Alex Lane

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR — March 10, 2011

March 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Reader asks others to support D.A.R.E. Dear Chief Jones, Each afternoon, when my son walks in the door from Roguewood Elementary School, his main focus is how fast he can get to the snack pantry and sitting in front of ANY screen in the house. D.A.R.E. days are different. The front door is not even closed yet, when he starts talking about Officer Jehnzen’s stories, jokes and interesting facts during D.A.R.E. sessions at school. Officer Jehnzen has really made an impact on this 10-year-old boy. Honestly, the timing of RPD’s D.A.R.E. program couldn’t be better for our family. Mateo’s father has been working in Maui for the last three months, and the absence of his dad has made quite an impact on him. I am so grateful that Officer Jehnzen and the D.A.R.E. message is available to him at this difficult time in his life. Officer Jehnzen’s delivery is ideal for these kids. He holds their attention, entertains his audience and portrays the “cool factor,” which is imperative to get their minds wide open and receptive to the message of the program. D.A.R.E. is more than just saying no to drugs. It’s a message to the kids that being responsible, treating others fairly, and making good choices is the right way to live… and it’s “cool.” I may have taken the RPD’s D.A.R.E. program for granted in the past. I just assumed it would always be there for our kids in Rockford. I know the program struggles financially, and I hope it will be available to district’s future fifth-grade students, especially during these tough economic times. I plan on making a donation to the RPD’s D.A.R.E. program, and I hope others will, as well. After seeing my son’s response to only two sessions with Dave Jehnzen, I must admit that I have taken a closer look at the impact this program makes on our community’s children. I truly feel this program, especially under the guidance of Officer Jehnzen, is invaluable to the future of these young, impressionable fifth graders. Thank you for investing the department’s time, money and effort into Officer Jehnzen’s D.A.R.E. sessions. Interestingly, my son came out of his bedroom this morning for school, decked out from head to toe (including his socks!) […]

Competitive Cheer Teams Battle Head-to-Head in OK Red

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The slogan emblazoned on the back of the competitive cheer t-shirts couldn’t have been more appropriate. The message “Head to Head in the OK Red” clearly set the stage for an all-out battle in both the OK Red post-conference cheer finals and the Division I district championships held last week at Rockford High School. Although sold at only the conference competition on Wednesday, the t-shirts’ implication rang true for the district competition as well. Even though 14 teams competed Saturday for the chance to move on to the regional at Brighton, everyone knew that the top four spots, as well as the next two, would be secured by teams from the OK Red. With five of the top 10-ranked teams in Division I coming from the conference, no one can argue that the Red is the most competitive league in the state. In the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) most recent postings, East Kentwood was ranked second behind Rochester, and West Ottawa was ranked third, followed by Grandville (fourth), Jenison (eighth), and Rockford (10th). In addition, Grandville has won the state title four times since 1997 and placed in the runner-up spot five times. West Ottawa has been runner-up twice, and East Kentwood has been second once. In both the conference and district competitions, those three, along with the host Rams, Jenison and Hudsonville, fought for the top spots. For Rockford coach Kathy Jo Resseguie – whose Rams finished third at the post-conference meet and fourth at districts – placing in the top four was significant. “[On Wednesday], I was hoping to move up from fourth at the pre-conference ” she said. “Rockford has kind of settled into that fourth-place spot. It gave us a confidence booster going into the weekend to finish third. That was awesome! To finish fourth at districts is amazing. I don’t think the girls realize how good fourth in this area is. This area sets the bar for everybody. To finish second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth in this area is unbelievable.” The district competitions are new. In previous years, teams competed in regional competitions with only two teams advancing to the state meet. With four of the five regions contested on the east side of […]