Steve Hoffman

Steve Hoffman

When jails fail, help arrives

MONTICELLO — Help is on the way at the Piatt County Jail, where 30 inmates spent an uncomfortable past two days after the air conditioning system conked out.

Piatt County Sheriff David Hunt said Wednesday that he expects repairs will be made to the system early today, just as temperatures are expected to approach the mid-80s.

Show to run gamut of late artist Larry Ziemer's works

MONTICELLO — Art lovers already know the name of Larry Ziemer, but his wife, Carol, hopes they can learn a little more about the depth of his talent at a Celebration of Life Art Exhibit being held in his memory from 1-4 p.m. today in Monticello.

The gathering will be held in the same place he sold his works for some 30 years, at the Ziemer Gallery, 210 W. Washington St.

Judge sets trial for trio charged with neglect in Monticello man's death

MONTICELLO — A Piatt County judge has found there is enough evidence for the trials of three people charged with criminal neglect following the death of a 64-year-old Monticello man to go forward.

Jury trials for Mason Brown, 34, and his mother, Christy, 61, both of Monticello, and Justin Tatman, 37, of Bement have been tentatively set for Jan. 7.

UPDATE: Trio face neglect charges in death of Monticello man

MONTICELLO — Criminal neglect charges have been filed against three people in the wake of the death of a 64-year-old Monticello man.

Monticello police Chief John Carter said "deplorable" living conditions were a contributing factor to Ronald Blankenship's death from "severe bilateral bronchopneumonia of the lungs and a closed-off larynx."

Teen hurt after throwing herself over third-floor railing in Piatt courthouse

MONTICELLO — A teenager who threw herself over a third-floor bannister Tuesday at the Piatt County Courthouse suffered a neck injury and is being treated at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Plaques preserving history of businesses that raised Monticello's profile

MONTICELLO — A significant portion of Monticello's rich history can be traced to its historic downtown buildings, most of which date back a century and more.

The city's Historic Preservation Commission is trying to bring some of the structures' stories back to life with plaques that outline just what businesses resided in those majestic edifices.

Farmer City welcomes back an 11-year-old fighter

FARMER CITY — Eleven-year-old Kade Nichols and his mom, Kelly, had not seen their hometown of Farmer City for 82 days, so they received quite the warm welcome when they finally made it back to the DeWitt County community this week.

Monticello pastor gives vital piece of himself to parishioner

MONTICELLO — Elaine Holloway was told in January 2016 she needed a new kidney to survive, and that it could take up to five years to find a suitable donor for the Monticello woman.

But less than a year after being placed on a national transplant list, a donor was found very close to home.

In fact, he came from her own church's pulpit.

Man arraigned in Piatt County after two months on the lam

MONTICELLO — A 33-year-old man was arraigned Thursday in Piatt County on charges alleging he broke into a home in Cerro Gordo and tried to strangle his estranged wife.

Todd McGee had gone on the run after the April 3 incident, and at that time, authorities considered him armed and dangerous. He was caught May 23 in Atlanta and returned to Piatt County on Wednesday.

Rose to Mahomet Aquifer Task Force meeting: Still a lot of work to do

MONTICELLO — One day after the Illinois House approved a measure aimed at protecting central Illinois' main groundwater source, state Sen. Chapin Rose told a Mahomet Aquifer Task Force subcommittee Friday there is still a lot of work to do.