June 18 2009

Firefighters take on propane blazes

June 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

The public is safer from the threat of a propane disaster, thanks to training offered by the Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA). Cannon, Courtland and Oakfield Township firefighters practiced defeating propane fires on Monday, June 15. “This may be the only propane training any of them ever receive,” said Derek Dalling, spokesperson for the MPGA. Firefighters followed classroom-style training with hands-on practice turning off the fuel source of burning propane tanks. They used a hose technique that allows a firefighter to get close to the huge blaze and reach through the wall of protective water. “No other fire burns like propane,” said Dalling. Michigan uses more propane than any other state in the country. Grill fires are the most common type of propane emergency to which firefighters respond. Tanks should only be filled to 85 percent because propane expands in heat. Fires can also be caused by homemade fixes of damaged hoses. Although firefighters have to  literally reach into the fire to stop the flow of fuel, they also face frostbite due to the temperature of the escaping fuel. The fire practice was interrupted when a call came in about a fire with flames showing. The first responders quickly realized someone had called in their practice as an out-of-control  fire.

Casnovia woman dies in weekend crash

June 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Alpine Avenue was closed Saturday, June 13, while rescue workers responded to a fatal accident at M-37 and Sparta Avenue. Jane Carlson, 63, Carl Carson, 64, and a 12-year-old child, all of Casnovia, were passengers in a 2006 Ford van.The van was driven by Todd Carlson, 40, and was traveling southbound on M-37. A 2004 Ford Explorer driving by Linda Liscombe, 66, of Sparta, entered M-37 southbound off Sparta Avenue. The Explorer struck the Carlson vehicle, which ran off the roadway into the median before rolling several times. Jane Carlson, who was in a rear seat of the van, was ejected and was pronounced dead at the scene.  The other occupants of the vehicle were treated for injuries and were transported to Spectrum Hospital Downtown.          

Highest praise for longest-serving City Manager

June 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

This year marks 14 years that Michael F. Young has presided as City Manager for the City of Rockford. He is officially the longest serving City Manager of our City. The Rockford City Council recently evaluated Young on ten (10) criteria based on a five (5) point scale. The combined average ranking as determined by the evaluation instrument was a 4.45. This equates to a 94 percent overall performance rating. Young received particularly high marks in the area of presentation and preparation of oral and written reports and the overall fiscal health of the City including the tax rate and fund equity. Other areas receiving high marks include budget development, grant writing and initiative to provide new and approved methods of service to the residents of Rockford. As a result of the excellent evaluation, Young was granted a contract extension through the 2012-13 fiscal year. Mayor Janiece Rogers stated, “Council is very pleased with Michael’s performance and his evaluation reflects this.” Rogers further stated that, “Council relies on Michael to guide the City in the right direction and with this tough economy, he has done just that.”

Start of Summer – the magic continues!

June 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and Start of Summer Celebration committee would like to again thank this great community, the businesses, and all the volunteers for their participation and support of the 41st Annual Start of Summer Celebration.  Even the unpredictable weather couldn’t deter our spirits! The RCC would like to sincerely thank the Start of Summer Celebration committee for all their hard work and their continuing commitment to this event:  Polly VonEschen – SOS Chair; Gay McDonald – Entertainment Chair; Rene Bravata – Parade Chair; Linda Southwick – Craft Chair, Ruth – Clean Up Chair, Candy Lancioni – Children’s Tent Chair, Trisha Schmidt, Dr. Mike Shibler, John & Mike Scheidel, Michael Young, Chief Dave Jones, Chief Mike Reus, Jody Greco, JD Decker, Jeannie Gregory, and Dianna VanAntwerp. A special thank you to City of Rockford, Rockford DPW, Rockford Police Department, Rockford Fire Department, Rockford Ambulance, Rockford Education Foundation, Scheidel Electric, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, ASP team from RUMC, Bob Wells, and the Kent County Sheriff Department!  Once again their contribution of time and talents was a major factor in creating a safe and very successful SOS celebration. Thank you to Byrne Electrical Specialists Inc, Meijer Inc, Independent Bank Rockford, Wynalda Litho Inc, D & W Fresh Market, and Best Buy on Alpine for sponsoring the fantastic fireworks display! As always our hometown newspapers, the Rockford Independent and the Rockford Squire always provide excellent coverage of the events and we are very thankful for their support! THANKS ROCKFORD!

New Rockford business has long family history

June 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

One of Rockford’s newest businesses may well be one of its oldest. The Sweet Tooth, run by Tracie Riebschleger with the help of her family, is born of a family business started by Greek immigrants in 1906. The Koinis family began selling popcorn, hot peanuts-and cigarettes-from wagons shortly after they arrived in America, and members of the family have been doing it ever since (except for the cigarettes). Tracie was drawn to the fascinating vending wagons when she was a child of three or four. The family across the street owned them, and when she saw the wagons coming in after a festival or carnival, she asked her mother if she could cross the street and get a closer look. Her mother always told her no. She was allowed to play with the boy who lived there, though. They would catch bees together. Eventually Tracie’s family moved away. Years later, when both were working a summer job at a harness racing downs, she began to date the guy who worked the wagon and whose family owned the concessions there. She didn’t make the conection until he took her to his house-across the street from her old home. Now Tracie is working the family trade, selling carmel popcorn and apples made in the shop at 53 E. Bridge by the original Koinis recipe. It’s not even written down. The neighbor she ended up marrying is local businessman Ron Riebschleger, and he holds the family recipe. Much of the equipment in the store is also handed down and dates to the 40s and 50s. For those who love old-fashioned, authentic treats, this store will be tops. The Sweet Tooth offers a wide variety of popcorns, a Chicago-style that is better, some say, than the stuff you buy in Chicago. The cheese popcorn is also made completely by scratch. There is fountain pop, and Tracie’s favorite, shaved ice. With 26 varieties and two in sugar free, there are plenty of flavors to choose from. Kids like the Tiger’s Blood because of the deep color. Also popular is Crazy Eight, a mix of eight flavors that should not taste good together but do. Remember Fizzies? You put the tablets in a glass or bottle of water and have carbonated, […]

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