Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 29, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 THE I EI .Eli R A PII HEAD to HEAD - AGAIN Today s Food Missouri products make sweet music together Page Bl The outlook I Hood a haircut? Mostly cloudy, Head to the chance of rain ; ; j n -zone High near 59, low near 43 j Page D8 i Page DI ggHHHHNMHNNVIMMMHHNNHNHMHVNMNHMMMMMBMHMNHMMNMNMi Vol. 164, No. 257 - 50 cents Wednesday, September 29, 1999 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Above: The Great River Road in Alton has been reduced to two lanes of traffic near the lllinois-American Water Co. plant as the other two lanes are dug up to place huge pipes, background, for the new water plant being relocated atop the bluffs nearby. Below: Workers Tuesday were guiding stee into place along the shore for water intake facilities, which will supply the new treatment plant. Water plant is piping up By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Construction crews are busy working at two sites — right at the Mississippi River and nearby across the Great River Road — to build the new lllinois-American Water Co. treatment plant. On any given day, between 25 and 50 workers are working at the project, said Mike Lawhon, district ______ operations superintendent. “They are even working in the river itself; they are putting a coffer dam down to extend the intake pipes,” said Lawhon. For the next three weeks, motorists may be inconvenienced slightly as two lanes of the River _ Road are closed to allow workers to install the two, 30-inch wide water intake lines under the highway. The traffic lanes that are closed will vary, depending on the stage of the work. The intake lines will lead from the river and the low-service facility, and pump at the edge of the Mississippi River north to the new water treatment plant The pipe work began H A ll indications are rxthat it is going as planned; there seem to be no delays.” Mike Lawhon district operations superintendent last week. Completion is expected in December 2000. “All indications are that it is going as planned; there seem to be no delays," Lawhon said. Construction work began shortly after the July 19 groundbreaking for the $38.7 million project that will replace the current 102-year-old plant. Workers have been pouring the main plant’s footings and piers and installing some conduit for the electrical ^^^, and chemical lines that go into the floor of the building, Lawhon said. The new, 41,000-square-foot water treatment facility will be 1.5 stories tall and is being constructed in a woodland valley surrounded by hills on three sides north of the current plant. The new plant, which will be built of - steel and brick, will have a 2.5 million-gallon enclosed clear well. When completed, the treatment plant will pump up to 16 million gallons per day and have a capacity of 18 million gallons. The current plant normally pumps 12 million gallons of water per day. Lawhon said that officials recently selected a stone exterior for the low service ■ See PLANT, Page A11 www.thetelegraph.com Funds to fight floods I OK’d By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer WOOD RIVER - The Wood River Drainage and Levee District has received great news from Gov. George Ryan’s office: $500,000 will be coming its way, thanks to the Illinois FIRST program Some $400,000 of the money will provide the district’s badly needed local match in a cost-share agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Congressman Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, and a majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives granted final approval Monday to funds aimed at discovering ways to curb flooding in two key River Bend water-souree areas. Of this $9 million total, $201,000 per year for the next four years will go to Wood River Drainage and I.evee District. On Tuesday, the appropriations package got a green light from the U.S. Senate. “We’ve worked hard with Senator (Dick) Durbin (D-lll.) to ensure that we continue to improve the waterways of Illinois,” said U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Ill. The federal funding is a result of Congress’ Energy and Water Appropriations Conference Report, House Bill 2605, said Debbie Roush, project manager for the U S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Wood River project. President Bill Clinton is expected to approve the expenditures Thursday or Friday when he signs the federal budget for the year 2000. Jim Holt, executive director of the Wood River Drainage and Levee District, expressed enthusiasm Tuesday about the news that both federal and state monies are going to be flowing in the direction of the levee district. “We’re thrilled,” Holt said. “We’ve been trying for this type of funding for at least 20 years. My thanks go to (state) Rep. Steve Davis, (D-Bethalto), (state) Sen. Evelyn Bowles, (D-Edwardsville), Gov. Ryan and everyone who helped find us funding we ■ See FUNDS, Page A11 Man gets 45 years in jail for drug-related murder By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A 19-year-old Missouri man was sentenced Tuesday to 45 years in prison for murdering an Alton man last year during a fraudulent drug deal gone bad. Corey Bell of Belle Ridge, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, was sentenced in Madison County Circuit Court, where a jury convicted him of two counts of first-degree murder in July for the April 14, 1998, killing of Troy Slack, 30. The victim was gunned down on a street in the Belle Manor housing project in Alton. Two of Bell’s cousins avoided trial by pleading guilty to first-degree murder charges and received shorter sentences. Corey Bell was identified during his trial as the gunman who fired the shotgun blast that killed Slack. “I think the evidence indicates that no matter who started or instigated this, the death of Troy Slack was senseless,” said Circuit Judge Charles V. Romani Jr. during Tuesday’s sentencing fearing. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Don Weber, who asked for a natural life sentence. Bell was eligible for that penalty because the murder was committed during the com- ■ See MURDER, Page A11 Area &!llinois .. .......A3, 6-9 Bulletin Board.. ..............A8 Business.......... ..............DI Classifieds....... ..............C8 Comics............ ..............C6 Editorial........... ..............A4 Food................ ..............Bl Horoscope....... Nation&World.. ............A10 Obituaries....... .............A5 Blacklock, Clare, Clayton, Cogan, Dunker, Finley, Greer, Hayes, Leady, Renner, Rice Scoreboard..... ...............C2 Stocks............. ...........D2-4 Television........ ...............C7 Weather.......... ..............D8 Program allows students to be judges By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - High school seniors can earn $100, get out of school for a day and receive a firsthand civics lesson under legislation going into effect by the next election in March. The Illinois Legislature passed the measure last spring; state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, and other officials held news conferences Tuesday to announce the program. The measure also will overcome a continual problem of finding a full complement of elections judges, Madison County Clerk Mark Von Nida said. “Ifs a constant struggle to get a full complement at each polling place,” he said. High school seniors who have a grade-point average of at least ■ See PROGRAM, Page A11 ■ I ^ - '■ The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES From left, Madison County Clerk Mark Von Nida answers questions as state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, and St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney look on Tuesday during a news conference in Edwardsville to discuss the implementation of a new law that will allow high school seniors to become election judges.