Mailing It In

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Since I am taking a few days off, I thought I would put you to work and post some of your e-mails.

Despite the few days off, I am keeping track of the emails you send me. If I don't read them everyday while I am taking a day or two off, I will return to an overflowing e-mail box. Plus, I confess, I like to hear from you — I am curious what you have to say about our topics, how we do the show, etc. I don't like the one-way communication of me talking into a camera. I want to hear back from you.

In addition to the e-mails, I have posted after the e-mails some articles you might want to read. One article is an update on a Wisconsin woman who vanished from a cruise ship. We covered her disappearance a year ago, but there has been little news about her so I thought this article update might interest you. Another posted article updates the March 2005 courthouse shooting in Atlanta, which resulted in the death of a judge and others. There are a handful of articles — but I am most curious what you think of the last one I posted. The last one reports that 30,000 GM employees are losing their jobs.

I hope you watch our audience show this Friday. I am curious if you like it and if you think we should do it more often.

Here are some randomly chosen e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Hi Greta,
I imagine one of the reasons for the heavy coverage of the Natalee Holloway story, aside from the fact that your viewers want it, is due to the effective P.R. campaign the Holloways and Twittys are running. I have noticed (the few times that I watch) that other cable news networks are running very similar video footage to yours, no doubt provided by the family while they are being interviewed. I don't mean to denigrate the family in any way for doing so, either. I think it is admirable that they won't crawl into a shell and give up. I would only hope that I would have a fraction of Beth Holloway's strength and determination were I in her shoes.
Regardless of the outcome of this tragic event, and we hope for the best, Beth Holloway has found a place in the hearts of Americans and I expect we'll be seeing a lot of her in the years to come, right along with John Walsh and Marc Klaas, sharing their strength and insight.
Thank you,
Stan Delk
Folsom, CA

E-mail No. 2

On Monday, October 31st a weird series of events took place in Aurora, Illinois. A couple of days later, Greta had a reporter from the Kane County Chronicle, Kate Thayer, on her show reporting the details of this story. As of this time, Marilyn Bethell has not been located and the family has not received any information as to what has become of her.
As we approach the holidays, I would like to request that the story of Marilyn Bethell and her disappearance be reported again with requests for any information. Family and friends are getting together a reward. We just would not like for this to take a back seat to the selling season and the holidays.
Thank you for any help you can give us,
Friends and step-sister,
Pauline O'Neill

ANSWER: We get over 100, 000 readers of the blog on most days, so I am posting your note in case someone might know something about Marilyn.

E-mail No. 3

I am so tired of the Dems getting away with continually saying that the president and his administration lied about the WMD prior to going into war in Iraq. Who is responsible for oversight of intelligence for the United States of America? Unless my civics teacher was incorrect, it is the Congress of the United States that has oversight responsibilities. If the Congress has oversight responsibilities, can somebody please tell me how the President is accountable for faulty intelligence?
Rich Miller
Pensacola, FL

E-mail No. 4

My name is Marjorie Bechtel. My daughter is a victim and survivor of hurricane Katrina, the most catastrophic hurricane ever to hit the United States. She lived in NOLA for over four years. She was on her way home to Ohio to her only family when she evacuated.
My daughter needs your help desperately. She has been treated unfairly. She was terminated without reason. She is a sweet beautiful young woman with two degrees in four years earning summa cum laude in both and summa cum laude on her thesis.
Repeatedly, she tried to reach her employer during this tragedy (always at her expense.) The employer relocated in Houston. Houston has doubled in population and crime. It would not be safe for anyone. All the evacuees from NOLA had taken every possible room available. Phones were not working properly in Houston. Cell phones with NOLA area code worked occasionally & motel phones were extremely expensive.
The employer said there would be corporate housing & she would be working 10 days off and 10 days on. They would notify her when to return. They never called. She called numerous times from Ohio and left messages, they never returned her calls. Finally after numerous calls again, she reached them and was told to find housing on her own and transportation and be there by the following Monday or lose her job. This was Weds at 4:30 p.m. She spent two days on the phones when they worked. She had moved from Ohio to a remote area outside Dallas with her boyfriend of many, many years. His employment had relocated to Dallas and provided housing for their employees. She would drive him an hour to work at 6 a.m. to Dallas, so she could borrow the car. She did not know the area. She was able to find a library and reserve the half hour allotted on the computer, find a Kinko's at 30 cents per minute to use the computer, used all her cell phone minutes and used all minutes from a calling card, to try and find housing and to reach the employer. After two days, unable to find housing, she asked for help and was refused. She was told not to call back, be there Monday or you don't have a job. At this time she began experiencing stress, anxiety, heart palpitations and was taken to the emergency room. She reached me and asked me to be her spokesperson for her job. I forwarded the emergency room documents and correspondence via e-mail. I tried to reach them by phone waiting 40 minutes at a time to speak with someone. She was told correspondence from her parents would not be accepted by any means. She called again and was put on speakerphone for the whole office to hear. My daughter asked for her 163 hours of sick leave and 80 annual hours she had accumulated. She was told that was an unbelievable amount of time and more than several employees combined. But she was still refused her sick leave. They told her be there or she would be terminated.
She asked for FMLA to recuperate (Family Medical Leave Act). She felt she needed the time so she could perform to her normal high standards and performance upon her return. She tried to see doctors in this remote area, no doctors would take new patients there, or in Dallas. But her employer would not allow her any time to locate a physician. She asked for an additional two days to try to coordinate a more expensive flight, (rather than wait for an inexpensive flight) and doctor's appointment back here in Ohio and was denied and refused. This was on a Thursday and all information was to be there the following day Friday morning.
She came back to Ohio anyway for the doctor's appointment. She filed a grievance pointing out they had not given her the 15 days she was allowed, it was only 10 business days. She sent them the information via UPS overnight mail, FAX, e-mail — all at her expense again. We had an answer from this employer by the time we returned from the UPS a 15-minute drive. They could not have read the grievance or even looked at the documents.
She has always received glowing evaluations and was promoted in less than six months and was moved up to another position. She was told they needed her desperately in Houston.
Katrina was not even acknowledged by the employer. This is abuse. It is unethical, unjust and unfair. It has been an undo hardship and expense.
And this is not all the abuse and horror she has had to endure. Her landlord charged rent for the month of October, when no one was allowed in NOLA. She was also charged an additional $125 to clean the refrigerator. It is still ranking with the spoiled smell and all the food takes on the odors. The food is unfit for consumption. The landlord will not replace the horrible smelly refrigerator. She had to purchase a small refrigerator, and purchases food daily just to eat. She is not receiving a paycheck, since she was wrongly terminated.
Please help us with your expert advice or direct us to the proper authorities to help her.
Thank you,
Marjorie Bechtel

E-mail No. 5

The employment picture here in northern New Jersey has not been good since 9/11. I have been looking for a position since 12/02 as I was laid off from Lucent Technologies (Bell Labs). I loved my job! I tried to move to the D.C. area, but the doors did not open. If one cannot find work in this country after looking diligently for so long, then their credit rating goes bad if one is unable to pay their bills through no fault of their own. I am told that an employer checks your credit rating now and this is like debtor's prison. Then, one could never find a job. I am certain that there are many Americans wearing these shoes. (Katrina victims, etc.) Please bring this subject forward on your wonderful show that I never miss! If you bring it to the attention of the government, then something must be done. Unemployment is very bad here.
Thank you, Greta.
Thank you for helping, Beth Twitty. God sees everything.
Northern New Jersey

E-mail No. 6 — This next e-mail is my "favorite" of the day... I got the same one at my home e-mail address only it was supposedly from the CIA. I have concluded it is ether a hoax or a virus:

Dear Sir/Madam,
We have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.
Important: Please answer our questions! The list of questions are attached.
Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Do you remember this next story? We covered it many moons ago — a Wisconsin woman vanished Dec 4, 2004 from a cruise ship. Click here to read and article with the latest on it — but bottom line: Still no good news for the family.

And, what's with the recent number of jailbreaks? The man on death row in Texas; the two from the Iowa prison and see below — yes, also caught:

NASHVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A pair of suspected bank robbers who escaped from the Howard County jail in September have been captured in Kansas.

The Howard County Sheriff's Office said Monday that Oscar Branly-Feble, 19, of Van Buren and Arlander James Logan, 34, of Nashville were captured Friday in Wichita, Kan. The two were among three men who escaped Sept. 27 from the Howard County jail.

A forgery suspect, Yoel Delgado Sanchez of DeQueen, was captured in Mesquite, Texas, in mid-October

Logan and Branley-Feble were being held on allegations they robbed the First National Bank of Nashville. Officials say the money taken in the robbery was recovered.

And, Iowa... again:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities captured a convicted murderer Monday, a few hours after he did not report to his residential correctional facility.

Bryant Daniel Cook, 29, was arrested late Monday afternoon in a Des Moines motel and will be charged with escape, said Fred Scaletta, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Cook was serving a 50-year sentence for second-degree murder when he was granted work release by the Iowa State Board of Parole in June. His violation will be forwarded to the parole board, which will likely send him back to prison, Scaletta said.

Cook was booked into the Polk County Jail and the case will be forwarded to the Polk County attorney's office.

Cook was convicted of murder in Clarke County in 1992 and was sent to the Fort Des Moines work facility this year.

Scaletta said inmates usually participate in the work release program for four to six months before receiving full release.

He said it's not uncommon for work-release inmates to escape, but they're usually apprehended quickly.

This next article caught my attention:

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Some disabled athletes are criticizing a decision not to allow certain wheelchairs in next year's Vermont City Marathon.

Eight competitors raced in the wheelchair division this year. John McArdle of Montpelier was the first man across the finish line but he was not declared the winner.

That's because he was using a hand-operated device instead of a push-rim wheelchair in which the operator moves the wheels.

Erik Corbett of Methuen won the prize.

Marathon officials say U-S-A Track and Field, which governs and insures the race, has banned handcycles from its events.

Vermont organizers now are notifying disabled athletes that the handcycles will not be allowed in next year's race.

Here's an update on the courthouse shooting last March in Atlanta:

ATLANTA (AP) — A prosecution official testified today that a plea agreement had been reached in Brian Nichols' rape case but fell through a few weeks before the March courthouse shootings in Atlanta.

Nichols' lawyer in the rape case, Barry Hazen, said he is "100 percent confident" a judge and three others would not have been killed March 11th had the plea deal been consummated.

The revelation about the plea deal came in testimony by Nikki Berger, director of victim and witness assistance for the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. It was during a hearing at which defense lawyers in the murder case asked a judge to disqualify the prosecutor's office from handling the case.

Berger said she had been asked by her office to be in the courtroom in mid-February for the plea hearing, but she indicated it didn't go through. She did not say why. Hazen also refused to say whether it was Nichols or the prosecutor who changed their mind.

Prosecution spokesman Erik Friedly said he could not comment beyond Berger's testimony.

After the deal fell through, the rape case went to trial and later ended in a hung jury. It was during the retrial that Nichols is accused of overpowering a deputy, grabbing her gun and entering the courtroom where his trial was to resume.

Finally, click here to read the last article that I am posting today. I am curious what you think about the content of the article — 30,000 are losing their jobs. Any thoughts?

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