Firefighters take on explosive situation in propane training

Forty-four firefighters and first responders took an evening to 
learn and practice techniques to best control and subdue a propane emergency. The practices included flames reaching 60 feet in the air and close proximity to extremely hot flames. Photo by BETH ALTENA

‘Catastrophic’ situations covered by BETH ALTENA Rockford Fire Marshal Mike Reus said he would guess a recent explosion that blew a trailer home apart likely involved a propane fire and that cases where even stick-built homes are literally destroyed in an explosion are also likely caused by a propane leak that becomes ignited. Area firefighters […]

MacGregor invites local fire chief to House ceremony honoring 9/11 anniversary

State Rep. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, attends the second annual 9/11 ceremony held by the Michigan House of Representatives with Courtland Township Fire Chief Mickey Davis.

The Michigan House of Representatives Tuesday hosted a ceremony honoring first responders and Michigan natives lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. State Rep. Peter MacGregor invited Courtland Township Fire Chief Mickey Davis to the event. “Sept. 11, 2001 was a tragic day in our nation’s history that we must never forget so […]

Historic Rockford manufacturing facility to be razed

UNSAFE BY ANY MEASURE—with the collapse of a major portion of the Burch Body Works facility the entire main building is soon to be demolished and removed.

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL   Ironically, while the Rockford Historical Society is gearing up to move its Rockford Area Museum to the vacant 63rd District Court Building adjacent to Rockford City Hall, at the very same time, what might be the oldest manufacturing facility in Rockford is about to be demolished and removed. The […]

Rockford firefighter graduates from Police Academy

Double proud—Rockford’s Robert Berkstresser, who has been a firefighter for the city since 1992, has graduated from police training academy. His daughter Holly, a 2004 Rockford High School graduate, also graduated from a police academy this summer.

by BETH ALTENA “It was a challenge, especially being older. If I was in my twenties like everyone else in the class, it would have been easier,” Bob Berkstresser, 51, made the statement about a grueling 16-week, 594-hour police training academy. Berkstresser just completed the class, allowing him to join the ranks of Rockford’s relatively […]

‘Pure Michigan’ tale of two bridge walks

Surrounded by friends and family, 
Karen Fish Wartella carries an insulated collapsible Budweiser cooler containing the cremated remains of her late husband Charles F. “Chuckie Bud” Wartella while participating in her first ever (and his last) Cheboygan Labor Day State Street Bridge Walk.

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Labor Day morning found the Hills in Mackinaw City to again participate in this year’s 55th annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. This is a tradition we began many years ago and plan on continuing for as long as we’re able to walk or can find somebody willing to push […]