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DePatis sentenced to 8 years for Meth production

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.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Two drivers injured in head-on crash on Route 45

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.

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  • Parent Category: News

Head-on crash on Route 45/52 in Iroquois County

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.

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Plans to rebuild already in motion

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church at Schwer was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon. No injury was involved. A cause hasn't been determined. Firemen were able to save the parish hall, which did sustain smoke and water damage.

Church officials made it clear they will rebuild.

The church was built in 1875.

One of the church's trustees, Bob Buhr, told WGFA News a few parishioners noticed the fire in the bell tower as they left the church just after 12:30 pm, following a funeral service.

Milford Fire Chief Frank Hines reported at least 150,000 gallons of water was used battling the flames, which kept firemen from nine departments at the scene until 8 pm.

Hines said the parish hall, built in 2008, was spared.

Firemen found the church steeple fully engulfed in flames and smoke, showing from the roof.

A mutual aid box alarm alerted several departments, bringing equipment, manpower and tankers to the scene at 1812 E and 1130 N Roads.

Hines said the parishioners heard a "popping noise;" a junction box was located at the bottom of the steeple.

Iroquois County's 9-1-1 center received multiple calls, advised by callers the church steeple was fully-involved.

Hines reported mutual aid included equipment and manpower from Woodland, Wellington, Stockland, Cissna Park, Crescent City, Sheldon, Watseka and Hoopeston. IMH Ambulance was at the scene. The Mowrey Auction Compnay also provide water supplies with tanker trucks.

Church trustee, Buhr, said the sanctuary measured about 40 by 60 feet. A church annex was about 30 by 30 feet and another entrance-way measured approximately 30 by 30 too.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Schwer Church Fire alerts area departments

IROQUOIS COUNTY -- Several area fire departments are on the scene of a church fire in Schwer. No injury was reported, but there is substantial damage done to St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1130 N and 1812 E Road, northwest of Milford.

The fire started in the bell tower of the church. The cause is unknown. One of the church's trustees, Bob Buhr, tells WGFA News a few parishioners noticed the fire as they were leaving the church around 12:30 pm after a funeral. Buhr said much of the main church was damaged along with the church annex. Firemen were busy trying to save the parish hall.

Firemen from Milford, Cissna Park, Stockland, Wellington, Woodland, Sheldon, Watseka and Hoopeston were on the scene, according to Milford Fireman Fred Hines.

94.1 FM, WGFA