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Old Posted May 22, 2004, 10:00 AM
wrightchr wrightchr is offline
joining the rail club
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 2,496
oh yeah...HERE i got an article too. it's from WHP21 at

<b>Wild West Museum Update</b>
While Mayor Stephen Reed still remains quiet over the issue, some other city officials are speaking out. One of them says the mayor tried planning the museum in good faith, in an effort to help the city.

As Chris Schaffer reports, a councilwoman feels this is a lose-lose situation.

Among Mayor Stephen Reed's collection of old west artifacts, a gun owned by the man who made his last stand at Little Big Horn. The Mayor hoped to buy dozens of artifacts from the "Custer Battlefield Trading Post", spending almost $200,000. But the items were never delivered.

Now Mayor Reed is targeting the owner, James "Putt" Thompson with a lawsuit.

Fred Clark of the Harrisburg Authority Board:
"These are some of the pitfalls that go into creating economic development opportunities; be it a hotel, be it a parking garage, be it a museum"

But "Putt" Thompson says he had a deal to sell the city $283,000 of merchandise and he won't refund the money or release the items until he's paid in full.

"They shook hands, on a $283,000 deal. They waited a year and a half to cancel part of that, that's not right"

City Councilwoman Linda Thompson, who never supported the idea of a Wild West Museum, does support the Mayor's effort to get the money back.

Linda Thompson of the Harrisburg City Council:
"Now we gotta pay to fight a lawsuit, and whether we win or not the fact of the matter is we're spending extra money that could be used somewhere else"

The head of the Harrisburg Authority Board, which originally approved Mayor Reed's spending on old west artifacts, predicts the lawsuit will eventually be settled.

"Knowing the mayor and negotiating with these types of transactions, it's always gonna be in the best interests of the city"

But dealing with "Putt" Thompson won't be easy.

"I don't see how I can back down now - they're calling me a thief"

In February, the Mayor announced plans for the Wild West Museum would be put on hold. At the same time he announced the city would begin a comprehensive tourism plan funded by the sale of many of those old west artifacts.
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