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.

Tax Attic September 12, 2013

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

As far as weekends go, I believe the Labor Day Holiday Weekend might just be my favorite. I know it more or less signals the end of summer, but the weather is usually still quite pleasant. The last few years, Deb and I have spent Labor Day at the Muskegon State Park. Before that, we camped at Manistee’s Orchard Beach State Park and before that we camped at a variety of northern Michigan parks from which we walked the Mackinac Bridge. At Muskegon, we have the option of taking a boat ride in Lake Michigan or, if that is too rough, Muskegon Lake. It’s a short ride via the water from the park to the Bear Lake Inn, located on the river between Muskegon Lake and Bear Lake, for some food and drink. We have the option of going to the beach on the Lake Michigan side of the park or going to the beach on the Muskegon Lake side of the park. No matter where we camp, we aren’t far from the channel. Boat watching is one of my favorite past-times, especially when it includes seeing the impressive Lake Express go by close up. The salmon fishing can be outstanding in Muskegon. It does take water in the 60 degree area and that doesn’t happen until we have some wind and wave action from the north or northwest. On Thursday, the water was 75 degrees. By Monday, it was 62 degrees. Once the water cooled off, the fish began to bite. They seemed to be bigger this year as well; perhaps not quite so plentiful, but we caught a few in the 18-22 pound class. Nice fish. One nice salmon of 20 plus pounds creates enough excitement to last quite a while. It also provides a significant amount of meat for grilling and smoking. All in all, Muskegon State Park is a good place for us to spend the Labor Day Weekend. In today’s environment, the world of income tax is a year around business. The federal government continues to make laws and various departments within the government such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services constantly pump out regulations that affect all taxpayers’ income tax returns. As […]

Schools for profit or principles

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Schools for profit or principles   Randall Sellhorn, Board of Education Treasurer   Being a school board trustee has been a concurrent career for me. By vocation I work for a national insurance company. By choice my career of significance is being an advocate for the students attending our community schools. I read a great deal about business activity around the country in my vocation. And I read a lot about education as part of my commitment to stay current with the finances, security, administration and the politics of schools. Recently one of the business publications I follow crossed into both areas of interest. Crain’s Detroit Business recently published an article about National Heritage Academies (NHA). Chandler Woods Charter Academy in Belmont is a NHA school. By my observation of the students who transition to RPS in middle or high school from Chandler Woods, it is a good school. The difference between RPS and Chandler Woods, is that Chandler Woods is a for-profit business, like my employer. While I believe the best choice for families with school-age children in our area is to send them to the Rockford Public Schools, other area schools such as Chandler Woods Charter, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Consolation, and Rockford Christian are also good options. They have to be in order to attract students from Rockford families. In fact, attracting families from traditional public schools was the political purpose of charter public school academies: to create a competitive environment for schools, make available education choices for families in communities where schools were unsatisfactory, and to improve education for any student in Michigan. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, National Heritage Academies will operate 22 charter public schools in the Detroit area — more than twice the number operated by any other charter school competitor operating schools in the Detroit area. Crain’s also reports NHA is the largest operator of Michigan charter schools, running 47 schools. The next largest management company is the Leona Group, which operates 21 schools, Crain’s reports. NHA Vice President of Partner Services and Government Relations Nick Paradiso told Crain’s that NHA is now looking to expand further outside of Michigan. Paradiso cited Michigan’s declining population, telling Crain’s that “We’re seeing a greater […]

Izaak Walton League hosts two fall classes in September

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Wild plants have a variety of uses, from medicine to cordage, and of course many may be foraged for food. After all, our cultivated vegetables were all developed from wild stock once upon a time. The Izaak Walton League is hosting two classes this month at their Conservation Center, one on plant uses and the other on mushrooms. On Monday, Sept. 16, 6:00 – 8:30pm, George Hedgepeth will lead a plant “walk & talk”, followed by an workshop on herbal preparations. Hedgepeth also teaches wilderness survival courses and is an experienced forager with lots of information to share, from roots to trees. Elderberries, wild cherries, milkweed, cattails, maypops, nuts, and even autumn-olive berries are some of the things that may be covered. This will be followed by a Mushroom class on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1:00. Instructor Rachel Mifsud from U of M is also an avid forager, who specializes in mushroom identification and use. She will lead a search for wild specimens and also talk about growing mushrooms indoors at home. Both classes will be held at the local Dwight Lydell Chapter of the IWLA, located at 5641 Myers Lake Ave. Each is $5, donated at the door, or free for members.  To add your name to the class list, it is recommended that you rsvp to or call 773-2850. With continued interest, a talk on “Permaculture” may be scheduled for October.  

Airman Ryfiak graduates basic training

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Air Force Airman Brandon M. Ryfiak graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Ryfiak is the son of Bonnie and Matthew Ryfiak of Rockford. He is a 2009 graduate of Rockford High School.

RHS Arts Student of the Week, Lyssa Daniels

September 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

This week’s RHS Arts Student of the Week is Senior Lyssa Daniels, nominated by theater teacher Kaelynn VanBuren. In nominating Daniels, VanBuren says, “During our summer stock production of Urinetown, Lyssa really found a new level of creativity. As her teacher and director I was impressed by her growth and commitment.” An arts lover, Daniels participates in choir (Advanced Women’s Ensemble) and takes piano lessons in addition to acting. Crediting her teacher, she says “Miss VanBuren has been an indescribably extraordinary mentor for me and many others. She challenges all her students in a way that applies perfectly to each student individually.” She continues, “The arts have helped me find many new relationships with wonderful people. It has created a home-like feeling for me at school and taught me things about myself that I never would have expected.” VanBuren passes the credit back to Daniels, saying “Lyssa always gives 110%. She leads by a quiet, focused example. She rises to every challenge, creating wonderful characters. She is the exact type of student that directors love to work with.” Daniels hopes to pursue a career in music education or musical theater. RHS Arts Student of the Week is a new initiative being spearheaded by the arts faculty at Rockford High School.  

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