Two signings scheduled He’s not Santa Claus, but he is bearing gifts for sale—and just in time for the holidays. Tom Rademacher, a resident of Rockford and recently retired from a 31-year career at The Grand Rapids Press, will host two book signings in town to celebrate the release of his first collection of columns, entitled “Splitting Wood.” The first will take place from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19 at the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Rockford, across from Arnie’s Bakery and Restaurant on Squires Street. The second will occur from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at MVP Athletic Club, at the northeast corner of East Division Street and Northland Drive NE, Rockford. Rademacher, who’s 55, works there part-time as a lifeguard. “Splitting Wood” contains nearly 100 columns culled from Rademacher’s 21 years as a columnist, during which he interviewed thousands of people with stories to tell. His work recently earned him the top national award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, competing in the general interest category against writers from the largest newspapers in the United States. But the accolades, he says, belong to “the people who opened up their doors to me, who said yes when I came knocking, and who sometimes didn’t even know they had something extraordinary to offer.” The best stories, he says, “almost always came from the guy next door, the lady down the street, some kid playing around the corner. I’ve interviewed presidents and movie stars and sports icons, but it was everyday people who had the most to share, who were doing something profound, even if it was something so common as showing up for work.” The book, which he’s self-publishing under the name Lake Michigan Books, is endorsed by some heavy hitters, including “Heloise,” the one-name icon whose “Hints from Heloise” column has been a staple for decades. “Tom… is a journalist with a heart as big as my home state of Texas,” says Heloise. “He writes about real people and real situations in a way that will make you laugh and cry. You will be touched by his stories.” Rademacher’s book also carries high praise from Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author of the No. 1 bestseller […]
Clarke fundraising committee thanks Squire Dear Editor, I want to sincerely thank you for your help in getting the word out on the Clarke Fundraiser. The article you wrote was wonderful (and most appreciated by the Clarke family) and we did have someone call and donate a Steelcase office chair for the raffle after reading it. We are hoping to have a good turnout today at Perkins’ “Dine to Donate” also. When our committee met last week, several people asked if they could get extra copies of the article. Again, thank you for your support. Fiona Beck Williams
The Rockford man who caused a fatal accident at the corner of White Creek Avenue and 17 Mile Road in October has been charged in the crash. According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Todd Michael Benoit, 35, was heading northbound on White Creek Avenue in a red jeep about 10:25 p.m. on October 3 and had stopped before pulling out into the intersection in front of a westbound, full-size Dodge pickup truck. The Jeep was struck in the front passenger’s door. Benoit’s son, Derrick Mitchell Holstege, 19, of Wyoming was a front-seat passenger in the Jeep and died in the crash. Toxicology reports obtained from both the hospital and Michigan State Police lab confirmed Benoit’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. Benoit was arraigned in 63rd District Court on Friday, Dec. 4, on a charge of OWI (operating while intoxicated), a 15-year felony. He was released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, and a preliminary court date was set December 16 at 11 a.m.
Storm facts by CRAIG JAMES Here are a few facts about the storm that affected much of the country Dec. 6-11. The barometer reading in Grand Rapids dropped to a record-low reading for the month of December at 28.86”. Some home barometers don’t even register that low. Readings below 29.00” are not uncommon in Great Lakes storms, but don’t happen very often in West Michigan due to the fact that the low pressure centers usually move either to the south or to the north of our area. This one went directly overhead. By the way, the lowest barometer reading ever recorded for this area was set in the blizzard of January 1978 with a reading of 28.68”. Technically, we never did reach actual blizzard conditions in Kent County from the storm. To officially be a blizzard, there must be sustained winds of 35 mph or greater with the visibility reduced to less than a quarter mile in snow and blowing snow. The highest sustained winds reported in Kent County were around 30 mph, but we did have many times when the visibility was less than a quarter mile. Many people don’t realize that the amount of snow is not considered when issuing a blizzard warning, just the wind speed and visibility. The worst of the weather, as usual, occurred to the north and west of the storm center. A state of emergency was declared in much of Wisconsin due to 10 to 18 inches of snow and wind gusts over 40 mph. However, Milwaukee only picked up 3 inches. At Marinette, in the northeast corner of the state, a wind gust hit 78 mph with widespread power outages and most roads drifted shut. Snow totals of 15-30 inches were common in the western half of the Upper Peninsula, which was a pretty significant snowfall even for those hardy folks. This was the same storm that earlier in the week produced wind gusts measuring over 100 mph in three western states. The highest gust of 116 mph hit White Sands, N.M. The Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, Ariz., reported a wind gust to 75 mph. Wolf Creek Pass, Colo., received 5 feet of new snow from the storm. As bad as this system was, it wasn’t […]
Richardson Cindy Richardson, age 58, of Rockford went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, December 9, 2009. Cindy grew up at Rockford Baptist Church and accepted Christ as her Savior under the ministry of Pastor Love. After graduation from Rockford High School in 1969, she received her associates degree from Davenport College. For over 30 years, Cindy worked as a medical secretary for Dr. Alber and Dr. Spooners and, during that time, she worked part time for New Vision. She later worked full time there, and then worked for Pearl Vision. All of her life, Cindy faced her health issues, but she did not let this slow her. She would go to craft sales and country western shows in Nashville and other places. She was a true Letterman Group fan and was a member of his fan club. Cindy had a love for cats, not only one, but every stray cat that she could find. Cindy is survived by her loving parents, Harold and Bessie Richardson. The service of praise and thanksgiving for the gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ for Cindy was Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Larry Rowland officiating. Interment was in Rockford Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Humane Society of Kent County, 3077 Wilson NW, Walker, MI 49544. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.