Townships consider cost agreements for sewer infrastructure by BETH ALTENA “What you see happening in 2012 is what we anticipated in 1997 and perhaps earlier.” During Plainfield Township’s Monday, July 2 board meeting, Plainfield Township Manager Robert Homan discussed a proposed agreement for the North Kent Sewer Authority (NKSA) management and staff replace the Kent County DPW in providing management and operational services for the North Kent Sewage Disposal System starting October 1 of this year. The board considered aspects of an agreement which will divide up how members of the NKSA will maintain the infrastructure—pipes, motors, lift stations, etc.—which takes wastewater from residential homes and businesses in each community to the wastewater treatment plant on Coit Avenue. The City of Rockford and the townships of Alpine, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield make up the NKSA. Of the five communities that have been allied in the creation of NKSA, two, Courtland Township and the City of Rockford, would continue maintaining their individual collection systems under the terms of the agreement. Rockford has maintained its own sewer structure with their Department of Public Works for decades. Courtland Township a year ago hired a private company to maintain the sewer lines and take care of any failures of the system as they arise. However, both Rockford and Courtland Township will participate in the agreement as NKSA partners and co-owners of those portions of the North Kent system used by more than one community. An example of this is a large sewer main that runs down Belding Road, carrying wastewater from Courtland and Cannon townships. Homan refers to the document as an addition to the original agreement creating the NKSA. An agreement with Kent County for maintenance of the sewer lines expired in 2008, and was not renewed, but the county agreed to a five-year extension to give communities time to decide how and who would be responsible for the operation of the system in the future. NKSA’s solution is to do it themselves. With a competent staff of six now managing and operating NKSA’s PARCC Side Clean Water Plant and the addition of two former county employees plus one more person, members of NKSA believe by taking the job into their own hands they will maintain better control […]
July 12 2012
Hometown heroes prepare for state police careers On Sunday, June 10, 92 prospective troopers reported to the Michigan State Police (MSP) Training Academy in Lansing for the first day of the 123rd Trooper Recruit School. For the next 19 weeks, between wake-up at 5 a.m. and lights-out at 10 p.m., the recruits will receive training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving. Current MSP members and academy staff, including a school commander, assistant commander and 16 troopers from across the state assigned to the MSP Training Academy on a temporary basis will provide the instruction. Because the school is a residential program, the recruits are only allowed to leave the MSP Training Academy from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Recruits who successfully complete the training will graduate on October 19, 2012. “Starting the first of two trooper recruit schools this year is good news,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “It is our hope these recruits will successfully meet and exceed the challenges they will face during these next few months, after which time they will join the proud men and women of the Michigan State Police who serve in communities statewide with excellence, integrity and courtesy on a daily basis.” Funding made available as part of Gov. Rick Snyder’s public safety plan allows the department to run two trooper recruit schools this calendar year in order to hire 180 new troopers. A second recruit school is set to begin in October. Recruiting is currently underway; interested candidates should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information. The department solicited over 3,000 potential candidates for the 123rd Trooper Recruit School. Special emphasis was given to recruiting military veterans and certified police officers without employment. In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview. As of May 26, 2012, there were 910 at-post troopers stationed at 29 posts across Michigan. This is the first class held since 35 members of the 122nd Trooper Recruit School graduated on May 13, 2011. The 123rd Trooper Recruit School participants include David Williams of Belmont and […]
by CINDY M. CRANMER A crowd started gathering Monday night, July 9 in downtown Rockford to hear an impromptu performance by the Rockford Aces. This is not unusual as the group returned from Cincinnati as the top finishing team in their category in points in the United States and third in the world. The team returned from the World Choir Games on Sunday, July 8. The seventh World Choir Games (WCG), which takes place every two years, was in the United States for the first time this year. Choirs from all over the world participated in the events that began July 4 and continue through Saturday, July 14. More than 15,000 participants from 64 nations including 362 choirs registered to compete in the biggest international choral competition in the world known as “the Olympics of choral music.” “This was just incredible. It was a music lover’s dream,” said Connor Jewell, who graduated after three years in the Rockford Aces. The goal of the WCG is to unite people from all nations through singing in peaceful competition. Hundreds of thousands of spectators gather to hear the performances in the 23 different categories and two divisions: champion and non-champion. The Rockford Aces is an all-male choir consisting of 12 Rockford High School students from freshman to seniors. They performed in the champion category due to their successes at state competitions. The Rockford A Capella Extracurricular Singers (ACES) are led by Jed Scott, a composer and arranger. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of this group,” said Jed Scott, husband of Rockford High School choir teacher, Mandy Scott. “Every challenge I threw at them they met it with a resounding yes.” The group was formed when the Scotts moved to Rockford in 2008. The two categories the group performed in at WCG were Young Male Choirs, which is a classical category for ages 25 and under, and Popular Choral Music, which was open to all ages. Groups received medals on a point system. Earning 80 to 100 points meant someone could get a gold medal, 60 to 80 points earned a silver, and 40 to 60 points earned a bronze. The Rockford Aces was the highest silver medalist in the Young Male Choirs category with two […]
Lawmaker honored for leadership for children, youth, families State Rep. Peter MacGregor was recently honored with the 2011 Crime Fighter Award from the Michigan chapter of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a statewide crime prevention organization led by Michigan police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and crime survivors. The organization cited MacGregor’s role on the House Appropriations subcommittee on Community Health in leading the effort to certify funding for voluntary home visiting and parent-education programs aimed to improve family functioning. “Investing in programs that keep our children safe is very important to our state’s success, and I appreciate the recognition for my efforts, but the credit truly belongs with the organization,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford.” Through my work on the Appropriations Committee, I interact with many organizations and have been extremely impressed by the work of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids in our local communities.” MacGregor was honored during a May 23 awards presentation at the state Capitol.
Payton’s Race for a Cure a fun family event Saturday, July 21, visit Grattan Raceway, 7201 Lessiter Road in Belding, for a day of motocross racing (quads are allowed), kids’ activities, food concessions, raffle tent, and music with a local celebrity DJ. The event is the fourth annual Payton’s Race for a Cure to raise awareness of mitochondrial disease which local girl Payton DeWitt suffers from. This year’s event again includes a charity motorcycle ride in cooperation wit the Sparta Moose Lodge. The ride has grown to an amazing number of participants who come from the Belmont, Lowell and Sparta areas. With the theme of “Leaving Mito Disease in the Dust,” the event has donated over $25,000 to the mitochondrial disease community (Mito community, MitoAction and the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation) over the last three years. “The first year I did it for fun and to help a good cause,” said participant Bill Kremer. “Now I do it because Payton and her family and friends are an inspiration to me and my family.” Mitochondrial disease is a deficiency in the body’s ability to form energy leaving all other organs and life supporting functions to suffer. It affects people from head to toe. It preys on adults with later onset, but it also preys on innocent children forcing their lives to be hindered by this monster. Symptoms range in severity from mild to fatal. There is no treatment, no cure and minimal research is being completed due to lack of funding. There is only care, comfort and maintenance for the patient. One in 4,000 children will develop a mitochondrial disease by the age of 10 years old. Find out more about the event on paytonsraceforacure.com. The event begins with rider sign-in at 8 a.m. and activities begin at 11 a.m.