• Little League Champs Stripped of National Title

    by Emily Attwood February 2015

    Nearly two months after allegations that the Jackie Robinson West team violated residency rules, the governing board of Little League Baseball has stripped the team of its 2014 U.S. championship title. The team drew significant attention during this past year’s Little League season as the first team comprised of all African-American participants to win the national title.

    In December, a rival team accused the Chicago-based team of using players outside its geographic area in December, allegations that were initially dismissed. But an investigation by the Little League organization revealed that the team used a map with falsified boundaries to recruit players from neighboring districts. As a result of the investigation, the team will vacate its wins from the 2014 Little League Baseball International Tournament, including its regional and national titles, the latter of which will be awarded to Mountain Ridge Little League of Las Vegas. 

    “For more than 75 years, Little League has been an organization where fair play is valued over the importance of wins and losses,” Little League International CEO Stephen D. Keener said in a statement. “This is a heartbreaking decision. What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome.”

    Local officials acknowledged in January that they knew of the team’s violations but had not reported them to the governing body, sparking the league to reopen its investigation. The team’s manager has since been suspended, and the league’s administrator for the district has been removed from his position. 

    “Little League takes these matters very seriously and has spent countless hours gathering information about the many issues facing Jackie Robinson West Little League and Illinois District 4,” Keener said. “During our review, it became clear that both Jackie Robinson West officials and District Administrator, Mike Kelly signed documents to make players eligible who should not have been.”


  • Maine House Leader Champions Rec Development

    by Sun Journal February 2015

    A bill to develop a network of recreation destinations throughout rural Maine is on the docket in Maine's House of Representatives this session.

  • Opinion: Youth Baseball Must Change in New MLB Era

    by Thom Loverro February 2015

    Rob Manfred was crowned commissioner 35 miles north of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy last summer, and when he officially took his seat on the throne last month, Manfred laid out the business plan for his new administration. The kids, the kids, the kids. It's all about the kids.

  • Open Gym Suspended in Wake of Gunfire Incident

    by John Martin February 2015

    The shots fired incident Jan. 18 in the C.K. Newsome Center gymnasium grabbed headlines, but city officials already were concerned about behavior problems there during unstructured time, Parks and Recreation Director Denise Johnson said.

  • Recreational Reuse Sought for Historic Military Fort

    by February 2015

    The Mound behind Stith Park was born in time of war. Now, the Town Council is considering developing it for recreation. So far, ideas include an in-ground slide, a walking trail at the top and historical markers.

  • Property Tax Bill May Doom Local Little League

    by February 2015

    Crowfield Little League owes a two-year property tax bill of about $7,200. The first payment is due Feb. 9, and the league can cover that payment after collecting its registration fees over the next two weekends. But the balance of the tax bill will be due by June, and that will be much tougher to make, he said.

  • Five AHL Franchises Relocating to California

    by John Vogl; news sports reporter January 2015

    The American Hockey League is finally catching up with the NHL's westward expansion.

  • YMCA's Wrestling Plans Draw Dan Gable Visit

    by Nicholas Idler, Naples Daily News (Florida) January 2015

    After winning a gold medal in wrestling at the 1972 Olympics, then coaching the University of Iowa to 15 national wrestling team titles, Dan Gable still isn’t done.

  • Minneapolis Park Seeks Space for All Users

    by STEVE BRANDT; STAR TRIBUNE (Mpls.-St. Paul) January 2015

    With golfers, cross-country skiers, mountain bikers, tubers and snowboarders all jostling for space at Wirth Park, Minneapolis park officials will share two alternatives for better separating competing uses.

  • More Than 300 Volunteers Help Improve Center

    by Hannah Winston Palm Beach Post Staff Writer January 2015

    Carol Clinton, the executive director of the Lake Worth West Community Center, said she's amazed how the little community center and old park at the end of Vermont Avenue exploded with life and color Saturday.