Courts Police and Fire

Four accused of stealing from a church

Four Bement residents have been arrested for allegedly using church relief funds to purchase heroin.


Gale released on bond

The mother of a Champaign police officer accused of sex crimes against three women in two counties paid $65,000 in cash required for her son’s release on July 16 in Piatt County where Jerad Gale, 31, of Champaign was being held in custody.


Fatal accident Sunday on I-74

Illinois State Police say a 56-year-old Kentucky man died as a result of an accident Sunday evening on Interstate 74 about two miles west of the Mansfield exit.


Acquittal in local abuse trial

A Piatt County jury took about an hour July 8 to acquit a White Heath man of charges that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a child in his care during 2012 and 2013.

The jury found Richard L. Offenback Jr., 49, not guilty of one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a girl under 18 some time between January and February 2013.


Former Monticello officer arrested

In a minutes-long court hearing the afternoon of June 24, former Monticello police officer and current Champaign police officer Jerad Gale was told he could spend as many as 30 years in prison if convicted of sexually assaulting a former girlfriend in Champaign County in November 2013.


Smoke in attic clears courthouse building

UPDATE at 5:25 p.m.: Piatt County Sheriff David Hunt said he believes a control relay on the courthouse elevator is what caused smoke in the building Monday. The elevator will be out of order until a repairman can arrive, but the courthouse will be open for business.


State files suit against City of Monticello

The Illinois Attorney General’s office has filed a four-count lawsuit against the City of Monticello for reportedly pumping sewage through the streets during a three-inch rain last July.


Disaster drill held at MHS

For the first time in over a decade, Monticello area emergency responders held a disaster drill at Monticello High School on Saturday, June 6.


Stiffest sentence yet in meth case

A Piatt County judge on Wednesday sentenced a 40-year-old Cerro Gordo man to 3½ years in prison for his role in a methamphetamine manufacturing ring that resulted in 12 arrests over a three-month period late last year and early this year.


Child seat installation advice offered

It’s technically called law enforcement, but Monticello Police Chief John Carter would rather use an “ounce of prevention” before giving tickets to parents for not having child safety seats properly installed.


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