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Hancock approves a curfew

January 12, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

HANCOCK - The Hancock Town Council Wednesday adopted a curfew ordinance for people under age 18.

The vote was 3-1 with Councilman Greg Yost opposed.

The curfew will be 11 p.m. on school nights and midnight on weekend and summer nights. It will be effective in about 30 days, Mayor Daniel Murphy said.

There are no present town curfews.

There is no penalty for the first violation, a $50 fine for the second violation, $150 for the third. A fourth violation will cost $300.

Police Chief Donald Gossage said there are many dysfunctional families in Hancock and without a curfew ordinance the town can't force parents to be good parents.

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The ordinance has three purposes, Gossage said: Increasing safety, decreasing crime and "to send a message to parents that they have to be parents."

Earlier during the meeting three Hancock citizens spoke during a public hearing on the proposal.

Mona True said she supports the ordinance but wanted it to include people up to age 21. However, the town can't do that legally, Gossage said.

A Hancock citizen, Hazel Souders said she opposes simply fining parents for their children's curfew violations. Instead she would prefer that children in trouble be given counseling, she said.

"Just getting them off the street is not the answer. We're going to see that child again down the road," she said.

Gary Nutter asked if ordinance violators would be fined if they lived in West Virginia and Pennsylvania and Gossage said that they will.

Only one citizen, Evelyn Poteet, spoke at last month's public hearing on the ordinance. She spoke in support of the proposed ordinance.

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