September 21, 2014

Curfew, noise rules now in effect in village of Twining

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TWINING — Members of the Twining Village Council are hopeful that a pair of ordinances that took effect Sept. 21 can help prevent disturbances dealing with vandalism and noise.

One such ordinance is a curfew for children younger than 17. The curfew states children cannot loiter, idle or congregate on public streets or in alleys or parks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Village Clerk Carol Norton said residents of the village wanted the village council to act on the issue of children being out late at night. She added residents were raising questions about what could be done at several village meetings, as well as lodging complaints.

“We had 12- and 13-year-olds running the street at 1 a.m., 2 a.m. in the morning,” she said. “They were painting signs and shooting off firecrackers.”

“Several of our signs got spray-painted,” Norton added. “The big propane tank at the fire barn had dirty words and dirty pictures in bright blue paint. This was all stuff that was happening in the dark.”

Sheriff Jim Mosciski said the village’s ordinance makes the curfew enforceable, and allows police officers to detain minors who break the curfew.

“That gives us the authority to enforce it and go through the court system,” he said.

“The officer couldn’t do anything much about it unless we had an ordinance,” Norton added. “There is a state ordinance, but it isn’t as strict as what ours is. It was very lenient as far as the time that it went into effect and the age.”

Twining’s ordinance does exempt minors who are accompanied by a guardian or parent, on an errand at the direction of a parent, in a vehicle involved in interstate travel, leaving for or returning from work, involved in an emergency, on the sidewalk abutting their residence as long as a neighbor does not complain, or attending an official school, religious or village-sponsored activity where an adult is supervising.

Along with the curfew for minors, a noise ordinance that took effect Sept. 21 is also aimed at curbing disruption within the village. Norton said there were several complaints regarding noise, as well.

“People put the speakers for their stereos outside, and then they turned it up so loud that anyone around them had to listen to their music,” she said.

The noise ordinance makes it unlawful for a person to make or cause continued loud, unusual noise that disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, safety and peace of others. Racing cars, motorcycles and snowmobiles in the village is considered to be loud, unnecessary noise in the ordinance.

Norton said the village council hopes the new ordinances, and making it against the law to violate them, makes a difference in the village since police can intervene.

“With curfew, they can make kids go inside or detain them and make their parents come and get them,” she said.

“I don’t know how confident we are that it’s going to work. We’re very hopeful,” Norton added.

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