Wednesday, May 19, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 19, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 THG TELEGRAPH wive track but; l'ui>n » Foot* cousins lead I The color is green CarroUton    I Spring salads bring life to the I season’s dinner table Page C-l I    Page    B-l The outlook    j    Wide variety McfUy amny • j Martha’s Wallpaper and mild, high    :    Mnrp hoc near 78, low     ;    ana more nas near 57    :    something for all I decorating projects Bagels :    Page    D-l Vol. 164, No. 124 — 50 cents Teacher accused Wednesday, May 19,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Hundreds mourn ieen Cancer victim eulogized as ‘angel to us all’ By THOMAS WRAUSMANN Telegraph staff writer JERSEYVILLE - A longtime employee of the Jersey Community School District was arrested Tuesday on charges of fondling a 17-year old student, authorities said. Dennis Fester, 45, audiovisual coordinator and teacher for the district, was arrested about ll am. at his Jerseyville home by officers from the Jerseyville Police Department. Fester was taken to the Jersey County Jail in Jerseyville Fester and was held in lieu of $50,000 bond late Tuesday. The 22-year employee is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a felony, for allegedly touching the girl to receive sexual gratification, authorities said. The incident allegedly occurred May 13 at Fester’s home, said Jerseyville Police Sgt. Frank Scoggins. Fester, who is married, is also accused of providing alcohol for students at a beer party May 7. That charge is unlawful delivery of alcohol to a minor, a misdemeanor, authorities said. Scoggins asked that anyone with pertinent information call the department at 498-2131. Don Snyders, Jersey school superintendent, had no comment. Fester has worked with students to produce programs on the local public access station, Channel 12. He also has helped students create statewide award-winning videos for public service announcements to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving, among other contributions to the district. The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Two classmates of 17-year-old Chrissy Brumley, who died Saturday after a long battle with cancer, embrace after graveside services Tuesday at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery near Bunker Hill. At right, a butterfly wasted no time checking out some of the dozens of flower arrangements placed near Brumley’s grave. By BETHANY BEHRHORST Telegraph staff writer BUNKER HILL - A brilliant butterfly rested gently on a bright yellow flower at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, where Chrissy Brumley was laid to rest an hour later The butterfly’s life is short — but precious, beautiful and filled with grace, as was 17-year-old Chrissy's. Chrissy was a devoted daughter, a sister, a friend and a junior at East Alton-Wood River High School. The courageous East Alton teen-ager lost her two-year battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, on Saturday, just two days after her 17th birthday, which doctors had said she would not see. But she never lost faith or her sense of humor. “I know she’s in Heaven," said Terri Smith, Chrissy’s mother. “There’s no more suffering.” More than 1,400 people gath- Chrissy Brumley Lost two-year battle with cancer ered at Chrissy’s wake Monday, and more than 700 met for Tuesday’s funeral, both at Elias-Smith Funeral Home in Upper Alton, to say what Father John Paul Klein of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Alton said was “the saddest word mankind could know." They said goodbye. Friends, relatives and others whose lives Chrissy touched wept quietly or sobbed furiously, with only a handful of dry eyes among the crowd. Roses were kissed and placed in her casket. Hearts were healing after watching the teen-ager ■ See TEEN, Page A-11 Panel urges keeping AHS campus open By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — A committee recommended Tuesday evening that the Alton High School campus remain open during lunch periods. Scott Neudecker, chairman of the committee that has been studying the issue, reported to the school board that the panel recognized too many problems would be inherent if the campus were closed. He cited difficulties such as dealing with the large number of students in the high school cafeteria and security issues dealing with preventing the students from leaving campus. Neudecker said lunches would have to be reduced to a half-hour from the current one-hour to accommodate all the students in the cafeteria. He said this could mean adding study halls or classroom time to the school day, which might require additional staff and classroom space. He also noted that some classes would have to dismiss for lunch halfway through the class period, breaking the continuity of the class. The idea of closing the campus was initiated as a possible way to reduce school absences. Neudecker encouraged the board to explore other options. “Planning for a closed campus should again be addressed if the number of absences and truancies does not improve.” In other business, the board appointed John Cunningham as the school district’s new director of human resources ■ See CAMPUS, Page A-11 Area/Illinois . .A-3-9 Bulletin Board .A-6 Business D-1 Classifieds C-7 Comics D-5 Editorial ......A-4 Horoscope D-5 Nation/world .A-10,12 Obituaries A-5 Bechtold, Eda and Francis Bollo, Eller, Meyers, Nordstrom, Owens, Pointer, Spangler, Spudich, Vetter Television D-7 New home is moving experience The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN A house makes its way up Martin Luther King Drive in Alton Tuesday morning while being moved from near St. Anthony’s Medical Center to a new address on Easton Street. By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Melissa Morris made it clear Tuesday how she feels about her home-to-be — she kissed it. “I love this house,” she exclaimed, kissing it a couple more times so friends and parishioners could snap her picture. “I’m walking up here,” Morris said smiling, her hand raised to chin level. The house, poised high on a house mover’s dollies, was beginning a tedious, snail’s-paced journey of one-and-a-half miles from 2200 Central Ave. to 929 Easton St. Morris, 40, is expected to take ownership of the house in September after volunteers from Piasa Area Habitat for Humanity and Main Street United Methodist Church of Alton renovate it. Among planned work is rewiring, new plumbing, new roof, carpeting, siding and vinyl flooring — plus decorating. “We are going to fully rehabilitate it,” said Brad Martens, executive director of the Piasa Area Habitat for Humanity. Church member Barb Bitter of Alton said she is happy to help with the project. “We feel Habitat for Humanity is an important mis- ■ See HOME, Page A-11 - Fully Stocked Kitchen ■ Visit us at 6900 Manchester or 9009 Natural Bridge Road