Hero workout held for downed officer

CrossFit had not been founded when Monticello’s Virgil Lee Bensyl worked for the Illinois State Police, but family friend Dave McLearin thinks the downed Illinois State trooper would have been honored by the hero workout performed by fitness enthusiasts last week at CrossFit KMC in Monticello.

Doctor relocating to Monticello

Christie Clinic is pleased has announced Dr. Mitch Hammel will relocate his practice from 1801 West Windsor Road in Champaign to 107 West Main Street in Downtown Monticello. He will join personnel already practicing at that location.

Top stories of 2016

As we look back on 2016, here are the stories the Journal-Republican ranked as the top ones of the year. We would like to note that although we included mentions of two big stories in the paper – The Cubs World Series win and Donald Trump being elected president – we stuck to local happenings for our list.

Ayers' to attend inauguration

Jim Ayers comes from a politically minded family.

His parents have attended presidential inaugurations. So have his brother and sister and their spouses.

Requirement for pool fence height could be reduced

The required fence height for residences with new pools in Monticello could be lowered from six to four feet if the city council approves a recommendation made by the city planning and zoning board.

Kidd reflects on time at county clerk's office

Colleen Kidd has many fond remembrances – and anecdotes – after 38 years of service in the Piatt County Clerk’s office. Some go back to 1971, when staff would descend down two floors of narrow spiral staircases to access records stored in the basement of the courthouse.

Jennifer Harper to be new county clerk

There will be a new Piatt County Clerk and Recorder starting Jan. 2. The Piatt County board appointed Jennifer Harper to the post at its Dec. 14 meeting. A deputy clerk for the past four years, she will replace the retiring Colleen Kidd.

“I’ve got big shoes to fill, and I look forward to it,” Harper told the board.

Website touts local display on 'magical' lights tour

The Mcintosh Christmas Lights Show in Monticello continues to earn recognition for its 13-song multimedia show, with this year’s effort being one of 10 touted on an online recommendation of must-see displays in Illinois.

Downed tree provides wood for Bement bench

When a tree that had shaded Bement High School students for decades finally gave up the ghost, high school Industrial Technology teacher Dave Salefski decided to turn lemons into lemonade.

Cliches and metaphors aside, his class turned the dead tree into a maple bench that will be raffled off to benefit the school’s IT Club.

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