Quantcast
Connect with us

69-year-old Vietnam vet with throat cancer freezes to death after company shuts off his gas

Published

on

A senior man in ski cap and thin jacket shivering from the cold via Shutterstock.com

The state of Michigan has ordered Consumers Energy to issue a report after a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran died of hypothermia when his gas was shutoff during one of the coldest months of the year.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Consumers Energy shut off the gas at the home where John Skelley was living on Jan. 19. He was found frozen to death on Feb. 1.

ADVERTISEMENT

Although the Michigan Public Service Commission prohibits companies from shutting off heat from Nov. 1 to March 31 if there is a person older than 65 living in the home, Consumers Energy insisted that it could not have known that Skelley lived in the apartment because the bill was in someone else’s name.

Consumers Energy spokesperson Deborah Dodd told the Free Press that the service had been in the name of Joseph Mixen, who had not kept up with a payment plan to resolve an outstanding $760.28 balance that dated back to March 2012.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Dodd remarked. “We had no idea that anyone else was living with him. … We need our customers to let us know if they’re having problems, the sooner the better. We can’t help you if we don’t know you need help.”

“This recent Hazel Park death from apparent hypothermia is indeed tragic, and our sympathy goes out to his family, friends and all who’ve been affected by his loss,” Consumers Energy said in a statement. “Following today’s order from the Michigan Public Service Commission, we will file a report about this incident.”

Skelley’s daughter, Tanya Mitchell, told the World Socialist Web Site that her father had been suffering from throat cancer, and had been estranged from most of his family, who did not know where he was living.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mitchell said that she was skeptical that Consumers Energy cared about its elderly customers, even after it responded to her father’s death by setting aside $9 million in profits for heating assistance.

“I think it might be a front,” she argued. “If you are sorry, why did you shut off the heat for a 69-year-old man? I understand that every business has to be concerned about profit, but they have to be concerned about the customers too. Maybe gas companies should take account of what people earn. That would be helpful.”

“I had a friend of mine say, ‘don’t shut people off in the winter, people will freeze.’ We had a problem once with DTE Energy. We went through a payment plan. But for some it is too much, they can’t meet the minimum requirements. It is hard nowadays to keep up with everything.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The Detroit-based veterans group Hangin’ with the Heroes has agreed to cover the costs of Skelley’s funeral.

“This is something that was a massive undertaking for us,” founder Ron Gilmour noted. “Within two hours of hearing about it, we decided on our course of action and through a lot of help and reaching out to get some publicity, we managed to make everything happen.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Consumers Energy is due to file its report on Skelley’s death with the Michigan Public Service Commission by March 31.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows committed campaign finance crimes: watchdog group

Published

on

The government ethics watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint on Friday accusing White House chief of staff Mark Meadows of campaign finance crimes for allegedly spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal expenses, including clubs, gourmet cupcakes, a jeweler in Washington and lodging at the president's hotel.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Win or lose — Trump is about to unleash hell

Published

on

With poll numbers staying put and the odds of a Joe Biden win in Tuesday's election looking good — possibly by a decisive margin — there's mounting dread about how Donald Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with the emotional control of a — well, I won't insult toddlers with the comparison — and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He's already made clear that he will refuses to concede, no matter what, and he's grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

GOP senator offended LDS community after likening Trump to a ‘selfless’ Book of Mormon hero: report

Published

on

Politics and religion are colliding out west after comments a Republican senator made while stumping for the president.

"Sen. Mike Lee drew criticism from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week after comparing President Donald Trump to Captain Moroni, a heroic and selfless figure in the Book of Mormon," The Arizona Republic reported Friday evening.

"To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni," Lee (R-UT) said, pointing to Trump. "He seeks not power, but to pull it down. He seeks not the praise of the world or the ‘fake news,’ but he seeks the well-being and the peace of the American people."

Continue Reading