Thursday, February 11 Rockford Lions Club Meeting—6 p.m. social, 6:30 dinner and 7 p.m. meeting at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Our district governor will be visiting this meeting. For more information, contact Dianna Van Antwerp at (616) 866-1760. Meetings held every second and fourth Thursday of each month. Friday–Saturday, February 12–13 Adult Comedy “For Marrieds Only”—by J. Thomas Graham, presented at 7:30 p.m. at Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs. Tickets available at the door for $10. Advance tickets are $8, available at (616) 696-7469, Independent Bank, Chase Bank, Cedar Springs Public Library, or Soul Infusions. Not suitable for children under 14; contains adults content and situations. Saturday, February 13 Rockford’s 2010 Sweetheart Splash!—1 p.m. downtown Rockford at the dam. Watch friends, family and coworkers take the leap into the icy/warm waters of the Rogue River! Watch for area businesses’ specials! The Black & Blue Ball—7 p.m. to midnight at Sparta Moose Lodge #50, 1510 N. Division Ave., Sparta, presented by Moose On Bikes (the M.O.B.). All proceeds to benefit Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding. Cost is $10 donation, or $15 per couple; tickets available at the door. Enjoy live music by OTC, food, dancing, raffles and fun! Sunday, February 14 Breakfast—8 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post #102, 330 Rockford Park Drive, between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads on Northland Dr.). Cost is $6.50 for adults, $5 for seniors over 70, and $3 for kids, which includes eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice. Monday, February 15 Free Food for Needy Families—5 p.m. at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 6070 Kuttshill Drive, Rockford, with a Mobile Food Pantry providing free food for needy families in the North Kent community. For more information, call the church at (616) 866-1556. Tuesday, February 16 Country Music—9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. Sunday, February 21 Roast Beef Dinner—11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at VFW Post 3946, located at 4195 Thirteen Mile Road, Rockford. Cost is $8 for adults; $3 for children. Sunday–Friday, February 22–26 Keeping Our Kids Safe—8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kent County Sheriff’s Office, 701 […]
February 11 2010
Words on tax refunds The tax season is well under way. As is usually the case, each tax season takes on a flavor of its’ own. Some tax seasons are known as early filing tax seasons. Everyone’s refund seems to be large and they want it today. We find that some seasons have so many changes that affect their tax returns; it seems that people put off filing their returns and the season becomes known as a late filing season. Neither of those scenarios applies to this year. Allow me to make an observation about this year. Even though it was projected that refunds would be smaller or non-existent this year; so far that doesn’t seem to be totally the case. Some taxpayers are getting smaller refunds than they expected but others are being pleasantly surprised by the size of their refunds. It’s been an orderly tax season with the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Michigan efficiently processing the returns as they are submitted. No big technical snafus have taken place. As always, there are one or two legislative changes put into place that effect many returns. This year, we are seeing many taxpayers taking advantage of the return of the Residential Energy Credit and the upgrade of the Hope Education Tuition Tax Credit (HOTC) to the new American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). Much has been written about the Residential Energy Credit but I have not read much about the American Opportunity Tax Credit. It’s really a misnomer to say the AOTC upgraded the HETC. It totally replaced the credit. Since so many taxpayers claim the tuition tax credit on their returns, I’m going to hit the high points and the differences between this year and the past years. First, the Hope Credit resulted in a maximum of $1,800 credit, none of which was refundable. The American Opportunity Tax Credit can result in a maximum credit of $2,500. 40 percent of the credit, up to $1,000 is refundable. This is a huge change. Many taxpayers paying tuition in past years zeroed out their tax liability without using the full $1,800 of credit. Now, they will at least get 40 percent as a refundable amount. Second, the HOTC credit was based only on […]
It has been nearly a decade since Rockford Public Schools (RPS), Douglas Photography and The Rockford Squire newspaper have teamed up to recogonize special students. Over the years their stories have been moving and inspirational. This year is no exception. Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making A Difference, a supplement to the Squire was unveiled Monday, February 8. Find your copy in this issue, pick one up at the Rockford Public Schools administrative building on Main Street or at the Squire at 331 Northland Drive. Each RPS school has selected one student based on their strength of character to be included in this once-a-year program. One youngster underwent open heart surgery this school year. Another has started her own non-profit organization to help the homeless to stay warm. It was standing room only during the ceremony as parents, siblings, grandparents, school staff and the Rockford Board of Education honored the students. Dr. Shibler, Rockford Superintendent, said he values the group effort this program requires. “I am so proud of the partnershipRockford Public Schools has with the Squire and Douglas Photography,” he said. “It is a tribute to our community and families that we have students such as these.” Examples in Excellence is possible because of the advertisers who support the program. Please take time to thank the ones you know and visit the ones you don’t. If you know the students in this year’s Example in Excellence, be sure to congratulate them on this great honor.
Ric’s Food Center Rockford store Director David Brickner can’t believe how fast two years have flown by at the store. He holds up the new Tell A Friend logo, caricature of store owner Andy Woodrick, who bought the business from his dad in 1997. It seems like yesterday Ric’s Food Center opened for business, but on Monday, February 8, the store passed its second anniversary. “It feels like two minutes, not two years,” said Store Director Dave Brickner. He didn’t want the date to pass without thanking the customers that have become regulars at the family grocery. “The people have been very supportive,” he said, noting that he is often surprised at how far shoppers come to visit. Many local residents have become regulars, but shoppers come from Belding, Ada and often beyond. “They’ll tell me they live in such and such place, but every time they come through here they have to stop in.” Brickner believes winning customers comes from many things staff at Ric’s does. “I don’t believe anything is a small thing,” he said of the company philosophy of customer service and making each shopping experience a pleasure. Periodic open houses with free product sampling are among ways the store thanks to their shoppers. Periodic super-specials, such as a meat sale held this Thursday, February 11 and running through Wednesday, February 17, are other examples. Still, it is the smallest things as well as big events that Brickner believes drive loyalty. “People can do everything right, but if they don’t mean it, you can tell,” he said of his employees’ cheery attitudes. “I hear all the time how people appreciate our staff and they want to know how we do it,” he said. “If you want a friendly staff, hire friendly people.” He used as an example Carol in deli, who was the subject of a note praising her caring attitude. Brickner also credits the store’s success with the feedback they receive and follow. “We can’t do the best job if we don’t know what people are thinking,” he said. The store’s new campaign, Tell A Friend, debuted the first of the year. A caricature of owner Andy Woodrick is the star of the program, which encourages people to share their […]