Serial sign killers cost local counties tens of thousands of dollars each year.
What’s a ‘sign killer?’
It’s someone who shoots, knocks down, or otherwise damages highway signs that then need replacement.
Today, some local students were honored for their efforts at being “sign warriors,” to try to stop the vandalism.
Jim Olson has the story.
Adela Heberlie was the center of attention because of what she’s holding in her hands. It’s a 2019 calendar featuring a poster she created on the cover.
(Adela Heberlie, Stanley 4th Grader) “It took a long time…”
But the time was worth it – her drawing of a car crash near a rural street sign that’s been shot out so a girl can’t tell 9-1-1 where she is.
(Adela Heberlie, Stanley 4th Grader) “She’s saying help because she’s scared and her car broke down.”
(Dale Heglund, Sign Warrior Program) “Her poster – it’s on the front cover for one reason – it’s just phenomenal.”
Dale Heglund is leading a statewide effort to enlist sign warriors – young people to convince adults they shouldn’t vandalize road signs.
(Dale Heglund, Sign Warrior Program) “It took kids to tell grandpa to wear seat belts. Here we’re getting fourth graders to send the message that we’re tired of it.”
(Jessie Olson, Mountrail County Road & Bridge Dept.) “Just last week we had one entire road from White Earth to Ross that had every sign shot out by a shotgun, I believe. It’s a real waste of public time and money.””
(Dale Heglund, Sign Warrior Program) “We have some counties in North Dakota with over 50% of their sign population damaged each year.”
Heglund says the problem is strictly local – and needs local pressure to be resolved.
(Dale Heglund, Sign Warrior Program) “Sign vandalism is local. There aren’t people coming from outside the state doing the damage, it’s our neighbors, our families, our friends that are putting us in harm’s way.”
Adela is proud that her drawing may help send that message – and she thinks she did a pretty good job.
(Adela Heberlie, Stanley 4th Grader) “I think it’s good.” (Kind of fun?) “Yes”
Heglund provided calendars for Adela’s family and all her classmates. All in hopes of stopping serial sign killers in North Dakota. Jim Olson, KX News.
Heglund was also in Minot today – awarding calendars to some students at Bishop Ryan whose artwork appears in the calendar.