November 18 2009

Long-time police dispatcher leaves Rockford

November 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Sam Russell will return to Greenville roots If you walked into the Rockford Police Department anytime in the last decade-and-a-half, chances are you talked to Sam Russell. Friday, Nov.13 was the last day for the “grandmother” of the department, who started her law enforcement career in Greenville, where she says everyone called her mom. She returns to her roots there to the Greenville Department of Public Safety. Here in Rockford, Russell worked primarily as dispatcher, but also organized the communication records, was in charge of management compliance, making sure the department is networked properly with legal information, and coordinated the Volunteer Services Unit. “We are surely going to miss her greatly,” said Jones. “She was a great asset to the department and has become the face of the Volunteer Services Unit. We wish her well in her new position in Greenville.” Jones said the department will not be seeking a replacement for Russell. “I’m not sure we could find someone to fill her shoes,” he said. He said the department will try to cover Russell’s duties by some restructuring of responsibilities and utilizing the skills of existing employees. Rockford has not faced the need to lay off employees and cut services as so many municipalities have this year and in prior years. Jones credits this financial stability with the management of the City, including the city manager and the city council. “It’s a credit to Michael Young and our council that in this financial climate and state funding cuts we haven’t had to do that,” Jones stated. “We are financially sound this year. Next year’s fiscal forecast shows we will be the same. That doesn’t preclude us from trying to be good stewards of tax dollars, and try to provide services as inexpensively as possible.” Russell, during a tearful reception held in her honor at City Hall on Friday, said it was not an easy decision to leave Rockford. “I’ll still be around,” she said. “It was the right thing to do to return to Greenville.” She said she hopes to implement a volunteer unit in her new position. She credits her team here in Rockford as top notch. The Rockford Volunteer Services Unit is recognized as one of the top in the state. At […]

Obituaries — November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Chase Mr. Herschel S. Chase, age 88, of Rockford passed away on Thursday, November 12, 2009. Herschel began helping farmers when he was 11 years old. On February 18, 1939, Herschel started working at Winter and Cramton Corp. as an electric platter, worked construction for a short time, worked at a plant making bomber airplanes, and then came back to work at Winter and Crampton Corp., which later became Jervis and then Alloy Tech, working there for a total of 47 years. On September 4, 1944, he joined the UAW and has been a proud member ever since. Herschel boxed in the light heavyweight division of the Golden Gloves in Grand Rapids as a novice and won that division. He was drafted into the military and later re-enlisted, serving in the U.S. Army as S/Sgt. during WWII, serving in Japan. On September 29, 1950, he married Joan Gross. Herschel served his community by being a paid on-call firefighter for Algoma Township, a member of the Clarence Schumacher VFW Post #3946 where he served as Commander and just about every other position, and a member of the American Legion Post #2 at the Boat and Canoe Club. Herschel is also a member of the Howard City VFW Post #3306 Renner-Locker. After retirement, Herschel delivered Meals-on-Wheels and worked for years at Rockford Flower Shop delivering flowers, a job he really enjoyed. He is survived by his loving wife, Joan ; daughter, Mary Lou; three grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild; half-sister, Mrs. Joanne Worrel; sister-in-law, Mrs. Gladys Chase; brother-in-law, Tom Gross; many nieces and nephews, including Craig and Hildee Fisher and their sons, Connie and Ken Daniels and Leon Chase. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Barbara Gillford; sister, Margaret Poll; brothers, Clayton, Vernon, Wayne, and Lowell; and step-brother, Delos Shay. The service for Herschel was Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Jeff Williams officiating. Interment was in Courtland Township Cemetery. Military Honors were under the auspices of the Army National Guard. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider either the Kidney Foundation or the American Cancer Society. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon

November 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Penalty provisions in fine print E-file saves taxpayers millions The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009, as signed into law by President Obama on November 6, among several important provisions, had a penalty provision inserted within the fine print of the law. I think there is a lot of fine print in some of these laws being passed by Congress. This particular penalty provision concerns the filing of partnership and Sub S Corporation tax returns. Our tax system is set up so that both partnerships and Sub S Corporations are reporting entities, technically called pass-through entities. This means usually that neither one has to pay any tax. The tax returns are used to report the income and expenses of the partnership or Sub S. These items are passed through to the partners of the partnership or the shareholders of the Sub S via a Form K-1. These partners and shareholders then report the income and expenses of the reporting entity on their personal tax returns and are responsible for any tax due to that income. This presents a small problem to the Internal Revenue Service when it comes to penalizing a partnership or a Sub S for not filing a tax return on time. For the most part, penalties are based on the amount of tax due. No tax due = no penalties. Congress has ridden to the rescue, in this instance, and instituted flat-dollar-amount penalties based on the late filing of tax returns. For partnerships and Sub S Corporations, the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has increased these late-filing penalties to $195 per partner or shareholder per month the return is filed late. Not too many years ago, the penalty was $50. For instance, for a partnership that has five partners and is late filing its return by two months, the penalty will be $195 times 5 partners, or $975 per month, times 2 months equals $1,950. That’s a lot of penalty! At those rates, no one is going to knowingly file a partnership or Sub S return late. Another provision in the law affects tax preparers and indirectly taxpayers. Starting in the year 2011, any tax preparer filing more than 10 tax returns must file those returns electronically. Previously, […]

Holiday Enchantment — November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Heart of Rockford businesses kick off holidays Healthcare product drive to benefit North Kent Service Center clients Grand Rapids ranks as one of the nation’s more philanthropic communities, and Rockford is certainly well-known for its support of charity events, food drives, faith-based initiatives, and support of nonprofits near and far. This rings especially true at the holidays, when families and businesses dig deep to buy toys, fill food baskets, and “adopt” members of the community who need extra help. The Heart of Rockford Business Association is one such group that supports numerous charity events throughout the year, including Rockford’s Relay for Life/American Cancer Society, Think Pink/Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Community Unity, and silent auctions and walkathons for multiple causes. This holiday season, the group decided on a somewhat alternative way to lend their hand. Heart Steering Committee member and Baskets in the Belfry owner, Polly VonEschen, explained, “Families relying on federal assistance cannot use WIC dollars to purchase basic healthcare items like shampoo, soup and deodorant, and food pantries and community service centers typically don’t receive these types of donations. As a result, many of our Heart businesses have set up collection bins in their stores and are offering some sort of gift or reward to customers who donate for their generosity. All of our donations will be sent to the North Kent Service Center to help residents in our community.” Acceptable products include toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bath gel, soap, and any additional items for cleanliness. Gifts will be accepted through the holiday season. For further details, contact one of these Heart of Rockford Business Association members: A Charmed Life Nail Salon, Aunt Candy’s Toy Co., Baskets in the Belfry, Bow-Dacious Designs, The Candle Shop, The Corner Bar, Creative Concepts Plus, Custard by the Dam, Dam Dogs, Frame & Mat Shop, G. Williker’s, Great Northern Trading Co., Gremel Communications Inc., Imperial Computer Solutions, Independent Bank, J.T. Stitchery & Frame Shop, Jade, Kimberly’s Boutique, Paperdoll, Pegasus Sports, Poindexter’s Specialty Marketplace, Reading Books, Reds on the River, Right at Home, Right Up Your Alley, Rockford Flower Shop, Rockford Independent, The Rockford Squire, Rogue River Tavern, Rudy Kazoody’s, Sage & Roses, WAR Chest Boutique, Ward’s Hair Place, and Xscape Salon.

REF concert tickets a great Christmas gift

November 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

A CAST FROM AN EARLIER SECOND CITY TIME—do you recognize anyone? Photo courtesy of DK/NY by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Rockford Education Foundation (REF) Administrator Sue Arend and the gang at REF have gone outside the box and done themselves one better. In annually producing a mid-winter fundraising show, which featured mostly musical acts, this season REF has instead decided to bring a touring ensemble cast of Second City to Rockford. On Saturday, Jan. 23, Second City will star at the REF’s 14th Annual Benefit Performance. The iconic Second City bills itself as “a comedy powerhouse” and in celebration of 50 years of being recognized as America’s greatest comedy theater, they have taken their act on the road. Second City had its beginnings in 1959 in a small cabaret theater on the corner of North Avenue and Well Street on Chicago’s north side. It has since grown to become a comedy empire with resident theaters and training facilities in Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto, currently enrolling over 3,000 students. Over the years, the cream of the crop have gone on to stardom on television and the big screen. Honing their comedic craft in Second City methodologies, recognizable superstars such as Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Gildna Radner, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Martin Short, John Candy, Bonnie Hunt, and more recently Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and many, many more have become household names. Over the years, the popular late-night NBC program “Saturday Night Live” could not have survived without a steady stream of Second City graduates. “Attendees at the Rockford show will see stars in the making as they perform a comedy review that satirizes politics, culture and news of the day,” said Arend. Speaking for himself, the male half of the reporting team recalls attending Second City performances in Chicago during the ‘60s that were “side-splitting and hilarious comedy.” Remember the performance will be held in late January, and who isn’t looking for an evening of laughter to escape, if just for a couple of hours, from another bleak Michigan winter?! Christmas is coming and if you are looking for a gift for someone who has everything or who is hard to please, why not surprise them—or indulge […]

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