Schwer church fire most likely electrical in nature
The fire that destroyed the historic church at Schwer in Iroquois County Monday is believed to have been an electrical problem, and most likely an issue with the church organ.
Officials looking over the ruins Tuesday said parishioners attending a funeral that morning heard a popping noise in the church's bell tower, but didn't think much about it until they were exiting the church and saw the flames. There were also reports of hearing a glitch and loss of power to the organ for a moment.
Plans are to rebuild St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, northwest of Milford. The church was first established in 1975.
The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department has run out of flu vaccine and has canceled its remaining two walk-in vaccination clinics as a result.
Officials said many people were getting the vaccine from pharmacies instead.
According to Dee Ann Schippert, community and school health coordinator for the agency, there are no plans to order more vaccine, and any decision to do so will be made by the board of health.
Schippert said. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
Persons who have not yet received the seasonal flu vaccine and wish to do so may contact their health care provider or local pharmacy.
The canceled public flu clinics include the Wednesday, October 23rd clinic at the ARC of Iroquois County in Watseka and the Thursday, October 24th clinic at the American Lutheran Church in Gibson City in Ford County.
In the meantime, Schippert encourages residents to use common precautions to reduce their risk of getting the flu.
50-year-old Doug Depatis of Watseka was sentenced to eight years in state prison for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Iroquois County Judge Gordon Lustfeldt sentenced Depatis Tuesday for participation in meth manufacturing and sentenced him to four years in prison, to be served concurrently, for unlawful use of property.
Depatis, who had previously been to prison for manufacturing meth and aggravated battery, had faced a sentence ranging from four and 15 years.
A jury found Doug Depatis guilty in August of participation in meth manufacturing, unlawful possession of a meth precursor, unlawful possession of meth-manufacturing materials, unlawful use of property and unlawful possession of meth waste.
Three police officers testified at trial saying they found met making materials at DePatis' residence when a search warrant was executed.
Also arrested was 38-year-old Josh Huff of Watseka. Huff pleaded guilty to participation in meth manufacturing for an agreed six months in the county jail and four years of probation.
Depatis' case was prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorney Alexander O'Brien. Public defender Dale Strough represented Depatis.
Illinois State Police report two people were sent to area hospitals after a head-on crash on Route 45/52 in Iroquois County.
An 18-year-old Bourbonnais motorist, Ross Bissaillon (Biss – sale-on), was passing vehicles while northbound. He was in the southbound lane when his car hit a southbound pickup driven by 35-year-old Hugo Perez of Gilman. The collision happened at county road 3300 N.
Charges were filed against Bissaillon for Improper Passing. Perez was arrested for driving without a license.
A semi tractor-trailer was also involved, according to police reports. Bissaillon's vehicle hit the trailer of Gary Beggs of Momence. Beggs was not injured.
Two drivers were taken to area hospitals Tuesday after a head-on collision in Iroquois County. Illinois State Police report it was a three-vehicle accident on Route 45/52 at county road 3300 N.
Medical helicopters were requested but weather conditions didn't allow their response.
Police report the driver of a car and a pickup truck were severely injured. A third vehicle's driver, operating a semi-trailer, was not injured.
The accident remains under investigation.
State Police report the unknown driver of a car was northbound in the southbound lanes passing other vehicles on Route 45/52 at 3300 North. 35-year-old Hugo Reyes was traveling southbound in a pickup truck on Route 45/52 at 3300 North. The car slammed the pickup head-on.
The third vehicle, a semi, driven by Gary Beggs of Momence was northbound and was being passed by the first car when the crash occurred. The semi's trailer was struck by the first vehicle.
An Illinois State Police crash reconstruction team is investigating the crash.
Route 45/52 in between 3300 and 3400 North Road was shut down for approximately two hours due to this incident.
Chebanse Fire Department, Ashkum Fire Department and IDOT were at the scene.