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Garden City country club with name tied to slavery unveils new name

The Plantation Country Club in Garden City has cast aside its only link to slavery and is now known as The River Club.

“Looking to the future of this great club and what it means to members and the community, the element we kept coming back to was the river,” Will Gustafson, CEO of owner Glass Creek LLC, said in a news release Thursday. “The Boise River is the lifeblood for this community. It was obvious that our club’s future had to pay respect to the river.”

The club announced in June, amid nationwide protests of police violence against Black people, that it was seeking a new name. In the U.S., the word plantation is associated with large farms built in the past on the backs of slave labor.

In August, the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise removed a stained glass window installed in 1960 that contained the image of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Church documents showed the window, featuring Lee standing with Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, was meant as an “inclusive nod to Southerners who have settled in Boise.”

Glass Creek, which bought the country club in 2018, planned to unveil a new name after a redesign of the course and other improvements were completed in a few years. However, Gustafson said the events of 2020 brought an increased focus on ensuring the club matched modern-day values.

“We felt from the very beginning that ‘Plantation Country Club’ did not reflect the vision we had for the club’s future: a fresh, modern, inclusive, and welcoming club for all members of the community,” he said. “This year brought a sharp focus on just how imperative it was for our club to not be attached to that dark piece of America’s history, and we knew we couldn’t

Anger over Leeds Marsden House student halls’ fire exit ‘tied shut’

A fire exit with wire wrapped around the gate

image copyrightRyan Gleeson

image captionThe fire exit at Marsden House in Leeds was secured with cable ties “to keep out non-resident students”, a student claims

The parent of a Leeds university student said he was “furious” that a fire exit at his son’s accommodation had been tied shut with cable ties.

Marsden House on Burley Road, Leeds, is home to about 900 students.

Ryan Gleeson, whose step-son is studying at Leeds Beckett University, posted a photo of the secured gate at the halls and alerted the fire service.

IQ Student, which manages the building, said it was investigating and student safety was its “highest priority”.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had “resolved the issue” after attending the site on Monday.

IQ Student said the gate was “one of several escape routes from the building and is 2m away from an escape route through reception, which is staffed around the clock”.

But students say the gate is also the main point of entry and exit to the halls.

Mr Gleeson’s step-son, who wishes to remain anonymous, said it had been secured shut “all day every day” for four days before the ties were removed.

image copyrightRyan Gleeson

image captionThe adjoining turnstiles had also been blocked to stop people getting in and out, the student said

He claimed he had witnessed security guards securing the gate to keep non-residents from entering the building.

“It doesn’t make us feel very safe when we’re paying so much money to be here. It seems like we’re paying for our own house arrest,” he said.

Mr Gleeson, from Blackpool, said: “I was furious. Absolutely livid that a halls of residence where people are in party mode and will undoubtedly be drinking are put