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North Kent Community Services and Meijer Partner to Provide Hunger Relief

April 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

Retailer’s Simply Give Food Pantry Donation Program
Campaign set to run through May 11   North Kent Community Services is proud to announce a partnership with Meijer this spring to provide much-needed hunger relief to local families through the Grand Rapids, Michigan based retailer’s customer-driven food pantry donation program, Simply Give. Each Meijer Simply Give campaign replenishes the shelves of more than 200 food pantries in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards, which are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to a local food pantry in the store’s community. Meijer has designated April 17 and 18 as Double Match Days. Every $10 Simply Give Donation card purchased at the Rockford Meijer on these days will be matched at $20 by Meijer resulting in a $30 total donation to North Kent Community Services. North Kent Community Services’ mission is to help families who are struggling by providing basic life needs and guiding them to self-sufficiency. Last year, NKCS served nearly 1,700 families through their food programs which includes the pantry of choice. “We are thrilled to be partners with Meijer in the Simply Give program,” said Claire Guisfredi, NKCS Executive Director. “This funding enables us to stock our refrigerator with fresh items that people could not afford otherwise, such as cheese, yogurt, eggs, and butter. Many people come here for food because of a crisis, such as job loss, divorce, high medical bills or high propane bills. The Simply Give program enables us to continue helping people during this difficult time in their lives.” North Kent Community Services will benefit from donation cards purchased at the Rockford Meijer at 2799 10 Mile Rd NE now through May 11. Cards are available at the store or for pick-up or at North Kent Community Services, but must be activated at the store.   ###   About North Kent Community Services North Kent Community Services is the largest food pantry in northern Kent County, serving families and individuals from 5 Mile to 22 Mile Roads and east and west to the county lines. We provide food, clothing, senior meals on wheels, tax preparation and more to those in need.   For more information on NKCS, please […]

Peer Outreach Program at RHS

April 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

By Katy VanCuren Associate Principal Several months ago Rockford High School Counselor Sarah Young presented an idea for a new program she thought would fulfil a need at our high school. She sensed that some students were struggling coming to adults in the building with their problems or issues. She knew that students are often more comfortable talking to same-aged peers when issues arise. Mrs. Young also knew that sometimes when students confide in a friend, information isn’t always kept private. Thus the dilemma of a teenager: all sorts of things going on and no one who understands or gets them. Peer Listening is a student outreach program at Rockford High School that focuses on mental health awareness. Trained student listeners are available to help struggling students. If a student is in need of someone to talk to, but is not ready to talk to an adult, he or she can come to the guidance office and request a peer listener. Peer listeners provide students another option to handle their situations while assuring that each student can have a safe and trusted person to talk to. Students had an opportunity to apply to be a peer listener.   After the application process was complete, 13 students took part in a two-day training. Students learned the art of listening first and asking questions later. They also learned how to identify what kind of information had to be shared with an adult and what could be managed without seeking help elsewhere. Another skill the students were trained in was peer mediation. If students are arguing with a friend they can seek out a peer listener to try and resolve whatever issues they are having before it escalates. Already the program is a huge success! Peer listeners have shared with building staff and the student body about the new program. Students have even been coming to the guidance office requesting a peer to talk with instead of an administrator or counselor. Flyers are circulating around the school and it looks like this program has already impacted many students at RHS. Arming students with skills to solve their own problems is a great gift to give young adults.  


April 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

  By John Raffel It’s that time of year when anglers need to keep an eye out for “winterkill.” The Department of Natural Resources points out that when the ice melts and the winds pick up, lakes and ponds go through a period called “turnover” when water turns over from top to bottom. In this case, residents might see some dead fish which is usually the result of “winterkill” caused by a harsh winter with thick ice. But the DNR adds that this typically does not affect the overall health of fish populations or the quality of fishing. Glenn Blackwood of Great Lakes Fly Fishing in Rockford said that short term in the Rogue River, looking from lower river, from the dam to the mouth of the Grand, the spring run of steelhead is taking place. “Because Old Man Winter has hung on for awhile, we’ve had colder than average water temperatures this spring, which has kind of made it a slow developing run,” Blackwood said. “But with the high waters we have now, albeit it’s colored and stained and challenging to fish, we have more steelhead in the system than we’ve had all year. It will get progressively better if the water falls, clears and continues to warm. “As far as the upper river, the river above the dam in Rockford, we’re certainly getting high and challenging to fish currently because of conditions. As that water comes out, we’ll see the first mayfly hatches of the year, and our fishing should be improving as the trout season opens the 25th of this month.” As far as land lakes go, “we’re in that early season time where we need more water temps and warmth as we move forward for inland species such as for pike and walleye (when the seasons opens),” Blackwood said. “Pan fishing has been OK. Also in the area, the DNR reported that in the Grand River at Grand Rapids, steelhead fishing picked up near the 6th Street Dam and some fresh fish were caught. Anglers are encouraged to try spawn, spoons, spinners or yarn. Steelhead are being caught in the Muskegon River, the DNR reported and the fishing should only improve. There should be some fresh fish moving into the system […]

Rockford Area Historical Society News and Updates

April 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

Terry Konkle – President   Since the start of the Rockford Area Museum (RAM) project in 2012 until the present, many questions have been asked about various aspects of the positive adventure. Some queries concern the RAM while other questions deal with the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS). The following statements should help readers with facts concerning both areas.   Museum (RAM) facts:   The RAM building is owned by the city of Rockford. The RAHS leases the museum portion of the building from the city. The museum lease is for ten years with three ten year extensions (total of forty years). The museum lease requires that the museum be open a minimum of twenty-two hours a week. The RAHS budgets $13,680.00 to pay a museum manager and a second person to coordinate volunteers. All other workers and docents are volunteers. The museum has an extensive research area which is available to the public. The research area, under the leadership of Pat Frye, can only be used with supervision of qualified museum workers.   Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) facts:   The RAHS is a non – profit organization with 501 (c) 3 status. Membership at all levels includes receiving the society newsletter four times a year. All RAHS officers are volunteers and are not paid. Regular RAHS meetings occur on the first Thursday of the month starting in September and ending in June. We do not meet in July and August. All meetings are open to the public. With the exception of December (Christmas potluck) and June (Society picnic – election of officers), programs (usually with a speaker) are featured. Some speakers are paid.

Letter to the Editor

April 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

“Bottom line is this, if it’s determined that [the half acre in question is] part of the park, than we can not sell it. If it’s not determined that its ever become part of the park or dedicated for public use, than that’s when we’ll have Dick Went take a look at and give us an opinion on it.”   Later today, you will be asked to rezone a section of land that was dedicated to public use as Memorial Park in 1946.  This is required because Section 49 of the Rockford City Charter states: “Under such limitations as are provided by state law, the Council may sell or lease in such manner and under such conditions as it may by resolution provide, any property of the City, whether acquired by purchase at tax sales or otherwise, that is not devoted to public use.” ( Emphasis added).   Some have erroneously suggested that this portion of the park is landlocked and inaccessible by the public; however, there are clear hiking trails that lead from the bridge that crosses Rum Creek through the half acre of park property. See attached photos.   It has also been implied that the developer will clean the contamination from the land and save the City the expense; however, the developer has stated its intent to use a Brownfield taxing arrangement to recoup its cost for the cleanup from future tax dollars. So at the end of the day, the citizens of Rockford will still be held responsible for the cleanup. A better alternative would be to petition the State of Michigan and other entities for help cleaning the contamination through grants and other programs—placing no burden of cleanup directly on Rockford taxpayers.    My concerns are summarized as follows: 1) The City would be setting a dangerous precedent by taking publicly dedicated land from the citizens of Rockford in order to advantage private entities 2) On the last page of the proposed amendment to the Master Plan, the coloring would suggest that portions of Rum Creek will be removed from the park as well as the half acre the developer wishes to purchase. Hopefully this is merely an error in coloring and is not intended to be legally binding 3) The City would be […]

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