Hennepin Discusses Tobacco-Free, Gun-Free Zones

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Signs banning smoking and guns in certain locations in town kept popping up at the Hennepin Village Board meeting Wednesday.

Regarding smoking, the village is taking the lead in tobacco-free parks effort following the theme, “Play hard, breathe easy.”

Becky Piano, public health educator from Bureau and Putnam County Health Department, brought signs professionally designed by Frank Boggio that will be posted at the entrances to the village.

She also brought posters the fourth- and fifth-grade students designed. Those posters will be transformed into signs the village will post at the entrances to the village parks. She asked the board members if they wanted to have the junior high and high school students complete some designs, too, because the signs will become permanent fixtures.

Village trustee Quentin Buffington said since the parks are for the children, he thinks it’s great to have the signs designed by the younger children in town.

“Save your time,” Buffington said to Piano when she proposed a poster contest for the older students. “Keep it simple.”

The board was in agreement.

“It’s your park. You guys can design it any way you like and we’d just pay for it,” said Dawn Conerton from Community Partners Against Substance Abuse, who accompanied two health department representatives at the meeting.

Piano said the health department received a “We Choose Health” grant from Illinois Department of Public Health and is in the second year of the five-year grant. She said the “three focuses” of the grant are working with schools (including Putnam County and Bureau Valley) on health and exercise, smoke-free public places and worksite wellness.

She presented the board with a tobacco-free park policy to read. Mayor Kevin Coleman said the board can approve the policy next month.

The health department plans to approach Granville about tobacco-free parks next.

“Keep your fingers crossed that they’ll be as easy to work with as you are,” Piano said.

Concealed carry exceptions

Trustee Lynn Haage brought to the board meeting some window stickers that the village needs to post on public buildings. She said Putnam County sheriff Kevin Doyle provided the stickers, and businesses can request them.

The board discussed where to put up signs, a handgun with a red slash through it, including the parks. They indicated the school properties would be the school district’s call. Trustee Clyde Zellmer said such signs can’t go up at the boat ramp, since hunters use the ramp “about 90 days out of the year.”

Source: News Tribune