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Published: Tuesday, 1/13/2004

Youths vandalize Fostoria s new ice rink

Juveniles vandalized Fostoria s new ice rink before it even opened for the first time to skaters.

But the city s parks and recreation director, Ernie Lemmerman, vowed yesterday not to let the teenage prank pull the plug on the rink.

“If Mother Nature cooperates, we ll have skating here, one way or another,” he said.

According to Fostoria police, a passerby called shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday and reported seeing five to six youths ages 9-12 throwing things on the ice. About half of the five inches of water was frozen.

He said city employees will try to repair the hole and refill the rink. A new liner would cost $1,000.

Police said they brought the youths to the station for questioning. They were not charged but the investigation is ongoing.

Mr. Lemmerman said the vandalism was disheartening, especially because the ice rink was a community project. A fund-raising drive brought in $3,500 to buy the kit to create the 45-by-100-foot temporary rink. The rink was installed and filled with water last week.

“They ve really messed up a good thing,” Mr. Lemmerman said.

With colder weather predicted, Mr. Lemmerman said he is still hopeful the rink will be operational soon, possibly later in the week.

Local property owner Larry Manley is allowing the city to use the now-empty lot on Tiffin Street for the rink. The area is the site of the former Doeshire Inn, a rooming house destroyed in a July, 2002, fire. Two people died in that blaze, and a man is serving a nine-year sentencing for starting it.

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