published Monday, April 15th, 2013

South Pittsburg street lamps damaged

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    South Pittsburg, Tenn., has repaired street lamps that were damaged by youngsters swinging on and breaking the brackets that hold banners for the National Cornbread Festival.
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SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — When city workers began recently to decorate downtown for the upcoming National Cornbread Festival, they found a problem.

"We were putting up Cornbread Festival banners [on the street lamps], and the bottom brackets that they go on were broken off," Public Works Supervisor Russell McCain said.

All but one of the street lamps' brackets were damaged along Cedar Avenue downtown, he said.

An unidentified resident told McCain that he'd seen "children swinging on them" recently, and as they did so, they broke off the bottom bracket arm on each pole.

The man told the youngsters to stop, and they told him to leave and mind his own business, McCain said.

The man did not report the incident to police at the time, and no one has a more detailed description of the alleged vandals, but Mayor Jane Dawkins has asked Police Chief Dale Winters to keep a close eye on the area.

"It's probably going to take some adults in the community who see that going on [to stop it]," Dawkins said. "I think [residents] certainly have the right to say something to them."

Anyone with information on the vandals' identities is asked to call City Hall or the South Pittsburg Police Department.

"It's just bad," Dawkins said. "It is just pure disrespect for property, and it's all of our property."

In the past week, city workers have fixed many of the banner brackets, but officials did not say how much the new parts and repairs cost.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at

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