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.

Rockford boys cross country team places at Bath Invitational

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Rockford’s varsity boys cross country team placed third with 102 points behind perennial powerhouse Saline (55 points) and Northville (77 points) in Division 1 of the Brett Clement Bath Invitational on Saturday, September 7. Sophomore Isaac Harding ran 16:30.1 for a 7th placed finish, followed by juniors Paul Burke (16:55.4) and Colin Reichenbach (16:58.7) in eighteenth and twentieth places, respectively, and sophomore Grayson Harding (17:18.7) in 31st place. The second and third place finishes of sophomores Grant Gabriel (17:32.6) and Kyle Lamos (17:57.7 ) led the Rams’ junior varsity team to a first place tie with Northville (37 points). Juniors Connor Johnson (18:05.8), Kirk Dickson (18:27.4) and Andrew Stembaugh (18:31.1) completed the top five Rockford finishers. Coach Martin stated, “This was a great day for the Rams. We had many guys run their personal best times and in the process, we had a chance to see where we stand as a team. We are excited about all the possibilities.”

Soccer hits rough patch with three-game week

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Rockford men’s varsity soccer began their three-game week with a win against Holland’s West Ottawa. Jason Lenon, with an assist by Tyler Pellerito, gave the Rams the 1-0 lead. Defender Joel Pietila stopped the Panthers from making a goal during the first half when goalie Nate Henderson blocked a shot but could not get back in the net quickly enough to block the Panthers quick rebound. Pietila, hugging the near post, kicked away the ball for the save. Early in the second half Lenon scored again to lengthen the lead to 2-0. Henderson and the defense fought hard to stop the Panthers, allowing only one goal for West Ottawa with a final score of 2-1. For the second game of the week the Rams hosted Hudsonville. Despite outshooting the Eagles, the Rams were unable to hit the net falling 0-1 to Hudsonville. On Saturday Rockford hosted the Portage Central Mustangs for their last game of the week. Rams Tyler Pellerito scored a goal during the first giving the Rams a 1-0 lead. However, the Mustangs began the second half with a quick goal to even up the game. The Rams were able to hold off the Mustangs for most of the second half, with several stops by goalie Isaac Younker. However, the Mustangs were able to get one more goal by the Rams to end the game in a 1-2 loss.

City may never know source of E. coli contamination

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Manager describes ‘perfect storm’ of failures   By BETH ALTENA   Multiple system failures occurred simultaneously to allow the City of Rockford’s water to be tainted with dangerous levels of E. coli bacteria, and City Manager Michael Young said the source of the contamination may never be identified. Young said a chlorine pump that was only about six months old failed to work correctly and was found not functioning when city staff returned to work at the water treatment plant Tuesday, September 3. The machine served to measure and control the amounts of chlorine in the public water supply. Additionally, an automated alarm system designed to ensure the pump was working as designed also failed, not signaling the chlorine pump had malfunctioned. The result was a lower than normal amount of chlorine in the water, which tested positive for E. coli bacteria. “Normally we test [the water] on Saturday, we don’t test on Sunday, and test again on Monday,” Young said. “Because of the Labor Day holiday, we didn’t find out about the malfunction until Tuesday.” Young said subsequent testing of the water revealed the presence of the E. coli bacteria and the boil water advisory was issued to city residents. The E. coli had to come from a warm blooded animal, but there has been no evidence of where an animal or animal excrement entered the water supply. Young said the water treatment plant was being “torn apart” in a due diligence effort to investigate the source with no result. Other cities have had similar contaminations, and Young mentioned a nearby city where a faulty seal on a water tower allowed bird droppings into the water system. He said the contamination could not have occurred in the plant where the water from Rockford’s underground source is treated unless an animal was able to get in the building. Young said the multiple failures happening at once was “an unbelievable number of circumstances” and the city would certainly look at protocols to see if improvements can be made to make sure the incident is never repeated. “This is a newer plant, eleven years old, and a piece of equipment that was less than a year old,” he described. He said the city is talking with the […]

John Ball Zoo – It’s not your childhood Zoo!

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

People tend to think of a visit to the Zoo as a summertime activity, but the fall is an excellent time to visit too! For one thing, beginning September 16, John Ball Zoo admission is reduced to $5.00 for adults, and $4.00 for kids. Children two and under are always free. In the cooler fall months, animals are far more active. There’s fewer people so you’ll be able to get up-close-and-personal with the animals, and zookeepers have a little more time to chat and share some insider info. The very first thing you should do before you visit the Zoo is go to the Zoo’s website and click on “Visitor’s Guide” and then “Daily Programs” New this year, the Zoo started to bring the behind-the-scenes animal care to the front of the exhibit for visitors to see and sometimes even participate in. It’s fascinating, cute, educational and just plain amazing! Take for example bear training. If you haven’t seen a grizzly up on its hind legs, you’re in for a eye-popping treat. Then there’s the “entertainers” of the Zoo, the Colobus monkeys. These smart little primates will run thru a list of training behaviors like pros and the female doesn’t even miss a beat with her new baby clinging to her chest! The zookeepers offer these training demonstrations not as a ‘show’, but as a necessary part of animal care in Zoos. If a keeper suspects a wound on a bear foot, they need to be able to examine it without immobilizing the animal. Each day is different but all these new zoo offerings are listed in the DAILY PROGRAMS section of the Zoo website – OR – if you have a smart phone – you can download the new Zoo APP that includes an interactive map, schedule of events, and descriptions of the exhibits. It’s available for I-phone on I-tunes or for Android at Google Play. It’s free. If you haven’t been to the Zoo in the last couple years, you really must explore it. Did you know that two years ago the Zoo nearly doubled its footprint??? There’s an entirely new area, the Forest Realm, which will be the location of a new tiger exhibit in 2014. Right now the area offers […]

Help protect natural habitats at Pickerel Lake Park/Fred Meijer Nature Preserve

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

MSU Extension is partnering with Kent County Parks to host the Annual Autumn Olive Control Project at Pickerel Lake on Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 am and 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. An orientation is included and all supplies and tools are provided. Pickerel Lake Park provides visitors with the opportunity to hike and cross country ski throughout woodlands, forests, wetlands and around the lake. Floating boardwalks and docks provide excellent locations for fishing, bird watching or just enjoying the beautiful natural areas of this nature preserve. Unfortunately, Autumn Olive is threatening the habitats at Pickerel Lake! This invasive species out-competes native species and increases the nitrogen levels in the soil – affecting entire communities of plants, trees and wildlife. In 2012, more than forty volunteers, contributed over 150 hours working to control Autumn Olive at Pickerel Lake Park. The October 5 control project is a great opportunity to support Pickerel Lake Park and to learn more about how to identify and correctly treat Autumn Olive on your own property! If you are interested in working with a team of volunteers to make a difference, please register for the Autumn Olive Control Project by contacting Ginny Sines, Kent County Parks Volunteer Services, at or call 616-336-3884.

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