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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Vandals hit vehicles in storage

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Betsy Ross, played by second-grader Lindsey Bridgewater, worked hard at sewing the colonial American flag during the Living Wax Museum presentation at Deer Meadow Primary School Tuesday. For the project, second-graders had to research the biographies of different people throughout history and then present themselves as that person.
Vandals seemingly bent on destruction left their mark at the Putnam County Fairgrounds recently, officials said Tuesday.

Groundskeeper Steve Hurst made the discovery when he arrived at the fairgrounds to do some work Tuesday morning. There he found about a half dozen vehicles, stored in the open air beef barn for the winter, with their windows smashed out.

A broken piece of brick was on the ground near one of the vehicles, but few other clues were found.

Hurst said he believed the acts probably took place within the last week or so.

The vehicles that were damaged included a dump truck, speed boat, camper, and a four-wheel drive truck, all belonging to local residents who paid to store their vehicles there for the season.

For many years, the fair board has rented out the spaces as a means of providing extra funding for the fairgrounds.

Fair Board President Ken Heeke said he hasn't witnessed an act like this during his tenure on the board.

"Looks like we're gonna have to tighten up security," Heeke said.

Unfortunately it could mean some restrictions on people using the fairgrounds in the future, he said.

Hurst said the fairgrounds normally remain open throughout the winter for anyone to drive in. But officials may have to look for ways to limit who can access the grounds, especially at night and apart from regularly scheduled events.

"When a small group of people decides to vandalize then that takes away some of the freedoms for everyone," Heeke said.

Hurst said he spoke with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department and an incident report was taken.

Unfortunately the suspects are difficult to catch, Reserve Deputy Josh Boller said after visiting the fairgrounds Tuesday afternoon.

He said that unless someone saw the acts occur, it's difficult for the police to find out who did it.

Hurst said he would be contacting property owners who are currently out of town to let them know what has happened.

The recent vandalism is the latest in a string of suspicious activity that has taken place at the fairgrounds this winter.

Hurst said he has been experiencing problems with four-wheel drive trucks making ruts in the grass throughout the fairgrounds this winter. He doesn't know if the two are related, but hopes it doesn't happen again.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the sheriff's office at 653-3211 to leave an anonymous tip.

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