The Rockford Women’s Water Polo team had great competition the last week of March. The first match of the week had the Rams playing the defending State Champions, Okemos High School. Okemos came into the match highly favored to win. Rockford, however, had no plans to make the night an easy victory. The Lady Rams played at the top of their game, with goals scored from Hannah Raymond, Anna Kennedy, and Lexi Chisholm. At the end of the 4th quarter, the game was tied at 7 all, forcing the match into overtime. Although the extra match play did not present Rockford with the victory, the experience gained against one of the top teams in the state, gave the Rams the opportunity to work on teamwork and strategy critical to the remainder of the season. The second match of the week was against Hudsonville. Always a great game against a very tough team, Hudsonville pulled out the win 14 to 12, but not before Rockford showcased the scoring talent of Hannah Raymond (7 Goals) and Lexi Chisholm (5 Goals). Next up for the Rams is the 7th Annual Purple Polo match with Zeeland High School benefiting Relay for Life. At Zeeland this year on Tuesday April 14th, proceeds from the evening’s donations, t-shirt sales and concessions will benefit Relay for Life events at both schools. Come support this great cause – Go Rams!
By BETH ALTENA Sale of contaminated half-acre of city property included Passionate, even tearful comments against approving a 51-unit condominium development were heard by Rockford Planning Commissioners on Thursday, March 26 before the board voted five to one to recommend Rockford City Council give the final go-ahead to the project. Developer Marcell Burger and two associates were present to answer questions The public comment session was almost entirely taken up by residents of the stretch of Monroe between Courtland and Lewis streets, although several non-residents spoke, both for and against the development. City attorney Dick Wendt was present, along with City Manager Michael Young, Clerk Chris Bedford and commissioners Tammy Bergstrom, Cliff Hill, Chair Jim Scales, Tom Sturr, Dave Rasmussen and Jon Minor. Young opened the meeting with a summary of the process of approving the Tamarack Run development, explaining what steps have been taken since the development plan was submitted to the city in October of 2014. He outlined the public meetings held since, including a two-and-a-half hour City Council meeting on February 9. Many of the same people who spoke at previous Council and Planning Commission meetings spoke at the Thursday meeting, voicing mostly the same objections to the development. New to the discussion was an explanation of steps necessary to sell to the developer a parcel of property belonging to the City within the boundaries of the development. Young said a piece of land approximately 212 feet by 100 feet was identified as city land, although it has been used as part of the former inhabitant Burch Body Works for over 100 years. The parcel, just under a half-acre, has been identified as including one of several contaminated areas on the entire seven-acre plat. As part of the development all contaminated lands will be removed and disposed of in an appropriate landfill at the developer’s expense. The Tamarack Run condominiums will occupy about half of the seven acres with wetlands on the other half being preserved. Burger spoke before the public comment session began and told commissioners that more room for snow removal had been added to the project by adding more space between homes. He said more parking had been added in response to residents’ concerns about parking on Monroe Street […]
Valley View Elementary recently held a two part assembly series put on by the Brainstormers! LLC. The Brainstormers have been working for 22 years to motivate, empower and encourage kids to be creative, both “on the page and on the stage.” The first show called The Takeoff show took place in January, and its purpose was to motivate the students to produce creative writing pieces and to, in essence, become young authors. Following the show, teachers at Valley View had their students create stories, which were then submitted to the Brainstormers! The hysterical and quirky performers from the assembly company selected 10 of the stories from the students and brought them to life on the stage on March 17th to an audience of students and staff dressed in green. The young authors, whose creative writing pieces were chosen, were brought to the Awesome Authors chair at the front of the gymnasium and were interviewed. The were able to sit in the chair of honor and see their story brought to life. Some of the stories were based on real life events and others involved aliens invading a friend’s house and SpongeBob climbing to the top of Spaghetti Mountain. Many of the kindergarten through fifth graders were also given the opportunity to use their acting and improvisational skills while playing supporting roles in each of the skits. According to many of the teachers and staff, the assembly was thought to be one of the best in years, and they all appreciated the motivational effect it had on the authors and all of the Valley View students. A large portion of the assembly was funded by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs through their Michigan Arts and Humanities Touring Program.
Last April, five of Rockford’s public schools have earned a Green School Certificate in the Kent County and Kent ISD Green School Awards Program. There were 79 Green School awards given to schools within Kent ISD this year. Awards recognize the extensive environmental work of educators and students. Rockford earned this certificate for their work in recycling, energy savings and environmental awareness. Based on environmental projects conducted at the schools, awards are as follows: Green Award (10-14 green activities): Roguewood Elementary Emerald Award (15-19 green activities): Valley View Elementary, North Rockford Middle School, Rockford Freshman Center Evergreen Award (20 or more green activities): East Rockford Middle School Superintendent Michael S. Shibler, Ph. D., commended the staff and students, stating, “Our students and staff continue to help all of us become better stewards of resources. They use the passion and creativity of youth to teach and learn and, in the process, save money and reduce the district’s impact on the environment.” For further information, please contact Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Ryan Kelley at (616) 863-6556 or e-mail to email@example.com.