Arts & Entertainment

The Rockford Women’s Water Polo team

April 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Women’s Water Polo team had great competition the last week of March.   The first match of the week had the Rams playing the defending State Champions, Okemos High School. Okemos came into the match highly favored to win. Rockford, however, had no plans to make the night an easy victory. The Lady Rams played at the top of their game, with goals scored from Hannah Raymond, Anna Kennedy, and Lexi Chisholm. At the end of the 4th quarter, the game was tied at 7 all, forcing the match into overtime. Although the extra match play did not present Rockford with the victory, the experience gained against one of the top teams in the state, gave the Rams the opportunity to work on teamwork and strategy critical to the remainder of the season. The second match of the week was against Hudsonville. Always a great game against a very tough team, Hudsonville pulled out the win 14 to 12, but not before Rockford showcased the scoring talent of Hannah Raymond (7 Goals) and Lexi Chisholm (5 Goals). Next up for the Rams is the 7th Annual Purple Polo match with Zeeland High School benefiting Relay for Life. At Zeeland this year on Tuesday April 14th, proceeds from the evening’s donations, t-shirt sales and concessions will benefit Relay for Life events at both schools. Come support this great cause – Go Rams!

PC approves final plan for Monroe Street condos.

April 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA Sale of contaminated half-acre of city property included Passionate, even tearful comments against approving a 51-unit condominium development were heard by Rockford Planning Commissioners on Thursday, March 26 before the board voted five to one to recommend Rockford City Council give the final go-ahead to the project. Developer Marcell Burger and two associates were present to answer questions The public comment session was almost entirely taken up by residents of the stretch of Monroe between Courtland and Lewis streets, although several non-residents spoke, both for and against the development. City attorney Dick Wendt was present, along with City Manager Michael Young, Clerk Chris Bedford and commissioners Tammy Bergstrom, Cliff Hill, Chair Jim Scales, Tom Sturr, Dave Rasmussen and Jon Minor. Young opened the meeting with a summary of the process of approving the Tamarack Run development, explaining what steps have been taken since the development plan was submitted to the city in October of 2014. He outlined the public meetings held since, including a two-and-a-half hour City Council meeting on February 9. Many of the same people who spoke at previous Council and Planning Commission meetings spoke at the Thursday meeting, voicing mostly the same objections to the development. New to the discussion was an explanation of steps necessary to sell to the developer a parcel of property belonging to the City within the boundaries of the development. Young said a piece of land approximately 212 feet by 100 feet was identified as city land, although it has been used as part of the former inhabitant Burch Body Works for over 100 years. The parcel, just under a half-acre, has been identified as including one of several contaminated areas on the entire seven-acre plat. As part of the development all contaminated lands will be removed and disposed of in an appropriate landfill at the developer’s expense. The Tamarack Run condominiums will occupy about half of the seven acres with wetlands on the other half being preserved. Burger spoke before the public comment session began and told commissioners that more room for snow removal had been added to the project by adding more space between homes. He said more parking had been added in response to residents’ concerns about parking on Monroe Street […]

EXPO says, ‘You are going to Mexico. For free.’ And you will win $500 in cash

March 18, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA   The EXPO doesn’t lie. It just doesn’t know who it is talking to. According to Rockford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Southwick, it is guaranteed, for sure, absolutely going to happen that one lucky person will win an all-expenses paid two person trip to Mexico paid for by the Chamber from Antor Travel and Apple Vacations. Plus, four people will win $500 in cash. Plus, if you aren’t one of those fortunate five, you are guaranteed not to leave empty-handed. Hundreds of booths will be staffed by many hundreds of friendly people who work and live right here in West Michigan, all happy to offer some sort of goodie—a tree seedling, candy, pen, awesome drawings, such as free trips, free services, games with prizes, samples and of course, once again A Taste of Rockford with Flo’s, Uccello’s and Candlestone Inn offering delicious tastes from their kitchens for tickets which sell for a dollar each. The eleventh annual Rockford Community EXPO is slated for Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rockford High School. Amazing, you think. What does it cost to get into this wonderous event? It’s free. The best thing about the annual EXPO, besides all the great people to see and things to do, is that each EXPO is different and you never know what might be happening. Absolutely you will see Rockford’s fine public safety officers and there are always other local law enforcement members with stickers for the kids and a talking, lively mascot. At the first one a pair of local businessmen teamed up to try to beat the Guinness Book of World Records by grilling the largest every burger. Entertainment is all day and top quality. Local celebrities MC the event from beginning to end. This year’s line-up is Andy Rent, Chuck LaTour, Michelle DeSelms and Juliet Dragos. Rockford students will perform for you from the stage in the gymnasium, ending with the Rockford High School Jazz Band. This year again there will be a dozen and one selling booths, where visitors can buy products, goods or services, including the Rockford Lions taking orders for hams. The wide range of service and product providers will highlight what a talented and diverse […]

One up and one down for Ram girls

March 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

In a week that was somewhat of a microcosm of the season as a whole, the varsity basketball team from Rockford fell to Grandville in another of a string of heart-breakers by a score of 51-49 on Tuesday, February 24th on the road. That was followed up by a deceptively close 56-48 triumph over West Ottawa at home on Friday, February 27th. The loss to Grandville was at least the fourth time this season that the Rams fell in the final 10 seconds of a game. The week’s results left Rockford with a regular season ending record of 11-9 overall and 5-5 in the Ottawa Kent Red Conference. The Rams hope to ride the momentum of the season ending win over West Ottawa when they enter Michigan High School Athletic Association district play where they will play at Forest Hills Central against the host Rangers on Monday, March 2nd. Tuesday’s contest with Grandville was a reprise of the contest from earlier this season with one notable exception. The Rams came out on the short end of the score this time around in another contest that went down to the wire. The Rams led by two at the end of the first quarter (15-13), and increased the lead to 29-21 at the half. But the third quarter was all Bulldogs as they mounted a 14-6 advantage that knotted things up at 35-35 heading into the final eight minutes. Grandville scored the winning hoop with a touch less than 20 seconds remaining in the game that gave them the 51-49 victory. Rockford had several chances to tie it up but couldn’t quite manage to sink the elusive shot. Maddie Watters led the Rams with 15 points and Kadison Klausing joined her in double figures with 11. The Friday game with West Ottawa saw Rockford jump out to a commanding 19-7 lead after the opening quarter. That lead grew to 50-35 after the third quarter and the victory was never really in doubt over the final eight minutes despite the Panthers 13-6 margin in the final quarter that made the final a much more respectable 56-48 Rockford win. Logan McCane led the Rams with 13 points and was joined in double figures by Watters with 11 and Tiana […]

Rockford man is co-creator of top 10 ArtPrize entry receiving national media attention

October 4, 2012 // 0 Comments

by Cindy M. Cranmer A Rockford man is one of the co-creators of an ArtPrize entry being discussed locally and internationally after thousands and thousands of participants and spectators gathered Friday night to help Mark Carpenter and Dan Johnson realize their vision for ArtPrize and landing their entry in the top 10. Dan Johnson, of Rockford, and Mark Carpenter, of Grand Rapids, both felt the event was an extreme success with more than 50,000 people in attendance. Round two of ArtPrize voting opened on Sunday, Sept. 30 and runs through Thursday, Oct. 4. ArtPrize attendees can vote for one of the top 10 entries with the code to vote for Lights in the Night being 52910. See related story on the top 10 ArtPrize entries. The theme of Lights in the Night is to symbolize where hope takes flight in the form of sky lanterns representing individual hopes, dreams and wishes. More than 15,000 Chinese sky lanterns were launched from coordinated key points in the downtown Grand Rapids area on Friday, Sept. 28. “You offer up your dreams and hopes for the future or even reconcile events of your past in a symbolic lantern launch,” the entry described. Being at this event Friday night, this reporter was able to experience Lights in the Night firsthand. The sense of community, the emotional outpouring of feelings and the awe of seeing the lanterns in the sky was amazing. While words such as “magical,” “beautiful,” “wonderful,” “amazing,” “enchanting” and “inspiring” were used to describe the launch, it is much harder to put in words the sense of community and the overflowing of emotions at the event. The event made a last impression, which was the goal, Johnson said. Some have criticized Lights in the Night as the event skyrocketed in a 24-hour period through the ratings bypassing the top 100 and the top 50 on its climb to the top 25 and then to the top 10. Johnson told The Rockford Squire the key components of ArtPrize are to “get out of the box” and find something that is art but is not as traditional, to involve the community and to leave a lasting impression. “It was super successful on all three of those accounts,” Johnson said. “Our […]

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