The high school that serves Howard Lake, Waverly, and Winsted, Minn., may be the latest to drop the idea of a valedictorian at graduation time.

Under the proposal, seniors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher would be recognized as summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude, the Herald Journal newspaper reports. Next year’s class would be the last to have a valedictorian and salutatorian.

A high school math teacher at the school says getting rid of the competition for valedictorian will motivate students in the competition to take more rigorous courses rather than a safer class that they have a chance to ace.

But a member of the school board is taking issue with the idea.

“It seems like we’ve lost respect for history and tradition, and we’re going to change everything,” Charles Bush said.

Last year, four students had grade point averages of at least 3.9. But only two were recognized as valedictorian and salutatorian.

About half of Minnesota schools responding the high school principal’s survey have already eliminated the two honors.

Related: The new trend in validating top students: Make them all valedictorians (Washington Post)

Apparently, there’s nothing quite like sitting on an overturned five-gallon bucket on frozen ice with a winter wind doing that thing the winter wind does around Brainerd.

Yesterday was the annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing extravaganza, in which hundreds — maybe thousands — of fishermen try to win $150,000 in prizes. Or at least play “bra pong.”

A five pound walleye, netted the grand prize — a new truck — for a Chaska man.

Like last year, it was caught in one of the shallowest parts of the lake.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp is hit by Green Bay Packers’ Lee Roy Caffey (60) after an incomplete pass by Kapp in first half of a December 1967 game.  AP Photo

If there’s one thing yesterday’s Super Bowl has taught us it’s that nothing is going to stop people from playing football, and nothing is going to stop the NFL. It’s simply too ingrained in the American culture now.

So today’s news that Joe Kapp, the former Vikings quarterback, has Alzheimer’s carries this quote that people will most likely ignore.

“Don’t let your son be a football player,” Joe said.

Even Joe’s family isn’t paying attention, the San Jose Mercury News reports. His grandson is playing football.

Although physicians can’t say for sure, it’s obvious to oldest son J.J. Kapp that the bestial way his father played football has contributed to the mental demise.

J.J. understands that concussion-like symptoms were not always diagnosed in his father’s era. But the Santa Clara County assistant public defender has heard enough anecdotal evidence to be swayed, such as when his dad got hit so hard in Canada his left side went numb and his left eye closed shut.

“And the guys wouldn’t let him go off the field,” J.J. said. “The ethic of football is still the same. You play through it. That needs to change.”

Now all those powerful blows over more than two decades of tackle football have led Joe to dedicate one chapter of a memoir he is writing to concussions.

He didn’t flinch when hearing about the New York Times report that Stabler and Morrall suffered from the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

“It’s past the time of concern,” said Kapp, who is part of a neurological study at UCSF. “Every single day I live being forgetful. I’ve got calendars on both of my shoes.”

Kapp plans to donate his brain to neurologists for research.

His grandson plays for Cal. Kapp’s son, J.J. is honest about why.

“We’re afflicted with the football disease,” he said. “I’m hoping if Frank does end up playing, it’s just college and hopefully it is not so much damage.

Scott Masini, the principal of St. Paul’s Bruce Vento Elementary School, has been in the education business a long time, but he’s never seen anything like the reaction he’s received since someone leaked his letter last week informing parents the school will no longer celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day.
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