December 23 2009

Teen hero rushes to rescue at Santa Parade

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Alex Kilvington joined the Michigan State Police Explorers because he’d like to someday have a career helping others. Apparently he’s ready to start doing that right now. Kilvington was working in his role with the youth Michigan State Police Explorer program at the Santa Parade on Saturday, Dec. 5, when he realized something was wrong. One of the Rockford High School band members was having trouble seeing and breathing. Kilvington said he asked if the boy had eaten. When he found out he hadn’t, Kilvington suspected a diabetic reaction. Kilvington saw a Michigan State Police (MSP) trooper, flagged him down, located an ambulance, and cleared traffic from the crowded parade staging area by the Rockford Community Cabin on Monroe Street. MSP Explorer coordinator Trooper Roberto Anaya is very proud of his teen squad leader. He said Kilvington was able to summon an ambulance and get the other teen to the hospital for treatment. Kilvington said his experience as an MSP Explorer made a difference when he was called to act. “I didn’t really even think about it,” he said, crediting his first-aid training. Kilvington said his three years in the program have changed him, and he can’t say enough about the value of the experience. The Rockford senior is headed off to Grand Rapids Community College next year and plans to go into law enforcement. “I recommend the MSP Explorer program to anyone,” he said. “It is a great overview. It amazes me all the things I’ve learned in the last three years. I can’t even describe how well this program is organized.” The MSP Explorer program is in its fifth year, and is designed to introduce teens to the world of law enforcement. It provides hands-on training in patrol, defensive tactics, firearms, evidence collection, and first-aid. The Rockford group meets weekly at the Rockford Sportsmans Club on Northland Drive. Anaya said Kilvington has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and acts as a squad leader. He is much more qualified to handle a medical emergency than most young men his age, and perhaps more than most adults. Kilvington, along with other Explorers, has learned Citizens Emergency Response Training, a program which teaches ordinary people outside of law enforcement how to be of help […]

International traveler finds beauty in unusual

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford man Bill Ravenscraft has a job that takes him around the world. He’s been to China, Tokyo, South Korea, Indonesia, Moscow, Dubai, India, Costa Rica, the Honduras, Hong Kong and Bogota Columbia. A recent trip, on which Ravenscraft brought his local paper, was unusual. “Mostly when I go, it’s to one country and I stay there,” he said. “This time I happened to have several countries in one trip.” Ravenscraft, an internal auditor for Amway, left early September. It was two weeks after a bomb explosion in a hotel and two days before an earthquake near his destination. “It was not too close, but it still impacts operations,” he said. Many who travel regularly for a living soon lose the excitement of discovering new places, but Ravenscraft has not. After more than three years, he still loves his job. “I have a little wanderlust. I like to travel and this job affords me that,” he said. What Ravenscraft relishes is the chance to explore different cultures, atmospheres, places and food. He said he always does research on his destinations and creates a wish list of things to experience. On his most recent trip, the first destination was Singapore, where he had a seven-hour layover. It was midnight, he was tired, but he grabbed a cab and asked the driver to show him Singapore. Singapore, Ravenscraft said, is interesting because it was designed to be an international center for trade, so it is very metropolitan. “There were a lot of Europeans, it was very modern.” He said he wasn’t very impressed with what he saw of the country. “I’m not a big fan of the bar district. There was loud music thumping,” he said. The driver then took him through a residential area, and Ravenscraft was able to overlook the city at night. “It was a whirlwind tour, a three-hour cab ride for sixty dollars,” he said. Next stop was Jakarta, Indonesia. Ravenscraft said he was hesitant going in because of warnings of Islamic extremism. There have been bombings targeting Westerners, and he wasn’t sure what to expect. “It was a fantastic trip. People are very welcoming, very accommodating. The weather was beautiful.” Ravenscraft enjoyed the cultural aspect of the country: unique textiles and fantastic […]

Bowman undertakes next ‘humanly impossible task’

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

No one believed Dave Bowman’s first “humanly impossible” undertaking could become a reality. When the Rockford man, retired and with poor health, discovered that the Lost Boys of Sudan, brought to Grand Rapids in 2000, had never had access to health care, a dentist or doctor, he vowed to build a hospital in that war-ravaged country. There was no infrastructure there—no roads, airport, buildings, government. Bowman remained undeterred. “I asked God how this could be and asked people to do something,” he said. Finally he understood that he had to take the first step and go to Sudan to get the project started.  He formed a nonprofit organization Partners in Compassionate Care Sudan ( Less than a decade and thousands of volunteer hours and dollars later, the Memorial Christian Hospital (MCH) was built and staffed, and sees 60 to 70 people a day. Bowman doesn’t believe in offering free services to the Sudanese people, but in helping them build an economy where they can use the resources at their disposal. With this in mind, he is on to his next series of what he calls ‘”humanly impossible tasks.” He wants the hospital to be self-sufficient by the year 2015. He wants to help the people in Sudan have access to clean water. He wants to see an economy become established, with drip irrigation, fish farms, and a year-round landing air strip. “It may sound impossible. What hospital is self-supporting, even here in the United States?” Bowman asked. “Is that possible, humanly speaking? No. I believe it’s going to happen.” Bowman described himself as practically floating in the air since his recent return from the World Medical Conference. While there he saw an example of an incredibly efficient water filter. Water-born illness is the prime source of sickness and death in Sudan, especially in children. The filters are small, simple and efficient. Bowman bought 100. Bowman said he wanted to be sure the filters worked before taking them back to Sudan. He took some water from his tap and ran it through the filter. Then he filtered some water from a fetid duck pond near his Bostwick Lake home. Both samples went to the Kent County Health Department for testing. They came back clean. The filters […]

Holiday Enchantment — December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Cathy’s Hallmark announces winner of nativity scene When Stephanie Porter of Ionia, a student at Aquinas College, was shopping for ornaments at Cathy’s Hallmark with her boyfriend, they saw a contest to win a nativity scene. The pair had been wanting one for their apartment, and was very excited when Stephanie received the call that she had won. The nativity scene that Stephanie won is part of the Willow Tree Collection by Demdaco, called “The Christmas Story” by Susan Lordi, which retails for $81. ‘Dear Santa’ contest brings in many kids’ letters Dear Santa, I only want one thing for Christmas it is called lego powerminers the cave cutter and a small toy bus for my autistic eight yr. old brother Benjamin Hribek. Sincerely Christopher Michae Hribek Dear Santa, This year will you please bring me a MP3 player, Board games and anything else you think I’d like, Please remember to give alot of toys to the needy. I’d also like some good Mushrooms. By the way that’s your wife’s name? Sincerely, Greta Age 9 Dear Santa Thank you for all the present and everything. I hope you can make my mom feel better. And have a merry Christmas. P.S. and a happy new year! Raven, Age 9 Dear Santa, I would like for Christmas to see my dad who lives in South Dakota. That would make me happy and I would also like some lego’s and I’ve been a good boy all year long. Thanks Santa. Love Tyler Brown Age 6 Dear Santa, I love you. Tell the elves good work. Can I please have a B.F.G. doll and a Liv. Doll and a D.S. Please and that is all. Bye Dude Santa Hayley Nowak Age 6 I love you Santa. You can bring me presents. I want a Batman house and Pirate legos. I love the reindeers. I like your Christmas tree. I like Santa’s pokey-nose. Bye Santa Brayden Nowak Age 3 Dear Santa, I would like a DSI please. I hope you have a safe ride. I hope you find the poor people who don’t have a home. Love Ben Boscher Age 7 Dear Santa Clause, Happy Christmas! I am going to list a few things I want for Christmas: A B.F.C. […]

School Beat — December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford Public Schools’ libraries are places of opportunity by CINDY KITZROW Director of Library and Media Services Rockford libraries are the cornerstone of our school community. We are the learning hub and integral to the teaching and learning for Rockford Public Schools (RPS) students. We provide teachers and students with a full range of print and electronic resources to support their learning. The school libraries impact our students’ achievement. As the largest classroom in the building, we are the hub of activity with services to all staff, students and parents. Research shows that a well-developed library collection coupled with a qualified staff has a significant impact on students’ reading scores and technology skills. ALL our students can strive for and achieve success. Our quality collections are in print and online, as we support the curriculum and address a variety of learning needs. “Destiny” is our library catalog. It is accessible to the total school community, on-site or remotely. We are a “library without walls.” Visit for further details. Reading is a foundational skill for learning, personal growth and enjoyment. Our students develop a love for reading and literature through our library programs. All children deserve equitable access to books and information, to technology in an environment that is safe and conducive to learning. We carefully select high-interest materials and encourage lifelong readers and independent learners. The library staff’s “AAA—Access, Anytime, Anywhere” focus helps our students explore the world around them with all types of resources. We have 177,569 books and equipment housed in the libraries. Over 105,838 books were checked out in 2009. We taught over 3,600 research classes to our students. They learn how to use our online research databases. At our RPS libraries, the students learn important lifelong skills that ensure their academic success.

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