Rockford area students earn Dean’s List at Hope College

May 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

Students from the Rockford area have been recognized for academic excellence in the spring semester of the 2014-2015 school year. To be named to the Dean’s List a student must have a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average on a scale of 4.0. From Rockford the following students earned this academic honor: Gavin Sheasley; Alexandra Schaap; Linnea Hjelm; Sloan Oulette; Megan Bean; Lauren Girard; Allison DeVries; Kaitlin Cress; Justine Mucinski; Paige Fawcett; Hannah Fawcett and Jonathan Panzer. From Belmont the following students earned this academic honor: Alexandra Thomason; Mary Gipson and Claire Riddering.

DNR produces map of 2014 burned areas to give folks a hand in the hunt for morels

May 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has produced an interactive map that highlights the state’s 2014 wildfires and prescribed burns – each more than 10 acres in size – to help mushroom hunters in their quest for morels.   “Morel mushrooms are often found in locations where large fires occurred the previous year,” explained Paul Kollmeyer, resource protection manager for the DNR Forest Resources Division. “Each spring we get calls from people who are seeking details on those sites to hunt morels. We’ve created this map to give our customers the information they are looking for in a mobile-friendly, easily accessible package.”   The DNR’s interactive Mi-Morels map provides forest covertype information, latitude and longitude coordinates, and state land boundary information.   Morel mushrooms commonly sprout in locations burned by wildfires or prescribed burns with a forested covertype; grass or sunlit open settings are less likely to produce the tasty fungi.   “While the map may provide details on the covertype that was burned, it’s up to the user to investigate whether morel mushrooms are growing at any location on the map,” Kollmeyer said. “Just because a spot is marked on the map, it doesn’t mean morels will be growing at the area identified. We’re providing a resource, but it’s up to the hunters to head out to the forest and see what’s available.   “Whether you find morels, a day spent walking in the woods, enjoying the spring beauty, is a day well spent.”

Incredible Volunteer Turnout for Spring Insect Monitoring

May 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative in Michigan recently hosted a volunteer insect monitoring day in partnership with the Michigan TU Council and Cannon Township. Eighty-five volunteers, including Boy Scouts, local residents and school children, and TU members, helped sample 10 sites on the Rogue River and Bear Creek. Additional sites that were sampled include Rum, Stegman, and Cedar Creeks – all tributaries of the Rogue River. Stream insects are a great measure of water quality because they are sensitive to pollution, have limited mobility, and are easy to sample. Findings helped determine that the water quality at the tested sites in the Rogue River watershed varied from good to excellent. Trout Unlimited has been sampling the sites since October of 2010. The long term data collection will allow for trends in water quality to be observed over time. The next volunteer insect monitoring will be held this fall. The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative Project is funded by the Frey Foundation, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Wege Foundation, the Wolverine World Wide Foundation, and the Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited


May 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

5/12/15 – Once again, Rockford High School’s ‘Close Up’ group traveled to Washington DC to participate in a work study program geared towards inspiring civic engagement in young people from around the country.  The group is led by Brad Keeler, a history teacher at the Rockford High School Freshman Center, and consisted of 8 students this year.   Fundraising begins early in the fall term in order to raise around $10,000 annually to assist students with the cost of the trip.  The group’s main fundraiser is the Holiday Craft Show put on in December of each year at Rockford High School.  Students then meet at various times throughout the year to discuss and prepare for the activities and expectations of the program.  The trip takes place in May.   Close Up’s methodology focuses on Issue-Centered Education and Cooperative Learning.  While in DC, students’ days are filled with onsite, hands on learning opportunities, conferences, and work study opportunities in our nation’s capital. Evenings are spent applying this new knowledge in various engaging environments with students from around the country.  Whether it is the mock-congress, the interactive debates or discussing current issues directly with their Representatives and Senators, students are immersed in a living classroom.  A classroom that offers diversity of thought, expressed by their peers and their experiences from all walks of life from around the country.   Rockford students routinely thrive during this unforgettable experience and return empowered to exercise the rights as well as accept the responsibilities of being an informed citizen in our democracy.  For more information on this program you may visit  

It’s called Strikeout for Cancer. It’s a special name for a special tournament.

May 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

By John Raffel It’s called Strikeout for Cancer. It’s a special name for a special tournament. Game Day USA will be sponsoring a three-day tournament this Friday through Sunday, at the complex. Age divisions are 9U, 10U, 12U and 14U for softball and 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U and 14U for baseball. Mike Moyzis vice president of special events for Game Day USA said part of the proceeds will go toward the Ronald McDonald House as a part of the emphasis in curing cancer. It’s a regular Game Day USA tournament but the emphasis on curing cancer fulfills a goal the organization has to participate in such charities. This year, it’s for the Ronald McDonald (charity),” Moyzis said. “It’s the first year Game Day USA has been emphasizing the charities but the organization is committed to continuing it for future years, Moyzis indicated. “Next year, we’ll probably go to another group,” Moyzis said. The tournament is a sellout for the number of teams. There are 64 teams committed overall. Most will be from Michigan, but Moyzis indicated there will be others from Illinois, Indiana and Ontario. The response has been so dramatic Moyzis said, that the Art Van diamonds are packed and facilities at Northview will also be used. Art Van is hosting Game Day’s  national tournament in July and more than 110 teams are already registered, Moyzis said.

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