April 19, 2001 PROBE

April 19, 2001

QUESTION: My mother bought life insurance several years ago. She pays regularly every month.

When she sent her premium without a stamp, it came back. Then she lost the envelope. Now she doesn't have an address to send out her premium.

The payment is a week overdue. She's in a panic, afraid her policy will be canceled. The life insurance is not much, about enough to pay for her burial.

Mom bought the insurance from a Calexico agent, Hortencia Fitch, but Ms. Fitch doesn't have an office in Calexico anymore.

Could you ask your PROBE to help my Mom find the insurance company or Ms. Fitch so Mom can pay her premium? — Dutiful Daughter, El Centro


Here's the address for the Centinela Title Insurance Agency — 695 S. Main St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84302.

After Dutiful Daughter told us the insurance company was in Salt Lake City, getting the address was easy.

We called Pacific Bell's directory assistance for the telephone number, (435) 734-2700.

With the number we plugged into a new Pacific Bell service. You know the one. A lilting voice says, "Got the number? We'll give you the listed name and address."

Before your mother sends her premium payment, you'd better call Centinela. Some companies have several addresses, each serving a different function.

One year we decided to pay off our credit card instead of spending our spare money for Christmas presents. It seemed like a good idea. We would save the credit card interest and could use the card for the presents.

Unfortunately, we sent the check to the wrong credit card office. That left us two weeks before Christmas with no money and a credit card that didn't work.

On Christmas Eve our dad observed, "Every year you show up with no presents but you always have a better story."

That's what we do, come up with stories.

WHERE TO STOP — I still don't know where to stop at the stop signs on Main Street in downtown El Centro. Did you find out? — Confused, El Centro

Stop behind the crosswalk. That's required by the state vehicle code.

The stop signs and traffic limit lines are at the corners. As it stands, the crosswalks are about 20 feet behind the stop signs.

Some people have been stopping at the crosswalk to comply with state law and again at the limit line.

City Engineer Ken Skillman said he sent out a work order to have the stop signs and limit lines moved behind the crosswalks.

It's easier to move the stop signs and the limit lines than to move the decorative crosswalks.

The new plan, while a bit unusual, complies both with the state vehicle code and California Department of Transportation regulations, Skillman said.

A USE FOR OLD TIRES — Old tires dumped along the road could be used for debris dams along the New River to create settling ponds and improve wildlife habitat and water quality. — Recycler, Imperial

That's something to think about. Unfortunately, standing water breeds mosquitoes and mosquitoes spread disease.

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