Monday, October 22, 2001

County curfew foils Halloween pranksters

The Associated Press

        HILLSBORO, Ohio — One Southwest Ohio county has found a way to cut back on Halloween pranks: an 8 p.m. curfew for young people during most of October.

        Highland County officials acknowledge that observing the curfew is more a matter of community acceptance than law, since there is no statute mandating a blanket curfew.

        “It's gone on for so long, prob ably 30 years, that we don't even think about it much any more,” said Richard Zink, a former city councilman in Hillsboro, about 75 miles southwest of Columbus.

        The tradition started with a declaration from a former Juvenile Court judge.

        Apparently tired of the petty vandalism and pranks common to many small towns during the Halloween season, Judge Richard Davis decided to issue a countywide proclamation that from a chosen date in early October until Oct. 31, all juveniles had to be home by 8 p.m. That's three hours earlier than the city's standard curfew.

        His successor, Kevin Greer, issued the annual curfew proclamation a few days ago.

        Sheriff Ron Ward said the idea is to keep pranksters from soaping windows, smashing pumpkins, throwing eggs and worse. Any tickets handed out are for those offenses, not for the 8 p.m. “community standard” violation.


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