UPDATE @ 4:04 p.m.:
A makeshift sign placed where a controversial Confederate monument stood less than a day ago was snagged by a passer-by while News Center 7 crews were covering the story this afternoon.
The man grabbed the sign and quickly left in a vehicle.
UPDATE @ 10:46 a.m. (Aug. 17):
A makeshift sign was placed on the site where a controversial Confederate monument was removed in Franklin.
The sign reads, “We do not negotiate with terrorist. BLM is a terrorist organization.”
A confederate flag is also featured on the sign, which was on the property around 10:45 a.m.
UPDATE @ 7:28 a.m.
Acting City Manager Jonathan Westendorf said, “city public works crews were authorized to remove the monument last night.. The monument was removed overnight to assure the safety of the crews performing the work and preserve the security of the monument as well as — which is intact.
Westendorf said the order to remove the monument was given to the public works department at the same time the press release was issued Wednesday night.
“It was not initially clear if our crews would be able to remove the marker due to its size,” he said. “When public works crews determined that the work could be performed within the safe working limits of our equipment, the work proceeded.”
UPDATE @ 6:53 a.m.
Franklin Twp. Administrator Traci Stivers informed this news outlet that no one from the township removed the Confederate monument overnight.
FIRST REPORT (Aug. 17)
A Confederate monument that that has been at a corner in Franklin was removed overnight.
Our news partners at WCPO reported the stone monument of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that was located at Dixie Highway and Hamilton Middletown Road was missing when they arrived before 3 a.m. today.
This news outlet has left messages for Franklin Twp. and Franklin officials for comment on who removed the large stone monument and where it was taken to overnight.
The 90-year-old stone monument was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor the general and Dixie Highway, which was a major north/south route before the advent of interstate highways.
The monument was a point of contention between the city of Franklin and Franklin Twp. officials on Wednesday about ownership of the monument and if officials in either jurisdiction weere going to remove it in light of recent events in Charlottesville and other communities across the nation.
After the township and Warren County officials determined the monument was on a city-owned easement, city officials announced Wednesday evening that monument would be removed as Right of Ways need to be clear for safety reasons. Acting City Manager Jonathan Westendorf hoped to have the monument removed before a planned demonstration by a Dayton-based racial justice organization.
Hours after city of Franklin officials announced the planned removal of the monument, Township Administrator Traci Stivers issued a press release acknowledging the city’s decision to remove the monument from the city-owned Right of Way.
“At this time, we are unsure when or where the monument will be relocated. Rest assured, however, discussion regarding this monument will take place and a statement will be issued at such a time that a determination is made,” Stivers said.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.