FOX 66 News at Ten
WNEM TV5 has a follow-up to the ongoing bed bug problem at a local senior housing complex.
Tenants at Maplewood Manor in Saginaw say they've asked for help getting rid of the pests for some time but no one is listening.
And now, after months of complaints, some legal help is on the way.
Less than 24 hours after TV5's report aired, representatives from Legal Services of Eastern Michigan went to Maplewood Manor to speak with the residents, who are their new clients.
"You can't sleep with bed bugs, I found that out," said Tom Kennedy, president of the Maplewood Manor Residents Association.
Kennedy and other residents at Maplewood say they've been living with bed bugs for far too long. "I've had mine for over two years," said Kennedy.
As TV5 reported in our Tough Questions investigation on Tuesday, they've complained to the Saginaw County Housing Commission who owns the building, but they say nothing has been done to get rid of the bugs. Now they've called in reinforcements.
"We had some of the tenants come to us and explain the situation," said attorney Dan Straka, with Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. "Once we figured out it was the entire building, we decided to take on the tenants as a client."
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan announced Wednesday it will represent the residents.
Straka met with them just hours after TV5's story aired. "Our priority is to get the bed bugs eliminated," said Straka.
Most residents at Maplewood are senior citizens on fixed incomes. Some have had to throw out mattresses and other furniture because they were infested with bed bugs, and they want to be reimbursed for the expense.
"I threw out two sets of twin mattresses. A lot of people spent money on sprays," explained Kennedy.
"There's no doubt. Some people came here with nothing, now they've got even less," said Sherry Tucker, who lives in another building run by the Saginaw Housing Commission. She says they also had a bed bug problem and had to call in legal services to get action. She says they were a big help. "It was a nightmare ... it's kind of easing up now," Tucker said.
Residents at Maplewood are hoping for the same improvement sometime soon.
"What our residents want is this situation taken care of so we have no more bed bugs," said Kennedy.
Even though legal services is now involved, TV5 is told there's not going to be a lawsuit just yet.
Lawyers want to try to negotiate with the Saginaw Housing Commission to get the matter taken care of before heading to court.
TV5 reporter Kristin Moore spoke to the executive director of the housing commission on Wednesday. She did not want to comment on this new development but told TV5 that they have been trying to resolve the problem.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, November 8 2013, 09:31 AM EST
National News Headlines
|Triple dippers: 60,000 veterans collect disability benefits, Social Security, retirement pay|
|It's a rare triple play of government benefits.|
|Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi freed from Mexican jail, immediately returns to US after strong diplomatic support|
|After 214 days in a Mexican prison, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi crossed the US – Mexican border Friday night, boarding a private jet for Florida shortly after 9 p.m., after a strong diplomatic push convinced a judge to release the former Marine on humanitarian grounds.|
|'We just had a hunch': US marshals recount capture of ambush suspect Eric Frein|
|Scott Malkowski, a task force commander with the U.S. Marshals Service, spied a figure moving from the woods toward an abandoned airplane hangar in the Pocono Mountains.|
|New US Pacific Air Force commander seeks air safety dialogue with China following incidents|
|The U.S. Air Force's new commander in the Pacific says she's hoping to continue talks with China on avoiding dangerous encounters in the air.|
|3 girls trick-or-treating killed in hit-and-run|
|Three teenage girls trick-or-treating in costume were hit and killed in a Halloween hit-and-run collision while walking at a Southern California intersection Friday night, authorities said|
|4 die when train strikes SUV in southern Illinois|
|A mother and three of her children headed for a southern Illinois Halloween parade were killed and a fourth child injured when their SUV went around safety gates into the path of a freight train, authorities said Friday.|
|Vehicle hits, kills 3 teenage girls in trick-or-treating hit-and-run in Southern California|
|Three teenage girls trick-or-treating in costume were hit by a vehicle and killed while walking at a Southern California intersection.|
|Kentucky man charged with killing parents, sister, acquaintance, 5 days after victims found|
|A Kentucky man was charged Friday with killing his parents, his sister and an acquaintance nearly a week after the four were found shot to death in southwestern Kentucky.|
|Teenager dies from wounds sustained in Wash. state school shooting|
|One of the teenagers wounded in a Washington state high school shooting died Friday, raising to four the number of fatalities from the moment when a student opened fire in a cafeteria a week ago.|
|88-year-old central Missouri man charged with murder in stabbing death of wife|
|An 88-year-old central Missouri man has been charged with fatally stabbing his 86-year-old wife.|