Iowa activist wants 'suicidal deer' sign removed



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ST. ANSGAR, Iowa (AP) — An activist wants to persuade officials in northern Iowa to take down a deer crossing sign that warns about "suicidal deer."

Christy Kessens told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1WzZMgw ) she thinks the sign makes light of mental illness.

"To me, it's not just about a sign, it's about changing the way that our society views mental illness," Kessens said. "I do get it, that it's a sign; I see why people think it's humorous or eye-catching, but there are mental disabilities and other illnesses that we would never think of making fun of."

Many of the people who support changing the sign tell Kessens they either struggled with mental illness themselves or knew someone who had or had died by suicide.

But so far Mitchell County officials seem unlikely to change the sign.

After the sign went up along Iowa Highway 105 outside St. Ansgar in March, Mitchell County supervisors considered removing it, but the motion never advanced to a vote.

Supervisor Stan Walk in Iowa said officials wanted the sign to be an attention-getter, and it has been. Walk said the effort to have the sign removed seems to be political correctness going too far.

"What you have is some individuals that have too much time on their hands and they got solutions looking for a problem, and basically to try to relate a traffic sign that talks about deer to a personal tragedy, to me, is a stretch," Walk said.

Fellow Supervisor Joel Voaklander said most of the critics of the sign don't seem to live in the area.

"To tell you the truth, I haven't really heard a whole lot of anything about it," Voaklander said. "I think it's pretty well died around here. I think everybody's either, they either look the other way or else they drive by and laugh."

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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