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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - March 28, 1999, Alton, Illinois CSM CI TRI I KS what to do with ax refund? pf, y Four Flags 3L1ICK* PONTIAC Motors. Inc 3800 V-6, Pwr sunroof, seat, cass, & CD & much more. *AII sales prices include ail incentives, Tax, license, doc fees < Wondering yourls Use it to get a dependable vehicle & re-built your credit! Just call toll tree & apply 24 hours a day for a new or pre-owned vehicle loan using your touch-tone phone orappiy on the internet. IT •' VT idle Area/Illinois A-3,8,9 Bulletin Board .A-7 Business D-1 Classifieds C-3 Editorial ......A-4 Horoscope D-8Nation/world .A-10,12 Obituaries A-5 Fundel, Gardner, Halloran, Kelsy, Maguire, Roth, Schmitt, Wheeler Scoreboard B-2 Stocks........D-2 Weather D-10 Family contests teen’s suspension over theft By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer BETHALTO - The family of one of the students charged with stealing yard signs for school board candidates last weekend is contesting his suspension from the Civic Memorial High School baseball team. Ann Ballesteros, her son Jason and the Ballesteroses’ attorney, Edward Unsell, met Wednesday with school officials to discuss Jason Ballesteros’ two-week suspension. The Ballesteroses claim Jason is innocent of the theft a^Phis is not about baseball, it’s not I about football, it’s not about any ball. It’s about clearing my son’s good name.” charges filed against him and should not be punished until his guilt is proven in court. He plans to plead not guilty at his April 16 court date. _ Civic Memorial’s athletic handbook states that any student “guilty of any act of vandalism or conduct unbecoming a squad member will not be allowed to participate in a contest for a period of two weeks.” Unsell and Ann Ballesteros acknowledge    Jason Ballesteros, 18, was present when the political signs for incumbent school board members were stolen but claim the teen-ager did not take part in the action. “Jason messed up, but I don’t feel he was guilty,” Ann Ballesteros said. “He was a passenger in the vehicle, that’s all. He’s always been a good kid.” In a letter to Superintendent Dennis Rucker, Unsell wrote that Ballesteros’ “exact involvement or degree of culpability at this time has yet to be determined.” Ann Ballesteros mother Unsell, in a statement to The Telegraph, suggested that punisnment should be delayed until after Ballesteros’ court appearance. “If a judge decides he’s guilty, then punish him.” Unsell told The Telegraph that school officials decided to maintain the suspension after the meeting Wednesday. Rucker declined to comment about the meeting, citing regulations prohibiting school officials from discussing student discipline cases. Ann Ballesteros plans to contest the suspension before ■ See THEFT, Page BF ot« $283: Coupons and special offers I inside most editions I Sports Hun there were two fMii I _ .... _ __ vol. 164, No. 72    Serving    The River Bend Since 1836    March    28,1*99 minium ■ ll WTKinryrT—-* » —n-~rr —nm—r—rarrr-r----—~  — ■ >- < mnmm—«■— «■.«. -n—**> ; ,    mw.'.-. Budget: $18.3 million Hearings on proposal begin Monday have $3.5 million in the reserve fund; we are trying to maintain three months’ operating expenses in the reserve fund.” Charleston said he is proposing the city transfer $403,000 of gambling boat tax revenues from the general fund to the more protected reserve fund That fund earns about $16,000 per month in interest, he said. Another $4.2 million in the budget is earmarked for the law enforcement facility fund. However, Charleston said he would like to see the proposed $10 million police station reduced in price to $5 million or $6 million, He said he would like to save money for the station by periodically moving cash from the general fund to the law enforcement fund instead of issuing bonds. Hearings on the city’s proposed budget will be held at 7 p.m. Monday and Wednesday in the Alton City Council chambers, 101 E Third St. The first session will deal with all city offices except the police and fire departments; those .departments’ budgets will be up for discussion on Wednesday’s agenda. The budget is up from $17,076,942 in 1998, when rev- ■ See BUDGET, Page A-11 Duke togo up against UConn for national title Page R*1 By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — The city’s proposed $18.3 million budget for next fiscal year once again is being buoyed by grant money and tax revenue from the Alton Belle Casino. “We have a balanced budget of expenses and anticipated revenue,” Comptroller Al Charleston said. “We also ■ See TOWNS, Page A-11 The outlook Cloudy with chance of rain. High 59; low 42 Page IMO Towns grew with firms Tooling up Lenhardt Tool and Die builds future on hard work of the past Page D-1 A color guard made up of members of local fire departments escorted the casket of former Alton Fire his funeral Saturday in Alton. Firefighters salute their By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first part of a series about the economic impact of industries — particularly oil refineries — on area communities. WheelsaDeals Knock, knock Saturn gives car buyers a new door to open Page C-l The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Capt. Glenn Walters Sr. at ‘hero’ ALTON — A contingent of firefighters from several departments around Illinois saluted retired Alton Fire Capt. Glenn Walters Sr. for the final time Saturday. It was a solemn tribute to a man who fought for years for collective bargaining rights for firefighters. City officials, firefighters, friends and family remembered Walters’ dedication to the labor struggle. “Glenn fought the battles others didn’t want to,” said a tearful Capt. James McFarlane of the Alton Fire Department, president of Local 1255 of the International Association of Firefighters. “Glenn taught me how to represent firefighters and how to fight for an issue. He taught me patience and acceptance and to never give up,” McFarlane said. “I know I’m a better person because of Glenn Walters. “He went beyond the call of duty; he is my hero. I’m going to miss Glenn; I wish ■ See HERO, Page A-11 By DARRYL HOWLETT Telegraph staff writer Relationships are formed to provide two or more parties with something worthwhile and lasting. The benefits can be social or economical. In the case of four communities in the River Bend, it’s a combination of both. Three refineries and one metal manufacturing plant helped to give birth to those communities. As the River Bend stands on the verge of the 21st century, some refineries no longer are operating, while other companies have drastically reduced the revenues the towns once received. The coming years could bring both anxiety and uncertainty between the companies and the families living in the towns. LaWanda Smith, president of the Wood River Museum and Visitors Center, collects memorabilia from the old Amoco Oil refinery, which closed in 1980. She frequently informs visitors about the beginning of the oil refinery. “The owners originally The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Walters’ casket is taken to the cemetery on the back of an Alton Fire Department truck. ;