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Alton Telegraph: Friday, August 20, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - August 20, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836  VMW BMS  Cardinals lookup to rookies to help them salvage season  PageB-l  Vol. 164, No. 217 — 50 cents  Hie outlook  Mostly sunny and pleasant, high near 82, low near 68  PageM  Top honors  Roloff Decorating named Small Business of the Month for August  Page D-l  Friday, August 20,1999   www.thetelegraph.com   Jackson to visit Bov Farm strikers  Jackson  By KERRY SMITH  Telegraph staff writer  GODFREY - Striking union members at Beverly Farm are looking forward to a special guest who will march with them Thursday.  The Rev. Jesse Jackson is coming to Godfrey Aug. 26 to voice his support for American Federation of State,  County and Municipal Employees Council 31 in a public rally. The exact time will be announced later.  AFSCME Council 31 regional director Buddy Maupin said Alton area union members are excited about the civil rights leader’s visit.  “We’re very glad he is coming, but we’re not surprised,” Maupin said. “The Rev. Jackson has a history with our union dating back to 1968. We’ve had a long relationship with Jesse Jackson. He’s always been on the side of union members struggling for a fair shake.”  AFSCME Council 31 members who work for Beverly Farm have been on strike since July 9.  Jackson was in Memphis with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when King was assassinated in April 1968.  “Many people don’t remember that Jackson went to Memphis to support (garbage) workers during a strike there at that time," Maupin said. “Jesse’s history with the AFSCME is 30 years strong.”  Jackson has already played an active role in supporting striking Beverly Farm employees, Maupin said.  “The Rev. Jackson sent letters to the agencies that are supplying strike-breakers to Beverly Farm to tell them ifs the wrong thing to do."  Three temporary staffing agencies, Maupin said, are supplying workers to the assisted living home to do the work the striking employees normally accomplish.  “Jesse has stood in many, many picket lines throughout the country in support of union members.”  The tentative agenda for Jackson’s Aug. 26 visit, Maupin said, begins with a march in froitt of the Glen Haven Golf Range at 6515 Humbert Road in Godfrey. The afternoon includes all invocation from a local minister, an introduc*  ■ See JACKSON, Page A-S  New fines program puts 15 behind bars  In just two days, the crews from the city of Alton have demolished almost all of the houses and trees on Feldwisch Avenue, the future site of the Alton Police Station.  By DENNIS GRUBAUGH  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - Fifteen people were marched off to jail Thursday for failing to pay court fines under a new Madison County alternative sentencing program.  Dozens of other Madison County Circuit Court defendants reached into their pockets or turned to friends in the courtroom to come up with the cash needed to stay out of jail.  The scramble in the Granite City satellite court may be repeated today in Alton, when hundreds of other people are called during the “pay or appear” docket on the second floor of Alton City Hall.  This week’s appearances are the first real test of the new alternative sentencing program implemented three months ago in Madison County Circuit Court.  Under the program, people with misdemeanor or traffic fines are allowed to pay them down by working in community service programs sponsored by the county.  The people sent to jail Thursday agreed to court orders last May, acknowledging that they risked jail if they failed to pay their entire fine during this court appearance.  “We want to get the word on the street that the game’s over. Being poor is no longer an excuse,” Associate Judge Randall A. Bono said.  Bono conducted the Granite City docket Thursday. He said it didn’t take long for people  ■ See BARS, Page*A*§!  Making way for police station  Youth, 17, sentenced in bomb threat prank  By DENNIS GRUBAUGH  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE - A 17-year-old youth is spending his next several weekends in the Madison County Jail for phoning in two bomb threats to a high school.  .Michael L. Huber of East Alton is the last of three youths to be sentenced for the telephone pranks that wreaked havoc last spring at East Alton-Wood River Community High School.  “They didn’t think they]d get into any trouble,” said-William Wheeler, a detective with the Wood River Police Department.  Huber was sentenced to 60  days in the County Jail, and he’ll serve it on weekends through Dec. 5 in the deal reached between Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Buckley and defense attorney S. Russell Meyer of Alton.  Huber was charged twice with disorderly conduct, but one of the counts was dismissed in return for the guilty plea in Madison County Circuit Court.  His first jail stay was last weekend. He is getting some credit for days he has spent in jail.  Authorities caught up to Huber and two 16-year-olds after another student at the  ■ See PRANK, Page A-9  Area/Illinois .A-3-10 Bulletin Board .A-6  Classifieds C-4  Comics  ......  Editorial ......A-4  Horoscope D-5  Nation/world .03,4 Obituaries »A-5  Cain, Crabb, Eldred, Erspamer, Harvey, Konneker, Moore, Poe, Schaefer, Smith, Snyder, Stewart, Terry, Williams, Wirch  Scoreboard B-2  Television.....D-7  Farmers hear from Shimkus  By DEBORAH L. BATES  Telegraph staff writer  EDWARDSVILLE Farmers from the area took advantage of an opportunity Thursday to express concerns about the nation’s agricultural industry to their congressman.  U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, held an Agricultural Town Hall meeting at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  “I’ve never farmed,” Shimkus admitted as he opened the meeting. “That’s why I have an agricultural advising committee.*I am here to listen.”  Shimkus referred to the Freedom to Farm Act, which the Republican majority in Congress passed several years ago. Because it eased restrictions on what types of crops farmers could grow and when, some farmers have blamed the measure for the recent large decline in prices for many commodities.  The Freedom to Farm Act consists of three parts. Only the first of the three, to allow farmers to plan for the future, has been accomplished, Shimkus said.  His agenda is to provide the remaining parts of the bill: easing regulatory burdens and opening the overseas market.  Shimkus spoke about the reluctance of the federal gov-  int? I tfi«yic*pn/uv^ni>i DrvL-nyiruv  S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, talks with farmers Thursday during a town hall meeting at Althorn Illinois University Edwardsville.  ernment to use every resource possible to assist the agriculture business.  Last year, for example, $150 million was appropriated in the Export Enhancement Program. Less than $100 million was actually spent. This year, $550 million has been appropriated, yet not one cent has been used, Shimkus said.  “The question is, ‘Why aren’t  we using at least the tools we have available?’ The answer is, there is no answer,” he said.  Shimkus said he wants the United States to be the “greatest, safest source of food” and for the family farmer to stay in business.  He spoke about the harmful effects of trade barriers.  “It has almost turned into a  religious fanaticism. It’s real scary,” he said.  Congress is working to lower trade tariffs, but the process is an incremental change.  Some of the men and women in attendance addressed the problem of the United States importing numerous Asian goods, including electronics,  ■ See SHIMKUS, Page A-9   

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