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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 1, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa !f- I A five-point action program mm bunched last week to serve both the public and area businesses in overcoming the high-cost problem of "bad checks" The program resulted from 14 weeks of meetings of the Bad Check Task Force which was set in motion in August by the Cedar Rapids-Marion Area Chamber of Commerce when it became apparent that ah increasing volume of bad checks not only was creating a problem for businesses but also was resulting in higher prices to consumers The five-point continuing program embraces education of the general public on the 'scope and seriousness of the problem, procedural steps for effective prosecution, .guide- lines for uniform check proc-! essing and acceptance, train- ing programs for check ac- ceptance and tighter controls of checking accounts "The merchants have re- peatedly emphasized that the immediate problem is not the professional bad check passer but 'John Q Public' whose checks are John C Rice, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said "The seriousness of the situa turn' has been pointed out by the Iowa Retail Grocers Assn which estimates that insufficient fund checks cost grocery stores and super markets about half of one percent of their gross busi- .nessi" The Bad Check Task Force, in working out the program over the last several months, defined a "bad check" as any check returned for "insufficient funds" or closed" In capsule form, the five- point action program includes Piblic edicatiMT News- paper advertising and other 'projects will be undertaken to acquaint the public with the seriousness of the problem and with the determination of Ithe retail community to cor- rect the problem Purpose of ithe information-education .program will be "to impress 'upon the public that it is a crime to write a bad check" "and that "more effort has to _tbe made to follow through with prosecution through ap- propriate law enforcement "agencies Effective 'pnsecatlra: Procedure has been estab- "lished with'the county attor- jney's office for the handling of check" cases The "procedure Includes agreement ;that "after a check is placed the county s attorney, 'restitution can only be accept- ;cd after the arrest is made Uilfwm ckeck acceptance .aid pracesslig: Detailed 'guidelines, were established the acceptance of checks, .including the need for "pri- 'mary" and "secondary" .identification The guidelines 'spell out specific notations Inch must be made on a .check. They also establish a procedure to be fol- lowed if a check is returned for "insufficient funds" or "account closed" Tnutiig programs tor .check acceptance- Retail sales personnel not only are being trained in procedures but are being provided with a two- page, detailed listing of the types of checks which can be .accepted and the steps they must take before accepting a check The situation is summed up in a notice which will be post- ed at check-out counters and "other locations which reads: do not be offended when we ask for several types of identification or other in- formation we may feel it is Not So Safe Down on Farm CHICAGO (AP) Prairie Farmer magazine reports that Crural crime is continuing its 'sharp upward trend. In 1973, :jall crime was up percent -over the previous year in rural Violent crime, includ- ing murder, forcible rape, jobbery and aggravated as- was up 28.9 percent. "Property crime which in- ;cludes burglary, larceny and auto theft, was up 14.4 per- 'cent. Prairie Farmer also has. found that more youths are Involved in crime than ever before. It says the number of rural youngsters under 18 who were arrested for murder Increased I2S.S percent over and for offenses there was 56.1 percent in- crease. ta'INB, Luis i Alvarez was sworn "HBttsMent of Mmtk-o Mm total of of 41 churches, Co-t'lutlrpcr'sons were Hazel f In the annual schools and 20 and Ollne Siem, under necessary to obtain prior to accepting your check. Your personal cooperation in helping us reduce the number of those few who might take undue advantage of checking account' privileges is provided on checks, bank identification cards and travelers checks tp retail personnel; and alterations have been Initiated In internal procedures at various financial "under was set up by the Chamber of Commerce originally at the behest of retail stores and supermarkets in .tiro arcs. However, over the 14 weeks of its existence, it has For or Treat for UNICEF" 'drlic, hold this year on Oct. 27, the Sunday preceding Halloween, Over of the small or-lingo UNICEF cartons, used In .i the door to 'door drive, or agencies in the In addition to Cedar Rapids and Marlon, area towns, involved in tho collection were Coggon, Linn Grove, Mt. Vernon, Whtttier, Hiawatha, Palo, Ely and sponsorship of the Cedar Rapids area. chapter of tho United Nations Assn. Mrs. O.K. Sippy ..organized the, drive In Marion. All funds will go to meet needs of children throughout Bad Check Task to include also through the world. Tighter cratrtl is continuing to of banks, accounts: Information which has some and other NE HOME FURNISHINGS DELUXE SMOOTH SLEEP MATTRESS AND SPRINGS OPEN TODAY (Sun.) 1 -5 pm r. Million Dollar Sale Special 5 on Sealy Sleep Sets! 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