How not to advertise your local fish fry

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You can debate media placement until you’re blue in the face, but one place you don’t want to be advertising your fish fry or your spaghetti dinner is on electronic emergency highway message boards set up by Homeland Security. Vermillion County, Indiana, ignored that bit of common sense, and is reporting higher-than-average turnouts at spaghetti-dinner fundraisers, elementary-school carnivals and fire-department fish fries, thanks to their misuse of the signs. State Homeland Security officials would prefer the signs be kept ad-free in case of, for example, an attack on the county’s Newport Chemical Depot. Or natural disasters like floods. Still, the county commissioner is unrepentant. “We make decisions to run the county on what’s best for us,” he says. “Did we misuse [the signs]? Or did we just run the county as we saw fit?”

—Posted by Tim Nudd