PATRIOT SIGN: Moved to spot near Larwill

LARWILL — The spokesman for the Whitley County political group responsible for a controversial billboard that was removed Monday from a location near the Allen County line says the advertisement’s new location near Larwill is even better.David Ditton, representing the Whitley County Patriots, said the advertising company Perma Advertising based in Pierceton was asked by a representative of Steel Dynamics, Inc. on Thursday to have the billboard removed as soon as possible.“It’s been up since Aug. 29,” said Ditton, who added that the group purchased three months of advertising. “It’s just that no one noticed it.”The sign was criticized by local Democrats who said the verbiage makes a direct comparison between President Barack Obama and terrorist Osama bin Laden.Ditton responded by saying the message was just meant to refer to Obama as a “threat” to the country.The billboard reads “the Navy Seals removed one threat to America… the voters must remove the other.”Ditton said Monday that SDI, which leases the space to Perma where the original billboard was located, was well within its rights to ask for the sign’s removal.“I don’t want to throw SDI under the bus, they have to serve a wide customer base,” he said.Ditton added that he didn’t know whether the removal of the original sign had any correlation with the visit to SDI’s Columbia City plant on Monday by U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman.Efforts to reach SDI General Manager John Nolan were unsuccessful Monday afternoon.