Mississippi River community offers reward for info on the Grinch who snipped wires to courthouse lights

Published 1:16 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023

It appears that one Mississippi River community may have a grinchy individual in its midst as it appears wires to decorative lights were cut intentionally outside the old courthouse.

Authorities in Vidalia, Louisiana, a small community that sits across the Mississippi River from Natchez, are searching for those responsible for cutting the wires the building that stands near the foot of the Mississippi River bridges.

Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft expressed his disappointment that wires had been intentionally cut to decorative lights outside the old courthouse.

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“It was clearly done intentionally,” he said, indicating there were no indications that the wires were damaged during trimming around the courthouse.

Craft said he noticed the lights out around the courthouse upon his return from a trip to Washington, D.C., late Saturday and sent a city employee out to investigate.

“I thought maybe it was a breaker that had been thrown,” Craft said.

What the worker found instead was severed wire damaging what the mayor guessed was around $200 worth of lights.

The lights were strung by the Vidalia Beautification Committee with the town’s support.

Plans are underway to have additional light poles leading a walkway from the old courthouse to the Vidalia riverfront. Craft said that project should begin soon.

Authorities are searching for those responsible for cutting the wires.

A social media post on the town’s page offered a reward for reporting whoever is responsible.

Craft said he’s not sure yet what the reward amount would be but it would have to be within legal limits.

“It’s disappointing,” he said. “There are people in Vidalia who work hard to make the town as best it can be only to have someone do something like this. I hope someone comes forward to tell us who they are.”

Craft added there are cameras around the old courthouse that may have caught whoever is responsible.

“We will be looking at those and we will be looking to prosecute whoever is responsible,” he said.

In addition to working to find those responsible for the damaged lights, Craft said he is also talking with Vidalia Police Department to better enforce the town’s litter ordinances after noticing bags of trash thrown from car windows and trash left out around the riverfront picnic tables.

“We’re going to start enforcing litter violations in our town,” he said.