02:00pm CDT, 05/22/15

Local News

Vandalia Police looking for public's help on information about vehicle damage

05/22/15 11:37 AM
On Friday May 22nd at 8:34am Officers responded to the Vandalia Park District for a report of property damage. A 1978 Chevy truck was damaged. Unknown subjects had thrown rocks at the truck and shattered the front windshield and busted both taillights. We are offering a cash reward through Crime-Watchers for information leading to an arrest. Call 618-283-1986 with any information. We would also

Vandalia Tourism Commission Hanging Basket Sale going on now

05/22/15 09:50 AM
The Vandalia Tourism Commission has a hanging basket sale going on today at Vandalia City Hall.  These are 10 inch premium baskets and will be assorted varieties.  All proceeds will go towards the Lincoln Heritage Festival to be held at Rogier Park on July 11th and 12th.  The baskets are $16 each and available while quantities last.

Consul General Norton makes visit to Vandalia

05/22/15 06:17 AM
A special visitor made a stop in Vandalia on Thursday and came away with a good impression of the area. Roy Norton, the Consul General of Canada and serves the midwestern states, made his stop in Vandalia on Thursday. The Vandalia Chamber of Commerce teamed up with some area business leaders to host a reception for the Consul General, who then addressed the crowd on several issues. Norton says

Memorial Day Services in Brownstown and St. Elmo on Monday

05/22/15 06:15 AM
Area Memorial Day Services are set for this Monday. The annual Brownstown VFW Memorial Day Service will be held at 11 am in front of the Memorial Walk at Brownstown's Central Park. We will have the re-broadcast of the service at about 12:30 pm on 104.7 FM-AM 1500 WPMB. The St. Elmo American Legion's Memorial Day Service will be held at 1:30 pm on Monday afternoon. It will be at the St.

Walk Across America is Monday in Vandalia

05/22/15 06:14 AM
The 13th annual Walk Across America will be again this Memorial Day in Vandalia. As in the past, the event will get underway at 1 pm from the Vandalia Statehouse and they will walk to the Vandalia American Legion—which is 7-10ths of a mile. Organizer Donna Hale says they are prepared for rain and storms on Monday but they still hope everyone will come out.


The event is

State Senate Approves Bill To Lessen Punishment For Small Marijuana Offenses

05/22/15 06:13 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois is one step away from reducing the punishment for low-level marijuana offenses.  The State Senate approved a bill yesterday that would require individuals caught possessing up to 15-grams of the drug to be issued a ticket rather than face a larger fine or jail time.  It isn't known when or if Governor Rauner will sign the measure into

Rauner Warns Lawmakers To Expect Long Session

05/22/15 06:12 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Rauner is warning lawmakers to expect a long session this summer if they don't take up the controversial changes he's proposing as part of his "turnaround agenda."  In an op-ed in a Springfield newspaper, Rauner says he's concerned that the end of the legislative session is approaching and lawmakers aren't focused on the

Union Says Rauner Seeks Pay Freeze, Benefit Cut

05/22/15 06:11 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The state's largest employee union is telling its members that Governor Rauner wants to freeze their pay and cut holiday and vacation time.  The "State Journal-Register" reports that was the message in a notice sent out by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  The bulletin also reportedly notes  the

Rutherford Accusers Want Back Pay, Clean Records

05/22/15 06:10 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Three former workers for ex-state Treasurer Dan Rutherford say they're still being punished for providing damaging evidence in a sexual harassment investigation of Rutherford.  They claim Rutherford wrongfully fired them for misconduct because they came forward with the allegations that Rutherford made advances to employees and forced them to do political

Road Work Being Suspended For Holiday Weekend

05/22/15 06:09 AM
(Undated)  --  Motorists may find it a easier to drive on Illinois roads during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend.  IDOT says all non-emergency roadwork will be suspended from this afternoon until Tuesday at midnight.  Drivers should be aware of lane closures in some work zones that will remain in effect. One such project would be the bridge work on Interstate 70 at

Illinois Senate Approves Bill For Bobcat Hunting

05/22/15 06:08 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Hunters may soon be able to hunt bobcats in Illinois.  A bill received Senate approval yesterday that would allow the Department of Natural Resources to issue a limited number of permits a year to hunt bobcats in order to control the population of the animal.  Governor Rauner still has to sign the bill to make it a

Vandalia School Board approves financial move with bonds, other action from meet

05/21/15 05:59 AM
The Vandalia School Board approved some financing issues at their meeting on Tuesday night. Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Rich Well explains their moves at the meeting.


$636,000 is for health, life, safety for the work at the buildings. And, as Well said the other $1.8 million is re-financing at a much better rate. The local bank they are working with is First National

Cool and wet weather slowing up planting progress

05/21/15 05:57 AM
The wet and cool conditions this week have slowed up the planting progress around the area. Fayette County Farm Bureau Manager Stephanie Kraus says farm bureau members told her at a recent meeting it was very wet. But, she says they have made good progress on the corn planting.


Temperatures will begin to warm up but we are looking at rain thru this upcoming holiday weekend and into

Freshman lawmaker proposing term limits in Illinois legislature

05/21/15 05:56 AM
Republican Freshman lawmakers are pushing for term limits. State Representative Mark Batinik and some of his colleagues say the current gridlock at the Capitol illustrates the need for term limits in Illinois.


The group has proposed a constitutional amendment setting 12 year term limits for lawmakers. But, it hasn't been called for a vote. His bill also limits Governors to two

Bill heading to Gov's desk to make sweet corn the state veggie

05/21/15 05:55 AM
Sweet Corn may soon be the official state vegetable. State Representative Raymond Poe says the idea was brought to him by fourth graders at Chatham Elementary School.


the bill must be signed into law by the Governor.

"Millionaires Tax" Approved By House Revenue Committee

05/21/15 05:54 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  State lawmakers are still pushing for a so-called "millionaires tax" in Illinois.  The House Revenue Committee approved a proposed amendment yesterday that would place an additional three-percent tax on anyone making a personal income of more than one-million dollars.  The money is expected to go towards education.  The full House is next

Several sentenced to DOC time in Fayette County Court

05/20/15 06:10 AM
A 43 year old Granite City man has been sentenced to time in prison on burglary charges. 43 year old Michael J. Plantz of Granite City pleaded guilty last week to 3 counts of Burglary. Plantz was sentenced by Judge Don Sheafor to 8 years for each charge, with the time to run consecutive, in the Department of Corrections.


A 51 year old Vandalia is heading to prison for retail theft.

Bill would allow parents to opt kids out of state standardized tests

05/20/15 06:06 AM
House Lawmakers approved legislation Tuesday letting parents opt their children out of state standardized testing like the “PARCC” test. State Representative Will Guzzardi says there currently isn't a clear process for families that don't want their kids taking the test. The only way to do that now is for the student to refuse to take the test the day it is

Bill would make voter registration automatic

05/20/15 06:05 AM
New legislation in the State Senate creates an automatic voter registration process in Illinois. The bill, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar, would automatically register people to vote whenever they renew their driver's license.


Oregon already has a similar law and at least two other states are considering automatic registration.

Senate OKs 'Right-To-Try' Bill

05/20/15 06:04 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  A bipartisan bill to allow terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs has been approved by the Illinois Senate, sending it to Governor Rauner for his signature.  The bill would give patients the option of trying treatments and medications that are in clinical trials, bypassing the five-year period imposed by the federal Food and Drug Administration

Woman Accused Of Killing Grandchildren's Pets As Punishment

05/20/15 06:03 AM
(Godfrey, IL)  --  A Madison County woman is accused of killing her grandchildren's cats with a hammer because the children failed to clean their rooms.  Seventy-one-year-old Josephine Bell was arrested Monday after one of her grandchildren called police to say she'd found her dead cat in the family's freezer.  Police say Bell admitted killing the cat and its four

House Passes Bill Banning Conversion Therapy

05/20/15 06:02 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois could soon outlaw the practice of trying to change the sexual orientation of gay youth.  A bill passed through the House that would ban conversion therapy.  The measure would bar any mental health providers from engaging in treatment aimed at changing minors from gay to straight.  The bill now heads to the Senate.



State Supreme Court Hears Appeal By Philip Morris Over $10 Billion Verdict

05/20/15 06:01 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois State Supreme Court is once again being held responsible, deciding the result of a lawsuit against tobacco giant Philip Morris.  Plaintiffs were awarded over ten-billion dollars in 2003 after claiming the company used fraudulent terms to describe its cigarettes including "light" and "low tar."  The verdict was reversed by

Another report of counterfeit money in Vandalia

05/19/15 06:00 AM
Although it seems to have slowed down some, reports of counterfeit money showing still being made in Vandalia. Vandalia Police on Monday afternoon took a report of counterfeit currency in the 400 block of West Gallatin Street. Several businesses have reported getting counterfeit bills over the past couple of weeks. Two individuals---21 year old Jeffrey L. Durbin of Beecher City and 39 year old

Vandalia City Council approves bid for new city website

05/19/15 05:58 AM
After several months of discussion and research concerning working towards a new city website, the Vandalia City Council approved a bid to move forward with building and going live with a new site. A website committee has been meeting for several months, gathering information and coming up with specifications for the bids that would be going out to companies. More discussion was held during the

Weekly statewide crop report

05/19/15 05:57 AM
Fieldwork was limited last week, but the warm weather was a treat for emerging crops as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says corn planting is near completion.


47 percent of soybean have been planted with 14 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now rated at 3 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus.

Fundraising Starts For Mansion Repairs

05/19/15 05:56 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The group in charge of the fixing up shabby Illinois executive mansion is kicking off efforts this week to raise funds.  They need nearly nine-million-dollars needed for renovations and repairs to the 160-year-old Springfield house.  The nonprofit Illinois Executive Mansion Association is hosting a cocktail party Wednesday at the mansion looking for

Illinois House Passes Bill Banning Investments In Countries That Boycott Israel

05/19/15 05:55 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois could soon be banned from investing any money into companies that boycott the country of Israel.  The bill passed the House yesterday after already making its way through the Senate.  Governor Bruce Rauner has already tweeted that he looks forward to signing the proposal into law.


Colin McIntyre/dcr


Cooler weather on the way this week

05/18/15 06:04 AM
We are one week away from Memorial Day, but it's not going to feel like it for most of this week. Today we have a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms and we'll see a high of 83 for today. Tonight we are looking at a low down to 50 with clear skies. We will only see a high in the mid 60s on Tuesday, a high of just 60 on Wednesday and a high in the lower 60s on Thursday. We will

One person injured in a 4 vehicle accident on I-70 in Fayette Co Friday evening

05/18/15 06:03 AM
One person was injured in an accident that involved 4 vehicles and led to traffic being diverted off westbound lanes on Interstate 70 on Friday evening.  Illinois State Police reports indicate three vehicles, one driven by a 28 year old male from California, another driven by a 53 year old female from Ohio and a third drvien by a 45 year old female from South Carolina, were all three stopped

Sen McCarter proposes legislation to stop govt waste

05/18/15 06:02 AM
State Senator Kyle McCarter says ending government waste is one way to address the state's ongoing budget crisis. In fiscal year 2014, Illinois paid out nearly 4 million dollars in medical costs for people who were dead. The payouts were detailed in a report by the State Auditor General earlier this year. State Senator Kyle McCarter is the sponsor of legislation that would stop the payout of

Audit Finds Elder Care Funds Spent On Dead, Inmates

05/18/15 06:02 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  More than three-hundred-21-thousand-dollars in state funds were spent last year by the Department of Aging on services for people who were already dead. The state auditor's office found the money was spent through the Community Care Program, which provides in-home and community-based services for elders who don't live in nursing homes. In addition, the

One Of Nepal Crash Victims Was From Illinois

05/18/15 06:01 AM
(Kathmandu, Nepal)  --  An Aurora woman was one of the eight people who died last week when a Marine helicopter on a relief mission in Nepal crashed.  Corporal Sara A. Medina was a combat photographer who had reportedly been in the Marine Corps since 2010.  The helicopter disappeared over a mountain region northeast of Kathmandu on Tuesday, and the victims were discovered in

Illinois Hunters Gobble Up More Turkeys In 2015 Spring

05/18/15 05:59 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The numbers are up for turkeys taken in the spring hunting season in Illinois.  Exactly 15-thousand turkeys were harvested this season, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  That's nearly 15-hundred more birds than in 2014.  Jo Daviess County led the way with 601 bagged birds.

Jim McCabe/bfj     IL)

Governor Delivers Several College Keynote Speeches

05/18/15 05:58 AM
(Carbondale, IL)  --  Governor Bruce Rauner went back to school this weekend, delivering graduation addresses at several educational institutions.  Rauner was the keynote speaker at Southern Illinois University's graduation ceremonies on Saturday.  There were some protests, but not to the level that had been predicted for Rauner's visit.  Rauner also delivered the

NWS in St. Louis says severe weather still possible today

05/17/15 07:41 AM
This is today's Hazardous Weather Outlook report from the NWS in St. Louis



One person injured in a 4 vehicle accident on I-70 in Fayette Co Friday evening

05/16/15 09:54 PM
One person was injured in an accident that involved 4 vehicles and led to traffic being diverted off westbound lanes on Interstate 70 on Friday evening.  Illinois State Police reports indicate three vehicles, one driven by a 28 year old male from California, another driven by a 53 year old female from Ohio and a third drvien by a 45 year old female from South Carolina, were all three stopped

Chance of storms stays in forecast for Sunday, still a threat of severe storms

05/16/15 09:32 PM
Showers and thunderstorms are likely again for Sunday and there is still a threat of some of those storms being severe.  Showers and thunderstorms are likely on Sunday with a high of 80 and there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday night with a low of 67.  The National Weather Service in St. Louis says isolated thunderstorms are possible on Sunday morning.  And,

ABATE Family Fun Fest cancelled due to weather today, Armed Forces Tribute still

05/16/15 11:53 AM
The ABATE Fun Fest for today is cancelled due to the weather, it will be re-scheduled some time in September.  The Armed Forces Tribute is still on at the Vandalia Statehouse at 12:30 pm

Storms this weekend with the possibility of severe weather

05/16/15 05:49 AM
For the second weekend in a row, we are filled with chances of showers and thunderstorms and maybe even some severe storms mixed in.  Showers and Thunderstorms are likely for Saturday with a high of 79 and a chance of showers and thunderstorms for Saturday night with a low of 67.  The National Weather Service in St. Louis says scattered thunderstorms are possible for Saturday and

No details yet available on Friday afternoon I-70 crash

05/16/15 05:36 AM
No information is yet available on an accident that occured around 4:30 pm on Friday on Interstate 70.  Emergency crews were on the scene of the accident that occured near Vandalia on westbound Interstate 70 and they were diverting all westbound traffic off of the interstate at the Brownstown exit (Exit 68) which led to slow moving westbound traffic on US Route 40 from Bluff City to

Rauner Opens Checkbook As Legislative Session Heats Up

05/16/15 05:33 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Bruce Rauner is opening the cash spigot as the legislative session heads into its final weeks with critical budget issues up in the air.  Rauner started a special political fund to help lawmakers who support his agenda and presumably to punish opponents. This week, that fund has paid out four-hundred-thousand-dollars to Republican lawmakers,

Audit Finds Elder Care Funds Spent On Dead, Inmates

05/16/15 05:31 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  More than three-hundred-21-thousand-dollars in state funds were spent last year by the Department of Aging on services for people who were already dead. The state auditor's office found the money was spent through the Community Care Program, which provides in-home and community-based services for elders who don't live in nursing homes. In addition, the

Accident on I-70 has WB traffic diverted onto US 40

05/15/15 06:05 PM
Due to an accident on Interstate 70 near Vandalia, emergency personnel are diverting westbound traffic off of the interstate and onto US Route 40 at the Brownstown exit (exit 68) and this is leading to slow moving traffic thru this area, thru westbound 40 in Bluff City and into Vandalia.

Isolated strong to severe storms possible---Watch is not likely

05/15/15 02:21 PM


Little more clarification on counterfeit money situation

05/15/15 10:00 AM
Some folks have had the question "What if I get some counterfeit money as change and don't know and then spend it, would I be in trouble?"  Well, the answer is no if you are unknowingly spending it.  Vandalia Police Chief Jeff Ray says there have been some individuals receive counterfeit money as change and go somewhere else to spend it, not knowing it was

Two more reports of countefeit money discovered by Vandalia businesses

05/15/15 06:16 AM
Two more businesses reported to Vandalia Police, finding money they believed to be counterfeit.  Vandalia Police reports say an officer took a complaint from Burger King of a possible counterfeit bill being passed.  And, Vandalia Police reports say an office took a complaint of counterfeit money found at Wal-Mart.  Two individuals---21 year old Jeffrey L. Durbin of Beecher City and

It is HS Graduation weekend around the area

05/15/15 06:06 AM
It is graduation weekend for nearly every high school in the area. Vandalia High School Graduation will be held on Saturday night at 7 pm. The valedictorians are Johanna Lyn Walton, Jessica Cheyenne Sullens and Gage Nicholas Miles and the salutatorian is Rebeka Ann Sanders.


Brownstown High School Graduation is set for Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. The valedictorian is Katie Kroll and the

ABATE Family Fun Fest and Armed Forces Day Tribute Saturday in downtown Vandalia

05/15/15 06:04 AM
Downtown Vandalia will be filled with activities on Saturday. The ABATE Family Fun Fest will be held in downtown Vandalia from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine. There will be a bike show and kids activities. Judging will be held at 1 pm and awards will be handed out at 2 pm.


Saturday is Armed Forces Day and there will be an Armed Forces Tribute held on the lawn of the Vandalia Statehouse

City of Vandalia Clean Up Week---May 18th thru 22nd

05/15/15 05:59 AM
The City of Vandalia's Clean Up Week is nearly upon us. Next Week---May 18th thru 22nd---will be City Wide Clean up Week for Doty Sanitation customers only and the items will be collected on the dates of regular trash pickup. Among the items that will not be accepted will be paint in the wet stage, car batteries, tires, brush and landscape waste, construction materials or hazardous waste