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Dunbar Intermediate's playground being vandalized, principal says

By Marta Ree Tankersley

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Dunbar Intermediate School's playground has been vandalized repeatedly since its construction nearly two years ago, said Principal Sharon Brooks. She came to City Council seeking help Monday evening.

"Our school is so well taken care of by the city of Dunbar," she said. "You are wonderful to patrol the area, but the property is still being vandalized a couple times a month and we just don't know what else to do."

The playground on Myers Avenue, equipped with slides and swings, a tower, a balance beam, and a special-needs swing, has fencing and lights already. A surveillance camera is about to be installed, Brooks said.

"We will have to close the playground if this continues," she said.

Mayor Terry Greenlee directed Police Chief Earl Whittington to increase patrols in the area during evening hours and to complete a full security analysis. The first order of business is to install chains on each of the six gates in addition to the existing locks, he said.

"We will all work together to do what we can," Greenlee said.

In regular business, Sanitary Department Director Ron Byrnside reported that several sections of sewer lines are being cleaned and examined for any possible "offsets or obstruction by roots" with some of the extra funds available from the second phase of the $12.5 million sanitation construction project set to begin in January.

The project will take a year to complete, he said.

Interim Recreation Consultant Bub Jones announced that Dunbar's Christmas parade will begin at Dunbar Landing at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6. It will end at City Hall where there will be a tree-lighting ceremony complete with Santa and hot chocolate, he said.

City workers will begin decorating the "beautiful, full pine that stands over 25 feet tall" Tuesday, said Greenlee. It was donated by residents Bobby and Jennifer Byrd.

Whittington cautioned parade participants not to toss candy from the floats during the parade.

"Children can run out into the street and could be hurt in all the excitement," he said.

In financial news, council approved payment of invoices totaling $33,649 and approved the purchase of 150 gallons of bulk oil at an estimated cost of $2,004.


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