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 […]

Latitudes and Steelheads Tavern combines best of both worlds in ‘gastric pub’

The entrance of Latitudes Roadhouse, the dining half of a restaurant and pub combination with “a split personality.”

by BETH ALTENA  Latitudes and Steelheads Tavern is a split-personality establishment which combines two separate eating and drinking establishments into one really amazing “gastro pub.” The term gastro pub is describing a pub or tavern where customers can drink, but also serves great food. Located in a century-old quaint historic hotel in Howard City, the […]

Rockford woman a repeat offender in random acts of kindness

quilt

by BETH ALTENA At age 64, Vern Criner is “the baby here” at Richter Place Apartments, a fair housing complex for residents age 62 and older. Julie Carr, 74, is his senior by 10 years. When she heard that the relative newcomer to the complex wished he had a bedspread, she sprang into action. With […]

Rockford father-daughter bond forged in fear

Normal

Family values explored in ‘The Meaning of Normal’ by BETH ALTENA Anyone who knows Phil Mann can concede he does a convincing creepy. Surprisingly, so does his daughter, lovely 16-year-old Tiffany, a straight-A student who will be a junior this year at Rockford High School. The two were recently featured in a news segment titled […]