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Finding ways to get closer to food

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Before the Civil War, people either grew their own food or knew the farmer who grew it for them. Now the source of our daily meals is such a mystery children are often clueless about how their dinner came to be. Unfortunately, adults are just as unaware as where our groceries come from. According to Sue Osgood, editor of Foodforthought magazine, consumers are finding ways to get back to natural foods. Osgood was the speaker at the Thursday, April 2 meeting of the Rockford Area Historical Society, another great speaker for the club. She said her magazine has been featuring ways consumers are using to get back to natural foods, grown close by. After the Civil War, people flocked to cities to live, and sanitation and food safety regulations were in their infancy. Michigan, in 1948, was the first state to mandate that milk be pasteurized before sale. “Now food is highly industrialized,” Osgood said. With costs of food skyrocketing and incidents of food-born illness in the news constantly, consumers are ready to get closer to their edibles. One example Osgood described is a concept begun in the 1960s. Smaller farmers, who often have a hard time competing against large producers, allow consumers to purchase stock in the farm. For a price up front, fresh, in-season produce is available. “This helps the small farmer because he has the money up front when he needs it for planting,” Osgood said. This is good for farmers and consumers and “puts a face” on your food. Another example is a way around milk pasteurization laws. Those who own cows can do what they want, as long as they don’t sell it. As in the farm example, consumers can make arrangements to buy a share of a cow. As owners, they can legally drink the milk without pasteurization. “A lot of people believe in unpasteurized milk,” Osgood said. She said before the industrial revolution, it was what people drank. Some believe pasteurization kills healthful enzymes and makes the milk less nutritious. An increase in organic foods is also part of the same picture. Many people believe organic food exposes consumers to less pesticides and other toxins, is more nutritious, protects you from genetically modified food, is […]

Waterfest packed with family fun

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Sixteenth annual event educates with free hands-on activities Roll up your sleeves, grab a net and find out what amazing creatures can be found in most any creek or stream, and why they are important. Explore microscope magic, rain sticks, a fish pond, fill up with a pancake breakfast and don’t forget the rubber ducky races. The sixteenth annual Bear Creek Waterfest is coming up Saturday, April 25 from 8 a.m. to noon and is always educational as well as great family fun. It is held at Townsend Park, located at the corner of Ramsdell Drive and Cannonsburg Road. Again this year the musical group Hawks and Owls will perform, giving a lively background sound to the many activity stations. A filling all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast is from 8 to 10 a.m. and a bake sale will start at 8 and stay open as long as there are treats to sell. Cannon Township hosts this annual event with education in mind. Each year children are invited to pick up a “passport” and explore stations which have an environmentally friendly theme. Volunteers offer rubber boots and nets and invite youngsters to “step right in” to Bear Creek and see what they can net up. From crayfish to fish to interesting invertebrates, kids are aided in identifying their find and learning about the importance of healthy wetlands. Among the stations are a rain garden booth, plant a native flower seed, a fish pond, rain stick (make and take your own), watershed information, ozone action display, a scavenger hunt and self-guided tour, a recycling information station and the timeless classic rubber ducky races. As always, the activities are free, except for the breakfast, which is a bargain at $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 12 and under. 

Just joking! Squire front page all good fun

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

by BETH ALTENA Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on last week’s April Fool issue, featuring a fake front page. There are no wind turbines at the tannery, no State Police trooper cars in potholes, under trees or damaged by rockslides. Thanks to our new State Police Post Commander Chris McIntire (see story above) who brought in his remote control vehicle for our photos of the spring driving hazards. It was fun driving around with the toy car thinking of things to do to it. It almost experienced a flood, but I wondered if water would damage the toy and didn’t want to make the post commander mad at me this soon after our first meeting. As always, our graphic designer, Melanie Ragsdale, did the “high tech” entertainment on her computer. Cliff Hill took the original tannery picture from in a tree.

Two shot after fleeing sheriff deputies, driving at officer

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

A Cannon Township resident with a long history of traffic accidents fled a sheriff’s deputy and was eventually shot after appearing to try to run over the deputy. Deputy Joe Glynn attempted to pull over Christopher Imelmann, age 46, on Belding Road about 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, March 26. Imelmann, who is a paraplegic from injuries in an accident 20 years ago, failed to stop and reached speeds of 85 miles an hour. Imelmann tried to pull into the driveway of his home on Belding Road just west of Blakely Drive, but missed, spinning out. When Deputy Glynn got out of his vehicle to approach, Imelmann’s vehicle accelerated. Glynn shot into the car, injuring Imelmann as well as a passenger, Steven Powell, age 28 and resident of Orleans in Ionia County. Imelmann and Powell were both treated for injuries, Powell was shot in the hand, Imelmann in his torso. Imelmann had a suspended license due to a poor driving record, had three warrants for his arrest, including a misdemeanor for littering, one felony for larceny from a building and one for illegal use of a financial transaction device. Investigators are awaiting results of toxicology tests, which may indicate Imelmann was driving while using drugs. He faces two counts of felonious assault, one count of fourth degree fleeing and eluding. Powell had pre-existing outstanding misdemeanor warrant related to a domestic violence charge. He was not charged in this incident. Deputy Glynn and a second deputy who had arrived on the scene prior to the shooting, are on paid administrative leave during an investigation of the incident.

Rockford Post Office loses ‘one of the best’

April 1, 2009 // 0 Comments

by CHRISTINE BIGNEY Andrew Shears has been going to work to the Rockford Post Office everyday for the past 30 years But come Friday, April 3, Shears will don his postal blues for the last time. Shear’s supervisor, Fred Farage, said that the person who replaces Shears will have some very big shoe’s to fill. “One of the things about Andrew is he is an extremely organized individual,” Farage said. Approximately nine years ago the post office downtown split into two operations, with the Annex located just north of Rockford. Farage spends most of his work-day at the Annex. “Andrew has done an amazing job organizing and keeping up with the paperwork and the financial aspect of the Rockford office. In a sense, he’s run that whole place. I knew things would be done right,” Farage said Farage went on to say that in the past year the post office has lost 1/3 of their more experienced employees through early retirement. “We will have major changes going on with staffing, as we replace them with transfers from other offices,” Farage explained. Farage said that Shears is looking forward to working in his garden after he retires. We wish Andrew all the best.

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