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Kentucky judge rules Louisville can remove 70-foot-high Confederate monument

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The city of Louisville can remove a 121-year-old monument to Confederate soldiers that critics have objected to as an emblem of slavery, a state judge ruled on Wednesday.

In a ruling from the bench, Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman dissolved her temporary order from three weeks ago that had blocked the city and a local university from taking down the monument.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he would work on relocating the 70-foot-high monument after getting the judge’s written order, according to a statement from his office.

A diversity committee at the University of Louisville had pushed for the monument to come down, joining a national push to remove public symbols of the Confederacy seen by critics as fostering racism.

Some local residents and descendants of Confederate soldiers sued to keep the monument at its location near the University of Louisville, calling it a symbol of the South’s history and culture.

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Ed Springston, one of the individuals who sued the city, said he would appeal the ruling.

“At the end of the day, yes, we’ll go forward with appeals or whatever we need to do to make sure that this monument is protected,” Springston said in a telephone interview.

Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey said in April they would move the monument commemorating Kentuckians who died serving the Confederacy, the slaveholding states that seceded from the United States, leading to the 1861-1865 American Civil War.

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Kentucky, the birthplace of both U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who led the Union, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, did not secede from the Union, but Kentuckians fought on both sides.

(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Ky. and Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio and Peter Cooney)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
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Two teen suspects sought in Canada murders of US-Australian couple

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Police in Canada on Tuesday named two suspects wanted in connection with three murders, including the killings of an American woman and Australian man whose bodies were found in rural British Columbia.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, had been reported missing in British Columbia but are now believed to be on the run.

They were last seen in the north of Saskatchewan province, driving a gray Toyota RAV-4, a spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Sergeant Janelle Shoihet, told a press conference.

Both suspects are considered to be dangerous, police said in a warning to the public.

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Republican Marsha Blackburn shuts down applause as 9/11 bill vote unfolds in the Senate

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The funding for 9/11 first responders has officially passed the Senate after public outcry and significant lobbying by firefighters, police and others who worked after the Twin Tower attacks. But it was the emotional testimony from comedian Jon Stewart that drew much-needed publicity to the cause.

But as the bill was coming up for a vote, with the assurance it would pass, the gallery erupted with applause, with some senators joining in. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) shut it down quickly.

"Expression of approval is not permitted in the gallery," Blackburn shouted, while banging her gavel. She proceeded to bang her gavel at least 25 times more and repeated again that any expression of approval was not permitted.

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GUILTY: Jury rules Michael Flynn’s former business partner is guilty of lobbying for Turkey

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Michael Flynn's former business partner Bijan Kian was found guilty by a jury for illegally lobbying for a foreign country.

The information was uncovered as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and as the Justice Department's crackdown on illegal foreign lobbying, CNN explained.

Flynn has had a difficult go in his court case, but information Flynn gave was helpful, according to the DOJ.

Kian is an Iranian-American businessman who was charged with conspiring to hide his lobbying work for Turkey without registering as a foreign agent for the Turkish government.

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