Friday, April 2, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - April 2, 1999, Alton, Illinois Postcards from the past Show should stir iq) old memories Page C-l Vol. 164, No. 77 — 50 cents     Friday,    April    2,1999       www.thetelegraph.com SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Victory Jersey girls win triangular Page B-l Pride in service Burt Sheltered Care The outlook Slight chance wfS, | provides help for low near 56 Pagel>8 adults with disabilities Page D-l Good:*'; Morning Ex-chief pleads not guilty in porn case By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer Police reject contract By LINDA N- WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Members of the Alton Policemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association Unit 14 rejected the city’s contract offer Wednesday by a vote of 47-25. The proposed five-year contract would have given the 74 members of the Alton Police Department raises of 3.5 percent each year for the first three years of the agreement. Talks would reopen later to negotiate a salary for the remaining two years of the pact, the same agreement the ■ See POLICE, Page A-9 Area/Illinois ____A-3,10 Bulletin Board A-8 Business.........D-1 Classifieds........C-6 Comics...........D-5 Editorial..........A-6 Nation/World......C-3 Obituaries ........A-7 Andrews, Butler, Dinwiddie, Diveley, Ely, Funk, Killion, Miller, Pittman, Robinson, Shade, Shipley, Smith, Tannette, Taylor, Turpin Scoreboard B-2 Farmers discuss future with bureau president By BARBARA M. COPE Telegraph staff writer HAMEL — Illinois Farm Bureau President Ronald Warfield stopped Thursday at the Hamel Community Center to talk to local farmers about their concerns for the future. “This is probably the hardest time the agriculture industry has ever faced,” Warfield told the farmers. “The industry is pfoba-bly changing faster than any of us have ever seen in our lifetime.” Brent Suhre, a board member for the Madison County Farm Bureau, attended the meeting so he could voice his opinions on what kind of legislative action farmers could take to improve their futures. “The general concern is about the price of livestock and grain — where the future will take us. We’re concerned the prices don’t reflect the amount of commodities we have in storage,” Suhre said. Warfield sees the creation of new markets as one way to ease the plight of Illinois farmers. One solution Warfield sees for these problems is use of the PL 480 program, known as “Food for Peace.” PL 480 is a program that allows underdeveloped countries to obtain food from the United States for credit. Warfield said the program would provide a short-term relief to farmers now while providing future customers. “These are countries that have a need for food now but don’t have the ability to buy. We need to give them the food now so they can buy it later, when ■ See FUTURE, Page A-9 EAST ST LOUIS - Former East Alton police and fire chief William E. Shewmaker pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges of allegedly receiving child pornography over the Internet. During an arraignment hearing in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Shewmaker appeared in front of U S. Shewmaker Magistrate Judge Gerald B. Cohn. Shewmaker, 56, of the 200 block of Cardot Street in East Alton, told Cohn he understood the indictment against him and requested a federal public defender. Shewmaker told the judge he currently is unemployed and receives no income other than his pension. Shewmaker was represented by assistant federal public defender Dan Cronin. According to the indictment, Shewmaker allegedly had “multiple explicit images” showing “sexually explicit conduct” involving children on Shewmaker’s computer screen. The other count in the indictment seeks forfeiture of the equipment U.S. Customs agents seized from Shewmaker’s home when they executed a search warrant Jan. 12. Shewmaker previously has admitted to having the materials on his computer but said they had been sent to him without his authorization. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Garrison previously stated that the indictment against Shewmaker was directly related to the investigation of the publicized child pornography network referred to as the Wonderland Club, but he stressed Shewmaker was not a member of the club. Shewmaker’s unsecured bond was set at $10,000. Under the terms of an agreement between federal prosecutors and the public defender’s office, Shewmaker agreed not to use the Internet Or have any contact with children under the age of IO. Shewmaker later was booked and released. Cohn set a trial date of May 4 before U.S. District Judge William B. Stiehl. The Telegraph/MARQIE M. BARNES Jake Geiger, left, owner of Wilo Acres Farm in Alhambra greets Illinois Farm Bureau President Ron Warfield, right, during his visit Thursday at the Hamel Community Building to discuss the current farm income conditions. I I ic? I oic^iapii'w/vi im unu'Tini ^ Above: Alton Police stopped every car crossing the Clark Bridge into Alton Thursday morning for an hour, visually searching for a man who allegedly abducted a woman as she arrived for work at Riverbend Physicians and Surgeons in Alton. The hijacker fled from the car in front of the Pit Stop gas station in West Alton, Mo. Below: St. Charles County Deputy Sheriff Larry Cannon, carrying a shotgun, follows a canine unit during an extensive manhunt. More photos on Region, page C-1. Police hunt for hijacker East Alton woman abducted from parking lot By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Police are still looking for the man who hijacked the car of an East Alton woman Thursday morning and forced her to drive to West Alton. The suspect is described as a black male in his early 20s, between 5 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet, IO inches tall, and weighing 180 to 200 pounds. He was reported to be wearing a blue denim jacket, blue pants and brown Jersey gloves. Det. Michael McNamara of the Alton Police Department reported that the suspect entered the passenger side door of the victim’s gray Pontiac Grand Am as she pulled into the parking lot of Riverbend Physicians and Surgeons, around 8 a m « A pparently, money l\was the motive.” Det. Michael McNamara Alton Police Department 533 E. Third St., Thursday. The victim, whom police described as a woman in her late 40s, is employed at the office. The suspect demanded that the victim drive him across the Mississippi, authorities reported. The victim and suspect then drove around for approximately 90 minutes while the suspect searched the victim’s belongings for money, stealing $20 from her cigarette case, police said. “Apparently, money was the motive,” McNamara said. He reported that the suspect did not display any type of weapon. Police said the suspect instructed the victim to stop the car in front of the Pit Stop Phillips 66 gas station in West Alton, at which time he exited the car and fled to the east on foot. The victim then pulled into the parking lot of the Pit Stop station at approximately 9.30 a m.. “She came in here crying,” said Patrick Bohn, assistant manager of the Pit Stop station. “It was hard to understand what she was saying.” The Illinois State Police were called from the service station. The victim was transported to an Alton hos-pital. “She had scratches on her shoulder and her blouse was tom where the guy had supposedly grabbed her, and she was out of breath,” said Sgt. J. Shroud of the St. Charles County    Sheriff’s - Department. The sheriff’s department conducted a door-to-door search in West Alton, and the department’s K-9 unit searched the area. A St. Louis County helicopter also did an overhead search of the area. Alton police searched traffic coming into Alton on the Clark Bridge.. Traffic on the bridge into Alton was held up for about an hour. “Our initial reason for doing that was in case he got a quick ride back into Alton,” McNamara said. Nothing developed from the searches, authorities said. “The K-9 did not even pick up a scent,” McNamara said. “We have officers in the area on alert for anyone fitting the suspect’s description.”