Today's News

  • Stapp served state for most of his life

    James T. B. Stapp was born in Fayette County, Ky., (now Woodford County), on April 13, 1804, the youngest child of James and Sarah "Sally" Burbridge Stapp. His father, from Virginia, was a soldier of the Revolution, and at its end, moved the family to Kentucky.

    When James was 12 years old, his parents moved again, this time to Kaskaskia, Ill., and this is where we pick up their story.

  • Helm, Taylor worthy of Abes

    The two individuals who last Thursday received an Abe Award from the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce have a lot in common. Its just that they have taken different paths in reaching a similar goal serving the community and its people.

    Saundra Helm and Ed Taylor Jr. are also similar in that they have quietly and modestly done numerous things to benefit other residents of the area.

  • Get out and vote!

    Next Tuesdays primary election will feature only three contested races, and only residents in three county board districts will be voting on those contests. But that doesnt mean that everyone else in the county should not bother going to the polls on Tuesday.

    Fayette County residents should take advantage of the rescheduling of Illinois primary, to allow it to be included in Super Tuesday. On that day, voters in 20 states will be selecting their presidential candidates.

  • Election is Tuesday

    While all Fayette County residents will be helping to select the presidential candidates in November, people in three Fayette County Board districts will be picking nominees for the general election.

    The three county board contests are Districts 2, 4 and 5.

    In District 2, incumbent Democrat John C. Daniels Jr. is being challenged by Jon A. Phillips. There is no Republican candidate in District 2 at this time.

  • Two county residents go to prison for meth

    Two Fayette County residents have been given lengthy prison terms after being convicted of drug offenses in federal court.

    Randy G. Massey, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced at the end of last week that Randy A. Brown and Jackie G. Richards were sentenced for their roles in a drug conspiracy in Fayette, Clinton and Madison counties from may 2004 through November 2006.

  • Helm, Taylor receive Abe Awards

    Two local residents who have used different avenues to reach out to numerous other people in this area were recognized last Thursday by the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce.

    Saundra Helm, a resident of Vandalia since the mid-1970s, and Ed Taylor Jr., a lifetime resident of the community, each received an Abe Award at the chambers annual banquet at the American Legion Home in Vandalia.

  • Engineer says Route 51 study will take four years

    A large group of Fayette County residents turned out last Thursday afternoon to find out the possible path for four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 through the county. What they found out is that they can play a part in making that determination.

    Jerry Payonk of Clark Dietz Engineers, one of the consulting firms working with the Illinois Department of Transportation on the Route 51 expansion project, told that crowd at the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus that the public meeting was being held to introduce the U.S. 51 Environmental Impact Statement Project.

  • Helm, Taylor receive Abe Awards

    Saundra Helm and Ed Taylor Jr. were recognized on Thursday night for their service to the community.

    Helm and Taylor are the 2008 recipients of Abe Awards.

    For a story listing their contributions to the community, see Thursdays issue of The Leader-Union.

  • Route 51 hearings need public input

    Though we said it last week, it bears repeating once again that two important hearings regarding the future of U.S. Route 51 will be held this Thursday.

    These hearings will allow area residents to hear information from Illinois Department of Transportation officials and then to share their opinions about the options available for the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 in Fayette County.

    The first will be from 1-4 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus. The second will follow from 5:30-8 p.m. at Ramsey High School.

  • Use new school funding wisely

    Though its been passed by legislators and signed by the governor, a bill authorizing an increase in state aid to Illinois school districts has yet to produce any increased cash in local districts coffers.

    But, thankfully, that aid is coming.

    When it arrives, the $400 per student per year hike will represent the first increase in school funding since 1985. For the Vandalia district, that will mean an additional $250,000 to $300,000 per year to educate our children. Our per-pupil annual funding now stands at $5,734.