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Law requiring Confederate street names questioned

McLEAN, Va. (AP) - Alexandria, a Northern Virginia city steeped in Civil War history, is considering repeal of an old law requiring certain new streets to be named for Confederate generals.

City Councilman Justin Wilson introduced legislation for Tuesday night’s council meeting to do away with a 1963 law requiring that any new “streets running in a generally north-south direction shall, insofar as possible, bear the names of confederate military leaders.”

Wilson’s bill also would eliminate a requirement that new east-west streets be named for persons or places prominent in American history.

Wilson said he wants to remove a series of anachronistic laws, and his proposal also would repeal a ban on “lewd cohabitation” and laws regulating a bygone fad of “rebound tumbling,” a form of trampolining.

As a practical matter, there is little likelihood that the city will be naming new streets any time soon. The city, inside Washington’s Capital Beltway and separated from the nation’s capital by the Potomac River, is essentially built out. In fact, the street grid of the city’s Old Town section dates to Colonial times.

Wilson said that symbolically, he believes it’s a good thing to strip from the code a provision that in some ways glorifies the Confederacy. But he made clear he is not proposing that the city change existing street names, some of which honor Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, whose Dred Scott decision denied citizenship and constitutional protections to blacks before the Civil War.

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Ky. senators offer bill aimed at rural lending

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s Republican U.S. senators say they have introduced legislation aimed at helping rural counties being hurt by restrictive lending practices.

Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul said Tuesday their proposal is a response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its practices.

The senators say their bill would give counties a voice when the CFPB incorrectly labels them “non-rural.”

They say several Kentucky counties, including Bath County, have gotten the “non-rural” designation, preventing them from certain rural lending practices that are helpful to farmers and small businesses.

Kentucky Bankers Association President and CEO Ballard Cassady says the bill would help rural communities to have access to the credit they need to survive.

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