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That's one way to free up the tranche called "Social Security"

vastleft's picture

If only the guy hadn't lived so long, this would be Sully's dream solution:

BAY CITY, Mich. - A 93-year-old man froze to death inside his home just days after the municipal power company restricted his use of electricity because of unpaid bills, officials said.

So much more efficient than rounding up an ice floe, some Alpo, and a can opener.

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Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

from the link regarding the death of a 93-year-old, childless widower who froze to death after the city restricted his electricity :

(Marvin E.) Schur owed Bay City Electric Light & Power more than $1,000 in unpaid electric bills, Bay City Manager Robert Belleman told The Associated Press on Monday.
A city utility worker had installed a "limiter" device to restrict the use of electricity at Schur's home on Jan. 13, said Belleman. The device limits power reaching a home and blows out like a fuse if consumption rises past a set level. Power is not restored until the device is reset.
The limiter was tripped sometime between the time of installation and the discovery of Schur's body, Belleman said. He didn't know if anyone had made personal contact with Schur to explain how the device works.

The body was discovered by neighbor George Pauwels Jr.
"His furnace was not running, the insides of his windows were full of ice the morning we found him," Pauwels told the Bay City News.

Power shut off if bills unpaid

Belleman said city workers keep the limiter on houses for 10 days, then shut off power entirely if the homeowner hasn't paid utility bills or arranged to do so.
He said Bay City Electric Light & Power's policies will be reviewed, but he didn't believe the city did anything wrong.

Am I the only one who thinks the power company supervisor ought to be charged with murder here? The limiter on the electricity went out and subjected this man to death by hypothermia -- and NOBODY told him that was coming? Not only should jobs be lost in the city administration and power company over this, people ought to go to jail.

Submitted by Elliott Lake on

In many places I have lived, it was ILLEGAL to shut off power in the winter. I would have thought MI was one of them, as they have serious winter.

That is definitely murder-------a 93 year old man?!! Is there any way we can complain to the city over that? And Bellman needs to lose his job at least, or face charges too-----"didn't think the city did anything wrong"!

Submitted by lambert on

What's wrong with you?

UPDATE Part of me wants to get out Belleman's number and start calling it. But the shit that rolled over Mr. Schur rolled over Belleman first and started way further up hill than Bay City, MI. The spreadsheets that really killed Mr. Schur aren't Belleman's. The real question is who holds Bay City's paper, isn't it?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

That was cruel of me. If we gave them can openers, then they'd be starved for entertainment. Or perhaps if we didn't. Just depends on whose entertainment we're talking about.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

Damn sickening. At least Athenae, over at First Draft, was outraged about this.
Mr. Schur was 93, lived alone, might have suffered from dementia.
Mr. Schur was also a widower and childless. Oh, and a veteran.

Clearly not worth the utility's time. Additional information from a later, more complete newspaper account:

Among the issues being investigated by authorities was whether Schur suffered from dementia. They're checking to see if he was treated by doctors for the disease.

When Schur's body was discovered, his unpaid power bills sat on a kitchen table inside the house.

Clipped to the bills was cash that he was going to use to pay them.

Now, I don't know about you people, but if this city manager lived anywhere within fifty miles of me I'd be on the streets with a recall petition yesterday. I don't give a damn who "holds your paper," you don't kill people over unpaid utility bills and get away with it.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

Power company?

In Bay City, City Manager Robert Belleman said the city would review its use of the equipment in the wake of Schur's death.

Belleman and Schur's neighbors got into a war of words over who was responsible for the death.

Municipal utilities: http://www.baycitymi.org/Utilities/utili....
City Manager'd be the one in charge of those.

Jail would be good, fired might have to do temporarily. Robert Belleman, in the earlier account, said the city hadn't done anything wrong by limiting power -- that is to say, CUTTING OFF THE HEAT -- to this customer.

Damn cheap, a veteran's life in the good old U.S.A.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

When Schur's body was discovered, his unpaid power bills sat on a kitchen table inside the house.

Clipped to the bills was cash that he was going to use to pay them.

We really do. The power company could have contacted a neighbor, a city group that deals with the elderly, a church. Someone!

Some of us will be there someday. What would you want to happen?