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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 6, 1999, Alton, Illinois LABOR DAY EDITION Supply Crisis Center running low on food to help the needy Page Bl --I Tile outlook Partly sunny with a chance of thundershowers; high near 84, low near 60 PageD4 Baseball Cardinals beat Brewers 13-9. McGwire goes honorless Paged Vol. 164, No. 234 — 50 cents Monday, September 6,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Scenic signs causing controversy Businesses upset over law prohibiting signs along Byway For The Telegraph/ERICH D. KASSLER Orchard owner Tom Ringhauoen stands with his sign pointing the way to his produce stand in East Hardin in Greene County at the Joe Page Bridge across the Illinois River to Calhoun County. By THOMAS WRAUSMANN Telegraph staff writer Local businessmen along the Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway say the designation is good for their communities and businesses, but a certain obscure law has upset a lot of them. The federal law prohibits signs being placed along National Scenic Byways, officials with the Illinois Department of Transportation said. However, legally registered signs under a separate program can be “grandfathered” in. The problem is that the vast _ majority of signs on the byway are not licensed. However, Grafton Mayor Bobbie Amburg said area officials never were made aware of the licensing regulation by 1DOT, which enforces the law prohibiting addional billboards on National Scenic Byways. “We were not made aware of that law,” Amburg said. She said she specifically asked «\I7e were not VV made aware of that law.” Bobbie Amburg Grafton mayor IDOT officials if all the existing signs could remain up, and they assured her the signs would remain. “It never came up,” she said about the obscure licensing issue. “They said we could not put up any new signs, but the old ones would be grandfathered in. Based on that, I mmm——m recommended approval of the Byway to the (Jersey) County Board and the City Council of Grafton." Letters recently were sent out by IDOT to sign owners along the Byway telling them they needed to remove the signs within 30 days. Area business* men have flooded their state legislators with mail concerning the problem. The route includes parts of Madison, Jersey and Greene counties, as well as the village of Kampsville in Calhoun County. “For the time being, they’ve got a moratorium on the 30 days so (IDOT) can look into if ■ See SIGNS, Page A7 Woman to fight for vets’ rights BY ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer ALTON - An Alton woman will fight for the rights of veterans across the country as the new national commander of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary. “I’m honored to be elected national commander, and I will be a strong voice in Washington, D.C., for all veterans who served our country,” said Paula K. Raymond, who has been active for 40 years in the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary. The 51-year-old Raymond was elected to head the national DAV Auxiliary last week in their national convention in Orlando, Fla. Raymond’s friendly face and kind voice is familiar to hundreds of veterans in hospitals and nursing homes, where she brightens the lives of former service men and women Across the country in veterans hospitals, she sees the sadness in the eyes of 77-year-old veterans suffering with disabilities from wounds received on the battlefields of World War II. “The old vets were wound- ■ See RIGHTS, Page A7 Good r*'-: I Morning Area/Illinois .......A3 Bulletin Board B2-4 Classifieds........C6 Editorial .........A4 Horoscope ........D2 Nation/World.....A6,8 Obituaries.........A5 Benner, Carpenter, Hoppe, Price, Troester, Wedding, Wells, Wieiand Region............DI Scoreboard........C2 TO® leiegrapn/MAHUit m. tsAtiiNto Above: Steven Richardson, 5, of Wood River, waves his hands in the* air Sunday as he rides the Dragon Wagon at the Bethalto Homecoming. Below: Whitney Null, 4, of Wood River, pitches a ping pong ball at the Goldfish game. She is the daughter of Darrell and Michelle Null of Wood River. Homecoming draws families into Bethalto By JIM KULP For The Telegraph BETHALTO - For the Steve Schuetz family of O’Fallon, Mo., the Bethalto Homecoming truly was a homecoming. Former residents of Bethalto, they drove from O’Fallon on a warm and muggy Sunday to take part in the festivities in City Park. “We try to come back every year," Schuetz said. Both he and his wife Georgan are 1981 graduates of Civic Memorial High School. “We see some of our old stomping ground buddies here,” Mrs. Schuetz said. They attended the homecoming with their three children, McKenna, 9, Kara, 7, and Joshua, 4. McKenna said she comes to the homecoming “to ride some rides.” Her favorites are the stomach-churning Himalaya and the gut-wrenching Gee Wizz. Attendance at the four-day homecoming, which continues today, has been “great,” said John Noite, Bethalto fire chief and longtime member of the Bethalto Homecoming Association which sponsors the annual event. The association is made up of members of the Bethalto Fire Department and American Legion Post 214. Nolte, who has been a resident of Bethalto for 46 years and a member of the association for 23 years, said the homecoming originally started 80 years ago to welcome home returning veterans of World War I. Suspended for two years ^during World War II, it has been held ever since. A homecoming parade on Saturday was revived two years ago after a 25-year absence. Nolte estimated 30,000 people attended the homecoming Saturday night. “You couldn’t walk through the grounds it was so crowded,” he said. He estimated that at least 10,000 people were jammed around the band- See BETHALTO, Page A7 Apples ready for picking in Calhoun By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer BATCHTOWN - It’s apple-picking time, and visitors will flock to Calhoun County to pick apples in the scenic river country. “We’re picking a bumper crop of apples this year,” said fruit grower Tom Ringhausen, whose trees are loaded with apples in the beauti- fui hilis ujt’sthe Batchtown.^ Ibiggest people apple crop f n -! oy . a since 1993, leisurely , ’ weekend When We ride across harvested ^“o the largest Calhoun crop ever.” County to buy apples Tom and taste a Ringhausen Sunday din- apple grower ner at the popular I Apple Shed Restaurant at Batchtown. Ringhausen is picking red, ripe Jonathan variety of apples to start the annual apple harvest. “It’s the biggest apple crop since 1993, when we harvested the largest crop ever,” said Ringhausen, a fifth generation of his family to raise apples and peaches. He is picking fresh ripe apples to display at the Calhoun County Fair from Sept. 9 through 12 at the fairgrounds at Hardin. Ringhausen is selling Jonathans and Gala variety of apples at his roadside market at the east end of the Joe Page Bridge across the Illinois River in East Hardin. “Before the apple season ends, we will pick about IO different varieties of apples,” he said. The tall, tree-lined bluffs of Calhoun County attract apple lovers, weekend visitors and bird watchers who enjoy* the scenic drive through the Batchtown, Brussels and Golden Eagle countryside.. Z “We’re still picking some peaches, and we’il start harvesting our big apple crop this ■ See APPLES, Page A7
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