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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - June 18, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 A jbhl J Ameritech Newly designed i bill makes it simpler Page C-l Bombers Bluff City beats Danville 7-4 Page B-l The outlook j Memories Sunny to partly Native cloudy skies. writes of High 78; low 56 Page IVlft Page IM Vol. 164, No. 154 —50 cents Friday, June 18,1999 www.thetelegraph.com 350 new jobs on the wing Texas firm to open division at Regional By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer BETHALTO — A new business is coming to St. Louis Regional Airport and is expected to bring up to 350 jobs to the area Airport officials will hold a news conference Saturday morning to announce that Eagle One Aviation Inc. LLC, an aircraft modification firm based in Fort Worth, Texas, is preparing to open a structural machinist division here. After nearly a year of negotiations, the year-old aerospace player will take on the conversion of Boeing 727 models from passenger to cargo planes. The result is a major economic coup for Bethalto and the rest of the area. “We’re delighted about Eagle One’s decision,” said Marion Richardson, manager of St. Louis Regional. “They said they liked the welcome they received from our airport community, as well as the potential to continue to expand their Bethalto operations in the future. “We’ve still got lots of space available on this airport’s 2,300-acre property,” Richardson said. “We’re excited about the additional business and industry Eagle One’s presence here will spawn.” Bethalto Mayor Steve Bryant said pumping several hundred new jobs into the village is a major development. “We are always eager for positive economic ■ See JOBS. Page A-11 More jobs worth the noise, residents say By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer BETHALTO — Residents already are talking about what a major new employer’s arrival in their village will mean. Linda McNeese, who lives on Culp Lane near Clover Leaf Golf Club, says new business spells new opportunities for folks to find a good job or move to a better one. “I don’t know any Boeing or any machinists who are looking for work at this time," McNeese said, “but ifs always encouraging when new business comes into our village.” The new employer, Eagle One Aviation, is an aircraft modification firm specializing in converting Boeing 727 passenger jetliners — what residents call the “noisy planes" — to cargo carriers. “I still think the planes flying into St. Louis Regional Airport are getting too big and flying too low,” McNeese said. Bertha Archibald, who lives on Airline Drive in Bethalto, agrees about the noise, even though she has lived several miles from the airport for the past three years. “The noise is not much to complain about, though, if this company is going to be bringing in new jobs," Archibald said “That’s a good thing. I don’t personally know of anyone right now who is out of a (machinist) job, but it will mean a lot to those in ■ See NOISE, Page A-11 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN A military version of a DC-9, frequently flown into St, Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto for training by the 11th Airlift Squadron based at Scott Air Force Base, takes off Thursday from the airport. The DC-9 is similar in size to 727 passenger planes that a Texas-based company plans to convert into cargo planes at the former AEL complex. At right, Rick Erzinger, part owner of the former AEL hangars and offices at St. Louis Regional Airport, stands in the 75,000-square-foot hangar that will be part of the space used by Eagle One Aviation Inc. LLC. Alton Belle’s cruising days are numbered By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Anyone wanting to take one last cruise on the Alton Belle Casino should get on board without delay. Once Gov. George Ryan signs the dockside gambling bill, the Alton boat will stop taking its leisurely excursions 1 1 2 miles up the Mississippi River — as of that day. “We will cease cruising as soon as the boat gets back, as of its next cruise,” said Brenda Bauer, general manager of Argosy Gaming Co.’s Alton Belle. The Illinois Gaming Board has approved the Belle’s new internal controls, which will allow it to switch immediately to a dockside facility. Owners of gambling boats have the option to remain cruising or docked; however, all of them are expected to discontinue their excursions. Rumors had circulated that Ryan intended to sign the bill today, which would allow the law to go into effect immediately. A spokesperson in his office, however, said Ryan did not plan to sign the bill today; she could not say when he will. If Ryan signs the bill, it would be the biggest change in Illinois gambling laws since casinos were legalized in 1990. ■ See BELLE, Page A-11 Area/Illinois . .A-3-9 Bulletin Board .A-7 Classifieds C-5 Comics.......D-3 Editorial ......A-4 Nation/world .A-10,12;C-5 Obituaries A-5 Feltes, Fosha, Milford, Runyon, Schueler, Schultz, Tucker, Wiser Television D-5 LCCC takes over Nelson complex By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Preservationists were “grinning from ear to ear,” state Sen. Evelyn Bowles said Thursday, as Lewis and Clark Community College officially took over ownership of the historic N O. Nelson complex. “N O. Nelson’s dream has come full circle,” said Cindy Gale, representing the Friends of Leclaire preservation organization. Gale was one of several speakers for the ceremony at the Nelson site, where the former plumbing fixture factory will become a vocational school operated by LCCC. The site became available when Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, which formerly had control of the property and called it the Wagner Complex, decided to move art classes and storage to the central campus. The ceremony also marked the receipt of $500,000 from the ■ See LCCC, Page A-11 For The Telegraph/MELINDA KIDWELL State Rep. Jay Hoffman and state Sen. Evelyn Bowles were recognized Thursday for their role in obtaining $500,000 for Lewis and Clark Community College to plan courses and do environmental cleanup at the N.O. Nelson complex in Edwardsville.
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