November 11 2010

Holiday season begins with lighting ceremony, open houses

November 12, 2010 // 0 Comments

Start the holiday season with old-fashioned ceremony in downtown Rockford November 17 and two evenings of special offers and warm wishes November 17 and 18 as Rockford rings in the holiday season. On Wednesday, November 17 the lighting of the trees ceremony will be held at Peppler Park listen to music from the Rockford choirs and brass ensembles, words of peace from city and state officials. The event is a Norman Rockwell-like evening with hundreds who join in music and then wait in darkness as the countdown begins and the holiday lights for downtown Rockford are turned on for the first time this season. After the lighting ceremony and the following day, many Heart of Rockford businesses will stay open until 9 p.m. and offer treats and specials as they participate in the annual Holiday Open House event. Bring your friends and get some local Christmas shopping done in beautiful downtown Rockford. Among the special offerings (see pages 10 and 11 for more details) consignment specials are at Gumballs & Overalls, a free gift at Great Northern Trading Company. Great Northern Trading Company has beautiful necklace and earring sets starting at $15 up to $29.99, which are great prices for stylish jewelry. Enjoy in-store specials at Sassy Pants, free samples at Grand Cakes, drink specials at Red’s on the River, ten percent off at Open Mind, 20 percent off at Kimberly’s Boutique, 10 percent off in-stock fish tanks at Advanced Aquarium. There will be giveaways and more at Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, double your savings at Double Take, customized gift boxes at Old World Olive Press, free gifts and door prizes at Sage & Roses and 20 percent off one item and refreshments at Jade, 20. The Candle Shop of Rockford is offering 20 percent off one regularly-priced item, receive a free gift with $30 purchase at Dars Gems and Jewelry, a free ornaments from Paperdoll Boutique, samples at Twisted Vine, 15 percent off all frames with purchase of lens and 50 percent off a second pair at In Focus Eyecare & Eyewear (open until 8 p.m. and discounts, food tasting and special gifts at Basket in the Belfry. Baskets in the Belfrey is holding their 33rd Anniversary celebration and shoppers will receive 20% off […]

Ric’s to hold drive for Lean on Me Outreach

November 12, 2010 // 0 Comments

Public invited to help others in need When Ric’s Food Center planned opening their doors three years ago, they knew there would be extra product—produce, deli and more—that would go unsold yet still be perfectly good. The family-owned company looked around Rockford for a deserving charity and found Lean on Me Outreach. “We give them about $1,000 worth a day,” said Ric’s Store Director Dave Brickner. Brickner said the store’s dedication to offering fresh, perfectly presented items from baked goods, produce and deli—and even the products on the shelf that shoppers might not think of as having expiration dates, such as cereal, pastas and canned goods—mean there is good food and non-food items as well to be donated to Lean on Me. Brickner said Ric’s is inviting the public to give if they are able during a food/product drive on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Lean on Me truck will be at the Ric’s Food Center, 6769 Belding Road, open for donations. “We do this at all our Ric’s stores,” Brickner said of the company. Being actively involved in the community in which each of the five stores is located is a philosophy that is particularly evident at the Rockford Ric’s. The store sponsors the Rockford High School Athlete of the Week each week in The Rockford Squire and stepped up in this year’s Community Expo, offering free food samples. A Taste of Ric’s—coming up soon on December 4 at the store—is a big event with free food samples from dozens of vendors and live entertainment, all free to the public. Brickner said the store donates not just food, but product the store decides not to sell. When the store switched brands of non-food product, it was decided not to keep the old brand on the shelves with the new, and all that product—shampoo, toothbrushes, diapers and more—went to Lean on Me. Lean on Me director Lisa Shaffer said the facility, the outreach ministry of Resurrection Life Church, is unique among charities in that it does not require people to prove need in order to receive aid. Located at 11555 Edgerton Avenue, Lean on Me offers food box and other product pick-up three days a week, no questions asked. She […]

Birth dates send Rockford woman’s story around the world

November 12, 2010 // 0 Comments

Story published in 20 different languages by BETH ALTENA Barbie Soper said she is glad no one reads Albanian, because she was misquoted in that article. The world-famous Rockford mother of three who had her children on 8/8/08, 9/9/09 and 10/10/10 said the publicity she is receiving is far beyond anything that she could have imagined. “When I had her [10-10 baby Ciera] the nurse told me ‘You’re going to get some media attention, you need to be ready for it.” Soper said. She thought maybe there would be a little blurb about her third remarkable birth, but what happened next was beyond her imagination. “The story is in 20 different languages,” Soper said. She is surprised to be quoted by media sources to which she never talked, including one in Michigan who said she called baby Ciera “a perfect ten.” “She is a baby, not a model. I wouldn’t have said that,” she said. Soper was interviewed, however, by other news sources, including a radio station in Australia, K-Lite in Santa Barbara, Calif., the Associated Press, the Grand Rapids Press, USA Today and “Inside Edition.” She said the “Ellen” show staff called and asked her to stop doing interviews, because they wanted her on the show. Soper said the show’s producers never called her back, a disappointment (Ellen, you should call and apologize). Soper said she didn’t know worldwide media could act so fast, and the unexpected excitement over her children’s birthdates has been fun. “It’s kind of funny,” she said. The Australian radio talkshow host wished her a good morning for her interview, although the time here in Rockford was 5:30 p.m. She was amused to be interviewed by a show she used to listen to, “Mojo in the Morning” on a Detroit radio station. She has a bumper sticker advertising the show, and never expected to be on it. The family had to close off their Facebook page to just friends because they were getting messages from around the world and in many different languages. That part was fine, but they were worried about their ability to keep up with the incoming information and no longer felt the site was safe to have open to the public. “It’s crazy how many articles come […]

Voters choose a new face for Rockford City Council

November 12, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF and NANCY HILL A tsunami of change swept the nation on last Tuesday’s national election day. The giant wave had enough inertia to even affect Rockford’s non-partisan City Council election. Five well-qualified candidates were vying for two open seats on the five-member Rockford City Council. In a stunning defeat Rockford Mayor Janice (Chi-Chi) Rogers was unseated in her bid for an eighth term on the Council. After the votes were tabulated for the hotly contested two open seats Rogers found herself in third place, thus ending a career of service to the City of Rockford that began in 1991. Strong voter turnout resulted in the following Final totals: Jerry Coon 713 Winner Steve Jazwiec 712 Winner Janice ‘Chi Chi’ Rogers 570 Roger Strauss 448 Robert Winegar 431 Rogers tells the Squire, “I had a great run, I’m sad but not disappointed and I respect the voters choices.” Over the years Chi-Chi had enjoyed strong support from Rockford City voters but this time around it was not meant to be. Chi-Chi said, “I’m proud of my many accomplishments and achievements in office, especially when my fellow Councilmen saw fit to honor me, four separate times, to serve as Mayor of the City I love.” In Rockford the office of Mayor is largely ceremonial and is not determined by Rockford City voters in an open election. But rather, City Council members choose amongst themselves who will represent the City as Mayor. In general, the duties of Mayor are to preside over City Council Meetings and to represent the City at various functions throughout the term of office. Additionally, Mayors are empowered to officiate at weddings, something that Chi-Chi dearly loved to do. During her terms as Mayor she officiated at the weddings of well over 200 couples. “I was able to preside over the wedding of my own son and the weddings of many grandchildren,” said Chi-Chi, adding, “During the last two years I had the distinct pleasure of marrying twelve of my Rockford Meijer co-workers.” Chi-Chi summarized by saying, “I loved being on ‘Council’ and being someone that City residents could easily approach with their concerns.” “It was always obvious that Chi-Chi thoroughly enjoyed her time on City Council. She took the position of […]

Veterans honored Nov. 11 with local services

November 12, 2010 // 0 Comments

Veteran’s Day, November 11, will be recognized with a brief flag-raising ceremony with coffee and donuts at Lakes Elementary School from 8:30 to 9 a.m. and an evening service at Memorial Park in Belmont, at the intersection of Belmont Road and Jupiter Avenue at 7 p.m. According to organizer and township trustee Charles Weldon, the evening service will include a 21-gun salute, music by the choral students of Assumption Church, a benediction by the youth pastor of Belmont Baptist Church, who is also a Marine who has seen several tours of duty in Iraq, a speech by State Senator Mark Jansen and other speakers. The Comstock Park Color Guard will provide the military 21-gun salute, members of the Saladin Shrine will be present as will at least two Boy Scout groups. “We have a pretty good lineup,” Weldon said. The event will be held rain or shine and is a well-attended, moving ceremony.

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