Schneider: Mess of red ink, not blood, closed McDonald's on South Waverly
We can no longer just sit here and allow the McBody rumors to keep cooking
in their vat of boiling grease.
The cold facts:
The State Journal is NOT part of a conspiracy - along with Lansing Police
and McDonald's - to conceal the truth about why the South Waverly Road
McDonald's closed Aug. 31.
Lansing police did NOT discover human bodies, or parts thereof, in the
restaurant's meat coolers.
It was neither a drug bust, nor a brutal robbery, nor a multiple homicide
that caused the restaurant to close.
"Many rumors have been circulating about the McDonald's on South Waverly
Road," wrote Wayne Rivet in the most recent e-mail to cross my screen on the
"Many people on the south end of town (including myself) have been hearing
rumors of robbery, murder, and the like."
Rivet suggested that the State Journal assign an investigative reporter to
As a matter of fact, my colleague, reporter Tracy Burton, was already on it.
The editors on the news desk, it so happens, were fielding the same
outlandish stories that readers were feeding me. The grisly rumors sounded
preposterous, but if there's one thing you learn in this business, it's that
you can't rule anything out.
Since the restaurant is right on the Lansing-Delta Township border, Burton
spoke to officials from both the Eaton County Sheriff's Department and
Lansing Police Department.
The restaurant, it turns out, had an unsavory reputation - with the cops and
with people who lived near it. That might explain the tone of the gossip.
Sheriff Rick Jones said the McDonald's had been robbed twice in the past
year and that deputies were frequently sent to the restaurant because of "a
lot of activity."
"I know they had a lot of trouble at that McDonald's," Jones said. "They
just had a lot of problems there, from theft to gangs sitting in the lobby
LPD's Lt. Bruce Ferguson was even more blunt: "It's been a hole for a long
time, and they finally shut it down."
Sylvia Hurd, who lives across the street from the place, says good riddance.
"I quit going there," she said. "It was dirty."
Another neighbor, LaDonna Hatcher, called the restaurant "nasty."
But poor service is one thing; dead bodies, quite another.
Ferguson assured us that the rumors of murder and mayhem were unfounded.
On Wednesday McDonald's spokesman Dan Spaulding offered this undramatic
explanation for the restaurant's closing: insufficient profits.
"It was pure economics," Spaulding said. "The expenses and revenues in that
location didn't match up."
Asked if it was unusual for McDonald's to close a restaurant, Spaulding
said: "It doesn't happen all that often, but it does happen occasionally;
this closing is not unique by any means."
McDonald's has been at that Waverly Road location since 1978. The restaurant
was rebuilt just five years ago.
"They gave it their best shot," Spaulding said.
What do you think? Call John Schneider at 377-1175, send a fax to 377-1298
or e-mail jschneid@...