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Rio Grande ceases operations

The Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees will not operate during the 2012-13 season, the Central Hockey League announced today.

“It is with regret that we have come to this point,” said Trey Medlock, Rio Grande Valley president, in a statement issued by the league. “Closing operations was never our first choice but we took a long hard look and decided that we were left with no other options.”

“For close to a decade the Killer Bees thrived in South Texas and were annually one of the top organizations in the CHL,” said Duane Lewis, CHL commissioner, in the statement. “Because of their past success, it is very saddening to see the franchise announce that they will not compete next season. We are especially saddened for the fans in the Valley but do thank the Bees ownership group for their efforts to keep hockey alive in the area.”

The Killer Bees joined the league in 2003, the statement said. It said all Rio Grande Valley players have been declared unrestricted free agents within the CHL.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at jcohn@jg.net.

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