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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 30, 1999, Alton, Illinois www.thetelegraph.com Sports Big Mac sits out as Cardinals fall to the Cubs Page B-l ti ■ 'I- SUNDAY KI.EGRAPII Vol. IM, No. 135 Serving The River Bend Since 1836 flMIWIMnril"l>*a,i,il**,llll*,i,liilTT^r^TiwTriwiwwnwnwwwrwwiTrgfrwnTMwn»Rtfttirii'rt iMwwiRMiriiMMM————i—n       ,* May 30,1999    $1.50 FIRST to flood area with funds By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — The Illinois Legislature’s approval last week of a $12 billion public works package will mean a windfall for Alton and surrounding towns. Once Gov. George Ryan signs the “Illinois FIRST” bill, projects large and small will get the funding they need to become a reality. In past weeks, news reports have touted the big projects: $280 million for the Alton Bypass from Wood River to U.S. 67 in Godfrey; $500,000 for the redevelopment of the abandoned Owens-Illinois property; and $5 4 million for constructing an amphitheater and other improvements at Riverfront Park in Alton. “The funds from Illinois FIRST will help us get a lot of work done on Riverfront Park,” Alton Mayor Don Sandidge said. “Right in the center of Riverfront Park, there will be a fountain,” the mayor said. “It will be converted into an ice skating rink in the winter time." The amphitheater will have a seating capacity of 3,000 to 4,000, Sandidge said "The land surrounding the seating area will be terraced so people can sit on the grass," he said. “We’re hoping we can get some good entertainment in the community and try to get something going on down there every weekend — bluegrass, country and western, ■ See FUNDS, Page A-11 WllKimllKUM Nation/World........A-9,10 Obituaries.................A-5 Bierbaum, Cauley, Cipriano, Elliott, Green, Harrison, Hefley, Miller, Perica, Pollock, Scoggins, Smith, Stubblefield, Walker, Weber, Whitlock Scoreboard...............B-2 Legislation would keep school buses on the road to safety ii Aur children are our v/most precious gift. We need to do whatever we can to transport our children to school safely and to protect them once they arrive.” By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - School buses in Illinois may be a little safer, thanks to legislation passed recently by the General Assembly. The new laws would increase restrictions on people who may be issued a school bus driver’s permit, require safety strobe lamps and crack down on bus drivers with any amount of alcohol in their bloodstream. The legislation was sponsored by state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville. “Our children are our most precious gift. We need to do whatever we can to transport our children to school safely and to protect them once they arrive,” Hoffman said. Hoffman said he sponsored the legislation after Jesse White, the new Illinois secre- Rep. Jay Hoffman D-Collinsville tary of state, spotted some weaknesses in the existing bus safety laws. One of the bills automatically disqualifies people convicted of certain crimes from being issued bus driver’s permits. The law already precludes some felons from getting such a license, but the new bill adds to the list of felonies that result in the automatic disqualification. Those banned from receiv ing permits would include people convicted of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child, reckless homicide of an unborn child, criminal transmission of HJV, ritualized abuse of a child, aggravated robbery and several other crimes. “Obviously, certain individuals who are convicted of these heinous crimes have broken the public trust and cannot ■ See BUS, Page A-11 Carved in stone Alton Memorial Sales leaves their mark on area’s monuments larger cars Saturn’s new Lseriesgoes head-to-head with bigger PageC-l The outlook Mostly cloudy with thunderstorms; high near 83, low near 64 Page ELIO Area/Illinois...............A-3 Bulletin Board A-12 Business...................D-1 Classifieds................C-5 Editorial.....................A-5 Regional park plan growing Legislation OKs tax referendum to fund district By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer Backers of a regional park and trails district said their dream of a string of parks stretching from Jersey County through five counties in Illinois and six counties in Missouri came a step closer with legislation passed earlier this month in the Illinois Legislature. The legislation allows county boards to place referendums on the ballot for a 0.1-cent sales tax to fund a metropolitan park district. State Reps. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, and Ron Stephens, R-Troy, sponsored the legislation in the Illinois House. State Sen. James Clayborne, D-East St. Louis, was the Senate sponsor. Backers envision using the funds to develop and maintain a network of interconnected parks in the Metro East area and to improve local parks and recreation facilities. Parks along the rivers tend to fit naturally into a scheme of linear parks, connected by a series of trails, said Bob Hall, executive director of Gateway Parks and Trails 2004. “Rivers tend to be a natural conduit for interconnected parks, and this area is honeycombed with an awful lot of rivers," Hall said. He said the connections are expected to encourage more people to use the parks. About half the money from the sales tax would fund the ■ See PARK, Page A-11 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Rescue workers rush driver Robby Gordon to an ambulance on turn four of Gateway International Raceway in Madison after his car crashed into the wall early in the annual Motorola 300. Below: Fans had plenty to see with at least two crashes early in the race. More on the Motorola 300 in Sports, Page B-1. Fans help rev up Motorola 300 By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer MADISON - The Budweiser Clydesdales setting a record for the slowest lap around Gateway International Raceway was just one of the many strange and wonderful sights aside from the actual Motorola 300 race Saturday. Fans showed up early to walk through the infield, pit and garage areas of the 1.27-mile track in Madison to see whether they could spot one of their favorite drivers and get an autograph. “I got Michael Andretti’s autograph,” said Ed Stuertz, displaying the illegible scrib ble on the chest of his T-shirt. “You can’t read it, but ifs his autograph.” His souvenir gained significance at the end of the race when Andretti finished first. Stuertz sat high in the stands with his son, Michael Stuertz, 6, who alternated attention to the race with doodling on a note pad. Michael also is a NASCAR stock car fan, as apparently were most of those in the crowd at Gateway. Michael’s favorite is the Winston Cup’s Jeff Gordon. Colorful T-shirts extolling NASCAR drivers, NHRA drag racing, “co-ed naked beer ■ See FANS, Page A-11 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Sami Mitchell, 12, of Alton works on her chalk drawing of a Teletubbie on Third Street in downtown Alton Saturday during a sidewalk art contest. See story, Page A-3. 24' ROUND POOL PACKAGE *1499 Installation Available “ We Salute the Veteran’s on Memorial Day “ In Groundllantis ’1^Hl,„A„aTar,    16x32 P®S! -mis 466-530! ligj »54" $ 11,999.°° ;

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