INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 19, 2019) — Special Olympics North America has announced 14 Indiana schools will receive national banner recognition for their efforts to engage students with and without intellectual disabilities in inclusive activities during the 2018-2019 school year.The schools are all participants in Special Olympics Indiana’s Unified Champion Schools and Champions Together programs and are being honored for meeting national standards of excellence in the areas of inclusion, advocacy, and respect.Local Indiana’s National Unified Champion Banner schools are Columbus East High School and South Ripley High School.The schools are among a select number across the nation to receive this distinction, and each will be presented with a banner to hang in their school this fall. One of the 14 schools will be further recognized as part of the “ESPN Honor Roll” for 2019, listed among the top 34 inclusive schools in the nation.“We are incredibly proud of the way that schools across Indiana have embraced this idea that students of all abilities can and should lead us toward a better, more inclusive future,” said Special Olympics Indiana President and CEO Jeff Mohler. “These 14 schools have gone above and beyond in their commitment to this program and they deserve every bit of this recognition for helping to create unified school communities.”The aim of the Unified Champion Schools program is to empower youth to become agents of change by encouraging special education and general education students to work together—along with educators and administrators—to promote social inclusion through a variety of year-round activities related to three main components: Unified Sports®, Inclusive Youth Leadership, and Whole-School Engagement.A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has an inclusive school climate and that has demonstrated a commitment to the program by meeting 10 national standards of excellence defined by a panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the academic community. National banner schools also must demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future.Through an innovative partnership with the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) known as Champions Together, Indiana has become a global leader in the implementation of Unified Champion Schools programming. This partnership has led to the establishment of Unified Track and Field and Unified Flag Football as officially sanctioned IHSAA sports—along with the development of state championships in Unified Bocce and Unified Bowling—and has helped to provide new opportunities for students of all abilities to “play unified” and to learn from each other while representing their schools in competition.“The IHSAA is extremely proud of our member schools for achieving this prestigious recognition from Special Olympics,” said IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox. “These schools have embraced the inclusion revolution and in doing so, have positively changed the cultures in their schools and communities. There are very few considerations more important than these enhancements to the scholastic experience.”More than 650 schools are currently participating in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming in Indiana, representing a full 10 percent of the more than 6,500 schools across the country engaged in the program. Special Olympics has a global goal of creating 10,000 Unified Champion Schools by 2020.The Unified Champion Schools model is supported by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. This model has been proven, through research by the Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston, to be an effective and replicable means to providing students with and without disabilities the opportunity to form positive social relationships and promote a socially inclusive school climate.For more information about Unified Champion Schools or Champions Together, contact Special Olympics Indiana at 317-328-2000 or visit www.specialolympics.org/our-work/unified-champion-schools.
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Update on the latest sports April 4, 2020 — Researchers have determined that the late Cleveland Browns linebacker and Ohio State two-way star Jim Houston had Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Donna Houston says her husband donated his brain to Boston University to be studied because he was concerned about his sons and grandchildren, who also played football. Jim Houston won a state championship at Ohio powerhouse Massillon (MAS’-ih-luhn), led the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl victory and was a member of the Cleveland Browns team that won the NFL title in 1964 — the last for the franchise. He died in 2018.NHL-RANGERS-RACIST HACKERHacker posts racial slur on fan chat with black NHL playerNEW YORK (AP) — A hacker posted a racial slur 45 times in an online fan video chat Friday with a black New York Rangers prospect.The NHL team scrambled to disable the hacker it called “a vile individual” on the Zoom chat with K’Andre Miller, the 20-year-old former Wisconsin defenseman drafted No. 22 overall in 2018. Miller recently signed with the Rangers after completing his sophomore season at Wisconsin. The 6-foot-5 defender is from St. Paul, Minnesota. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSWarning from NFL medical officerUNDATED (AP) — Days after the NFL revealed its hopes of conducting a normal regular season and playoffs, its chief medical officer is warning that nothing is a certainty during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Allen Sills, a neurosurgeon who has been with the NFL since 2017, says he and other league and team medical personnel have been in constant communication with health officials throughout the country, looking at the same data they are using to make public recommendations. The NFL also has consulted with the other major sports leagues and the players’ union.In other developments related to the pandemic:— The Preakness is looking for a new date for the Triple Crown race normally held on the third Saturday in May. The owners of Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland Jockey Club have also decided to cancel the infield party on race day. The Preakness usually draws more than 100,000 fans, most of whom gather on the infield. The Kentucky Derby was previously postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5.— The U.S. Tennis Association says it’s best not to play the sport right now because of the coronavirus pandemic. The USTA called it “in the best interest of society to take a collective pause” from tennis. The statement from the organization that runs the U.S. Open Grand Slam tournament said there is “the possibility” that the virus could be transferred among people via sharing and touching of tennis balls, net posts, court surfaces, benches or gate handles.— The U.S. Women’s Open is moving from the end of spring to the middle of December. The USGA says the Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston is moving from June 4-7 to Dec. 10-13. The LPGA has also postponed or canceled the next five events on its schedule. All but the Pure Silk Championship are getting new dates later in the year. MLB-ASTROS FAN-LAWSUITFederal judge tosses fan lawsuit vs. MLB, Astros, Red SoxNEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by fantasy sports contestants who claimed they were damaged by sign stealing in Major League Baseball.Five men had sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws, negligence, unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices by teams that violated MLB’s rules against the use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs. The five participated in fantasy contests hosted by DraftKings from 2017-19.Judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote that the lawsuit had no legal basis.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Roberts has started 10 games in each of the past two seasons. The Lions also acquired cornerback Desmond Trufant this offseason.In other NFL news:— The lawyer representing retired NFL players alleges the players’ union stonewalled his clients when confronted with questions whether their Social Security disability payments would be affected before the labor agreement was narrowly ratified last month. Attorney Ben Meiselas told the AP that email exchanges between his clients and the NFLPA show the union refusing to provide responses to direct questions regarding the status of their disability benefits before and after the CBA was presented to its players for a vote on March 5. — The NFC champion San Francisco 49ers have signed two ninth-year pros to one-year deals in free agency. One of them is Travis Benjamin. He’s a wide receiver and punt returner who played the last four seasons with the Chargers. The Niners also signed offensive lineman Tom Compton, who was with the Jets last season. — The Chicago Bears declared a quarterback competition between Mitchell Trubisky and newcomer Nick Foles. General manager Ryan Pace says both players are “embracing” the battle that will play out whenever offseason workouts begin. Associated Press — The WNBA has postponed the start of its season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league was set to open training camps on April 26 and the regular season was to begin on May 15. The WNBA will still hold a “virtual” draft on April 17. Two WNBA cities are major hot spots for the virus: New York and Seattle. The WNBA, which was set to begin its 24th season, is the longest running professional women’s sports league.— Major League Soccer has extended its training moratorium through April 24 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Team facilities are closed to players and staff — except for players requiring treatment that cannot be administered at their homes. Players are expected to remain in market with their teams during the moratorium to avoid the spread of the virus.COLLEGE CORRUPTION-NC STATERALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State’s NCAA case involving recruiting violations tied to former Wolfpack one-and-done star Dennis Smith Jr. has been recommended to go through an independent investigation process created for complex cases.The process includes independent investigators and decision-makers with no direct ties to NCAA member schools, and rulings cannot be appealed. The selections are typically revealed at college basketball’s Final Four. But with sports shut down because of the global coronavirus pandemic, the announcement will be televised from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Connecticut.Bryant, Duncan and Garnett, with a combined 11 championships and 48 All-Star seasons between them, are all first-time finalists and locks to be in this class. There are five additional finalists alongside Bryant, Duncan and Garnett: Tamika Catchings, Rudy Tomjanovich (tahm-JAHN’-oh-vich), Eddie Sutton, Barbara Stevens and Kim Mulkey.NFL-NEWSLions agree to deal with CB Darryl RobertsUNDATED (AP) — The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with free agent cornerback Darryl Roberts. Roberts spent the past four seasons with the New York Jets. The NCAA has alleged ex-assistant Orlando Early provided Smith and his associates approximately $46,700 in impermissible benefits – including $40,000 that a government witness testified he delivered to Early intended for Smith’s family in 2015.BASKETBALL HALL OF FAMEBasketball Hall of Fame set to announce 2020 classUNDATED (AP) — A unique Hall of Fame class will be announced Saturday in a unique way.Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are all expected to be officially announced as part of the 2020 class of enshrinees by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.