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Goshen rejects new curfew ordinance for teens attending First Fridays

GOSHEN, Ind. -- Tuesday night Goshen's city council voted on two new ordinances aimed at stopping the vandalism, thefts and other petty crimes being committed by teens attending the city's First Friday event.

After getting a lot of public input, council members decided to table the sidewalk ordinance, while the curfew ordinance failed 7-0.

The sidewalk ordinance was introduced to stop unsupervised teens from loitering and blocking the busy sidewalks during First Fridays.

As the ordinance stands, teens can be issued a fine up to $500 that would go on their record as a misdemeanor.

Many community members felt that was too harsh a punishment and argued that the ordinance would be difficult to enforce, which is why the decision to vote on the ordinance was tabled until the council's next meeting in June.

Under the new curfew ordinance, which says that the curfew for teens, ages 15 and under, would be 9 p.m. rather than 11 p.m.

The newly proposed curfew ordinance was introduced supporters to prevent kids from hanging around, unsupervised, after First Fridays end.

One mother who works at a shop during First Fridays said she has been against the ordinance from the beginning.

She has four teenage boys of her own that often attend the event while she works, which is why she says she does not want to discourage the event from being kid friendly.

Those against the newly-drafted restrictions say these ordinances do not address the issues. Critics hope this has opened the door for more discussion on better solutions and alternatives that will encourage kids to be a part of First Fridays.

 

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