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Alton Telegraph: Sunday, March 7, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 7, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                  www.thetelegraph.com   liSF’’’]  I $158;  J Coupons and special offers * L - J ns ’ rfe mos *  e ditions  1   Sports  Allay cat  Southwestern bowler enjoys success at state  Page B-l  Trails Wast  Scout council passes down tradition to area boys  Page F-l |  A car for 2000  Chrysler’sNeon grows up just in time for the new millennium  Page E-l  Tho outlook  Partly sunny and cool. High 40; low 27  Page E>8  Good-  Morning  Area/Illinois . .A-3-9 Bulletin Board .A-7  Business F-1  Classifieds E-2  Editorial ......A-4  Horoscope D-2  Nation/world .A-10,12  Obituaries A-6  Amburg, Ballard, Compton, Harris, Hord, Pape, Pitman, Reveal, Simon, Taylor  Scoreboard B-2  Stocks........F-2  .'3 ONE'AY  THE TELES I AP  Vol. 164. No. SI  Serving The River Bend Since 1836  March 7,1999  $1.50  The telltale sign  It can put you behind bars or set you free  David Gray  Released last year  EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of a three-part series on how DNA has changed prosecution of criminal cases.  By DENIUS GRUBAUGH  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - DNA freed David Gray and imprisoned Dennis Robinson. And, until last week, it kept Dennis Rabbitt on the run.  Though involved in separate criminal cases, the three men  share a common thread: They are among the most recent examples of how genetics has opened a whole new chapter in the way criminal investigations are being won and lost.  Gray, 46, of Alton, was in prison for 20 years for attempted murder, robbery and rape before DNA tests last year excluded him from seminal evidence left on bedclothes at a Belle Street home in 1978.  Robinson, on the other hand, is awaiting a long prison stay  after DNA evidence was used to convict him of a Madison County murder Feb. 22.  It was also DNA evidence that led authorities to Rabbitt, the alleged South Side Rapist, accused in a string of assaults on both sides of the Mississippi River between 1988 and 1997. He is in jail in St. Genevieve, Mo., awaiting processing on more than a dozen rapes in St. Louis, two in Madison County and two in Jefferson County, Mo. Authorities say they have  the DNA evidence to connect him to each case.  Gray said he thinks he would still be in prison without the genetic testing that he fought for while an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center.  “If it wasn’t for DNA, they still wouldn’t know who did it,” he said.  Authorities, however, don’t have other suspects. They are convinced that Gray is con-  ■ See DNA. Page A-11  Stratford to join chain of hotels  Owners  buying  By LINDA N. WELLER  Telegraph staff writer  ALTON — With its expansion and renovation still in the works, the historic Hotel Stratford is slated to become a Four Points hotel in coming months.  Hotel owners Bill and Verla Moyer say they are in the process of buying a Four Points franchise from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. hotel group.  Starwood, based in Carrollton, Texas, also operates high-quality hotels such as St. Regis, Westin and Sheraton. The Stratford will be considered a “historic boutique” hotel, he said.  There are IOO Four Points hotels in the United States, Israel, Australia and South America; 40 more applications for new franchises have been approved.  “Once we acquire a franchise from them, I feel it is going to make the hotel really work,” Bill Moyer said. “Their reservation  See STRATFORD, A-11  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN  Bill and Verla Moyer, owners of the historic Hotel Stratford In Downtown Alton; are buying a Four Points hotel franchise from Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.  Seminar gives tips on storm forecasting  By PAUL MACKIE  Telegraph staff writer  GODFREY — About IOO people were introduced to a weather forecasting club Saturday during a SKYWARN Spotter Training seminar at Lewis and Clark Community College.  Many of those in attendance for the slide and video presentation signed up to join the Missouri-Illinois Regional SKYWARN Association, which was invited to the college by the Lewis and Clark Radio Club Inc. of Godfrey.  The seminar lasted most of the day and taught participants how to observe and report severe weather conditions to the National Weather Service.  “Ifs not uncommon to be 30 or 40 miles away and have a good view of (an approaching) storm,” said speaker John Nell, a storm-spotter trainer from Alton.  ■ See STORM, Page A-11  Museum names interim director  By PAUL MACKIE  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - A member of “Who’s Who of American Women” has been named interim director of the Madison County Historical Museum.  Suzanne Dietrich, who is honored in the 21st edition of the book series, takes over for Anna Symanski, who had been the museum’s director since 1977.  “The staff gave me a lovely retirement party,” said Symanski, who plans to spend time with her husband and granddaughters at her home in Edwardsville.  Dietrich,    also    of  Edwardsville, has a lengthy biography, which includes being a member of the board of directors of the Madison County Historical Society for the past I 1 /-* years.  ■ See MUSEUM, Page A-11  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN  Suzanne Dietrich has been named interim director of the Madison County  F° ur  Flags  Motor,■,Incj^r^r  1999 OtosMO&tu (mf rn OK Sew  BRAND  3800 V-6, pwr sunroof, seat, cass & CD & much more.  2/S44’  * All sales prices include all incentives. Tax, license, doc fees extra 656-6340  So. Hway 159(1 nil. N. of 1-270) Edwardsville / Glen Carbon  BRAND UiW 1999 OlDSMOB/ti SS son Amrnm    so  loaded w/options & luxuryj  >23,444   

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