September 1 2011

Housing complex earns Rockford’s top honors for safety

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

Hillview Townhouses recognized by police department                             Children play at a picnic held in honor of Hillview Townhouses’ Thousand Eyes Award in honor of completing a crime-free gold certificate program. by BETH ALTENA Suzanne Hewitt remembers her very first day at Hillview Townhouses, a housing complex in Rockford. “The bus came and the school children got off and several of them lit up cigarettes and started smoking. I thought to myself, ‘You’ve got your work cut out for you.’” That was 15 years ago and today Hillview Townhouses is a nearly crime-free zone, with residents who are quiet and respectful of their neighbors and who know that there is a zero-tolerance policy on illegal drugs. It is a safe, friendly place to live with a large green area, playground and pavilion where families play and have picnics. Many of the residents of the 135-unit complex continue to live there in their old age. Hewitt is proud that it is a place where the young and elderly can feel safe. “I think it is something we are all called on to do—take care of the elderly and children“ she said. On Monday, July 11, the complex and Hewitt in particular were recognized by the Rockford Police Department, including Chief Dave Jones and Program Coordinator Officer Ian Graham, for successful completion in a program designed with safety in mind. Hewitt said she had been working to make the housing complex a crime-free zone when she was approached by Officer Mike Miller about taking some training classes along those same lines. “They were full days of training, learning about how to be a crime-free property, and we were further ahead already because we had already done a lot of that work,” Hewitt said. Simple steps like making sure lighting is adequate and shrubs are managed—to make sure they don’t offer hiding places for those interested in lurking—were steps Hewitt had accomplished on her own. Having very few spots that might appeal to a criminal were commonsense steps employed. With the department partnering with the complex to prevent as well as deal with crime, Hewlett feels the level of safety has reached a new height. “They […]

Resident celebrates citizenship with visit from rockabilly legend

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

Milestone represents more than a decade of work by BETH ALTENA  Rosee Douthett is a quiet sidekick to her outspoken husband Jerry, of the “Kiko ate my toe” fame, but the Rockford nurse is a person with her own determination and perseverance. Rosee is celebrating becoming a citizen of the United States, an accomplishment that took her 10 years, cost thousands upon thousands of dollars, and is a the result of efforts that many Americans would be surprised to learn about. Becoming an American was a dream of her father’s as a young man, and he had applied to Harvard and written a letter to then president John F. Kennedy. Surprisingly, he received a handwritten letter back from the president, encouraging him in his efforts to come to the United States. Sadly, the letter has since been lost. Rosee’s father, Francisco, a lawyer, had to abandon his dream of coming to the United States, because he fell in love with her mother, Adaleda, and had to choose between his American dream and the love of his life. He chose love and Rosee and her six siblings were part of the couple’s long and happy marriage. Rosee said becoming a citizen was an educational process and she learned a lot. She pointed out that there are many misconceptions about citizenship, and said most Americans believe if you marry a citizen, your citizenship is automatic, which isn’t true. Rosee’s own efforts to come to the United States for a better life began in 1995 in the Philippines, where her family still lives. She said she wanted to come here because of her profession, nursing, which is poorly paid in her country of origin. As a nurse in the United States, she knew she would be able to support herself as well as send money back to her family, which she does faithfully. “It is so hard to go abroad for work,” she explained. Rosee said the moment she experienced when she swore her oath as a citizen was one of the most moving moments of her life. Americans born here likely have no idea the rigors of financial investment, time, education and effort that those from other countries must work through before they can count themselves a […]

Rockford athlete chosen for state’s Olympic Development Team

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

James “Isaac” Nelson, of Rockford, was chosen to be a member of the Olympic Development Program (ODP) soccer team for the state of Michigan. ODP is the program from which our Olympic Team is chosen. They pick a team at each age group and eventually, through much development, select the national team to represent our country in the Olympics. Isaac is eleven years old and is the only one to make it in his age group from the west part of the state. Statewide around 50 kids tried out in his age group and they selected the top 28 or so. Its pretty rare for kids to make it from the west side of the state since all the coaches are from the east side. He plays striker/forward and just finished 5th grade at Roguewood Elementary. He played 5 years for Flying Kick soccer club and this year will be playing for Alliance FC. “It’s a huge honor,” described Tim. “Needless to say, he was delighted.” Nelson admitted that “Dad shed a tear of pride and joy for him. He has worked hard and absolutely loves this sport. He plays with joy and passion.”  

Farm market contest results unavailable as Squire goes to press

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL For the past 13 weeks, The Rockford Squire, your locally owned and original hometown newspaper, has been providing exclusive front-page coverage of the Rockford Farm Market’s improbable race to victory in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. We hope you’ve enjoyed our articles as much as we enjoyed bringing them to you. It may have only been 13 consecutive Saturday mornings in the history of Rockford, but for the farm market faithful it was the summer of a lifetime. Not only were farm market devotees afforded weekly the abundance of seasonal, freshly harvested, locally grown, Michigan produce, they were at the same time caught up in the excitement of the nationwide farmers market contest. As this week’s Squire went to press, the contest results were not yet available. If you are reading this issue Wednesday, August 31, you still have an opportunity to cast a vote up until midnight when the contest voting ends. All you have to do is get off your “duff,” head to your computer, and go to the contest voting website at and cast “the winning vote.” If you’re reading this issue of the Squire on Thursday, Sept. 1 or later, the contest is over and the results are available, again, by going online to the aforementioned website. Contest results may also be available in the Grand Rapids Press, along with WZZM TV 13 newscasts, or at, in addition to local radio stations. Or, if you prefer, call Kate, the Squire’s office manager, at (616) 866-4465—she will most certainly have the results. Next week’s Thursday, Sept. 8 edition of the Squire will provide an in-depth recap of the three-month contest, hopefully reporting a win for Rockford. The contest may be over, but Rockford’s “Pure Michigan” farm market sails on and will be open for business as usual through the last Saturday in October (27). The fall season brings a new variety of offerings such as apples, cider, squash, pumpkins, mums galore, and much, much more. • • •

Musical season ends with family concert

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

Photos by TOM SCOTT The last night of music for the Rogue River concert series for the summer of 2011 is over, but the energy and the crowds of kids ended the season on a great note. Independent Bank sponsored the family concert with interactive music and plenty of fun. There will be plenty of other events, some including music, coming to Rockford in the next few weeks, as summer turns to fall, so watch for other chances to enjoy downtown shopping, parks and entertainment.  

1 2 3 8