September 3 2009

Engagement – September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Hecksel-Martin Greg and Bonnie Hecksel and Ed and Char Martin of Rockford announce the engagement of their children Lauren Hecksel and Kyle Martin. Lauren, of Auburn Hills, Mich., is a 2001 graduate of Rockford High School and a 2006 graduate of Aquinas College with a bachelor of arts degree in special education. She is employed by National Heritage Academies as a special education teacher. Kyle, of Auburn Hills, Mich., is a 2002 graduate of Rockford High School and a 2006 graduate of the University of Michigan. He is employed by Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. as their assistant golf professional. The couple has planned an October 3, 2009 wedding at Bostwick Lake Congregational Church in Rockford. They will honeymoon in the Bahamas and will reside in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Obituaries – September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

LaRue Mr. John C. LaRue, age 82, of Belmont, passed away Monday, August 31, 2009 at Trillium Woods in Byron Center. John LaRue was born in Bay City, MI and grew up in Detroit where he attended Cass Tech High School. While there he and his buddies formed a fraternity which last met this August. John served as a motor machinist in the Navy during World War II. He graduated from University of Michigan in 1951 with a degree in Business Administration, was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a dedicated U of M football fan, and season ticket holder. His first wife of 46 years, Thelma, died in 1999. Survivors include his second wife of seven years, Janice; three children, John, Jr and Carole LaRue of Glen Ellyn, IL, Cynthia and Perry Gile of Rockford, Mich., and David and Karen LaRue of Downers Grove, Ill.; a brother, Robert (Pat) LaRue of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and the much anticipated arrival of another; his step-children, David and Tammy Ahrens and their family. John was a very hard worker, used to laugh about all the different jobs he had, and was a perpetual optimist. He retired at 65 from sales management at St. Mary’s Peerless Cement Co. in 1993, though he continued to work until age 75. Throughout his life he was a true friend to many and loved his family dearly. He loved fishing, golfing (had two holes-in-one and played 500 courses), popcorn, corn on the cob, going to Florida, and being with friends and family. The service for Mr. LaRue will be Saturday morning, September 5, 2009 at Calvary Church Chapel at 11:00, with Pastor Aaron Bolduc officiating. Those desiring an expression of sympathy may consider the American Heart Association. The family will greet relatives and friends on Saturday from 9:30 until 11:00 at the church. Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

Rockford’s newest business

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Taking a trip through Poindexter’s Specialty Marketplace is like taking an abbreviated tour of Michigan and sampling all of its finest products. Poindexter’s, which opened August 11 in the Carriage House adjacent to the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail, offers a plethora of Michigan’s finest. Think Amish cheeses made in Lakeview, Clancy Fancy Hot Sauce from Ann Arbor, Clarkston’s own barbeque sauce, Traverse City cherry butter and cherry salsa, and brats, jerky, and to-die-for smoked chickens from Falmouth, Mich. And that’s just for starters! Owners Nick and Nicole Poindexter are passionate about finding the best food products and offering them at a reasonable price. Their commitment begins in Michigan and broadens to places like Costa Rica, Belize, the deep south, and points around the globe when searching for top-notch goods. Nick is a self proclaimed condiment guy and loves sauces, ketchups, dips, batters—you name it. He fell in love with Marie Sharps habanera sauce on his honeymoon years ago in Belize and has been back several times, always returning with a case or two. Nicole jokes they had the best-stocked refrigerator in town—if you wanted condiments. Last October when the market turned south, Nick took a second look at his real estate business in the Higgins/Houghton Lake area, and decided the downturn in cottage and cabin sales may be a signal to follow his dream. Having watched a colleague open similar stores in Houghton and Ludington, he recognized the demand for specialty products. With his family’s desire to move to West Michigan, the hunt was on for the perfect location. Nick spent weeks researching the area, finally giving Rockford the nod. “Rockford is such a great town and the location is perfect for our business. We sell products not available elsewhere, and with our close proximity to the White Pine Trail, people of all ages will love stopping in. Knowing this is where we wanted to be, we worked round the clock to open just in time for the last Rogue River Blues Series. We grilled 600 pounds of brats opening night [Aug. 11] and offered them to passersby for our ‘soft’ opening. There’s no way we could have done this without the help of Mark Ansara [Prime Development] and our landlord, Andy Gremel [The […]

School Beat – September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Three issues demand attention, time by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D.  Superintendent of Schools Rockford Public Schools With the passing of each year, the summer months seem to fly by faster than in previous years even though each day of each year has the same number of minutes and hours! It is hard to believe that I have the privilege of beginning my 21st year as superintendent of the Rockford Public Schools (RPS). Where did the first 20 years go? While I realize we have together accomplished many good things for RPS kids, I also realize we have many more yet to accomplish. This summer has been very busy with many issues demanding our attention and time. In this article, I want to touch on three of those issues: bond issue projects, financial challenges, and the district’s new website. Bond Issue Projects If you will recall, the 2008 bond issue was designed to accomplish three major projects: add four to eight classrooms to six of our eight elementary schools, update instructional technology in all schools, and add 20 recreational/athletic fields throughout the school district. Many of these projects are either in the planning stages or nearing completion. For example, additional classrooms at Cannonsburg, Lakes and Roguewood elementaries are well underway. New carpeting is being laid throughout the high school—believe it or not, the high school is over 16 years old! The tennis courts at North Rockford Middle School and the high school are being replaced, and construction of athletic fields at the high school, East Rockford Middle School and Roguewood Elementary are ahead of schedule. Upgrades in instructional technology will continue throughout the summer. Comprehensive improvements to Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium took place this summer, with the installation of a multi-purpose synthetic field for use by the marching band, along with football, lacrosse, track, and other student-athletes. The new technology in athletic fields is called Mondo turf, which utilizes an environmentally friendly, bio-degradable substance called Eco-fill. The rededication of “The Ted” is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3, prior to the Rockford-Holt varsity football game. I hope you can attend. All other 2008 bond issue projects are in the planning or early development stages. Please refer to the district’s webpage at for ongoing progress reports. Financial Challenges […]

RPS launches new website, Superintendent’s Blog

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

“Expand use of the website for promotion and communication, including progress of May 2008 bond projects.” This is one of the Rockford Public Schools’ public relations goals outlined in RAMS VII, the district’s strategic planning tool, and district leaders believe this goal has been met with the launch of the district’s new website today. Development of the new site began in the fall of 2008, when Springthrough was selected through an interview process to assist with the design phase of the project. A district committee worked with Springthrough and took the lead on the design and content population the site. One of the new components of the site is the Superintendent’s Blog, a tool in which Dr. Michael Shibler provides information on various topics and allows an opportunity for readers to share their comments. The new website, which can be found at the same URL as the old site——was unveiled at the August 24 Rockford Board of Education meeting.

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