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Alton Telegraph: Friday, March 12, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 12, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                 Building a tradiion  Baiters Development Co. opera its sixth subdivision in Bethalto PageD-1  The outlook Partly cloudy and cool, high near 43, low near 29  Page I>#  Vol. 164, No. 56 — 50 cents  Church addition  Friday, March 12,1999  Sectional  Tigers face Flyers tonight for title  Page B-l  www.thetelegraph.com   Janitor pleads guilty to sex abuse  By DENNIS GRUBAUGH  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - A former courthouse janitor went through IO defense attorneys over 4^ years before pleading guilty to charges that he had sex with an 8-year-old girl in 1994.  Frank “Sonny” Cathey Jr., 57, of Collinsville, entered an open plea Thursday before Circuit Judge Lawrence Keshner through his latest attorney, Harry Anderson of Bethalto.  Under terms of the plea, Cathey qualifies for a sentence of four to 15 years, Keshner said. He will get credit for the approximately 15 months  « A ne of   U the conditions is that he have no contact with any minor child.”  Lawrence Keshner  circuit judge  he has spent in the County Jail.  “There will be no probation, no conditional dis-charge and no periodic imprison-m e n t, ” Keshner said after the hearing.  ______  Cathey  was charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse but pleaded guilty to one reduced charge of criminal sexual abuse. The second count was dropped.  Keshner granted a defense request to let Cathey go home on 24-hour electronic monitoring — over prosecutor Kyle Napp's strong objection.  “One of the conditions is that he have no contact with any minor child,” Keshner said.  Anderson said his client decided to enter the plea so he could go home — at least for now.  “He just wants to get it over with,” he said.  Sentencing will be later.  Cathey was arrested by Collinsville police in October 1994 after being turned in by a  ■ See ABUSE, Page A-9  GOOd 7*:  Morning  Area/Illinois .A-3-10 Bulletin Board .A-5  Classifieds C-5  Editorial ......A-4  Horoscope D-6  Nation/world .. .C-3  Obituaries A-6  Buettner, Cairns, Goodpasture, Hasquin, Klocke, Lefter, Lynch, Maher, Montroy, Perry, Rollins, Scoggins, Shorter, Swofford, Taylor, Tinsley, Warren, Williams  Television D-7  The Teiegrapn/JUMN cauma™  Employees of Jansco Steel In East Alton prepare the framework Thursday of an addition to the Faith Lutheran Church in Godfrey for its first layer of insulation. The addition, which replaces a section heavily damaged by high winds last June, is fully framed with steel. The new portion will house a gym and classrooms.  Siren  money in budget  Plan calls for 15 warning systems across Alton  By LINDA N. WELLER  Telegraph staff writer  ALTON — The city’s proposed budget for next fiscal year contains funding for an installment payment on an emergency siren warning system.  Mayor Don Sandidge said he has asked city comptroller Al Charleston to include $77,000 in the budget, the first of six yearly payments on a $397,000 system.  “Ifs in the budget,” Sandidge confirmed recently.  The budget, however, still must undergo scrutiny during hearings and earn approval from aldermen. The fiscal year begins April I.  Sandidge said the proposed system would have 15 sirens with overlapping coverage.  If aldermen approve the expenditure, the system will be bid out and installed this year, Sandidge said.  Charleston said funding for the sirens would come from the general fixed asset reserve fund, which is derived from admission taxes on patrons at the Alton Belle Casino.  “Ifs a big expense that doesn’t just happen,” Fire Chief Donald Dugan said. “If there is enough money in the budget, they have to decide if they  go with this or do without something else.”  Dugan stressed that even if the sirens are installed, some residents may not hear them if they are asleep, if their windows are closed or if they are driving with loud music.  “We want everyone to realize with the early warning system they might not hear it with their radio or television on,” he said. “They aren’t meant to get people up out of bed.”  Houses also are better insulated than in past decades, when many cities installed civil defense sirens, he said.  Alton also has a lot of trees and hills that block sound, Dugan said.  He said people who are watching for serious weather changes could benefit from the sirens’ warnings.  In flatter towns, sirens’ sounds emit throughout an area of 4,000 to 5,000 square feet. Alton’s numerous hills and trees cut that area to about 3,000 square feet each, Dugan said. Last June and July, Segno Communications Inc. of Springfield tested the efficiency of sirens in Alton, determining the city would need at least 12 sirens to blanket the area with warning blasts in event of a tornado.  Panel backs pension plan revisions  By PAUL MACKIE  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - County officials drafted a resolution Thursday in support of preventing pricey pensions for elected officials.    ,  The Madison County Board’s Legislative Committee will recommend support of an Illinois Senate bill to the board at its meeting Wednesday.  “You wouldn’t be able to apply this (plan) to a (non-elected) job after you leave office,” said county administrator James Monday.  He said the county’s contribution to elected officials’ pensions under the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund would have been only $43,307 this year.  But under the Elected County Officials plan, the county will pay $153,764 -- an increase of $109,869 because of a loophole that has allowed elected officials to switch to non-elected jobs and increase their pensions.  Tony Bosich, D-Wood River, took a pump operator’s job at the Metro East Sanitary District three weeks before retiring from the County Board.  The Elected County Officials plan, adopted by the county in 1997, allowed Bosich, 79, to increase his pension from $21,410 to $29,232.  Several other former board members have increased their pensions by taking higher paying, non-elected positions.  The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Dr. David Werner, sitting in his office in the Rendleman Building at SIUE Thursday, was appointed chancellor.  SIU board OKs Werner as chancellor  By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - The SIU Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of David Werner as SIUE chancellor.  Werner got a standing ovation Thursday from several faculty, staff and community leaders at the board meeting on campus.  In making the appointment, Southern Illinois University President Ted Sanders said a recent yearlong search for a new chancellor turned up no one better qualified than Werner, who has held the job on an interim basis since September 1997.  “It’s really easy to do a good job when you have a wonderful faculty and staff behind you,” Werner said.  “I look forward to moving the university to the next level,” he said, referring to a theme he struck in his commencement speech last September.  With his appointment, Werner’s salary rose from $127,926 to $150,000.  Werner, 56, said that construction of the third residence hall at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is among his top priorities.  Increasing the proportion of resident students to commuter students and increases in enrollment are among factors that will take the university to the next level, Werner has said.  Werner said growth in the area around SIUE is likely to increase the demand for higher education at the university, but the population of  ■ See WERNER, Page A-9  SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836   

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