Can our kids shoot paint balls in the backyard?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: Our sons who are 11 and 13 years old have finally talked us into getting them paint ball guns for Christmas. Are they old enough to shoot at each other and also targets as long as they are wearing protective gear and in our backyard with parental supervision?

A: Sorry, they are not, and neither are you! According to city ordinance 78-2, “No Person shall discharge any air gun, rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol or other projectile within the city of Michigan City.” Sorry, but you must go to an outdoor range, paintball facility or private property in the county.

Q: I keep getting phone calls, both day and night, from an investigator for a collection company that tells me if I do not pay back a payday loan from three years ago they will have my driver’s license suspended. I know that I do not owe anything more on this loan, but he won’t quit calling.

A: Unfortunately, there are “collectors” that improperly threaten a lot of things that they cannot legally do. Payday loans are just money owed and are not criminal, only civil. This means they may sue you for the money they can prove you owe, but cannot take your license or have you arrested. If you feel you do not owe anyone money, do not engage in conversation over the phone, hang up.

Q: We are getting a large dog for our children for Christmas and I am planning on putting up a privacy fence around my property to keep him in. I am only digging footings for the posts and gate. Do I need a special fence permit of some kind?

A: No, you do not need a permit to put up a fence around your property. You do, however, need to follow the city ordinance that governs the type you may use. You may from the front plain of your home to the rear of your property erect up to a 6-foot privacy fence. You may only erect a 3 ½ foot fence that is 50 percent viewable from the front plain of your home to your front property line. The “viewable” part is either chain link or separated fencing (like picket fence). Before digging you should call to have the utilities marked as the law requires it. Having your property marked may prevent you from having a fatal accident or from disrupting utility service and facing a fine, or expensive repair costs. All you must do is call “811” two days before you are planning on digging and they will come out and temporarily mark your underground utilities. This phone call and service are free to Indiana residents.

Q: I am getting a new job working as a teacher for the Michigan City Area Schools. I must get fingerprinted before they can hire me. How much does it cost to be fingerprinted by the police for a background check?

A: Congratulations on your new career! We are very happy to assist and of course are open 24 hours! Come on down and see us and we will take your fingerprints free of charge, just bring your proper form(s) to the Police Department front desk.

The winner of the $30 Gas Card sponsored by our friends at “The News-Dispatch” was Kara Will of Michigan City.

Let’s answer last column’s riddle of who was murdered in Jeff Mayes’ front yard? The answer of course was nobody. A flock of crows is called a “murder!”

The sponsor of this week’s riddle is Joe and his fantastic staff at Scartozzi’s Trattoria at 822 N. Karwick Rd. in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 Gas Card!

People call me a man, but I will never have a wife. I was given a body, but not a life. They made me a mouth, but didn’t give me breath. Water gives me life, but the sun gives me death. What am I?

The 7th correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins.

To answer a question or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 873-1461, Ext. #1020, or email Yagelski at

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