Crime

A Boise icon has been vandalized. But she’ll have her head back on straight soon.

A Boise icon has lost her mind, but she should have her head back on straight soon.

Betty, the famous motorized washerwoman who has been washing clothes high atop Vista Avenue since the 1950s, was vandalized Thursday night or Friday morning, Cucina di Paolo owner Paul Wegner told the Statesman.

The restaurant is in what used to be a Maytag laundry building, which is how Betty first took her place.

“They thew a rock and smacked her left eye out and knocked her head off, basically,” Wegner told the Statesman. “It split her head in half.”

Boise Police Department spokeswoman Haley Williams told the Statesman that the vandalism incident is under investigation.

Wegner said he expects Betty to be back up and running in the next four or five days, though he is unsure of the exact cost of repairs.

Betty underwent maintenance repairs in 2016 when her motor broke; the community raised $2,000 to help cover costs. She was named one of the “5 Treasure Valley Icons” for newcomers in the May 2019 issue of Treasure Magazine, and appears in the Idaho Statesman book “150 Boise Icons.” Her outfits change monthly.

Betty has been featured in calendars as well; the proceeds went to the Idaho Foodbank in 2018 and to various animal organizations, including the Idaho Humane Society, in 2019.

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