December 23 2009

Education Blackboard — December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Students see government at work Over 90 fourth-grade students, teachers and parents from Crestwood Elementary School were able to see our government at work first hand as they traveled to Lansing for their annual government field trip. The trip gave the students a chance to see how our three branches of government—the executive, legislative and judicial—work together in their tours of the State Capital and Supreme Court building. Students were also given a peek into the past at the Michigan Historical Museum. While waiting for their capital tour to begin, the students in Judy Grifhorst’s class were treated to a tour of a senator’s office. “I never imagined the office being so big!” said Stacy Barker. “We even got to sit in his chair,” added Trent Johnson. “I think he was a Republican, because there was a lot of elephants in his room.” As the students began their formal tour of the capital, they were awed by the many unique features of the building. “My favorite part was lying on the glass floor and looking up into the dome and seeing the stars!” exclaimed Courtney Lawrence, and many students agreed. In addition to the stars, Greer Stuart added that he also enjoyed “looking up at all the beautiful paintings.” The students were encouraged to look down for fossils hidden in the tiles of the floor. Following a tour of the governor’s office and the Senate and House of Representative wings of the building, the students headed to the Michigan Supreme Court Building. The Supreme Court building offered many hands-on exhibits. “I liked pretending to be a judge for a court session. It was so awesome!” stated Clarissa Mousel. Students also had a chance to experience what it is like to be drunk while trying to drive, using special goggles. A quick trip back in time was enjoyed by all at the Michigan Historical Museum. From lumberjack camps to the mining cave, the students experienced what it was like to live in Michigan during its early history. Many of the students were intrigued with the war exhibits, especially the one centering on World War II. “I imagined being in the bomber plane flying over enemy territory,” said Asa Huffaker. “It feels like you were right there […]

Classifieds — December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

HELP WANTED Help wanted—part-time, oil change person needed. 6071 Belding Rd., (616) 874-8160.      b52 ______________________ Sales Opening—Looking for extra income and a new career? Local newspaper in Cedar Springs is looking for you. Join our media team as a sales representative. Meet new people. Build friendships. Make money. Commission based. Build your own income. Experience preferred, but will consider training. Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation. Send resume to For more information, call (616) 696-3655.      ftfn ______________________ FOR SALE Mixed hardwood. All-nighters, extra long, or the way you want it. Excellent burning. $60 a face cord, delivered. (616) 773-4549.      p52cp ______________________ ANTIQUES Antique Victorian desk, 5 ft. tall, 4-1/2 ft. wide and 2-1/2 ft. deep, $675. Call (616) 866-1478 and leave a message.      ftfn  ______________________       CLASSES AND LESSONS Guitar Lessons—Learn guitar the RIGHT way and enjoy it for a lifetime. Lessons also on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, Dobro, etc. Call Joe (616) 874-8582.     btfn ______________________ SERVICES I’ll design your flier, brochure, business card for a low rate! Other graphic design also available. Over 18 years experience. Professional design guaranteed. Flier design starting at $30. References available. Call Melanie Ragsdale at (616) 889-9082 or view design samples online at      ftfn ______________________ LOST AND FOUND LOST—Burton Blunt snowboard near 13 and 14 Mile Rd. in Rockford. Lost on Sunday, December 20 off the back-end of a truck.. (616) 889-9931.      ftfn ______________________ LOST—blue Olympus digital camera at the Rockford Freshman Center, December 18. Family pictures on camera, reward. (616) 874-1150.      ftfn ______________________ FOUND—gray cat, one year old or younger. Yellow eyes. Found in Oak Street/Jericho area. (616) 863-8460.      ftfn ______________________ FOUND—six-month-old black male kitten with white spot on chest. Found on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009, Courtland/Pearl area. (616) 915-3028.      ftfn ______________________ FOUND—beautiful, loving, family cat, orange and white, found on Shaner Ave., November 18, possibly 3 years old. Call to identify, (616) 437-3609.      ftfn ______________________   FOUND—young, gray, long-hair cat, found around 11 Mile and Young area. (616) 874-8284.      ftfn ______________________   FOUND—Did your child lose money while trick-or-treating? Call and identify amount and approximate location. (616) 866-6565.      ftfn ______________________   FOUND—tripod found by the Rockford dam Sunday, November 1, late afternoon. Call and identify. (616) 240-1175.      ftfn ______________________   LOST—domestic […]

Rockford man’s animatronic creations may make second career

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Cory Ackerman used to work on robotics for a factory in Boston and traveled the United States as part of his job. A brain tumor ended that career and landed him back in his hometown of Rockford. A member of the Rockford American Legion Post, Ackerman heard about a party fundraiser the post planned for Halloween, and thought his old skills might be put to good use again. “I’m pretty proud of it,” he said of the elaborate display the organization ended up with after Ackerman put his efforts to the task of creating floating ghosts, a leering, ship-steering skeleton captain, and a row of music-playing lighted skeletons. The creations were wicked-fantastic and amazed those who attended the pirate-themed night of food, music and entertainment. Ackerman said he isn’t ready to go into business for himself yet with this new application of his former work skills, but the results of his work certainly make him eligible to be the special effects star of Rockford, should he decide to do so. Ackerman credited his father Gary with helping him get back to work on this project. “I had time on my hands since I can’t work,” Ackerman said. He said he started out offering to do one animatronic creation for the Legion, and wouldn’t accept any payment for his efforts. He found the wooden captain’s wheel and picked it up for just $1. He and his father built the other wooden parts of the pirate display and ordered the skeleton pieces. Knowing how robotics work was old hand for Ackerman, and he was happy with the results. “They showed me a flying ghost and I said, ‘I can do that, too.’ “ he said. Visitors to the Legion’s second annual Halloween party and fundraiser for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans were amazed by the displays, and few realized that they weren’t rented pieces, but the work of one member with time to share and a determination to do what he can. “I am a little slower than I used to be,” Ackerman said of his abilities. Following the success of his first venture in animatronics outside of a factory use, Ackerman said he is thinking about going into business for himself in a small way, […]

Waltzing worries away popular at ambulance station

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Thirteen-year-old Tessa Paul-Cox didn’t really want to go to the free dance classes her mother Sandra has been enjoying so much, but once she arrived, she saw many others were having a great time. Sandra and Tessa were two of about 30 people who showed up on an off-day practice session on Tuesday, November 24. Rockford Ambulance offered the classes as a way to give back to the community and pass the time in a healthy way. Su Grey is a paramedic and one of the instructors of the program. She couldn’t be more enthusiastic, either during the classes or about them. “Our phones were ringing off the hook,” she said, when the nonprofit company announced the start of the classes. She said so many people signed up for the six-week course that the ambulance staff had to schedule two classes to accommodate everyone. Nancy Popma, who works for Cannon Township, said she learns something new every class, and the steps are easy to master. Milissa Soderstrom also works for the township. She said the two show their co-workers the new moves they learn each week. “We go back to work the next day and show the girls at the office,” she said. “It’s almost like our whole office is learning.” People don’t need dance background to participate, and don’t have to be couples. Grey said plenty of people show up by themselves and the ambulance staff step in as partners. First Rockford Ambulance volunteered to teach local first responders dance moves as a fun way to fill up the hours at the ambulance station, where the staff puts in long days. The program went over so well they decided to invite the public in as well. Chuck Premer, emergency medical technician and instructor, joked that if an emergency should occur requiring the staff to leave, class will be canceled. “And if someone has a medical issue during the class, at least they are in a good place for it.” Grey is pleased that a wide variety of participants have signed up. Margaret and Don Smith were having a great time during the practice session. “We’ve learned to dip and swing. There is a lot of rhythm, even if I have too much feet,” […]

Sippel graduates from basic training

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Air Force Airman Garrett W. Sippel recently graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Sippel is the son of MatSippel of Rockford, and is a 2009 graduate of Rockford High School.

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