Three Rivers Community Schools Superintendent Roger Rathburn has announced he plans to run for state representative next year.
The 51-year-old Rathburn, who is retiring in June following a 13-year tenure as superintendent in Three Rivers, will seek the 59th District State House seat currently held by Matt Lori. Lori, who will begin his sixth and final year as state rep in January, is term-limited and unable to run again.
Rathburn said he planned to retire to seek other opportunities, preferably in the arena of education. But after being approached by a number of county residents, Rathburn said his interest in the state representative’s position grew in its appeal.
To date, John Bippus is the only other candidate to declare his plans to run for the seat.
The 59th District covers St. Joseph County and all but a small pocket of Cass County.
The Christmas season officially kicked off Friday in Three Rivers, as a crowd gathered for the annual tree-lighting ceremony.
Staged in the downtown mural mall, the ceremony included music from the Three Rivers High School Aristocrats. It also marked the first of a three-day celebration in downtown Three Rivers, where the Riviera Theatre hosted events Saturday and Sunday.
Cookie decorating at World Fare and pet photos with the Grinch at Downtown Dog also took place Saturday.
Three Rivers High School will have a neighboring rival in its league in the 2014-15 school year, as Sturgis Public Schools is expected to join the Wolverine Conference.
An invitation requesting St. Joseph County’s largest school district to join the league was extended by conference officials late last week. Sturgis school officials have indicated they intend to accept the offer, and approval by their board of education is the final formality needed.
The addition of the Trojans would make the league an all-Class-B conference and even it out with 12 members.
Sturgis will replace Comstock, which is departing the league after the 2013-14 academic year.
Two cheer-team squads from Three Rivers had a successful experience in a national competition last weekend in Virginia Beach, Va.
Caroline Goodall, coach for the Three Rivers Young Champions Cheer team, said its 21-person Division 4 team took first place in the national championship round Saturday.
Meanwhile, its 27-member Division 5 team took second place in the nation. The age range between the two teams is 8 through 16 years.
Goodall said the feat marked the first time both divisions qualified for Cheer Nationals.
Last weekend’s Three Rivers Relay for Life event was a success, as event organizers said they surpassed their goal by a slim margin.
Danielle Rohrer, 2013 relay for Life chairperson, said this year’s goal was $132,000, and toward the conclusion of the 24-hour event, it surpassed the goal by more than $1,600. A small amount of additional pledge dollars are expected to further pad the amount raised for the 2013 campaign.
The walk took place at Armstrong Field at Three Rivers High School.
Reconstruction of the tennis courts at Three Rivers High School is underway, as Southern Michigan Bank & Trust has been selected to provide the loan for the project.
In action at last week’s Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education meeting, members adopted a resolution for an installment purchase agreement with SMB&T for a loan in excess of $550,000.
Homer-based Quality Asphalt Paving was awarded the bid.
The financing agreement is for a period not to exceed 10 years with annual principal and interest payments beginning at the end of July.
Dorothy Woodbury, district financial supervisor, reported that five banks participated in bidding on the loan, with interest rates ranging from the 2.49 percent offered by SMB&T to 4.14 percent.
The project is slated to be substantially complete by mid-August, district officials said.