Courts Police and Fire

Murder trial moved to next spring

A Piatt County man’s murder trial has been moved from Jan. 3 to April 3 of 2017. The request, made by the defense attorneys of Gregory J. Houser of Mansfield, was granted by Judge Karle Kortiz at a hearing Monday at the Piatt County Courthouse in Monticello.

Police seek help in locating burglary suspects

UPDATE: Monticello Police said Carver and Sebens had been arrested by Piatt County Sheriff's Police in Bement at about 5 p.m. Friday (Oct. 28).


Two Piatt County people are at large after police filed a complaint of residential burglary against them on Thursday.

Koritz assigned to murder trial

DeWitt County judge Karle Koritz has been assigned to preside over the upcoming murder trial of Gregory J. Houser, a 56-year-old Manfield man accused of strangling his wife in 1990. The judicial assignment was made after the defense asked that a pair of Champaign County judges not be allowed to preside over the trial.

DeWitt County prisoners now housed in Piatt County

A decline in federal prisoners and the potential closing of the Exelon power plant in Clinton have prompted DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner to take most of his prisoners elsewhere.

Car chase leads to charges

A 60-year-old Mattoon man faces several charges in Douglas County after leading Atwood and Tuscola police on a chase on Oct. 13 that resulted in the suspect ramming at least two police cars, resulting in the injury of Atwood Police Chief Rob Bross.

Murder suspect denied bond, trial date set

A Piatt County judge denied bond on Oct. 7 for Gregory J. Houser, the 56-year-old man accused of murdering his estranged wife in their rural Mahomet home in October of 1990.

Traffic stop info now part of drivers ed courses

Drivers education students at Monticello High School recently learned how to handle traffic stops as part of their classroom experience. The curriculum addition became mandatory after the approval of Illinois House Bill 6131.

Christ Lutheran honors first responders

Christ Lutheran Church in Monticello was one of nearly 10,000 congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) who participated in “God’s work, our hands” Sunday, Sept. 11. Across the country, thousands of ELCA members engaged in service work to make a positive change in their communities, build and deepen relationships and share God’s love.

Former bank building touted as new police station

The Monticello city council heard from Police Chief John Carter Sept. 26 on the merits of converting the former First Mid-Illinois Bank building into a new police station.

Mansfield man to plead not guilty to murder charges

A Mansfield man accused of strangling his wife 26 years ago appeared in Piatt County Court in Monticello Monday for the first time since authorities filed four murder charges against him last Thursday.

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