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Indiana county sets 'open' hours for courthouse lawn

A southern Indiana county has approved "open hours" for its courthouse grounds to combat the mess left behind by homeless people camping on the grounds.

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners unanimously endorsed an ordinance Friday setting open hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week for the grounds, which will be marked with signs listing those hours.  The ordinance also bans littering and alcohol consumption on the courthouse grounds.

County attorney David Schilling says people camping on the grounds this summer have left behind trash, human excrement and other bodily wastes that threaten the public health.

County Commissioner Iris Kiesling tells The Herald-Times the camping has been a problem for the maintenance staff to clean up, and could be an issue for area businesses.

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