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Alton Telegraph: Saturday, September 25, 1999 - Page 1

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   Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 25, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                 SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836  Inmate gets hearing in ’85 slaying  By DONNA J. NOLAN  Telegraph staff writer  CARLINVILLE — Death row inmate Robert Turner, who was convicted of impersonating a police officer to rape and kill a 16-year-old girl in Macoupin County in 1985, was handed a victory by the normally conservative Illinois Supreme Court this week.  Turner will get a new hearing — with a new defense attorney — to determine whether he will get a review of his case. The court ruled Thursday in three death-row cases, including Turner’s, that defense attorneys failed to do their jobs properly. The court reversed two other death sentences and ordered new hearings to determine how the inmates should be punished.  Turner, who was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of Bridget Drobney, argued that he had been denied a hearing after a jury returned the first death sentence. The motions contested the death sentence but apparently were not heard because the original trial judge, John Russell, retired a few days after accepting a jury’s decision.  Turner’s case has been reviewed and upheld several times. After the most recent review, he filed a petition alleging new problems with his case. An attorney was appointed to help him, but the Supreme Court ruled the attorney did little.  “Counsel’s conduct represents a total failure of representation,” Justice James Heiple, a firm supporter of the death penalty, wrote for the court in one opinion. “To tolerate such inadequate representation would render the appointment of counsel in post-conviction proceedings nothing but ‘an.empty shell.’ ”  “I’m very disappointed,” said Macoupin County State’s Attorney Vince Morath. “I feel sorry for the family; they need closure. In my opinion, I think that the defense lawyer did work with what he had. I don’t think there were any violations of this man’s rights whatsoever.  “If you don’t have any evidence, I guess you j could claim your lawyer wasn’t any good. That could happen every day. I can’t be the prosecuting and defense lawyer at the same time. I think the defense lawyer did a good job.”  Turner’s post-trial motions contended that I Russell made a mistake in allowing testimony  ■ See SLAYING, Page A11  I *r  homers  Southwestern 20 Roxana 28 Marquette 0    Gillespie 0  After 151 games  EA-WR 30 Carlinville 22  Page Cl  Vol. 164, No. 252 - 50 cents  Saturday, September 25, 1999  Hug outlook  Mostly sunny and warm.  High 84; low 61  grand opening Edward Jones office to offer personal touch  Page C12  Page Bl   www.thetelegraph.com   9  remains found  Bethalto hero coming home after 55 years  By ANDE YAKSTIS  Telegraph staff writer  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN  Martha Schmidt, left, a cousin, and Shirley Schmidt, a niece, hold the photo of Bethalto soldier Arthur Isken, whose remains were found 55 years after he died on a German battlefield in World War ll.  BETHALTO — The remains of a rural Bethalto soldier killed in action in World War II have been miraculously uncovered from the soil of a German battlefield where he died in action 55 years ago.  The skeletal remains of Pvt. Arthur C. Isken have been unearthed and positively identified through DNA testing as the Bethalto soldier who was killed in a battle near Stolberg, Germany, in 1944.  “It's truly a miracle, an amazing dream come true that the remains of my uncle Arthur have been found in the soil of the battleground where he died 55 years ago,” said Isken’s niece, Shirley Schmidt.  Schmidt, of Moro, and home Isken’s cousin, Martha    Page A3  Schmidt of Wood River, cried tears of joy when the Army informed them that the remains of their longlost loved one had been found in the ground of one of the most fierce battles of World War II.  The story of the discovery of the 27-year-old infantryman began in August 1985, when a German home construction crew uncovered  ■ See REMAINS, Page A11  Coming  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN A German construction crew first unearthed Arthur Isken’s dog tags in 1985.  Area/Illinois.........A3  Bulletin Board.......A10  Business............Bl  Classifieds..........C5  Comics .............C6  Editorial.............A4  Horoscope..........C6  Nation/world .........A6  Obituaries...........A5  Barnes, Battuello, Bouillon, Gill, Hines, Holman, Kolk  Scoreboard..........B2  Stocks   ............D2  Television...........C7  Weather............C12  Animal lover goes to ‘jail’ to raise $10,000 for 5A’s  By LINDA N. WELLER  Telegraph staff writer  ALTON — Animal lover Bill Stuart hopes the weekend passes quickly — and it will if generous residents open their pocket-books to help dozens of dogs and cats.  Stuart, executive director of the Alton Area Animal Aid Association, his airedale, Sandy, and pet groomer Amy Crane took up residence early Friday morning in a 12-foot-by-12-foot chain-link dog cage outside the Kmart store, 2851 E. Homer Adams Parkway.  They don’t plan to leave — except for a few breaks — until they raise $10,000 for the no-kill animal shelter, 501 E. Delmar Ave. in Godfrey.  “Hopefully, we’ll get out of here by Sunday. I’m getting too old for this,” Stuart joked at the outset of his stay.  The duo hopes volunteers will join them at the cage to be “jailed” for “bail” donations to 5A’s. Stuart said it takes $10,000 to operate the shelter for just one month. Currently, 5A’s cares for 150 dogs and 80 cats, most up for adoption.  Besides accepting outright donations, Stuart and Crane are selling raffle tickets for two pairs of gold earrings that Maneke Jewelers gave to the effort, a mountain bicycle, passes to a racetrack, several decorative clocks, a modernistic ice bucket and die-cast car. Some of the drawings are free.  “There’s something for everybody if they want to take a chance,” Stuart said.  Visitors who stop by can pick up a free small bag of dog treats, as well.  Anyone who wants to check into the jail can do so. Phones are available to call out for bail.  The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN  5A’s executive director Bill Stuart was in the dog cage Friday at the Alton Kmart store to help raise money for the animal shelter.  Estimate rises for AHS multipurpose building  By ANGELA MUELLER  Telegraph staff writer  ALTON — Slight changes in design, the addition of legal and financial fees and the correction of an error in the pricing process have raised the estimated cost of a proposed multipurpose building for Alton High School to more  than $10 million.  Hastings-Chivetta, a St. Louis architectural firm, provided the School Board in June with an original cost estimate of $6,893,365 for a 60,864-square-foot, three-story multipurpose athletic building. It would include a main gymnasium with seating for more than 2,400 spectators, practice gymnasiums, locker rooms,  classrooms, training and wellness centers and an indoor track.  Don Keane, an architect with Hastings-Chivetta, reported to the board this week that the amount of circulation space — space taken up by walls, corridors, stairs and mechanical shafts — originally was underestimated because of a computer error. Correction of the  error raised the estimated cost to $7,388,200.  Keane — along with his son, Mark Keane, also an architect — presented the board with updated floor plans, which incorporated changes suggested by a committee of school representatives chaired by AHS athletic diree-  I See AHS, Page A11  J   

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