News Bits

PC approves final plan for Monroe Street condos.

April 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA Sale of contaminated half-acre of city property included Passionate, even tearful comments against approving a 51-unit condominium development were heard by Rockford Planning Commissioners on Thursday, March 26 before the board voted five to one to recommend Rockford City Council give the final go-ahead to the project. Developer Marcell Burger and two associates were present to answer questions The public comment session was almost entirely taken up by residents of the stretch of Monroe between Courtland and Lewis streets, although several non-residents spoke, both for and against the development. City attorney Dick Wendt was present, along with City Manager Michael Young, Clerk Chris Bedford and commissioners Tammy Bergstrom, Cliff Hill, Chair Jim Scales, Tom Sturr, Dave Rasmussen and Jon Minor. Young opened the meeting with a summary of the process of approving the Tamarack Run development, explaining what steps have been taken since the development plan was submitted to the city in October of 2014. He outlined the public meetings held since, including a two-and-a-half hour City Council meeting on February 9. Many of the same people who spoke at previous Council and Planning Commission meetings spoke at the Thursday meeting, voicing mostly the same objections to the development. New to the discussion was an explanation of steps necessary to sell to the developer a parcel of property belonging to the City within the boundaries of the development. Young said a piece of land approximately 212 feet by 100 feet was identified as city land, although it has been used as part of the former inhabitant Burch Body Works for over 100 years. The parcel, just under a half-acre, has been identified as including one of several contaminated areas on the entire seven-acre plat. As part of the development all contaminated lands will be removed and disposed of in an appropriate landfill at the developer’s expense. The Tamarack Run condominiums will occupy about half of the seven acres with wetlands on the other half being preserved. Burger spoke before the public comment session began and told commissioners that more room for snow removal had been added to the project by adding more space between homes. He said more parking had been added in response to residents’ concerns about parking on Monroe Street […]

Power Lifting

March 26, 2015 // 0 Comments

This is information on a young Rockford High School senior, Ian Bach, who just competed in his first Power Lifting meet. Ian is 18 years old and will graduate in June this year. The Power Lifting meet, also know as the USAPL Michigan Annual “No Frills” meet, was held at Crossfit Training in Allendale, Michigan on February 28, 2015. This was an open (men and women) meet with participants ranging from high school, college and anyone else that loves the sport of power lifting. In the sport of Power Lifting there are 3 levels. The levels of Power Lifting consist of Squat, bench press, and dead lift. Squat: The lifter takes weight off of shoulder-height racks and squat down until his/her hip joint is below the top of his knees. He or she must then be able to stand back up, without the help, returning themselves to the upright position and hold the weight until the judge gives them approval to rack the weight. Bench press: The lifter lies on his/her back on the bench with weights racked above their heads. He or she then lifts the weight off the racks and lowers the weight until the judge asks them to press it back up. After pressing he weight back up, they must lock their arms and hold the locked position until the judge tells them to rack the weight. Dead Lift: Lifter stands above the weight on the lifting platform, takes ahold of the bar and lifts the weight until they are standing upright. He or she must stand completely upright, shoulders back and no hunching in order for the judge to count it as a good lift. Ian competed in all three levels and at a 181-198 pound weight class. His actually body weight was 184 pounds. In the squat, bench press and dead lift Ian competed at weights of 365 pounds, 315 pounds and 490 pounds, respectively. Ian’s total for the three lifts was 1170 pounds, a very impressive total for a young competitor who has only been training for two months prior to the event. Ian is the first power lifter since 1987 to represent Rockford High School. The 1987 power lifters took nine trophies at the high school State Finals […]

Valley View Elementary Brainstormers!

March 26, 2015 // 0 Comments

Valley View Elementary recently held a two part assembly series put on by the Brainstormers! LLC. The Brainstormers have been working for 22 years to motivate, empower and encourage kids to be creative, both “on the page and on the stage.” The first show called The Takeoff show took place in January, and its purpose was to motivate the students to produce creative writing pieces and to, in essence, become young authors. Following the show, teachers at Valley View had their students create stories, which were then submitted to the Brainstormers! The hysterical and  quirky performers from the assembly company selected 10 of the stories from the students and brought them to life on the stage on March 17th to an audience of students and staff dressed in green. The young authors, whose creative writing pieces were chosen, were brought to the Awesome Authors chair at the front of the gymnasium and were interviewed. The were able to sit in the chair of honor and see their story brought to life. Some of the stories were based on real life events and others involved aliens invading a friend’s house and SpongeBob climbing to the top of Spaghetti Mountain. Many of the kindergarten through fifth graders were also given the opportunity to use their acting and improvisational skills while playing supporting roles in each of the skits. According to many of the teachers and staff, the assembly was thought to be one of the best in years, and they all appreciated the motivational effect it had on the authors and all of the Valley View students. A large portion of the assembly was funded by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs through their Michigan Arts and Humanities Touring Program.

One up and one down for Ram girls

March 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

In a week that was somewhat of a microcosm of the season as a whole, the varsity basketball team from Rockford fell to Grandville in another of a string of heart-breakers by a score of 51-49 on Tuesday, February 24th on the road. That was followed up by a deceptively close 56-48 triumph over West Ottawa at home on Friday, February 27th. The loss to Grandville was at least the fourth time this season that the Rams fell in the final 10 seconds of a game. The week’s results left Rockford with a regular season ending record of 11-9 overall and 5-5 in the Ottawa Kent Red Conference. The Rams hope to ride the momentum of the season ending win over West Ottawa when they enter Michigan High School Athletic Association district play where they will play at Forest Hills Central against the host Rangers on Monday, March 2nd. Tuesday’s contest with Grandville was a reprise of the contest from earlier this season with one notable exception. The Rams came out on the short end of the score this time around in another contest that went down to the wire. The Rams led by two at the end of the first quarter (15-13), and increased the lead to 29-21 at the half. But the third quarter was all Bulldogs as they mounted a 14-6 advantage that knotted things up at 35-35 heading into the final eight minutes. Grandville scored the winning hoop with a touch less than 20 seconds remaining in the game that gave them the 51-49 victory. Rockford had several chances to tie it up but couldn’t quite manage to sink the elusive shot. Maddie Watters led the Rams with 15 points and Kadison Klausing joined her in double figures with 11. The Friday game with West Ottawa saw Rockford jump out to a commanding 19-7 lead after the opening quarter. That lead grew to 50-35 after the third quarter and the victory was never really in doubt over the final eight minutes despite the Panthers 13-6 margin in the final quarter that made the final a much more respectable 56-48 Rockford win. Logan McCane led the Rams with 13 points and was joined in double figures by Watters with 11 and Tiana […]

Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team closes out successful 2014/15 season

March 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey club ended the 2014/15 season with a solid playoff run. The Rams dismantled Grand Haven in the first round of the playoffs 9-4. Two days later, Rockford thumped Northview 5-1. In the Regional Finals, the Rams fell to Traverse City West 3-0. On Monday, March 2, Rockford squared off against Grand Haven in the first round of the MHSAA Regional Playoffs at Griff’s Ice House. The Rams took control early in this game, and never let up. Rockford scored four powerplay goals in the first period: Jeff Benda (from Jacob McNamara), Brandon Perry (from Jarrett Ullrey and Benda), Brock Johnson (from Benda) and Matthew Baker (from Connor Foss and Braden King). Grand Haven netted one goal in the opening period. Rockford scored 3 more goals in the middle period: Ullrey (from Benda and McNamara), King (from Baker and Johnson) and Ullrey again (from McNamara and Perry). Grand Haven scored two goals in the second period. In the final period the Rams netted two more scores: Tanner Vesche (from McNamara and Niklas Baumgardner) and Johnson (from Foss and King). Grand Haven scored one goal late in the third period to make it a 9-4 Ram victory. Rams goalie Brendan Coolbaugh secured the win. On Wednesday, March 4, Rockford faced Northview in the second round of the MHSAA Regional Playoffs. This game was also at Griff’s Ice House. Once again, the Rams took control early and didn’t let up. Rockford scored three goals in the opening period: Ullrey (assisted by Vesche and McNamara), King (assisted by Johnson and Benda) and McNamara (assisted by Baker). Northview scored their only goal of the game in the opening period. Rockford added two more goals in the second period as McNamara (unassisted) and King (assisted by Johnson and Benda) each scored their second goals of the game. There was no scoring in the final period. When the final buzzer sounded the scoreboard read: Rams 5, Northview 1. Netminder Matthew Hill recorded the W for the Rams. On Saturday, March 7, the Rams traveled to Ferris State to face Traverse City West in the MHSAA Region 1 Championship game. The game was a hard-fought battle between two solid teams. The game was scoreless after the opening stanza. […]

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