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Editorial: County fix needed to address vandalism

Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners approved a public hearing on an amendment to the county's nuisance ordinance to deal with trespassing for the purpose of littering.

The nuisance ordinance amendment proposed is a right step to help deal with the escalating homecoming prank practices in the Willmar School District.

Law enforcement has had a difficult time dealing with homecoming pranks because the state trespassing laws restrict how authorities can respond.

A vandalism incident prior to Willmar High School homecoming resulted in a conflict between a group of teenagers and Scott Wagar, a rural Willmar homeowner. Wagar had been a victim of repeated homecoming vandalism for numerous years. Wagar responded last year by using a squirt gun to douse vandals with fox urine.

Wagar was charged in the case, but the charges were dropped. A county official has said that 10 juveniles were charged and pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property, for damaging a farmer's soybean field located next to Wagar's property.

The county should approve the nuisance ordinance amendment to provide the county attorney and law enforcement the proper tools to help control homecoming vandalism.