“The past several years have been some of the toughest in our state’s history. People tell me they want fresh bold thinking and a return to the conservative principles of less government, less taxes, a stable economy, and jobs growth,” says Dennis Smith of Cannon Township, who has joined the race to become the 73rd District’s next state representative. “I’ve been knocking on a lot of doors in the district in recent weeks,” says Smith, “and people have repeatedly lamented that neither Lansing nor Washington seems capable of fixing the problems.” Smith, a strong pro-life, pro-family, conservative, says his other core principles of smaller government, controlling spending, lower taxes and encouraging personal responsibility have resonated well with the voters in his district. “I’ve been both an employee and a business owner,” says Smith, a 25-year Steelcase employee who was retired last year. During that same period, Smith was the founder and owner of a statewide service organization, Information Network for Christian Homes (INCH). As an outspoken advocate for parental choice in education, Smith believes parents are the best determiners of what educational method best suits their children. Smith supports public, charter, private and home education. Because of his firm belief in fiscal responsibility, INCH was operated for the entire 25 years within budget, at a profit, and without ever incurring any debt. Of his business acumen, Steven Turows of West Michigan Accounting Services says, “I have been the accountant for Dennis Smith and INCH for over 20 years. During that period of time, I have found Dennis to be honest and ethical in his business dealings, and a great steward of his company’s financial affairs. In my opinion, Dennis Smith is exactly the type of representative this state needs to steer us into the future.” “I believe it was my work as executive director of INCH,” says Smith, “that best prepared me for the position of state representative. Not only did I gain a strong knowledge of sound business principles, but I was also continuously involved with the legislature during those years working to pass or defeat many bills, and working closely with many legislators. To my knowledge, I am the only candidate for the 73rd District that has any working knowledge of the legislative […]
June 10 2010
In a large school district like Rockford, earning top 10 academic honors is an incredible achievement. Rockford’s top 10 students are an example of excellence for our district. If you see any of these students in the future, congratulate them on their hard work and wish them well in their future endeavors. Rockford will be proudly represented in these students as they work toward their next accomplishments. Ryan Romain Rockford’s top graduating student and valedictorian for the RHS class of 2010 is Ryan Romain, son of Mike and Sheryl and brother to Rachael and Kylie. His graduating GPA is 4.620. Romain said his favorite class is English. Romain is Social Studies Student of the Month, National Honor Society member, and National Jack London Short Story Competition honorable mention. He participated in track and field for four years, cross country one year and bowling two years. He was cross country Athlete of the Month, most improved track athlete his junior year, All-State 4×400-meter relay, and senior All-Conference track athlete. He was in marching band for three years with 1st Division State Solo and Ensemble rating for a saxophone solo his sophomore and junior years. Inspired by other people who set high goals, and either achieve them or exhaust every effort in trying to achieve them, Romain’s advice to freshmen is to “develop strong relationships with your teachers. The teachers at Rockford are amazing, and will do anything they can to help you.” His favorite memory is “during the track and field regional meet last year, our 4×400-meter relay surprised all the competition by dropping several seconds off our previous best time, which qualified us for the state meet—the first 4×400-meter relay team to do so in several years.” Next year, Romain will attend Harvard because “it is an amazing school with limitless opportunities,” where he will major in English and minor in either government or history, and eventually become an attorney. Brian Ginebaugh Rockford’s second-highest graduate in academic achievement is Brian Ginebaugh, son of Charles and Sarah and brother to Scott. He graduates with a GPA of 4.58. Among his favorite classes are anything math and science related. Ginebaugh is a four-year academic letter winner, a member of the National Honor Society, and this year’s salutatorian. […]
Kids are always up to something. At Rockford High School (RHS), the Youth Initiative club proved they were up to the organization’s most ambitious project ever. On Wednesday, June 2, the results of their year-long labor were presented before the media, school officials and a family filled with gratitude. Youth Initiative is a high school club that adopts an annual service project. A year ago, the group decided to partner with Habitat for Humanity to give a family the chance to own a home of their own. Twelve months, 38,000 dollars and 2,000-plus volunteer hours later, the Cisneros family—a husband, wife and three young children—took possession of a two-story, rebuilt-from-the-studs-up family home in a quiet neighborhood in Grand Rapids. They had been living in a trailer with three children sharing one bedroom and the whole family sharing one small bathroom. Youth Initiative counselor Dan Modderman said he recalled the meeting a year ago when four girls came into his office with a proposal. They said they wanted a Habitat for Humanity home to be the Youth Initiative service project and would he approve it. “It’s been quite a journey,” Modderman said of the ensuing time. “There have been some dark moments, but they saw this through to its fruition and see the family take possession. Their positive attitude has been great.” The kids took on the challenge of raising funds with a community games day during the first Heirloom Tomato Festival last summer outside Reds on the River. “They showed tireless dedication,” said RHS Principal Dan Zang. He praised the students for finding creative ways to raise the incredible total they needed to purchase a foreclosed home from the City of Grand Rapids and then have it rehabilitated. “They played music in neighborhoods, they held bake sales, and RHS staff were willing to take a pie in the face at lunch time for the cause.” Ashley Gremel, who was among students interviewed by television news crews, called the year “a roller coaster with a lot of swinging hammers at the house.” Students also learned about approaching businesses to solicit help and funding. Rick Schroeder of Nugent Builders said the kids approached that company hoping for a check. “We are like everyone else,” Shroeder said. “We […]
According to Rockford City Manager Michael Young, the city water is safe and two required tests show that residents can again ingest water without having to boil it. An electrical storm that caused severe damage Monday, May 31, included two lightning hits that damaged the computer system that runs the water plant and elevated water towers. Young said he believed the Wolverine World Wide tank, which is owned by the city, was struck. The water treatment system that fills tanks in the city is automated. When tanks lower to about half full, the computer tells the plant to turn on water and refill them. Apparently the lightening fried the automated program and also the back-up that tells operators when the program isn’t working. “We have a back up system that turns on an alarm when the system is down,” Young said. Because of the damage, neither system worked and at least one of three tanks—the Wolverine tank, the North Rockford Middle School tank and the Glen Eagle tank ran low enough to allow air to enter the water system. “It’s required by the state when anything, even if it is just air, enters the water system we have to issue a boil water warning,” Young said. He said preliminary tests on Wednesday showed the water was safe and a test done 24-hours later, about 6 a.m. Thursday morning, also confirmed the water was fine. There were at least three lightning hits in the city during the several hours of the storm. During the boil water warning Young answered questions posed by residents on his blog at www.rockford.mi.us.
The National Merit Scholarship Program has announced that Rockford High School senior Mackenzie Young has earned finalist status. In the fall of 2009, 1.5 million high school students in the U.S. took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Young is one of 15,000 finalists and one of 8,200 Merit Scholarship winners nationwide. At Rockford High School, Young earned a 4.49 grade-point average, was an Odyssey of the Mind world finalist, sang with the high school choir in Washington, D.C., constructed and raised funds for the Habitat for Humanity home with Youth Initiative, and is an academic All-State athlete for varsity tennis. She plans to attend Northwestern University in the fall, considering the field of science research with a possible concentration in biochemistry and molecular biology. Young was recognized for her achievement at the May 24 Rockford Board of Education meeting.