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View Sample Pages : Alton Telegraph, April 03, 1999

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - April 3, 1999, Alton, Illinois Crash occurred about 10 p.m. 1/2 mile south of Hardin on County I Highway 1Good Morning '• Area.......... .. .A-3 Brannan, Diveley, Classifieds ---- .. .X-0 Duewelling, Graham, Comics ....... .. .B-3 Heeren, Hopley, Kendall, Editorial....... .. .A-4 Loft, Lukeman, May, Taylor, Home Front---- .. .B-1 Todd, Weddersten Religion Horoscope .. .B-3 B-2 Scoreboard .. .C-2 Nation/World .. .. .A-6 Television........B-4 Obituaries---- . . .A-5 Weather..........C-8 Alton groups take on gang-related graffiti By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — A coalition of local civic organizations and city departments is continuing a long-standing battle against gang-related graffiti in Alton. The Alton Parks Department, Alton Police Department, the East End Improvement Association and The IOO Black Men of Alton joined forces to fight graffiti more than five years ago. Individuals from these organizations volunteer their time to clean up areas where the vandals strike. Alton Township Supervisor Don Huber and Greg Pyatt, a member of the Parks and Recreation Department, worked Thursday to remove graffiti on the restroom pavilion at the Russell Commons Park, located off the Berm Highway near the Clark Bridge, The men hydro-sandblasted the front and one side wall of the building, as well as an area of sidewalk. The graffiti had been on the building and sidewalk for about a month. Huber said the combined groups normally try to remove the graffiti as soon as possible, but wet weather had prevented the immediate clean-up of the park building. “We try to get it down in a day or two to discourage people from doing it again,” Huber said. The group focuses on remov ing gang-related graffiti. “We saw an increasing amount of gang symbols appearing in the graffiti,” Huber said. “That’s what we’re attacking. They were starting to stake out their territory, so we decided the best way to deal with the problem was to eliminate it.” Members of the group either use the hydro-sandblaster, which was purchased by the ■ See GRAFFITI, Page A-7SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 ‘tKEVC construction escrow services, inc. 112 W. Homer Adams Pkwy Alton618-467-6370 GUARANTEED SERVICES TO: the property owner • the contractor the lender    •    the    title agent Dispersing service for residential & commercial construction, subdivision/site and apartment development projects and remodeling & home improvement. THE TEL EG RAP Spring forward Daylight Time is here. Turn clocks ahead one I hour tonight.Vol. 164, No. 78 — 50 cents On the mark Alton takes to the track today Paged The outlook j From the hilltop (Mice of    j    Zykan family showers and    :    r;- ^ Vo • J thunderstorms;    •    enjoys life 111 high near 74,    j    their'Crystal low near 56    ;    pQio^ Paged : * 31306 n n Page B-l Saturday, April 3,1999 Mercantile robbed Woman brandishes pistol, makes off with cashl By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Detectives with the Alton Police Department are investigating an armed robbery that occurred Thursday at the Mercantile Bank, 620 Landmarks Blvd. A police news release said a white female walked into the lobby of the bank about 4:24 p.m. Thursday, displayed a pistol to the tellers and demanded money from two tellers. She placed an undetermined amount of money in a large bag, which she carried into the bank, and fled through the front lobby doors. Detectives were unsure whether the suspect fled on foot or drove away in a The Landmarks Boulevard branch at gunpoint Thursday afternoon. car. “We thought we had a good lead on (the suspect), but at this time we’re still following up some leads,” Lt. James Hessel, I ne i eiegraprvnuoo own i n of the Mercantile Bank was robbed Alton chief of detectives, said Friday. “We thought we had (the suspect) already in custody, but this other person’s alibi checked • out. We’re not sure, but we haven’t ruled out if (the suspect) is a local person.” The suspect is described as being a white female, 20 to 30 years old, approximately 5-feet-2-inches to 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. The suspect had strawberry blonde hair, which she wore in a ponytail, and freckles on her face. When last seen, she was wearing a pair of black sunglasses on top of her head, a dark blue T-shirt and white tennis shoes. Hessel said the suspect took an undisclosed amount of cash. Police reviewed the bank's surveillance videotapes, trying to gain a better description of the subject.__ ■ See BANK, Page A-7 In a pair of bank surveillance pictures, a bank robbery suspect appears in full and front views during a 4:24 p.m. Thursday heist at the Mercantile Bank lobby at 620 Landmarks Blvd. in Alton. American hero’ pays a visit to River Bend Rep. John Lewis gives speech at Principia ■ rn By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer “Beaten by state troopers on March 7, 1965, a day that became known as “Bloody Sunday. ’ I remember the clunk of the troopers’ heavy boots, the whoops of rebel yells from the white onlookers, the clip-clop of horses ’ hooves hitting the hard asphalt of the highway, the voice of a woman shouting, ‘Get ‘em! Get the n--s!”’ — From Walking With The Wind: A Memoir of the Movement, by John Lewis A true American hero paid a visit Friday to the River Bend, including a speaking engagement at Principia College in Elsah. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., spoke at the Cox Auditorium as The Ernie and Lucha Vogel Lecturer on Moral Courage. Lewis discussed his book, “Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement,” which was published last year, along with the present-day struggles in the civil rights movement and his work in Congress. “I will do a sort of a review of the history on the struggle for civil rights. I will talk about the distance we’ve come and the distance we have to go. I will talk about the philosophy of non-violence. This will be a walk through the pages of history, through the movement,” Lewis said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph. One-vehicle wreck kills Hardin man By THOMAS WRAUSMANN Telegraph staff writer HARDIN — A 21-year-old Hardin man was killed, late Thursday when his pickup truck struck a utility pole about a half-mile south of town. Benjamin H. Loft, a carpenter and construction employee with S M. Wilson Co. in Granite City, was pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m. in the one-vehicle accident, said Calhoun County Sheriff Richard Meyer, also the county coroner. Officials from Illinois State Police District 18, said Ldft was traveling north on County Highway I at Lincoln Valley Road when he went around a bend. Authorities said he lost control of his red, 1997 Ford pickup and went off the roadway, breaking the pole at high speed. Responding along with the State Police were the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, the Calhoun County Ambulance Service and the Hardin Police Department, Meyer said. “Loft was alone in his vehicle," he said. The wreck is still being investigated by the State Police, and a coroner’s inquest is pending, he said. The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who was a key figure in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, stands in front of Alton’s Lovejoy Monument Friday. During the heyday of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, Lewis, 59, organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in the South. He was instrumental in forming the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He also participated in the Freedom Rides, which were organized to challenge Bl See LEWIS, Page A-7 Fatal accident Loft was a 1996 graduate of Calhoun High School and was a carpenter apprentice for the St. Louis District Council. Many Calhoun County residents are mourning the death of the son of Bernie and Penny Loft of Hardin. Bernie Loft is a former industrial arts teacher at the high school, and Penny Loft is still a teacher in the Calhoun School District. Bernie Loft also works at S.W. Wilson. ■ See FATALS, Page A-7 Hardin W .'It * I ;