The Rockford Squire’s sales/production manager, Melanie Ragsdale, took a recent issue of the Squire on vacation to Reelfoot Lake, Tenn., along with her husband Will and father-in-law Jim. The Ragsdales traveled to Tennessee in June for their yearly family reunion, enjoying southern-style cooking, rustic cabins and a visit to Hillbilly Junction for souvenirs. This was Jim’s first time visiting his southern relatives in about 40 years, and says it was well worth the long drive.
Hello, my name is Mitch Harvatin, the newest intern reporter for The Rockford Squire. I will be a sophomore at Rockford High School this fall. I have lived in Rockford for nearly 11 years, starting in kindergarten at Lakes Elementary, then heading off to East Rockford Middle School, the Freshman Center and the last journey to the high school. I plan to attend Grand Valley State University or Central Michigan University in the fall of 2012, where I will earn by bachelor’s degree in journalism. I have been in broadcast journalism since I was 12, where I had my own news broadcast at GRTV, “Live with Mitch and Paige!” then later “Eyewitness News.” I started working at the Squire on Friday, July 24, and it has been a great experience. From grammar (which is never perfect) to the story we grab the camera to cover. My fellow co-workers are amazing. From sales, proffing (I do know how to spell “proofing”), the secretary, the graphics department which makes us look good, and the boss, everyone is kind and there are always at least 10 laughs within the hour. I plan on working with the community throughout my journey at The Rockford Squire, and I’d appreciate any news tips, too, either through Twitter (mitchharvatin) or by giving me a call at (616) 866-4465.
Bless your pet—literally. A Blessings of the Pets will be part of a day’s fundraising and fun at Hope Community Church to raise money for a new parking lot. On Saturday, September 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. stop by with your pet (leashed, socialble, up to date on shots and accompanied by an adult). Along with the Blessing of the Pets will be ear cleaning and nail trimming done by Sam Hyer of Hyer Love Kennel and Lilly Flannigan of Plainfield Animal Hospital. A person and pet bake sale, coat brushing, a pet look-a-like contest and pet costume contest will also be available. Drawings for free pet-related items will take place every half hour. Prizes include leaches, toys, treats and a grand prize of a one year supply of pet food from Chow Hound. Pastor Scott Swix will kick off all activities with the Blessing. The church is located at 7000 Myers Lake Road. For more information or to donate items, visit www.hoperockford.org or call the church at (616) 874-4673.
In it’s 11th year and more popular than ever, Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford will be held Saturday, August 15 in downtown Rockford. The event is a family-oriented event with a silent auction, picnic on the banks of the Rogue River, a children’s run as well as the main event. Last year the run raised a record $74,000. The certified run/walk begins at 8:30 a.m. in downtown Rockford followed by the Kids for Kids races with three age categories. All events start and finish at the Rotary pavilion. According to City Manager Michael Young, the run and other events continue to be so popular because Mitchell and his story has touched so many lives. He called the event inspiring. “When you get out there and they play the national anthem, you get chills, you get goosebumps. Running through your town with your friends and neighbors is an amazing experience. For more information, visit Mitchellsrun.org.
by MITCH HARVATIN The Kent County Sheriff’s Department (KCSD) and Cannon Township have teamed up to fight crime overnight. Cannon Township has hired the KCSD to patrol extra hours after township officials saw a growth in crime productivity, especially in the Lake Bella Vista area. “We see a spike in calls during the summer time, and they will drop in September,” said Lieutenant Scott Brown of the KCSD. Brown added, “The citizens need to help us out. They need to close their garage doors at night. They need to make sure they lock their cars, their windows, their houses and, if they are financially able to, they need to keep their lights on outside overnight. They need to make it difficult for someone to rob their house.” He goes on to say that minors usually break in to garages to steal alcohol from refrigerators. Cannon Township taxpayers are paying $13,327.36 to keep an extra officer in the township between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m., not just patrolling Lake Bella Vista, which Brown clearly addressed. “If we receive a call somewhere else in that township, we go,” he said. According to a press packet from Cannon Township Clerk Bonnie Blackledge, the KCSD conducted 76 property checks/foot patrols, 50 traffic stops, 10 general assigned complaints, nine suspicious persons/situations, four minors in possession of alcohol, one drug violation and one drunk-driving arrests between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. on just two days, May 22 and June 30. Other than conducting regular traffic stops, the KCSD responded to vandalism calls, larceny from an auto, stalking, alcohol-minor in possession, and registered sex offender contact all in section nine, which is primarily Lake Bella Vista. The KCSD assigns one officer to Cannon Township until 4 a.m. four days a week. The other three days a week, the KCSD patrols until midnight. On the days they are not patrolling or it’s past midnight, the KCSD’s district car patrols a wide area of northern Kent County, not just Cannon Township, but will respond to calls in the township. Brown wants to make sure residents in Lake Bella Vista know that if they see a crime in progress to call 9-1-1. If it’s not an emergency, call the KCSD’s non-emergency number at (616) 336-3113. […]