Low Resolution Image: Become a member to access this full resolution image at 375% higher quality.

OCR Text

Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - July 16, 1999, Alton, Illinois Put ■? rn ll J Kl K SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 SI Bon Public Links field down to eight Page B-l Day camp Pupils learn skills of leadership PageC-lGRAPH ? The outlook Partly sunny , hot and humid. High 91; low 72 Page IM ; Space to spare I Lewis Insurers i moves to larger j Alton office Page D-lVol. 164, No. 182 — 50 cents Friday, July 16,1999 www.thetelegraph.com Teen guilty of murdering By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Prosecutor Don Weber had three words to describe the suspect's account in an Alton killing: unbelievable, implausible and impossible. Jurors agreed, taking just three hours Thursday to find Corey Bell, 19, of St. Louis, guilty of two counts of first- Alton resident was fatally shot at Belle Manor degree murder in the April 14, 1998, killing of Troy Slack, 30, of Alton. The verdict was returned in Madison County Circuit Court. Bell was the back-seat passenger in a car with two other St. Louis area men who were in Alton trying to pass off soap as crack cocaine for $10 a buy. Slack flagged down the trio as he stood in the 300 block of Mitchell Street in the Belle Manor housing complex. A quarrel developed after Slack handed only $7 to driver Alfredo Jones. Slack then reached in to the vehicle to take back his money, and Jones slowly began driving away, with Slack grabbing at the steering wheel. Bell took a sawed-off 410-gauge shotgun from the back floorboard and fired it through the open front window, hitting Slack just below and to the rear of his right armpit, authorities said. Bell and his defense attorney, Marqua McGull-Billingsley of East St. Louis, argued that Slack had grabbed the gun, causing it to go off. The attorney said Bell was “reckless” and “stupid” but not guilty of murder. She asked the jury for a verdict of involuntary manslaughter. But through questioning of a medical expert, Weber was able to cast doubt on that theory because the angle of the shot seemed to show that Slack was turned away from the bolt-action shotgun when it was fired. ■ See TEEN, Page A-9 W$m What could privat| Ownership do to taxes? Astern Illinois Physicians a* and Surgeons Group, L..L.C. has held talks to purchase Wood River Township lospitai. Private ownership could eliminate ggJgS; J,    the    current    property    tax levy. Wood River Township Hospital tax rates* 1998 (current) .7457 1997    .5998 1996    .5001 1995    5001 an taxable property valuation Hospital taxes hinge on type of ownership Telegraph graphic/CRAIG WHITWORTH Western Illinois Physicians and Surgeons Group LLC of St. Louis is negotiating to buy the 50-year-old Wood River Township Hospital, but officials say that even private ownership would not guarantee that the hospital’s levy would disappear from tax bills. By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer WOOD RIVER - Residents are considering the possibility that future private ownership of Wood River Township Hospital could mean no more hospital levy on residents’ property tax bills. Western Illinois Physicians and Surgeons Group LLC of St. Louis is negotiating to buy the 50-year-old hospital. Both the Madison County Clerk’s Office and Erie Voyles, vice president of economic development for the River Bend Growth Association, said that even if the hospital came under private ownership, it would not guarantee that the hospital’s levy would disappear from tax bills. “In theory, there’s the possibility that a private management company could lease the assets owned by the hospital,” Voyles said. “Under that scenario, the taxpayers could still remain as owner of the building itself.” That is the case now. Wood River Township Hospital is managed by Brim Healthcare, a contracted management service. Dr. George R. Schoedinger III, founder of the Western Illinois Physicians and Surgeons Group, said it is too early in the sale negotiations to determine exactly what ■ See HOSPITAL, Page A-9 Man found guilty in mass murder By PAUL MACKIE Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A jury deliberated nearly six hours Thursday evening before finding a 27-year-old Venice man guilty of masterminding what is believed to be the worst mass murder in Madison County’s history. Shortly after IO p.m., Michael “Little Mike” Coleman heard the verdicts and turned around to mouth to his cousin, “Ifs cool.” Jurors in Madison County Circuit Court convicted Coleman of five counts of first-degree murder. He is set to be sentenced next week by Associate Judge James Hackett. The convictions mean Coleman automatically will serve a sentence of natural life in prison for the November 1993 execution-style slayings of Jeff Mosby, David Thompson, Marion Jennings, Bedford Jennings and Cedric Gardner in two trailers in the unincorporated Eagle Park area near Madison. While being led from the courtroom, Coleman said, “I’m innocent. (The state) had no physical evidence and coerced their witnesses.” Madison County State’s Attorney Keith Jensen said Coleman was the architect of a plan, hatched with accomplices Sherrell Towns and Remon Williams, both of East St. Louis, to steal drugs and money from Thompson. “They would prey on other drug dealers. Ifs easy money because they knew they would not get caught, and (the deal- ■ See MURDER, Page A-9 ESPN focuses on Publinx tourney Area/Illinois . .A-3,6,8 Bulletin Board A-7.C-4 Business D-1 Classifieds C-4 Comics D-5 Editorial  .....A-4 Horoscope D-5 Nation/world . .A-10 Obituaries A-5 Bach, Botterbush, Brooks, Fleigle, Fryman, Griffin, Kuethe, Long, Oiler Patterson, Slemer, Snedeker Scoreboard B-2 Stocks........D-2 Television.....D-7 By CORY A. PITT For The Telegraph ALTON — The “worldwide leader in sports” will direct its sights toward Alton this weekend. ESPN will televise the semifinals and finals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship from Spencer T. Olin Golf Course. Today’s broadcast will be from I to 3 p.m., and Saturday’s broadcast will run from 3 to 5 p.m. ESPN has 80 crew members on hand, and 80,000 feet of cable are stretched around the course for equipment operations. Some network crew members arrived as early as July 6 to prepare for the broadcast, which will use 12 cameras all over the course. Terry Brady, a free-lance operations director working on the broadcast for ESPN, said preparation started long before this month. “I came here for a site survey in May to see what we were looking at — how we were going to set up,” said Brady, whose crew worked a full rehearsal Thursday to prepare for the show. “We got here last week and started setting up. People here have been wonderful and have been willing to help us out with anything we need.” Millions of dollars worth of equipment is needed for such a broadcast, including three trucks, production equipment, cameras, cable, towers, satellites and hundreds of other utilities. Brady said he and his crew use area businesses for other needs of the crew, which The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES Steve Gall, a camera utility worker for ESPN, sets up the camera on the ninth hole at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course at Gordon Moore Park in Alton, where the national sports network will air the Amateur Public Links Championship. «"People here have been wonderful and I have been willing to help us out with anything we need.” helps everyone in the long run. “We always try and support people in the area we are in. It helps us expense-wise, and it is a way to give back to the community.” Will Bealke, a St. Louis free-lance television producer working for ESPN on the Terry Bradyoperations director for ESPN broadcast, said crews for these productions rely on the community. “We rely on the local people to show us around and help us out, easing our path in so many ways,” said Bealke, who arrived in Alton Tuesday. “There is always enthusiasm to have ESPN around. It’s a real subject of pride for locals, and they pay close attention to what we do.” Viewers across the country will learn about Alton through footage and vignettes prepared to supplement the broadcasts. Bealke said footage shot would include the River Road, the Lewis and Clark monument and other sites in Alton. “We’ll shoot various sites around Alton, and this just shows people the area and makes the show more entertaining,” Bealke said. Dave Nagle, an ESPN spokesperson, said the tourna- ■ See ESPN, Page A-9 ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Alton Telegraph