Beware: the funny season approacheth! Dear Editor, With the August 7 primary elections right around the corner, even those of us that live in Cannon Township will be facing it. There will be those coming forward saying that Cannon Township is in bad shape and needs new leadership, when in fact in the last year and a half, this board has added $.5 million to the general fund balance, along with ten major accomplishments during that time. With officers on the board like Steve Grimm as supervisor, Bonnie Blackledge as clerk, and Dick Davies as treasurer, we will continue to do just fine. Given the present state of the U.S. economy with many government agencies having serious financial problems, now is not the time for us to make any major changes. Nick VanBelkum Fire Board Member Law Enforcement & Sewer Committee Member
May 17 2012
by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society This column is about a player I coached at Rockford High School. His name is Arlo Elkins, and he left a lasting impression on my life. Recently he passed away and memories of him keep popping up in my mind. Arlo’s best sport was tennis and, after graduation from Rockford High School in 1967, he went on to play in college and then on the pro tour. He was also a club pro and then the head girls’ tennis coach at the University of South Carolina where his teams were nationally ranked almost every year. He resigned earlier this year because of his health. He had coached there since 1984. Often, when he came back to Rockford, he would stop by to visit. I enjoyed seeing him, yet my best memories go back to his high school days when I coached him in junior varsity football, varsity and JV basketball, and varsity tennis. His father Ardie and mother Norrine both worked for the school and his older brothers Larry and Dan were both athletes, so Arlo often could be found “hanging around” the athletic areas when he was growing up. Was he a pest? No! He was a “gym rat.” He was a team manager. He helped with our summer swim program. He liked to be busy, and he usually was fun to be around. He was an average football player, an excellent basketball player, and a tremendous tennis participant. Often I am asked which athlete I think was Rockford High School’s greatest, and I cannot make that selection. I do know who was our greatest tennis player though. ARLO ELKINS! In his four-year high school career, he won 72 regular season matches and lost two (both in his freshman year). In his senior year he won the MHSAA Class B number one singles title. That season he only lost one set all year. By chance, I was the tennis coach because our coach left and no one wanted the job. Arlo actually coached the team while I tried to supervise the squad. I also kept him in line when he got a bit “cocky.” He was one of those “rare” athletes who did what he said […]
The 2012 MSVMA All State Choir list has been published and Rockford again boasted one of the largest school groups in the state when the choir met at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival at Western Michigan University May 10-12. This is one of the state’s highest honors for a chorister. Out of the thousands who audition across Michigan in October, only the singers with the highest of audition scores at Regional Honors Choir are selected for this honor; the audition must be nearly flawless to be considered for All State Choir. Congratulations to the following six students who represented themselves, Rockford High School and the Rockford community at this most prestigious event: (pictured, l–r) Ben Reitemeier, Hannah Schroeder, Sarah Ombry, Jill Nelson, Emilee Bodien, and Michael Sunday.
by PETE KRUER Rockford Ace Hardware Well, we learned more than we probably wanted about charcoal grilling. Ha! Ha! Now we are going to get into the fun stuff: cooking! Rob Russel from “The Good Ones” and “Three Little Pigs” has a meatloaf recipe that is a big hit at the barbeque circuit around the country. So, give it a try. It’s out of this world delicious! Rob’s Hickory Smoked Meatloaf 2 eggs 1/3 cup Three Little Pigs A/N Sweet 1 Tablespoon garlic salt 1 teaspoon Hickory Smoked Sea salt 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 onion, chopped (optional) 1/2 cup crushed Saltine crackers 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs 2 pounds lean ground beef 2 Tablespoons Three Little Pigs A/N Sweet Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until smooth, then whisk in 1/3 cup barbeque sauce, garlic salt, Hickory Smoked Sea Salt, black pepper, celery salt, cumin and Worcestershire sauce until evenly smooth. Mix in the onion, crushed crackers, bread crumbs and ground beef with your hands until evenly blended. Pack the mixture into the prepared pan. Brush the top of the meatloaf with 2 more tablespoons of barbeque sauce. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 F (70 C). If you are going to smoke this, I suggest putting it in a pan to keep the juices to add flavor. Be sure to take the juices to make great gravy. If smoking in the Open Range, I would kick the temperature up to 300 F for 1-1/2 hours or until internal meat temperature reaches 160 F and no more. The “no more” is the secret.
by CINDY M. CRANMER A bill to move back the kindergarten start date in Michigan is moving forward after the Senate Education Committee approved a three-year plan to phase it in. Sen. Darwin Booher, the bills’ sponsor, told The Rockford Squire that the five-member panel ended up split over the decision after hearing extensive testimony from educators on Wednesday, March 21. Kindergarten teachers statewide have supported the measure overall, while some school administrators voiced opposition to the plan. Rolling back the eligibility date means fewer students starting kindergarten and the state saving millions in per-student allowances that are provided to public schools. Booher said he is in support of using the savings as an opportunity to restore support and invest in early childhood programs that have been underfunded. Four-year-olds have been eligible to start kindergarten in Michigan as long as they turn five by December 1 of the school year they begin. After concerns were voiced by school districts, a phased-in plan that staggers the cut-off for kindergarten eligibility was approved. During the 2012-2013 school year, the cut-off will be November 1. It will be moved back to October 1 for the 2013-2014 school year and the cut-off by the 2014-2015 school year would be September 1. The original bill had an exception, but that language has since been taken out, but some administrators are pushing for that in the final bill. “A large part of kindergarten is learning how to adapt socially,” said Farwell Superintendent Carl Seiter. “When students struggle with the social aspect, the academics suffer.” “From an education standpoint, I think the shift will help student achievement in the long run,” Seiter said. “Academically, it’s going to be a good move.” “Financially, this could impact schools,” Seiter said. “I would choose the academic aspects over the financial aspects at this point.” Locally, Rockford Superintendent Dr. Michael Shibler said parents have the most information about whether students are ready for school. “I really think the people who are most qualified to decide if students are ready for kindergarten are the parents,” Shibler said. “I really think the parents and the school district should make the decision.” Shibler said he likes the idea of allowing for testing to appeal the decision if the age […]