Traveling boys' basketball team to use PBL Eastlawn School's gym

PAXTON — PBL Eastlawn School will be hosting up to five home games for a newly formed traveling fifth-grade boys’ basketball team.

Derek Busboom, a parent of three PBL students, has organized a traveling basketball team comprising seven PBL fifth-graders. During last week’s school board meeting, he requested the use of Eastlawn’s gym for hosting up to five games.

Parents of PBL students urged to complete survey

PAXTON — Parents of students in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district are encouraged to take a few moments to complete the 5Essentials Survey on the district’s website,

Gibson City police blotter (Jan. 19, 2015)

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson City Police Department released the following list of persons arrested or ticketed recently:

— Alex P. Nguyen, 25, of Oswego, for disobeying a traffic-control device on Jan. 18.

Iroquois County murder suspect due in court for final pretrial hearing Friday

WATSEKA — A rural Ashkum man charged with first-degree murder will appear in Iroquois County Circuit Court for a final pretrial hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Ex-correctional officer pleads not guilty to official misconduct

PAXTON — A former Ford County correctional officer has pleaded not guilty to charges of official misconduct and disorderly conduct in connection with alleged inappropriate conduct involving himself and a female inmate.

'Noodles' to be performed at Paxton theater in February

PAXTON — The Tri-County Players will present the comedy “Noodles,” by L. Don Swartz, on Feb. 13-15 and Feb. 20-22 at the Market Street Theater, 120 N. Market St., Paxton.

Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.

Iroquois County's Fischer among 15 finalists in state fair queen pageant

SPRINGFIELD — Iroquois County Fair Queen Brittany Fischer of Watseka was among the 15 finalists in the 56th annual  Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs State Queen Pageant held Jan. 15-18 at the Crown Plaza Convention Center in Springfield.

Ag chief: Use federal programs for rural Internet access

CHAMPAIGN — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged rural communities in East Central Illinois to take advantage of federal programs to help make high-speed Internet access available in their areas.

In an interview Thursday with The News-Gazette, Vilsack expanded on President Barack Obama’s call Wednesday to make fast, affordable broadband available to more parts of the country.

Iroquois County seniors can apply for deferral of their property taxes

WATSEKA — Information and forms for the Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program are available from the Iroquois County Treasurer’s Office.

The program allows qualified senior citizens living in Iroquois County to defer payment of up to $5,000 of their 2014 property taxes on their personal residence.

Applications must be filed with the treasurer’s office by March 1.

Homecoming queen of 1957 publishes first novel

ROCKLIN, Calif. — Nanci Lee Custer Woody, a graduate of Paxton High School and Eastern Illinois University, has been writing fiction since she retired from teaching at a Sacramento community college. Her first novel, “Tears and Trombones,” was published by the Sand Hill Review Press in San Mateo, Calif. 

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