Thursday, May 6, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 6, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 ■ ca 11T. Chester Morris Dublin brings Siano talent to ie River Bend Page GI Vol. 164, No. 111 — 50 cents Girls track teams get set today Page B-l EC* I* APH A : ...     Thf|    MtHnnk    :    Pfatf^maiiciiiii    ^ Morning show- i Woodworker’s i showcases .    2* r cloudy High 69; : fomilv’c 3 v- low 54    family s \ carpentry skill /W '    Page    IMI    *    F»ageD-l Thursday, May 6,1999 n... 1» www.thetelegraph.com Ryan paves road to future Proposed tax, fee increases draw fire By BARBARA M. COPE Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - Gov. George Ryan’s proposed increases in alcohol taxes and car registration fees to help pay for infrastructure improvements are drawing fire from local businesses and residents. Ryan held a news conference Wednesday on the northern terminus of Illinois Route 255 in Roxana to announce a program called Illinois FIRST. The program would provide $12 billion for projects across the state, including the completion of the Alton Bypass and the widening of Illinois Routes 157 and 159. if the governor wants to build new roads, he’s going to need them for all the people who will be leaving Illinois to buy their beer, gas and other things. He’s going to put a lot of small people out of business,” said Robert “Chick” Fritz, owner of Robert “Chick" Fritz Inc., a beer distributorship. The funding for the pro- ■ See INCREASES, Page A-9 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Gov. George Ryan stands on Illinois Route 255 at Illinois Route 143 Wednesday to announce a plan to complete the Alton Bypass, which would take Route 255 from Interstate 255 to U.S. 67 in Godfrey. Governor proposes $280 million for Bypass By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer ROXANA — From where Gov. George H. Ryan stood Wednesday, area leaders could see a bright vision of the River Bend's future growth in its transportation system and tourism industry. Ryan held a news conference at the intersection of Illinois Routes 255 and 143 in Roxana The significance of that location became apparent when he proposed $280 million in state funding to complete the long-awaited Alton Bypass, which would take Route 255 all the way from its current terminus at Route 143 to U.S. 67 in Godfrey. Tourism boosters from the River Bend were ecstatic at the announcement. “What better way to bring in an additional million visitors to the area?” said Doug Arnold, president of the Greater Alton/Twin Rivers ■ See ROAD. Page A-9 Stratford renovation aims for November 2000 An artist’s drawing shows the proposed addition to the Hotel Stratford in Downtown Alton. On the right is the current building. The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Civic and business leaders met Wednesday at a noon luncheon to get an update on the proposed renovation of the Hotel Stratford. Paul Williams of Carrollton, Texas, regional director of development for Starwood Hotels and Resorts W’orld Wide Inc.’s Southwestern District, presented a corporate flag to Stratford owner Bill Moyer and Mayor Don Sandidge. Plans are for the hotel at 229 Market St. to become a Four Points by Sheraton hotel franchisee once it undergoes a ■ See STRATFORD Page A-9 ‘Mover, shaker’ for disabled dies «TTe was an inspiration to lots and lots of ill By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — A longtime activist for the disabled lost his battle against a fourth brain tumor Wednesday morning. Robert Fleming, 48, died at his Alton home about 9 a m. He had fought three previous brain tumors, which left him visually impaired and using a wheelchair. The fourth tumor appeared two years ago. Fleming had earned a reputation over the past three decades as an undaunted activist who crusaded for accessibility to Lewis and Clark Community College and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, as well as tourist sites. “He’s going to be missed; he was quite a guy,” Mayor Don Sandidge said. “He was a mover and a shaker.” Fleming’s uncle, Alderman Gary Fleming, 6th Ward, praised his nephew for pushing for the rights of the disabled. “He made so many contributions .people. He touched lots of lives.” Audrey Fleming mother as far as the disabled go; I’m sure he will be sorely missed.” Robert Fleming, a disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, was one of the original board members and organizers of IMPACT Inc., an Alton agency that assists the disabled in independent living by using peer counseling. He also served on the city’s Human Relations Commission and the Alton Lakemont Advisory Committee. Fleming graduated from Alton High School in 1968. He attended LCCC, where he served as the disabled student representative in the student senate. Fleming earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from SIUE. He ran unsuccessfully for the LCCC Board of Trustees in 1989. Fleming considered his victories over three tumors and other medical problems to be “miracles from God.” His first brain tumor was diagnosed in 1970 while he was serving in the military in Vietnam. He suffered complications from that surgery and underwent three subsequent emergency operations that left him in a coma for three weeks. Fleming then required ll months of rehabilitation. Doctors found another brain tumor in 1985 and a third one in 1996. Several years ago, Fleming was in the midst of a controversy surround- ■ See SHAKER, Page A-9 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Robert Fleming, who died Wednesday at his Alton home, crusaded for accessibility to Lewis and Clark Community College and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, as well as tourist sites. IjTpjufl hun! Inuit turn! Lim) tm.:! finn! Ii::..! [null turn! turn! timd tutu! ■ 1 * • 1 ■'iv 5    Y    i    '    if    I Area/Illinois .A-3-10 Bulletin Board .A-6 Classifieds C-6 Comics.......D-5 Editorial ......A-4 Horoscope D-5 Nation/world .. .C-4 Obituaries.....A-5 Clarke, Clarkson, Davis, Fleming, Francis, Hall, Legate, Mortland, Robinson, Scoggins, Vinyard, Voorhees, Willis, Witt, Young Television.....C-3 Weather.......D-6