Today's News

  • Pennsylvania man dies in one-vehicle wreck on I-70

    Members of the Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department work to extricate the body of a Pennsylvania man who sustained fatal injuries in a one-vehicle accident late Tuesday morning on Interstate 70, just west of the 61-mile exit. According to the Illinois State Police, Maynard Torgerson, 73, of Warminster, Pa., was eastbound in a Ford Explorer when the vehicle went into the median for an unknown reason. The vehicle began rolling over after hitting a concrete drain and came to rest on its top in a creek bed. Torgerson was pronounced dead at the scene by Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen.

  • Wales native brings soccer knowledge to VCHS summer camp

    The only thing that stood out more than Rhys Thomas thick British accent and bright-yellow jumpsuit Thursday at the VCHS soccer field was his game.

    The guy can flat play soccer.

    And for good reason.

    Back home, I started playing when I was 4 or 5, said the 21-year-old recent college graduate and native of soccer-obsessed Wales. I play semi-professional, and we train two to three times a week. And if Im not playing, Im coaching.

  • Freight's bid for repeat title fails

    The Vandalia Guaranteed Air Freight softball team has had its fair share of good fortune over the years at the ASA Class A State Tournament.

    Three state titles in the past five seasons attest to that fact.

    But the tables were turned on the Freight on Sunday at Altamonts Gilbert Park, as Petes Blues of Swansea used a improbable play to deny the defending champs a fourth title in six years.

  • Post 95's comeback falls just short

    The Post 95 Senior American Legion baseball team kicked things into full gear late in its game Wednesday at the 23rd District East Division Tournament.

    But, unfortunately, early mistakes and missed opportunities left the Red Ninjas kicking themselves in the end, as a late comeback came up just short in a 7-5 season-ending loss to Olney at Effinghams Evergreen Hollow Park.

    A pair of unsightly stats pretty much tell Post 95s story.

    First, Vandalia stranded 13 runners on the basepaths.

  • School options require study, input by voters

    With several months of study already under its belt, the committee of 10 representatives studying the potential reorganization of the St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts is continuing on a path toward presenting the issue to voters in those communities.

    So far, the committee has progressed at a reasoned pace, and with a consistent goal of determining what the reorganization could do to enhance the quality of education available to the students of those districts.

  • Aunt Frieda's trunk yields mysterious portrait

    Following years of living away from Fayette County, my dads oldest sister, Frieda Torbeck, decided it was time to return to her roots in St. Paul. She had left the area as a teenager, joining a neighborhood friend in a domestic job in northern Illinois.

    Many of the young women who went to the cities to work as housemaids and nursemaids, returned home, married and raised families, their grandchildren now living on the old family farms. But not Frieda.

    She found a position with a family whose mother had died and became housekeeper, looking after two children.

  • Wodtka's successor will likely be on the job on Friday

    When the woman who has served as Fayette County's circuit clerk for seven terms retires at the end of the day on Thursday, she doesn't know who will be serving as her temporary replacement.

    But that person is expected to be on the job the next morning.

    Marsha Wodtka is retiring on Thursday after 28 years as this countys circuit clerk. She announced her plans to retire in July of last year.

  • Meth maker gets 10 years; husband's trial is this week

    Five days before her husband went to trial on a charge alleging the manufacture of methamphetamine, a rural Beecher City woman pleaded guilty to that offense.

    Diana L. Griffith, 47, accepted a 10-year prison sentence in pleading guilty last Wednesday in Fayette County Circuit Court.

    In accepting a plea bargain, Griffith pleaded guilty to the manufacture of less than 400 grams of methamphetamine.

    Griffith and her husband, Charles E. Griffith, 48, were arrested on methamphetamine manufacture charges after a raid on their residence by the Fayette County Sheriffs Office.

  • St. Elmo-Brownstown reorganization committee making progress

    The committee working to prepare for a referendum on the reorganization of the St. Elmo and Brownstown school districts has essentially gone as far as it can without legal counsel.

    So, when it meets again in two weeks, the priority of that 10-member committee is hiring an attorney who will guide them through the steps required to get the reorganization issue on next Aprils ballot.

    The 10-member committee is headed up by Clint Feezel of the Brownstown district and Dean Buzzard of the St. Elmo district.

  • First National acquires Mulberry Grove, Greenville banks

    Ernie Chappel, president of The First National Bank of Vandalia, and Preston Smith, president of The First National Bank of Mulberry Grove, announced on Tuesday that the two institutions have reached an agreement by which First National Bank of Vandalia will purchase The First National Banking Centers located in Mulberry Grove and Greenville.

    In that acquisition, The First National Bank of Vandalia will acquire the deposits and certain assets, including loans, of the two Bond County banks.