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Posted: 1/26/2009 10:54:34 AM EST
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.

Marvin E. Schur died "a slow, painful death," said Kanu Virani, Oakland County's deputy chief medical examiner, who performed the autopsy.

Neighbors discovered Schur's body on Jan. 17. They said the indoor temperature was below 32 degrees at the time, The Bay City Times reported Monday.

"Hypothermia shuts the whole system down, slowly," Virani said. "It's not easy to die from hypothermia without first realizing your fingers and toes feel like they're burning."

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, Belleman said. 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.

Schur's 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 newspaper.

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.

"I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbors need to keep an eye on neighbors," Belleman said. "When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."

Schur had no children and his wife had died several years ago.

Bay City is on Saginaw Bay, just north of the city of Saginaw in central Michigan.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 10:56:44 AM EST
Sad
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 10:58:07 AM EST
Very Sad...
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 10:59:08 AM EST
This is sad but how is the power company supposed to know the age/status of the resident unless the resident informs the power company?  I seriously doubt anyone knowingly put the limiter on a 93 y/o's residence in the middle of winter.

Brian
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 10:59:22 AM EST
Sad.  Must be George Bush's fault.  Obama will make sure none of us ever have to pay our utilities.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:02:03 AM EST
Our company's poicy is that we don't shut people off if the temperature is below a certain level.  I guess that's harder to do in colder climates.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:02:24 AM EST
Quoted:
This is sad but how is the power company supposed to know the age/status of the resident unless the resident informs the power company?  I seriously doubt anyone knowingly put the limiter on a 93 y/o's residence in the middle of winter.

Brian


I know PP&L, here in Pa., will not turn power off during the winter. They will work with the "poor" and the elderly.

Also, there are Pa. programs to help with utility bills.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:05:53 AM EST
Thats sad =[[[
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:06:12 AM EST
It's a sad story, but...what's the solution? If they keep the power on during the winter, they'll shut if off during spring. If he still can't pay the bill, what about next winter? Free then, too?



It sucks, but...they can't just give it away for free. And taxing others to pay for things like this isn't a great solution, either.



It's just a sad story, all the way around.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:06:53 AM EST
I don't see a problem here.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:07:06 AM EST
City is totally at fault here.  It sounds like a city owned utility as city employees were the ones who shut him down.  City records should show who lives in each house and who the owner is.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:07:45 AM EST
Old men are proud and don't ask for help
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:07:51 AM EST
Quoted:
This is sad but how is the power company supposed to know the age/status of the resident unless the resident informs the power company?  I seriously doubt anyone knowingly put the limiter on a 93 y/o's residence in the middle of winter.

Brian



This is what happens when customers won't call and talk to the utility company about their bills. Far to many just refuse to call or answer the numerous letters/bills and telephone messages/calls. Maybe this guy was senile, who knows, but I guarantee the guy got numerous chances to make arrangements on payment and it sounds like he didn't even bother to do call.

He could have gone on the Winter Protection Plan and he woud not have been shut off, however, he would HAVE to set up a plan to pay back his arrearages before the next heating season. Lot more going on the the paper is saying.............
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:08:10 AM EST
Quoted:
It's a sad story, but...what's the solution? If they keep the power on during the winter, they'll shut if off during spring. If he still can't pay the bill, what about next winter? Free then, too?

It sucks, but...they can't just give it away for free. And taxing others to pay for things like this isn't a great solution, either.

It's just a sad story, all the way around.


Subnet shows his wisdom again.  I'm with you.

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:09:41 AM EST
It is sad, but it is nobodys fault but his own.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:10:28 AM EST
Sad state of affairs, but only in America where money is being spent at a record pace by the Government on wasteful programs, and an elderly person dies from the elements, due to being on a fixed income and being raped by high energy charges. At the very least, given the persons health status, they should have seen to it that he was put into a shelter somewhere.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:10:56 AM EST
Death over a $1000.00. His estate is going to be very warm in the near future. Just waiting for the lawyers to get involved.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:11:04 AM EST
Apparently he called and told them they can't turn it off simply because he didn't pay. They told him to chill out for a minute.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:11:52 AM EST
I bet they didn't shut off the power of all the welfare and section 8 people.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:13:00 AM EST
Quoted:
City is totally at fault here.  It sounds like a city owned utility as city employees were the ones who shut him down.  City records should show who lives in each house and who the owner is.


What other goods and services should he receive, regardless of his ability or willingness to pay?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:13:24 AM EST
Meanwhile, right down the street, a horde of section8 residents are smoking weed and waiting for the Dominoes Pizza guy. They have never paid taxes. They have never paid rent. They have never paid their utilities. They have never been issued a limiter in the middle of winter by the power company, either.

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:14:33 AM EST
Quoted:
City is totally at fault here.  It sounds like a city owned utility as city employees were the ones who shut him down.  City records should show who lives in each house and who the owner is.


So YOU pay the bills of those who won't or can't pay.........................easy to lay blame when you won't pay someone else's bills for them. Unlike almost any other service, you don't pay a month ahead or at the time of usage, you pay AFTER it's used and for some reason, many people really resent paying their utility bills.

If we had a "deadbeat surcharge" on customers bills, it would take a very short time before EVERYONE was a deadbeat and there wouldn't be anyone to bill. You also don't have a clue how bad the payment delinquency rate is in the utility business, especally in the high usage months. Think 25% or so.

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:17:05 AM EST
Quoted:
Sad state of affairs, but only in America where money is being spent at a record pace by the Government on wasteful programs, and an elderly person dies from the elements, due to being on a fixed income and being raped by high energy charges. At the very least, given the persons health status, they should have seen to it that he was put into a shelter somewhere.



I love the " THEYS", far easier then the "YOU'S", right??? So, who is THEY????
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:18:34 AM EST
What's even sadder is there rarely is a year when something like this happens.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:18:56 AM EST
Quoted:
City is totally at fault here.

Our nation is lost.

The Nannystate is complete.


Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:20:51 AM EST
Quoted:
It's a sad story, but...what's the solution? If they keep the power on during the winter, they'll shut if off during spring. If he still can't pay the bill, what about next winter? Free then, too?

It sucks, but...they can't just give it away for free. And taxing others to pay for things like this isn't a great solution, either.

It's just a sad story, all the way around.


Yeah, good job Sub.  Another goddamn causality in goddamn pursuit of the almighty dollar!

I can only hope some of you wind-up on the bad side of being broke and your life if is forfeit for the dollar.

The way we treat people in this country is no wonder why we're circling the drain.

ETA spelling
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:21:24 AM EST
Obama's fault.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:23:05 AM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
It's a sad story, but...what's the solution? If they keep the power on during the winter, they'll shut if off during spring. If he still can't pay the bill, what about next winter? Free then, too?

It sucks, but...they can't just give it away for free. And taxing others to pay for things like this isn't a great solution, either.

It's just a sad story, all the way around.


Yeah, good job Sub.  Another goddamn causality in goddamn pursuit of the almighty dollar!

I can only hope some of you wind-up on the bad side of being broke and your life if is forfeit for the dollar.

The way we treat people in this country is no wonder why we're circling the drain.

ETA spelling


Explain to me how I have an obligation to pay your electric bill.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:23:10 AM EST
Quoted:
This is sad but how is the power company supposed to know the age/status of the resident unless the resident informs the power company?  I seriously doubt anyone knowingly put the limiter on a 93 y/o's residence in the middle of winter.

Brian


Who cares about the age? That has nothing to do with it. By your logic a senior citizen should get free power because their age, but anyone else, they better pay or it is shut off?

The man did not pay his bills. He made that choice. He decided I would rather have this house with belongings A B + C, and pay my bills X Y + Z.

No one at fault except for the 93 year old man.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:23:43 AM EST
Quoted:

"I've said this before and some of my colleagues have said this: Neighbors need to keep an eye on neighbors," Belleman said. "When they think there's something wrong, they should contact the appropriate agency or city department."


Way to pass off the blame...

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:24:14 AM EST
Quoted:
I bet they didn't shut off the power of all the welfare and section 8 people.



This
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:24:25 AM EST
I'm anything but in favor of socialism.  BUT...what sort of responsible power company or city government would allow someone to freeze to death over an unpaid power bill.


This is the United States of America, still the greatest nation on earth and the most thoroughly industrialized, civilized, and technologically advanced place in the world.  If any nation can afford to ensure that its own citizens don't freeze to death over an unpaid power bill, it SHOULD be this one.  

ESSENTIAL services should NEVER be cut off.  Emphasis on ESSENTIAL services.  Electricity
in the winter in the northern states, for heating.   Electricity in the summer in the south,
for cooling.  Water at all times for drinking and sanitation.


I believe in safety nets to keep people from dying.  But not for them to treat them as hammocks to relax in and not pay their bills.


CJ
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:25:39 AM EST
Actually, from what I've heard - hypothermia is quite the peaceful way to go once your core temp drops low enough.  Euphoric, some say.

Sad though - how is a 93 year old man supposed to pay utility bills if he's not sitting on an assload of cash.  Can't bring myself to say "tough shit for the old bastard."

Tragic though.  I suppose he could have asked for help.  No way in hell social services would allowed someone to freeze to death.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:27:00 AM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
City is totally at fault here.  It sounds like a city owned utility as city employees were the ones who shut him down.  City records should show who lives in each house and who the owner is.


So YOU pay the bills of those who won't or can't pay.........................easy to lay blame when you won't pay someone else's bills for them. Unlike almost any other service, you don't pay a month ahead or at the time of usage, you pay AFTER it's used and for some reason, many people really resent paying their utility bills.

If we had a "deadbeat surcharge" on customers bills, it would take a very short time before EVERYONE was a deadbeat and there wouldn't be anyone to bill. You also don't have a clue how bad the payment delinquency rate is in the utility business, especally in the high usage months. Think 25% or so.




You assume the country is the way it always was.  Not true. Back in the day nobody had the mindset of saving for retirement.  You probably had family and other resourses to rely on.  Then the world changed, and greed surpassed common sense and left them behind.  It wasn't as though they planned poorly, they planned wrong.  It is our fault to a degree they can't pay bills.

Quoted:


This is the United States of America, still the greatest nation on earth and the most thoroughly industrialized, civilized, and technologically advanced place in the world.  If any nation can afford to ensure that its own citizens don't freeze to death over an unpaid power bill, it SHOULD be this one.  

ESSENTIAL services should NEVER be cut off.  Emphasis on ESSENTIAL services.  Electricityin the winter in the northern states, for heating.   Electricity in the summer in the south,
for cooling.  Water at all times for drinking and sanitation.


I believe in safety nets to keep people from dying.  But not for them to treat them as hammocks to relax in and not pay their bills.



Wrong, there is no profit in it.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:27:37 AM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
It's a sad story, but...what's the solution? If they keep the power on during the winter, they'll shut if off during spring. If he still can't pay the bill, what about next winter? Free then, too?

It sucks, but...they can't just give it away for free. And taxing others to pay for things like this isn't a great solution, either.

It's just a sad story, all the way around.


Yeah, good job Sub.  Another goddamn causality in goddamn pursuit of the almighty dollar!

I can only hope some of you wind-up on the bad side of being broke and your life if is forfeit for the dollar.

The way we treat people in this country is no wonder why we're circling the drain.

ETA spelling


What other goods and services should he receive regardless of his willingness or ability to pay?

How old do you have to be before whether or not you pay your bills becomes irrelevant?  Can I stop paying my electric bill but keep getting electricity?

Please, define your position... none of this vague "Damn you for not having any compassion!" nonsense... hard numbers, please.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:27:45 AM EST
Quoted:
No way in hell social services would allowed someone to freeze to death.


Just ask your utility company, if you are really hard off and not just a person who rather have sattelite tv and a big screen than pay your bill, there are multiple energy assistance programs. Just like welfare or food stamps.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:29:09 AM EST
Quoted:
I'm anything but in favor of socialism.  BUT...what sort of responsible power company or city government would allow someone to freeze to death over an unpaid power bill.


If paying your bill is no longer the determining factor of your continuing to receive electricity, what is?  At what temperature should how old of a person be able to stop paying?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:29:33 AM EST
I'm interested to see how this goes... will it disappear quietly or will the family sue the electric company for wrongful death?

I also believe we're not getting the entire story here.

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:29:58 AM EST
Where were his fucking kids and grand-kids?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:30:22 AM EST
Quoted:
ESSENTIAL services should NEVER be cut off.  Emphasis on ESSENTIAL services.  Electricity
in the winter in the northern states, for heating.   Electricity in the summer in the south,
for cooling.  Water at all times for drinking and sanitation.


So, why should anyone ever pay for those services if they will continue to receive them?  Who should be paying to generate and deliver the electricity?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:30:52 AM EST
Quoted:
I'm interested to see how this goes... will it disappear quietly or will the family waste a ton of money on a lawsuite just to try and make some money on something that isn't the electric companies fault sue the electric company for wrongful death?



Fixed
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:31:21 AM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
It's a sad story, but...what's the solution? If they keep the power on during the winter, they'll shut if off during spring. If he still can't pay the bill, what about next winter? Free then, too?

It sucks, but...they can't just give it away for free. And taxing others to pay for things like this isn't a great solution, either.

It's just a sad story, all the way around.


Yeah, good job Sub.  Another goddamn causality in goddamn pursuit of the almighty dollar!

I can only hope some of you wind-up on the bad side of being broke and your life if is forfeit for the dollar.

The way we treat people in this country is no wonder why we're circling the drain.

ETA spelling


Socialist...........really, you are a socialist, I hope everyone understands why Obama won, if not, the text above explains it.



Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:31:23 AM EST
Quoted:
Where were his fucking kids and grand-kids?


Story said no kids, no wife.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:32:02 AM EST
Quoted:
Where were his fucking kids and grand-kids?

RIF. He didn't have any.

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:33:30 AM EST
How about a fourth poll option. Something to do with negotiating a settlement and compassion.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:34:09 AM EST
Quoted:

What other goods and services should he receive regardless of his willingness or ability to pay?

How old do you have to be before whether or not you pay your bills becomes irrelevant?  Can I stop paying my electric bill but keep getting electricity?

Please, define your position... none of this vague "Damn you for not having any compassion!" nonsense... hard numbers, please.



If you take that stance, break off all government support.  Stop the military, you can protect yourself from terrorist form getting you, stop driving on paved roads because the gov is taxing you for it, do your own chemical analysis on the medicines and food you consume and yada yada yada.

We shouldn’t be spreading our morals around the world if we don't use them here.

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:35:02 AM EST
Quoted:
How about a fourth poll option. Something to do with negotiating a settlement and compassion.


Utility companies do this, but you have to contact them and ask for it... Negotiation takes two sides. When one doesn't respons to shut off notices and late payment letters, there is no negotations... They just get shut off after due process.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:36:27 AM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
It's a sad story, but...what's the solution? If they keep the power on during the winter, they'll shut if off during spring. If he still can't pay the bill, what about next winter? Free then, too?

It sucks, but...they can't just give it away for free. And taxing others to pay for things like this isn't a great solution, either.

It's just a sad story, all the way around.


Yeah, good job Sub.  Another goddamn causality in goddamn pursuit of the almighty dollar!

I can only hope some of you wind-up on the bad side of being broke and your life if is forfeit for the dollar.

The way we treat people in this country is no wonder why we're circling the drain.

ETA spelling


Socialist...........really, you are a socialist, I hope everyone understands why Obama won, if not, the text above explains it.




So it's okay to let someone freeze to death because they can't afford heat?  Label me all you want, I still think its wrong, even if you don't.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:36:27 AM EST
Quoted:
Quoted:
Where were his fucking kids and grand-kids?


Story said no kids, no wife.

And no neighbors that cared enough.

They let a man freeze to death in their own neighborhood because of some flawed notion that "someone else will help him."

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:38:01 AM EST
Quoted:
So it's okay to let someone freeze to death because they can't afford heat?  Label me all you want, I still think its wrong, even if you don't.


What did man ever do before the wonder of electricity?

The old man had options, he didn't use them.

He could have worked out payment plans with the utility company.
He could have received energy assistance.
He could have started a freaking fire and put more clothes on.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 11:38:11 AM EST
Why didn't the man do something about the situation, even if he couldn't pay the bill himself? I know he was 93 but he was capable enough to live on his own. Maybe he didn't care.
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