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Retro Television Network

The Retro Television Network is an American broadcast television network, owned by Reach High Media Group. The network airs classic television sitcoms and drama series from the 1950s through the 1980s, although it includes more recent programs from the 1990s and 2000s. Through its ownership by Luken, Retro is a sister network to several broadcast network properties that are wholly or jointly owned by the company, including the family-oriented Family Channel and country music-oriented network Heartland. At its outset, Retro was designed to be broadcast on the digital subchannels of television stations; the network is available nationwide on free-to-air C-band satellite via SES-2 in DVB-S2 format. The Retro Television Network launched in July 2005 on select television stations owned by the Equity Broadcasting Corporation, a chain of small satellite-fed UHF television stations controlled directly from Equity's headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Equity had expanded with purchases of many small stations in the early 2000s, but by 2008, the company was struggling to meet its obligations.

In June 2008, while the company was undergoing financial troubles, Equity Media Holdings sold RTN to Henry Luken III's – Equity's former president and CEO, the company's largest shareholder – Luken Communications for $18.5 million in cash. Equity had an option to repurchase the network for $27.75 million. Equity had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy three weeks before the expiration of the purchase option. On January 4, 2009, a contract conflict between Equity and Luken Communications interrupted RTN programming on many of its affiliates with Luken alleging that Equity had left many obligations to RTN's creditors, including programming suppliers, unpaid; as a result, Luken restored a national feed of the network from its Chattanooga headquarters with individual feeds to affiliates not owned by Equity following suit on a piecemeal basis. Equity-owned or -operated stations lost RTN affiliation, though Luken vowed to find new affiliates for the network in the affected areas; the Retro Television Network changed its on-air branding to "RTV" in June 2009.

In 2012, RTV dropped from 120 to 80 affiliates with many ABC affiliates switching to the Live Well Network. Further affiliate drops occurred as RTV's scheduling began to decline with lesser product, with MeTV and Antenna TV making major carriage deals with large broadcast groups. In March 2017, the final "major" group carrying the network, Sinclair Broadcast Group, dropped the network from three remaining Sinclair stations where RTV affiliation agreements were made with their former owners, replacing it with their in-house network TBD. On October 1, 2017, the network lost its last station with one of the "Big Five" networks, WKTC in Columbia, South Carolina, which replaced its subchannel with Laff; the network was re-branded as Retro TV in 2013. Of the top 25 digital broadcast networks for 2014, Retro TV ranked No. 10 with a coverage of 54% of households. Since its creation, Retro's principal programming concept consists of classic television series maintaining a 24-hour schedule of shows; as of 2019, the on-air lineup dates from the 1950s to the 1970s, with the exception of prime time, which consists of contemporary programming from Canada.

Retro airs a full block of Saturday morning cartoon reruns and family-friendly adventure series and comedies on Saturdays. There have been some deviations to the format, including during the network's ownership under Equity, which added some original talk programming during the late night slot on weeknights from the summer of 2008 to early 2009, a concept billed as "Classic Hits All Day & Fresh Talk All Night". Overnights eventually became devoted to paid programming; the network has featured produced horror film showcases such as Wolfman Mac's Chiller Drive-In and Off Beat Cinema. Until 2011, Retro offered a customized schedule for use at the discretion of the local affiliate; the network moved towards a set national schedule, although affiliates have the option to pre-empt or reschedule some network programming. By June 2011, when Retro's distribution agreement with NBCUniversal Television Distribution ended, the network adjusted its schedule to feature programming from other distributors and public domain programs, as well as low-cost Canadian barter programs (such as Cold Squad and Da Vinc

Prescott Channel

The Prescott Channel was built in 1930–35 as part of a flood relief scheme for the River Lee Navigation in the East End of London and was named after Sir William Prescott, the chairman of the Lee Conservancy Board. Rubble from the demolished Euston Arch was used in 1962 to improve the channel, which forms part of the Bow Back Rivers. Three Mills Lock is a lock in the channel to allow passage of freight for the London 2012 Olympics by a process of canalisation on the channel and the River Lee northwards, it was constructed between March 2007 and June 2009. The project was credited with offering additional benefits:- "As well as helping barges carrying construction materials and recyclables between Stratford and the River Thames, the lock will create new opportunities for leisure boats, water taxis, trip boats and floating restaurants." A major benefit for British Waterways was the increased value of the land which it holds in areas no longer subject to flooding, which it was expected would exceed the cost of the project.

The lock is 62 metres long, 8 metres wide and 2.4 metres deep, can hold two 350 tonne barges. It was built by Volker Stevin. On 2 June 2008, work on the channel brought up a 2,200-pound Hermann Second World War time bomb. Residents were evacuated and rail services were disrupted, flights from London City Airport were curtailed during the emergency; the 67-year-old, booby-trapped bomb was made safe, after five days, in a controlled explosion that threw 400 tonnes of sand into the air. Major Matt Davies, of the Army Bomb disposal unit said "If it had gone off in wartime there would have been large fragments up to a mile away which could have destroyed buildings and sewers", he added "This is the biggest unexploded bomb we have found in central London."In 2009, again as part of the project to build the lock, 29 stones from the Euston Arch were raised from the river bed and presented to the Euston Arch Trust. One stone had been salvaged in 1994 by Dan Cruickshank, as part of a BBC Television programme called'One Foot in the Past'.

Three Mills Lock was delivered ten months behind the planned schedule, which limited its usefulness to the builders of the various Olympic Park venues. A further planned use was for the delivery of materials for the Crossrail project; however the lock has in fact been used by freight barges. In August 2013, a long period of hot dry weather followed by heavy rain washed polluted road run-off water into the Lower Lea, causing deoxygenation of the water; the role of the canalisation of the Bow Back Rivers in and around the Olympic Park, with its consequences for tidal flow have been implicated in the considerable levels of fish kill which resulted from the incident. Canals of the United Kingdom History of the British canal system Three Mills Residential Moorings East London Record. No. 18 British Waterways Prescott Channel FLICKR group £15m sluice system is Prescott's watergate Prescott Sluice Lea Valley Regeneration Three Mills Wall River 51.527262°N 0.00398°W / 51.527262.

HMS America (1757)

HMS America was a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built for service during the Seven Years' War against France and Spain. Commissioned in 1757, America was assigned to the British fleets blockading French ports in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and played an active role in the Battle of Lagos in 1759. After a refit in 1760, she was sailed to the East Indies for combat against Spanish forces in The Philippines. America was returned to England at the end of the war, was broken up in 1771. America was stationed off the southwestern coast of England throughout the winter of 1757–1758, on patrol for French privateers. On 9 December she recaptured John Galley, an English Merchantman from the port of Bolton, seized by French. With the assistance of a prize crew from America, the recaptured vessel was sailed to Plymouth Harbour for return to her original owners. America remained at her station, on 18 December captured a French merchantman, bearing a load of fish; the French crew were held aboard as prisoners, the vessel sent into Plymouth as a prize.

An engagement on the following day proved less successful for America's crew. In the morning of 19 December the ship was in company with HMS Brilliant when they came within range of Diamond a 14-gun French snow carrying a cargo of Quebecois furs; the French vessel turned firing her stern chasers at Brilliant as she went. Shortly afterward the cannon fire ignited the snow's powder magazine and she exploded and sank. Only 24 of her 70 crew escaped the wreck to be rescued by the British vessels, most of these subsequently died of their burns. Four days America ran across another French privateer, the 24-gun Dragon, defeated her after a 90-minute battle. From 1758 to 1760, America was under the command of a Captain James Kirke, she was broken up in 1771. Winfield, Rif. British Warships of the Age of Sail 1714–1792: Design, Construction and Fates. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Seaforth. ISBN 9781844157006