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Another side to the story

The recent TV news story about the 11-year-old boy playing basketball with the police is a feel good story, but did you know that the 70-year-old couple that have been trying to get their property protected for 13 months have now been portrayed as evil people who simply don’t like kids?

That is far from the truth. This couple has been to the city of Parkersburg many times about the basketball games in the street. The answer was there is no ordinance about playing basketball in the street. There apparently is no ordinance against trespassing or destruction of property either. Last year a council member said, “You need to put up no trespassing signs.” So, recently, they did.

The very next day the child was retrieving the ball that had just bounced off their landscaping lights, so the police were called. They did not want to resort to such drastic measures, but they are trying to get the invasion stopped. Then, three days later the same child was getting the ball out of their landscaping, rolling the ball over a recently planted plant. His father was watching him knowing that if he retrieved the ball from the no trespassing area that the police would be called.

The homeowner was under the assumption that adult parents were the ones responsible for their underage children. The story does not tell that the homeowners did not call the police the other 180 plus times the ball was in their landscaping not only by this child but others as well.

As a result, the police made a public mockery out of the 70-year-old couple that were simply trying to keep the property up. This couple is not just complaining, but they have been taking proactive measures to help provide a safe place for these young kids to play.

They have worked with the McKinley Elementary School principal, the Wood County Board of Education and the Superintendent of Wood County Schools to get the playground opened there since the school was closing.

The plan was for the homeowner to get a key to the playground and have it opened up at 10 a.m. and locked at sunset. The homeowner then contacted the chief of police and requested that if this was approved extra police patrols be provided to keep the children safe.

The chief said that was something that could be done.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 stopped that process.

Roy Hayhurst

Parkersburg

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