By: Martha SparksSociety Editor
October 7, 2012
MAN — Vandalism has once again struck in the name of school rivalry in Logan County.
Vandals spray painted a newly installed electronic message board for the Town of Man with messages sometime late Thursday night or early Friday morning. The messages were in reference to the Chapmanville-Man football game that was held Friday night.
“They spray painted ‘Man sucks,” said Town of Man Mayor Jim Blevins. “Then they wrote ’69,’ I don’t know what that means… and they wrote ‘Chapmanville rules.’ The paint was black.”
Blevins said he had been attending a Rt. 10 meeting in Charleston and by the time he came back to Man, town employees had covered the sign.
”They did try to clean off the paint,” said Blevins. “And they covered it with a tarp.”
The sign was purchased by the town at a cost of $20,000 and would allow the town to put up electronic messages in lights welcoming people, advertising the town, local events, churches and businesses and giving the time and temperature for visitors.
“I’m offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandals,” said Blevins.
Blevins said the incident is being investigated by the Man Police Department and anyone with information may contact them at 304-583-9631.
Although installed, the sign had not been electrically wired. Blevins said that it was scheduled to be wired last summer, but the derecho that hit the area put the project on hold.
“We were just getting ready to turn the power on to it and somebody painted it,” said Blevins. “I had been waiting on the contract from Appalachian Power. I got it and signed it three or four days ago.”
Blevins said he would not have an estimate on damages until he contacted the sign maker in regard to replacement part prices.
Pranks in the name of school rivalry were also done prior to a Chapmanville and Logan game in September. In that episode of vandalism, two people were allegedly caught on surveillance video one night vandalizing the buildings at Chapmanville Regional High School’s football field and the next night six people were caught on video at Logan High School spray painting buildings with words and obscene pictures and vandalizing a driver’s education vehicle.