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Woman Fined Over Ribbon Violation

August 31, 1999

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) _ A woman who tied about 500 yellow ribbons around trees and utility posts to support the military in Kosovo has been found guilty of violating a city ordinance and fined $320.

Mieke Veneman was issued two citations in April for putting up ``signs″ in the form of yellow ribbons in the public right-of-way. She was found guilty Monday and said on Tuesday she will appeal.

Her lawyer had asked that the case be dropped because the ordinance does not specifically refer to yellow ribbons as signs. But the case prosecutor said the ordinance applied because a clause also refers to signs as devices to attract attention.

``The Oxford American Dictionary defines `sign’ as `a device with a special meaning,″ Municipal Judge William Henderson said. ``Under this definition, a white flag which is the universal signal for surrender would constitute a sign.″

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