Friday, July 06, 2007

Hoosiers and Buckeyes and Fireworks -- Oh, My!

This is always an interesting time of the year to look at local news, just to see items like this one:
3 slain in Ohio dispute over fireworks
2 jailed in separate Indiana blast; 4 hurt
Associated Press

CLEVELAND – A neighbor apparently angry about fireworks at a noisy Fourth of July party shot three people to death early Thursday and wounded two others, police said.

Terrance Hough Jr., a 35-year-old off-duty firefighter, was arrested in connection with the shootings, police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho said.


Meanwhile, in West Terre Haute, Ind., two men were jailed on criminal recklessness charges after chunks of concrete from an exploding homemade firework tore through a mobile home park and injured four people in a vehicle, authorities said.

Witnesses said the firework – which consisted of a concrete block, mortar shells and gasoline – exploded late Tuesday and sent concrete pieces flying as far as 50 feet. Three children inside a nearby sport utility vehicle suffered cuts and scrapes and a woman with them suffered leg injuries, Sugar Creek Fire Department Chief Jim Holbert said.

Meanwhile, a two-story farmhouse near Kokomo was gutted by a blaze that started when fireworks stored inside were set off by the embers from a lit firework, an investigator said.

Holbert said the West Terre Haute explosion happened on a patch of ground between two homes – and at least six were damaged in the blast.

“Chunks of concrete went through the trailers and windows, just a lot of damage,” Holbert said.

Police arrested Chris Smock, 29, and Cody Tryon, 18, on charges of criminal recklessness in connection with the explosion. They were being held Thursday in the Vigo County Jail and also face public intoxication charges, a jail official said.

State Fire Marshal Roger Johnson called the firework a “recipe for disaster.”

“I can assure you the fact that no one was killed is just amazing because it was set off in a heavily populated area,” he said.

The house fire in a rural area north of Kokomo grew Wednesday afternoon from fireworks that homeowner Lester Beachy said his sons were given at a Marion shop where they worked. Beachy said one of his sons suffered burns to his hand, arm and both feet.

Galveston Fire Department investigator Brian Elson blamed the blaze on carelessness.

“A young male adult was standing in the door when he tried to throw a lit firework outside. The firework went outside, but embers blew back in,” Elson said. “That caused the others to go off.”
I guess we'd have to say that today's news makes the Buckeyes look serious -- downright murderous, perhaps -- while the Hoosiers are coming off with more of your innocent-buffoon charm. I think anyone having any familiarity with the cosmopolitan community of West Terre Haute will have no trouble believing that a classic hold-my-beer-and-watch-this redneck maneuver was committed in a trailer park (one of the many trailer parks, one need hardly add). As for the Kokomo deal: call me cynical, but that doesn't sound like the whole story to me. That sounds more like what they agreed to tell the "local authorities."

Well, all right, July 4th comes but once a year. It lasts about two weeks, but it's only once a year. Carry on, neighbors, carry on.

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