January 26 2012

Hydroponic systems available close to home at Northern Lights Garden Supply

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Going green has never been so easy Northern Lights Garden Supply is ready to grow with Cedar Springs—literally. The one-stop grow shop is located at 141111 White Creek Avenue and is family owned by Jamie Taylor and operated by her husband Jason. The Taylors note that people who live in the area have to drive a considerable distance for specialized gardening supplies such as those offered by Northern Lights. The store includes specialty growing systems and organic supplies that are increasing in popularity. In addition to the store’s wide variety of products, the advice of a professional who understands options, including economic solutions, is another value of shopping locally. “We are all about displaying the products we sell,” Jamie noted. In the store, visitors can see the difference in the speed and vigor of plant growth using products sold by the company. The trailing vines and huge leaves of a pumpkin grown in a hydroponic system dwarf one grown in a pot in soil, an amazing demonstration that gardeners can see for themselves in the store. A three-month-old banana plant, pumpkin, zucchini and flowers growing in the showroom demonstrate indoor options for year-around growing. Jason said it is fun to experiment with growing plants in different mediums—soil, cocoa, and hydroponics—so customers can see the many different ways to grow indoors. “We support Michigan growing green,” said Jamie. “Hydroponics is our specialty and it is great for the environment. It saves water and uses less than ten percent water than soil-grown plants. It can also be used anywhere and produces up to five times as much as soil in the same space.” Northern Lights Garden Supply features a wide variety of products from Foxfarm nutrients, Botanicare nutrients, SunHuts, BC Bloom, Humbolt nutrients, Magnum XXX reflectors, Eye Hortilux and Uship bulbs as well as Roots soil. Coming soon will be House and Garden nutrients. Indoor gardeners from beginners to seasoned vets will find their needs met, and Jason listens with care to customers in order to bring products and supplies shoppers want. Package deals help keep costs down and a complete hydroponics set-up can be as low as $275. Weekly specials are also offered. Northern Lights Garden Supply is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to […]


January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

SCHOOL BEAT MEAP results set to be released with new cut scores by DOUG VANDERJAGT District Assessment Coordinator Rockford Freshman Center Principal Within the next few weeks, detailed MEAP results with adjusted cut scores are scheduled to be released to districts as they brace for this highly anticipated event. For years, these results would arrive over the summer, as parents and students relish in three quiet months away from the school system. Now, in the cool winter months, the results are on the brink of full disclosure in the same year in which the tests were administered. The MEAP is our annual assessment that is used to gauge how our students are performing on state-approved content standards. This test helps us define what students should know and be able to do in English, writing, math, science, and social studies in grades kindergarten through 12. In the previous years, we would obtain our district scores and relish in the fact that our students score near the top in every area across the board. This will continue to be the case, although the scores may look different for each individual student. New higher cut scores have been set for the MEAP, as well as the MME that is administered to our 11th-graders in the spring. With these new cut scores, proficiency now means that students are progressing appropriately toward college readiness. This could likely change how the public views the performance of districts, schools and students throughout the state. Cut scores represent a judgment about the percentage of questions that a student needs to answer correctly to meet some type of performance standard. While the cut scores have changed, the actual test has not, thus students’ actual raw scores are not affected. In the past, cut score levels were set for a manufacturing-based economy. With more students heading to college after high school, and with new national tests on the horizon, state education officials felt that it was the time to revisit what levels of performance would be needed to be “proficient.” The new cut scores reflect a determination about the point a student will be successful in the next grade or in college. It is important to understand that the “proficiency” label from the MEAP is […]

Hope announces Dean’s List

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Hope College, located in Holland, Mich., is pleased to announce its Dean’s List for the first semester of the 2011-2012 school year. To be named to the Dean’s List, a student must have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. Among those listed are Rockford students: senior Alyssa Brillinger, freshman Sloan Ouellette, junior Megan Kelley, freshman Taylor Rummel, sophomore Lauren Girard, freshman Kaitlin Cress, junior Patrick Malley, senior Rachel Doud, sophomore Peyton Wells, sophomore Katie Carlson, senior Lisa Markham, senior Karli Rowe and freshman Paige Fawcett. Other local students listed are junior Bennett Riddering of Belmont, senior Amy Veltkamp of Cedar Springs, and senior Rachel Jantz of Sparta. Hope College is a four-year, co-educational, liberal arts college with an enrollment of 3,249 men and women and is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America.

Squire reporters discover town’s largest burl

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Talk about your bulbous protrusions! by CLIFF AND NANCY On an undisclosed piece of private property within the City of Rockford stands a tree, which is encapsulated by the largest “burl”, we have ever seen. What’s a burl you ask? Wikipedia tells us that a burl is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner. It is commonly found in the form of a rounded out growth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds. Almost all burl wood is covered by bark. A burl results from a tree undergoing some form of stress. Most burls grow beneath the ground but the one in the picture completely encircles the tree some five feet above the ground. Burls yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood prized for its beauty by many. Its rarity also adds to its expense. It is sought after by furniture makers, artists, and wood sculptors. Some burls are highly valued and sliced into veneers for furniture, inlay in doors, picture frames, household objects, automobile interior paneling and trim, and woodturning. Burl wood is very hard to work, with hand tools or on a lathe, because its grain is twisted and interlocked, causing it to chip and chatter unpredictably. This “wild grain” makes burl wood extremely dense and resistant to splitting, which makes it valued for bowls, mallets, and mauls for hammering chisels and driving wooden pegs. The Rockford tree that holds the burl is dead and denuded of bark making it nigh unto impossible to identify the species of tree. It is a huge burl and is approximately 6 feet high and 6 feet in diameter dwarfing the charming and delightful Squire reporter, Nancy Hill, a perfect foil for gauging its size.

OBITUARIES — Charles W. Grover Sr.

January 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

Grover Charles W. Grover Sr., 80, of Tavares, Fla. passed away January 15, 2012. Charlie is survived by his wife, Shirley; sister, Rebecca Cannady (John) of Camilla, Ga.; six children, Chuck Jr. (Janice) of Grand Rapids, Michael (Mary) of Grand Rapids, Susan Wilson (Jim) of Chippewa Lake; stepchildren, Cathie D’Itri (Ken) of California, Leslie North (Dan) of Florida, Dana Miiller (Kevin) of Florida; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Charlie was born May 15, 1931 in Big Rapids, Mich. Upon moving to Rockford he started grade school. Prior to starting high school, he and a few of his buddies at the age of 14 drove from Rockford all the way to Georgia one summer to visit his father. After graduating in 1949 from Rockford High School, Charlie served as a sergeant in the Armed Forces during Korean War. After his return from the war, he worked for Lear Seigler for several years. Charlie then owned and operated his own body shops for many years, including Grover’s Body Shop in downtown Rockford and another shop located on Northland Drive. His body shops were always a popular place where his friends liked to stop by and talk about their cars, work and families. Chuck also worked for Chevy dealerships as their body shop manager for several years before moving to Florida to somewhat retire. But his love for restoring old cars kept him busy up until the age of 79. There is no doubt he loved not only working on cars but teaching others the trade as well. Charlie was a past Mason and Shriner during his years in the Rockford area. He served part time for the Rockford City Police Department and was instrumental in starting the Rockford Ambulance Service back in the mid 1960s when he was an EMT volunteer for several years. He was a member of the Golden R Club at Rockford High School. Most every year he would plan his summer vacation with his daughter Sue and her husband to attend the reunion and visit with classmates, friends and family. Charlie made many friends over the years. He was always willing to offer a helping hand and good sound advice for those who asked and a lot of time even if they didn’t. Many […]

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