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Fire63805A home on Otter Road, northeast of Trenton, sustained extensive damage after a fire broke out shortly after noon on Jan. 3. Firefighters arrived to find smoke emitting from all sides and both levels of the two-story residence. No one was in the house when the fire started, and, in spite of freezing temperatures and icy conditions, no injuries were reported.    Sugar Creek firefighters were paged to a residence on Otter Road in Trenton last Wednesday afternoon for a structure fire.
    Sugar Creek Fire Chief Steve Davis said that the fire department was paged at 12:20 p.m. on Jan. 3 to a residence on Otter Road, northeast of Trenton.
    “Upon arrival, there was smoke visible on all sides of the home and on both levels of the residence,” said Davis.
    He said that no occupants were home at the time, but a resident was outside in the back, cutting wood, where he had been since earlier that morning.
    “When he returned home, he saw smoke on all sides of the home, and called 911,” he said.
    Aviston, Breese and St. Rose fire departments provided mutual aid for Sugar Creek Fire Department. They had also called Lebanon Fire Department for extra manpower.
    Davis said that most of the fire was burning on the floor joists of the home and had spread to the attic. Firefighters were able to pull the ceiling down and extinguish  the fire.
    While the cause of the fire remains unknown, Davis said it had originated on the first floor of the home, east of the front door.
    Last Wednesday’s weather conditions were bitterly cold, with temperatures below freezing.
    Davis said the cold weather proved to be challenging, especially since area lakes and ponds were frozen over, and they could not use those for water access.
    “We had to truck water from fire hydrants in town,” he said, adding that the water would freeze relatively quickly.
    In addition, he said, it was also challenging because of freezing water on rooftops and doors, causing  slippery conditions.
    “Luckily, there were no injuries,” he said.
    Firefighters remained on scene for about three hours, leaving the scene at approximately 3:40 p.m. The home received extensive damage.
    Davis wanted to thank the assisting agencies that helped with the blaze — Aviston, Breese, St. Rose and Lebanon — and Sugar Creek Ambulance and Clinton County Emergency Management Agency, who provided warming stations and shelter for the firefighters.

LittekenChristopher Litteken    A Trenton man was sentenced to six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after previously pleading guilty to unlawful delivery of a methamphetamine precursor.
    Following a sentencing hearing Monday afternoon in Clinton County Circuit Court, Judge Stan Brandmeyer handed down the 6-year sentence to Christopher Litteken, 45, of Trenton.
    Litteken pleaded guilty per an open plea last August to a Class 2 felony charge of unlawful delivery of a methamphetamine precursor.
    According to the terms of the open plea, two other charges for participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and methamphetamine conspiracy, both Class X felonies, were dismissed.
    A co-defendant, Marc A. Jarvis, 44, of Trenton was previously sentenced to nine years in prison for his role after pleading guilty last May to possession of methamphetamines.
    Jarvis was initially charged last October with six counts; however, four of the six counts were dismissed and Jarvis pleaded guilty, per a negotiated plea, to participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and unlawful possession of methamphetamines, both Class X felonies.
    The other counts, Class X felony methamphetamine conspiracy, possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, unlawful disposal of methamphetamine waste, and methamphetamine-related child endangerment, all Class 2 felonies, were dismissed.
    Court documents state that between Oct. 19 and Oct. 24, 2016, Jarvis and Litteken allegedly participated in the manufacturing of 400 but not more than 900 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine with the intent that a substance containing methamphetamine be produced at a home in the on West Missouri Street in Trenton. 
    An original date for a sentencing hearing for Litteken was set in October, but, probation officer Christy Foster said at the sentencing hearing on Monday that social media posts indicated that Litteken could possibly harm himself or others at the courthouse on that date.  Prosecutors recommended a bail increase in September of last year after Litteken was released on bond.
    “I was concerned that he was going to do something at the courthouse or force someone in the courthouse to harm him,” Foster said, adding that she had supervised him off and on since 2009.
    During the hearing, state’s attorney John Hudspeth asked for the maximum sentence (up to seven years) and that the sentence should be necessary to “deter others for the same crime.”
    Litteken’s attorney Brian Polinske said that prison time for Litteken would be a waste of money — approximately $38,000 is lost per year to incarcerate an offender.
    In addition, Polinske said, instead of incarceration, Litteken needs to be treated for several disorders, including alcohol abuse and personality disorder. “These underlying psychological disorders have not been addressed and fixed and if he went to prison, they will not be solved,” Polinske said.
    He then asked for inpatient treatment and a psychiatrist to help get him out of the cycle.
    Litteken made no statement of allocution, only stating that, “at this point, there is nothing that I can say that will change anything anyway.”
    Judge Brandmeyer said that Litteken’s parents, who have been at every single court hearing, have had their son’s “best intentions, however, he  (Litteken) cannot seem to take control of his life.”
    “You need to grow up and take responsibility for your actions,” Judge Brandmeyer told him. “I get that you hate prison, but you are not supposed to like it. In fact, most people will do anything in their power to not go back to prison.”
    He then sentenced him to six years in prison.
    In addition to the sentence, Litteken was placed on two years of mandatory supervised release, or parole. 
    Judge Brandmeyer did not implement any fines for Litteken, stating that he didn’t want to penalize his parents who have been supportive to him while he “squandered” away.

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