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Alton Telegraph: Wednesday, July 21, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - July 21, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836  THE TELEGRAM  SUH searching  More ships arrive tohunt for Kennedy plane  PageA-12 :  | Trmv% i'm  I Smoothies  I Sippable drinks offer cool i promise on hot day  PageB-l  The outlook Same old refrain. Partly sunny, hot and humid. High 95; low 76  Pagel>8  Tennis  Pro visits Edwardsville camp  PageC-l  Vol. 164, No. 187 — 50 cents  Wednesday, July 21.1999   www.theteleqraph.com   The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN  An Alton police car rounds the corner from Highland Avenue onto Gold Street past the ruins of the former Charlie’s Lounge at 1001 Highland after Its demolition Tuesday afternoon. Below, a sign was still visible on the front door of the former tavern.  City reduces nuisance building to rubble  By LINDA N. WELLER  Telegraph staff writer  ALTON    —    Bulldozers  plowed through a former tavern Tuesday, demolishing what had been a magnet for loiterers    and    streetside  drinkers and gamblers.  A pile of bricks — some still cemented together in small sections — and pieces of steel, timber and old signage are all that remain of the former Charlie’s Lounge, 1001 Highland Ave.  Stutz Service Inc. of Alton did the demolition work. Some neighbors helped kick off the cleanup process by scurrying away with bricks for souvenirs and other uses.  The lounge had closed earlier this year. Years ago, the building had housed The Plantation bar.  “We are trying to improve  the neighborhood by eliminate ing that building,” said Dennis Dugan, director of housing and community development for the city of Alton. He said the former bar, at the corner of Highland and Gold Street, was detrimental to the surrounding residential area.  The former bar also had been costly to the city because of the numerous police calls to the area.  “People are trying to live there” and maintain their homes in the neighborhood, Dugan said.  The city bought the building for about $70,000 last month from Esther Jackson, using city and federal Community Development funds, Dugan said. Mayor Don Sandidge had said the city would clear away the razed buildings to create  ■ See NUISANCE, Page A-11  GOP panel seeks to head off EPA action on ethanol  By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE Farmers and petroleum mar-win be talking about a meeting this  Rep. John Shimkus hanoi, which is made orn, will be the main t a Republican Policy ttee hearing at 2 p.m. in Springfield, kus, R-Collinsville, and other Illinois law-; are trying to head off e restriction on the use by the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency. He said the EPA is basing its proposal to restrict the mixing of ethanol in gasoline on rules arising from the Clean Air Act.  “The head of the EPA (Carol Browner) has said her hands are tied by the Clean Air Act,” Shimkus said. “Our response to that is that the agency is not considering the benefits to the environment of ethanol along with the disadvantages.”  EPA officials said they may restrict the use of ethanol in reformulated gasoline. The mixture has worked well in  large cities with severe pollution problems, ethanol backers say.  Shimkus said the effort he and other Illinois lawmakers from both parties are making is to convince their colleagues, as well as the EPA, that the benefits of ethanol outweigh the disadvantages.  Illinois is the leading ethanol-producing state.  Environmentalists have expressed concern that ethanol pollutes the air through evaporation, rather than from being burned in automobiles. That problem may be addressed by a pro  posed new experimental ethanol research center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Shimkus said.  The Policy Committee will meet in room 400 at the State House in Springfield, said Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Morris, vice chairman.  The committee has invited witnesses, including Gov. George H. Ryan; Joseph Hampton, Illinois director of agriculture; and Thomas Skinner, Illinois EPA director, Weller said. The findings from the hearing will go to the full House Policy Committee for further consid  eration and possible action.  Shimkus also announced a series of town hall meetings to discuss agricultural issues in general. A hearing is set for 9:15 a m. Thursday, Aug. 19, in the University Center at SIUE.  Hearings are also set for 10:45 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at the Macoupin County Courthouse in Carlinville; for 9:45 a-.rn. Wednesday, Aug. 25, at the Jersey County Courthouse in Jerseyville; and for 1:15 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Greene County Farm Bureau in Carrollton.  Scenic land may be turned into park  Group, Godfrey seeking to buy Route 3 property  By ANDE YAKSTIS  Telegraph staff writer  • GODFREY - The Great Rivers Land Trust and the village of Godfrey are teaming up to acquire 96 acres of scenic land for a park and nature hiking trails.  Great Rivers has initiated a contract with Illinois-American Water Co. to buy the land off Illinois Route 3 along the old Lavista Road to the Oblate Fathers, a Catholic religious order, Great Rivers executive director Wayne*.* Freeman said.  The Village of Godfrey has applied for a state grant of $268,000 as its half share to help Great Rivers buy the land for a village recreational park, hiking and nature trails.  “If the grant is successful, the village will get 96 acres of prime parkland at no cost to the local taxpayer,” Godfrey Mayor Michael Campion said.  Great Rivers has started a capital campaign to raise about $268,000 as its share to buy the land from Illinois-American by July I, 2000.  “It’s beautiful land for a park,” Campion said. “It would be a big step forward for Godfrey for future development of parkland.”  The 96 acres of land border Route 3 on the north and, on the south, connect to a hiking ♦trail leading through woods to the Great River Road.  See LAND, Page A-11  Good  Morning  Area/Illinois .A-3-11 Bulletin Board .A-6 Classifieds ... .C-7  Comics  _______D-6  Editorial ......A-4  Horoscope D-6  Nation/world . .A-12;D-5  Obituaries A-5  Bishop, Griffin, Rice, Schuette, Wilson  Scoreboard C-2  Stocks........D-2  Television  ____D-7  Witnesses recall stabbing spree  By THOMAS WRAUSMANN  Telegraph staff writer  JERSEYVILLE - Surviving victims and other witnesses Tuesday described in detail a stabbing spree in a Jerseyville bar in December 1997 that led to one death.  The oft-delayed jury trial of Ricky E. Callahan, 23, of Jerseyville, started Tuesday in Jersey County Circuit Court.  A long line of eyewitnesses  Defendant accused.of killing one, wounding four others  recalled the night when Callahan allegedly stabbed five patrons in Lorton’s Bar in Jerseyville.  The witnesses were called by Jersey County State’s Attorney Gail Gisy. Assisting Gisy is Keith Jensen, a part-time assistant with the office of Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan.  Callahan is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Ronald E. Haenitch of rural Jerseyville, who was stabbed with a pocket knife, which pierced his heart. Two other men suffered internal abdominal injuries, while a woman was stabbed in the back and another man was cut on the neck.  Callahan also faces attempted murder and armed violence charges for the injuries to the four surviving victims. He had no previous connection to any of the victims.  The incident apparently followed a woman’s refusal to dance with Callahan. Stephen Garrett of Carrollton testified about how he politely asked  Callahan to leave his sister alone. Callahan then walked calmly away to another part of the bar.  “I thought everything was done,” Garrett said.  Then Garrett, having a drink alone at the bar, said he saw Callahan approaching and thought the defendant was going to say something into his  ear in the noisy establishment. However, he said Callahan cut the side of his neck with a knife.  Garrett said he pushed the attacker away, and Callahan tried to cut him again. While Garrett’s injuries were being tended to, the bartenders asked two patrons to escort Callahan out of the bar, which since has been closed.  ■ See SPREE, Page A-11   

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