools Rich Well told a group of about 28 individuals that the process started with discussions several years ago about an all-weather track, but has subsequently spread to include other facilities near the school complex some owned by the school district and some by the Vandalia Park District.

  • Governor finally releases state funds for school districts

    Local school officials received word late last week that state school aid payments for the final month of the fiscal year will be made.

    The decision by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to release about $390 million in General State Aid payments to the states school districts comes after he came under increasing pressure from education officials and the media.

    For the past several weeks, Blagojevich had indicated that he would address the state budget deficit by withholding the last two semi-monthly payments of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

  • Vandalia, St. Elmo hold Memorial Day Programs

    The American Legion Posts in Vandalia and St. Elmo held Memorial Day programs over the weekend.

    In St. Elmo, the program included the dedication of the community's new Veterans' Memorial. The memorial, which is located just west of the Phillips Building on U.S. Route 40, includes the names of 466 local residents who have served this country since the War of 1812.

    The speakers at the St. Elmo program included Judge S. Gene Schwarm, state Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Greenville) and National Road Association Executive Director John Goldsmith.

  • Mary Peyton Meyer dies Thursday

    Mary Peyton Meyer, a retired teacher for more than four decades and The Leader-Union's Frogtown correspondent for more than 85 years, died on Thursday morning. She was 102.

    Complete obituary information appears in the Obituaries section of our Web site.

  • Three Memorial Day programs scheduled

    Three Fayette County communities will hold programs this weekend to honor the men and women who have died in military service to this country, and one will dedicate a new veterans memorial as part of its program.


    Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95 of Vandalia will hold a Memorial Day program at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Legion Home.

    Braxton Denton will serve as the keynote speaker, and other speakers will include Vandalia Chief of Police Larry Eason and Vandalia student Britney Bennett.

  • No word on when, or if, schools will receive monies from the state

    In spite of showing a $2.1 million positive balance at the end of April, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the finances of the Vandalia School District. That uncertainty springs from persistent rumors that the state will not be paying the state aid payments for the final month of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

    For Vandalia, that would amount to more than $500,000.

  • Graduation Day

    Five area school districts – Vandalia, Brownstown, St. Elmo, Ramsey and Mulberry Grove – held commencement exercises over the weekend. Vandalia Community High School graduate Mitch Johnson switches the tassel on his mortarboard as he and other members of the class of 2008 officially become graduates on Saturday night. Patoka High School will hold commencement exercises at 7 p.m. this Friday, and South Central High School will graduate its seniors at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30.