Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter in America

Marvin Shur's home in Bay City. (Photo courtesy of CNN)

Two michigan stories that make you wonder what the future holds for the United States...

Susan Candiotti of CNN reports:

Marvin Schur's neighbors found the World War II veteran's frozen body in his Bay City bedroom on January 17, four days after a device that regulates how much power he uses -- installed because of failure to pay -- shut off his power. A medical examiner said the temperature was 32 degrees in his house when Schur's body was found.

Utility officials said Schur owed at least $700, but Schur's nephew, William Wallworth, said his uncle told him he was worth at least a half-million dollars, and authorities say Schur had cash clipped to his utility bills on his kitchen table.

Wallworth said someone should have looked at Schur's payment history and made direct contact to see whether something was wrong.

"This wasn't about someone who didn't have the money to pay his bills," Wallworth said of his uncle, a widower known to his nieces and nephews as "Uncle Mutts."

And Charlie LeDuff of The Detroit News writes:

This city has not always been a gentle place, but a series of events over the past few, frigid days causes one to wonder how cold the collective heart has grown.

It starts with a phone call made by a man who said his friend found a dead body in the elevator shaft of an abandoned building on the city's west side.

"He's encased in ice, except his legs, which are sticking out like Popsicle sticks," the caller phoned to tell this reporter.

"Why didn't your friend call the police?"

"He was trespassing and didn't want to get in trouble," the caller replied. As it happens, the caller's friend is an urban explorer who gets thrills rummaging through and photographing the ruins of Detroit. It turns out that this explorer last week was playing hockey with a group of other explorers on the frozen waters that had collected in the basement of the building. None of the men called the police, the explorer said. They, in fact, continued their hockey game.

Before calling the police, this reporter went to check on the tip, skeptical of a hoax. Sure enough, in the well of the cargo elevator, two feet jutted out above the ice. Closer inspection revealed that the rest of the body was encased in 2-3 feet of ice, the body prostrate, suspended into the ice like a porpoising walrus.


  1. I am utterly speechless. Those idiots just kept on playing their game? God that's disheartening.

  2. His gas was still on full which is provide by Cosumers Energy there in Bay City while the Bay City Electric Light & Power provides electric. Only electric was put on a limiter. So he should still have heat.

  3. ...I hope the frozen hockey player ain't Kevin Kerr...

  4. The poor soul has been identified as Johnnie Redding from River Rouge.

    "He chose the life for whatever reason," Redding said. "But he wasn't homeless. Please don't call him homeless. He always had a place to go. He was loved."

    May God and the angels take you to heaven dear brother...

    This story and the poor elderly man make me fear what is ahead for Michigan and its inhabitants.



    Here is another story just like the others....A middle aged man allows his mother to live in filth and sqalour and she dies on the couch. Of course this is Flint...


  6. I've read 3 different accounts now of the 'legs' story. One reporter stated that the hockey palyers were an "army of homeless"... And the elderly lady in Flint? that hasn't fully come to light yet either. s'pposedly, the 'caretaker' has diminished mental facs, so...I think the Sheriff was very wrong in lobbing lip grenades in the Urinal.

  7. i just want to know how this 93 year old mans power bill was so incredibly high for 4 months, when he had gas heat?


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at