LEETONIA Public park plagued by vandalism
Vandalism investigations have been ongoing, the chief said.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LEETONIA -- Despite increased patrols, vandalism at Cherry Valley Coke Ovens Park continues to be a problem for police.
Since volunteers began renovating the park in the late 1980s, vandals have broken fencing and park benches and trash cans.
The restroom pavilion has been a favorite target and, over the weekend, someone popped out the pavilion's plastic windows, broke door handles and knocked a toilet off its foundation.
The restroom and other improvements were added in the past five years.
"What's the thrill in vandalizing a restroom?" said John Soldano, village police chief. He said police want to catch the vandals in the act, which is a difficult task in the wooded area.
"They see the cruisers before we see them," Soldano added.
Over time, the area became swampy and overgrown, but concerned citizens secured grants and volunteer labor to reclaim it.
In recent years, students in Dr. John White's archaeology classes at Youngstown State University have unearthed the foundations of the former iron works buildings and found clay pipes, bits of pottery and other artifacts from the once-thriving industrial site.