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Another playground rebuild in the works

It was a case of arson at Caroline Wenzel By MONICA STARK

editor@valcomnews.com

As the beloved McKinley playground got rebuilt, two more were burned down. Set ablaze during the night of July 31, the playground at John Sloat and the next night on Aug. 1 at the playground at Caroline Wenzel, the two cases are being treated as arson and authorities are pleading for the community’s help keeping schools safe, especially during the remaining weeks before school starts. On Friday, Aug. 2 Caroline Wenzel’s new principal Yee Yang said the district had the structure torn down for safety reasons. “A good portion was pretty badly burned … almost a quarter section of the play structure,” he said. Yang said the damage appeared to have started from

underneath and quickly melted a huge section that children have enjoyed climbing on. “Thankfully it wasn’t wood, so only a quarter of it was burnt.” Brand new to Caroline Wenzel from Fruitridge Elementary (one of the schools that closed last year), Yang immediately felt sick to his stomach after hearing the news. “I can’t imagine that somebody would come out to an elementary school- a place of community – a place where they utilize part of their daily lives and destroy it,” he said. It’s surely not the best way to start off the year, but school will still start Sept. 3. He said the district is working hard on making sure they put in a new structure as soon as possible. “ There are processes we need to go through, so we may not get it before

school starts. I hope it will be done soon and I hope to have a playground to access,” Yang said. The district’s insurance deductible of $25,000 for each incident will come out of the general fund budget, further hampering the district’s work to rebound from recessionary budget cuts. Playground See Playground, page 17

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www.valcomnews.com • August 15, 2013 • The Pocket News



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