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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tour de Belleville gets results

Two emergency call towers have been placed on the MetroLink Bike Trail in Belleville, Ill., thanks to more than 1,000 cyclists in the annual Tour se Belleville who helped raise the money last year, the Belleville News-Democrat reported today.

The two call towers are located at McKinley Avenue and in North End Park at North Douglas and North Illinois streets. The towers cost $8,000 each.

"I am so happy the towers are in place," Phil Elmore, co-founder of the Tour de Belleville told the News-Democrat. "I hope they never get used, but it is there in case."

The call towers were in response to an attack on the trail. In August 2006, a woman was jogging on the trail near McKinley Avenue when a man knocked her to the ground, got on top of her, covered her mouth with his hand and grabbed her breast. He let go after she managed to kick him in the groin. Michael W. White, who has no permanent address, was charged Feb. 1 with aggravated criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery and criminal sexual abuse. His case is pending.

This year's Tour de Belleville will take place Friday, July 11. The goal of this year's ride is to raise money for a stop light to be put at location to be determined where Belleville's bike trail intersects with a busy street. The cost per intersection is $20,000.

The route will be longer this year -- 17 miles -- but there will be bailout points for people who want to do just 6 or 8 miles.

The ride starts at 9 p.m., and there will be a picnic from 6 to 8 p.m. served by Outback Restaurant. The cost of the ride is $15 if you register from May 26 to July 5 and $25 after that. The picnic will cost an additional $5.

The Tour de Bellevile now has a Web site: www.tourdebelleville.com

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