December 22 2011

First responders honored for resuscitating lifeless baby

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA On a beautiful day in June, a Rockford family’s worst nightmare struck. Twenty-three-year-old Erica Morris went outside to find her 13-month-old sister, Kainani, at the bottom of the family swimming pool. She wasn’t moving, and when pulled from the water, she remained unresponsive. Rockford Police Chief Dave Jones told the story before a packed audience at Rockford City Hall on Monday, Dec. 12. He described the harrowing scene, as Erica quickly pulled her little sister’s lifeless body from the water. Erica’s screams awoke her father, who found her performing CPR on the baby. Rockford Police Officer Derek Haan was the first rescue personnel on the scene. He took over efforts to try to save Kainani. Haan was followed by Rockford firefighters and Rockford Ambulance paramedics, who continued lifesaving procedure as they began the trip to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. As they worked to restore her heart and breathing, they saw the little body respond, drawing breath prior to arrival at the hospital. Six months later, the smiling, energetic child was the guest of honor at the evening meeting, pushed in her stroller past the dozen or so individuals who are responsible for her life. “We didn’t expect a good outcome on this call,” Jones said of the near-tragedy. Jones spoke before the group of rescue workers who participated, who stood at the front of the packed room. “Today we have as a guest someone who I think you will be very happy to see.” Tom Morris pushed the happy Kainani from rescue worker to rescue worker, who each leaned down to admire the friendly child. Recognized at the meeting were Officer Derek Haan, firefighters Dan Vincent, Casey Bennett, Mike Bouwkamp, Benjamin Holbert, Ken Phillips, Jason Vanhorn and Kyle Wendling, and paramedics John Peot and Andrew Good, as well as Tom and Erica Morris. As the final honor of the evening, Jones had officer Haan step forward to accept a Lifesaving pin in recognition of his part in bringing Kainani back from death only after a mere one year of life. “As Rockford’s police chief, this is the first Lifesaving Pin that I have awarded. It is also the last Lifesaving Pin I will award, as the police and fire departments will soon […]

Local first responders brighten holidays for children with Shop with a Hero event

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Michigan State Police (MSP) and Cedar Springs Police Department hosted a “Shop With A Hero” event on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Meijer in Cedar Springs. Twenty-one children from 10 families participated in this event. Meijer donated over $1,000 and provided pizza and drinks for the families that were in attendance. Each child received a $50 gift card and were partnered with an officer. The officer took the child around the store and helped the child pick out gifts for themselves for Christmas. Families were identified through local schools and a local service center. Families targeted were those that were struggling financially during this holiday season. MSP officers from the MSP Training Academy (Lansing), Bomb Squad (Grand Rapids Lab), Rockford Post, and Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (6th District Headquarters) participated in this event along with Cedar Springs Police Officers and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.    

Two Rockford girls take home national medals

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Runner among 10 fastest in Midwest Julia Bos, a junior at Grand Rapids Christian High School, and Taylor Manett, a senior at Rockford High School, participated in the Foot Locker National High School XC Championship Meet on Coronado Island in San Diego on Saturday, Dec. 10. Bos and Manett qualified for the national championship meet by placing in the top 10 at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional Meet on Saturday, Nov. 26 at University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The United States is divided into four regions, and each held its own regional meet to determine its top 10 to send to the national meet. The Midwest Regional Meet was comprised of 263 runners from 13 states. These top 10 then became the Midwest XC Team to compete at the national championship meet against the other three regions. Racing against the fastest 40 runners in the country, the Midwest team, with the help of Bos and Manett, claimed the national team championship by beating out the other three regions. They were awarded the national championship team medals. Individually, Bos claimed 10th place and, although Manett would have been top 10 as well, she accidentally was tripped in a tight pack and went down, causing her to finish further back. “Everyone has a bad race, and unfortunately that was mine,” Manett said. Performing well enough to qualify for the national championship is an amazing feat in itself, and it proved to be a wonderful three-day experience for both Bos and Manett in California. They were still able to come back national champions being part of the winning Midwest team of 10. Manett will continue her cross-country career at the Division I level next fall, entertaining offers from some great schools, but is still undecided. Bos still has one more year. High school cross country has officially come to a close, and the girls are now looking forward to track season. Could another national championship be looming?

2012 calendar ‘Gardening with the Moon’ now available

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Need a last-minute gift for the gardener or sportsman on your shopping list? The 2012 “Gardening with the Moon” calendar by Venman’s Plant Service is available just in time for Christmas. Working in sync with phases of the moon, the 2012 calendar lists the best days for myriad tasks, including weeding, planting, pruning and harvesting. It even lists best days for hunting and fishing, entertaining and changing habits, like smoking cessation. “The ancient tradition of planting and harvesting by phases of the moon is not a forgotten art—just one that needs to be refined for practical use in today’s automated society,” said John Venman, who has been offering the calendar since 2008. “Previous generations calculated the moon’s effect on all aspects of gardening—soil preparation, weeding, planting, fertilizing transplanting, pruning and harvesting. It is still relevant today.” Venman’s Landscape Service and Soil-Alive Fertilizers, started in 1951, offers a full line of earth-friendly, organic products for gardeners. The moon calendar is an extension of what Venman says is practical, time-honored strategies for a healthy landscape. Daily recommendations allow users to work in harmony with the moon when it is waxing, full, waning and new. The 2012 calendar includes beautiful photos of Michigan’s scenery. Each calendar costs $15, which includes shipping. Send checks to Venman’s Plant Service, 510 Wolverine St. NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Calendars can also be purchased at the store. For information, call (616) 866-0323.

RAM artifact #6

December 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

This long saw was donated to the Rockford Area Museum (RAM) by Forrest Simmons. Rockford was, at one time, a gateway to incredibly large virgin forests of white and red pine, north of here, accessed by the Rogue River and its tributaries. The saw was handled by two men, one on each end. This type of saw was typically used once a tree was already down, in order to cut the log into workable sections.

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