Saturday, July 10, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - July 10, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 lawsuit may ring true for AT&T phone lessees By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - More than I million Illinois residents who have paid telephone lease costs to AT&T since 1986 stand to gain from a judge’s ruling in Madison County, an attorney says. Circuit Judge P.J. O’Neill this month certified class-action status on a Collinsville woman’s lawsuit against Good rVt Morning Area/Illinois . .A-3,8 Bulletin Board .A-6 Classifieds ... .C-5 Comics C-2 Editorial ......A-4 Nation........D-5 Obituaries A-5 Burnett, Bryant, Cornish, Edwards, Fessler, Gilman, Green, Hutslar, Koenig, Kramer, Noble, Riggins, Rogers, Varble Religion C-4,5 Scoreboard B-2 Lucent Technologies Inc., the successor company to AT&T’s telephone leasing division, The case is far from the trial stage, but it is gaining national attention. At issue are consumers who — knowingly or otherwise — pay lease fees that far exceed the cost of their telephones. “There are between 300,000 and 400,000 current Illinois citizens who are still leasing these telephones,” said plain tiff’s attorney Steven Tillery of Belleville. “Some people who have come to us have paid more than $1,700 (in lease costs) for an $11 phone — and it’s not their phone (to keep).” Lucent’s customers pay the worth of their telephone about every two months in lease fees, he said, despite the Federal Communication Commission’s intent to do ■ See SUIT, Page A-7 Damaged Wendy’s to be back in business today By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers will be served again in Alton today for the first time since Wednesday evening, when a woman drove her car into the front of the restaurant. Construction crews worked Friday to install support bracing at the southeast corner of the building and to build a temporary wall across the south end of the dining room, blocking off about one-fourth of the dining area along the damaged wall. The restaurant is at the corner of Washington Avenue and Homer Adams Parkway. Mickey Gerstner, general manager of Wendy’s, said management initially had thought only drive-through service would be available today, but with the addition of the bracing and temporary wall, the dining room also will be opened. “The inspectors said if we were able to do these things, we could open up part of the dining room, too,” Gerstner said. “We’re really happy to be able to do that.” Debbie Ewing, 32, of the 1200 block of East Seventh Street in Alton, had just gone through the Wendy’s drive-through about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when her bag of food fell to the floor of her car. Ewing apparently reached for the food and lost control of the car, making a wide turn in the parking lot then hitting the front of the building. Assistant Chief Stephen ■ See WENDY'S, Page A-7 TELEGRAPH Mining to succeed New archery shop mens in Jerseyville Page IM Vol. 164, No. 176 — 50 cents Public Units Amateurs practice for championship at Spencer Page B-l The outlook Mostly sunny and pleasant. High81; low 61 Page I>6 Home In the woods Wright family’s property included unexpected hidden ‘treasure’ Page C-l Saturday, July 10,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Rev Farm workers strike Had to draw the line, pickets say By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer GODFREY — Dan Crockett considers the residents he cares for at Beverly Farm as part of an extended family, but he picked up a sign Friday night and joined fellow workers on a picket line outside the residential care home. “I really wanted not to strike, but what I heard at the bargaining table led me to believe we had no other option but to strike." Standing outside one of the two main entrances to the home on Humbert Road and wearing a union T-shirt, Crockett was joined by about 30 other Beverly Farm employees as their shift ended at IO p.m. The strikers picked up signs reading “AFSCME Council 31 On Strike, Unfair Labor Practices” and began to chant “What do we want? A contract. When do we want it? Now.” An eight-year Beverly Farm employee, Crockett is a direct care worker and was a member of the bargaining team in the negotiations between the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 and the ■ See PICKETS. Page A-7 .___.     e .    .    .    ^    ^    The    Telegraph/JOHN    BADMAP* Angela Stampley, left, and Susan Sanders, right, members of the AFSCME union, shout at fellow Beverly Farn Foundation employees to join their picket line Friday during the 10 p.m. shift change at the Godfrey home. Residents will not suffer, Welker says By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writers GODFREY — Union employees at Beverly Farm Foundation, frustrated by five years of labor disputes with the home for developmentally disabled adults, kept their vow to go on strike with the shift change at IO p.m. Friday. The strike involves members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which previously had notified Beverly Farm of its intent to strike. Despite the workers’ walkout, Beverly Farm executive director Monte Welker promised that the 406 residents’ care will not suffer. “We’re prepared to take care of them; we have the staff in good shape,” Welker said earlier Friday. “We have got the staff scheduled to cover our needs.” Welker said some employees who retired in the past year or two may be filling some slots vacated by strikers, although it was not known how many workers would honor AFSCME’s picket line. “We’re prepared. We’ve got a lot of good individuals who are not going to be honoring the picket line,” said Steve Patsaros, human resources director at Beverly Farm. “Some of the staff have come up to me and said, “If you need me to work overtime, you’ve got it,’%” he said. “Past history has shown, like in the storm last year or during a brief strike in 1988, that the employees put the health of the residents first.” Welker said some residents’ family members are coming to the home at 6301 Humbert Road to help with their loved ones’ laundry or other needs, but not personal care. ■ See STRIKE, Page A-7 Tile plant almost ready By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer WOOD RIVER - The testing phase of an environmentally friendly tile manufacturing plant is nearly complete. Terry Pinto, president of Environmentally Correct Projects Inc., said that by early August, vendors and users of the company’s glass-into-tile product will be able to buy some of the 5 million square feet of tile estimated to be produced annually by the Wood River factory. The new factory, in the heart of the 150-acre Envirotech Business Park off of Illinois Route 143 just west of Illinois Route 3, has created 32 new jobs for residents, Pinto said. “We’re producing tile right now during our testing phase,” Pinto said. “Enviro- for market Stone of Wood River represents a joint venture between ECP and Futuristic Tile LLC of Allenton, Wis. Futuristic, our product distributor, will be distributing our tile internationally from California to as far as Puerto Rico.” The 42,000-square-foot plant is nearing the end of the first phase of construction. Plans call for additional construc- ■ See TILE, Page A-7 ,    The    Telegraph/JOHN    BADMAN Workers from United Science Industries in Woodlawn removed two 10,000-gallon fuel tanks Thursday from the property of the former Pie Town Zephyr gas station at the corner of Washington and College avenues in Alton. Soil contamination on the site and the adjacent former fire station No. 4 were stumbling blocks for Walgreens, which expressed interest in building there but eventually chose a site across the street. Gas station owners had 10 years to comply with a federal requirement that they upgrade underground gasoline storage tanks to meet standards that would prevent leaks. Those that did not comply by last November’s deadline could not remain open for business until they met the requirements. Pie Town cleanup