July 26, 2008

Everson Rallies Against Crime

By Michael Cope, The Daily Courier, Connellsville, Pa.

Jul. 26--Everson officials are inviting residents for a night out Aug. 5 to show solidarity against those in the community "who live outside the law."

The town will again participate in National Night Out, a worldwide rally against crime that includes a nighttime stroll.

"Last year, nearly 70 Everson citizens participated in the walk," Mayor Tim Shoemaker said. "We want to show the vandals, thieves and others who live outside the law that we will not be intimidated.

"We are watching, not only for things suspicious, but also we're watching out for each other."

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. at Centennial Park along Jones Street with a picnic at the park's pavilion. Attendees are asked to bring a salad, dessert or snack to share, as well as a lawn chair for personal use. Hot dogs, baked beans and cold drinks will be provided.

The highlight of the event is a flashlight walk through the borough starting at 8:30 p.m. from Centennial Park. Other activities are being planned by Everson police and firefighters, who will provide traffic control.

"We need to generate support for and increase participation in our anti-crime efforts," said Frank Cross, president of Everson Neighborhood Watch. "If we know who our neighbors are and who lives on our block, we can strengthen our community spirit and increase the civic pride in our small town."

National Night Out, which is in its 25th year, is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. This is the second year Everson will participate. Local sponsors include Everson Neighborhood Watch, Everson Evangelical Church, Borough of Everson and Everson Volunteer Fire Company.

"Now more than ever, we as a community need to make a statement," council President Mike Banaszak said. "With the recent rash of thefts and vandalism in the borough, we need to show those responsible that we will not tolerate incidents or behavior like that in our town."

Everson police are investigating a rash of thefts involving borough property, including a 30-foot-long flagpole slated for installation in Centennial Park.

Thieves stole the 300-pound aluminum pole from outside the borough building sometime in March. It was donated to the borough.

Someone stole two pedestrian crosswalk markers from intersections as well. The markers had been in place for about a month and weigh 60 pounds each. They were obtained through the PennDOT Pedestrian Safety Program, and are valued at about $75 each. Also missing are two "no parking" signs from the Centennial Park area. They are valued at $20 each.

The borough is offering a $50 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for any of the thefts. All information will remain confidential. Call borough police at 724-887-4870.

"We have to show we are proud of our community and we are not afraid," Banaszak said.

For more information, or to donate, call Shoemaker, 724-887-9839; Banaszak, 724-887-0569; or Cross, 724-887-6738.


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Copyright (c) 2008, The Daily Courier, Connellsville, Pa.

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