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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka man killed in single-vehicle crash

Iroquois County Sheriff's police and the County Coroner's office are investigating a one-vehicle crash that killed one man Wednesday night.

The victim is identified as 33-year-old Justin Hawbaker of Watseka. He was a passenger in small pick-up that was northbound on 2100 E. County Coroner Bill Cheatum said the unidentified driver swerved to miss a deer and left the roadway. The truck ran into a westbound ditch and then hit a tree.

No further info was available.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:51 pm. The accident report was received at 8:15 pm.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County: Guilty verdict in Meth Manufacturing case

It was the Honorable Judge Gordon Lustfeldt's 100th career jury trial, and Wednesday a jury in Watseka found 50-year-old Doug Depatis guilty of all charges in a local Meth Manufacturing case.

When sentenced in October (10/22), DePatis faces 4-15 years in prison. He is not eligible for probation because of his criminal history.

Co-defendant 38-year-old Josh Huff of Watseka pled guilty, before trial, to Participation in Meth manufacturing. Huff agreed to six-months in the Iroquois County Jail and 48-months probation.

The charges against the men included Meth Mnufacturing, Unlawful Possession of Meth Precursors and other Meth Manufacturing Materials.

Watseka Police and Iroquois County Sheriff's Police testified at trial. A search was executed at 115 S. Sheridan Street, Watseka may 3rd. Both men were found using chemicals and equipment consistent with the manufacture of meth.

The case was prosecuted by State's attorney Jim Devine and Ass't Prosecutor Alex O'Brien. Public Defender Dale Strough represented Depatis.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Wind Ordinance change brings out Pro and Con

The Iroquois County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted 2-2 (Tuesday night), with three members absent, after hearing comments about proposed changes to the county's wind ordinance.

Proposed changes, reported on earlier, were drafted up to protect non-participating landowners. The protection is for those citizens (landowners) who believe their too close to the turbines and the noise is affected their lives.

A motion to accept the proposed changes to the wind ordinance as presented by the Planning & Zoning committee was supported by Marvin Andris and Merle Marshall. Voting against were Russell Perkinson and Betty Thompson. Zoning Board members absent were Howard Loy, Mike Morann and Wayne Wagner.

Matt Hartke and his family live in Vermilion County. He has told the Vermilion County Board repeatedly that the noise from the turbines is obvious, and he wouldn't be wasting his time saying so, it ie wasn't an issue. Hartke is a neighbor to the California Ridge Wind Farm in Vermilion and Champaign County.

The zoning change is likely to go before the Iroquois County board in September.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Loda fire under investigation

Investigators believe a house fire in Loda was the result of an arsonist.

The State Fire Marshall is assisting Iroquois County Sheriff's Police in the investigation.

A single-story home at 409 E. Jefferson Street was being rented to someone not home when the fire broke out Saturday night. The fire appears to have started inside the home with damage mostly contained to one room.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Pembroke officials to address community violence

Pembroke community officials are meeting today (Wednesday) to discuss ways to hopefully make the community a safer place.

A 10 am meeting is scheduled. It's being held at the
Special Education Conference Room at the Lorenzo R. Smith Sustainability and Technology Academy in Hopkins Park.

The meeting is open to the public.

In a press release, Pembroke Township Supervisor Sharon White' states 'It is my hope that we can come together, pool our resources and find a solution to address safety issues in our community.'

Three people were injured Saturday when gunfire broke out at Martin Luther King Park. It happened during the anuual Pembroke Days festival.

No arrests were made. Police are still investigating.

94.1 FM, WGFA