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Newport hopes to hook hydrant vandals with reward

The city of Newport is hoping money talks -- or, rather, that a little green encourages someone to talk about a recent act of vandalism that caused a water main to rupture last week.

Newport is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of a vandal -- or vandals -- who opened up two fire hydrants in the early morning hours of Feb. 10.

The high volume of water gushing from the open hydrants eventually caused a water main to rupture, cutting running water to as many as 30 homes and forcing a costly repair.

Public Works Superintendent Bruce Hanson said Thursday the break may have cost the city as much as $10,000 to fix. And he said public works employees found additional fire hydrants had been tampered with this week.

"There's potential for all kinds of problems" if the perpetrators continue to open hydrants, Hanson said.