Urban News

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Oct. 28, 2002 at 4:00 AM
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(SAN DIEGO) -- The demolition of a San Diego landmark could begin soon. The historic San Diego Hotel is on property now managed by the federal government. The General Services Administration tells the Downtown News that the area is slated to be leveled in advance of the construction of a new federal courthouse.

In the past few months, several preservation groups have lobbied against the razing of the building, at 990 Front Street. Among those objecting to the demolition are the Save Our Heritage Organization, or SOHO, the City of San Diego, the Center City Development Corporation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The hotel was built in 1914 by legendary developer John Spreckels and was a main staying place for visitors to the 1915 Panama California Exposition.

The building is now vacant, but until recently it was home to over 400 low-income San Diego residents.

(SAVANNAH, S.C.) -- Business officials in Savannah report that the flying of the Confederate flag in the state capital, Charleston, have so angered NAACP head Julian Bond that he is urging DaimlerChrysler to "take its business elsewhere." According to the on-line news provider charleston.net, Bond says that the flag symbolizes a "hostile work environment" in the city. Because of his feelings, he is urging the automaker to drop plans to build a three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar auto plant near Savannah.

Meanwhile, Bond is discounting charges that, as a native of Georgia, he is trying to scuttle South Carolina's bid for the plant in favor of it being built in the Peach State.

He tells the news provider that he has no "favorite state." He says that he only objects to the presence of the flag at the South Carolina state Capitol.

The NAACP staged a boycott of that state's tourism industry over a two-year period. The flag was eventually moved from atop the Capitol dome to a pole on the legislature's grounds in Charleston.

(AUSTIN) -- Police in the Texas capital let it be known to media in recent days that they are worried about the number of look-alike guns, chainsaws and other "weapons" that might be carried, in replica form, by trick-or-treaters. The American-Statesman says that police are monitoring visitors to official city block parties during Halloween festivities. All items will be checked to make sure that the "toys" are not the real thing.

More than 80,000 attended weekend festivities in the city's Sixth Street corridor.

Police say they were hoping for no confrontations or disturbances. Things got loud during the city's Mardi Gras celebration this past spring over whether it was legal for women to expose themselves above the waist. The city garnered international headlines while the debate raged. Officers later backed down on their announced crackdown on the New Orleans-type exhibitionism.

(DETROIT) -- Once the home of the Motown sound, now Detroit -- at least according to caustic and outspoken "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell -- is bereft of musical talent. That was the assessment of Detroit's pool of singers after the final day of auditions in the Motor City for the next run of the "Idol" series on Fox.

But, according to Julie Hinds in the Detroit Free Press, being trashed by Cowell is more of a compliment in many ways than an insult.

In typical Cowell fashion, the nearly tactless judge told one disappointed contestant from Toledo that she was "tone deaf."

Those who did survive the encounter with Cowell, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and new judge Angie Martinez, will go on to Los Angeles for more grilling.

Jackson told local media that he hoped he would find "the next Stevie Wonder" in Detroit.

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