Wild west captured in deer farm turned agri-tourism resort

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by BETH ALTENA When you have over 200 beautiful white tailed deer fenced adjacent to a major road, people will stop and want to see them. That’s the experience of the Powell family, who opened their working deer farm in 2003. Located at 7850 14 Mile Road (M-57), their 80-acre business has received a lot […]

Firefighters take on explosive situation in propane training

Forty-four firefighters and first responders took an evening to 
learn and practice techniques to best control and subdue a propane emergency. The practices included flames reaching 60 feet in the air and close proximity to extremely hot flames. Photo by BETH ALTENA

‘Catastrophic’ situations covered by BETH ALTENA Rockford Fire Marshal Mike Reus said he would guess a recent explosion that blew a trailer home apart likely involved a propane fire and that cases where even stick-built homes are literally destroyed in an explosion are also likely caused by a propane leak that becomes ignited. Area firefighters […]

Local businessman wants to feed the town of Rockford for free

Visit “Fatzo” and the Mrs. for Italian fare at Rockford’s newest restaurant. The doors opened Friday, September 7 at the corner of East Main and Northland Drive.

by BETH ALTENA In a way, buying their own restaurant was like an anniversary present for Debbie and Douglas Ryke. The couple celebrated their fifteenth anniversary the day after they opened the doors of Fatzo’s Pizza. In a way, it was like a whole new marriage. “The restaurant is our life now,” said Debbie of […]

Rockford firefighter graduates from Police Academy

Double proud—Rockford’s Robert Berkstresser, who has been a firefighter for the city since 1992, has graduated from police training academy. His daughter Holly, a 2004 Rockford High School graduate, also graduated from a police academy this summer.

by BETH ALTENA “It was a challenge, especially being older. If I was in my twenties like everyone else in the class, it would have been easier,” Bob Berkstresser, 51, made the statement about a grueling 16-week, 594-hour police training academy. Berkstresser just completed the class, allowing him to join the ranks of Rockford’s relatively […]

Donations a simple step in breaking bonds of addiction

by BETH ALTENA A Salvation Army donation truck will be parked at Ric’s Food Center, 6767 Belding Road from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on September 22. For the third year in a row the public is invited to pull up and donate clothing, furniture electronics, appliances and household goods, receiving help unloading and a […]