June 24 2010

Move over Meijer Sculpture Park

June 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

Second work of art installed down town this week by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL  What a week last week was for Rockford. Following the city’s annual Start of Summer weekend, the popular Rogue River Blues Series returned last Tuesday night. Just prior to the music of the Jimmie Stagger Band, all in attendance were invited to the Rockford Dam Overlook for the unveiling and dedication of the Waterdance sculpture. And then, last Friday morning, directly from Palm Dessert, Calif., a cast bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln arrived in town and was placed on prominent display. “Honest Abe” is seated on a bench located in front of the pavilion, at the south end of the Natureview Properties Building that is adjacent to, and part of, the Promenade complex (think Reds, Frenz, and Paper Doll). Lincoln appears to be contemplating the presentation of the Gettysburg Address. The Lincoln statue arrived in Rockford after a 36-hour road trip from J. Willott Gallery on the west coast. Personally chauffeuring the 500-pound statue was Ken Paquette, the father of one of the gallery’s owners. Waiting for Paquette were Alan Rummler and Steve Hoogwind of Cedar Springs’ River Ridge Landscaping Company, who had been contracted for previous site preparation and final installation of the statue. Now you are probably asking the obvious question: “How did this come to be?” Rockford area resident and CEO of Rockford’s Trendwell Energy, Tom Mall, has benevolently gifted this significant work of art to the Rockford community. Celebrated sculptor Gary Lee Price, whose sculptures are in public and private collections throughout the world, created the Lincoln sculpture.   Mall said, “People love statues, and Abraham Lincoln was one of our greatest historical figures. All school-age children learn of the Gettysburg Address and how Lincoln kept us together as a nation during one of the most trying times in our country’s history. My wife, Cathy, and I believe Lincoln has great appeal to a broad spectrum of people, and we felt Rockford was the perfect venue for this statue.” Mall’s son and Trendwell Energy President Todd Mall, along with his sister and company vice president, Angela Adams, agree. Both expressed the hope that the statue will create people traffic who will detour off the White Pine Trail […]

Falling rock kills local girl

June 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

A 17-year-old Cedar Springs High School student died Wednesday, June 16, when she was hit by a falling rock in Colorado. According to Kate Rusch, spokesperson for Estes Park, Colorado, Audra Brownell, the daughter of Scott and Diane Brownell, of Algoma Township was struck about 4 p.m. in an open space off the Estes Park’s Town Hall parking lot called Knolls Willow. It was reportedly a town “green space” in a grassy area with a creek running through it. A cliff rises above the area. Rusch said that emergency responders were on the scene immediately, and the young woman was pronounced dead from her injuries. The Estes Park Police Department is conducting a death investigation and interviewing numerous witnesses to the incident. The area was closed to the public until the investigation is complete. “The community is devastated by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim,” said Estes Park Mayor Bill Pinkham. “Our police department is working around the clock to sort out the details of the incident.” The accident occurred while Audra was on a backpacking adventure with the senior high youth group at Rockford Reformed Church. “She was a wonderful Christian young lady,” said Lead pastor Rick Tigchon, “a really sweet person.” He noted that she and her family are very involved in ministry at the church, and that Audra was especially involved in kids ministry. “A lot of people are grieving, it’s been very traumatic,” said Tigchon. “But we feel God will help us through it.” Audra had just finished her junior year at Cedar Springs High School. “She was a fabulous young lady,” remarked principal Ron Behrenwald. “She was a little reserved, but not so much that it affected her socially or academically.” He said that she was in the top 10 of her class, and very academically-oriented. She was just inducted into the National Honor Society last fall, and showed interest in going to Michigan State to study in the health/sciences field. But Audra was more than academically oriented. “She was also very accomplished in band and was going to be section leader for the flutes next fall,” noted Behrenwald. He said that during a grief session held for the students Thursday, […]

Rockford’s athletic scholars honored at ceremony

June 30, 2010 // 0 Comments

A computer glitch made this picture unavailable when we published a story several weeks ago about the record-setting student athletes who are signed on with collegiate scholarships. We are pleased to be able to print it now in addition to the names of the 2010 Rockford High School (RHS) graduates who proceed to higher education and college or university athletic programs. Pictured, but not in this order, are: • basketball: Jacob Greene for Calvin College, Brent Henry for Calvin College, Megan Kelley for Hope College, Caitlyn Patterson for Calvin College; • cheer: Torri Mills for Michigan State University; • crew: Olivia Kacsits for Notre Dame; • golf: Trent Davison for Ferris State University; • football: Taylor Masiewicz for Ferris State University, Paul Mudgett for Central Michigan University, Josh Pribble for Grand Rapids Community College, Joe Stefanski for Ohio University; • lacrosse: Meagan Emery for Drexel University, Alexia O’Connor for Grand Valley State University, Andi Raymond for Towson University, Kelsei Streeter for Grand Valley State University; • softball: Lauren Pasciak for Cornerstone University, Haley Pattok for Davenport University, Morgan Ruchty for Ferris State University, Karliane Showers for Grand Rapids Community College; • swimming/diving: Erica Cutler for Bowling Green State University, Jessica Cutler for Bowling Green State University, Alex DeVries for Ramapo College of New Jersey, Brian Ginebaugh for Stevens Institute of Technology New Jersey; • soccer: Samantha Decker for Grand Valley State University, Sean Lewis for Western Michigan University; • track: Charlie Anel for Grand Valley State University, Sarah Birkmeier for Michigan State University, Katie Carlson for Hope College, Grant Gunneson for Aquinas College, Rachel Herald for United States Air Force Academy, Rachel Jerrils for Davenport University, Nick Shear for Taylor University, Margaret Smiley for New York University, Chris Wierengo for Northwood University; • volleyball: Kylie Basarabski for Northern Michigan University, Cailie Johnson for Grand Valley State University, Kim Weaver for Grand Rapids Community College; • wrestling: Jake Byers for Eastern Michigan University, Jake Dorulla for Eastern Michigan University, Jake Johnson for Eastern Michigan University, and Jake Scholten for Saint Augustine College, Ill. • • •