Power outage, general confusion follows by BETH ALTENA A man walking the White Pine Trail narrowly escaped with his life after a swan flew into a live power line, resulting in an explosion and the arcing, live wire shooting sparks and fire on the popular trail. The incident left the downtown without power for about an hour and left the city buzzing with speculation and rumor. The collision of the mute swan with the overhead wire and the live electrical wire in windy conditions created a safety hazard quickly handled by members of the Rockford Police Volunteer Services Unit, the Rockford Fire Department, and eventually by Consumers Energy, who fixed the line. The swan suffered fatal injuries on impact and its body was flung by the explosion to the steps of the Rogue River Tavern, where patron Ed Ross found it. Ross said he went outside after electricity to the Tavern and much of downtown went out after the incident Thursday, March 17 just before 1 p.m. The trail was closed off for about an hour when Consumers Energy fixed the line. According to Andrea DeWard of Studio D2D, who was taking out the trash when the accident happened, “There was a giant flash and an explosion.” She said she felt sorry for the people who were nearby on the trail and she saw the man directly under the wire jump about 10 feet in the air. DeWard said she initially thought a car had exploded. “It scared me,” she said. She also noted that the explosion left a strong smell in the air. Danea, 20, was doing homework for her Grand Rapids Community College courses when the power went out in Epic coffee shop. She looked up and saw the white body of the swan fly through the air and land behind the cars parked at the Tavern. “I looked up and saw this white thing falling from the sky,” she said. “I didn’t expect to see that. You never know what a day is going to be like.” Fans of the pair of swans who live in the upper pond of the Rogue River dam will be reassured that those swans were alive and well following the incident. It is speculated that the […]
Rockford Fire Department
Despite an unseasonably warm March day, crowds again packed this year’s EXPO with lively entertainment non-stop on the stage, four $500 cash winners, and tons of giveaways. According to Rockford Superintendent Dr. Michael Shibler, the EXPO is one of the premier events for Rockford and a chance for the business community to shine. This year’s EXPO is the seventh and featured food tasting from area stores and restaurants and a chance to win a new car from Ed Koehn Chevrolet. A Rockford Chamber event, in cooperation with City of Rockford and Rockford Public Schools, the EXPO is held annually on the third weekend of March. Open first to Chamber members for booth space and then opened to non-chamber members, the EXPO is always sold out.
Rockford Fire Chief Mike Reus said that, annually, residents contact him after receiving phone calls soliciting donations or selling tickets claiming to be fundraising for the Rockford Fire Department. “We do not call and solicit from residents,” Reus stated. He said callers claim to be Rockford firefighters and either solicit donations or ask residents to buy tickets to a concert. “This seems to be the time of year this happens, and already we have had several people call and ask if this is a legitimate fundraiser for Rockford Fire Department. It is not.” Residents who have further questions for the fire department are always welcome to call (616) 866-1553.
Free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms available From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday March 31, the Rockford Fire Department will be teaming up with the Webelos Scouts of Cub Scout Pack 3282 to distribute free smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Scouts will be going door to door on Main Street and will also be at the fire station, 7 South Monroe Street, for people that want to stop by and pick an alarm up. In 2001, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 3,100 persons were killed by fire in the US and fire caused $5.5 billion in property damage. 85% of the deaths occurred in residences. Smoke detectors, if properly installed and maintained, can greatly reduce these risks. Carbon monoxide is a colorless odorless gas that is poisonous. It is produced by appliances that use natural gas, and anything that burns fuel, including wood. It is responsible for 1,500 deaths in the US each year. Having a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your house can alert you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide from a malfunctioning appliance. Local agent earns statewide sales honor Jim Abplanalp, a local agent for Farm Bureau Insurance in Comstock Park, was honored for his sales and service to clients during 2009 at the recent Multi-Line Marketing Convention held in Traverse City February 25-27. Abplanalp, who earned two awards, was recognized by Farm Bureau Insurance’s Executive Vice President Jim Robinson, CLU, FLMI, LLIF. Robinson said, “We are very proud to have agents of Jim Abplanalp’s caliber representing us and helping their clients. Jim Abplanalp is a trusted advisor for clients, building relationships based on trust, expertise, and a caring attitude.” Farm Bureau Insurance, one of the state’s major insurers, has a statewide field force of 450 agents, serving more than 450,000 policyholders.
The skit with the granny who tottered—walker and all—into the Rogue only to be rescued by the Rockford Fire Department stole the show and the first place group win in this year’s Sweetheart Splash. They knocked Rockford Quick Lube out of the winner’s circle despite their elaborate circus skit. Seventy-nine jumpers in all went in, with four single participants, seven couples and eight group contestants. There were more people watching than ever before and the event raised a whopping $5,500 for North Kent Service Center, with more coming in. More than 60 blankets were collected for the Center, which is seeing a shortage under record requests this year. Rotary Club President Ramona Hinton started the jumping by leading the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday Rotary” celebrating the 105th birthday of Rotary International. Singles winner was Rev. John Jason Hubbard of Bostwick Lake Congregational Church. Couples winners were Jenny Frasco and Jody Jernigan who gave a lively performance of “All That Jazz.”