Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - April 18, 1999, Alton, Illinois
Area/Illinois . .A-3-9 Bulletin Board A-10
Nation/world . .A-12
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Vol. 164, No. 93
April 18,1999 $1.50
Betting on Belle revenue
By LINDA N. WELLER
olograph staff writer
ALTON — A healthy stream of tax revenue from the Alton lelle Casino continues to most Alton’s coffers, but some officials think the city should be less dependent on gambling money for its operator.
Alderman Fred Young, 4th Ward, favors a cut in spending to free gambling money for infrastructure improvements.
“Those monies should have
marked for streets and for the betterment of our community," Young said. "My concern is we are
using large _—
our (labor) contracts” and to
operate the city.
“If they (Alton Belle) leave, we’ve lost that revenue, and we wouldn’t have improved the core of our city.
“If they leave, we are going
u Tf they leave, we are going to be in
4th Ward alderman
to be in trouble. At some point in time, we have got to turn that around," Young said “My concern is how we spend the money. The biggest number of calls I get are for streets, sidewalks and sewers "
Some officials are concerned that if the Belle leaves or if the state reduces or eliminates the lucrative admissions tax, the city could dire financial
find itself trouble.
The city’s dependence on gambling money reinforces to many in City Hall the importance of maintaining the operating reserve account at a
level That would cover the city’s expenses for three months.
Aldermen established the special emergency fund by resolution; the City Council must approve spending from the fund.
“Any prudent government or any prudent business has rainy-day finances on hand," said Dan Beiser, city treasurer, about the account.
In fiscal year 1999-2000, $4.2 million is needed to cover the
■ See BELLE. Page A-11www.thetelegraph.com
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Hartford drops public works director’s post
By DARRYL HOWLETT
Telegraph staff writer
HARTFORD - The village has eliminated the position of public works director, thus ending the services of Leroy Hall.
Hartford Mayor Ron Camell and the Village Board decided to make the change during a board meeting last month.
“It was a mutual agreement that, in fact, things weren’t going well between Hall and the village and employees," C a r n e 11 said.
“There was no animosity. I think after two years working with personnel on the board, we determined that Hall’s administrative style was not compatible with this administration’s goals and desires for the next couple of years.”
Carnell said Hall’s release and the decision not to replace him were based partly on the village’s finances.
“This administration is continually looking over our costs and cutbacks from Clark and BOC. We’re not sure how our finances are going to be. The village of Hartford is not that big, and we must take a long, hard look at our finances. We probably will not have a department head over the Public Works Department.” Carnell said the village
H See VILLAGE, Page A-11
ii Tt was a I mutual agreement that, in fact, things weren’t going well...”
Albanian brothers know homeland’s pain
By BETHANY BEHRHORST
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — At the heart of Serbia sits Kosovo — for centuries a place of pain and prejudice with no apparent end to violence.
Etem Selimi and his brother, Sam, owner of Lindy’s Restaurant in Alton, grew up Albanian Muslims in Macedonia, near war-torn Kosovo. The men never knew their father. He was killed by communists during World War II in Kicevo, Macedonia
The two have seen hardship. But the latest problems in their homeland«TI7e are very, very VV happy with the NATO actions...”
don’t affect their parents this time. Now it’s affecting the brothers and their children.
Sam Selimi’s 22-year-old daughter, Linda, is attending college in Skopje, Macedonia, where anti-Albanian protesters burning U.S. flags and demon
strating against NATO involvement in Kosovo fill the streets, which has her father worried.
“I called her and told her to get out of there as soon as possible,” he said.
Despite her father’s wishes, she has remained in Skopje, where she plans to finish out the year at school.
About 20 years ago, the situation in Yugoslavia affected Etem’s children. In the town of Pristina, Kosovo, in March 1981, the future of Yugoslavia and the Selimi family began to unfold.
“My sons were in Kosovo, and they
H See BROTHERS, Page A-11
The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Etem and Sam Selimi are ethnic Albanians who moved to the United States to seek out freedoms they never had in Eastern Europe.
I fie i eitjyrajjn/dwnm dmuiviamn
Golfers had hats in hand Saturday as the national anthem was played at the ceremony to rename the Alton Municipal Golf Course as the Robert P. Wadlow Municipal Golf Course.
Golf course gets new name — Wadlow
By PAUL MACKIE
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON - The Alton Municipal Golf Course was renamed Saturday in honor of the city’s most famous native son: Robert Pershing Wadlow, the Gentle Giant.
A large crowd gathered during the cold, windy morning to take part in a ceremony in which the 70-year-old golf course changed its name to recognize the tallest man in recorded history.
The Robert P. Wadlow Municipal Golf Course ushered in its new era with a tournament that will be held every year at this time, although many of the officials in attendance expressed hope the weather for the tournament would not always be as cold as it was Saturday.
“Ifs a beautiful day,” joked Mayor Don Sandidge as the freezing-cold wind
■ See WADLOW, Page A-11
The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN
Mayor Don Sandidge was cheerful during his remarks despite the wind chill.