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Rolly: Retiree can't be a crossing guard because of his wheelchair

Published September 3, 2013 10:03 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Monte Hancock had a successful 33-year career at L-3 Communications, with a perfect attendance record. He had many jobs at the large technology company, from running a huge wire wrap machine, which he often climbed to make repairs, to crawling deep inside military shelters to make repairs.

He has received many awards for the excellence of his work and letters of appreciation from military generals and former President Bill Clinton.

So he was shocked when he was turned down for a job as a school crossing guard because he supposedly is unqualified.

Why? He is in a wheelchair.

In 1955, he contracted polio, the same condition he had during his career at L-3 Communications, where he did several physically challenging jobs.

After retiring, Hancock applied to be a school crossing guard in his Kearns neighborhood to keep busy while his wife continues to work.

He didn't hear back right away, but last week received a call from the Unified Police Department asking if he was still interested.

He was excited for the opportunity to help schoolchildren safely cross the street. But when he mentioned to the officer who called that he's in a wheelchair, the officer said he couldn't do the job.

He has an electric wheelchair, which he can move by simply using his thumb on a button. That would enable him to hold the stop sign up while accompanying the kids across the street, he told the officer.

He also can get up on crutches to reach higher in case he needs to turn the crossing lights on and off.

But, as he explained why he was perfectly capable of doing the job, Hancock says the officer hung up on him.

"I've had to prove myself over and over," Hancock told me. "Everytime I got a new supervisor, I would be tested. And I always passed the test."

But this time, he didn't even get that chance.

"I can do this job," he said.

Slow to change? A large Reagan Outdoor Advertising billboard facing northbound lanes on State Street between 3300 South and 2700 South advertises a King Tut exhibit at the Idaho Museum in Idaho Falls.

If such an exhibit intrigues you and the sign prompts you to take a trip to Idaho Falls, don't bother. It isn't there.

The sign lists the dates of the exhibit as June 15-Nov. 24. But it doesn't mention that the exhibit was last year.

Risky parking spot • The popular Swiss Days celebration in Midway attracted a huge crowd, as it does every year, and patrons enjoyed the warmth and camaraderie from locals and the artisans there to sell their creations.

As usual, parking spots were difficult to find and cars were parked along the sides of the roads all through the town.

One home, however, had no cars parked in front.

A sign there said "Don't Park Here." It was accompanied by a picture of a man pointing a gun at you.

prolly@sltrib.com —






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