Top News Story

Grannies make a difference, one child at a time

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

Most people over the age of 75 are winding down and enjoying the twilight years of their life, right? Not for a couple of grannies who are in the prime of their life and enjoying every minute of it. Gisela Leichty, 81, and Millie Anderson, 76, are a couple of grannies who are making a huge difference in the Rockford community by working with children as volunteers in the Foster Grandparent Program. These super turbo-charged seniors help first-grade children at Ridgeview Elementary School by acting as their mentors. They change children’s lives by giving them the attention they need. The volunteers spend one-on-one time with five to ten students throughout the school year, helping students with writing, reading and math and maybe, more importantly, they just give them unconditional love whenever they need it. When asked why she spends five hours a day, four days a week with screaming kids, without missing a heartbeat Gisela said, “They give me purpose to get up each day.” Both ladies agree that mentoring is a two-way street because not only are they making a difference in the children’s lives but the children are making a difference in their lives. “Watching these young children blossom before their eyes is more rewarding than you can imagine,” is a common statement from volunteers. When Millie is not volunteering, she is an avid mystery reader and loves to walk. She raised six children and before volunteering she worked with older adults in nursing homes for many years. She says nothing compares to working with children and giving them plain old-fashioned TLC. Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Gisela, who raised eight children of her own, loves to garden when she is not loving on “her” grandkids. These volunteers develop a long-lasting relationship with their grandkid by loving, caring and giving nonjudgmental help from their many years of life’s experiences. They are passing on their wisdom to the future generations instead of keeping it to themselves. The Foster Grandparent Program is a national program that has been around for over 40 years. The program realizes that the family structure has changed over the last 50 years and there have been fewer opportunities for children and young people to interact with and learn from “elders.” Schools […]

John Ball’s Traveling Zoo visits Rockford

July 9, 2009 // 0 Comments

Z’s Kids Club Traveling Animal Show brought the zoo to Rockford’s Krause Memorial Library on Monday afternoon, June 29, 2009. John Ball education staffers, Colleen and Robyn, came with hands-on learning experiences that included, among other things, a display of animal furs, a rattlesnake skin, and an empty ostrich egg. Also visiting as part of the live animal demonstration was a great horned owl, a Mexican dwarf hairy porcupine, and a red, white and black docile Pueblen milk snake. More than 100 enthusiastic youngsters of all ages were in attendance to see the animals and hear about their interesting physical and behavioral characteristics. If you didn’t make it to the library for John Ball’s Traveling Zoo program, you can see these animals and many more at the John Ball Zoo, 1300 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids. For more information about the zoo and its programs call (616) 336-4301 or visit their website at

Dental office puts focus on exceptional patient experience and building relationships

June 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Enjoy the coffee bar and internet in the waiting room before you go in for your dental appointment at Dr. John P. Klooster’s Belmont Dentistry, PLC at 1259 Post Drive in Belmont. Dr. Klooster calls his office a “scratch start-up practice based on the principals of convenience, care and value.” “Our high-tech office focuses on the patients’ experience,” he said. Dr. Klooster is proud of his profession and all it has to offer his patients. The general dentistry practice allows Dr. Klooster to provide a wide variety of services to all ages. His family dental practice offers all aspects of general dental care as well as short-term braces for adults, in-office bleaching, veneers and especially enjoys working with children. While being treated, patients can enjoy the over the-chair television with headphones and warm, scented towels after the treatment is complete. A resident of Belmont, Dr. Klooster finds the community a great place to work and raise a family. He is looking forward to building his patient family through providing excellent service and going the extra mile in his profession. “We believe we offer a unique service to our patients that will build strong, long-term relationships,” he said. “I feel really privileged to be a general dentist. It’s a profession I’m proud of and I really enjoy what I do,” he said. “Much of the reward comes from the relationships I get to build with our patient-family.” Proof of the Belmont dental offices confidence in their quality of services is the $100 gift certificate they are offering toward the value of any treatment. They are also currently offering free in-office bleaching to their adult orthodontic patients.  Along with Dr. Klooster on staff are Heather Jansma ( office manager),  Kylie Gieroch (patient care and hygiene coordinator), Ginger Martin (assistant), and Nicki Spring ( hygienist). “We continually take extended courses, not only to keep licenses current, but to keep up with the most modern materials and techniques available,” Dr. Klooster stated. Opened in January of this year, Dr. Klooster and staff look forward to meeting more area residents and proving how pleasant and stress-free dental care can be. Visit them online at, in person at 1259 Post Drive, Belmont. The office is open Monday from 10 a.m. […]

Latest technology on tour at treatment plant open house

June 4, 2009 // 0 Comments

It was nearly a decade in coming and is one of only a few of its kind in the United States. Residents of the City of Rockford and townships of Alpine, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield have a vested interest in the North Kent Sewer Authority treatment plant at 4775 Coit NE, Grand Rapids. On Friday, June 5 at 5 p.m. come see the facility in action. The authority, comprised of the municipalities listed above, planned the $50 million plant almost ten years ago as a joint venture when they believed they were facing an unfair contract with their previous treatment provider.   The 40-year contract was set to expire November of 2008, and the City of Rockford and townships were expected to sign a new contract without even any idea of what the costs would be-except that they were going up. When they threatened to join forces and possibly build and run their own treatment plant, they were told it would happen when pigs fly.   That day came October 28, 2008 at 2:39 p.m. when the plant began processing the wastewater for the member communities. It has it saved over ten million dollars from what the five members’ taxpayers would have been charged with the previous treatment provider. In addition, the new plant has taken 4.3 million gallons a day from a system that was old, leaking, and regularly discharged untreated waste into the Grand River. Now the discharge the plant puts out is cleaner than the waters of the Grand River-all from a natural, Earth-friendly (and odorless) process. For the first time the public is invited into the normally fenced and locked facility to see the process at work first hand. It is a government success story that shows how leadership in local government can be creative, bold and stand up for taxpayers in seemingly unfair situations. Visitors to the public open house will be able to visit the four buildings of the plant and see the holding tanks-the equivalent of five Olympic-sized swimming pools. According to Authority Board Chairman Michael Young, the plant is running incredibly well and came in under budget at $47 million. The treatment plant uses membrane bio reactor technology that is state-of-the art facility that has had inquiries […]

Pothole season ‘the worst in decades’

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

Kent County officials have announced that March 2009 was the worst month for potholes in West Michigan in more than thirty years. Above is a Rockford Michigan State Police patrol vehicle which recently became stranded in one of the area’s large potholes. In related news, the county has also announced that West Michigan motorists have had to watch for a record number of rockslides and fallen trees.

1 3 4 5 6