WHNT NEWS 19 works hard every day to deliver the best newscast to your household. A big deal to us is remembering to always take action and get results in our story-telling. WHNT NEWS 19's Venton Blandin's recent 'Fighting for You' story with a woman talking about her daughter's old license plate and tickets is proof.
The original story with Cindy Barber aired on June 26, 2012. Barber explained how her daughter sold a car, but did not remove the license plates. The state of Illinois sent several tickets to Barber's Huntsville home, telling her daughter she owes Illinois several hundred dollars in traffic ticket fines. The daughter says someone else was using her license plate. Barber fought Illinois for almost three years. Venton Blandin fought the state a little over a week. The results show why Venton Blandin is fighting for you.
Barber's outlook has changed since the last time she talked with WHNT NEWS 19. She got a call from a supervisor at the Illinois Tollway Department on Wednesday, July 11.
"They had said my daughter was going to be cleared of everything and the letter that Mark Craig had written to them was enough evidence to prove the car had been junked out," said Barber.
Barber called Venton Blandin at the station two weeks asking to be a part of our new 'Taking Action, Getting Results' platform, 'Fighting for You'. The concerned mother showed Venton Blandin document after document from the state of Illinois showing her daughter's old license plate in photos. The license plate was on a car that she sold for $50. Barber has spent more than that in phone calls, faxes and letters sent to Illinois disputing their claim.
"We had dealt with it for almost three years. We had never gotten any kind of results that were good or encouraging. This was very exciting," added Barber.
The Illinois Tollway Department believed Barber's daughter was caught driving trough several of the state's highway tolls without paying. Barber's daughter is no longer responsible for paying more than $700 in fines since. Things changed when Venton Blandin took action asking Madison County Licensing Director Mark Craig to get involved.
"When you've done all that you know to do and you feel like you are at a dead end, call WHNT NEWS 19," added Barber.
Craig sent a letter to Illinois on Barber's behalf.
"I wasn't sure if they were going to say they got the letter, but also needed more since that was the normal demanded every time we sent them something. They would want something else in return," added Barber.
Venton Blandin gave Barber a chance to show her gratitude.
"Hello. Hey Mark, how are you doing," asked Venton Blandin.
"Fine, how are you," said replied Craig.
Venton Blandin called Craig from his cell phone.
"I wanted to say thank you very much for the letter you wrote. It meant the world. It made changes. Things got cleared up with just a simple letter and I am so thankful," said Barber over Blandin's cellphone.
"Well, you are more than welcome. You know we are here to help when we can," said Craig over Blandin's cellphone.
Venton Blandin also talked with Craig in his office minutes later.
"It is a great feeling when you go the extra distance to try to help when you are not sure it is going to and then it works out right," said Craig.
Barber's daghter also says it is a great feeling.
"I am really excited. I am grateful to WHNT NEWS 19 and Mark Craig for writing the letter and doing all the work that you all did to get my name cleared. It was a really big headache," said Amy Harbin.
Barber says the state of Illinois will send her a letter explaining everything. Barber should let the letter in a couple of weeks.