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Ohio city declares English official language

Published: Aug. 23, 2005 at 3:35 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2005 at 3:36 PM EDT
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NORTON, Ohio - This small northeastern Ohio city declared English its official language Monday in what supporters of the move acknowledged was a largely symbolic gesture.

Norton City Council voted 4-3 to adopt a resolution that calls for all city documents, publications, correspondence or any written material on behalf of the city to be issued in English, except where required by state or federal law or where public safety or health issues may require otherwise.

The city of 11,500 is about 40 miles south of Cleveland.

Councilman William Mowery, who introduced the resolution, said the resolution's effects will not be noticeable. But he called it a way to preserve the rights of Norton residents.

Only 4 percent of Norton residents age 5 and older speak a language other than English at home, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

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