Some ghosts and goblins may be scared of the weather on Halloween, but not in Reed City. Organizers put on the city's annual Halloween in the Park at Westerburgh Park in spite of the rain and cold on Saturday.
Halloween in the Park Organizer Amber Hutchinson says they have a lot of volunteers that come out for the trick-or-treaters.
“We have about 25-30 characters that are here handing out candy to our local community for safe trick-or-treating so the kids are off the street and in one location.”
And, she says, they made sure there is at least one character for everybody's taste.
“We have Beauty and the Beast, we have Superman, Spiderman, we have Elsa, we have Cat in the Hat, Goofy, The Incredibles, Scooby Doo, Clifford, Eeyore...”
Judging by the turnout, Hutchinson believes the weather did not put a damper on the festivities.
“I don't think so. We're improvising with the weather and we're doing it under the pavilions.”
And it was obvious that nothing was going to stop Halloween in Reed City, so the trick-or-treaters bundled up, donned their costumes and made to the park.
“I'm going to say about 150 to start. Not too bad for the weather. Generally we do about 500 to 800 kids,” says Hutchinson.
A fire in Cadillac is putting a local business out of business.
Cadillac Fire Department Captain Fred Osborn says crews put out a ceiling fire at Up North Specialty Meats on Mitchell Street Friday afternoon.
He says the blaze was extinguished in under five minutes and the store will remain closed until the investigation is complete.
Firefighters believe the fire was electrical.
The Chippewa Hills Warriors came from behind in the first half against the Whitehall Vikings and hung on for the victory in Friday night's playoff game in Remus.
The Warriors were able to capitalize on a 60-yard touchdown pass to John Wixon to end the first half 20-10 over the Vikings.
Whitehall battled back in the second half bringing the score up to 20-16, but the Vikings defense held them off with the game ending 20-16 Warriors.
Chippewa Hills (8-2) plays a district final on Nov. 6 against Big Rapids, a team the Warriors defeated 26-7 earlier in the season.
A long road trip, over 300 miles, but it was worth it for the Big Rapids Cardinals because they come away with a road victory over the Escanaba Eskymos in the district opener. The Big Rapids Cardinals beat the Eskymos 21-17.
Escanaba had a 17-0 lead just a half minute into the second quarter. They scored on a 12 yard first quarter run by quarterback Logan Lamb who would finish with over 140 yards rushing against the Cardinals. They would add an 11 yard touchdown run by Breyden Papineau, and then a 26 yard field goal to take a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The Cardinals finally got on the board with just 29 seconds left in the opening half on a 10 yard pass from Braeden Childress to Jeffrey Davenport. That capped off a 60 yard drive.
Cardinals pulled within three in the third quarter on an 8 yard touchdown run by Desaun Griffin. Avery Montgomery with a beautiful run for the two point conversion, that brought the Cardinals within three, 17-14.
And then the Cardinals got a break as they recover a fumble around the 20 yard line and drive it on in from there, an 11 yard scoring run by Desaun Griffin. The extra point kicked through by Dakota Sanders and the Cardinals have the lead. They were able to protect that and take it to the house.
The victory puts Big Rapids at seven and three. The Escanaba Eskymos end their season at five and five.
So the Cardinals move into the second round. Again, on the road Friday night in Escanaba, Big Rapids 21, Escanaba 17.
The Red Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army in Big Rapids is looking for bell ringers this season.
Last year's effort raised over $86,000 to help provide important community programs and services to residents in Mecosta, Osceola, Lake and Newaygo Counties. The Salvation Army had 600 volunteers last year but this year their goal is 900 bell ringers.
Chris Vallette, Communications Director says the Red Kettle Campaign is very important to to their organization, it is their main fundraiser of the year and helps fund operations as well as programs and services.
This years fundraiser starts November 16th and runs through Christmas Eve. If you would like to sign up visit RingBells.org or call 231-796-5597.
Evart Public Schools is asking voters to approve an $8 million bond proposal saying the money is needed for a variety of issues including transportation, technology and building maintenance.
However, some residents question whether the school district should put more money into the three school buildings they have when those buildings aren't fully utilized.
The question will appear on ballots in Osceola, Clare, and Mecosta counties next Tuesday.
Police in Cadillac say there is a man on the loose who likes to sneak up on women, grab their backsides, and then runs off.
At least two women are reported to have been accosted by the man in Lakefront Park.
The man is described as between five foot nine and five foot eleven, heavier set and in his mid-twenties.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Cadillac Police Department.
The man accused of killing a Mackinac County teenager in a drunk driving crash is facing more charges.
In addition to operating under the influence causing death and third offense of operating while intoxicated, Darrell Lovegrove is also being charged with second degree homicide/murder and homicide manslaughter with a motor vehicle.
Police say Lovegrove collided into 17-year-old Mitchell Snyder's vehicle head-on earlier this month.
Agents say they are looking for two suspected child pornographers in western Michigan.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Jeremy Pierczynski says 42-year-old Normann Pittelkow and 35-year-old Nicole Jacob, both of Albion, are facing charges of producing and conspiring to produce child pornography.
He says computers and mobile devices confiscated from the couple showed Pittelkow and Jacob engaging in sex acts with minors.
Both suspects were last seen in West Michigan, but have ties to Georgia, where they used to live.
A pastor in Mecosta County is facing child pornography charges after the discovery of images on his computer.
70-year old Richard Patton had been the Minister of Music at New Hope Methodist Church in Mecosta until resigning earlier this month.
The child porn images were found by Best Buy technicians after the pastor had brought the computer in for repair.
He's now being charged with two counts of using a computer to commit a crime and two counts of possessing child pornography. Patton has been arraigned on the felony charges and is now out on bond.
Police in Mecosta County believe they have a man who is responsible for breaking into a home and assaulting the resident.
Detective Casey Nemeth says 39-year old William Hill of New Era was arrested on a felony warrant for discharging a weapon at a building and misdemeanor reckless discharge of a firearm. The warrant stems from an investigation into a home invasion/assault complaint in Morley Back in June.
Hill along with another suspect were alleged to have broke into the home to assault the homeowner and hill discharged his gun during the incident.
He was arraigned on the two charges and posted a $100,000 surety bond. He is expected to be back in court next week.
School board members of Evart Public Schools are selecting former Chippewa Hills Schools Superintendent Shirley Howard to be its interim Superintendent.
Back in August, current head of the Evart School District Howard Hyde announced his retirement effective at the end of December.
If Howard accepts a contract, she will be able to serve the district from January first through June 30th.
More jobs are coming to Montcalm County as Byrne Electrical Specialists construct a new manufacturing facility and collaborative workspace in Lakeview.
The $750,000 expansion is expected to bring in 32 new jobs to the Lakeview area.
The Rockford company will break ground in November on the 15,000-square-foot facility, and is slated to be completed by June 2016. The building will include 12,000 square feet of light industrial space, with the remainder for office space.
Two people are facing charges after one of them tried to bring drugs into the Pugsley Correctional Facility located in Grand Traverse County.
Police say 42-year-old Jamie Rise hid suboxone behind postage stamps and tried to deliver them to her 25-year-old son, Robert Eling III.
Eling is behind bars at the facility for possession of methamphetamine, controlled substance/possess narcotic/cocaine less than 25 grams as well as delivery/manufacture narcotics/cocaine less than 50 grams.
Police are calling it the largest meth lab busts in Northern Michigan.
Meth drug teams shut down the lab in Grand Traverse County late Tuesday where the clean-up and investigation at a home in Grawn still continues.
Police say they found large amounts of chemicals and drug components used to manufacture meth inside the home and in a nearby pole barn.
A large amount of marijuana was also found inside the home.
Six suspects were arrested including four from Traverse City and one man from Canada.
Police say that evidence found at the home showed that the suspects had been cooking meth there for about one year.
Halloween maybe right around the corner but that is not stopping some local organizations from getting into the holiday spirit.
Preparations are underway for the 14th Annual Festival of Trees at Chemical Bank in downtown Big Rapids. Proceeds from this years event will help expand telehealth services at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals.
Dee Van Horn, Chair of the Spectrum Health Foundation for Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals says this special event is a great way to kick off the holiday season and give back. The benefit is scheduled for Wednesday,
November 4th at 6:30pm at Chemical Bank. Tickets for the event are $25.00 per person.
Charges will not be filed against the Clare County Sheriff, who was accused of taking evidence from the evidence room.
An internal investigation started in September when accusations surfaced that Clare County Sheriff, John Wilson took a cross bow from the evidence room at the Sheriff’s Office for his own personal use.
An investigation was completed by the Sixth District Special Investigation Section and was turned over to the Osceola County Prosecutor, Tyler Thompson, who was assigned as Special Prosecutor by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
Upon reviewing the facts of the case, Thompson declined any criminal charges.
A second case involving inappropriate behavior by a former christian camp counselor in Mecosta County now heads to circuit court for trial.
24-year old Willaim Nealy of Muncie, Indiana is accused of sexually assaulting two male campers over the summer at Cran-Hill Ranch in Rodney.
Nealy was fired by the camp when allegations surfaced in July, he was arrested soon after.
The 24-year old Indiana man faces one count each of second degree criminal sexual conduct and criminal sexual conduct with intent to commit sexual penetration in two separate cases.
Two Pine River High School students will have to find another place for their education as school board officials have expelled the two students for separate incidents involving a weapon and a CSC.
According to a press release by the LeRoy school, the board expelled a 17-year old student after the student brought a knife to a home athletic event.
The board also expelled another 17-year old student for criminal sexual conduct on school property on at least one occasion.
Pine River Superintendent Matt Lukshaitis issued a statement, "We all want our kids to be safe and we take that charge from our community and our parents seriously at Pine River Area Schools. It is important that students understand school is no place for this type of behavior and that there are serious consequences when rules, regulations, or laws such as this one are broken."
Two Parole absconders are now in custody after police arrested them in Mecosta Co.
According to Detective Casey Nemeth of the Mecosta Co. Sheriff's Office, 27-year old Charles Starling of Alpena, was wanted by the Department of Corrections, Alpena County Office, for absconding parole on an original Home Invasion conviction.
Police then executed a search warrant at the home of the second suspect, 30-year old Charles Post on 187th Avenue in Mecosta Township, which lead to the recovery of over $2500 worth of harvested marijuana, marijuana plants, drug producing equipment, weapons.
Both men were taken into custody at the Mecosta Co. Jail before being turned over to the Department of Corrections
Nissan is expanding a recall linked to possible fuel leaks in crashes to include nearly 59,000 Altima and Maxima sedans worldwide.
The new recall covers certain 2013 to 2016 Nissan Altima midsize cars and some 2016 Nissan Maxima large cars. All have V6 engines.
Nissan says that in a crash, the fuel could leak from the gas tank and cause a fire.
The problem was found during crash testing. There have been no reports of fires, injuries or fuel leaks as a result.
A bill making its way through the state legislature would allow schools to open before Labor Day.
But, Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau spokesperson Joy VanDrie says that would mean less tourism and some businesses could also be short staffed with high schoolers leaving their jobs to go to class.
Supporters of the bill say it would allow for some flexibility in the school calendar.
Similar bills have been introduced in the past and they have not been successful.
A man who police say sexually assaulted a sleeping woman in Traverse City is behind bars.
The Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office says the incident happened at a home on S. Long Lake Rd. in Green Lake Township.
Deputies say the suspect, who was a visitor at the home, entered the woman's bedroom in the middle of the night and began to sexually assault her.
The woman thought it was her husband who fell asleep in the living room.
The woman kicked the man off the bed and the man locked himself in the bathroom before deputies came and arrested him.
A governor appointed task force charged with looking into opioid use and abuse in Michigan is making recommendations to help curb the growing problem.
The Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, headed by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, is suggesting more than a dozen changes.
Among them would be more prescription drug drop-off bins, increased availability of Naloxone, a drug effective at reversing overdoses, and an upgrade of the Michigan Automated Prescription system (MAP) to provide healthcare professionals with a patient’s prescription use history.
Calley says the MAP system is an antiquated and outdated technology that is voluntary and very difficult to use.
Governor Rick Snyder says another issue is the growing number of heroin overdoses in Michigan.
He says opioids are a gateway drug to heroin, noting that opioid abusers often move on to heroin, which can be less expensive.
A coalition of business and labor groups says growing healthcare costs are impacting job and wage growth in Michigan.
The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) released a report showing the rising cost of the average family insurance premium outpaced income growth from 2008 to 2013, meaning workers effectively made less in 2013 than the previous five years.
EAM spokesperson, Bret Jackson, says the state’s leaders need to address rising healthcare costs to stop or at least ease the drain on the economy.
“It has to come from policy makers. We hope the governor pays more attention to healthcare, we hope the legislature pays more attention to healthcare, and we hope employers and workers too.”
The report also says 90 percent of company leaders would invest more in their business if its healthcare costs were lower.
Howard City man arrested on peeping tom charges
A Howard City resident is in custody accused of being a peeping tom.
Police say Shawn Schneider is charged with one peeping tom count after police say they found him trying to get a glimpse of an undressed woman in Wexford County's Haring Township.
If convicted, Schneider could face up to four years in prison and a hefty fine.
A 31-year-old Cadillac woman is facing jail time on multiple drug and stolen property charges.
Officials say Kassandra Lynne Goodrich is being charged with maintaining a drug house, possession of marijuana, receiving and concealing stolen property, and a habitual offender second offense charge.
If convicted, she faces up to up to six years in jail and nearly $10,000 in fines.
A Cadillac man is facing jail time after allegedly assaulting a police officer in Haring Township.
25-year old Chet Alex Houghton is charged with one count of assault/resisting/ obstructing a police officers following an incident on October 25th.
He faces up to two years in jail, if convicted.
A shortage of full-time teachers in Michigan is causing lawmakers to consider letting retired teachers return to the classroom without losing their pensions.
A law that allowed just that expired over a year ago.
A bill that has passed the House and is pending in Senate would re-enact expired provisions so retirees could come back under certain circumstances.
Representative Holly Hughes of Montague says retired teachers were snared in a crackdown by lawmakers on superintendents making six figures who "double dipped."
State Senator Phil Pavlov, who chairs the Senate education committee, is questioning why Michigan’s investment in early childhood education isn’t paying off in higher reading skills by third grade students.
He says Michigan has made the largest investment in early childhood education in the country and kids still are making it to third grade without higher reading proficiency.
“So, we're not just looking at third grade reading, we need to look at the Great Start program all the way up to third grade.”
Earlier this month, the House passed a plan to set reading benchmarks for third graders in the state and mandate they be held back a grade if they aren’t reading at grade level by fourth grade.
The U.S. Department of Education is rejecting a $45 million grant request from Michigan to improve and expand charter schools.
Officials say Michigan lacks oversight of who approves and oversees charter schools in the state.
The state also scored poorly when evaluated on the academic performance of charter schools and the state's plan to improve achievement among disadvantaged students in them.
The Michigan Department of Education had received a multi-year federal grant for $23 million in 2007 and $44 million in 2010.
It will be a crime to fly a drone near a prison in Michigan, under legislation headed to the full Senate.
State Senator Darwin Booher is sponsoring the bills making it a felony to fly a drone within 1,000 feet of any correctional facility.
“Violators would be guilty of felonies and would face imprisonment up to four years or a fine of $2,000, or both,” he says.
Booher says he was prompted to introduce the legislation after hearing of problems in other states where drones were used to smuggle contraband into prisons.
A Western Michigan University senior, studying abroad in Norway, is not coming home.
Dallas Rauker has been found dead after he went missing last week while hiking.
He was studying integrated supply management at WMU, while minoring in international business.
Police in the Netherlands have been searching for Rauker for days but bad weather slowed their search.
A university spokesperson says the school was notified Sunday that searchers found the 21 year old's body.
Some people are shook up, but no one is seriously injured after a driver ran into a bus containing 26 passengers on U.S. 10.
Police say it happened over the weekend in Mason County's Amber Township.
The driver apparently tried to pass the bus, lost control, hit the bus,then ran off the road and hit a telephone pole.
The driver of the car was treated at the scene for minor injuries. No one on the bus was hurt.
A 64-year old Morley man is recovering from injuries he sustained during a car accident just after midnight this morning.
Deputies in Mecosta County say the Morley man was traveling northbound on 150th Ave. near Eisenhower when his vehicle ran off the road and struck several trees. He was taken to a Grand Rapids Hospital by AeroMed.
Police believe alcohol played a factor in the accident.
The Big Rapids Cardinals hold on to secure a playoff spot with a win over rival Morley Stanwood 20-10 in the season finale Friday night in football action.
The Cards were led on offense by Brent Childress who had 2 touchdowns in the game.
The Cardinals will now have to wait until Sunday to see who they will face in the first round of the playoffs.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and, as part of their efforts to combat domestic violence, Women's Information Service (WISE) of Big Rapids is working to raise local awareness of the problem.
Mecosta/Osceola Legal Advocate and Domestic Violence Response Team Coordinator Whitney Buffa says a victim of domestic violence approached WISE with an idea.
“The whole thing was inspired by a client of ours who came and said, 'Let's do this. We need celebrate our survivors and raise a little bit of awareness for Domestic Violence Month,'” she says.
As a result, a ceremony is being held on Monday.
“On Monday, October 26, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, at the Evart United Methodist Church, we are going to have a candlelight vigil and survivors ceremony.”
Buffa says a number of domestic violence survivors will be speaking at the ceremony as well as Evart Police Chief Kendra Backing who will address the topic of police presence in domestic violence situations.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the "Day of Unity" held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent is to connect advocates across the nation who are working to end violence against women and children.
Osceola County Domestic Violence Outreach Coordinator Teresa Mora notes that events such as the survivors ceremony are needed because domestic violence is too often swept under the rug.
“Folks don't want to come forward, there's a lot of protection around it. And loss. People say, ' I come forward, I might loose my home, my children, my financial stability,.” she says.
Buffa adds that domestic violence is not always physical either.
“It's not always your friends mom with the black eye but somebody who says, 'Oh, I don't think I can make it because he won't allow me to spend money on that.'”
The Evart United Methodist Church is located at 619 N. Cherry Street in Evart and both Buffa and Mora hope to see the building filled to capacity for the ceremony.
Buffa also notes that domestic violence doesn't always happen during business hours, which is why WISE maintains a 24 hour hotline that victims can call for help at 231-796-6600.
Mazda says it is recalling 1.2 million older cars and minivans in the U.S. because ignition switches could overheat and catch fire.
The recall covers the 1990-1996 323 and Protégé, the 1993-1998 626, the 1993-1995 929, the 1993-1997 MX-6, the 1989 to 1998 MPV and the 1992-1993 MX-3.
The carmaker says it put too much grease on electrical contact points in the switches when the cars were manufactured. The grease can carbonize and reduce electrical insulation.
The company says continuous use can cause electricity to flow between the points and make the switches overheat. That can cause smoke and possible fire.
Mazda says the problem doesn't affect the cars' operation or safety devices.
Phone calls to and from prison inmates in Michigan will cost a lot less starting next year – thanks to a decision Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC voted to cap the rates and fees, and strongly discouraged the providers’ practice of paying commissions to the prison facility in exchange for the phone service contract - fees critics refer to as kickbacks.
Prison Policy Initiative spokesperson Aleks Kajstura says existing prison phone rates are outrageous.
"There was no cap on how much they were charging, so they were charging people a dollar a minute, There were programs that charged $15 flat rate per call. You could talk just for two minutes and still be charged $15. There were all sorts of fees tacked on, on top of those phone rates. Costing $10 just to add to the account so you could make the call."
Kajstura says phone calls are a lifeline especially for inmates in rural areas where the families may have to drive hundreds of miles to visit in person.
Four phone service companies dominate the prison market and are threatening to sue the FCC saying the decision will drive them out of business.
Michigan’s ignition interlock program will be subject to new rules, if a bill package that cleared the state Senate is passed into law.
Under the bill package, the devices, which prevent a person who has been drinking from driving, will have to be installed by a licensed technician in a licensed facility.
They will also have to be updated to meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards.
Bill sponsor, Tonya Schuitmaker, says that includes having a photo capable device.
“These devices take photos when samples are collected to prove the driver is providing the breath sample.”
Mobile installers are opposing the legislation saying the changes will put them out of work.
A Michigan State Trooper who was pulled over for drunk driving will not be heading to jail.
Chippewa County officials say trooper William Smith reached a plea deal and will spend 90 days on probation, 90 days on a blood alcohol content monitoring program, and pay more than $1,000 in fines.
He pleaded to driving while visibly impaired and carrying a concealed weapon with a blood alcohol content between .08 and .10.
A west Michigan man is dead after police say he pointed a gun at an officer.
Police say they were investigating reports of a man who was making threats to hurt himself at the Sutton Club Apartments in Kentwood when the man came out of the apartment and pointed a gun at an officer.
The officer then shot the man.
His name is not being released at this time.
Five people are in custody on drug charges following investigations in Oceana, Mason, and Manistee counties.
The State, Sheriffs’, Chiefs’ Enforcement of Narcotics Team, or SSCENT, arrested 33-year-old Tommy Watts of Muskegon, 31-year-old Eric William Carroll of Scottville, and 29-year-old Jeffery Anthony Kapala of Scottville on various charges including delivery of cocaine, possession of methadone, and possession of amphetamine.
A 30-year-old woman and a 66-year-old man, both from Manistee, were also arrested on cocaine possession charges. Their names are being withheld pending arraignment.
All five were picked up by police earlier this week.
A pair is behind bars on drug charges in Mecosta County.
24-year old TJ Dexter Finney of Mecosta and 17-year old Chelsie Marie Nelson have both been charged with one count each of possession with intent to deliver of cocaine and marijuana.
The Central Michigan enforcement Team says the incident occurred Wednesday at a home in Colfax Township.
Both Finney and Nelson face up to 20 years in jail, if convicted.
A fatal car crash involving an Ingham County Sheriff’s deputy late last year, and how long it took to find the driver of the SUV the deputy was chasing, is the inspiration behind a bill that's making its way through the state legislature.
Representative Tom Cochran is sponsoring the measure and says it took five days for police to track down the driver.
“This would have happened a lot quicker if they would have had this reward amount upwards of $20,000,” he says
Right now the maximum reward a county sheriff’s office can offer is $2,000.
The reward was last increased in 1948.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson doctor Eden Wells says Michigan residents should get a flu shot now.
“We've already detected that there's four cases already confirmed by our state laboratories here in Lansing of influenza and these are across the ages. So, we know that children and older adults are getting he flu.”
She says it takes two weeks for the flu shot to take effect so now is the time to get vaccinated, before the flu season gets rolling.
Last year, the flu vaccine didn’t protect against the prevalent strain of flu, but Wells says that’s not the case so far this year.
She says there appears to be good coverage for flu strains being seen around the country.
Lawmakers in the Michigan House are giving the green light to a $1.2 billion road funding plan.
It includes an increase in both the diesel tax and the gasoline tax, a bump in vehicle registration fees of about $40 per car and taking money from the General Fund.
State Representative Peter Pettalia voted for the plan.
“Is it all that I wish for or want? No, it isn't. How many times in this legislative body have we sat here and gave up almost perfect for perfect? Waiting for perfect now is not the answer,” he says.
State Representative Jeff Irwin didn’t vote for it and says he doesn’t get why the plan relies so heavily on registration fee increases over a gas tax increase.
“There's a lot of people here in Michigan driving around and using our roads who aren't from Michigan. So why are we selecting as the main revenue vehicle a tax that only hits Michigan citizens?”
The plan, which does include some tax relief for homeowners and renters, would be phased in over five years, meaning the state won’t hit the $1.2 billion mark until 2021.
An elderly woman in Traverse City is safe after police say a man kicked in her front door.
Alan Klingbail has been arraigned on charges of first degree home invasion, police officer assault/resist/obstruct as well as third offense habitual offender.
Police say the 89-year-old woman heard pounding on her front door and she called 911.
When officers arrived, Klingbail was standing over the woman.
Police then had to use a taser when the he came at an officer.
A jury in Kalkaska County says Jason Ryan is guilty of sexually assaulting and murdering 68-year-old Geraldine Montgomery in 1996.
This was the second trial in the case. Last year, the jury couldn't reach a verdict.
Jamie Peterson was convicted of the crimes in 1998 and sentenced to life without parole.
He was released in September 2014 after DNA tests showed he didn't attack Montgomery.
Prosecutors say the new DNA tests placed Ryan at the crime scene.
A man who police say is a major drug supplier for northern Michigan is in custody.
Forty-six-year-old Rodney Jones was arrested in Gaylord.
Straits Area Narcotics Enforcement says Jones has been delivering heroin to the Gaylord area for several years.
He's being charged with one count of dangerous drugs and one count of heroin possession/manufacture.
Police say they continue to see an rise in the amount of heroin available in northern Michigan.
A Cadillac man is behind bars after police say he was traveling southbound in the northbound lane on US 131 while intoxicated.
Montcalm County Sheriff Deputies pulled over the 46-year-old suspect this morning near mile marker 114 in Pierson Township.
After conducting a field sobriety test on the driver, the suspect was arrested for drunk driving.
A Mount Pleasant cab driver is being accused of sexual assault, and not for the first time.
Court documents show Sid Tutewiler was convicted in 1995 for assaulting two minors.
He also has felony sexual assault arrests in 2011 and 2013.
Mount Pleasant Public Information Officer Jeff Browne says Tutewiler picked up a fare on Monday and told her she had to perform a sex act when she said she didn't have the money to pay for the cab ride.
A 43-year-old woman from Stanwood is fighting for her life following an accident in Mecosta County.
Mecosta County Sheriff's Deputy John Bongard says the woman ran off 3 Mile Road at around 11 o'clock Wednesday night, striking a mail box and large pine tree before overturning and being thrown from the vehicle.
Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the crash.
The woman was airlifted to Butterworth hospital for possible life threatening injuries.
Police in Ottawa County are searching for the person or persons responsible for an overnight crime spree that resulted in two vehicles stolen, two guns stolen out of cars, and at least one home broken into.
The incidents spanned several miles and multiple neighborhoods in Allendale Township.
Police say more than 10-thousand dollars in property was stolen in which thieves targeted some two dozen unlocked cars and homes.
A woman in Alpena is in custody for breaking and entering after police found her apparently wearing evidence of the crime.
Police were called to a home this weekend where the homeowner said she heard a commotion and found a woman inside her home.
The intruder quickly left and the homeowner found items broken and knocked over, including a tray of cupcakes.
Troopers found the woman inside a car a few blocks away.
They say she was highly intoxicated and had cupcake frosting and cake all over her legs and torso.
A Traverse City man is under arrest for taking videos of women in dressing rooms.
Police say Jesus Rodriguez-Maturino was arrested on Monday after a lengthy investigation.
In May, a woman contacted Traverse City Police, saying someone reached out to her on Instagram and was threatening to release nude photos of her if she didn’t send him more.
In June, Michigan State Police got a call from someone in Alpena saying they found a Tumblr account with more than a hundred videos, all of women in public places around Traverse City.
Police seized multiple computers and cell phones belonging to Rodriguez-Maturino and found he also had child porn.
He faces six felony charges and could see more than 20 years in prison if convicted.
Many Huntington Bank customers woke up this morning with negative checking account balances and even had some extra fees added.
According to Huntington's social media Twitter account, it's all due to a processing issue that happened overnight. The bank says many customers have seen debit transactions on their accounts twice.
They are working to resolve the issue and account balances will be corrected today. Any fees will also be waived.
Michigan judges will soon get a manual to help set-up specialty courts for veterans.
Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School worked with the state Veteran’s Affairs Agency and the state Supreme Court to develop the guide to help interested judges set up Veterans Treatment Courts.
WMU-Cooley Law School professor and former Brigadier General, Michael McDaniel says the courts address the unique needs of vets and provides some financial benefits.
“Besides the fact that we are giving our nation's veterans the attention that I believe they deserve and merit, it is also a cost savings to the court.”
Currently, Michigan leads the nation with 22 Veterans Treatment Courts.
McDaniel says the hope is to eventually have enough regional courts to cover the entire state.
Veterans working in the construction industry say they’re worried about a push to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law.
The law requires workers on government funded projects be paid union wages and benefits.
Marine veteran and bricklayer Jesse Stevens says veterans are more likely to work in construction and will be hard hit if prevailing wage laws are repealed.
“We see some politicians who want to take this away from myself and my family and my fellow vets. That's no way to treat our veterans, it's not fair, and we'll remember those who vote to take good paying jobs away from Michigan's vets,” he says.
The group, Protect Michigan Taxpayers, is trying to repeal the law through a ballot initiative.
The Michigan Senate is considering a bill that repeals restrictions on where concealed weapons can be carried by permit holders. In exchange, the legislation puts certain restrictions on the open carry of firearms.
Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence spokesperson Linda Brundage says the coalition opposes the effort, saying it will allow concealed weapons in some very sensitive areas.
“Do we want guns in college dormitories? That usual adolescent angst coupled with potential drinking, is that what Michiganders want? I don't think so.”
Brundage notes that there is more gun violence than the public may be aware of.
“Mass shootings, although they are horrific, horrific, and get all the press, they are a very small percentage of gun violence deaths,” she says.
Supporters call the bill a fair compromise, adding that allowing law abiding citizens to carry into those areas will make criminals think twice about using their guns. But Brundage says that argument is a myth.
A west Michigan drunk driver is heading to prison for killing a man who had pulled over for a flat tire on I-96 near Hudsonville.
Forty-seven-year-old Richard Lee Rish of Holland hit and killed 59-year-old Bernard Langmeyer of Deerfield who was on the way home from a wedding with his wife, Deborah.
The couple had pulled over after getting the flat and was waiting for help when Rish's SUV hit their car.
Deborah Langmeyer survived the crash.
Rish's initial blood alcohol content was 0.134.
He will serve at least 5 years and 11 months and must pay $24,000 in restitution.
Two people are behind bars after police say they were trying to sell drugs in Cadillac.
Thersa Gaines of Franklin, Kentucky and Caleb Langston of Detroit are facing felony drug charges for trying to sell cocaine and marijuana in the parking lot of G and D Pizza on Mitchell Street.
Officers say they received a call about the pair and found them nearby in a car at the Am-Vets Post.
Gaines is charged with having drugs and maintaining a drug vehicle.
Langston is charged with having drugs and trying to sell them.
Big Rapids Public Works Deputy director Roger Schneidt says construction is "right on schedule" for the new Baldwin Street Bridge.
So far, three spans of the old Bridge have been removed leaving 90 feet of the old bridge left on each side.
Schneidt says two piers for the new bridge should be installed by next month. The project is expected to be completed by July 2016.
There will be no parking allowed on the west side of the 100 block of Spruce Street in Big Rapids.
City commissioners approved a resolution to block parking in that area after officials from Crossroads Charter Academy inquired about the possibility of enforcing a no parking ordinance on that side of the street.
Big Rapids Department of Public Safety officers conducted a study and Director Andrea Nerbonne agreed with the charter school officials that the current situation of parking has created an unsafe environment for students during during activities and coming to and from school.
She added that the backlog of traffic between Spruce and State streets could actually improve with this no parking ordinance.
There's good news for Consumer's Energy natural gas customers.
The Jackson-based utility predicts a total savings of 15 percent, or more than $100, for an average residential customer in home heating costs this winter.
Spokesperson Dan Bishop notes the optimism is based on the lowest natural gas prices in Michigan since 2001, and predictions of a milder winter in the Great Lakes.
“We've had two really tough winters in a row in Michigan. Very cold weather, lots of snow piled up, and obviously the colder it is the more your going to use your furnace. But, with forecasts of a milder winter, that should mean even more savings for both homeowners and businesses,” he says.
Bishop says their customers are currently paying 60 percent less for natural gas than a decade ago.
However, Bishop cautions that mother nature always wins and the situation could change.
A man who charged at the pastor of a storefront church in Detroit is dead after the pastor shot him.
Authorities say the shooting happened during a Sunday afternoon service, when the man – who the pastor knew and had past issues with – walked into the church with a brick and came at the pastor.
Police say the pastor pulled out a gun and shot the man several times.
Police are questioning the pastor and will turn over information to prosecutors who will determine if the shooting was justified.
Police are also trying to figure out why the man came after the pastor in the first place.
A Coopersville man is heading to prison after pleading guilty in a murder case.
Fifty-year-old Michael Roersma will avoid life behind bars by pleading guilty to second degree murder in the death of his mother.
Authorities say Roersma beat and strangled his mother, 72-year-old Sharon Roersma, and dumped her body in the Grand River in 2014.
Roersma, initially told investigators he had nothing to do with the murder. Later, he said he accidentally hit her with a door, causing her death.
He faces 20 to 40 years in prison.
A woman from Ohio is dead following a rollover accident at Silver Lake State Park this weekend.
Oceana County Sheriff's Deputies say 49-year-old Leslyn Yowell died after being pulled from a jeep by state park staff, deputies and EMS personnel.
The jeep was being driven by Yowell's husband on the park dunes.
His condition is unknown at this time and police say drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the accident.
The first step to potentially adding more lights to school buses to let drivers know when one is stopped begins Monday in 10 school districts.
State Representative Holly Hughes says the two week pilot program will track how many people pass a bus that has the words, “Stop Do Not Pass,” lit up on the back.
She says the idea stems from a fatal crash involving two teens in her district…
“They crashed into the back of a Coopersville bus in 2011, and it was the only children and grandchildren of some very dear friends of mine,” she recalls.
Hughes expects the information gathered during the pilot program will show a need for the new lights on school buses statewide.
When former Michigan Governor John Engler was Michigan's chief executive, he had faced criticism from Democrats for being immovable from his partisan position on certain issues.
But he says what's happening in Washington now is over the top.
He's joined on to NoLabels (nolabels.org) which is pushing both parties to work together, and to end the gridlock nonsense in D.C.
Engler says both Republicans and Democrats are contributing to the problem.
“The Republican House has passed a lot of bills that have died in the Senate. The Senate still has a 60 vote requirement to take up most things, that requires Democrats and Republicans to work together. I would just say that there's nobody that's blameless and nobody who ought to shoulder all the blame.”
He also calls on elected officials in Washington to stop worrying about losing primaries because of one or two votes, adding that legislators rarely lose primaries anyway.
A homeless woman is in jail after police say she broke into two homes in Traverse City.
Forty-one-year-old Rachel Jones was sentenced to 40 months to 15 years in prison on Friday.
Jones pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a building with intent as well as second degree home invasion as part of a plea deal.
Police say she broke into a home on Eight Street and another on E. 9th Street where she helped herself to some food and wine, then fell asleep on a couch after taking a bath.
A man who is accused of giving a 14-year-old girl heroin and having her take sexually explicit pictures is heading to prison.
30-year-old Aaron Warner was sentenced on Friday to 4.5 to 14 years behind bars on drug charges.
Officials say child abusive activity, third degree criminal sexual conduct, possession of child sex abusive material, computer crime, controlled substance less than 50 grams as well as possession of cocaine charges were dropped in a plea deal in Grand Traverse County.
A Wexford County man is hospitalized after being thrown from his car.
Police say the man was passing cars at a high rate of speed on M-55 in Cadillac when he lost control of his vehicle on Friday.
The car overturned several times.
State police say the man was airlifted to Munson and no charges have been filed at this time.
Two people from Cadillac are facing drug charges.
Police say 23-year-old Jacob Daniel Freese and 29-year-old Samantha Ann Kardos were arrested following an incident in Haring Township involving analogues and clonazepam.
Freese faces up to four years in prison and/or a $4,000 fine while Kardos faces up to two years and /or a $2,000 fine.
The Big Rapids Cardinals pick up their fifth win of the season as they had to do it on the road knocking off Central Montcalm on Friday Night. The final 39 – 24.
It was Central Montcalm grabbing the opening lead midway through the first period. Logan Davis scored on a three yard touchdown run, two point conversion put the Hornets up 8 – 0. The Cardinals tied it up midway through the second on a nine yard run by Avery Montgomery and the Cardinals score on a two point conversion and knot it up at eight apiece.
Big Rapids finally getting the first lead of the football game with only eight seconds remaining in the second quarter capping off a 90 yard drive. It was Braeden Childress hitting the wide out Jeffrey Davenport with a 26 yard touchdown pass, and the Cardinals kick the extra point to make it 15 – 8 at halftime.
The Cardinals would score the next three touchdowns to give themselves a little distance. Avery Montgomery from 12 yards away and the Cardinals go up 21 – 8. Zach Baldwin returned a kick to the 20 yard line and that set up another score for Big Rapids on a one yard run by Desaun Griffin, 27 – 8 the score.
Early in the fourth quarter, Brenton Childress added a one yard touchdown, 33 – 8 the score at that point. Central Montcalm would come back to score on a 16 yard touchdown pass to make it 33 – 16.
Cardinals get their final score of the night with 4:28 remaining to be played in the football game. A 12 yard run by Brenton Childress, two point conversion was good, 39 – 16 the count there. Central Montcalm closes out the scoring on a 30 yard pass play from Hunter Veltkamp to William Nava and the two point conversion made the score 39 – 24, but that would be as close as the Hornets could come.
Central Moncalm falls to 2 – 6 on the year and they'll finish in fourth place in the Central State Activities Gold Division with a two and four mark. The Big Rapids Cardinals win this one to finish in third in the Gold Division with a four and two Division mark. But more importantly for Big Rapids, that improves their record to 5 – 3, they'll need one more win to make the playoffs, one more chance at it next Friday night at Morley Stanwood.
On the ground tonight, Avery Montgomery leading the Cardinal attack with a 127 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Brenton Childress scores a couple of touchdowns as well. Braeden Childress the quarterback adding some touchdown work himself both and through the air.
So the final score, Big Rapids 39, Central Montcalm 24.
Armed with a new poll, Michigan nurses and advocates are bringing their support for a law setting minimum staffing levels to Lansing.
The poll of 600 residents conducted for the Michigan Nurses Association found that 80 percent of respondents favor such a law, while 77 percent believe the quality of patient care in Michigan hospitals is suffering because registered nurses are being assigned too many patients per shift.
Proposed legislation in both the House and Senate would require hospitals to set minimum staffing requirements and curb the rampant use of mandatory overtime for RN's.
A bill designed to help in the battle against chronic wasting disease in Michigan’s deer herd is making it's way through the state legislature.
State Senator Rick Jones is the sponsor of a measure that eliminates a sunset on the Natural Resources Commission’s authority to continue bans on deer and elk baiting.
He says it’s in response to the recent discovery of chronic wasting disease in three deer in mid-Michigan.
Jones says when deer congregate at these feeding areas is when CWD is most easily spread, so it’s important to ban baiting to help safeguard the state’s deer herd from the disease.
State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich says there should be an investigation into what led up to Flint’s water problem.
The state legislature has approved a $9.35 million plan to address rising lead levels in Flint water.
Ananich, who represents Flint, says someone should look into what caused the issue, but he’s not sure who should do it.
“You know, that's still the kind of questions that I'm asking myself, whether or not it should be done by a commission appointed by legislative leaders, or if it should be done by the oversight committee, or if it can be done internally.”
Flint switched from Detroit water to the Flint River while under state emergency management.
The more corrosive treated river water released lead from the city’s aging pipes.
A 31-year-old Manistee County man is heading to prison on drug charges.
Police say Isaac Jerome Bafford was the tip of the spear in the growing methamphetamine problem in the area.
Bafford has been found guilty on three counts of delivery/manufacture of meth and faces 16 to 40 years in prison.
Detective Andrew Ambrose says meth and heroin use are on the rise in Manistee, Mason and Oceana counties.
There have been 11 suspects arrested and convicted on meth charges in Manistee County alone since last January.
Police say an anonymous tip gave them the information they needed to arrested a 29-year-old suspect in two separate break-ins in Misaukee County.
Corri Maynard of Cadillac was taken into custody in connection with the B & E's at the Wilderness Store in Lake Township.
A search warrant allowed officers to recover stolen property, including several cartons of cigarettes and bottles of liquor.
Maynard, who is currently on parole for armed robbery, is being held in the Missaukee County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.
Three men are in jail in connection to numerous breaking and entering's in Wexford, Osceola and Clare Counties.
Troopers say one suspect as arrested at his work site and the two other men were arrested at their homes. Some of the items recovered include an ATV, several guns and tools. The Osceola County prosecutor's office issued a total of 23 charges against the men.
The suspects are expected to be arraigned today.
Someone under the age of 21 that is overdosing on prescription drugs, or trying to get help for someone else who is, wouldn’t be charged with a crime under a bill that’s passed the Michigan House.
Representative Al Pscholka is sponsoring the measure.
“We've also taken some precautions in this bill, working with our friends in law enforcement and the judges and others, to limit the exemption by making sure drug dealers can't use this clause,” he says.
He first introduced the bill after a 16-year-old in his district died after overdosing on prescription drugs.
His friends didn’t call for help because they were afraid they would get in trouble.
The refusal by a Grand Blanc hospital to provide a pregnant women with a tubal ligation on religious grounds is under challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
Jessica Mann's doctor suggested that because of a life-threatening brain tumor, she should take steps to make sure she did not get pregnant again.
Mann asked Genesys Regional Medical Center, which is Catholic, for the sterilization procedure, but it refused.
ACLU attorney Brooke Tucker believes the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has an obligation to step in and order the procedure.
“They're responsible for government oversight, they're responsible for insuring patient care, and they should be very upset that a hospital that they've given a license to is intentionally refusing to provide appropriate care,” she says.
Tucker says a swift decision is critical since Mann is due to deliver in a matter of days and has nowhere else to turn.
Genesys Regional Medical Center was also successfully sued for nearly $13 million in 2013 for medical malpractice involving a child that was left permanently disfigured because of mistakes made by doctors during delivery.
The FBI is warning people to be alert for a phone scam that is mainly targeting college students.
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Division David Gelios says the scam displays the FBI's telephone number on the caller ID.
The caller advises students of delinquent student loans or dues, delinquent taxes, or even overdue parking tickets.
The caller then threatens the students with arrest and not graduating from school if the fees are not paid immediately through MoneyGram.
Gelios says the FBI does not call private citizens requesting money.
A 51-year-old woman from Harrison is recovering after apparently blacking out behind the wheel in Mount Pleasant.
The Isabella County Sheriff's Department says Laurie Brownell was southbound on the US 127 Mt. Pleasant business loop when she blacked out, went off the roadway, struck a road sign, then proceeded through a ditch, striking a barbwire fence and a picnic table.
Her SUV continued westbound to a CMU employee parking lot where it first struck a Chevy Cruze, went airborn, and came to rest on the other side of the parking lot on top of a Mercury Mountaineer and Ford F150 pickup truck.
Brownell was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The accident remains under investigation.
A pair of men are pleading guilty to sex crimes involving a teenage girl in Mason County.
Forty-nine-year-old James Gigante of Ludington and 21-year-old Troy Ambose of Fountain entered the pleas Wednesday morning.
Both are charged with accosting children for immoral purposes and possessing child sexual abuse material.
The case stems from a seven-month investigation that began earlier this year in Mason County.
The man accused of killing a 17-year-old high school senior while driving drunk is heading to trial.
Police say Darrell Lovegrove was allegedly driving while intoxicated and is believed to be responsible for the head on collision that killed 17-year-old Mitchell Snyder in Mackinac County earlier this month.
Lovegrove's probable cause hearing was held via video hookup from the Mackinac County Jail.
He has a history of drunk driving and is being held on $1 million bond.
A 20-year old Muskegon man is recovering after being struck by a car in Big Rapids.
Police say it happened on State Street near Ferris Drive, that's where the 20-year old attempted to cross the street against the pedestrian signal and was struck by a car driven by an 18-year old Grant woman.
The man was taken to an area hospital for his injuries. He was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian signal.
A man from Mecosta County and a Lake County man are in jail on drug charges following an investigation by the Central Michigan Enforcement Team.
29-year old Bill Charles Percival of Chase was arraigned on one count of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and one count of marijuana with intent to deliver. Meanwhile Percival's co-defendant, 39-year old Jimmie Earl Crawford of Big Rapids has been charged with one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and one count of maintaining a drug house.
Percival's bond is set at $200,000 while Crawford's bond was set at $50,000.
A 59-year old man is behind bars in Mecosta County after breaking into a home.
Police say the incident happened over the weekend a a home on Jefferson Rd. in Big Rapids. Steven Wendell Larson was arraigned on one count of second degree home invasion.
If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in jail. Larson's bond is set at $50,000
Just asking someone to buy ephedrine or pseudoephedrine for the purposes of making meth could land you in jail.
Bills have passed the state Senate making it a misdemeanor to do just that.
It’s already a felony if someone actually gets another person to buy the drugs for making meth.
This legislation would make it a crime for just asking someone to do it, even if they say no.
Senator Margaret O’Brien is a sponsor of the legislation.
“We want to keep pseudoephedrine a legally accessible drug for the people who need it for allergies and colds, and we've got to make sure we're hard on everybody that's trying to use it illegally,” she says.
Under the bill package, those convicted of attempted solicitation could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Family and friends of an airman from west Michigan are mourning his death this week.
The Defense Department says 38-year-old Master Sgt. Gregory Kuhse of Kalamazoo died Oct. 11.
Kuhse was supporting Operation Freedom and was riding in a British Puma Mk 2 helicopter when it went down.
Four others, including two members of Britain's Royal Air Force also were killed.
Kuhse was assigned to the 3rd Manpower Requirements Squadron at Scott Air Force Base in southern, Illinois.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Governor Rick Snyder says talks on how to fund road repairs in the state aren't going anywhere, even through progress has been made.
“There are other issues that made it difficult to come to a consensus.”
While he and four top legislative leaders agree on a lot, Snyder says they’re hung up on what tax relief should look like as part of the funding plan. As for more meetings, there may be one Wednesday, but beyond that…
“There are no other scheduled meetings and, to be open with you, unless I see progress, I'm not going to schedule,” he says.
The latest road funding proposal being debated behind closed doors includes finding $800 million in revenue by way of tax and fee increases and taking $400 million from the general fund.
A 22-year-old Traverse City woman is under arrest and her 3-month-old child is in critical condition.
The woman was arrested Monday night for domestic assault and second degree child abuse.
Police say the mother was drunk and allegedly dropped the infant earlier that evening.
She then called 911 from her apartment saying the baby was unresponsive and was bleeding from the mouth.
She's also being charged for assaulting her 22-year-old boyfriend.
A 35-year-old Traverse City man is in jail after police say they caught him doing 115 miles an hour on US-131 in Wexford County.
Michigan State Police say William Boyd was pulled over in Liberty Township and smelled strongly of alcohol.
Troopers say Boyd admitted to consuming alcohol and having an open alcohol container in the vehicle.
He was arrested after failing a field sobriety test and i being charged with operating while intoxicated and transporting open intoxicants.
Law enforcement and emergency crews in Mecosta County and Clare Co. are making sure they're prepared for a family's worst fear... A missing child.
Officers from Mecosta Co., Big Rapids and Clare Co. Participated in a mock "missing person drill" Tuesday within the city of Big Rapids and Big Rapids Public Schools.
Big Rapids DPS Director Andrea Nerbonne said this exercise for her officers and other local emergency personnel is greatly beneficial. She says the drill will show areas they are strong in and areas they need to get better.
Nerbonne also commended Det. Brian Miller on his hard work over the past four months in organizing this exercise.
The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office says there is a fake cop on the loose.
Officials say someone posing as an officer pulled over a driver this weekend.
A man called 911 saying he had been pulled over by the fake officer on US-31 in Acme Township after seeing a blue Crown Victoria with red and blue flashing lights behind him.
Grand Traverse County deputies say someone got out of the car dressed in blue jeans and a red t-shirt and approached the driver’s car.
911 Center Deputy Director Jason Torrey says they are investigating the situation.
An Emmet County man who has been in and out of court on a child sex case is accepting a plea deal.
Officials say Melvin Kiogima II entered a no contest plea to two counts of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct.
Charges of two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct as well as one count of second degree criminal sexual conduct will be dismissed at sentencing.
The charges stem from a 2013 case where Kiogima allegedly assaulted a 16-year-old girl at his home.
He was found guilty, but the conviction was reversed and Kiogima was tried a second time on the charges.
The result was a hung jury and the prosecutor was preparing for a third trial when Kiogima agreed to a plea deal in the case.
Officials with the city of Big Rapids and Big Rapids Public Schools are trying to make the area more community friendly.
City Manager Steve Sobers along with Big Rapids Superintendent Tim Haist and Financial Director Nick Scheible visited the State Capitol to give testimony in a House Committee about the possibility of turning the former Hillcrest Elementary building into a senior citizen center.
State House Representative Phil Potvin says his house bill 4578 will allow for more opportunities in Big Rapids that focus on its aging community.
House Bill 4578 is still in house committee.
An architect who designs pedestrian and bicycle friendly transportation plans and a state lawmaker who owns a trucking company squared off during a recent House committee hearing on raising the speed limit on state roads.
Representative Ken Goike says bicyclists shouldn’t have a seat at the table because they don’t pay gasoline taxes…
“Now your talking another industry that's not even been putting one penny towards the roads, and yet utilizing them out into the rural areas.”
But Norm Cox, with Greenway Collaborative in Ann Arbor, says that’s a skewed view.
“I pay taxes and I do bike on our roadways. I think you'll find that in many other communities.”
While the speed limit going up to 80 miles an hour on some interstates is getting the most attention, Cox says lawmakers should also think about what a speed limit increase in rural and urban areas could mean for people who walk and bike.
A bill that aims to improve financial literacy education in Michigan schools is poised for action in a state Senate committee.
Representative Jim Tedder says it is critically needed since Michigan received a "D" grade in a study of its efforts to improve financial literacy.
“The state also found that only 32 percent of 16 to 18 year olds knew how credit card interest and fees work, and less than 20 percent know what a 401K is. Seventy five percent of students say their primary source of financial literacy education comes from their parents,” he says.
Tedder says the problem with that is that only a third of the adult population is currently financially literate.
More details are being released regarding a sheriff's deputy who was shot by a crossbow.
Police say the Montcalm County Sheriff's deputy is being identified as Michael Kotenko and the shooter is being identified as 40-year-old Travis Quay.
Investigators say four officers were at a home in Cato Township where they tried to arrest Quay on an assault charge last week.
During the arrest Quay shot at the officers with the crossbow, hitting Kotenko in his side. Officers returned fire with a Michigan State Trooper fataly shooting Quay.
An unsecured gun and a golf cart combined to put a man in the hospital.
Police say 57-year-old Terry Apol of Grandville was riding as a passenger on a golf cart on private property on 20 Mile Road in Barryton yesterday afternoon when a gun being carried on the back of he golf cart discharged striking Apol in the left upper arm.
Deputies say he was taken the Spectrum hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
One person is dead and another hospitalized following a rollover crash in Clare.
The Clare City Police Department says a 23-year-old man from Grawn was killed in the crash on US 127 north early Saturday morning.
The driver, a 20-year-old woman from Kingsley was taken to the hospital where she is listed in stable condition.
A 21-year-old passenger also from Kingsley was uninjured in the crash.
Police say alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the incident which remains under investigation.
A Wexford County man is dead after a tree fell on top of him while he was cutting firewood.
The Wexford County Sheriff's Department says 64-year-old Robert Cieslak was cutting trees for firewood in South Branch Township when one of the trees fell on him.
Deputies say friends of Cieslak went to search for him because he was late returning home when they found him in the woods.
Cieslak was pronounced dead at the scene.
A deputy in Montcalm Co. is in stable condition at a Grand Rapids hospital after he was shot by a suspect with a crossbow.
State Police say they, along with the deputy and Lakeview officers were serving a warrant for felonious assault to arrest the 40-year old suspect when he used the crossbow. After striking the deputy, a State Police Trooper returned fire, killing the suspect.
State Police say the Sixth District Special Investigations Section are investigating the incident.
The Big Rapids Cardinals could not play spoilers to Chippewa Hills during its homecoming game as the Cardinals lost 26-7 to the Warriors Friday night.
Chippewa Hills QB DeAngelo Lowery was the player of the night, with three touchdowns, one running and two throwing.
Big Rapids got on the score board late in the 4th quarter when Brenton Childress scored on a 4 yard carry.
Big Rapids heads to Central Montcalm next week.
A 24-year old Mecosta man is behind bars after a investigation by the Central Michigan Enforcement team revealed he was making and selling marijuana.
Grant Richard Hess was arraigned in Mecosta County on one count of delivery/ manufacturing of up to 45 kilograms of marijuana and one count of felony firearm.
He faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted.
Hess' bond is set at $100,000.
A 55-year-old man from Baldwin is behind bars after police say they caught him with drugs.
The Leelanau County Sheriff's Department say Thomas Collins was arrested earlier this week when an officer stopped his vehicle just outside Traverse City and found crack cocaine and heroin hidden in the trunk.
Collins is facing five felony charges including conspiracy to deliver both cocaine and heroin as well as possession of both substances.
He was also on parole from an armed robbery conviction out of Lake County.
A bill to improve the reading skills of third grade students in Michigan is being discussed in the Michigan House. The legislation would encourage schools to adopt summer reading camps for students who fall behind.
However, some Republicans, like State Rep. Phil Potvin, are not on board with the legislation. "I'm not in favor on this bill, I am not comfortable with federal education officials trying to implement their standards on local schools."
The bill differs from similar legislation last year, which would have required schools to hold back all third graders who fail a state reading test. The new bill allows students to retake reading tests and advance to fourth grade if they’re doing well in other academic areas.
Teen pregnancy is down in Michigan by 40 percent over the past two decades, which is better than the national average.
The Michigan League for Public Policy says 'evidence based' methods to attack the problem are working.
Also, a lower percentage of teens are having sex, and those who do are more often using contraception.
Spokesperson Alicia Guevare Warren notes that while fewer teens are having sex and more are using contraception, the numbers have to be put in context.
“Both of these rates remain among the highest of any industrialized country, and I think that provides enough evidence for policy makers and communities to know that we have to continue to focus our efforts and work on this issue,” she says.
Michigan's rate of 24 births per 1,000 teens in 2013 was well below the national average of 27 per 1,000.
A measure clearing the way for medical marijuana dispensaries to open in communities where they’re wanted is closer to becoming law. State Representative Mike Callton is sponsoring the bill.
“If you see a dispensary open right now, they are not legal. All that is legal right now under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is, if you have a doctor's recommendation to grow your own 12 plants, or to have a caregiver who can take care of five people grow your 12 plants,” he says.
The bill creates a tiered regulatory system for dispensaries and requires them to pay a 3 percent tax.
People buying medical marijuana would also have to pay the state’s 6 percent sales tax.
Two other medical marijuana bills also passed the House.
One would allow edible forms of medical marijuana for those who don’t want to smoke it.
Another bill creates a program to track medical marijuana from the time it’s planted to when it’s sold.
Bills are headed to the governor that would change Michigan’s laws concerning how police seize property.
The bill package would change the laws by increasing reporting and evidentiary standards for law enforcement to seize property.
State Senator Rick Jones, a former Eaton County Sheriff, says they need to make sure personal property isn’t being seized inappropriately.
“I think there have been occasions across the state where we've had some bad repossessions and things that should not have happened.”
But opponents of the change don’t think it’s the right solution. They say more should be done to better train officers to know when to seize property.
Michigan is now paid up, following an announcement earlier this year that it owed $1.9 million in legal costs after losing a case that cleared the way for same-sex marriages in Michigan.
The state has made the final payment, which was received by attorneys Dana Nessel and Carole Stanyar, who represented April and Jayne DeBoer-Rowse in the case that was eventually decided by the US Supreme Court.
The couple legally married in August.
Stanyer says that four years of fronting costs was hard on their families.
A Manistee man is under arrest on a 32-count felony warrant for child pornography.
Authorities say 65-year-old William Schock was charged Wednesday with 12 counts of making child pornography and 20 counts of possession of child pornography.
A search of Schock's home was conducted after one of his alleged victims contacted police.
Investigators say Schock made child sexually abusive images of two children, ages seven and eight, and had an extensive library of child porn videos.
A pair of men from Cadillac are facing charges after police say they broken into more than 30 buildings in Northern Michigan.
The Osceola County Sheriff's office says Dickie Goodwin and Nicholas Bailey are alleged to have stolen money and other items from businesses and homes in Mecosta, Lake, Missaukee, Wexford, Osceola, and Clare counties.
And, they say, the two men are tied to break-ins stretching back nearly six months.
Both face life in prison if convicted.
A two car accident in Mecosta County has sent a woman from Newaygo to the hospital with injuries.
It happened Wednesday on 5 Mile Rd and Northland Dr., Deputies say Angela Thompson of Newaygo ran a stop sign at 5 Mile and was struck by a northbound pickup truck driven by Jerry Welder Jr. of Morley.
Thompson was taken to a Grand Rapids hospital by AeroMed were she is still recovering from her injuries.
Welder Jr. was not injured but his passengers Matias Reyes and Erin Welder were taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for their non-life threatening injuries.
Legislation that would allow police to administer roadside drug tests on motorists suspected of driving under the influence is headed to the full Senate in Lansing.
State Senator Tom Casperson sponsored the bill. He says he was prompted to introduce the legislation after a couple in his community was killed by a logging truck driver who was under the influence of drugs. Brian Swift is the son of that couple.
“We believe testing drivers under the influence through an oral fluid analysis test is fast, it's accurate, and it's technology for the 21st century,” he says.
Swift feels this is a solution to the problem of drugged drivers.
The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety is still investigating who or how the wheelchair swing at Hemlock Park was vandalized two weeks ago.
DPS Director Andrea Nerbonne updated City Commissioners saying more patrols are being made by officers in Hemlock Park and more security cameras have been installed.
Mayor Mark Warba says if those responsible for the vandalism are identified he wants the city attorney to “not hold back” and prosecute to the fullest extent. Warba also added if those responsible are minors, then their parents could be held responsible as well including a $2,500 fine.
If you have any information about the wheelchair swing vandalism, contact Det. Brian Miller at 231-527-0005.
Michigan state Senator Patrick Colbeck is calling for end to gun free zones saying they are targets for mass shootings.
Schools, day-cares and hospitals are all gun free zones in Michigan.
Colbeck says according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 92 percent of mass shootings happen in gun free zones.
“It's an easily observable fact. No study is really needed to show that the areas with the most onerous gun prohibitions lead to the highest gun crime murder rates,” he concludes.
He also says there are currently no proposed gun control laws that would have prevented last week’s mass shooting in Oregon.
The Crime Prevention Research Center is an organization run by political commentator and gun advocate John Lott.
Police and Child Protective Services are asking for the public’s help locating a 5-year-old girl.
Haley Elswick of Battle Creek is believed to be with her mother, Cassandra Elswick who may be driving a two toned, green and tan Ford Explorer with Michigan plates.
There is currently a court order to remove Haley to temporary CPS custody.
Anyone with information on Haley's whereabouts is asked to call the Battle Creek police.
A northern Michigan school bus aide is in hot water after allegedly assaulting a middle school student on two separate occasions.
Officials say 44-year-old William Rosinski twisted the student's arm and placed his knee on the victims head at the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District parking lot.
Reports also say Rosinski slammed the student against the side of the school bus with his forearm against the student's head.
Rosinski is free on a $50,000 bond and may not go on school property, be on a bus, or go to a new school or contact the student.
Two men are recovering from gunshot wounds after they attempted to rob a father and son.
The Battle Creek Police Department says the father and son from Grand Rapids drove to Battle Creek after arranging on Craigslist to buy a car.
When they arrived at the meeting place, which turned out to be an abandoned home, they were jumped by three men.
But the son is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, which he drew and fired.
Police found two of the attackers with gunshot wounds a few blocks away.
The third attacker is still being sought.
A 21-year old Big Rapids man is facing 15 years behind bars after being charged with third degree criminal sexual conduct.
Jeremy Lloyd Davies is accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a party last month in Big Rapids Township.
His bond is set at $125,000.
Gun control advocates are calling for more regulations on guns in Michigan following last week’s mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.
Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence spokesperson Linda Brundage says Michigan citizens should not wait for the next mass shooting and should call or email their legislators and urge them to support bills to keep guns out of schools and require universal background checks.
State House Democrat Andy Schor, who is sponsoring a bill to end open-carry in schools, says President Obama, citizen groups, and mayors are calling for a discussion on gun control, but Michigan’s Republican-led legislature is not having it.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says he understands and respects the second amendment, but adds there are limits to every right and they need to inject some sanity.
A Benzie County teen is dead following a one car crash.
Police say 16-year-old Alyssa Bell was driving on Lindy Road just east of Nessen City in Benzie County when she lost control of her car.
Bell was a sophomore at Benzie Central High School.
Family members say Bell recently mentioned if anything ever happened to her, she would want her organs donated and the family is honoring those wishes.
Deputies say speed was a factor in the crash and Bell did not have a license.
The man police say was involved in the head on collision that killed a popular high school senior is facing multiple charges.
40-year-old Darrell Lovegrove was charged with operating while intoxicated causing death and operating while intoxicated third offense on Monday.
Deputies say Lovegrove ran into 17-year-old Mitchell Snyder's vehicle in Mackinac County.
Lovegrove is currently behind bars at the Mackinac County Jail on $1,000,000.00 bond.
Police are looking for the person or persons responsible for a breaking and entering in Mecosta County.
Deputy Jack Sutherby says officers found forced entry at the Pit Stop store in Barryton just after midnight Tuesday morning.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office at 231-592-0150.
Midland native Aaron Kuhn is the new City Treasurer for Big Rapids.
He was formally appointed during last night's city commission meeting replacing Jon Locke who resigned back in May.
Kuhn previously worked for a governmental auditing firm in Midland.
Meanwhile, a new frozen water pipeline policy is in place for the city of Big Rapids. The policy includes what residents and the city is responsible for when frozen pipes do occur.
It also covers water adjustments and when frozen meters need to be replaced.
To read the policy head on over to City Hall or visit CityofBR.org.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources thinks this deer hunting season will be similar to last year’s for hunters across the state – or maybe a little better.
The DNR says its annual deer hunting forecast aims to give hunters a better idea of what to expect when they’re out in the woods.
The deer harvest in 2014 was down across the state and was especially bad in the Upper Peninsula.
The DNR says hunters in the U.P. should expect to see fewer deer again this year.
However those hunting in the northern Lower Peninsula can expect to see about the same – or more deer – than they did last year.
A bill being considered in a state Senate committee would penalize local governments with sanctuary city policies.
Sanctuary cities bar local law enforcement from asking a person their immigration status.
But, under this legislation, cities that have such policies risk losing state funding.
State Representative Harvey Santana opposes the bill. He says it legitimizes racial profiling.
“Because if, you're a Hispanic person that says 'que pasa?,' then you might get racially profiled. But if you're Canadian and you say “Eh?' after three sentences, are you going to be racially profiled and asked for a green card, or asked for identification of citizenship?”
Michigan has two sanctuary cities, Detroit and Ann Arbor.
A 25-year-old woman is in the hospital with serious injuries after she fell off the front bumper of a moving vehicle.
Michigan State Police say the incident happened on Bartlett Road near Forrest St. in Rothbury.
Troopers say the driver, a 35-year-old woman and friend of the victim, fled the scene right after the incident.
They were able to track her down and arrested her.
Alcohol appears to be a factor in the incident.
The community of St. Ignace is mourning the death of a popular high school senior in a head-on crash.
The Mackinac County Sheriff's Office says LaSalle High School senior Mitchell Snyder was killed in the crash that took place on Mackinac Trail one mile south of M-123 in Saint Ignace Township.
Snyder was a three-sport athlete and popular with students and teachers.
Police say a car driven by a man from St. Ignace crashed head-on into Snyder's car.
That driver was arrested for suspected drunk driving.
One man is dead and two other people are fighting for their lives after a two car accident in Mecosta Co.
The accident happened Sunday on M-66 just north of 4 Mile Rd., Police say northbound a pickup truck driven by 47-year old Stacy Brown of Greenville crossed the centerline and struck a southbound passenger car driven by 24-year old Joesph Genovese of Owosso.
The southbound passenger car also a 22-year old female passenger, Jessica Martin also from Owosso. Brown and Martin both sustained life threatening injuries and were both transported to Grand Rapids by helicopter. They are listed in critical condition.
Genovese sustained fatal injuries. The accident is still under investigation.
Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the accident.
A 60-year old Manton man is dead after his tractor flipped on top of him on Friday.
Wexford County Sheriff's Deputies say it happened in Cedar Creek Township, that's where David Emerson Lange was pronounced dead at the scene.
High school football Friday night, the Reed City Coyotes spoil the Big Rapids Cardinal homecoming. The Coyotes move to 6 – 0 as they defeat the Cardinals 22 – 7, the Big Rapids record now falls to 4 – 2.
The Cardinals jumped on the board first after a Cardinal fumble recovery at the Reed City 13 yard line. Mekhi Urban scored on the end around the very next play. The extra point by Dakota Sanders made it 7 – 0 with about four minutes left to play in the opening quarter.
The Coyotes would capture the lead though, midway through the second quarter after a Cardinal turnover. Logan Straub picked off a Cardinal pass deep in Big Rapids' territory. He returned it 15 yards for an apparent touchdown, but a penalty took the points off the board. It didn't matter, because on the very next play they gave it to Logan Straub and he took it in from 12 yards away, Straub even scoring on the two point conversion to put the Coyotes in front 8 – 7. They would remain in front the rest of the way. But that was the score at half time, the Coyotes up by one.
In the third quarter, after another Cardinal turnover, the Coyotes score again. The Cardinals fumble it at their own 25 yard line and senior quarterback Leland Yonkin hit Andre Jones with a 25 yard pass on the very next play. Jones would have the two point conversion run as well and that put the Coyotes up 16 – 7.
Zach Baldwin electrified the Cardinal fans with a kick return to the Reed City 23 after that touchdown pass by the Coyotes, but the Cardinals ran into penalty problems. They had to settle for a 31 yard field goal try by Sanders, it was no good. So, 16 – 7 still the score as we headed into the fourth.
The Coyotes would finish off the scoring as Logan Straub picked off his second interception of the night. That set the Coyotes up again deep in Cardinal territory and an 11 yard pass from Yonkin to Schuyler Smith would make the final 22 – 7.
The Coyotes were penalized ten times for 103 yards, but were able to recover. Meanwhile, the Big Rapids Cardinals had penalty problems of their own. Nine calls against them for 91 yards.
The Coyotes will be at home next Friday night as they host Central Montcalm. The Big Rapids Cardinals have another rival to face as they travel over to the east side of the county to take on the Chippewa Hills Warriors.
Again, the final score Friday night, the Reed City Coyotes 22, the Big Rapids Cardinals 7.
Ferris State University is receiving more than $18-million dollars due to an accounting error by a state retirement program.
FSU President David Eisler who announced the state oversight Thursday, said Ferris can and should put this refund to work to help Ferris students not just today, but tomorrow and into the future.
Eisler noted one use for the funds enacted immediately by Ferris is the placement of $837,000 into the Ferris Foundation for student scholarships to be awarded next year.
A non-profit family treatment center in Osceola County is receiving money for it's wellness program.
The General Mills Foundation has given a $5000 grant to Eagle Village in support of its Healthy in 2015 Wellness Program.
This year's wellness theme is Healthy in 2015 and Eagle Village's staff and youth are focusing on taking even small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Learning exercise options, healthy nutritional choices and how to balance work with home life.
According to Marjie Wirth, Director of Support Services & HR at Eagle Village, the grant from General Mills will allow the organization to offer employees healthy, balanced opportunities and incentives throughout their work day as well as in their personal time.
"Providing employees and youth resources and opportunity to work out, stretch, learn and recharge is our focus with the Healthy in 2015 wellness program. As an organization, if we desire productivity and excellence from our employees, we should do what we can to support their health and wellness needs for a healthy balance."
Additional fitness equipment for their Rogers Athletic Fitness Center, contests and incentive items, tools such as pedometers and wellness education will be areas this grant will be focused on.
A proposal in Lansing to ease certain parole policies for Michigan prison inmates has received a major boost with a new statewide poll which says 64 percent of Michiganders support so-called "presumptive parole" legislation.
Currently inmates tend to be in longer, much longer sometimes, than their minimum sentence dictates.
Representative Kurt Heise of Plymouth Township says the public is ready for reform that will include moving more low risk inmates out of prison before they serve their maximum sentence.
“Prison reform, corrections reform, is something the public is very much supportive of. I think the pendulum has swung a great deal from where we were 25 to 30 years ago,” he says.
Legislation in Lansing presumes release after the minimum is served, unless there's reason to believe they're a risk to society.
Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending researcher Barb Levine also notes that keeping so many low risk inmates in prison for years past their minimum has become "enormously costly" to Michigan's prison budget, which now sits at about $2B per year.
A Mount Pleasant man is heading to jail after being sentenced for a robbery at a home on an Indian reservation last year.
Police say Ramon Alaniz Jr. went into a home on the Saginaw Chippewa Reservation with what looked like a gun, pointed it at a six year old and others and then took money and marijuana.
The gun turned out to be a pellet gun.
Alaniz pleaded guilty in June and will now spend six years in prison for the robbery.
Two break-ins in one week at a convenience store in Missaukee County has law enforcement asking for help.
The Missaukee County Sheriff's Department says the Wilderness Convenience store on LaChance road in Lake Township had their side door shattered last Thursday and again a week later.
Cashier Staci Baker says the perpetrator stole $9,000 worth of Jack Daniels and cigarettes.
Police are hoping surveillance footage will help catch the thief.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Missaukee County Sheriff's Department.
A Weidman man is behind bars in connection to a drug overdose death.
64-year-old Frederick Qualls was arrested Wednesday after police issued a nine count felony warrant.
In January of this year, Troopers were called to Qualls home in Coldwater Township to investigate an apparent drug overdose of a 41-year old Weidman man.
Troopers say that led to an investigation which found Qualls had been providing highly addictive opiate drugs to several residents of the Weidman area.
Qualls is being held on $90,000 bond.
Legislation to clarify state law when someone inherits a handgun is headed to the state House.
Current law prevents a person from owning a pistol unless they are licensed.
But, bill sponsor, state Senator Mike Shirkey says there’s some ambiguity in the law when a person inherits a weapon.
“It doesn't eliminate any current laws regarding what you have to do and what you have to qualify for to carry a gun or carry a concealed weapon,” he adds.
His bill would give the inheritor thirty days to either sell the handgun or get a license for it.
The governor and four legislative leaders are still trying to hash out a compromise to fund road repairs in Michigan.
Wednesday's meeting was the second time they met this week. They all got together last week, and plan to meet again next week.
Snyder says they’re making progress but wouldn’t reveal any specifics.
The governor and legislative leaders are trying to find a balance between increasing taxes and pulling money out of other state agency budgets to fund a road repairs.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is expected to arrest a man the agency says shot a mother black bear who had her cubs in tow.
The man, in his mid-20’s, has a permit to hunt bear and was hunting legally, however it’s illegal to shoot a mother bear who is with her cubs.
The bear was reportedly shot last week in Colfax Township, southwest of Traverse City.
Shooting a mother bear who is with her cubs is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or a short stint in jail.
A hunter could also lose their license for up to four years.
Mecosta County residents have a few more days to register to vote for the upcoming MOISD millage, Big Rapids City Commissioner election and special election for Evart Public Schools on November 3rd.
Next month, city residents will vote on the next two city commissioners in Big Rapids currently held by Tom Hogenson and Lynn Anderson.
Residents will also vote on whether or not to continue a operating millage for the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District.
Finally, residents living in the Evart Public School District will vote on an $8.4 million dollar bond issue for school renovations, equipment and other needs.
To see ballot language click here.
To see if you are registered to vote and what voting district you're in click here
Online retailers with facilities in Michigan begin collecting state sales tax Thursday.
Michigan’s Main Street Fairness Act is in effect, meaning internet retailers like Amazon will have to add the state’s six-percent sales tax to merchandise sold to Michigan residents.
Michigan Retailers Association spokesperson Tom Scott advocated for the change.
“It helps to level the playing field for our Michigan based retailers versus their out of state competition,” he says.
The state estimates the change could bring in an additional $60 million in revenue.