Police identify suspect in McLouth graffiti case
by Dennis Sharkey
An arrest could soon be made in connection with a downtown McLouth graffiti incident.
Police Chief Marcus Koch told the city council last week that a suspect has been identified but did not give any details.
The suspect used black paint to tag some buildings along Union Street. The graffiti is not vulgar in nature. All the tags contain “P. O. G.” One spot has a peace symbol painted inside the O and another contains a happy cartoon character.
The council also asked Koch about some vandalism that occurred at the Stan Braksick Sports Complex earlier this spring. He said a suspect has not been established in that case. While meeting with school officials Koch said he suggested video surveillance cameras for the complex.
Koch has also discovered an issue with the city’s ordinance pertaining to inoperable vehicles.
When he began identifying inoperable vehicles last year the list was in the 70s citywide. Now only six vehicles remain on five different properties.
Now that the process has reached a point where the city needs to abate the issue there is a holdup in the ordinance concerning proper notice.
City Prosecutor Trevin Ray, who was filling in for Counselor Carol Bonebrake, said the ordinance is modeled after the state statute. However, concerning proper notice, the statute only addresses after the issue has been abated and not before.
“We decided that may not be what the city wants to get into, the car taking and selling business,” Ray said.
The city will soon start addressing weeds and grass. Thirteen letters were mailed to residents last week.
In other actions:
• Councilman Jim Moore asked if the city has a diseased animal ordinance. He spoke of a specific situation that he believes involves a dog having mange.
City dog catcher Ralph Bayles is aware of the situation and said he and Koch would be visiting with the owner of the animal. The only disease addressed in the ordinance is rabies.
• The council discussed a remedy for a problem with a tire dump that has developed over several years near the school grounds. City Administrator Carl Chalfant said he has two bids in and waiting on another. He said he hoped the cost of removal of the tires would stay under $1,000 but that is not likely.
The tires have accumulated on the property of Jim Edmonds for several years. Moore indicated that most of the tires don’t belong to Edmonds but rather have been dumped there by several people.
Councilman Harlan Woodring said the tires are providing a home for mosquitoes.
• Woodring raised some concerns about the purchase of a new television for the firehouse. A charge of $794 was put on the city’s credit card for the purchase. Chalfant said the television was paid for by the city, the township and the fire department’s slush fund and will be used by all three.
• Chalfant said last week’s firehouse pancake breakfast was a huge success and raised about $880 for the fire department.
“We’ve got to thank the community big time,” Chalfant said.
• New parking stripes were painted last week on Lucy Street next to the post office. The new markings allow for diagonal parking.
The city was prompted to make a change because people were parking in several different positions including parallel parking and parking the wrong way.
Chalfant said before the yellow paint was put down white lines were drawn and some residents noticed.
“It’s changing a little bit of behavior,” Chalfant said. “Hopeful lywhen we get the yellow in it will change a lot of behavior. I think it’s worth a try.”
The new parking allows for seven slots. The first slot will be made handicapped but Chalfant said they will need permission to fasten a handicapped parking sign to the building.
• The council is in the process of annexing part of K-16 Highway west of the current city limits. Currently the city limits extend on both sides of the highway to the edge of the cemetery. However, when the property was annexed the portion of the highway that runs through was overlooked.
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