Tourism Tweet Accidentally Linked to Sandusky Trial

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SANDUSKY, Ohio -- When the name of a town is the same name of a person making national news, it means a lot of attention.

Sandusky, Ohio: Northeast Ohio's premiere tourist destination.

Jerry Sandusky: Former Penn State assistant coach facing child sex abuse charges.

Now, the two are linked on Twitter thanks to an unfortunate hashtag on a tweet by the Erie County Visitors Bureau.

"We put a tweet out on the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Twitter account, offering a Sandusky Package & Gift Certificate. Perfect for a Father's Day gift!" said Executive Director Joan Van Offeren.

But click the hashtag, and readers get disturbing details of Jerry Sandusky's sex abuse scandal, instead of wholesome family fun.

"We were promoting a particular package that was at our Sandusky resort, and we really wanted to differentiate that this package isn't available in Wisconsin," said Public Relations Coordinator Jill Bauer.

"It is an unfortunate analogy and something we are well aware of at this point. Timing was a disappointment, and that was unintentional by all," added Van Offeren.

At the Water Street Grille downtown, people questioned the use of the hashtag.

"I had Googled it before myself. I had found the same thing," laughed Lynnette Hermis, of Sandusky.

"There's a big distance between the two locations. It's a terrible situation, and hopefully, we aren't taking a hit because of it," said Patrick McAuly, of Sandusky.

"Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that if you Google Sandusky, and that comes up," laughed John Balduff, of Sandusky.

The visitors bureau says the tweet was meant to promote, and plans to hashtag Sandusky again in the future.

"We might watch the news and see what is going on at that point, but we have no reason to stop using the hashtag," said Bauer.

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