Friday, September 24, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 24, 1999, Alton, Illinois HEAD to HIRD-AGAIN Convenience Clark station in Wood River gets new look 59 homers homers After 152 games After 151 games aP SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 HK* 11 i JI. — - JI, NS RA Vol. 164, No. 252 - 50 cents Friday, September 24, 1999 www.thetelegraph.com Tearful defendant gets probation in fatal traffic crash By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A judge granted a defendant’s sobbing plea for leniency Thursday, placing him on probation for being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when his vehicle hit and killed a 15-year-old girl. “This is a time for healing. In this proceeding .there are no winners,” Madison County Circuit Judge J. Lawrence Keshner said. He was addressing the families of the defendant, James L. Colborn, and the victim, Shawna D. Shaw. Colborn, 32, of the first block of East Maple Street in Hartford, cried throughout the 45-minute sentencing hearing, as did most members of the two families. Colborn had been smoking marijuana and drinking in the hours before he hit and killed Shaw, of Hartford, on a dark stretch of State Aid Road just inside the Wood River city limits about 8 p m. Oct. 19, 1997. The road is a frontage road just east of Illinois Route 3. However, Colborn said on the stand that there was no way to avoid Shaw. He had swerved slightly to avoid two of her friends on the shoulder and hit Shaw, who was standing in the oncoming traffic lane. “There isn’t a minute in the day goes by that I don't think about it. I'm’sorry. I didn’t mean it. I’m so sorry,” Colborn said. He asked to be spared prison time. The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Jana Woodie, 29, of Alton, covers her face as she cries in her car Thursday after hitting a 63-year-old man who was in I See DEFENDANT, Page A9 or near the crosswalk at Brown Street and Washington Avenue in Alton. Hazardous dry dock blamed in drowning Car hits pedestrian Man suffers head injuries By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The July drowning of an Alton Belle Casino security guard might have been prevented had he understood the hazardous dry dock conditions around which he was working, a police detective said Thursday. Charles F. Roades Jr., 49, a moonlighting Alton firefighter, died when he apparently fell through an 18- to 24-inch gap at the top of stairs leading to the Alton Belle Casino I, which was in dry dock for The dry dock is ne* section of Illinois Routes 3 and 143, about five miles downriver from the boat’s normal mooring site. Detective Otis Stewart of the Wood River Police Department said the top of the staircase and the dry normally are at the same level when no boat is on the work I See DROWNING, Page A9 Heritage Days The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN An ambulance technician wraps gauze around the head of Larry Gray, who suffered a head injury in the accident. By BETHANY BEHRHORST Telegraph staff writer ALTON - Traffic along Brown Street between the intersections of Washington Avenue and Main Street was shut down for more than an hour during the morning rush when a pedestrian was hit by a car about 8a.m. Thursday. Police said Larry Gray, 63, appeared to be walking north bound at the intersection of Brown and Washington when he was hit by a motorist taking her children to school. Gray suffered head injuries and was rushed to Alton Memorial Hospital via ambulance about 8:15 a m. Gray was listed in satisfactory condition later Thursday at Alton Memorial, where he was being treated for cuts and a . mild concussion, a spokesman said. He said Gray probably would be held overnight for observation. “Right now, we’re still trying to investigate,” said Sgt. Doug Childers, head of the traffic division with the Alton Police Department. Authorities said Gray tried to get up and continue walking but was injured “He didn’t know where he was at or anything," said Officer Shane Gibbs of the Alton Police Department. “He was very confused." The portion of Brown was closed for nearly an hour while police investigated. Members of the Alton Fire Department responded to the accident. The driver of the white four-door Mazda that hit Gray, Jana Woodie, 29, of Alton, sat hunched over in the driver's seat of her car, sobbing. The impact from the accident caused some damage to the front end of Woodie s car and cracked the windshield. “I hope the man is OK,” said retired Alton police officer Walt Washington, Woodie s father. “She said she did not see him. “I’m glad that she and the grandchildren are OK. I’m hoping the best for the man." Officers from the police department’s traffic division handled the case. Police said late Thursday the report on the acccident was unavailable. State OKs Ameritech, SBC merger The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Jim Parks of Brighton stretches the canvas around his teepee Thursday on the grounds of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey as he sets up for this weekend’s annual Heritage Days on the Goshen Trail. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, and the event runs through Sunday afternoon. Story, Page Cl By DEBORAH L. BATES Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A vote Thursday approving the merger of two major telephone companies could affect service rates in Illinois. The Illinois Commerce Commission approved a reported $71 billion merger between    SBC Communications    and Ameritech in a 3-2 vote Thursday morning. The merger of the two companies would create the nation’s largest local telephone company. “Illinois consumers win,” said Jim Ellis, general counsel of SBC. “We appreciate the confidence the ICC has shown in our company by approving this merger. We have said from the beginning that this merger would be good for our customers, U QBC and Ameritech are ready to *3meet increasing customer expectations through growth and innovation in the 21st century.” Douglas L. Whitley president of Ameritech Illinois employees and shareholders, and we look forward to making these predictions a reality in Illinois.” The companies said they merged to provide enhanced service and new products to customers.    SBC    and Ameritech will combine efforts to provide new technologies, such as high-speed Internet    service    and DirectTV. “Today’s vote by the ICC ensures that consumers will reap the benefits of this merger,” said Douglas L. Whitley, president of Ameritech Illinois. “SBC and Ameritech are ready to meet increasing customer    expectations through growth and innovation in the 21st century." The next step is for the Federal    Commerce Commission to approve the merger, and that is expected to occur soon. “After that, the board of directors of both companies will have to finalize the transaction,” said Ed Presberg, a spokesman for SBC. “I would anticipate that would happen very quickly after the final approval.” With this merger, Ameritech will become one of the operating companies of SBC. The transaction between the two companies allows for an exchange of stock so that Ameritech stockholders will hold shares of SBC stock. These stockholders will receive a $13 billion premium for approving the merger. Commissioner    Ruth Kretschmer, who voted against the merger, said she believes the benefits also should go to customers. “The stated goal of the joint applicants’ merger is to increase shareholder value,” she said. “The petitioners ■ See SBG, Page A9