July 26 2012
Malfroid Mrs. Merry C. Malfroid, aged 67, passed away on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Merry was a long-time employee at MSU Extension and a long-time member of Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council (GGRWHC). Merry was preceded by her husband, Jerome. Left to cherish her memory are her son, Mark (Erin MacGregor) Malfroid; daughter, Kathy (Michael) Krenz; grandchildren, Daniel Krenz, David Krenz and Elizabeth Krenz; her brothers- and sisters-in-law, Larry (Joan) Malfroid, Ken (Eileen) Malfroid, John (Litha) Malfroid, Ole (Pat Mayhew) Jacobsen and Marilyn Niewiek; and special friends, Jim and Sharon Flickinger and Saundra Hill. Merry was a kind and gentle person who will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Funeral services were held Monday, July 23 at 11:00 a.m. at Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Dr. NE, Belmont. Please share a memory and sign the family’s online guest book at www.stegengafuneralchapel.com. Memorial contributions may be made in Merry’s name to Kent County 4-H Youth Development Endowment c/o 4-H Foundation, 240 Spartan Way, E. Lansing, MI 48824.
by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society Several weeks ago, my friend Shirley Norman mentioned that she and some friends had been reminiscing about Thor and thought that his history might make for an interesting column. I knew who Thor was and remembered seeing him often when first coming to Rockford in 1960. He was a Saint Bernard dog who made our town his home. Thor belonged to Ted and Frances Carlson and their children Dave and Kirsten. I contacted Kirsten (Kirsten Farmer now) to get more details and found that he came into the family because the children wanted a dog. “My mother was not going to have a dog, but we persuaded her to go to a kennel to look. No dog was coming home with her, but when Thor tugged at my mother’s coat, she was hooked. Of course I promised to walk him, feed him, give him a bath and to generally watch over him,” said Kristen, “and we took him home to our house on South Fremont Street in Rockford.” So Thor’s official residence was the Carlson house, but the town was his domain. Readers have told me that he visited stores, went into houses, sat in cars, stole laundry off clotheslines, played with children, loved to chase beside sleds and toboggans, and even attended church. He would steal mittens, drool on his human playmates and dig sometimes in yards. Several people remembered seeing him walking through Rockford carrying a large leg bone. It seems that Thor often went to Harold Stelma’s store, where he was given the prized possession. He was friendly and liked people. I was told by one reader that Thor was present at a slumber party at the Carlsons’ house when one of the girls fell asleep. Other girls carefully put cream cheese on the sleeper’s face. Thor then did his part and licked it off. Frances Carlson sometimes would be called to come and get Thor out of someone’s house or car. One Sunday Thor came through the open doors of the Congregational Church and walked down the aisle almost to the choir area before ushers took him back outside and closed him out. Many people in our town, including our police chief, knew […]
by STEVE GRIMM Cannon Township Supervisor On March 28, 2011, the Cannon Township Board unanimously approved a new contract with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Under the new contract Cannon pays for a 12-hour shift, replacing the two eight-hour shifts for which we were previously paying. At the time this was implemented, our concern was our ability to maintain the level of service with the diminished hours. While there has been no significant diminution in criminal activity in Cannon Township this year, there has also been no diminution in our ability to handle it. In other words, cutting our dedicated law enforcement hours from 16 hours per day to 12 made no difference in the level of service. By decreasing the hours and maintaining the level of service, we have saved the taxpayers over $75,000 per year. Based on these numbers, the Sheriff’s Dept. has told us that at present, there is no need to increase the hours back to 16. These results are very interesting, and inspirational to those who favor leaner government with no diminution in service. One area we did not reduce was supplemental patrols, which provide extra coverage in the summer. We extended that coverage to Rockford home game nights and Halloween. The extra patrols are staggered during the summer to maximize visibility and deterrence. One of the discussions that have taken place is paying for law enforcement with a millage versus the use of the township’s general fund monies. Millage monies would be used by the Sheriff’s Department without any control or input from the township. If general fund monies are dedicated for the Sheriff’s Department, the township can specify how those monies are to be allocated. The township spends $231,000 for the 12-hour shift coverage. The Board believes that taxes are high enough without adding another millage for law enforcement, which is the most basic service a township should provide. Recently, there were several break-ins of cars in the Bella Vista area. The sheriff’s dispatch received a call regarding suspicious activity in the early morning hours when an overtime car was in the area. The quick response of the overtime car resulted in the identification of a suspect. According to Lt. Scott Brown, the subsequent investigation led to charges […]
As many of you know, Rockford’s Harvest Festival, which has traditionally run for three weekends—the last weekend in September and the first two weekends in October—has been cut back to two weekends, starting on October 6 for 2012. But that doesn’t mean that there will be no activity in town on the last weekend in September. In fact the excitement may be greater than usual because of activities planned by the Rockford Area Historical Society (RAHS) and the new Rockford Area Museum (RAM). As in the past, scarecrow building will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30 at the current museum on Bridge Street. This popular fundraiser is a community favorite. All funds raised benefit the RAHS and North Kent Community Services. In addition, the former courthouse next to City Hall, the future home of the new museum, will be the site of an exciting auction on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29. Actually, this will be a three-way auction—an online auction will begin well before “Museum Weekend.” An announcement will be made when items are posted there and available for bidding. The events downtown will include a silent auction, which will be available for viewing and bidding at the former courthouse on Friday evening and on Saturday, as well as an exciting live auction outdoors. Plans are to have food and beverages and entertainment available at the auction site on both dates. Put this weekend on your calendar. Bring the whole family downtown for a truly enjoyable time. There will be something for everyone. Both events are being run entirely by volunteers including the services of two area auction professionals, who have generously offered to help. Jack Robillard Auctioneers of Rockford and OAS International, part of the Miedema Auctioneering group of companies, are joining forces to provide RAHS with professional assistance in planning and conducting this major fundraiser. If you would like to help, you can call (616) 866-2235 to offer small-size clothing items, which are always needed for the scarecrow project. If it is necessary to leave a message, please do so. Someone will contact you about your donation. The auction is seeking auction items and volunteers to help with this large undertaking. Item donations could include household […]