Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - February 24, 1999, Alton, Illinois
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Wednesday, February 24,1999
School official leaving
By ANGELA MUELLER
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — Richard Basden, assistant superintendent of the Alton School District, has accepted a position as superintendent of the Jacksonville School District.
Basden’s last day with the Alton district will be June 30.
Assistant superintendent heading to Jacksonville
Basden, 50, has been assistant superintendent in Alton for the past three years.
“It’s been a great three years," Basden said. “I didn’t anticipate it being just three years. I had initially anticipated finishing my career here.” Basden said that the decision
to leave Alton was a difficult one but that the unexpected opportunity in Jacksonville was one he could not let pass.
“There were no difficulties here. It was just an outstanding opportunity.”
As assistant superintendent for instruction, Basden has
focused on district curriculum, technology and professional development. He has also worked closely with the new suspension school.
Superintendent Michael Beaber commended Basden for his contributions.
“He’s re-energized the teach
ing staff by bringing in quality professional programs, put renewed emphasis on testing and assessment, and strengthened the family environment among all of us working together here."
Beaber plans to retire at the end of the 1999-2000 school year, and Basden said he had
■ See OFFICIAL, Page A-9
’77 killing draws new interest
Barmaid was found strangled in car
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Telegraph staff writer
EDWARDSVILLE Investigators are showing renewed interest in a 21-year-old unsolved murder.
The Telegraph has learned that authorities are actively pursuing leads in the December 1977 death of Denise Berlemann Stahlhut, 21.
Stahlhut disappeared after leaving work at a downtown Edwardsville bar and was found dead eight days later in the trunk of her car on the lot of the Gateway. Truck Plaza off Illinois Route 203 near Madison. She had been strangled.
Director of Police Bennett W. Dickmann would not divulge what new information, if any, was being pursued, but he said he could not deny there was new interest in the case.
“We have been examining it along with the Illinois State Police. It is certainly of paramount importance to us,” Dickmann said. “At this point in time we can’t confirm any formal success, but I will confirm that it is of great interest to us."
Stahlhut disappeared Dec. 3, ■ See KILLING, Page A-9
Mother says slain son was innocent bystander at party
By LINDA N. WELLER
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — A grieving mother says her slain son was an innocent bystander when he was shot at a party early Sunday.
“He didn’t fight. He didn’t even live in Alton,” said Ann Womack of Alton, mother of Alden Berry, 23,
“I allays told him I didn’t like houfce parties and to leave if there was a fight somewhere.
Berry was shot at 2:48 a m. after a fight erupted at a party in the 1000 block of Elliott Street. A 25-year-old man was wounded and is in a hospital
Womack said reports that Berry was an Alton resident are incorrect and that he lived in Terre Haute, Ind
Police said Berry was carrying identification from Indiana and Illinois, prompting the belief he was from Alton.
Chief deputy Ralph Baahlmann Jr. of the Madison County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Berry suffered a “through and through” entrance and exit wound “in the left posterior (back) chest and right scapula (collarbone)” caused by one bullet.
An autopsy was held Monday, but the official report was not completed.
At the same time, Alton police continue to investigate
the shootings, which they say are gang-related.
A police source said they have no evidence to suggest that Berry was involved in any gang activity, and the Alton Police Department had had no contact with Berry in the past.
On Monday, Michael F. Gomez, 17, of Alton, was charged with first-degree murder.
Womack said that early Sunday her son drove her home, with a friend of his following in another vehicle.
“He brought me home at 2:05 a m.,” she said. Berry and the other male then went to the party, Womack said.
Police estimate between 70 and IOO people were at the party. Detectives are continuing to interview those who were at the house when Berry was shot.
The man who was with Berry had had an earlier disagreement with Gomez, Womack said.
Once at the party, Berry’s companion and Gomez got into a fight before the shots being fired, Womack said She said the man who punched Gomez told her he thinks the bullet that killed her son was meant for him.
“He said it was his fault,” Womack said.
She said the man related the string of events to her Sunday after the shooting.
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White on bronze
The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN The snowfall Tuesday plastered the statues of Lincoln and Douglas In Downtown Alton. The snow was not expected to last long as temperatures rise through the week. Story, Page A-3.
Four to vie for Wood River council seat
By DARRYL HOWLETT
Telegraph staff writer
WOOD RIVER — Four candidates survived the first step in becoming members of the City Council
Despite low-voter turnout, David Ayres, Fred Ufert, Judy Beckham and incumbent Scott Levan received enough votes in the primary to contend in the April 13 general election
Unofficial results, with ail IO precincts reporting, had Ayres as the top vote-getter with 320.
He was followed by Ufert with 254 votes; Beckham, 218; Levan, 190; Mike Trgovich, 138 votes; Allen Gaines, 108 votes; and Robert Elfgen with 25.
Two seats are open in the election. Councilman Buddy Davis opted not to seek re-election; Levan holds the other seat.
Only 1,253 voters cast ballots.
Ufert, a spectrometer supervisor at Olin Corp., said his second-place finish will hopefully lead to better things in April.
“I’m glad the primaries are over. Now I can get started on the general election. I’m pleased with the election so far. I think low voter turnout hurt all the candidates on the ballot. Hopefully, the weather will be better in April ”
Beckham said she was pleased with her third-place finish.
“I’m very happy with the results and looking forward to the general election. I’m really tickled and pleased for everybody who voted for me.”
Levan said coming in fourth did not surprise him.
“All the candidates worked very hard, and I had a plan to finish in the top four to get in. (The other candidates) had a lot of people working with them to push them up They worked very hard. I’m not terribly surprised."
Levan said he will now turn his attention to the general election in April.
“I’m happy for (the other candidates), but I’m not done yet. My main goal for the primary was to get in."
Ayres was unavailable for comment.
The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN
George Wallace was happy to cast his vote in the Masonic Temple at 4th and Lorena streets in Wood River during Tuesday’s election.