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Alton Telegraph: Friday, May 21, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 21, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836  Pollution test of trucks OK’d  By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT  Telegraph staff writer  Truckers who may be hard hit by an increase in state license plate fees now may have to start visiting testing stations for pollution tests.  “Where is it all going to end?" asked Terry Miller, vice president of Trans Petro of South Roxana, a fuel shipping business.  The increased plate fees were part of a revenue package announced by Gov.  George Ryan and legislative leaders Tuesday. Operators may have to pay as much as $500 more per truck per year if the bill passes.  On Wednesday, the House passed and sent to Ryan a bill to begin testing diesel trucks for pollution in the Metro East area.  The legislation, which passed on an 83-32 vote, would require diesel trucks weighing more than 16,000  ■ See TRUCKS. Page A-9  By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT  Telegraph staff writer  Supporters of parochial schools are delighted but face a possible court challenge to the Illinois Legislature’s passage of a bill giving parents a tax credit.  Gov. George Ryan is expected to sign the legislation, which gives parents of the state’s 310,000 children in private schools a tax credit of up to $500 a year.  The plan provides that parents who spend a minimum of $250 on tuition and other school costs qualify for a tax credit. Parents who spend $2,500 or more on school expenses would get a maximum credit of $500.  Opponents said they are gearing up  for a court challenge.  “We will be a party to a suit, along with a number of other groups,” said George King, spokesman for the Illinois Education Association.  “We will be opposing it for basically the same reasons we were against the bill in the first place,” King said.  The American Civil Liberties Union also is evaluating the bill for a possible court challenge, said Lauren Raphael, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Illinois.  “It has the effect of advancing religion,” she said.  Opponents say the measure is unconstitutional because it amounts to public subsidization of religion  ■ See CREDIT. Page A-9  Trouble on the roads  A traffic light at the corner of Washington Avenue and East Broadway in Alton was knocked down Thursday by the rear wheels of a tractor-trailer truck that couldn’t make the turn. The light was down but still functioning. No injuries were reported. In Roxana, a firefighter hoses down about 15 gallons of weed killer that spilled on Interstate 255 just south of Madison Avenue after the truck trailer hauling it flipped over. No injuries were reported.  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN  Suspect guilty of sex abuse  Prosecutors may seek near maximum in assault of child  By DENNIS GRUBAUGH  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - A Troy man convicted Thursday of molesting a 6-year-old girl may face maximum prison time in the case, which has revived questions about his criminal past.  Terry C. Martin, 24, now of Troy and formerly of Wood River, was found guilty by a jury in Madison County Circuit Court of predatory criminal sexual abuse.  Prosecutors say they will use Martin’s previous convictions, including burglary and robbery, to argue for the maximum sentence.  “Sixty years is the maximum. I’ll probably ask close to it,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle Napp said.  Authorities also said they may use Martin’s impending sentence as leverage to try to persuade him to cooperate in their investigation into the disappearance some eight years ago of a 15-year-old boy. Officials with the Marion  ■ See GUILTY, Page A-9  Area/Illinois .A-3-10;C-2  Bulletin Board .A-7  Business   .D-1  Classifieds C-4  Comics.......D-5  Editorial ......A-4  Horoscope ... .D-5 Nation/world .. .C-4  Obituaries A-5  Beets, Bensman, Bollo, Brown, Morrison, Row, Schillinger, Stille  Region........C-1  Stocks........D-2  Television D-6  s : v %  *    **    -ml    'J  By iii© sQRsliorc  Shirley’s Shells and Novelties brings the beach to Brighton  Page D-1  Vol. 164, No. 126 — 50 cents  Regional soccer Marquette shuts out Alton  Page R*1  ELES UAPH  Friday, May 21,1999   www.thetelegraph.com   Tax credit bill passes  Parents of students in private schools would get break  The Teleqraph/RUSS SMITH Students at St. Boniface School, from left, John Caulk, 12, Zach McNelly. 13, Patick Gleason, 14, and Dustin Maguire, 11, play hoops at lunchtime Thursday on the school playground in Edwardsville.  Fire chief calls it quits after three decades  By KERRY SMITH  Telegraph staff writer  ROXANA — Mauri Hasting has fought fires for nearly three decades and has headed the Roxana Fire Department’s three-man force for the last 12 years.  When Hasting, 50, leaves his fire chief post today, he says he will make room for “a new breed of firefighter.”  “I love the fire service. I’ve lived and breathed it. I’m one of the fortunate few who has actually made a living at something I loved.”  Fighting fires remains Hasting’s true passion. His memories include the biggest, toughest blaze during his career — Sept. 15, 1989, at Piasa Motor Fuels in Hartford, a wholesale storage operation.  More photos  C-3  “We assisted Hartford on that one, along with at least four other area fire teams,” Hasting said. “The fire was blamed on a coffee maker, and it took two entire days to put out the flames. We fought it for nearly 12 hours just to get it under control.”  Only one fatal fire occurred in Roxana during Hasting’s tenure with the department. Several years ago, he said, a child playing with matches started a fire that took his life.  “But that was one fatality too many,” Hasting said.  He has done it all, including rescuing a cat from a tree.  “It was my day off, and I  ■ See CHIEF, Page A-9  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Longtime Roxana Fire Chief Mauri Hasting stands in front of the department’s newest pumper truck. Hasting, a strong advocate for fire training, retires today after 27 years with the department, including 12 as chief.   

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