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   Telegraph, The (Newspaper) - December 16, 1999, Alton, Illinois                                SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Prep wrestling Alton battles SWC foes age Bl The outlook Mostly cloudy and seasonable High 40 low 29 Page C8 Vol 164 No 335 50 cents Checking his list Santa answers some naughty and nice queries Page Cigf Thursday December Mom freed for Christmas judge orders her to return ta jail in visitation dispute By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer A mother jailed in a bitter grandparent visitation rights dispute is teirtg released long enough to celebrate Christmas with the child at the heart of the battle However the only way Julie Mehring 27 of Columbia will stay out of jail longterm is to comply with courtordered visitation for the childs paternal grandmother Madison County Associate Judge Barbara Crowder said at a hearing Wednesday i Mehring today begins her 29th day in Madison County Jail Crowder found her in indirect civil contempt of court and sent her to jail Nov 17 for refusing a previous order grant See MOM Page A9 AX i i M BARNES Atleftj Julie Mehring is greeted by heimother Martha Bechtel as she gets off the elevator before her trial Wednesday at the Madison County Courthouse Above Mehrings fiance Andrew HiH of Columbia left carries a sign reading Let Mom Come Home For during a protest Wednesday in front of the courthouse in Edwardsville landmark restaurant getting new owners native returns to buy Midtown BytlNDA N WELLER telegraph staff writer f XALTON Gerald Van Diver grew up two blocks from the Midtown Restaurant Lounge shining shoes and washing windows at the eatery yvhen he was 10 years old V Although he has a Mirineapolisbased career in technology Van Diver is com back to his roots as one of owners of the long time fixture at the corner of Central Avenue and Seventh Street been around Midtown Restaurant all my Van Diver said I perceive Midtown as the Cheers of the Midwest it takes all of five seconds to meet a friend here if you want said Van Diver 51 in reference to a bar in the former television situa tion comedy Van Diver and business partner Jason Mortvedt 44 of bought the restaurant and its catering business 1026 E Seventh Dec 1 from Bob and Dorothy Metzger The two work for Pronet Technologies which has several locations but is based in Minneapolis One of the features the men plan to add is a barber chair in the current side corner entrance where they will offer shoe shines That entrance will be closed Once a week Ill be shining Van Diver said just like he did as a boy We wanted to get into the restaurant business with a friendly face great food and bring corporate clients Van Diver said Im really excited to be part of one of the most popular restaurants in Van Diver said the men negotiated with the Metzgers for years to buy the restaurant which was not for sale at the time The Metzgers were not available for an interview Wednesday While the shoe shines may See RESTAURANT Page A9 The BADMAN South Roxana Fire Chief Jim Eich top oversees the investigation of the fire that destroyed Debbies Market in South Roxana late Sunday night Evidence shows burglar set fire at popular market Good Morning Comics 04 Horoscope A10 AS Barnett Burk Carter Cobettp Ervin Johnson Lacey Scyoc B5 Television By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer SOUTH ROXANA A weekend fire that gutted Debbies Market initially was believed to be accidental but authorities said Wednesday they have solid evidence to indicate it was an attempted burglary and subsequent arson South Roxana Police Chief Dennis Carpenter said inter views of potential suspects began Wednesday but he stressed that the list of possi store was a town landmark and were working hard to find out who is responsible for its Dennis Carpenter South Roxana police chief ble aggravated burglary and arson suspects does not include Kenny and Debbie Beasley owners of the mar ket Kenny and Debbie Beasley are definitely not suspects in this Carpenter said The See FIRE Page A9 Teachers death ruled accident Husband jokingly pointed gun at coroners jury told By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE A coroners jury has ruled Oct 10 shooting death of Judith A Ernst 48 an acci dent Her husband Harold was jokingly pointing a rifle at Judith Ernst when it dis1 charged and killed her during a family photo session in New Douglas a Madison County sheriffs detective told a coro ners jury Wednesday Prosecutors now will be given the case to deejde whether to take it before a See DEATH Page A9 H   

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