Security added for Mansfield festival

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Additional security personnel will be in force at the Mansfield Village Bluegrass Festival and Arts & Crafts this weekend following the destruction of a Parke County historical bridge in April.

"We'll have extra security patrols for all the concerts this year," Parke County Chief Deputy Eddie McHargue said.

The Bluegrass Festival on Saturday and Sunday will bring such artists as Steve Kaufman, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Rhonda Vincent and The Rage to Mansfield. McHargue said Hilltop Farm, where the concerts will take place, also uses their own security.

Whenever a large crowd gathers in Parke County, the Sheriff's Department likes to have an increased presence, he said.

Four to eight deputies will patrol Mansfield this weekend walking the grounds and observing the festivites looking for any unusual behavior after the Bridgeton Bridge was consumed by an arson fire April 28.

Jesse Lee Payne, 34, of Vigo County was charged May 12 with one count of arson and one count of attempted arson in connection with the blaze. A sheriff's deputy picked up Payne near the Mansfield Covered Bridge shortly after the Bridgeton fire. Items were found inside the truck he was in, but authorities would not specify what these items were.

Regardless of the Bridegton Bridge's vandalism, McHargue said the summer festivals should move along smoothly.

"There's nothing to be worried about. In the past we haven't had any problems and I don't anticipate any," McHargue said.

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