All posts by Ginny Washbish

Will the football offensive staff stay the same?

By Ginny Washbish–

Only the strong will survive. Clearly that statement doesn’t apply to the current football offensive staff at the University of Louisville. Looks like you can have an impeccable resume and still be replaced.

Since last Tuesday, the offensive graduate assistants have known their jobs could be up for grabs when Coach Petrino announces his coaching staff. All of our offensive graduate assistants have had a strong run: a Sugar bowl victory; a Russell athletic bowl victory against an ACC opponent, Miami; and maintaining a record of 23-3 for the past two seasons.

On Thursday, it was rumored that staff changes were already occurring, with the possibility of Garrick McGee becoming offensive coordinator. When asking Rocco Gasparro, Athletic Assoc in VPA-Football, about the possible changes, Gasparro said, “Coach Petrino has not officially hired any staff members. There will be an announcement once he makes his decision.”

Kenny Klein, Assoc Ath Dir in VPA-Support Services, could not be reached for comment.

With only a five day notice of possible termination, it’s hard not for the graduate assistants to express anger and disappointment. And with gossip circulating that Petrino is likely not welcoming the current offensive staff to his own, positive results are hard to imagine.

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Sinkholes swallowing people in West End, U of L archivist knows why

By Ginny Washbish–

A UofL history expert knows why sinkholes like the one that swallowed a child and adult last week are popping up all over Louisville’s west end

Yesterday, Louisville firefighters rescued a 2 year old girl and 47 year old man from a sinkhole in Russell Lee Park. The child fell in the hole.  A football coach trying to rescue the child became stuck as well.

The two were rescued an hour later — a sight witnessed by many on live television. The Fire Department said the brick-lined hole was about 10 or 12 feet deep and two and halfto three feet across.

University Archivist and Louisville Metro Councilman Tom Owen knows exactly what the rescuers described. He also knows why sinkholes keep littering the city’s west end.

The history and development of Louisville’s Park DuValle and Parkland area explains why these holes are arising, said Owen.  He thinks the cause of many of the sinkholes is decades old cisterns. Similar to wells, cisterns were water-proofed, brick-lined holes containing drinking water.

Owen said, “In the 1800’s a zone in Parkland, informally defined as ‘Little Africa,’ sat where Russell Lee Park is today. The area was predominantly African American and was much different than the rest of the city.”

Little Africa unofficially began from about 32nd street and stretched west to the Ohio River. It consisted of dirt and gravel roads, no paved allies, irregularly-built houses, no sewage or plumbing systems and yes, cisterns.

Owen said “During the Urban Renewal Program, in the mid- to late-1950’s, local governments secured federal funds to ultimately destroy neighborhoods and rebuild more modernized areas.” What once used to be Little Africa is now Russell Lee Park. Houses were leveled, the grounds were raised, and cisterns were boarded up.

Owen’s views are supported by the Louisville Metro Parks. Julie Kredens, communications manager, said that “last Thursday’s occurrence is an issue of infrastructure from long ago; houses were leveled and raised making way for Russell Lee Park.”

Parkland is not the only area of town reporting instances of these holes. In the past three weeks, Owen received a call regarding a finding off Taylorsville Road and several also have been reported in the Highlands.

Many locals in the past have reported similar holes found in Russell Lee Park, only to have city government simply mark the holes with warning cones. The Courier Journal reported that Councilwoman Attica Scott was at the park didn’t know of holes there. She said more people could fall into holes if the city doesn’t correct the problem now.

According to the Courier Journal, Scott said, “Action will be taken to correct holes in Russell Lee Park.”  A detail of what actions to be taken place has not yet been released.

Photo courtesy of WLKY News.