Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 3, 1999, Alton, Illinois
CARLINVILLE - Ronald J. Hansen was sentenced Tuesday to years behind bars for the drunken driving deaths of his cousin and his girlfriend.
His failure to follow up on alcohol abuse treatment was one of the factors in the sentencing, Circuit Judge Joseph Koval said Tuesday.
“His own conduct has not improved his situation,” Koval said just before sentencing Hansen to 4*6 years in the Department of Corrections, including two years’ supervised release, on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence.
Koval pointed out that testimony at a sentencing hearing last month showed that not only did Hansen fail to attend treatment since the fatal crash, but he was also caught drinking and being in possession of alcohol.
“We will see if the penitentiary can do for you something you cannot do for yourself,” Koval said, adding that he will urge that the department get Hansen into an alcoholism treatment program.
Hansen had pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence. He had a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 percent on Nov. 26, 1997, when the car he was driving ran off the road and hit a tree, killing his cousin, Theresa L. Cannedy, 18, of Bethalto, and his girlfriend, Robin M. Miller, 19, of rural Jerseyville.
Macoupin County State’s Attorney
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Page D*1Kendall Hill resumes talks with Wood River
Contract up but fire service continues
By DARRYL HOWLETT
Telegraph staff writer
KENDALL HILL - Officials representing the Kendall Hill subdivision are negotiating again with the city of Wood River for fire protection services.
Negotiations had stopped when Kendall Hill board members rejected Wood River’s Jan. 19 proposal. Wood River City Manager Thomas Christie said the contract ran out Sunday but that the Wood River Fire Department is maintaining services until May I.
Kendall Hill must either sign a new contract with Wood River by that time or acquire services from another fire department.
“I have been asked by one of the (Kendall Hill representatives) about the full cost for both fire protection and EMS services,” Christie said.
Christie said the basic problem between Kendall Hill and the city is that Kendall Hill would like to continue both EMS and fire protection services at the same annual cost
“We simply can’t do that,” Christie said. “It’s not fair to our residents who have to pay the costs for both fire protection and EMS.”
Wood River says it can provide only fire protection for $12,000. EMS service would be additional. Christie said he would present the costs for both services to Kendall Hill by next week.
Roxana Mayor Kay Spencer told The Telegraph that representatives from Kendall Hill
have contacted the village.
“The fire department has been contacted, but the actual Board (of Trustees) has not,” she said. “To me, it isn’t a serious proposal until they bring it to the board.”
Some Kendall Hill residents are questioning why residents were not notified of the possibility of losing their fire protection by the Board of Trustees for the Kendal Hill Fire District.
“I prefer having the Wood River Fire Department,” said resident Del Sabolo, 62.
■ See KENDALL, Page A-7
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Vol. 164, No. 47 — 50 cents_ Wednesday, March 3,1999_www.thetelegraph.comDerr gets 30 years in slaying
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Telegraph staff writer
EDWARDSVILLE - John Derr was sentenced to 30 years Tuesday for the 1992 murder of the former manager of Geno’s 140 Club in Bethalto.
Defense attorneys say they plan an immediate appeal and will seek to overturn the verdict because of errors they feel
Appeal planned in conviction for fatal beating
were made by the judge and the prosecutor.
Derr’s wife, Frances, wept as he was placed in handcuffs and led from the third-floor courtroom of Associate Judge Ann Callis. Derr, of Granite City, had tears in his eyes.
The victim’s widow, Jean Oberbeck, also cried as she hugged her 9-year-old son.
“I’m excited and glad it’s over with,” she said as she left the courtroom. She had testified that
the loss of her husband, Dennis, has been hard on her and her son financially and physically.
Dennis Oberbeck of Bethalto was killed Aug. 14,1992, at Derr’s former home in Granite City. According to trial testimony, Derr met up with Oberbeck earlier that evening at Geno’s 140 Club and was apparently upset about money Oberbeck owed him. After the killing, Derr dumped the body behind a house along
Riverview Boulevard in St. Louis.
Authorities have said that Derr beat Oberbeck to death with his fists. But defense attorney Thomas Hildebrand maintains that Oberbeck’s 0.39 percent blood-alcohol level was “toxic” enough to make it a contributing factor.
A jqry on Nov. 19 found Derr, 40, guilty of one count of felony murder based on robbery and one count of felony murder based on intimidation. He was also found guilty of involuntary
■ See DERR, Page A-7
A Dr. Seuss Day
Cats in hats abound as schools mark birthday of children’s author
By ANGELA MUELLER
Telegraph staff writer
BETHALTO — Dr. Seuss was on the loose Tuesday at Bethalto East Elementary School.
The school held a daylong celebration of the 95th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of popular children favorites such as “Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”
The celebration was part of Read Across America Day sponsored by the National Education Association.
The day started with a classic Seuss breakfast of green eggs and ham served in the cafeteria while Principal Harold Barnhart read the story of the famous dish. A raffle was held during breakfast for two of the signature Seuss red- and white-striped hats and IO $5 coupons for the school’s book fair.
Throughout the day, district administrators, as well as parents and community volunteers, stopped in to enjoy Seuss stories with the pupils.
Dennis Rucker, district superintendent, read “The Cat in the Hat”
to the pupils while wearing the signature red- and white-striped hat.
Classes at Bethalto East took part in activities focusing on Dr. Seuss stories. After reading “Bartholomew' and the Ooblek,” kindergarten and first-grade pupils made ooblek, a combination of corn starch, water and food coloring.
First-grade teacher Mary Masterson said her pupils were able to learn about science and cooperation while making the ooblek.
“They learned about the different properties of matter because the ooblek looks one way and feels another,” Masterson said. “They also learned cooperative learning when they taught the kindergartners how to make it.”
Laura Oesterle, one of Masterson’s first-graders, liked making ooblek for different reasons.
“I liked it because it’s gross, and I like doing messy things.”
Third-graders made Dr. Seuss hats out of paper bags during art
■ See SEUSS, Page A-7
Driver gets 2V2 years for deaths
By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT
Telegraph staff writer
■ See DRIVER, Page A-7
The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN An excited Katlyn Slayden, 6, a first-grader at Bethalto West Elementary School, waits to surprise her classmates Tuesday by being The Cat in the Hat, and, at left, Jamie Pullen reads a Dr. Seuss book to her class of third-graders at South Roxana Elementary School. Both schools were observing Dr. Seuss’ birthday.