The silver lining

The silver lining
How did you feel when you learned that two people were arrested in Vermillion last week in connection with a hurricane relief scam?

Were you outraged? Offended? Insulted?

If you were one of the donors to the scam, have you lost faith in your fellow man, or woman? After all, something like this could never happen in Vermillion, right?

Think again.

Scams can happen anywhere, at any time, but especially when there is a large-scale need for funds or other donated items.

The two hurricanes that have plowed across the gulf coast in the last month are providing fertile grounds for scammers, like Douglas Pearson and Briggitte Burrow. The two Vermillion residents began soliciting donations from the community not long after the South suffered the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

Here's the silver lining: the Vermillion community's response to the false, but earnest-appearing, efforts by Pearson and Burrow was overwhelming.

Vermillion police seized enough furniture for a two bedroom house. The ill-gotten gains of the crooks included beds, televisions, refrigerators, clothing, and even wrapped Christmas presents.

We deplore the actions of Pearson, Burrow and anyone else who uses deceit in an attempt to gain from the recent tragedies our nation has experienced.

We applaud the reaction of the Vermillion community in the past month. Local citizens have truly demonstrated their concern for those in need.

The Vermillion Plain Talk editorials reflect the opinion of Plain Talk editor David Lias. You may contact him at

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