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Today's News

  • How we respond to Orgill loss can determine our future

    A week after receiving the news, its still hard to swallow the fact that our community was a runner-up in the race for a new Orgill distribution center. Making the news doubly hard to accept was that it means the loss of the current Orgill facility in Vandalia.

    Obviously, that news hits no one harder than the 140 or so employees of the Vandalia facility who know that they will have to find a new job and one that pays as well within a year.

  • Flour milling once a thriving business

    Again this week, we turn to the historical archives found in back issues of The Vandalia Union newspaper. For this weeks column, we are visiting the week of Oct. 13, 1927.

    In that issue, an article titled, "Flour Milling in Fayette County" was published in the paper. Special attention was given to the St. Elmo Milling Co., once the most thriving of its kind in this part of the country.

  • Vandalia officials' pay increases voted down

    With the mayor and one of the aldermen speaking out against pay increases for their positions, the Vandalia City Council narrowly voted down salary hikes for all city officials whose posts are up for election next spring.

    The council voted 4-3 on Monday night to reject 3 1/2-percent pay raises in each of the next four years for the mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and the four aldermanic seats on the ballot in the municipal election next spring.

  • Mattoon man arrested for armed robbery of St. Peter bank

    A Mattoon man who allegedly robbed the bank in St. Peter at gunpoint on Tuesday was in Fayette County Jail on Wednesday awaiting the filing of formal charges.

    W. Kelly Campbell, 39, of Mattoon, is in jail on pending charges of armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon after he allegedly surrendered to authorities without incident shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

    According to the Illinois State Police, a man obtained an undisclosed amount of money at First State Bank of St. Peter after presenting a gun to a bank employee.

  • Vandalia plans to continue agressive recruitment efforts after Orgill picks Sikeston

    Within a week of learning that Vandalia will be losing one of its major employers, city officials voiced optimism about moving forward by continuing to aggressively market Vandalia to industrial and commercial prospects.

    Orgill announced last Wednesday afternoon that it had chosen Sikeston, Mo., over Vandalia as the home for a new distribution center. That center will replace the ones currently being operated in Vandalia and Memphis, Tenn.

  • Orgill picks Sikeston over Vandalia

    Vandalia officials learned late Wednesday that their efforts to retain jobs at the local Orgill facility and procure more jobs at a new company facility were unsuccessful.

    Vandalia Mayor Rick Gottman and Orgill President Ron Beal both issued press releases confirming that Orgill had chosen Sikeston, Mo., as the home for a Mid-America SuperCenter.

    Vandalia and Sikeston were the finalists for the new distribution center that will reportedly employ about 350 people.

    Orgill officials said Wednesday that the new 795,000-square-foot facility will be built on a 70-acre site.

  • South Central ends Vandalia Jr. Legion season

    With storm clouds looming in the west and just nine players in the dugout, the Vandalia Junior American Legion baseball team had to feel fortunate just to take the field Friday in an elimination game at the 23rd District East Division Tournament at Salem.

    Vandalia's luck ran out long before those storm clouds emptied onto the field in the middle of the seventh, however, as Post 95 saw its season come to an end with an 8-2 rain-shortened loss to South Central.

    The lopsided defeat came to a team that Vandalia beat earlier in the season.

  • Murfin leads Post 95 to DH sweep with 1-hitter

    Moments prior to the second game of the Post 95 Senior American Legion baseball team's doubleheader at Centralia Tuesday night, Luke Murfin promised coach Steve Hosick a seven-inning no-hitter.

    "I was kidding around," Murfin said.

    Centralia would beg to differ.

    Despite throwing three innings the night before - and being just 15 years old - Murfin nearly delivered on his half-serious prediction, as the Patoka junior-to-be dominated an overwhelmed host team, completing a Post 95 doubleheader sweep with a one-hit gem.

  • Gray and Reuscher to play golf at Blackburn

    Since Dallas Gray introduced Danny Reuscher to the game of golf back in junior high, the two recent VCHS grads have become fixtures on the links at Vandalia Country Club.

    "We both like to play together and watch each other, and see if there are any glitches in our swings," Gray said. "We play all the time."

    The duo's friendship and mutual love for the game helped the VCHS golf program put together an unprecedented four-year run of success.

  • Sales tax option may help schools

    Though we have to start from the premise that the last thing most people want is another tax, there may be some merit in studying the benefits of a countywide sales tax to benefit our schools.

    The concept of a sales tax to provide funding for education is new in Illinois, but has been used successfully in several other states.

    The difference between this proposal and other current school taxes is that under this plan, funds are generated by retail sales rather than the more traditional property taxes.