Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - July 3, 1999, Alton, Illinois
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Saturday events istubbieficidBand*
I Carnival* 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
midnight ■ Face painting and balloon
■ Beer tent entertainment, DJ makeR . 6:30 tos^p.m.
^d£°ke'6Pmt0 "Fireworks. 9:15 p.m.
Riverfront Parti. Alton
Tribute’• 10 p.m.
The outlook Partly sunny, hot and humid. High 93; low 76
Bombed Quincy defeats Bluff Qty
Page B-lVol. 164, No. 169 — 50 cents
Saturday, July 3,1999
www.thetelegraph.comMore honors boarding Belle
By LINDA N. WELLER
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — During the Alton Belle Casino’s first week of dockside gambling, patrons didn’t seem to miss cruising up the Mississippi River.
On Thursday afternoon, the casino’s parking lot was nearly filled. Patrons cruised along the eastern perimeter, hoping to find someone pulling out of
Attendance up 20% to 30% since boat docked
a closer parking space.
“It’s busy in there,” said Dallas Williams of Glen Carbon, who was leaving the Belle with his wife, Cathryn.
“They have a much bigger crowd than they used to.” Argosy Gaming Co. officials said last weekend — the first
weekend the casino was allowed to remain docked after Gov. George Ryan signed a dockside gambling bill — that attendance jvas'up 20 percent to 30 percent, varying by the time of day.
Attendance remained strong during the first four days of
the week, although numbers of patrons on those days had not been released.
“The number of customers are up, and they are very happy about it,” said Gifford Pace, director of marketing for the Alton Belle. “They are excited about their freedom to
come and go as they please.”
The Argosy officials say they expect the number of Belle gamblers eventually to level off to about IO percent to 15 percent above the “cruising” days level.
The last official count of Belle patrons that the Illinois
Gaming Board released was in May, showing 103,929 patrons.
Some 483,284 patrons boarded the Alton Belle from January through May of 1999.
Casino boat owners throughout Illinois expect to save hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly in operating expenses — and in taxes at some casinos — because of last week’s
■ See BELLE, Page A-7
$100,000 awarded in suit
Survivors of car crash victim to share settlement
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Telegraph staff writer
EDWARDSVILLE - A civil lawsuit stemming from a fatal accident last year has been resolved in Madison County Circuit Court.
The family of John J. Higginbotham, 80, of Edwardsville, has been awarded a $100,000 settlement in a wrongful death suit resulting from the crash Sept. 3 on Illinois Route 159.
The suit against the driver who caused the crash, John F. Nunes Jr. of Gillespie, was settled Wednesday. The same day, Nunes was found guilty of improper lane usage and placed on 90 days’ court supervision.
The traffic ticket was given to Nunes by the Illinois State Police after his northbound Chevy 1500 truck swerved across the center line and hit Higginbotham’s southbound 1985 Chevrolet Astro minivan, about seven-tenths of a mile north of Moro Road.
Higginbotham then was hit in the rear by a 1993 Plymouth Sundance driven by Nathan Bloodworth Jr. Higginbotham was pronounced dead about two hours later at Alton Memorial Hospital.
Nunes’ attorney, Rand Hale of East Alton, said Nunes, 44, was not charged with anything more substantial than the ticket because drugs or alcohol did not play a role in the 10:30
■ See SUIT, Page A-7
Good x Morning
Area/Illinois . .A-3,8 Bulletin Board .A-6
Nation/world .. .D-5
Barfield, Clifford, Frazer, Heil, Powles, Renken, Swofford
The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH
Paramedics attend to Suzanne Bradshaw of Godfrey, who was injured in a traffic accident at 4:18 p.m. Friday at the corner of 20th and Piasa streets in Alton. Police said Bradshaw was the driver of a car that apparently collided with another car that swerved through the intersection; the second car fled the scene. A third car hit a tree while trying to avoid Bradshaw’s car. Five people were taken to Alton Memorial Hospital.
Independence Day fun
Carnival rides abound on Alton riverfront
By KERRY SMITH
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — Visitors who waited until today to enjoy Alton’s Mississippi Fireworks Festival can try their hands at nearly 20 games and hold on tight aboard a dozen amusement rides.
Cameron Ellington, 3, of Alton, wasn’t wasting time. From 5 p.m. Friday, when the festival opened, until a few minutes before 8 p.m., he had used 40 ride tickets.
“He’s not even the least bit tired yet,” said Cameron’s father, Carl. “This is his third carnival, and he is definitely making the most of it.”
St. Louis-based Archway Amusement is running the two-day event, which runs
from 3 p.m. today until midnight. Punctuating tonight’s activities will be the elaborate fireworks display, beginning about 9:15 p.m.
Four-year-old Jordan Whitten of Alton preferred the games, holding armfuls of prizes she was awarded by picking up lucky-numbered plastic ducks.
Edwardsville mother Becky Seyer’s two sons and her husband, Jeff, were seated three across in front of the “Pork Chopper,” a group game in which golf balls dropping into magic holes sent traveling motorcycles toward a finish line.
“I already rode Predator and Pharoah’s Fury, but the
■ See ALTON, Page A-7
The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN
Participants in the P.A.C.U.P. probation program like Julie Morgan, right, helped sandbag the fireworks control bunker on the old railroad bridge approach in the Lincoln Shields Recreation Area Friday in West Alton, Mo.
Fieldon to mark 45th Fourth of July festivities
By ANDE YAKSTIS
Telegraph staff writer
FIELDON — Residents of the historic country town oi Fieldon will salute the Fourth of July Sunday with a patriotic party of fireworks and home fried chicken.
Townspeople have turned out every July 4th for 45 years to celebrate the birth of their country, said'87-year-old Hazel Dunham, one of Fieldon’s oldest
and most respected residents.
On Independence Day, the town of 350 is a picture of small-town America, with the Stars and Stripes flying from white front porches.
“We invite the public to join us in Fieldon for the Fourth of July celebration," Mayor Betty Duggan said.
“There will be games, bingo, good country cooking and fireworks.” Veterans will raise Old Glory on the town flagpole, and 11-year-old Elizabeth Duggan will sing the national anthem to start the festivities at 3:30 p.m., Duggan said.
“You can feel the real spirit of the Fourth of July in our town,” she said.
Fieldon is a quaint, country town in Jersey County on Illinois Route 16, about IO miles west of Jerseyville.
“Fieldon is a patriotic town of people who love the flag and their country,” said Dunham, who has lived through much of the town’s history.
Dunham has a lifetime of memories of family and friends in Fieldon, a town with a history going back to before the Civil War.
She was born 87 years ago on a farm in a hollow in the Macoupin Creek bot-
■ See FIELDON, Page A-7