Low Resolution Image: Become a member to access this full resolution image at 375% higher quality.

OCR Text

Alton Telegraph (Newspaper) - September 28, 1999, Alton, Illinois SERVING THE RIVER BEND SINCE 1836 THE TEL EGR HEAD to HEAD-AGAIN The Outlook Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers Page D6 Inspired solos Owner has high hopes for her resale shop Page DI Vol. 164, No. 256 - 50 centsTuesday, September 28, 1999 www.thetelegraph.comBethalto loses a legend: Erwin ‘Mr. Mayor’ Plegge dies at 89 Plegge By BETHANY BEHRHORST Telegraph staff writer BETHALTO - A substantial piece of Bethalto history died with the passing of former Mayo*-Erwin Plegge, 89, on Saturday. But his legacy will live on through his accomplishments, which took place throughout nearly 60 years of community service and devotion. Plegge, who was called “Mr. Mayor" by those throughout the village, was looked at as a trusted friend and devoted family man. His 28-year reign as Bethalto’s mayor brought many changes to the area The village tripled in size — from nearly 2,000 residents in the 1950s to more than 6,000 in the 1960s “When Erwin passed away, the village really lost a good, true friend,” said Bethalto Mayor Steve Bryant. “The entire com munity will be touched by his death, I’m sure. He was a good man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Village Board member Mike Dreith recounted how his life was personally touched by Plegge Dreith said his father became a police officer in the 1960s because of Plegge’s extension of the police department. “You can walk down the street in Bethalto, and you can't find something tangible he didn’t have his hand in, or didn’t influence," said Dreith, past president of the Bethalto Rotary Club and a village board member. Among some of Plegge’s contributions to the village are the establishment of the Bethalto Arboretum, the public library and enhancements in the village’s fire department, police department, school system and other civic areas. He was instrumental in starting the Bethalto Rotary Club, and was awarded for perfect attendance for 50 years of service. “He was huge in his ability to stabilize and run the community," Dreith said. “The town is so much | better because of Erwin Plegge.” Plegge was active in the Men’s Club at Zion Lutheran Church in Bethalto. He was one of the origi- ■ See PLEGGE, Page A7Tickets are the cross unyielding drivers may bear By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer Pedestrians beware. The purpose of a crosswalk is to provide a delineated path for walkers from one side of a well-traveled street to another. To some area motorists, however, the parallel white lines of paint are going unheeded. Sgt. Doug Childers, supervisor of traffic safety for the Alton Police Department, says a state statute allows officers to ticket motorists for failure to yield to pedestrians. The law stipulates a $75 fine, and Childers says Alton officers have been writing tickets to try and ensure the safety of local pedestrians. “The way the statute reads is that traffic must yield to the pedestrian,” said Childers. “We have at times put an officer out there in plain clothes as a pedestrian and stationed a chase (police) car nearby to see if motorists are yielding to those trying to cross at the crosswalks.” Crossings at Broadway and College Avenue are popular sites at which pedestrians can be seen waiting for a safe time to cross the roadway, Childers said. “If we receive a substantial number of complaints from residents, we will assign an officer to the specific area,” said Childers. William Wheeler, a detective with the Wood River Police Department, said the responsibility for a safe crossing also belongs to the pedestrian. “Motorists need to yield to pedestrians, but pedestrians need to be sure they look both ■ See TICKETS, Page A7 mi. The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Alton High School students use the crosswalk, and jaywalk, to get across College Avenue during their lunch period Monday.Map revision a flood of relief for homeowners By KERRY SMITH Telegraph staff writer WOOD RIVER — Thanks to the persistent efforts of this city, some 160 homeowners on Wood River’s east side will no longer have to pay roughly $600 a year in flood insurance. Wood River City Engineer Allen White said that since 1995, the community has been working hard to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency to revise the flood rate insurance map, which lenders use to identify flood-prone properties. Redrawing of the FEMA map is possible, said White, because of a successful Illinois Department of Transportation - Division of Water Resources project that in 1995 created an upland reservoir to catch the water that had been washing Wood River’s east side. “Wood River has always been prone to flooding from surface water,” White said. “This 30-acre reservoir allows us to capture storm water for approximately two miles above us, and to release it at a much slower speed.” The project is one of eight IDOT flood relief efforts completed in Wood River, said White. “FEMA plans to remove approximately 160 homes and 35 businesses from the risk area, and they will no longer be required to purchase flood insurance,” White said. Wood River’s building and zoning department, with volunteer assistance from general inspector Jim Crause and city mechanic Joe Graziana, said the area was 90 acres roughly east of Harrison Street, south of Avalon Street, north of Illinois Route 111 and west of Illinois Route 143. Glendale Gardens is a key area that should ben- The Telegraph/RUSS SMITH Jean Mounce of Bloomington hangs laundry on the porch of a friend on Midland Street near Linton Street in Wood River. Property owners in the area will no longer be required to carry flood insurance. For many, this translates into a savings of approximately $600 annually. efit from the premium savings, White the cumulative savings that will be said. “It may be two to three months before residents will receive the revised maps,” said White. “This should be a real savings for quite a few residents and business owners.” City Manager Thomas Christie said recognized by Wood River’s population makes the long-term effort with FEMA worth it. “The savings of $60,000 to $75,000 is not inconsequential,” Christie said. ■ See MAP, Page A7 Man sentenced for murder is wished dead by family By DENNIS GRUBAUGH Telegraph staff writer EDWARDSVILLE - A victim’s family members spewed venom toward one of his killers Monday, even wishing him death, before the judge handed him a 45-year sentence. Christopher A. Smith, 28, of Granite City, was sentenced to the maximum term by Madison County Circuit Judge    J. Lawrence Keshner, for the April 4,    1998, murder of Paul E. Stell, 40, of Granite City. The sentence was the longest possible under a plea negotiated by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office. “I hope that man dies,” the victim’s sister, Louise Krumley of Collinsville, said from the stand while staring at the defendant. “If I could, I’d kill him myself. I’d rip him apart.” Smith and another man, Jerry Champion, 24, of O’Fallon Township, were charged with first-degree murder in the slaying, which stemmed from an argument over advances Stell allegedly made to Smith’s girlfriend during a party at Smith’s Granite City apartment in the HOO block of St. Thomas Road. Champion and Smith    both attempted suicide soon after their detention at the Madison County Jail, but both were unsuccessful. Champion tried a second time and succeeded — hanging himself Aug. 18. Both the prosecution and the defense attorneys agreed that Smith’s role was more as an accessory. Although ■ See MURDER, Page A7 alf I could, I’d kill him myself. I’d rip him apart.” Louise Krumley victim’s sister Area/Illinois .... .......A3 Obituaries ............AS Bulletin Board .. .. .A6, D5 Blacklock, Bonifer, Clayton, Business ...... .......DI Cottingham, Holman, Leady, Classifieds..... ...... .C6 Liles, Plegge, Rowland, Sivert, Comics........ .......C4 Trotter Editorial....... .......A4 Scoreboard ...........B2 Nation&World .. .......A8 Television.............C5 ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Alton Telegraph