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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday ó February 4, 2004


Hailey vandals
target president

Express Staff Writer

Apparently politically disgruntled vandals are spray painting walls and signs in Hailey with black spray paint.

Over the course of the past three weeks, vandals have painted up to 17 stop signs, the exterior walls of the Wood River Middle School and Hailey Elementary School, as well as painting and destroying the golden arches in front of the McDonalds restaurant, said Steve England, a Hailey police officer who is investigating the spree of vandalism.

England said the criminal activity has been occurring predominately during weekend nights. He said he believes the crimes were committed by the same person or people.

In some cases, stencils were used to paint a likeness of George W. Bush with the words "One term president" beneath. In others, the word "Bush" was painted beneath the word "STOP" on red stop signs.

Hailey City Engineer Tom Hellen said the vandalized stop signs must be replaced.

"Itís not the sort of paint you can get off," said Hailey City Engineer Tom Hellen. "They have to be replaced to be legal, and we donít budget 20 new signs every year."

Hailey City Administrator Jim Azumano said the vandalism of city property was "unfortunate and costly" and included "tagging" of the Hailey Elementary School and the skate park.

"There is not enough money to go around for everything everyone wants in the first place," he said. "Itís a double burden on the taxpayer. We really need the publicís help on this."

England asked that anyone with information about the vandalism to call the Hailey Police Department at 788-3531.

Express reporter Matt Fuber contributed to this story.




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