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Calling it "offensive to many," Lowell says it will remove riverboat's name

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Lowell says it'll take steps this week to remove the name "Robert E. Lee" from the docked showboat downtown.

As political pushback heats up over confederate monuments, the city of Lowell is dropping the name Robert E. Lee from a longtime community attraction.

The vessel better-known as the Lowell Showboat has been a staple in downtown Lowell for decades. It used to host parties and entertainment as it rolled down the Grand River. It’s also the backdrop for a popular concert series in the small town about 20 miles east of Grand Rapids.

But the boat has been docked for years, and earlier this year was closed to the public because it needed major repairs. And now the city says it will take steps this week to remove the confederate army general’s name from the side of the boat because it “recognizes the name is offensive to many.”

A local committee will name a replacement riverboat that’s being constructed, thanks in part to a $1 million grant from the state of Michigan.

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