Friday, May 20, 1983

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 20, 1983, Alton, Illinois Alton Telegraph Serving Mod I ton, Jot toy, Mocogpln, Greene end Co I boun Counties Vol. IU No. IM lit. Jon. IS, IM* PH., Moy 2*. IMI. Alton, III. 4 Section* 44 Pogo* Single Copy JJC Key legislator backs income tax hike By WILLIAM C. STRONG Associated Press Writer SPRINGFIELD, IU. (AP) — After months of keeping his distance from Governor Thompson’s proposed tax increase, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan today an* nounced his support for a temporary raising of income taxes. Madigan, who has been saying for three months that he was “unconvinced” of the need for new state money, told a Statehouse news conference that he finally has “become convinced of the need for additional revenue.” As leader of the Democratic-con trolled House, Mad!-gan's support is critical to passage of any tax plan this ses sion. Madigan said he would work with Thompson on the tax legislation, but stressed he was not endorsing the governor's plan as written. Governor Thompson seeks a 60 percent increase in personal income taxes and a 40 percent lifting of the corporate rate. The Republican governor originally recommended a permanent increase, but scaled that down to a four-year, $7 billion boost because of opposition within his own party. Madigan would not say how much money he thinks is needed, nor would he say how long the higher tax should be imposed. , He said he would wait for the bill to emerge from the Senate before getting down to specifics. The Senate deadline for considering the measure is next Friday. The Chicago Democrat paved the way for his announcement by meeting this week with several special interest groups - educators, mental health organizations and others — who say they would suffer without higher taxes. “The opposition to tax increases shared by a majority of Illinois residents must be balanced against the needs of a society that has come to expect certain services,” Madigan said in a statement announcing his position. Since Thompson disclosed his plan in early February, Madigan's stock response to questions about his stand on taxes has been that he was ‘ ’unconvinced” of the need for new state revenues. After the Republican governor unveiled his “doomsday budget” in March, warning of $725 million in cuts without new money, Madigan said he was “rethinking" his position But in subsequent public remarks, Madigan sought to downplay any notions that he was buying Thompson's argu ment. Judge weighs verdict on Wright By TERRY HILLIG Telegraph SUH Writer A decision on the guilt or innocence of Jeffrey Lynn Wright, accused of murder in the March 30 slaying of a cab driver in Alton, was taken under advisement Thursday by a judge in Edwardsville. Circuit Judge P.J. O’Neill said he would postpone his verdict until results of analyses of fingerprints taken from the cab are available. O’Neill, apparently displeased, said he had set the case for trial only because counsel had assured him all their evidence was ready. Defense attorney Robert Carter told the judge he would seek to reopen the defense case if the results were favorable to his client, but Assistant State's Attorney Keith Jensen said he did not see how the fingerprints would affect the case, since Wright testified he searched through the car after the driver, Clarence L. Emery Jr., was shot Wright claimed in testimony Wednesday, and again Thursday, that a com panion had shot Emery. Wright said he intended only to get a ride home when he got into the cab with Donald Wayne “D C." Clark, who is awaiting trial on murder and armed robbery charges. Wright said he thought Clark might try to rob Emery and said he had told Dark he wanted to get out before any such robbery was attempted. Clark, however, demanded money and shot Emery when Emery drove the car into a driveway on Atkinson Street to turn around, Wright testified. In closing arguments Thursday. Jensen cited testimony by two young women who said Wright got into the front seat of the cab and testimony by one of the women that Wright asked Clark to give him a gun before they got into the cab. Wright claimed he rode in the back seat of the cab. He said he helped Clark search the cab only because he feared Clark would shoot him if he refused. Jensen challenged Wright’s claim of confessing to shooting Emery three times because police and prosecutors led him to believe it was the only way he could avoid the death sentence and because he wanted to make sure Clark was punished for the crime. If Wright were interested in seeing Clark punished, there was no reason for Wright to change his earlier story' that he fired one of the shots and Clark fired two of them. Jensen said Wright’s final statement when he was questioned April ll was more detailed than it might have been if. as Wright • claimed, it was made up to satisfy his interrogators, said Jensen. Jensen said Wright, at the least, knew something illegal could happen when he got into the cab with Clark. Jensen questioned why. if Wright were an unwilling participant, he accepted a $21 share of the loot and hid the gun for Clark. Carter, in his closing argument, said the two young women who testified for the state had reason to protect Clark, as one is his cousin and the other a girlfriend, who said she intends to marry him. He said their testimony also contained a number of inconsistencies Carter said no one questioned that the murder weapon belonged to Gark Wright is “not a nice human being - ’ and showed little concern for the victim. but that does not make him guilty of murder. Carter argued. He said his client did not intend to be involved in the robbery and did not anticipate that Emery would be shot. His “confession” w as made to avoid the death penalty and to ensure that Clark would get prison time. Carter said. NAACP executive director suspended ST. LOUIS (AP) — Benjamin Hooks Hooks was not at his home or the or-has been suspended and temporarily ganization s New York office when teie-replaced as executive director of the phoned for comment today. NAACP NAACP, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch re- spokesman Denton Watson also was reported today    ported to be out of the office. THOMAS BRIMBERRY, left, escorted by federal marshals, leaves District Court in downtown Alton on Thursday. (APlaserphoto) Brim berry accused of taking $5.2 million By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph Staff Writer Former Stix & Co. executive Thomas R. Brimberry converted $5 2 million in company funds to cash for ■his personal use, an investigator of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) testified Thursday In U S. District Court in Alton, SEC accountant John Brissman unveiled investigative records which show Brimberry got $5.2 million in Stix funds and converted $4.2 million to cash at two Las Vegas gamblingcasi-nos. Brissman was appointed a special agent of the federal grand jury to trace $16 mullion in funds missing from the defunct Stix & Co. brokerage firm in St. Louis. Brimberry is accused of three counts of obstruction of justice, including charges he asked key figures in the Stix probe to burn records sought by a federal grand jury. Trial is recessed until Monday. Brissman testified he spent hundreds of hours and inspected “tens of thousands” of records but was unable to account for $2.8 million in Stix funds converted to cash by Brimberry. “Any idea what happened to the $2 8 million." Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Kane asked Brissman. “No. I don’t," he answered. Brissman’s testimony that Brimberry got funds out of Stix brought vehement objections from one of the defendant’s attorneys, Rodney Devisers, an Oklahoma City trial lawyer. Devisers asked Brissman lf he was suggesting to the jury Brimberry had cash “rat-holed” someplace. Kane then suggested that Devil-liers put Brimberry on the stand to clarify the dispute over the cash. Following a recess called by U.S. District Judge William L. Beatty, Brissman continued his testimony about tracking the missing sum. The $4 2 million converted to cash at the MGM and Desert Inncaiinos is part of a total of $6.5 million In checks sent by Brimberry to Las Vegas, Brissman testified. Brimberry also established a line of credit at casinos and purchased $3.7 million in gambling "markers” which were covered by money deposited in other accounts, Brissman' said. Other Stix amounts converted to cash by Brimberry included $362,324 in Stix checks; $89,922 from RIMCO and M aeras Enterprises accounts and $484,154 in checks written on the J A. Miller account at the First National Bank of Madison, Brissman showed in the chart. The J A. Miller account was funded by Stix accounts and controlled by Brimberry, Brissman testified. Brimberry paid out $2,358,000, including $1.7 million for a mansion-type house in Granite City; $485,000 for a home near Scottsdale, Aril., and $123,158 for money orders and cashier’s checks, the SEC investigator testified. In his probe to locate the missing $16 million, Brissman examined checks paid out of IO Brimberry accounts and also records of Maeras Enterprises and RIMCO, an account opened by Arthur Miller Jr., in the Cottonwood Bank and Trust Co. of Glen Carbon. Miller, brother-in-law of Brimberry, opened the RIMCO account which received $380,000 in Stix funds, government prosecutors claim Miller testified Brimberry warned him others would “have my family killed” if Miller exposed the Stix scheme to the Internal Revenue Service. Brissman said he checked gambling records of Brimberry and Miller at MGM and Desert Inn in Las Vegas in an attempt to trace millions from Stix. Wilsonville^ battle wins trophy By DENNIS MCMURRAY Telegraph Capital Bureau SPRINGFIELD - “Wilsonville -The Little Town That Roared” proclaimed the T-shirt worn by village resident Betty Petroiine, an apt description for the David and Goliath battle Wilsonville won to get the Earthline hazardous waste dump closed there. Mrs. Petroiine and 18 other Wilsonville residents happily roared and cheered at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield Thursday night as the village won yet another victory — tile first “Governor's Silver Trophy” for the best overall community project in the Home Town Awards contest. Wilsonville beat out 91 other communities which had entered the competition. A spokesperson for the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs which sponsors the contest described it as the “academy awards" for Illinois communities and the Wilsonville rest dents attending the ceremony seemed as excited as if each had won an Oscar. Most of the communities in the competition were much larger than Wilsonville, which has a population of around 700 and also won a plaque for best community project in towns of under 900 population as well as being the grand overall prize winner. Wilsonville was specifically cited by the contest judges for the community’s unity and c , x>peration in the community’s six-year fight to get rid of the Earthline hazardous waste landfill owned by SCA Services of Boston and opened in 1977. Over $50,000 for legal costs was raised by the village's residents through bake sales and other efforts. The fundraising is continuing, with the “Little Town That Roared” T-shirts and sweatshirts the latest project. The challenge to the landfill was successfully carried through the Illinois Supreme Court and after evidence showed burial trenches on the site were already leaking, an agreement was reached to begin removal of the wastes. The first materials left the village last October accompanied by a kitchen band and the usual celebrations for which the close-knit community has become known. “Your efforts have once again made your town a safe place to live in," said DCCA Director Peter Fox at the award presentation Thursday night. Gov. James Thompson, who was scheduled to hand out the awards, was not present, with aides saying he was too busy working on his tax increase proposal A written statement was distributed, in which the governor was quoted as saying “The people of Wilsonville showed all of us how determination and cooperation triumphs. Continued dumping at the landfill presented a potential catastrophe By the entire community joining together, they not only made Wilsovnilie a safer place to live but aso an example for towns across the nation which face similar plights.’* Fox made no mention in his reading of the award citation of the fact Wilsonville also had to fight not only the landfill owners in court but one of the governor’s agencies, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (1EPA), whose officials had insisted the landfill site was safe. Gwen Moiinar, a principal leader of the community’s fight against the landfill was holding no grudges Thursday night though as she held the shiny silver cup trophy and said “we’re just tickled to death over this.” "So they made a mistake (referring to the IEPA), and we’ve made mistakes We have no hostile feelings or animosity. We’re not like that. What iNsidc needed to be done is now being done and we're satisfied,” she said. Wilsonville appeared to have the largest (and certainly most enthusiastic) delegation at the awards banquet, attended by around 600 persons from about 70 communities. “It’s just wonderful. We never expected anything like this. We’ve worked hard,” said another village resident in attendance, Barbara Markulaikas. The silver bowl presented to Wilsonville is a traveling trophy and will be in the village’s posession for just a year and then be passed on to the next winner. “We used that bowl last night,” Gwen Moiinar said today. “After we got home we went to Jen's tavern (the site of numerous impromptu celebrations during the court fight) and filled it with champagne.” The village also got a large steel sip to erect in the village proclaiming it as a Home Tow n A ward w inner. Sen. Vince Demuzio. D-Cartinville. whose district includes Wilsonville, attended the awards ceremony. Wilsonville inspired him to launch a crusade over the last several years to enact tighter hazardous waste disposal restrictions. Demuzio said Wilsonville had contributed to both state and national "major policy changes” and understanding of the problem of disposing of industrial hazardous wastes. Edwardsville and Glen Carbon also shared in a 3rd place award in the category of communities of over 43,000 population with Collinsville. Maryville and Troy for their formation of a joint economic development group Edwardsville won a first place in last year’s Home Town Awards contest for creation of an economic development commission. Senate okays bill to hike disposal fees Telegraph Capital Bureau SPRINGFIELD - The fees on disposal of hazardous waste would be quadrupled under legislation approved by the Illinois Senate Thursday intended to bolster funds available for cleanups The bill also allows the state to seek triple damages in court for cleaning up a hazardous waste sites under certain conditions. The Senate passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Vince Demuzio, D-Cariinville, hiking the current fees from I cent to 4 cents a gallon on liquids and from $2.02 to $8.08 a cubic yard on solids received by a hazardous waste disposal site. The increase was backed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the IO percent match needed to obtain federal “Superfund” money for cleaning up abandoned toxic waste sites in the state. The current fees raise around $250,-000 to $300,000 a year which can be used to match federal dollars and as of last month there was a balance of around $166,000 in the fund. Even by quadrupling the fees they would only provide a small portion of the estimated $54 million needed to clean up the 27 sites ranked as the most serious. The triple damage provision was included in the bill to raise additional funds from the responsible parties for the cleanup costs. The bill also contains a provision authorizing the Illinois EPA to enter public or private property at reasonable times for the purpose of taking whatever remedial action necessary and appropriate when there is a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance. $ Features ROCK WALLS abound in the old-fashioned perennial garden of Elsah's Riverview House. The house and garden are highlights of a Sunday tour of the quaint village previewed by Staff Writer Judy So* kolowski.........................................................................A-3 tNe area LIVESTOCK BUSINESS affected by PIK ...SLUMP in farm machinery should end late this....................................................Section    D The Min/Jlage TEDDY BEARS have been collected for a long time...................B-l tHe OUTdoORS MINNESOTA WALLEYE FISHING on opening day was cold but successful, writes Outdoor Editor John Stetson.............................C-3 The STATE WOMEN PROSECUTORS oppose revision of rape laws............C-12 ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT refuses to toke immediate action in Chicago council feud.............................................................A- ll Editorial  ..................................A-4 EPA coincidence. Op Ed........................................A-5 French economy going downhill. Sen. Dixon..................................A-2 Joins millionaire s club. Sport*  .................  C-l Marquette wins 19th straight. Family.....................................A-13 Rights of nursing home residents. Weather....................................A-* Chance of showers tonight ond Saturday. Amusement*............................A-IO Television..................................A-8 Fun Pogo..................................A-12 Obituaries.................................A-7 Classified...................................C-4 Stocks.......................................C-4