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Flyers Stop Using Kate Smith, Cover Statue; Aston Carnival Brawl; Butler Pike Closed Until 2021
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 04/19/19 1:37 pm | updated: 04/19/19 1:37 pm
 
The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Friday morning, 4/19, that they will no longer use singer Kate Smith's rendition of 'God Bless America' at games and they have covered up Smith's statue outside of the Wells Fargo Center while they investigate accusations of racism. The New York Yankees also said they will stop using Smith's recording. "We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization," said the Flyers in a statement. "As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith's recording of 'God Bless America' from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena.” The songs in question include "Pickaninny Heaven" and "That's Why Darkies Were Born." They were both recorded in the 1930s. The later has also been described as satire. The Flyers have been using the 'God Bless America' at playoff games since the 1970s. Her statue was dedicated in 1987 outside the Spectrum the year after Smith's death. Lauren Hart has been singing the National Anthems and dueting with Smith's rendition at big games.

The Aston Township Fire Department's annual Spring Carnival has been permanently shut down after a large brawl on Thursday night, 4/18, prompted officials to cancel the event for good. Around 9:45 p.m. on the 2900 Dutton Mill Road in Aston, several fights began to break out in the crowd. Police on the scene tried to get everyone to just leave the scene. Assistance from other departments was called in to help disperse the crowd. Five juveniles were arrested for disorderly conduct and released to their parents.

Sean Joyce, president of Aston Township Fire Department, issued a statement Thursday night:
"We would like to apologize to the residents of Aston as well as the surrounding community for the unfortunate events that transpired this evening at our 2019 Spring Carnival. Which was once a local family tradition, has turned into a landing spot for out of town troublemakers. In an effort to maintain the great relationship we have worked so hard to develop with the residents of Aston, we have collectively made the decision to shut the carnival down permanently."

Butler Pike in Plymouth, Montgomery County, is going to be closed for much longer that anticipated. The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners said that new sinkholes have opened up and Butler Pike, between Flourtown/Plymouth Roads and Germantown Pike will remain closed until 2021. The road has been closed since August 2018 due to a large sinkhole. It will take at least 18 months just for design and engineering work before construction can begin. In addition to fixing the sinkhole problems, the site has the Norfolk Southern rail bridge, Texas Eastern high pressure natural gas transmission lines, PECO power lines, Verizon telecommunications lines, and a sanitary sewer line to contend with.

 
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