Over 1,100 students received their degrees from Northern Illinois University in December.

Registration for 4-H Summer Camp 2024 is open! Camp is set for June 9-13 at Rock River Christian Camp, Polo.  Sign up today to get your child in on all the fantastic fun! 

With goals for the new year top of mind this month, the Kelly Brush Foundation is excited to help Nolan Turner of Rochelle launch into 2024 with new adaptive sports equipment that will help him achieve goals for an active lifestyle, despite his spinal cord injury.

As of Monday, Jan. 15, the Rochelle News-Leader’s revamped website at has been unveiled.

Northern Illinois University recently announced its fall 2023 dean's list students.

On Dec. 12, Yngve “Morry” Johnson, a World War II veteran and longtime Malta/Creston-area corn, soybean and livestock farmer, passed away at the age of 99.

In a word, Ogle County Farm Bureau Manager Ron Kern called the year that was 2023 “surprising” for farmers in Ogle County.

Christie Cox, a local deputy coroner and funeral director, has officially announced her candidacy for Ogle County coroner.

The City of Rochelle’s work in 2024 will include the completion of renovations at its new 1030 S. 7th St. building for Rochelle Municipal Utilities and city staff, preliminary work on a new electrical substation on the west side of town, water/wastewater department projects, hiring for multiple departments, and community outreach, City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh said.

At the start of the new year, The Kitchen Table in Rochelle made changes to its operations, including scaling back its serving from two nights to one night per week.

On Wednesday, a ribbon cutting ceremony and one-year anniversary celebration were held for Little Hubs Learning Center, Rochelle’s daycare facility at 1010 N. 15th St.

At its monthly meeting Tuesday, the Creston Village Board of Trustees opted not to accept either of two quotes it received for the demolition of a home in disrepair it acquired recently.

There were no injuries after the Rochelle Fire Department, Ogle-Lee Fire Protection District and Rochelle Police Department responded to a dryer fire at Family Laundry at 1065 N. Caron Road on Thursday morning, RFD Lt. Zach Prewett said.

Stillman Bank held its 59th annual Holiday Giveaway drawing on Dec. 22. The bank had a total of six winners throughout its six locations. The winners received either a beef quarter or pork half.

The Floyd J. Tilton VFW Post 3878 recently announced the winners of its Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy contests.

Stillman Bank recently held their annual Christmas Coloring Contest for kids up to 10 years old.

A look back at some of the top Rochelle News-Leader stories of the past year

At its Dec. 11 meeting, the Rochelle City Council approved an engineering agreement with Keith Engineering Design for $115,070 for an expansion of the solar plant at the Rochelle Municipal Utilities wastewater treatment plant.

The City of Rochelle’s work in 2023 included the construction and completion of a new joint fire training facility with the Ogle-Lee fire Protection District, reinvesting in infrastructure, staffing changes, and updates to the Rochelle Municipal Utilities billing department.

Wreaths Across America ceremonies were held at five local cemeteries on Dec. 16 & 17.

In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, Stillman Bank held a food drive to benefit area families this Christmas. 1,006 pounds of non-perishable food items were collected during the two-week event. Now in its 14th year, this annual food drive has collected over 14,000 pounds of food since its inception in 2008.

In January the museum will celebrate the 140th birthday of the City and Town Hall building, now home to the Flagg Township Museum, with an exhibit in its Cabinet of Curiosities about the building’s history and a party on Jan. 7 with all the birthday fixings...cake & ice cream, party hats and games!

On Dec. 7, Kiwanis Golden K hosted its annual cash raffle where it drew the name of 20 winners. The club generated over $17,000 by selling tickets.

On Thursdays during the holiday season, employees of Cain Millwork worked in shifts to raise money for the Salvation Army all day long outside of Walmart and Walgreens in Rochelle.

Blending an international skydiving destination with amateur boxing, the inaugural Fight or Flight Classic is set to debut Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Chicagoland Skydiving Center airplane hangar in Rochelle. Sanctioned by USA Boxing, the Fight or Flight Classic includes a full slate of bouts with competitors from around the Midwest, music, food and beverages for sale, ringside tables, prizes and more.

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