Marion County Sheriff’s Department Recovers Stolen Tractor; Makes Theft Arrest

April 20, 2018 Comments off

A 30-year-old Vernon man has bond set at $10,000 during his first appearance in Marion County Court Friday on a felony theft charge.

Dean Thompson of Burks Road was arrested Thursday for theft of the tractor owned by Raymond Griffin of Bernard Road in Walnut Hill. The tractor had been taken on April 13th from property off the Vermundy Road in rural Alma.

Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies say they received a tip Thursday about the location of a stolen tractor. While it was no longer at the location, deputies were able to follow its tracks to Thompson’s property.

Thompson told deputies he had bought the tractor but could provide no paperwork. He was taken into custody after the owner of the tractor was able to provide information on some unique markings.

Thompson had the public defender appointed to represent him. Due to a prior conviction, Thompson is eligible for an extended sentence if found guilty.

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Regulators: Utilities Must Pass Along Tax Overhaul Savings

April 20, 2018 Comments off

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved an order requiring utilities including Ameren to pass along their federal tax overhaul savings to customers.

The order approved Thursday requires each utility to credit consumers with the estimated savings beginning with their next billing cycle.

The tax overhaul passed last year by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump reduced corporate income tax rates from 39 percent to 21 percent.

The Peoria Journal-Star reports the commission said in a news release that it worked with utilities, the Citizens Utility Board and the office of the Illinois Attorney General to develop the order.

Ameren Illinois’ downstate electric operations and Commonwealth Edison in northern Illinois moved to implement the refunds earlier in the year.

Illinois Officials Report Personal Data Delivered Improperly

April 20, 2018 Comments off

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois officials say they delivered personal data involving more than 4,000 people to incorrect addresses.

A statement Friday indicated that 4,136 clients of the Departments of Human Services or Healthcare and Family Services Friday have been notified of the breach.

The personal information varied but could include names, health insurance information, medical and financial information and birth dates. Officials say there’s a “very low risk” of identity theft because no detailed medical information or Social Security numbers were included.

A U.S. Postal Service change of address registry was matched to an out-of-date client file by the Department of Innovation and Technology on Feb. 9. The error was discovered March 1.

Questions may be directed to the HFS privacy officer. Credit reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission also have information.

Board Accuses Illinois Judge of Lying to Investigators

April 20, 2018 Comments off

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) – A state judicial board has filed a complaint accusing a judge in southwestern Illinois of lying to investigators when they questioned him about a suspect in a murder who had been his roommate.

The Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board complaint submitted this week with the Courts Commission could potentially lead to Judge Ronald Duebbert’s removal from the bench. A message left Friday for Duebbert’s attorney, Dan Fultz, wasn’t returned.

The complaint accuses the 55-year-old St. Clair County circuit judge of lying about returning a cellphone to the 20-year-old suspect, David E. Fields, and about communicating with Fields just before the fatal shooting. Fields, of East St. Louis, is charged in the slaying of 28-year-old Carl Silas on Dec. 30, 2016.

Duebbert is restricted to administrative duties because of various pending complaints.

Illinois Alleges in Suit an Illegal Predatory Lending Scheme

April 20, 2018 Comments off

CHICAGO (AP) – Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is suing a company for what it says is an illegal predatory lending scheme that targeted the retirement benefits of Illinois residents.

Madigan’s office says in a news release that Nevada-based Future Income Payments LLC made installment loans without a license and tried to disguise them as “pension sales.”

Madigan’s office alleges the company illegally advertises the loans as a way to quickly obtain cash in exchange for people’s pension benefits. Because state and federal laws restrict selling or transferring pension benefits, the lawsuit contends that such ales are illegal.

The release also says the company charges extremely high finance charges, meaning people pay the company thousands of dollars more than they were loaned.

The company did not return telephone calls for comment.

Illinois Unemployment Levels Hit Lowest Point in a Decade

April 20, 2018 Comments off

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois’ unemployment rate has hit its lowest level in more than a decade.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that the unemployment rate hit 4.6 percent in March. That’s the lowest it’s been since March 2007.

But it’s still higher than the national rate of 4.1 percent. Nonetheless, Director Jeff Mays says he’s encouraged by the stabilization of the labor force.

The state has seen more than 39,000 new jobs added over the past year. Most of the growth can be attributed to the manufacturing and financial sectors. Professional and business services have seen a decline.

The unemployment rate considers those who are out of work and actively seeking employment.

Centralia Man Knocked to Floor When Trying to Escape Courthouse

April 20, 2018 Comments off

A 30-year-old Centralia man will face new charges after attempting to escape from the courthouse after being told he had tested dirty for use of drugs.

Matthew Stebbins of Linden Street reportedly bolted from the third story criminal courtroom when Judge Mark Stedelin told him before his sentencing hearing began that his drug test had come back dirty.

After running down the steps, Stebbins reportedly shoved aside the security officer who had ordered him to stop. Stebbins then encountered a Correctional Officer entering the courthouse with more prisoners. After a scuffle, Stebbins was taken to the floor and arrested.

Stebbins is being held on two counts of aggravated battery to a correctional officer, escape, and a probation violation.

Prosecutors had requested Stebbins go to the Probation Office for the drug test prior to being sentenced.

After the incident, Judge Stedelin delayed his sentencing hearing for possession of under five grams of methamphetamine and revoked his personal recognizance bond. It was replaced with a $15,000 bond.