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East side barber thinks more streetlights can drive out the darkness

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jomo Cole lives near 10th and Rural streets. He’s also a barber along the popular strip.

Never one to bite his tongue, Cole has been vocal about the escalating crime in his neighborhood — and about the city’s 2016 homicide numbers.

“Man, we got to hurry up; we just got to work harder,” Cole said.

On any given day, you can find him chopping away someone’s hair from his barber chair, and when he steps outside, he’s illuminated by the city’s streetlights. He says he wants more.

Earlier this year, Mayor Joe Hogsett revealed a plan that would give criminals fewer opportunities to hide in darkness while committing crimes.

Hogsett ended a more-than-30-year moratorium on streetlights, developing a plan to add 4,000 new streetlights starting in the summer of 2018.

Cole would like his neighborhood to have those lights sooner.

“Bring on the lights, put up many lights. I want 10th Street so bright that you will think it is Christmas every day,” Cole said.

Stretches of the 10th and Rural area have lights.

However, Cole adds, it’s the side streets and alleys that are in need of some illumination. He said he’s even had to chase off some people hiding in the darkness and committing illegal acts.

“You find johns meeting up with a lot of the local prostitutes; they are doing their thing in the dark alleys,” said Cole.

Cole doesn’t believe more lights will necessarily slow the city’s homicide rate, but he sees it as a way to drive out darkness: “You add more lights, a lot of the negativity in the neighborhoods will be exposed.”

Those wanting streetlights added to their neighborhood can make a request by calling the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4MAC.

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Shoe art by Kokomo native stolen from northern Indiana museum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — A shoe by an Indiana native was stolen Saturday from a northern Indiana art museum.

South Bend Museum of Art is seeking help to find the thief of a shoe from the piece titled “Welcome Knives,” part of an exhibit by Kokomo native Chris Francis that’s traveled to other U.S. museums. His work has been described as wearable architecture.

The shoe disappeared between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday while the museum was open. The museum staff and city police are reviewing surveillance video from the Century Center to gain a lead. South Bend’s show called “Chris Francis: Modern Bespoke 21st Century Shoe Art” is in the downtown Century Center through April 5.

Francis, who grew up in Kokomo and now lives in Los Angeles, said in a statement that he was “saddened to be informed that someone has chosen to steal the piece ‘Welcome Knives’ from the exhibition. The shoes exhibited are all documented and catalogued works of art that have shown in many museums. Every shoe in the exhibition is one of a kind, with no others in existence making them very different than shoes we find in stores.”

Francis has created shoes for runway shows and for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and the members of Kiss and The Sex Pistols.

His work was displayed late last year on the Purdue University campus.

Anyone with information was asked to call the South Bend Police Department at (574) 235.9201 or contact the South Bend Museum of Art via email at info@southbendart.org, or through the museum’s social media accounts: Facebook, @SouthBendMuseumofArt; Twitter, @southbendart; Instagram, @southbendart.

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