Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - November 25, 1999, Alton, Illinois Happy Thanksgiving ■nm ~n mn rn ii ~ ~n THG TELEGRAM ■ v «■ Vol. 164, No. 314 - 50 cents Thursday, November 25, 1999 www.thetelegraph.com Their turn to receive iailinmate charged with harassment Robbery suspect accused of making threatening phone call to witness I ne ieiegrapn/iYi«rnjic M. BAHNtS Behind the couch, Joe and Linda Morales of Alton and their granddaughter, Ashley Sanders, 8, are serving as hosts for the Deshotel family for Thanksgiving dinner. Seated on the couch are Sonia Deshotel, center, and her six children, from left, Chanel, 10, Dwayne, 11, Tabitha, 3, Darian, 2, Chae, 7, and Noel, 5. Mexican Club wants to find family a home for Christmas 44 Tjust want something to call home, some- ^r* By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A suspect in a violent armed robbery was charged Wednesday with threatening a witness via a telephone call from the Madison County Jail. Corey C. Hankins, 19, of Wood River, was charged in Madison County Circuit Court with harassment of a witness, a felony. Detective Scott Sandidge of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department said Hankins made the collect call Monday, and the witness reported it to authorities. Sandidge wouldn’t divulge specifics of the conversation but said Hankins admitted making the call when confronted. Sandidge said the witness was not the gas station attendant whom Hankins and two others are accused of robbing Nov. 14 Authorities have charged Hankins, his brother Sammie D. Hankins, 17, of Madison, and “an associate," Stacey T. Samuels, 20, of East St. Louis, with the armed robbery of the Clark gas station at 73 E. Airline Drive in Rosewood Heights. About $335 was taken from the station’s cash register. During the robbery, a gun was held to the head of the Clerk, who was sprayed with Mace. She bad to be treated for chemical burns at a hospital. Samuels was charged Wednesday; the others had been charged earlier. Both Samuels and Sammie Hankins ■ See INMATE. Page A11 By KATHLEEN HILL Assistant city editor ALTON — Sonia Deshotel has always been a giver. She and her family gave to others when times were good. They even found a way to give away a Thanksgiving dinner last year when they themselves were scrimping. “We were tight for Thanksgiving,” she remembers. “But my oldest son came to me and said we needed to help somebody. And we did.” Dwayne was IO at the time. That memory makes Deshotel a little weepy. She’s proud of her son for his giving spirit. But this year, they’re the ones who need to receive. And that is hard for her, Bells are ringing, coins jingling for Tree of Lights Annual campaign sets goal of $190,000 .thing they can’t take away from me.” Sonia Deshotel mother of six she said. “I know I’m in a bad situation, but I’m sure there are other people worse off than me,” she said. After all, she has a roof over her head. And today, she and her family are having Thanksgiving dinner as the guests of the Joe Morales family in Alton. Deshotel and her six children are living in two rooms at a shelter. The mother and the five youngest live in one room. Dwayne, now ll, has his own room. She came to the area two months ago from her home in Lake Charles, La. After her divorce two years ago from the children’s father, she went to work for a wealthy family in Lake Charles as a cook and house- ■ See HOME, Page A11 By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer ALTON — The late Andrew Jackson’s heart was in the Salvation Army, and he rang the bell every Christmas season for 40 years for the annual Tree of Lights campaign. “My husband, Andrew, loved the Salvation Army and he rang the bell every year with the Rotary Club to raise money to help needy people,” his widow, Esther Jackson, said. Esther Jackson will follow the lead of her late husband and ring the bell at ll a m. Dec. 18 at the traditional red kettle at the Schnucks Market in Godfrey. “ITI remember Andrew when I ring the bell with Rotary members for the Tree of Lights,” she said. She will join hundreds of volunteers who will ring the bells at the red kettles this holiday season to raise $190,000 for the Tree of Lights. The campaign helps needy people with food and clothing all year round. The Salvation Army will open the 1999 Tree of Lights campaign in a ceremony at noon Friday at Alton Square shopping center. “We invite the public to join us to start the Tree of Lights campaign at the east entrance to the shopping center near I See LIGHTS, Page A11 Agencies offer safety tips to get you through holidays Beware of thieves, scams, police warn By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE While you’re being thankful today, be thankful if you’re not mugged, burglarized or worse. ’Tis the season to take advantage of people, authorities say. “All types of crime increase with the holidays,” said Capt. Rick McCain of the Alton Police Department. Police agencies and the Madison County Public Health Department are offering a few words of advice to help make the holiday season tougher on the bad guys and better for you. It all starts with Friday’s anticipated shopping binge, said Chae Li Yong, an educator at the Health Department. When shopping, make sure you keep your wallet or purse close to your body — in front of you where you can see and feel it. Use purses with flaps or zippers. It ■ See TIPS, Page A11 Santa will come in for landing Saturday Jolly Old Elf to parachute into festival Good Morning Area/Illinois........A3-9 Bulletin Board........A6 Business............ 01 Classifieds .......... c8 Comics .............C5 Editorial.............A4 Horoscope ..........C5 Nation/world.....A10;C9 Obituaries...........A5 Bell, Coyle, Dieckman, Feyerabend, Green, Jones, McDaniel, Novak, Powell, Roady, Szegedy, Tormohlen, Wood Scoreboard..........C2 Stocks..............D2 Television ...........C4 Weather............DIO me leiegrapn/uMvc wnHLti Pat Raymond of Jerseyville at the controls of his Skylane 182 at the Jerseyville airport. Raymond will turn the plane over to one of his children when he parachutes down to the Godfrey Holiday Festival at 11 a.m. Saturday. By DAVE WHALEY Telegraph staff writer GODFREY — Although his sleigh is still being tuned up for Christmas Eve, Santa will nevertheless arrive from above Saturday in Godfrey. Visitors to the second day of the Godfrey Holiday Festival should cast their eyes skyward at ll a.m. That’s when Santa, also known as Pat Raymond, will parachute from his Skylane 182 about 3,000 feet into the middle of the festival. “I did this about three years ago at Jerseyville’s Christmas celebration,” said Raymond, who works at South Side Auto Sales in Jerseyville. “My kids and I go around doing some demonstration jumps in the area.” Raymond will be in his full Santa suit as he makes his descent. He said one of his children would be flying the plane, which will take off from the Jerseyville Airport. “It takes me about five minutes to hit the ground after the jump,” Raymond said. “It’s actually a little easier to hit my target if there is a wind of maybe 15 mph than if there’s no wind. But I can usually land within IO yards of my target/ Santa’s aerial arrival will be one of the highlights of the first Godfrey Holiday Festival, which runs from ll a.m. to 8 p m. Friday and Saturday along Godfrey Road. The center of activity will be around the intersection of Godfrey Road and Toile Lane. Dozens of Godfrey businesses will have 12-foot Christmas trees lined up and down Godfrey Road both days. Several buildings on the Lewis and Clark Community College campus will also be decorated for the holidays. There will be carolers and trolley rides, and many businesses will have vendors available under the main tent on the parking lot on the north side of Tolle Lane, across from Monticello Plaza. Fred Whitworth, owner of Josephine’s Tea Room, 6109 Godfrey Road, is leading the organization of this year’s festival. LCCC, the village of Godfrey and the Greater, Alton/Twin Rivers Visitors and Convention Bureau have also helped in promoting the event.