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The mayor of a small Nebraska town on Tuesday bemoaned the fervor that has erupted on social media surrounding a sign posted by a resident of Minden that read “AIDS Ebola Obama – Thanks Africa.”

A picture of the sign, which was taken down Monday evening less than 24 hours after being put up, has drawn intense reaction on social media.

“It’s disgusting to see things like this in Nebraska,” Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Another person called it “full of ignorance,” and a third said, “It needs to be blown off the face of the bloody planet.”

Minden Mayor-elect Ted Griess spoke Monday evening with the person who put the sign up and asked him to take it down. He did.

“I tried to point out to him that a sign of that nature alongside a highway gives the wrong image for a community,” Griess said. “It was just a citizen who, I guess, was expressing his political viewpoint. He had the right to do so, but it was a sign I interpreted, and I think the vast majority of citizens interpreted, as being very distasteful.”

Minden promotes itself as the Christmas City and each year decorates its courthouse and nearby square with thousands of lights and puts on a Christmas pageant.

The sign was posted on private property on the north side of town within view of drivers on U.S. 34. Minden has a population of just under 3,000.

Griess said many of those reacting had made a “mountain out of a mole hill.”

“I wish it would go away, but it hit the social media,” he said.

Outgoing Minden Mayor Roger Jones said most people in town had not seen the sign.

“It’s over, done and forgotten about as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Jones said many good things are happening in his community more worthy of note, including the recent passage of a $23 million school bond to build a new high school and a 1 percent sales tax increase that will pay for improvements to the city’s water system, which has been plagued by discolored water.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7304 or Follow him on Twitter at @ljsbergin.



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