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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - August 12, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 'THE TELEGRAPH J Old-fashioned Inn Illinois State Fair schedule inside Pages D-5,7 Vol. 164, No. 209 — 50 cents SUH a Tiger | Mizzoumay look to Jim Dougherty as QB Page B-l Tho outlook Scattered afternoon thunderstorms. High 92; low 73 Page DR She delivers Business will run your errands Page D-l Thursday, August 12,1999 www.thetelegraph.comTrial witness tells of killing The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Mon High School s new head football coach, Joe Hook, watches his players, as reflected in his sunglasses, Wednesday during the first day of iractice for the 1999 season. Below, freshman John Vetter gets a little water on the face and a cooling drink. More prep football, Page B-1 It’s pigskin season High school teams getting ready to kick off By ANGELA MUELLER and DEBORAH L. BATES Telegraph staff writer Hundreds of young men across the area headed out into the sun Wednesday for the first official day of high school football practice. Coaches recorded high numbers of athletes reporting for practice, signifying the popularity of this rough and tough fall sport. Football made a solid comeback Wednesday with 81 athletes showing up for the first day of practice at Alton High. Last year the Redbirds ended the football season with Qnly 38 players. “We’ve almost tripled from last year,” new head coach Joe Hook said. “I’m very pleased. We wanted to get IOO kids out by the end of the week of practice, and I think we’ll get there.” Hook said fan attendance at games was. also low last year. He could not name a cause but said he hoped Wednesday’s high turnout of athletes was a sign of football’s rebound. “The numbers have been way down the past few years, but this year we’re trying to have better communication, trying to sell the program better,” he said. “I think it all comes down to the coaches and staff. If you don’t get the word out there, no one is going to show up.” Hook said he believed football is still a sport of prominence throughout the region. “We’ve got some really strong football schools in this (Southwestern) conference,” he said. “Football is still strong around here.” Marquette Catholic also saw a large crop of prospective players out See PIGSKIN, Page A-9 New law gives towns economic boost By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer Illinois communities have a brand-new tool for attracting high-paying jobs. On Wednesday, Gov. George Ryan signed into law Senate Bill 40, legislation that represents nine years’ effort by state Sen. Frank Watson, R-Greenville. The program is called the Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit Act and rewards incoming and expanding businesses for creating new jobs and plants. If an existing company expands its work force and creates at least 25 new jobs, or if an out-of-state industry opts to move to Illinois, the firm will be rewarded with a state income tax credit proportionate to the number of positions it creates. Existing companies investing at least $5 million to enhance their Illinois-based plants or to build new offices or plants are also eligible Later bar hours draw step closer City Council votes to approve resolution; more votes due By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — In a 4-3 vote, aldermen approved a resolution at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting that would change the city’s liquor ordinance to extend the hours that bars can serve alcohol. Next step for the proposed ordinance change is for the City Council to vote on first and second readings at the next two meetings, Aug. 25 and Sept. 15. If approved on second reading, a public hearing would be held and the amended ordinance would go into effect, about Oct. I. Before the vote, resident Scott under the bill’s program, provided they meet the new jobs criteria, Watson said. “I began working on this in 1990, under former Gov. Jim Edgar’s leadership, but he didn’t place a major priority on economic incentives like Gov. Ryan does. What today we have signed into effect was actually part of Gov. Ryan’s campaign platform.” Senate Bill 40 passed unanimously in the ~    ■ See BOOST, Page A-9 a Let’s take the high road as we „ u move Alton into the Mandrell told    ,    .    ,    „ aldermen he next century.” Scott Mandrell resident is opposed to the later bar hours. “Money is not the only considera- -____— tion,” he said of some tavern owners’ desire to compete with the Alton Belle Casino’s forthcoming gambling barge, which will have a bar. Mandrell said he is concerned about drunken drivers and the message the extension would send to youth in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. “Alton should be an island of sanity in a declining sea of tranquility,” he said. “Let’s take the high road as we move Alton into the next century.” Aldermen Phil Hanrahan, 2nd Ward; Joe Maher Jr., 3rd Ward; and Gary Fleming, 6th Ward, voted against the resolution. Later, during the closing minutes of the meeting, Alderman Fred Young, 4th Ward, proposed an amendment that would require the city to examine the effect of the new bar hours one year after the ordinance is changed. See HOURS, Page A-9 Area/Illinois...........A-3,6,8 Bulletin Board   ...........A-7 Business.................D-1 Classifieds...Cpl Comics...................D-6 Editorial  ...........A-4 Horoscope................D-6 Nation/world..............C-5 Obituaries................A-5 Bateman, Beierman, Chapman, Gerson, Hayworth, Helmantoler, McCollum, Plegge, Senger, Sweet, Thurman, Wagner, Wall, Watts, Wreath Stocks...................D-2 Television................C-4 Evans By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - One of the intended victims in an alleged murder scheme struck back from the witness stand Wednesday in Madison County Circuit Court, naming the purported plotter as the gunman in a 1995 homicide. Clifton Wheeler, formerly of Alton and an inmate at Menard Correctional Center in Chester, identified James A. “Raven” Evans as the killer of Nekemar “Pookie" Pearson. Pearson, 18, was shot to death in June 1995 in a wooded area north of the Schnucks store in Godfrey. Evans has been charged with murder in his killing. Evans, 29, of Alton, is being tried on charges of solicitation of murder and conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly hatching a plot in the Madison County Jail to kill Wheeler to keep him from testifying about the Pearson killing. Wheeler was to be killed while in prison, according to previous testimony. He is serving 23 years for the killing of Dwight Riddlespriger of Alton on a Godfrey tavern parking lot in 1996. Evans also is accused of plotting to kill Lester Warr of Alton, the owner of the No Doubt tavern in the 1900 block of Oakwood Avenue. Warr was the father of Brian Warr of Alton, . the only other witness to Pearson’s killing, > Wheeler testified. Brian Warr was killed last September, and another man, Robert Fletcher of Alton, has been charged and is awaiting trial. Evans suspected Pearson of burglarizing Evans’ home in the 2700 block of Powhattan Street and sought retribution because of it, Wheeler told Assistant State’s Attorney Keith ■ See KILLING. Page A:9    | ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Alton Telegraph