May 20 2010

Owl family continues to grow despite obstacles

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

The city was scheduled to cut down the dead tree on Courtland Street in Rockford that the eastern screech owl family was living in until Dan Heeringa arrived home just in time to inform them that the tree was inhabited with owl chicks. The family was saved and continues to grow. Sunday evening one of the chicks decided to solo out of the nest, landed on the ground and couldn’t get back. Seems like there’s always one in the nest that thinks he’s ready to fly before he really is—in humans we call them “risk takers”! Heeringa wasn’t sure about rescuing this wild bird, but put on gloves and headed up the ladder to return it to the nest. Luckily it was accepted by the parents again and continues to thrive with its other two siblings. The Heeringas and their neighbors have enjoyed watching the parent birds flying, hunting and screeching during feeding the young owls at night.

Roguewood Elementary students on board for unique field trip

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

Area youngsters put on lifejackets and boarded the research vessel the W.G. Jackson on May 7 for a two-and-a-half-hour hands-on, investigative science experience which is truly a unique learning experience. In this floating classroom, aquatic science instructors guide participants in the use of sampling equipment and instruments to compile water quality data from Lake Michigan and shoreline water bodies. Sampling equipment used on a standard cruise includes a plankton net, Van Dorn water bottles, and a PONAR dredge. Equipment for determining water color, transparency (secchi disk), and temperature is also found on the vessels. Each of the main cabins on the vessels has a laboratory with stations for water analysis including dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and conductivity. Other types of analyses can include nitrates, phosphates and alkalinity. Microscopes with video cameras are used for examining biological samples. Other instruments on the vessels are a global positioning system (GPS) and depth finders. Data from sampling stations are compared and contrasted to develop an understanding of Lake Michigan and inland lake or river ecology. For school groups, attention is paid to aligning the cruise experience with Michigan science standards.

Rockford women’s varsity water polo wins districts

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

There was a lot learned May 14-15 at the East Grand Rapids natatorium during the East District Women’s Water Polo tournament. Head Coach Scott Voltz and his team showed some new lineups and offensive plays, different defensive match-ups and, most of all, that they can win a critical game when it counted. Coming into the tournament with second seed following two earlier-season close losses to East Kentwood, the Lady Rams were determined to beat the Falcons to gain fairst seed from the East District heading into regionals. To get to the final game against East Kentwood, however, the Rams could not look past fast and powerful East Grand Rapids (EGR). The Rams had just beaten the tournament hosts in Rockford during their senior night, and the Pioneers wanted revenge. It appeared they might get it. EGR came out strong and scored the only goal of the first quarter. The Lady Rams looked flat, with not the crispest of passes and several missed shots on goal. Fortunately, the Rockford girls got into the game in the second quarter, finding the back of the net three times. The Pioneers responded with a quick goal to start the third quarter, and a five-meter shot drawn on a Rams penalty. Coach Voltz called key time-outs, and the Rams kept their cool and continued to push on defense. When the final whistle blew, the Rams were on top, 7-4, led by senior Natalie Beeg (three goals, one assist), sophomore Casey Wolfer (two goals, three assists), and seniors Ashley Gremel and Christina Weston, each with one goal and one assist. Junior goalie Tiffany Elenbaas was tough in goal, with eight saves and two steals. When the Rams returned to the EGR natatorium at 2:15 Saturday afternoon to take on the East Kentwood Falcons, they knew they wanted to get on the board first and not look back. Their defense had been solid all season; they just needed to dial in on the net and a couple of key Falcon players. Rockford’s Wolfer started the scoring, with two goals in the first quarter and one in the second. She led the team with five goals and three key steals, followed by Gremel with two goals, four assists and three steals. Seniors Weston […]

Rams softball splits four OK Red games

May 20, 2010 // 0 Comments

The Rockford varsity softball team swept East Kentwood on Tuesday, May 4, by scores of 2-0 and 8-5, and then got swept by Jenison in a home doubleheader two days later. The result sees the Rams tied for third in the conference with Grandville with a record of 5-3. Hudsonville remains perfect in league play at 8-0. The Rams will travel to take on the Eagles in a crucial doubleheader on May 18. At East Kentwood, Tricia Graham dominated the Falcons in game one, allowing just one hit, a two-out single in the first inning, while striking out 13 batters in the shutout. She was helped by some stellar defensive plays in the game, including a nice stop in the hole by sophomore shortstop Kayla Tykosky in the sixth inning, and a diving catch of a pop-up by freshman catcher Isabelle Mudgett for the first out in the seventh inning. Offensively, the Rams only managed five hits, but two of them came in the first inning and put the Rams ahead quickly. Senior Lauren Pasciak led off the game with a line single up the middle. She was sacrificed to second base by junior Alli Hickox, and scored when Peyton Wells singled to right. Pasciak struck again in the fifth inning, when her long triple scored fellow senior Morgan Ruchty from first base following her two-out walk. In game two, the Rams jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first inning on the strength of five singles and a walk. They eventually increased the lead to 8-1 before things got interesting in the seventh, as East Kentwood had five consecutive batters reach base after the first out. They scored four runs to narrow the lead to three runs, and had the tying runs on base before Graham shut the door by striking out the final hitter and saving the win for Rockford. Hitting stars in game two included Graham, who helped her own cause tremendously by collecting three hits including a long homerun to left-center in the fifth inning. Wells had four singles, and senior catcher Karli Showers had two hits and a walk. Other base hits came from Tykosky, Mudgett, Ruchty and Pasciak. The Rams then hosted Jenison with great anticipation on Thursday, […]

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