Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 4, 1999, Alton, Illinois
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Vol. 164, No. 232 — 50 centsSaturday, September 4,1999
Repaired lock open for business
Barge accident caused $1 million in damages
The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH From left, Gov. George Ryan, Col. Michael Morrow, commander of the St. Louis office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gov. Corrine Wood and U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, all had a hand in the reopening Friday morning of the repaired 1,200-foot lock at Melvin Price Locks and Dam 26 in Alton.
By LINDA N. WELLER
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — The state’s top officials tugged a tag line Friday at Melvin Price Locks and Dam 26 on the Mississippi River and ceremoniously “opened” the structure’s 1,200-foot main chamber, which had been closed for nearly a month.
Afterward, Gov. George Ryan pledged his support to try to drum up $2 piillion in Illinois FIRST money to pay for exhibits in the adjacent National Great Rivers Museum inside the 12,000-square-foot Melvin Price
Illinois FIRST is the new governor’s package to generate money for public improvement projects.
On hand were Republicans Ryan and Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood; U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, and state Sen. Evelyn Bowles, D-Edwardsville. Col. Michael Morrow, commander of the St. Louis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, gave instructions.
Ryan’s wife, Lura Lynn, watched from a short distance.
The team, holding onto the rope, “helped” guide a bulky section of strongback metal as
a crane eased it down into the lock. The 40-ton piece of steel hooked onto the top of one of nine bulkheads stacked in 50 feet of muddy Mississippi waters. The crane then brought up the two connecting pieces.
Eventually, the crane brought up all the bulkheads, which had been placed in the lock to hold back the river waters while construction crews from the Corps of Engineers worked double shifts to repair the low miter gates of the lock. The workers came from the St. Louis, Rock Island and St. Paul, Minn., corps districts.
Last Feb. 3, a barge passing through the lock had failed to go in reverse. It hit the lower steel uniter gates, causing nearly $1 million worth of damage, said lockmaster Tom Miller. The barge company is responsible for paying the costs of repair, Morrow said.
Morrow said corps officials met with agriculture representatives to determine the best time to shut down the lock for repairs. Between 60 percent and 70 percent of the nation’s grain passes through the locks, and the heavy fall harvest lies just ahead.
■ See LOCK, Page A-7
Beware: State Police on lookout during weekend
By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT
Telegraph staff writer
EDWARDSVILLE - The Illinois State Police will be out in force during the Labor Day weekend looking for people who may be driving too fast or too drunk.
“We will have about twice the usual number of officers on patrol,” said Trooper Ralph Timmins of State Police District ll, which has its headquarters in Collinsville.
Officers normally assigned to administrative duties or other specialties will be called out today, Sunday and Monday to man the highways.
The officers will be looking especially closely today because the largest number of accidents on a holiday weekend happen on Saturday, Timmins said.
The effort is part of a program throughout Illinois to keep highways safe this weekend.
The officers will conduct air and laser patrols, work in “wolf packs” to concentrate on speeding, aggressive driving and seat belt violations, as well as conduct eight roadside safety checks.
The officers also will conduct seat belt patrols in which drivers under 18 and drivers carrying children may be stopped if they are observed without belts buckled up.
The Madison County Partnership for Community Health promoted safety belt use before the weekend. The organization stuffed fliers into pay envelopes, reminding Madison County employees to buckle up.
Fliers also were handed
out to people using the Madison County
Administration Building parking lots.
For those people wearing belts in the drive-through, the Edwardsville
McDonald’s, 1704 Troy Road, will award free coupons for ice cream cones, said Chae Li Yong of the Madison County Health Department.
“No matter where motorists travel in the upper Midwest, they will notice an increased level of traffic enforcement,” Illinois State Police Director Sam W Nolen said.
Capt. Diana Sievers, commander of District ll, said her office has a working relationship with Missouri that will curb traffic offenders traveling from one state to another.
Local law enforcement officials said they, too, will be vigilant during the weekend.
“We’ll not have extra patrols, but .our deputies will be alert, especially for impaired drivers,” said Capt. Robert Hertz, chief deputy for the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
Hertz said drunken drivers tend to appear on the roads during specific time periods over holiday weekends, and deputies will be looking for them.
Alcohol is not the only factor involved in making the holiday death toll worse, Timmins said.
“Fatigue and distraction, such as talking on a cell phone, are two important factors in traffic accidents,” Timmins said.
“We advise people to pace themselves and not overextend,” he said.
Good Morning K
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Good behavior added to curriculum
By ANGELA MUELLER
Telegraph staff writer
ALTON — Teachers in the Alton School District are striving to teach socially acceptable positive behavior in their classrooms, just as math, science and spelling are taught, using guidelines provided by a system new to the district.
Alton is one of two districts in the state to implement dis-trictwide a newly developed Positive Behavior
Interventions and Supports program. The program also is being implemented in the Champaign School District.
“This is one more way Alton is on the cutting edge of education,” said Marie Schickedanz, assistant superintendent.
The program, which was developed by faculty from universities in Oregon, Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky, helps schools form individual programs to promote positive student behavior in and out of the classroom.
The program was introduced to the Alton School District in early August during a two-day training session, led by Tim Lewis of the University of Missouri-Columbia. A team of five to IO staff members from
each district school building attended the training sessions.
Each of the teams completed a survey assessing the schools’ current discipline procedures and student behavior patterns. Data from the school, such as number of office referrals from the different school settings, also was analyzed.
“The program gives the building a process, a systematic way of looking at data to provide positive interactions,” said Debra Sheary, principal of the Motivational Achievement Center. “Ifs looking at the data, deciding where are the referrals com
ing from, where are we having problems, then working up a strategy to deal with those areas.”
After studying the survey results and the collected data, the teams developed a simple, easily remembered summary statement of what is expected of the pupils in their building.
“Each building is forming a strategy that puts together succinctly the expectations they have for their students,” Schickedanz said.
Each of the summaries emphasizes the positive behav-
■ See BEHAVIOR, Page A-7
Driver safe as train hits car
By ANDE YAKSTIS
Telegraph staff writer
An unidentified woman is questioned by a Madison County Sheriff’s deputy after her car was hit by an Amtrak train at the crossing on Alby Street near the intersection with Humbert Road in Godfrey Friday afternoon. She was not injured in the minor collision.
GODFREY - A 78-year-old Alton woman escaped injury Friday when the front of her car was scraped by an Amtrak passenger train at a railroad crossing at Alby Street and Humbert Road.
The driver, whose identity was not disclosed, was stopped in a line of traffic on Alby at the edge of the railroad tracks about 3:10 p.m. when the “Ann Rutledge” passenger train approached the crossing, according to a report from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
The driver of the car tried to back up, and the railroad crossing arm came down on the back of her 1998 Oldsmobile, sheriff’s deputies said.
The Chicago-bound passenger train rolled through the crossing and scraped the front of the car, but the driver escaped without injury, authorities said..
Charlene Wilson, Angie Jackson and their children were in a vehicle behind the car hit by the train.
“I yelled at the driver to get off the tracks,” Jackson said.
Wilson called 911 for help, and the two friends hurried to see whether the driver of the
■ See TRAIN, Page A-7