An honest mistake or two


Correction: In a recent column, it was reported that a "twister" was sighted in the kitchen of a Baltimore home. The word should have read "toaster."

We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

The column also made reference to a neighbor, Floyd A. Longmeir, who had reportedly observed the "twister" from his back porch.

The man's name should have read Floyd R. Longkettle. Mr. Longkettle now insists that he clearly stated to this reporter that he had seen a "toaster," possibly a four-slice General Electric.

We apologize for any confusion.

In the same column, it was reported that Mr. Longkettle immediately ran inside and dialed 911 upon seeing the "twister."

This was incorrect. He dialed 411, requesting the number for Wendell's Jewelers, where he was scheduled to drop off a watch for repairs.

Further, Mr. Longkettle is not the owner of Floyd's Auto Glass, as previously reported, but a co-owner of Bob and Floyd's Roofing and Siding ("25 Years of Experience -- Major Credit Cards Cheerfully Accepted!")

We regret the error.

Unfortunately, the man on the back porch with Mr. Longkettle was also incorrectly identified.

While the original column referred to the man as "possibly a neighborhood wino," it was, in fact, Mr. Longkettle's brother-in-law, Ernest O. Mellone.

We apologize for the error.

Owing to deadline pressure, it was reported in the original column that when police arrived at the Baltimore home, the street was teeming with terrified neighbors pointing at the "twister" and screaming: "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"

Police now say the street was relatively quiet, although a few neighbors had gathered in the kitchen and one was heard remarking: "Betty Jean, is that a new toaster?"

We apologize for any embarrassment this may have caused.

In addition, a full-scale evacuation of the neighborhood and deployment of National Guard and Red Cross units did not take place, as originally reported.

Authorities now say the only activity occurred when the neighbors in the kitchen argued over whether the beeper signaling the end of the toasting cycle was set too low.

The argument apparently ended when one neighbor, Edna Codgill, said: "Who gives a rat's behind, anyway?"

We regret any erroneous impression this may have caused.

Because of a computer problem, the occupants of the Baltimore home in question were incorrectly identified.

The owner of the home, Betty Jean Kowinski, is not the owner of Betty Jean's Showbar ("The Best Girls in Town!"), which recently lost its liquor license on charges of promoting lewd entertainment.

Rather, Mrs. Kowinski is employed as a cafeteria worker at Fairview Middle School.

We regret the error.

Mrs. Kowinski's husband was also misidentified. His name is Arnold E. Kowinski, not Chester L. Kowinski as listed in the original column. In addition, Mr. Kowinski is not the owner of an adult video store. Rather, he owns a piano and organ repair shop and is past president of the Knights of Columbus.

Also, he did not spend 15 years in the state penitentiary for the 1974 armed robbery of a convenience store, as originally reported. Authorities now say Mr. Kowinski has no known criminal record and, in fact, received the mayor's Citation for Bravery last year after tackling a would-be purse snatcher.

We regret the error.

Due to a typographical error in the original column, Mr. Kowinski was reported to have behaved in a "menacing" manner when interviewed about the violent windstorm in his kitchen.

The word should have read "mincing." Far from feeling threatened, this reporter was struck by the affectedly dainty way in which Mr. Kowinski walked.

We regret the mix-up.

A phone call of apology placed to the Kowinskis' home yesterday by this reporter was abruptly terminated when a male voice snarled: "Damn you, haven't you done enough already?!" before the line went dead. Mr. Kowinski is now said to be seeking legal counsel.

Finally, it was erroneously reported that the Kowinskis' son, James, 16, leaves the house each Monday to receive psychiatric help for a post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the "twister" sighting.

It now appears the younger Kowinski's Monday appointment is for clarinet lessons.

We regret any embarrassment this may have caused.

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