Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - August 30, 1999, Alton, Illinois
Bethalto Homecoming began with soldiers’ return from WWI
By ANDE YAKSTIS
Telegraph staff writer
BETHALTO - Sgt. Maj. Leslie Prehn Sr. and his comrades came home from the battlefields of World War I to a big homecoming parade by the townspeople of Bethalto.
“The rousing welcome from residents for the returning hometown World War I veterans in 1919 was the beginning of the annual Bethalto Homecoming,” local historian Arvel Fowler said.
The Bethalto Community Park will glow this Labor Day weekend with carnival lights, entertainment and the aroma of fried chicken for the 80™ Bethalto Homecoming.
The homecoming will open Friday, Sept. 3, and continue through Monday, Sept. 6, at the park.
“World War I vets marched in their uniforms in 1919 down the main street of town, led by the Upper Alton Drum Corps,” Fowler said. “Townspeople brought picnic baskets of chicken to the park for the homecoming celebration for the vets.”
The homecoming grew from the 1919 parade and town picnic for the vets to the big
homecoming of 1999.
In 1930, Bethalto American Legion Post 214 and the volunteer fire department teamed up to sponsor the annual homecoming.
“Funds from the homecoming bought the fire department’s first fire truck in 1930,” Fowler said. “Money raised from the homecoming through the years has helped build an excellent fire department in Bethalto.”
Old photographs in the Bethalto Historical Museum show the 80-year history of the Bethalto Homecoming.
The museum displays a photograph of Robert Wadlow of Alton, the tallest man in the world, riding in the Bethalto Hardware Co. float in 1920 in the homecoming parade.
“It was a big event for the people of Bethalto to see Robert Wadlow waving from a float in the parade,” Fowler said.
On the museum walls hang photographs of the homecoming parade with a float of the E.K. Apple Feed Store and the 1928 Bethalto High School
■ See BETHALTO, Page A7
Bulletin Board A6,C2
Bickmore, Caffery, Egelhoff, Flowers Sr., Grafford, Hays, Kinnikin, Mason, Rose
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Explorer program allows youths to work in future career situations
John Hendricks, an employee of Stumpf Construction and Excavating, left, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Brian Markert, right, install piers for the ramp up to the new platform being constructed that will look over Ellis Bay at the Riverlands in West Alton.
Companies give Riverlands project a boost
By KERRY SMITH
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — Two area companies known for their support of educational and environmental projects have stepped forward to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its latest endeavor.
Clark Refining & Marketing Inc. and Triad Industries Inc. are supplying the labor needed to construct a wildlife observation platform and pedestrian trail to give bird-watchers a close-up view of Riverlands creatures.
Park Ranger Brian Markert said the Corps is grateful to Clark and Triad for funding the contractors for the project. Construction began about IO days ago, with an anticipated completion date of mid-September.
“We’re planning an official dedication of the platform and' the trail on Sept. 25 in conjunction with National Public Lands Day,” said Markert. “Clark and
Triad have been really generous as corporate partners in this work. We appreciate their help, and we couldn’t afford to bring this to reality without them.”
Total cost of the project, Markert said, is $8,000 including paving and contract labor. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service paid for the cost of the wood and other materials needed for the observation platform.
The paved trail and the observation platform will provide an opportunity for those using a wheelchair to get a closer view of wildlife activity than was previously possible with the rocky banks of the Riverlands environment. Markert said slopes and ramps that are being built and attached to the platform will afford disabled persons smooth access on and off the platform.
Triad Industries vice president Jeff Heintz* said his firm believes in supporting ventures that promote learning for children and adults.
“This is an excellent opportunity to bring people up close who would otherwise have extreme difficulty getting close to the river,” Heintz said. “Hopefully the corporate support of this highly visible and worthwhile project will encourage other local industry to become involved and take a leadership role in efforts such as this.”
Clark Refining & Marketing environmental manager Bill Irwin said the nature observation post and pathway will be done in time to serve as an ideal fall field trip for curious, young wildlife watchers and their teachers.
“We see this as another great reason for children to visit the learning center at Riverlands,” Irwin said.
The official dedication of the observation platform and nature trail will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25. From 2:30 to 5:30 that afternoon, the public is invited to take part in tours and activities specific to the new amenities.
Improved equipment will speed up booking
By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT
Telegraph staff writer
EDWARDSVILLE - The Madison County Sheriff’s Department will have the most advanced booking system in the state when it takes delivery of a digital camera purchased with state grant money.
Chief Deputy Bob Hertz said the new equipment that has been brought online in the past five years will put information about suspects into the criminal justice system in a flash.
The new camera coming from the Illinois State Police is the last of a series of new innovations that will make paper processing and old-fashioned mug shots a thing of the past, Hertz said.
“In the old days, prisoners
Th® Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES
Madison County Sheriff’s Department Jail Deputy Lance Reynolds at the ‘livescan’ fingerprint machine.
tie faster but a lot more efficient, once the information is entered.
“It will eventually eliminate the paper we have stacked up to the ceiling,” Hertz say!
were booked into the County Jail using a typewriter, ink fingerprints and cards, and a black-and-white 35-millimeter camera," Hertz said.
The new system will be a lit-
The latest innovation is a digital camera, purchased with a $16,000 grant from the State Police.
■ See BOOKING, Page A7
Program cracking down on scofflaws
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Telegraph staff writer
EDWARDSVILLE - Madison County judges have one word for people who are refusing to pay their fines through a new alternative sentencing program: Jail.
The line leading from the county courthouse to the county lockup has been long and continuous the last two weeks as a crackdown on fine scofflaws, continues.
On Thursday, 33 people were sent to jail by Associate Judge Robert Hennessey after they appeared in Madison County Circuit Court and did not have a good reason why previously assessed misdemeanor and traffic fines could not be paid.
Deputies marched defendants across the street in two batches, causing a processing uproar at the jail. Defendants scrambled to come up with the money to pay off their fines - anywhere
from $75 on up - to keep from spending the night behind bars.
The “vast majority” found the cash, Madison County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Robert Hertz said.
“It’s surprising to me how many of them don’t have the money until they get here,” Hertz said. “All of a sudden that money just shows up.”
The previous week, . Associate Judges Randall Bono and Lewis Mallott sent a combined 26 people to jail during docket calls in Granite City and Alton. Again, most of the defendants found the cash to bond out at the last minute.
The new program was introduced in May and defendants were given 90 days to pay fines by working them off through a couple of eommunity.service options sponsored by the county, or another option that involves taking traffic classes through
■ See PROGRAM, Page A7