Outside the Circle News

Sarah Groft, Staff Reporter

Collapse at Cincinnati casino injures thirteen

On Friday, Jan. 27, 13 people were transported to the hospital with minor injuries received from a collapse at a casino construction site in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most of the injuries were scrapes and bruises, but four of the employees suffered orthopedic injuries and three of those required surgery.

The collapse of the casino’s third floor occurred around 8 a.m. that morning. The 30- by 50-foot section collapsed while the concrete floor was being poured. The Horseshoe Casino was being developed by Rock Gaming in partnership with Caesar’s Entertainment.

Though work is now continuing on the construction site, the roads around the casino were closed after the collapse.

This collapse was the second to occur, following a collapse at another developing construction site also being developed by Rock Gaming and Caesar’s Entertainment. No one was injured in the first accident, and according to the companies involved, the two events are not connected.

 

Erin Brockovich investigates unknown illness

Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, is investigating an illness that is currently affecting 15 teenagers in Le Roy, New York. The illness, which has been known to cause facial tics and verbal outbursts, has been diagnosed in 12 teens as conversion disorder.

Conversion disorder displays symptoms such as jerky tics, convulsions, and possible paralysis that are triggered by stressful situations. However, Brockovich suspects that the illness is actually caused by groundwater contamination from a chemical spill that occurred over 40 years ago.

The contamination occurred when a derailed train spilled cyanide and trichloroethene approximately three miles from the Le Roy High School in 1970. The 15 teenagers affected, 14 girls and one boy, were attending the high school when they began showing symptoms this past fall.

Lydia Parker, a senior high school student affected by the illness, said, “I can’t stand for more than two minutes, and my vocal and tic and everything gets really bad at night.” Parker’s symptoms are so severe that she spends most of her day in a wheelchair.

Brockovich’s involvement stems from the community that reached out for help. Don Miller, whose 16-year-old daughter was suffering debilitating tics, initially contacted her. Brochovich has a promising history in this area, previously exposing a cluster of cancer cases in California that were linked to contaminated drinking water.

The investigation is still underway. The National Institutes of Health have offered their assistance; however, Brockovich and the community have not requested it.

 

Occupy Canton to protest at First Merit Bank

Occupy Canton held a protest in front of the First Merit Bank in downtown Akron on Thursday, Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The protest stemmed from frustration about the bank’s interference with Deliverance Christian Church’s bankruptcy case. First Merit Bank was prepared to foreclose on the church property as soon as it came out of bankruptcy.

The bank overwhelmed the Deliverance Christian Church and its legal representation with paperwork. By doing so, they monopolized the church’s scarce resources. Because of this lack of resources, the church could not work on emerging from bankruptcy in order to reach its fiduciary responsibilities by June 2012.

In order to increase income, the church planned to rent its property and increase its congregation numbers. The bankruptcy allowed the church to implement these new business plans. Therefore, if it were prematurely forced out of bankruptcy, First Merit Bank would be able to foreclose on the church immediately.

The protest’s purpose was to raise awareness in the community of the tactics First Merit Bank was using against the Deliverance Christian Church.

Occupy Canton organizers stated, “This is a peaceful, non-violent movement. Our members include people of all races, religious backgrounds, and political affiliations and span all socioeconomic strata. We are all-inclusive.”

They continued, “We are leaderless. Everyone chooses his or her level of participation. Everyone has the potential to be a leader. No one person speaks for all of us. Everyone should be heard. We are working together to better our local community, state, nation, and world.”