Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 27, 1999, Alton, Illinois Telegraph staff report WOOD RIVER - The sale of Wood River Township Hospital may be near. Officials announced Friday they will enter into exclusive negotiations with Western Illinois Physicians and Surgeons Group for the possible sale of the hospital's assets. “As stewards of (the hospital) assets, it is prudent that we pursue this very promising opportunity for the hospital and township residents,” Brad Pulaski, board chairman, said in a press release. “We believe this sale will represent the best and most desirable alternative to achieve our goals for the hospital.” Pulaski named four goals. ■ Minimize and ultimately eliminate hospital taxes; ■ Provide quality patient care within the township; ■ Maintain employment and support union relationships; ■ Support and enhance the township’s economic vitality. Western Illinois Physicians and Surgeons Group is a newly formed limited liability company with the business purpose of owning and operating a hospital. Its membership is comprised of physicians from Madison County and the St. Louis metropolitan area. “We believe that the addition of physician ownership and the introduction of new physician leadership will dramatically improve health care delivery in the area,” said Dr. Pamelia Gronemeyer, representative for the group. Good Morning Area/Illinois ,. .A-3 Bulletin Board .A-6 Classifieds ... .B-4 The store that does more than pack... • all occasions gilt wrapping • buy your own packaging .material / Second murder plot revealed Two cases may help solve four slayings By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A second murder plot hatched in the Madison County Jail and revealed Friday by authorities may help solve four murders and other crimes spanning several years and other states. “These cases are a result of personal feuds and differences and attempts to silence wit nesses who will testify,” Madison County State’s Attorney William Haine said. “The two cases almost mirror each other,” said Brad Wells, a detective with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. Charges were filed Thursday in Madison County Circuit Court against three people suspected of hatching a plot to kill witnesses in a murder case against James A. “Raven” Evans, 29, an inmate at the Madison County Jail Alton police filed charges Friday against three addition al suspects in a similar plot to kill witnesses. Charged Friday were Jeffrey Ewing, 34, an inmate at the jail, already suspected of murder; Tiffany L. Ewing, 24, of Alton, Jeffrey Ewing’s wife; and Kevin L. Koontz, 32, of Alton. Jeffrey Ewing, a suspect in the murder of Dwight Riddlesprigger of Alton and reputed member of the Gangsta Disciples gang, was accused of a March 18 solicitation to murder Clifton Wheeler, who is in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Wheeler was convicted of fatally shooting Riddlesprigger, and Ewing allegedly handed Wheeler the gun. Ewing also is charged with solicitation to murder Angela Jirden, a possible witness in Ewing’s case. Ewing also was charged ■ See PLOT, Page A-7 Hospital sale may be near Girls soccer Alton blanks Metro East Working together Students, newspaper and businesses i Lutheran team up Special Section j PageB-1 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 TELEGRAPH ’mr I wait ! . —.....— This miff Inn lr I £it virility fiictnmorc The outlook ; Serving customers Mostly surmy I Sales and service and warmer: : ^ j^y ^ 3^ Lawn and I Garden Page C-8 : Page C-l high near low near 42 Vol. 164, No. 71 — 50 cents Saturday, March 27,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Comics.......C-6 Property owner defends American Boatworks Editorial ......A-4 Nation/world .. .A-8 Obituaries A-5 By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — An alderman’s campaign to eradicate a boat repair yard along the Great River Road isn’t fazing the property owner. “We had a big “hoop-de-loo’ in 1993 but the corps agreed with me that the permit should have been granted,” said William S. Abbott of Godfrey, owner of the 920-foot strip of land in the 700 block of West Broadway. American Boatworks owner David Jump of Cahokia, who has a five-year lease on the property, is meeting requirements in the permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Abbott said The permit allows mooring of the commercial marine, salvage and transportation business in the Mississippi River on a 900-foot segment along the Great River Road. First Ward Alderman Tom Hoechst last week said he contacted U.S. and Illinois legisla tors to investigate if American Boatworks is following the pro visions of the permit in an attempt to get it revoked Hoechst had said the boatyard area, at the east end of ■ See BOATWORKS, Page A-7 Beluinas, Brant, Brown-Kelsay, Free, Hester, Maguire, Schmitt, Smith Television C-7 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Two students make their way up Godfrey Road to the Tolle Lane signal light to cross Godfrey Friday after leaving North Middle School. The pedestrian crossing sign marks the spot where a student was critically injured Wednesday, but students are not supposed to cross there. Hours: Mon - Fri 9-6 Sat - 9-4 Moving Boxes/Copier/Fax Injury confirms parents’ fears By STEVE WHITWORTH Telegraph staff writer GODFREY — The worst fears of many parents whose children attend North Middle School materialized this week. On Wednesday, eighth-grader John Johnson, 14, of Godfrey, was hit by a car and critically injured after leaving school for the day. The youth was hit while trying to cross Godfrey Road near the school. He remained in critical condition Friday night at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Despite the best efforts of school officials and parents to keep children from trying to cross the busy road, the situation was an accident waiting to happen. “I watch (children) jump across the road there all the time. It’s non-stop,” said Steve Grummel, 36, of Godfrey. “I’m surprised there are not more kids hit.” Grummel owns a lawn care business, Steve’s Lawn Service, and frequently drives up and down Godfrey Road. He said children from North Middle School often cross the heavily traveled road. “I get them cutting in front of me all the time,” he said. “Trying to stop with a trailer in back of my truck is pretty hard. If they get in front of a tractor-trailer, it isn’t going to be able to stop.” Grummel has two sons who attend the school: one in the sixth grade and one in eighth grade. He said he frequently reminds them they should cross Godfrey only at the lighted crosswalk at Tolle Lane, about IOO yards north of the campus. “I just keep preaching to my ■ See FEARS, Page A-7 560 E. Broadway The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN A warning sign attached to pole on Godfrey Road near the school.