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Tara says Cooper loved the playground while his older brother played baseball games at the park. She says she wants to have a playground with swings and stuff to climb on to give the younger kids something to do while families attended the baseball games. “We know that this playground is going to make kids all over the community smile and we’re just really looking forward to seeing children on the playground, having fun, and encompassing Cooper’s spirit doing that,” said Tara. Tara says they expect to break ground at the park in May of 2020. Volunteers are welcome to help over a weekend to help put together the pieces. Cooper’s mother, Tara Busch, says even small playgrounds are surprisingly expensive, explaining how the project cost more than $100,000. She says thanks to State Senator Fred Akshar raising and donating thousands of dollars and Broome County covering a portion temporarily, the plan has become a reality. “I was starting to lose faith in it, so just in time for the holidays and a really great Christmas present is the county is actually going to cover the $75,000 from the state and when the money does come in from the state, they’re going to reimburse the county,” said Tara. Cooper Busch’s family has made a mission of spreading Cooper’s message throughout the community, especially toward kids who could use a smile every now and then. That is why after his passing in May 2018, his family began the project, the “Super Cooper Memorial Playground,” which will be installed at the Chenango Bridge Civic Park. CHENANGO BRIDGE (WBNG) — After more than a year of planning for the Super Cooper Memorial Playground, the plan is finally coming through fruition with funding complete for the project.
President George W. Bush has announced the addition of 30,000 U.S. troops in Iraq to bolster counterinsurgency efforts in Baghdad and other strategic areas, and to try to quell the sectarian violence that threatens to destabilize not only Iraq, but other countries in the Middle East. The violence this week has prompted some Shiites to call for the return to the streets of the Mahdi Army, which many Shiites see as a bulwark against militant Sunni Arabs. In the incendiary speech delivered by his clerics on Friday, al-Sadr called for a massive but peaceful anti-occupation protest April 9, the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces. “Four years have passed since the occupation of our beloved country, the Iraq of Islam, by the great Satan, America, and its followers, who want to erase Islam from the world in order to maintain peace for themselves,” al-Sadr’s speech said. The speech called on all Iraqis to “hoist Iraqi flags on the rooftops of homes, buildings and government offices as a sign of the sovereignty of Iraq and its independence, and to reject the presence of the flags of America and America’s allies in our country until they leave.” BAGHDAD, Iraq – Religious leaders commanded by the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr delivered a searing speech at Friday prayers condemning the U.S. presence in Iraq, while militiamen loyal to al-Sadr engaged in street battles against Iraqi army soldiers in southwestern Baghdad, signaling a possible resurgence of the militia. Al-Sadr has ordered the Mahdi Army, the militia he controls, to lie low during the early days of the new Baghdad security plan so as not to provoke a direct confrontation with the Americans. With the speech Friday, which the religious leaders attributed to al-Sadr, it appeared that he was continuing to walk a tightrope, not openly defying American and Iraqi government attempts to secure the capital, but still sharply criticizing the U.S. presence in Iraq. Iraqi police officials also said Friday that American helicopters had conducted strikes in the early morning against a gathering of Shiite militiamen in an area east of the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, al-Sadr’s stronghold. At least 20 people were killed and injured in the attack, said a police official in the town of Khan Bani Saad, east of Sadr City. But a spokesman for the U.S. military, Lt. Col. Josslyn Aberle, said she had no reports of such an incident. The signs of rising activity among Shiite militias came after three days of horrendous bloodletting that have escalated sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq. At least 300 people were killed or discovered dead across the country, most of them victims of suicide bombings or reprisal killings. The surge in violence, much of it occurring outside the capital, came after more than seven weeks of a new effort by U.S. and Iraqi forces to secure Baghdad. “In the end, I renew my demands for the withdrawal of the occupier from our land,” al-Sadr’s speech said. On Friday, the fighting between the Mahdi Army and Iraqi forces erupted in the Amel neighborhood of southwest Baghdad. One resident who called himself Abu Zaineb said militiamen had attacked an Iraqi army base housing Kurdish soldiers brought in from the north as part of the Baghdad security plan. The militiamen used mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikovs, he said. Mahdi militia officials said that militiamen drove into the neighborhood to avenge the killing of a militia leader named Abu Hassan at the hands of Sunni insurgents. The militiamen ran into a checkpoint operated by Kurdish soldiers and a battle broke out, the officials said. American soldiers then arrived on the scene. A civilian was killed and another injured in the fighting, an Interior Ministry official said. Also on Friday, a senior policeman in Mosul, Brig. Gen. Abid al-Kareem al-Jubouri, said Iraqi forces had rearrested 18 Shiite policemen suspected of taking part in a massacre Tuesday of Sunni Arabs in the northern town of Tal Afar.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!