Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - November 15, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVERBEND SINCE 1836 'TU J TELEGRAPH SCGfB Redbirds, Tigers skate to 1-1 tie V Page C3 The outlook Mostly sunny and cool High 59; Low 39 Page C8 Neighbors Putting faith into action Page Bl Vol. 164, No. 30<i - sh ci Monday, November 1571999 HMMMMNNi www.tfietelegraph.com Back on track St. Louis Rams enjoy sweet homecoming with 35-10 win over the Carolina Panthers The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES Robert Holcombe, of the St. Louis Rams pushes away Mike Barrow of the Carolina Panthers for extra yardage Sunday at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis. Holcombe, a University of Illinois graduate, helped the Rams to a 35-10 victory. By WARREN MAYES Telegraph sports editor ST. LOUIS - The Rams returned home and found their winning formula Sunday afternoon St. Louis scored a convincing 35-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers before a loud crowd of 65,965 at the Trans World Dome. Quarterback Hurt Warner tossed two touchdown passes and Marshall Faulk ran in another for the Rams, who improved to 7-2 on the season. The triumph snapped a two-game losing streak on the road to Tennessee and Detroit. St. Louis lost by three to Tennessee and by four to Detroit. “This was a crucial win," free safety Keith Lyle said. “It was a division game." Rams co-owner Stan Kroenke agreed. “I’m excited for our players, coaches and fans and the whole city of St. Louis," Kroenke said. “Both of those losses were games we could have won and maybe should have won. You always wonder “W; ’e were pretty close the past two games, but we didn’t lose any faith and today it happened that we were at home, and we had to protect our home field advantage. We did that.” Orlando Pace Rams offensive tackle if something like gets started, how everyone responds. Our team came out and was very crisp 4 We needed to respond and we did. This was a big win ” I oach Dick Vermeil said the team knew it was a big game because the Rams were coming off two losses and facing an NFC West Division foe. “I would like to say it is a divisional win and we got out of our two-game losing streak,” Vermeil said. “We did a lot of things real well ; some things not well enough but it is a win ” The Panthers had the ball almost IO minutes more than the Rams and outgained St. LOUI! 377-362. Carolina quieted the crowd early taking the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards in nine plays for a quick 7-0 lead. But the Rams responded. St Louis scored in just four plays to knot the score. The Rams covered 80 yards in the drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown toss to Isaac Bruce. “We had to answer their drive because they had a pretty long one and we wanted to get out on the home field and get warmed up and put one in the endzone,” Bruce said. Late in the quarter, cornerback Todd Lyght picked off a pass and took it to the house ■ See TRACK, Page A7 Child support payment problem has been solved By DEBORAH L. BATES Telegraph Staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The crisis caused by a central disbursement unit for child support checks has been eliminated by a testing cycle, officials say. After the federal mandate was initiated, thousands of custodial parents across the state stopped receiving child support checks. The Illinois Department of Public Aid, which runs the State Disbursement Unit, continues to say the problem has been caused by employers not sending the necessary data. Before the entire state switched to Officials say tests helped find the source of the situation the new disbursement process, the Department of Public Aid ran tests in DuPage and Cook counties. Those counties represent between 55 and 60 percent of child support cases in the state. Joel Kagann, project director for the State Disbursement Unit, said because tests were run in DuPage and Cook counties, there are fewer problems in those counties than in the rest of the state. He said he doesn’t believe the system will ever be without problems. “I don’t think ifs ever going to be possible,” Kagann said. “Each time a custodial parent moves, they will have to contact their local circuit clerk, who will in turn have to contact the disbursement unit. If the clerk is delayed in sending the new information to the unit, or if the unit is delayed in entering the information then someone will be late in getting their child support check. New York, having done this for six years, is still having problems,” he said. U.S. Rep. Joe Lyons, D-Chicago, said that perhaps the northern areas should have switched to the new system before the rest of the counties did. Lyons is chairman of the House Child Support Enforcement Committee. “Maybe we should have let northeast Illinois get online first and do a sharing program and do a fall-back system until we knew they had some level of comfort and confidence. There’s no denying problems could have been underestimated. All of us legislators should have been a little more aware of the national issue here. Nobody’s defying total respon sibility. Nobody wants to accept total responsibility for the failure," Lyons said. Kagann said that most of the problems are in the southern part of the Illinois. “A lot are from the southern part of the state Why? It’s because the counties down there are smaller. They probably know everybody in the county,” Kagann said. Because the clerks were familiar with the names, they were able to correct the data themselves instead of making the employers fix the incorrect data, he said. Area churches embark on ‘historic mission’ By JIM KULP For The Telegraph GODFREY - Catholics and Lutherans joined hands Sunday afternoon in what is being called “a rather historic” mission to cooperate on a local level. The occasion was the signing of a statement on justification by faith, an issue that has divided the two since the Reformation 482 years ago. Seven churches were involved in the ceremony: Resurrection and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran churches, St. Ambrose, SS. Peter & Paul, St. Matthew, St. Mary’s Catholic and the Oblate Fathers in Godfrey. The liturgy for the signing ceremony began and ended with the singing of the rousing hymns “Holy God We Praise Thy Name” and “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” Pastors and a lay representative from each church signed the statement. That action follows a ■ See CHURCHES, Page A7 See SUPPORT, Page A7 Grafton prepares to glow with Christmas spirit Holiday events center around family Area/Illinois .. i A3,6 Bulletin Board.......B2-3 Classifieds .........B4 Comics..............D2 Editorial..............A4 Horoscope ...........D2 Lotteries..............A? Nation/world.......A8,B4 Neighbors............Bl Obituaries............A5 Breitweiser, Cockrell, Fitzgibbons, Flatt, Gammill, Grable, Hansel, Hentz, Kadell, Ketcham, Koehne, Kesner, Morgan, Price, Tiemann, Tiona Region.............DI ,4 Scoreboard...........C2 Television ............D3 Weather .............C8 By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer GRAFTON — The historic river town of Grafton will glow with the lights of Christmas, a festival of music and a house tour through 100-year-old homes during the holiday season. “Our town _ will come alive with the spirit of Christmas with a big public yuletide celebration for the whole family during the Christmas season,” Grafton Mayor Bobbie Amburg said. The Grafton Family Telegram Towns Christmas Celebration will begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 when the 35-voice Grafton Community Choir presents the public Christmas cantata, “0 Holy Night,” with a live drama of a biblical nativity scene. ____ “The community choir will stand in a 20-foot tall Christmas tree built in Grove Park by woodworker Richard Mosby and Jerry Nairn,” said Betty Nairn, chairwoman of the cantata. The cantata, under direc-■ GRAFTON, Page A7 House tour, Chocolate Walk part of yuletide festivities By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer GRAFTON - The historic town of Grafton will be transformed into a festive, holiday spirit Sunday Dec. 5 for the big Grafton House Tour and first annual Chocolate Walk. “The house tour and Chocolate Walk will show visitors a unique glimpse into the beauty, history and hospitality of the town of Grafton at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers,” said Mary Ann Pitchford, chairperson of the public event. Some of the homes on the ■ See FESTIVITIES, Page A7 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Donna Porter, owner of The Treasure Cove in Grafton, displays her beautiful Christmas ornaments and unique gifts for the holiday season.