January 6 2011

Sheriff Stelma congratulates employees on promotions

January 6, 2011 // 0 Comments

Captain Michelle Young will be promoted to the rank of chief deputy. Lieutenant Kevin Kelley will be promoted to the rank of captain of the Road Patrol Division, and Lieutenant Charles Dewitt will be promoted to the rank of captain of the Technology/Communications Division.   Young began her career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office on December 11, 1989, as a corrections officer. In 1994, she was promoted to sergeant, overseeing the records unit, and in 1999, she achieved the rank of lieutenant. In August 2002, Young was assigned as lieutenant in charge of the road patrol’s south substation. On January 1, 2007, Young was promoted to the rank of captain and assigned to the Technology/Communications Division. She was instrumental in the development and activation of the central call-taking center implemented in 2010. Young is being promoted to chief deputy of the County Sheriff’s Office. Kelley began his employment with the county at the Sheriff’s Department on June 5, 1989, as a county patrol officer. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2003 and in 2007 was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in charge of the Technology/Communications Division. Kelley is bing promoted to captain in charge of the Road Patrol Division. Dewitt began his career at the Kent County Sheriff’s Department on July 31, 1995, as a county patrol officer. While on the road patrol, he also worked as an E-Unit officer. In 2002, Dewitt was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the detective bureau. In 2007, he was promoted to lieutenant. Dewitt is being promoted to captain in charge of the Technoogy/Communication Division.

Leaders panel examines the state of the community

January 6, 2011 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA  The year 2011 is a milestone for the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, which will celebrate 50 years of supporting the greater Rockford business community. At the organization’s December luncheon, a panel of five community leaders shared their thoughts on the present and future of Rockford. Rockford Chamber Board President Dr. Carl Stites, outgoing State Representative Tom Pearce, County Commissioner Roger Morgan, Rockford City Manager Michael Young, and Rockford Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Shibler each spoke Monday, Dec. 6 at Rockford High School. Stites said the Rockford Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1961 and the community was very different. That year, Rockford High School graduated 150 seniors, compared to 660 this year. “Back then, Lake Bella Vista was a swamp,” said Stites. “This whole area has grown immensely. The Rockford Chamber has doubled in size in the last 12 to 15 years.” Stites said that as a board, the Chamber has been contemplating how to manage the growth of the organization and recently held brainstorming sessions, has organized focus groups and has asked members for their feedback. He said the number one request members asked for was marketing. “It’s an exciting time to be in the Chamber,” Stites stated. “We intend to use your input to plan for the next ten to twenty years and look forward to another great fifty years.” The Chamber membership, within just a few percentage points, exists of the businesses in downtown Rockford and the outlying business communities, such as Belmont, Cedar Rock and Cannon Township. “It’s not just the downtown anymore, the way it was in the 1960s when the business community existed as the Squires Street Square Association. We do represent everybody,” Stites said. State Representative Tom Pearce spoke following Stites. Term-limited out of office, Pearce said his years as state representative “were an incredible time for me.” He said there were many things he and his colleagues in Lansing were unable to accomplish, but one point of pride was reintroducing the 2X formula for school funding. This is a measure designed to increase the lowest-funded schools at an increased level compared to the schools which receive higher levels of state funding. He said for the last three out of four years the funding […]

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

January 6, 2011 // 0 Comments

Congress passes late tax law Welcome to the 2011 tax season. It’s going to be a season with some challenges. First, our Congress passed a very late tax law. They waited until December 16 to pass the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. Predominantly, the law extends the Bush Tax Cuts and various other provisions to the 2011 and 2012 tax years. Everyone likes stability; especially tax professionals who are diligently doing tax planning with their clients. They have to be pleased to know, with a great amount of certainty, that at least the laws in effect right now will still be in effect for the next two years. Granted, Congress may pass new laws along the way, but the ones passed on December 16 will most likely stand as they are printed. Congress has provided stability by keeping the 2010 tax rates the same for the next two years. Those rates will be 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35%. In addition, the capital gains rates and rules will be the same for the next two years. Long-term capital gains will be taxed at a maximum of 15%. For taxpayers in the 10% and 15% tax brackets, a special tax rate of 0% will continue to apply for the next two years. The Alternative Minimum Tax has been fixed through December 31, 2012. The favorable education tax credits and deductions that were modified by the American Opportunity Tax Credit are now available through 2012. The increased Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credits were extended. In total, there are over two pages of provisions that were extended through 2012. It’s not the 2011 and 2012 provisions that will cause problems for this tax season. The problem arises because Congress did a very unusual thing. They retroactively brought back several provisions that had expired on December 31, 2009. Before the advent of electronic filing, Congress could make changes with very little repercussion right up until December 31. Since returns were completed by hand, the Internal Revenue Service just adjusted the form and issued new written instructions telling taxpayers, tax professionals, and their own employees how to implement the changes. It’s quite a bit more difficult to deal with late […]

BIRTHDAYS — January 8–14

January 6, 2011 // 0 Comments

8th Midge Eckert, Jan Havemeier, Pamela Newman  9th Evan Dubey, Ryan Eckert, Julie Mullet, Ernest Reed, John Ypma  10th Julie Kunkel, Bud Milligan, Julie Orr, Matt Trendt, Evelyn VanTimmeren, Gavin Vilchez  11th Lauren Freeland, Laurie Woods-Lyons, Darcy Olson 12th Kimber Leigh Hill, Dorine Pell, Sarah Western  13th Claire Berlin, Nell Fredrick, Lauren Huber, Caroline Molinosky, Kelly Olson,Teresa Sargent, Katie Thome, Katrina Thome  14th Jerry Ayers, Brian Hills, Florence Kramer, Susan Phillips, Hazel Stahl

‘Kids helping kids’ a hit at Valley View

January 6, 2011 // 0 Comments

So many kids are willing to help others at Valley View Elementary School that there are more volunteers than those looking for a buddy. The “Ram Buddy” is a student who has filled out an application to help another student in their daily walk at school. Some responsibilities would be encouragement, saying hello, inviting and playing with the student at recess, helping in areas of need in schoolwork and being a positive influence on the other child. It is kids helping kids! Both sides will benefit from this great opportunity to build character and kindness. The “Ram Buddy” is partnered with a student who has been chosen by the staff as one who might benefit from an encouraging friend. “The system in place does not single a student out. It is set up to be just a great buddy system. We are excited to see this started at the elementary level,” said Shawn Aulbach of Valley View. “They have this going at [North Rockford Middle School] and has had great success! We had over 150 students [third through fifth grade] sign up to be a Ram Buddy, and we only had 50 to 60 needed with kids that could benefit from this connection.”

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