Nonprofit that helps homeless vets questions $5k Verizon bill

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Clark’s House, a Lakeland nonprofit that helps homeless veterans somehow racked up a $5,000 bill for usage on one internet hot spot.

And the nonprofit insists it didn’t use the hotspot – ever.

“I really just thought that it was an error,” said Cynthania Clark, Clark’s House executive director. She insists the hotspot stays locked in her cabinet drawer.

Sometimes, the hotspots are checked out to employees working in the community. But during the time in question, Clark maintains, everyone was on holiday break and the business was locked up.

“I spent a week on hold, hours on the phone with them, supervisor after supervisor after supervisor,” Clark said.

In order to use this much data, someone would have to stream about 36 hours of movies. Verizon’s data shows usage at odd hours, like in the middle of the night. Verizon says it’s impossible to hack the device so no outside could have done it.

Clark fears the bad credit mark will hinder her chances of keeping grants and attracting donations. In the end, she says, this mistake could cost veterans.

“From my perspective, I thought I thought i did everything the right way,” Clark said. “and to be told we’re being to collections. and collections is sending us letters, it’s embarrassing.”

A Verizon spokesman told WISH-TV’s sister station WLFA that the company is committed to resolving the issue so Clark, “can continue doing great work in the community.”

As of now, Verizon still says its data shows the device was used, but it is investigating the issue to find out whether there was an error. The spokeswoman said she expects an answer for Clark next week.


Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.