Ishpeming shows what ‘yooperism’ is all about

We want to throw a huge shout-out to the Ishpeming community and Police Department for coming together and getting a stolen wheelchair back to 12-year-old Alger Barry after it was taken from his home.

Alger needs his chair daily to go long distances. The wheelchair was stolen between the night of Aug. 24 and the following morning. It was found and returned by 10:30 p.m. Aug. 25 with the help of tips from the community.

During the time Alger was missing his wheelchair, the IPD provided Alger with a replacement. But the temporary chair was only needed for less than a day. What is really heartwarming is the IPD and community worked together to get the chair back to Alger in a hurry. Communities like Ishpeming are really lucky to have the quality people who work and live there. It is unlikely that anyone would have seen this type of response in a metro market.

Apparently the IPD located the house where the stolen wheelchair was kept through tips from the community, but there is no more information at this time because charges are pending in the case.

We have to wonder who would ever knowingly steal a person’s wheelchair, leaving that person unable to get around. We hope it was more of a prank than someone cold-heartedly stealing Alger’s wheels out from underneath him. We believe it would be a good idea that if the person who did this is found guilty, that as part of their sentence, they have to spend a day in a wheelchair or do community service around people like Alger who need a wheelchair for transportation.

Alger’s mother told a Mining Journal reporter that Alger didn’t understand why someone would steal his wheelchair. You are not alone, Alger, because we don’t understand either. What we do hope you understand, Alger, is that there are a lot of people in your community that love you and are watching out for you. The fact that the police provided you with a temporary wheelchair and community members helped find your stolen wheelchair means that there are a lot more good people out there than bad ones.

The community had come to the aid of Alger in the past when they helped raise funds for a special bike that Alger could use so he could ride bikes with his friends.

What is clear to us is that Alger and his family happen to live in a great area with loving neighbors that care about each other. We compliment Ishpeming and its residents for setting a standard for other communities to emulate.

An event that could have been a big ugly black eye to the community turned out to highlight the community as a place anyone would be glad to call home.

Way to go, Ishpeming! Thanks for making us all proud of the quality people that call themselves yoopers.

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