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Urban News

By DENNIS DAILY   |   Dec. 30, 2002 at 4:00 AM   |   Comments

(CINCINNATI) -- "Old Riverfront Stadium" has come tumbling down. With hundreds of thousands watching on a variety of local TV channels and listening on radio, and with countless others watching from safe vantage points, Cinergy Field was imploded along the Cincinnati waterfront on Sunday morning. The Cincinnati Enquirer says that the entire dynamite-prompted collapse took about 32 seconds.

Extreme care was taken to make sure that surrounding structures weren't damaged, including the brand new Great American Ballpark, which is not far away.

When the dust settled, only a 45-foot-high pile of rubble remained.

Immediately after the implosion, local and state highway experts began checking nearby freeways and major streets and bridges to see if the implosion had caused any seismic damage.

Thirty-two years of memories are all that remain ... of Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson and the countless "Big Red" teams that played and succeeded or failed, and the controversies that flared in the old ballpark. Former hall of fame pitcher Joe Nuxhall might have put it best. He told the publication: "It rounded third and headed headlong into home." Like the countless homers hit over the outfield fence "... going, going, gone."


(HOUSTON) -- The suburban Houston area is the "most armed" area of the Lone Star State. It might not be the "Old West" anymore, but a large number of people in the Houston metroplex, according to the Houston Chronicle, have legal permits to carry concealed weapons. The "most gunned" Zip Code in the state belongs to League City, southeast of Houston, toward Galveston.

That area, 77573, would seem to be just the reverse. On the surface, the area is affluent and serene. But underneath, there is apparently an undertow of worry, manifesting itself in preparedness.

Texas has allowed state residents to carry concealed guns since 1995. Since then, more than 220,000 permits have been issued, and 15 percent of them have been to gun owners in the Houston area.


(SEATTLE) -- The spread of new construction in downtown Seattle has forced out many homeless shelters. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says that a rise in inner city office and public building construction has pushed out many places where the homeless once found refuge. One such building has been the old city hall. For years, in cold weather, its lobby has been used as an emergency shelter for homeless men.

With the impending beginning of demolition and construction in the area, that haven will soon be closed to the public.

However, construction plans require the city and county to seek alternative places to house the homeless.

By the end of March, a shelter in another area will also fall victim to the approach of a construction project. That facility is located in the armory building in South Lake Union Park.

One shelter volunteer tells the publication that it's imperative that something be done quickly, particularly before the cold of next winter sets in.


(ATLANTA) -- The digging at a quarry for material to be used in construction of a new runway at the Atlanta jetport is the center of controversy. Workers at two rock quarries in suburban Clayton County have been digging out rock to help bolster the ground for the construction of a new runway at the Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport. Now, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution says that people living around the dig sites have "had enough of the noise and the trucks."

One of the county commissioners in the area says that she has begun to receive complaints about renewed blasting in the quarries after they received the contract to provide the fill material.

Virginia Gray says that she thinks that the blasting should be halted while things are sorted out.

Meanwhile, construction continues on what will be Hartsfield's fifth runway. Some 27 million cubic feet of fill material will be needed to provide a level roadbed for the runway.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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