Vandals destroy Paul Bunyan's waving arm
BRAINERD, Minn. -- Vandals pulled the waving arm off an eight-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan and crushed a portion of it. City officials aren't sure it can be fixed.
The statue has been a fixture in Brainerd for about 70 years. It stood alongside a likeness of Bunyan's trusty friend, Babe the Blue Ox, first on South Sixth Street but more recently on Washington Street.
Tourists driving to their lake cabins or area resorts often stop to take a picture with Paul and Babe.
Chamber of Commerce employees discovered the vandalism last Saturday night.
On Thursday, Lisa Paxton, chamber chief executive officer, said the arm was so badly damaged, it might not be able to be reattached the way it was. The statue, made in the 1930s with a wooden frame, chicken wire and cement, had deteriorated significantly on the inside, she said.
"We're trying to come up with a different plan," Paxton said. "He might be leaning on an ax. We haven't figured out how to get him waving again."