FRANKLIN, Ohio (AP) - Police in an Ohio city advised businesses close to the site of a former Confederate marker to close early after Confederate flags were placed in the area.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal News reports the stone marker commemorating Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed Thursday in Franklin, about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati.

The paper says several people with Confederate flags showed up at the site Saturday, protesting the removal of the marker.

A food mart and a hair salon were among those businesses told to close at 2 p.m. as a precautionary measure.

Larry Wood, who lives in nearby Franklin Township, says city and township officials should have allowed residents to vote on whether to remove the marker.