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Pamela Damon got a perfectly good explanation for why her tax refund

February 4, 1997

CROOKSTON, Minn. (AP) _ Pamela Damon got a perfectly good explanation for why her tax refund was rejected by the Internal Revenue Service. She’s been dead 26 years.

Or so the IRS thought.

``My heart kind of dropped right into my stomach,″ Ms. Damon said last week after a tax preparer explained why her electronic return was turned down.

``According to them, I’ve been dead since I was 17. How do they think I’ve been paying taxes if I’ve been dead since February of 1971?″

Ms. Damon contacted her Social Security office and was relieved to find out she is indeed among the living according to their records.

But to get her roughly $1,200 refund she had to obtain documentation of her existence and mail it to the IRS.

Ms. Damon said the IRS told her the mix-up was the result of a computer glitch.

``The worst part is now I can’t file electronically, and I really needed the quick refund to get my car fixed,″ she said.


ERIE, Pa. (AP) _ Sugar and spice is not so nice if you’re trying to sell it from home in Millcreek Township.

Denise Sopp was hoping to make a little extra dough when she put a sign in her front yard advertising cinnamon, pepper, vanilla and cleaning fluids.

But the former secretary was hauled before the zoning board last week and ordered to stop. She risks a fine of $500 per day is she keeps it up.

Ms. Sopp said she is angry because people in nearby townships are free to do what she was doing. Her home business is her only source of income, she said.

``It angers me that people around me are doing the same thing and I’m being singled out,″ she said.

A member of the zoning board said he had no room for leeway.

``Our concern is that we must enforce the law as it now exists and that granting her that variance under the circumstances would have, in effect, invalidated the law,″ Len Kholos said.


ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) _ A kidnapper has stolen one of Roswell’s most coveted artifacts _ a chunk of Cold War concrete.

The whereabouts of the piece of Berlin Wall is unknown, but the kidnapper is.

Former city councilor Steve Glover said he will not return the historic artifact until the city agrees to display it in a safe spot.

``The wall has thus gone into hiding and there it will stay until a propitious plan, level of security and appropriate display is in place,″ Glover said in a Jan. 22 letter to the council.

``Basically, that’s a ransom note,″ he explained.

Glover is worried the wall chunk would be unsafe in the park that was chosen for its display. He is pushing for a home in the local museum or city hall.

City officials are not amused by the withholding of the piece of history, which was donated to the city by the German air force.

``This is symbolic of freedom,″ Mayor Tom Jennings said. ``Now Mr. Glover tells us he is going to hide it out in the desert.″

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