Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 12, 1999, Alton, Illinois Simmy's Pharmacy Caring hands for 42 years Page DI WllEXLS*l>EAl£ 2000 Cadillac Deville Interested in turning heads? Page Cl The outlook Scattered showers likely and cool; High 45, low 36 Page D8 Good MorniiM Area/Illinois...........A3-10 Bulletin Board............A8 Business....................DI Classifieds.................C5 Editorial.....................A4 Engagements.............D6 Entertainment............B7 Nation/World............A12 Obituaries..................A6 Hinderham, Walker, House Scoreboard................B2 Stocks........................ 02 Weather......................D5 1 kl \ \ t 4 * • » W more • than 1 I $469 I I Coupons and special offers I inside most editions I Sports Blues rally to tain St. Louis dumps Cup champs 4-2 Page Bl vol. 164, no. 331 _ Serving the River Bend Since 1836 December 12,1999 us# Investigator: Ray was alone Baetz disputes Memphis jury’s finding Youth struck by car 8-year-old boy hurt in incident New Alton Belle Casino open for business Barge replaces St. Louis’ original boat More Alton Belle pictures Page A10 By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON - The Alton Belle II quietly slipped into place Saturday morning next to two new brightly colored barges on the Mississippi River. After some minor connection work, Argosy Gaming Co.’s three-part gambling facility awaited the wide-eyed onslaught of casino patrons who would be the first to expe rience the casino’s latest offerings. “It’s a lot different,” said Mary Steen of North St. Louis County. “I knew it was open but I didn’t know they did all of this. It looks a lot different.” Standing in the customer service line across from the Key West Bar, Steen and her husband Les gaped upward at the bright green and blue balconies in the Captain’s Buffet seating areas and the Outfitters’ Grill, all bedecked in Christmas decorations. Les Steen said he is not much of a gambler. “But I’m going to look around and play,” he said. Besides the two ■ See BELLE, Page Ail Rams still have plenty to play for NFC West champs play Saints Sunday By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer ALTON — A government investigation revealed that James Earl Ray was the lone assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Ray was not involved in a vast conspiracy of Mafia and CIA, a former top federal investigator said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph. “Our two year investigation showed that James Earl Ray pulled the trigger of a high-powered hunting rifle and shot Rev. King to death in 1968.” said Conrad “Pete” Baetz, who investigated the murder of the famous civil rights leader. Baetz disputed claims this week by Ray’s lawyer, William Pepper, By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer CONSTRICTION SERVICES, BC who told a Memphis civil jury that King was assassinated in a giant conspiracy of the New Orleans Mafia and U.S. Central I ntelligence Agency. The jury listened to Pepper’s closing argument Wednesday and returned a conspiracy verdict JAMES RAY in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by King’s family against former Memphis businessman Loyd Jowers, who claimed he paid some- More on Ray Page A11 one, not Ray, to murder King “The jury heard only one-sided, ridiculous accusations from Pepper of a vast conspiracy in Dr King’s death,” said Baetz, who claims that evidence from his investigation contradicts Pepper’s allegations. Baetz crisscrossed the country for two years in 1977 and 1978 to interview hundreds of people as a lead investigator probing King’s murder for the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations. “Although some of our investigative files in King’s murder are sealed in the National Archives ■ See BAETZ, Page A11 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Conrad “Pete” Baetz talks about the investigation into the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Passerby Stella Felder of Alton, left, comforts Steven Copenhaver in the 300 block of Piasa Street in Alton Saturday afternoon after he was struck by a pickup truck. ALTON — An 8-year-old city boy suffered a bloody nose and a broken tooth when he ran in front of a pickup truck Saturday afternoon on busy Piasa Street. Police said Steven Copenhaver was running up the sidewalk outside of the Oasis Caravan shop, 305 Piasa St., with some other boys when he darted into the street around 3:10 p.m. Sharon Anderson of Bethalto had slowed to nearly a stop when her Ford 150 truck bumped Steven. Witness Nova Harris of East Alton said Anderson ■ See YOUTH, Page A11 By WARREN MAYES Telegraph sports editor ST. LOUIS - One week after clinching the NFC West Division, the Rams might be able to gain home-field advantage for the playoffs. The Rams play at noon today in New Orleans against the Saints. St. Louis (10-2) must defeat the 2-10 Saints and have the Washington Redskins lose to nail down the home field in the playoffs next month. “It’s no guarantee you’ll ■ See RAMS, Page A11 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN A huge Christmas tree greets customers entering the lobby of the new Alton Belle Casino landing Saturday afternoon. . IOT* A ^ l » IfWltftf Tit? wSBBm Join Co far trine in Helping Others During the Holiday Mi*i. «/n A JRt'Hlol Cd lour lecture mill Santa JPP Sunday Ow. ll, WMm *4:Mjhh • Picture • Popcorn • Soda * Balloon'