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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - January 6, 1999, Alton, Illinois Deal to pump $10 million into Laclede By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer ALTON - Laclede Steel Co. has signed a loan agreement with a California bank to pump an additional $10 million into the company to pay for day-to-day operations at Alton and five other plants. U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Barry Schermer of St. Louis has approved Laclede’s agreement for up to $85 million in financing from BankAmerica Business Credit Inc. in Pasadena, Calif., said Michael Lane, vice president of finance at Laclede. About $70 million of the $85 million 12-month bank financing agreement is an outstanding loan that Laclede has with BankAmerica, Lane said. “In the agreement with BankAmerica, Laclede will receive approximately $10 million in new money to pay for day-to-day operations in Alton and other plants,” Lane said. Laclede operates plants in Alton; Vandalia, 111.; Fairless, Pa.; Fremont, I nd.; Maryville, Mo.; and Portland, Ore. Laclede Steel filed for Chapter ll bankruptcy Nov. 30 in St. Louis in a move to reorganize the company and keep the Alton plant and five others in operation. "Our No. I priority is to reorganize Laclede and to keep the Alton plant open,” ■ See LACLEDE, Page A-9 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH A firefighter with the Godfrey Fire Department puts out flames at a cottage off Shady Oaks Lane near Piasa Creek Tuesday. Fire destroys cottage By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer GODFREY - An afternoon fire destroyed a family cottage Tuesday near Lockhaven Country Club. No one was at the cottage, 30 Shady Oak Lane, when it caught on fire sometime after 1:30 p.m., fire officials said. Firefighters from the Quarry-Elsah-Mississippi and Godfrey fire departments fought the blaze amid freezing temperatures. Firefighters also had to get trucks and equipment past an unpaved, winding road next to Piasa Creek. A firetruck from ■ See FIRE, Page A-9 Business owner pleads guilty to arson charge The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Firetrucks from Godfrey and Jerseyville were delayed because of icy roads leading to the cabin off Lockhaven Road. By THOMAS WRAUSMANN Telegraph staff writer JERSEYVILLE - After a drawn-out court    battle, Clifford Maxon pleaded guilty in a fire that destroyed his Jerseyville auto body shop Maxon was sentenced to two years’ probation on charges of conspiracy to commit arson and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, Jersey County Circuit Court officials said Tuesday. He also must pay more than $5,000 in restitution, fines and fees and must not live or work in Jersey County, court officials said. Maxon has left the county, officials said. The former Fieldon resident was arrested Feb. 13, 1998, after the fire. A lengthy investigation by the Jersey County Sheriff’s Department and the Jerseyville Police Department found he conspired with an employee to claim insurance coverage for fire-damaged tools. Part of the $24,500 cash bail posted for Maxon will be used to pay restitution of $2,000 to Western State Insurance Co. and $2,940 to Jersey County. It will also be used for a $500 fine, $150 probation fee and attorney costs, officials said Officials said Maxon avoided a state prison sentence of three to seven years because he had no criminal history. He was found not guilty in July 1998 of stealing an air compressor from a Jerseyville resident. Because of the plea agreement, other charges of unlawful sale of collateral and several thefts — all felonies — were dropped, officials said. His former employee, George Schlotter of rural Jerseyville, is charged with conspiracy to commit insurance fraud with Maxon. Schlotter’s jury trial is set for Jan 19 at the Jersey County Courthouse in Jerseyville. Good :•: Mornirig Area/Illinois .A-3-10 Bulletin Board .A-7 Classifieds ... .C-7 Comics.......D-6 Nation/world .. .C-6 Obituaries A-5 Christian, Eggers, Harvick, Hinders, Johnson, Karr, Klotz. Knoll, Lambert, McAdams, Pitchford, Wills, Winkler, Zimmerman Television .... .D-7 wnMw nimmli jhmii Storm aftermath keeps tow trucks busy By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer GODFREY — Todd Bowers and his tow truck crews have been busy pulling vehicles out of snow drifts since the winter storm blew across the River Bend on New Year’s Day. “We have seven tow trucks on the road day and night winching cars out of deep snow in driveways and roadside ditches," said Bowers’ mother, Ruth Guntren, of Bowers Towing and Repair at 6204 Godfrey Road in Godfrey. Nearly 8 inches of snow and sleet glazed streets and driveways Friday and Saturday, said Thomas Spriggs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis “Freezing rain and sleet fell on top of the snow, creating an icy crust on the roads, driveways and yards,” Spriggs said. Bowers, his wife, Kathy, and his mother have been busy answering hundreds of telephone calls from motorists to pull cars out of snow drifts and to jump-start vehicles. “We’ve been towing a lot of stalled vehicles," Guntren said. “We’ve pulled 30 vehicles out of the snow in ditches.” Light snow may fall today with a high temperature near 35 degrees, Spriggs said, • The temperature will drop back down to the 20s on Wednesday afternoon, with a low of 15 degrees on Thursday morning," he said. State highway crews have worked 12-hour shifts since noon on New Year’s Day, plowing tons of snow and ice from roadways, said Kent Muskopf, operations engineer of the Illinois Department of Transportation in Collinsville. “Our crews have plowed snow for 96 hours straight on 4,000 miles in a 10-county district,” Muskopf said. “We’re still cleaning up some thick spots of ice and snow on Illinois Routes IU and 3 and Interstate 255." Crews and 147 trucks have spread *10,000 tons of salt on highways, he said. ■ See TOW Page A-9 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Bob Lawrence, left, of Wood River, paused to help Louie Donoho of Centralia jump the battery in his car Tuesday off of Acton Avenue in Wood River. Donoho was in the area to help his daughter Jennifer Donoho, a student at SIUE, who was stranded because of the weather. Four Flags ^ Motor; Inc, ms Bm momma in Was $16,995    ^/VfOrOf, Ifir .Oldsmobile jam ## j AAF    I    lr    f    rn,    n    g    g a *JV    Hwtiy i59 (J ^ nvVf JI4.77#' ill Mies prim inchtdi al! inrentim. Tax, license, doc fees extra o5o~o34U Edwardsville / Glen Carbon rn? mc mm 4 Door, 4 wheel drive. Was $22,995 NOW HWSERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Vol. 163 No. 356 50 cents A change Restaurant leaves Shoe Factory name behind Page D-l Touav’s Foot* More than delicious Sweet, good-tasting foods can be healthy, too Page B-l The outlook    ; On the court Mostly cloudy with a i Marquette chance of snow;    ; high near 35, low near15    157-29 Pagel>8 Page C-l ;