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View Sample Pages : Alton Telegraph, October 23, 1999

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Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - October 23, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 ’W'HV WT I J If J .J J J J iilj J2lWP Decorating ; I- 2 around the spirits Page Cl : EHS 49 Belleville East 31 Roxana 20 Collinsville 14 Alton 20 Saunton 13 Page Bl tip (if if Iii fiI Partly i Trio opens cloudy. High I paintball 47; low 29 i store PageD6 ;Vol. 164, No. 281 - 50 cents Saturday, October 23, 1999 www.thetelegraph.comTeen guilty iii fatal beating By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A jury of two blacks and IO whites deliberated seven hours Friday before finding Glenn A. Taylor, 18, of Alton, guilty of murder in the racially charged mob beating death of Richard Skelton, 48, of Wood River. Taylor’s mother, Pearl Burnett of Alton, broke down and cried bitterly after the verdict was announced in Madison County Circuit Court. She had to be carried from the courthouse. “There is no justice for black people in Alton,” said Richard Duckett of St. Louis, a member of the National Black United Front, which supported Taylor during the trial before Circuit Judge J. Lawrence Keshner. Defense attorney Charles Shaw of St. IiOuis said he didn’t know whether there would be an appeal “They lost, so they might want to get somebody else for the appeal," he said. Shaw said the jury may have wanted to convict on some lesser charge. “I think there should have been a lesser degree I think the jury wanted to know if they could have found for mob action," Shaw said. Taylor was charged with felony murder, which is murder while participating in a forcible felony. Mob action is a forcible felony, prosecutors said. “I’m impressed with the work of Assistant State’s Attorney Don Weber and the Alton Police Department and the witnesses who came forward,” Madison County State’s Attorney William Haine said after the verdict. “But most of all, I’m impressed with the courage of this jury, a jury who stood for a clear decision as to what was right in this case." Haine rejected Shaw’s argu ment that prosecutors should have allowed the jury to consider a lesser verdict. ■ See GUILTY, Page A7 Refinery donates used computers to schools By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer ROXANA — Wood River Refining Co., a subsidiary of Equilon Enterprises LLC, has enabled Roxana’s public schools to take a big technological step forward. The company has donated several used computers to Roxana High School, Roxana Junior High and Roxana Elementary. Roxana High’s new computer lab is home to some of the donated computer hardware, as is Roxana Junior High’s existing computer lab Wood River Refining Co. spokeswoman Melissa Erker said the Roxana School District was just one of several benefactors of the refinery’s switch-out initiative to upgrade its resources. “We’ve been going through a computer upgrading process, and it has required us to switch out a majority of the personal computers we were using in everyday work,” Erker said. “Both labs are impressive. We try to focus a lot of our community outreach efforts in the area of education. It’s rewarding to see these donated computers up and running, and in ways which can touch so many of the youth in our community.” ■ See COMPUTERS, Page A7 Good Morning Area/Illinois ..........A3 Bulletin Board.........A6 Business .............01 Classifieds ...........C5 Comics ..............05 Obituaries ............A5 Broadway, Darby, Jameson, Jenkins, Lewis, Mieher, Morrison, Taylor, Turner, Scheibe Editorial..............A4    Scoreboard...........C2 Horoscope ...........D5    Stocks ...............D2 Nation/world..........A8    Television ............C4 Taco Bell returns to town Wednesday Blaze destroys barnHomeowners, horses safe By LINDA N. WELLER Telegraph staff writer ALTON - Beginning Wednesday, Alton residents won’t have to hurry on down to the borders of East Alton or Wood River to get their fix of Taco Bell food. The completely new restaurant — built on the site of the old one at 70 Homer Adams Parkway — will open its doors at 9 a.m. The grand opening will feature 39-cent soft tacos all day long. “We’re just finishing up a couple things,” restaurant manager Lucinda Lowe said. “Our plan for the weekend is to clean up and stock it and be ready for Wednesday.” The restaurant will hold a “VIP” sneak preview Tuesday afternoon for officials and business leaders. Inside the new building earlier this week, three electricians from Central Electric Contracting Inc. of Alton were hooking up the electronic cash registers and other equipment. Lowe was crossing her fingers that the beverage dispensers would arrive this week, the last major piece of equipment yet to come. The project is running slightly behind schedule. Demolition of the previous, 20-year-old building that once had housed a Zantigo’s Mexican restaurant was delayed several weeks. Later, installation of the oversized windows was postponed because all the units in the shipment arrived broken. Also Wednesday, crews from Georgewitz Contracting Co. of Godfrey were finishing up surface work on the asphalt parking lot. Gary Prough of Brighton, project manager, said installation of the lot took one week. The crews tore up the old parking lot, graded the area, spread rock then applied base and surface layers of asphalt. Another subcontractor installed new storm drains and curbing during the process. Heinz-Fischer Inc. of St. Louis is general contractor of the project. The building is about the same size as its predecessor, which was demolished July 21. The interior of the restaurant has a more open design, finished in several shades of light, pinkish buff colors. The order counter is off to one corner. Giant posters of tomatoes, onions and peppers add modern splashes of color to the dining room. The updated purple and white “swinging logo” replaced the old maroon and orange-signs. Lowe donated much of the old restaurant’s decorations and fixtures to a ■ See TACO, Page A7 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Brian Timmermeier of Central Electric Co. of Alton installs smoke detectors in the ceiling of the new Taco Bell on the Homer Adams Parkway Thursday. The restaurant is scheduled to ooen Wednesday. By STEVE WHITWORTH Telegraph staff writer MEADOWBROOK - Fire destroyed a barn west of Meadowbrook late Friday afternoon, but no injuries were reported, and two horses that had been let out of the barn earlier in the day were unhurt The fire was reported at 4.16 p.m. at the barn owned by Tom and Tina Davis in the 600 block of West Roosevelt Road, east of Bethalto and west of Meadowbrook. Kelly Birdsong, assistant chief of the Meadowbrook Volunteer Fire Department, said the fire was reported by one of the family’s neighbors, who was alerted to it by a passing motorist. The Davises weren’t home when the fire broke out, Tina Davis said. She said she had let her two quarter horses out of the barn about 8:30 a m. before leaving for work. ■ See FIRE, Page A7 The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Firefighters from the Meadowbrook Volunteer Fire Department and the Bethalto Volunteer Fire Department responded to a barn fire Friday afternoon on Roosevelt Road near Moreland Avenue in Bethalto. No one was injured, but the barn was a total loss. ;