January 7 2010

Rockford teens offered Study Abroad Program

January 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

The nonprofit, government designated CASE Exchange Student Program is offering Michigan teens the opportunity of participating in a year or summer Study Abroad Program in one of ten countries. Applications are being accepted through April 30 for July departure. According to Sandra Storer, CASE field development director, local teens aged 15 to 18 are eligible to participate in the program. Students are screened for maturity in handling the rigors of being a foreign exchange student, must possess a B or better average for the past two years of high school, and must abide by behavioral rules while on program. A full application process, including an interview and foreign language assessment, will be conducted by CASE. “Having been a foreign exchange student is a priceless experience that will be carried through a lifetime,” said Storer. A one- to two-week summer home-stay program in France is available for teens who desire a shorter term home-stay program. For more information, contact the CASE Field Office at 1-877-681-1812 or visit www.case-usa.org.

School Beat — January 7, 2010

January 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Health & Fitness Festival coming soon by LISA JACOBS Executive Director Rockford Community Services As we approach the New Year, for many of us this is a time to evaluate our health and fitness goals. On Saturday, Jan. 30, Rockford Community Services would like to help with this by hosting a Health & Fitness Festival. We are excited to offer families an opportunity to observe as well as participate in various fitness classes offered in the community. Also included will be informative healthy cooking demonstrations, the opportunity to visit with local businesses regarding healthy lifestyle choices, and a chance to speak with experts in health care about medical questions. This event will have several resources available in health care and healthy living for every age group. Some examples of this will be fingerprinting for the safety of younger children, speed and agility training for the serious athletes, health care screenings, glaucoma testing, alternative medicine presentations, senior living choices and more. Our goal is to bring awareness to the importance of healthy living to the community. The Health & Fitness Festival will be held at North Rockford Middle School from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you would like to participate, you are invited to reserve a booth. Please call the Rockford Community Services office at (616) 863-6322. We look forward to your support in making this an annual community event!

Rockford skaters split games at Big Rapids holiday tournament

January 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Rams hockey team opened the Big Rapids holiday tournament with an afternoon contest against the Jackson Lumen Christi Titans at Ferris State University ice arena. The Titans scored first on a screened shot from the point that Rockford senior goalie Christian VanPortfliet never had a chance on. Rockford answered less than three minutes later when junior Thomas Soupal poked in a loose puck off a scramble in front of the Jackson net. The goal was assisted by Erik Datema and junior Zach King. The teams battled hard, exchanging chances until King scored on a beautiful backhand shot from a bad angle, giving the Rams the lead. The goal was assisted by Soupal and Datema. The Titans evened it at 2-2 with 36 seconds left in the second period with a power play goal on a tipped shot from the point. The Rams again took the lead on a goal from Eric Conroy with an assist from Noah Greco. Jackson again evened it up on yet another power play goal midway through the third. The Rams went ahead for good with senior Alex Fox blasting a one-timer off a great pass from Soupal past the Titan goalie. Senior Jake Chaffee added an empty-net goal to put the game away. The win put the Rams into the championship game against the Big Rapids Cardinals, who defeated Wyandotte/Roosevelt in overtime. The championship game began with Big Rapids scoring late in the first period after both teams fought hard throughout the opening period. As the second period opened, Big Rapids forward Seth Adams picked up a turnover and scored on a breakaway, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. The Rams kept battling and cut the lead to one with Chaffee banging in a rebound off a shot by Greco just after the Rams had killed off a Big Rapids power play. The lead stayed at one only due to a great save by goalie VanPortfliet with just 25 seconds left in the second period.   The Rams fought hard in the third period, but were unable to get one past the Big Rapids goalie. Big Rapids won 2-1. Rockford seniors Eric Conroy and Robert Perry were both recognized with awards for outstanding play for both games.

Ram wrestling team still searching to find identity

January 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Coach Richardson faces former coach by TIM COOPER On Tuesday, Dec. 22, the Ram wrestling team made the short trip to Lowell to face the Division II second-ranked team in Stevensville Lakeshore and the defending Division II state champion, the Lowell Red Arrows. The Rams opened an early 4-0 lead on the Lancers of Stevensville with an 11-3 major decision by Jake Byers AT 130 pounds. In the second match, senior Drew Scogg, 135 pounds, built the lead to 7-0 with his 7-1 win. The Lancers got on the board in the 140-pound match by taking a 3-2 decision from Rockford’s Austin Scogg. Bruce Carlstrom (145) bounced back with a 6-4 decision, giving the Rams a seven-point lead at 10-3. Lakeshore took back the lead in the next two matches, with a fall at 152 pounds and a 9-3 decision in the 160-pound match. At 171 pounds, senior Jake Dorulla continued to show why he is the number-one-ranked wrestler in the state. The Eastern Michigan University-bound senior took a 15-0 technical fall in the second period, giving the Rams a 15-12 lead. Jake Johnson (189) added four more points to the Ram total with an 18-5 major decision, once again giving the Rams a seven-point lead, 19-12. Paul Creighton, wrestling up one weight class at 215, failed to best his opponent, giving up a 7-1 decision. The team score then stood at Rockford 19, Lakeshore 15. Joe Stefanski, also wrestling up a weight class at 285 pounds, proved to be the last bright spot for the Rams in this dual meet. Stefanski used his speed and strength to build an 11-1 lead before time ran out, giving Rockford their largest lead of the night at 23-15. The Lancers came charging back, winning the final four matches and giving them a 37-23 victory over the Rams. Ram Coach Richardson, for the first time as a high school coach, faced his former mentor, Coach Bruce Bittenbender of Lakeshore. Bittenbender was Richardson’s wrestling coach while Richardson was a student athlete at Lakeshore himself. Bittenbinder is also the winningest coach in Michigan high school wrestling history with 740 dual meet wins. In the second tilt, Rockford faced the Red Arrows of Lowell in a dual meet that went much […]

Appeals panel rules against full time judge in Rockford

January 7, 2010 // 0 Comments

Next up is consideration for Supreme Court decision The City of Rockford’s most recent attempt to keep a full-service court in town was turned down by the Michigan Court of Appeals, but City Manager Michael Young hopes the Michigan Supreme Court may see things differently. “We expected this,” Young said of the decision, reached months after the appeals court heard the case on October 6, 2009. Young is more hopeful the Supreme Court may have a different ruling. He said a 1970s case similar to this saw a split decision on court consolidation. Another town fought to keep a court presence from consolidation was denied because the town, Centerline, did not warrant enough judicial business to keep a full court busy. This is not the case for the Rockford court, which was among the busiest in the state. “We filed a petition to bypass the court of appeals,” Young said. He stated that the appeals court did not have the authority to overrule a precendent set by the Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court may not chose to hear the Rockford case, Young hopes it will. The City has 45 days to file an application to go to the state’s highest court. It could hear the case possibly within months. Two years into the battle to keep the court in Rockford, the City has spent about $40,000 on the case. Young said the cost of going on to the Supreme Court is very minor. He believes the case has been a valid use of taxpayer dollars because so many people consider this is an important issue. “We consulted with our attornies prior to doing this and they said it wouldn’t go over $50,000,” Young stated. Currently Kent County is remodeling about one-third of the Rockford court building and plans to have a part time magistrate work from the space. The City purchased the building in late 2009 for $10 with free rent for the County for 75 years. Should Rockford win its bid to move a full-time judge back to the location, the property will immediately transfer back to County ownership, according to the transfer agreement. Staff vacated the building late last year to a consolidated courthouse in Grand Rapids township. “We are not like […]

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