Articles by The Rockford Squire

Plainfield Twp. Vs. DEQ—multimillion dollar lawsuit decided

September 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA If lost, it would have cost millions to Plainfield Charter Township’s water treatment system and ultimately to water customers in multiple townships and parts of the City of Grand Rapids. As it is, a long-running lawsuit over a system in place since the 1980s still cost about a half a million dollars in attornies fees and expert witnesses. At issue was whether a former gravel pit on Coit Avenue is “waters of the state” under Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) jurisdiction or a lagoon used for wastewater treatment. If the former gravel pit, visible from the outdoor seating at The SCORE, ?? Northland Drive, is a water of the state of Michigan, Plainfield Township could no longer use it as a lagoon to discharge lime sludge used in softening water. Furthermore, the township would have to remove the lime sludge from the water at an unknown pricetag. Superintendent Cameron VanWyngarden inherited this lawsuit against the township when he came on board as manager of the township in ?. He is nonetheless very familiar with the details and aware of the high stakes. Losing this case would cause the township to find another way to remove lime sludge from the township’s water treatment plant at ?? Coit Avenue, an operation located there for over 50 years. Other options would cost millions, VanWyngarden said. The background of the case is a long one. Before using the gravel pit as a receptical for used lime bi-product for softening water, the township used a lagoon system, with lime sludge going into one pit for years and then using a separate pit for years while the previous one dried out. The dried lime material was then sold to farmers who fertilized their fields with it. This system was under the direction and approval of the DEQ. In 1987 DEQ suggested the township ceased using the lime lagoon system and instead direct the sludge into an abandoned gravel pit located adjacent to the water treatment plant. According to a court document dated March 10, 2015 during an appeals process, the DEQ approved incorporating the lime pit as part of a ten million dollar update to the water treatment plant undertaken more than six years later in January of […]

New eyecare office treats patients like family

September 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

After having practiced in the eyecare industry in Rockford for ten years, Mandy Russell said she knew she wanted to raise her daughter here. “The opportunities are endless, the school system is exceptional and the community is very welcoming.” She has opened her own eye care practice at 6290 Jupiter Avenue, Suite A this August with certified optician Brittany Meinke. She describes Brittany as a person who specializes in exceptional customer service. “She helps patients in frame and lens selection, making sure they have the best fitting frame and lens for their lifestyle,” Mandy said. “Brittany has the ability to find a frame compatible with your face shape and complexion. She is patient, kind and is always looking for the options that will work well for our patience.” Signature Eyecare is an office that is inviting, cozy and ensures the comfort of the patient. Mandy said she loves meeting new people and getting to know their families. “I find patients truly unique and all have different needs.” “We always strive to give our patients personal attention,” she stated. “We focus on prevenative care and want our patients to have healthy eyes throughout their livetime.” Mandy said she took time with experts in the frame and lens industry to ensure Signature Eyecare is offering the highest quality products. “We have advanced technology and a frame line that can hold a 45 pound weight.” There is even a display in the office to demonstrate this. “On the medical side, we have digital retinal imaging equipment that photographs the back of a patients eye,” she said. Patients at Signature Eyecare all receive a total eye health examination for all ages. The exam screens for premature cataracts and glaucoma and diabetes, among other conditions. “Brittany helps the patient select quality hand-crafted eyewear for their needs and lifestyle.” There will be a grand opening of the business with a ribbon cutting and ceremony on September 12, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “No two patients are the same and we know that,” said Mandy. “Everyone has different needs and concerns and at Signature Eyecare we address all of those needs and concerns. Our practice provides an inviting cozy atmosphere and the service is personalized and fun.” Signature Eyecare can […]

Gov. Rick Snyder: Chinese company to invest nearly $26 million in Michigan facility

September 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

A Chinese bearing manufacturer will invest nearly $26 million to establish a new U.S. headquarters and technical center in Northville Township, creating 125 jobs, Gov. Rick Snyder said Monday after returning from an eight-day investment mission to China. Snyder met with leaders of CW Bearings, USA, Inc. in Shanghai on Saturday before his return to Michigan. It was the final meeting in a week that included sessions with government leaders, businesses and journalists to expand export markets for Michigan-made goods, increase investment in businesses located in the state and promote Michigan as a tourism destination – all of which will create more and better jobs. “CW Bearing’s decision to locate its U.S. headquarters in Southeast Michigan signals to corporate leaders across the globe that the Great Lakes State offers great opportunities for their business expansion,” Snyder said. “This comes as we return from a busy, productive week developing and strengthening relationships that will lead to new investments, new export opportunities, and more jobs for Michiganders and our communities.” CW Bearing, founded in 1984, has locations in California, North Carolina and Michigan. The company produces bearing components used in electronic power steering systems that are gradually replacing hydraulic steering systems. The company plans to build a facility in Northville Township to house its U.S. headquarters, an engineering and technical center, and advanced manufacturing operations. The project will generate a total capital investment of $25.9 million and create 125 jobs, resulting in a $550,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in other states. Northville Township has offered support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. “CW Bearing and all of its employees want to thank the state of Michigan for this grant and the support in helping us to make this project a reality,” said Jay Click, CW Bearing USA director of sales. “This facility, located in Northville Township near the heart of the North American auto industry, will allow us to better support our ‘Customer First’ philosophy by increasing both our global manufacturing and technical capabilities, allowing us to bring more value and versatility to our growing customers. “We look forward to continued support from the state and local government as we continue to expand our operations […]

Passenger suffers life-threatening injuries

September 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

On Wednesday, August 26 at 7 p.m. the Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two car injury accident on Myers Lake Rd and 13 Mile Rd in Courtland Township, Kent County. A 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by 17 year old Matthew Gorkowski of Sparta was traveling westbound on Myers Lake Ave and did not stop for the stop sign at 13 Mile Rd. Gorkowski’s vehicle was struck in the passenger side by a southbound 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by 18 year old Andrew Rotunno of Cedar Springs. Neither driver was injured, however a 15 year old female passenger in Gorkowski’s vehicle sustained life threatening injuries. She was transported by Rockford Ambulance to Spectrum Downtown and then to Helen Devos Children’s hospital where she remains in critical condition. All occupants were wearing their seatbelts and alcohol was not a factor. The accident remains under investigation.

4th Annual Museum Fundraisers Announced on Channel 13

September 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

This year marks the fourth year of annual fundraisers to pay for the operation of the new Rockford Area Museum (RAM). Terry Konkle, Historical Society President and Al Pratt, Managing Director of the RAM appeared on Channel 13’s Take Five and Company with Catherine Behrendt on Tuesday morning, Sept.1 to kick off area wide publicity for the event. The segment included video footage of the museum and a recap of fundraising events plus a brief discussion about various museum programs that are available to the RAM’s guests. The Take Five program is fast paced with a lot of information being given in the short five minute segment. At the end, Catherine Behrendt was able to fit in a mention of the Harvest Festival as well. Channel 13 and Behrendt have has supported the new museum since its beginning. Konkle and Pratt also appeared on Take Five in 2013 prior to the original Grand Opening of the RAM.   The Historical Society is grateful for their continued support. Once again this year, the fundraising events will include a silent auction with a large variety of items donated by local residents and businesses. This year, however, there will be no live auction. Instead, the Historical Society will be conducting a “Grandma’s Attic Sale of vintage items and conducting a raffle with four terrific prizes. The four prizes are: A two night stay with meals and services at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island A $1,200 voucher for travel services from Antor Travel A $150 Meijer Gift Card $100 CASH All events will be held at City Hall on Saturday, September 26. The popular Make It and Take It Scarecrow building event that benefits both the RAM and the North Kent Service Center will take place next to the dam on Bridge Street, not only on Saturday the 26th, but on both Saturday and Sunday for three weekends beginning on Saturday the 26th and ending on Sunday, October 11. The museum’s activities will culminate with the raffle drawing at 4PM on the 26th. YOU NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN. Raffle tickets are available at the RAM during regular museum hours or by calling 866-0530 or 485-4144. They sell for $10 each or 3/$25. Take a chance and support […]

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