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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 28, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 Chez Marilyn Downtown Alton lounge unlike any others in the River Bend r PageD-l • i State track I Jersey sprinter i takes aim at home rn' Page B-lUG RAP* - . Tile outlook : Petting zoo    jj I Wallaby and other ' tows    : critters show Page D-10 i up for last day i of school Vol. 164, No. 133 — 50 cents Page C-l Friday, May 28,1999 www.thetelegraph.com$42.8 billion budget passes By STEVE WHITWORTH Telegraph staff writer State lawmakers from the area expressed satisfaction Thursday night as they headed home from the 1999 session of the Illinois Legislature. The Legislature gave overwhelming approval to a $42.8 billion state budget Thursday, even as most lawmakers were still seeing the first details of the deal struck by Gov. George Ryan and legislative leaders. Approval came with virtual ly no debate in a series of lopsided votes — several bills passed without a single opposing vote — as the Republican governor watched. Lawmakers then adjourned their spring session, which originally was scheduled to end last Friday. The budget package, including the $12 billion Illinois FIRST construction initiative, awaits Ryan’s signature. “It’s been a busy session, and it’s probably going to end up being a historic session," state Rep. Steve Davis, D- <4 A lot of good things have happened and come out of this session.”State Sen. Evelyn BowlesD-Edwardsville Bethalto said. “This governor did a heck of a job moving his agenda through the Legislature. There are people who have been up here a lot longer than I have who have never seen it be like this.” State Sen. Evelyn Bowles, D- Edwardsville, said this year’s legislative session was “totally different’’ than any other she has experienced. “I think ifs been a hard job," Bowles said “We’ve worked very hard. A lot of good things have happened and come out of this session I’m pleased to have been a part of it." State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, noted that the budget approved Thursday contains more than $500 million in new funding for elementary and higher education. The increase represents 51 percent of this year’s new state revenues. “It’s going to ensure providing additional funding for elementary and secondary education, as well as higher education," he said. “I think that is and should continue to be our state’s top priority.’’ Hoffman also pointed out the budget contains money to put IOO additional State Police officers on Illinois streets. “We also ensured that some ■ See BUDGET. Page A-11 Good Morning mhr.iliitf '• '    -    .JU Area/Illinois .A-3-12 Bulletin Board .A-8 Classifieds C-6 Comics D-5 Editorial ......A-4 Nation/world .. .D-8 Obituaries A-5 Beasley, Braundmeier, Bridgewater, Clark, Cooper, Ferris, Kelsey, Moore, Nelson, Pollock, Slavik, Stephenson, Volger, Weber, White Television D-7 .    The    Telegraph/RUSS    SMITH Wood River Park Department employees, from left, Drew Carr, Pat Keraghn and Jarrod Harrop work on attaching the diving boards to their platforms at the Wood River Aquatic Center. Aquatic Center opens Saturday By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer WOOD RIVER - The area’s most economical water park officially begins its season when the first visitor takes to the Wood River Aquatic Center slides at ll a.m. Saturday. Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Stassi said more than 38,000 people patronized the $2.5 million complex in 1998. “We’ll be open from ll a m. to 7 p.m. starting Saturday and will continue these hours of operation daily through Labor Day,” Stassi said. Stassi said the city-owned water park was built 15 years ago and includes a 322-foot slide, a 300-foot slide, a 600,000-gallon, 50-meter swimming pool and a diving well with one-meter and three-meter boards. A baby pool, an observation deck and a bathhouse are also part of the complex, at 670 Whitelaw Ave. “We are the best bargain of any water park in the area,” Stassi said. “Our goal is to keep this an affordable, enjoyable park for the whole family. We’ve just repainted the property and have overhauled the filtration systems on the slides and the pool, so we’re ready for a fantastic season.” Admission is $5 for adults 19 and older, $3 for youth ages 4 to 18, and $1 for children 3 and younger. Organizations can reserve the pool any evening from either 7:30 to 9 p.m. or from 9:30 to ll p.m., Stassi said. Disabled people can enjoy the Aquatic Center attractions thanks to a special lift that allows patrons to transfer from the chair to the lift then to the water slide or pool. “Our entire facility is handicapped accessible,” Stassi said. Clark promises to clean up site of gas station New owner’s opening delayed By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer COTTAGE HILLS - Clark Refining & Marketing is committed to remediating underground gasoline contamination at a service station it formerly owned at 220 MacArthur Boulevard, company officials said Thursday. Clark’s environmental manager, Maureen Turman, said the company will clean up the site, even though it no longer owns the station. The topic of the contamination arose at a May 25 meeting of the Wood River Township Board when the township’s attorney, Rodney Pitts, said he had hired an environmental safety consultant, Bill St. Peters of Safety Partners Ltd. Township officials denied a sewer tap application submitted by the station’s new owner, Y’s Choice, halting plans to open the expanded station and convenience store until the township s Board of Trustees is convinced that connecting the new operation to existing sewer lines won’t affect area residences. “We found an amount of contamination that is above the clean-up criterion established by the Illinois EPA and Clark,” Pitts said. "We’re telling the Clark Oil Co. we aren’t going to allow a sewer connection until their clean-up is complete.” «Tt’s definitely lnot impacting anyone’s drinkingwater.” Maureen Turman environmental manager for Clark Clark has been aware of the problem since 1991 and has talked to officials with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency about how to mitigate it. Such leaks commonly occur through normal usage of a gas station’s fuel tanks, Turman said. “It’s a natural occurrence due to regular instances through the years, such as customers driving off with the nozzle still in their vehicle, or through over-filling. “Our remediation option at this site is bioremediation, which means we leave the impacted soil where it is, and bacteria both in the soil and in the groundwater eats up the gas.” The process could take from one to four years, she said. Turman said that because the leak is not spreading, Cottage Hills residents are not ■ See CLARK. Page A-11 SunRise home gets By BARBARA M. COPE Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The SunRise Care & Rehabilitation nursing home, which has faced a litany of problems, cleared one more hurdle this week when it was declared fit as a fiddle. After a three-day inspection, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it had declared the home on University Drive in substantial compliance with all state and federal regulations for long-term care. The home faces termination of its Medicaid eligibility June 5. On May 6, a court denied SunRise a restraining order to keep the Medicaid benefits in place. Another survey was granted as an llth-hour measure. “We found them in substantial compliance,” Tom Schafer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said Thursday. “It will be up to (the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration) to make a determination what they want to do with the facility. We did our part, finishing the re-entry inspection yesterday.” This was the seventh on-site survey of the home, which previously had been cited for more than 40 violations of Medicare and Medicaid rules. As a result of the survey, Schafer said his agency will recommend to the HCFA that SunRise be allowed to participate in the Medicaid program. Saying that he had “every expectation” that the HCFA would reinstate the home’s eligibility, SunRise spokesman Todd Sandman said the credit for the successful survey belonged to the many staff members, patients and family members who had helped bring about the most recent inspection. “This is a great achievement. Now, we will move forward to apply for ■ See SUNRISE, Page A-11 clean bill of health The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES SunRise Care & Rehabilitation residents, from left, Joann Whatley, Charlie Webb and Jerry Welch talk with Rudy Michalek, regional manager, in the lobby of the nursing home in Edwardsville. ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Alton Telegraph