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Alton Telegraph Newspaper Archive: August 14, 1999 - Page 1

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Publication: Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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   Telegraph, The (Newspaper) - August 14, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 In the blood First daughter tradition PageCi The outlook Mostly sunny and pleasant High near 80 low near 61 PageC10 Cards win Big Mac hits two homers in 71 victory PageBl No 211 50 cents Saturday August Woman By SANFORD J SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE An OFallon woman was charged with firstdegree murder Friday in Madison County Circuit Court accused of killing her sister in a plot to steal the victims baby and call it her own Sandra May Merrifield 22 of the second block of Rock Springs in OFallon was held without bond Friday at the Madison County Mil She hit her sister Jossie L Merrifield 18 of Motive was to steal niece sheriff says ng the 300 block of North Summit Street in Collinsville over the head repeatedly with a large rock Thursday night Madison County Sheriff Bob Churchich said The victim tumbled down a creek embank ment and landed facedown in the water The preliminary cause of death was believed to be drowning authorities said The suspect later led authorities to her sisters body Sandra Merrifield was claiming to be preg nant for months but was not Churchich said The victim was killed predominantly for the Authorities first learned aBout the killing when the suspect and her boyfriend Everette Jackson 32 appeared at the Collinsville Police Department just after 9 Thursday Churchich said there was reason to believe that Sandra Merrifield sus pected Jackson was the father of the infant although further investigation will have to be done to determine with certainty whether that was the case Churchich said the suspect had tried to convince Jackson that she had deliv ered the baby that same See SISTER Page A9 Sandra Merrifield The BADMAN At right Kramer Morgenthau director of photography for The Brass lines up a shot on the Hotel Stratford during the filming of the picture in Alton in July 1998 Above Stratford vet eran employee Jesse Chavours pretends to be asleep behind the counter for a scene in the film for Alton Movie filmed Downtown debuts on cable Sunday By LINDA N WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON On Sunday night movie buffs will be able to sit back enjoy a bowl of popcorn and watch some big stars in dramatic action in a familiar setting Downtown Alton The Big Brass Ring will premiere at 7 Sunday on Showtime a cable television channel The film crew actors and other staff created a stir in Downtown Alton for several days in late July and early August of last year when they converged on The Hotel Stratford 229 Market for some local shots Members of the cast include William Hurt Nigel Hawthorne Miranda Richardson Irene Jacob and Ewan Stuart The crew filmed most of the 100minute movie in St Louis where the story is based and Los Angeles Millennium Films produced the indepen dent movie Locally sub scribers of TCI of Illinois and Falcon subscribers in See MOVIE Page A9 Suspect guilty of murder By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Alton man was convicted Friday of trying to lure a Madison County Jail cellmate into arranging the killings of two men he feared could link him to a 1995 homicide James A Raven Evans 29 was found guilty by a jury in Madison County Circuit Court of two counts of solicita tion of murder and one count each of conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful sale of firearms Evans sat stonefaced as the verdicts were read by Associate Judge James Hackett after four hours of jury deliberation Assistant States Attorney Keith Jensen said he would seek the maximum prison term The most substantial charge solicitation carries a sentence of 15 to 30 years but Evans could be sentenced con secutively on each count to ensure a long term Jensen said Evans also faces a murder charge which Jensen said he is ready to try Evans is accused of slaying Nekemar Ppokie Pearson 18 of Alton in June 1995 and leaving his body in a wooded See GUILTY Page A9 Three school districts ponder consolidation ANGELA MUELLER elegraph staff writer School board members in Wpod River East Alton and Hertford are considering the results of a study about consol idating the three districts of the East Alton Elementary District Wood RiverHartford Elementary District and the East Alton Wood River High School District boards met this week with representatives from Midwest School Consultants to review a Reorganization Feasibility Study think what the study did to provide us additional information as to where the three districts stand on issues such as facilities finances and said Marvin Peterson president of the East AJton Elementary board kids u Tthink the study shows we can limprove the education of our ki by Fred Ufert president of East AltonWood River High School Board The effect of consolidation on curriculum was a major concern listed by presidents Philip Crause of the Wood RiverHartford Elementary Board and Fred Ufert of the high school board Ufert said freshmen come into the high school from the two elementary districts with differing educational levels The study showed that with one curriculum coordinator for K12 everything would be more streamlined instead of one school doing things this way and one doing it that he said I think the study shows we can improve the education of our kids by consolidating That should be our main Crause said he also saw the difference in education between the Wood River Hartford and East Alton ele mentary districts The whole issue of curricu lum coordination is very important The kids at Hartford get a different educa tion than the kids at East Alton then all these kids are funneled into one high school and these kids have a qualita tively different Ufert said he believed the high school also would benefit financially from the consolida tion He said that because of reassessment in the district and a new formula for figuring state aid for high school dis tricts EAWR lost more than in funding last year The high school could be in financial trouble because of the loss of state We dont want to get to the point down the road where we have to cut According to the study a new unit district could receive more in state aid each year than the combined three districts receive Peterson said the East Alton Elementary Board was consid ering the effect consolidation would have on its district To initiate the process of consolidation each of the school boards involved would have to sign a petition and pre sent it to the regional superin tendent or the voters in the district could present a peti tion of 200 signatures to the regional superintendent At least 50 of the signatures must come from each of the three individual districts After going through an approval process in the region al superintendents office the consolidation issue would be placed on the election ballot The issue would have to pass in all three districts for a con solidation to take place Ufert said he thinksthe issue will be on the April ballot Morning Bulletin Board Classifieds B7 Editorial Horoscope B6 A8 Ansell Cross Eberhart Jarrett Malson Musgraves Schroeder Schuette Story COLORTYMEJ 2801 Homer Adams 46S8293 Hours MF107 a 9 0 46 RCA BIG SCREEN RCA DVDs 9 week v MITTac R   

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