Jean Noellsch

NSDAR chapter elects new officers

PAXTON — Members of the Gov. Thomas Ford chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) held their regular monthly meeting on March 4 in the meeting room at Monical’s Pizza in Paxton.


Upset by $32 surcharge, Elliott residents pack meeting room

ELLIOTT — Water quality and increased water bills were on the minds of about 25 Elliott residents who came to Tuesday night’s village board meeting to vent their dissatisfaction with recent board action.


Rural Paxton man pleads guilty to reckless homicide in 2016 crash

PAXTON — A rural Paxton man pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless homicide in connection with an August 2016 head-on crash that killed a 19-year-old Paxton woman.

In return for 27-year-old Thomas T. Hoekstra’s plea to the Class 3 felony, Ford County State’s Attorney Andrew Killian agreed to dismiss two other Class 2 felony counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.


Piper City to see improved playground at park

PIPER CITY — Piper City residents can look forward to a greatly improved park playground in the near future.

Village board members voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve spending just under $46,000 on a new multi-faceted piece of playground equipment for the town’s central park.


Sibley trustees hear from critic of confined animal feeding facilities

SIBLEY – Visitor Karen Hudson informed Sibley Village Board members Monday night of organizational and informational assistance available if they or another area group wishes to pursue opposing a 5,000-head hog-confinement facility proposed by the Hartman family about 1.45 miles from Sibley.


North Park's basketball court to see improvements

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City Council members unanimously gave their approval for the Gibson City Rotary Club to complete improvements to the basketball court at the city’s North Park on Monday night.


Child molester's sentencing delayed despite objections

PAXTON — Sentencing for convicted child molester Ryan Todd Schoolcraft has been postponed until next month despite objections from the victim and prosecutor.

Ford County Circuit Judge Matt Fitton agreed to delay sentencing Tuesday mainly due to a motion for a new trial filed earlier this month by Schoolcraft’s new attorney, Maureen Williams of Peoria.


Cops to continue probe into Elliott man's death after coroner's jury rules it a homicide

PAXTON — Ford County authorities will continue to investigate last May’s death of an Elliott man after a coroner’s jury ruled it was a homicide Wednesday night.

“We have people to talk to and more work to be done,” Sheriff Mark Doran said following the verdict.


$32 surcharge to be added to Elliott residents' water bills

ELLIOTT — Elliott Village Board members unanimously approved adding a $32 surcharge to residents’ bimonthly water bills Tuesday night to help finance the repayment of a $205,000 bond that was obtained to cover costs of repainting the town’s water tower.


Gibson City planning commission approves three action items

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City’s planning commission approved three action items during their meeting Monday night in the dining room of the Villas of Holly Brook.

Chairman Mary Timm first recognized visitor Steve Kelly, general manager of the One Earth Energy ethanol plant located at the north end of the Jordan Industrial Park on the city’s west side.


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