Paper to correct story on Arizona's London Bridge

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Arizona (AP) A British tabloid will issue a correction Monday for a story stating Arizona's own London Bridge could be bulldozed to make way for drug tourism, Lake Havasu City officials said.

Philippa Kennedy, ombudsman for The Sun, said in a letter sent to city officials that the correction will be printed on page two of the newspaper, the Today's News-Herald reported.

Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Doug Traub, who received the letter, said The Sun also plans to send a reporter to the city for a follow-up piece.

The Sun had reported the bridge was cracking, and Lake Havasu City planned to demolish it and turn the area into a haven for marijuana users called Hemped in Havasu. Marijuana is illegal in Arizona, except for the treatment of certain medical conditions.

Lake Havasu City officials heard about the story in The Sun after a local resident from a London suburb showed them a copy of the tabloid. They say it was a slap in the face, particularly when more than $600,000 in bridge improvements is planned for this summer.

"It's one of the most preposterous and inflammatory articles ever written about our city, and we will respond in kind," Traub said at the time before demanding a retraction and an apology from the newspaper.

The online edition of the article has since been retracted.

The bridge, which spans a channel between the shoreline and an island in Lake Havasu City, was sold by the British government in 1968 to Robert P. McCullouch, the city's founder. The bridge was dismantled in London, transported to Lake Havasu and reassembled during a three-year period.

It is the only bridge leading to the island where boats launch on Lake Havasu and one of the state's major tourist attractions. Some 12,000 vehicles cross it daily.

The improvements planned this summer to drain water from one of the support piers and to create an entryway into the bridge to ensure workers' safety would extend the life of the bridge by at least another 40 years, city officials said.

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Information from: Today's News-Herald, http://www.havasunews.com

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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