Come and welcome “The Big Noise from Scottville” to Rockford! When you see the Scottville Clown Band, you’re amused by their colorful attire and crazy antics. When you hear them play, you’re amazed at their extraordinary talent. They’ve been entertaining crowds in Michigan for over 100 years, with no sign of slowing down. In 1903, a musical group of Scottville merchants dressed up as hillbillies and began entertaining at local carnivals. Their popularity grew until World War II called its members away and the group disbanded. In 1947, a local businessman, Ray Schulte, resurrected the group, and to this day, the Scottville Clown Band continues to bring smiles to countless faces. The horns, cymbals and drums give the Clown Band their other name: “The Big Noise from Scottville.” The Scottville Clown Band will perform during the Start of Summer Celebration Parade on Saturday, June 12 at 11:00 a.m. and in the Lion’s Beverage Tent from Noon to 1:30 p.m. This FREE event is sponsored by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.
June 10 2010
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Massive flows of water from Memorial Day’s storms caused extensive damage to the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail (FMWPT) at approximately the six-mile marker just north of Belmont. Sadly, the five-inch deluge of rainfall occurred at the start of the busy summer recreational season on the state’s longest linear park, the FMWPT. Huge volumes of water trapped behind trail embankments on the FMWPT’s west side over flowed the trail’s surface and flowed downward in a torrent to the Rogue River hundreds of feet below. In one of the prettiest and scenic segments of the FMWPT, a hillside gave way and the ensuing mudslide completely engulfed the trail. A short distance away to the north, at three separate locations, the roaring waters tore away sections of the trail and created huge gorges as it thundered to the river below. Wednesday, two days after the storm, we met trailside at the damaged area with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s (DNRE) Larry Solce. Solce is the park manager of Mitchell State Park in Cadillac, who also has the added responsibility of overseeing the FMWPT. Solce was with another DNRE staffer who was clearing the mudslide from the trail with a heavy piece of equipment. It was necessary to clear the trail so the DNRE district planner and engineers could access and assess the damaged segments the following day. Solce told us that what would follow would be a bidding process before reconstruction and repairs could be made. The affected section of the trail, in all probability, would be closed for many months. The damaged section of the FMWPT will be closed to trail users during reconstruction. Barricades will be placed on the trail at the Belmont staging area on the south and at House Street to the north. Kent County Sheriff’s yellow taping is already temporarily in place. Solce stressed, “Trail users should respect the barricades, especially at this time! Sections of trail in the affected areas will continue to fall away because of the saturated ground and instability of the soil below the trail. To say it is unsafe would be an understatement. The undercut and damaged trail is extremely dangerous.” Indeed, from our vantage point this day, one could […]
After graduating from Rockford in 1992, Cameron Barr continued his studies at Central Michigan University, where he met the love of his life, Molly Shana Thomas. Three years ago, Molly was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She had a radical hysterectomy and underwent chemo and radiation. It appeared that the treatment was successful. Molly had even said that she felt guilty telling people she was a cancer survivor, because fighting it was so easy. Their family had stared cancer in the face and won. Cameron, Molly and their two daughters, Alexis and Natalie, moved on with life, and actually picked up and moved back to Molly’s home state of Oregon. After staying in Oregon for a couple years, and realizing the job market wasn’t any better out there, they moved back to Rockford. Shortly after that move, Molly started having severe back and leg pain. She put up with it for many months and even tried physical therapy. Deep down, she knew that physical therapy wasn’t going to fix what was wrong. Finally, in March of this year, Molly was able to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, the cervical cancer returned to her body. This time, however, it has spread. This time it is inoperable. With her lymph nodes being so swollen, the pain is excruciating. Molly is a strong woman and always has been. Even now she is fighting, finding something good in every day. The goal of treatment is to simply relieve her pain. Her family and friends are gathering around Molly, Cameron and the girls, giving them love, prayers and help when needed during this difficult time. As a community, you also can show your support. On June 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Rockford Community Cabin, there will be a donation dinner and silent auction. Some of the incredible donations given to the silent auction are: a teeth whitening and Sonic toothbrush (from Dr. Thomas Lambert), a chartered fishing trip and night for two (Riverquest Charters), a family photo shoot and DVD (Marie Clark Photography), many local golf courses, and much more. The Rockford Fire Department will make an appearance, giving tours of the truck to kids and will even cool them with their fire hose. There will also be face-painting […]
A new season is on for the very popular Huntington Rogue River Blues series offered by Huntington Bank, the City of Rockford and the Rockford Area Arts Commission. On Tuesday, June 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. the public is invited to enjoy the free concert on the banks of the Rogue River at Garden Club Park as the Jimmie Swagger Band kicks off the 10-week summer series. The event is sponsored for the third year by Huntington Bank, which provides funding and also hosts a booth with free giveaways at each concert. Paul Chimienti, branch manager for the local Huntington Bank at 6835 Belding Rd., said the concert is popular with people of all ages. “We have ages 5 to 85 who love to go,” he said. “Sponsoring the Blues Series is part of Huntington’s continued commitment to our local Rockford community.” Chimienti attributes the cost of the concerts—free—to their popularity, but said people also enjoy the beautiful setting, the chance to visit downtown Rockford, and the free giveaways are also a draw. The family-oriented concert series provides outstanding musical entertainment. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets, and pair the concert with a visit to local shops or restaurants. The first seven weeks of the series feature blues bands, with other musical talent the final three concerts. A suggestion for parking is the South Squires parking lot, accessed from Bridge Street entrance between Vitale’s and J.T. Stitchery, or from Main Street down to north of the Rogue Valley Towers building. A short, pleasant walk on the White Pine Trail is also an access option.
Structural deficit is for real Dear Editor, Last fall, public schools experienced a reduction of $165 per student, resulting in millions of dollars in reduced state funding, causing staff and program reductions. While I was encouraged to learn that this May’s Revenue Estimating Conference projected a $300 million surplus in the School Aid Fund, I am discouraged and appalled to learn that many of our legislators are considering allocating part of the K-12 surplus to fund community colleges and universities. This position is unequivocally unacceptable! The surplus money in the School Aid Fund must remain where it belongs and be used to restore most, if not all, of the $165 per student taken away from K-12 schools. If it is not, our 2010-11 funding will be less than it was two years ago in 2008-09, and the structural deficit is perpetuated instead of being resolved. Please contact your legislators now! Mike Shibler, Ph.D. Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools Reader opposes Presidential policy Dear President Obama, I regret you grew up not having the experience of working for several, small business owners. If you had, I believe you would be doing the opposite of what you have done to this country’s economy. Someday, you will learn that you cannot advance the well-being of our “average citizen” and his future security by unfairly increasing the tax rates on successful business owners, at the same time continue to have 44 percent (+/-) of taxpayers pay no federal income taxes! To perpetuate the vibrancy of this great nation of freedom-lovers, no one gets a “free ride.” Every citizen, say age 21 and over, should annually pay some amount toward the cost of the federal government, including national defense, etc., otherwise, we ultimately, like Rome, disintegrate. In my experiences over 80+ years, the well-being of the “average citizen” is only advanced by successful business owners and entrepreneurs taking part of their savings to start new businesses, or increase the size of existing ones, thus providing jobs at going-rate wages. Encroaching, bloated federal government, crushing national debt, forced high union wages, i.e.; Socialism, Marxism, or Statism, whatever, all weighing down the taxpayers, has never worked out successfully, long-term, anywhere, anytime, in the history of the world, and you’ll find it true, […]