- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - Many of the memorial ribbons hung around Charles City tend to linger and become tattered, but the northeast Iowa town doesn’t have a clear policy on how long they should stay or who should remove them.

The issue came up recently after Charles City police officers took down some ribbons and upset some of the people who put them up.

“We want to be mindful of the circumstances and why the ribbons are put up. We know they are up there for a specific reason,” City Administrator Steve Diers told The Globe Gazette (https://bit.ly/1ngtogs ).

But the ribbons start to look bad after they’ve been hanging up for a while, and they can cause some confusion. The city ties ribbons around utility poles to signal when light bulbs need to be replaced.

Friends and family of Jesse Wilson, 22, hung orange and black ribbons in his memory in March. Wilson died last September in a car accident, and the driver of the vehicle, 22-year-old Tylor Patrick, is scheduled for trial for vehicular homicide later this month.

Cassandra Paul of Charles City said less than two weeks after the ribbons were hung, the ones in Charles City were taken down by police.

“We were told we were littering and trespassing on city property,” said Paul, who is the mother of Wilson’s two youngest children.

Paul said Wilson’s family had contacted city officials prior to putting the ribbons up and were told there weren’t any rules against hanging ribbons.

Diers said the officers removed a number of ribbons and didn’t target the orange and black ones.

The city is working on a plan that would allow ribbons to remain up for a few months after they are hung up.

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Information from: Globe Gazette, https://www.globegazette.com/

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