Local News

  • Tax levy hearing Tuesday

     A public hearing will be held prior to next Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting of the Vandalia Board of Education to hear comments from the public about a proposed increase in the property tax rate for residents of the district.

  • Incumbent mayor could face challengers

     Mayor Rick Gottman could be challenged by at least two other people as he seeks a third term as mayor.

    John David Wehrle Jr. has picked up a mayoral petition, according to City Clerk Peggy Bowen.

  • Another mayoral petition picked up

    Mayor Rick Gottman could be challenged by at least two other people as he seeks a third term as mayor.

    John David Wehrle Jr. has picked up a mayoral petition, according to City Clerk Peggy Bowen.

    Wehrle is the third person to consider running for the mayoral seat in the consolidated election. The others are Gottman and Neil Clark.

    In addition to mayor, city residents will elect a city clerk and city treasurer, and fill five seats on the city council.

  • Fire damages house; firefighters save dog

    A fire mid-morning on Tuesday caused significant damage to a Vandalia home.


    But as some of Vandalia’s volunteer firefighters were busy knocking down the blaze, others were working to rescue a family pet.


    Firefighters were called to the home owned by Mike and Debbie Themig at 1311 Morning Glory Drive at 10:32 a.m.


  • City hopes state accepts anonymous donation to keep Statehouse open

    The city of Vandalia is hopeful that the state will accept a gift from an anonymous donor and reopen the Vandalia Statehouse.

    The Statehouse was among the state historic sites that were shuttered at the end of the day on Sunday as a result of state budget cuts.

    Mayor Rick Gottman said Wednesday that an individual has donated to the Old Capitol Foundation enough money to pay the salary of the full-time Statehouse employee that was laid off as a result of the budget cuts.

  • Ramsey, Kinmundy state parks are still open

    While Illinois residents have lost the ability to visit most of the state’s historic sites, they can still use two area state parks.

    Tim Pryor at Ramsey Lake State Park and Glenn Wegener at Stephen A. Forbes State Park in Kinmundy said that those two state parks are still open.

    Those state parks are not among those that have been closed by the state as a result of budget cuts.

    Pryor and Wegener said that the cuts have had an impact on staffing, but they have not had resulted in any restrictions on use of the facilities by the public.

  • State gives update on U.S. Route 51 expansion project

    The Illinois Department of Transportation may not be ready to bid out the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 in Fayette County, but that doesn’t mean the state agency is waiting to get comments from residents of local communities.

    The agency and its Route 51 consultants are holding regular meetings with both community and regional advisory committees, and soliciting comments from the general public as it reaches “milestones” in the initial phase of highway improvements in this area, according to a representative of one of the consulting firms.

  • Storyboard dedication ceremony moved to City Hall

    Vandalia’s Looking for Lincoln Committee believed that the perfect time to officially unveil the community’s new Abraham Lincoln storyboards was Dec. 14, during the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse.

    And while the unveiling ceremony has been kept on that day, the committee has had to move its celebration.

    The dedication ceremony for Vandalia’s 10 Lincoln wayside exhibits will now be held at Vandalia City Hall on Sunday, Dec. 13.

  • Statehouse closing at end of day on Sunday

    One of the biggest local events during the holiday season is the Christmas Open House at the Vandalia Statehouse. Each year, several hundred people enjoy the old state capitol bathed in candlelight, period music and holiday refreshments.

    But, this December, both local residents and those who come from miles away, won’t be able to enjoy the holiday event.

    The Christmas Open House won’t be held on Dec. 14 as planned, because the Vandalia Statehouse will be closed as of Monday.

  • Route 51 meetings are next week in Ramsey, Vandalia

    The Illinois Department of Transportation will again seek comments from Fayette County residents as it continues to work on the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 between Decatur and Centralia.

    Representatives of IDOT and Clark-Dietz Engineers, which is serving as a consulting engineering firm for the Route 51 project, will be present at public meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday.

    From 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday, those representatives will be at the Ramsey Village Hall. They will also be at the Ramada Inn Ltd. in Vandalia on Wednesday from noon-6 p.m.