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Coeur d’Alene Veterans Bell broken by accident, city determines

November 1, 2016 GMT

Coeur d’Alene city officials have determined that the city’s Veterans Bell in McEuen Park was fractured on accident, not from an act of vandalism.

Police found a video recording that shows a male and female trying to ring the bell at 5:22 p.m. Oct. 22. “As they tried to ring it, and the man looked underneath it for a clapper, the bell fell to the ground and was fractured,” Deputy City Administrator Sam Taylor said Monday.

“Because there does not appear to have been malicious intent, and after seeking advice from its insurer, the city has discontinued seeking the couple as no crime has occurred,” Taylor said in a news release.

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“This appears to have been an unfortunate accident, and while people should not be touching the bell, the city is aware it occurs often, likely triggering the defect that caused the bell to fall,” he said.

The city Parks & Recreation Department is working with Allied Weldery to make temporary repairs to the bell to get it back up for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

“The city knows this artifact is an important icon for the community and especially our local veterans,” Taylor said.

The parks department intends to have the bell solidified to its frame so it can no longer move. Due to previous vandalism, the bell was allowed a little give to preserve the frame, which had cracked in the past, Taylor said.

The Panhandle Parks Foundation is accepting donations to repair the bell, expected to cost about $2,500. Donations may be mailed to the foundation at 212 Ironwood, Suite D PMB 124, Coeur d’Alene, 83814. Or email panhandleparks@gmail.com, or call (208) 446-4813.