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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 19, 1999, Alton, Illinois www.thetelegraph.com \ I B more ^ O ^T| ;sl) ! I than ll1 -ii / / I I    I Coupons and special offers 1 ^ inside most editions yr Sports Hying high Illini top No. 8 Kansas = SUNDAY 'ifBLK LIRA. J»I Vol. 164. No. 338 MMMRRR Serving The River Bend Since 1836 December 19, 1999    $1.50 Child support mess remains By DEBORAH L. BATES Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Illinois legislators have once again failed to fix a child support system that will leave custodial parents without money to buy Christmas gifts for their children. In their last veto session of the year, the House rejected the suggestion to remain in session to correct the problems with the system, instead approving a minor reform bill Legislature fails to fix problems Officials blame computers Page A3 that State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, calls just a Band-Aid on a system that is severely fractured. Custodial parents across the state have had difficulty receiving child support payments on time since the check distribution system was switched from circuit clerks’ offices to a new state payment center near Chicago. The change was made Oct. I and was mandated by federal law. Illinois legislators were called into special session by the governor after a recent court ruling declaring a firearms bill unconstitutional Some lawmakers believed they also should have resolved the child support issue. “I just wish part of the special session was to address the terrible child support fiscal problems,” Hoffman said. “We should not allow this problem to persist thorough the Christmas holiday.” The measure passed by the House established new training programs to show county officials and employers how to use the new system. That measure may help avoid future problems, but it doesn’t help the custodial parents who have Christmas gifts stuck in layaway for their children. “You have to juggle things from here to there,” said Leslie Cammann of Granite City. “I'm still holding off on getting layaways to see if anything is going to come in.” Cammann has not received ■ See MESS, PageA11 Ann Landers.......B7 Area/Illinois.....A3-10 Bulletin Board A7 Business..........DI Classifieds.........C5 Crossword.........B7 Editorial...........A4 Horoscope.........C4 Nation/world ... A12;C5 Obituaries.........A6 Alkin, Albers, Brown, Bryant, Graziana, Jones, Lane, McKenna, Pence, Perrine, Rosenthal, Rudolph, Wilhilmy Scoreboard  B2 Stocks............D2 _W Good* Morning Playoff mood at Dome Rams, Giants battle today _ By WARREN MAYES Telegraph sports editor ST. LOUIS - The Rams want to wrap up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs today, while the New York Giants remain in a fight to qualify for post-season play. The two teams square off at noon at the Trans World Dome. The 11-2 Rams need to win just one of their remaining three games to stay at home during the playoffs, a proven key to negotiating the way through the postseason. \n The \990s, 14 of 18 teams that have had home-fieid advantage have advanced to their conference championship game, with six winning the Super Bowl. The Giants are one of four 7-6 teams battling to get into the playoffs. They likely need to win at least two of their final three games to ensure them the chance of playing in January. “It’s going to be like a playoff atmosphere — intense,” Rams receiver Isaac Bruce said. “We know ifs not going to be easy. They have a winning record. They’re trying to get into the playoffs, you know." Rams coach Dick Vermeil is using that fact as a motivating tool, plus the notion that the franchise hasn t had a 12-win season since 1978. “I think our players are looking forward to playing and with great respect to the New York Giants,” Vermeil said. “It’s an exciting time for St. Louis. It’s exciting to go to the playoffs, but the only way to go the playoffs is to win. You use your final games of the season to get better and prepare to play playoff games. “I don’t know if I can do it ■ See RAMS, Page A11 ID Boots Godfrey store supplies duds for famous and not-so-famous Page DI Dream come true Woman gets Habitat house Page A9 Tile outlook Mostly cloudy. High 48 ; low 33 Page D8 Untraditional graduation at SIUE 800 get degrees By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer Crab Legs tot twtShLSSrASL SU „ Lund! 84.75 c From 11:00 us - 4:00 pm Sunday Special _From 11,00 nm 9i00 pn Diluter 86,95 .50 Fro® IOO pm -10:00 pm pm Sstay t'iem M*) Lamk    CJB Stimy Bnftr ftfl 4~f0 pm with 3 People $2.00 4 People $3.50 5 People $5,00 6 + People SJM SIUE students receive their diplomas at Saturday’s commencement ceremony. EDWARDSVILLE - The cold weather Saturday and the nontraditional graduation date did little to dampen the spirits of the last SIUE graduates of the 1900s and their families. About 800 graduates marched into the Vadalabene Center to accept their degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Many are not traditional college students, anyway, so the December, as opposed to June, graduation date made no difference. Annette Lightner, 39, said that after the 27-month grind of obtaining her master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in anesthesiology she is happy to have the work accomplished so she can get on with her career. “The only thing about the ■ See SIUE, Page A11 For the Telegraph/ERICH KASSLER Monika Schreiber receives a graduation-day hug from fiance Patrick Kennedy at SIUE’s Saturday commencement ceremony. Saint Anthony’s honored Named one of top IOO hospitals in nation Telegraph staff report ALTON — Saint Anthony’s Health Center has been recognized by HCIA and The Health Network as a recipient of the 1999 IOO Top Hospitals Regional Benchmarks for Success Award. Recognition was contained in the Modern Healthcare Journal, the leading health care industry publication. The study was based solely on objective, quantitative performance data that is consistent and complete across nine geographic regions in the United States. The study identifies top performing hospitals based on quality of care, efficiency of operations and sustainability of overall perfor- ■ See HONORED, Page A11 Food pantries keep busy Number of clients on the rise in area By KATHLEEN HILL Assistant city editor Denyse and her two children live in East Alton on $743 a month. Her rent is $430. She makes a car payment, pays car insurance and buys other necessities out of the remaining $313. She said a genetic condition shared by her and her two children makes her unable to work. The family has a rare condition that robs their bodies of the ability to regulate temperature. Denyse also suffers from arthritis. At 23, the slight, pale woman walks with the stooped posture usually seen in those at least a half-century older. A combination of federal aid, disability payments and ■ See PANTRIES, Page AU Rev Cor CONST RUCTION SERVI®, INC. ;

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