Archive - Apr 22, 2010

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Mascot or not, respect is in order

For more than a year, Clinton High School alums Kylista and Elspeth Geiger have made a plea to the Clinton Community Schools Board of Trustees to have the school mascot changed because they perceive it as derogatory to their Native American culture. I have watched as week after week these women have come to the board and have spoken during the public comment portion of the meeting.
The Geigers and their supportors have remained, for the most part, respectful and have moved within the boundaries of the laws of this great country to stand up for something they strongly believe in. They aren’t using intimidation tactics. They aren’t resorting to disrespectful language. They are presenting information that backs up their views. Wherever your loyalties lie in this debate, one thing that can’t be underscored enough is that these girls are educated and intelligent and a good part of that comes from the school and community that has stood so firmly against them.
Still, they are called outsiders, but that’s only the beginning. Something ugly is brewing, but it does when protests like this begin to escalate. What comes to mind are images of the Little Rock nine and the rocks thrown at children as they made their way into school because emotions ran so high against them going to a white school. Whether you see this as a civil rights issue or not, it’s playing out much like one. So, the Geigers and their supporters aren’t school children. They are our sisters and brothers.
Passions are strong on both sides. There is no doubt about that. Does that mean name calling is in order, or, worse, throwing rocks, making threats and using intimidation? Where is the civility in all of this? Yes, the protestors have fielded all of these when they haven’t acted violently toward anyone. If they’ve stepped over the boundaries of the frame they are given during public comment, they’ve apologized and tried to remain within the boundaries.

Indians win own tournament



Solid pitching combined with a never give up attitude helped Tecumseh’s varsity softball team pick up its own tournament title on Saturday, April 17, at Tate Park in Clinton on a very cold and windy afternoon.

The Indians went undefeated in the tournament with a 7-3 victory against Blissfield in the championship final after rallying from a 2-0 Royal lead.

Airport finished the tourney in third place and was followed by Brighton, Williamston and Madison.

Tecumseh mercied Madison 12-2 to start the tournament and followed with a 17-2 victory against Brighton in seven innings of play.

Catie Kaliszuk was in the circle for the win over the Royals. For the first three innings of the game only one runner reached base with Kaliszuk and Blissfield pitcher Hannah McEwan controlling the plate while in the circle.

Blissfield scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Kaliszuk gave up a single and a walk to put two Royals on base and a passed ball allowed the game’s first run to be scored. A grounder by McEwan scored Blissfield’s second run of the inning.

The Indians responded by scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning. Kristen Kenyon started the rally off with a single. Chelsea Hutchinson then reached first base safely before Melissa Felkey drove in Kenyon on a line drive. Ashley O’Leary had a good at bat to follow, forcing a walk to first, as did Sarah Harrison, with a two RBI single. Katelyn Dykas then finished Tecumseh’s scoring rally with an RBI single.

The Royals added another run in the top of the fifth inning but that was all Kaliszuk and the Indians would allow. Tecumseh went on to score three more runs in the sixth inning to secure the victory.

Tecumseh junior catcher Chelsea Hutchinson is congratulated by pitcher Catie Kaliszuk (l) and first baseman Melissa Felkey after tagging out a Blissfield player who was attempting to cross home plate. Photo by Mickey Alvarado

Freep names Kara Richard Miss Bowling

The Michigan High School Interscholastic Coaches Association selected Tecumseh High School senior Kara Richard as the 2010 recipient of the Detroit Free Press Miss Bowling Award.

The award was given in conjunction with its announcement of the 2009-2010 Dream Teams, selected out of 340 Michigan schools that participated in bowling last season.

In 2008, Richard bowled two perfect games of 300 in Division 2 singles but was eliminated in the quarterfinals. The following season she advanced to the semifinals and watched as her teammate, Tawni Vollmer, won the state title.

This year, after leading the Indians to a third straight state team championship, she finished her final high school season by winning the state title in Division 2. Richard finished with a career high 213 average.

"This is a great honor for the school," Richard said in a quote to the Free Press.

After graduating, Richard will attending the University of Central Missouri, on a bowling scholarship, but she’ll always return to where she spent many hours practicing to become a state champion — Ten Pin Alley in Tecumseh. The alley is the home of both Tecumseh’s girls and boys bowling teams and is owned by Richard’s family.

The other girls named to the Dream Team were Chelsea Essenmacher, Richmond; Heather Krueger, Macomb L'Anse Creuse North; Alexis Mollitor, Holt; Ashley Smith, Sandusky, and Kenna Williams, Taylor Kennedy.

Clinton goes 2-for-3 at own invitational


Clinton’s varsity baseball team went 2-for-3 at its own tournament on Saturday, April 17.
The Redskins finished the day with a 10-5 victory against Dexter with Stefan Spurlock earning the pitching win. He pitched seven innings, allowing six hits while walking three and striking out seven.

Steven Cooley went 3-for-3 at the plate with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Marcus Stewart finished 3-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and two runs.

Rylie Robinson recorded a 5-3 pitching win against Vandercook Lake. He struck out 12 while walking two and allowing three hits.

Robinson went 2-for-4 at the plate while Spurlock recorded a double and scored a run. Sanborn had an RBI single.

Clinton (4-3) opened the day with a 7-2 loss against Jackson County Western with Stewart handed the pitching loss. He struck out five and walked five while giving up five hits. Spurlock came in on relief and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings of work.
Robinson went 2-for-4 with a double to lead Clinton.

Clinton opened its season with its first win ever over Adrian High School on Tuesday, April 13.

The Redskins beat Adrian 9-6 in game two of a double header with Spurlock earning the pitching win. He allowed five earned runs, five walks and struck out four.

Spurlock also added a hit, two walks, two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base. Cooley led the Redskins with a 2-for-2 performance, which included a double, three runs, while senior Josh Lovejoy added two hits and an RBI. Junior Nate Dreslinski also added a hit and two runs.

In the first game, Robinson was handed a 4-2 pitching loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits, while striking out seven.

Clinton senior Stefan Spurlock tumbled safely across home plate against Vandercook Lake. Clinton defeated the Jayhawks 5-3. Photo by Mickey Alvarado

Special meeting set in Clinton to discuss mascot controversy

See video


CLINTON — A special meeting of the Clinton Community Schools Board of Trustees is scheduled for Thursday, April 29, at 7:07 p.m. at the high school to further discuss the Redskin mascot.

Attention to the issue of whether to keep or discontinue use of the mascot escalated at Monday night’s regular meeting as news outlets from Detroit covered the protests. In addition, a group supporting the use of the mascot counter protested.

For more than a year, Clinton alums Kylista and Elspeth Geiger have been attending board meetings with supporters in an effort to get the board to discuss the derogatory nature of the Redskin mascot. The board members considered the case closed after petitions showed community members supported keeping the mascot.

The Geigers are of Native American heritage and have repeatedly told the board that they are offended by the use of Redskin as the district’s mascot and as well as the use of a Native American head as the school’s logo. They returned Monday night with additional supporters, including members of the Lenawee County NAACP, who spoke during public comment.

The board limited public comment to a half hour and listened to those on both sides of the issue speak. Lenawee County NAACP President Jeanette Henagan, who noted that she has lived in Lenawee County for 40 years, reread a resolution stating the NCAAPs opposition to the use of Native American mascots.

Clinton resident Jeanie Romero, who saw no reason not to listen to the group seeking to change the mascot said, “I just feel the defend, defeat and destroy mindset is taking over to the point where there is a lack of compassion.”

City looks deeper for potential cuts in 2011 budget


Tecumseh City Council members gathered for a study session on the budget prior to Monday night’s regular meeting. City Manager Kevin Welch is digging a little deeper in the well as the city continues to explore ways to weather the tough economic storms still brewing. The considerations come after city employees already have declined pay raises for the past two years, and departments have cut way back on their expenditures, including capital improvement needs.

The council is working on a proposed $5 million dollar budget, and has scheduled a fiscal year 2010/2011 Budget Public Hearing for Monday, May 3, at 7:35 p.m.

“Some of the things that still concern me are having to use funds out of the equipment fund and perpetual care fund to balance the budget and it makes our road funds very minimal,” said Welch.

One area that he has been looking into is an Early Retirement Program (ERP). Welch said nine city workers responded with interest in the plan, however there are only four positions that meet the eligibility requirements. After an initial buy-out incentive and/or extending some health insurance as part of the deal, savings would kick in only if those positions were not filled. Welch said the position of Department of Public Works Superintendent could be filled internally with current personnel and not have to go to a new hire, along with an Equipment Operator position.

The city has only had a position of Deputy Police Chief for about five years, and that is another post that Welch said could be absorbed with the Chief taking on those responsibilities as he once did.

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