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Reclaiming a community park that was the site of two murders

KENNEDY HEIGHTS, Ohio (Angela Ingram) -- Nearly a year after shootings in a place designed for children and families, a neighborhood is pulling together to keep the crime out.

Two murders in a neighborhood that does not generally have was too much for the people who live in Kennedy Heights.  For awhile people were just afraid to let their kids go into Kennedy Heights Park, with good reason.  But now they are all coming together to make sure the park is safe for families.

Parent Paul Graham said, "I would take them all the time, all the time.  Kennedy Heights park, the playground, we love going there and running around."

Wednesday evening over pizza the children are telling the adults what activities they would like to do in the green space.  It's the kick off for Kennedy Heights Play In The Park.

Susan Wade Murphy, the event's organizer, said, "We started with a vision to reclaim the park.  To take the park from something that was where negative things were happening."

Volunteers came up with the idea after two shootings in the normally quiet neighborhood.  Last June two men were shot in the park, one was killed.  A week and a half later another man was killed just outside of the park. 

Immediately after the violence the community stepped up with a vigil.  And they carried Play In The Park through the fall with pumpkin carving for the kids.  Parents say the neighborhood cares about the quality of life in Kennedy Heights.

Play in the park officially starts in June after school lets out for the summer.  Every Wednesday through June, July and August there will be different events offered for the children and families at Kennedy Heights Park.

Follow Angela Ingram on Twitter @newslaw1 and LIKE her on Facebook

Video HERE



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