Dear Editor, They call it restructuring. It’s more like company greed. The tannery is making money, just not enough. How much is enough? Why does everyone have to leave the U.S.A. and outsource production to Asia? Sad, isn’t it. The meeting at the city council chambers on March 12 had some good ideas. Save the tannery, get industrial jobs in there. Not more stores or office buildings to sit empty for years. Get jobs for the many people losing theirs, like the 125 tannery workers. And I’m sure the $500,000 lost income to the sewer authority will make people pay more to use water. Michigan is about to leave the map! Char Allen Rockford
March 19 2009
by CLIFF and NANCY HILL GeneAnn Schaefer of Courtland & Main’s Frame and Mat Shop has told us for years that we really should attend the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Conklin, Michigan. So this St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday morning) the Squire took a 17-mile road trip west of Rockford to discover just where the heck Conklin, MI was. Turns out Conklin is a little farming community in the middle of apple country. Main Street holds a feed mill, a seed store, a general store, and the post office along with its one claim to fame, Fenian’s Irish Pub. Fenian’s is not just any Irish pub; it has been voted the number one Irish pub in Michigan. It is an authentic family-owned and operated Irish Public House. It also has the reputation of being the “Home of Irish music in West Michigan.” Fenian’s is the official or unofficial, if you will, sponsor of the town’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The 22nd Annual “Wearin’ of the Green” Parade turned out to be, as touted by Schaefer, “One hoot of a parade.” Mind you, Main Street is only three blocks long. The parade kicked off promptly at 11 a.m. from the north end of Main Street, with the intention of walking the entire three-block distance. Leading the parade was 2009 Grand Marshal Rob Schaefer (husband of Grand Marshalette, GeneAnn) proudly waving the Irish Tri-Color flag. Following right behind was Fenian’s Fiddle & Bodhran Band, along with the Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School Marching Band playing Irish tunes. The Drum Major was directing the band with an authentic Irish Shillelagh. The cast of characters was as short as the parade route itself. There were a few dogs pulled in wagons, one antique car, a couple of bikes, and a flat-bed truck whose riders were tossing green beaded necklaces and green carnations to the spectators. What made this parade special was a throng of Irish and would-be-Irish, all clad in various shades of green, which joined in the parade as it proceeded down Main Street. Ethnic origin aside, on this day, everyone present was Irish. As Irish luck would have it, Fenian’s Pub is smack-dab in the middle of the route and the parade ended right […]
Waldo joins elite company with fourth title by TIM COOPER On Thursday, March 12, 896 wrestlers from four divisions walked the floor of the Palace of Auburn Hills in the opening ceremonies of the state individual wrestling championships. Among them were eight hopeful young men from Rockford. Attendance was an all-time high with 43,454 tickets sold for the weekend. In an opening round that saw the Rams earn an amazing 28 takedowns, while giving up none, all eight advanced to the quarterfinals on Friday, March 13. At the end of the second round of competition, seven of the eight were still standing. Only CJ Scholl (152) had dropped into the consolation bracket with a heartbreaking 10-9 loss to Tyler Romijn of Temperance-Bedford. In what was the final match of his high school career, Scholl found himself nursing an injured shoulder and trailing Walled Lake Central’s Don Kril 10-1. Late in the third period, Kril gave up a penalty point by illegally slamming Scholl to the mat. Though Scholl could have used this penalty to advance to the next round, he chose to end his career with true character and allowed Krill to advance in the competition. In Friday’s semifinal round, Zach Johnson (140) felt a similar heartache when he lost 2-1 to Charlie Cordero of Rochester Hills’ Stoney Creek. Coming this close to a state championship, the Ram wrestler showed his determination by battling back in the consolation brackets. In the first round of consolations, Johnson faced a familiar foe in OK Red conference runner-up Nick Bohn of East Kentwood. Just as Johnson had done several times during the season, he dominated Bohn, winning 11-4.
21 medals earned by DENISE WEBB The excitement level was like no other this past weekend at the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state finals as hundreds of swimmers and divers from 51 Division I high schools assembled at Eastern Michigan University’s Michael H. Jones Natatorium to determine the “best of the best” in the state of Michigan. The MHSAA state finals began with preliminaries for diving on Thursday, March 13, and swimming on Friday, March 14, followed by the final meet on Saturday. “To think… 77 Division I high schools in the state of Michigan are invited to send qualified swimmers and divers to this meet,” stated Coach Tom Parks. “Several of the 51 schools that competed this year only had a couple of swimmers and divers qualify. Rockford had 13. That’s a lot! It’s been several years since we have had this much talent to send to the state level.” The Rams’ state team consisted of seniors Tyler Augustine, Guy Gordon, Mark Hecksel, Andrew Huizen, Quinton Rodriguez (diver), Andrew Sakala; juniors Derik Bothma, Alex Devries, Brian Ginebaugh, Tyler Johnson (diver), Connor Thelen; sophomores Ben Fredrickson, LJ McCauley (diver); and freshman Bryan Wasberg. A swimmer can only compete in four events at the finals-two individual races and two relays-and to do so he must place in the top 16 of those events at the preliminaries. Not many swimmers qualify for all four of the allowable events. Of Rockford’s state swimmers, only Augustine and Wasberg placed in the top 16 of four events.
Jeremy Jones, a 2007 Rockford High School graduate and former football player under Coach Ralph Munger, enjoyed a stellar year as a red-shirt freshman at Wayne State University (WSU) and continues to make a name for himself. The Wayne State Warrior in 2008 was selected to the All-GLIAC Honorable Mention Team. He was voted WSU’s Defensive Rookie of the Year and played in 10 games. The former Ram made his collegiate debut against Mercyhurst and had six tackles (3-3). He also forced a fumble and had a pass break-up, had nine tackles (4-5) at Saginaw Valley, and recorded four pass break-ups and five tackles (4-1) at Findlay. During the season, Jones made a career-high 10 tackles (6-4) at Ashland and forced a fumble. He had a team-high eight tackles (5-3) against Northern Michigan along with a pass break-up. Jones had his first two collegiate interceptions at Ferris State University to earn GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He returned the first one 86 yards for a touchdown (sixth longest in school history) and had a pass break-up on the final play against Hillsdale. Jones recorded a career-best seven solo tackles against Grand Valley, finished sixth in the GLIAC in interception return yards (86), tied for seventh in forced fumbles (two) and tied for 15th in interceptions (two). He was fifth on the squad with 63 tackles, and third with seven pass break-ups. In 2007, Jones dressed for the five home games, but did not see any playing time. He was WSU’s Defensive Scout Player of the Week for both the Findlay and Grand Valley games. Jones earned two varsity letters for Coach Munger and the Rams. He had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Holland, and finished the year with 85 total tackles-including 40 solo-to earn team defensive MVP honors. Jones had three team-leading pass break-ups along with four interceptions. He recovered a fumble, blocked a punt and had seven quarterback hurries and was selected to the OK Red Metro All-Conference First Team as well as the All-North Area Advance First Team. Jones was also among The Grand Rapids Press’ All-Area Second Team and was nominated for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association All-Star game. During his high school career he […]