Cars and trucks line the northbound lanes of Route 203 from the Interstate 55-70 exit ramp to the entrance of Gateway International Raceway, where Illinois state troopers are directing traffic. Beyond the main gate, windshields glint in a field that has been turned into an impromptu parking lot. A horde of young people, many of them shirtless, march across the sunbaked parking area, their ranks narrowing as they cross a footbridge that spans the Cahokia Canal. These heavy-metal fans are among the thousands filling the infield of the racetrack for an earsplitting concert by Metallica. Normally, spectators who flock here are treated to another form of noise -- the sound of NASCAR competition, which the raceway's boosters say revved up the region's economic engine by about $70... More >>>
By Jennifer Silverberg
Lansdowne Ditch in the American Bottoms. According to environmentalist Kathy Andria, "There have been billions of dollars spent on flood disaster, and they're trying to ask for some wetlands to be destroyed for one race a year. It makes absolutely no sense."