May 12 2011

‘Fastest, most thorough cleanup’ on Rogue from partnership

May 12, 2011 // 0 Comments

Trout Unlimited involved in annual cleanup by BETH ALTENA Add 60 volunteers to a day of cleanup on the Rogue River and you get a lot cleaned up. Annual event organizer Andrew Kirsting, who began the Rogue River Cleanup in 2005 when he was just 15 years old, was amazed at how fast and how well this year’s group picked up other people’ garbage. Kirsting’s regular volunteers were joined this year on April 23 by members of the local Schrem’s Trout Unlimited, or others affiliated with the Rogue River as a Trout Unlimited Home Rivers Initiative. About 60 people had signed up ahead of time with more expected to show the day of the event. Despite high water due to recent storms, volunteers pulled a record amount of junk from the river, from whiskey barrels to vehicle tires. In another example of multiple-organizational cooperation, a donation from a nonprofit organization called American Rivers made separating recyclable materials from plain trash easier. That group donated blue bags with which volunteers sorted the cans, bottles and other material suitable for recycling. “We tried to do that in the past, but with all the bags looking the same it was hard to do,” said Kirsting. Rockford D&W donates the black trash bags and water, B.C. Pizza and the Corner Bar supplied the after-cleanup feast, and Celebration Cinema and the Coopersville-Marne Railroad donated prizes. Next year, Kirsting hopes to expand the cleanup from its usual expanse of three total miles of river to six. This year groups went both south from Richardson-Sowerby Park to Childsdale and also north to the Rockford dam. Instead of a half-day event, the entire cleanup took only two hours and was the most thorough cleanup so far, Kirsting reported. He is excited to perhaps double the group’s goal for next year and head twice as far down stream.  


May 12, 2011 // 0 Comments

Bristol Mr. Edwin Bristol, age 79, of Comstock Park went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. He grew up in Alpine Township and was a 1949 graduate of Sparta High School. Ed had part-time jobs at the Vinton farm and also the ice cream shop (Bloomstein)—a job that he loved. As a young man, Ed accepted Christ as his personal Savior. After high school he served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. While in the Navy, he met a beautiful lady, Ethel. On one evening he took her over to the church so he could play the organ for her. The first song he always played was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” After a loving courtship of eight months, they were married on March 7, 1953. When they returned to Sparta, Ed attended barber school and opened his practice on Courtland Street in Rockford. He made it very clear that there would be no off-colored jokes or cussing in the shop. After 34 years of dedicated service, Ed retired. He was always playing gospel music. Ed was a man who knew the Lord and walked the walk. He was a lifetime member of Alpine Baptist Church, where he served as Deacon. Ed enjoyed music and played the organ and piano. At special times, his son Jim would play the saxophone while Ed played the organ. Ed enjoyed preserving his 1943 John Deere M, which was his father’s tractor and now belongs to his son. His daughter Leona would affectionately call her father “Poppy.” Every morning Ed would sit in the sunroom and have quiet time with his devotions. He is survived by his loving wife, Ethel; his daughter, Leona and William Rusco of Comstock Park; his son, James and Linda Bristol Sr. of Belmont; daughter-in-law, Mrs. Lois Bristol; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren with the much anticipated arrival of one more; his brother, Harold and Faye Ann Bristol; several nieces and nephews. Ed was preceded in death by his son, Edwin Bristol Jr.; brother, Erwin (Shirley) Bristol; and daughter-in-law, Brenda Bristol. The service of praise and thanksgiving for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ for Mr. Bristol was Saturday at 11:00 […]

Pioneer journal tells tales of settlers to Sparta

May 12, 2011 // 0 Comments

Book signing this Saturday at Great Northern Trading Co. The real diary of early pioneers who homesteaded in the wilds of Sparta was the basis of a book of historical fiction by author Dean Cumings. With imagination and the factual basis of the diary, Cumings tells the story of the difficulties the area’s first settlers faced, from cutting a wagon path through the dense forest to surviving harsh winters. Check out “Ellie” and talk to the author this Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Great Northern Trading Company in the Squires’ Street Square. “The story is typical of the way virtually all our ancestors first settled here, in what was then the Northwest Territory,” Cumings said. A review by Dennis Allen in the Historical Society of Michigan Chronicle Magazine, Vol. 34, No.1, Spring 2011, stated, “Ellie may be a fictional account of a young girl’s journey west, but it’s historically accurate to the place and times of rural Michigan in the antebellum period. In fact, author Dean Cumings was inspired to write the story after reading a distant relative’s journal, which described the family’s migration to the frontier of territorial Michigan in the 1840s. ‘Ellie’ sees the world through the eyes of a young girl, and Cumings channels that persona into an interesting mix of historically accurate fact and fiction.” “We are pleasantly surprised to note the majority of the purchases comes from adults,” said Cumings. “They tell me they appreciate all the detail we used to describe just how our people forged their way into the complete wilderness of that era, some fifteen years prior to the Civil War.” Cumings said the process of publishing a book was also interesting and he is in his third print of 500 books with only 40 left of the current printing. Cumings has spoken to and will be presenting at local historical societies, genealogical societies, library programs (such as June 30 at the Cedar Springs Library’s adult program). The book is the work of a Kent County author and reflects how the Rockford area was settled, and how the settlers prepared the way for our way of life: agricultural first, industrial, political, religious, economical, et al. The book is also available for purchase […]

Hop A (half) Mile to help a child

May 12, 2011 // 0 Comments

Unusual race raises money for orphanage This Saturday, May 14, hop on over to North Rockford Middle School to watch or participate in an unusual hippity-hop relay race. Teams may sign up at the event for $100 per person online at “What is a hippity-hop relay?” you may ask.  It is your opportunity to sit on a big hippity-hop ball, also called a “jumping ball” and hop around half the length of a track.  Teams of four will take turns hopping legs to complete a half-mile race!  Hippity-hop balls will be provided for use on the day of the race for those registered.  Don’t worry, there will be adult sizes and kids sizes available!  This is a great opportunity to get out with your family, business, youth group, college dorm, etc. and raise money for a local charity caring for kids around the world.  We guarantee that laughs will abound, and it will be a fun time for racers and spectators alike.  The relay is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 and will be held at the North Rockford Middle School track.  To participate, teams of 4 must submit the registration form and a minimum of $100 (per team) in raised funds for WAR, International.  Registration forms can be obtained at  Due to hippity-hop logistics, the event is limited to the first 100 teams to register. Women At Risk, International (WAR, Int’l) was established in 2006 with a passion to help at-risk women around the world.  They currently partner in over 25 countries with programs that assist vulnerable women and children and those being rescued from slavery.  They also educate individuals in the United States about human trafficking and other risk issues women face around the world through conferences and in-home parties.  In 2008 WAR, Int’l opened its first retail store offering hand-crafted international gifts made by and sold in support of the women they serve.  They now have two retail boutiques in Michigan in Rockford and Wyoming and are planning to open a boutique in Naperville, IL this summer. QuackBack LLC is owned by Theresa Meendering of Grandville, MI and her sister Janet Cantrell of Oakwood, OH.  QuackBack exists to provide a fun and unique way to encourage girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and daughters.  […]


May 12, 2011 // 0 Comments

Lang-Beckett Rob and Lori Lang of Rockford are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Erika Vaughn Lang to Bradley Beckett. Erika is a 2007 graduate of Rockford High School and a 2011 graduate from Grand Valley State University. Bradley is the son of Scott and Joedy Beckett of Grand Rapids. He is a graduate of Northview High School and Hope College. The couple will wed in August 2011.  

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