The sack of New Rome

Saturday, July 31st, 2004 @ 6:09 pm | Current Events

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’s fitting that after more than a year’s effort, the tiny Ohio village of New Rome is finally being dissolved.

For those of you who missed New Rome’s national notoriety last year, this tiny municipality of 60 residents that spans 1000 feet along US Route 40 has become one of America’s most notorious speed traps. A full-time police force collected over 90 percent of the town’s revenue through traffic stops, often for minor infractions such as a cracked windshield or a busted taillight. Numerous village officials have been convicted over the years for theft, and the town itself has been run by a small cabal of council members led by the Chapman family.

I have been in New Rome exactly once, when I dated a girl who lived on the other side of town. We had pizza in a small New Rome pizza shop, and watched as several town cops had a field day pulling over drivers on a Friday night.

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