Friday, January 13, 2012

Keep Those Yards Clean!

MSNBC reports that a Mount Pleasant, S.C. woman who failed to pay a $480 fine for having a messy yard was sentenced to 10 days in jail, but came home a few days early to find support from strangers.

Linda Ruggles, is a photographer whose business tanked during the recession. She was fined in 2010 after neighbors complained about debris outside her home.

But when Ruggles' story was published in the Charleston Post and Courier, she received aid from unexpected sources.

Ruggles' problems began in 2008, when home improvements stalled as the economy soured. Unopened packages of shingles sat on her roof for three years, The Post and Courier reported. She even stored scrap metal in her driveway to help pay bills. The town cited Ruggles for a "clean lot violation" after neighbors complained, saying her mess was driving down their property values.

A municipal judge ordered Ruggles to pay a fine or go to jail for 10 days. Officials say she didn’t pay the fine within 90 days and dodged court appearances. After a year of trying to resolve the situation, Ruggles was arrested."We went well beyond what we were required to do," Police Chief Harry Sewell, told The Post and Courier. "W even knocked on her door personally in the hopes of finding a solution."

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