Thursday, March 11, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 11, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 im k it rai-a Tigers move on: Twin-Co „ Edwardsville I Honesty and Unwins I integrity w sectional I are semifinal j PageB-1 : The outlook Partly cloudy and cod, high near 39, low near 25 Page IMS Something abstrac Works inspired by nature on display through April Page C-l KdiwttiiOiii iiirwwnirni Vol. 164, No. 55 — 50 cents Thursday, March 11,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Paula Sims returns Killer of daughter seeking new trial By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Convicted child murderer Paula Sims was back in court Wednesday seeking a new trial. Her attorney is claiming she had ineffective legal counsel during her 1990 trial, which sent her to jail for life. The former Alton resident was brought to Madison County last week from the Dwight Correctional Center. She is serving her sentence there for the 1989 murder of her 6-week-old daughter, Heather, and for obstruction of justice and concealment of a homicide in the 1986 death of her 13-day-old daughter, Loralei. On Wednesday, bloodhounds and polygraphs used in the case were debated in front of Circuit Judge John DeLaurenti. The judge denied some defense arguments and reserved decision on others. He is delaying the bulk of his ruling until at least March 24, when Sims is expected to take the stand in her own behalf. Sims wore the striped garb of a Madison County Jail prisoner and sat quietly as her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Neil Hawkins, presented his case. Time line of the Paula Sims case ■ UM 171918 Paula Sims claims kidnapper abducted her 13-day-old daughter, Loralei. from their home in Brighton. ■ NIV 1,1889 Fisherman finds Heather’s body in a trash can in West Alton, Mo. ■ Mal 12.1989 Jersey County authorities charge Paula Sims with concealment of a homicide in the 1986 disappearance and death of Loralei Sims. She pleads guilty and is sentenced to five years J ■ ML St RN Paula Sims found guilty of fifst-degree murder and concealing a homicide in Heather s death She is sentenced to life in prison without parole. ■ May 5.1893 Sims' appeal of her murder conviction Is denied by 5th District Appellate Court. ’97    ’98    ’99 ■ Mn mw On© we©k a irai Sims contacts police, Loralei Sims' body is found near her home. I ■ ft** 29,1989 Sims reports her 6-year aid daughter, Heather, kidnapped from her Alton home. I ■ MI T11989 Madison County grand tury indicts Paula Sims on two counts of murder in Heather's death ■ Mardi 16 i9§8 Paula Sims seeks new trial alleging inadequate legal representation. Loralei Sims Heather Sims The Telegraph/CRAIG WHITWORTH Hawkins said that Sims’ former attorney, Donald Groshong of Alton, failed to act on several issues that should have been cause for throwing out a grand jury indictment or reversing the jury’s guilty verdict when the case was appealed. He argued but the judge disagreed — that polygraph examinations taken by Paula Sims and her then-husband, Robert, were improper topics during grand jury proceedings against Paula Sims in July 1989. Prosecutor Don Weber talked about the exams while questioning Sims’ parents and a police officer in front of the grand ju^ The Simses had claimed to have passed a polygraph, but Diane Sievers, formerly a sergeant with the Illinois Department of Criminal Investigation, testified that both parents failed the test when they were asked about the disappearance of Loralei. Paula Sims told authorities that her infant daughters were kidnapped by masked men, the first time while she was living near Brighton in 1986 and the second time in Alton in 1989 Loralei’s body was found ■ See SIMS, Page A-7 Paula Sims enters the Madison County Courthouse Wednesday for a hearing on her petition for a new trial. The Telegraph/MARGIE M BARNES Trustees expected to approve Werner appointment today By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Officials and faculty at SIUE said the almost $33,000 price tag on the search for a new chancellor was well worth it. The appointment of David Werner as chancellor is expected to be approved today by the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees. SIU President Ted Sanders said he did not know before that Werner, interim chancellor during the search process, was the best man for the job. He said it was a “learning process.” “I had no idea that we would be naming David Werner,” Sanders said. In fact, he asked Werner, 56, not to apply for the job so the university would be more likely to get a broad field of applicants. “I think the reason David was asked not to apply is that if there is a strong internal candidate, you don’t always get the strongest pool of applicants,” said Professor Gerald See WERNER, Page A-7 Good Morning > Area/Illinois .....A-3,8 Bulletin Board A-6 Business.........D-1 Classifieds........C-6 Comics...........C-4 Editorial..........A-4 Horoscope........C-4 Nation/world .. .B-5;C-6 Obituaries........A-5 Bridges, Brines. Dooley, Gansz, Hughes, Lesich, Lumpkins, Murphy, Tinsley, Tucker, Woodson Scoreboard B-2 Stocks...........D-2 Television ........C-5 Car accident The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN A woman waits outside her car for Alton Fire Department paramedics to arrive Wednesday after she was involved in a two-car accident on East Broadway at Laclede Avenue in Alton. Three people, including a small child, were taken to the hospital by ambulance. Plans for skateboarding park unveiled By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Enthusiasts unveiled a plan for a skateboarding park Wednesday night at a City Council meeting. The plan was about 18 months in coming, after city officials directed the skateboarding supporters to bring them a proposal that included details about insurance and funding construction and upkeep of a park. Aldermen took no action and did not comment on the proposal after the presentation. Michael Holliday Jr., president of Young Democrats of Madison County, presented designs for an outdoor rink for inline skating and roller hockey, ramps and rails of varying difficulty and an area that could be developed ■ See PARK, Page A-7 Clinic on alert against anthrax By BETHANY BEHRHORST Telegraph staff writer GRANITE CITY - Anthrax scares reported in the United States have put an area abortion clinic on alert. “Anthrax is the new harassment of choice,” said Sally Burgess, executive director of Hope Clinic for Women Ltd. in Granite City. Anthrax is an acuteinfec-tion caused by the spore-forming bacterium bacillus anthraces. It can infect warmblooded animals and humans. Anthrax spores can be sealed in an envelope, and when the envelopes are opened, they can be released and inhaled, causing infection. “Those spores are much smaller than the bacteria itself, but they’re very durable,” said Dr. Erik Stabell, a doctor of infectious diseases at Alton Memorial Hospital. “The first symptom can look very much like a viral infec- ■ See ANTHRAX, Page A-7 rn— |%'V ;V Friday, MAR. 12 III WEEKEND BANDS Sunday, MAR. 14 mull IMH MUM Saturday, MAR. 13 T BAND I