Some of the best resolutions come after a column runs.
That certainly was the case for Maggie Kent.
The 25-year-old was featured in the Oct. 21 column, more than a year after she found an envelope stuffed with $200 cash on the floor of the Von Maur store in Lombard.
Kent immediately handed the envelope to a Von Maur employee, who promised to hold it in case the owner came back to claim it.
That was September 2011.
A month after the incident, Kent's mother, Juli Kent, called the store to ask if anyone claimed it. An employee said no, but it was store policy to keep the money for one year. If no one claimed it within that time, the store would donate the money to charity, Juli Kent said she was told.
A year passed, and the mother again called the store. The money was still unclaimed, but the store's policy had changed. Instead of donating the $200 to charity, Von Maur would add the money to the store's coffers and hold it forever — or until the owner surfaces, Juli Kent said the employee told her.
Upset, the Kents emailed What's Your Problem?
The Kents said they hoped to donate the $200 to their favorite charity, the West Suburban Humane Society. Letting the store keep the money seemed unfair, they said.
The Problem Solver called Von Maur, where a spokeswoman gave an entirely different version of company policy for found money. She said Von Maur would turn over the money to the state treasurer's office as unclaimed property.
The Problem Solver then called the treasurer's office, which said it would not accept the money because found cash does not fall under the state's Unclaimed Property Act.
Undeterred by the state's response, Von Maur insisted it would hand the $200 to the treasurer's office, leaving the Kents angry and confused.
But the story did not end there.
The morning after the column ran, Susan von Maur Grimm, daughter of Von Maur's chairman, Richard von Maur, emailed the Problem Solver.
"I read your article in the Sunday Tribune and immediately called my father Richard von Maur," Grimm wrote. "We agreed that the situation involving the found envelope with money in it was handled poorly."
Grimm said her father could only remember one other instance of this happening.
"He described how he handled it," Grimm wrote. "Now that he is aware of the problem, he will take care of it personally and see that a company-wide policy is in place should this ever happen again."
After the Problem Solver called to inquire about Grimm's email, a Von Maur spokeswoman sent an email saying the company had changed its mind about how to handle the $200.
"As a family business, we work hard to always do the right and honest thing," the statement said. "In this highly unusual situation, Von Maur was acting under the guidance that we must follow specific State of Illinois laws that dictate how companies like ours deal with unclaimed property (including money)."
The statement said Von Maur further consulted with the state and learned that there isn't a clear-cut answer regarding the company's obligations.
"Accordingly, and in partnership with the wishes of the entire von Maur family, we've determined the money should be returned to Ms. Kent's daughter and we will make our own ($200) donation to the West Suburban Humane Society in her name as our apology for any concern this may have caused her or her mother," the statement said. "Moving forward, Von Maur is reviewing its approach to unique matters such as these in order to avoid any confusion in the future."
Maggie Kent was elated.
She said she plans to spend the $200 Von Maur gives her on supplies for animal control shelters. Along with the $200 Von Maur is giving to the West Suburban Humane Society, a full $400 will go toward helping animals, she said.
"I think they made the right decision," Maggie Kent said. "I think it will work out extremely well in the end for all."
The parking tickets keep coming for Loreen Targos.
Through Monday, the 26-year-old has received a whopping 51 tickets for parking her motorcycle in seemingly legal, unmetered spots in the Loop.
Targos was originally featured in the Sept. 16 column, when she complained that she had received dozens of tickets for parking in the 0-100 block of West Randolph Street. In each instance, the tickets have been issued for parking "not entirely in a parking meter space," for parking in a prohibited zone, parking at an expired meter or parking within 30 feet of a traffic signal.
None of the citations is legally accurate, and Targos has fought each infraction in administrative court. So far, administrative law judges have agreed with her. To date, the judges have ruled on 27 of the tickets. All 27 have been thrown out.
The last ticket Targos received was Friday. She said all the tickets have been from Chicago police officers.
"I have never gotten a ticket from an LAZ meter person," she said. "When confronted, police were just saying, 'You can't not pay to park downtown.' They didn't say I was in violation of a posted sign. They just saw it as a great injustice that I and other motorists find spaces to park downtown that are not in violation of officially posted signs."
The Problem Solver will continue to provide updates as warranted.