Dean’s Lists announced for winter term 2009

Monica MacDonald.

Monica MacDonald.

Alma College has named over 400 students to the Dean’s List for outstanding academic performance during the 2009 winter term. Students who achieve a 3.5 or better grade-point average during a term, while carrying a minimum of 13 credits, at least eight of which are evaluative grades, are named to the Dean’s List. Local students named to Alma’s Dean’s List are freshman Eric Borgeld of Belmont, senior Daniel Laatz of Cedar Springs, junior Jeffrey Laatz of Cedar Springs, freshman Nicole Bursach of Greenville, sophomore Adam Ellsworth of Greenville, senior Linnae Caurdy of Rockford, junior Ahna Danyluk of Rockford, and senior Ryan DeHaan of Rockford.

Monica MacDonald, a 2008 Rockford High School graduate, has been named to the Dean’s Honor List of the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University (MSU) for the spring semester of 2009. MSU’s requirements are that the student must achieve a minimum of a 3.5 grade-point average. MacDonald’s accomplishment reflects the dedication and hard work she brings to her academic career. She will be starting her junior year at MSU this fall.

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School Beat – June 11,2009

Going home for summer

by CHARLIE BROWN
Director of Security
Rockford Public Schools

Going home for summer may be hard to get used to for students and parents. Your parents may want you home at a certain time. Your parents may not want you to sleep until 1:00 p.m. every day, but you feel that you deserve a break since you worked so hard during the school year. These kinds of disagreements can easily escalate into full blown fights and make summer break disastrous for everyone involved. Here is how to prevent arguments with your parents and have an enjoyable summer break.

Initiate discussion-When you go home for summer break and your parents treat you like a child, ask if they have time to sit down and discuss some independence issues you are having. By having an adult conversation with them, they will realize that you are not a child anymore and should start treating you like a responsible adult.

Compromise-Having an adult relationship with your parents means being able to compromise. If your parents want you home by curfew, try to bargain with them by telling them you will call when you are going to be late. If your parents let you borrow the family car, show that you appreciate their gesture by pitching in on household chores.

Show respect-You should treat your parents with the same degree of courtesy as you would anyone else you are living with. That means you should pick up after yourself and turn down the volume on your radio or TV while others are sleeping. If you show your parents respect, they will more than likely treat you like an adult and allow you more privileges.

Appreciate your parents’ concerns-When your parents treat you like a child and try to enforce rules upon you, they are doing it for your well-being. They want you to be safe. Even though you may not like the fact that they worry so much about you, try to understand where they are coming from. You would be worried about your parents if they weren’t home by 4:00 in the morning, wouldn’t you?

Spend quality time with your parents-When you’re home for the summer, your parents want to spend time with you. Try to make time for them and don’t spend your entire summer hanging out with friends. You should be able to adjust your schedule so you can spend time with all the people you care about, including parents, siblings, old friends and new friends. Spending quality time with your parents is crucial in forming an adult relationship with them.

By following the tips listed above, not only will you avoid conflict with your parents, but you will also show them that you should be treated like a responsible adult. Remember, “If you don’t, they won’t.”

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Memories of early Start of Summer

NEW TO SEE AND DO—There will be plenty of repeat favorites such as tours of the Little Red Schoolhouse (Saturday from 12:30 to 3 p.m., it's free) and the band Outer Vibe (Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion) at Start of Summer. Among the new events this year is a visit by Elvis to the new American Legion hall, 330 Rockford Park Drive (off Northland Drive). Elvis—with special guest Tom Jones—will appear on Friday, June 12, with doors to open at 7 p.m. and show time at 8 p.m. (for the two-hour show). Karaoke to follow in lounge. Prior to show enjoy a patio barbecue at the lounge, open to the public all day. Tickets are just $10.

NEW TO SEE AND DO—There will be plenty of repeat favorites such as tours of the Little Red Schoolhouse (Saturday from 12:30 to 3 p.m., it's free) and the band Outer Vibe (Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion) at Start of Summer. Among the new events this year is a visit by Elvis to the new American Legion hall, 330 Rockford Park Drive (off Northland Drive). Elvis—with special guest Tom Jones—will appear on Friday, June 12, with doors to open at 7 p.m. and show time at 8 p.m. (for the two-hour show). Karaoke to follow in lounge. Prior to show enjoy a patio barbecue at the lounge, open to the public all day. Tickets are just $10.

by Tom Lindquist

The Start of Summer celebration is in its 41st year this year and is undeniably one of the most popular downtown annual events. It was not always the power-packed event we will see this weekend.  In the 1950s Rockford’s had a row of booths and about four rides on Squire Street and in the parking lot behind what was then the Rockford Hotel,  Blakeslee heating and Grover garage. My favorite was the fish stream with the plastic fish with numbers on the bottom. My dad Lester (Jiggs) took me for my first Ferris wheel ride there. We got stuck up on top for a few minutes I always remember how amazing Rockford looked from up there and you could see all of downtown and the top of the Tannery. I remember it was the late 1950s and I was only six or seven years old. It was a small celebration, but a lot of fun.

When I was in High School we heard there was going to be a sesquicentennial celebration (this was late 60s). There was to be a carnival, food and a battle of the bands in the old Fire Station (where the west end of the bowling alley is now). That was the most exciting part to people in my age group. The carnival was up and down Courtland Street and once again behind the hotel in that parking lot.

Homer Burch wrote the book about Rockford called From Sawmill to City and the Rockford Register ran excerpts from it. You could buy a copy at either Langridges or Patricks drugstore (now it is available at the Historical Society museum). This created a lot of interest in the town and its history-it was nice timing for celebrating the town’s birthday.

I give credit to people like then Police Chiefs James West and Bruce Finch, Mayor Clarence Blakeslee, City Manager John Van Prooyan-they all did great in those early days of Start of Summer Celebration. Our almost all-volunteer fire deptment, the Rockford police and Jaycees  all worked hard to make it special. It was so successful they had a sesquicentennial plus one the next year. Then they had just a celebration for next few years.

The rides were up and down Courtland and Main streets. Rides were between Main and Monroe on Courtland and Courtland and Bridge on Main. On Courtland between Main and Squires streets there were little kids rides. City worker Joe Miles hired some of us local young guys to sweep the downtown streets all Sunday night to be ready for business Monday morning. In 1973 I moved into  my first apartment-on Courtland Street over McBrides Gift Shop at 119 Courtland. I had just moved in from my parents home on the outskirts of Rockford to downtown, and within weeks woke to a carnival ride outside my window. I didn’t get  much sleep that week.

About this time Squires Street was getting going in mid-nineteen seventies so the celebration became more of an arts and crafts event without the carnival and all the rest for a couple of years. It was nice but I don’t think it brought people in like the carnival and other activities had.

In the late nineteen seventies John Butler bought the Hotel from Darcy Mahon and became involved in the annual celebration. He really breathed fresh air into it established the Start of Summer name.  Newspapers ran special segments for Rockford businesses to advertise their special events to go along with the festival. The carnival was brought back and radio station WJPW did remotes  outside the Corner Bar. 

I was working at Yukon Jacks where we had a log splitting contest out front of the bar for a couple of years. In the early eighties permission was granted for a beer tent in the parking lot behind the Rockford Hotel (now Sam’s Joint).  I moved into Grand Rapids about this time but still I’ve watched the celebration grow since then, with the addition of fireworks, live music at the pavilion and continued great community support. I have come up and called bingo down by the river for the Legion, attended karaoke night any years that I can, and always have a great time at our Rockford summer celebration.

Hopefully my memories will give some of the area’s newer residence some background on Start of Summer Celebration. Get out enjoy it, support the businesses and enjoy your community.

Hopefully from those sputtters and starts in the early days our town celebration will now only grow in the future. Have a great Start of Summer, all. For the event known as Start of summer in my hometown I quote an old Neil Young song title: “Long may you run.”

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Local woman wins first body-building competition

Local resident Kerry Foley is named champion in her first body-building competition.

Local resident Kerry Foley is named champion in her first body-building competition.

Local resident Kerry Foley is named champion in her first body-building competition.

For Kerry Foley, fitness is her business as well as a way of life. Foley is a fit pro trainer at Snap Fitness, owns a physical fitness training business, and is a yoga instructor at Rhythm Dance Center in Belmont. When a client admired her well-muscled physique and suggested she enter a body-building contest, Foley decided to give it a try.

“I didn’t ever think I would win,” Foley said of her first-place win that brought her four trophies and wins in two divisions as well as overall champion of a local drug-free body-building competition. “I’d never been in a body-building competition in my life,” Foley said.

A firm believer in a healthy lifestyle and drug-free body-building, Foley is in great shape, but had never considered entering a competition. She has also learned a few things along the way. She is already a firm believer in chiropractic care, which she said has saved her “time and time again.” She made sure she was in top shape, with visits to her chiropractor, and also prepared, with a trip to a tanning salon where she was airbrushed top to bottom.

“That was the worst part,” Foley said. “You can’t be too dark for these competitions, because it helps define your muscles.” She said the airbrushing dyed her skin, a process she wasn’t very comfortable with, but necessary for competition. “It stays on your skin five to seven days,” she said.

When Foley showed up to compete, she was excited, but had no idea what to expect. Foley’s first round was a woman’s open, where she was classified as “short” despite her being five-feet, six-and-a-half inches, because there were four women taller and three shorter. “I was really shocked when I won that,” she said.

The next round was the women’s master, for ages 35 and up. Again Foley came out the winner. Finally, Foley was judged champion of the entire event.

“Snap Fitness sponsored me to this event,” Foley said, noting that it was quite an expensive process, counting everything.

For an event entered on a lark and with the encouragement of the staff of Snap Fitness, Foley couldn’t be happier with the outcome. “It was amazing. I certainly didn’t enter to win and never expected to. It was an amazing experience and a blast-a total blast.”

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Candlestone Golf and Resort gets facelift

by Scott Yeomans

The Candlestone Golf and Resort was built in the early 1970’s, in the middle of an apple orchard, with just a restaurant and hotel. In 1978 the golf course, which is considered to be one of Jerry Mathews’ best designs, was built. Since taking over the Resort in 2008 the new owners (Steve Leach of Rockford, John Durkee of Cedar Springs and Cathy Farr of Rockford) have invested over $1,000,000 into upgrading the facility and you can see it everywhere you look. I recently had the opportunity to play this great course.

One of the first things you notice is all of the new tee boxes, 28 in all. The focus on the tee boxes is to accomplish a couple of goals. The main goal is to make the course fun and challenging for all levels of play. The addition of the black tees offer a challenge to the most skilled golfers and comes in at over 7,016 yards. The new red tee boxes will be at a distance of 4,940 yards.

The course was in really good shape especially considering all of the changes. Even though the course plays fairly straight it is a true test of golf. The course is surrounded with rolling pines and wetlands. The greens are in great shape, have good size and the ball rolls with a nice pace. The bunkers were a little hard but they will all be getting new sand this year.

There is a brand new putting green going in and a very nice driving range. They also will be adding a training facility to help out on that slice.

The club house, restaurant, menu, deck and banquet facility have all been totally remodeled. When you return from your round of golf, you can enjoy a cold beverage and a bite to eat on the beautiful new deck or in the modern new Water Tower Grill. I’ve been there several times lately, and the food did not let me down.

There are still plans in the works for adding on to the parking lot, updating the look of the outside of the building and more. Leach lives in the Rockford area and was surprised at how close he is to the Candlestone. It is just a 15 minute drive from Rockford and 25 min. from Grand Rapids so it you have never played this course or haven’t seen the changes, it is time to visit the Candlestone. It is once again, a great place to be. The Candlestone Golf and Resort is located at 8100 Storey Rd. in Belding. More information can be found online at www.candlestone.com.

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