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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - October 18, 1999, Alton, Illinois QUAD-COUNTY EDITION E. Holliday M. Holliday All three victims were in a 1994 Ford Taurus driven by Melissa Holliday, police said. The accident happened at 6 p m. Saturday three miles north of Charleston, where Melissa was attending Eastern Illinois University. Police said (he 1994 Taurus crossed the centerline on Illinois Route 130 for an unknown reason before striking another car head-on. See ACCIDENT, Page A7 5and0 Rams burn Atlanta 41-13 Page ClVol. 164, No. 276 - 50 centsTEL ic; R A PII The Outlook Mostly sunny skies and cool. High near 54, low near 37Page D4 Neighbors American Lung Association works to ensure safety Page Bl Monday, October 18, 1999 Serious crimes continue decline Accident kills three teen-agers By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE Madison County State’s Attorney Bill Haine said he’s beginning to sound to himself like a broken record in explaining the recent downward trend in crime statistics. Haine was referring to the latest available statistics that show serious crimes in Madison County were down 10.7 percent for the first six months of 1999, compared with a similar period in 1998. “I attribute the drop to the work of the local police, prosecutors, judges and juries,” Haine said. “More criminals are in jail or in prison or on probation, which further reduces their ability to get in trouble." Haine said. Figures compiled by the Illinois State Police show the number of crimes statewide for the six-month period down from 5,371 in 1998 to 4,796 in 1999, for a IO percent drop. The trend in crime statistics has been downward for several years, the state’s attorney said. The rate for serious crimes such as burglary The Telegraph/MARGIE M. BARNES A deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department puts up crime scene tape last July after a robbery at Liberty Bank on Godfrey Road in Godfrey. and felony theft dropped 19 percent across the county for the first six months of 1998, compared with the similar period of 1997. The biggest drop for the first six months of 1999 was in thefts, which dropped from 3,583 to 2,966 for a 17.2 percent decline. “It’s a combination of things. With the strong economy, more people have ■ See DECLINE, Page A7 By BARBARA M. COPE Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - Three Edwardsville teen-agers were killed Saturday in a two-car accident in Coles County near Charleston. Illinois State Police reported Sunday. Twin sisters Melissa and Erica Holliday, 18, were pronounced dead shortly after emergency vehicles arrived at the scene. A third passenger, Benjamin B. Blain, also 18, was pronounced dead shortly afterward at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in nearby Mattoon. Blain Volunteers begin work on Christmas show By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON — Some 15 volunteers began work last week in unseasonably warm weather to get an early jump on the annual Celebration of Christmas light show in Rock Spring Park. Greg Gelzinnis of Godfrey, chairman of the annual charity event, said temperatures in the 70s and 80s weren’t conducive to the Christmas spirit, but the weather was ideal for working outdoors on light displays. “We’re happy to have the warm weather; it’s a blessing,” he said. This year, the popular light show will open a week early, on the evening of Nov. 19. “It will be more in sync with the St. Louis light shows,” he said. “We can partner up with them at the same time. Tour buses come through the area on their way to Branson, and so we hope to capture some additional motor coach business.” Gelzinnis said crews began working on the tunnel display and began moving in some of the larger buildings and storage trailers used during the event. The drive-through show draws thousands of visitors to the park, which is adjacent to Alton High School. Once again, the displays center around old-fashioned holidays and Christmas as seen “through the eyes of a child,” said Gelzinnis. There will be even more dazzling lights, however, than last year, he said. “Every year, we buy more lights,” he said. “Last year, we had 1.5 million lights; we will have close to 1.75 million this year.” Good Morning Area & Illinois.......A3 Bulletin Board . .AB, B2,4 Classifieds..........C7 Comics ............D2 Editorial.......  .A4 Horoscope..........D2 Nation & World  AB Neighbors..........Bl Lottery.............A7 rn yr Obituaries..........A5 Blain, Bushnell, Calvey, • Doles, Fee, E. Holliday, M. Holliday, Olsen, Schneider Region.............DI Scoreboard.........C2 Television ..........D3 Weather............C4 Jerseyville residents take pride in history Paddling to victory By THOMAS WRAUSMANN Telegraph staff writer JERSEYVILLE - Many Jersey County residents take pride in their local history, from the Cheney Mansion on North State Street in Jerseyville to    the Hamilton Primary School in Otterville and numerous other facets in between Along with    the Cheney Mansion, built around the town’s first frame home, The Red House, Jerseyville features places such as    the G I e d h i 11 House, the 518 South Restaurant and    the Hazel Dell farm, just outside of town. The Gledhill houses the. Jersey County Historical Society’s museum. A major boost for historic preservation in Jerseyville was the acquisition by the For The Telegraph/KEITH WEDOE Jerseyville native Clayton Brown of Florida, left, bought the historic Cheney mansion and donated it to the Jersey County Historical Society. Here he is on a recent visit with Gene Prosser, society president. society of the Cheney Mansion, which was up for sale in an auction in August 1997. Clayton Brown, a local native who now lives in Florida, decided to save the home for posterity and bought it for the society. “Clayton Brown is not only a supporter of the efforts and work expended on the Cheney House but has become a real friend and supporter of Fred, Brenda, Rick and Jennie Nolan and the Jersey County Victorian Festival at Hazel Dell,” said Gene Prosser, president of the historical society. He said Brown made sure he was in town for the big annual event this summer run by the Nolans. Prosser said Brown “sees ■ See HISTORY, Page A7 me Teiegrapn/MAHuic m. »akne:;> Mike Dreith, and his son Andy Dreith, 16, of Bethalto, represent Lewis and Clark Community College during a paddle boat race against SIUE Sunday at Leclaire Lake during the Harvest Homefest at Leclaire Park in Edwardsville. The father-son duo won the race. ;