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Illinois women charged with cooking meth in church


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Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2014, 9:28 pm
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HILLSBORO, Ill. (AP) Two southern Illinois women were charged with cooking methamphetamine in a rural Hillsboro church.

Judith Hemken, 53, of Litchfield, and Tiffany Burton, 26, of Hillsboro, were charged Wednesday with participation in manufacturing methamphetamine, The State Journal-Register reported. They could each face nine to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Undersheriff Rick Robbins said authorities responded to a call Tuesday from a Waveland Church member about an apparent meth lab. The member said he had stopped at the church to investigate suspicious activity after the church was closed. He said he saw two women there and what looked like components of a meth lab, before the women took off in a car.

Robbins said deputies stopped a vehicle the church member had described, and then arrested the women. It's unclear if they have ties to the church.

'We don't know if they were members,' Robbins said. 'There was no conversation on why they chose the church.'

Robbins said authorities found and dismantled the meth lab. During the process, a fire started and was quickly extinguished, causing no injuries.

Robbins said he has investigated meth operations in cemeteries before, but never a church.

Hemken's bond was set at $200,000 and Burton's was $100,000. The women are due in court Friday morning, when they may be assigned public defenders.
















 



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  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

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1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






(More History)