Rockford Michigan

Rockford Varsity Hockey earns two wins in Kalamazoo.

February 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team traveled to Kalamazoo for a pair of games during the weekend of January 23 and 24, and came away with two W’s. Rockford defeated Mattawan 5-3 in the Friday night contest. Rockford dropped Portage Northern 2-1 in the Saturday matinee matchup.   Mattawan opened the scoring midway through the opening period. Rockford responded by scoring the next three goals. Brendan Kennedy (assisted by Braden King) and Jarrett Ullrey (unassisted) each netted first period goals. Jacob McNamara (unassisted) scored early in the middle period. Mattawan scored late in the second to trim Rockford’s lead to 3-2 heading into the final stanza. The Rams put the game away by scoring the first two goals in the third. Ullrey netted his second score of the game (assisted by Tanner Vesche) and Vesche closed out the scoring for the Rams (unassisted). Mattawan scored a late goal to make it 5-3. Brendan Coolbaugh played all 51 minutes and recorded the win for the Rams.   Saturday’s contest against Portage Northern was a defensive struggle. Both teams scored in the first period, with McNamara netting a short-handed goal for the Rams (assisted by Vesche). The second and third periods saw both teams getting chances, and both netminders standing tall. The game headed into OT with the teams knotted at 1-1. It wasn’t until the final minute of the extra period that McNamara scored the game winner (unassisted). It was his second goal of the game, and like his first goal, the OT winner came on the penalty kill. The two teams battled hard and the Rams came out on top with the 2-1 win. Coolbaugh earned the win for Rockford.   The Rams ended the weekend with a record of 12-3-1 overall.   Upcoming games for Rockford include three important league contests. The Rams square off against Reeths-Puffer in a midweek match-up on Wednesday, February 11 at Lakeshore Ice Arena in Muskegon. Game time is 7:30pm. The following Wednesday, Rockford hosts East Kentwood at Griff’s Ice House. The February 18 tilt starts at 8pm. On Friday, February 20, the Rams host Forest Hills Central at Griff’s Ice House. Game time for this contest is 8pm.  

Rockford City Manager Michael Young to Lead Statewide Municipal Managers Group

February 4, 2015 // 0 Comments

NOVI, Michigan – Rockford City Manager Michael Young is the new leader of a statewide association representing Michigan’s municipal managers. Young was named the 2015 president of the Michigan Local Government Management Association (MLGMA) during the organization’s annual Winter Institute in Novi Jan 27-30. He succeeds 2014 MLGMA President Peter Auger, manager of the City of Novi. MLGMA is the professional association for local government managers from cities, villages, counties and townships throughout Michigan. “Having served as a MLGMA member since the early 1990s, it is truly an honor to represent the organization,” Young said. “I’ve had so many outstanding mentors, some of whom have also served as president of MLGMA, so to follow in their footsteps is humbling, yet also exciting.” Young’s public service work started in 1990 as an intern in Spring Lake under the tutelage of the then Spring Lake Manager Eric DeLong. He was an assistant city manager in Greenville for two years before becoming Rockford’s manager in 1995, where he has remained for the last 20 years. Young, who grew up in Grand Haven, has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University, He and his wife of 25 years, Melissa, have three children, Michaela, Mckenzie and Jake. Prior to being named MLGMA president, he spent the last year serving as the organization’s president-elect and also served on various MLGMA committees. Young said one of his main goals this year as MLGMA president is to better inform the public about the role of municipal managers. “I’m concerned with the high turnover and lack of new municipal managers in Michigan,” Young said. “Why aren’t more college graduates going into community management? Let’s face it, if all you read about is a community manager being fired or is in trouble, why would you want to go into that field? But I’m really idealistic about this profession. I think it’s a real noble profession.” To address those issues, Young hopes MLGMA can become more of a resource for struggling local governments and managers. “There seems to be a blurring of the role of an elected council in a community and the role of the manager. The council is supposed to set policy and the manager is to carry […]

Rockford Varsity Hockey takes 3 out of 4 points during the January 16-17 weekend

January 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Rams Varsity Hockey team continues to roll, despite a rash of injuries. Rockford tied Grandville 2-2 on Friday, January 16 and beat Hudsonville 7-6 in OT on Saturday, January 17.   Rockford headed into the Friday night contest against Grandville without forward Brad Dertien who suffered a shoulder injury against Mona Shores a few nights earlier. With Dertien out, the coaching staff knew they would need to juggle lines in order to compete against a tough Grandville Bulldogs squad. Grandville held a 1-0 lead after the first period. In the middle period, both teams scored; John Filipiak netted Rockford’s first goal of the game (with Jarrett Ullrey picking up the lone helper). The second period brought new challenges for the Rams as both Filipiak and Tanner Vesche went to the locker room with game-ending injuries. The Rockford coaches reacted by moving defensemen Ullrey and Nik Baumgardner to forward leaving only four skaters on the blueline for the remainder of the game.   Despite the adversity, Rockford responded. Grandville saw their 2-1 lead disappear midway through the third period when Jacob McNamara sniped the game-tying goal into the top left corner (Ullrey and Brandon Perry assisted). The two teams remained scoreless the rest of the period and through the 8-minute overtime session. When the final horn sounded, the scoreboard read Rockford 2, Grandville 2. Ram goalie Brendan Coolbaugh made 29 saves on 31 shots in the tie.   All three injured Rockford players were scratched for the Saturday matinee contest against Hudsonville. The coaches responded by again moving Ullrey and Baumgardner up front and going with four defensemen.   Rockford started hot, scoring the first four goals of the game. Baumgardner opened the scoring 78 seconds into the contest (unassisted). Brock Johnson scored two (the first assisted by Braden King and the second assisted by King and Perry) and Taylor Edgecomb netted one (assisted by Brendan Kennedy and Connor Foss). Midway through the first Rockford held a 4-0 advantage. Hudsonville, however, would not go quietly. The Eagles responded by scoring the final two goals in the first period and four unanswered goals in the second. After 34 minutes of play, Rockford trailed 6-4.   The Rams were energized in the third period, controlling much […]

Condominium development at Burch Body Works property approved by Planning Commission

January 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA The Rockford Planning Commission voted 6 to 1 to recommend approval of a condominium development proposed for mostly vacant property that was formerly occupied by Burch Body Works. Commissioner Tammy Bergstrom was the lone nay vote on Thursday, January 22. Rockford City Manager Michael Young opened the evening meeting with a preliminary introduction of the proposed Planned Unit Development. It will be eight ranch-style homes, 15 two-story units and 28 units as stacked, flat residential. The 51-unit development will go up on a 7.32-acre site, but because of wetlands, 62 percent of the property will remain open space. Young spoke to commissioners and a full audience of residents, mostly neighbors who live on Monroe Street between Lewis Street and Courtland Drive. He said the evening’s deliberations were the first in a two-step process, leaving the ultimate yes or no in the hands of Rockford City Council. Young said the City’s Master Plan allows ten units per acre under guidelines for multi-family developments. He noted that this project proposes 6.9 units per acre, and with 62-percent open space, falls well within the requirement of 15-percent open space. “Ultimately there would be a development agreement which is a legal document that will spell out the conditions of maintenance, bylaws, utilities, etc.,” Young told the commissioners. He said the street running through the development would be a private one, not maintained or plowed by the City. Young said an important component will be the storm sewer system because of the developments immediate proximity to Rum Creek bordering the northern edge of the property. Police Chief Dave Jones was present to discuss a traffic study that took place in May, theoretically the peak time for traffic because Parkside School, nearby on Lewis Street, was still in session. The survey counted 750 to 850 cars daily during the week, 450 to 550 on weekends. The fourteen-day average totaled 650 cars per day. Jones compared this to Bridge, Fremont and Courtland streets at 1,200 to 1,800 per day. A traffic research company reported an average of five vehicle trips per unit per day. With the proposed 51 units that would put an additional 250 vehicles on the road to total 900 total cars on Monroe on any given […]

The Tax Attic

January 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

Deb & I went to “American Sniper” last weekend. What a great movie. The story of Chris Kyle, credited with over 160 enemy kills, was well-done by Producer Clint Eastwood and actor Bradley Cooper. Navy Seal Kyle possibly had another 95 but that additional number was not verified. Of course, the movie had a very sudden and very sad ending when he himself was shot at a range by a veteran he was trying to help. I wish there had been a better way to end it, but the fact is during any of Mr. Kyle’s 4 tours of duty in Iraq, similar to a number of his fellow soldiers, it could have ended just like that anyway. He had survived getting shot twice and lived through 6 IED explosions so he used up a few lives over there. Philosophically speaking, it makes one wonder how many lives does a person get on this earth before he moves on to the next one? I have used up a couple that I know of, but if I get as many as Chris, I might be writing The Tax Attic for another 62 years. Beth would be pleased but I don’t know about Deb.   Watching the movie brought up memories of Rockford’s only Congressional Medal of Honor winner, John Sjogren. Similar to Mr. Kyle, Mr. Sjogren was credited with a large number of enemy kills. It’s just that John’s all came within a few hours in one intense battle. On May 23, 1945, his unit of the 40th Division was charged with taking Hill 3155, better known to the soldiers as Suicide Knob. No matter, an assault was ordered on the hill so up the hill they went. During the battle, under great personal duress, John took on Japanese soldiers firmly entrenched in pill boxes. He had his men pass up their hand grenades and then John moved into position where he could stuff the grenades into the pill boxes one after another. By the time it was all over, he had taken out 9 pill boxes and was credited with ending the lives of 43 Japanese soldiers. That type of effort was enough to earn John the Medal of Honor and it was presented by […]

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