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updated: 11/1/2013 5:32 PM

Proposal would ban obscene T-shirt window displays in Dells

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Associated Press

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. -- An ordinance being considered in Wisconsin Dells would prohibit retailers from displaying obscene T-shirts in their store windows.

Mayor Brian Landers said he's been trying for years to get businesses to voluntarily remove offensive shirts from their storefront displays.

"As a community, if we allow those things to continue to be displayed, I think that's representative of our community that we allow and tolerate such things," Landers told WISC-TV.

The proposal before city council members would fine shop owners $500 for each explicit item displayed in their windows.

"I want to be proud of my community. And quite frankly, some of the merchandise that's being displayed in our community is being displayed by people who don't live in our community. It offends me, and I feel it hurts our economy," Landers said.

Kelli Trumble, owner of Winnebago Gifts in downtown Wisconsin Dells, said she's in favor of the prohibition. She said the area should be as family friendly as possible to attract customers.

The businesses could still sell the shirts with profanity, sexual references and other questionable messages. But, they would have to move the shirts inside and warn customers that they're selling mature merchandise before they enter the store.

The ordinance has passed its first reading and could be adopted or rejected in the next few weeks.

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