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Ohio residents mourn loss of 'Kangaroo Crossing' sign

UPI News Service, 03/13/2018 

Residents of an Ohio neighborhood are lamenting the end of an era after city officials removed a "Kangaroo Crossing" street sign that had stood for years.

The sign, a silhouette of a kangaroo on a yellow diamond-shaped road sign, had been a local mystery for years after it was erected in 2014 at the side of a road in the Clintonville neighborhood in Columbus, and the saga came to a close Monday when the city Department of Public Service had it removed.

"It's my understanding that this did not have a permit or any sort of agreement to have in the right-of-way, and it was removed after the city was made aware of it. From the city's perspective, it was an unregulated sign," city spokesman Jeffrey Ortega told WOSU-FM.

The sign came to the attention of the city after a WOSU reporter contacted officials following an inquiry by former resident Ann Miller-Tobin about the sign's origins.

"You know the saying, 'Curiosity killed the cat?' Well, my curiosity killed the kangaroo," Miller-Tobin said.

Residents expressed their disappointment at the sign's demise on a Clintonville Facebook group, and resident Scott Hammond started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a replacement sign. Miller-Tobin pitched in $20 with an apology for her part in the sign's demise.

The taking down of the sign had one unexpected side effect -- neighbor Jared Laughbaum, 37, came forward as the person who put the sign up in 2014. He said he put up the sign as a joke to replace a construction sign that had been left up long after the project was completed.

Laughbaum said he never expected the sign to remain as long as it did, assuming the city would remove it within days.

"I never expected it would become a landmark of Clintonville," he told the Columbus Dispatch, "but it's something everyone seemed to enjoy."

Laughbaum said he is going to attempt to claim the sign from the city and see if it can be displayed at a nearby school.

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