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WAUSAU (WAOW) -
The Salvation Army has changed its decision about a man dressed as Santa, who officials there had said was no longer allowed to ring bells.
Now, Salvation Army leaders say the man is welcome to ring again.
This all started Monday after Wausau police say the man stopped by Franklin Elementary School on his way home from ringing bells for the Salvation Army. Officials say he gave students Beanie Babies, which were later returned. He was asked to leave the school.
On Tuesday night, Salvation Army leaders told Newsline 9 the man would not be returning to ring bells.
Wednesday, leaders had a different statement, saying he is welcome to ring again.
A Salvation Army Lieutenant told Newsline 9 she had not fully looked into the situation Tuesday when she told WAOW the man would not be allowed to ring bells again. She said she made assumptions after receiving calls from staff and community members. She said after speaking with police and learning more about the situation, she believes the man meant no harm.
"We have background checks and nothing has come up that would warrant not allowing him to ring bells and the police didn't have any concern with him so we didn't think it was warranted to tell him he couldn't ring anymore," said Lt. Melinda Tripp.
Tripp says bell ringers are allowed to hand out items but only if they are provided by the Salvation Army. She says the man did not have approval to hand out Beanie Babies.
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