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Archive for Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New green stripe appears in downtown Tonganoxie

March 19, 2014

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— Another green stripe magically has appeared in downtown Tonganoxie.

Anyone driving Wednesday morning down Fourth Street near Tonganoxie Elementary School might have noticed the green line, which apparently was painted overnight, similar to the one that didn't happen for this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The latest stripe appears days after a Tonganoxie man was ticketed for painting the traditional parade stripe early Saturday morning near Fourth and Main.

A Tonganoxie police officer cited Charlie “Tuna” Conrad after 5 a.m. Saturday for criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor. Conrad is to appear in municipal court next month. Local business owners, Tonganoxie residents and angry Facebook commenters since have come to Conrad's defense.

Residents traditionally have painted the line since the late John McCaffrey started the parade more than 25 years ago to highlight the parade route. The line was painted annually every year but one in his honor, Conrad said.

Police Chief Jeff Brandau said he’s unsure who painted the new line near the elementary school.

According to Debi Conrad, Charlie’s wife, her husband did not paint the second stripe.

City Administrator Nathan McCommon said he had chatted with Charlie Conrad last year about the line being an ordinance violation, but was unaware at the time that who was doing the painting.

Conrad contends that he never was told specifically to not paint the line. He said several people have done the painting over the years and even police officers have helped direct traffic during some past painting adventures.

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