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View Sample Pages : Alton Telegraph, November 20, 1999

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - November 20, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836TM I T    KSK AH Home and stare Woman restores house across from her antiques shop Page Cl,DI The outlook Mostly sunny and cool; High 54, low 43 PageD6 College hoops No. 17 Illinois wins opener Page Bl Vol. 164, No. 309 - 50 centsSaturday, November 20, 1999 www.thetelegraph.comBey Farm accord reached Union may take ratification vote this weekend By STEVE WHITWORTH Telegraph staff writer GODFREY - A tentative agreement was reached Friday night to settle the four-month-old strike by union employees against Beverly Farm Foundation, said union members and an official with the home for developmentally disabled adults. The agreement between Beverly Farm Foundation and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 was confirmed by Beverly Farm’s assistant executive director, Martha Warford, who said negotiators for both sides had met face-to-face Friday. The session followed a scheduled negotiating    session Wednesday. “I believe there is supposed to be a ratification vote (by AFSCME members) this weekend," Warford said. In a statement faxed to The Telegraph    late Friday, AFSCME    Council 31 announced the tentative contract agreement. The statement said members of AFSCME Local 3784 and the Beverly Farm Foundation Board would vote on ratification of the proposed contract, but details of the proposal wouldn’t be released until after both sides had voted. If ratified, the striking employees could begin returning to work Tuesday, the statement said. Jerry Kennedy of Alton, a member of the union’s Local ■ See BEV, Page A7 Teen found guilty of murder Defendant sobs as he leaves courtroom Santa Claus led the procession of the first cars through the annual Celebration of Christmas at Rock Spring Park Friday. By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVkLLE Madison County Circuit Court jurors found an Alton teen-ager guilty of first-degree murder Friday afternoon. Gregory Greer, 17, was found guilty of a single count of “felony mudder,” one related to armed violence, in the Jan. 2 killing of Courtney J. Stevenson, 29, of Godfrey. He was acquitted on a second felony murder count, alleging he committed robbery during the crime. Before the start of closing arguments Friday, Assistant State’s Attorney Don Weber withdrew a simple first-degree murder count that would have allowed the jury the option of convicting Greer of involuntary manslaughter. That tactic left the jury only with the choice to acquit or convict on the remaining murder counts. Panel members spent just three hours in deliberation. Under the doctrine of felony murder, a pros- Wonderland of color ■ See MURDER, Page A7 Family sues over fatal car and horse collision By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - The family of a couple killed last year when their car hit a roaming horse in Jersey County is laying the blame on a stable operation and three taverns. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed this week in Madison County Circuit Court, naming as defendants The Horse Barn Inc., near Grafton; Harris Tavern in Godfrey ; and Singer’s Tavern and Wild Goose Saloon, both in Grafton. The owners of each operation also are named Filing the suit is Patricia Breeden, administrator of the estate of her late daughter, Christie McGiffen, and Stephanie McGiffen, the ■ See HORSE, Page A7 land’ Downtown Area/Illinois......................A3 Bulletin Board....................A6 Classifieds.......................CS Comics..........................05 Editorial.........................A4 Horoscope..............  05 Nation/world.....................A8 Obituaries........................A5 Bonafede, Campbell, Davis, Geers, Johnson, Kovach, Leonard, Overstreet, Sager, Schweppe, Smith, Stone, Volentine Scoreboard......................C2 Stocks..........................D2 Television.......................C2 Rock Spring Park comes to light for season _    .....    . I m <1 Mi I IL. ____21.1. l-i .f 12 n..t    ..m.lrinn luitVi tVio lirjVltc ” By ANGELA MUELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — A flip of a switch and a blaze of colorful Christmas lights ushered the holiday season into the city of Alton during Friday evening’s opening ceremony for the eighth annual Celebration of Christmas at Rock Spring Park. At 5:30 p.m., Billie Killam, wife of the late Don Killam, and her family flipped the switch that turned on the 1.75 million red, green, blue, yellow and white lights, transforming the park into a wonderland of color. Don Killam was a member for many years of the Grandpa Gang, a group of volunteers who assist in hanging up the lights each year. Killam died in October. “It’s pretty special for us to be involved in this,” Killam’s son Karl said. “My dad spent a lot of time out here working with the lights.” During the 30-minute opening ceremony, the Colonial Fife and Drum Corps played classic Christmas carols such as “Joy to the World,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “The First Noel.” Alton Alderman Charlie Brake, 5th Ward, and Commissioner George Helden of the Alton Parks and Recreation I See COLOR, Page A7 ‘Sparkling tree in Santa Claus By ANDE YAKSTIS Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Ten-year-old Chanel Deshotel stared with amazement at the giant Christmas tree that suddenly began to glow with 4,000 lights Friday night on Lincoln-Douglas Square in Downtown Alton. “It looks like a sparkling tree in Santa Claus land,” said Chanel, who gazed at the dazzling display of bright lights on the tall TM cf TTI Vk <5 tfPP Hundreds of parents and children braved a cold, windy night on the historic square to watch the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree to start the holiday shopping season in the stores of Alton. Alton-Godfrey Rotary Club President Curt Martin and the voices of hundreds of children counted “one, two, three,” and suddenly the green and gold tree began to sparkle with thousands of white lights.    _________ ■ See TREE, Page A7 Britt a Moyer, 4, was head and shoulders above the crowd as she watched the lighting of the city Christmas tree at Lincoln Douglas Square from the shoulders of her father, Don Moyer, Friday night. The family is from Alton. ;