Southern Illinoisan from Carbondale, Illinois on August 21, 2009 · Page 13
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Southern Illinoisan from Carbondale, Illinois · Page 13

Carbondale, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, August 21, 2009
Page 13
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T HE S OUTHERN I LLINOISAN F RIDAY ,A UGUST 21,2009 5B S TATE GIANT FLEA MARKET SUNDAY AUGUST23 RD PAVILION MARION, IL 8:30-4:30 $1.50 admission John Crouch 217-529-6939 MIKE RICHARDSON 618-529-2365 466 SAN DIEGO CARBONDALE WWW.COACHHOUSEGARAGES.COM We will complete project before you make full payment. Insurance work is welcome. Call Mike today. ❖ 35 years experience ❖ Founded 1974 ❖ 21,000 customers ❖ A name you know ❖ Experience in insurance work ❖ Qualified ❖ Bonded ❖ Insured ❖ Tear down & removal service We are here to help!! • S EATS 6 A DULTS WITH L OUNGER • 66 J ETS • E LECTRONIC C ONTROL S YSTEM H EATED • U LTRA -P URE O ZONE S YSTEM • 24 H OUR C RYSTAL -C LEAR F ILTRATION S YSTEM • W ATERFALL • D ELUXE H ARD C OVER WITH C HILD P ROOF S AFTEY L OCKS $ 3 SHOCKS & STRUTS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ALSIP — The remaining workers at a historic suburban Chicago cemetery where former employees are accused of digging up graves to resell plots were laid off late last week,officials confirmed Thursday. Roman Szabelski,an appointed receiver of Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip, said he has not received any of the money he has asked for to operate the cemetery. Burr Oak’s assets were frozen after four people were charged in the alleged grave-reselling scheme that authorities say stretched back at least five years and netted about $300,000.The cemetery’s remaining employees — six grounds workers and two office workers — were laid off today. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart closed the cemetery in July after declaring it a crime scene.The 150-acre graveyard remains closed to the pub- lic.Szabelski has pushed back the reopening until all graves are properly marked and cleaned up. “There’s just a whole series of steps that have to be taken,”Szabelski told the Southtown Star for a story published Thursday. “It’s just a process that’s taking time.” Szabelski did not immediately return phone calls from The Associated Press on Thursday.Officials at Catholic Cemeteries, where Szabelski is executive director,confirmed the layoffs. Burr Oak is where civil rights-era lynching victim Emmett Till,jazz singer Dinah Washington and other prominent African- Americans are buried. Phone calls to Burr Oak Cemetery and the cemetery’s owner,Tuscon, Ariz.,-based Perpetua Inc.,went unanswered Thursday and neither number would accept voicemails. Perpetua President Melvin Bryant has called the allegations “despicable.” Three of those charged in the scheme were Carolyn Towns,49,Keith Nicks,45, and Terrence Nicks,39 — all of Chicago — remain in custody. Maurice Dailey,59,of Robbins,is out on bail. They each have been charged with dismembering a human body. Towns is being represented by a private attorney,according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office,which did not have the attorney’s name.The other three are being represented by public defenders. A message left Thursday for the Cook County public defender’s office was not immediately returned. Burr Oak lays off remaining staff ‘There’s just a whole series of steps that have to be taken.It’s just a process that’s taking time.’ R OMAN S ZABELSKI A PPOINTEDRECEIVEROF B URR O AK C EMETERY AP Vice President Joe Biden,with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (left) and Dr.David Blumenthal,National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at Health and Human Services,participate in a roundtable discussion with health care professionals on health insurance reform Thursday at Mt.Sinai Hospital in Chicago. BYCARLAK.JOHNSON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CHICAGO — Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday the nation has never been closer to substantial health care overhaul despite “all the shouting and all the political turmoil”of recent weeks. Biden said restraining costs and insuring more people should unite fiscal conservatives and advocates for the poor behind the Obama administration’s efforts to fix what Biden called a broken system. If he wanted to hear about troubles in health care,he and Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to the right place.They got an earful from doctors and nurses attending a round-table discussion at a struggling nonprofit hospital serving the urban poor on Chicago’s West Side. A nurse said she worries about violent emergency room patients who throw bedpans and spit at her.A doctor from another hospital said she can’t refer patients to dietitians to prevent diabetes because insurance won’t pay for it. And a health researcher said black Chicagoans die needlessly because they are disadvantaged and uninsured. Biden announced nearly $1.2 billion in grants to help the nation’s hospitals and doctors put electronic health records to use.The grants will be funded by the $787 billion economic stimulus plan. Storing patient data electronically can improve efficiency and prevent medical errors,Biden said, adding he’s tired of being handed paper forms to fill out every time he goes to the doctor. “I get handed one more clipboard I feel like clanging somebody on the head,”Biden said, prompting laughter from about 60 health care professionals in the audience. “How many times do I have to fill out,yeah,I had asthma,yeah,I had two craniotomies?” Biden sidestepped the question of whether a public insurance option should be part of a final health care bill.He made only passing reference to foes who’ve challenged supporters of overhaul with charges of a government takeover. “With all the shouting and all the political turmoil on this issue,I don’t think we’ve ever been closer to being able to do something substantial”to improve health care,Biden said. President Barack Obama has made expanding insurance coverage and restraining health care costs his top domestic pri- ority.But he’s lost ground on the issue in opinion polls and Democrats in Congress are preparing to go it alone on legislation although bipartisan talks continue in the Senate. Thursday’s event took place not at a flourishing medical center but at Mount Sinai Hospital, where only 7 percent of the hospital’s patients have private insurance. The rest are covered by government programs or are uninsured.In August, the hospital had only 1.42 days of cash on hand,hospitals leaders said.Its bad debt,the bills left unpaid by patients,was $62.3 million last year. Biden promises health care reform, medical record grants Tornados confirmed in central Illinois THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WILLIAMSVILLE — Among the tons of debris volunteers in Williamsville hauled off by the truckload Thursday after a tornado were remains of one of just two churches in the central Illinois village — its roof and walls collapsed,but its steeple still standing. “That church has been a cornerstone of the community,”lamented Tom Yokley,board president in Williamsville,a community of about 1,500 located roughly 10 miles northeast of Springfield.“It’s gone. It’s destroyed.” At least two tornados struck central Illinois Wednesday afternoon, with Williamsville hit the hardest,National Weather Service meteorologist Ed Shimon said; some 25 village buildings were damaged and there were around a dozen injuries, though none life-threatening. Another confirmed tornado struck in Loami,just southwest of the state capital,damaging homes and injuring several people in one of the most destructive storms to sweep across the heart of Illinois so far this year,Shimon said. One of 12 injured people brought to St.John’s Hospital in Springfield had been in a car flipped by a powerful wind,and another person had been blown off his motorcycle,nursing coordinator Roscoe Cook said. “Tornados,70 mile-an- hour winds,lightening, tree limbs flying all over the place — it was one heck of storm,”said Leigh Morris,a spokesman for the Ameren utility that provides electricity to central Illinois. In the immediate aftermath of the storm,20,000 Ameren customers were without power,though only around 2,000 still had no electricity as of Thursday afternoon, Morris said.He expected all power to be restored by today at the latest. Around ten of the buildings damaged in Williamsville were beyond repair and will likely have to be bulldozed,including the remnants of what was a picture-book,brown- brick church constructed in the early half of last century,said Yokley. Wednesday’s tornado, the first to strike Williamsville since the early 1950s,may have caused up to $5 million in damage,he estimated. Many residents are in shock,but Yokley said spirits have been lifted by the hundreds of volunteers who showed up to help in the clean up on Thursday. “These are pretty tough, resilient people,”he said. “You wouldn’t want to make them mad at you.But if you need help,you could- n’t ask for anyone better.” AP Margie McVickers and her brother,Burr,make their way through the remains of Williamsville Christian Church on Wednesday in Williamsville.McVickers and her dog,Muffee, weathered the storm in the basement of her home,which suffered moderate damage.

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