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Greenfield man fighting fine for firing cannon on his property

You could call it a blast from the past.

A Greenfield man is facing a $250 fine after firing off one the four Civil War-era cannons he keeps on his property.

“I’m just trying to celebrate our independence,” said Frank Markel. “Put a little patriotism in everybody.”

But the police say, it’s a violation of a noise ordinance, and it’s dangerous to those who live close by.

That’s why the gave Markel a ticket after his July 4th party earlier this summer.

“I only do it at 4:00 on the Fourth of July,” said Markel.

Even though it only happens once a year, city leaders want to send a message.

“We have rules, we have laws, we have ordinances in place,” said Mayor Mike Neitzke. “They’re for everybody’s safety, including his own.”

Markel says he used to hold his party in Milwaukee, where Chief Ed Flynn gave him a waiver to fire off the cannon. In Greenfield, however, no one holds the authority to give Markel a similar waiver. Still, the mayor and assistant police chief say they issued Markel a warning a year before giving him the ticket. 

Markel says this isn’t about the money. He just wants to honor those who protect our country the best way he knows how.

“I have vets fire these, I have former policeman and fireman fire them,” he said. “It’s a part of our history.”

Markel is scheduled to appear in court on November 15.

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