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Klan Loses Bid to Clean Up State Highway

February 16, 1995

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ State officials have trashed a Ku Klux Klan group’s bid to pick up highway litter.

The Klan won’t be allowed to join the Adopt-a-Highway program because their participation could become a safety hazard, Transportation Department spokesman Pieter Wykoff said Wednesday.

``The fears are that the presence of the Klan will attract vandalism, including people dumping trash to make the Klan pick it up,″ Wykoff said.

He also said the sign marking the Klan’s involvement could distract drivers, and protesters could follow the Klan when it makes its quarterly cleanup trips.

About 1,700 other groups participate in Ohio’s program. The attorney general’s office issued an informal opinion last month supporting the Klan’s right to participate.

Klan spokeswoman Angela Septer said the Klan was just trying to keep the roads clean.

``I’m kind of surprised they would do that after they’ve already talked to the attorney general’s office and they said it would be a violation of our constitutional rights,″ she said.

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