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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 25, 1994, Alton, Illinois INDEX Ann Bulletin Sunday Vol 159 16 Sections No 346 178 Pages ALTON ILLINOIS Hospitals Christmas gift picking up the tab ZaUSSL HiGARTY torn his wifes threemonth J Partly cloudy High 50 Low 38 Weather D8 By MAUREEN HEGARTY Telegraph staff writer An East Alton mans heart is empty this Christ mas after losing his wife to cancer but a holiday gift from a hospital has at least eased his mind His wife died in August then he contracted pneu monia in November while struggling to pay medi cal bills from his wifes threemonth illness on Social Security income On Thursday he got a letter from Alton Memorial Hospital stating the hospital will pay the remain ing on the bill which would have taken more than half of his monthly Social Security check I dont plan to have a Christmas around here without his wife said the 70yearold man who asked not to be named But it makes me feel better that I can forget about the Every Christmas Alton Memorials board of directors chooses people struggling with hospital bills and gives them a present by paying off the bills with money from a trust fund established by HOG holiday Ron Meyer of the Alton chapter of the HarleyDavidson and fellow members gave to needy families Saturday sponsored by Teds Motorcycle World 4103 Humbert Tree of Lights short of goal The M BARNES one of the hospitals founders This Christmas the hospital paid off 000 in bills for people This goes back years ago when most hospitals did not have charity patient financial services supervisor Mary Ann Huber said We D See HOSPITAL Page A2 Christmas rush Creatures stirring all through the stores in lastminute blitz By MARY BRASE Telegraph staff On the day before Christmas lastmin ute shoppers were still in the trenches Every year I tell myself Im not going to do this but here I am on the day before Tim Baze 38 said Baze of Alton was filling his bag with gifts for his wife at Kmart 2851 E Homer Adams Parkway Alton The tiny bottles of perfume are the big sellers Theyre great stocking staff ers because theyre said cashier Heather Fay 19 of Alton She operated a separate cash register in the perfume section so customers did not have to wait to check out We opened at 7 but business really picked up by 10 All the cashiers are she said Customer service worker Chris Frye 18 of Alton who was wheeling out dollies loaded with Kmart gun cabinets a big seller for men said most people waited longer than they should to finish Christ mas shopping They always have to pick up that last minute item but I love it when its busy with all these he said Alton Square officials were so busy Sat urday a customer service representative said she could not find anyone with the time to talk to a reporter The crowds are great Thats all I can she said The mild weather sent at least one man who thought he was finished back to Kmart for two boxes of clay targets Its going to be such a nice Christmas day we can shoot some of these at my grandmothers the Alton resident said declining to give his name as he loaded the boxes in the back of a pickup truck Every year I have to go out and pick up at least one lastminute item I never get by Eddie and Betty Geske of Godfrey had one more stop at the groceiy store Satur day before ending their shopping ritual Its been quite a rat race this year but were just about done and Ive just about had Eddie Geske said On Christmas Im going to sit in the chair and let all the children and grandchildren come to Fruitcakes were big sellers at the Alton Schnucks where Saturday shoppers were grabbing them at each The rum and brandy make them really said Norma May of Edwardsville a veteran food demonstrator offering samples in the main aisle This is a typical Christmas Eve but its busier than last year People wait until the last min ute and they buy the Marlissa Clark 5 of Alton was too young to know how far behind she was She wanted a doll but never got around to telling Santa or making a list D See RUSH Page A2 Telegraph staff report ALTON The bells have stopped ringing but contribu tions continue to roll into the Salvation Army Tree of Lights Kettle collections ended Sat urday and so far the campaign has raised an estimated leaving the fundraiser about short of its goal Salvation Army Maj Gary Van Hoesen said he is confident the goal will be reached this week when late mail contributions are received It depends on the mailins and we usually get or so that trickles in the last week Everything is running compara ble to last year If were going to reach our goal it will be through the mailin contributions Were real optimistic well make Last year the campaign raised exceeding its goal by This years campaign is finishing strong with about arriving since Tuesday An estimated was raised this year by bell ringers Van Hoesen said I think we had a real good volunteer effortby the bell ring he said adding that they also helped boost mailin contri butions When you a group from a church or some other organization or individual ring ing it also reminds people to deliver their mailin donations A lot of people will put what theyre mailing in the kettle We find a lot of our return envelopes in the Money raised in the Tree of Lights campaign goes to help needy people at Christmas and d See LIGHTS Page A2 Edwardsville man found dead from stab wound By MARY BRASE Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Authori ties are investigating the death of a city man found stabbed in the chest in his bathroom Jackie T Staggs 46 of the 1200 block of Madison Avenue may have been dead several days before relatives broke into his home and found the body about 9 Saturday authorities said An initial pathologists report indicates a selfinflicted knife Police Sgt Don Lask said Police originally had treated the case as a suspicious death but preliminary investigations found nothing inconsistent with the medical examiners prelimi nary findings Lask said The investigation will nctt be officially closed or finalized until a coroners inquest is he said Madison County Coroner Dal las Burke said police found a large kitchen knife at the scene but no other signs of violence Staggs had one apparent wound in the chest and may have died several days ago she sajd An autopsy was performed Saturday Police said Staggs lived alone and had no telephone His neph ew found the body after break ing into the home through a D See DEAD Page A2 Call to 911 gives family a special holiday present By MARY BRASE Telegraph staff and Chery Layton of aM holiday today with their children Rachel and Elizabeth 6hrfstmas The Layton family of Edwardsville will celebrate a special Christmas today never hoping for more than a recent gift of life Ninemonthold Elizabeth the familys youngest daugh ter almost died before reach ing her first Christmas when she fell over in the bathtub Tuesday and lapsed into unconsciousness I could think was oh God I lost her And its my fault because I left her the childs mother Cheryl Lay ton said It was like a very bad Layton 27 said the near tragedy began about 11 when she decided to put Eliza beth and her 2Viyearold sis ter Rachel in the tub for a bath The girls were sitting together playing in the water when Layton remembered she needed clothing from a bed room I wanted to get the clothes ready because I was going to take a bath she said After Layton walked to the next room her husband Kevin came in and began talking as she gathered clothes It seemed like only a moment before she heard the matteroffact voice of her old er daughter calling from the bathroom Mooommiceee sistie fell over in the Layton heard Rachel say Cheryl Layton said she went back to the bathroom expect ing to find nothing more seri ous than two girls splashing but Elizabeth who is strong enough to sit up and pull up was lying face down in the water She was all blue and limp and wasnt Lay D See 911 Page A2 LCCC to offer education via cable By TERRY HILLIG Telegraph staff writer GODFREY Educational offerings from colleges and uni versities throughout the country will be presented on Lewis and Clark Community Colleges cable television channel when it begins aroundtheclock opera tion next month Area viewers will be able to pursue bachelors and masters degrees or take short or non credit courses via Mind Exten sion University an education network broadcast nationally on satellite and cable systems They really were the best match for said Mike Dreith LCCC associate dean of liberal arts and business Mind Extension provides an alternative to the educational offerings of public television sta tion KETC in St Louis he said The network features upper level and graduatelevel courses Only people with at least 30 hours of college credit can enter degree programs which may attract shift workers or others who find it difficult to attend classes Dreith said Students enroll and order books by mail Papers and assignments may be faxed mailed or emailed via a Mind Extension computer bulletin board Additional help is avail able for those who need it arid examinations are administered by local proctors Degree programs include edu cation and human development management and nursing Non credit courses include French German Spanish personal finance and money management and computer literacy Students receive credits D See LCCC
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