Pioneer Drum Corps suspended from competition

CUDAHY, Wis. (AP) -- A nationally known drum and bugle corps from Wisconsin has been suspended from competing after being accused of not properly caring for the health and safety of its young members.

Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps executive director Roman Blenski says health concerns overwhelmed the organization this summer and there were complaints about how well medical issues were addressed on tour.

The governing organization, Drum Corps International, said Pioneer also had a registered sex offender on its staff. Blenski says that staffer was asked to leave.

In a statement, Blenski said, "While we might disagree on the accuracy of all the comments, depictions and rhetoric, some of what has been described is true. For those particular situations, we hope you can accept our sincerest apologies."

The statement goes on to say that they have launched a re-evaluation of current policies and procedures, "Once we’ve identified those opportunities, we will develop an action plan to make the appropriate changes."

The corps and color guard has 94 members, ages 14 to 21, and performs an 80-date tour across the U.S. Pioneer practices in the Milwaukee area.

Blenski will meet with the governing group Friday to determine what happens next.

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