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      Keep it down!

      From barking dogs to loud music, a noise complaint is any excessive noise that can be heard more than 50 feet from a car, residence, or building. In Marquette, many complaints are called in about college parties.

      "A lot of our complaints are during the fall when school is in session, however, we do get a number in the summer just because it's warmer and people want to be out on their porches," said Officer John Rink of the Marquette Police Department.

      When police officers are called to a noise complaint, they normally scope out the problem first. If noises are heard beyond 50 feet, they move in and ask the resident for cooperation. Since every situation is different, officers have considerable leeway. They might let you off with a warning, but if necessary they will cite you for a noise violation, and in the case of multiple residents, each tenant will be cited equally, even if that resident is not present.

      "The first time a residence is cited, it's $75. That can be individually or everybody who receives a citation will be each cited $75," Officer Rink said.

      After that, it goes up. A second citation is $125 and a third is $200. If you decide to call the police to solve your problem, you can ask to remain anonymous. Most people do to avoid confrontations with neighbors, but there are other solutions, too.

      On Facebook, Mark Davis said, "One word - "rapport." Get to know your neighbors and have a dialog with them. You don't necessarily have to like them, but be courteous, respectful, and willing to talk with them."

      "Think about others than themselves. Think about keeping the windows closed, the doors closed during the summer because noise travels very easily," Officer Rink said.

      The Fourth of July is approaching, and it is important to note that although fireworks are legal in the State of Michigan, they can still be cause for a noise violation. So be courteous to your neighbors this holiday, and try not to be too noisy at night.