Vandals need to be caught, punished

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 15, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

In the past few weeks, two gems of Lawrence County have been victimized by vandals.

First, vandals broke off nearly 100 of the decorative tops on the wrought iron fence of the bridge that enters Woodland Cemetery from Lorain Street. Within the past week, someone spray-painted graffiti across rock faces and a wooden boardwalk at Lake Vesuvius.

Email newsletter signup

We decry the vandalism at both the lake and the cemetery.

It would be easy for the Wayne National Forest to lock all gates to Lake Vesuvius at night to assure such acts do not occur in the future. In fact, forest service officials are considering not only that, but also charging admission to the facilities, should the problems persist. We hope it does not come down to this due to the thoughtless actions of a few people.

The forest service has invested more than $5 million to improve the park. No sooner than the project was finished, someone selfishly defaces some of the property. We are blessed to have public lands with so much to offer - boating, fishing and hiking just to name a few. If the forest service would have to charge admission, many people, especially out-of-towners, would be turned away and take their tourist dollars elsewhere. It would not be fair to penalize everyone because a few people do not know how to act civilized.

Likewise, we are fortunate to have a cemetery as beautiful as Woodland. Just about everybody in Lawrence County knows someone who is buried there, so it not only serves Ironton, but the whole county.

We hope local law enforcement agencies are able to find out who vandalized the cemetery and park and punish them to the fullest extent of the law. However, any help the forest service, sheriff's office or city police could get would be appreciated.

Anyone who has any information about the Lake Vesuvius vandalism should call the Wayne National Forest's Ironton Ranger District at 534-6500 or the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office at 532-3525. Anyone with any information about the cemetery vandalism should contact the Ironton Police Department at 532-2338.