11:01am CDT, 08/21/14

Local News

Hot weather is here starting today, should stay with us about a week

08/21/14 06:02 AM
We got an extra break from the heat yesterday, as rain stayed with us for a good amount of the day to hold down temperatures. But, the hot weather will be with us today. We are looking at mostly sunny skies for today with a high of 91. Friday looks to be the beginning of the strongest of the heat wave, with a high in the lower 90s on Friday and heat index reading over 100. We will stay hot over

Rains will help area's soybean crop, Crop Survey next Thursday

08/21/14 06:01 AM
As we get ready for our hottest snap of the summer, the area has continued to receive rain this week. Fayette County Farm Bureau Manager Stephanie Kraus says that rain is especially beneficial to the area's soybean crop.

Kraus said in the Bond County Crop Survey they came out with an average yield of 172 bushels per acre for corn and 45 for soybeans. Meaning, the annual Fayette

YMCA Football and Soccer Registration Deadline Near

08/21/14 06:00 AM

With the summer coming to an end and fall drawing near, the Fayette County YMCA is preparing for its fall sports seasons. Program Director Josh Wetzel says flag football registration is open through this Friday.

Also going on right now is fall soccer registration.

Flag football is open to children in 2nd through 4th grades while soccer is open to kids age 4 through 5th grade.

Happy Hollow Family Farms Pumpkin Run Deadline Friday

08/21/14 05:59 AM

Happy Hollow Family Farms in St. Elmo will hold their annual Pumpkin Run 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, September 6 at 9a.m. Registration forms and entry fee are due tomorrow, Friday, August 22nd. Cost of entry is $25 and only those registering through tomorrow are guaranteed an event t-shirt. Registration forms are available on the Happy Hollow Family Farms website at

Rauner, Quinn Neck To Neck In Recent Poll

08/21/14 05:58 AM
(Undated)  --  Governor Quinn seems to be gaining ground on his Republican opponent.  A new poll conducted by the Garin Hart Yang Research Group puts Quinn down by just three-and-a-half percentage points to Bruce Rauner.  Forty-four-percent of 802 likely voters say they're backing Rauner, compared to Quinn's 41-percent.  That's a near dead-heat when you

Quinn, Rauner Agree To Debate

08/21/14 05:57 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Debate season is just around the corner.  Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner have agreed to hash it out in at least three traditional debates this October.  Two of them will be in Chicago and one will be in Peoria.  The two have been sparring over taxes, job creation, and off-shore investments in recent weeks.  Rauner has maintained a slight lead in

DuQuoin State Fair Starts Tomorrow

08/21/14 05:56 AM
(Du Quoin, IL)  --  The Du Quoin State Fair starts tomorrow.  The Miller Carnivals will open up at 3:00 in the afternoon and the fair parade will take off at 6:00 p.m.  Fairgoers can enjoy harness racing, motorsports, cooking contests, and concerts during the duration of the fair.  Kenny Rogers, .38 Special, and KC and the Sunshine Band are among those slated to

Rauner Running Out Of Time For Term Limits Measure

08/21/14 05:55 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is making a last minute push to get a term limits measure on the November ballot, but he's running out of time.  Rauner called on the Illinois Supreme Court to move quickly on a court challenge so the referendum question can be included on the ballot, which is to be certified Friday.  An Illinois

Illinois Fares Well On ACT Prep

08/21/14 05:54 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois is a leader when it comes to preparing kids for college.  The Board of Education's Mary Fergus says stat's show that the Class of 2014 scored an average of 20-point-seven on the ACT. 

The national ACT testing average is 21. 

Nicole Wilson/ab IL) STL) MO) SCC)


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Bethel Baptist Church Back to School bash still on at Rogier Park

08/20/14 12:30 PM
The Bethel Baptist Church Back to School bash, scheduled for this evening at Rogier Park, is still on and will be held this evening at the Park--the weather is expected to clear off for this evening.

Still looking for Recipes for Vandalia Chamber of Commerce 100th Anniversary coo

08/20/14 09:47 AM
The deadline for submitting recipes for the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce 100th Anniversary Cookbook is just 5 days away!

All current members, past Chamber presidents and past Abe winners -- as well as their family members -- are welcome to fill out this recipe submission form and return it by Aug. 25. Forms may be mailed to P.O. Box 238, Vandalia, IL 62471 or emailed to

Hot weather is here and will stay with us for a while

08/20/14 06:06 AM
The hot weather is upon us. For really the first time this summer, which now is two-thirds over, we will be seeing hot temperatures around the area for the next several days. Today we are looking at a high of 90 with a chance of showers and thunderstorms during the day today. For tomorrow, we are looking at a high of 92 with index values of better than 100. Friday and Saturday we are looking at

Vandalia School Board makes hires, updates enrollment for new school year

08/20/14 06:05 AM
As the school year officially got underway yesterday, the Vandalia School Board held their monthly meeting last night and made some of the last minute hires for the school year. The Vandalia School Board accepted the resignation of Junior High PE Aide Michelle Miller, Jefferson School cook Ruth Ann Moyer and half-time band teacher for the Junior high Sarah Fairbanks. The board approved the

Bruce Rauner makes a stop in Vandalia

08/20/14 06:04 AM
The Republican candidate for Governor made a stop in Vandalia on Tuesday morning, and told his supporters he is going to get this race to the finish line with a victory. Bruce Rauner is taking a bus tour thru a huge amount of downstate Illinois. Congressman John Shimkus says that will then allow Rauner to focus on northern Illinois as we get closer to the November election.



Gov Quinn Says Illinois Economy Is Strong

08/20/14 06:04 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Pat Quinn says he believes that the state's economy is strong.  His Republican challenger Bruce Rauner says data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the state leads the Midwest in job losses this year.  Quinn says the state's unemployment rate has dropped since he took office.

Quinn says Illinois has the highest wages compared to

Illinois Crops Fairing Well

08/20/14 06:03 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois crops continue to do well.  The latest crop report from the USDA shows the state had cool weather last week and some places got showers.  Rainfall averaged just over an inch last week, which is slightly above normal.  Crop statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is progressing nicely.

Meanwhile, 96-percent of soybeans are

Governor Signs New Regulations To Prevent Concussions

08/20/14 06:02 AM
(Oak Park, IL)  --  Governor Pat Quinn signed new legislation that's designed to reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes.  It requires the IHSA to develop an online training course for high school coaches and athletic directors. Coaches and athletic directors will need to renew their certification every two years. Meanwhile, athletes will be required to watch

Showers and TStorms now likely for today, chance of a strong to severe storm

08/19/14 09:58 AM
The forecast for the area has changed a bit as the day has gone on today.  The National Weather Service now says that showers and thunderstorms are likely today, mainly during the early afternoon.  The NWS also adds that a few of the storms may become strong to severe this afternoon, with large hail and damaging winds the primary threats with these storms.  We'll still see a

Bruce Rauner makes morning stop in Vandalia

08/19/14 09:40 AM
As part of his Bus tour throughout downstate Illinois, Republican candidate for Governor Bruce Rauner made a stop in Vandalia this morning. A large crowd was gathered in the conference room at the Holiday Inn Express for the official visit—which was also attended by State Senator Kyle McCarter and Congressman John Shimkus, who made the official introduction of Rauner. Rauner says this

Rauner in Vandalia this morning

08/19/14 06:01 AM
The Republican candidate for Governor is in Vandalia this morning. Bruce Rauner will be making a campaign stop this morning at 7:30 am at the Holiday Inn Express in Vandalia. Rauner will be joined in his Vandalia stop by Congressman John Shimkus. Rauner has been making stops throughout the state of Illinois over the past several days as part of his campaign bus tour.

All area students are now in school

08/19/14 06:00 AM
As of this morning, all area schools are back in session. Vandalia, Mulberry Grove and South Central students officially are back in school today—meaning that all area schools are now back up and going to begin their 2014-15 school year.

Vandalia City Council, TIF Committee meet to discuss large TIF request

08/19/14 05:59 AM
The TIF advisory committee met with the Vandalia City Council last night to explain their reasoning on a very large request. Four members of the TIF Advisory Committee—Doug Knebel, Joe Cearlock, Keith Schaal and Joe Schaal—met with the Vandalia City Council last night prior to the regular council meeting. The reason for the meeting was to further explain their thoughts behind tabling

First Human Case Of West Nile Virus Found

08/19/14 05:58 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois Department of Public Health says the first human case of West Nile Virus for this year has been reported.  A woman in the Chicago area in her 70s that became ill in July. Last year there were 117 human cases of West Nile Virus, but IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the weather has been on our side this year.

She says you should still take

New Law Designed To Make 9-1-1 Universal

08/19/14 05:57 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Quinn has signed a bill designed to make sure that people can call 9-1-1 from any phone.  The bill's sponsor, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Shorewood, says it was prompted by a tragedy last year in Texas when a little girl couldn't summon help for her mother because their hotel room phone required callers to dial "9"

Governor Signs Laws To Protect Seniors

08/19/14 05:56 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Two new laws are designed to protect senior citizens and other vulnerable adults in Illinois.  The laws improve the procedures for reporting for people in nursing homes and other community settings.  Senator Heather Steans sponsored one of the bills, which expands the Long Term Ombudsman Program.

The expansion will make sure older adults and people with

State Fair Attendance Down

08/19/14 05:55 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  State Fair organizers say rainy weather is to blame for a drop in attendance this year.  Attendance was down 11 percent, but fair manager Amy Bliefnick says they had rain on eight of the 11 days of the fair.  They had to cancel seven events this year, including the parade on the opening day of the fair. This year's fair drew 847-thousand people.

State Medicaid Miscalculation Costing Washington Lost Interest

08/19/14 05:54 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Federal auditors say the State of Illinois miscalculated how much money it was owed in federal Medicaid funds, leading to overdrafts that the state was slow to repay.  The inspector general for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department says the state's faulty math led to Illinois taking an average of 60-million-dollars per quarter more than was justified

Hot weather on the way this week

08/18/14 06:07 AM
After a wet weekend, we are in for probably our hottest temperatures of the summer this week. We will see partly sunny skies for today with a high in the lower 80s—but this will be our coolest day of the week. Tuesday we'll see highs in the upper 80s, Wednesday upper 80s, and then low 90s for highs for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And, each day after today contains a 20 to 30 percent

Two sentenced in Fayette County Court on Aggravated DUI charges

08/18/14 06:07 AM
A 41 year old Vandalia man was sentenced to time in the Department of Corrections this past week in Fayette County Court. Judge Marc Kelly sentenced 41 year old Robert A. Ward to 3 years in prison on the offense of Aggravated Driving under the Influence and also 3 years for Driving while License Revoked, with the sentences to run concurrently.


A 49 year old Salem man was sentenced to

Vandalia Supt of Schools gets ready for new role

08/18/14 06:06 AM
We talk again today with Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well, who will begin tomorrow taking on a second job and serving as Principal at Jefferson Primary School-along with remaining Superintendent of Schools. As Well stated, it is not an ideal situation but it is a way for some cost savings for the district. Well says it takes him back to the classroom, although his role as principal at

Rauner will make stop in Vandalia Tuesday morning

08/18/14 06:05 AM
The Republican candidate for Illinois Governor will be making a campaign stop in Vandalia tomorrow morning. The stop is part of Bruce Rauner's “Shake Up Express Bus Tour.” Rauner's stop will be at 7:30 Tuesday morning at the Holiday Inn Express in Vandalia. Rauner's tour is continuing today as well, with stops today in Salem, Marion and Vienna.

Smoking Banned On Illinois Campuses

08/18/14 06:04 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Starting next year, you won't be able to smoke on college campuses in Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that bans smoking both indoors and outdoors on all state-supported colleges and universities.  The ban begins on July 1st of next year.  The Illinois Department of Public Health says the law should help decrease the number of people who

New Laws Keep Drugs Away From Schools

08/18/14 06:03 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  A trio of new laws in Illinois are designed to keep drugs away from schools.  One law increases the penalty for making methamphetamine near schools. The second bill adds some synthetic drugs to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to manufacture or deliver. The drugs have been available online and can be especially dangerous for high school

Scam Calls Targeting Illinoisans

08/18/14 06:02 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Illinois residents are being targeted by scammers that claim to be from Microsoft or other tech support services.  Madigan says the scammers call and say they've detected viruses or other computer problems and trick people to gain access to their computers and get them to pay for unnecessary software.  Madigan says some

Woman Arrested In Cancer Scam

08/18/14 06:02 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  A Troy woman has been charged with scamming people by saying that both she and her son had cancer. Melissa Barton was arrested last week at the Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport in Springfield. Police say she was on her way to Chicago to appear on the "Dr. Phil" show.  She's been charged with theft by deception. Police say Barton used had been

Heavy rain possible for tonight

08/16/14 05:37 AM
Showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast throughout this weekend, and we could also see some heavy rain for tonight.  We'll see a high today in the upper 70s and showers and thunderstorms are likely for today.  For tonight, showers and thunderstorms are again likely with the possibility of locally heavy rainfall for tonight with a low in the upper 60s.  Showers and

Brownstown Gold Years Club Ice Cream social

08/16/14 05:34 AM
The Brownstown Golden Years Club is holding an Ice Cream Social today from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Golden Years Club Building in Brownstown.  It is donations only for the fundraiser today, with raffle tickets for a quilt available for $1 or 6 for $5.

New releases at Starmax Cinemas in Vandalia

08/15/14 07:10 AM
Check out the new releases at Starmax Cinemas in Vandalia!

Check out what's playing and showtimes on their website at www.starmaxcinemas.com, on Facebook or by calling 618-699-4040.

Showers and thunderstorms in forecast throughout this weekend

08/15/14 06:00 AM
After a dry and mild week, it looks like it could be a rainy weekend ahead for the area. We are looking at mostly sunny skies for today with highs again in the lower 80s. Starting on Saturday, there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms with temps in the lower 80s. Showers and thunderstorms are then likely on Saturday night with showers and thunderstorms in the forecast all the way thru the

Well set to take on extra role, today first day of school for two county schools

08/15/14 05:59 AM
The school will get started on Tuesday for the Vandalia School District. And, when the year begins, Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well will be taking on a new role along with his current role, as he will serve as Jefferson School Principal along with his Superintendent duties. Well says it's not ideal, but it was something that allows for some budget savings.


Well is

Unemployment Rate Falls Again In July

08/15/14 05:58 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois is making more leeway when it comes to bringing down the unemployment rate.  It dropped to six-point-eight-percent last month.  Governor Quinn says that's good news.

This is the fifth month in a row that the unemployment rate has gone down in Illinois and it's the lowest it's been in six years. 

Nicole Wilson/lr IL)

Edgar Says State Is A Disaster Under Governor Quinn

08/15/14 05:57 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Former Governor Jim Edgar is jumping into the governor's race with full support for Bruce Rauner.  Edgar says it's time to mix things up in Springfield because the state hasn't fared so well under Democratic leadership.  In fact, he says things have been in a state of disaster under Governor Quinn and former Governor Rod Blagojevich's

Rauner Says He'll Live In Springfield

08/15/14 05:56 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner says he's planning to do what no other Illinois governor has done in years, and that's to live in the governor's mansion.  He says the seat of Illinois government should be in the capital city and he'll make sure that's the case if he wins the election in November.  But, he isn't missing the chance to point out at the

Rauner Appeals To Farmers

08/15/14 05:55 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner is trying to appeal to farmers. 

He says he can't stand how career politicians are running Illinois into the ground.  He says if he's elected governor, he'll lower taxes, restore free enterprise, invest more in school districts across the state, and help get rid of the culture of corruption that has overtaken the

Term Limits Group Fights In Court For Referendum

08/15/14 05:54 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Supporters of a November referendum on legislative term limits are continuing their fight, telling a state appeals court that voters deserve a chance to weigh in.  The drive is being led by Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner, but the effort to impose an eight-year limit on lawmakers through a referendum was ruled unconstitutional by a Cook County

Bruce Rauner to be in Vandalia on Tuesday morning

08/14/14 06:04 AM
The Republican candidate for Governor will make a stop in Vandalia this coming week. Republican Bruce Rauner will stop in Vandalia on Tuesday morning at 7:30 am. The stop will be held at the Holiday Inn Express in Vandalia. Rauner will be joined in his stop by Congressman John Shimkus. For Rauner, he has already made multiple stops in Vandalia—stopping twice before the Primary election

Governor Quinn Campaigns At Illinois State Fair

08/14/14 06:03 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Quinn says his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner is a rich man who is out of touch with everyday people.  He made the remark while attending Wednesday's Democrats Day at the State Fair in Springfield.  Quinn added that Rauner's budget plan would "take a chain saw to education" and that the GOP candidate doesn't respect

White Worried Rauner Attempting To Buy Black Vote

08/14/14 06:03 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is concerned the Republican candidate for governor is trying to buy the black vote.  He told the media at Wednesday's State Fair in Springfield that according to news reports Bruce Rauner offered one-million dollars to a credit union in a mostly African American Chicago neighborhood.  The GOP hopeful's camp

Despite wet conditions, Gov Quinn says State Fair attendance holding in there

08/14/14 06:02 AM
Despite getting off to a rain start, attendance at the Illinois State Fair is holding pretty steady this year. More than 372 thousand people have made it out of the fairgrounds during the first five days of the fair. That's below the 413 thousand that visited during the same time period last year. But, Governor Pat Quinn says more promising weather and popular concerts will help boost

Signs Of Race Bias During Traffic Stops

08/14/14 06:00 AM
(Undated)  --  A new study shows signs of racial bias in Illinois when it comes to police searches and traffic stops. The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union released the report on Wednesday.  It says cops are twice as likely to ask Black and Latino drivers to submit to vehicle searches during traffic stops than Whites.  But White drivers are 49 percent more