Steve Hoffman

Steve Hoffman

State police honor Blue Ridge students who helped choking woman

FARMER CITY — What could have been one tragedy on top of another was averted when some alert Blue Ridge High School students helped a woman who was choking after a funeral service for fallen state Trooper Ryan Albin last summer.

They were honored this week by the Illinois State Police for their life-saving efforts.

Remembering Pfc. Robert C. Burke: 'He stepped forward over and over'

MONTICELLO — Most people here have heard of Pfc. Robert C. Burke.

Monticello's American Legion post bears his name, as does the park that surrounds the town swimming pool. His photo and brief but distinguished military record are spelled out in a display at the Piatt County Courthouse.

Cerro Gordo school board says librarian's abrupt ouster not a cost cut

CERRO GORDO — The Cerro Gordo school district will soon be constructing a new library as part of an $8 million building project.

Who will run it remains a mystery following the dismissal of the district's full-time librarian, which took many in town — including the suddenly-out-of-work Amy Williams — by surprise.

Third time's a charm for Monticello's $29.8 million school proposal

MONTICELLO — After twice previously defeating calls to construct a new high school, Monticello school district voters on Tuesday approved a $29.8 million referendum proposal that will fund renovations at the high school's Washington Elementary campus.

Lodge woman's ranch aims to rescue youths, horses together

LODGE — It's fitting that Faith is the name of Emily Reichman's first rescue horse. And that the word "hope" is in the title of an equine mentoring program she will launch for at-risk youth at her rural Piatt County home.

You see, it was a love of horses that kept her on the straight and narrow path after her parents divorced when she was 8 years old.

Piatt County sheriff candidates wrangle over incidents at jail

MONTICELLO — The Piatt County sheriff's race took to social media this week, with challenger Kyle Turngren accusing incumbent Republican David Hunt of not being transparent about violence at the county jail when it housed Cook County inmates from 2012 to 2016.

Probe finds Cerro Gordo school threat not credible

CERRO GORDO — Schools in this southern Piatt County town had an increased law-enforcement presence on campus Friday morning after students reported a possible threat they overheard at the high school Thursday afternoon.

B&Bs hope to cash in Piatt County

MONTICELLO — A pair of century-old Piatt County homes could open their doors for the bed-and-breakfast crowd in the coming months after getting the all-clear from separate zoning boards.

And a third B&B that has been in development since 2016 could join them this spring.

Monticello school board OKs third try at renovations referendum

MONTICELLO — Voters in the Monticello school district will cast ballots on a $29.8 million referendum question next March that would fund renovations at the high school/Washington Elementary school campus. School board members on Wednesday voted to place the issue on the March 20 ballot, which will be the district's third referendum try in five years.

Monticello High students learn lesson in passing along goodwill

MONTICELLO — There was a generous helping of good in recent days as part of an anonymous #MerryChristmasSages campaign.

A total of 25 Monticello High School seniors received $20 in the mail with instructions to use it to encourage someone else this Christmas season.