Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - August 19, 2003, Alton, Illinois
Tuesday, August 19 . 2003 • Page A5
*1* The Telegraph/MARGIE M BARNES
Alton police officer Jim Wetzsteln looks over a motorcycle involved In a fatal crash Just west of the Intersection of College and washington avenues In Alton. A 55-year-old man from Bunker Hill was killed when his motorcycle struck a Dodge mlnivan exiting the nearby Walgreens parking lot.
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road for an unknown reason and struck the rear of the semi. Police said there were no skid marks at the scene to indicate an attempt at braking.
Menzel was airlifted by an ARCH Air Medical Services helicopter to Saint Louis University Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said no condition report was available Monday evening for Menzel.
The woman’s daughter was pronounced dead at the scene.
Walker was not injured in the crash. No charges have
been issued so far, police said. The crash is being reconstructed.
State Police said Walker told them she had been on the shoulder for less than five minutes and was about to set out her warning triangle when the crash occurred.
The second crash took the life of a 55-year-old Bunker Hill man, who died Monday afternoon from head injuries he suffered when his Honda motorcycle ran into a Dodge minivan on College Avenue in Upper Alton.
Authorities said John Rhoades died at Alton
Memorial Hospital emergency room before a helicopter could take him to a St. Louis hospital for treatment of his injuries. The crash occurred at 3:38 p.m. Authorities said Rhoades was wearing a helmet.
Police Chief Chris Sullivan of the Alton Police Department said Rhoades was riding his motorcycle alone, heading west in the westbound lane of College Avenue, when the white minivan pulled out of the Walgreens parking lot onto College Avenue in front of the motorcycle.
Rhoades reportedly hit the minivan, falling off the
motorcycle face down in the street.
Driver of the 2002 Caravan minivan, Edward E. Bohnwagner, 72, of Grafton, was alone and uninjured, Sullivan said.
Someone called 911 and Alton Fire Department paramedics resuscitated Rhoades at the scene, and Alton Memorial Ambulance Service took the victim to Alton Memorial Hospital, where he died.
Police cited Bohnwagner with failure to yield from a private drive.
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“I can remember when life was really easy and we didn’t worry about things like this,” Denny said “We had our ups and downs, but we remained friends through junior high and high school. That’s a time when many friends grow apart, but not us. We stayed close, and all of that has been taken away.”
Ben Weaver was a childhood friend of Bush's and a teammate on the East Alton-Wood River High School football team.
Weaver was in Ohio for his brother’s wedding when the Bush family received the news. He did not find out until the following Monday.
“It’s still kind of shocking, to know that someone your own age is dead." Weaver said. “It’s weird seeing someone I know like that. Everything he did, he did with everything he had. Matt always gave IOO percent no matter what he was doing, whether it was football or band.”
Deann Bush, 19, Matthew's sister, was also serving in Iraq as a private in the Army’s 101st Airborne.
"We’re all hanging in there, but this is not something you cope with immediately,” she said. “It will take us some time.”
Family and friends said if one word could have defined the young soldier, it was determination. His parents, Randy and Barbara Bush, and his friends all had high hopes for the young recruit. Randfy Bush said his son planned on staying in the Army and going to college.
Bush’s friends never lost faith in him.
“I know he would have made something of himself if he would’ve been given the chance,” Denny said.
During the funeral pro
cession, a line of cars that seemingly stretched foi ever followed an escort provided by officers from the Wood River Police Department and the Madison County Sheriff's Department.
Bush was buried wi* h full military honors m Carter Cemetery, j,. t south of Carrollton ] he cemetery contains mam of the relatives in Barbara Bush’s family with some gravestones dating back to the 1870s.
During a short graveside service, Army personnel honored the private with a 21-shot salute and a single soldier playing taps.
Brig. Gen. Thorne
Bostick traveled to the funeral from Fort Hood Texas, representing Gen Peter J. Schoomaker, the U.S. Army chief of staff Bostick is the assistant commander of the U.S Army’s First Cavalry Division.
Since the beginning of the war this past April. Bostick has been to four services for fallen soldiers, traveling coast to coast None has been easy.
"It’s times like this that cuts across the fabric of America,” Bostick said “But it also makes you proud about this country’s young people. He’s a hero in my book.”
Randy Bush said the public’s interest in his son’s death “has gone a long way in our hearts” and that it was the kind words and deeds of the community that helped them through a tough time.
“We want everybody to understand what we’ve had to go through with this tragedy,” he said. “I don’t want any family to suffer through what we suffered.”
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The charges also alleged that McAfee, on the same date, damaged a padlock door of a freezer at the Suttles’ residence and criminally trespassed on Suttles’ land.
Last week, Moreth filed an additional charge accusing McAfee of sexual conduct with an animal on either Dec. 6 or 7, 2002. In this case, the owner of horse was not being identified.
The Macoupin cases were investigated by Chesterfield Police Chief Bob Berrey.
“McAfee did confess to trespass, criminal damage to property and to having sexu
al conduct with the horses in each of the cases filed against him,” Berrey said.
He said he does not anticipate further charges being filed.
Corey Suttles’ father, Glen, whose land is adjacent to the son’s, said the pair called Berrey after finding a hay bale on fire, cigarette butts, and the freezer broken into.
McAfee has remained in the Greene County Jail on $75,000 bond since his July 9 arrest. He is scheduled for an arraignment on the Greene County charges on Monday, Aug. 25 and is scheduled to appear in Macoupin County Court on
the latest charge on Sept. 9.
“I told Greene County State’s . Attorney Elliott Turpin that I don’t want him to even consider a plea bargain in this case,” horse owner Steve Barnes said Monday prior to McAfee’s court appearance. “I sure don’t want to see him walking out of here after what he has done not just to my mare, but to horses throughout our neighborhood.”
“Well, if he manages to get out, he sure won’t be walking for very long,” Don Bollini, another rural
Rockbridge/Chesterfield area horse owner, said.
Bollini and several other area horse owners have been
at each court appearance to show support of Barnes and to impress the court with the seriousness of the allegations. For weeks, they have been meeting among themselves, comparing notes on the disturbing, unexplained events involving their horses that have occurred in the last 20 years.
McAfee resides with his parents, Pete and Pat McAfee, in rural Chesterfield, an area that crosses into sections of all three counties.
“We have had trouble with McAfee for almost 20 years on our (Macoupin) family farm,” Jerseyville resident Bob Wilson said Monday fol
lowing McAfee’s preliminary hearing. “We even had charges filed in Macoupin County when our renters actually saw him in the act with one of the horses, but McAfee’s parents told the police they were on vacation at the time of the incident and that McAfee was with them, so the case had to be dismissed.”
None of McAfee’s family members would comment in court on Monday.
McAfee’s court-appointed public defender, Charles Theivagt, declined The Telegraph’s request for an interview with McAfee.
“I do not believe it would be appropriate for Kevin
McAfee or myself to comment at this time,” Theivagt said.
Greene County State’s Attorney Elliott Turpin called only one witness Monday, Greene County Deputy Sheriff Bob McMillen, who investigated the death of Steve Barnes’ mare, named Dolly.
McMillen said McAfee never would tell him why he wanted to tie the mare to the fence post.
“He told me how he went to the shed, then tied the horse to the post, and he said he hadn’t wished the animal to die,” McMillen said.
Governor signs bill extending earned income tax credit
SPRINGFIELD, 111. (AP) — Illinois’ working poor can still take advantage of a break on their income taxes.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday signed into law a measure that extends the earned income tax credit indefinitely.
The credit was started three years ago to help families who struggle to make ends meet but bring in too much money to qualify for other assistance.
The break gives a state tax credit of up to 5 percent of a similar federal credit, which can mean a savings of up to $207 a year.
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The governor also signed a measure providing pay for state employees who are serving on active military duty.
It was expected to help about 760,000 families. The credit cost the state $44 million in tax revenue last year, according to an estimate from the state Department of Revenue.
The credit will cost the state about $68 million this year, lawmakers expect, because they added a provision to make it refundable. That will save the state from a potential loss of $56 million in federal welfare funds, however.
The governor also signed a measure providing pay for state employees who are serving on active military duty. And he approved a pilot program that allows Chicago schools to take troublemak-ing students on tours of state prisons to discourage bad behavior.SHAKESFROM PAGE A1
Even at 3:20 p.m., traditionally a slower time of day for most eateries, the restaurant nearly was full. It had opened its doors for the first time at IO a m.
The gleaming white building is the chain’s design prototype. The exterior bricks have a textured stucco appearance and the building has nostalgic glass bricks, touches of black in its decor and neon signs to give it feel of a classic diner of decades ago.
The 3,985-square-foot restaurant replaces the 29-year-old, 3,675-square-foot Steak ’n Shake that sat on the same 1.57-acre site until last March. Corporate officials said the old restaurant was successful, but outdated, and so they wanted to replace it with a modern one.
On Monday, the restaurant interior was decorated festively with bright red balloons that matched its chairs. As with its other Steak ’n Shake locations, diners can see the grill staff cook their sizzling burgers if they sit on one of the barstools.
Jane Blotevogel and her son David, both of Alton, said they were pleased with both the service and the food.
“I think it was wonderful,” she said. “It tasted great and the service was great. It’s really pretty with all the balloons.”
David Blotevogel said he was glad he didn’t have to wait for a table. “Everything
was so clean,” he said of the sparkling new interior.
The restaurant’s General Manager Jon Cobb said he was pleased that the Steak ’n Shake was busy all day long on its first day open.
“They were happy, it’s been awhile,” he said of the customers. “We have a super strong backing here.”
The main entrance to the new restaurant faces east toward Alby Street; the old restaurant’s main doors had faced south toward Homer Adams Parkway.
Cobb said the new restaurant’s preparation line in back of the restaurant “is better, we have an extra grill and an extra dressing table" that holds fixings for the foods.
The new restaurant seats 97 diners and its drive-through window is open 24 hours a day. Cobb said the menu is the same as before, with exception of three seasonal milkshake flavors that the chain is promoting in the summer.
Also new is the hiring of a hostess to greet diners during hours that the dining
room is open.
The restaurant had 30 employees when it closed last winter, with 15 to 20 of those workers planning to return, Cobb said. He said the restaurant is up to about IOO full-and part-time employees and he still is taking applications from people looking for jobs.
The chain, which opened its first restaurant in 1934 in Normal, 111., is based in Indianapolis. There are 412 restaurants in 19 states.
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The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES
The grand opening of the rebuilt Steak n Shake on Homer Adams Parkway In Alton lured a full house on Monday. The gleaming white building is the chain s design prototype, slightly bigger that the outdated location that was razed back in March.