Ride along with Rockford Police, answer questions from downtown visitors, write out a ticket for someone parking illegally in a handicapped parking space. These are among the duties of Rockford’s volunteer police force and you are welcomed to join up. According to Michigan’s Volunteer of the Year Linda Crone, who is a loyal member of the team who logged in over 500 volunteer hours on the force in 2008, the job is rewarding. “It’s pretty flexible, you can volunteer for many different duties, such as the Rockford Youth Night Out this Friday. We check on people’s homes when they are out of town and visit shut-ins. I’m pretty nosy so it all looks interesting to me,” Crone said. Crone enjoys riding around Rockford in the police jeep in the winter and in the golf cart in the summer. Volunteers can hit the White Pine Trail to watch for mischief or a chance to offer help or enjoy a day at the Welcome Center at 12 Squires Street. There visitors ask for everything from advice on where to go to eat to directions. “Husband and wife teams are allowed, so you can be on patrol together. It’s good for retirees. I’m a very friendly person, so I love it because you get to meet so many people and talk.” Crone points out that the Police Department is careful their volunteers aren’t put in dangerous situations that the more trained officers sometimes face. They will never be expected to make an arrest, take part in a chase or confront obnoxious individuals. The police do the hard work and let the volunteers enjoy the “lighter side” of police work. “There’s nothing rocket science about it,” said Crone. “Anyone can do it.” Applications are available at the Welcome Center and training is provided by the Rockford Police. Crone said her training consisted of a few drive-alongs with the police and advice on how to handle different situations. The volunteer force consists of 15 members currently and members are only required to put in 16 hours a month. “It’s a lot of fun. I love the summer when we get to ride up and down the White Pine Trail in the golf cart.”
Articles by Squire News
Rockford High School is presenting the musical, Beauty and the Beast on March 26, 27, and 28, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m. in the Rockford Fine Arts Auditorium. The caliber of the musicals has continued to climb with each year topping the year before. “Beauty and the Beast” will be performed with all the music, dance, and professionalism required to exceed even the toughest critics’ expectations. Not only will you see the best in high school talent, but you will see them on stage with the same sets as used in one of the Broadway productions. Every detail is created to take you from the real world to a place that only Disney could imagine. Mr. Duiven and his crew are working hard to make this the ”s history. There is a cast of 83 not including countless stage crew, pit band members, and numerous volunteers. Leads include Dani McDonald as the beautiful Belle, Brett Johnson as the proud Beast, Brett Wiesenauer plays Belle’s Father, Maurice, the handsome, but not too bright, Gaston, is played by Jordon Bornand, and of course, his faithful companion, LeFou, played by Josiah Grimm. This production is the perfect place to bring your family to escape from the cold, late winter air into a place where magic and dreams come true. Tickets for the musical are $10 per person for reserved seats. Ticket sales began March 2, 2009. Weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the RHS box office. For more information please call 863-6031, ext. 7087 or www.rockfordchoirs.com. Escape with your family to an enchanted place where luminaries dance and tea pots sing!
The fifth annual Rockford Community Expo is coming up soon, on Saturday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes, Rockford. With over 180 booths – again a sold-out event – the day will be full of music by Rockford students, celebrities, displays, deals and giveaways from businesses as well as four $500 door prize cash gifts to four lucky winners. Last year’s Expo drew over 11,000 visitors and this year promises to be even better. See some participating businesses on page 5 of this week’s Squire and watch for next week’s Expo article for more information.
by KIM SAPKOWSKI Rogue River Watershed Council One of Michigan’s greatest resources is its abundance and high quality of water. Wetlands play a key role in this vital natural resource. Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. Wetlands control flooding by absorbing rain and snow melt, (thus they have earned the nickname “nature’s kidneys”), they filter and control fluctuating levels of ground water, they filter sediment and pollution from stormwater run off and they provide recreational opportunities for fishing and hunting. Wetlands are also key habitat to fish, insects, amphibians and birds, like the bald eagle and American bittern. Many animals like the gray wolf, white tailed deer and otters rely on wetlands for food and a place to rest. Many plants that are unique to wetlands are essential for habitat survival. Governor Granholm has urged the State legislature to hand over regulation of Michigan’s wetlands to the EPA in order to cut spending on what she terms as “duplication of services.” Others want to do away with Michigan’s wetlands permitting process in order to remove roadblocks for business expansion. On the surface this seems like a good idea. Why have a state program in place that does exactly what the EPA already does? On closer inspection, it becomes clear that the EPA wetlands regulations are not the same as Michigan’s. Here’s why: Currently, Michigan law regulates the permitting of wetlands that are five acres or more and/or are contiguous to a body of water. That body of water could be a lake, a stream or a seasonal stream. The EPA, however, only permits wetlands that are adjacent to navigable waters. That leaves thousands of acres of “stand alone” wetlands, those that are not adjacent to navigable water, unprotected. Anyone could fill in and dig up wetlands without a permit. So, what’s the big deal? It’s their property so who cares? Well, the big deal is that by filling in a wetland, we are shutting down a crucial part of nature’s function. When we fill wetlands, we jeopardize our health and economic well being. Loss of wetlands means poor water quality, flooding and the property damage that goes along with it. Loss of wetlands means […]
by JUDY REED When the old Algoma Baptist Church was torn down in 2004, some may have thought it would be forever forgotten. But the township, in conjunction with the Algoma Township Historical Society, has made sure that won’t happen. On Memorial Day, the township will dedicate a new Memorial Park on the site of the old church on Grange Ave., south of 13 Mile. The park, just under a half-acre, will commemorate veterans with a special monument, and the old church with the bell from the original building. “We didn’t want to lose the history of the church,” noted Julie Sjogren, president of the Algoma Historical Society. The Swedish Baptist church was organized in 1903 and first met in a house in Sparta. In 1910, it moved to Algoma Township on Grange, and held services in the church building owned by the United Brethren church. The name was later changed to Algoma Baptist. In 1968, they purchased 20 acres across the street and built the existing building. In 1999, the old church building and property was donated to Algoma Township with hopes it could be restored. “We hoped to get a historical designation through the state but couldn’t because it had been added on to so many times,” explained Devin Bigney, with Algoma Township. She said it would have cost $100,000 to bring it back to its original state, and the township didn’t have the funds. So in 2004, with the building unsafe to inhabit, they demolished it. But the current church saved the bell and gave it to the township. “We came up with the idea to memorialize both the veterans and the church at the same time,’ said Julie. The street side of the seven-foot monument will memorialize the church with the bell, and veteran brick courtyard side of the monument will memorialize veterans, living or deceased. They have been selling engraved bricks to help raise money ‘for the project since 2003. Theyve sold about 110 of them at $50 a piece, and there is room for more. The veterans do not have to be from this area. The monument itself costs about $23,000. As of this writing, they are about $8,000 short of meeting their goal. They will take monetary donations […]