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PROBE: June 4, 2001

June 04, 2001

QUESTION: The public administrator is burying veterans in the potters' field, the burial ground for paupers. The least we can do is give an indigent veteran a decent burial. Check this out — and don't whitewash it! — Mud-raker, Brawley

OK, we checked it out — and we think you need better sources.

Kirk Hems of Hems Bros. Mortuary and Francis Frye of Frye Chapel & Mortuary dispute your allegation. The Hems and Frye businesses handle virtually all the funerals in the Valley.

There's no reason to bury a veteran in a county grave when it's cheaper to take the vet to the national cemetery in Riverside. There is no charge to veterans for a burial plot in a national cemetery.

Besides, it's against the law to knowingly bury a veteran in a pauper's grave. It would happen only if it were not known the deceased was a veteran, according to Hems.

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Said Frye: "It doesn't happen very often. I think it happened once several years ago and when it was found out later that he was a veteran, there was a big uproar! Some people wanted to dig him up and move him. Other people said, ‘Let him rest in peace.'"

If a person dies without a "next of kin," it may not be easy to know his military services background. He may not have a Social Security card among his effects. It's possible he hasn't worked recently.

"We try," said Hems. "We check with Social Security and the military, his friends. We can usually do it. I have a veteran now. We'll probably take him to Riverside this week but it's taken us two months to arrange it."

FAT DIDN'T MELT AWAY — Those apple cider vinegar miracle pills supposed to melt away fat do no such thing!

When I bought mine the ad said, "100 percent money-back guarantee. I told them then I fully expected a refund if the pills didn't work!

By the time I finished my bottle, the new ad didn't mention a guarantee. I didn't want to hassle with them so I didn't get a refund.

But if you still believe in weight loss miracles that don't include exercise or cutting your calorie intake, you can get 200 capsules for $4 at Wal-Mart. I paid $16 for a bottle of 90 capsules.

And those pills advertised on television that are supposed to make your breasts bigger — puh-leeze! — Judy, Imperial Valley

Look at it this way, Judy, if you gain 10 pounds, your breasts will get bigger. If you lose 10 pounds, they'll get smaller.

Don't feel bad. After 50 years of dieting, we came to some conclusions. Calories do count, and you can cut back. Leave something on your plate at every meal (no, not the parsley! Leave something more substantial).

If you still believe in the magic of vinegar, buy a bottle (for less than $2). Pour a tablespoon in a glass of water and drink it before each meal.

We are guaranteeing nothing, but it might work.

QUESTION: Why is it you take it seriously when somebody else reports an employer making racist remarks on the company radio? When I want to talk about racism in the county, you want to argue with me. — Social Commentator, Calexico

We believe there is a redneck making hurtful remarks to his employees. That doesn't mean we believe all or even most employers are racists. You paint with a broad brush.

You should hear our fights we have with our white racist callers. We were in the midst of such a telephone discussion at work when we fell out of our chair with a transient ischemic attack. That's was so uncool.

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