August 30 2012

Schroder earns bachelor degree

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

Hans Schroder, a 2008 Rockford High School graduate, received a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology from Michigan State University (MSU) in May. Schroder will continue at MSU as a graduate student in clinical psychology, a six-year program. His research focuses on how the brain responds to mistakes and the implications this has for understanding psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. He has published two research articles, which have been featured in major media outlets such as Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and

Rockford’s ACE high royal flush BBQ boot camp

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL “It was awesome”, said Rockford master plumber Blaine Kellermeier after the second of two summer grilling seminars, complete with sit-down dinners, which were hosted by Pete Kruer of Rockford’s ACE Hardware. “I consider myself a fairly accomplished backyard griller,” continued Kellermeier, “but I’ve managed to learn something new while attending each of these classes.” Last week’s second “ BBQ boot camp”, held in the beautiful ACE gardens adjacent to the hardware store, focused on pork butts and briskets. As with the first class, real BBQ experts were on hand to bring everyone in attendance to the next level. Presiding over the class were radio show hosts “Barbecue” Bob Nurmikko and Randy “Jop” Joppie, aka “The Grillin ’Guys”. Also instructing was Rob Russell of Kansas City’s Ace of Hearts Barbecue Specialties. Russell has a reputation of being the top expert on BBQ grilling in the nation. Highlighted during the evening, was pork butt and brisket preparation – especially trimming techniques to remove excess fat. Although one may, there is no reason to leave all of the fat on a brisket. Smoke and rubs will not penetrate it and it will take more time to fuel and cook the brisket with all of the fat intact. In the end, you are not going to eat the fat – you are going to cut it away and discard it. Classmates learned, especially when it comes to smoking, the necessity of placing meats that are as cold as possible on the grill. Meat will only take up smoke between 40 degrees F. and 140 degrees F. If you start with meat at room temperature, you will not end up with a desired perfect smoke ring. Much time was spent stressing the importance of using premium natural hardwood lump charcoal and maintaining proper temperatures during the entire process – before, during, and after. Tenderizing techniques and methods, which included marinades and a hand-tenderizing tool called a ‘Jaccard’ were discussed and demonstrated. Injection methods and ingredients were also touched on. As with any large roast, we were reminded it is important to let a brisket rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing so the juices inside have a chance to redistribute. We could go on […]

Former ‘bad kid’ changes his life with Navy experience

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rockford High School graduate Eric Delaney of the class of 2009 said he never believed he had much of a future. He said his youth wasn’t easy growing up in the Walker and Wyoming areas and in many ways he was his own worst enemy with a bad attitude and grudge against the way his life was going. Despite being very smart and naturally drawn to chemistry, he doubts he would have amounted to much in life they way he was going. Slight, at five foot six and just 125 pounds, he had a tendency to see the worst in life and had a chip on his shoulder. He described himself back then as selfish, narcissistic and disrespectful of himself and those around him. “I am the black sheep of my family,” he stated in no uncertain terms. After graduating from high school, however, he made a resolution that made all the difference in the world. “I decided I wanted to prove my family wrong,” he said. He joined the United States Navy. Delaney said the first 10 days of being in the military were the worst 10 days of his life. “I wanted to leave, I won’t lie,” he admitted. He said there is a term for the sudden alteration of his daily reality as a new boot camp attendee. “They call it culture shock. You are so miserable, scared and sleep-deprived.” Delaney said for the first 24-hours in boot camp the participants do not have the opportunity to rest or sleep. “You are awake 24 hours with no caffeine; some of them are coming down from nicotine. In any branch of the military they break you down.” He did note that the military “can’t physically mess with you until you are medically cleared.” But after that, “it’s game-on.” Through the haze of mountain hikes, strict regimentation and intense physical training, Delaney said something happened to him that went beyond the agony of the regime. His worst experiences—jumping jacks in five-pound boots (“at about 30 you are starting to cry,” he said) and a grueling form of pushups called “twinkle twinkles”—Delaney found he had the strength of determination to take the punishment and to respect himself for it. His own growing sense of self […]

All types of talent to be presented at Art in the Park

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rain or shine, Rockford will be the center of a storm of art on Saturday, Sept. 8 along the banks of the lovely Rogue River during the Rockford Area Arts Commission’s (RAAC) annual Art in the Park. The event, in its umpteenth year, has about 70 artists of all ilks planned. The work will be good—the show is juried, which means the RAAC is selective in what artists are allowed to participate. As in past years, some of the artists will be exhibiting their works in progress so viewers can watch them in action, whether they are painting with acrylics or oils, weaving or creating pottery art. Rockford’s own Lila Harmon is one of the organizers, and said the diversity of the show is one of the draws. She said there are many local artists whose names and work may already be familiar—think Linda Bassford, Noel Skiba, Dana Ziebarth, Lois Carpenter, Shirley Dean—but also artists from all across the state will come for the day. Mediums include painters of a variety of styles and types, photography, metal art, woodcarving, jewelry, pottery, weaving and more. As always the event is free to attend and is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “It is always a rain or shine event, so we hope for good weather,” said Harmon. She noted that bad weather isn’t always a deal-breaker for those with a booth. Last year the weather was picture perfect, but two years ago the rain started about 9:00 in the morning and let up at about 4:30 p.m. “There were still plenty of people there.” Live music compliments the event, which centers around Garden Club Park by the dam and the music will be on the stage in the grass. No food vendors are invited because there are so many dining opportunities in downtown Rockford. Harmon said the event is a great opportunity for holiday shopping, and those who don’t find the perfect gift at Art in the Park should take a look at the many shops and stores Rockford offers. During the event the RAAC picks a few favorites for awards—Best in Show, Best Photography, etc. Although the public can’t vote for their favorites at this art event, they can count on all quality stuff. […]

First responders use jaws of life to extricate driver in rollover accident

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

Witnesses said it looked as if the driver of a Chevrolet van going eastbound on Division Avenue (Ten Mile Road) tried to make it through a red light as a second vehicle described as a big red truck, was entering onto Division off Marcell in Rockford. The resulting collision at about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22, sent the van spinning before landing on its side in the westbound lane of Division, and rescue workers spent the next hour removing the pinned-in driver. The eastbound lanes of Division remained open as Rockford first responders used the jaws of life tool to gain access to the driver and eventually had to saw the body of the van to remove the injured man, who was transported by Rockford Ambulance. In addition to Rockford Ambulance, Rockford Fire, Police and Kent County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene. Ten rescue vehicles and 15 first responders were on the scene, which drew a large crowd of onlookers.

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