September 8 2011

Walk works to fight poverty, hunger

September 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

Sunday, October 2nd 2pm is the date & time for the Belmont/Comstock Park CROP (CROP=Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Hunger Walk. Registration starts at 1:30pm at the Wolverine World Wide YMCA 6555 Jupiter Ave. NE; Belmont. Donations collected help the Loaves & Fishes food pantry at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Post Dr. and Mobile Food Pantry at St. Stephen’s Church plus national and international relief agencies such as Church World Service and Catholic Relief Services. People can walk 5k (3.2 miles) on the scenic Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. Contact Carol Dunn, team leader for Assumption of Our Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church; Belmont at (616) 863-6899; or Pat O’Neill, team leader for St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church Pines at (616) 866-5131 to learn about Belmont’s walk or to get a walker’s donation form. You can sign up online or make a donation at Please join us and walk for a good cause. Find us on Facebook search “Belmont/Comstock Park MI CROP Hunger Walk” Bring your appetite to B.C. Pizza-Belmont on Sept. 12, 13 or 14, mention “CROP Hunger Walk” when ordering and you will help raise money.  

Friday Night Lights Experience

September 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

Week Two—The Rams vs the Rams? Sometimes you don’t know how lucky you have it until you see what other people and other places have. Week two we visited the “Ted” as many Rockford residents call it, Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium at Rockford High School. The Rams of Holt decided to make the hour plus journey to Rockford for the FNLE. Even though it was a holiday weekend for the Rams of Rockford, it’s loyal following of over five thousand fans packed the Ted as usual, thus living up to the consistent hype of how well the community backs the Rockford football program. But we wanted to see how will the “Ted” live up to the FNLE ranking?? Heading into Ram nation we notice the parking is filling up almost two hours prior for a more traditional rivalry. It’s not that Rockford versus Holt isn’t a big game, but it doesn’t have the allure of the week one Rockford versus Lowell or a Rockford versus Muskegon game may bring. The nice thing about Rockford parking is that they have the freshmen center nearby which allows for an abundance of overflow parking seeming almost natural. This is great for a dad of with two young daughters, that don’t want to walk a mile to get to the gates. My girls Peyton and Jordan made me promise to ensure our readers I’d let them know they helped grade the Rockford event. There is one difference in parking we notice that Rockford doesn’t have compared to other venues, a media lot. This kind of bums us out since we forgot to utilize it for the Lowell game. Walking into Ram stadium you’re greeted by cheerleaders rallying the fans for tonight’s match up and also painting the faces of many young Rams. And yes, we had to stop to have a Ram and an insignia “R” put on the girls cheeks. Then you pass a few corporate displays and a promo event offering a chance to win a new car. This is a first, not many high schools have much more than a 50/50 drawing, yet the chance to drive home in a new ride. We then grab our tickets and enter the Ted, we notice Rockford has many […]

Rockford bursts past Holt, wins football battle of the Rams

September 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

by TIM COOPER Not since 2002 had the Rockford Rams lost two games in a row. Rockford hadn’t gone 0-2 to start a season since 1978. Only four times since 1950 have they dropped the first two games of the year. After a week one loss to Lowell, and the perennial state power Holt Rams coming to town, it appeared avoiding that fate would be a daunting task. In the previous five games, Rockford had gone 3-2 against Holt, defeating Holt 27-24 last year in a tremendous come-from-behind effort. With the opening kickoff, Rockford’s special teams took control of the game. Using their “starburst” kick return, Brandon Lubenow raced 96 yards for the first score of the game. On the ensuing kickoff, a Holt fumble returned the ball to Rockford on the 11-yard line. One play later, Ryan Hartley broke through the Holt defense for a touchdown, giving Rockford a 14-0 lead just 26 seconds into the game. After a Holt punt, Rockford drove 50 yards on eight plays, capped off by Connor Darby’s 5-yard run, making the score 21-0. Holt’s bright spot in the first half came when Rockford fumbled a punt reception at their own 49-yard line. The visitors finished the drive early in the second quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Justin Alleman. For much of the second quarter, the two teams exchanged drives with each other, until Rockford quarterback Kyle Short found Lubenow open in the end zone to extend the lead by seven. The score remained 28-7 as the two teams headed into the locker rooms for halftime. The second half opened with an 80-yard Holt drive that ended when Rockford’s KC Zenner recovered a fumble in the end zone to out the ball back in Short’s hands. When Rockford was forced to punt on the following drive, kicker Steve Mette’s punt pinned Holt deep into their own territory. After Holt drove to midfield, Dylan Rodriguez recovered a fumble to give the ball back to Rockford’s offense. Darby, who had 29- and 11-yard runs in the following series, also finished the drive by taking the ball five yards for a touchdown. Mette’s extra point made the score 35-7. Rockford’s final score of the evening came when running back […]

6, 083 voters got it absolutely right

September 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford is America’s Favorite Farmers Market—period by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Every contest or election is won through the support of voters and organizations. Rockford’s winning entry in the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest was no exception. This improbable journey began in May of this year when Rockford City Manager Michael Young gave the go ahead to Kim McKay, City Treasurer and Farm Market Administrator, to enter the annual farm market challenge sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. This was Rockford’s first attempt to enter the City-sponsored market in this prestigious nationwide contest. Both City Administrators gave their full and enthusiastic support during the 13-week summer contest. Entry in the contest placed an added burden on Market Master Bob Winegar and the Rockford Lions. For many years, the Rockford Lions have acted as volunteer Market Masters overseeing the Saturday morning operations of the Rockford Farm Market. This is an outreach service project of the Rockford Lions and is provided to the community at no cost. Without the Lions valuable service the Rockford Farm Market would not be what it is today. However, the real unsung heroes of this farm market contest are the wonderful farm market family vendors that have comprised the heart and soul of the market since its inception some 10 years ago. We all have our favorite vendors and we all owe them a debt of gratitude and a shout of appreciation for the role they played in winning this contest. Without their presence every Saturday morning, there would be no market. First off, let us thank each and every one of the 6,083 people who cast their vote for Rockford’s Farm Market during this “winning season”. Their votes, which resulted in a resounding win in the contest, brought much-deserved recognition and national attention not only to Rockford’s great Farm Market and our fair city but also to the State of Michigan and Michigan agriculture. With two small-town Michigan farm markets – Rockford winning its small market category and Manistique in the U.P placing 2nd in the nation in its boutique market category – the bounty of Michigan agribusiness was brought to light. Players and Supporters Space will not allow us to list all of the players and supporters that made Rockford’s […]


September 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

SCHOOL BEAT Welcome to the 2011-12 school year!  by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools Rockford Public Schools I hope you have experienced a relaxing and pleasant summer. Even though the middle of July was excruciatingly hot, in my opinion it was far better than minus 10 degrees with snow blowing sideways. Those days will come soon enough. Thank you, Rockford Public Schools (RPS) employees! It is very important for me to recognize the teachers, support staff, and administrators of RPS. During contract negotiations this summer, our employees agreed to a two-year contract (2011-12 and 2012-13), which will impact each of them financially for the next several years. This landmark agreement will allow RPS to recall 9.5 of the 25 teachers the Board of Education had to lay off earlier this spring. Because our state lawmakers continue to allocate K-12 public education money as defined by Proposal A to higher education, public school districts across Michigan have been required to make serious cuts to their programs and staff. In general terms, I want the Rockford community to know what our teachers, support staff, and administrators have agreed to so that several of our laid-off teachers could be recalled. This includes: •            salary, wage and step freezes for the next two years—combined with the past two years, this will represent four years of salary and wage freezes by the end of the 2012-13 school year; •            significantly higher employee cost sharing of health insurance premiums; •            higher prescription co-pays; •            higher office visit co-pays and health insurance deductibles. The above contract terms represent only a few of the many cost-saving and cost-sharing components our employees have agreed to in order to help RPS remain financially stable. Since 1989, RPS’ ongoing philosophy of continuous improvement has been exemplified by our logo of “Quality Community, Quality Schools—Together Building a Tradition of Excellence.” Our most important resource is people. People make the difference in the success of our community and our schools. On July 1, 2011, I began my 23rd year as superintendent of the Rockford Public Schools. There is no better community or school system in the state of Michigan. Because I have had the privilege of serving the Rockford area community for such a long time, I […]

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