The following stories are among today’s top news of central Illinois.
State returns $12,580 to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate
PEORIA — The St. Jude Children’s Hospital Midwest Affiliate has $12,580 more for research and operations after the state of Illinois handed over unclaimed property to the not-for-profit Monday.
State Treasurer Michael Frerichs presented the funds to the organization, based at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, as part of an ongoing effort to return unclaimed funds to not-for-profits in the wake of the enduring state budget battle.
The treasurer’s office holds custody of unclaimed property throughout the state. That includes lost bank accounts, insurance policy payouts, abandoned safe deposit boxes and a host of other items that are turned over after they’ve gone unclaimed after at least five years. In the case of the St. Jude Affiliate, the money came from two unclaimed — or unsent — checks, either donations or payments for services, a gift certificate and a rebate, Frerichs said.
Check pekintimes.com for more on this story.
Judge increases bail in sex assault case
GALESBURG — Bail was increased to $150,000 — rather than decreased to $5,000 as a defense motion had hoped for — during a hearing Monday for Francisco J. Zepeda, 44, of Galesburg, charged with having sex with a minor twice two years ago.
Circuit Judge Paul Mangieri denied a motion to reduce the $100,000 bail, instead increasing it $50,000 after he heard more details during Monday’s hearing than when he found probable cause for the initial arrest warrant for Zepeda.
Zepeda is charged with two counts of felony criminal sexual assault in that he had sex with a minor who was 16 at the time Aug. 2, 2015, and Aug. 4, 2015. Those counts, if convicted, each carry between four years and 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and would be mandatory consecutive. Defense Attorney Jeremy Karlin had sought to reduce bail to $5,000, $500 needed to get out of jail. He also said Zepeda denies the charges and allegations against him.
Check galesburg.com for more on this story.
Hammond recognized by Conservation District
SPRINGFIELD — Rep. Norine Hammond, R-Macomb, was recognized and awarded as the 2017 Legislator of the Year at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts held recently in Springfield.
Hammond represents the 93rd District in the Illinois House of…