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View Sample Pages : Alton Telegraph, December 06, 1999

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 6, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 TELEGRAPH Remembering loved Neighbors Earthly angel helps homeless’ mission ¥ Fall in Philadelphia Page Cl Mostly sunny and pleasant High 44; Low 31 Page CIOVol. 164, No. 325 - 50 cents Monday, December 6, 1999 34-21 victory leads way to playoffs nu ADI A'T'TCi lf /I /int .i ,    ... 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.” Kurt Warner on Rams’ victory over the Carolina Panthers 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 Associated Press 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. 'I .........-................................................................................... ... .VI 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 Delayed gratification 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 80% 65 yrs. 1938 2000 79 1/6% 65 yrs., 2 mo. | 1939 2001 78 1/3% 65 yrs., 4 mo. 1940 2002 77 1/2% 65 yrs., 6 mo. 1941 2003 76 2/3% 65 yrs., 8 mo I 1942 2004 75 5/6% 65 yrs., 10 mo. 1943-54 2005-16 75% 66 yrs. 1955 2017 74 1/6% 66 yrs., 2 mo. 1956 2018 73 1/3% 66 yrs., 4 mo, 1957 2019 72 1/2% 66 yrs., 6 mo. 1958 2020 71 2/3% 66 yrs., 8 mo. 1959 2021 70 5/6% 66 yrs., 10 mo. 1960 & later Skim* Sta.VfYy Ajar 2022 & later 70% 67 yrs. 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 Area/Illinois.........A3,6 Bulletin Board B2, B3 Classifieds...........C7 Editorial.............A4 Obituaries...........A5 Cramblett, Doerr, Gowan, Hill, Hurley, Kasinger, Petersen, Seibert Sr., Vonnahmen, Watts ;