Illinois Panel Recommends Taller Wind Turbines Amid Concerns

wind farm

MONTICELLO — A county board in central Illinois will decide next month whether to approve taller wind turbines despite some residents’ concerns that the loftier structures would become eyesores. The News-Gazette in Champaign reports that Piatt County’s zoning board of appeals recently recommended a 625-foot limit, up from the current wind ordinance’s 500-foot limit. The […]

Kirby Medical Center Among Rural Hospitals Facing COVID-19 Challenges

MONTICELLO – Rural hospitals in Illinois face unique challenges as COVID-19 continues to surge across the state. Many don’t have an intensive care unit, so patients who need a higher level of care must be transferred elsewhere.  Pat Schou, executive director of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network – an association of more than 50 rural […]

Central Illinois Hospital Provides Free, Rapid COVID-19 Testing To Piatt County Schools

MONTICELLO — Students and employees of school districts in Piatt County now have access to free, rapid COVID-19 testing through Kirby Medical Center — a rural hospital based in Monticello.  Monticello school officials hope access to rapid COVID-19 testing will decrease the number of student and teacher absences in the district. Illinois Department of Public […]

New Limits On Free Meals For Kids Concern Illinois School Officials

CHAMPAIGN – Some Illinois school officials are upset that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not extended waivers that would allow districts to continue serving free meals to all students under 18 years of age.  In a typical school year, students must meet specific criteria to qualify for the USDA-operated National School Lunch Program. Families […]

Central Illinois Schools Adopt Different Reopening Plans Amid Ongoing Pandemic

The Illinois State Board of Education is leaving it up to districts to decide how to reopen schools this fall. Some have chosen to continue remote learning, while others are bringing students back into classrooms amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  ISBE has strongly recommended that schools provide as much in-person instruction as possible. But state […]

Protests Against Racism Come To Small IL Towns As Well

MONTICELLO – Peaceful protests against racism and police brutality not only took place Saturday in cities like Chicago and Champaign, but also in small Illinois towns like Monticello.  The Piatt County Journal-Republican reports 500 people gathered in downtown Monticello on Saturday. The community of 5,500 sits along I-72 in Piatt County.  Demonstrators held signs like “Black […]