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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - October 6, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 A son ~ Redbirds finish first in Class AA Regional Page Cl Today s Fooo Temperance invites chocolate indulgence The Outlook Mostly sunny and mild. High near 69; low near 52 Page Bl Page D8 Paintings mix with desserts Vol. 164, No. 263 - 50 cents Bank bandit suspect caught By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A Bethalto man was charged Tuesday with robbing a bank branch in Holiday Shores, and investigators said a large amount of the money taken in the robbery was recovered from the home where he was arrested. Deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and FBI agents spent the night interviewing informants, who gave them the identity of the suspect in Monday’s armed bank robbery, said Capt. Robert Hertz, chief deputy for the sheriff’s department. After the suspect was identified by an informant, agents and deputies obtained a search warrant for a home in the 600 block of Morgan Street in Bunker Hill, where they found the suspect and the money Tuesday morning. The exact amount of money recovered wasn’t disclosed. The suspect, Timothy Michael Brown, 21, allegedly admitted he robbed the bank, authorities said. They said he told them he acted alone. Brown was held Tuesday at the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville on federal bank robbery charges. The charges accuse Brown of walking into the first National Bank of Staunton, Holiday Shores branch, 7180 St. James Road, at 10.42 a m. Monday, wearing a camouflage ski • mask and a green, hooded sweatshirt. The robber pointed a shotgun at a teller and demanded money, authorities said. The robber apparently stole two cars Saturday from Edwardsville with the intention of covering his escape by Wednesday, October 6, 1999 Rescue ends in tragedy See BANK, Page A11Worker crushed to death while helping another By CURTISS A. HARTLEY For The Telegraph EDWARDSVILLE - A would-be rescuer lost his life Tuesday morning when he was crushed to death in a construction accident along Interstate 70. Rodney A. Studer, 50, of the 2200 block of East A Street in Belleville, was killed when he went to aid another worker whose hand was caught in a chain, according to witnesses at the scene. Studer tried to help the man but ended up being dragged into an asphalt spreader and crushed to death. The accident occurred just west of Illinois Route 4, between Troy and Marine. Studer was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:15 a m. by Madison County Deputy Coroner Deborah Von Nida. Paramedic Rick Nelan was one of the first rescue workHighway accident Above: Marine firefighters and Illinois State Police move in to recover the body of Rodney A. Studer, 50, of Belleville on Tuesday after he fell into an asphalt spreader while coming to the aid of another worker on 1-70 just west of Illinois Route 4. Studer was killed by the huge machine. Left: The asphalt spreader, from MacLair Asphalt Co. in Collinsville, slowly heads off the interstate so police can examine it more closely with a score of emergency vehicles following. The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN ers on the scene, along with members of the Marine Volunteer Fire Department. “I was told that the individual had fallen into the auger/conveyor belt. He was helping a guy whose finger got caught in a chain on the back of a dump truck, and he was standing on the hopper. It gave way, and he went up. inside the machine,” Nelan said. He said the other injured man was stable enough to transport himself to the hospital and refused treatment at the scene. Nelan said Studer’s body still was inside the machinery when paramedics arrived at the scene of the accident. It took nearly three hours to extract the body from the machine, once the equipment was removed from the highway. “There was an extensive amount of effort taken to disentangle his body from the machinery,” Chief Deputy Coroner Ralph Baahlmann Jr. said. Baahlmann said that Studer had been working in the middle of a train of paving equipment that moves the asphalt from a dump ■ See TRAGEDY, Page A11 To the rescue Downtown taverns raise the bar on hours By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Special liquor permits and their accompanying red and white stickers sold as fast as cold beer at a hot July baseball game last week. By 11:30 a.m. Thursday — the first day the city sold special permits for taverns and restaurants that allow them to serve alcohol later into the morning — seven business owners had plunked down $375 for their permits at Alton Mayor Don Sandidge’s office. Sixteen more tavern and restaurant owners holding “A” and “D” licenses purchased the special permits and accompanying window stickers on Friday. One owner purchased a permit Monday, pushing the total number of late license-holders to 24 as of Tuesday. No one holding a “G” license, for golf courses, has purchased a special permit yet. A total of 52 special licenses are ■ See HOURS, Page A11 The Telegraph/JOHN BADMAN Barbara Watson, who lives at 1419 9th St. in Cottage Hills, holds the hand of her 3-year-old great-grandson Tuesday as a Bethalto firefighter rushes hose into the house to extinguish a fire in a bedroom mattress Watson said was started by the youngster. No injuries were reported in the fire, which was quickly contained by firefighters from Bethalto and Cottage Hills. Area & Illinois A3, 8-10 Bulletin Board.............A6-7 Business........................DI Comics..........................C6 Editorial.........................A4 Nation & World............A12 Obituaries......................A5 Allen, French, Killam, Melvin, Murphy, Ninness, Richardson, Ringhausen, Smith, Spann, Volkmar, Warren, Wilson, Yount Scoreboard....................C2 Jurors hear opening testimony in gang-related shooting case By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - An Alton man may have been in fear for his life when he fatally shot an innocent bystander at a party during a dispute that broke out among rival gang members, his attorney said Tuesday. Jurors heard opening testimony Tuesday in Madison County Circuit Court in the first-degree murder trial of Michael F. Gomez, 18. “This case is about fear,” Assistant Public Defender Billy Hahs told jurors. Gomez is accused of killing Alden E. Berry, 23, a former Alton resident who was in town visiting and had gone to the party in the 1000 block of Elliott Street in the early morning of Feb. 21. Gomez also went to the party with his friend, Clark Perry of Alton. Both men were members of the Crips gang, Perry testified. Perry brought a .45-caliber semiautomatic Colt pistol to the party. At least one person testified that he was waving it around and was told to put it away. When he did, the gun fell through the waistband of his pants and onto the floor. Gomez ended up with it, according to testimony. As the party progressed, a dispute ■ See SHOOTING, Page A11 ;