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Telegraph, The (Newspaper) - November 18, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Victorian Christmas memories on display PageDl Mauioa illumination Celebration of Lights in Alton part of holiday festivities Page Cl The outlook Mostly sunny and warm High 70 low 51 Page D6 Geoff Courtnall to retire Vol 164 No 307 50 cents Thursday November 18 1999 Teen says he feared for his life By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE An Alton teenager testified Tuesday he was in fear for his life when he fired three shots into a Godfrey man to stop a butcher knife attack during a confrontation involving drugs Gregory Greer 17 took the Murder defendant testifies victim wielded knife stand in his own defense Tuesday during his first degree murder trial in Madison County Circuit Court Greer and his cousin Jerry Greer 22 also of Alton face similar charges in the Jan 2 slaying of Courtney J Stevenson 29 The shooting occurred in the 300 block of Main Street the home of Christina Willman a crack cocaine cus tomer of the Greers Gregory Greer testified The Greers were in a vehi cle in a Hardees restaurant driveup when Jerry Greer was paged to come to the home Gregory Greer testified When they got there Jerry Greer and Willman talked out of earshot while Gregory said he waited by the kitchen door However Willman asked him to throw her cat outside after the animal came in with the men and Gregory said he complied When he came back in a moment later a quarrel had developed between Jerry Greer and Stevenson who was visiting the home Gregory Greer said he did nt know what started the fight but he asked the men to stop Stevenson told him to butt out I said Why dont you stop and we pushed each See TEEN Page A9 The BADMAN A demolition team makes quick work of the newer section of the old Humbolt School on Central Avenue in Alton Wednesday as a worker hoses down the debris to control the dust Old gym tumbles Crews making way for apartments for senior citizens By LINDA N WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON A track hoe with a grapple bucket Tuesday began chewing away at the west end of Humboldt schools gymnasium the first exteri or sign of a major transforma tion for the old school Three crew members from Spirtas Wrecking Co Inc of St Louis began the job of tearing down the 40yearold brick gym Asbestos and other materials had been removed earlier from the interior We went right through the said Butch Lee pro ject supervisor We pulled down the bar joists a couple at See GYM Page A9 Divided County Board OKs raises budget Members debate tax options By SANFORD J SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE The County Board adopted its annual budget Wednesday but not before members debated future alternatives to property taxes and cutting expenses Officials agreed that the budget for the coming fiscal year beginning Dec 1 is a fair and balanced one but some disagreement arose over whether the county should con sider substituting sales taxes for property taxes The County Board may be able in coming years to pro pose a major shift of the fund ing of the cost of providing county services from the prop erty tax to a sales Finance Committee Chairman Bill Little DAlton said This would lessen the bur den that the real estate tax payers carry in paying for the cost of government Little said That would be a bad idea said Board Member Don Garrett DMadison because it would put a disproportionate See TAX Page A9 By SANFORD Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE A divided County Board voted to award raises to officeholders board members and depart ment heads but cut out most travel expenses for board members Several board members voted against the raises because they said per cent is out of line with the inflation rate and because board members are being told to cut expenses in light of soaring retirement costs Bill Little the chairman of the boards Finance Committee said there was a I am almost certain to sue over Don Garrett board member on cut in travel expenses concern about abuses of mileage expenses paid for attendance at regular board meetings but he did not elab orate The Alton Democrat also said the mileage reimburse ment was cut because of the expense of the percent cost of living raises granted virtually all county employ ees The cut in mileage drew fire from board member Don Garrett DMadison who said it discriminates against peo ple who live farther away from Edwardsville the coun ty seat Garrett said if it costs him more to come to meetings than it does a member from Christmas lights to go on Friday in Rock Spring The BADMAN Jim Kannall left and Will Patridge retired Laclede Steel employees and mem bers of the Grandpa Gang prepare some electrical wiring Wednesday as fin ishing touches are put on the annual light display in Rock Spring Park By LINDA N WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON Residents will get a double dose of Christmas festivities Friday night when thousands of bril liant lights are turned on at Rock Spring Park and LincolnDouglas Square A 5 ceremony at Rock Spring Park on College Avenue will kick off the eighth annual Celebration of Christmas light extravaganza Alderman Charles Brake Ward 5 Commissioner George Helden of the Alton Park and Recreation Board and the Colonial Fife and Drum Corps will participate in the pro gram The family of the late Don Killam who was a member of the Grandpa Gang volunteers who help put up the lights every year will flip the switch to turn on the blaze of lights Chairman Greg Gelzinnis said the display has nearly million lights in the oldfashioned themed displays The light show is opening a week earlier than usual to capture busi ness from tour buses Gelzinnis said The display will be open from 6 to 9 Mondays through Fridays and from 5 to 9 on weekends through Dec 26 From 6 to 9 Monday Nov 29 however the park will be open to walking visitors only during the special presentation Cost is per vehicle with pro ceeds going to charity Once again a special commemorative ornament will be sold at Santas House in the park for This years design fea tures a snowman After the Rock Spring ceremony See LIGHTS Page A9 Edwardsville then it denies equal access to the law and government This is clearly discrimina tory and a violation of the 14th Amendment which guar antees equal access to the Garrett said I am almost certain to sue over This is similar to the racist poll he said The elimination of mileage expenses however passed on a 242 vote with Garrett and Mike Holliday DAlton the only no voles The raises had a tougher time See RAISES Page A9 Bulletin i Blake Blumer Ernst Hancock Hauri Holloway Norris Price Smith Stone Williams
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