July 16 2009

Armed robber holds up local credit union

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA “It isn’t against any law to go into a bank with a helmet on, but it certainly should be a red flag for tellers,” said Kent County Sheriff Lt. Kevin Kelley. The Sheriff’s Department, assisted by task force members from the Grand Rapids office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are seeking the identity of a gunman who robbed the Lake Michigan Credit Union on Ten Mile Road at 9:05 a.m. Monday, July 13. In charge of the investigation is Kent County officer Brad Mercer, who reported the individual was a white man with a handgun jammed into his pants as he entered the credit union in Algoma Township. Without taking out the gun, the robber collected money from the tellers in the office and left in about one minute. He fled on a bright green motor bike with “knobby tires.” “He went west on Ten Mile Road and that’s the last anyone saw of him,” Mercer stated. Without knowing the individuals criminal background, Mercer said it was impossible to guess what sentence he will face when caught. “I’d say a minimum of five years if it was a first offense. Bank robbery carries a severe punishment.” Mercer said the department has just recently arrested a serial ring of bank robbers, six individuals whose crimes go back to 2003. He said those were violent ones where several armed thieves entered the banks. Carrying a weapon into a bank robbery increases the possible sentence. Because tellers are routinely told to hand over the money with  or without a weapon, there isn’t much reason to carry a gun or other weapon. According to Kelley, about half of bank robbers do carry a weapon. He said it makes no difference to the case that the office is a credit union rather than a bank. Still images from the credit union security cameras were released and anyone with any information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345. “Most of the time we do find out who is responsible,” said Kelley. He said investigation often turns up the suspect but others convicted of crimes trying to improve their own circumstances turn in the names of […]

Sun, fun and sand in store at Score for third Volley for Mitchell

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

Sun and fun and the new sand courts at the Score Restaurant and Sports Bar, 5301 Northland Drive, is the site of this year’s Volley for Mitchell. In its third year, this event is open to all, and organizer Pete MacGregor would like to see more teen teams sign up. Middle school and high school age kids will have as much fun as the “weekend warriors” on this one-day event. On Saturday, August 8, play will begin at 8 a.m. but the money raised will be appreciated forever. All funds go to Project Parent, a Rockford organization which donates money to find a cure for Duschenne Muscular Dystrophy. Rockford’s Mitchell Peterson, who will enter eighth grade next school year, has rallied the town while he fights the disease. Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford is coming up on Saturday, August 15 and is in its eleventh year. Last year’s event, which also included a family picnic, live bands, a silent auction and fun activities, raised an astronomical $72,200. Volley for Mitchell contributed $7,200 to that total last year and would like to top $10,000 with this year’s event. MacGregor said the day is sure to fun for all who participate. Last year over 150 people signed up for the four-on-four tournament. This year Score donated the use of its new sand, volleyball courts. There is a new sponsor, Timberland Pro, in addition to others, such as Print Rockford which donates printing,  Rockford Ambulance, the Corner Bar and ChoiceOne Bank. State Representative Tom Pearce is expected MC again. The play is co-ed teams, although all-girl teams are accepted. It is rally-style scoring, points on every volley, first to 15, best two out of three win Match. First place wins a cool prize. The cost is $60 per team with another $25 to receive a t-shirt. More information is available at www.volleyformitchell.org. MacGregor said the idea was conceived when he was sitting around a campfire with Mitchell’s parents Sandy and Steve Peterson. MacGregor said he knows how much Rockford supports the family and their cause, and though this would be a good venue for those who aren’t runners. Watch for more on this year’s Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford or visit at www.mitchellsrun.org.

Bike tour rolls into Rockford this Thursday

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

They will have seen 335 miles of beautiful Michigan scenery by the time their seven day son the road are done. On Thursday, July 16, an approximated 600 bike riders will roll into our town for a camp out at North Rockford Middle School before finishing their ride. Barry Culham, organizer for the 18th annual Michigander Bicycle Tour, said he expects many of the riders to start coming in to Rockford between 1 to 4 p.m. They would be wise to head downtown to enjoy sidewalk sales before having dinner at the school. Friday morning, after breakfast at the school, they will hit their last leg of the journey. This is the second year in a row the tour has included a stop in Rockford. For long-time Rockford teacher Bonnie Lindke, now retired, it will be her first time on the long ride. Lindke is an avid cyclist who has gone on other long rides, including hitting the carriage roads in Maine’s Acadia National Park. She is a former Rockford tennis and gymnastic coach and said she started the school’s gymnastic program. Lindke has been training for the tour and averages 200 miles a week on her bike. She advises bike riding can be a wonderful sport, but helmets need to be worn by children and adults alike. “You never know what can happen,” she said, using a cantaloupe on the sidewalk analogy for a bike crash. “I’m very excited and looking forward to being in a big group, although we all have our own speeds. It isn’t a race, it’s a tour.” Culham said that the tour started when Rails to Trails was in its infancy and was a way to promote Michigan’s trails. Now the state has a nice network of recreational trails and improvements continue. The tour provides meals for the bikers and transports supplies to each daily destination. Highlighting different trails is a priority each year. The camping tour costs between $290 to $300 per participant. Culham said those interested in next year’s tour can visit online at Michigantrails.org. Send the organization a self-addressed, stamped envelope and they will provide a map of Michigan trails.

Maghielse after hours a tour and a mystery

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Now is a great time to invest in real estate, and on Monday, July 13, Steve and Denise Maghielse showed off a recent investment of their own. The building at 117 Courtland is the newly remodelled office of Maghielse & Company and was the location of July’s Rockford Chamber After Hours. In a short speech, Steve told business men and women of the Rockford area about their decision to purchase “the smallest office in Rockford,” and how pleased they are to own their own downtown location. Steve said now is a historical low in interest rates and buying power-a great time to purchase a business building or home. He said many people know that first-time buyers get an $8,000 tax credit for their purchase. “Most people think of that as kids with their first home, but an older couple who have been enjoying the country by RV for the past three years also qualify. Most people don’t know that,” he said. The Mahielse’s also showed off a “first-generation window display” that is installed on the window of the office. Available 24 hours a day, the automated display is interactive and provides a audio and video of available homes. Just enter the code and listen and watch the discription. The couple plan to include their properties in the west coast of Florida so future snowbirds can see what is available there right from the Rockford office front. Finally, Denise said she knew from old pictures that the building at one time was a barber shop. However, in the basement they found an old piece of equipment that has intrigued them. With a patent of 1918 and a plaque calling it a press, the old hand-geared item is a puzzle. If anyone (except Squire reporters Cliff and Nancy Hill, who already figured it out) can correctly identify the item, they will be entered into a drawing for a dinner to Grill One Eleven. The item can be seen behind the office at 117 Courtland. If you think you know what it is, write the information down and drop it off in the office on Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. After hours, put your guess in the brouchure box next to the item in […]

Campout combines fun, community

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Crestwood’s Cub Scout Pack 3285 finished their Pack year with an overnight campout at Camp Roger in May. The event, attended by 26 Scouts plus their adult partners, combined skill-building, community service, teamwork and adventure into a fun-filled weekend.   For many of the kids, this was their first time camping. Younger Scouts stayed in cabins and the older Webelo Scouts set up their own tent sites. Sessions in orienteering, archery and building were available to the group. In addition, Scouts and their partners took advantage of the beautiful weather by hiking the many trails, and boating and fishing on Little Bostwick Lake.     Following a traditional campfire cookout and sing-a-long, the Scouts retired 33 American flags that were donated by community members.     “I had never seen a flag retirement ceremony before,” reported Den Leader Tom Triesenburg. “It was quite a learning experience.” During the solemn ceremony, each of the four dens retired a large, tattered flag. Each Scout and their partner also retired a small flag-that at one time marked the grave of a veteran on Memorial Day-by burning the flags, one at a time, over a hot campfire. The following morning the ashes were buried and the grommets retrieved as a token for the Pack of their service. Eight brave members of the Pack became the inaugural members of the Pack’s Polar Cub Club by taking a dip in the lake early Sunday morning. Led by parents Matt Fetterman and Bill Helm, the boys jumped, slid, frolicked and dipped in the cold morning waters to earn their membership. The Pack thanks their sponsors who, through their generous donations of goods and services, made this possible for the group: Jeff DeJager, D&W, Family Fare, Lowe’s, Meijer, and Old Orchard brands.

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