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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 27, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 fTHE TELEGRAPH terad returns John Ducey named 1 Marquette boys basketball coach -Sh i ti Page B-l The outlook    _    _ Mostly sunny and    ; SIUE Students to warner. High 80;    j perform‘You I Ca Page IXJ :an’tTakeIt With You’ Vol. 164, No. 132 — 50 cents Thursday, May 27,1999 www.thetelegraph.comHouse passes HIHO reform By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The Illinois House approved an HMO reform package Wednesday, and sources talked about wrapping up a highly productive session today if lawmakers can agree on final budget figures “Ifs been wonderful as far as the Metro East is concerned,” state Rep Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, said. He noted that it was difficultCouncil OKs porn shop limits By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON - The City Council voted Wednesday night to restrict adult entertainment businesses and bookstores to areas zoned for manufacturing. Aldermen also agreed to limit the number of pawn shops in the city to three, which may be amended later to four shops. The ordinance limiting adult shops, live entertainment and peep shows passed with a 6-1 vote. Alderman Joe Maher Jr., 3rd Ward, cast the nay vote. "We have enough laws on the books now to keep them out,” Maher said. Among provisions in the ordinance are that “sexually oriented” businesses cannot exist within 1,000 feet of schools, nurseries or day care centers, cemeteries, parks, playgrounds, religious institutions, public housing or other sexually oriented businesses. The ordinance also restricts signage and requires notices to be posted that say no one under the age of 18 can enter the businesses. There are no adult businesses in the city, but officials said they want to be prepared in the event someone wanted to open such a shop. Alderman Gary Fleming, 6th Ward, introduced the resolution restricting pawn shops to three in the city; Alton now has three. ■ See PORN, Page A-9 to vote for increased fees under Gov. George Ryan’s Illinois FIRST program but insisted the vote was necessary to get millions of dollars of stalled infrastructure projects under way. State Rep. Steve Davis, D-Bethalto, said some major bills were pending as of Wednesday afternoon. The bond issues Ryan asked for in connection with Illinois FIRST had yet to pass, and Davis said they were not a sure bet. State Sen. Evelyn Bowles, D- « Comething has got to Obe done.” State Rep. Steve Davis D-Bethalto Edwardsville, said there was talk of staying over until Friday. “If that happens, some of us are going to have a clothes problem Most of us only packed enough for three days,” she said. Davis pointed out that anything can happen when law makers are cutting deals to see how much they can bring home to their districts. The HMO package approved by the House would enable people to get emergency medical treatment without prior approval and to appeal HMO decisions. The 115-0 vote sends the measure to the Senate for action today. Davis said he favors stringent reform of health maintenance organizations because the companies have been slow to provide the benefits that members have paid for. “You can’t get any money out of them,” he said. “Something has got to be done.” Bowles said she agreed. “Absolutely, positively; we need reform,” she said. Lawmakers long have debated restrictions on health maintenance organizations, disagreeing over whether customers should be able to sue ■ See HMO, Page A-9 New railroad crossing barrier malfunctions Truck hit by net after crossing tracks By KERRY SMITH and STEVE WHITWORTH Telegraph staff writer HARTFORD — State transportation officials and railroad employees are trying to work out the bugs with an experimental railroad crossing safety device in Hartford that deployed accidentally, damaging a tanker truck. The incident occurred about 2 p m Tuesday at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing on Hawthorne Street, where the $400,000 device, known as a vehicle arresting barrier, is being tested by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The system actually uses two of the devices, which consist of steel-netted safety barriers that drop down on either side of the tracks to prevent vehicles from going around the crossing gates when a train is approaching. The driver of the tanker, Dale Walters, acted properly in driving across the tracks because the signal lights and crossing gates had not been activated, said Patrolman Bill Robertson of the Hartford Police Department. However, an unexplained malfunction caused the system to activate as the truck crossed the tracks, said Martha Schiebel, an IDOT spokeswoman. She said the net on the far side of the tracks « TI7e don’t VV know the specifics of what set it off.” Martha Schiebel IDOT spokeswoman deployed, touching the top of the truck as it descended. Walters was not injured, and his truck sustained only minor damage. “Something tripped it off,” Schiebel said. “The railroad people are out there checking it out to see what activated the signal system. We don’t know the specifics of what set it off or why it was only set off on one side.” The activation system is tied in to the existing grade crossing protection system, which includes the crossing arms, signal bells and signal lights, Schiebel said. She said the devices all work in synchronization when a train approaches to activate the warning system. Schiebel noted it is not unusual for railroad crossing signals to activate when there is no train approaching. "Every once in a while, a ■ See BARRIER, Page A-9 In the groove The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Oma Locke, a resident of United Methodist Village in Godfrey, has some fun Wednesday in an impromptu aerobics class with physical therapist Karen Ronan! of Alton Memorial Hospital. In the background are Marjorie Kucor, left, and Myrtle Little. The class was part of the health fair at United Methodist Village. Story, Page A-7. Area/Illinois . .A-3-8 Bulletin Board .A-6 Business D-1 Classifieds C-5 Comics.......D-5 Editorial ......A-4 Horoscope D-5 Nation/world . .A-10 Obituaries A-5 Andoe, Clark, Grady, Lowe, Manus, Messick, Moore, Nelson, Riffey, Rodenbaugh, Weber Stocks........D-2 Television C-4Police to be on lookout for unbuckled children By BETHANY BEHRHORST Telegraph staff writer State and local police hope residents will buckle under to the pressure of the zero tolerance campaign leading to Memorial Day. Operation America Buckles Up Children Mobilization will swing into full force this weekend. Law enforcement officers will stop cars in which children are not wearing safety belts or secured in child safety seats. “It is time for zero tolerance because, despite laws requiring children to ride buckled up in Illinois and in every state, six out of IO children killed in crashes are unbuckled,” said Capt. Diana Sievers, commander of Illinois State Police District ll, which has its headquarters in Collinsville. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that nearly 19 million more Americans wear seat belts since two mobilization campaigns were held in 1998. Through the campaigns, agencies hope to curb the number of children killed or crippled during car accidents and crashes. “Nothing is more devastating to an officer than breaking the news to parents that their child has been killed or critically injured,” Sievers said. “Enforcement not only works but will also spare families a lifetime of pain and regret.” More than 6,000 police agencies nationwide are working to spread the word and write out tickets for offenders this weekend. In the Midwest, more ■ See CHILDREN, Page A-9 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Stefnee Wilson of Alton straps her 8-month-old son, Rylee, into a child safety seat in the back seat of her car after shopping for groceries on the Homer Adams Parkway. ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Alton Telegraph