Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 6, 1999, Alton, Illinois
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Page CIOVol. 164, No. 325 - 50 cents
Monday, December 6, 1999
34-21 victory leads way to playoffs
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Dick Vermeil doled out bear hugs by the dozens. Georgia Frontiere wrote a special poem. Kurt Warner tried on his commemorative T-shirt and found it to be a perfect fit.
The St Louis Rams capped their unlikely rise from NFC West doormats to division champions with a 34-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
“I came here think- ■“■■■ ing we could get it done,” said an emotional Vermeil, hired as Rams coach in 1997 after a 14-year coaching hiatus.
Frontiere, the team owner who took a chance on Vermeil, went to the locker room after the game to give him a poem she wrote especially for the occasion.
“Except for my children and my grand- _
children, this is my
life,” she said. “I knew
that if he had enough time, he
could handle it.”
Off in a corner of the locker room, Warner, the Arena Football League refugee, soaked in the celebration scene, holding his NFC West champions baseball cap and T-shirt as he tried to gather his thoughts.
With four regular-season games left, Warner has 32 scoring passes, one more than Jim Everett’s team-record 31 in 1988.
“The records are nice,” he said, “but we want something
that can never be taken away from us. We want that little ring.”
Warner threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, including a pair to Az-Zahir Hakim.
“We felt we were good enough to do this,” Warner said. “There were no questions in our minds. Now we’ve gone out and shown everybody.”
uTI7e felt we were good VV enough to do this.
There were no questions in our minds. Now we’ve gone out and shown everybody.”
on Rams’ victory over the Carolina
St. Louis, which improved to 10-2 for the first time since 1978, hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1989.
After winning their first six division games by an average of 25 points, the Rams wrapped up the crown by weathering the Panthers’ second-half rally.
The Rams’ defense had shut out their last three opponents in the second half, but Carolina scored 14 points to make it close before Dre’ Bly’s 56-yard interception return put St. Louis up
by IO with 9:48 left.
“You just felt the air going out of your sails,” Carolina tight end Wesley Walls said. “You feel bad. You’re embarrassed. You lose the game and they clinch the division at your home field.” Carolina (5-7) hurt itself all day with penalties, breakdowns in the secondary and missed tackles. The Panthers, who intercepted Warner twice but were unable to convert either one into
points, missed a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time in two years.
“We kind of dug ourselves in a coma and couldn’t come out of it,” said center Frank Garcia, who had one of the Panthers’ personal-foul penalties.
Steve Beuerlein threw a pair of sec-
_ ond-half touchdown
passes in an attempt to keep alive Carolina’s bid for its first three-game winning streak since 1997.
Beuerlein linked up with Donald Hayes on a 36-yard scoring play in the third quarter and Patrick Jeffers on a 71-yarder with 14:31 left in the game, making it 24-21.
But Beuerlein’s third interception, on an underthrown pass to Muhsin Muhammad, went directly to Bly, who ran untouched down the sideline for the score
■ See TITLE, Page A9
St. Louis Rams cornerback Dre Bly does a celebratory dance in the end zone after returning an interception for a touchdown in the Rams victory Sunday in Carolina.MorningPride’s house tour hit of holiday season‘Gorgeous homes’ impress crowds
By JIM KULP
For The Telegraph
ALTON — Judging from comments at one house, the Holiday Candlelight Home Tour sponsored by Pride Inc. was a hit of the holiday season.
“Gorgeous,” was the most common remark made at the home of Mike and Margaret Freer on North Alby Road in Godfrey, one of six homes included in the tour. Built in 1997 and designed by Margaret Freer herself, some visitors were impressed by the openness of the living room, dining room and kitchen. They are not divided by walls.
“Beautiful, very nice, very open,” said Margie Crull of Godfrey who was on the tour with her husband, Paul. “A nice party house and the decorations are interesting, different from the usual.” Paul
I See TOUR, Page A9
The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES
Rhonda Cline, left, and Bev Bolton, both of Bethalto, walk through the living room of the Slaten home on George St. Sunday in Alton during the Pride Home Tour.
Soc Security retirement benefits age rises
Those born in 1938 and after will be affected
By KATHLEEN HILL
Assistant city editor
Two local financial planners say their clients are not shocked by news that the retirement age for receiving full benefits from Social Security is being raised.
Americans will begin to feel the effects next year of a 16-year-old law raising the eligibility ages for Social Security benefits. Those
born in 1938 and after are affected.
The increase is just two months for those born in 1938. They will have to be 65 years and two months old to receive full benefits. But for those born in 1960 and after, the increase is a full two years. Those individuals can’t receive full benefits until they are 67.
“I’m not getting a lot of shock ■ See AGE, Page A9
Nature of retirement lifestyle changing
By KATHLEEN HILL
Assistant city editor
Jim Bridwell said he already has retired once.
Tom Sherwood said he may not retire at all.
Bridwell retired nine years ago from a 20-year career in the United States Army. He said he and his wife, Earle Bridwell, follow their own advice in planning
for the future.
“When we get to toting everything up, we kind of add Social Security. The fact that I will not qualify for full benefits until I’m 66 is irritating, but not critical. We’ve done a good job in other ways, so it won’t make or break our plans,” Bridwell said.
He said many of his clients
■ LIFESTYLE, Page A9
Th* Social Security Administration is raising the age at which Americans can receive their retirement benet ts Here's a look at how the changes will affect recipients
The percentage But to collect of benefits you 100% of your receive benefits, you lf you were ...You will turn lf you retire need to retire born in... age 62 in... then Is... when you turn...
1937 & before 1999 & before
65 yrs., 2 mo.
65 yrs., 4 mo.
65 yrs., 6 mo.
65 yrs., 8 mo
65 yrs., 10 mo.
66 yrs., 2 mo.
66 yrs., 4 mo,
66 yrs., 6 mo.
66 yrs., 8 mo.
66 yrs., 10 mo.
1960 & later
Skim* Sta.VfYy Ajar
2022 & later
CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC.Historical society makes over Victorian mansion as museum
By ANDE YAKSTIS Historical Museum.
Telegraph staff writer “They look like candy hous
es in a real Christmas vil-CARLINVILLE — Seven- lage,” said Leonard, a first year-old Ryan grader at
Leonard admired # _ Girard
the Christmas Til 111 QI* JI ll ll Elementary gingerbread u§jbr school in the
houses in Santa T illume* county.
Claus land in the I UWIIw The little
magnificent _ holiday houses
Victorian man- ............
sion of the Macoupin County ■ See mansion, Page A9
Bulletin Board B2, B3
Cramblett, Doerr, Gowan,
Hill, Hurley, Kasinger, Petersen, Seibert Sr., Vonnahmen, Watts