January 14 2010

World record trout on display in Rockford

January 14, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Has there ever been a fisherman who has not harbored the thought of one day catching a world record fish? On September 9 of last year (09/09/09) that day arrived for 35-year Rockford resident and avid fisherman, Tom Healy. Fishing on the Manistee River with his long-time fishing buddy, Bob Woodhouse—good fishing buddies are a treasure indeed—and guided by Tim Roller of Ultimate Outfitters, Healy tied into what he knew instinctively was a “big one.” He had been working a No. 8 Rapala Shad Wrap lure when the fish struck, and it wasn’t until the fish was brought to boat that it was identified as a huge brown trout. “It was the largest brown trout I had ever seen,” said veteran fishing guide Roller. Thus began a fated chain of events that will forever change the life of the 66 year-old retired Owen-Ames-Kimball construction company president. Hoping the fish was indeed a record fish, the three called it a day and quickly returned to the Peer Pressure Charter Boat office in Manistee to weigh the fish on a certified scale. Unbelievably, the trout was measured at 43.75 inches long, with a girth of 27 inches, and weighed a whopping 41 pounds and 7 ounces. When certified by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the fish smashed the former state record by almost five pounds. These stats were then submitted to the International Game Fish Association for possible world record certification. In early December 2009, Healy was thrilled to receive notice that his catch, the largest ever hooked and landed, had established a new world record for the brown trout species. Healy’s fish had broken a previously held 17-year record by 1.2 pounds. Now, establishing a world record fish catch, especially in one of the trout species, brings with it many accolades and endorsements. Sport fishermen around the world read and heard of Healy’s magnificent grab in the press and on TV. Reading of the feat in Field & Stream magazine, Curt Redden, founder and principal artist of You Catch We Sketch (www.fishportraits.com) of Hattiesburg, Miss., contacted Healy. Redden paints high-quality original works of art of fishermen’s catches as an affordable alternative to high-priced taxidermy. Fishermen send photos and specifications […]

Free outdoor fun offered at annual Winterfest

January 14, 2010 // 0 Comments

Winter seems to last half the year in Michigan, so bundle up and love it. The local Izaak Walton League is gearing up for their annual Winterfest to be held Saturday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be held at their conservation center, 6541 Myers Lake Rd. (one half mile north of Cannonsburg Ski Lodge). Youngsters will enjoy ice-fishing in the stocked pond, sledding, snow-shoeing, archery, candle-making, garden winterscaping, crafts, hot-dogs for lunch, and more. All is for free, unless you’d like to make a donation to the club, “defenders of soil, air, water, woods, and wildlife.” Recently the club sponsored a raising “salmon-in-the-classroom” project with Christine Laug’s fourth grade class at Roguewood Elementary. Bring your family and friends to explore what the “Ikes” have to offer, and enjoy some of winter’s wonders.

Hair donation commemorates anniversary of sister’s death

January 14, 2010 // 0 Comments

by ANA OLVERA  In honor of the October 17 anniversary of her sister Barbara Liggins’ death from leukemia, Beth O’Donnell of Rockford was motivated to cut and donate her hair to enable children with hair loss a chance to use hers. Liggins of Kalamazoo was diagnosed in May 1991, the same day as her youngest son Gregory’s birthday. She was admitted into the hospital that very same day. Liggins’ sons Greg, Steve and Tim were 6, 8 and 10, respectively, at the time. She passed five months later on October 17 at the age of 37. “My family was great and helped the boys get back up on their feet,” said O’Donnell. “Now they’re three young nice boys.” Liggins had actually made it through chemotherapy. “Our other sister, Carol McCracken, had been Barb’s bone marrow donor, and complications from that transplant is what had actually killed her. She had a hemorrhage in her brain.” explained O’Donnell. “We were hoping she would make it.” Liggins was divorced at the time of her diagnosis, making her death even more painful for her sons. “I can’t imagine being in their position. I just cannot imagine losing a mom at such a young age. After her death, the boys became a lot closer with their dad and were reunited. Thankfully some good did come out of the ordeal,” said O’Donnell. Children with Hair Loss was the best choice because it is “specifically for children, free for those receiving the hair, and it’s local,” O’Donnell explained. Surprisingly, she did not feel any sad emotions while having her hair cut on October 15 at Supercuts in Rockford. “During the holidays we think of Barb, so it is sad. But it’s exciting to remember my sister in such a unique way and celebrate her life instead of being sad,” said O’Donnell. “Two of my sisters had cancer and they both said the worst thing about it was losing their hair. Especially for women and children, it’s an ugly reminder on a day-to-day basis that they are living with cancer,” said O’Donnell. “I encourage others to donate hair if they can stand growing it that long. It doesn’t take a lot to do and it brings joy to those who are not able […]

Words on Weather & Climate by Craig James — January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010 // 0 Comments

Cold weather makes headlines by CRAIG JAMES “World copes with Arctic weather…” “Winter Could Be Worst in 25 Years for USA…” “CHILL MAP…” “3 Deaths Due To Cold in Memphis…” “GAS SUPPLIES RUNNING OUT IN UK…” “Elderly burn books for warmth?” “Vermont sets ‘all-time record for one snowstorm’…” “Iowa temps ‘a solid 30 degrees below normal’…” “Seoul buried in heaviest snowfall in 70 years…” “Historic ice build-up shuts down NJ nuclear power plant…” “Midwest Sees Near-Record Lows, Snow By The Foot…” “Miami shivers from coldest weather in decade…” These are just a few of the headlines from newspapers last week about the very cold weather across much of the northern hemisphere. In the first 10 days of January, there were over 700 cold temperature records either tied or broken in just the United States alone, making it one of the coldest starts to a new year on record. There were snowflakes reported Saturday morning, January 9 as far south as Naples, Florida, and even into the northern portions of Dade County, where Miami is located. The last time that happened was back in 1977. Over 100,000 tropical fish have died in south Florida from the cold and—in one of the strangest reports I have ever seen—giant iguanas became comatose from the cold and fell from trees. The National Weather Service could have issued a falling iguana warning. One winter, obviously, doesn’t make a climate trend and just as you can’t point to one storm or heat wave to prove global warming, you can’t point to one cold wave to indicate the end of global warming. Using one cold wave to claim climate change is equally in error. In a White House press briefing, Friday, Jan. 8, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated, “Worldwide record cold is the result of climate change.” At least he knew how ridiculous it would sound if he had said it was the result of global warming. One weather pattern is not climate. The cold weather this winter can very easily be explained by natural phenomena such as changing ocean currents. However, the fact there hasn’t been any warming in the past decade and that a number of new studies suggest global cooling on the horizon, may indeed indicate a change in the […]

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