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View Sample Pages : Alton Telegraph, December 24, 1999

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - December 24, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Bassalopes' Santa stops by Catholic Children’s Home Page Bl GRAPH I All-Area volleyball team I Edwardsville^ I Nicole Shoger is i player of year Other players honored Page Cl The outlook    j    Plain and Fancy Mostly sunny    j    Store provides and cold. High    i    Christmas 29; low 18    j    shopping year I around PageB4 j    Page    DI    *    -    Ak Vol. 164, No. 343 - 50 cents Friday, December 24,1999 www.thetelegraph.comMan charged with abusing wife By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE —• A former Edwardsville man who got off with a five-year sentence for kicking his fiancee in the abdomen and killing her unborn twins is back in jail for allegedly abusing the same woman, who again is pregnant. George Villarreal IIL 23, of the 1400 block of First Street in Cottage Hills, was arrested on a Was jailed for killing same woman’s unborn twins charge of aggravated battery Wednesday night after his wife, Tyra Villarreal, 24, called deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department to the family home. The victim called authorities at 10:42 p.m., and when deputies arrived on the scene, she claimed George Villarreal had knocked her to the floor and was choking her. Villarreal was arrested without incident. Details about what prompted the attack were not available. It also was unknown whether the woman or the unborn child was injured. Bond was set at $250,000 Thursday by Circuit Judge Ann Callis. The suspect was held Thursday in the Madison County Jail. Villarreal was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in March 1997 after entering an Alford plea in Madison County Circuit Court in the deaths of his unborn twins. He was accused of kicking Tyra Berning, who was his fiancee at the time, in the abdomen during a family row, causing the deaths of the children. The incident occurred while I See CHARGED, Page A7 Villarreal SM 7-6*70I Key Cor amilCTIO* SHOKES, weGood:«r Morning Area/Illinois A3,6 Bulletin Board   A8 Classifieds ..........C5 Editorial.............A4 Horoscope ..........B3 Obituaries...........A5 Bedwell, Gelsthorpe, Gotter, Hardy, Hendricks, Johnson, Kording, Lesicko, Robien, Slimick, Tucker, Wade, Williamson Scoreboard..........C2 Stocks..............D2 Television ...........B3 Weather ...    ... B4 Successful university sprouts from cornfields By DEBORAH L. BATES Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE -Nearly 40 years ago, a farmer stood in the middle of his Edwardsville cornfield and fired his rifle at a helicopter carry-ing passen-gers who wore eyeing the land for a development. The shot missed. The cornfield went on to become Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The passengers that day included Delyte W. Morris, the school’s first president. “Many of the farmers who owned that land were opposed to the university being located there,” said IU M? TELEGRAPH Sam Smith of Edwardsville, the now-retired campus spokesman. “They hated to give up their property, and some felt they weren’t offered as much as they ■ See UNIVERSITY, Page A7 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITI Workers finish installation of the green outer shell of the new engineering building at SIUI last fall. Alton again records four homicides in 1999 By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer ALTON — The city of Alton recorded four homicides during 1999, the same total as in 1998. The first two felony charges issued in Madison County in 1999 were against two cousins, one of whom was convicted and one who still is awaiting trial on murder charges for the Jan. 2 killing of an Alton man. Gregory Greer, 17, and Jerry Greer, 22, both of Alton, were charged with killing 29-year-old Courtney J Stevenson, 29, f flB of Godfrey. Gregory Greer was found guilty Nov. 19 in Madison County Circuit Court, where a jury convicted him of a single count of felony murder, and will serve a minimum of 20 years. Jerry Greer awaits a trial in 2000. Stevenson was shot to death in the 300 block of Main Street, allegedly during a drug transaction in a home. The deal turned deadly when Gregory Greer opened fire with a .38-caliber pistol, striking Stevenson three times. A fight between rival gang members who showed up at the same Alton house party led to the city’s second homicide of the calendar year. On Feb. 21, 23-year-old Alden E. Berry, a former Alton resident, was shot to death in the 1000 block of Elliott Avenue. Crips member Jermaine Stiff, 18, of Alton, was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm when he fired on fellow gang member ■ See HOMICIDES, Page A7 TUE TELEGRAPHturnState Police on lookoutOfficers to conduct random road safety checks through Jan. I By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer The Illinois State Police will be randomly stopping motorists in unannounced areas of Madison County for road safety checks through Jan. I. Trooper Ralph Timmins said a roadside check the evening of Dec. 17 in Godfrey produced a significant number of drivers who were not wearing seatbelts. “The primary focus of our roadside safety checks is to make sure motorists are in possession of their driver’s licenses and vehicle insurance cards,” Timmins said. “But we will also be on the lookout for people not wearing seatbelts, open alcohol in the car and other violations. The reason we conduct these safety checks is to encourage everyone to be safe when they sit behind the wheel.” A traffic crash reconstructionist, Timmins said out of the 19 fatal crash scenes he worked last year, ll victims were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash and were ejected from their vehicles. “A 35-pound child standing on a scat in a car driving 30 miles per hour would hit with ■ See LOOKOUT, Page Al The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Illinois State Trooper Ralph Timmons has his speed gun ready for roadside safety checks that will be taking place this weekend at various times throughout the area. ;