Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - June 25, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Cooper I kjt Alton gets J| Sunny to My Oilers Insurance stomped by I ' I ready to put keeps growing, i MM.Edwardsville j ^ ’ new facility Vol. 164, No. 161 — 50 cento__Friday, June 25,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Driver cleared in woman’s death Second motorist sought in hit-and-run By DENNIS GRUBAUGH [ Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A grand jury refused Thursday to indict one of two drivers I who hit a woman in Godfrey, and the hunt continues for the second driver, believed to be the one who killed her. “Any kind of tip would help us,” Madison County Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Buckley said. Thomas C. Williams, 26, of Cottage Hills, waived his rights and voluntarily appeared Thursday in Madison County Circuit Court. The grand jury returned a “no true bill" on Williams, a refusal to indict on a charge of reckless homicide, Buckley said. For three weeks, the grand jury has been hearing testimony in the death of Stephanie Sproull, 25, of Godfrey, who was hit twice by cars as she crossed in the middle of the 6500 block of Godfrey Road about 2:20 a m. Jan. 18. Sproull was riding home from her job in Delhi when she apparently become involved in an argument with a friend who was driving. When the friend pulled over, Sproull got out of the car, authorities said. She was hit first by the northbound car driven by Williams and knocked into the southbound lanes. Moments later, she was hit again. The second car left the scene. Sproull was lying on the pavement, talking to witnesses, when she was hit the second time. “She was killed by the second vehicle,” Buckley said. He said Williams used his car phone to dial 911. Williams, who has acknowledged drinking at a tavern, shortly before the acccident, was not legally drunk, according to the blood-alcohol test results taken at a nearby hospital. His blood-alcohol content measured only 0.035 percent, Buckley said. A percentage of 0.08 is considered legally ■ See DRIVER Page A-9 Wounds run deep for teen shooting victim 20-year sentence not long enough, woman says By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Shooting victim Shaunta Floyd believes a 20-year prison sentence for the man who wounded her isn’t long enough. After two years, Floyd, 18, continues to suffer splitting headaches from remnants of the bullet lodged in the right side of her brain. Her left hand does not function properly, so the former honor student cannot use it to type college reports. Floyd gets dizzy and walks with a slight limp. She said her body does not - adapt well to heat as a result of being shot in the head. “My whole left side is not the same,” she said. “I can’t run or dance normally. My brain doesn’t control my temperature yet, and because of him, I can’t work to help my mother out. She’s down here struggling. “I can’t type my homework — which makes college five times as hard — because he didn’t know the difference between cars. Not once did he apologize to me.” Floyd said her left ankle gives out and she falls. She also sometimes catches her hand in doors because she lacks feeling in it. Johnny M. Stennis, 28, .entered an Alford plea June 8 in Madison County Circuit Court to a charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm in Floyd’s shooting April 19, 1997. Floyd was riding in the back seat of a car in the Belle Manor housing complex in Alton with three other young people, looking for a friend, when Stennis said he mistook her for a rival gang member. He said he shot at the vehi- «Tfeel it was an linjustice. I didn’t get justice.” Shaunta Floyd victim cie, wounding Floyd. “We were just riding and listening to music. I heard a ringing sound and thought the stereo speaker had blown out. I couldn’t feel anything on my left side,” she said. Floyd then noticed she was bleeding. “I started instantly praying. I remembered what my mom and grandmother had taught me. I told my cousin, ‘Pray for me.’ I prayed to God that ■ See VICTIM. Page A-9 Public gets a look at new voting options By CURTISS A. HARTLEY Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Election judges and others filled the lobby of the Madison County Administration Building Thursday to get a look at the latest voting technology. The county’s old polling equipment is slow and expensive, and the technology is circa 1950. So county officials are looking at options for the new millennium. County Clerk Mark Von Nida invited technology companies to Edwardsville to show off their voting equipment. Visitors sat at computer screens and touch-screen voting tablets, blackening boxes on optical scanning ballots to test the voting options. “The idea is good,” said Lawrence Pohlmann, an election judge from Bethalto. Beyond that, he had no other observations. “It’s all too new,” he said. Many echoed the sentiments. Most stared in wide-eyed fascination as company representatives answered their questions and guided them through the electronic balloting. Vanessa Keitges, who works for VoteHere.net, an Internet voting company out of Kirkland, Wash., used terms such as “crypto-authenticat-ing” and “universally verifiable,” as she explained the security and ease of registering and voting on the Internet. “The system makes sure it’s the right-person-one vote and ■ See VOTING, Page A-9 Area/Illinois .A-3-10 Bulletin Board .D-7 Classifieds ... .C-4 Editorial ......A-4 Horoscope D-5 Nation/world .. .C-2 Obituaries A-5 Criner, Cornell, East, Hagen, Kullmann, McKean, Mann, Miller, Rowold, Scroggins, Shewmake, Tungett, Widel Stocks ......D-2 Television C-3 For The Telegraph/MELINDA KIDWELL Ben Pinnell and Jason Schumann take their bicycle-propelled boat out for a spin in Piasa Harbor. Two ply Mississippi in Twain-esque style By CORY A. PITT For The Telegraph ALTON — Two college students from Knoxville, Tenn., are taking a voyage this summer that puts them in the same “boat” as Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Although Ben Pinnell and Jason Schumann may not quite live up to Mark Twain’s legendary characters, their story is quite Twain-esque as they are “roughing it” in “life on the Mississippi.” Schumann and Pinnell, on a boat they built themselves, are taking a 1,600-mile summer trip along the Mississippi River. Their journey began May 22 in Wabasha, Minn., and will conclude near New Orleans in late July or early August. Schumann and Pinnell, friends since the sixth grade, have planned the trip for nearly two years, researching the route and building the boat that brought them 550 miles to the Piasa Harbor in Alton Wednesday. The boat, which took about 18 months to build, measures 18 feet long and IO feet wide and relies on a 15-barrel platform of 55-gallon drums for flotation. It is built mostly of wood and moves by a rear paddlewheel controlled by leg power generated from bicycles on each side of the stern. A rudder is easily reached from the bicycles and the roof of the boat. Electricity is generated by a solar panel on the roof, where the men enjoy spending most of the day, coasting with the current and enjoying the sights. “It’s like the old steam pad-dleboats, but the energy comes from our legs, not steam,” Pinnell said. “Ifs a lot of work on our legs, sort of the equivalent of going uphill on a bicycle, only all the time.” Pinnell and Schumann only “bicycle” on the river about two hours out of the day. The remainder of the day the current moves the boat, with the occasional use of a back-up motor, which is used to get through locks, pull into marinas and in tough areas where peddling is ineffective. On board is a first-aid kit, a ■ See STYLE, Page A-9 Hot tin roof The Telegraph/HUSS SMI I h Workers with Atlantic Meeco Co. of McAlester, Olka., attach a new tin roof to 300 feet of new slips Thursday at the Alton Marina.