Rockford Community

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. […]

MASH comes to the West Michigan stage

March 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Rogue River Community Theatre Company presents the iconic comedy March 19-21   CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. – One of the most popular sitcoms in television history is coming to Cedar Springs this month as Rogue River Community Theatre Company presents the stage version of M*A*S*H. Based on the  hugely successful TV series that aired between Sept. 1972 and Feb. 1983, it brings back the comedic team of doctors and nurses stationed at the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in South Korea during the Korean War. Director Lesley Nadwodnik has the credentials for the job; she’s a veteran actor and comedian. “This classic sitcom is perfect for stage,” she said. “There’s a lot of laughs and the audience will certainly recognize many of their favorite characters.” They include Capt. Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, Major Margaret “Hotlips” Houlihan, the ever annoying Major Frank “Ferret Face” Burns  and the loveable company clerk Corporal Walter Eugene “Radar” O’Reilly. “You’ll see many iconic characters along with some new favorites,” said John Bagin, a RRCTC board member and  member of the cast. “As an actor, it’s been great being a part of bringing this American cultural classic back to the stage,” Bagin said. “It’s brought back many fond memories.” His wife and fellow thespian Kirsten Bagin agrees. “The audience is going to love this production,” she said. “There is always something happening on stage – sometimes something poignant and other times downright hilarious.” The script and cast are almost a distraction, she concedes. “The play features a large cast and I find myself laughing through every rehearsal.” Production assistants will transform the Kent Theatre stage into a true-to-life MASH unit and period costumes provide an extra measure of authenticity to the two-act play, Nadwodnik said. “A lot of work is being done on the sets; it’ll take the audience back to the original MASH 4077,” Nadwodnik said. “We’ve been blessed to have volunteers from the arts community in Rockford helping out. It truly is a community theatre production.” Those born after the show left the air – its final episode the most watched television broadcast in American history – will find plenty to love. And that comes from Jack Bagin, who was just a glimmer in his parents’ eye when the ratings […]

Wild west captured in deer farm turned agri-tourism resort

October 4, 2012 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA When you have over 200 beautiful white tailed deer fenced adjacent to a major road, people will stop and want to see them. That’s the experience of the Powell family, who opened their working deer farm in 2003. Located at 7850 14 Mile Road (M-57), their 80-acre business has received a lot of attention from passersby. They tried to accommodate curious visitors to the best of their ability, but the farm wasn’t really set up for tours. Now it is. Deer Tracks Junction is now open for business as a family destination with hands-on live animal interaction, a stage coach ride through the pens of hundreds of live and spectacular deer, a chance for kids to touch a real reindeer or baby yak, a play train with cars for climbing, crawling and exploring a three-level maze car, plus an indoor facility featuring spectacular mounts of caribou, Musk ox, wolves and an auditorium for live education shows featuring actors in costume. “Once you buy your ticket, you can just enjoy the day here,” said owner Kelly Powell, who operates Deer Tracks Junction with his wife Hilary and 16-year-old son Tyler. At just $10 a ticket, from the play train, the Stage Coach Ride, live shows, and life sized animal mounts to the different old-fashioned, Wild West stations within the Deer Tracks Junction building, the price is a great buy. He said he wants his working deer farm shows and tours to be affordable for families and believes visitors will support his vision. Other business people in the area believe the farm will add to the reasons people come to the area. The family made the decision to expand into what is called Agricultural tourism because it made sense to them on many levels. They hope to bring something unique, exciting and valuable to the area as a legacy and as a living. “It’s hard in Michigan right now,” said Powell. “I don’t want my son to have to leave the state to find a job.” Deer Tracks not only will be the future livelihood for Tyler, but offered the family the chance to hire others who help in the business. The work is seasonal, but at a recent job fair at the ranch […]

Firefighters take on explosive situation in propane training

September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

‘Catastrophic’ situations covered by BETH ALTENA Rockford Fire Marshal Mike Reus said he would guess a recent explosion that blew a trailer home apart likely involved a propane fire and that cases where even stick-built homes are literally destroyed in an explosion are also likely caused by a propane leak that becomes ignited. Area firefighters were trained on handling what the Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA) called ‘catastrophic situations’ on Thursday, August 30 at the Cedar Spring Fire Department. The event included increasingly difficult propane fires with flames shooting more than 60 feet into the air. During the training a nearby tree was accidently ignited and had to be hosed down. Reus said understanding the nature of propane is an important skill for firefighters and the “big, big” thing about propane is that it is heavier than air and will sink and pool rather than rise and disperse. The potential explosion from such a leak can indeed be considered catastrophic. “If you see a house just blown clear off the foundation, it is probably propane,” Reus said. He noted that in the case of the Squire office, a propane leak would doubtless go to the lower level of the building, where most homes have furnaces and other mechanicals located. Reus said in the case of a home closed off for the winter, even a minute leak over time would result in a catastrophic explosion. He noted that even the flicking on of a lightswitch—for instance in the middle of the night when a person gets up to use the bathroom—would be enough to ignite an explosion. “Even turning on a light results in a small electric spark that people never see,” he described. Reus said propane is a mixture of chemicals that is, in part, a byproduct of the processing of gasoline. LPG stands for Liquid Petroleum Gas and he said in its earliest uses the compound was used as a burning source for heat. He explained that propane here in the United States may differ from the mixture used in other countries, making the handling and use of the gas a tricky matter. During the controlled propane fires, teams of first responders practiced techniques to subdue flaming tanks with extremely hot fires. The techniques […]

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