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Published: Sunday, 7/15/2012

Storm forces closure of historic courthouse


BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio -- A storm that twisted a 150-foot bell tower has forced the abandonment of a western Ohio courthouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Structural engineers said the June 29 storm moved the wood-and-steel tower several inches off its base atop the Logan County Courthouse in Bellefontaine, making the 142-year-old building unsafe.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that court employees are working out of back rooms and hallways.

Officials in the city 60 miles west of Columbus hope the tower can be taken down, rebuilt, and put back. They say it's too soon to estimate the cost or how long it would take.

County commissioners are trying to find a temporary location where at least some courthouse operations can be consolidated while they decide what to do.

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