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Today's News

  • Hemminghaus, Foster to make state debuts

    The Vandalia wrestling team's five state-tournament veterans have offered up a little advice to teammates Curtis Hemminghaus and Alex Foster as they get set to make their state-tournament debuts Friday.

    "They just said, 'Don't look up,'" said Hemminghaus, refering to the potentially overwhelming scene that will greet him when he hit the mats at the 16,000-plus seat Assembly Hall.

    "And I'm not going to look up," Hemminghaus added.

  • Vandals' five sectional champs have state experience

    If experience is everything, the Vandalia wrestling team could be in for a record-setting weekend at the IHSA Class A Individual State Wrestling Tournament.

    The Vandals are not only sending a whopping seven grapplers to Assembly Hall this weekend - they're sending five salty veteran wrestlers with a combined 10 state tournaments under their belts.

    That experience factor could go a long way toward helping the Vandals break last year's program record of three state medalists.

  • Seven Vandals qualify for state

    Most high school programs could make the trip to the IHSA Class A Individual Wrestling Tournament in a Yugo.

    The Vandalia wrestling program might have to take a bus.

    The Vandals came up just one wrestler shy of tying the program record for individual state qualifiers, as half of the team's starting lineup qualified for state Saturday by placing in the top three in their weight divisions at the Robinson Sectional.

  • Vandals win second straight

    Though the Vandalia boys basketball team led by 10 points or more for most of the game, the Staunton Bulldogs launched a fourth-quarter comeback that closed the gap to three points with 50 seconds remaining Saturday.

    Fortunately, the Vandals responded by making several foul shots in the final seconds of the contest to capture their first conference victory of the season, 70-61, at Staunton.

    It was also was the squad's first road win of the season, and, combined with last week's victory over South Central, the team is riding a two-game winning streak.

  • T-Town too tough for Lady Vandals in title game

    More so than his team's school-record 22 victories.

    More so than the two tournament championship trophies the Lady Vandals added to the VCHS trophy case.

    What will bring a smile to longtime coach Mike Butler's face when he looks back on the 2007-08 season will be the way his team went about putting together a historic season - not necessarily the Lady Vandals many accomplishments themselves.

    "The thing I liked was that we just battled every night," Butler said. "I think anyone that played us this year walked away with respect for this team.

  • IHSA ban harms students, media

    As the student athletes in our coverage area advance to state competition, we strive to provide the best possible upclose coverage. Unfortunately, the very organization that sponsors those competitions is hampering us from doing that.

    The individual state wrestling tournament this weekend is the first time that we will be faced with sitting alongside fans, away from the wrestling matches, as we attempt to cover that event.

  • Steinhauer bird collection lands in museum

    Back in the mid-1960s, I was a member of the Junior Girls Auxiliary of the American Legion. Our monthly meetings were held on Saturday afternoons in the American Legion building on Seventh Street.

    The room used for the auxiliary meetings was the one now used for the museum of the Legion, to the left of the main entrance.

    Across the hall was another large room that held glass cases of birds. I remember the cases being positioned along the west wall and extending a short distance on the north wall.

  • Lincoln's Birthday celebrated at Statehouse

    The Vandalia Historical Society celebrated Lincoln's Birthday with a program on Tuesday afternoon at the Vandalia Statehouse. The program was presented by Dale Timmermann, president of the historical society. Timmermann read some of the narratives he has written for Vandalia's Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits.

  • Shobonier man sentenced to 17 years in prison

    A Shobonier man who was charged with sex acts with a minor has agreed to a lengthy prison term.

    Michael E. Cunningham Sr., 57, signed a plea agreement last week for two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

    In doing so, Cunningham accepted a nine-year prison term for one count and an eight-year term for the second. Those terms will be served consecutively, which translates to a total of 17 years in prison.

    Under Illinois law, in major felony cases such as this, the offender is required to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence.

  • County steps up security at courthouse

    Members of the Fayette County Board learned first-hand on Tuesday night of the county sheriff's efforts to step up security at the county courthouse.

    As they entered the courthouse for their regular monthly meeting, board members were required like everyone else attending that meeting to pass through the county's metal detector.

    As he gave his report to the board, Sheriff Aaron Lay explained that he was planning to upgrade security measures, and that an incident in Kirkwood, Mo., spurred him to move quickly on those actions.