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Published June 06, 2011, 08:13 AM

Screech machine could drive teens away

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A city in southeastern Minnesota is hoping to solve a vandalism problem in its parks by installing a noise machine to repel teenagers.

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A city in southeastern Minnesota is hoping to solve a vandalism problem in its parks by installing a noise machine to repel teenagers.

Cari Park in Hastings has been a target of vandals for years. The city presumes the culprits are rogue teenagers. So, it's considering installing the SonicScreen which emits a high-pitched screech heard only by young people. The Minnesota Academy of Audiologists says that since people start to lose high-frequency hearing in their 20s, the sound can't be heard by adults.

Hastings Park and Recreation director Barry Bernstein says the device would be activated when the parks close at 10 p.m. A motion detector would trigger the noise machine. The St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/iScV3Q ) says the parks and rec commission is expected to vote on the matter June 14 and forward its recommendation to the full council.

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