Couple turns challenge to charm in downtown home

Sandy and Bill Jobse Jr. sit on the porch of their home at 20 Fremont Street in downtown Rockford. The two took TLC to a new degree to bring back beauty and charm to the home. Their first Halloween in the house they couldn’t hand out candy because they thought children would fall through the rotted porch floorboards.

‘We did run screaming at first, but we came back’ by BETH ALTENA When Bill Jr. and Sandy Jobse wanted to relocate closer to their work places, they knew they wanted to be in downtown Rockford. “We always came down here during the festivals and festivities. It’s like a perfect little bubble town, always decorated […]

Spring Taste of Ric’s a homerun

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Baseball-themed day of free samples draws crowds by BETH ALTENA Rockford Ric’s Food Center is a busy place these days four years into their location at 6969 Belding Road. The store was especially busy Saturday, May 5 with the Spring Taste of Ric’s, where vendors and store staff offer free samples of many food products. […]

DNR trust fund grants delayed due to legislative disagreement

Call representatives to complain by BETH ALTENA John Short, Plainfield Township Parks and Recreation Department director, was one of many individuals involved in parks and recreation in Michigan receiving an e-mail from the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) alerting him to a new development in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grant approval processed […]

Group turns scraps into hope, help for hundreds

Members of the quilting group Pieces of the Heart meet during a thank-you luncheon offered by staff at Rockford Ambulance on Wednesday, April 25. The women (and one man) who turn scraps into quilts usually work from their own homes, so the visit together was a special treat.

‘This lets them know someone cares’ by BETH ALTENA  Estelle Fessenden doesn’t know exactly how many people have received quilts stitched by a group she set in place. Pieces of the Heart was an idea she had and a group she started in 2001, sewing a little love into quilts given to those in need. […]

Structures from Great Depression tell story of Rockford today, Part II

Barter became common during the Great Depression. Here an ad in the Rockford Register solicits "anything we can use" for subscription accounts. Note, back then the paper was not distributed free but only on a paid subscription basis.

by BETH ALTENA The Depression was marked by the “alphabet soup” of government-funded employment to keep people working. The CWA was just one—also keeping men at work was the Civilian Conservation Corp, the Works Project Administration (which was jokingly referred to as “Water, Piss and Air.” The projects were usually infrastructure ones to the benefit […]