August 27 2009

Ritzenhein takes sixth in World 10,000-meter race

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Former Rockford runner and two-time Olympic athlete Dathan Ritzenhein placed sixth in the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, in the 10,000-meter race on Monday, August 17. It is an amazing accomplishment: the fourth-fastest time ever run by an American in the event, the second-fastest ever by a native-born American. Ritzenhein said after the race he was very happy, and this event is somewhat of a milestone. “It was tough, but I felt very good and was able to hang in there and run very well. I feel like it was sort of a breakthrough race for me,” he stated. “What got me so excited is that I closed the gap and made the thought of winning medals at the Olympics and World Championships seem a real possibility. The advance I made over this summer has been dramatic and I am so excited about just being competitive again. I recall in Osaka in ‘07, I was ninth, but I got lapped and was way out of contention. This time I was able to stay in contact, and really hung in there. The race was difficult because we started at a modest pace, but the middle was incredibly fast. I think I averaged 64-second laps for a couple miles.” Ritzenhein began running at age ten, his father Jerry Ritzenhein said. “He wasn’t very fast at first. He had to work hard and keep working hard. Pretty soon he came into his own.” Ritzenhein married his high school sweetheart and another Rockford running star, Kalin Toedebusch. They now have a daughter, Addison and reside in Oregon. Ritzenhein’s father said distance runners peak in their mid-thirties, so Dathan has plenty of career ahead of him. He is hopeful his son will compete again as an Olympic athlete. “This is his life career. He has a long career ahead of him and has an Olympics or two in his future. That’s his hope.” He also said part of Dathan’s success was the great start he had in Rockford athletics. “He had a great time here in Rockford.” “The life of a professional distance runner is not always easy,” Ritzenhein commented. “There is a lot of hard work and pressure to perform, it can be monotonous, and […]

Reading Festival promises fun Saturday

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford is a town of many talents and a town of many exciting summmer events. This Saturday, August 29, Rockford Rotary combines the two in the newest annual event: Reading Rocks in Rockford. Reading will be anything but a sedate, solitary pursuit this weekend with active and hands-on activities with a reading theme. Rockford Rotary has long partnered with Rockford Schools and schools in other countries to promote literacy, international goodwill and even fill hungry bellies. Each Tuesday children in a Dominican Republic School eat breakfast because Rockford Rotary pays for it. Now, right at home, experience literacy in a variety of venues. Have breakfast with authors in Krause Memorial Library Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. for just $4. At 9:45 a.m. dress up as your favorite storybook character and enjoy a side walk parade which starts at Rockford City Hall. Events take place throughout the day all over downtown. More than a dozen authors will visit town and will read and sign books. Signs around town will direct festival attendees to the different events. An outdoor lunch adventure will take place from 11:30 a.m. at Garden Club Park. Bring a lunch or purchase lunch downtown and enjoy Jeff Schatzer and his new book Professor Tuesday’s Awesome Adventure. All ages will enjoy this chance to celebrate the joy of reading, to meet Rockford athletes, school officials, authors and Rotarians as they read out loud. Activities begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m. Don’t miss this first-time new festival with a literary theme. 1. Jeff Schatzer – main stage 2. Carl Behrend – main stage 3. Sow Hope-One Hen – main stage 4. Nancy Edwards 5. Jean Alicia Elster ( wants to come to Author breakfast) 6. Renee Hand 7. Alan St. Jean 8. Karen Bell-Brege – possibly present as well 9. Kim Cory – 10. Roland Hansen 11. Kenn Vidro 12. Shirley Neitzel 13. Judith Wade 14. Janet Heller 15. Wendy Gager/and an author friend 16. MaryAnn Lesert Robin Schmidt to display books at Frenz Restaurant Information about authors: Judith Wade, Author Eagle, MI email: Judith’s website: Books: Mermaid Dreams (Riley Press, 2005) The Mermaid’s Gift (Riley Press, 2004) The Secret of Mermaid Island (Riley Press, 2003) Kim Delmar Cory, Author Holt, MI email: […]

‘King of Cannonsburg’ seeks successor

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

‘I’m keeping the moose’ “If I sold it off in bits and pieces, the synergy goes away. They have to buy it all or nothing,” Don Kurylowicz, long-time business owner in Cannonsburg, has posted his domain for sale. With an asking price of just under $4.5 million, the properties aren’t for just anyone, and Kurylowicz hopes the right sort of person, or a group of individuals, will keep the tenor of his old-time town. Despite the high-tech built in—his group of buildings in the village are networked and have security cameras installed nearly everywhere—the village is Kurylowicz’s homage to Americana. “Meijer and DeVos saved downtown Grand Rapids, but no one is saving these little towns,” Kurylowicz said. In his late 50s, Kurylowicz said it is time to find someone else with the passion, vision—and stamina—it takes to juggle the many hats he wears in the village. He admits, however, if someone ponies up the asking price, he can’t say no. “I’d owe the realtors their commission, that would be $450,000,” he said. He listed the property with The Wisinski Group last Thursday, August 20. This summer Kurylowicz celebrated 25 years in the town, from his first investment in the Honey Creek Inn. He recalled his stubborn efforts to save the historic buildings of the village. The first store was built in 1844 and by 1978 employed seven individuals between its cattle dealer, lumber dealer, shoe and boot store and a hardware. When Kurylowicz bought the Inn, it was in bad shape. He said the township at that time did not make his efforts to rehab the building easy. He dug in his heels and over the years acquired the other properties—mostly by happenstance—he now lists for sale as one unit. Over the years he has enjoyed the feeling of rural community that he promotes through festivals and being very active in the community. He believes people crave the social environment fostered by small towns, which sadly are gone or disappearing. He believes the success of the village is because of the caring people there. Listed are nine parcels, including Honey Creek Inn, Cannonsburg Market and Grist Mill. Kurylowicz said he’s keeping the newest celebrity addition to the town, Ralph the Moose. Kurylowicz said the listing […]

Stites earns DNR master angler status

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

CATCH OF THE WEEK—Carl Stites of Rockford catches a 22.5-inch small-mouth bass on Intermediate Lake in northern Michigan near Bellaire. The fish qualified for master angler status with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, after being measured and released. If you think you have a “Catch of the Week,” send us your photo and information to or drop it off at The Rockford Squire, 331 Northland Drive, Rockford.

Open mic brings more music to downtown

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Newly-renovated Garden Club Park has seen more music and free entertainment this summer with Open Mic Wednesdays. Individuals have been invited to show off their talent in song on the stage, located on the banks of the Rogue River on Wednesdays. “This is another way to make use of the stage and setting,” said City Manager Michael Young. Young joined in the show Wednesday, August 19, signing up with friend Jerry Douthett and singer Amanda Jones to offer their version of the Stones’ You Don’t Always Get What You Want and Janis Joplins’ Me and Bobby McGee. Douthett played guitar, Jones amazed crowds with her vocal talents and Young contributed in song and playing the egg. Jones said she has been singing since she was in Rockford High School choir. “We’ve been playing at all the major venues,” Young told the crowd. “We’ve played at Sparta, at Harvard and in Smyrna.” See videos from the evening (NOTE – Files are 8 meg +, please be patient waiting for the downloads): Big Daddy and the Eggman 1 Big Daddy and the Eggman 2 Big Daddy and the Eggman 3

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