Alton Telegraph, January 4, 1999

Alton Telegraph

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Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - January 4, 1999, Alton, Illinois IMtivw «hol&l0|fip|ili mill Vol. 163 No. 354 50 cents Monday January 4, 1999 lye on the ” birdie Get help seeing eagles at Pere Marquette NFL action (tony years of work King, Hausman share in success of Saint Anthony’s Pavilion Page B-l The outlook Mostly cloudy and add ; high ll, low 2 PageD4 49ersover h Packers IU PageC-l Page D-l according to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, which tracks such figures. Madison County reached 2,664 felonies in 1997 and 3,051 in 1998. Criminal misdemeanors filings have likewise skyrocketed. So what has caused this rapid increase? Haine credits his staff and the work of police departments, but he can’t credit crime itself. State figures show crime has been on a steady decline the last few years. For the first ll months of this year, Madison County EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the First of two parts on the surge in felonies in Madison County. «rphe police are more aggressive, I there are more of them and they are better trained.” William Haine Madison County state’s attorney By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - If Madison County’s 1998 felony filings were baseball career hits, State’s Attorney Bill Haine’s staff would be destined for the Hall of Fame. The last of 3,050 cases were filed in the Circuit Clerk’s Felony Division at Thursday’s close, bringing an end to a record year. Never has there been a time in the county’s history when so many people have been charged with a usually taken care of it,” he said. Haine took over as state’s attorney in 1988. Between then and 1995, the number of felony filings increased 153 percent, from 989 to 2,500. In other urban areas outside of Cook County, the felony filing rate increased only 48 percent during that same time, crime in a single 365-day span. “Just ask the police,” Haine said. “We are a police-friendly, prosecution-oriented office.” Bethalto Chief of Police Tony Sammis couldn’t agree more. “I think Bill Haine is doing a fantastic job over there. Whenever there is a problem (with a case), a phone call has The Telegraph/MARGIE M BARNES Madison County prisoners line up for preliminary hearings. ■ See F ELONIES, Page A-7 The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES Bobby Newberry of Roxana drives a snowmobile down Poag Avenue in South Roxana, giving rides to Joshua and Jacob Morten of Bethalto. the snowstorm that dumped up to 16 inches of snow in some areas. Godfrey residents Larry and Linda Hostetler said they hadn’t left their home since the New Year’s Eve First Night Celebration. “We knew what was coming and had plenty of food here,” Linda said. “My husband By REBECCA HOPKINS Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Although not quite a rainbow, the sun was a welcome sight Sunday morning as many people began milling about at the end of this snowy holiday weekend to dig vehicles out of the white stuff. Most people said they had watched the forecasts and were fairly well prepared for The Telegraph/MARGIE M BARNES Michael Holmes, 11, and Phillip Cooper, 12, both of South Roxana, hang on as their sled is pulled along Hy Street by an all-terrain vehicle. ■ See SNOW. Page A-7 ‘The Music Man’ came to Brighton By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer BRIGHTON Townspeople remember when famous composer Meredith Wilson led the Brighton band in the show Telegraph Towns Officials seek to educate merchants, check scofflaws Area/Illinois .. .A-3, 6, 8 Bulletin Board B-2 Classifieds........C-6 Comics...........D-2 Editorial..........A-4 Horoscope........D-2 Nation/World ... .B-3, 4 Obituaries ........A-5 Arterberry, Bonner, Clark, Devening, Guarino, Harper, Hearn, Karr, Lemons, McCulloch, Patterson, Raski, Rogers, Tucker, Warner, Watson Region...........D-1 Scoreboard C-2 Television ........D-3 By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE — Merchants say there’s nothing good about bad checks, and they welcome a plan by two state’s attorneys to thwart the problem. Top law enforcement officials from Madison and St. Clair counties have launched a program to assist victimized merchants. The key components are increasing the administrative capacity of the prosecutors’ offices, starting a public outreach campaign for merchants wanting information, and setting up a mandatory educational class for bad check writers. None of it can hurt, local merchants say. “The court systems have become so cumbersome that in many cases the person who writes the bad check knows ifs not worth your time to go after them. They just don’t caie,” crowd. Wilson’s roots were in Brighton where his mother, Rose Reiniger, grew up and starred in a theater company in town Wilson followed his mother's footsteps on the stage and “made a name for himself writing and producing plays on the stage and in the movies,” Wilderman said Wilson’s heritage in Brighton is shown in the music and characters in his Broadway hit “The Music Man " “Wilson’s aunt was named Lida and his moth- ■ See MUSIC, Page A-7 Seventy Six Trombones’’ Iron) ins hit musical “The W v Music Man ” People t d Wk f Brighton bandstand to Wilson cheer Wilson who proudly waved the baton for a rousing rendition of his popular tune from “The Music Man." “Meredith Wilson told the people that it was his life ambition to lead the band in “Seventy Six Trombones," said June The Telegraph/ANDE YAKSTIS June Wilderman stands at the 1860 German-made square grand piano displayed at the Brighton Heritage Museum. Wilderman, curator of the    “He rode in a horse- Brighton Heritage drawn carriage at the Museum.    head of the parade and the The internationally-    marching bands," acclaimed music writer    Wilderman said, came to Brighton in 1969 Thousands of people to be grand marshal of the    lined the streets to centennial parade through    applaud Wilson who the streets of town.    smiled and waved at the ■ See CHECK. Page A-7 —FridayJan“8 fl^tardar"-;— Tunday* SOUL I I Jan 9    Jan    10 - reunion ^ FLUID DRIVE fj Thursday Jan 7 STONEBRAKER BROADWAY AT PEARL Y.RI AT POOP -=    SERVING    THE    RIVER    BEND    SINCE    1836 \ ;

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