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Jan. 30, 2001 PROBE

January 30, 2001

CASE OF WANDERING CHECKS — I am dying of desperation. I am so tired of fending off bill collectors. I still have not received my December child support checks.

I don't know what I would do without your help. What do we do now? — Desperately seeking Mom, El Centro

Our steady readers may guess the above mother is the one who cried with her children Christmas night because they had none of the Christmas goodies — or even food for a nourishing supper.

Although her ex-husband had been paying child support regularly, the checks stopped coming after November.

It was a bitter cold December and just as cold in January but at last the above mom is getting her hands on her child support checks.

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Deputy District Attorney George Holbrook said two checks totaling almost $800 are in his office. She can pick up a $396 check today and one for $397 Friday.

So where have the checks been? That's still a mystery but it looks like her husband's employer, Coca-Cola, sent the checks to county Superior Court instead of county family support.

At least one of the checks was cashed by the court, according to the soft drink bottler. The second check was never cashed; Coke reissued the uncashed check.

That takes care of the December checks. Where are the January checks? With any luck, she'll have those by February.

QUESTION: I live in Waycross, Ga. My father left when I was 8 months old and we never heard from him again.

We learned he died in I952 in Imperial County. Knowing he died is not enough for me. I would like to know more about him.

His name was Klein Pierce and he was born in White Springs, Fla. Is there anyone around in your area who knew him? — Searcher, Waycross

Our cemetery operative Stacy Vellas found Pierce's grave in Evergreen Cemetery in El Centro.

She found his death certificate at the county Recorder's Office. Now she's searching through old newspapers to find his obituary.

Your father died May 1, 1952, in the county hospital after a six-day stay for treatment of what may have been a heart ailment.

If any PROBE readers knew Pierce, they can contact his daughter, Elaine Smith, on the Internet at jbclerk@earthlink.net, call her at (912) 283-6762 at work or (912) 285-5891 at home, or fax her at work (912)283-9626.

You also call us at 337-3448 and we'll pass on the information to Smith.

TAX ASSISTANCE UPDATE — Our phone has been ringing off the wall from senior citizens pleading for information on a state refund of part of their property taxes.

Now we have a local phone number for you. Call the Area Agency on Aging's information and referral office at 353-3000.

Write down the number and stick it under one of those magnetic things on your refrigerator door.

Not everybody is eligible. But if you are 62, blind or disabled and live in a household with annual income under $33,900, you may qualify.

Call in the morning. Talk to Dora.

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