The Chiefs mascot in White Pigeon appears to be safe following a federal decision to dismiss a case in which the use of Native American names and images would be banned in 35 Michigan school districts.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights had sought the ban, which would have included White Pigeon’s use of Chiefs as the school mascot.
The federal order to drop the case was made based on the opinion that the use of Native American names and images do not cause harm to students in the districts where they are used.
White Pigeon school officials said they were aware of the February complaint. They said the Chiefs mascot is used as a tribute to Chief Wahbememe, and is embraced and respected in a positive manner.
Sturgis Public Schools athletics director Mark Adams said the district is expressing an interest in joining the Wolverine Conference athletic league.
Although the concept is in its infancy, Adams said Sturgis is aware the conference is interested in adding at least one other team, with the impending departure of Comstock. A Wolverine Conference meeting is expected to take place next week and the issue of what school might fill Comstock’s void – or whether to add at least three more teams – will likely be discussed.
Adams said Sturgis has sent a letter of interest to Wolverine Conference officials, but he reiterated the idea has a way to go.
The Wolverine Conference includes similar-sized schools as Sturgis, and features Three Rivers, Vicksburg and Paw Paw.
Sturgis is currently a member of the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference.
Nearly 40 people played a role in helping lay more than 9,000 yards of sod over the weekend at Sweetland Stadium in Constantine.
The school district’s $100,000 allocation toward the new grass surface covered the entire portion of the stadium’s field, the installation of an in-ground watering system and dirt and seed for two practice football fields, according to Constantine athletic director Mike Messner.
Several members of the school’s varsity football team joined in the work, which started Saturday and concluded Sunday afternoon.
Though sections of the field had been replaced through the years, some of the outlying areas around its perimeter were original from when the field and stadium were created in the 1930s, Messner said.
Steve Proefrock, head men’s basketball coach at Glen Oaks Community College, has been awarded the Men’s Junior College Coach of the Year award from the statewide Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.
In his 16th season at Glen Oaks, Proefrock led his team to the Western Conference Championship with a conference season record of 15-and-1, and an overall record of 27-and-4.
The school’s only conference loss was a 105-103 overtime setback to Grand Rapids.
The four remaining schools from the St. Joseph Valley League athletic conference are expected to join a newly created, 10-team league.
The Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference was announced this week during the Bronson Community Schools Board of Education meeting. The new league, which will include SJV members Centreville, Bronson, White Pigeon and Mendon, will debut in the 2014-15 academic year.
Other members will be New Buffalo and Lake Michigan Catholic from the Red Arrow Conference, and Cassopolis, Buchanan, Bridgman and Niles Brandywine from the Lakeland Conference.
The state of the SJV became jeopardized after Colon, Constantine and Schoolcraft left it in 2008.
Athletic directors from the 10 schools have agreed to split the new conference into east and west divisions.
A trio of men who fled from police in Three Rivers earlier this week were arraigned in district court Wednesday.
William Powell, 23, Antonio Hearn, 20, and Charles Hearn, 21, face a variety of charges following the Monday night incident in which one of the men held his 6-month-old son while fleeing from police.
All three men, originally from Ohio, were members of the Glen Oaks Community College 2012-13 basketball team.
Powell and Antonio Hearn were charged with retail fraud, and resisting and obstructing police. Charles Hearn was charged with retail fraud, fleeing and eluding, driving while intoxicated, child endangerment, child abuse, and resisting and obstructing, according to authorities.
They were arrested following an incident at Wal Mart. The three fled the scene in a vehicle, which crashed at Constantine Street. They left the crash site on foot but were soon after taken into custody.
The 6-month-old boy was turned over to the custody of his mother.