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Alton Telegraph: Tuesday, March 16, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 16, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                 Dining In  AHS  considers closing campus at lunch  Page GI  SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836  THIM RAPH  Top bird  Alton ready to j name new football coach I  Page R-l *  The outlook Mostly sunny with warmer conditions; high near 62, low near 43  Page IX)  .Do  Join  Nearing 10.000  Big gains, mergers help push the Dow to a new record high  Page D-l  Vol. 164, No. 60 —50 cents  Tuesday, March 16,1999   www.thetelegraph.com   Highways hitting hard times  Official says IDOT budget can’t keep up with needs  By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT  Telegraph staff writer  COLLINSVILLE — Witnesses painted a grim picture Monday of highway needs statewide, with scarcely enough money for maintenance — let alone for new projects.  “Our highway budget is $6.7 billion (over five years), which is a $1 billion increase, but it’s not enough to keep roads from deteriorating,” said Linda Wheeler, the Illinois Department of Transportation’s director of planning and programming. “We can’t talk about building new highways without maintaining the highways we have."  The state needs nearly $4 billion more than the $6.7 billion it will have to do the maintenance and build the new highways that are necessary over the next five years, Wheeler said.  Wheeler spoke Monday in a packed meeting room before a joint hearing of the Illinois House Transportation and House Appropriations-Public Safety committees.  Hep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, chairman of the Transportation Committee, was chairman of the joint hearing Monday at IDOT District 8 Headquarters, The committees will  ■ See related story, Page A-6  hold hearings throughout the state, Hoffman said.  Wheeler and others at the hearing said that letting highways deteriorate costs more in the long run.  “It costs almost four times as much to fix a highway in poor condition than it does to fix one in fair condition,” said David Oates, of the engineering firm of Oates and Associates. “It is really important not to let any more of our highways slide into poor condition.”  He pointed out that if the Illinois Legislature were to do something now to bring in more highway funds, it will not bring in enough money soon enough to fix the problems within the next five yedrs. There is a backlog of work that needs to be done, Oates said.  Wheeler said IDOT now lists 2,400 miles of roads in poor condition in the state but predicts 3,000 miles if more money is not put in the budget for maintenance. It costs from $500,000 to $1' million to repair one mile of bad road, according to Wheeler.  ■ See HIGHWAYS, Page A-7  The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES Traffic moves slowly along Illinois Route 157 looking south at the Lavelle Drive intersection Monday in Edwardsville.  Getting ready for Big Boy  Missouri man pleads guilty in murder case  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN  Len Hart, an employee of PaintSmiths of St. Louis Inc., paints the roof of the former Shoney's restaurant on the Homer Adams Parkway as another worker, from Simon Sign Erection in St. Louis, background, works to remove the Shoney s sign. The building will become a Big Boy restaurant and is expected to be open later this month.  Watchdog group says SunRise should be sold  By PAUL MACKIE  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE — Owners of a controversial nursing home should sell their facility, say officials of a local watchdog group.  Nursing Home Monitors, which is  based in Godfrey and has a membership of more than 500, will recommend that a judge not force residents out of SunRise Care & Rehabilitation, 1095 University Drive.  Vioiette King is president of Nursing Home Monitors, who hope to act as a third party at a preliminary hearing, pos  sibly in late April. SunRise has received a temporary restraining order to keep the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration from terminating its Medicare and Medicaid benefits because of 41 citations in the past six months for  ■ See SUNRISE, Page A-7  By DENNIS GRUBAUGH  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - A former barge deckhand who stabbed a co-worker through the heart during a skirmish outside a Hartford bar in 1995 faces up to 15 years in prison.  Jason Shy, 23, of St. Ann, Mo., pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Tuesday. He had been charged with the first-degree murder of Christopher M. Hughes, 33, of Jerseyville.  Hughes died of stab wounds Feb. 25, 1995, shortly after he and Shy left the former Hoolie’s Delmar Tavern, 413 N. Delmar Ave., about 11:30 p.m.  Prosecutor Rich Rybak said he agreed to the reduced charge because there were indications that Hughes had provoked the altercation.  “The defendant was claiming that the victim was choking him,” Rybak said. “There were some witnesses who seem to support his claim that the victim was bossing the defendant around earlier that night.”  The self-defense claim  could not be proven or refuted; no one actually saw the ’fight outside the tavern, Rybak said. Witnesses said that Hughes challenged the defendant to “go outside” shortly before the altercation.  Circuit Judge Charles V. Romani Jr. told Shy that the sentencing range for second-degree murder is from probation up to 20 years, but Rybak said he will only ask for 15 years. The outcome must first await a presentence report from the county’s probation department.  Shy has been in the Missouri Department of Corrections in Jefferson City, after having his parole revoked by the Hartford incident. He had been on parole after a conviction in an unrelated theft case in Missouri.  Both men were legally intoxicated that night. Rybak said he was prepared to show that Shy drank IO to 12 beers over several hours, and a coroner’s report showed Hughes’ blood-alcohol level was 0.27 percent — nearly three times the legal limit in  ■ See GUILTY, Page A-7  Lack of housing causes concern in S. Roxana  By DARRYL HOWLETT  Telegraph staff writer  SOUTH ROXANA - The lack of housing in the village is a problem, according to Mayor Danny Wilcox.  Wilcox told The Telegraph that people are inquiring about living in South Roxana before he informs them that housing is extremely limited.  “We have a housing shortage in the village,” he said.  “There are very few vacancies. We are running out of vacant lots to put houses in. We pretty much maxed out our housing. Ifs becoming a problem throughout Madison County.”  Construction will soon start on a 10-building apartment complex that will be located behind the 400 through 800 blocks of Sinclair Avenue.  ■ See HOUSING, Page A-7  Good Morning     Area/Illinois.....    . .A-3    Booth, Caldwell, Christen,      Bulletin Board ...    .. .D-5    Clore, Cook, De Voss,      Business.......    . . .D-1    Dodos, Greeting, Hays,      Classifieds.....    . . .C-7    Holliday, Keenan, Kline,      Comics........    . . .C-2    Kuhn, Lemen, McLaughlin,      Editorial.......    . . .A-4    Peyla, Pictor, Piotraschke,      Nation/World ...    .. .C-4    Richey, Towey, Vancil      Obituaries......    .A-5,6    Scoreboard.......B-2      Adams, Aff sprung, Bilbruck,    Television ........C-3     TRUCKLOAD CARPET SALE!  ar  grov V PRI  W RETAIL-WHOLESALE AND COMMERCIAL  CARPETING “ * S0FT   OVER 700 ROLLS IN STOCK! PRICES STARTINO AT JUST  33'  DISCOUNT  CARPET  3475 HUMBERT RD ALTON  465-2622   

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