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Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.

Nationally known comedienne is coming to Rockford

Nationally known comedienne is coming to Rockford

ROCKFORD, Mich.—A well-known comedienne is coming to West Michigan next year, but not for LaughFest.

Caroline Rhea, who starred in “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” as well as several other TV programs and movies, will headline the Rockford Education Foundation’s annual fundraiser Saturday, January 18.

The fundraiser will take place at Rockford High School’s Fine Arts Auditorium.  Tickets are $40 and available on the district website or by calling (616) 863-6317.  Proceeds from the event will go to local schools and organizations that propose programs to enhance education in Rockford.   The Rockford Education Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in grants since it was founded 22 years ago.

Irwin Seating helps to connect the dots

Irwin Seating helps to connect the dots

Earl Irwin smiles when he walks a section of the bike/walking trail west of Irwin Seating, located near Four Mile Rd NW & Fruitridge Ave NW.

Not too long ago, Irwin donated land to help with the nearly completed connection of the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail, the Musketawa Trail in Ottawa County and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail in Kent County. Irwin Seating has also dedicated a parking lot on the north side of Irwin Seating as a Trail Head for people using the trails and a place to park their vehicles while on the trails.

What use to be a wood chip trail for employees to walk has now become a trail for everyone to use, according to Irwin. The former trail was built to encourage Irwin Seating employees to take advantage of a walk on their breaks, lunch hour or after work.

Through the efforts and private donations such as this, all these trails are available to the public to use and enjoy.

Need something printed? Look no further than downtown Rockford

Need something printed? Look no further than downtown Rockford

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- For the past 21 years, Rockford resident Melanie Ragsdale has honed her graphic design artistry while serving as the creative genius behind the advertising design and layout of the Rockford Squire Newspaper.

With the nation's economy now in full recovery mode, Ragsdale feels the time is right to pursue a life-long dream of opening a storefront business of her own.

Ragsdale Design Center will officially open its doors for business in the heart of downtown Rockford's business district on Monday, November 4, 2013. The Design Center's co-owners, Will and Melanie, were both raised in Rockford. The couple met after graduating from Rockford High School, fell in love, and subsequently married. Now Rockford homeowners, they are the proud parents of  a three-year-old daughter, Sophia Ruby. Will is currently employed in management with Michigan's Davis Oil. 

Rockford Farm Market vendor receives 'Small Business Persons of the Year' Award

Rockford Farm Market vendor receives 'Small Business Persons of the Year' Award

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- A Rockford Farm Market vendor, one that was present at the market's very inception in 2001 and continues to this day as one of the market's core anchors, has recently received the 2013 Small Business Persons of the Year award from the (MI) West Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Honored was Ottawa County's Visser Farms, owned and operated by five generations of the Visser family since 1902. Currently overseeing the farms operations are Phil and Cindy Visser and their seven children, one of which is Andy, who heads up the Visser's Saturday morning Rockford Farm Market crew. 

New class of Michigan State Troopers reports for duty

New class of Michigan State Troopers reports for duty

LANSING, Mich.--  A new class of Michigan State Police troopers is beginning work in West Michigan.

Graduates of the 125th Trooper Recruit School began reporting to their posts Monday.   The class graduated Friday.  Governor Rick Snyder delivered the keynote address during the ceremony.

“We’re so proud of the men and women devoting their careers to public safety,” Snyder said. “Today’s graduates will play a critical role in making our communities and neighborhoods safer for our families. Our Michigan State Police are an elite force. We thank our newest troopers for their commitment, dedication and professionalism in service to all Michiganders.”

Rockford couple honored by Arthritis Foundation, Michigan

Rockford couple honored by Arthritis Foundation, Michigan

A Rockford couple’s work to help those with arthritis will come full circle October 8, as they are honored during the Arthritis Foundation’s Tribute to Excellence event at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Dan and Lou Ann Gaydou became advocates for those with arthritis after a previous Tribute to Excellence event, where they met a Grand Valley State University student battling juvenile arthritis.  Since then, their work has included several years on the Tribute to Excellence event committee and garnering more support for the Arthritis Foundation.

 “Arthritis is a terrible disease,” says Dan. “Lou Ann and I are thrilled to be honored and even more pleased that we have this special opportunity to further help people with arthritis.”