A Rodney woman accused of a number of break-ins around the Rodney area faces more charges.
31-year old Asia Ann Verellen is charged with ten additional charges including first degree home invasion, receiving and concealing a stolen firearm, second-degree home invasion, larceny of a firearm and possession of a stolen financial transaction device.
Verellen was originally charged with one count of first degree home invasion connected to a string of break-ins from June 14-16th in Colfax Township. Her bond was set at $150,000.
A Barryton man who was extradited from Kentucky has been charged with sex crimes in Mecosta Co.
43-year old Frederick Carl Anderson, has been charged with five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Police say the incidents involve two unrelated female victims under the age of 13 who were neighbors of Anderson’s. The first victim told police she was sexually assaulted in 2008 and the other reported she was assaulted between 2009 and 2010.
Two of Michigan’s largest utility companies are moving forward with plans to shut down nine coal-fired power plants by next spring. Consumers Energy and DTE Energy are reiterating their plans despite a ruling by the U-S Supreme Court that the Environmental Protection Agency mandate to reduce air emissions should have taken cost into account.
Consumers Energy Spokesman Dan Bishop says the standards set by the EPA have been good for the state…
“The state's air is the cleanest it's been in 50 years.”
The justices ruling likely means the EPA will have to review and rewrite their rules on mercury emissions standards.
Pipline Company TransCanada has released a statement on this morning's gas leak in Reed City.
At approximately 3 a.m. Eastern Time, TransCanada responded to a drop in pressure on its ANR natural gas pipeline system in Osceola County, southwest of Reed City. This section of pipeline was not flowing natural gas at the time of this event, but a release of natural gas did occur. Upon detecting the drop in pressure, the section of pipeline was further isolated. Response personnel, using air monitoring equipment, have not detected natural gas in the surrounding area. TransCanada has notified the appropriate regulatory agencies and the cause of the gas release is not known at this time. As we continue to respond, we will maintain our focus on protecting the safety of the public, TransCanada employees and other responders. We have confirmed that the nearest landowners are safe and accounted for, and we appreciate their cooperation and patience during this event. We have also confirmed that there has been no impact to our customers as a result of this event.
Michiganders that get health insurance from the federally facilitated marketplace could experience a rate hike next year. Eleven of the sixteen insurers that offer plans on the health care exchange have asked for a rate increase, according to the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services.
Rick Notter of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan says his company is asking for about a 10-percent increase.
“So about seven percent of that ten percent is a result of those increasing medical costs,” he says.
Notter says it's important to note that rates may vary based on plan.
After an extremely loud "roar" shook homes in Reed City and its surrounding areas, Osceola Co. Emergency Management officials say the area is now safe and secure for residents.
Osceola Co. EMD Mark Watkins says the area is safe for residents to go out and conduct their Monday business. Watkins says the unidentified incident occurred around 2:45AM in the area of 220th Avenue and 3 Mile Rd southwest of Reed City. The situation resulted in immediate contact with utility crews for repair.
So far, the cause is unknown as well as the utility company responsible for the gas line. We'll have more on this story when it becomes available
No one is hurt following a fire at a Wexford County gas station. Springville Township Fire Chief Gary Jewett says a man stopped at Ellen's Corner BP in Mesick to get gas for his motor home when the trailer he was hauling caught fire.
The trailer contained a race car and racing fuel. Police say the man's two sons were in the trailer when it caught fire, but were able to escape.
The man tried to back away from the fuel pumps, but left the vehicle when he then realized he was headed toward a large fireworks stand.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze but the trailer and it's contents were completely destroyed.
Friends and relatives are mourning the death of a 17-year-old man following an accident in Isabella County this weekend.
The sheriff's department says Daniel Bronis from Lake was driving on West North County Line Road when he lost control, ran off the road and overturned. Bronis was thrown from the vehicle and the vehicle came to rest on top of him.
Two passengers, 15-year-old Scott Martin and 17-year-old Breanna Herman, both from Evart, were taken to the hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time.
Child safety is a priority all year long, but during the summer months there's an added risk factor that sometimes isn't thought about until it's too late.
“We're trying to get the community to be aware of the dangers of leaving children in parked cars,” says Michigan State Police Community Service Trooper Michael White.
As people's thoughts turn to summer vacations, picnics, and time at the beach, White notes that even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a child in a car, and the end result can be injury or even death.
“In 2013, nationwide, 44 children died from heatstroke after being accidentally left in parked vehicles. Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle related deaths for children.”
The best way to avoid heatstroke is by never leaving a child alone in a car, not even for a minute, and to keep cars locked to prevent children from getting in the car on their own. However, people get busy and distracted and plan to be away from the car for only a few minutes which can be deadly.
“A child's body heats up three to five times faster than an adult's making them more susceptible to heatstroke,” says White. “Within minutes you can forget that your child is in the car and by the time you get back to your car, that child could be in trouble or sometimes even die.”
Temperatures in a car can rise as much as 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes, but some simple steps can be used to prevent a disaster.
“To prevent this tragedy we want you to use the acronym ACT. That's A-C-T which means avoid heatstroke, create reminders, and take action.”
Avoid heatstroke by never leaving a child alone in a car; create reminders by putting something in the back seat of the car, such as a brief case, purse, or cell phone to cause you to look in the back seat; and take action by calling 911 if you see a child left alone in a car.
“If we lose one child, that's one child too many, so we're just asking people to be diligent,” says White.
A man accused of being a major heroin trafficker in northern Michigan is heading to prison. Ronald Norfleet of Detroit was sentenced to 55 to 200 years in jail in Grand Traverse County on Friday.
Norfleet and co-defendants Bryan and Alysha Nerg of Mancelona were arrested after police executed search warrants in East Bay Township and Traverse City last February. The Nergs conspired with Norfleet and served as drug runners for him.
Police say Norfleet was behind a significant increase in drug trafficking in northern Michigan.
While political leaders, administrators and citizens across the state of Michigan begin to sort out the implications of Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, some people in positions of influence are already making their positions clear.
Michigan's Roman Catholic bishops say the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage represents a profound legal turning point that will have a significant ripple effect upon the first amendment right to religious liberty. The bishops say in a statement that the ruling sets the church's teaching about marriage in opposition to the law and will create inestimable conflicts between the state and religious persons and institutions.
Meanwhile, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who staunchly defended Michigan's ban on gay marriage in court, says the US Supreme Court has spoken and the matter of same sex marriage has been decided. Schuette, who argued earlier that state voters should define marriage instead of the Federal courts, says it was his job to defend the state constitution but now the matter is over and he will honor and respect the decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 United States, effectively striking down Michigan's gay marriage ban. The justices ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is linked to three other cases, including Michigan’s case DeBoer v. Snyder.
Governor Rick Snyder issued the following statement regarding the ruling:
“Same sex marriage has been a divisive issue in Michigan and across our country. Recognizing that there are strong feelings on both sides, it is important for everyone to respect the judicial process and the decision today from the U.S. Supreme Court. Our state government will follow the law and our state agencies will make the necessary changes to ensure that we will fully comply.
“Let's also recognize while this issue has stirred passionate debate, we now should focus on the values we share. With this matter now settled, as Michiganders we should move forward positively, embracing our state's diversity and striving to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
The 5 – 4 decision by the Supreme Court means that Constitution requires all states to issue marriage licenses for people of the same sex and that states must recognize all lawful same sex marriages that were performed out of state.
The Michigan Senate and House have adopted resolutions declaring Saturday, June 27th as PTSI Awareness Day in Michigan.
Organizers say the day is designed to raise awareness of the causes and symptoms of post-traumatic stress and bring attention to the support available to those affected by it.
Last year Michigan became the first state in the country to officially change the name of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Injury.
PTSI affects more than 5 million Americans each year. It's most commonly associated with veterans - and has been known by many other terms, including shell shock and combat fatigue - but experts say PTSI can affect anyone at any age.
A campaign finance watchdog group in Michigan is criticizing anonymous donations supporting the campaigns of judges in the state.
The report from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network says not knowing who is donating can bring into question whether ethical, or legal lines have been crossed, or whether everyone, including those who don't donate, are equal under the law.
Spokesperson Rich Robinson says prohibiting anonymous or "dark money" contributions will help to build more confidence in the judicial system.
“When these questions are introduced because of dark money, it undermines the confidence that we have in the judiciary and that's just not healthy.”
"Dark money" is an anonymous contribution for a political ad which stops short of promoting a vote for or against anyone, but often are attack ads against candidates.
A Caledonia man was killed in a car accident this morning in Wexford Co.
Sheriff Deputies say it happened on Old US 131 north of the Manistee River in Liberty Township. When emergency crews arrived to the scene they found a box-delivery truck rolled over along with the driver 49-year old Randy Jay Eckman. Police say Eckman was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the truck.
In a major win for the Obama administration, the U.S. Supreme Court is upholding taxpayer subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.
The case involved federal subsidies for low-income patients in nearly three-dozen states including Michigan that have not set up health insurance exchanges. The federal government runs exchanges in those states. The ruling affects nearly 230,000 Michigan residents who would have seen their average monthly health premiums triple if current A-C-A subsidies were eliminated.
The nation's highest court did not rule on the other closely-watched case that involves the legality of efforts by Michigan and three other states to prohibit same-sex marriage.
If the US Supreme Court throws out Michigan's same sex marriage ban, legislation is at the fore, sponsored by Michigan House Republican Todd Courser of Lapeer, which would allow only clergy to perform marriages in Michigan. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum believes the bill is motivated by hate.
“It is extremely concerning that legislators are so concerned about making sure hate remains in our state that they're willing to push it this far,” she says.
Courser says he'll withdraw the bill if Michigan's same-sex marriage ban is upheld.
A 24-year old Mount Pleasant was killed in a car accident Wednesday morning in Union Township.
Deputies say it happend on N. Lincoln Rd., just north of River Rd. that's where Andrew Joseph Hiveley was traveling at a high rate of speed when the car veered to the left, ran off the roadway, flew over a ditch and rolled numerous times. Hiveley was ejected from the car and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was alone in the car at the time of the crash.
Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash. Hiveley was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Michigan will be using a new rapid water testing system this summer to check beaches for e-coli contamination. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Toxicologist Shannon Briggs says it will also allow them to trace the source of the e-coli, which would have come in handy in tracking down a nasty outbreak coming from a creek in Traverse City...
“They went in with a video camera and found areas where the storm drains were loaded with racoons. And the racoons had produced a large quantity, or large pile, of feces that were just sitting there getting washed into the creek.”
The test, which will produce results in about four hours as opposed to 24 hours, will allow the state to shut down beaches with high e-coli levels quicker and to reopen them sooner when the levels go down.
The Better Business Bureau in Michigan is warning about being too hasty in hiring a cleanup contractor. It says scam artists often surface following storms like those seen recently in Michigan. Spokesperson Denai Hanes says consumers sometimes later learn that the work is shoddy or isn't done, and the contractor may not be insured.
“There's typically a wave that we see after storms like this with door to door solicitors, uninsured, unknown construction companies that come through and will try and say that they are working on another job in your area or have special deals.”
Hanes advises calling your insurance company and then get everything in writing and get at least three estimates before any work is done.
Reed City police are warning residents of a new scam that is making its way into the area. Officials say victims are receiving phone calls or mail notices claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. They are then sent a fraudulent check from Healthcare Partners IPA out of New York to be used for attorney fees and insurance.
The Reed City Police have been in contact with both Publishers Clearing House and Healthcare Partners IPA. Publishers Clearing House says they do not award any large prizes by phone or mail and Healthcare Partners IPA have advised that the checks are fraudulent and not to cash them as the victim would be responsible to repay the money to the bank.
The Reed City Police Department advises that if your receive any such phone calls hang up immediately, do not give out any personal or bank information, and do not send any money.
A 27-year old Big Rapids man accused of trying to kill two Big Rapids Police officers has been deemed competent to stand trial.
Wesley Thomas Snyder faces a host of felony charges including attempted murder and assaulting a police officer. Snyder is accused of assaulting two DPS officers who were following up on a report of an assault at the Appleridge Apartment Complex in Big Rapids.
According to the police report, when the officers attempted to make contact with Snyder, who then shot at them with a bow and arrow. Snyder is currently being held on $5 million bond.
A federal investigation has been launched into potential braking problems with an estimated 121-thousand 2013 Dodge Darts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received 18 complaints that the brake pedal can suddenly become hard to depress and that braking distance unexpectedly increased on the vehicles.
Some drivers report hearing a “pop noise or an air hissing noise when applying the brake pedal, followed by a hard pedal feel and reduced brake effectiveness.” Others said they had to use the parking brake to stop the vehicle; while other owners said the brake booster and master cylinder were replaced to correct the problem.
People don’t want every gas station to sell beer, nor do they want craft beer sampled at farmer’s markets, according to a survey commission by the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association. Michigan Brewers Guild Executive Director Scott Graham says getting access to farmer’s markets isn’t high atop their to-do list but it certainly couldn’t hurt…
“The best way to get people interested in them and to know more about them is to sample them and get them to talk about it. To me, it doesn't make sense to allow that opportunity for a small wine maker in Michigan, and not allow the same opportunity for a small brewer in Michigan.”
Of the 500 people surveyed two-thirds didn’t want to see beer at every gas station or at farmers markets.
Legislation in the state Senate would allow those who inherit a gun, but aren't licensed to have it, to check the registration without fear of police confiscation, and then to sell the weapon. Senator Mike Shirkey is the bill sponsor.
“It removes the incentive for law abiding citizens to not stay within the law if they happen to inherit a pistol,” he says.
Shirkey says he has heard from a number of constituents who have run into this problem and were concerned about breaking the law.
A Holland teenager who admitted raping and killing his 21-year old cousin a year ago will spend the next 40 to 60 years in prison. 16-year old Joshua Keyzer pled guilty in May to felony murder involving a juvenile defendant and attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
As part of the agreement, he wouldn’t face life in prison without a chance for parole. Keyzer was also sentenced to 2 to 5 years for attempted sexual assault.
Keyzer was 15 when he murdered Kassandra Keyzer last June at her home in Allegan County's Wayland Township. During the attack Keyzer also slashed his grandmother's throat, but she survived. Kassandra Keyzer’s young son was asleep in the house at the time of the stabbings, but wasn’t hurt.
If you haven't noticed , sidewalks in Downtown Big Rapids are undergoing some renovations.
Public Works Director Mark Gifford says detectable ramps are being installed. The ramp which have “trunk gated domes” on them, help residents who are visually impaired find the sidewalk. Gifford said they previously installed plastic detectable ramps a few years back but due to the weather and other elements the ramps ended up pealing up making them a safety hazard for residents.
The new ramps are cast iron. Gifford is hoping the new ramps will be installed by by the end of the week.
A female driver is fighting for her life while her male passenger suffered non-life threatening injuries following a car accident in Isabella Co.
State Police say it happened Saturday night on Baseline Road East of Loomis Road. Police say that's where truck driven by a 49-year old woman from Midland ran off the road and struck a tree. The driver and her 42-year old passenger were removed from the vehicle using the “Jaws of Life”. The driver was airlifted to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital with life threatening injuries. Her passenger suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Troopers believe alcohol and drugs played a factor in the accident. State Police are continuing to investigate the accident.
They may be on summer break, but state legislators are still working on a plan to repair Michigan's roads.
Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says he'll continue to talk with lawmakers and hopes to have a plan soon.
“I, particularly, am going to be visiting each member and talking about our solutions, seeing what we can put together and then come back on the 30th and then if things go well, hopefully we will have some sort of plan that we can engage, talk to our constituents about.”
The legislature has scheduled a handful of session days this summer when they could vote on a road funding solution.
The Traverse Narcotics Team says one man from Cadillac, one from Buckley and one from Detroit are being held on drug charges in the Wexford County Jail.
The 26-year-old Cadillac resident was arrested late last week for delivery of heroin. The other two, a 37-year-old Buckley man and a 44-year-old Detroit man, were arrested and 75-hundred dollars of heroin were seized after an investigation.
Officials say the men were identified as being significant suppliers of heroin in the Cadillac area.
A 27-year-old Rosebush man is behind bars following allegations of sexual abuse. Michigan State Police in Mt. Pleasant say they were contacted by the Department of Human Services earlier this month leading to an interview with a 6-year-old girl who said she had been sexually abused by her step-father.
The suspect was interviewed and confessed to committing sexual acts against the girl on multiple occasions. He is being held on an eight count felony warrant in the Isabella County Jail.
His identity is being withheld pending arraignment.
An 18-year old Newaygo woman was sent to the hospital this morning after a rollover accident in Mecosta Co.
Deputies say it happened on 11 Mile Rd near 230th Avenue in Mecosta Twp. that's where the Newaygo woman swerved to avoid hitting a deer, then rolled her vehicle over. She suffered non-life threatening injuries, however police believe alcohol is a factor in the accident.
You could soon sip beer or wine from a cup while pedaling your way from stop to stop on a pedal pub in Michigan. The State House approved a bill allowing just that, sending the legislation to the governor. State Representative Peter Pettalia is hopeful the governor will sign the bill soon.
“The timing of this is very important. You know, in northern Michigan, we start getting where you don't want to be out on a pedal pub come around November, so we'd like to get this moving as quick as possible," he says.
A second bill would set statewide regulations for pedal pubs, which are currently operating in Grand Rapids, Bay City, Traverse City and Marquette.
The state's two largest utilities have promised $10B in Michigan business as part of the state's Pure Michigan Business Connect Program. The program connects suppliers with in-state business resources. Governor Rick Snyder says DTE Energy and Consumers Energy have each pledged $5B over the next five years.
“That's a total of $2B per year and a total of $10B over a five year period. That's a lot of jobs being created.”
Pure Michigan Business Connect, created four years ago, is a public-private alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, state agencies and Michigan-based companies.
More details are out about more than 20 bomb threats and swatting incidents targeting Rockford Schools and the West Michigan district's leaders.
Police say a 16-year-old Rockford High School student from the Belmont area who called himself "Rockford Zodiac" and a 15-year-old from Wilmington, Massachusetts connected with each other through an online game. The two teens are charged in many incidents police say are tied to terrorism and face up to 20 years in prison. They were caught by investigators tracking down computer IP addresses and by running down at least 8 Twitter accounts.
The Kent County Sheriff's Department says $100,000 in police resources have been spent and the school district has used more than $30,000 to deal with the incidents.
It's been said there's no place like home, and that's where more older Michiganders will be able to stay, thanks to continued funding for programs that help them live independently in their homes and communities as they age.
Lisa Dedden Cooper with AARP Michigan says not only do these programs help honor the desires of the overwhelming majority of older adults to stay in their homes as they age, but they make good fiscal sense for the entire state.
“We know that, on average, Medicaid dollars can support nearly three older adults or people with physical disabilities in home or community based setting for every one person in a nursing home,” she says.
The new state budget maintains last year's funding increase of more than $26M for the MI Choice Waiver program which provides services to aged and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries living at home.
A southwest Michigan man is facing a charge of assault with intent to murder after police say he stabbed his mother several times on Wednesday night.
Police were sent to Timber Ridge Manor in Berrien Springs on a report of domestic abuse. When they got there, officers found that a 37-year old man had stabbed his 68-year old mother multiple times in the neck and abdomen.
The son, who lives with the victim, was taken into custody, while his mother was taken into surgery at a local hospital. An investigation continues, and the names of the victim and suspect have not yet been released.
In the wake of the death that occurred on Isabella County's Chippewa River Tuesday, the Mecosta County Sheriff is warning residents to take the proper safety precautions before heading out on the Muskegon River.
Sheriff Todd Purcell says at this time of the year and with the rain the area has had, that makes the river levels high and the currents stronger than normal, which is dangerous and wouldn't reccommend going out on the river.
However, Pucell knows that residents will try and take advantage of a hot day in this early stage of Summer. He says if your going out tubing, be cautious, wear a life-jacket, stay in your tub and refrain from alcohol.
Police in Isabella County have found the body of a 35-year-old Mt. Pleasant man who was reported missing by his girlfriend Wednesday morning.
Officers walking along the Chippewa River discovered Joshua VanHorn's body in the water this morning (Thursday). The Isabella County dive team and the Mount Pleasant Fire Department recovered the body.
Van Horn and his girlfriend were tubing on the Chippewa River when VanHorn decided to free-float down the river on his own on Tuesday evening. His girlfriend says VanHorn never showed up at her home Wednesday morning as they had planned.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. The case remains under investigation.
State Police in Clare County are investigating a string of car break-ins in the Hill-Haven Subdivision in Surrey Township.
Troopers say around 10 unlocked cars were broken into and property was stolen. Police believe the crimes occurred between 10pm Tuesday night and 7am Wednesday morning. Items taken range from a laptop to loose change. There was no damage to the vehicles that were broken into.
If you have any information about these incidence contact State Police or the Clare Co. Sheriffs Dept.
Michigan Lawmakers are considering a measure to effectively lower the minimum wage for 18 and 19 year olds. Sponsors like Senate Republican Margaret O'Brien of Kalamazoo County say it will encourage more employers, especially family owned businesses, to hire young people for the first time.
“Having the opportunity to increase the age is really going to only impact a small segment of businesses and that's really your small mom-and-pops. I don't see a lot of the larger entities really doing that,” she says.
Opponents like Tim Hughes of the AFL-CIO says 18 and 19 year olds are adults and should be treated as such.
“The main thing it does is reduce the minimum wage for young adult workers aged between 18 and 20. We don't think that's a good thing.”
The bill specifically requires employers to pay employees under the age of 20 at least $6.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment, and the greater of 85% of the regular minimum wage or the Federal minimum wage thereafter.
Police and rescue crews are still searching for a 35-year-old man in Isabella County. Officials say Joshua VanHorn was reported missing by his girlfriend Wednesday morning.
The pair were tubing on the Chippewa River when VanHorn decided to free-float down the river on his own on Tuesday evening. His girlfriend says VanHorn never showed up at her home Wednesday morning as they had planned.
VanHorn was last seen at Mount Pleasant's Nelson Park. Police say he was wearing a black tank top with a skull on the front and back with camouflage shorts.
Big Rapids Department of Public Safety officers and firefighters switched over to 800 Mhz radios on June 3rd.
Deputy Director Steve Schroeder told Big Rapids City Commissioners that the switch was made because the radio bandwith they were on had alot of problems with radio channels other law enforcement agencies were using which would interfer and bleed over into their own channel.
The Deputy Director says with this secure bandwith being shared with other local angencies like the Michigan State Police, Mecosta Co. Sheriffs office and Ferris State U. DPS that doesnt happen anymore.
Schoeder added the new 800 Mhz radio broaden DPS' network, saying it will allow them to communicate to different agencies around Michigan's seven emergency regions in case of any catastrophic event happening in the area.
Mount Pleasant police are looking for two women suspected of credit card fraud. Security cameras caught the pair during two incidents earlier this month where the women are suspected of taking credit information and using it to buy pre-paid credit cards.
Police say the pair used stolen credit card information at least three times between June 6 and 7 at the Kmar, Walmart and Meijer stores in Mt. Pleasant. Investigators believe the two women charged around $2,000 using the fraudulent cards, mostly to purchase gift credit cards pre-loaded with money.
A new Michigan poll says Michigan voters support gay rights and legalized recreational marijuana. The poll conducted by the Glengariff Group says the state's voters support same sex marriage by a 56-to-23 margin, and they favor full civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered residents for housing an employment by a whopping 77-to-18 margin.
Republican support for those rights is nearly as large, 71-percent to 22 percent. Even voters over the age of 65 support civil rights expansion by a 77-to-18 margin.
Michigan voters oppose "Religious Freedom" legislation allowing a business to deny service to a customer based on religious differences by a wide margin. Only 19 percent support the bills. Seventy-seven percent oppose them.
And, 56 percent support legalizing small amounts of recreational marijuana by a 56-to-36 margin. However, those over the age of 65 oppose legalizing recreational pot.
A Mecosta County man was arrested in Kentucky on a 5 count felony warrant for criminal sexual conduct.
Detective Casey Nemeth says the 43-year old man from Barryton is accused of sexually assaulting 2 separate unrelated female minors who were neighbors of the suspect. One juvenile reports being sexually assaulted in 2008 and the other reported she was assaulted in 2009-10. The suspect was working in the Brandenburg, Kentucky area when contacted by Sheriffs Deputies in Mecosta Co.
The suspect remains in custody in the Meade County Jail Kentucky until his Extradition back to Michigan proceedings begin.
The Big Rapids City Commission had a full agenda last night during its meeting. The commission approved and inter-local agreement between Big Rapids Dial-A-Ride and the Mecosta/Osceola Transit Authority. The agreement will allow customers from each entity to be picked up and dropped off in each others jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, commissioners also approved a resolution to repaint the Perry Avenue water tower and to add a logo to the Ferris water tower if universiy officials approve it. The total cost of the project will be $199,400, but the price may decrease to $191,000 if Ferris State opts not to add a bulldog logo to their water tower on 1401 S. State Street.
Finally, Big Rapids Deputy Clerk Tami Gillis was approved to become the next city clerk/executive secretary. She will replace current clerk Roberta Cline, who is retiring in August.
Police in Montcalm County took into custody eight boys they believe are responsible for the breaking and entering at Central Montcalm Upper Elementary and Middle School two weeks ago.
Deputies say the boys range in age from 7-13. An investigation revealed that the eight boys, entered the Upper Elementary and the Central Montcalm Middle School on multiple occasions. The suspects consumed food, drove bicycles in the hallways leaving marks on the floors and stole two teddy bears. The teddy bears that were taken from the Upper Elementary were recovered and returned to the school.
The case has been turned over the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office for review on possible charges.
A man is hospitalized following an ORV-deer accident on Monday.
Mecosta County Sheriff's Deputies say a 42-year-old Blanchard man was driving his ORV eastbound on Monroe Road near 10th Avenue in Millbrook Township when he struck a deer, then veered off the road and struck a tree, flipping the ORV.
The driver was transported to Spectrum Health Kelsey Campus for injuries sustained in the accident.
Lawmakers are considering a measure to repeal the mandatory minimum sentence for first time convictions on a felony firearm charges. The bill effectively gives more sentencing discretion to judges.
Barb Levine of the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending explains what she believes to be a flawed statute, and how it was supported 35 years ago.
“It still does require a mandatory two year term that's consecutive to whatever the underlying felony is for possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. And, there were billboards everywhere, 'One with a gun will get you two,'” she says.
Levine says the current law hasn't worked since there's no evidence it has provided any better protection for the public, but has instead made for a more costly prison system. State corrections officials say the bill could result in 2500 fewer beds in the system.
The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is reporting a 34-year-old male driver caused a one car accident on Woodward, west of 220th Avenue in Big Rapids Township. The accident occurred just before noon on Monday when the west bound driver lost control, crossed the center line, went off the roadway and then back on the road, crossed the center line again and struck a tree.
Deputy Jack Sutherby says two juvenile male passengers were transported by a passerby to the hospital. One juvenile sustained serious injuries and the second sustained minor injuries. The driver was transported by EMS to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was then arrested and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail. The driver's and victim's names are withheld pending arraignment. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident.
Big Rapids citizens wishing to run for one of the two open City Commissioner positions are being advised that the deadline for filing candidate nominating petitions is Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.
The City of Big Rapids General Municipal Election is on November 3, 2015. Petitions are available at the Office of the City Clerk and must be filed in the Office of the City Clerk, City Hall, 226 N. Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids, MI, 49307.
The state has received a $5.5 million federal grant to help ensure children do not go hungry during the summer months while school is out of session. The Department of Health and Human Services received the grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The grant will affect more than 40,000 children living in nine school districts across the state allowing their families to purchase food. It's part of the federal Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) for Children program, and Michigan is one of eight states across the nation getting the benefits.
A lawsuit may be coming from the ACLU of Michigan, challenging a bill the governor signed in to law allowing faith-based adoption agencies to turn away certain parents. Brooke Tucker is an attorney with the ACLU…
“Regardless whether private individuals or entities are engaging in discrimination on their own time and on their own dime, that does not mean that the state should or could, under the constitution, codify that and explicitly permit taxpayer funds to be used to support such discriminatory acts,” she says.
The legislature quickly and with little warning passed the bill last Wednesday. The governor signed it into law a day later.
Two brothers from northern Michigan are dead and their mother is fighting for her life following at stabbing over the weekend.
Police say Vickie Moore and her sons Timber and Jonathon of Indian River in Cheboygan County were on their way to the Michigan International Speedway when they were forced to stop at a home in Washtenaw County by bad weather.
Authorities say someone stabbed Timber and Johnathan to death and severely injured Vickie. Michigan State Police are investigating the incident as a homicide.
A Rodney woman was arrested on first-degree home invasion charges from incidents that occurred over the weekend in the area of Rodney. Sheriff deputies conducted an investigation which showed that two firearms were stolen, but have since been recovered. Deputies also recovered other property that is believed to be from an additional break-in that has not been reported yet. The suspects name will be released after she's arraigned.
The Michigan Department of Transportation says northbound US-131 will close at 8 Mile Road (Exit #131) starting at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Monday, June 15th and will remain closed through 9 a.m. Friday, June 19th .
Motorists will exit northbound US-131 at 8 Mile Road, then head east on 8 Mile Road, north on Northland Drive, and west on Perry Avenue (M-20) to US-131.
The daughter of Van Buren County Prosecutor Michael Bedford is out of a job in her father’s office.
The Van Buren County Board voted last week to fire Stephanie Bedford from her summer internship because her employment violated the county’s nepotism policy. She was hired last month to do a file retention and maintenance project for the prosecutor’s office.
The nepotism policy was enacted in February requiring members of the same household to be separated by at least three supervisory levels.
The prosecutor emailed commissioners to ask that his daughter be given the opportunity to resign rather than be fired, but other than that he didn't want to be involved in the termination process. Bedford added he would not have hired his daughter had he felt it would have violated the policy.
An ex-lawmaker from West Michigan is facing drug charges. Former state Representative Roy Schmidt was arraigned on Friday in a Kent County court on two counts of delivering or manufacturing marijuana.
The 61-year old Schmidt was arrested after investigators from the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team and sheriff’s department searched his Grand Rapids home Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into the growth and sale of marijuana in the area.
Schmidt was released on a personal recognizance bond. He faces three years in prison if convicted.
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is asking parents to fill out an online survey sharing their experiences in Michigan's special education system.
Calley is looking for ideas to help build proposals to improve special education, and, he says over 1200 people have taken the eight-question survey so far. The eight-question survey can be found on his website at Michigan.gov/calley.
Calley has an autistic daughter and has championed special education and autism awareness causes in the past several years.
Lawmakers in the Michigan House have three more days to get some last-minute bills passed before summer break. They’re taking three weeks off after next week’s session. House Minority Leader Tim Griemel says they should be in Lansing all summer.
“This is all about House Republicans wanting to pretend like they're doing something so they can pat themselves on the back, go home for the summer in recess without getting anything real accomplished on roads.”
The House did pass a road funding plan this week. Lawmakers will be back for three days in July and three days in August. The Senate, meanwhile, says it will be meeting throughout the summer.
It is now legal in Michigan for faith-based adoption agencies that receive state money to turn away parents who want to adopt if there are conflicts with the agencies religious beliefs. Governor Snyder signed the bill into law on Thursday.
Supporters say faith-based agencies need protection against being forced to serve those who may violate their religious beliefs. But opponents like State Senator Curtis Hertel say the bills not only discriminate against gay couples but also parents who are divorced, like himself.
Supporters of the bill counter that there are plenty of non-faith based adoption agencies in Michigan.
New security cameras and WIFI have been installed and at Hemlock Park in Big Rapids.
City Parks and Recreation Director Heather Bowman says the new cameras were installed for the safety of park goers as well as to record any crime that may occur which will help local law enforcement.
The project is a partnership with the Big Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation, the Big Rapids Information Technology Department and the Muskegon River Safety Project through the Big Rapids Jaycees.
Bowman says plans are also in the works to put security cameras at Northend Riverside Park later this Summer as well.
The Big Rapids Community Library is kicking off their summer reading program with Authorpalooza on Friday, June 12. Authorpalooza lead organizer Wendy Nystrom says a lot of authors will be at the event.
“Forty two authors are coming and you can meet and greet them, or if you want to purchase a signed book from them, you can do that also. They're all Michigan published authors and they'll be under tents at the library.”
And, she says, the activities aren't limited to just authors and books.
“There will be a climbing wall, hot dogs will be served for free, a bouncing (castle), tie dye crafts.”
The event is meant as a prequel to the Big Rapids Community Library Summer Reading Program which is designed to get and keep residents engaged in literary pursuits.
“You can sign up to participate in the summer reading program, adults or children, where when you read so man hours you can get a prize every time you reach your goal. At the end of the summer, you get put into a drawing for a free Kindle and I think there's more than one this year,” says Nystrom.
The Summer Reading Program has a number of free events planned for the summer months aimed at both adults and children.
“The theme is, “Every Hero Has A Story,” so I know the fire department's going to be coming up and talking and bring up their equipment, and the police department is coming up.”
Other activities include the Smash Brothers/Mario Cart Tournament, a visit from the John Ball Zoo, squirt gun painting, a petting zoo and lots more.
As a published author herself, Nystrom believes that reading is important for everyone, but particularly for students who need good reading skills in order to excel in the classroom.
“Especially for children, it helps them keep up on their reading for when school starts and there are, in our area, there's a lot of readers. Our library is the most used public building in Big Rapids.”
And, she says, families that read together grow together.
“When children see adults reading, they will probably be readers as well, so that's why we include both adults and children in our library for the reading program.”
A full schedule of events for the Summer Reading Program can be found at http://www.bigrapids.lib.mi.us/summer-reading-program.html
UPDATE: VENUE CHANGE! Authorpalooza and the Summer Reading Kick Off Party has been moved indoors at the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Building. 435 N Michigan Ave. Activities and Food will be in the Fire truck garage. Authors will be inside on the south side of the building. Everyone will be able to stay dry during the event.
Faith-based adoption agencies that receive state money could turn away parents who want to adopt if there are conflicts with the agencies religious beliefs. The series of bills allowing that passed the Michigan Senate Wednesday. State Senator Curtis Hertel says the bills not only discriminate against gay couples but also parents who are divorced.
“I am Catholic, I am divorced, and I am the proud father of my adopted son, Nathan. Imagine if the church got to decide whether I was suitable enough to adopt my son.”
But Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says the measures just reinforce what is already being done…
“With the passage of this legislation we can better support the good work of faith-based agencies already providing services in our state,” he says.
Michigan could be the only state in the country to not have a Film Office after a Senate committee voted Tuesday to shut it down. The bill still needs to go through the full Senate and House. Joel Freeman with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation says the Film Office has been around for decades…
“The Film Office has a long history which predates the film credits and incentives by nearly 30 years. The Michigan Film Office was created I 1979 to assist in attracting incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s film industry.”
The committee was due to vote on ending funding for film incentives but approved a surprise substitute to that bill instead.
A veteran of the Civil War received a headstone last week for the first time. Private Darius Bunker was buried in an unmarked grave on Mackinac Island in 1914. Dewey Jones with Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Marquette says those who fought in the Civil War need to be remembered.
“I think it's very important to learn about and then honor and remember the sacrifices made by the civil war soldiers on the union side. We assume that it was almost fore-ordained that they would be successful, but really victory was only earned through sacrifice and valor on the part of the soldiers and persistence and perseverance.”
Bunker was held prisoner by the Confederates during the war while mistakenly considered a deserter by the Union Army. His family requested a military headstone that was provided by the American Legion Post on Mackinac Island.
A 34-year-old man has been convicted in a fatal police chase in December that resulted in the death of an Ingham County Sheriff's deputy. On Tuesday, a jury found John Kelsey of Stockbridge guilty on charges of first-degree fleeing police and driving on a suspended or revoked license.
The first degree fleeing police charge carries up to 15 years in prison but Kelsey could face a longer sentence since he is charged as a habitual offender.
25-year-old Deputy Grant Whitaker died December 7 when his patrol car crashed into a tree while chasing an SUV after the driver failed to pull over for a traffic stop. Prosecutors claim Kelsey was driving the SUV which has not been recovered.
Summer vacation season is under way and many parents are looking for child care options. Karen Fogolin with Child Care Aware says parents should have a checklist that includes first aid skills, C-P-R training and other important items.
“Certainly if they're hiring a teenager or a college student, is that the only person that will be there? Will they have their friends over? They just need to know who's around their children, how they're being supervised, what activities are happening, and to check in throughout the day.”
Fogolin says with any type of care, the key is to be informed. She says sources for child care include schools and park and recreation programs, while other parents may seek out a local teenager or college student.
Housing high security prisoners in a facility in Lake County is now OK with the state of Michigan.
Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill on Tuesday that will allow the GEO Group out of Florida to house level V high-security out-of-state prisoners at the North Lake Correctional Facility near Baldwin.
GEO Group announced last month it has signed contracts with Vermont and Washington state to house up to 1,675 inmates at the Baldwin facility. The company says it has already hired 112 employees to staff the operation.
A number of lawmakers have opposed GEO Group's plan citing the company's record of problems and fines at other facilities it operates across the country.
A 51-year-old Traverse City man is facing an open murder charge for the beating and stabbing death of his wife. Police say Michael Rode called authorities Saturday to say he had killed his 72-year-old wife.
Sandra Rode was unresponsive when officers arrived at the home at the Trade Winds Terrace Apartments, and was pronounced dead.
Rode told officers the pair got into an argument over an unpaid $400 bill. He said he choked his wife then hit her in the head with a frying pan and stabbed her several times.
Rode is currently being held without bond at the Grand Traverse County jail.
The first reported cases of bird flu have been discovered in Michigan. Three young, wild geese found in Sterling Heights tested positive for the highly pathogenic disease, according to State Wildlife Veterinarian Steve Schmitt.
“Two of them were picked up by animal control and the third one was picked up by a member of the public and they were all taken to a veterinary hospital in the area. One bird died on its own, two were euthanized.”
Bird flu has yet to turn up in domestic birds, like chickens and turkeys, in Michigan. The state wants farmers with large poultry operations to keep a close eye on their birds and who tends to them and to clean equipment thoroughly – especially if they’re borrowing it from someone else.
President Ronald Reagan once called the earned income tax credit the “best anti-poverty, best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of congress.” However, lawmakers in Michigan are considering eliminating the credit as part of a road funding plan.
National Association of Social Workers Michigan Director of Public Policy Allen Wachendorfer says many low-income families depend on the credit to make ends meet and it would be penny wise and pound foolish to do away with it.
“A lot of legislators don't seem to think that a hundred or two hundred dollars is very much money, but a couple hundred dollars really does make a huge difference to a lot of people. And, we end up paying more in the long run when people fall deeper into poverty and end up requiring more help later.”
However, Republican Representative Phil Potvin of Cadillac believes the money is a gift that the state can no longer afford.
“It's a bonus, it's a gift for people that don't pay that in. It's kind of difficult to continue to give (it to) you, especially at this point when, what do we really need to do with this? We really need to put his back into our roads,” he says.
A measure to eliminate the EITC passed a House committee last week.
Police in Montcalm County are investigating a series of break-ins at Central Montcalm Upper Elementarty School.
Deputies say the incidents occurred over the course of two weekends with the most recent believed to have occurred between the close of school on Friday, June 5th and the discovery of the breaking and entering on Sunday, June 7th. The first breaking and entering involved the entry into a storage shed on the property. Items were removed from the shed however the items were located on the school property. The second breaking and entering included entry into the school. Once inside the school, the suspects consumed food, drove bicycles in the hallways leaving marks on the floors, and stealing two large teddy bears.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance from anyone who may have seen the suspects on the school property; on the Heartland Trail near the school or has information on the location of the stolen large Teddy Bears to contact them at 989-831-7590.
An East Lansing lawmaker is making another run at banning smoking in a car when a child is present. State Representative Sam Singh has introduced a bill that would net a smoker a $500 fine if they light up when someone under 18 is in the car with them.
“A number of states across the country have prohibited smoking in a car where there are children present. I think it's high time here in Michigan that we need to do the same thing.”
Singh introduced the same bill last session but couldn’t get a hearing on the legislation.
A 17-year old driver and her two year old passenger were sent to the hospital over the weekend after a car accident in Mecosta Co.
Deputies say it happened Saturday on Grass Lake Rd near 190th Ave in Big Rapids Twp. An investigation revealed that a vehicle driven by a 30-year old Big Rapids man heading west bound on Grass Lake rd when a 17-year old Stanwood woman driving east bound on Grass Lake Rd. Both vehicles crested a hill at the same time and collided head on with each other. The 17-year old's vehicle then overturned.
The 17-year old driver along with a 2-year old passenger in her vehicle were transported to the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The driver and passenger in the other vehicle were not injured.
Lawmakers are looking at a bill allowing more inmates to make parole. The Department of Corrections says, if the bill becomes law, the DOC could close two to three prisons in 10 years, saving the state about $82 million.
But Dana Gill of the Michigan Association of Counties opposes the bill because it doesn't include funds for county programs that inmates will need to use upon release.
“The counties would be having programs at the Michigan Works level. Mental health services, substance use and abuse services.”
Governor Snyder recently expressed support for changing the parole system.
A man is fighting for his life following a roll-over accident in Mecosta County. Deputies say a 33-year-old man from Rodney ran off the road early Sunday morning, then over-corrected causing his vehicle to roll.
The man was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids with life threatening injuries and remains in critical condition. Police say speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the accident.
A reminder that southbound US 131 will be closed for construction starting at 9:00am on Monday, June 8th.
Traffic will be detoured off of the freeway at exit 139 (Perry Street), continuing east on Perry Street to Northland Drive, then south on Northland Drive to 8 Mile Road, then west on 8 Mile Road back to the freeway.
The roadway is scheduled to reopen at 9:00am on Wednesday, June 10th.
A 22-year old Grand Traverse Co. man is behind bars accused of abusing a one-month old child causing multiple fractures.
State Police say the incidens occured at a home in Wexford Co. Calvin Pettigrove has been charged with one felony count of first degree child abuse. The charge stems from an investigation that began back in January of this year.
Two men are under arrest following a meth investigation in Wexford County. Detectives from the Traverse Narcotics Team say two individuals were manufacturing methamphetamine at a home near Mesick.
Investigators arrested a 56-year-old man at the residence where they learned of a second suspect who had several outstanding warrants. A K-9 officer was able to track that man to a hiding place on the banks of the Manistee River. The man fled and was chased by officers along the river bank where he ran into the river.
The man resisted arrest but was eventually taken into custody.
Michigan's budget for fiscal year 2015-16 is now awaiting Governor Snyder's approval after the Michigan House and Senate passed both the General Fund budget and Education budget Wednesday.
State Representative Phil Potvin, who heads up the Education Appropriations subcommittee, says he's proud of the job he and his fellow lawmakers have done even though they did not have a lot of dollars to work with.
“Just really pleased at how things have come out, in particular for our schools. You know that total package amounts to $15.8 billion.”
Potvin represents Michigan's 102nd District which includes Mecosta, Wexford and parts of Osceola counties. He says schools in those counties are seeing significantly more money in this budget.
“Big Rapids Schools, we're looking an an increase of $147 a student. Chippewa Hills, $175 a student; Morley-Stanwood, $176; Crossroad Charter Academy, $162; $135 in Reed City, and Pine River moving up $164.”
And, he notes, it's not just schools in his district that are getting more funds from the state.
“Pretty exciting for our schools. We're getting them some more dollars. I just hope they can continue to get more students coming in.”
Lawmakers also set aside $50 million in case they later agree to Gov. Rick Snyder's request to cover debt in Detroit's troubled school district. But, Potvin doesn't agree with the Governor's plan.
“I'm in agreement with our local school people. Absolutely, we need to keep those dollars throughout Michigan. We've already given more to Detroit than we give to anyone else,” he says.
The Mecosta Co. Board of Commission unanimously approved an amendment to the county's Freedom of Information Act Policy.
Administrator Paul Bullock says the new policy changes include increased fines for officials who are non-compliant and a more detailed policy on what can and can't be charged. Bullock added that if the amendment were not approved, government officials would not be able to charge for FOIA requests starting July First, which wouldn't be in the best interest for the county.
Department training for the new FOIA policy changes starts immediately.
A mother and daughter were arrested in Isabella Co. for prescription fraud.
State Police say felony charges for the 34-year old woman and her 19-year old daughter both of Weidman included Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
During an investigation into a January, 2015 overdose death of a Weidman man, Detectives discovered someone had received the deceased man’s prescription Suboxone medication on three occasions after his death. A subsequent investigation was initiated at that time. The investigation revealed that the decedent’s wife, who was granted a temporary release from the Isabella County Jail to make preparations and
attend the funeral, and her 19-year old daughter were the ones responsible for the fraud.
The 34-year old woman was jailed charges stemming from possession and use of controlled substances but has posted bond.
Add dog flu to the list of diseases that the state wants to keep tabs on. Effective immediately, veterinarians and diagnostic labs across Michigan must start notifying the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development if they suspect or have a positive test for canine influenza.
Dog flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs but it hasn't been found to cause human illness. There have been three confirmed cases in Michigan, including two in Kent County.
A $54.4 billion spending plan is on its way to the governor’s desk after the Michigan House and Senate passed both the General Fund budget and Education budget Wednesday. State Representative Tim Kelly says there’s a lot to like about the education spending plan.
“There's things in this that's are going to have a real impact in how education is delivered in this state, and for the better.”
The plan includes an increase in per pupil spending. The General Fund budget has more money going to road repairs but scales back funding for a film incentive program.
Police in Isabella county arrested two men for attempted armed robbery that occurred back in May in Coldwater Township.
The suspects 20-year-old Vincent Shaffner of Mecosta and 19-year old Joshua Qualls of Remus were taken into custody after arrest warrants were issued. Both suspects were arraigned in Isabella County District Court on a host of felonies including assault with intent to rob while armed, Conspiracy to commit assault with intent to rob and assault with a dangerous weapon among other charges.
Maggots have been found at another state prison serviced by private food vendor, Aramark Correctional Services. Department of Corrections officials say maggots were discovered in raw potatoes at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson on Tuesday.
Last year, maggots were found in food at three state prisons served by Aramark. The Philadelphia-based food vendor was fined $200,000 last year for several violations of its $145 million contract with the state.
State lawmakers could begin voting on a $54.4 billion fiscal plan for the 2015-16 budget year that includes $400 million for roads. A move that Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says will give lawmakers more time to find a more permanent fix.
“We found a way, with the additional revenue that was reported in May, to put $400 million towards the roads, or hundreds of millions of dollars more towards the roads. That would have matched whatever was in Proposal 1, so it gives us a little breathing time to look at long term solutions.”
The budget also includes $13.9 billion for K-12 schools, and cuts funding for Michigan's film incentive program in half. Voting could begin sometime Wednesday.
A former Evart man is free after an Osceola County jury found him not guilty is a CSC case. 52-year-old Francis Brent Mallo of Loudon, Tennesee, had been re-tried on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct following a mistrial in December 2014.
The alleged assaults occurred in the early 1990's. Mallo defense attorney James Samuels said the trial was fair, attorneys on both sides were professional and the jury “listened to all the evidence and reached the right decision.”
A woman is facing drunk charges after Michigan State Police say they found her running from her car in the median of US-131 near Mile Marker 177. A trooper was investigating a car in the median when he observed the woman running from the scene. The trooper gave chase and caught the woman who refused to identify herself.
Police say that while entering the freeway, the woman went off the roadway, went into a skid and rolled over, then crossed both northbound lanes of US-131 before coming to rest on with the car's tires in the median.
The woman is being charged with Operating While Intoxicated third offense, Resisting and Obstruction of a Police Officer, Driving While License Suspended and two outstanding warrants.
The Ferris State University Department of Public Safety has become aware of a second phone scam going around campus, this time targeting international students.
Director Bruce Borkovich says An person representing a company that investigates plagiarism will contact the international student, and advise them that they have investigated a complaint of plagiarism, and determined that the student did commit plagiarism. This representative advises that the student must pay a several thousand dollar fine, or be subject to expulsion if the University is contacted.
University Police are asking students faculty or staff to alert the international students of this scam, and advise them to report this scam to the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety, or to their local police department.
The Big Rapids City Commission received an update on the Baldwin Bridge project set for later this Summer.
The update was given during the commission's Monday night meeting. Todd Richter of engineering firm Fleis and VandenBrink says the challenges they may face when construction begins in August include determining where to begin construction the east or west side of the bridge and removing the piers before the ice flows begin in the winter.
Construction of the bridge is expected to be finished by July 2016.
A 78-year old Vestaburg man is dead after being hit by a crossover vehicle in Montcalm County's Richland Township.
Police say it happened at the intersection of M-46 and Crystal Roads, thats where Gerald Teegardin was operating a motorcycle traveling northbound on Crystal Road when he stopped at the stop signed, then continued onto Howard City-Edmore Road and into the path of a westbound crossover vehicle driven by 54-year old Brenda Shaw of South Haven. Teegardin was taken to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.
He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The driver was not hurt but her passenger was sent to the hospital for treatment of injuries.
A Harrison man is in the hospital following a one car accident.
Police say the 72-year-old driver was traveling north on Old County Farm Street Sunday evening when he lost control of his car, went through a yard, crossed Bond Street, went through a field, crossed the street again, went into another yard, hit a parked vehicle, went into the backyard and hit a tree.
Deputies believe the accident was caused by a medical condition.
A woman is dead following an accident involving emergency vehicles on I-75. Police say the accident happened just south of Grayling where several public safety vehicles, including a fire engine, were were blocking the right lane in response to an earlier accident.
Traffic was being diverted into the left lane and, when the driver of a pick-up truck tried to merge, it appeared a car wouldn't make room. The driver was unable to stop before the pick-up collided with the fire engine.
The woman passenger was taken to the hospital but died shortly afterwords.
A man from Cadillac is dead following a tractor accident. Police say it happened near North Seeley Road in Wexford County on Saturday.
Fifty-year-old Thomas Burnett was driving his tractor on a trail on the way to plant a field when the disc he was hauling caught in a tree and flipped the tractor. He was pinned and pronounced dead at the scene.
A Morely woman is in the hospital following an accident in Deerfield Township on Sunday. Mecosta County Sheriff's Deputies say the 29-year-old woman fell asleep at the wheel, ran off the road, and struck several trees on 150th Avenue near Eisenhower Road.
She was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident.