This spring, The Rockford Squire reported that five historic people in the Rockford area were honored at Recognition Plaza at Peppler Park. The event is a newer tradition in its second year and organized by the Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE). Each year, RACE will honor people from the City of Rockford and the townships of Algoma, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield. In addition to the gift of grants, recognizing the people who have contributed significantly to the history of the area is among the Endowment’s goals. When visiting the beautiful Peppler Park Recognition Plaza (on the west side of the dam), take the time to read the names on the bricks under your feet and in plaques on the columns in the park. The following is one more of the stories of this year’s honorees, with others to follow in future issues of the Squire. Wendell and Donna Briggs At six years old, Wendell Briggs was taught to play the saxophone at Hager’s Music on the corner of Jefferson and Wealthy streets in Grand Rapids. He was later taught by Roy Middleton to play other instruments. He then joined a band, which played for both dances and weddings. It was at a Plainfield Township Fire fundraiser that Wendell met Donna. He and Donna were married on April 15, 1950, at the old Assumption Church in Belmont, Mich. They have three daughters and three sons, as well as 18 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Wendell and Donna have participated in and been appointed or elected to various positions among clubs and organizations throughout the community. Among his many achievements, Wendell was elected president of the Rockford Sportsman’s Club, appointed to the Plainfield Township Planning Commission, involved with the Michigan State University Public Policy Institute, elected to the Michigan United Conservation Clubs board of directors and served as president, elected as master of the Rockford Masonic Lodge, chosen as president of the Comstock Park Rotary, elected as trustee for Plainfield Charter Township for a number of years, and served on the Plainfield Township Recreation Committee. Donna was active in the Rockford Eastern Star and Rockford Sportsman’s Club, and was alternate director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. Today, Wendell and Donna are both members of the Plainfield Charter […]
July 23 2009
Sheriff Larry Stelma would like to congratulate the following employees on their accomplishments, retirements and respective promotions. Chief Deputy Tom Hillen has announced his retirement. Captain Bruce Partridge will be assuming the duties of the Chief Deputy. Lt. Jack Medendorp will be promoted to the rank of captain of the Road Patrol Division. Chief Deputy Hillen has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1977. He began his career as a cadet and in 1979 he was hired as a corrections officer. In 1982, he accepted a position within the Patrol Division and was assigned to the North Service Sector. After demonstrating his aptitude for traffic crash investigations, Hillen was assigned to the Traffic Safety Unit in 1994. He was one of West Michigan’s first accident re-constructionists. He has been called on many times by departments around the state because of his technical skills in accident reconstruction. In 1994, Hillen was promoted to the rank of sergeant. In 1997, he was promoted to the position of lieutenant in charge of emergency management. While in emergency management, he was able to forge relationships with area emergency management coordinators, police chiefs and fire chiefs. He was able to assist public safety departments in West Michigan by helping them create preparedness plans for natural disasters. In 2000, Hillen was promoted to the rank of captain and was given the responsibility of supervising the Support Services Division. In 2002, he was promoted by Sheriff Stelma to the position of chief deputy and has occupied that position for the past seven years. As chief deputy, Hillen embraced the difficult duty of maintaining the budget and was able to lead the department through tough economic times. He also secured important funds for the Sheriff’s Office as the grant fiduciary. Chief Deputy Hillen always maintained a high level of integrity and professionalism and went above and beyond in providing customer service to the public. Sheriff Stelma and the employees of the Sheriff’s Office congratulate Tom Hillen on his illustrious career and his retirement. Bruce Partridge began his 36-year career with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office as a cadet in 1973 and was hired as a correction officer in 1974. He was assigned to the Road Patrol Division in 1974 and worked as a […]
First-time homebuyer credit needs to be clarified Over the past few weeks, we have received a number of calls requesting further information and clarification on the federal government’s first-time homebuyer credit. The confusion relates to the differences between the credit that was available for homes purchased in 2008 and the credit available for homes purchased in 2009. Federal Form 5405 is filed to claim either of the credits. However, if the home was purchased in 2009, there is a box that is checked indicating that the home was purchased between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009. If this box is checked, the amount of the credit is $8,000. If this box is not checked, the home is presumed to have been purchased between April 8, 2008 and December 31, 2008. The amount of the credit for these 2008 purchases is $7,500. The 2009 credit is $8,000 and the 2008 credit is $7,500 for a difference of only $500, an apparently small amount. But the main difference is much more than the $500. The 2008 credit is really a loan and must be paid back at the rate of $500 per year over 15 years. The $500 will be considered an added tax beginning in the 2010 tax year. We are presuming there will be a line added to the tax return where the $500 will be entered. In our world of phenomenally high-powered computers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), without a doubt, will track this credit and will expect the $500 to be paid each year. There will be no interest charged on the $7,500. It just has to be re-paid at the rate of $500 per year. If the taxpayer sells the house before the full amount of the loan has been repaid, the unpaid remaining amount must be paid on the next filed tax return. For houses purchased in 2009, the $8,000 credit is not a loan. It is a true refundable credit and does not have to be re-paid. The purchasers must keep the house as their primary residence for the next three years after the purchase, or the entire $8,000 must be paid back. There is no proration of the $8,000. Either the purchasers get the full credit to […]
The fourth-grade students at Rockford Public Schools’ (RPS) summer program recently took a bike ride on the White Pine Trail. Their reward was ice cream at Trailside Treats in Belmont. The summer program is held at the RPS administration building. The students go swimming, go on walking and bus field trips, participate in gym, nature, and craft classes. Another highlight of this summer was magician Maciek Biezunski, who made birds and rabbits magically appear.