DeWayne Bartels, a local journalism stalwart who has reported for the weekly Times publications and its predecessors for decades, was found dead in his home Friday morning. He was 53.



Bartels was editor of the East Peoria Times-Courier.


PEORIA —

DeWayne Bartels, a local journalism stalwart who has reported for the weekly Times publications and its predecessors for decades, was found dead in his home Friday morning. He was 53.

His wife first found him unresponsive about 5:15 a.m. in the bedroom of their home in the 1600 block of North New York Avenue. According to official accounts, he was sitting on the floor with his laptop computer when he was discovered.

Bartels was pronounced dead in his home at 6:05 a.m., according to Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll. An autopsy will be scheduled following tissue donation.

He most recently reported for the East Peoria Times-Courier, but reported for years before that for the discontinued Peoria Times-Observer. In a February story introducing himself to the East Peoria readership, he said he was a Tazewell County native, born and raised in Pekin.

He started working for a newspaper group in Morton 22 years ago. It was then known as Tazewell Publishing but evolved into the Times Newspapers group. That organization is today owned by GateHouse Media, which also owns the Journal Star and several other central Illinois publications.