EXPO says, ‘You are going to Mexico. For free.’ And you will win $500 in cash

March 18, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA   The EXPO doesn’t lie. It just doesn’t know who it is talking to. According to Rockford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Southwick, it is guaranteed, for sure, absolutely going to happen that one lucky person will win an all-expenses paid two person trip to Mexico paid for by the Chamber from Antor Travel and Apple Vacations. Plus, four people will win $500 in cash. Plus, if you aren’t one of those fortunate five, you are guaranteed not to leave empty-handed. Hundreds of booths will be staffed by many hundreds of friendly people who work and live right here in West Michigan, all happy to offer some sort of goodie—a tree seedling, candy, pen, awesome drawings, such as free trips, free services, games with prizes, samples and of course, once again A Taste of Rockford with Flo’s, Uccello’s and Candlestone Inn offering delicious tastes from their kitchens for tickets which sell for a dollar each. The eleventh annual Rockford Community EXPO is slated for Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rockford High School. Amazing, you think. What does it cost to get into this wonderous event? It’s free. The best thing about the annual EXPO, besides all the great people to see and things to do, is that each EXPO is different and you never know what might be happening. Absolutely you will see Rockford’s fine public safety officers and there are always other local law enforcement members with stickers for the kids and a talking, lively mascot. At the first one a pair of local businessmen teamed up to try to beat the Guinness Book of World Records by grilling the largest every burger. Entertainment is all day and top quality. Local celebrities MC the event from beginning to end. This year’s line-up is Andy Rent, Chuck LaTour, Michelle DeSelms and Juliet Dragos. Rockford students will perform for you from the stage in the gymnasium, ending with the Rockford High School Jazz Band. This year again there will be a dozen and one selling booths, where visitors can buy products, goods or services, including the Rockford Lions taking orders for hams. The wide range of service and product providers will highlight what a talented and diverse […]

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 […]


February 5, 2015 // 0 Comments

On August 5, 2014, we had a state-wide vote that approved a change to the Personal Property Tax system. The changes were massive and affected every business that owned any equipment that was physically located in the state of Michigan. Historically, Michigan had taxed the equipment owned by businesses at basically the same rates that real property was taxed. The difference between the personal property tax and the real property tax was that personal property tax collected stayed right here in Rockford with zero going to the state of Michigan. The City of Rockford, Rockford Public Schools, Krause Library, Kent County and other local agencies all received a portion of the personal property tax without filtering it through the state government. Concerning the real property tax system which is a tax on land and buildings, all of the above entities receive funding through the collection of the real property tax but it is filtered through Lansing. Lansing has a habit of doing a good filtering with some of that money sticking to the filter, so to speak. Lansing was asking the local entities to give up non-filtered money. This was a non-starter until the Michigan legislature agreed to reimburse the local entities for revenue given up due to any changes. We taxpayers had to vote and agree to make the changes and we did. The change that affects the greatest number of businesses is called the “small business exemption”. Any business that has less than $80,000 of eligible personal property equipment can file an affidavit with the local assessor and that business will be exempt from personal property tax for the coming year. The catch, if there is one, is that the affidavit must be filed every year and it must be in the assessor’s hands by February 10. Miss that deadline and the business is subject to Personal Property Tax for the coming year. There seems to be no exception to this rule. Let’s just say that we make every effort to make sure that every qualifying client of Action Tax Service has an affidavit filed. The best part of the deal with Michigan is that all local entities will receive 100% replacement of the lost revenue. There are more changes that will kick […]

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