Contest to decide next television spokesman Any employer knows how difficult it can be to find the right person for the job. Next time, just run a contest. WOTV 4, an affiliate of WOOD TV 8, is finding its next spokesperson that way, and Rockford resident Emmett TerBeek hopes to win the job. TerBeek was chosen as one of 20 finalists from an open casting call in Grand Rapids and Portage that had hundreds of hopefuls. On November 30 he will be on the station live with the other finalists to hear who made it into the final six. The lone winner who is chosen December 7 will be awarded a $20,000 one-year contract to work for the station as spokesperson and on-air personality. The 2004 Rockford graduate works as a musician, music teacher and male model. He would like to break into a broadcast career and perhaps the movie industry with this opportunity. Although many may think his interesting way of earning a living is a dream job, he graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2008 with a degree in marketing with an emphasis on sales. “When I graduated, I couldn’t find a job in sales,” he said. So he went with his other talents and makes money with music and modeling. Now he isn’t interested in pursuing his intended field, but hopes landing a gig on television could help him get into Michigan’s new movie industry. Rockford residents can help him succeed. The next round will be five individuals chosen by the station, and one more by popular choice. TerBeek hopes Rockford will come through for him by logging on to WOTV’s website (www.wotv.com) and vote for him. He is the only finalist from Rockford. Voting is through November 29. TerBeek said he thinks he did pretty well on his initial audition. He waited in line three hours and was nervous going in. “As soon as I got in front of the camera it was smooth sailing,” he said. While waiting for his audition he and other hopefuls were able to watch the auditions of those before them. He said no one seemed to meltdown and he understood from talking to others waiting that he was up against a lot of talent […]
Denise Flikkema knows how bad things are for some of her neighbors and customers, and she plans to do something about it. The manager of the Grattan Irish Pub at 11817 Old Belding Rd., Belding, is offering free Thanksgiving meals with purchase of a beverage from noon until the food runs out on Thanksgiving day. Flikkema inherited management of the quaint Irish establishment from her parents, George and Maureen Phillips. The building was built in 1937 in a community founded by Irishman Henry Grattan, who, along with fellow immigrants, moved here and established their own little town. According to Flikkema, the Irish farmers used to sit outdoors and drink just about where the pub is now located. “I guess they wanted a bar to drink in, so they just built it,” she explained. Twenty years ago, the Phillips bought the establishment, but now Flikkema and her husband Jeff run it. Flikkema said people don’t have to be struggling financially to take advantage of the free meal. “It’s for everyone. It’s because I’m grateful to have customers.” Flikkema said the pub is preparing about 200 meals for the day, and hopes that will be a good guess for the number of people who might show up. “I know it is bad around here for some people,” she said of the economy, hoping if anyone is struggling this year they will stop by for the meal. “I want to give back to the community and thank my customers. I have very loyal customers.”
Thanksgiving Side Dishes Most of us are creatures of habit when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s usually the same vegetable sides every year. There is change in the air this year. We can still pay homage to our cherished favorites, but there can be some vegetable magic this year if you take the time to check these recipes. One or two of them just might put some flavor magic into the meal to perk up the same old, same old veggies that have been served for years. Bon appetit! Carrots au Gratin 1 pound carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick (3 cups) 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 can condensed cream of celery soup 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley 1 to 2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 1-quart casserole; set aside. In a covered saucepan, cook carrot slices in a small amount of boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes or just until tender. Drain well. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and butter; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine carrots, condensed soup, cheddar cheese, parsley and rosemary. Spoon mixture into prepared casserole. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Serves 6. Sweet Potato Casserole 1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup milk 1 egg, beaten 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, cubed 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/2 cup pecan pieces Grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside. Scrub and peel sweet potatoes. Cut off and discard any woody portions and ends. Cut potatoes into cubes. In a covered large saucepan, cook sweet potatoes in a small amount of boiling water for 25 to 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and return potatoes to pan. Preheat oven to 350F. Add granulated sugar, milk, egg, 3 tablespoons butter, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to hot potatoes in the pan. With a wooden spoon, stir to break up potatoes but not completely mash them. Transfer potato mixture to prepared baking dish. For topping, in a small bowl, combine brown […]
Darlene Albertson hopes holiday shoppers will be drawn to her wares and continue to visit after the traditional season of giving. Dar’s Gems and Jewelry opened for business on November 12 at 67 Bridge Street, downtown Rockford. With a motto of “quality at low prices,” Albertson is firm about informing her customers when making a fine jewelry purchase. She points out her array of diamond rings. “Diamonds can be almost any color of the rainbow,” she said. She said most diamonds are heat treated, sometimes right at the mine, but most diamond shoppers are never informed of this. Her diamonds—black, yellow, champagne and other colors—are irradiated to be the way they would a million years from now. “I will not sell a stone without telling people most stones are treated,” she stated. “If they were a natural yellow, they would cost five times this.” Diamonds are not all Albertson’s gem store has to offer. With a fondness for amethyst and quartz, especially quartz mixed with other properties, the 16-foot display case glitters with color and texture. She buys from cutters in Thailand, New York and around the world. Thailand, she said, is the cutting capital of the world and provides some of her favorites. “It is all real jewelry. There is no fake or fraud behind this display case,” she stated. On the other side of the display, Anderson stocks some fun costume jewelry for the lighter purchase. Her store also has room for plenty more, and friends and family will offer some other wares. In stock on the second day for business were also soaps, candles, bath salts and woodcrafts. Albertson came into the business after her father died. A stone cutter for over 20 years, he had product left. “I was not at all interested,” she said. Later, she was able to look over what he’d left and became fascinated with the beauty of the stones and jewelry. Looking for a location in Rockford to open her store, Albertson seemed just a little too late each time she considered a spot. “Every time, the location had just been rented,” she said. She had her eye on a neighboring storefront to her current location, but it was twice rented before she could talk to […]
Rockford Police Chief Dave Jones considers the efforts of his Volunteer Police Services Unit a big part of the success of policing in Rockford. Without pay, the force mans the Welcome Center in Squires Street Square, assists in patrolling Rockford parks and the White Pine Trail, and performs various other duties. “There is no funding for this,” said Sam Russell, who has implemented and organized the volunteered units. Since the volunteers know Rockford well and work in all seasons, they have seen many views of Rockford that shoppers and residents may not have had the chance to see. Now they can. Jim Herdegen, rarely without his camera and a self-described photo buff, has chosen a selection of his photos, which have been made into a calendar and offered for sale for just $10. Herdegen’s favorite, a view of the Welcome Center, since volunteers spend many hours there, is joined by classic shots of Rockford, including a fall color shot of the Rogue River, a summer view of the Rockford Dam, and a beautiful photo of the Little Red School House. The calendars are available at the Rockford Police Department, the Welcome Center during business hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and at City Hall on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.