TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

State News

October 22, 2012

Whites only group adopts Ky. highway section

CORBIN — NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — A whites only group has adopted a stretch of the AA Highway in northern Kentucky through the state’s anti-litter program.

National Socialist Movement member Geoffrey Rash of Alexandria told The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/TBN3pK ) that the organization is not a hate group, even though it uses a swastika as a symbol. Rash says the symbol shows they are socialists, not Nazis.

“We feel that a national socialist structure, it worked in Germany, things just got a little crazy and they entered a world war,” Rash said.

The group adopted a two mile stretch of highway between Cold Spring and Wilder. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe said the state does not have a restrictive policy on the program because the point is to encourage people to pick up litter.

Transportation Cabinet district spokeswoman Nancy Wood said people have been calling about the sign designating the National Socialists as responsible for the cleanup since Oct. 1.

The program encourages churches, businesses and any community groups to clean up at least a two-mile stretch of highway. In exchange, the state installs a sign as long as the cleanups are occurring. Wood said she doesn’t know what type of group the National Socialist Movement is, only that a man representing the group promised to clean up the highway at least four times a year.

Rash said the entire Kentucky group of the organization will be responsible for maintaining the highway.

“It makes us happy,” he said of the highway cleanup. “I love my state and my country. This just another way to give back the community.”

The website for the National Socialist Movement, www.nsm88.org, “core beliefs” statement begins with the phrase “defending the rights of white people everywhere, preservation of our European culture and heritage.”

Photos on the group’s website of a march on Frankfort focusing on illegal immigration on April 21 show members in paramilitary uniforms wearing swastikas. Several of the people in the photos are wearing full length white robes with white hoods atop their heads.

States have been sued after the Adopt-A-Highway applications for groups including the Ku Klux Klan were denied.

Many groups choose to adopt a segment of highway to honor the memory of someone, Wolfe said.

“Actually, we encourage people to do that instead of trying to put up these roadside memorials which are illegal and sometimes dangerous,” he said.

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