Man gets 11-plus years in federal prison for bank heists in area

SPRINGFIELD — A man seen scoping out banks in Paxton in December 2015 has been sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison for the attempted robbery of one of the local banks, as well as armed robberies he committed at banks in Champaign, Rantoul, Danville and northwestern Indiana.

Rankin finally has its own cop

RANKIN — Rankin Village Board members voted last Thursday to hire Bob Houff, chief of police in nearby Potomac, to fill Rankin’s long-vacant police officer position.

Houff will work in Rankin on a part-time basis. Houff also serves the village of Siddell part-time.

Ford County 911 board first in state to install certain new computer system

PAXTON — Eric Evans, chairman of the Ford County Emergency Telephone System (911) Board, told the Ford County Board on Monday night that the 911 board will be the first in the state to install a certain new computer system.

Facade grant program proposed in Gibson City

Ford County Record correspondent

GIBSON CITY — Following a lengthy discussion, Gibson City Council members recommended changes Monday night to a proposed ordinance that would provide for a grant program for façade improvements on downtown businesses.

Tri-County Players to hold auditions for next show on Saturday

PAXTON — The Tri-County Players will hold auditions for their next production at the Market Street Theatre in downtown Paxton on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The title of the show will be determined prior to auditions.

Watseka hospital to close its OB unit

WATSEKA — Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka announced that it will file a certificate of need with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to close the hospital’s obstetrics services unit, effective July 31.

Paxton Police Blotter (Jan. 9, 2017)

PAXTON — The Paxton Police Department released the following list of recent activity:

Sheriff: Buckley bar fight was started by man who later died at hospital

BUCKLEY — Witnesses to a fight outside the Dutchmaster Bar in downtown Buckley on Christmas night have told police that the man who threw the first punch was the same man who later died at an area hospital.

Mexican restaurant to fill void at Gibson City Pizza Hut site

GIBSON CITY — A Mexican restaurant is slated to open in February in the former Pizza Hut restaurant building at 1120 S. Sangamon Ave. in Gibson City.

More area Pizza Huts shuttered

PAXTON — Pizza Hut restaurants in Paxton, Watseka and Monticello were slated to close Dec. 31, just a little over a month after Gibson City’s closed.

Pizza Hut franchisee Mike Stegman of Wichita, Kan., confirmed the news last week following reports from multiple news outlets that the restaurants would be shuttered at year’s end.

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