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Officer Robinson named president of Michigan Crime Prevention Assc.

October 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Crime Prevention Association of Michigan (C.P.A.M.) voted Officer Dave Robinson, of the Rockford Police Department, to a two year term as their president for 2010. Officer Robinson, a sixteen year veteran, who oversees the Rockford Police Department Community Policing Programs, most recently served as Secretary for C.P.A.M. the past two years. The Crime Prevention Association provides training and crime prevention resources to police and sheriff departments throughout Michigan. The association, which boasts over 100 members, is recognized as the leader in crime prevention practices.

Fish story has two tales

October 29, 2009 // 0 Comments

 LIFELIKE ARTISTRY—Floyd Riegling, a Rockford carver, created a replica of the huge small mouth bass caught by Dr. Carl Stites this summer. His carvings allow anglers a life-sized memory of their catch while allowing the fish to go free.                           When you want to let the big one get away, Rockford man has the answer When Floyd Riegling retired from his upholstery business, his wife Carol wondered what he would do. He is enjoying his second career as a “starving artist” with his new passion of carving fish from photographs. “I always wanted to carve,” he said. Self-taught, the artist can re-created an angler’s favorite catch in about 25 hours and result in a product that is life-like but didn’t cost the fish its life. He works from either basswood or foam and has developed his own techniques. The teeth of a sturgeon and whiskers of a catfish are actually nails he embedded and filed to shape. Onion bags under the paint give his foam fish scales. On wood they are burned in. He recently presented Rockford eye doctor Carl Stites a duplicate of a fish Stites caught this summer. Riegling saw the photo in the Squire and took it upon himself to make the carving. “It’s very flattering, actually,” Stites said. He took the fish on a crawler harness in Intermediate Lake in Bellaire. It was 22-1/2 inches and he took it at about 5:45 a.m. and earned him a master angler’s patch for the catch. “I let it go so maybe someone else can have the fun of catching it,” Stites said. Riegling said he enjoys the work so much he would rather carve fish than go fishing now. Fish range from under $100 to over $500, depending on the size, because of supplies and the amount of time they take. The carver showed his work at Art in the Park and sold several pieces. He has many at his Rockford home to show people interested in hiring him to carve their favorite catch. To find out more, give him a call at (616) 454-7847. He just doesn’t have any examples of fish he’s caught himself. “I never caught anything big […]

Family turns tail on rat race for nine months

October 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Craig and Danielle Parrent had it all—a beautiful, 4,500 square foot home, their own business that employed 16 and was thriving, and three healthy young children. Yet the couple felt they were missing out. Craig felt he was putting the hours of his life into paying for the home and lifestyle, and spending all his time with customers instead of the people he loved most, his family. After a boat trip in Saugatuk, he had a conversation with his wife, who graduated Rockford in 1993 as Danielle Lewis. He wanted to get rid of it all and see the country with his family. “We knew it was the right thing to do and we never looked back,” Danielle said. Her husband, who has several heart conditions, was tired of missing out on his family’s life. “He felt he was working for the granite counter tops, large home, expensive cars. There had to be more to life than driving himself into a stressed workaholic,” Danielle said of her husband. When the couple married 13 years ago, they had only $1,000 between the two of them. Deciding to jump off the fast track and spend nine months touring the country by motor home and with a ten-foot dinghy was a prospect that did not scare them. “You get back to the basics of life,” Danielle said. The kids were home schooled during the trip, which lasted from September 2008 until May 2009. They are back now, with plans to live life to the fullest and are planning their next trip. “We were simple people who were not leading simple lives, until now,” Danielle said. She said living like this is something many people dream about, but never do. They may wait until retirement. “We knew we weren’t getting any younger. The older the kids get, the harder it is to home school them, and for them to leave their friends. Now was the time.” They went as far east as it is possible to get with their time in Maine. They went as far south as well, to the Florida Keys, where they went beachcombing and watched manatees swim under their small boat. They walked in the depths of Carlsbad Caverns and Death Valley. “We weren’t […]

Rockford court case argued in Appeals

October 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL This past Tuesday, October 6, found Rockford officials in Lansing in a Michigan Court of Appeals courtroom. Rockford was there to appeal a Circuit Court decision that allowed the current two courts of the 63rd District to be combined into one courthouse in Grand Rapids Township. Your reporters were witness to the morning’s proceedings. Readers should take note of the fact that we don’t pretend to be courtroom reporters. What follows are our interpretations and observations of what occurred that morning. At promptly 10 a.m. the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals entered the courtroom. The presiding judge, Michael J. Talbot, said, “Good morning.” Hearing no response he said, “We are in for a long day.” In our opinion, that response set the tone for the rest of the proceeding. Judge Kurtis T. Wilder and Judge Michael J. Kelly comprised the rest of the panel. Talbot began by saying that Circuit Courts of Appeal are courts where oral arguments are heard both pro and con. The justices are already well informed on the substance of the cases that come before them. For the most part they are looking for any new information that may assist them in their decision process. Questions may or may not be asked of the attorneys representing each side. There are no witnesses called and, hence, no cross-examinations in an Appeals courtroom. First up was Steven Stapleton, an attorney representing the City of Rockford. Stapleton had barely gotten his first words out when Talbot admonished him to, “Speak up and look up.” Stapleton was somewhat taken aback but quickly recovered and advanced a plea to disqualify Talbot from ruling on whether Rockford should keep a full-time court. Last year, Talbot was one of nine members of the Judicial Tenure Commission that decided that Rockford Judge Steven Servaas should be removed from office. The Commission was of the opinion that Servaas had vacated his bench by residing outside his electoral district and that he also had engaged in inappropriate doodling and improper humor with female staff. The final arbiter in the matter, the State Supreme Court, was later to find in favor of Servaas, allowing him to stay on the bench. Stapleton, in advancing the motion […]

‘King of Cannonsburg’ seeks successor

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

‘I’m keeping the moose’ “If I sold it off in bits and pieces, the synergy goes away. They have to buy it all or nothing,” Don Kurylowicz, long-time business owner in Cannonsburg, has posted his domain for sale. With an asking price of just under $4.5 million, the properties aren’t for just anyone, and Kurylowicz hopes the right sort of person, or a group of individuals, will keep the tenor of his old-time town. Despite the high-tech built in—his group of buildings in the village are networked and have security cameras installed nearly everywhere—the village is Kurylowicz’s homage to Americana. “Meijer and DeVos saved downtown Grand Rapids, but no one is saving these little towns,” Kurylowicz said. In his late 50s, Kurylowicz said it is time to find someone else with the passion, vision—and stamina—it takes to juggle the many hats he wears in the village. He admits, however, if someone ponies up the asking price, he can’t say no. “I’d owe the realtors their commission, that would be $450,000,” he said. He listed the property with The Wisinski Group last Thursday, August 20. This summer Kurylowicz celebrated 25 years in the town, from his first investment in the Honey Creek Inn. He recalled his stubborn efforts to save the historic buildings of the village. The first store was built in 1844 and by 1978 employed seven individuals between its cattle dealer, lumber dealer, shoe and boot store and a hardware. When Kurylowicz bought the Inn, it was in bad shape. He said the township at that time did not make his efforts to rehab the building easy. He dug in his heels and over the years acquired the other properties—mostly by happenstance—he now lists for sale as one unit. Over the years he has enjoyed the feeling of rural community that he promotes through festivals and being very active in the community. He believes people crave the social environment fostered by small towns, which sadly are gone or disappearing. He believes the success of the village is because of the caring people there. Listed are nine parcels, including Honey Creek Inn, Cannonsburg Market and Grist Mill. Kurylowicz said he’s keeping the newest celebrity addition to the town, Ralph the Moose. Kurylowicz said the listing […]

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