The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Letters to Editor

Dear Editor,

When I came back from Washington D.C. and Celebration on the Hill (for the American Cancer Society) I came home to no electricity.

My cell phone was running low so I called and asked my sister to call it in thinking that our block or side of town was out. She identified herself as my sister and the first mistake that AmerenIP made was telling her that it was disconnected because I didn't pay my bill.

When provoked I can have quite a temper, especially when I have just returned from the most emotional trip I have ever taken, and on 3 hours of sleep that night.

I then called the electric company and the first thing they ask for is your account number, which by the way the second thing I heard was that my bill was paid in full and up to date.

When I talked to a customer service person, I was told that I owed $165. I then started to ask questions and asked them, since when did they disconnect someone without a disconnect notice.

She told me that at the end of June a lady called in and gave them 100 Washington Street as her address.

I assured that after 30 years in my house that if I was moving I would have called it in myself. She became defensive and so did I, and she told me she couldn't tell me when they would come and turn on my electricity.

At that point I told her it was their mistake, not mine, and I had better have my electricity back on in one to two hours, and that I would be calling every hour until they came. She said, "I'm sorry, but I can't give you a time."

I then called the bank, and they said I should call the States Attorney. I did, but he wasn't in, so I called Sheriff Mark Lumbeck who suggested I call back and ask for a supervisor.

This time, I got someone different, and he would not give me a supervisor so he and I went around and around. I asked him if they maybe typed in the wrong town and asked for her name. He said he couldn't give that to me because of the Privacy Act. I found that quite profound! The next sentence, he said a name which I can't recall, and I said, "Who is that?" When I asked that he spell it, he said, "Oh, I can't do that. I just wanted to get your reaction and see if you knew this name."

I once again assured him that my husband and I were the only two people living in this house. I told him I had called the States Attorney and Sheriff. It went on until I had a break down, started crying, and hung up.

It wasn't 20 minutes later when the gentleman from IP came, and turned my electricity back on.

I went outside and talked with him, and he said he didn't think it was right when he came to unhook our electricity-something about numbers that didn't match.

I told him if I had caught him, I would have tackled him to the ground. I was so mad! He laughed and told me I should get some rest.

He then came back to the door and said that the computer in the truck said there would be no reconnect fee, IP error! I told him I had no intention of paying a reconnect fee for their mistake.

I then saw our State Representative Rich Myers and talked with him, emailed him the information, and he went right to work for me.

I received 3 months of bills at one time because they had thrown away my account and didn't send me my bill, and all of a sudden thought that I would just pay them $400 or more.

I once again emailed Rich Myers and asked what to do.

Yesterday, I had 3 calls from IP and 1 so far today. It seems that when this lady called in she gave them 100 Washington Street, but NOT in Biggsville! Seems that these recorded messages sometimes do work for you.

I am sure if they review mine, they will know that I threw a temper at them, but at that point I was too tired and upset to care.

(I did apologize to them yesterday.) They knew this because finally someone listened, because Rich Myers went to work for me! They wouldn't listen to a 30 year customer, but they did listen when our State Representative called.

I appreciate the help Rich Myers gave and owe him for this. So, feel free to share this story, and if you have a problem don't be afraid to call Sheriff Lumbeck for suggestions or your State Representative Rich Myers.

I appreciate Rich Myers, my sister, and the people at the Biggsville Bank, and Sheriff Lumbeck for their help with this. If you know you're right, fight for it. Don't give in.

I am a typist and I know that the computer doesn't make mistakes, but we do!

Charlotte Shafer


Dear Editor,

Records from the local museum show LaHarpe High School active in 1863, and its first graduation in 1872. Now we assume the last graduation will be 2007. Many residents have good and bad memories about the annual homecoming events over a 135-year span. Surely the 2006 Homecoming brought back mixed emotions of the past and generates ideas about the future.

Personally, it was startling to realize that in my own family five generations attended LaHarpe schools. My father, A. R. (Ray) Manifold (1883-1948) attended LaHarpe High School until he was seventeen years old, but at the death of his parents he left school to take over the farm. His three daughters graduated from LHS in 1922 (Lois), 1924 (Helen) and 1935 (Kathryn). All of my six children are LHS alumni and nine grandchildren have attended or graduated here as have four great-grandchildren.

How many families have five generations who have gone to school here?

Kathryn M. Link

La Harpe