Maggie Menderski

Journalist. Storyteller. Conversationalist.

Finally at rest

HILLSBORO — Esiquio Rodriguez spent eight years waiting in a cabinet for a proper burial. His ashes were the oldest in a growing collection of unwanted cremains in the Montgomery … Continue reading

November 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

“No more cheers”

CARLINVILLE — Brooklyn Armstrong always wore her seat belt, except on the day it could have saved her life. The 16-year-old sophomore at Carlinville High School was thrown from a … Continue reading

September 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

“Both barrels”

SHERMAN — A Sherman police officer faces possible termination for alleged reckless behavior, while officials of the union that represents him argue the conflict stems from his opposition to a … Continue reading

September 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Superfund legacy

TAYLORVILLE — The 10-inch scar across Zachary Donaldson’s stomach occasionally reminds him how one of the country’s most contaminated sites likely caused the cancer that nearly killed him. But little … Continue reading

September 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Back to the books

GILLESPIE — Andy Easton has dedicated his career to teaching his students about independence. No wonder he regained his so quickly. Even without his legs. Gillespie High School welcomed Easton … Continue reading

August 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

Moving miracles

PANA — Erica Matthews still remembers the first four-word conversation she had with Connor Taylor. She asked, “Where’s mom?” He said, “She’s upstairs.” Then Matthews began sobbing. Matthews, 26, had … Continue reading

August 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

The treasure within

ROCHESTER — Janelle Melton can easily imagine what life looked like on her property in the 19th century. It’s inside her home, where she still has the log-and-mortar walls the … Continue reading

August 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

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