by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL For the ninth year in a row your locally owned and original hometown newspaper, The Rockford Squire, was present Labor Day morning to participate in the 54th annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. Wanting to be in the first wave of walkers on Labor Day morning, we awoke at 4 a.m. in the middle of the night to drag ourselves out of bed, shower, down ½ a bagel (Herman’s Boy, of course) with ½ cup of bad motel coffee and head off to the bus staging area to grab a seat on the first group of 5 buses to transport walkers across the Mighty Mac to the walk’s origin in St. Ignace in the U.P., eh. A throng of 36,000 people was on hand to walk the bridge that morning, down from 42,000 in 2010. The lesser number perhaps, was the result of the poor economy, high gas prices, unseasonably cool and windy weather, or a combination of all three. Never the less, the traditional bridge walk faithful always show up, some year after year, to participate in what for many is an event on their “bucket list”. So promptly at 7 a.m., following a select group of Michigan runners, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, along with an entourage of 100+ staff and supporters, headed off over the bridge towards the finish line in Mackinaw City aided by a strong wind at their backs. This wasn’t a political event, but never the less, the Governor and his party all sported lime green t-shirts with a sprinting dog and the words, “We work in dog years.” For the uninitiated the analogy was meant to convey that the Governor and his party had accomplished more in one year than previous administrations had accomplished in seven. You know the old expression; “a dog lives the equivalent of seven human years in one year of its life”. Shortly after the start of the walk, your reporters overtook and worked their way through the governor’s party. Being very competitive, we found ourselves with a select few people striving to reach the walk’s finish line in their personal best time. Toward that goal, we achieved admirably, finishing the 5-mile walk in 59 minutes, 36 seconds. Our bridge […]
The Rockford Squire
Rockford DPS quick to fix broken pipes The news comes right to the front door at The Rockford Squire newspaper. Bright and early Tuesday, July 5, a wet front parking lot dampened any lingering holiday cheer. Water coming up from under the sidewalk area was addressed by crews from the Rockford Department of Public Services (DPS). The DPS team cut through the road surface and used a backhoe to pry up chunks of the surface. They then dug down in search of the service main suspected of the leak. One DPS staffer said they suspected a service main break instead of a main pipe break, because of the lower volume of water coming from the problem area. He said main breaks often shoot water into the air. One main break in front of Parkside Elementary School years back caused jets of water to lift the entire surface of the road into the air, he reported. In mid-afternoon, Advanced Hydrovac brought in a truck and sucker hose to vacuum out the water and mud from the sizeable hole DPS had created. The truck and hose system, called a “mud dog,” allowed the workers to reach the valve cutting off the flow of water to the break. By the time the newspaper was put together for the night and sent off to the printer, the break had been repaired. According to DPS crews, they stay on the job until repairs are complete. “We like to play in the mud, or we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing,” one crew member said.
Karn Crooks has been with the Rockford Squire newspaper as an account representative since June, 2009. Karn grew up on the east side of the state in a suburb between Detroit and Ann Arbor, where most of her roots were planted. Now she lives in Rockford and many of her family members have transfered to the Grand Rapids area. In sales and marketing for over 30 years, Karn has worked in areas ranging from a manufacturer’s rep in the sporting goods and fitness industry to selling international foods in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area. “My job is always an adventure, not only because I am able to travel to many different areas in the greater Rockfcord area, Grand Rapids, and surrounding communities, but also because I get a lot of pleasure out of meeting a diverse group of clients and prospective clients,” Karn said. “I like learning about their business and how our paper can best serve them. They deserve the best treatment because they are what keeps our paper going.” When not working, Karn enjoys music, watching and playing sports as well as gardening and enjoying the beautiful birds we have in West Michigan. The Squire is very fortunate to have such a professional and personable group of staff members and we enjoy sharing their stories with our readers.