Monday, October 27, 2008

GREAT MOMENTS IN BELLEVILLE

Carolyn Tuft , St Louis Post Dispatch - If you're thinking about trick-or-treating in Belleville and you are in the ninth grade or higher, think again. Today, Belleville Mayor Mark W. Eckert signed a new law -- approved by the Belleville City Council Monday night -- that sets new rules for those wanting to dress up for Halloween and on other days of the year.

The new law, prompted by complaints from homeowners who were scared by late-night trick-or-treating, will:

- Ban anyone in the ninth grade and up from trick or treating on Halloween unless they are a "special-needs" child, who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

- Limits the hours of trick-or-treating on Halloween night from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. No one can trick or treat later than 8:30 p.m.

- Allow children, 12 years old or younger, to wear a mask or disguise any day of the year. Anyone older than that can only wear a mask or disguise on Halloween, but not on any other day of the year.

- Prohibit any child sex offender from going to any event or holding any event for Halloween where any child, other than their own, is present. It requires those offenders to turn out their outside lights on Halloween night and bans them from handing out candy.

Eckert said that he and the City Council members have spent a year discussing ways to protect children on Halloween night and to address the concerns of homeowners who say high school teens knock on their doors late at night on Halloween demanding treats.

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