February 17 2011

A Message for You

February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Third Time’s the Charm, I hope by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS North Kent Presbyterian Church Well, I’ve done it again. At least I sure hope I have—beaten cancer number three. Not one cancer in—and then out—of remission, but three different cancers, theoretically unrelated, over 41 years. The first one was ovarian carcinoma in 1970, found on a routine annual physical. The second one was non-Hodgkins lymphoma, 24 years later. The last one was found about this time last year—breast cancer—once again found on a regular annual physical with the help of routine mammography. “Third time’s a charm,” we say to our passenger, smiling nervously as we try “one more time” to get the car to start on that cold, snowy morning. “Third time’s the charm” is the comfort we offer to a five-year-old when the child timidly approaches the new two-wheeler after already weathering two crashes. “Third time’s a charm” is the mantra batters recite when they’ve already got two strikes against them. I sure hope the “third time is a charm.” I remember that Jesus asked Peter three times if Peter loved him. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time. He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep,” (John 21:15-17). Perhaps Jesus asked Peter three times to counter the three times when, in spite of himself, Peter had denied he even knew the Lord. Maybe he asked three times because in the Hebrew culture, three is a perfect number. Perhaps he asked three times, because the third time really is the charm. What it took Peter three times to get—and most of us a lifetime to practice—is that the question about loving the Lord and the command to feed his sheep are […]


February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Sullivan completes basic training Air Force Airman James M. Sullivan 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. Sullivan is the son of James Sullivan III of Rockford, and graduated in 2009 from Sparta Senior High School.

Program offers free spay, neuter services for all cat adoptions

February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is offering free spay and neuter services for all cat adoptions, for one week only, valued at up to $70. This program is a partnership between Vicky’s Pet Connection (VPC) and the Kent County Animal Shelter (KCAS). VPC and KCAS have been teaming up, providing services to help find homes for adoptable pets since 2000. VPC is a nonprofit animal rescue group, established in 1998, that has agreed to pay the spay/neuter fee on all adopted cats. Typically, male cat-neutering fee is $55 and a female cat spay fee is $70. However, for this coming week, it will be free. This ultimately lowers the adoption price to only $50, which covers a feline leukemia/FIV test, RCPC vaccination and a microchip ID implant. “We are proud of our community partnership with Vicky’s Pet Connection, and this program is a great initiative to help our homeless cats find loving homes,” said Cathy Raevsky, administrative health officer for KCHD. “Most important, spaying and neutering your cat is part of responsible pet ownership, and it helps cats live longer and healthier lives.” The free spay and neuter services for cat adoptions runs through Saturday, Feb. 19. The event will take place at the KCAS, 740 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. Adoption hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday. To search adoptable cats at the KCAS, please visit Petfinder.com. For more information about VPC, please visit www.vickyspetconnection.org or the Critter Cottage at 7205 Thornapple River Dr., Ada, Mich.


February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

We Deserve a Break Today by CRAIG JAMES We are finally getting a break in the prolonged winter weather pattern we’ve been having. If you, like me, think a day above freezing feels like a heat wave, it is because we just aren’t used to this “warmth.” The cold air arrived back on the first of December when five inches of snow fell, and there have only been seven days since then with no snow on the ground. Saturday, Feb. 12 was the first day above freezing in Grand Rapids since January 18, when the thermometer soared all the way to 34 degrees. That was 24 days in a row when temperatures never climbed above freezing. One more day and it would have been the longest such streak in 32 years. Between January 1 and February 12, 39 of those 43 days never saw a reading above 32. The longest streak of below-freezing temperatures we have ever recorded was 45 days from December 26, 1976 through February 8, 1977. Thankfully, winter ended in mid February 1977, but I certainly don’t believe it is over yet for this year. We will likely see occasional periods of snow and cold into April and maybe even some freezing rain, too. South of the Ohio River, it looks as if winter is basically over. This should be a great spring to travel to Florida. A strong La Niña developed this year in the Pacific Ocean. Looking back over winters that followed a strong La Niña, the signs are not very encouraging for next winter and spring in Michigan. The second and even third year after a strong La Niña is usually cold and snowy with strong tornado-producing storms in the spring. In case you haven’t heard, preliminary indications are that the state of Oklahoma set a new all-time record low temperature last week when the thermometer registered 31 degrees below zero in the northeast part of that state. You never know whether the state climatologist will decide to throw out that reading for some strange reason or other, as happened in Illinois two years ago and in Michigan in 1994, but there were several other thermometers nearby that were also below the previous record. Temperatures have risen as much as […]

REF is on ‘the Watch’ for educational opportunities

February 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

Foundation funds 43 grants worth $26,480 The “Watch Minder” is technology that enables a teacher to communicate with a student during class time through direct messaging that doesn’t disrupt other students, and it’s one example of innovation in Rockford schools that’s being funded by Rockford Education Foundation (REF) grants. The Watch Minder sends a vibration to signal students they have a message. This is valuable for students who need reinforcement to stay on task or praise for completing an assignment on time. It’s a project that has just been funded by the REF during its winter grant review. This program is one of 43 grants totaling $26,480.00 that were awarded by REF in January. REF’s mission is to fund grants that will increase educational opportunities for people of all ages in the Rockford community. Fall and winter grants were awarded this year to Assumption School; Belmont, Cannonsburg Crestwood, Lakes, MeadowRidge, Parkside, Roguewood, and Valley View elementary schools; Our Lady of Consolation School; Roguewood Spanish Immersion; North and East Rockford middle schools; Rockford Freshman Center; Rockford Community Services; Rockford High School; Rockford Christian School and River Valley Academy. The foundation is funded by gifts from individuals, businesses and organizations. The REF awards grants twice yearly and has awarded just over $900,000 in grant money to the Rockford community since its founding in 1991. The foundation has several fundraisers throughout the year, including its annual Phone-a-thon February 15-17. Volunteers will be calling Rockford area residents asking them to consider donating to REF. For information on the REF, visit www.rockfordschools.org/ref.

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