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News That Affects You Archives for 2015-11

UPDATE: Police continue search for missing Osceola Co. man

Michigan State Police resume their search today for a missing Osceola County man, who's SUV was discovered in the Muskegon River.

 

Troopers say when they responded to the scene Sunday Morning near the 700th block of Trout Haven Drive in Osceola Township, they found a 2003 GMC Yukon SUV in the Muskegon River unoccupied. A preliminary investigation found the SUV was driven by 60-year old Donald Garry Tiegen.

 

Today, police will be utalizing dive team members, a K-9 unit and helicopter in the search for Tiegen.  

 

MSP Mt. Pleasant Post Sargent Kim Vetter says investigators believe the vehicle had been in the water since 10pm, Saturday. She adds with that, the cold weather plays a huge role for not only the person they are trying to search for but also has the potential of slowing down the search team as well. 

 

Police say neighbors have not had contact with Tiegen in several days and family members say he is in poor health. If you have seen Tiegen, call 911.  

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After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday lets people help the less fortunate

 

While thinking about giving to those we love during the holidays, Michiganders can also consider giving to the less fortunate in their communities. December 1st is Giving Tuesday, which Angella Thompson of Goodwill Industries says is an opportunity to help others before the holiday season gets too busy.

 

"Within Michigan there’s any numerous ways that you can make an impact on people during the holiday season: whether it’s a cash donation to a charity that tugs at your heartstring or the any number of organizations that accept used goods."

 

Before making a donation, Thompson says it's important to do your homework because there are groups that may have a name similar to a popular cause or charity, but are not actually legitimate. She suggests checking the web site "guidestar.org" or "charitynavigator.org."

 

 

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Man killed in rollover accident near Muskegon

 

One man is dead following a single-vehicle rollover crash near Muskegon Sunday morning.

 

Muskegon Township Police say the crash happened on southbound US-131 in the Muskegon River flats area.

 

Witnesses reported a Ford F-250 hit the median guardrail, then rolled twice before coming to a stop.

 

The driver, 52-year-old Paul Kleyn of Dalton Township was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

No one else was involved in the crash and police say an autopsy is being conducted to help determine the cause.

 

 

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Big Rapids man leads police on high speed chase

 

A 28-year-old Big Rapids man is under arrest after leading police on a chase in Mecosta County.

 

Police say a Big Rapids Police Officer attempted to stop the man near Colburn and South third when he took off, leading police on a chase that reached speeds as high as 111 miles per hour within the city limits.

 

The man was finally stopped and arrested near the intersection of 175th and 21 Mile Road.

 

Along with fleeing and eluding, the driver is being charged with driving without a valid license, no insurance and operating a vehicle with an improper plate.

 

His name is not being released at this time.

 

 

 

 

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Police searching for missing Osceola County man after his truck was found in the Muskegon River

 

Michigan State Police are searching for the owner of truck that was found in the Muskegon River in Osceola Township.

 

Troopers investigating the incident say the GMC Yukon was driven from the residence of 60-year-old Donald Garry Tiegen.

 

The vehicle was unoccupied when it was pulled from the river Sunday morning.

 

Police contacted family members who say they last spoke with Tiegen by phone on Saturday night.

 

Neighbors say they had not seen Tiegen in days and police are treating him as a missing person.

 

Family members advise that Tiegen is in poor health and may be disoriented or confused.

 

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Tiegen, please call 911.

 

 

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Police believe alcohol & drugs involved in head on car accident in Mecosta Co.

Police in Mecosta County believe alcohol and drugs were used by a driver involved in a head on accident with another vehicle. 

 
Deputies say the accident happened Saturday on 80th Ave. north of 11 Mile Rd., that's where a northbound vehicle crossed the centerline striking a southbound vehicle.  Airbags deployed in both vehicles.


The driver of the northbound vehicle appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs.  The suspect driver was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  The other driver also sustained minor injuries.

The name of the suspect driver will be released upon arraignment. 

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Police search for suspect in West Michigan credit union robbery

 

Police in west Michigan are looking for a suspect who robbed a credit union in Wyoming.

 

The robbery was reported late Friday morning at the Lake Michigan Credit Union on South Division Street.

 

Police say the suspect handed a note to the bank teller implying he had a weapon.

 

He was able to get away with an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen heading westbound through the parking lot.

 

The suspect is described as a light-skinned black man, 5’10”, in his 50s, with a wrinkly face and a mustache.

 

He was last seen wearing a black stocking cap, and a black leather jacket with a logo on the left front.

 

 

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House fire in Clare County investigated as arson

 

A home in Clare County is a total loss following a fire that's being investigated as a possible arson.

 

Surrey Township Fire Chief Dave Williams says it took three fire departments to get the fire under control at around 2:30 Friday morning.

 

Williams says the fire apparently started in several different spots and spread very quickly.

 

The home's occupant and his dog escaped unharmed.

 

The state fire marshal will continue investigating next week.

 

 

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Woman charged with terrorism threats at MSU

 

A 23-year-old woman is being charged with making terrorist threats at Michigan State University.

 

Police say Sydney Gort wrote a terrorist threat on a wall inside the School of Packaging building.

 

She's being charged with two counts, one related to the threat found on November 24 at the MSU School of Packaging.

 

A second threat stems from April, when officials say Gort made a threat on campus.

 

She is currently being held in the Ingham County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

 

 

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New concealed carry law goes into effect

 

Starting next week, Michigan residents will begin getting concealed gun licenses from county clerks and the state police rather than local law enforcement.

 

County gun boards are a thing of the past starting this Tuesday under a new law that is designed to streamline licensing and make it more uniform.

 

County clerks will undertake many duties while state police will have investigatory powers to validate an applicant’s eligibility for a license.

 

 

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Manton man faces home invasion charge in Wexford Co.

An 18-year old Wexford Co. man faces up to 15 years behind bars for allegedly breaking into a home. 

 

Police say the incident happened at a home back in September, in Liberty Township. 

 

After an investigation, Caleb Burnside of Manton is now charged with second degree home invasion.  

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Small Business Saturday good for local economy

 

Small businesses in Michigan are hopeful that Black Friday’s shopping momentum will carry into Saturday.

 

Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a day encouraging holiday shoppers to patronize the little guys.

 

Michael Rogers with the Small Business Association of Michigan says small businesses are the backbone of Michigan, making up almost 50 percent of the employment in the state.

 

And he says buying local has a big impact.

 

"When you buy at a small business you’re helping to keep the money in your own community, you’re supporting the men and women who are growing your small town. They’re supporting the Little Leagues, the sports teams, the community activities."

 

Rogers says 45 dollars of every 100 dollars spent in a locally owned store is returned to the community – compared to just 14 dollars at big box retailers.

 

 

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Parents being investigated after infant tests positive for meth

 

A West Michigan couple is under investigation after their baby tested positive for methamphetamine.

 

Deputies in Van Buren County say they went to a Paw Paw Township home earlier this week to check on the newborn's welfare and discovered meth making materials inside the home.

 

The case has been turned over to the county prosecutor although no arrests have yet been made.

 

 

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UPDATE: Three people found dead after domestic violence call, victims identified

UPDATE:

The identities of the three people killed during a domestic dispute in Michigan's Upper Peninsula are being released.

 

Police say 26-year-old Charles Masterson shot 22-year-old Jessica Drummond and 22-year-old Brodie Dagenais during a domestic dispute on Thanksgiving day.

 

Masterson then turned the gun on himself.

 

All three shared a home just west of Marquette.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Michigan State Police are investigating a grisly discovery in Marquette Township.

 

Troopers say they were called to a home for a domestic situation early Thursday morning and found the bodies of two men and one woman.

 

The manner of death and the names of the victims have not been released.

 

Police across the country say the Thanksgiving weekend traditionally has a higher number of calls for domestic violence than any other time of the year.

 

 

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UPDAT: Wexford Co. Deputies investigating fatal car accident, victim ID'd

 

UPDATE:

Police are releasing the name of the man who was killed in a Wexford County car accident earlier this week.

 

86-year-old Richard Grice was driving on South 37 Road in Selma Township when he ran off the road, flipped his car, and was thrown from the vehicle.

 

Grice was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Police are continuing their investigation.

 

 

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Police in Wexford County are investigating a fatal car accident that occurred Wednesday. 

 

It happened on S. 37 Rd near E. 34 Rd in Selma Township, deputies say the driver was traveling south bound on S. 37 before it ran off the road and overturned ejecting the driver. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The identity of the driver is being withheld pending family notification. 

 

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Reed City woman injured in car accident in Green Township

A Reed City woman is recovering from non-life threatening injuries after a two car accident in Mecosta County. 

 

Deputies say they were dispatched to a two car accident on Northland Drive and 19-Mile Road. That's where a southbound vehicle driven by Nancy Lutz, of Reed City was struck by Charlene Ferguson from Hersey who was attempting to cross 19-Mile Rd heading westbound. 

 

Lutz was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital with non life threatening injuries.  Ferguson was not injured. 

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Group says retail workers shouldn't have to work on Thanksgiving

For more than 200 years, American families have gathered on Thanksgiving to reflect and show appreciation for one another.

 

But some Michiganders say retailers are undercutting the true meaning of the holiday by opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Annie Zirkel of Ann Arbor founded takebackthanksgiving.org, a movement to give all people the chance to celebrate the holiday with their loved ones.

 

She says there’s no need for retail employees to work on Thanksgiving.

 

"It’s a real affront to the message of the day, to entice people out of their homes and away from their families in order to inconvenience other families having their holidays. It’s completely backwards, and as a society, we really need to say, ‘We’re more than that.’"

 

The message may be resonating, as a number of retailers – including Costco, Marshalls and Nordstrom – are among stores that will not be open on Thanksgiving.

 

Those that will be include Macy’s, Sears, Target, and Walmart.

 

 

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IT Director for Ottowa and Chippewa Indians accused of embezzlement

 

The former IT director for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is being accused of embezzlement.

 

The Grand Traverse Bay Police Department says Michael Buchanan embezzled over a quarter of a million dollars from the Band by purchasing computer equipment for them, then reselling it to third parties.

 

Officials expect Buchanan to be arraigned on Monday.

 

 

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Emmet County man done with jail for sex crimes

 

An Emmet County man convicted of sex crimes will not be spending any more time in jail.

 

Melvin Kiogima agreed to a plea deal that gave him a sentence of one year in jail, but Kogima had already spent 17 months in prison as a result of the first trial in the case.

 

The Emmet County Prosecutor decided to try him a second time, which ended in a hung jury.

 

An attempt at a third trial resulted in the plea deal.

 

The charges stem from a case in 2013 involving a 16-year-old girl.

 

Kiogima is accused of assaulting the teen at his home.

 

 

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Mecosta Co. Road Commission believes bright future is ahead with road funding plan signed

 

With the road funding bill signed into law, who local road commissions are excited about the future.

 

Mecosta County Road Commission Manager Joyce Randell says the new plan will add a much needed boost for future road projects in the area.

 

"We haven't had a funding increase since 1997 and have been operating under those revenues." Randell said.

"The funding won't be immediate, it starts in 2017 and a little bit after that residents will see more project popping up, which is a good thing" 

 

The $1.2 billion dollar road funding plan raises the state's gas and diesel tax as well as vehicle registration fees by $20. 

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Police in Osceola Co. investigate fatal car accident

Deputies in Osceola County continue to investigate a fatal car accident. 

 

Under Sheriff Justin Halladay says the accident happened Saturday on north bound US-131 near mile marker 171 (23 Mile Road) in Burdell Twp. That's where a van, driven by 31-year old Zachari Barber of Mesick and five other passengers were trying to pass another vehicle when he lost control went off the road and overturned several times.

 

Barber died at the scene, his passengers were taken to Cadillac Hospital where they were treated for their injuries and released.  

 

The accident is still under investigation. 

 

 

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Big Rapids radio legend Bill Beckwith calls it a career

After over 40 years on the radio in Big Rapids, Big Country 100.9 FM Morning Host, Bill Beckwith is hanging up his headphones.

 

Beckwith decided it was time to retire after speaking with friends and family. He says he's eager to start this next chapter of his life, that includes moving down to Grand Haven to live with his long-time girlfriend and continuing his hobbies of playing music, hitting the links at local golf courses and playing a good game of scrabble.

 

Beckwith, a Williamsburg native, started his radio career with a part-time gig at WJKF in Cadillac, while pursuing a degree in broadcasting from Central Michigan University. Upon graduation from CMU joined WBRN AM/FM Big Rapids full-time and now as the morning voice on WWBR Big Country 100.9 (formerly WBRN FM).

 

During his over 40 year career in Big Rapids, Beckwith was the play by play voice for many athletic teams which include Ferris State University football, basketball, baseball and hockey. He also was the voice of Big Rapids High School Cardinals Athletics for 40 years.

 

Owner and President of Big Rapids Radio Network Jeff Scarpelli thanked Beckwith for being a consummate radio professional.

 

“Whether it was traveling and broadcasting a high school football game from the Upper Peninsula or getting in to do his morning show in an ice storm, listeners could always count on Bill Beckwith to come through. Scarpelli said.

 

“Bill has agreed to come back to Big Country 100.9 and do cameo appearances from time to time.

We look forward to that and  appreciate his many contributions and wish him the best going forward.”

 

Morning radio show “Rob & Louise” will be taking over beginning Monday, Nov. 30th. on Big Country 100.9 WWBR.  

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Seven people hospitalized following Wexford County accident

 

A two car accident in Wexford County has put seven people in the hospital.

 

Police say the accident happened on M-55 and US-131 Monday evening.

 

A vehicle traveling eastbound on M-55 lost control, crossed the center line and hit a westbound car head-on.

 

No fatalities are being reported. The identities of the victims are not being released at this time.

 

 

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Reward offered in shooting of gray wolf

 

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot a gray wolf in the Upper Peninsula.

 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the wolf was killed Saturday on a snowmobile trail near state highway 26, a half-mile south of Twin Lakes.

 

Sgt. Grant Emery says the shooter fired from a vehicle.

 

The gray wolf is on the federal endangered species list and cannot legally be killed except in defense of human life.

 

The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both, plus reimbursement of $1,500 to the state for the animal.

 

Poaching convictions also usually include suspension of hunting privileges for four years.

 

Confidential tips can be reported to 906.228.6561 or 1.800.292.7800.

 

 

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Fatal head-on crash in Kalkaska County

 

One person is dead and another injured following a head-on collision in Kalkaska County.

 

Police say a 71-year-old Grand Traverse County woman was westbound on M-72 near Lake Valley Road when she crossed the center line and ran into a 76-year-old man.

 

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and the man was taken to the hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

 

 

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Michigan State Police officer arrested

 

A Michigan State Police officer is in hot water after being arrested.

 

Officials say Lieutenant Steven Harmon was arrested for trying to hire a prostitute, assault, and interfering with electronic communications.

 

The arrest was made following an investigation by the Michigan State University Police Department last month.

 

Harmon is a 17 year veteran of the MSP. He's been suspended without pay.

 

 

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Accident in Big Rapids Township sends two to hospital

 

Two people are recovering following an accident in Big Rapids Township.

 

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says the accident happened at around 7:00pm Monday on Perry Street near Venlo Drive.

 

A 20-year-old man from Saginaw pulled out onto Perry from Venlo and was struck by a 47-year-old woman from Irons.

 

Both drivers were transport by ambulance to the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital and treated for non life threatening injuries

 

 

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Registration for Wheatlake Festival of Races open

Snow is on the ground but that is not stopping organizers of the Wheatlake Festival of Races to start thinking of spring.

 

Sarah Neubecker of Spectrum Health says registration is now open for the event that is scheduled for May 21st. She says with the addition of the half-marathon, it's a great way of bringing together to great communities of Big Rapids and Reed City.

 

In addition to the half-marathon, the event also includes a 5K run, wellness walk and kids dash.

 

For more information, visit spectrumhealth.org/wheatlake-races.    

 

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Police looking for family members of found grave markers

Deputies in Isabella County are working with local funeral homes and family members after two grave markers were discovered by a person in Union Township.

 

Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski says the markers were located in the 5000 block of E. Valley Rd. The grave markers were found by an individual that lives in the area. It is currently unknown where the grave markers were taken from.

 

The markers are for, Frank A. Tardiff, 1878-1950 and Cecil E. O’Donnell, 1907-1962.

 

If you happen to know family members, please contact the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department at (989) 772-5911 or Central Dispatch at (989) 773-1000.

 

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Meceola bests Big Rapids in helping needy families

 

Meceola Central Dispatch is this year's winner in the annual Pack the Pantries competition.

 

The food drive pits local law enforcement agencies against each other to see who can bring in the most items for families in need.

 

Meceola Central Dispatch brought in 587 items, taking the plaque from the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, which won last year's competition.

 

The Evart Police Department, Ferris State DPS, and the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office also participated.

 

A total of 1,082 canned and non-perishable food items were collected this year, nearly doubling last year’s total of 677 items.

 

 

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Local ski resort looking to make snow

 

Caberfae Peaks Ski and Golf Resort is hoping to help mother nature along this week.

 

Little snowfall so far this season means the resort could be making snow soon in order to be open by Thanksgiving.

 

Manager Pete Meyer says temperatures need to be 28 degrees or lower to make snow.

 

There are 130 snow guns ready to cover the slopes if colder temperatures hold.

 

 

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Fourteen-year-old Mason County student charged with possession

 

A 14-year-old girl from Branch is being charged with possession in Mason County.

 

The Mason County Sheriff's Office says the girl was found with suspected marijuana at the Mason County Central Middle School late last week.

 

Sheriff Kim Cole says the girl is also being charged with resisting and opposing police when she tried to kick out the windows of a patrol car.

 

 

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UPDATE: missing Northern Michigan girl found

 

The Grand Traverse County teen who was reported missing earlier this week is safe. The County Sheriff says 16-year-old Alexandra Witkop was found safe at a home in Grand Traverse County and is back in the custody of her father.

 

EARLIER STORY:

Police are searching for a 16-year-old whom they say is a possible runaway.

 

Alexandra Witkop was last seen at her home in Grawn on November 18.

 

The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office says she may be missing voluntarily.

 

Anyone with information on where Witkop might be is asked to contact Grand Traverse County Central Dispatch at (231)922-4550.

 

 

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Winter weather advisory for Big Rapids and surrounding area

 

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM SUNDAY TO
1 PM EST MONDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND RAPIDS HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO
1 PM EST MONDAY.

THE ADVISORY COVERS THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
MASON-LAKE-OSCEOLA-OCEANA-NEWAYGO-MECOSTA-MUSKEGON-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LUDINGTON...BALDWIN...REED CITY...
HART...FREMONT...BIG RAPIDS...MUSKEGON

HAZARDOUS WEATHER...

 * SNOW WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE ADVISORY AREA THIS EVENING. OCCASIONAL
   SNOW WILL PERSIST THROUGH MONDAY MORNING.

 * FORECASTED SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 3 TO 5 INCHES WILL LESSER
   AMOUNTS CLOSE TO THE LAKE MICHIGAN SHORELINE.

 * HEAVIEST SNOW DURING THE MORNING COMMUTE.

IMPACTS...

 * SLIPPERY TRAVEL CONDITIONS.

 * REDUCED VISIBILITIES.

 * SLIDE OFFS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

 * THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REMINDS MOTORISTS
   TO ADJUST SPEEDS BASED ON THE CONDITIONS... AND TO TAKE IT
   SLOW IN ICE AND SNOW.

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Police receive new information about hit & run that killed CMU freshman

Police have new information in its investigation into who ran over a 17-year-old Central Michigan University student during the early morning hours of November 1st.
 

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Larry Schloegel says they now know the color of the car that hit Ryan Tsatsos - a dark metallic blue - but they don’t know what kind of car.
 

Witnesses say Tsatsos pushed a friend out of the way moments before he was hit by the car. 
 

Police think the car may still be in the Mt. Pleasant area and are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

 

Ryan Tsatsos died three months after his brother, Darryl, was killed in a car crash in Macomb County.

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First snow storm of the season heading for Big Rapids

 

The National Weather Service says the first snowstorm of the season is heading our way with a winter storm watch in effect from late tonight through Sunday morning. Mecosta County Road Commission Supervisor Tim Nestle says they're ready.

 

Yes, we're ready for the storm they're saying is coming and our guys are prepared to work if needed.”

 

And, he says, they've got the equipment and manpower to keep the roads clear through the weekend.

 

About 25 (trucks), well, it depends on what's going on. We'll probably have nine or ten trucks on for overtime.”

 

The NWS says 5 to 8 inches are possible with the heaviest snowfall Saturday late morning through the afternoon.

 

 

 

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Is your car winter ready?

The temperatures are starting to drift into winter territory, and that means it's time to get your car ready for the toughest months of the year. There's a lot to take into account when it comes to getting your car ready for winter, gotta check the anti-freeze, the battery, the brakes.

 

Lee Johnson of Johnson Automotive in Big Rapids says at the very least take your vehicle into a repair shop and get a 50 point winter inspection to make sure everything is in tip top shape for the cold months ahead.

 

Johnson says if you're thinking about getting “winter tires” now is the time to get them because only make a certain number of them per year.

 

Here is a checklist to have your car winter ready:     

 

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Mecosta Co. Parks end successful season now look to the future

The Mecosta County Parks are looking to build off of a successful 2015 season with another exciting year.

 

Jeff Abel Superintendent of the parks gave a presentation to the Mecosta County Board of Commission Thursday on improvements made at the area parks and what could be in store for the future. Abel discussed this years park improvements which included, new roads, bathrooms for a couple of parks and new roofs on a number of buildings.

 

Don Hamilton of the planning firm Lapham & Associates, who teamed up with the parks system, believes the parks are heading in the right direction but more needs to be done to get into the 21st century.

 

When looking at new improvements or renovations the question is always asked is how will this be paid for? Hamilton says the parks those ways are more purchases of daily use passes, bringing more entertainment to the parks, and more water access.     

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Allegan man pleads guilty to sex crimes in Mecosta Co.

A 24-year old Allegan man accused of sex crimes against two underage victims in Mecosta Co. has taken a plea deal from prosecutors.

 

According to the plea deal, Justin Frank has pleaded guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. In exchange, prosecutors will drop the other five charges against him. According to Police, Frank was arrested in May. The alleged incidents occurred between March 20 and 22 in Aetna Township. The two victims of the sexual assaults are between 13 and 15 years old.

 

Frank is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.  

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Buckley resident guilty on drug charges

 

A 38-year-old Buckley man is pleading guilty to two drug-related charges in Wexford County.

 

Marcus George McCall admitted to two counts of delivery of schedule I, II, III, second or subsequent offense, after an incident in June.

 

Several other charges were dropped as part of the plea deal. McCall is awaiting sentencing.

 

 

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Isabella County break-in suspect ID'd

 

Police in Isabella County are seeking a warrant for one of two men seen breaking into cars last month.

 

The incidents happened at Lexington Ridge and Deerfield Village Apartments.

 

Deputies say the suspects broke into several cars and stole items, including credit cards.

 

Police say circulation of surveillance photos led to the identification of the one suspect.

 

 

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Montcalm County church vandalized

 

The Montcalm County Sheriff's Department is looking for leads on a church that was vandalized on Wednesday.

 

Authorities say the incident happened at the Belgreen Seventh Day Adventist Church in Eureka Township.

 

Bright orange graffiti was sprayed on the building proclaiming, “Thank God for Satan,” and “God is a lie.”

 

Deputies are investigating the incident as a 'religiously biased crime' but have little information to go on at this time.

 

 

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New B.R. DBA Director gears up for tree lighting & Festival of Lights Parade this weekend

Santa is coming to town Saturday for the Big Rapids Festival of Lights Parade.

 

Tessa McNally, Director of the Downtown Business Association says the parade kicks off at 6pm and is a great way to get residents into the holiday spirit.

 

Along with the parade, there will also be booths for kids and parents to make “reindeer food” and Christmas story telling in Pocket Park.

 

A tree lighting ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. in front of Chemical Bank. 
 

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Two men suspected of over 33 break-ins plead guilty

Two men suspected of over 33 business break-ins around a six-county area including Mecosta and Osceola are pleading guilty to a handful of charges. 

 

Cadillac residents 31-year old Dickie Goodwin and 22-year old Nicholas Bailey pleaded guilty to several breaking and entering charges in Wexford Co. Court. 

 

Goodwin faces up to 15 years behind bars when he's sentenced, while Bailey could face up to 10 years for the role he played during the crime spree. 

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Gas main break forces evacuation in Wexford County

 

No injuries are being reported after a building in Wexford County was evacuated.

 

Cadillac Police say a driver crashed into the Save-A-Lot on Mitchell Street cutting a two inch gas main.

 

The Cadillac Fire Department evacuated the building and closed the roads within a block of the gas leak.

 

DTE Energy arrived shortly after the fire department to secure the gas line.

 

Police say the driver fled the scene but has since been taken into custody.

 

 

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Body of victim in missing persons case found, homicide suspected

 

The County Sheriff's Department say a body found in Gladwin County is that of a man reported missing in October.

 

Daniel Dombroski was last seen in Tobacco Township and a suspect admitted to knowing about Dombroski's death which lead to them finding his body in a swampy area in Beaverton Township.

 

They say there is enough evidence that Dombroki was killed and are investigating it as a homicide.

 

The suspect is in custody awaiting possible murder charges.

 

 

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Cadillac police ask for help in attempted robbery

 

Cadillac police are looking for the suspect involved in an attempted armed robbery.

 

Officers say the attempt occurred at Peterson's West Side Shell on M-115 at M-55 just before 9:00 o'clock Wednesday night.

 

The suspect is described as approximately 5'8"-5'10" in height with a medium build.

 

They say he was wearing a dark navy hooded sweatshirt with a zipper, a light gray vest over the sweatshirt, dark pants and dark gloves.

 

The station's cashier reports the man demanded cigarettes and money while carrying a knife, but fled the scene when the cashier started yelling.

 

He was last seen walking out of the parking lot along M-55.

 

If you have any information that could help with the investigation, please call the Cadillac Police Department at (231) 775-3491.

 

 

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Northern Michigan man confesses to sex crimes

 

A Northern Michigan man is confessing to a number of sex crimes involving children.

 

Police say Efrain Rozalez of Manton is admitting to the sexual abuse of two teenagers going back as far as the early 2000's.

 

Police first arrested him when the teens tipped off police, saying Rozalez had inappropriately touched them.

 

At the time, the two victims were younger than 16 years old.

 

The charges were dropped in 2001, then added and dropped again in 2014 as part of a plea deal.

 

Rozalez knew the two victims through family and used that to earn their trust.

 

 

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Homeless shelter in Cadillac emphasizes growing problem in West Michigan

 

New Hope Shelter in Cadillac is opening its doors to get the word out about the growing homeless problem.

 

Executive Director Brenda Wright says there are five homeless shelters in Cadillac all of which are seeing increased numbers of homeless persons this year.

 

She sites a lack of well-paying jobs and unaffordable housing as contributing to the problem.

 

 

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Two hunters shoot themselves while deer hunting

 

At least two hunters are recovering from self inflicted gunshot wounds since the start of firearms deer season on Sunday.

 

One man shot himself after dropping a sem-automatic shotgun in Calhoun County.

 

Another hunter accidentally shot himself in the leg in St. Clair County.

 

Both suffered non-life threatening injuries.

 

 

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Police asking for public's help in identifying suspects

 

Police in Isabella County are looking for two men accused of breaking into numerous cars at Lexington Ridge and Deerfield Village apartment complexes and they need the public's help.

 

The incidents occurred during the late evening hours of 10/27/15 and early morning hours of 10/28/15. Multiple unlocked vehicles were broken into and numerous items were stolen, including credit cards.Two white males were seen entering motor vehicles on camera at one of the apartment complexes.

 

Please contact Isabella County Central Dispatch at 989-773-1000 or the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department at 989-772-5911 (Mon-Fri, 9a-5p) with tips.

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Kent County woman attacked by deer

 

A Kent County woman is safe after being attacked by a wounded deer.

 

Police say Shawna Hoekstra spotted the animal with a gunshot wound to its rump.

 

She followed it until it collapsed and, although the deer couldn't walk, it did lunge at Hoekstra when she approached.

 

Hoekstra says she tried to grab the buck's antlers, but the animal managed to thrash around and pinned her to the ground.

 

She says she continued to wrestle with the animal for about half an hour when her father tracked her down and called 911.

 

 

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Clean-energy jobs would boost household income in Michigan

 

A clean-energy economy will benefit the environment and the wallets of Michiganders, according to a new report by NextGen Climate America.

 

Nationwide, the study says, an economy built on clean energy would create more than one-million jobs by 2030 and double that number by 2050.

 

NextGen spokesperson Daniel Lashof says there is also a boost to economic output, with the report finding that growth from clean energy would increase the average household's monthly disposable income by $650 over the next 35 years.

 

"So we see that, actually, in every region including the Midwest, that as we're making these investments, creating more good-paying jobs, the average income per household is also increasing."

 

Lashof says the largest gains will be in construction and manufacturing, which is good for states such as Michigan that already have a solid manufacturing base.

 

 

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Manhunt for homicide suspect ends in Minnesota

 

Michigan State Police say the man they were searching for on homicide and other charges is now in custody in Minnesota.

 

Gregory Rose is wanted in Michigan for allegedly killing a woman in Midland, setting fire to her home, and fleeing the scene in the woman's car.

 

On Monday, police in Minnesota caught the accused killer driving another stolen car after he rammed several police cars when officers tried to pull him over.

 

Rose now faces charges in Minnesota and Michigan.

 

He was released from prison last year after serving nearly 30 years for sex crimes and armed robbery.

 

 

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Deadly officer involved shooting justified according to Osceola Co. Prosecutor

The Osceola County Prosecutor has deemed a deadly officer involved shooting in Marion justified. 

State Police say the incident occurred in July, when troopers were dispatched to a home on M-1 15 and 20 Mile Rd.

 

Police say the incident escalated into an officer involved shooting resulting in the death of the homeowner Eugene Kailing. 

No charges will be authorized against the trooper involved.

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Native Americans want tribal lands returned in Emmet County

 

A group of Native Americans is seeking land in Emmet County that was illegally taken from them more than a century ago.

 

Historian Richard Wiles says the Emmet County Sheriff burned down a Native American village on the shores of Burt Lake so it could be given to John McGinn in 1900.

 

The loss of their tribal lands means the Cheboiganing, or Burt Lake, Band is not recognized by the federal government.

 

There is an effort underway in Washington to right the wrong, to get the Band recognition and some land in order for them to once again be associated with the place that they are from.

 

Current Tribal Chairman Bruce Hamlin says the tribe has been trying to get their land back for the past 115 years.

 

 

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School bus aid sentenced for child abuse

 

A former Traverse Bay Area Intermediate school bus aid is heading to jail.

 

Prosecutors say 44-year-old William Rosinski assaulted a student on a school bus, twisting the student's arm, placing his knee on the student's head, and slamming the student against the side of a school bus.

 

Rosinski will spend a year in jail, be put on a child abuse registry with the Department of Health and Human Services, and have a permanent public record of child abuse.

 

 

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Snyder criticized for stance on Syrian refugees

 

Governor Rick Snyder is getting some backlash over his decision that the state stop accepting Syrian refugees.

 

In the wake of Friday’s series of attacks in Paris, Snyder said he is suspending efforts to encourage resettlement in Michigan, citing safety concerns for residents.

 

State Representative Stephanie Chang called it "a move backward on positive momentum" to create a welcoming state.

 

And Hugh Madden with Progress Michigan believes it’s a knee-jerk response.

 

"It has the look of being a reaction to what happened. And those types of fearful reactions are exactly what the intention is of those who did the violence in Paris,” he says.

 

Meanwhile, Congressman Mike Bishop and state Representative Tim Kelly are among those commending the governor’s decision. More than a dozen other governors announced similar plans.

 

 

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Big Rapids Spectrum Health Hospital to host 18th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

As a kick off to the holiday season Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital is inviting the public to the 18th annual tree lighting ceremony.

 

The event will take place November 30th at 6pm, on the corner of Oak Street and Winter Ave. The holiday celebrations will include hot chocolate and cookies as well as Christmas carols from students at Riverview and Brookside Elementary's.

 

There will also be a special performance by the Big Rapids High School Band.   

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Mt. Pleasant woman involved in car/horse accident in Isabella Co.

An 18-year old Mt. Pleasant woman is recovering from her injuries after hitting a horse that was standing in the middle of the road this morning.

 

Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski says Christina Michelle-Mae Parker was traveling west on E. Beal City Rd., just east of Summerton Rd. (Denver Township) when she struck a horse that was standing in the roadway.

 

The horse escaped from a fenced enclosure near the accident scene. Unfortunately, the horse suffered serious injuries and had to be put down.

 

Parker was wearing her seat belt and suffered facial injuries as a result of the crash. She was transported to McLaren-Central Michigan.

 

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Big Rapids Commissioners authorize deer cull within city

The Big Rapids City Commission is authorizing a second deer cull in as many years within the city. 

 

The cull will be conducted by members of the Department of Natural Resources sometime next month. City Manager Steve Sobers says the city will contact residents living in the designated cull area on when DNR officers will be in the area. 

 

Last year's cull harvested 2 deer, this year city officials are hoping for 5-10 deer harvested. 

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Big Rapids man dies in car accident in Green Twp.

A Big Rapids man is dead following a car accident in Green Township.

 

Deputies in Mecosta County say 30-year old Jason Bull was killed this morning when he lost control of the vehicle he was  driving then went off the road and struck a tree at the corner of 20 Mile Road and Ash Drive.

 

Bull was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. 

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Turkey prices up, bird flu to blame

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says turkey prices are up this year due to Avian Influenza.

 

Officials say the bird flu wiped out 8 million turkeys this year.

 

As a result, officials say the price per pound for turkeys is expected to be 20 cents higher than last Thanksgiving.

 

 

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Congressman Moolenaar meets with citizens in Big Rapids, sees possible end to partisan politics

 

There may be a light at the end of the long dark tunnel of partisan politics in Washington.

 

That's according to U.S. Representative John Moolenaar who addressed the subject with during a “listening session” with citizens in Big Rapids last week.

 

He says new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan plans to be more open to debate and other ideas than his predecessor, John Boehner.

 

I think there was a problem in the past where there was really a top down approach that didn't give everybody the full chance to participate. At times, that's a more efficient way, it gets things done quicker, but we lose a lot of the good ideas,” he says.

 

During the gathering, a broad range of issues and concerns were addressed and it was noted that ordinary citizens were able to discuss issues and even disagree on them without it becoming a fight and that compromise has become a dirty word in the nation's capital.

 

 

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$1,000 stolen from VFW post on Veterans Day

 

Veterans in Ingham County are hoping police catch whoever stole $1,000 from a Veterans of Foreign Wars post near Lansing.

 

Authorities say the theft occurred following a Veterans Day open house.

 

Mason VFW Post 7309 Commander Larry Heuer says a front window was smashed to gain entry into the group's hall in Vevay Township.

 

Heuer notes the money was from public donations and usually is used to help local veterans, including those who need help with medical bills while awaiting Veterans Affairs benefits.

 

He says the break-in was the third to take place at the hall since 2010.

 

 

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Homicide suspect sought by State Police

 

Michigan State Police are looking for a 46-year-old man from Indiana in connection with a homicide, assault, and arson in Midland.

 

Officials say Gregory Rose may have fled the scene in Greendale Township in a stolen 2004 White Ford Escape with license plate number BMV 4646.

 

He is 6'2, weighs approximately 260 pounds, is armed and dangerous, and is known to flee into wooded areas so hunters are warned to be careful.

 

Rose is on parole from a 30 to 60 year sentence for armed robbery and criminal sexual conduct.

 

If you know anything you are asked to call the Michigan State Police or Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 1-800-773-2587.

 

 

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Police catch suspects in Farwell armed robbery

 

 

Police are releasing the identity of two men accused of robbing an 18-year-old in Clare County.

 

Deputies say Justin Baugher and Brody Vaden robbed the victim after he gave Baugher and Vaden money to buy drugs in Farwell earlier this week.

 

The victim managed to take a picture of their license plate.

 

Troopers caught up with them later and arrested the two.

 

Both are charged with armed robbery and Baugher is also facing a concealed weapon charge.

 

 

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Human remains found in Lake Co. are that of a missing man from Baldwin

Human remains found in Lake County by a hunter on Oct. 27th have been identified a man who went missing in 2013.

 

Sheriff Dennis Robinson says the remains are that of 61-tear old Terry Lynn Mahan of Baldwin. Robinson says Mahan was identified by dental records through an examination preformed at Michigan State Anthropology Laboratory. The Baldwin man was reported missing by his landlord. Close friends of Mahan told investigators they were unaware of any family members.

 

An autopsy performed showed no signs of trauma. The cause of death is undetermined.   

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Driver in fatal bike accident avoids jail time

 

The woman who admitted hitting and killing a bicyclist near Gaylord last month will not be heading to jail.

 

Eighteen-year-old Ruth Castle was sentenced Thursday to $800 in fines and costs, completion of a driver improvement course as well as two years of probation.

 

Castle struck and killed Paul Dunkelberg in October.

 

The charge was punishable up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine.

 

 

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Cadillac HS senior killed in ORV accident

 

The identity of the 17-year-old who was killed in an ORV crash in Wexford County earlier this week is being released.

 

Police say Jacob Pickel was pronounced dead at the scene on S. 17 3/4 Rd. near W. 34 Rd just before 9 p.m. Wednesday.

 

Pickel was a senior at Cadillac High School.

 

Cadillac High School Principle Shaina Squires says Pickel was a great student with lots of friends and big dreams.

 

Although speed is believed to be a factor, the crash is still under investigation.

 

 

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Mecosta Co. Sheriffs Department receives $7,500 grant from state to curb underage drinking

The Mecosta Co. Sheriffs Department has received a grant to curb underage drinking.

 

The $7,500 grant comes from the Michigan Department of Highway Safety Planning.

 

Sheriff Todd Purcell says this money will be used to target the underage drinking population during holiday weekends or weekends leading up to holidays. He also says this money is also used to conduct underage alcohol and tobacco stings at local businesses.

 

The Mecosta Co. Board of Commission approved a resolution to accept the grant during its meeting last week. 

 

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Mecosta Co. Sheriff offers tips to protect your personal info from credit card skimmers

Credit card skimmers are being discovered on gas pumps across Michigan beginning in the Grand Rapids area and more recently in Clare County.

 

The skimmers are placed on gas pumps and takes a person's credit card information when they are getting gas.

 

No credit card skimmers have been found in Mecosta County but Sheriff Todd Purcell offers some tips to protect yourself:

 

  • Pay for your gas inside the store 
  • Use cash
  • Check your credit card and bank statements on a regular basis to make sure there are no irregularities 

 

​So far, nine people in the western Michigan area have been arrested on credit card fraud charges connected to the skimming devices. 

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Poll says most Michiganders not ready for holiday con artists

 

No one wants to be “grinched,” so some experts say it’s a good idea to brush up on the latest holiday scams before making a gift list.

 

Sixty-six percent of Michigan consumers polled failed an AARP quiz about how to stay safe from holiday tricksters.

 

AARP Michigan spokesperson Mark Hornbeck says they also found many people are doing things that could make them vulnerable to con artists.

 

"The worst case scenario we’re talking about identity theft and draining bank accounts. There’s a wide array of scams out there and some of them can be that impactful on people’s lives where they could lose their nest egg,” he says.

 

Shoppers can protect themselves from theft by using a debit card instead of a credit card and not using public Wi-Fi.

 

Fraud experts also recommend purchasing gift cards online, instead of from store racks.

 

Hornbeck explains thieves can easily grab the number from the card when it is in the store, and drain the funds later when the card is activated.

 

 

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Fatal ORV accident in Wexford County

 

An ORV driver is dead after he crashed his vehicle in Wexford County.

 

Sheriff's Deputies say the crash happened near Harietta on South 17 ¾ Road and West 34 Road just before 9 o'clock Wednesday night.

 

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Speed does appear to be a factor in the fatality and the victim's name is being withheld at this time.

 

 

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Mecosta County Emergency Management issues Significant Fall Storm Advisory

 

A significant fall storm is expected to bring high sustained winds and high wind gusts to most of Michigan including Mecosta County starting tonight (Wednesday) and continuing through the day on Friday.

 

Please monitor weather forecasts as we move into tonight as there is a slight chance of thunderstorms with very high wind gusts moving through with the front starting tonight through tomorrow morning. 

 

Please prepare for possible power outages and because this is a widespread event, if you loose power, you may be without power for an extended period of time.

 

For Consumers Energy customers, go to the Consumers Energy Outage Center at: https://new.consumersenergy.com/outages/outage-center to report an outage and to view the interactive power outage map that lets you check status and restoration times of outages.

 

Tri County Electric customers can go to: https://ebill.homeworks.org/woViewer/mapviewer.html?config=Outage+Web+Map for outage information

 

Great Lakes Energy customers can go to: http://www.gtlakes.com/storm-central/.

 

Make sure to secure any loose items in your yard, If your water is supplied by a well, run some water for consumption into clean containers and if you fill your bath tub with water, you can use it to flush your toilets during an outage. 

 

Stay clear of any downed wires, treat any downed wire as it is energized even if it doesn't appear to be live. If you drive after dark, drive slow and watch for unexpected trees, branches or power lines laying across the roadway. If a power line lands on your vehicle while you are in it, do not get out, stay in the vehicle until help arrives. As a last resort, If you must leave the vehicle to save your life, do not touch the ground and the vehicle at the same time, you must  jump clear of the vehicle without touching it and the ground at the same time. Also, be advised that any object a downed wire is in contact with can be energized a long distance away, such as metal fences.

 

Do not run gasoline powered generators indoors, in attached garages or in a location that would allow exhaust to enter a living area. To avoid electrocution to power line workers, do not back feed a generator into your electrical system. Power appliances directly from the generator or use a properly installed power transfer switch with your generator.

 

For more preparedness links go to http://mcemergencyinfo.weebly.com

 

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Consumers Energy asks customers to be prepared in case of outages

Damaging winds are expected across much of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula beginning late Wednesday night and continuing through Friday.

Some wind gusts may exceed 60 mph. Consumers Energy officials are preparing for an increase in power outages due to storm activity.

 

The utility is encouraging customers to visit ConsumersEnergy.com/outagecenter for helpful tips. At this location, the public can visit the online outage map for updates, report an outage and get other useful information. Customers can also call Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050 to report their power outage. In addition, Consumers Energy residential and business customers now can sign up to receive outage alerts. Residential customers can visit Consumers Energy’s new website to set their alert preferences.

 

Business customers can sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 232273 (CECARE) and providing their account number when prompted.

 

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Veterans Day observed in Big Rapids

Big Rapids is honoring the men and women who have served in America's armed forces today.

 

Staff Sargent Lance Geer of the Michigan National Guard here in Big Rapids says he's served 19 years in the Army and this day is special for him because it is a way to say thanks to those men and women who defend our country and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the defense of our country.

 

Veterans Day dates back to November 11, 1918 which was the official end of World War One. It was originally called Armistice Day in the year 1919, the name was eventually changed to include all veterans.

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Big Rapids man arrested on FSU campus for mobile meth lab

A 30-year old Big Rapids man is in jail after Ferris State University Police arrested him on meth-related drug charges.

 

Mark Kevin Peterson is now charged with one count of manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of operating or maintaining a lab involving methamphetamine, one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of maintaining a lab in the presence of a minor.

 

Peterson was arrested after police were alerted of a suspicious vehicle on campus.

 

The Big Rapids man faces up to 20 years in jail, if convicted.  

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Friendly reminder: Big Rapids Winter parking ban takes effect Sunday

Officials with the City of Big Rapids want to remind residents, starting 2AM on Sunday, Nov. 15th the winter parking ban will be in effect.

 

This means vehicles parked on a city street between the hours of 2AM and 6AM will be cited. If snow needs to be removed from the roadway your vehicle will be towed. 

 

If you have questions, please visit www.cityofbr.org

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Car pulled from pond in Kent County; body found inside

Police in Kent County think they may have found the remains of a man who went missing almost a decade ago.

 

Dive team members were called to a pond this morning in Byron Center where they pulled a car from the water.

 

The license plate number matches that of a car driven by Davie Niles, Who went missing in 2006.

 

Authorities have not confirmed the victims identity.

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Woman arrested after allegedly dropping baby while drunk

 

A woman accused of dropping her baby while she was drunk is behind bars.

 

Police say 23-year-old Shyann Topous was arrested at a home in Owosso.

 

Topous called the police in October after her 3-month-old baby became unresponsive and started bleeding from the mouth.

 

Last week, Topous told police she was in the Frankfort area and would turn herself in, which didn't happen.

 

Topous is under arrest for domestic assault against her 22-year-old boyfriend and second degree child abuse.

 

 

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Ferris State honors local veterans with annual Veterans Day breakfast

 

Ferris State University students, faculty and staff who are current or past members of the military are invited to the annual Veterans Day breakfast on Wednesday, Nov. 11. The event will begin at 8 a.m. in Rooms 202 B and C of the University Center.

 

Ferris’ Veterans Coordinator Adam Forbes said that the breakfast is sponsored by President David Eisler’s office. He added that veterans from the greater Big Rapids community are encouraged to attend.

 

We’re a really community-oriented campus,” Forbes said. “President Eisler has been pleased by the turnout in years past. It’s a chance to honor service members, including those who have retired.”

 

Forbes said that a short program will be offered during the breakfast, which will include a medley of military service songs, with the colors to be presented by the National Guard. The keynote speaker will be National Guard Brigadier General Phillip Owens. Veterans are welcome to participate as their campus or personal schedules allow.

 

The breakfast is free to all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and no RSVP is required as a show of appreciation for the men and women who have served the nation. Veterans Day is held each year on Nov. 11, and was formerly known as Armistice Day in honor of the armistice that ended World War I, in 1918.

 

Any questions regarding the Veterans Day breakfast can be directed to Forbes’ office, or by calling (231) 591-2798.

 

 

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Grand Rapids man arrested for choking woman in Big Rapids

A Grand Rapids man is behind bars in Mecosta County, accused of choking and assaulting a woman in Big Rapids.

 

The alleged incident happened on Friday at a home on the 200th block of Mill Street, there police say an argument quickly escalated between Donnie Anthony Ingram and the female victim. Ingram grabbed the woman by the throat, choking her for several minutes, the woman was able to escape and call 911.

 

Ingram has been charged with a host of counts including, one count of assault by strangulation, one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, one count aggravated domestic violence – second offense. He also was in violation of his parole.

 

Bond has been set at $300,000.

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BRPS Superintendent Tim Haist named Region 3 Superintendent of the Year

Big Rapids Schools Superintendent Tim Haist is the new Region 3 “Superintendent of the Year”.

 

The award came from the Michigan Association of School Administrators Region 3 during Monday's school board meeting.

 

Haist says he's humbled, the recognition means a lot to him and it's a total team effort district wide.

 

MASA Region 3 is a 13-county region stretching across western Michigan that includes about 100 districts   

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Michigan state government worst in country for transparency and ethics

 

Not only is Michigan failing in a new 2015 State Integrity Investigation, it ranks dead last in terms of ethics and transparency laws.

 

The state failed in 10 out of 13 areas scored in the report released Monday by the Center for Public Integrity.

 

Common Cause Michigan spokesperson Melanie McElroy says government needs to be held more accountable to the people, by making more information openly available to the public.

 

Because Michigan has become so weak on transparency and disclosure, the voices of ordinary people are being drowned by special interests and there's really no safeguard for that. We have abysmal lobby disclosure laws.”

 

She points out that Michigan does not require elected leaders to disclose personal financial holdings, and the governor and state legislators are exempt from public Freedom of Information Act requests.

 

 

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Murder suspect accused of burning victim's body

 

A 45-year-old man is in jail after police say he killed his girlfriend in their Grand Rapids home, put the body in his car and drove to Ottowa County.

 

He then left the car by the side of the highway and set the vehicle on fire.

 

Donald Alexander Spice has confessed to killing 37-year-old Lori Vargas after the two got into an argument.

 

Investigators originally thought she had died in a car fire following a crash but an investigation revealed Spice had staged the car fire to cover up the murder.

 


 

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Cadillac City Councilman resigns, sites ethical conflicts

 

Cadillac City Councilman Doug Mellema is stepping down from his post.

 

Mellema says he is resigning due to ethical conflicts by other members of the Council that are in direct violation of his values and morals.

 

He sites the process used for hiring Todd Golnick as chief of police and says he can no longer look his constituents in the eye and say he's being transparent and honest.

 

 

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Credit card skimmer found in Clare County

 

Another case of credit card skimming is being investigated, this time in Clare County.

 

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Fuels Inspection Unit removed a modified device that collects credit card information from a gas pump at the EZ-Mart station in Harrison on Friday.

 

Authorities say this is the first skimming device found in northern Michigan.

 

 

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Worker killed when trench collapses

 

One man is dead and another is hospitalized in stable condition after a wall collapsed in a trench at a Grand Rapids home.

 

Grand Rapids Fire Department Battalion Chief Bart Perry says the men were doing sewer work on the house when the cement block wall collapsed pinning the men in a five foot trench.

 

One victim, Oscar Alonso, was buried face down, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The other man remained standing but was stuck in the collapsed trench.

 

 

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Pair arrested after robbing pharmacy for morphine

 

Two robbers who were after drugs are now behind bars.

 

Police say the pair entered Arfstrom's Pharmacy in Cedarville with a gun on Saturday and demanded morphine.

 

Authorities in Chippewa County were able to identify a vehicle and suspect which led to the arrest of two people.

 

Deputies say evidence was recovered at a home in Kinross Township.

 

No injuries were reported.

 

 

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Wellston man dies in car accident

A Wellston man is dead following a car accident in Wexford County.

 

State Police say the accident happened sometime Thursday night at the intersection of 1 Rd and 48 ½ Rd. at the Wexford/Manistee County line.

 

They say the driver, 72-year old Cornelius Kammeraad was heading northbound and failed to negotiate a curve, went of the road and struck several trees.

 

Kammeraad was found deceased inside the vehicle by emergency crews. Alcohol is not a factor in the accident.  

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Chippewa Hills wins district title beating Big Rapids 35-12

The Chippewa Hills Warriors advance to the next round of the football playoffs defeating Big Rapids 35-12. 

 
The Warriors were led on offense by Deangelo Lowery who had 112 yards rushing and 3 TD's
Slade Todd led the Warriors defense with 7 tackles in the game. 
 
Chip Hills will play Forest Hills Eastern next week. 

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Morley woman to be sentenced after accepting plea deal on prescription drug charges

A Morley woman could be heading to jail for up to seven years after taking a plea deal from Mecosta Co. Prosecutors in connection to prescription drug charges.

 

41-year old Rosa Marie May entered a guilty plea on two counts of delivery of hydromorphone and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. In exchange, prosecutors will dismiss the rest of the charges against her.

 

May was arrested by the Central Michigan Enforcement Team after an investigation connected her to crimes committed this past May in Aetna Township.   

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School bus gets whacked by railroad crossing gate in Cadillac

 

A school bus full of students in Cadillac are a little shook up, but no one is hurt after their bus got whacked by a railroad crossing gate.

 

Authorities say the Mesick Consolidated school bus was crossing the tracks at Mitchell and 13th street in Cadillac when the gate came down on top of it.

 

The superintendent says the gate malfunctioned after a train switched tracks about a mile away.

 

 

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DTE eliminates renewable energy charge

Energy bills for DTE customers will be a little lower starting next year.

 

The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved a settlement agreement (Case No. U-17793) amending DTE's renewable energy plan, eliminating the utility’s renewable energy surcharge of 43 cents per meter per month, effective Jan. 1.

 

MPSC Chairman John Quackenbush says the falling cost of wind-generated energy prompted the move.

 

Consumer's Energy eliminated the surcharge last year.

 

 

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North Michigan village trustee accepts plea deal in CSC case

 

A Village Trustee from Mancelona is taking a plea deal after being accused of inappropriately touching a patient in a nursing home.

 

Yousef Jabara is pleading guilty to assault and battery while a criminal sexual conduct charge is being dropped.

 

Jabara was a volunteer at Meadow Brook Care facility.

 

The Antrim County Sheriff says the victim has onset dementia.

 

 

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Manistee woman pleads guilty to drug fraud

 

A Manistee woman is likely heading to jail after pleading guilty to felony drug charges.

 

Detectives say Chrystal Halcome passed forged prescriptions in Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties.

 

Halcome will be sentenced next month for one count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

 

 

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Out of state fugitives busted after car breaks down in Cheboygan County

 

Two fugitives out of Ohio and Indiana are behind bars after knocking on the door of a Cheboygan County resident.

 

The Cheboygan County Sheriff's Office says 26-year-old Jay Harman from Ohio and 23-year-old Mariah Beedle from Indiana knocked on the door of a residence in Munro Township saying their vehicle broke down on I-75 and they needed help.

 

The family became suspicious and called 911.

 

Deputies arrested the pair after an investigation showed the vehicle they were driving was stolen out of Ohio and both had felony warrants for their arrest.

 

 

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Mecosta Co. Sheriff believes Blue Alert system is a fantastic idea

Michigan is now the 25th state in the country to have a Blue Alert System.

 

The system works much like the Amber Alert to inform the public about suspects involved in an incident when an officer is hurt or killed.

 

Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell thinks the system is a fantastic idea and he fully supports it.

 

"if an unfortunate incident happens when a suspect injuries or kills a police officer, a notification will be sent out statewide alerting residents of the suspect or suspects in the area and possible measures to take to unsure the resident's safety. Purcell said "It can also be used for tips to lead law enforcement to the suspect as well."

 

The program will be run by state police and since Blue Alerts use the same notification system as Amber Alerts, the cost for set-up is minimal.

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Mecosta Co. residents voice concern over possible fracking well in Fork Twp.

Concerned residents came before the Mecosta Co. Board of Commission to voice their opposition to an injection well that could be used for fracking in Fork Township.

 

The well, located between 40th Avenue and Hoover Rd was dug up and came up dry, however, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to allow WB Osborn Oil & Gas Operations out of Texas to inject brine hydraulically underground through a Class II injection well permit.

 

If the approval is final, one Fork Township resident said she is concerned about the environmental impact for future generations regarding drinking water and long-term conditions of land in the area due to all the dangerous chemicals being injected into it while fracking.

 

Currently, Michigan has 1,480 Class II injection wells.

 

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Boyne City 18-year-old throws 'expensive' house party in Traverse City

 

An 18-year-old from Boyne City is behind bars after he allegedly broke into a Traverse City home and hosted a party, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

 

Police say Keelin Lundwall, formerly of Traverse City, broke into the home on Peninsula Drive last month.

 

The homeowner estimates Lundwall and his friends caused as much as $20,000 in damages.

 

Lundwall was arrested for home invasion and is currently behind bars at the Charlevoix County Jail.

 

 

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Gaylord motel murderer sentenced to prison

 

A man found guilty of murder in a Gaylord motel is heading to prison.

 

Fifty-six-year-old Keith Luesing was sentenced on Wednesday to 50 to 87 ½ years in prison for second degree murder and assaulting a police officer.

 

Police say the victim, Troy Walsh, was found in a Gaylord motel room by the motel owner.

 

Walsh had been severely beaten and a telephone cord was wrapped around his neck.

 

Police say Leusing was present when the body was found.

 

 

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Shooter in Clare County road rage incident identified

 

Police say the man accused of a road rage shooting incident in Clare County on Halloween is facing multiple charges.

 

The Clare County Sheriff's Office says 19-year-old Slade Davis faces charges of felonious assault, reckless discharge of a firearm as well as discharge of a firearm without injury.

 

Davis and the driver of the other vehicle knew each other and got into an argument when Davis allegedly shot at the other vehicle.

 

 

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Lake Co. names new Sheriff

Dennis Robinson is the new Sheriff of Lake County.

 

Robinson was sworn in during a ceremony Monday. He replaces long time Sheriff Robert Hilts who announced his retirement in August.

 

Robinson has been with the Sheriff's Department since 1989 and was currently serving as under sheriff until he got promoted Monday.

 

He will serve the rest Hilts' term, that lasts until January 31, 2017.

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Evart Police chief to step down at end of year

A police chief in Osceola Co. is stepping down after 10 years on the job.

 

Evart Police Chief Kendra Backing will be stepping down at the end of the year. Backing, became the first female full-time police officer in the history of Evart in 2005.

 

Sargent John Beam will succeed Backing as interim chief starting January 1st 2016.

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Consumer's Energy hiring line workers

 

Consumer's Energy is looking to increase its work force.

 

The company says they are hiring more line workers to assist in responding to emergencies, enhance reliability and restore electric service following storms.

 

They plan on hiring more than 50 journeyman line workers next year and 50 apprentice line workers annually over the next several years.

 

 

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Voters approve funding for MOISD and Evart schools

 

In local election results, two local school districts are breathing easier having gotten the funding they asked for from voters.

 

The Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District won a levy for special education by nearly 60 percent of 4,624 voters while Evart Public Schools had their millage for building renovations, new technology, and new buses pass by just over 51 percent of 1,073 ballots cast.

 

In Big Rapids, Tom Hogenson and Lynne Anderson were re-elected to their seat on the Big Rapids City Commission. Both ran unopposed.

 

Other election news, Ed Fedell defeated Kelley Bearman Sr. in the election for Mayor of Newaygo. Carla J. Filkins beat Tony Rubio to become the new Mayor of Cadillac and Don Barnhard defeated Jacque Robinson and Christine Teirnan in the election for Mayor of White Cloud.

 

 

 

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Manistee Police investigating razor blades in Halloween candy

 

Manistee Police are investigating reports of razor blades being discovered in Halloween candy.

 

Chief Dave Bachman says there were two different incidents, one with a blade pushed into the center of a Reeses peanut butter cup and another blade discovered in a piece of Laffy Taffy.

 

Parents reported the incidents to the sheriff’s department two days apart. Police do not yet have any suspects.

 

 

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Report blames road funding gridlock and state economic problems on corporate tax breaks

 

Even as a road funding plan is heading to the governor for approval, a new report points to business tax cuts as the source of the funding debacle.

 

The findings from Michigan League for Public Policy shows the state budget and individual taxpayers suffered due to $1.5 billion in corporate tax cuts four years ago.

 

C-E-O Gilda Jacobs explains it resulted in less money for roads, cuts to schools and higher taxes - without boosting the economy.

 

What happened back in 2011 really didn't provide enough resources to make a difference for things that Michigan residents and businesses value, for example roads, in order to create a Michigan that works for everybody,” she says.

 

According to the findings, private job growth had its biggest increase in 2011, but growth slowed after the tax cuts.

 

And nearly one-in-six Michiganders, including one-in-four children are living in poverty.

 

Jacobs says the new plan won't fix the roads and perpetuates the problem instead of offering solutions.

 

 

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New information on CMU hit and run death released, police still searching for driver

 

More information is being released by the Michigan State Police regarding a hit and run crash that took the life of a 17-year-old Central Michigan University student.

 

Troopers say that Ryan Tsatsos pushed one of his friends out of the way of the vehicle that killed him on November 1.

 

Police are still searching for the driver of that vehicle described as an older dark colored four door with damage to the front passenger side.

 

Ryan's older brother was killed in a separate car accident earlier this summer.

 

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver of the vehicle responsible for Ryan's death.

 

 

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Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital to host open enrollment insurance event

Spectrum Health Hospital and Reed City is hosting a healthcare open enrollment event this Saturday.

 

Official say the free event will answer any questions about a plan you currently have or may be getting under the Affordable Care Act.

 

The open house will be held at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed city from 11 AM to 3 PM.

 

Individuals attending the event are encouraged to bring the birthdays of all household members, estimated income, if previously enrolled, username and password. As well as employer information.

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Students at Northwestern save thousands with free online textbooks

 

A number of professors at Northwestern Michigan College say the school's Open Education Resources pilot project is saving students thousands of dollars per semester.

 

The project redesigns courses to let students use free textbooks and resources often found online and written by professors themselves.

 

Spokesperson Tina Ulrich says the project could be huge.

 

She adds the textbooks are not copyrighted to anybody, are licensed under Creative Commons license, and available online to anyone without a password.

 

 

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Woman pleads guilty in death of bicyclist

 

An 18-year-old driver accused of killing a bicyclist in Otsego County is pleading guilty.

 

Ruth Castle was arraigned on Monday and pleaded guilty to a moving violation causing death.

 

Castle hit and killed Paul Dunkelberg as he was riding his bike on Plywood Road in Otsego County in July.

 

 

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Man charged for posted nude photos of girlfriend

 

A Bloomfield Hills man is being charged with unlawful posting of a message in Charlevoix County.

 

County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof says Andrew Roche posted nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on a website designed for revenge and shaming former partners.

 

He says the photos have been viewed more than 50,000 times.

 

The woman was made aware of the photos after receiving an anonymous call and comments from people who had viewed the website.

 

 

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Local elections going on today in Mecosta Co.

Local elections are being held in Mecosta County today with a number of issues on the ballot dealing with funding for schools, and commission seats in Big Rapids.

 

The Mecosta/Osceola Intermediate School District is asking voters to approve the district to levy .8395 Mill per $1,000 taxable value for special education from 2016-2026.

 

Next, the Evart Public School District wants residents to approve an $8.4-million dollar bond proposal. If approved, this proposal will allow the district funding needed for building renovations, new technology, and new buses.

 

Finally, two seats on the Big Rapids City Commission are open. Tom Hogenson and Lynne Anderson currently hold those seats, both are running unopposed.

 

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Big Rapids Mayor testifies in Lansing about possible Recreation Authority

More recreational activities in Big Rapids for the young and old could be in the near future. 

 
Mayor Mark Warba along with other city and Big Rapids school officials were in Lansing for a second time in as many weeks to give testimony about the possibility of forming a recreation authority in the city. If approved, one idea being talked about is a possible community area at the former Hillcrest Elementary building.
 
City Manager Steve Sobers says the authority could be a big asset to the area. 
 
Warba says he hopes approval for the authority could happen as soon as the end of the year

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Police release identity of CMU student killed over the weekend

We now know the identity of the 17-year old CMU student who was killed during a hit and run over the weekend in Mt. Pleasant.

 

State Police say Ryan Tsatsos, of Macomb was hit on Crawford Road between Concourse and Billabrail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Police are looking for a dark-colored four-door sedan with damage to the front passenger side.

 

If you have any information, you're asked to call Michigan State Police in Mount Pleasant at (989) 773-5951 or the anonymous tip line at (877) 616-4677.

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'Out of control' woman leads to discovery of meth lab

 

A Cadillac woman is under arrest for malicious destruction of property.

 

Police say they received a call about the woman who was “out of control” at a home on 6th street in Manistee on Halloween night.

 

Officers say they saw items used to make meth.

 

A search found more meth making materials in a vehicle on the property.

 

The woman was lodged at the Manistee County Jail but bonded out.

 

No names are being released at this time and no arrests regarding the meth lab have been made.

 

 

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Road rage shooting in Clare County

 

Clare County Police are investigating a road rage incident involving a shooting.

 

Police say they responded to a call about a vehicle being shot at around 1:30 Saturday morning.

 

Deputies say the incident started with an argument between two drivers who knew each other.

 

A 19-year-old Clare man was arrested without incident.

 

 

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CMU student killed by hit and run driver

 

An 18-year-old Central Michigan University student is dead following a hit and run accident.

 

Mount Pleasant Police say the student, from Macomb, was walking toward campus with a group of friends shortly after midnight on Sunday when he was stuck and killed by what witnesses describe a a dark colored four door sedan.

 

The accident happened on Crawford Road between Billabrail Street and Concourse Street in Union Township.

 

Police say the vehicle should display damage to the front passenger side.

 

Anyone with information about crash or the driver and vehicle involved is asked to call the Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post.

 

 

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