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Wednesday, April 30, 2008 10:09 am

Cap City

Untitled Document NOT SINGING THE BLUES We’ll just go ahead and call it a Cinderella story. At the beginning of their season, we said the Springfield Jr. Blues wouldn’t go down without a fight, and, boy, they lived up to the expectation. They ended up losing the Central Division Championship to the Alexandria Blizzard last weekend, but that’s not really important. The Jr. Blues held their own in the second round of playoffs, shutting the Blizzard out in the fourth game 6-0 and barely losing the fifth game 2-1 in overtime. They’ve come a long way — from a last-place finish last year to a winning record and postseason success. On top of all that, Springfield fans couldn’t get enough of ’em this year.
DENTIST drills deputy
People who know Sangamon County Sheriff’s Deputy John Gillette say that his muscular body is shaped like a V. But a case filed against him by a local dentist suggests that his new initial should be T — for “trouble.”
The lawsuit filed last year against Sheriff Neil Williamson by dentist Mark Gekas springs from an incident in which Gekas was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Gekas was, at that moment, suffering a kidney stone attack, and was driving himself to the hospital. According to his lawsuit, Gillette stuck a gun in his face, cursed at him, and handcuffed him to the steering wheel of his car. Gekas filed an internal affairs complaint against Gillette, and Williamson exonerated the deputy. Gekas asked Williamson to produce that investigation plus all other citizen complaints against Gillette, prior disciplinary investigations of Gillette, and “all documents pertaining to alleged or demonstrated steroid use by your deputies.”
Judge Kenneth R. Diehl has reviewed these documents. At a status conference scheduled for Friday, the judge is expected to rule on whether Williamson must share the information with Gekas.
KA-CHING! It only took the city of Springfield 20 minutes Tuesday to spend $287,005.71. The hefty sum wasn’t allotted to infrastructure. It wasn’t donated to the water-plant cause. Instead, the finance committee handed out the cash in four separate worker-compensation settlements, including $27,177.03 that went to a Springfield Police Department patrol officer. The officer claimed that he injured his foot after kicking in a fence to serve a warrant. Ray Serati, the police department’s public-information officer, says this type of force is not unusual in emergency response team situations. “You have to kick a door in because you’re looking for somebody,” Serati says. The four worker-compensation settlements were placed on the consent agenda, which usually guarantees swift approval by the full City Council.
UP AGAINST THE WAL-MART Wal-Mart hasn’t given up on its yen to build a supercenter on Springfield’s western frontier; it has simply shifted its plans to a 35-acre plot owned by Dave Maulding (remember the fight when he wanted to build warehouses there?). The Wal-Martians are touting a few new bells and whistles for this site. Neighborhood activists who have met with Wal-Mart management say they’ve been told this site would give trucks handy access from I-72, send drainage into Lake Springfield instead of the nearby residential neighborhood, and even have “a Frank Lloyd Wright look” to its design. Somewhere, an architect is spinning in his grave.
ALAN KEYES ADMITS HE’S HALF-BAKED Despite having sought the Republican nomination for president a million times, including this year, when his name appeared on ballots in Illinois and a few other states, former U.N. ambassador Alan Keyes announced last month that he was joining the ultraconservative Constitution Party. When party members convened in Kansas City, Mo., recently to nominate their candidate for president, though, it was Chuck Baldwin, not Keyes who got the nod. Keyes called it a strange situation, considering that Constitution Party elders “went out of their way to ask whether I would let my name be considered.”
Keyes, who has centered each of his failed campaigns on his stance against abortion, says that what happened in KC followed the pattern of his entire political career. “People invite me in and then they kill me,” Keyes told a Missouri video blogger, presumably speaking figuratively. “I ran against Barack Obama in Illinois; I was invited in by the leadership of the Illinois [Republican] Party. Then certain elements of the party turned on me and stabbed me in the back and sort of damaged and tried to kill me.”
He continued: “Then suddenly, last night, the Lord shared with me that ‘Alan, the child that you are defending in the womb, in the act of procreation, people are joyfully, ecstatically, with great pleasure in every fiber of their being, saying yes to the coming of that new life. They invited the child in. Then in abortion they kill it. So in point of fact my political career has been the paradigm and pattern of that which I am trying to stop for the child. I kind of represent, in political terms, the abortion.”
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