Today's News

  • 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.

  • L-U clipping identifies musicians on postcard

    It had been quite a while since I had logged onto eBay, the Web site where you can buy or sell just about anything.

    I collect Vandalia postcards, and one evening as I went on line, I decided to see what Vandalia items eBay had to offer.

    About half way down the list was a postcard of the "Vandalia Band." Knowing this could be Vandalia, Ohio, or Indiana, I was pleasantly surprised to see it for Vandalia, Ill., and the seller had dated it at 1905.

    The leader of the band, who was seated and holding a baton, looked familiar, although I couldnt put a name to his face.

  • City OKs Lincoln storyboards

    The citys plans for streetscape improvements are on hold for the time being, but its efforts to educate local residents and tourists on Vandalias history are not.

    Action taken by the Vandalia City Council Monday paves the way for the creation and installation of Abraham Lincoln storyboards by this summer.

    The council approved an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation that allows the city to use federal TEA-21 grant funds, which are funneled through IDOT, for eight of the citys 10 storyboards.

  • EDC committee wants to survey residents

    While its interested in the findings of a commercial recruitment firm hired by the city, a Vandalia Economic Development Commission committee also wants the thoughts of another group as it works to lure new business to town.

    Dale Timmermann, chairman of the EDCs commercial recruitment committee, said at last weeks commission meeting that the committee wants to go through the recommendations of The Buxton Co.

    But the committee also, Timmermann said, would like to do some surveys. One of the groups that we lack feedback from is the community itself.

  • Fayette Water moving forward with Vandalia area expansion

    Fayette Water Co. hopes to complete later this year an expansion project that would provide water for people living north and northwest of Vandalia.

    The rural water group, which wanted to have between 150 and 200 households signed up for that expansion project, had 175 households on board at the start of last week.

    One of the biggest reasons for holding this meeting is because of the people who are still thinking about signing up, Fayette Water Manager and Board Treasurer Randy Wolf said prior to a public meeting last Monday at First Church of God in Vandalia.

  • Cougars win their 14th MTC Tournament title

    Poor perimeter shooting plagued South Central during a so-so start to the 2007-08 season.

    What a difference a month and a few shots beyond the arc can make.

    The Cougars (14-5) continued their resurgence last week at the Midland Trail Conference Tournament, as a pair of 3-point barrages helped South Central claim the program's 14th MTC Tournament title.

    The top-seeded Cougars hit 7 of 13 from long distance in the first half of last Wednesday's semifinal against Cisne, enjoying a 13-point halftime lead before holding off a late Lions' comeback for a 60-50 win.

  • Vandals top PORTA, fall to O'Fallon

    Quantity is good. Quality is even better.

    And the combination of the two is downright fantastic - especially when there's an element of revenge involved.

    Those facts considered, the Vandalia wrestling team could not have had a better week last week, as it went 4-0 and improved to 21-1 on the season.

    One of those wins came against a team that topped the Vandals a year ago - a team that is ranked fourth in the state this season.

    The Vandals went 3-0 Saturday at the Clinton Quad, with the highlight of the day being a 41-25 victory over Petersburg PORTA.

  • Hillsboro holds off Vandals' comeback attempt

    Vandalia's boys basketball team had its best offensive game of the year Tuesday, hitting 50 percent from the floor and 74 percent from the foul line on its way to a season-high 67 points.

    Unfortunately, the Vandals had one of their worst defensive nights as well.

    The combination led to another frustratingly close defeat, as Vandalia dropped its 10th game by 10 points or fewer this season, falling to visiting Hillsboro, 74-67.

  • Miller's 31 points powers Bombers past Rams

    Brownstown center Josh Miller is the kind of player that will stick to the gameplan no matter what.

    And on most nights, the gameplan calls for the 6-foot-3 senior to rebound, defend and contribute a basket here and there - so long as he adheres to the "two-dribble limit" imposed on him by coach Adam Bussard.

    But the gameplan changed a bit Friday night, wisely calling for a guy nicknamed "Moose" to get as many touches as possible against an undersized Ramsey team featuring just one player over 6 feet tall.