Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Just the Facts

Evidently Scott Siegrist showed the JSEB payment stubs of the weekly East Peoria newspaper he claims he delivered to me from Feb thru Dec.of 1974. The pay-as-you-deliver stubs totaled somewhere around $30.00 – approximately 48 weeks at from 60 to 70 cents a week. He shows he was paid all but $6.60 which he says I still owe him. For the record, support payments to my then wife started on July 17 with the divorce finalized on November 15, 1974. I did not live at the location where Scott delivered and collected. My ex did. When he couldn’t get her to pay, he tried to collect from me.

The bus incident? This was not “just a litter” problem. I was “passing” at 65 miles per hour, not “following” the bus when the missile flew out the window, narrowly missing my windshield.

As to the year 2000 incident brought up by the JS numerous times, twice reported that I approached the plaintiff when the police report filed by the plaintiff reported the opposite. Small “errors”, of which there were many, changed the facts.

My record on the police blotter is clean and will remain so. The Woodford County Sheriffs Department asked me if I wanted to file charges. As I told them and told MHS officials, I am not. Competent Morton school officials have handled the problems. Rules are that the drivers do not open the door unless an emergency. They are to hand signal you to come to the driver’s side and talk thru the window. The policy of no food and drinks on school buses will be enforced. I apologize for becoming upset.


Mahkno said...

Some paperboy is still hung up about getting stiffed back in 1974? LOL. He needs to get some therapy.

Anonymous said...

Nice. and concise post Merle.

Stormin' Norman said...

Merle, here's a secret, free of charge...the mind weakens with age. Either get with the program or start taking your Alzheimer's medication like your doctor prescribed...jnh

Anonymous said...

I agree, very smart post Merle, just the facts!! What's with norman?? I think he needs the pills. Did he not read the article? Does he work for the Journal Star? As for the, what an idiot. Yes it is after 10pm, more important Bradley is up 13 over Kansas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


One of these days your temper is going to get the best of you. Remember that kind of outburstcould lead to physcial problems.

You react the way you did on that particular day whenever you think sonething is wrong. That is your M.O. It is just not the way to handle anything. I bet if you had just contacted the school, the bad publicity would have never happened. Now everyone continues to believe that you don't have control of your temper.

Merle Widmer said...

To Stomin' Norman:

Reread my article; contacting the school would have been too late. Everybody would have denied it.

Reread my previous blogs. I am not a pacifist and I've lived longer than the average person so what are you saying??
As many times you have commented on my blogs you should knpow I don't "suffer fools gladly".

Homer Simpson said...

The only reason that your police blotter is clean is because you haven't been caught yet. You drive like a maniac, so it surprising you haven't killed yourself or someone else yet. Wasn't there a time you flipped off another driver and then lead him on a high speed chase through Peoria?

Merle Widmer said...


I'll answer you by asking why you aren't you listed in the greater Peoria phone directory?

I distinctly remember being chased by some dangerous acting male who quit chasing me when I pulled into the nearest police station I could find. Why didn't you come in the police station? I was there waiting.

Have I ever flipped any inconsiderate driver off? I have never suffered fools gladly.

You may be one of the many idiot and drunk drivers who were involved in causing 42,000 deaths and over three million injuries caused by vehicles and their drivers in the US last year.

Here's to good driving habits, a longer life like mine and a safer and litter free community.

Cheryl Shelabarger said...

Mr. Widmer,

For the most part, I have a great deal of respect for you. I may not be your biggest fan nor do I always agree with your views but I respect the active role you play in this community. You could round up ten average citizens, put them in a room and total up their collective knowledge and community service work performed and you would far exceed them all. That being said, I would like to add the following:

I understand your frustration, anger and fear when you were almost hit with a pop can on the highway. Distractions like that could cause one to lose control of their vehicle and cause an accident of epic purportion. Innocent people could have been hurt or killed.

On the other hand, your actions caused the bus driver to become distracted. Pulling in front of him could have caused him to lose control of the bus and could have caused an accident of epic purportion.

While reading the news today, I saw that two policemen in New York were injured when another vehicle sideswiped them and the car they had pulled off the side of the road. My point being that because of the danger, people should only pull over in cases of an emergency.

Now I am quite sure you will counter with "but this WAS an emergency because the kid could have thrown more cans and caused an accident". So what we have here is a conundrum of sorts. I would suggest that if you were gung ho about pulling off the side of the road, you could have done it alone and phoned the police and reported this incident. If you didn't have access to a cell phone, perhaps you could have pulled off at the first available exit.

By taking it upon yourself to cause the bus to pull over, you put everyone in danger. Had the worst possible scenario occurred, we would have been reading a story about a tragic case of road rage in the Journal Star, not a story about an a** chewing.

With regard to the paperboy? Who originally ordered the paper? If it was you and you failed to put in a stop order, then you owe the money plain and simple. (plus interest if you were a fair man) Aren't you the same man who is so concerned about teaching kids right from wrong? What lesson were you teaching this kid? Work for 6 weeks for nothing and don't complain? Or perhaps it was this lesson; Stiffing a kid out of money is o.k. as long as you use a divorce as excuse?

If you had CILCO in your name and you got divorced and failed to notify CILCO, they would expect YOU to pay, not your wife. Now if you informed the paperboy that you wanted to cancel the paper and YOUR WIFE reinstated it with him, then SHE is responsible.

Just my two cents worth.

Merle Widmer said...

Thanks Cheryl,

I appreciate and respect your comments.

The house was owned jointly. Do you know who ordered the paper and who was asked to pay directly to the deliverer??

Do you know the names I was called by the kids dad??

Or is the man just naturally expected to pay and pay and pay?

Isn't what many women want is equal rights on all things?

By the way, I see the kids dad is closing his business but son Scott will still be available for service work. And no, my son has never written a hateful and accusatory letter to any editors. Nor did I protect my son by giving him a lifetime job at my company.

Cheryl Shelabarger said...

Mr. Widmer,

I am sure that you and I probably disagree in many areas, however I have a feeling that child rearing is not one of them. I happen to have raised six beautiful daughters without the benefit of child support. One of my daughters is a minister in Boston, another is currently attending Harvard University, another was just accepted to Eastern IL University to major in Special Education. My ex-husband assumed that since I was a working woman, I could support the children. I refused to argue over money so I supported them entirely. I am not complaining, I am simply stating a fact. Hence, I certainly don't believe that men should pay and pay and pay. In fact, I am probably the LAST woman who would ever say such a thing.

What I asked was this; Who ordered the paper? If it was you, then you pay. If it was your wife, then she pays. In my opinion, a paperboy should not be brought into the middle of the domestic disputes of his customers. He's simply a kid trying to earn a couple of bucks after school. Period.

I do not condone the Father calling you names, however I would like to think he was simply trying to make a point that his son performed a service and should be paid. His frustration and anger must have gotten the best of him and he lost his temper. As a parent, I am sure you can relate. Certainly you would be upset if say, one of your children mowed the neighbor's grass for six weeks and the neighbor then refused to pay him.

Or, better yet, have you ever been driving down an interstate and had some punk kid throw a soda can out the window of a bus almost hitting you? It would make you frustrated and angry and fearful, and it would probably cause you to say and do things that you don't normally do. (smile and a wink)

As for the Father "closing his business", I don't know these people so I can't really comment on it. I have no knowledge regarding the son and his work ethics, so for all I know he could have been the hardest working guy in town OR he could have just as easily been a spoiled kid hanging on his Father's coat tails. Can't really say.

Mr. Widmer, before I close this post I want you to know that as a citizen of this county I appreciate all you do for us. You have given hours and hours and hours of your time and expertise. As I said before, we may not agree on all things, but I would like to say "thank you" for caring and for trying to make a difference.

pollypeoria said...

I think Siegrist Jr was a boy, a kid, youth, a CHILD who admirably WORKED for money when not required by society to do so. The CHILD should not be responsible for tracking down and figuring out who is legally responsible for a debt in a bitter divorce. It is incumbent upon the ADULT -any adult, male or female- to pay the paper BOY especially when such a meager sum is involved. You were petty on this one Merle. However, Siegriest Jr., now an ADULT himself, should have long recovered and forgotten about this debt.