Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - October 21, 1999, Alton, Illinois Democratic Party endorsements draw fire . . . .. . J I m.L ~ cnntinri inlnrnctc a nA fat tho 9ft VA9IH! at a ffHintV hOJtt'd ITlerTlbPr S S cli cif By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE — The Democratic primary race for countywide offices is off to a lively start in Madison County. The party announced its endorsements for the March primary this week, but already, two candidates are casting doubt on the endorsement process. The slate-making committee endorsed Rick Faccin of Alton for auditor and Steve Nonn for coroner, prompting Faccin’s likely opponent to say he never wanted the endorsement in the first place. The committee, made up of 75 members, serves as the candidate-screening committee for the Madison County Democratic Party. The group met earlier this week to decide on the endorsements. “This is not the Democratic Party I knew. This is a party of self-serving interests and fat pension benefits,” said Pete Fields, the deputy auditor to incumbent Auditor Jack Frandsen. Fields said he did not want the endorsement of the party because of its links to a controversial pension plan that allows countywide office holders to retire at 80 percent of their highest salary after 20 years, even if they drew the highest salary for only a short time. The plan makes it possible to serve most of the 20 years at a county board member’s salary but retire at the much higher salary of an appointed, full-time position. “They want to pass the perks around, and ifs all done at taxpayers’ expense,” Fields said. His likely opponent, Faccin, said he agrees the pensions are a much too expensive and unfair perk, but Faccin pointed out that Fields’ ■ See DEMOCRATIC, Page A9 Friends say suspect took ‘couple of good shots’ at Skelton By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Friends of Glenn A. Taylor, 18, testified Wednesday that they saw the defendant take “a couple of good shots” at Richard Skelton, who died Aug. ll, 1998, on an Alton street as a result of a mob beating. Witnesses Richard Young, 17, and Jason Campbell, 19, backed up earlier testimony by Skelton’s daughter that Taylor punched Skelton in the ribs. However, Young and Campbell admitted under questioning from Taylor’s defense attorney that they had made deals with prosecutors in exchange for their testimony. Another witness, Dr. Raj Nanduri, a forensic pathologist, testified that Skelton suffered two broken ribs near his heart, along with a deep gash in the head and other wounds, all of which contributed to his fatal heart attack. But Nanduri also testified that Skelton had 70 percent blockage in one of his coronary arteries and up to 90 percent blockage in another artery. If Skelton was upset, as suggested by the defense, that also might have contributed to his death, ■ See SKELTON, Page A9 Saturday is day to Make a Difference Area/Illinois.. . A3-10 Obituaries ....... A5 Bulletin Board ... .A6 Bailey, Calvey, Business ....DI Houseman, Kadell, Classifieds .. ... C6 Lazzari, Rfnghausen, Comics..... ____D5 Schmitt Editorial..... ____A4 Scoreboard..... .B2 Horoscope .. . .. . D5 Stocks ......... .D2 Nation&world ... .C5 Television....... C4 By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer Communities and organizations across the River Bend are getting ready to make a deference this weekend. Make a Difference Day is a national volunteer effort that focuses on performing community services specific to government, health care, education and more. About IO members of St. Bernard School’s student council in Wood River are planting shrubs Saturday at Benbow Field in thanks to the city of Wood River for its year-round support. “Our student leaders want the city to know we value everything it does to support our school,” said student council director Veronica Galletta, who along with fellow council director Margie Siatos is helping coordinate Saturday’s event. The Zonta Club of Edwardsville and Eden United Church of Christ are co-sponsoring a Make a Difference Day Coat Giveaway from IO a.m. to 2 p m. Saturday. Coats will be given away at Eden UCC, 903 N. Second St. in Edwardsville. Those in need of coats are encouraged to visit the church and pick one out. Men’s, women’s and children's coats will be available. Hartford’s First Baptist Church is making a difference to help feed the hungry. The church distributed bags door- I ny luiuyidpii/nuao Qivinn Children at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Bethalto collected more than 3,000 disposable diapers for the Arms of Love Crisis Pregnancy Center. Representing their classmates are Allen Nettleton, Lindsay Brown, Will Zykan, Michael Vargas, Matthew Stutz, Aggie Withers, Angela Stutz, Kayla Broadway and Dalton Price. to-door to Hartford’s 600 homes Wednesday night, asking residents to consider filling a bag with non-perishable items. First Baptist’s goal is to fill more than two trucks with food donations. Shop ’n Save in Wood River and East Alton stores will collect the food donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Friday. Alton’s Head Start chapter is also making a positive difference in the lives of residents in need of food. Head Start parents, children and staff are aiming to collect 1,000 items of non-perishable food to donate to the Crisis Food Center of Alton. Pupils at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Bethalto hope to make a difference in the lives of the very young by donating diapers to the Arms of Love Crisis Pregnancy Center in Godfrey. Pupils in kindergarten through eighth grade have collected more than 3,000 diapers for the crisis center. ■ See DIFFERENCE, Page A9 Prayers tor victims SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 6oldBn Corral New owner offers tasty treats Page DI Musical Award-winner taps its way to the Fox Theater Page Cl ma outlook Mostly I Tigers sunny. High j clinch SWC 70; low 45 I title Page D6 I Page Bl www.thetelegraph.com Survivors hold service at county courthouse By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A Wood River pastor told a small crowd Wednesday how his 4-year-old nephew was left without a mother when a killer knocked her out and put four bullets into her head. “ITI never forget that little boy’s words. 'My mommy’s grounded,”’ said the Rev. Lee Jackson “He didn’t know how to say"his mother was buried.” Jackson gave an account of the how the incident affected him and his family at an Interfaith Prayer and Memorial Service at the Madison County Courthouse Plaza, sponsored by the Third Judicial Circuit Family Violence Coordinating Council. Jackson reaffirmed his faith in God, despite the deep despair over the loss of his sister. He told how his former brother-in-law paid $5,000 to have his sister murdered Authorities investigated more than four years before solving the case. “If ii were not for God, we might have got a gun and killed my brother-in-law,* said Jackson, who is pastor of United Pentecostal Church in Wood River. He noted how violence begets violence and how abused children tend to abuse-their own children. “Family violence is of epidemic proportions. Ifs not just one or two people. I counsel many of my members who were the victims of sexual abuse as children,” Jackson said. He said he has had experience with counseling victims of family violence who end up in the court system, and many ■ See PRAYERS, Page A9 Darlene Ayers holds her two children, Breanna Ayers, 4, and Benjamin Ayers, 3 months, as they recite the Interfaith Prayer during Wednesday’s Interfaith Prayer and Memorial Service at the Madison County Courthouse Plaza.