Sunday, September 19, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 19, 1999, Alton, Illinois www.thetelegraph.com i §A vf i ;    $167'; J ( oupons and special offers I • Vol. 164 No. 247 t inside most editions I :    mmmmmmmmmmmmm THE TELEGRAPH Serving The River Bend Since 1836 September 19. 1999    >1.50 Spouts I Expo lights up the night Hghting mini Illinois beats Louisville 41-36 Page Bl A real trend-setter Nissan’s 2000 entry can make drivers feel younger, lighter Page Cl Pronto Chance for showers and thunderstorms. High 80; low 57 Page DIO Good Morning Area/Illinois......A3-9 Bulletin Board A7 Business..........DI Classifieds.........C2 Editorial...........A4 Horoscope........D9 Natipn&world ... A10,12 Obituaries.........A6 Absher, Acord, Clymer, Cox, DeBruce, Harrington, Henry, Orahood Scoreboard........B2 Stocks............D2 Weather..........DIO Public relations Arm j Grandone Hauser j knows PR    j Page DI : Wheelk«Deals j The lights along the midway at the anni al Alton Expo compete with the lighted Clark Bridge as the Ferris wheel spins in the middle of Alton's Riverfront Park. Ideal weather has kept attendance steady since Wednesday. The Expo concludes tonight. Story, Page A3. Chili Cook-off serves up a hot time in old town By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - Ole! The Alton Mexican Club defended its title as the People’s Choice Award Winner Saturday at the annual Pride Chili Cook-off in downtown Wood River. The club vanquished 26 other entries by getting the most votes from among the 1,500 people who paid $5 to amble through the tents, sampling as much chili as they wished. The event was a great fund-raiser for the beautification organization, but the take had not been tallied as of Saturday, said Sue Hardin, executive director of Pride Inc. “It was one of the best crowds we’ve ever had,” she said. “It was a lot more than I expected,” said Tim Weaver, the chef at Franco’s Restaurant at the Holiday Inn in Alton. Weaver’s Mississippi Mud chili took home second place among restaurants, and the booth won the best decorated category. “We set up a raft with a river theme, including Becky Thatcher and so on,” ■ See CHILI, Page A11 City mulls over plans for park Officials study group’s amphitheater proposal By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON - City officials continue to cautiously examine details of a private investor group’s proposal to build a 15,000-seat amphitheater in Riverfront Park. A meeting Tuesday between representatives of the Sonic Group — a three-member subgroup of a consortium of local and Florida investors — and Alton officials was canceled. The parties hope to find a mutually agreeable time to meet this week, said Phil Roggio, Alton’s director of business and economic development. “We are reviewing all of the elements of the printed materials, including the management issues — from parking to crowd control and traffic control," Roggio said. “There is a lot of material that we need to review. We are proceeding with caution.” If the theater becomes a reality, it would be built in the center of Riverfront Park, where the city plans to build a 3.000-seat amphitheater. Mayor Don Sandidge said the larger proposed theater would extend farther south toward the Mississippi River than the 3.000-seat amphitheater indicated in the park’s master plan. The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Shauna Rull, 6, of Bethalto, was wide-eyed Saturday as she tasted the chili from the Olin Employees Credit Union stand at the 10th annual Pride Chili Cook-off in downtown Wood River. Olin won first place in the financial institution division. I Archive celebrates 25 years — and all that jazz By DEBORAH L. BATES Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The National Ragtime and Jazz Archive is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a display of all that jazz and a little ragtime, too. The exhibit, “A Celebration of Syncopation: The 25th Anniversary of the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive” of Southern illinois University Edwardsville, highlights material from the archive, which is in Lovejoy Library at the university.    § “We encourage anyone interested in jazz and ragtime to see it,” said Therese Dickman, the archive curator. “We’re proud of the 25 years we’ve had in the archive. This is a wonderful way to find out about the archive here.” To celebrate “Syncopation,” a reception was held at the university Sunday, Sept. 12. Many of the musicians who are honored in the archive and their families attended. Some members of the Old Guys Jazz Band entertained the audience. “That was the most fun part of the whole time,” Dickman said. “It may have been raining outside, but the space inside was warm.” Various archive items that document the lives and careers of jazz and ragtime musicians are on exhibit at “Syncopation.” The exhibit contains a “wall of records” with more than 20,000 albums. The archive has more than IOO photographs, some taken of the Old Guys Jazz Band. Sheet music and some posters also are on display. ■ See JAZZ, Page A11 Roggio said the larger amphitheater, however, would bump out a planned fountain and ice skating rink that would have been at the center of the 3,000-seat amphitheater The proposed public pier still would be built. Ongoing infrastructure work at the park is not related to either amphitheater project, Sandidge said. In late 1997, Sonic Group had proposed building a 10,000-seat indoor/outdoor amphitheater on 82 acres near the intersection of Bluff and New Poag roads outside Edwardsville. The group, made up of Rob Wiemers, Walter Heck and Jim Hansen — all of Edwardsville — withdrew its proposal in 1998 after neighbors vigorously protested, forming an “anti-group’’ called Neighbors for Amphitheater Awareness. The residents said they feared a rebirth of the Mississippi River Festival, which had been held from 1969 to 1980 at nearby Southern Illinois    University Edwardsville with its accompanying loud music and traffic. The Alton riverfront is one of three sites the investors are considering, said spokesman Jim Grandone of Grandone Hauser Inc. of Edwardsville. He declined to identify the ■ See PARKS, Page A11 County set to help with heating bills By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The recent cool snap has county officials thinking about buttoning up for cold temperatures with heating assistance and help with making your home more energy efficient. Madison    County Community Development Director Cheryl Jouett said she is urging more people to apply for heating aid this year. Unlike past years, the county last year received more money for heating help than it gave out. In other years, many people had to do without heating aid for lack of money. “Last year, we had $166,000 left and had to turn it back to the federal government," Jouett said. “That would have been enough to provide an additional 465 households with heating assistance.” About 4,820 households received assistance last year. The average household that applied and qualified received * $358, Jouett said. She said many people may qualify for heating aid and not be aware of it. “A lot of elderly people are used to paying their bills without asking for help,” Jouett said. The council has also announced that $490,000 will be available for the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, which could pay the cost of such work as sealing cracks with weather stripping, insulating ■ See BILLS, Page A11 ... ^ \