HUGE broadcast at Corner Bar for Tigers opening day

On Friday, April 10, the Corner Bar will swing into spring with a daylong event featuring the HUGE show’s Bill Simonson and a WBBL live radio broadcast.

On Friday, April 10, a day-long event at the Corner Bar will celebrate the opening baseball game and air live on local station WBBL and on eleven affiliates, broadcasting across the state of Michigan.

Simonson is a very popular radio celebrity known for his HUGE show. “The Corner Bar is a sports bar landmark in West Michigan,” said Simonson. “It is an honor to celebrate the Tigers home opener with the people of Rockford and northern Kent County.”

Corner Bar owners Andy Tidey and Jeff Wolfe plan to offer trivia contests and prize give-aways througout the day. The Corner Bar will also feature special menu items designed to give patrons an “at the ballpark” experience.

Since the Corner Bar is noted for its Hotdog Hall of Fame, diners and Tiger fans can also expect the delicious dogs. Drinks will be offered in special opening day commemorative cups.

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Tannery to close May 15

‘We hope to accomplish this closing with the least possible disruption to our employees.’

by BETH ALTENA

Wolverine World Wide notified tannery workers on Friday, March 20 of the closing of the Rockford tannery on May 15, 2009.

In a letter titled WARN Notification to Union dated March 16, the letter stated that the purpose of the letter was pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1998 (“WARN”).

The contents of the letter are as follows:

Wolverine World Wide will be permanently closing its Tannery facility located at 181 North Main Street, Rockford, MI 49341. We hope to accomplish this closing with the least possible disruption to our employees.

According to the best information available, the expected date of the permanent closing of the facility will be May 15, 2009. A list of the affected bargaining unit position, the number of affected bargaining unit employees in those positions, and the names of bargaining unit employees in affected positions is attached.

This notice is given pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1998 ( (“WARN”) which requires employers to give official notice to affected unions of a pending facility closing to the representative of affected employees.

In the attachment, duties and names of over 60 tannery workers affected are listed. The list is as follows: Two chief boiler operators, one crib attendant, four disposal pit operators, four dry operators, one electrician, five finish operators, one head sorter, three hi-lo operators, one key operator, one lab technician, five millwrights, one each oiler, paint technician, plush mills, pre-cut operator, s/s mechanic, shipping clerk, split/shave labor, four split/shave operators, three SR finish operators, five SR split/shave operators, seven technicians, one each toggler and utility operator and six wet blue dryer operators.

An angry long-term employee with the company, who opted out of requirement several years ago, said he will have the last laugh on Wolverine. “I’ll be there when they close the doors,” he said.

City Manager Michael Young said he had received a copy of the letter. “The flow has already started to reduce,” he said. “It doesn’t diminish what’s happening [to know the closing date].”

“Wolverine is deciding who is going to be on their team to work with us. We’re waiting for them to get back to us to get a sense of what might happen to that property in the future.”

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Rockford Post Office loses ‘one of the best’

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY

Andrew Shears.

Andrew Shears

Andrew Shears has been going to work to the Rockford Post Office everyday for the past 30 years

But come Friday, April 3, Shears will don his postal blues for the last time.

Shear’s supervisor, Fred Farage, said that the person who replaces Shears will have some very big shoe’s to fill.

“One of the things about Andrew is he is an extremely organized individual,” Farage said.

Approximately nine years ago the post office downtown split into two operations, with the Annex located just north of Rockford. Farage spends most of his work-day at the Annex.

“Andrew has done an amazing job organizing and keeping up with the paperwork and the financial aspect of the Rockford office. In a sense, he’s run that whole place. I knew things would be done right,” Farage said

Farage went on to say that in the past year the post office has lost 1/3 of their more experienced employees through early retirement.

“We will have major changes going on with staffing, as we replace them with transfers from other offices,” Farage explained.

Farage said that Shears is looking forward to working in his garden after he retires.

We wish Andrew all the best.

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Humane Society’s Kibble Konnection helps 104 families

The Humane Society of Kent County’s Kibble Konnection pet food bank helped 104 families at the first distribution on March 22, with a total of 159 dogs and 126 cats receiving supplemental food.

“People were so grateful to have a place to come for help,” said Jennifer Self, Humane Education Coordinator for the Humane Society. “Many individuals spoke about forgoing their own food just to make sure their pets got fed.”

All of the food distributed was generously donated by the community. With the demand for the Kibble Konnection program expected to increase, donations of pet food are now even more essential.

“Kibble Konnection is run solely on donations and we’re hoping the community will pull together so we can continue to help as many people as we can,” Self said.

The Humane Society of Kent County is accepting donations of new or opened unused food for the Kibble Konnection program. Individuals can drop off food Tuesday through Friday from 12 to 7 p.m. or Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Humane Society of Kent County, 3077 Wilson Dr. NW, Grand Rapids. There are also donation bins in various businesses around Kent County. A list of donation drop-off sites is available at www.hskc.org.

The next food distribution date for the Kibble Konnection program is Sunday, April 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Humane Society of Kent County. Individuals interested in the program are encouraged to pre-register if they have not already filled out an application. Applications are available by calling (616) 791-8066, at www.hskc.org, or by e-mailing Kibblekonnection@aol.com. Pet owners who qualify will be able to receive supplemental food for up to five animals and must reapply every six months.

Founded in 1883, the Humane Society of Kent County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the humane treatment and responsible care of animals in West Michigan through education, example, placement and protection. For more information call (616) 453-8900, or visit the Humane Society at 3077 Wilson NW, Grand Rapids, or visit www.hskc.org.

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Chandler Woods students re-enact Civil War

The middle school students at Chandler Woods Charter School did a reenactment of the Civil War today and had fun learning it. Even President Lincoln himself was there!

The middle school students at Chandler Woods Charter School did a reenactment of the Civil War today and had fun learning it. Even President Lincoln himself was there!

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