June 2 2011

Special preparation adds new twist to prom

June 2, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford teacher Ian Throop and his students do something special for prom. Throop works with students with cognitive impairments. They include students who have autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), mild to moderate cognitive impairments, and learning disabilities. The students in his room have academic and social needs. “Our goal is to teach them functional academic skills, social skills, job skills, as well as expand their interests and hobbies,” said Throop. “We also try to give our students as many opportunities to participate in the same activities that everyone else might get—obviously, only if the student wants to. Our prom trip is one of those opportunities that we felt the students could really have some good learning experiences while participating in the same things that all the others got to do.” In preparation for prom, staff taught the students about manners, dinner table conversation, and formal dinner etiquette. They practiced some of the fun songs that are typical dance songs like the “Cha Cha Slide” and the “Cupid Shuffle.” Staff also worked with the parents to coordinate a drop-off and pick-up time to Rockford High School, because the students likely would not have been able to go otherwise, as these students don’t drive. “We then worked with The Party Gator, a limo company based in Greenville, and they donated their services at a much reduced rate to allow our students to arrive in style to prom, and with Dunhill Tuxedo on Northland Drive, who donated prom attire for the staff to wear to prom.” Needless to say, the students had a blast.  

Ruger state championship draws nearly 100 shooters

June 2, 2011 // 0 Comments

On Saturday, May 21, the Rockford Sportsman’s Club (RSC) hosted the Michigan state championship of the Ruger Rimfire Shooting Competition. This was a charity shoot and RSC will be donating a check for $2,700 to Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA). The sport is popular and there will be 12 sanctioned regional and state Rimfire matches in 2011, reported Scott Fries, match director. “We had 77 registered shooters. A .22 caliber pistol and rifle were required. Each of the six unique stages involved all steel targets, which allows the shooter to instantly tell if they had a hit or a miss,” Fries said. Winners of a prize table with over $3,000 in donated items from 19 national and local sponsors were chosen by a random drawing. Among the prizes shooters could win were three Ruger firearms. A junior competitor won a $350 bow package from the Great Lakes Outdoors Foundation. All shooters that completed the courses of fire took home a prize that included gift certificates and firearms accessories. “This match was made possible by twenty RSC member volunteers that step up again and again to ensure that our events are fun, well organized, and safe,” said Fries. Winners included: first place Men’s Limited Division, Reuben Mishler of Kalamazoo (first place, men’s limited division), and Jake Wedge of Belding (second place). First place in men’s open division was Terry Waskul of Richland, with Garrett Beck from Port Huron in second. First in women’s limited division was Tiffany Wedge of Belding. All junior shooters received a participation award plaque. “It was truly a great way to celebrate Armed Forces Day!” reported Fries. “We have received dozens of 100 percent positive e-mails and comments about this match, and we all very much look forward to hosting this event again next year,” Fries said. For more information and pictures regarding this and future events, check out www.rockfordsportsmansclub.com. RSC is a 501-C3 organization and all events are open to the public. More information about HAVA may be obtained online at www.honoredveterans.org.  


June 2, 2011 // 0 Comments

A family’s letter to RHS graduating seniors Graduation is a wonderful time of transition filled with both excitement and nervousness. Our daughter and sister, Kailey Sturr, will also be experiencing this transition into adulthood along with you, her peers, beginning with that walk across the stage on June 7. For those who do not know, Kailey has Angelman Syndrome. Her educational journey here in Rockford is one that individuals of her level of cognitive functioning rarely get to experience and benefit from, as she has done so beautifully and successfully. But Kailey is not the only one who has benefited. Many of you students, as well as adults, personally have been touched by learning side by side with Kailey. As well, Kailey has been touched and learned crucial skills by being schooled together with you. You taught her valuable social skills by being with you that could not be taught by educators in a segregated disabled campus. She lacked for nothing as she strove to reach her potential. As you go on to become our future educators, business owners, doctors, caregivers, therapists, neighbors and even special needs parents yourself, our hope and prayer is that you can take with you the inherent value of ALL students being educated together in their home schools regardless of “label.” The unlimited value to the student, the family and ultimately the entire community cannot be expressed fully here. Know that our hearts are overflowing with pride, gratitude, a sense of belonging and truly being full members of our community. Our vision for Kailey as well as our goal in educating others has always come from our family belief: “Within the heart of each community, EVERYONE belongs.” School is one very important part of a community. The process of educating Kailey in her home school has been full of many obstacles and stretched many administrators’ and educators’ comfort levels, stereotypes and set practices. As a whole, Rockford has embraced Kailey and continues to do so in creative and genuine ways. We are so thankful. Though Kailey is non-verbal, when we walk her across that stage, her smile will be saying LOUD and CLEAR, “I’m so glad to have shared these years with all of you!” Mother Theresa once said, “In […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

June 2, 2011 // 0 Comments

  The BOSS Mother Nature has given us a nice place to live. We have what we need: air, water and gravity. We know how to get food. The trees, flowers, hills and beaches are attractive. Obviously, however, MN really doesn’t give a darn about us. Willy-nilly, she delivers a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or volcanic eruption. All we can do is try to get out of the way. She knows who’s boss, and so do we. Oh, no, it’s starting! Seventeen months until the next election and it already dominates the news. The long, drawn-out fight among the politicians won’t be about US but about who captures power. Elections are pretty much decided by television these days—and the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can pay for all the ad$ they want (without even having to tell). This can’t be good. I wish we the people could quit paying salaries to our elected officials. After all, the corporations are happy to buy them. Prognosis An artist asked the gallery owner if there had been any interest in her paintings on display. “Well, I have good news and bad news,” the owner responded. “The good news is that a gentleman noticed your work and wondered if it would appreciate in value after your death. I told him it would, and he bought all ten of your paintings.” “That’s wonderful!” said the artist. “What’s the bad news?” “The gentleman was your doctor.” Conjugal bliss #1 My wife has not spoken to me in three days. I think it has something to do with what happened on Sunday night when she thought she heard a noise downstairs. She nudged me and whispered, “Wake up, wake up!” “What’s the matter?” I asked. “There are burglars in the kitchen. I think they’re eating the tuna casserole I made tonight.” “That’ll teach ’em!” I answered. Conjugal bliss #2 An elderly couple was driving across the country. While the wife was behind the wheel, the highway patrol pulled them over. “Ma’am, did you know you were speeding?” asked the officer. The woman, hard of hearing, turned to her husband and asked, “What did he say?” “He said you were speeding!” the old man shouted. “May I see your license?” asked the officer. The […]

THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

June 2, 2011 // 0 Comments

Tax Amnesty, new 1099-K Most of what we have been reading about the State of Michigan lately concerns Governor Snyder’s quest to get a budget passed as soon as possible. It looks like he will successful, too. We might not all like the final result, but at least a budget will be in place before October this year. Michigan has other programs currently going on, such as Tax Amnesty. Every few years Michigan gives individual taxpayers and business taxpayers the opportunity to catch up on any delinquent taxes they might owe without having to pay the penalties associated with the tax. This year’s version started on May 15 and lasts through June 30, 2011. Michigan hopes to collect an extra 60 million dollars or so this time around. Tax Amnesty applies to only 2009 and earlier returns such as Michigan Business Tax returns; Single Business Tax returns; Sales, Use, and Withholding Tax returns; and Income Tax returns. It does not apply to 2010 returns. Tax Amnesty applies only to the penalties associated with these returns. In order to qualify for amnesty, Michigan must receive full payment of all tax due and 100% of all interest due. They have designed a special amnesty form, Michigan Tax Amnesty Application Form 3855, that must accompany the check. The taxpayer will not be granted tax amnesty if a completed Form 3855 does not accompany the check. The package must be postmarked by the June 30 date. If the form is right, the tax paid is right, and the interest is right, all applicable penalties will then be forgiven. There is an online calculator for the interest due. I would recommend using that calculator. Evidently the law that created this year’s amnesty mandates that 100% of the interest must be paid. If the taxpayer is only $1 short on the interest, amnesty will not be granted and the penalties will not be forgiven. With that in mind, it might pay to add a few dollars of interest to the check just to be sure the interest is covered. Michigan has stated they will refund any overpayments. The online calculator can be accessed at www.MiTaxAmnesty.org or their telephone number is (855) 466-4829. Tax amnesty does not apply to city income tax […]

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