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Letters to the Editor

Franklin announces closure of Bemis Motor Company/Franklin Ford

Dear Editor,

I am announcing that Bemis Motor Company/Franklin Ford will close its operations on Sept. 15. On that day we are having an auction to sell shop and office items.

Also I have been asked by many customers as to where they should take their vehicle for service. I will be taking my vehicle to Prescott Bros. Ford in Rochelle because they have hired Nep Ellorando one of my best technicians.

I would like to thank all of my customers who supported our business through the years. Some customers represented many generations within their family. Your support has allowed us to be in business for over 94 years!

We are one of the oldest dealerships in the World! But eventually times change and with the internet and competition from bigger out of town dealers plus the state of our local economy it has become difficult to go on.

Your support allowed us to be one of the top Sales Tax Revenue contributors to city of Oregon and Byron. Your support allowed us to hire up to 21 employees at our peak.

Your support allowed us to contribute to most of the local charitable and non-charitable organization in the area. Your support allowed us to be one of the finest service business in the area.

Our customers know that we were always honest, respectful, friendly and accommodating and competitive.

I would also like to thank my employees that have stuck with me til the end. Dave Frey and Nep Ellorando; who are two of the most qualified Ford Master Techs in Northern Illinois, Bob Larrabee my Parts and Service Manager and Alan Bauer the most qualified CPA I have ever had, and finally Debbie Youngblood in the Parts Dept.

These people had to go out and find jobs for themselves and yet still came back to help me after hours so that I could complete the process of closing my business down.

In addition, I would also like to thank my friends Chris Corcoran and Randy Janssen plus the many friends that came in to see me and offer their help to me.

Finally a big thanks to all my customers who bought their vehicles from us because that is what keeps a car dealer in business.


Jay Franklin, President


Unhappy with housing policy

Dear Editor,

In 2005, I moved into an apartment run by the Ogle County Housing Authority in Oregon.  Circumstances with my health left me unable to stay in my former apartment, and OCHA apartments are based on income, so I moved, planning to spend my remaining years there.

I'm almost 73 years old and have been a smoker for nearly 54 years.

When I moved in and signed the lease, smoking was allowed in our apartments only.

In March of this year, I was told that smoking would not be allowed in our apartments as of October of this year.
They said there were programs to help me quit or I could go outside in the parking lot (in the hot summer and freezing winter).

I chose to move.

I lived in Oregon for 70 of my 72 years.

It's my hometown, and I didn't want to leave, but I also don't want to quit smoking, so that was my choice.

What happened next is the point of this letter.

Not only was I told I wouldn't get my deposit back because "smokers cause a lot of damage and it's costly to clean," but I was demeaned and humiliated.

In the seven years I lived there, of course, there is normal wear and tear, but no damages.

My lease said nothing about paying for "smoking damage." I talked to a representative from HUD, who couldn't help me even though they agreed I was being treated unfairly, but they only handle racial, sex and disability discrimination, not smoking discrimination.

Also, I talked to a respected Oregon attorney, who said I had a solid case for small claims court, but when I went to the courthouse, I learned that it would cost $88 to file for a $150 deposit and no guarantee I'd win.

I used what little I'd saved for my grandkids and great-grandkids Christmas presents, to pay for moving expenses, deposit, first months rent, plus a week's rent when I moved in. So that is that.

Karen Aurand


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