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Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 5:14 PM
MONROE — A Badin High School student has started an online petition seeking to change the new name of a Monroe park.
Last week, Monroe City Council approved a motion to change the name of the former Americana amusement park to Bicentennial Park in honor of the city’s bicentennial year.
However, Thomas van Horn, of Liberty Twp., has started a petition to Monroe Mayor Robert Routson and Vice Mayor Suzi Rubin on the Change.org website to change the name back from Bicentennial Park to simply Americana Park.
Hundreds of people had signed the online petition as of noon Friday.
In his description, van Horn said that the former amusement park “thrilled children and parents alike for 80 years, but 15 years ago the park shut its doors for good. The park fell into to disrepair and was a shell of its former self.”
He said the Americana name should be kept because the park was such a part of local history.
Although van Horn had never been to the amusement park when it was operating, he has a deep appreciation for it through online videos on You Tube and from doing a lot of research on his own.
He also noted the city acquired the property this year to expand the Great Miami River Trail.
“Now the name voted for by the Monroe City Council is Bicentennial Park,” he wrote. “This is a name that I find unfit for this historic park so I propose that it be called Americana Park.”
Routson made the motion to change the name of the park to Bicentennial Park since the city officially acquired the property on Nov. 7 in a land swap with the previous owner. Council voted 6-0 for the name change.
City Manager Bill Brock said the city is reviewing whether additional legislation is needed to formalize the name change.
“We can recognize the history of the site in others ways,” Brock said. “I think the (new) name is very appropriate.”
Rubin said city council intends to honor the history of the former amusement park as the property is developed.
“We’re all aware of the history and that history won’t be forgotten,” she said.
Rubin said van Horn is very interested in the park and she hopes he stays involved in the process.
Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 5:33 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 5:33 AM
— Tropical Storm Maria continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean. The deadly storm has claimed lives on multiple islands in its path.
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 6:34 PM
— A new species of venomous snake has been discovered in Australia and biologists say it is dangerously close to extinction.
The new species of bandy snake was found at Weipa on the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula by researchers with the University of Queensland.
Bryan Fry, an associate professor at the University of Queensland who lead the team of biologists, said that the discovery happened by chance.
“Bandy-bandy is a burrowing snake, so Freek Vonk, from the Naturalis Museum, and I were surprised to find it on a concrete block by the sea,” Fry said. “We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble waiting to be loaded onto a ship.”
The snake turned out to be genetically different than any other snake.
“On examination by my student Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually and genetically distinct from those found on the Australian East coast and parts of the interior.”
Another specimen was found in its natural habitat near Weipa, and another was killed by a car close to the mine.
Five of the snakes were found in all.
Fry said the species is at risk due to local development.
“Bauxite mining is a major economic activity in the region, and it may be reshaping the environment to the detriment of native plants and animals,” said Fry.
Venom from the snake could be rich in compounds that could be used to discover new medications, Fry said.
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 7:13 PM
LOS ANGELES — Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams has reportedly checked herself into a mental health facility, TMZ reports.
Williams posted a letter to her fans on her Instagram page on Tuesday.
“I recently listened to the same advice I have given thousands around the world and sought help from a great team of professionals,” Williams posted.
Sources told TMZ that Williams is receiving treatment at a facility near Los Angeles.
Williams has been open about her struggles with depression, revealing her story in an interview on “The Talk” last year.
Williams recently reunited with Destiny’s Child members Beyonce and Kelly Rowland at Coachella in April.
Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:03 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 6:06 PM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 5:53 p.m. (July 17): Niguel Hamilton’s family has retained the services of civil right attorney Ben Crump.
Crump, who has represented the family of Trayvon Martin and taken on other high profile cases, was retained by the Hamilton family to “pursue justice,” according to a statement issued Tuesday.
“They don't understand how you have three certified swimming instructors and only four children in the pool, and yet you lose one of them,” Crump said of the family. “They're heartbroken, and they just are searching for answers.”
The Hamilton family was paying for swimming lessons a Lohrey Recreation Center to prevent exactly this kind of tragedy, Crump said.
The attorney was in town Tuesday and he said he’s helping the Hamilton family plan Niguel’s home-going celebrations this weekend. He said he also plans to push the city for an explanation of how the boy could have died.
“The family has gotten no answers at this point,” Crump said.
Niguel’s parents released a statement for the first time Tuesday: “No parent should ever have to endure such a preventable loss, and we want to make sure no other parents suffer a loss like this."
Crump added: "He had his whole life ahead of him. He never ever, ever, ever should have been taken this soon."
Services for Niguel are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Timothy Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton.
The 6-year-old pulled from a Dayton pool last week has died, according to the coroner’s office.
Niguel Hamilton died at the hospital Sunday night, officials said.
Hamilton was pulled from the indoor pool at Lohrey Recreation Center in Dayton on July 12.
The city released a statement Friday afternoon: “A thorough investigation is underway. Out of respect for the family involved, we will not be making additional comments at this time.”
A Dayton Police Department detective also has been assigned to the case.
Niguel Hamilton was one of about four children in the indoor pool for swim lessons at the center, the boy’s grandfather, Willie Hamilton said.
“He’s happy, full of life, loving, smart,” his grandfather said Friday. “Niguel is a good kid. He is a loving kid. Everybody who meets Niguel loves him.”
The last thing Hamilton remembers of Niguel’s swim lesson is that he saw him with his class in the deep end, and that Niguel, who is 6 but small for his age, had just gone off the diving board with his instructor’s assistance.
Shortly after that, a lifeguard said they didn’t see Niguel in the water and asked if he had seen him, whether he had gone to the restroom.
“I got up, went to the bathroom and looked around and couldn’t find him,” Hamilton said.
The lifeguards then got everyone out of the pool and searched again, in vain.