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View Sample Pages : Alton Telegraph, July 04, 1999

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - July 4, 1999, Alton, Illinois NEW! Above Ground Pool Steps w/Hand Rail $1499 Installation Available The outlook Partly sunny, humid and hot as a firecracker. High 98; low 76 Page D-10 Good • Morning Area/Illinois .A-3-12 Bulletin Board .A-7 Business D-1 Classifieds C-6 Editorial ......A-4 Horoscope D-7 Nation/world .. .C-6 Obituaries A-6 Beets, Carr, Dressier, Eaker, Gedda, Neustadt, Price, Renken Scoreboard B-2 Stocks........D-2 Weather D-10 Happy Fourth of July SportsTournament of Champions Altai beats EdwardsvilleTHE TELEGRAPH Vol. 164, No. 170 Serving The River Bend Since 1836 Sunday, July 4,1999    $1.50 Page B-l What a show) I July Fourth festival ends in cascade of color HAPPY 4TH OF JULY HOH. Adams Parkway MitflMb    Alton, IL 62002 466-5301 Chlorine Tablets Reg. *69<x> ]25 lb Bucket | SALE By BARBARA M. COPE Telegraph staff writer ALTON — As the sun began to set Saturday, more and more people made their way to Riverfront Park to vie for the best seat for the main attraction of the Mississppi Fireworks Festival. As lawn chairs were pulled out of crowded minivans, parking lots overflowed until cars simply parked in the middle of some side streets. As darkness fell, nightime running lights on boats appeared to dot the river all the way up the river bend. Finally, right on time at 9:15 p.m., one green and pink shell exploded over the river. Then, with the exception of a car alarm jolted by the force of the blast, there was only silence. A false start, Joe Adams of of Brighton decided, but admitted to several minutes of concern until the show really got under way at 9:30. “I thought it was a possible problem or malfunction. They’ve never done that before. I assume it was to let everyone know it’s coming ” Watching the flashing lights of emergency vehicles on the Missouri side of the river, Adams’ wife, Margaret, said the 1997 barge explosion was in her mind whenever the fireworks burst low enough to reflect clearly off the water. “It was in all our heads. The low ones make you stop and think,” she said. Monica Bristow of Godfrey said she considered the possibility of problems but didn’t take it seriously. “I know they’ve taken a lot of precautions since then to make sure nothing happens.” Once the show started, all agreed it was one of the best they have ever seen in Alton as a colorful array of fireworks exploded across the sky. It was high praise from a group that said they all try to make the show every year. “It was a lot better than last year, a lot louder,” Bristow’s 12-year-old son, Danny, said. Joe Adams said he was impressed with the show and was glad the weather had cooperated. After the high heat of the afternoon, Adams was thankful for the steady, cooling breeze that blew as the show went on. During the day, crowds were H See SHOW, Page A-11 Agencies teamed up for safety By BARBARA M. COPE Telegraph staff writer Fatal blast lingers in court fight By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writerAH In the family Sunderland Motors celebrates 90 years of selling GMs Page D-1Wheels*Deals Hew palm to pick from Plymouth’s Prowler now comes in more colorsPage GI Fireworks light up the night sky over the Mississippi River Saturday^durm^t^MhSsX1!: Firewgrks Festival on the Alton riverfront.    tv    nr ‘Mr. Veteran’ devotes his life to those who fought in all wars Reg. *599oo SALE $27500 While They Last! ALTON — Several agencies came together to ensure public safety as crowds celebrated the Fourth of July under the rockets red glare Saturday night at the Mississippi River Festival. After a 1997 tragedy that cost three lives when a shell misfired, Assistant Fire Chief Bill Bellitto of the Alton Fire Department said every contingency was planned for. “We no longer allow water-based or hand-fired displays. All of the ordnances will be sequenced by an electronic panel behind a safety bunker,” Benito said. Employees of Central States Fireworks Co., from left, Jeff Johnston, Steve Rankin and Job Davis, load up mortars placed on the old railroad bridge approach in West Alton, Mo., for th Mississippi Fireworks Festival show Saturday night. EDWARDSVILLE - Two years after a fireworks barge exploded on the Alton riverfront, killing three men, litigation surrounding the tragedy is still tangled in court. Since the filing of the first of three lawsuits in December 1997, hardly a month has gone by without additional motions, amended motions or amendments to the amendments. “It is a complicated case,” said Madison County Circuit Judge Phillip J. Kardis, who is presiding. Three Chicago area men died July 3, 1997, during the annual city-sponsored fireworks show. The men were H See BLAST, Page A-11 By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer ALTON — On this Independence Day, Lou Landre thinks back to when he stormed the shores of France in the Normandy invasion of World War IL “The freedoms we enjoy today come from the sacrifice of young men and women from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam and the Gulf War,” said Landre, who was wounded twice in France. The 73-year-old, who lives in Godfrey, is affectionately called “Mr. Veteran” by veterans who know his friendly face across the state. Landre has a special place in his heart for veterans, said Floyd Fessler, commander of Alton VFW Post 1308. “Lou devotes his life to bring a little cheer, a kind word of encouragement to veterans in hospitals and nursing homes,” Fessler said. Landre was honored as “Illinois Veteran of the Year” in 1999 for his life work of fighting for the rights of veterans of all the wars. “If a disabled veteran needs a wheelchair, Lou will go and find one,” Fessler said. When World War II broke out, Landre was H See VETERAN, Page A-11 ... . . ...    ..    The    Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN World War ll veteran Lou Landre, 73, of Godfrey, is ‘Veteran of the Year,’ an honor from the Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars. ;