‘Thank God there were no kids on the bus. It would have been bad.’ By BETH ALTENA Director of Transportation Jackie Fase said she is amazed and thankful no one was injured and no children were involved in a collision between a Rockford Public School bus and a car on Thursday, October 6 at 7:25 a.m. The 2001 Thompson school bus was traveling west on Twelve Mile Road when a 2010 Ford Flex traveling north on Courtland Drive failed to stop at the stop sign and struck the bus. The bus was driven by Connel Traxler, 24, and the Ford Flex was driven by Roger Huard, 57, both of Rockford. According to Deputy Tim Lewis of the Kent County Sheriff Department, the impact ran the bus off the road where it hit a tree and then rolled. The Ford Flex came to rest near a driveway on the southwest corner of Twelve Mile and Courtland Drive. Both drivers were able to leave their vehicles and able to walk after the crash. The bus sustained severe structural damage with pieces littering the intersection. “Thankfully because he [Traxler] is healthy, athletic and strong he is doing remarkably well,” said Fase. Fase said the intersection is notoriously dangerous and Dr. Shibler Rockford’s Superintendent of Schools has asked the Kent County Road Commission to improve conditions there. “You can’t even see if someone is coming until you pull halfway out into the intersection,” said Fase. “Truthfully, when I walked up to that bus there wasn’t anything in my being that thought someone could be alive,” she said of her initial view of the bus, which was completely totaled. “Thank God there were no kids in there. It would have been bad.”
October 13 2011
by BETH ALTENA The event in a town near Seattle raises $50,000 a year to split between animal and human charities. Organizers of this year’s Happy Hounds dog walk in Rockford have lower expectations—they just want dogs. This unique fundraiser will be a dog parade through town starting and ending at the park behind the Rockford Community Cabin. Planned for Saturday, Oct. 29, it’s a no-brainer to include a Halloween costume contest. But wait, there’s more. For just a $10 registration ($25 if you would like a t-shirt), participants will receive a “wag bag” of goodies. Vendor booths will be set up before and after for a variety of pet-related products and demonstrations. Tom VanderSloot, who brought the idea to town after he heard about the wild success of the Harbor Hounds event in Washington state, said the walk is a positive new addition to things to do in Rockford. This first year, he is excited to get word out and get dogs signed up. The walk will be limited to 300 dogs, but families are allowed to bring more than one friendly canine to the event. The best part of all is the proceeds will be going toward the building of a permanent dog park on the west side of the Rogue River in an abandoned ball field that is a little-known part of Richardson-Sowerby Park. Residents who proposed the park to Rockford City Council earlier this year were given a 12-month window of time to prove they could raise the estimated $12,000 needed for minimal improvements (a fence) for the park. To date, they have over $10,000 pledged. “The support we have had has been good,” said VanderSloot. VanderSloot praised the generosity of Hyer Luv Kennel and Grooming, Rockford Animal Hospital, and Chow Hound, who each joined the park project with a whopping $3,500—the highest sponsorship available (although a larger amount probably wouldn’t be turned down). Chase’s Corner Kennel was also a generous supporter at the $500 level, and Well Pet and Invisible Fence also supported the park with $250 in donation each. Sponsors can choose to be a Lassie sponsor for $2,000, a Rin Tin Tin sponsor at $1,000, a Toto sponsor at $500, a Kiko (local hero who ate his owner’s […]
More than 50 children showed their incredible talent for The Rockford Squire newspaper’s coloring contest for Harvest Fest. The judges had a difficult time selecting the winners, because everyone did such a great job. However, after much discussion, the following claimed the prizes for the contest: • ages 3-5: first place, Liliana Dunbar, 5; second place, Caitlin Brechting, 3 • ages 6-8: first place, Hayley Nowak, 8; second place, Isabelle Rogers, 7 • ages 9-12: first place, Elise Jendritz, 10; second place, Drew Modzeleski, 10. A special thanks goes to Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, D&W Fresh Market, and Polly’s Passions for donating prizes for the winners.