I enjoy my newsbeat, especially when a major story breaks. There is nothing more exciting than chasing down a mystery and uncovering the whole truth, but every now and then something we do has a great outcome and it makes me feel warm and cuddly — like a soft marsh mellow melting away in a cup of hot cocoa.
Such a thing happened this week. Tracy Ison came to us with the story of an elderly woman whose electricity was set to be disconnected on Thursday. Her daughter was at wit’s end having tried to communicate with the power company and a provider when she received a bill for over $2,000.
I understood her frustration. You can never talk to anyone at a major utility company who can actually do something about your problem. She had tried since October to get someone to do something, but all the people could offer her was advice on how to get on a budget payment plan.
Bobbie, the daughter, had become so distraught, she had tried desperate measures.
“I tried to go to jail the other night. I tried just to get the media and they wouldn’t let me go to jail,” Bobbie told me.
The Daily Times took up her fight and and exposed her story to the public. On my follow-up call to Bobbie, I received the news I was hoping to hear.
“I cannot thank you enough,” Bobbie told me. “I’ve had more people call me this morning than I’ve ever had since Oct. 15. They did not cut her electric off today and it is being investigated at corporate in Cincinnati and Columbus.”
On Thursday, when she talked with corporate people she told them just to read the Daily Times story and then they could see what the situation was about.
“I cannot thank you enough, you did an excellent job on the article,” Bobbie said. “You could not have done a better job.”
There is a high purpose to what we try to accomplish at the Times. I do not delude myself into believing we can solve every person’s problems. We don’t have the manpower to make that happen, but every now and then we put out a plea and enough money comes in for some dog to have life-saving surgery, or as in this case, a wonderful elderly lady will not freeze.
My boss, Hope Comer tells me all the time we need to make a difference in the community, and when something like this happens, we do just that. U.S. Senator Rob Portman told me one time – “Frank, keep writing about Piketon. The people in Washington read you every day.”
The Daily Times does make a difference, our readership is knowledgeable and they recognize our local content is greater than ever before. They respond to things that concern them and it is amazing the results we get when we need them most.
Thank you, our readers, for supporting us and the causes that ultimately create a better community in which to live.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.