Unique 'letter' of apology
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Like many people hoping to reach a large audience, Kevin Kish came to his local newspaper with something he wanted published.
Unlike most people, however, Kish's message involved acknowledgment of a crime.
The Shamokin man dropped off what would become a brief letter to the editor early in the second week of February. It met the requirements of our letters policy in terms of content, length and author's signature, but admitting to "criminal acts" stopped this letter in its tracks, at least temporarily.
Kish and another man had been charged about a week prior with felony counts each of burglary, criminal trespass and conspiracy to commit burglary, as well as two misdemeanors crimes, in connection with burglaries in Shamokin on Feb. 5.
I called Mr. Kish to review his letter, asking if he had consulted his attorney regarding phrases that included "I recently committed some criminal acts in Shamokin" and "they were the effects from smoking spice." He said it didn't matter, that he wanted to come clean to the community and apologize, no matter what it might mean for his legal standing.
I thought that was admirable, but did require Mr. Kish to return to our office and provide identification to prove he was who he said he was. He obliged and, during his visit, repeated the point of his letter, that his intent was to alert others to the dangers of drugs, and to ask for forgiveness.
So, we obliged his odd request, and his letter was published Feb. 16.
As some of you may recognize, the name Kevin Kish was in the paper again this week, at the top of page one, in fact, in Friday's edition. Kish is now charged with burglary, criminal mischief and criminal trespass relating to one of the suspicious fires to occur in Shamokin in January.
Perhaps another letter is in on its way, but it's not likely the public is in a forgiving mood.
Kish's arrest was a welcome "conclusion" to the various cases of suspicious fires in Shamokin, and thereby earns recognition as the news highlight of the week.
Plenty of legal proceedings still need to take place in proving what police have alleged, but there is comfort for city residents and business owners in knowing such significant progress has been made in each case.
(Heintzelman, editor of The News-Item, writes "The Week In News" for each Saturday edition.)