Ohio Mayor Causes Controversy Over Nativity scene

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (AP) - A central Ohio mayor trying to avoid
controversy over a Christmas display has caused just that by saying
no to a Nativity scene.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said Tuesday on a radio call-in
show that the city wouldn't have its usual manger display in the
public square this year.

The move outraged callers in the conservative community
northeast of Columbus. By afternoon, the mayor went back on WMVO-AM to say he changed his mind after more research and help from legal
experts.

Mavis says two residents complained last year that the Nativity
scene was unconstitutional because it stood alone on public land,
without secular holiday decorations. So, the mayor says this year's
display will include other holiday symbols such as Santa Claus and
a tree.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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