EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSPolice Say Murals Vandalized In Kenova
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jun. 9, 2014 5:37 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 10, 2014 10:59 AM EDT
Kenova , Wayne County , West Virginia
When Kenova City Planner Gordon Jones noticed several of the murals along Chestnut Street had deep scratches and even rips in the fabric, he was beyond frustrated.
"When you have vandalism aimed at increasing community pride, that really hurts," Jones said.
Jones is understandably upset. He can tell you about nearly every piece of these murals.
"A lot of people don't realize this -- there were seven U.S. presidents that have visited Kenova," he said.
Jones has worked hard to raise money and research history to make these murals a reality through private donations of local businesses and benefactors.
"What we're trying to do first of all is record our history and then display it to the community to add to the community pride," Jones said.
Kenova police say whoever is responsible for the vandalism could be charged with a felony. There were at least four murals seriously damaged. While they cost several thousand dollars each to install, they expect each replaced printing to be about $250. They are seeking help through the city's Facebook page to find who is responsible.
Kenova Police Chief Ray Mossman said city officials believe "this is the type of crime that somebody will brag about it, and they will tell someone and we're hoping if they tell that person, that person will come and tell us and we'll take care of that situation."
In the meantime, police will be on high alert for suspicious activity in that area.
"We've stepped up patrol to have our midnight and late event shift to monitor more, and we're working with the city to install a camera to have these videoed 24/7," Mossman said.
Jones will start the restoration ASAP.
"We're going to work to get them back to where they were and have something that the community can be proud of and something that attracts tourists to the area," he said.
If you have any information about the vandalism, call Kenova police at 304-453-5555.
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