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Fight escalates over Raleigh ballfield for special-needs children

Posted June 4, 2012
Updated October 22, 2013

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— A dispute over a proposed baseball field in north Raleigh for special-needs children has led to an alleged assault.

The Miracle League of the Triangle, which organizes a baseball league for more than 500 special-needs children in the area, and the Kerr Family YMCA want to build some baseball fields off Queensland Road in the Wakefield development.

Residents of the nearby Carrington neighborhood opposed to the move went to Adams Elementary School in Cary, where the Miracle League now plays its games, on May 26 to hand out their fliers to parents.

"It just seemed like a bad choice, on a holiday weekend, to come out here and ask parents who already support the league to join them in their effort to stop (the expansion)," Miracle League board member Joe Dew said Monday.

The flier, entitled "What is the Miracle League Not Telling You?" warns of health concerns because of power transmission lines near the site of the proposed ballfields.

"It felt like scare tactics to me," Dew said.

Tensions rose as Cary police ordered the protesters off school property and out to the sidewalk. Witnesses said Traci Brown, executive director of the Miracle League, was relaying that message to a couple of protesters when she was hit in the back and knocked to the ground.

"It was described to me as both fists coming down on the back of her. I believe hitting her in the neck and in the shoulder," Dew said. 

Police arrested a Raleigh man and charged him with assault in the case. Those charges were later dismissed.

"It's disappointing that somebody would get physical," Dew said. "It gives you a little pause. It makes you stop and wonder how we are not communicating with each other."

"I don't think I would take it that far," Carrington resident Chantay Henderson said of the alleged assault.

Henderson said she doesn't want the incident to take away from real concerns neighbors have about potential traffic and noise from the ballfields.

"It's not that many homes here," she said. "It's going to stir up a lot of traffic and commotion. They said there are going to be big lights."

The Miracle League is committed to working with the Carrington neighborhood to address residents' concerns, officials said, but they don't view the transmission lines as a real issue, noting that the residents chose to live near them.

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  • llf49 Jun 7, 2012

    Look, if you don't want a ball field, fine. Go to the council meetings and voice your opinions there. Do not show up at a special needs sporting event and take your frustrations out on the parents there. We really have no time for petty temper tantrums from adults who should know better. And just an FYI, most of us do not let our kids stay up that late...they need their sleep. Traffic? Really? So there are many special needs kids in the area? They aren't that rare? Hmmm. Perhaps you could use your protest energies better by helping discover why 54 percent of American children are ill?

  • shelli2 Jun 6, 2012

    The Cary Citizen was the first ones to break this story LAST Friday. WRAL didn't bother giving credit where credit was due so I will.

    Link to the story here: http://carycitizen.com/2012/06/01/protest-at-miracle-league-ends-in-assault-and-arrest/

  • soyousay Jun 5, 2012

    LambeauSouth

    no worries -in one fell swoop the denizens of Carrington have done much to help your cause. To say they did not acquit themselves well and appeared somewhat to the south of petty and childish is an understatement. The charming Mr. George is now a poster child...of sorts

  • LambeauSouth Jun 5, 2012

    Smart Alex, again....haven't met a nicer group of People in my life, it was an Honor and I look forward to next spring.
    Have a safe and happy Summer!

  • LambeauSouth Jun 5, 2012

    Hey Storch

    http://carycitizen.com/2012/06/01/protest-at-miracle-league-ends-in-assault-and-arrest/

    full detailed story....seems the YMCA met with hostilities
    nice bunch of folks

  • LambeauSouth Jun 5, 2012

    BTW, what is dudiligence? Did you mean due diligence? Perhaps, sir, you should try reading. It helps you spell.

    storchheim
    really, commenting on my spelling, pretty sure that if I looked at all of your posts, I would find multiple mistakes.......

  • storchheim Jun 5, 2012

    LS, I do read. I read right past your personal attack and reviewed the story. Please copy and paste the part where it says in this story that the baseball field plans were in place before the homes were sold.

    BTW, what is dudiligence? Did you mean due diligence? Perhaps, sir, you should try reading. It helps you spell.

  • Smart Alex Jun 5, 2012

    LambeauSouth, just a great big thank you for volunteering! Parents do what they do because they love their kids. And we love the volunteers who work with our kids out of the kindness of their hearts. I hope this unfortunate publicity about the Miracle League leads to more people saying "hey, why don't we go watch a game." Each game only lasts an hour, and it is such a great experience. We couldn't do it without volunteers like you!

  • Its the who what Jun 5, 2012

    That was very brash to go to an event that is SPONSORED by your opponent in order to seek support for your cause. Makes me think that they were looking for conflict in the first place. He is a sniveling cowards trying to disguise himself as a concerned citizen.

  • commonsense4 Jun 5, 2012

    So a grown man punches a woman in the back? If you take one look at this guy alcoholic comes to mind! Look at the red face from the enlarged blood vessels.

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