Blind World Magazine

Blind Woman Collects Signatures To Keep Her $250,000 Rest Stop Business Open.

CBS2 Chicago, Illinois.
Monday, April 24, 2006.

(CBS) INTERSTATE 65 A blind vendor is going on the offensive to try and save her lucrative highway rest stop business.

Betty Tetzlaff has the contract to operate vending machines at the rest stop along Interstate 65 near Rensselaer, Ind.

CBS 2 Northwest Indiana Bureau Chief Pamela Jones explains what she's doing to keep the coins rolling in.

"Don't want to brag, but I sell a lot of pop and candy bars out here. Keeps me hopping, but I love my job," said vendor Betty Tetzlaff.

Betty Tetzlaff is blind and sells items from vending machines to make a living.

They're located at the rest area on Interstate 65 at mile marker 231, south of Crown Point, Indiana.

Recent rumors that say this rest area may close have Tetzlaff upset and collecting hundreds of signatures on a petition.

"I want to work. I want to see this rest area left open, and truckers do, too," Tetzlaff said.

Tetzlaff says one of the reasons she's been given that the rest area should close is that it simply isn't busy enough. But she says the proof against that is in her budget. She says that just by selling this stuff on both sides of I-65, she made over $250,000 last year."

CBS 2 checked with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

A spokesperson says last year, a committee was formed to review the status of all rest areas and welcome centers in the state. Right now, there is a draft proposal for the future of the facilities, but it's not final and the details can't be released.

The department says right now, there are no official plans to close any rest areas.

Trucker say they're signing the petition because they need every rest area they can find, especially this one.

"Like going south here, it's 75 or 80 miles to the next rest area on 65 going south," said trucker Dee Prader.

Tetzlaff has been running her vending business since 1986.

She plans to present her petition to Jasper County commissioners next Monday.

End of article.

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