The Rockford Squire

Rockford Safety rescues Squire from fire danger

August 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

By BETH ALTENA For all we knew, our building was about to go. In the early afternoon on Tuesday, August 11, the lower level of the Squire Newspaper office filled with smoke. It smelled like an electrical fire, but the staff couldn’t identify the source. It was frightening, and the staff made the right call, the Rockford Department of Public Safety. For years we have written about the success of the combination of departments of police, fire and public works, and the quick and impressive response at the Squire during an actually emergency was proof the new system, which saves taxpayers a half million dollars a year, also provides and even better response than traditional departments. Chief Jones was there immediately and in four minutes there were three fire trucks and numerous emergency vehicles at our location. We were advised to evacuate and waited outside as fully-prepared first responders entered the building with their gear and accessories to look for hot spots in our walls, search the property where the smoke and smell was located and otherwise protect our property. You could see from the attendance that responders were from all of the combined departments. The fire fighters on the scene were the same people we just photographed preparing an emergency response in the case of an active shooter in a public school building. The people we saw in Rockford t-shirts are the Department of Public Works employees, now seasoned firefighters as well, who dropped their work on our city grounds and other duties to respond to a fire threat.’ “You wouldn’t see a response like this in even a big city,” Chief Dave Jones said. Jones noted that he was nearby and able to reach our location quickly. Officer Robinson was also close and everyone else was ready to respond if our fire had progressed. In addition to Chief Jones, who started his career as Chief of Police, and now leads the combined departments, we had Fire Marshall Mike Reus, who annually inspects buildings in Rockford to watch for dangerous practices (he found a gas-operated piece of equipment in our office dangerously stored next to the furnace one year). Newly trained Arson Inspector Jason Bradley was able to try out his new skills (we […]

Rockford Start of Summer Celebration

June 14, 2012 // 0 Comments

Squire thanks friends for float The Rockford Squire staff would like to thank those who contributed to their Start of Summer Celebration parade float. Thank you to Ed Koehn Chevrolet for lending the truck, Post Berry Farms for the bushel baskets and crates, Rockford Ace Hardware for the beautiful plants, Pegasus Sports for the quick printing of t-shirts, and to Buckley Farms for the sturdy trailer. The Squire received many wonderful compliments from the community along the parade route. The Squire also thanks their many loyal readers and advertisers, and hope they continue to “Grow With Us!”            

Letters to the Editor

May 17, 2012 // 0 Comments

Scouts save Squire editor work, write up their own story Dear Editor, Yesterday we had a fun time visiting The Rockford Squire. It was very interesting. I loved how they kept newspapers from the past years. We looked up what was happening in Rockford the week we were born. The nice people we met who work there were Beth Altena, Cliff Hill, Nancy Hill and Mary Felix. We learned that The Rockford Squire is the oldest running business in Rockford. Ms. Altena has been in charge of the newspaper for 15 years. The first newspaper was published on February 8, 1871. We also learned that the newspaper feels different than writing paper because it is made up of different things and recycled materials. Mondays and Tuesdays are busy days because they have to get the stories finished by Tuesday night. That’s when they “put the paper to bed”—that’s what they call it when the paper is done. They send the newspaper in a file through the computer to the publishers and that’s when the press runs overnight. The Rockford Squire is delivered first thing in the morning on Wednesday. It was really fun to meet everyone and learn about the newspaper business and The Rockford Squire. You should arrange to stop by yourself.  Joshua and Christopher Petzer

Rockford gears up for Harvest Fest

September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

First weekend of annual festival features family fun As the crazy heat-filled days of summer wind down, Rockford is preparing for yet another Harvest Fest. The 2011 festival will be celebrating its 35th year of gathering a bountiful harvest. The three weekends will be packed with plenty of activities, entertainment, music and contests—all designed with the family in mind. The festival is scheduled for the last weekend of September and the first two weekends in October. For a full schedule of events and times, check out The Rockford Squire each week or visit Two favorite activities—the hayrides, hosted by Dufort Farms, and the Make It and Take It Scarecrow building—are back all three weekends due to popular demand. The Visiting Nurses Association will also be on hand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. all three Saturdays at the Welcome Center to give flu shots. The first weekend, Family Fun Weekend, will feature the ever-popular Rotary Chicken Dinners and Aaron Zainea of Grill One Eleven will be raising a tent in his back parking lot with plenty of entertainment and activities. On Friday, the tent will feature live entertainment from 4 to 11 p.m. featuring Dave Hardin, Jack Leaver and the Lazy Blue Tunas. The Rotary Club will be serving up their famous chicken dinners from noon until 8 p.m. at the pavilion. Cost of the dinner is $9, with proceeds funding various Rotary programs. Saturday’s events under the tent will feature children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with the entertaining Jeff Schroeder. There will also be a Cornhole Tournament from 2 to 7 p.m. Sam Kenny will take the stage from 4 to 8 p.m., followed by Nobody’s Business from 8 to 11 p.m. Herman’s Boy will feature coffee-roasting demonstrations, informational coffee and tea seminars and samples from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chicken Dinners will be served in the Rotary Pavilion from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and at the Grill One Eleven tent until 11 p.m. Rockford Hardware also has plenty of fun planned with an Antique Tractor Show from 9 a.m. until 12 and live music by Heaven’s Sake from 10 a.m. until noon. An Antique Tractor Parade will wind through downtown Rockford at 12:30 p.m. Back at the […]

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