State House Reps Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat' offices “misused” taxpayer resources to cover up the two lawmakers affair, according to a 40-page investigation summary by the House Business Office.
The report said “Representative Courser and Representative Gamrat are not credible witnesses” because their comments conflicted with documented evidence and audios presented by their three former staff members that were deemed to be more accurate.
The business office cited testimony and documentation from Courser and Gamrat’s former aides Keith Allard, Ben Graham and Joshua Cline as evidence of the representatives’ misconduct in office.
The House Business Office concluded there is “insufficient evidence to support a claim of wrongful termination” of Allard and Graham since both were at-will employees. Lawmakers are free to hire and fire staff without questions from the business office.
Police up in Wexford County are on the lookout for two men they believe are responsible for dumping a one-pot meth lab.
Officers were called for a suspicious situation in the area of E. 18 Rd. near N. 37 Rd. in Cedar Creek Township. The caller told police of a maroon passenger vehicle occupied by two men in their early 20's who were taking items out of the trunk of the car. When deputies arrived to the scene, they discovered the suspects had dumped chemicals, components and other items to manufacture methamphetamine.
If you have any information about this situation, contact TNT at 1-(866)638-4847. Callers can remain anonymous.
New Hampshire native, Kris Tucker accepted the position last week. Tucker is the first County administrator for Lake in nearly 20 years, the duties were previously handled by the County's Chief Financial Officer Shelly Meyers.
Tucker previously worked in finances, along with real estate and environmental protection.
The press secretary for House Speaker Kevin Cotter says a report outlining allegations against Representative Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser is expected to be released Monday.
“Our report is focused on violations of house rules and the misuse of taxpayer funds,” says Gideon D'Assandro. “If we find anything that looks criminal, we'll refer it to the appropriate law enforcement agency.”
Gamrat and Courser are implicated in a scheme to cover up their extramarital affair. A preliminary report indicated the pair misused taxpayer resources in the scheme.
“Specific allegations of wrongdoing will be coming out soon,” says D'Assandro.
Gamrat had hired the company, Near Perfect Media, to handle crisis communication for her, but company President Justin Near confirms that he resigned last Wednesday. Gamrat has not commented on Near's resignation.
Courser has admitted he orchestrated a smear campaign against himself in which he had an email sent to Republican supporters from an anonymous account accusing him of paying for sex with a male prostitute. Courser says he did this to distract attention from the actual affair, which he feared was about to become public due to a series of text messages sent from a anonymous cell phone number demanding his resignation in exchange for silence on the matter.
A 27-year-old Newaygo man is dead after being struck by a car while walking on Northland Drive. Police say the victim was in the roadway just south of Pierce Road in Stanwood at about 2:00 AM on Sunday when he was struck by a 26-year-old Rodney man driving southbound on Northland Drive.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the vehicle was arrested for OWI. The identities of both subjects are not being released at this time.
Ferris State University and the Ferris Nontenure-Track Faculty Organization have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract as the result of bargaining that took place on Thursday, Aug. 27. When ratified, the pact would replace the previous contract between non-tenure faculty and the university.
“We are thrilled to start school with a mutually beneficial five-year contract. We now look forward to bringing our professionalism and experience back into the classroom and helping our students reach their career and educational goals,” said Linda Sherwood, lead bargaining negotiator for the FNTFO.
“I want to express my gratitude to the negotiators for both the Ferris Nontenure-Track Faculty Organization and the university for the time they put in to reach this agreement,” said Ferris President David Eisler. “We are deeply appreciative of the work of our faculty. This agreement is good news for our non-tenure faculty, the University, and most importantly our students.”
Details of the contract will be released pending its ratification. The FNTFO has a general membership meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Classes begin at the university on Monday, Aug. 31.
The Big Rapids High School Cardinals football team eked out a win 17-14 in a double overtime thriller at Cadillac H.S. last night to start their season.
The Cards were led by the running attack of RB Desean Griffin who rushed for 106 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown and Wyatt Bowen who had a TD and 25 total yards. Kicker Dakota Sanders hit the 21-yard game winning field goal in double overtime.
The Cardinals (1-0) will host the Lions of Newaygo High School (0-1) for their home opener at Top Taggart Field in Big Rapids Sept.3rd at 7pm.
Michiganders with severe autism will not be able to receive medical marijuana as part of their treatment.
This is the result of a ruling by state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs head Mike Zimmer, who rejected a recommendation to add autism to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana can be used.
While supporters of medical marijuana for severe autism say it has shown to be effective in reducing extreme physical behavior, Zimmer says there’s still a lack of evidence to back it up.
Zimmer also says the forms of medical cannabis required to treat severe autism may not be legal in Michigan.
If Zimmer had accepted the recommendation, Michigan would have been the first state to allow people with severe autism to receive medical marijuana.
A Big Rapids landlord is in some hot water with police after being accused of allegedly propositioning a woman for sexual favors.
49-year old Craig David Chapman has been charged in Mecosta Co. District Court with a misdemeanor count of accosting or soliciting prostitution. The alleged incident occurred in Big Rapids on July 16th, according to court documents.
Chapman faces up to three months in jail and fines of up to $500, if convicted.
The start of a new school year brings a lot of changes for everyone and law enforcement officials are especially aware of safety for everyone on the road.
State Police Commander Lawrence Schloegl says children going to and from classes means motorists need to refocus on common sense procedures.
“We've got kids out there at the bus stops, we've got school buses that are going to be on the road. A reminder to share the road, obey the traffic laws, and watch out for kids.”
Schloegl notes that we are creatures of habit and shifting from summer to fall takes some adjusting.
“Yeah, your going to come right off the last summer holiday weekend and the very next day kids are going to be at school,” he says.
A key component of safety around school buses is to watch the lights. And, there are specific rules regarding those lights.
“Motorists on the road, they need to be prepared to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing,” says Schloegl. “They should come to a complete stop at least 20 feet away from the bus when its overhead red lights are flashing and not proceed until the bus either resumes motion or they're signaled to do so by the bus driver. They also need to proceed with caution when the hazard warning lights located near the headlights are flashing.”
And, there seems to be a common misunderstanding about stopping for school buses among motorists.
“I think a lot of people are of the impression that if the bus is in the northbound lane and they're traveling southbound that they don't need to stop. Well, that's not true, they do need to stop. The only time that they're not, if it's a divided highway. Then the opposing traffic in the opposite direction that the bus is facing is not required to stop.”
Schloegl emphasizes that the safety of our school children is a team effort and it's not just the motorists who have a roll to play.
“We've been in contact with many of the bus barns here and the bus drivers have been going through the preparations to be prepared out there for those first days,” he says. “Parents need to actually sit down and have that conversation with their children and remind them of the safety procedures that they need to take when they're going to be entering and exiting the bus.”
And, despite the excitement or disappointment of coming off summer vacation and starting back to school, students need to keep their role in mind as well.
“Before they just run around the front of the bus or something, they need to make sure that they proceed slowly with caution, that the walk away from the bus making sure that the bus driver can see them. They should never cross in front of the bus to cross the road without at least having eye contact with the bus driver and the bus driver signaling for them that it's safe to go ahead and cross the road.”
Scloegl notes other transportation related safety tips for students include:
Having a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and the street.
Do not run or play while waiting for the bus.
Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver. Never go behind the bus.
Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
Walk to the bus stop with a buddy.
Mind all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard. Never cross the street against a light, even if you do not see traffic coming.
Do not talk to strangers. Tell your parents if a stranger tries to talk to you.
Never leave with a stranger or get into a stranger's vehicle.
Despite billions of dollars being spent by automakers to add advanced technology in their new vehicles, a new J-D Power and Associates study shows much of that technology going unused.
The study surveyed 4,200 new vehicle owners and lessees. It found that just one of five owners has never used half of the 33 technology features in their new vehicles, Those include safety devices to seamless connectivity of smartphones and iPods to semi-autonomous driving with sensors and controllers in driver-assist technologies that steer, brake and accelerate to avoid a collision if the driver fails to act.
Other services going unused include mobile routers, automatic parking systems, head-up displays and built-in apps.
A Big Rapids man died in a car accident in Indiana.
Deputies from the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department say the accident happened early Monday morning on U.S.-31 just south of county road 550 North. When police arrived to the scene they found a vehicle a half mile into a cornfield on the west side of U.S. 31, and the driver, 63-year old Clifford F. Williams, unconscious and unresponsive. Williams was taken to Community Howard Regional Health and later pronounced dead.
A Michigan doctor is launching a website making it easier for people to voice opposition to the state’s policy that allows parents to opt-out of immunizations for their kids attending schools or daycares.
Grand Rapids-area doctor, Michelle Davis, says she launched the website after learning some schools only have a 90 percent vaccination rate.
“Our lawmakers need to know that this is a very very important public health issues and that the large majority in Michigan believe in vaccines.”
She says unvaccinated kids are putting other kids at risk for vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Her website, Mivaccinations.org, can click a link that sends an email to state lawmakers with information about the risks of not immunizing children.
The decline in the price of gas in Michigan that began last week should continue for a few more weeks now that BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery is back online.
Patrick DeHaan of Gas Buddy-dot-com predicts gas prices could dip to under $2 a gallon by the end of the year. He says the problems at Whiting shows how volatile the industry can be.
“When demand is so high you have very little spare capacity for additional gasoline supply. And then, when you have the largest refinery in the midwest going down it certainly adds insult to injury and that's what we saw here. But now with that refinery coming back up, certainly an undoing of the price spokes that we saw earlier.”
DeHaan expects gas prices in Michigan to drop another 25-cents to 50-cents over the next few weeks.
A Mecosta man is fighting for his life following a rollover accident last night in Mecosta Co.
It happened on 11 Mile Rd just west of 90th Ave., Deputies say that's where the 31-year old Mecosta man was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control while going around a curve. When the vehicle ran off the road and overturned, the driver was thrown from the car.
He was flown by AeroMed to a Grand Rapids hospital for treatment of life threatening injuries.
State Police in Mount Pleasant have released new details and the names of those involved in a deadly accident in Isabella County last week.
The crash occurred on Airport Road near Summerton Road in Union Township.
When troopers arrived to the scene, they confirmed two young men, 19-year old Joel Wood and a 16-year old man both of Mt. Pleasant were deceased. 27-year old Shadow Harris also of Mt. Pleasant was seriously injured and trapped inside her vehicle. Emergency crews freed Harris from her vehicle and flown to a Grand Rapids hospital for treatment.
Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash. Additional factors in the crash are still under investigation.
There are now six Republican presidential hopefuls scheduled to speak at a Republican conference on Mackinac Island next month.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is the latest to confirm for the 31st Biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference. Already scheduled are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
The conference is set for the weekend of September 18.
This is a test, this is only a test, that's what officials at Consumers Energy want to remind residents in Newaygo Co. who live near the Rogers, Croton and Hardy Hydroelectric generating plants on the Muskegon River, when it tests its emergency public warning siren systems Wednesday at 10am.
The test will include a voice message, a 30-second siren and a second voice message. The public does not need to take any action during the tests. The siren systems are tested each August and December.
An internal investigation by the Michigan House finds State Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat are guilty of misconduct and misused taxpayer resources.
House spokesperson Gideon D’Assandro says a full report should be released soon.
“The details on that will be coming out in the next couple of days once we've made sure that we can protect confidentiality and make sure that we follow every HR policy on the books for state employees,” he says.
He says a special committee approved by lawmakers last week could continue the investigation.
More than 3,000 incoming freshmen students at Ferris State University will be kicking off their first semester of college at Big Rapids' Meijer store this Saturday for the retailer's annual back to college party "Meijer Mania".
The party will feature a live remote from Big Rapids radio station Y-102 WYBR, a DJ, photo booth, fashion show, games and contests, food sampling, coupons, and giveaways.
Deputies in Osceola County say a rollover accident has claimed the life of a Reed City man.
Under Sheriff Justin Halladay say deputies were dispatched to 1 Mile Rd near Old US-131 Hwy. in Richmond Township for a one car rollover accident Saturday.
Upon arrival, deputies found a heavily damaged red Ford pickup located approximately 30 yards off the roadway. The driver, 63-year old Joseph R. Engle of Reed City, was found inside the truck. He had received serious injuries and was unresponsive.
Engle was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency crews.
An ATV accident in Osceola County has killed an Evart woman.
It happened Saturday on private property near 90th Ave and 1 Mile Rd in Evart Township. State Police say the driver and witnesses reported that an ATV rolled over while riding near a sand pit with driver and back seat passenger still seated. The backseat passenger sustained multiple injuries and was airlifted to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. While en route, the passenger died from her injuries. The driver sustained no injuries.
The driver was identified as 30-year old Richelle Lynn Root, of Fallbrok, CA. The deceased was identified as 45-year old Chastity Nandine Naranjo, of Evart.
Troopers believe alcohol was a factor, and neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a helmet.
Alcohol is linked to a two car crash in Isabella County which killed two people.
It happened Thursday night on Airport Road near Summerton Road in Union Township. Upon arrival, troopers confirmed two young men were deceased, and one seriously injured woman was entrapped in a vehicle. The two deceased men were identified as a 20-year old man and a 16-year old boy, both from Mt. Pleasant .
A third victim, a 27-year old woman from Mt. Pleasant, was trapped in the second vehicle. She was freed by members of the Mount Pleasant Fire Department and airlifted to an area hospital by Lifenet.
Additional factors in the crash are still under investigation.
The federal government is granting Michigan a No Child Left Behind waiver. Department spokesman Bill DiSessa says they wanted more time to collect data from their newly implemented assessment test, the M-STEP. But, he says, the waiver doesn't mean the state will stop efforts to help struggling schools.
“We're going to continue working with schools to increase student achievement, hold them accountable when they don't, and reward them when they sustain student academic growth,” he says.
The waiver gives the state until 2017 to identify low performing schools.
Michigan democrats want to make major changes to what they see as adoption discrimination laws.
The laws they’re looking to amend allow faith-based adoption agencies to turn down requests from same-sex and unmarried couples.
State Representative Sam Singh thinks it was illegal for those laws to have been passed in the first place.
"The fact that the state allows tax dollars to go to religious organizations who can then choose which families they want to serve and which families they can say no to doesn't make a lot sense to me," he says. "I think it's unconstitutional to begin with."
One possible change Democrats have proposed would cut off funding to faith-based adoption agencies.
The head of Michigan’s Democratic Party says if Florida Senator Marco Rubio had his way there wouldn’t be an auto industry in Michigan. Brandon Dillon’s comment comes on the heels of Rubio’s appearance at the Detroit Economic Club…
“He portrays himself as the young energetic candidate, but just look at his ideas. They're old and tired and failed,” he says.
Rubio is vying for the GOP nomination for president and has stated he doesn't think the auto industry bailout was the right thing to do.
Michigan State Police are starting a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign this weekend.
The campaign cracks down on drunk and impaired drivers, which were responsible for five of six fatal crashes during last year’s Labor Day weekend.
Mt. Pleasant Post Commander Lt. Lawrence Schloegl says there will be more officers patrolling during the campaign.
“I’m gonna have several officers out in the Big Rapids area, especially with the [Ferris State University] Welcome Back weekend during this time frame, we’re going to be stepping up our patrols in the area,” he says.
Shloegal has advice for those not wanting to get pulled over during the initiative.
“The best way to avoid an arrest and a potential tragedy is to plan before your party by designating a sober driver, taking a cab or spending the night,” he says.
The campaign begins August 21st and will run through September 7th.
Mecosta Co. Parks are seeing a revenue boost two weeks following implementing visitor day passes at Paris Park.
With no state or federal funding, park officials made the move to close off the front parking area at Paris Park, and charge $6.00 per vehicle for those who are not camping to have access to the park for the day. Park Commission board member Eric O'Neil said in the first 16 days of August of 2014 Paris Park made $1,666, fast forward to this year and the park as made $4,105. Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel says the move to charge day passes has been a great decision.
For more info on the parks visit Mecostacountyparks.com
Lawmakers still don't have a plan to fix Michigan’s roads after their latest effort seemed to collapse under its own weight Wednesday.
For starters, the governor didn’t like the idea of pulling $600 million out of the general fund and House Minority Leader Tim Greimel didn’t like not knowing what agencies it would come from.
“If we're going to divert general fund money to fix the roads, let's be grown-ups and make difficult decisions now about where those cuts are going to come from rather than kicking the can down the road,” he says.
Another wrinkle was added by Detroit Democrats, who want a ballot initiative to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law to go away before they’ll vote for road funding.
Legislators won’t return to Lansing until after Labor Day.
Michigan State Police hope utilizing new mobile amber alert technology, will help bring a missing three year old Alpena boy home.
On Monday evening, residents all over the the West-Central Michigan region received an Amber Alert notification about the Alpena boy on their cell phone, however some were confused about the alert.
Sargent Kim Vetter says MSP started using mobile alerts in 2013 with hopes of reaching a broader amount of people that could potentially help with finding a missing child. She says Amber Alerts are issued when a child under the age of 17 goes missing, has mental or physical disabilities or is taken by a parent whose parental rights have been terminated. Police use the mobile alerts if they feel the child is already out of the local area or heading out of state.
A cell phone equipped with the Wireless Emergency Alert is already enrolled in the program. Users will automatically receive Amber as well as natural disaster alerts and a presidential alert.
A liberal advocacy group says government documents show the state failed to address almost half the reported 3,707 issues with Michigan's outgoing prison food vendor, Aramark Correctional Services.
Lonnie Scott of Progress Michigan says state Department of Corrections documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show nearly 1,800 reported issues with Aramark went unresolved.
He says the report calls into question Governor Rick Snyder’s administration's oversight of any private contracts.
But Chris Gautz of the MDOC says the 25,000 documents Progress Michigan reviewed are a testament to the work of state monitors. He says if the state didn't monitor Aramark, there would have been no material for Progress Michigan to base its report.
Progress Michigan is calling for the attorney general to investigate Aramark and the state's monitoring of the contract to make sure no civil violations exist.
A legislative conference committee is meeting Wednesday to hash out a compromise funding plan to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads. House Speaker Kevin Cotter says both sides have come to the table with ideas and concessions…
“I think there's been speculation as to the seriousness, maybe on both sides. But, I am convinced now more than ever that there is a seriousness on both sides to solve the problem.”
A gas tax increase, diesel tax increase and registration fee increases are on the table – as is a plan to pull money from the general fund, which could force some state agency’s to cut their budgets.
A brand new farmer’s market is open after a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday in Mt. Pleasant.
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan was able to open the farmer’s market after receiving a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The grant was awarded for diabetes prevention, as the condition’s known to be a problem within the Native American community.
Thirteen vendors set up shop at the new market’s first day, selling everything from crafts to fresh produce.
The market, located next to the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resorts, saw over 200 visitors during yesterday’s opening. That’s twice as many as a previous market, which was located down the street, would have on one of its busiest days.
The farmer’s market will be open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through mid-October, with plans to also open later in the day in the near future.
The federal government is investigating reports of headlight failure in older Ford and Mercury sedans.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Ford has received more than three-thousand complaints of headlight failure on Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans from the 2003-2005 model years. The government has also received 605 complaints of headlight failure in those vehicles. Fifteen crashes and one injury related to the problem have been reported to Ford and to the government. In one case, a driver reportedly struck a deer after the headlights went off without warning. The government started investigating after receiving a petition from the North Carolina Consumers Council. .Ford says it's cooperating with the investigation.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Company is recalling more than 26,000 heavy duty F-650 and F-750 trucks in North America because the seat belts may not be anchored in the correct position.
The Dearborn automaker said the recall covers the 2011-2013 and 2015 model year trucks that don’t comply with a federal safety standard. It says the front passenger and center seat belts might not be anchored in the correct position relative to the seat, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.
A car crash in Isabella County this morning took the life of an 86-year old Mt. Pleasant man in Chippewa Township.
Deputies say it happened at the intersection of E. River Rd. and S. Shepherd Rd., that's where a pickup truck driven by 86-year old Mitchell Jacque was traveling south on Shepherd Rd. When Jacque stopped at the intersection and proceeded into the intersection his truck was broadsided by another pickup truck driven by a 27-year old Mt. Pleasant man. The 86-year old Mt. Pleasant man died at the scene.
Police say heavy rain at the time of the accident may have attributed to the crash.
State Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat are finally back to work.
The two troubled Representatives both returned to the Capitol on Tuesday for the first time since their affair became public.
Courser and Gamrat kept their distance; while Gamrat stayed on the House floor for most of the day, Courser spent his time in the House gallery.
Both politicians have said that, in Courser’s own words, “I’m not resigning,” because they feel that they’re still the best for their job in Michigan.
“When you have a situation when we’re moving forward with more taxes, more spending, more government… you need people who are willing to stand and be able to do that,” Courser says. “Even though I’m having personal situations, it’s important to just take those steps and do the things I’m responsible to do.”
While talking to reporters yesterday, Courser said that his affair wasn’t illegal, as he didn’t use taxpayer money and it only took place on private property after hours.
The House Businesses Office is still investigating whether Courser and Gamrat used taxpayer dollars and resources to cover up their affair.
Firefighters in Big Rapids are proud of their house and now they have a 4/4 rating from ISO to show for it.
Fire Chief Steve Schroeder says ISO is a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance risk. The Big Rapids Fire Department was rated based on several factors including response time, training levels, personnel and water. Schroeder is proud of the rating but believes his department can improve their score in the future if they increase the amount of personnel at the scene of an emergency, how they respond on those calls and how they work and respond during emergencies in other townships that have mutual aid agreements.
Big Rapids' ISO rating puts them in a group of 6,115 other fire houses across the nation with the same score.
The President of Spectrum Health Hospital in Big Rapids says right now AeroMed has given no notice about leaving area.
Mary Kay VanDriel says beginning in January when AeroMed's joint venture starts with Munson Medical's North Flight, the Big Rapids location will be used for other AeroMed services like training and strategic planning. VanDriel believes this new partnership between the two critical emergency services in Grand Rapids and Traverse City will benefit not only Mecosta and Osceola Counties but north west region of Michigan.
When the partnership begins, She says an evaluation period will be conducted to look at whether or not response times are better or worse, if patient care is better or worse and so on.
An AMBER Alert is in effect for a missing 3-year-old boy from the Alpena area.
State Police say Keegan Waterman was reported missing from his home in the 2600 block of East Grant Street on Monday. Investigators describe him as black, 55 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.
The boy's mother, Christina Waterman is suspected in the disappearance. Police say she may be driving him to Tennessee in her tan, 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe, which has the Tennessee plate U4758V. Christina Waterman, 38, is described as white, 5'7", 195 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Anyone who knows where either Kegan Waterman or Christine Waterman is should call the Michigan State Police Alpena Post at 989-354-4104 or MSP Operations at 517-241-8000.
The oil company that has a pipeline running under the Straits of Mackinac is sponsoring an effort to put a weather and wave monitoring buoy into the water. Enbridge Energy spokesperson Michael Barnes says the buoy should help allay fears of an oil spill under the straits.
“It will also help us know where to add supports to make sure that the pipeline, line five, is stable and reliable and safe.”
Enbridge is working with researchers at Michigan Technological University on the project. Barnes says data from the buoy will be available to the public online.
Former Republican leader Dennis Cawthorn says if two state lawmakers who are being pressured to resign face expulsion, it will not be an easy time for anyone. Cawthorne was leader in 1978 when Representative Monte Geralds was expelled after being convicted for embezzlement.
“He was urged to step down, and he was told in advance of the vote, 'Look Representative Geralds, you are going to be expelled, the votes are clearly there.' He would not accept that and it was traumatic,” he says.
Geralds is so far the only House member to ever be expelled from that chamber. Cawthorne says if allegations of an attempted misuse of resources to cover-up of an affair between Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat are true, the house has a duty to expel the legislators.
Two Wexford County men are facing charges for their alleged roles in possessing and dealing heroin.
If convicted, both men could face up to 40 years in prison and $70,000 in fines.
30-year old Robert Edwards of Mesick was charged Thursday in Wexford County court with possession with intent to deliver heroin less than 50 grams, among other crimes.
In July, 28-year-old Paul Wentworth of Harrietta was charged with the same crimes, including conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver heroin.
Both men face four charges in total: possession with intent to deliver heroin less than 50 grams, conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver heroin less than 50 grams, possession of heroin less than 25 grams and maintaining a drug vehicle.
It’s suspected that the two men were part of the same drug-dealing operation.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND RAPIDS HAS ISSUED A
* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... NORTHEASTERN KENT COUNTY IN SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN... SOUTHWESTERN MECOSTA COUNTY IN CENTRAL MICHIGAN... NORTHWESTERN MONTCALM COUNTY IN CENTRAL MICHIGAN...
* UNTIL 445 PM EDT
* AT 340 PM EDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR HOWARD CITY...MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH. HAZARD...60 MPH WIND GUSTS AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL. SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED. IMPACT...HAIL DAMAGE TO VEHICLES IS EXPECTED. EXPECT WIND DAMAGE TO ROOFS...SIDING AND TREES.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... HOWARD CITY... LAKEVIEW... MORLEY... TRUFANT... LANGSTON... GOWEN... ENTRICAN... AMBLE... CORAL... TURK LAKE... HAIL...1.00IN WIND...60MPH
State Representative Cindy Gamrat says she's sorry to her constituents and her family for having an affair with a fellow state representative but she won't resign.
“I know that I have made some poor decisions as they relate to my personal life, but they do not line up with who I am or what I believe,” she said during a news conference on Friday.
Gamrat says she strongly considered resigning but hasn't done anything wrong so she isn't stepping down.
“I respect the opinion of those that would like me to resign. For now I believe that the best path is for me to move forward and I intend to continue to represent my district to the best of my ability.”
Gamrat also said she had nothing to do with an email State Representative Todd Courser allegedly had sent to Republicans in May outing him as a hard partying bisexual. Courser has stated he hoped the email would distract from the extra-marital relationship he was having with Gamrat once it became public.
Gamrat stated she has not heard audio tapes that were key to exposing the cover up.
She plans to return to Lansing on Tuesday when the House comes back from summer break.
Audio of a conversation between former House aide Ben Graham and Representative Todd Courser discussing plans for a cover up of Courser's affair with Gamrat.
U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee plans to introduce legislation that would help people pay off their student debt.
Kildee, a Democrat from Flint, says this is an issue that Congressmen from both sides of the aisle should be working to solve.
“So much of what we do in Washington ends up being divided on partisan lines, but the notion of creating a better path forward for students to afford a college education should not be a partisan question,” he says.
One of Kildee’s bills would allow people to lose their student loan debt after filing for bankruptcy, while another would prevent scholarships and grants from being taxed.
The federal government made over 40 billion dollars in profit off of student loan debt two years ago, enough money to provide Pell grants to seven million college students.
The Experimental Aircraft Association is making the Sparta Airport one of the stops for its Ford Tri-Motor Tour. EAA Chapter President Paul Kovalak says it's important to remember the roots of today's commercial aviation industry.
“Airline travel has become essentially riding a bus, mass transit. This thing brings us back to 1928, 1930 and you get to see how air travel used to be.”
Kovalak says the 4-AT-E was restored to near original condition, even down to the mahogany cabin interior. Rides in the airplane and other events are scheduled through Sunday. Details are at their website flytheford.org.
The Newaygo Co. Jail Administrator is behind bars, charged with drunk driving Friday morning.
Police say they were called to a one car crash on Dickinson Ave. near 16 Mile rd., that's where they found a vehicle rolled over in a ditch. Deputies identified the driver as Lieutenant Matthew Froehle. He was arrested on scene for operating while intoxicated.
He's currently being held at the Oceana County Jail.
Froehle has been suspended as an internal investigation is conducted.
Two men are now facing charges connected to at least 33 break-ins through out a six county area including Mecosta and Osceola Counties.
Cadillac residents 22-year old Nicholas John Bailey and 31-year old Dickie Lee Goodwin, are both charged with one count of breaking and entering into a building with intent and one count of conspiracy to commit breaking and entering into a building with intent.
A break in the case occurred on Monday morning when Under Sheriff Justin Halladay say officers were called to the scene of a break-in at Hoagland Hardware in Tustin after the owner noticed two men leaving the business. Bailey was arrested behind a nearby business a short time later.
Through interviews during the investigation, it's believed both Bailey and Goodwin are connected to over 33 break-ins.
Bond for Bailey and Goodwin is set at $1 million each.
A family of four found dead inside a Grand Traverse County home.
MIchigan State Police say they responded to a home in Garfield Township for a welfare check of a person that had been missing from work for a couple of days.
When no one responded, troopers forced their way into the home and found two adults and two small children dead inside. The two adults have been identified as 54-year old Jeffrey and 34-year old Tamisha Mendenhall. And, the two children were 6-year old Thomas and 3-year old Olivia Mendenhall.
An exact cause of death is still under investigation, pending the outcome of a forensic autopsy. Police say currently, there is no evidence to suggest there is any concern for the public’s safety.
Police in Osceola County have in custody, a second man they believe is part of a string of 33 break-ins throughout a six county area.
A break in the case occurred on Monday morning when Under Sheriff Justin Halladay say officers were called to the scene of a break-in at Hoagland Hardware in Tustin after the owner noticed two men leaving the business. One of those men, a 22-year old, was arrested behind a nearby business.
Halladay says every B&E has been of a business in the area with no home invasions but area agencies are asking for any further information that citizens may have through something that have seen or have yet to report. Osceola County Sheriff’s Office 231-832-2288.
UPDATE: the Family of Amy Chrzanowski says she has been located.
Friends and family look for answers as they continue to search for a 29-year old Rogers Heights woman who has been missing for over a day now.
Family of Amy Chrzanowski say she was last seen at a trailer park in Rogers Heights walking up and down a road between 11am-12pm.
Amy's sister, Melissa, says she last saw her sister before she left for work at 8am Wednesday. Melissa says her sister's stuff is gone from her home and she's worried for Amy's safety because she is Mentally handicapped.
A missing persons report has been filed with the Mecosta Co. Sheriff's office.
Amy is described as a white female, between 5'0-5'1 tall, 150lbs, brown hair, hazel eyes.
If you have seen Amy or know of her whereabouts contact the Sheriff's office.
A Mecosta County Judge is ordering a Morley man to re-pay more than $38,000 to a local business he's accused of stealing from as an employee.
23-year old Joshua Gordon Smith was charged last September with embezzling between $1,000 and $20,000 as an employee of the Copper Top Convenience Store. Smith plead no contest to the charge as part of a plea agreement with prosecution, according to court documents.
A former camp counselor at Cran-Hill Ranch in Mecosta County accused of misconduct involving a young camper is officially be charged with crimes.
Sheriff Todd Purcell says 24-year old William Joseph Nealy of Muncie, Indiana has been charged with one count of Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct involving a minor and and one count of Assault to Commit Sexual Penetration.
The charges stem from an incident that surfaced on July 10th at the christian camp in Rodney.
Cran-Hill Executive Director Scott Barger says the man was fired with in an hour of learning of the allegations and that the camp is fully cooperating with authorities.
Nealy is being held at the Mecosta Co. jail on $75,000 surety bond.
One person is dead and two others hospitalized following a two car crash in Grand Traverse County.
Police say a 16-year-old boy from St. Ignace was trying to cross an intersection near the main entrance of the Northwestern Michigan Fairgrounds when he pulled into the path of a northbound van, driven by a 61-year-old Traverse City man.
A passenger in the teen's car, 17-year-old Kelsey Purchase of Beulah, was killed. The drivers of both vehicles were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Holding signs reading “We shall overcomb” and chanting “Dump Trump,” dozens of protesters greeted the 2,000 or so people who came to Birch Run for presidential candidate Donald Trump’s appearance on Tuesday.
State Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillion still doesn’t get the draw…
“There seems to be something that he's talking about that a significant portion of the Republican base is responding to. I don't understand it that anybody would respond to his hateful, empty rhetoric, but they seem to be doing it and we want to let people know that on our side of the presidential race it's a campaign of ideas and Michiganders are better than this,” he says.
Most people driving past the protesters honked while a few shouted Trump’s catchphrase “you’re fired” at the group.
Police in Osceola Co. have arrested one man and still on the lookout for his partner they believe are connected to 33 break-ins throughout a six county area.
Under Sheriff Justin Halladay say officers were called to a break-in of Hoagland Hardware in Tustin Monday morning after the owner noticed two men leaving the business. An initial investigation confirmed that the business had been broken into with money being stolen. A short time later, officers located a male subject lying in vehicle parked behind a nearby business. The suspect disclosed information about the hardware store break-in and previous break-ins to investigators.
Warrants are being sought for the subject in custody and his partner. Hallady says every B&E has been of a business in the area with no home invasions but area agencies are asking for any further information that citizens may have through something that have seen or have yet to report.
Polarizing presidential candidate Donald Trump is making an appearance at the Genesee County and Saginaw County Republican Party’s annual fundraiser Tuesday night. State Representative Tim Kelly knows some people in the state don’t want Trump in Birch Run.
“They're not involved in our politics and we're not going to listen to them to dictate who and who we will not invite. I could care less what they think,” he says.
Kelly notes the draw for Trump is that he shoots from the hip – which he also says could doom his campaign if Trump takes his comments too far.
The former "Little House on the Prairie" star announced Monday she's running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Mike Bishop.
Gilbert moved to Howell in 2014 with her husband, and fellow actor, Timothy Busfield.
Over the summer it was revealed the Internal Revenue Service filed a $360,550.72 tax lien against her for failing to pay federal taxes.
She blamed it on a perfect storm of financial difficulty.
A spokesperson for Congressman Bishop says the lien shows her priorities are not in line with people living in the 8th congressional district claiming she chooses taking her dog to a stylist over paying the backed taxes.
A warrant is being issued for a former camp counselor accused of sexual misconduct against a young camper at Cran-Hill Ranch in Mecosta Co.
Allegations of inappropriate behavior by the male counselor surfaced on July 10th.
Cran-Hill Ranch Executive Director Scott Barger issued a statement to the Big Rapids Daily News saying the camp cooperating fully with law enforcement adding that its number one priority is the safety of its young campers noting the camps impeccable 47 year history.
The suspect is expected to turn himself into authorities.
The top Democrat in the Michigan House thinks the attorney general’s office, not a wing of the Michigan House, should handle the investigation into whether State Representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat used taxpayer dollars and resources to cover up their affair…
“We feel very strongly that given the serious and criminal nature of these allegations, we need an independent outside agency with the training and experience of handling criminal matters to get involved,” says House Minority Leader Tim Greimel.
The Attorney General's office has not yet been formally asked to get involved, but Griemel may make that call later this week.
Motorists in Michigan have been all smiles recently because of the price of gas. But a downside could be looming.
Gasbuddy.com's Patrick DeHaan says if the per barrel price continues to drop, it could mean less exploration causing a shortage and higher gas prices.
“We're getting to that danger zone. Under $40 a barrel, it's not very lucrative for oil companies to be spending billions of dollars. In fact, we're starting to see oil companies report earnings that are very weak,” he says.
DeHaan adds some oil companies are already cutting capital investment and expenditures.
This year's "State of the Air" report from the American Lung Association finds nearly 138-million Americans, including tens of thousands in Michigan, live where air pollution can make it too dangerous to breathe. But advocates of the EPA's Clean Power Plan say it will bring much-needed relief.
"MI Air MI Health Coalition" spokesperson Rory Neuner calls the plan to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants "one of the most significant public health initiatives in decades."
“We spend in Michigan, just in our state budget alone, between $80,000,000 and $90,000,000 a year on asthma related claims for the Medicaid program. And so, better air means fewer people going to the emergency room for a very preventable chronic disease like asthma,” she says.
Neuner adds the state's adult asthma rate is 25-percent higher than the national average, and the lung cancer rate is higher than in 33 other states.
A state lawmaker, under fire for attempting to cover up an extramarital affair, says he was blackmailed.
Audio was released last week of state Representative Todd Courser discussing a plan designed to distract attention from his relationship with fellow House Republican Cindy Gamrat.
The plan involved putting out a fake email claiming Courser was caught having sex with a gay prostitute. Courser has now released a recorded statement saying his actions were in response to a blackmail scheme.
The representative also blamed former staffers for conspiring with the Lansing establishment in an attempt to "bring him down."
Calls for the resignation of two state representatives involved in a reported extramarital affair cover up, are coming from their own party and a liberal advocacy group.
Tea Party Republicans Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat are alleged to have used state resources to cover up their affair.
Gene Clem of the 1st Michigan Tea Party Alliance says the lawmakers should step aside because, as they put their family lives back together, they won't be able to properly represent their constituents.
And Lonnie Scott, executive director of advocacy group, Progress Michigan, says if the allegations are true, both lawmakers should resign.
The speaker of the Michigan House has called for an investigation into whether state resources were used in the cover up.
One of the state's largest utilities and those in the solar industry disagree on the impact of legislation to overhaul the state's energy policy.
The Alliance for Solar Choice spokesperson Amy Heart says the bill would effectively kill Michigan's net metering program where solar panel users give their excess electricity to their utility in return for a credit. Heart says, under the proposed changes, solar users would have to sell their power to the utility at wholesale prices.
“However, the utility gets to sell those kilowatt hours at retail rates to their neighbor,” she says.
DTE Energy says solar users still use the power grid and these program changes would ensure they pay their share to maintain it.
Concerns with the potential relocation of Aero Med services from Big Rapids to Traverse City are being addressed by the Mecosta Co. Board of Commission. Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba told Commissioners of his concerns with the potential transition with Areo Med if it goes through like longer wait times for those in Mecosta County involved in traumatic life threatening events.
County Administrator Paul Bullock said hearing about the potential move by Spectrum Health came as a surprise.
“I sat in on a lot of discussions about the transition to Spectrum for our hospital,” Bullock said. “Aero Med was never discussed in any meeting I was in, ever. It was not a part of the hospital, it is a separate corporation. There was never any discussion that I was privy to regarding the future of Aero Med in the city of Big Rapids being any part of the hospital transition.”
The commission agreed, they will be writing a letter to Spectrum Health addressing their concerns and how this could negatively affect residents in Mecosta County if the move to relocate is made.
Police in Mecosta County are investigating allegations of sexual misconduct involving a former male counselor and young camper on July 9th at christian summer camp Cran-Hill Ranch in Rodney.
Mecosta Co. Sheriff Todd Purcell said due to the nature of this being a current investigation, he would not be able to comment further.
Cran-Hill Ranch Camp Director Scott Barger issued a statement to Big Rapids Daily News via email:
At this time, because our priority at Cran-Hill Ranch is always focused on kids safety first, and have an impeccable 47 year history of caring for kids in the Christian Camp environment, we continue to do all we can to working with local authorities, parents and state agencies the process began (and continues) to identify, isolate, protect, record, and investigate any and all allegations in this case. In order to not inhibit an ongoing investigation and in the interest of child protection and privacy no further specific information can be provided by Cran-Hill Ranch regarding the case. Both Cran-Hill Ranch and the family is disappointed and saddened by the allegations of this case, we are grateful that Cran-Hill Ranch continues to be affirmed by the family involved in the case as well as the authorities and state agencies. We will continue to work alongside and support the family in the on-going investigation.
Update: Cran-Hill has now issued a press release here
A Big Rapids teen accused of assaulting multiple women on Riverwalk is taking a plea deal with Mecosta Co. Prosecutors.
According to court documents, 17- year old Daniel Kuhns is pleading guilty to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. In exchange, prosecutors will be dropping all other charges in his case. The plea deal also specifies that Mecosta Co. prosecutors will dismiss another case involving Kuhns.
The Big Rapids teen faces 15 years in jail when he's sentenced on the second degree criminal sexual conduct charge.
An anti-smoking group is resuming a push to increase taxes on tobacco in Michigan, including a cigarette tax increase of up to a dollar-fifty-per pack. That would bring the per-pack tax in Michigan to $3.50.
The American Cancer Society also wants lawmakers to significantly increase taxes on other tobacco products, including more than doubling the tax on tobacco that for example, is offered in hookah bars.
ACS lobbyist Andrew Schepers says increasing tobacco taxes goes a long way in discouraging tobacco sales and consumption.
The ACS has issued a report that says Michigan is falling short when it comes to public policies designed to reduce tobacco use. According to the report, Michigan currently allocates $1.5 million for tobacco prevention services, which is less than two percent of the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended funding level.
A man and woman from Grand Rapids are behind bars in Mecosta County on felony drug charges.
Police arrested the pair Tuesday in Mecosta Township. 36-year old Charles Evans-Tiran Holliman and 31-year old Mikeya Sheniece Day, are both charged with two counts of delivering/manufacturing of heroin and one count of delivering/manufacturing cocaine.
Bond for Day is set at $325,000, while Holliman’s bond is set at $400,000.
A Mount Pleasant man is hospitalized after he crashed his car in Rolland Township.
Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski says 32-year-old Robert Glenn Dean was traveling west on Blanchard Road at about 2:00PM Wednesday when he lost control of his vehicle while entering the curves just west of Guy Rd.
Dean went off the road on the right shoulder, began to slide sideways across the other side of the road, struck a “Curve” sign and, then hit a tree.
Emergency crews had to extricate Dean from his car and he was flown by Aero Med to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.
Mioduszewski says alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.
Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital has earned a high honor, The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for hospital accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards.
Big Rapids Hospital underwent a rigorous, unannounced on-site survey in May 2015. During the review, a team of expert surveyors from The Joint Commission evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management. Surveyors also conducted on-site observations and interviews.
“Big Rapids Hospital is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission,” said Caroline Ring, vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer at Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals. “Staff from across the organization continue to work hard to maintain high standards of care for patients in our community, and this accreditation reflects that hard work.”
The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. More than 4,000 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and specialty hospitals currently maintain accreditation from The Joint Commission, awarded for a three-year period.
The FBI says it has a new lead on an man who's been missing from Isabella County for eight years.
Augustine “Auggie” Floyd went to a concert to meet a girl he met on MySpace in 2007. He was last seen at a party following that concert. Authorities now plan to drain a lake behind a Baseline Road home sometime next week after they received new information about Flloyd's disappearance.
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police say this is still a missing persons investigation and it will stay open until it is solved.
Two men and a juvenile are behind bars facing home invasion charges connected to an alleged break-in of a Big Rapids residence.
18-year old Triston Sheehan Wilkes of White Cloud and 23-year old Terrance Eugene Prince-Fowlkes of Detroit are each charged with one count of first-degree home invasion and one count of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. The third suspect a juvenile from White Cloud will likely be charged in Probate Court.
Police say they received a call from a homeowner Monday about the suspects running through his yard on Olaf Street stealing property. When the suspects fled the scene, Police caught Triston Wilkes running to a nearby business, then apprehended the two other suspects, Terrance Prince-Fowlkes and a juvenile from White Cloud at an apartment on Morrison Avenue.
Bond for Wilkes is set at $100,000, while bond for Prince-Fowlkes is set at $150,000.
Police believe alcohol is a factor in a fatal car accident in Isabella County.
Deputies say it happened shortly before midnight on S. Wyman Rd. near S. County Line Rd. in Rolland Twp. That's where, a Suzuki Forenza driven by 44-year old Nicole Sue Ballinger of Mt. Pleasant, was traveling north on Wyman Rd. when she failed to negotiate the curve at S. County Line Rd., ran off the road and hit a large tree.
Two men and a juvenile sit in jail on charges of breaking and entering connected to an alleged home invasion in Big Rapids.
Police say they received a call from a homeowner Monday about the suspects running through his yard on Olaf Street stealing property. When the suspects fled the scene, Police caught the first 18-year old suspect from White Cloud running to a business, then apprehended the other two suspects, a 23-year old Detroit man and a juvenile from White Cloud at an apartment on Morrison Avenue.
The trio's identity is being withheld pending arraignment.
As neighboring counties see rising problems of heroin and methamphetamine use among residents, Mecosta County has not fallen victim to increase usage of hardcore narcotics according to Sheriff Todd Purcell.
Purcell says his department along with the Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) have taken down only two meth labs this year.
The sheriff says his officers make more arrests in cases connected to marijuana than any other drug. He says when the medical marijuana law came out it was tough to enforce but now with Supreme Court rulings clarifying the law, it's much easier for his deputies to contain the drug.
With more cases of heroin being reported in counties south of Mecosta, deputies along with CMET remain vigilant in tackling new drugs as they come into the area.
State Police are releasing the names of those involved in the fatal buggy/car accident in Highland Township.
Troopers say 19-year old Andrew Beachy of Marion was traveling southbound on 80th Avenue when he was struck from behind by a car driven by 25-year old William Evans of Evart. Beachy died at the scene. There were no other occupants in Beachy's buggy at the time of the accident. Evans was not injured.
Police say alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to roll out a final "Clean Power Plan" rule that puts new mandates on states to cut carbon emissions.
Governor Snyder is already mapping out a plan for energy, which includes cutting energy waste and using more renewable energy and natural gas.
Depending heavily on natural gas has raised some questions, as gas prices can -- and have -- fluctuated wildly and there are criticisms about its extraction and they recently point to potential pollution issues and even earthquakes.
However former Michigan house member Dan Scripps, who now heads the Institute for Energy Innovation notes the governor's plan to include waste reduction and renewable fuels can help control the effects of fluctuating natural gas prices.
Four men are looking forward to a court date after police arrested them for delivering LSD.
20-year-old Todd Charles Gillespie II of Big Rapids, 23-year-old Jacob Nathaniel Graham of Howard City, 19-year-old Alex Michael Johnson of Cedar Springs, and 19-year-old Dakota James Edmonds of Mecosta were taken into custody late last week in Morton Township.
All are being charged with possession and intent to deliver LSD which carries a possible 7 year prison sentence.
Crews from Consumers and Great Lakes Energy are working to restore power to thousands of customers that are without electricity.
Severe thunderstorms that rolled through the state Sunday night left many people in the dark, mostly north and northwest of Big Rapids.
Consumers reports over 80,000 customers affected and some in the hardest hit areas may not have electricity until later Wednesday. Great Lakes Energy is reporting over 13-thousand customers without power.
Both utilities remind customers to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines and anything they are touching and to immediately call 911 or their respective utility.
The National Weather Service has extended a severe thunderstorm watch until 2:00AM for the following counties:
The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Mecosta County until 11 p.m.
A squall line of storms, some severe, will move Southeast through Michigan this evening bringing the threat of damaging winds, hail and heavy rain. There is is slight risk of some tornados with this system. The greatest risk time frame for Mecosta County is about 7 p.m to 10 p.m.
Monitor weather sources to keep track of storm development and possible Severe Storm/Tornado Warnings. Be prepared to seek shelter and plan for the possibility of power outages.
A line of strong to severe thunderstorms entering the northern Lower Peninsula is expected to bring damaging winds and frequent lightning as it moves south throughout the day Sunday.
The National Weather Service has issued the following advisory for Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clare, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isbella, Musdegon, Montcalm, Gratiot, Ottowa, Kent, Ionia, Clinton, Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Ingham, VanBuren Kalamazoo, Calhoun, and Jackson Counties:
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIKELY LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO
TONIGHT...ALTHOUGH A FEW SCATTERED STORMS ARE POSSIBLE LATE
MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON. THE MAIN THREAT WILL BE DAMAGING
WIND GUSTS OF 60 MPH OR GREATER. THE STORMS WILL FORM ALONG A COLD
FRONT WHICH WILL APPROACH LUDINGTON BY 5PM OR 6PM AND REACH GRAND
RAPIDS BY 8PM OR SHORTLY THEREAFTER. STORMS WILL CONTINUE MOVING
SOUTHEAST TOWARD THE I-94 CORRIDOR AFTER 10PM OR 11PM. SECONDARY
CONCERNS INCLUDE LARGE HAIL AND AN ISOLATED TORNADO.
Police in Isabella County are investigating a deadly car/pedestrian accident.
Deputies say it happened on N. Mission Rd. in Isabella Township, that's where a car driven by a 32-year-old Rosebush woman struck and killed 62-year-old Lloyd Ciszewski also of Rosebush. Police say Ciszewski was wearing dark clothing at the time of the accident.
The driver told police she didn't see the victim when she hit him.
A car/buggy accident in Osceola County has taken the life of a Marion teen.
State Police say it happened Thursday night in the area of 80th Ave. near 19 mile Road in Highland Township. They say a southbound vehicle being driven by a 26-year old Evart man struck a southbound Amish buggy being operated by a 19-year old Marion man. The Marion man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant of the buggy.
The Evart man was not injured and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
Things are quieter this year on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County since police launched a task force to report illegal activity from those floating down the river.
Chris Arthur lives near the river and is part of the volunteers who make up the Muskegon River Watch Program. She says as many as ten people would trespass on her property every Saturday. The other day she had one.
Reports of drunken behavior, trespassing, assaults and more are down across the board. Newaygo County Sheriff Pat Hedlund says that's a credit to the volunteers. He says arrests have fallen sharply from last year, when 136 people were arrested in just 14 weeks.