Articles by Squire News

About Squire News
The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

Maghielse & Company to host Chamber After Hours event

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Monday, July 13, Chamber After Hours will be hosted by Maghielse & Company, an honored Chamber member since March 28, 2005. Come join other business leaders at this high-energy business located on 117 Courtland Street, Rockford from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Owners Steve and Denise Maghielse invite everyone to bring lots of business cards and be prepared to network like crazy. The event is free. However, in order for the Maghielses and their staff to properly plan for this event, they ask that you RSVP by July 10 at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce office. Please call (616) 866-2000 or e-mail Jeannie at with your reservation.

Community Endowment connects present with historic figures

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

This spring, The Rockford Squire reported that five historic people in the Rockford area were honored at Recognition Plaza at Peppler Park. The event is a newer tradition in its second year and organized by the Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE). Each year, RACE will honor people from the City of Rockford and the townships of Algoma, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield. In addition to the gift of grants, recognizing the people who have contributed significantly to the history of the area is among the Endowment’s goals. When visiting the beautiful Peppler Park Recognition Plaza (on the west side of the dam), take the time to read the names on the bricks under your feet and in plaques on the columns in the park. The following is one more of the stories of this year’s honorees, with others to follow in future issues of the Squire. William H. Myers Sr. William H. Myers, an early settler in Kent County and the man for whom Myers Lake was named, filled his 92 years of life with adventure, accomplishment and community leadership. Myers, born in Ireland in 1818, was brought to America as an infant. In 1830, the family moved to Michigan Territory. At 15, Myers secured parental consent to leave home and seek his fortune. He first spent three years as cabin boy on a Lake Michigan sailing ship, then a number of years serving on ocean vessels and traveling to South America, Venezuela, and the Falkland Islands. From there, he shipped on a whaling boat for three years as first mate in the Upper Pacific. He returned home in 1840 and married Elizabeth Dancer, producing a family of nine children. In 1847, the Myerses came to Courtland Township and purchased 160 acres of uncleared land for $1.25 per acre. In the 1840s, there was an increasing stream of settlers in the townships of Plainfield, Cannon, Oakfield and Courtland, but towns were few. Courtland Center (at what is now 13 Mile Road and Myers Lake Avenue) was a stagecoach stop. Laphamville (now Rockford) was a small village on the Rogue River. Over the years, Myers improved his farm until it was one of the best in the region. This active farm is still in the Myers family, […]

Grannies make a difference, one child at a time

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

Most people over the age of 75 are winding down and enjoying the twilight years of their life, right? Not for a couple of grannies who are in the prime of their life and enjoying every minute of it. Gisela Leichty, 81, and Millie Anderson, 76, are a couple of grannies who are making a huge difference in the Rockford community by working with children as volunteers in the Foster Grandparent Program. These super turbo-charged seniors help first-grade children at Ridgeview Elementary School by acting as their mentors. They change children’s lives by giving them the attention they need. The volunteers spend one-on-one time with five to ten students throughout the school year, helping students with writing, reading and math and maybe, more importantly, they just give them unconditional love whenever they need it. When asked why she spends five hours a day, four days a week with screaming kids, without missing a heartbeat Gisela said, “They give me purpose to get up each day.” Both ladies agree that mentoring is a two-way street because not only are they making a difference in the children’s lives but the children are making a difference in their lives. “Watching these young children blossom before their eyes is more rewarding than you can imagine,” is a common statement from volunteers. When Millie is not volunteering, she is an avid mystery reader and loves to walk. She raised six children and before volunteering she worked with older adults in nursing homes for many years. She says nothing compares to working with children and giving them plain old-fashioned TLC. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Gisela, who raised eight children of her own, loves to garden when she is not loving on “her” grandkids. These volunteers develop a long-lasting relationship with their grandkid by loving, caring and giving nonjudgmental help from their many years of life’s experiences. They are passing on their wisdom to the future generations instead of keeping it to themselves. The Foster Grandparent Program is a national program that has been around for over 40 years. The program realizes that the family structure has changed over the last 50 years and there have been fewer opportunities for children and young people to interact with and learn from “elders.” Schools […]

Sen. Jansen, Comcast, volunteers build ramp in Rockford

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

First MMAP project completed, providing greater independence for local woman A Kent County woman and her family have greater independence thanks to the Michigan Mobility & Accessibility Partnership (MMAP). A group of dedicated volunteers July 6 constructed a wheelchair-accessible ramp at the home of Lori B. in Rockford, the first of five such scheduled builds this summer. “Being able to freely come and go from your own home is something many of us take for granted,” said Sen. Mark C. Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “By joining forces with Comcast, Disability Advocates of Kent County and dedicated volunteers, today we helped improve mobility and accessibility for a Michigan family.” Sponsored by Comcast, the partnership is a bipartisan effort led in the Senate by Jansen in collaboration with other elected officials, disability advocates and local volunteers. The group plans to build five wheelchair-accessible ramps this summer for Michigan families in need. Comcast has committed $30,000 in funding for construction of the ramps, as well as volunteers to assist with the ramp-building projects at each location. Comcast has a long-standing history of giving back to the communities where its employees and customers live and work. In April, approximately 2,400 volunteers dedicated more than 11,000 hours of community service to local nonprofit organizations across Michigan during the company’s 2009 Comcast Cares Day. Held annually, Comcast Cares Day is one of the largest single-day corporate volunteer efforts in the country.   “Comcast is committed to making a difference in the communities we serve,” said Comcast vice president for West Michigan, Larry Williamson. “We are pleased to assist in making Lori’s daily life a little easier with this new wheelchair ramp and home repair support, and look forward to partnering with the Michigan Senate to help out four additional deserving individuals later this summer.” Home Repair Services, a nonprofit organization serving lower-income homeowners throughout Kent County, was on hand to help with construction of the ramp.    

Birthdays – July 11 to 17

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

11th Ralph Leistner 12th Sue Hone, Jill M. Mackie. Pam Reed, Maxine Smith 13th Alyssa Jerrils, Maureen Mawby, Cindy Schluckebier 14th Chase Richard 15th Mike Baer, Brian Bearinger, Emajean Clawson 16th Sam Grimes, Melanie D. Ragsdale, Arnold Paepke, Lucy Weiss 17th Christopher Moore, Kirsten Rice, Nancy Rodriguez

1 1,093 1,094 1,095 1,096 1,097 1,245