(WSVN) - Three people contacted Help Me Howard asking for a little assistance. Their stories had bad beginnings, but then great endings. How? It’s tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

For years, Alvin Lewis let the City of Fort Lauderdale store their equipment on an empty lot he owns.

Alvin Lewis: “And I really don’t mind, because in essence, it helps the city out a little bit.”

Then this year, neighbors say they saw the city dump a pile of gravel on Alvin’s lot. Alvin spoke to a city worker.

Alvin Lewis: “They said, ‘Don’t worry, Lewis, we’ll take care of everything,’ so I went on about my business.”

Most of the gravel was removed, and a thin layer left behind. But that was too much for Fort Lauderdale, which has fined Alvin over $2,000 for the rocks Alvin says they put there.

Alvin Lewis: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

A Fort Lauderdale official denied the city put the rocks there. After our story aired, Alvin headed to a hearing to argue his case.

Alvin Lewis: “The city created this. The city put these rocks there. I have witnesses that state…”

Nope, said Fort Lauderdale.

City official: “Nobody had any records of any crews being in that area.”

Alvin was fuming.

Alvin Lewis: “For the last 15 to 17 years, I’ve voluntarily let the city use my lot, and now they say this never happened?”

City official: “I understand what you are saying and I apologize for the city if you feel slanted by them.”

Alvin Lewis: “Thank you very much.”

The magistrate then gave Alvin six months to get grass growing on the lot and, at that time, the $2,050 in fines would be dealt with. But Alvin didn’t get the one thing he wanted: the city to say it was all their fault.

Alvin Lewis: “They haven’t admitted yet that they put the rocks there, but I do have witnesses.”


Barry wished he could have witnessed what happened on his property.

Barry: “He said, ‘Come here, I want to show you,’ and I could see the silver post reflecting off his camera.”

Barry had hired a company to install a fence. They did that, but put a pole right through his cast iron sewer line, leaving him with a $1,000 bill to repair it that the fence company refused to pay.

Barry: “They said they aren’t responsible for broken pipes.”

The fence company told us they would turn it over to their insurance company. After our story, they paid, and Barry got a check for that $1,000.


Timothy Thompson: “I could not find it anywhere.”

In 2010, Timothy lost his $428 paycheck. He went to his boss.

Timothy Thompson: “And I told him, ‘I misplaced my check,’ and he said, ‘Well,’ and he kinda shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘Well, sorry.'”

Years passed. Timothy’s wife was going through a drawer and found the check.

Timothy Thompson: “I Just couldn’t believe it. I had no words.”

But the bank wouldn’t cash it, and I couldn’t get the company that issued it to write Timothy another check.

Our Help Me Howard aired. Timothy and I both got a call from a South Florida man.

Timothy Thompson: “[He said] ‘I saw your story on Help Me Howard, and it really touched me. It’s really sorry what this company did to you.'”

The generous man wanted to remain anonymous, and wanted to replace Timothy’s paycheck.

Timothy Thompson: “I was at a loss for words.”

But when Timothy met with the donor, he didn’t give him a check for $428. He gave him two checks for $428 each.

Timothy Thompson: “Sir, if you are watching this, thank you! Thank you so much.”

A wonderful man, stepping forward anonymously, to help someone he had never met before.

Timothy Thompson: “If it wasn’t for the Help Me Howard show, I don’t think this would have happened.”

And, Timothy told us, me the generous man giving him those checks inspired him, and he wants to now help someone in need.

You hear a lot about the bad people in South Florida, but they are the minority. Most South Floridians are really wonderful people.

Feeling fenced in after getting rock with a problem? Wanna toss it aside? Deposit it with us. We can’t write you a check, but we will be generous with our time.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN
On Twitter: @helpmehoward7

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