Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 24, 1999, Alton, Illinois
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Vol. 164, No. 68 — 50 centsWednesday, March 24,1999
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Clinton receives congressional OK for action against Yugoslavia
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) — NATO’s secretary-general ordered airstrikes against Yugoslavia on Tuesday, after President Slobodan Milosevic rebuffed a last-ditch peace offer for Kosovo and revved up his war machine by declaring a state of emergency.
In Washington, President Clinton sought — and got — support from congressional leaders for military action and gave a scathing description of Milosevic’s treatment of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
“If you don’t stand up to brutality and the killing of innocent civilians, you invite them to do more,” Clinton said
NATO chief Javier Solana did not say when attacks would start, but more than 400 aircraft from allied nations stood ready to begin bombing within days or hours. Half a dozen U.S. Navy ships were ready to launch cruise missiles.
“We must stop an authoritarian regime from repressing its people in Europe at the end of the 20th century.
We have a moral duty to do so. The responsibility is on our shoulders and we .will fulfill it,” Solana said in Brussels, Belgium.
In meetings Tuesday with Clinton administration officials, U.S. lawmakers said they were told the strikes .could come Tuesday night or Wednesday, depending on the weather, according to participants who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Citing an “imminent threat of war,” Yugoslavia declared a nationwide state of emergency — the first
since World War II — and began a massive mobilization of troops and equipment to keep its grip on Kosovo, a southern province where heavily armed government troops have been battling ethnic Albanian separatists for over a year.
Yugoslavia’s defense minister, Pavle Bulatovic, said early Wednesday that the country’s army and police units have already been dispersed to avoid casualties during
■ See NATO, Page A-11
Area train accidents arc rare
By LINDA N. WELLER
Telegraph staff writer
Accidents involving trains versus cars or trucks or pedestrians make big news because they occur infrequently.
The latest such headline-grabber occurred recently at Bourbonnais in northeastern Illinois, when Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans” hit a flatbed truck loaded with steel rods crossing the tracks, killing ll train passengers. More than IOO people were injured.
One witness claims the truck driver drove around the crossing gates; a congressional hearing on the cause of the accident is scheduled for Thursday in Washington, D.C.
From time to time, a Telegraph-area resident dies in such an accident, but many more are killed in car crashes. A number of train fatalities in the past eight years have involved the fast-moving Amtrak trains.
Local police also say it is unusual for law enforcement officials to spot motorists disobeying flashing red train lights or going around safety gates.
“I haven’t seen anyone arrested in a long time” for train-crossing violations, said Sgt. Bill Brave of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department’s Godfrey substation.
Occasionally, citizens will report people driving around gates on Tolle Lane in Godfrey, where 79-mph Amtrak trains whiz through the intersection.
Usually, those reports are related to malfunctions of the crossing gates, Brave said. By the time a sheriff’s deputy arrives, the violators are long gone.
“None of our people have observed it happen, even if it is a malfunction,” he said. “People haven’t been stupid
■ See TRAIN, Page A-11
The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH
Cars pass over the railroad tracks on Tolle Road in Godfrey between Godfrey Road and Humbert Road.
Internet 1 can cause variety of problems
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Telegraph staff writer
EDWARDSVILLE - They are questions that are increasingly being asked among the Internet set:
“How private is the content of your computer, and how liable are you for it?’
Last week, William Shewmaker, the former chief of police in East Alton, was charged with possession of child pornography. Federal authorities say he received it over the Internet willingly, but he claims it was sent to him without his permission.
Both scenarios are possible in this enlightened age of computer transmission, authorities say.
“If they have your e-mail address, they can send you anything,” said Paul Nuernberger, a computer technician in Edwardsville.
Computer experts acknowledge there is growing concern about the availability of pornography and other poten-
■ See INTERNET, Page A-11
Group wants to extinguish smoking among teen-agers
By CURTISS HARTLEY
Special to The Telegraph
. COLLINSVILLE - Local teenagers want to close a loophole in a law that prohibits minors from buying cigarettes yet allows them to smoke if they have them.
The three-year-old Madison County Youth Board has set its sights on persuading the Madison County Board to support countywide ordinances banning teen smoking. The board is using an existing East Alton ordinance, the only one in the county, as a model.
the goal, board members said, is not to punish teens who smoke but to cut down on the number of teens who do.
“Pecisions made by our peers about whether to use tobacco or not have lifelong consequences,” said Terry Swalley, who represented the youth board at a news conference Tuesday morning in Collinsville. Swalley, 15, is a sophomore at Triad High School and
the activities coordinator of the youth board.
“Tobacco is a gateway drug, meaning it leads to experimenting with other drugs,” Swalley said.
“Teen smoking is also associated with crime, abuse, job loss, truancy and other risky behaviors,” he said.
“Today, we are asking every community in Madison County to consider adopting a teen smoking ordinance" like the one in East Alton, Swalley said. “Many communities, including the ones where we stand today, continue to allow teen smoking with virtually no restriction.”
Amy Yeager is an adult sponsor of the board. She said she draws on the success of the East Alton ordinance as proof that it works.
“They stopped a kid on the street for smoking, and before they had a chance to tell him why they stopped him, he started admitting to a lot of
■ See SMOKING, Page A-11
Gilson Brown School fifth-grade student Adam Roberts, 10, tries on the mask he made in class Tuesday during a self-esteem project conducted by Saint Anthony’s Health Center. The program was “Behavioral Health” and the theme for the day was “Who is Your Hero.” The students made masks to represent their heroes. Each grade level is involved in different activities in the once-a-month program.
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