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Dayton cracks down on missing umlauts

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation has discontinued the use of umlauts on city limit signs in Lindström, a town founded by Swedes, and Gov. Mark Dayton isn't happy about it.

He's signing an executive order that requires the department to reinstate the use of umlauts on road signs, when it's appropriate.

Dayton said the missing umlauts are the result of new "nonsensical" federal guidance for traffic signs.

“Even if I have to drive to Lindström, and paint the umlauts on the city limit signs myself, I’ll do it," Dayton said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL-Eagan, grew up in Lindström. She said the missing umlauts could offend Swedish tourists to the area - and undermine DFL priorities.

"Lindström is tourist hub in Minnesota, attracting many international visitors including the King and Queen of Sweden and even Ingrid Bergman during the 1940s," she said. "Acknowledging and allowing the proper use of umlauts is a small step to build upon the investments made by the 2013-14 DFL majority in tourism and to recognize the economic opportunity of doing so.”

Transportation department officials were not immediately available for comment.