Friday, October 1, 1999

Alton Telegraph

Location: Alton, Illinois

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - October 1, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 THU 1 ;' PEL mm mm- mm* rn** ■w 62 home runs 3 games to go Roadside market Dean’s offers sweet treats Page DI The Outlook Partly sunny and pleasant. High near 72; Low near 52 Page D8 Happy Birthday Students honor “Aunt Lue” Page Cl Vol. 164, No. 259 - 50 cents Friday, October 1,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Eagle One deal takes flight _____ ,,,    inn    in    19A By BETHANY BEHRHORST Telegraph staff writer BETHALTO — The long wait is over for area aerospace machinists with the announcement that two com- Company will bring IOO to 125 jobs to the area The sale of the former American Electronics Laboratories facility and panics finally reached agreement two aircraft hangars from Erzinger Thursday to bring a new business to St Louis Regional Airport Investment Corp., based in Columbia, 111. to Eagle One Aviation Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas, came through after several months of hard-core negotiations, Both sides making the deal were relieved Thursday as the final components of the agreement came together. “All of the paper work is signed and done," said Boyd Burton, chairman and CEO of Eagle One. “I'm glad that it’s all behind us." The company will bring IOO to 125 good-paying, technical jobs to the area Within two months, those with the company said they will begin training employees, and production should begin in two to three months, “We had things to work around to ■ See EAGLE, Page A9 Transit plan will call for growth By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The long-awaited, long-range transit plan to be released in two weeks will call for more buses, more frequent service and a wider tax base for St. Louis Regional Airport. The plan, authorized by the Madison County Board and the Madison County Transit District Board, is “at the printers,” according to consultant David Sharfarz, who helped prepare the plan. Sharfarz gave a brief overview of two parts of the plan Thursday at a Madison County Transit District meeting The plan will point out that population, jobs and automobile trips are all expected to grow, Sharfarz said, in pre viewing the part that covers public mass transit. “We’ll be looking at two limes the service frequency in peak hours,” he said Sharfarz discussed the mass transit and airport sections of the plan. The plan will also discuss highways, bikeways and river ports. St. Louis Regional Airport, the largest airport in the county, is expected to grow from the current 40 percent capacity to 60 percent capacity by 2011, at which time officials should start to study expanding the facility, the plan states. The plan is also expected to contain a section recommending the tax base for the airport be expanded because it serves ■ See TRANSIT, Page A9 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN A bulldozer spreads limestone rock on the site of the new Madison County Transit facility in downtown Edwardsville on Thursday. The opening of the facility has been delayed by a shortage of limestone rock. See Story. Page Sentencing cancellation upsets family By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A victim’s family from Cottage Hills blasted the judicial process Thursday when, for the second time in a month, a reckless homicide sentencing hearing was canceled because parties did not receive notice. The prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and victim’s family were ready and available for the sentencing Thursday morning in Madison County Circuit Court. But the defendant, Michael Beckham, 22, of Wood River, was nowhere to be seen. Beckham had failed to receive notice of the hearing from the Madison County Circuit Clerk’s Office, said his attorney, Rand Hale of East Alton. And that was despite a court order signed by Circuit Judge Charles V. Romani Jr., who was left to explain the sticky situation to grieving family members of the victim, Amber Flanders, 14, of Cottage Hills. Romani also had to cancel a Sept. I hearing because the attorneys claimed not to have gotten notice from the clerk s office. The hearing now is reset for IO a m. Oct. 15 Authorities said Beckham was the driver of a vehicle that became airborne while “hill-jumping” on Culp Lane near Bethalto on Oct. 27, 1995. Flanders, a backseat passenger, was ejected when the car flipped end-over-end three times, police said. Beckham entered an Alford plea to a reckless homicide charge in December, just before his jury trial was to begin, He faces a maximum four years in prison on the charge but also could get probation. Circuit Clerk Matt Melucci defended his staff, saying notices I See FAMILY, Page A9 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Illinois Gov. George Ryan announces funds for a new bicycle trail in Madison County during a news conference held Thursday at the intersection of Eastport Plaza Drive and Horseshoe Lake Road in Collinsville. Governor wheels into area to announce bike trail grant By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer COLLINSVILLE - Gov. George Ryan left a trail of smiles in the Metro East when he came to town Thursday to announce a $5.1 million grant for a bike trail winding from Roxana, through Edwardsville to Madison. “People all over the state are taking advantage of trails like we have here,” Ryan said during a reception at Horseshoe I*ake Road and Eastport Plaza Drive. Federal funds are flowing to the state for construction of trails, he said, because they have become more popular with the voters and taxpayers. “Bike paths, trails and greenways are very popular because families enjoy the outdoors, and because they link neighborhoods Swing kings set for a showdown McGwire, Sosa to battle at Busch By WARREN MAYES Telegraph sports editor ST. LOUIS — Mac vs. Sammy. The schedule-mak-ers created a fan’s delight with this October matchup The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs begin a three-game series at 7:10 tonight at Busch Stadium to end the season. The two archrivals have endured disappointing seasons. Both teams are playing for nothing more than to end their dismal campaigns. They will finish the season with afternoon games at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday and 1:15 p.m. on Sunday. Despite the fact there are no playoff implications on the line, all three games are sold out. There is, after all, the matter of who will be the home-run champion this season. Conducting this hit parade ■chup. While 64? 65? 66? are the two swing kings — Mark McGwire, who has 63 home runs for the Cardinals, and Sammy Sosa, who had 62 homers for the Cubs going into the weekend showdown. While most everyone is caught up in their epic battle for the second year in a row, McGwire yawns and feigns to care nary a whit. “That’s not why I play the game of baseball,” McGwire said Wednesday afternoon in an empty Cardinal clubhouse before a double-header in which he hit two home runs to regain the lead over Sosa for the first time since mid-August. “I’m sorry if that doesn’t satisfy your answers But you go back through the history of me playing baseball, and it’s the same thing I’ve said every ■ See SHOWDOWN, Page A9 I See TRAIL, Page A9 Area & Illinois A3, 7-8 Obituaries......................A5 Bulletin Board................A6    Campbell, Dawson,    Gardner, Business........................DI    McKemie, Perrings,    Spence Classifieds..............  C5    Scoreboard....................B2 Comics..........................C2    Stocks.........................D2-4 Editorial.........................A4    Television.......................C3 Nation & World............AIQ    Weather.........................D8