December 23 2009

Rockford Riptide finishes strong at Winter Washout, Zeeland tri-meet

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Riptide Coach Mike Cutler said there were a number of strong swims at both meets, but the overall effort of the team is what mattered most. “We had a number of great swims and personal best swims, but the team spirit is what sets this year’s Riptide team apart,” Cutler said. “Even tough swims are good learning experiences, and our swimmers cheer each other on and support each other. I’m very proud of every one of them.” Swimmers who placed first through third in individual events at the Winter Washout and Zeeland events are Grace Badovinac, Grace Bargwell, Yousef Bennett, Alexa Caster, Stephan Cress, Kennedy Cutler, Macy Folcik, Rachel Fredricks, Sara Fredricks, Andrew Haid, Daniel Haid, Christina Hanssen, Kennzie Hartmann, Benjamin Hoffmeister, Timmer Hoffmeister, Erin Hudson, Hunter Ignasiak, Nathan Isley, Julian Kipke, Delayni Kornak-Kotarba, Sydney McDowell, David Newberger, Jacob Newberger, Peyton Rayburn, Megan Schremp, Abigail Setterington, Meegan Snyman, Courtney Uselton, Karrington VanderMolen, Kara Vandawater, and Madelyn White. J. Newberger placed first in every event in which he competed at Winter Washout, and D. Haid, Hartmann, and D. Newberger swept their events at the Zeeland meet.     Riptide’s purpose is to introduce children to the benefits of competitive swimming and encourage swimmers to reach their highest level of potential in and out of the water while demonstrating leadership and sportsmanship skills. For more information on Riptide, visit

Words on Weather & Climate—December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Is weather more severe?  by CRAIG JAMES  Before I get to the main topic of this article, I’d like to point out what an amazing and severe turn to winter there has been across Canada and the United States this month. For the seven-day period of Sunday, Dec. 6 through Saturday, Dec. 12, there were 815 new snowfall records, 304 low temperature records, and 403 lowest maximum temperature records set in just the United States alone. On Sunday, Dec. 13, the temperature hit 51 degrees below zero with a wind chill of 73 below zero at Edmonton, Canada, for the coldest December day on record. On Tuesday, Dec. 14, Jordan, Montana recorded a low temperature of 40 degrees below zero, which was 46 degrees below average. The only warm weather in the country this month has been in Florida. Los Angeles and Phoenix were close to 4 degrees below average for the first two weeks of December, and even Honolulu, Hawaii was nearly 2 degrees below average. It has been very wet in New Orleans. For the first two weeks of the month, over 24 inches of rain were measured in that city, making it the wettest month on record. Valdez, Alaska received 77 inches of snow in four days on Dec. 14 through 17. They are so used to heavy snowfall there that schools stayed open! And that brings me to the main point of this article: Has the weather gotten more severe? Are there stronger storms than in the past due to global warming? My answer to that, at least in regards to tropical storms and tornadoes, is definitely a resounding “NO!” Let’s take a look at tropical storms first. Complete coverage of tropical storm activity across the globe has only been possible since 1979 when satellites began monitoring these storms. Between 1944 and 1978, in order for there to be an estimate of a tropical storm’s strength, a reconnaissance aircraft had to fly into the storm or a ship had to be near the center. Prior to 1944, there were no aircraft flights into storms, so the only reports came from ships or when a storm made landfall. The National Hurricane Center believes many storms were not recorded prior to these aircraft […]

Has the economy affected your holiday spending?

December 10, 2009 // 0 Comments

by ANA OLVERA   “So far, it has not. People are definitely more aware because of the news, it’s more top of mind. But it has its positive; people won’t overspend and they’ll have more control. It’s great to shop locally, but it all depends on what you’re looking for.” —Guillermo Perez and his daughter Sofia, 9, Ada     “My husband’s job and my job, are stable, so it hasn’t affected us at all. People will probably spend less, especially without jobs. We might also give away to those who may not have enough.” —Lynne Winkle and her son Josh, 4, Grand Rapids   We’re recognizing [the state of the economy] more. We’re now setting budgets. People are less likely to buy impulsively. People look for more discounts. Shopping locally benefits everyone. It’s always a positive for the community.” —Cindy Palmreuter, Rockford     “I’ve been working a lot harder to be creative for the lack of money. I’ll probably spend less. I often look for sales. I go wherever prices are cheaper no matter where it’s at, whether it be locally or not.” —Julie Underwood, Chicago, (NOTE: Julie, originally from Rockford, is home from college visiting family for Thanksgiving).                                            

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