Friday, September 3, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 3, 1999, Alton, Illinois By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A teacher at Edwardsville High School apologized tearfully to his family, friends, colleagues and community Thursday in Madison County Circuit Court before pleading guilty to having a six-month affair with a 17-year-old student. “I stand before you completely humble and Jonathan B. Circuit Judge Ferguson. Becker, 32, of Glen Carbon, was sentenced by Ferguson to six months in the Madison County Jail. With credit for four days served, he should be out in 86 days, said his attorney, John Rekowski of Collinsville. His term starts Sunday. Under conditions of the plea, Becker must sacrifice his Illinois teaching certificate. Once he is out of jail, he will be on probation for another 30 months and will not be able to set foot onto the high school campus uninvited. The Edwardsville School Board is expected to meet today to accept his resignation. Thursday’s developments Becker humiliated," Becker told Edward C. See TEACHER, Page A7 Ryan, Costello to visit locks By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Gov. George Ryan and U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello will be in Alton this morning to visit the newly repaired Melvin Price Locks and Dam and to check on the status of the National Great Rivers Museum and Visitors Center. At 9 a.m., Ryan and Costello, D-Bellevilfe, are expected to officiate at a brief reopening ceremony at the 1,200-foot lock. The lock underwent more than $500,000 in repairs after a towboat and barge backed into it Feb. 2. After the ceremony, about 9:15 a.m., Ryan and Costello will tour the National Great Rivers Museum and Visitors Center. Doug Arnold, a member of the National Great Rivers Museum Foundation, said the foundation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working to secure funding for the exhibits that will be housed in the museum. Costello played an instrumental role in obtaining $7 million in federal funding for construction of the museum and visitors center, adjacent to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam. Congressional aide Brian Lott said money to build the center came from the Congressional Appropriations Bill and that the corps made a contribution toward the $7 million construction cost. Lott said state and local funding are being sought to attract and house items in the museum. Good Morning Area/Illinois......... .....A3-8 Obituaries............... „A5 Bulletin Board..... ......„.A6 Dunham, Goetten, Business............. ........DI Hopkins, Johnson, Classifieds.......... ........C3 Martin, Nichols Comics ............... ........D5 Scoreboard............. R? Editorial............... ........A4 Stocks..................... D? Nation/World...... ........C2 Television............... .07 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Getaway Omni Travel provides link to destinations around the globe Page DI www.thetelegraph.com Sentence: Life in jail Murderer going to prison for stabbing spree in bar By THOMAS WRAUSMANN Telegraph staff writer Teacher admits to affair with girl The outlook Mostly sunny and very warm; high near 91, low near 67 PageD8 Friday, September 3,1999 JERSEYVILLE — A local man was sentenced to life in state prison Thursday for killing one man and seriously injuring four other bar patrons in a December 1997 stabbing spree. Circuit Judge Ronald Robinson sentenced Ricky E. Callahan, 23, to a term of life in prison without parole during Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Jersey County Circuit Court in Jerseyville. Callahan was convicted by a jury July 22 for his actions at Jerseyville^ Lorton’s Bar. Callahan was found guilty of killing Ronald E. Haenitch, 28, of rural Jerteyville. The jury also mmmm found Callahan guilty of armed ^ t ’ m extremely against four    lhappy with otl ! er the sentence. He patrons. The    , attacks fol- won t get a I 0 Tm an’a chance to walk refusal to out and hurt doneewitnwm some bodyelse.” : a H s dosed 1 "     Mar V     Haen,tCh On top of    victim’s    mother the life sentence for the murder conviction, Robinson sentenced Callahan to 30 years in prison for each of the four attacks. The four sentences are set to run consecutively, although for tactical purposes, the sentence of life in prison without parole is enough to keep him behind bars, court officials said. The murder victim’s parents, Ron and Mary Haenitch, reacted with emotion when Robinson pronounced the sentence. They said it won’t bring their son back but that they believed Callahan needed to be punished and kept from hurting other people. “This gives us some satisfaction,” Mary Haenitch said when leaving the Jersey County Courthouse. ■ See SENTENCE, Page A7 m} For The Telegraph/ERICH D. KASSLER luthorities lead convicted murderer Ricky Callahan to a sentencing hearing Thursday in which he was given life in rison without a chance for parole for his actions in a December 1997 stabbing spree in a Jerseyville bar. Stratford celebrating 90 years, preparing for its rebirthday By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON - With a rebirth on the horizon, the Hotel Stratford is celebrating its 90th anniversary this weekend, complete with champagne. “We will decorate a little bit and have fliers with a brief history of the hotel and what we hope it will be like by January 2001,” owner Bill Moyer said. “The Hotel Stratford has probably set a record for continuous operation over any other hotel in the state of Illinois.” The celebration will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during the weekly Sunday brunch in the Hunter’s Room restaurant, 229 Market St. The brick hotel opened as the Illini Hotel with a flurry of preparations and expectations Sept. 3,1909. The building reportedly cost $141,000 to build. News accounts touted the Illini as being “the first expensive enterprise ever carried out in Alton by Alton people in the spirit of trying to boost the city along without any immediate prospect of getting good financial returns.” The description .was printed in the Alton Evening Telegraph, as The Telegraph was called then. The article proclaimed the new hotel as a promising symbol of Alton’s future. “It is a handsome addition to Alton’s real estate, an ornament to ■ See STRATFORD, Page A7 Chef Johnny Mac Donlow is inviting everyone to a brunch at the Hunter’s Room restaurant Sunday to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Hotel Stratford. The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Left: An artist’s rendering of what the renovated hotel will look like in January 2001. 50 cents 56 home runs after 132 games