Sunday, August 25, 2002

Farmer's cannon scares birds, annoys neighbors

The Associated Press

        MASON - Gunshot sounds will scare birds from a corn patch, but neighbors say one gardener's device is too loud. Ben and Anita Todorov have gone to court to stop Butch Schappacher from setting off a cannon to scare birds.

        They want to enforce Mason's noise ordinance, which states that a person shall not make noise loud enough to annoy or disturb others within city limits.

        The problem is that their farm and Mr. Schappacher's are a few miles outside Mason, 19 miles north of Cincinnati.

        “I don't believe the intent of the law was to protect only those within the city limits,” said the Todorovs' attorney, Robert Fischer, who filed a petition for an injunction Aug. 15 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

        The Todorovs say the cannon, which makes a boom by igniting a burst of propane gas, sounds off once a minute from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

        Mr. Schappacher said he runs the cannon as little as possible during the growing season.


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