Friday, April 30, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - April 30, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Birls soccer Tigers give Redbirds the boot Page B-l : J Taste of summer ^ Wood River Kiwanis serve L uptasty . barbecue PageC-l Hie outlook Mostly sunny and mild. High 67; low 47 Page IM Feelin'right at home Cornerstone Coffeehouse owner thinks they’ve found the right spot Page D-l ■■■■■■■■■■■■ Vol. 164, No. 105 — 50 cents Friday, April 30,1999 www.thetelegraph.com censure Bathon Treasurer accused of ‘total disregard’ for board policies By PAUL MACKIE Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon needs to be censured to end his recent spate of “inappropriate” activities, several county officials said Friday. “I would hope after today this is put to rest. Ifs ridiculous we have this trading and barbing in the newspaper,” said Rick Faccin, D-Alton, a member of the Madison County Board’s Finance Committee, which voted Thursday to recommend the censure to the board of the whole at its meeting next month. But Bathon said the County Board simply is prolonging a process that should have ended at Thursday’s meeting. “Every chance they have to put closure on this thing, they drag it out another month. There’s no closure on what they’re proposing,” he said. But committee members said Bathon has shown “total disregard” in the last six months for the authorities and policies of the County Board and other elected officials. The committee also recommended that Bathon, D-Pontoon Beach, repay the county’s general fund $18,067 out of his office’s budget for: ■ $8,317 worth of furniture and equipment purchased with the auditor’s budget in November and moved to the treasurer’s office shortly thereafter. Bathon was the county’s auditor before assuming his elected position as treasurer Dec. I. ■ $9,750 worth of treasurer’s bonds purchased with funds from the auditor’s budget. The furniture and bonds could not be accounted for in ■ See BATHON, Page A-9 Bathon Good:•: Morning Vrea/ltlfnois .A-3-10 bulletin Board .A-7 Classifieds C-5 Comics.......D-5 Editorial ......A-4 horoscope D-5 Nation/world .C-3-5 Obituaries A-5 Barrett, Clark, Davis, Lee, Parrish, Pilger, Price, Prusa, Smith, Wakeford Television D-7 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Students were gathered on the football field bleachers Thursday morning after a bomb threat was called In to East Alton-Wood River High School for the second time this week Bomb threat at school Students evacuated after second call in week By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer WOOD RIVER - Students were evacuated Thursday after a bomb threat was called in to East Alton-Wood River Community High School, the second such threat this week. “We received the call at 8:02 a m. Once we arrived, police and school officials searched the school building. NothL I found, nothing suspicion." Wood River Police Chief Jim Schneider said. “We got several leads we’re following. I hope this doesn’t continue. I don’t want to see the school year disrupted or the students staying in school longer,” he said. School officials said clerks in the attendance office received the telephoned threat from a male. The school had received a bomb threat earli er in the week. Numerous schools nationwide have reported similar bomb and death threats since the massacre last week at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Classes are canceled today at Collinsville High School for a teachers’ conference to address the rumors of bomb threats. The Wood River Fire Department also assisted police and school officials in Thursday’s search for a bomb at EA-WR High. “We were there for (emergency medical services) and fire suppression," fire Capt. Dana Emerick said. “The Fire Department is a support group. We did assist in searching the outside perimeters of the school.” School officials announced the bomb threat to students before telling them to vacate the school and meet in the football stadium bleachers. “Yes, we sat in the bleachers,” said Niki Curvey, 16, a sophomore from Wood River. “Some kids were really scared about the bomb threat. Most of the students wanted to go home. The first bomb threat, they didn’t .tell us about it. “About 8.40 a m., I was in the guidance center when (the ■ See BOMB. Page A-9 Construction accident The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH William Wilson, 36, is taken on a stretcher to an ambulance Thursday after falling from the roof of^ an addition to the Camp Heating and Electric Building on Milton Road in Alton. Fire officia s said Wilson, an employee of Scott Darr Construction Inc. of East Alton, suffered a broken ankle. He was listed in satisfactory condition Thursday afternoon at Alton Memorial Hospital. Petition drive seeks to oust Gray By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — City resident Lee Barham Jr. and several volunteers began a petition drive this week seeking removal of James Gray as president of the Alton branch of the NA ACP. Barham said members of his group, “H: .could not get me removed from office.” Concerned Citizens of Alton, are going door-to-door to collect “as many names as possible” to “show our displeasure” with -- Gray’s leadership. Barham said that once the drive is concluded, he will mail the petitions to the national office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Baltimore. Barham said he hopes the office will send investigators to Alton to determine Gray’s effectiveness as a leader. ■ See GRAY, Page A-9 James Gray School violence hot line to open today By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer Madison County’s hot line against school violence should be up and running today, but officials are devising ways to better use it. “The main thrust of our efforts to promote it will probably be next fall,” Madison County School Superintendent Harry Briggs said. The line will be directed to the Juvenile Detention Center because it is open 24 hours a day. The line will be separate, and the telephone will have a different color, such as red, to make sure staff members remain aware it is a separate function from their normal duties, said Darrell McGibany, director of probation and court services. The hot line number is (888) 656-5500. People who call will remain anonymous — although police will know where the call originated — and may talk to a trained staff member when they see a student who they feel may be about to engage in violence. “I would suggest that if anyone has a concern about behavior like talking about violence or carrying weapons, they should call,” Briggs said. The plan was the brainchild Madison County Board of Chairman Rudy Papa, a former teacher, in the aftermath of last week’s school massacre in Littleton, Colo. McGibany said he plans to meet with an expert in the field and get ideas about training of people on hand to answer the line. “We want to develop a protocol,” McGibany said. Forms will be used to ensure all the right questions are asked and answered. People who take the calls will telephone and fax the local police department first then the school district, McGibany said. The line will have caller ID, and people who call in bad information as a prank will be investigated and prosecuted, Briggs said. “We want people to understand that we are taking (his ■ See VIOLENCE, Page A-9 §