Senseless vandalism destroys memorial basketball goal
Apparently criminal activity isn’t immune to the arctic temperatures that have gripped the Greencastle area the past two weeks.
And we’re not talking about breaking-and-entering crime to save one’s self from the ravage of nature crime.
We’re talking about senseless, wanton destruction of public property crime.
That’s right, disgusting vandalism at single digits or below.
The target this time was the one of the new basketball goals at Big Walnut Sports Park on the city’s East Side.
Some less-than-Mensa member thought it might be fun to throw a couple of rocks through the glass backboard there, and now there are major holes where caroms ought to go.
Understand, however, this is no ordinary basketball goal. It’s a heartfelt monument of sorts to Keith Carr, the late son of Mark and Julie Carr, brother of McKenzie Carr, who by all accounts loved life and basketball -- possibly quite equally. And the court -- the Keith Carr Memorial Basketball Court, which became a reality in June 2016 -- was the result of a number of fun runs and other fundraising projects spearheaded by the group A Kinetic Change that included McKenzie, Julie and Mark Carr.
Park Director Rod Weinschenk informed the Park Board of the destruction Thursday night during the January meeting of the board at City Hall.
“I would like to pay a compliment to the Police Department,” Weinschenk said, noting that the officer discovered the vandalism on a drive-through surveillance of the park recently, a course of action GPD had promised in order to help protect park property.
“It’s nice to have all the small parks we have as isolated facilities,” Park Board member John Hennette noted, “but that does increase vandalism chances.”
With the exception of Robe-Ann Park most of the parks are indeed isolated from main areas. Vandalism definitely has been a recurring problem at Jaycee Park.
And Robe-Ann hasn’t been immune, especially within its restrooms over the years.
In fact, the damage to the Big Walnut Sports Park basketball goal brought to mind an incident years ago when new hoops were installed on the court that doubles as overflow parking for the Robe-Ann softball field. Within hours of new rims and nets being put up, someone hung on one of the rims and broke it away from the backboard, completely destroying it.
Despite that history and the need for more parking at Robe-Ann, board members were quick to stress that upgrading the basketball court there and adding lighting remain a priority within the five-year park master plan they discussed Thursday night.