Benzie schools to share adviser

FRANKFORT — Benzie Central High School and Frankfort High School are set to share a full-time college and career adviser starting during the 2020-21 year. This is possible through the new grant-assisted program “Advise MI,” run by Michigan College Access Network.

Recent college graduates work with counselors and other school staff to increase the number of students who enter and finish postsecondary education. The grant continues for three years.

BCBSM to cover COVID-19 tests

DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will waive member copays and deductibles of “medically-necessary COVID-19 tests for members in fully-insured health plans,” the company announced in a release.

BCBSM also announced it will work with self-insured employer group customers about benefits.

Blue Cross Blue Shield will waive early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications and expand access to telehealth. The organization stressed members should work with public health officials before seeking COVID-19 testing.

District votes to drop Redskins nickname

PAW PAW — A school district in southwestern Michigan is dropping its Redskins nickname and mascot after the superintendent urged school board members to end the contentious name.

The Paw Paw school board voted 6-1 on Monday to retire the Redskins nickname by the end of the school year following Superintendent Rick Reo’s recommendation last week to drop the nickname.

“There’s division across all groups, but the group that I’m most concerned about is the group that this board employs me to be the most concerned about — and that is the students,” Reo said during Monday night’s meeting.

Reo said last week that he believes the district originally chose Redskins to “celebrate the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.” But times have changed, he said, even if the intent has not.

The American Civil Liberties Union last year asked the U.S. Education Department to investigate a “racially hostile environment” for Native American students at Paw Paw’s high school.

The board’s decision to drop the Redskins comes after it voted 4-3 in 2017 to keep the controversial name after months of heated debate.

Reo has recommended that a steering committee comprised of students be formed to begin the process of selecting a new nickname, which should be selected by July.

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