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.


February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Mr. Richard “Dick” Wagen, age 75, of Rockford was taken home to Heaven by the angels on Thursday, February 12, 2009. Dick grew up in Harbor Springs and at the age of 17 he accepted Christ. He played football while attending Harbor Springs High School, and met Grace Halter there. They were married in August of 1958. He received his B.A. in music from Temple University and ministered in churches in Illinois and Sparta. After moving to Rockford in 1971, Dick and his family became involved with Rockford Baptist Church, where Dick was the music director. Besides directing the choir, he was a soloist for numerous weddings and funerals. Along with these duties, he was a painter and contractor, and later worked for Amway for 17 years. He was solid in his belief in Christ, a strong family man, and a hard worker. Many people of the community remember Dick running the streets of Rockford, and he was very proud of his three completions of the Boston Marathon. He was involved in the early establishment of the Friends of the White Pine Trail and served on the board until the present. Many of the projects on the trail bear his handiwork. He was a devoted husband to his wife, Grace, of more than 50 years. They have attended Calvary Church since 1990. He was an exceptional father to Melodee Wagen and her husband David Kilroy of Lexington, Mass., Joy and her husband Jim DeBoer of Grand Rapids, Carol Wagen and her husband Scott Carey of Rockford, Lt. Col. Rick Wagen and his wife Lt. Col. Carey Wagen; special grandfather to Toby Kilroy, Nathan Kilroy, Krystle DeBoer, Eric Carey, Lucas Carey, Grace Carey, Jared Wagen, and Christian Wagen; brothers and sisters, Hilda (Leo) Grossman, Max (Norma) Wagenschutz, John (Ruby) Wagenschutz, Wilbur (Carol) Wagenschutz, Mrs. Wilma Powers, Barb (Floyd) McKaye, and Dorothy (Don) Honeyseppe. He was preceded in death by his brother, Harold Wagenschutz, and sisters, Letty Johnson and Joan Steelman. The service for Dick was Monday at 11:00 a.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Tom Couch officiating. Interment was in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Friends of White Pine Trail. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, […]

Main Street – February 19, 2009

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

How deep? As of the other day more than 99 inches of snow had fallen locally and it’s only the middle of February. Eight feet of snow – it’s not a record but it seems like enough for one year. No wonder Florida attracts so many Michigan snow birds. Check-up One day after a man had his annual physical, the doctor came out and said, “You had a great check-up. Is there anything that you’d like to talk about or ask me?’ “Well,” said the guy, “I was thinking about getting a vasectomy.” “That’s a pretty big decision,” the doctor replied. “Have you talked about it with your family?” “Yeah, and they’re in favor, 15 to 2. Not yet With the help of a fertility specialist, a 65-year-old woman gives birth. All her relatives come to visit and meet the newest member of the family. When they ask to see the baby, the 65-year-old mother says, “Not yet.” They sip their coffee, and a little later the visitors ask again to meet the baby and the mother says, “Not yet.” Finally one of the relatives asks, “Well! When CAN we see the baby?” The mother says, “When it cries.” “Why do we have to wait until the baby cries?” “I forgot where I put it.”

Rockford Register – February 19, 2009

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Events of Interest in the Area Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 Lego/K*Nex Challenge – Build a design with Lego or K*Nex pieces and display in at Krause Memorial Library. All participants will receive certificates. All ages welcome. Designs accepted from January 1 through February 28 at the library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. For more information, call (616) 647-3940 or visit Monday, February 23 Grand Rapids Audubon Club Meeting – 6:30 p.m. at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Auditorium at Cornerstone University, 3000 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids. Roger Sabine, director of Kent County Parks, will present “Kent County Parks – Our Natural Treasures” in Dolby surround-sound, covering the status of current projects in general park development, trail development and land acquisition. Guests welcome. For more information, call Bea at (616) 676-2446, or visit Dogs for Dollars Night – 5 – 10 The Corner Bar, 31 N. Main St., Rockford. The Corner Bar will donate 15 percent of your purchases to the Soccer Club of Rockford (SCOR). For more information, please call (616) 723-1178. Tuesday, February 24 Country Music – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. Free Legal Assistance for Seniors – 10 a.m. to noon at Rockford Ambulance, board room, corner of Shaner Avenue and 10 Mile Road. Jason Jansma will take appointments to assist with legal issues. To schedule your half-hour appointment, please call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Rockford Garden Club Meeting – 7 p.m. at United Methodist Church, community room, 159 Maple St., Rockford. Kathy Rohn, of Fruit Basket Flowerland, will present “Carring for Your Lawn,” including soil testing, starting a new lawn, spring/fall lawn prep and care, lawn patch, mowing and fertilizer, and more. Open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Karen Chickering at (616) 874-0186, or visit Should Rockford schools close due to weather, meeting is automatically canceled. Wednesday, February 25 “Apprentice for Life” Presentation – 11:30 a.m. at Northview Senior Center. Birgit Klohs is president of “The Right Place,” which is a nonprofit Economic Development Corporation, which seeks out other businesses to bring to […]

Think Outside the Box

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Dear Editor, Many thanks to Mike McIntosh for his words of wisdom in the Rockford Squire regarding changes near the downtown area of Rockford with the closing of the tannery and possible rezoning of a portion of north Main Street. The Rockford Planning Commission certainly has many tough decisions to make as it shapes the future of our fair city. My husband and I have lived close to downtown Rockford for 34 years. We have raised our children in Rockford and have always loved its small-town ambiance. Our children now walk their children through the city, on the trails, and to the shops in town. We absolutely love Rockford and have always tried to support the merchants of Rockford. I know that Planning Commission will do its best to ensure that Rockford will maintain its small-town character as it moves into the 21st century. It appears at times that the merchants and the residents often do not see eye-to-eye on the future development of the area near downtown Rockford. I find this curious; and I suspect that these conflicting desires weigh heavily on the minds of those on the Planning Commission. Mr. McIntosh is correct that now is the opportune time for the Planning Commission to explore all the options and to think “outside the box” as it develops a vision for the future of Rockford. I support Mr. McIntosh’s request that the Planning Commission take the time to carefully review the Master Plan and examine the opportunities available, since decisions made now will shape the future of our town. Sincerely, Linda Goossen

Rockford Tannery Demise

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Dear Mr. Young, Following your comments on January 29, 2009, in the Rockford Squire Newspaper (, I write to express my condolences on the demise of the Rockford Tannery. While the closure of the tannery most directly impacts your community, it also has consequences for local economies beyond the borders of the United States. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, I currently live in the adjacent sub/urban community of Maple Ridge. In Vancouver, as in many other “global cities,” the selling of “place” has been a key value of economic restructuring. Successful marketing of space aimed at attracting capital reassures local communities. Yet, Canadian census data and qualitative surveys verify what we, at the community level, intuitively realize, the tourist economy has lead to a rising pool of low income deskilled labor who are being directed towards credit to purchase consumables. The absence of real industries and stable livable wages means that municipalities cannot accrue sufficient revenue to maintain or improve public programs. Ultimately, the decision to relocate is transformed into a political argument surrounding the right to quality of life. Recent events confirm what previous data has indicated: Flexible capital does not necessarily provide new opportunities in old industrial areas. An example of this follows research of the Canadian footwear manufacturing sector. Beginning in the early part of the 1980s, federal policy trends indicated support of dumping action by overseas competitors. Ultimately, cheap imports forced most Canadian footwear manufacturing offshore, save for a few specialized firms. Trade policies coincided with decisions by provincial education ministries to close all shoe repair and shoe making technical programs. Such policies guaranteed that any efforts to revive Canada’s industry in the future (an industry that had existed for some 400 years in Canada), would be unlikely even if the global economy collapsed. Simply put, it was knowledge and skills that were eliminated. In the immediate, your concern over the closure of the tannery is the financial and social well-being of your community. I would add, the closure of the tannery is a prescriptive directed against the domestic manufacturing of essential goods. The absence of knowledge and reliance on foreign supply make any future efforts to rekindle sustainable manufacturing economies difficult. Closer to home, the loss of this […]

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