April 9 2009

New Michigan State Police Post Commander happy to be ‘home’

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA First Lieutenant Chris McIntire is back where he started his career with the Michigan State Police. The new commander of the Rockford Post first worked as a trooper here after graduating from the Michigan State Police training academy in Lansing in 1993. In between he has enjoyed a gamut of duties and adventures. McIntire is pleased with the position, which he said allows him to interact with the public, work closely with the Michigan Department of Transportation and visit local townships to find out where law enforcement needs to concentrate more effort. The married father of three  girls comes with many bona fides. After working as a trooper here, in 1997 he went on to work in-and later ran-a narcotics unit. While working that assignment, he grew his hair out to shoulder-length and spent his time “buying dope in the seediest parts of the city.” (Not this city.) McIntire is also a graduate of the FBI’s law enforcement program at Quantico, Virginia. There, a grueling military-style training regimen brought him into contact with law enforcement officers from all over the world. McIntire was at Quantico for three months taking Masters-level courses. He told of the fascination participants from Africa had with the January snowfall. He said the Africans were out in the snow, trying to make snowmen, but had no idea how. “Some of us had to go out and show them how to roll the snow into balls because they had never seen snow before,” he said. McIntire also worked for one and a half years in Ionia on a fugitive team and in Newaygo as a sergeant. In 2004 he was the section commander of a narcotics unit. After spending the last two years commuting from Sparta to Lansing, he was asked if he would return to the Rockford Post as commander. During his years in law enforcement, McIntire has had many moments of satisfaction. He said the desire to help people is the reason he joined the profession. He shared one encounter while a trooper here in Rockford that he said still warms his heart. An older woman living on Bostwick Lake was terrified because she kept getting hang-up calls. She thought she was being stalked. McIntire said he […]

Finding ways to get closer to food

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Before the Civil War, people either grew their own food or knew the farmer who grew it for them. Now the source of our daily meals is such a mystery children are often clueless about how their dinner came to be. Unfortunately, adults are just as unaware as where our groceries come from. According to Sue Osgood, editor of Foodforthought magazine, consumers are finding ways to get back to natural foods. Osgood was the speaker at the Thursday, April 2 meeting of the Rockford Area Historical Society, another great speaker for the club. She said her magazine has been featuring ways consumers are using to get back to natural foods, grown close by. After the Civil War, people flocked to cities to live, and sanitation and food safety regulations were in their infancy. Michigan, in 1948, was the first state to mandate that milk be pasteurized before sale. “Now food is highly industrialized,” Osgood said. With costs of food skyrocketing and incidents of food-born illness in the news constantly, consumers are ready to get closer to their edibles. One example Osgood described is a concept begun in the 1960s. Smaller farmers, who often have a hard time competing against large producers, allow consumers to purchase stock in the farm. For a price up front, fresh, in-season produce is available. “This helps the small farmer because he has the money up front when he needs it for planting,” Osgood said. This is good for farmers and consumers and “puts a face” on your food. Another example is a way around milk pasteurization laws. Those who own cows can do what they want, as long as they don’t sell it. As in the farm example, consumers can make arrangements to buy a share of a cow. As owners, they can legally drink the milk without pasteurization. “A lot of people believe in unpasteurized milk,” Osgood said. She said before the industrial revolution, it was what people drank. Some believe pasteurization kills healthful enzymes and makes the milk less nutritious. An increase in organic foods is also part of the same picture. Many people believe organic food exposes consumers to less pesticides and other toxins, is more nutritious, protects you from genetically modified food, is […]

‘Everybody left with something’

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Chris Radford is grateful he is able to experience a father-and-son event, thanks to his son Scott’s current ability to control his Type 1 diabetes. Chris hopes to help others enjoy the annual  Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) 100-mile bike ride as well as help fund a cure for diabetes. The younger Radford was diagnosed with the most severe version of the disease as a young boy. Today he controls it with an insulin pump, but will continue to face possible life-threatening effects. Seeing the devastating effects of diabetes made Chris determined to do his part to find a cure. Last year he organized the first annual Family Fun Day Poker Walk/Run/Ride on the new Cannon Township Trail, starting at Cannon Township Hall, 6878 Belding Road. Participants travel the trail their preferred way, walking, running or biking, and pick up poker cards at stations. Those with the best hands win. “Everybody left with something,” said Radford of the first annual event. This year there are even more reasons to play-donations to date top $5,000 worth in prizes. The cost for a hand of poker is a minimum donation of $25, but the prizes are great. Grand prize is a $400 Giant Sedona bike from Village Bike and Fitness with a first prize of $100 to The Runnery. Many merchants have donated prizes, and the first 100 participants to sign up get a family pack with goodies. Last year about 50 people turned out to the spring event, and $1,500 was raised for the JDRF.  This year, with over $5,000 in prizes to give away, Radford is hopeful of an even better turnout. The event is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 18, rain or shine. “We were looking at the calendar to find out what weekends don’t have events in Rockford,”  he said. “After May, forget it.” Radford and his son raised the required $4,000 each to participate in Ride to Cure Diabetes. Spending time together on the 100-mile ride through either Death Valley or Killington, Vermont, is a wonderful experience. Other participants have also been touched by the disease, which affects over three million people with 40 new children diagnosed in the country each day. “Four thousand dollars is a lot […]

Waterfest packed with family fun

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Sixteenth annual event educates with free hands-on activities Roll up your sleeves, grab a net and find out what amazing creatures can be found in most any creek or stream, and why they are important. Explore microscope magic, rain sticks, a fish pond, fill up with a pancake breakfast and don’t forget the rubber ducky races. The sixteenth annual Bear Creek Waterfest is coming up Saturday, April 25 from 8 a.m. to noon and is always educational as well as great family fun. It is held at Townsend Park, located at the corner of Ramsdell Drive and Cannonsburg Road. Again this year the musical group Hawks and Owls will perform, giving a lively background sound to the many activity stations. A filling all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast is from 8 to 10 a.m. and a bake sale will start at 8 and stay open as long as there are treats to sell. Cannon Township hosts this annual event with education in mind. Each year children are invited to pick up a “passport” and explore stations which have an environmentally friendly theme. Volunteers offer rubber boots and nets and invite youngsters to “step right in” to Bear Creek and see what they can net up. From crayfish to fish to interesting invertebrates, kids are aided in identifying their find and learning about the importance of healthy wetlands. Among the stations are a rain garden booth, plant a native flower seed, a fish pond, rain stick (make and take your own), watershed information, ozone action display, a scavenger hunt and self-guided tour, a recycling information station and the timeless classic rubber ducky races. As always, the activities are free, except for the breakfast, which is a bargain at $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and under. 

Celebrate National Arbor Day

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Join the Arbor Day Foundation and receive ten free shade trees To help commemorate National Arbor Day, everyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation during the month of April will receive 10 free shade trees. National Arbor Day and Michigan’s Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, which is April 24 this year. The 10 free shade trees are red oak, sugar maple, weeping willow, bald cypress, thornless honey locust, pin oak, river birch, tulip tree, silver maple, and red maple. The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign. “These trees were selected to provide shade and beauty, and a variety of forms, leaf shapes, and beautiful fall colors,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Arbor Day than by planting trees.” The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting in April or May with enclosed planting instructions. The six to twelve inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. “Planting a tree is a unique experience because you can watch it grow over the years,” Rosenow said. “It truly makes you feel a part of the planet and the future, and connects us directly to nature.” Rosenow added that planting a tree is a perfect family tradition for parents, grandparents, and children to enjoy together, because the trees will last for generations. “Years from now, our great-grandchildren will be able to say that ‘This is the tree my ancestors planted,’” he said. To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to TEN FREE SHADE TREES, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by April 30, 2009, or visit www.arborday.org.

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