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Train mural in city's West End vandalized with red spray paint

August 06, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - A mural has been defaced in the City of Hagerstown's West End.

Vandals recently painted a red "B" on the train mural that graces the underpass below the railroad tracks on Burhans Boulevard - near the Burhans Station restaurant.

The Hagerstown Police Department did not return telephone calls seeking comment about whether the graffiti is associated with the Bloods gang.

Cindy Blackstock, city community development coordinator, said the now defunct Ridge Avenue Neighborhoods 1st group paid an artist to paint the mural several years ago.

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"That mural has stood untouched for many years," she said. "Obviously, we would have liked to see it remain untouched."

Because the graffiti is on a mural, Blackstock said city workers will have to exercise greater care when they repair the eyesore.

"It can't be handled the way a normal graffiti tag would by being painted over," Blackstock said.

The city first needs to get permission from CSX to fix the railroad-owned property, she said.

CSX did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Ernest "Bub" Snodderly, a former member of the Ridge Avenue Neighborhoods 1st group, said the organization had the mural painted about five years ago to cover the dingy and dirty underpass.

The entire neighborhood, including the children, spent weeks raising money to pay for the project, he said.

"I'm very disappointed," Snodderly said. "It's been all these years, and there's never been graffiti or markings of any kind on it ... It was a terrific job."

Snodderly said the Ridge Avenue Neighborhoods 1st group disbanded after it had a disagreement with city officials.

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