Strikers feasting on support

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 17, 2005, 2:26pm

Madison County Probation Department workers Brad Paschal and Harlan Bloodworth grab sandwiches off a tray carried around by Circuit Clerk employee Linda Murray during lunchtime on Wednesday. The food was provided courtesy of Troy attorneys Bonnie Levo and Angela Potter Donohoo.

Dana Ficker offers a sandwich to Shryl Kohrumel at the courthouse on Wednesday morning.

On strike for the fourth day, Madison County employees are feasting on the support being lavished upon them by some of the folks they serve--literally.

Pizza, apples, sweets, water and soda have been delivered to the striking troops that form a picket line around the courthouse and administration building. The green tee-shirt clad strikers form a line that approximately encompasses a two-block radius around the buildings.

On Friday, SimmonsCooper of East Alton barbecued hot dogs out of the back of a pick-up truck for county employees--represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 799--who are still holding out for better health care coverage for their dependants.

Edwardsville divorce attorney David Fahrenkamp, who already brought bags of apples to the picketers last week, dropped off doughnuts on Monday.

Johan McGuire with the Madison County State's Attorney office delivered a case of water, while TR’s Café brought some bagels and cream cheese.

Todd Taplin of the Traffic Law Center in Glen Carbon brought Taco Bell and Donald Groshong of Alton brought the strikers each a plastic cup which was good for one free beer at Laurie’s Place after the day's picketing ended.

Just as some members of class action lawsuits often receive coupons as settlement, Bilbrey & Hylla offered strikers coupons which entitled them to a free buffet and drink for Pantera’s Pizza. Granite City attorney Tom Hildebrand brought bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.

Imo's Pizza--a true crowd pleaser--was donated by Mormino, Velloff, Edmonds & Snider of Alton, while the Edwardsville firm of Goldenberg, Miller, Heller & Antognoli stopped by with a formidable offering of Pizza Hut.

Subway sandwiches manager, Maria, offered strikers free cookies with purchase.

An employee from the Secretary of State’s office brought candy, and so did the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.

Brown & James of Edwardsville, Lanny Darr of Schrempf, Blaine, Kelly & Darr of Alton, and Community Title of Edwardsville also brought by food and snacks for the nearly 443 strikers.

Two union members crossed the picket line to go back to work on Monday, bailiff Rod Schmidt and his wife Debra, who works in the assessment office.

Third Circuit Chief Judge Edward Ferguson also wrote an administrative order which changed the hours of the circuit clerk’s office eliminating three hours the public can receive service.

Effective Wednesday, Oct. 19, the office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until noon. It will open again at 1 p.m. and close for the day at 2:30. Normal office hours are 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

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