A Clovis woman is suing McDonald's after being burned by hot coffee, a World War II veteran is beaten and robbed in his east-central Fresno home and local officials tour the San Joaquin River bottom area to highlight a growing homeless problem.
Here are the top stories of the past week, along with selected comments posted by readers at fresnobee.com.
McD's in hot water over coffee spill
What happened: Clovis homemaker Joan Fino, 74, is suing McDonald's for $2 million, claiming that a cup of scalding hot coffee spilled onto her groin area after a server at the drive-through handed over the cup with a loose lid. Fino is suing McDonald's for negligence, contending the corporation acted with malice because its employees knowingly served her coffee that was "unreasonably hot in excess of 175 degrees Fahrenheit."
What it means: Fino's attorney, Nicholas "Butch" Wagner, said settlement talks between her and McDonald's ended Thursday without an agreement, so the suit is scheduled to go to trial next year.
What readers said:
"mabe she should stick to ice coffee the hot stuff is for experianced coffee drinkers!"
— Joshua Washburn
"It sounds like the lid wasn't put on correctly that would be McDonalds fault ether the employee or the lid design. Does Starbucks have a similar problem with their coffee?"
— Fran Lones Blackney
"Why isn't Fino suing the manufacturer of her automobile? Apparently her driver's side door didn't work, so she was trapped in her car, and forced to use the drive through, right? She better hope I'm not on this jury because I will find McDonald's guilty and award Fino one penny in damages."
— David Paul Davenport
WWII vet wakes up to robbers in home
What happened: A 92-year-old World War II veteran woke early Thursday after armed robbers broke into his home, put a gun in his mouth, pistol-whipped him and then stole money and some of his belongings. Josef Martin, who is blind in one eye and nearly deaf, said he wasn't scared but feels that "the country is going to hell."
What it means: Within hours after the news story broke, dozens of people stepped forward to help raise money and do improvements and cleanup work at Martin's East Lewis Avenue home.
What readers said:
"Imagine serving your country in the biggest and most historic campaigns in history, living a long decent life - just trying to get by and then get victimized in such a brutal and heartless way. There's perhaps a no bigger slap in the face!"
— Rich Quinlan
"Fresno like the rest of the country has a spiritual problem. Thank you Mr, Martin for your sacrifice in saving our nation. Without your generations fighting spirit most of us would have never been born including the pathetic mock up of real manhood who robbed and injured you."
— Paul Mossman
"This is sad. They didn't have to hit the old man. People of Fresno, try to install cameras in your homes. Especially if you live by yourself or if you leave your house alone while you are at work. It may cost you about $500 but it is worth the investment."
— Alisa Sanchez
Homeless head to river bottom
What happened: Some officials fear the city of Fresno's efforts to close downtown encampments may be sending more homeless to the San Joaquin River bottom area. With river bottom grasses tinder dry and illegal campers and the homeless setting more fires as nights turn cold, officials are worried that any fire could spread to nearby homes on the San Joaquin River bluffs.
What it means: Officials from Fresno and Madera counties toured the area last week to highlight some of the safety issues facing the area, which include illegal off-roading, gangs and shooting off guns.
What readers said:
"I used to live on a ranch along the San Joaquin River... I always thought if i were homeless that's a choice place to call home... One actually could live off the land with the wild blackberries, crayfish/ fish and various four legged mammals albeit I'm certain the Dept of Fish and Game would not appreciate the homeless helping themselves to what the river could offer... But hey if you're hungry enough... well I'm just saying. Can't blame man(woman) seeking shelter in such a beautiful place and yes i know it is illegal... I often feel bad for these souls, many chose their life's path and many don't... Not a day goes by i thank The Lord for His blessings and try and give what ever i can .."
— Scott W. Williams
"So they are supposed to go where now? Oh.... yeah....somewhere else. Got it."
— Kevin Lee Harris
"This is what happens when the homeless are chased endlessly from one vacant lot to another. It is time for a safe, legal campground sanctioned by the city. A group of advocates are ready to help make this happen. It has worked in other places.
— Dixie Salazar
Catching Up is compiled by Bee editors. Go to fresnobee.com/catchingup/ to comment or learn more about these stories.