Listeners Club

Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

News That Affects You

Fluresh to open provisioning center in Big Rapids

Grand Rapids-based Fluresh continues its expansion of recreational cannabis retail offerings across the state with the announcement of a new provisioning center opening in Big Rapids. The 2,730 SF store, located at 520 South Third Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307, opened recently and will hold a grand opening event Saturday, Oct. 1, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.



Operating every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the new location will also offer curbside pickup and delivery when ordering online at or by calling (231) 216-1206. The store’s retail floor offers 139 unique flower strains, pre-rolls, THC edibles, vape cartridges, concentrates and much more.


To celebrate the grand opening, the store will offer specials including 20% off Fluresh and Carbon products for new customers, 15% off for medical card holders and 10% off for seniors, students and veterans.


“We are excited to expand Fluresh’s offerings to the Big Rapids community while also adding jobs to the local community,” says Fluresh Chief Executive Officer Brandon Kanitz. “We believe this location will serve a wide audience from the northern counties of West Michigan, so are eager to expand our presence in the region.”


The Big Rapids location marks the second provisioning center for Fluresh. It currently offers a retail location at its headquarters at 1213 Phillips Avenue in Grand Rapids.


In addition to the opening of the Big Rapids location, Fluresh also announces plans to open a third provisioning center, this time across the state in Adrian, where it currently operates a hybrid greenhouse facility. An official timeline has not been set but Fluresh is aiming for an early 2023 opening.


“Fluresh is eager to provide high-quality cannabis products to a region of the state that is underserved,” said Kanitz. “We will offer an assortment of brands as a way to bring a wider variety of products and better pricing to that area.”

50+ groups urge federal and state officials to close Baldwin prison

More than 50 organizations across Michigan and the country have written an open letter asking government officials not to re-open a Lake County private prison once it closes at the end of this month.


The North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin is scheduled to close on September 30 due to a 2021 executive order by President Biden to end the federal government's use of private prisons.


This letter follows a recent proposal from Michigan Congressmen Bill Huizenga and John Moolenaar to repurpose the facility as an immigration and customs enforcement detention center.


The North Lake facility has been housing federal inmates since 2019 and several hundred employees.


The letter from the organizations urging the prison closure can be seen HERE

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Earns National Ranking

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital has been recognized as a top performer in the 2022 Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Ranking by Vizient, Inc.

Big Rapids Hospital was ranked in the top 4% of 268 Vizient members in the community
hospitals cohort and was recognized for demonstrating excellence in delivering high-
quality care based on the Vizient quality and accountability study, which has been
conducted annually since 2005.

“We’re very excited to earn this distinction and we applaud our quality, safety and clinical
teams who continue to excel in delivering compassionate and excellent care,” said
Carolyn Leja, chief nursing officer at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City

The Vizient quality and accountability ranking measures performance on the quality of
patient care in six domains: safety, mortality, effectiveness, efficiency, patient
centeredness and equity.

The rankings help participating hospitals and health systems understand their
performance against their peers and identifies structures and processes associated with
high performance in quality and safety across a broad spectrum of patient care activity.
The recognition period is for work spanning July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. 
“Hospitals today are using data and analytics to help them more effectively deliver
superior clinical outcomes and patient experiences,” said David Levine, group senior vice
president, advanced analytics and product management at Vizient. “As a Bernard A.
Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Top Performer, Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital
has demonstrated a successful leadership style, a shared sense of purpose, a focus on
results, and a culture of collaboration, accountability and adaptability. We congratulate
them on their achievement.”

Plans move forward to bring large battery components manufacturer to Big Rapids area

Being touted as a once in a generation opportunity, the township boards of Big Rapids and Green along with the Mecosta County Board of Commission unanimously approved an 400 acre area of the Industrial Park near the Big Rapids' Roben Hood Airport as a 'Renaissance Zone' to bring Gotion Inc., a leading advanced battery manufacturer to the area.

Chuck Thelen, Gotion Inc., Vice-President of NA operations said there were a number of factors to why his company is targeting Mecosta County.


“So why Big Rapids?, proximity to sufficient sustainable energy, our company and our EV industry customers and energy storage customers place a lot of value on sustainability.” “Skilled labor force, we have done three studies in this state, we took federal information, state information and we commissioned our own study." "There are about 177,000 workers within a 45 min drive and 6,500 workers who drive out of this area for another manufacturing job.” There will be no labor gaps here” Thelen said.


“We have a superior technical college here in the area, Ferris State University. “We reviewed several technical colleges around the country, Ferris by far with their certificate programs, associate programs and even bachelor programs were superior in capabilities with lab space and teachers to get students prepared for work.” Thelen said.


“Land space we were looking for a minimum of 400 acres, we are looking to put 2.2 million square feet under roof in phase one, which is around 60 acres and we need space to expand.” Thelen said.


Gotion plans for $2.6 billion dollars in investment along with a minimum of 200 jobs coming once the plant opens, with a full 2,300 coming over the next decade.


With local approval on Monday night, the next step is for the state of Michigan to put in place incentives for Gotion before everything is finalized in the next six months.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 9/19-9/24

The school liaison officer took the report of a student in possession of a vape. A citation for MIP vape was issued.

Officer conducted a traffic stop where the driver was under the influence of marijuana. The driver was cited and arrested for OUID.

Officer assisted as backup on a check well-being call. Caller wanted the other resident out of her house and was advised she would have to file eviction papers.

Officer was asked to look into an incident that occurred at a football game. A parent did not agree with how the school handled the matter. The officer found no crime had occurred.

Officer was dispatched to a family dispute between child and parents. Officer talked to all parties involved.

Officer saw someone riding a motocross bike on a non-designated ORV area. The rider was informed of the ORV ordinance for the city. A verbal warning was issue.

Tuesday …9/20
The school liaison officer responded to a call about a woman calling and yelling incoherent things at the Middle School secretary. The same person also called the High School doing the same thing. From what call content could be understood, the caller was upset about a dress code and something to do with wearing animal ears. Officer attempted to call the person back but no contact was made.

The school liaison officer received information of a kindergarten age student possibly exposing themself. The student lives outside of Reed City. The CPS referral was forwarded to the agency having jurisdiction.

Officers arrested a 30-year-old woman on an outstanding warrant.

The office was contacted by a person that said that her dog was attacked by 2 other dogs when walking down the road that ran out of a yard. Citation was issued for dog running at large.

Officers transported an individual to a mental health treatment facility.

Wednesday …9/21
Officer responded to a fire alarm. It was found to be a false alarm.

The school liaison officer was called about a student in possession of a vape. A citation was issued.

During a traffic stop speeding, officers arrested the 37-year-old male driver for having an outstanding warrant.


Officer was dispatched to investigate some property stolen out of an individual’s vehicle. The officer
reviewed surveillance camera footage and determined it had not been stolen at the believed location.

Thursday …9/22
Officer responded to a call about a possible threat. A teen, during a dispute, sent a photo to another teen of himself as a warning to the other teen to back off. A firearm the teen uses for hunting was visible on a storage rack in the background of the picture. There is no evidence the firearm was meant as a threat and the teen that received the picture did not believe the firearm was anything other than coincidence. After investigation, and speaking with the parents, it was agreed, as a precaution, the firearm would be locked up. This incident will be sent to the Prosecutor's Office for review.

Officers received a call of a broken door handle at a city building. The officer spoke with a man outside that admitted to trying to force open the locked door. He was issued a notice of trespass prohibiting him from being on the property. Charges are being sought in this matter.

Officer responded to a call were an individual reported that the landlord’s brother has walked in her in the shower 5 or 6 times in the past 2 months. After speaking with the landlord’s brother, he admitted that he has walked in the bathroom by accident as the door was left ajar and he did not know that someone was in there.

The 63-year-old man was arrested an outstanding warrant from Mecosta County unrelated to this incident. He was transported to the Osceola County Jail.

Officer was called about someone parking their vehicle over the other person property line. Made contact with the individual, who agreed to move the vehicles.

Friday …9/23
Officer was notified about an inoperable vehicle. An abatement notice will be issued to remove the vehicle.

Officer responded to a family dispute over water leaks in a rental home. The homeowner was threatening to evict his brother and wife. They were advised that the matter will have to be taken to court.

Officer was dispatched to a possible assault complaint. The caller stated she had been struck by a friend’s vehicle. The evidence does not support the claim. The matter will be turned over to the prosecutor for review.

School Liaison Officer responded to an assault by a student on a staff member. The matter has been referred to the prosecutor and probate court.

Officer was requested by a probation officer to arrest a 40-year-old man on an outstanding warrant. The man was taken into custody without incident.

Officer responded to an unlawful entry where only food was taken. The matter is under investigation.

Officer responded to reports of two juvenile getting in a fight on the way home from school. Victim did not want to press charges. Contact with Juvenile’s probation officer will be attempted.

Saturday …9/24
Officer observed a fifth wheel Camper parked in the road contrary to city ordinance. Contact was attempted with the homeowner but there did not appear to be anyone home. Contact will be attempted at a later date.

Officer assisted with a broken down vehicle, for safety. The owner had it towed to his home.


Officer responded to a call about a suspicious person outside of a home at night. Officer searched the house and surrounding area, but wasn’t able to find anyone. There was no damage and nothing appeared to be missing from the residence or the vehicles.

Officer was called about a possible drunk driver. After locating the driver, it was determined he was just driving looking for an address and not intoxicated.

'Coffee with a Cop' to take place next week in Big Rapids

On October 5th, 2022, officers from the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and community members, will join other officers and community members nationwide to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee during National Coffee With a Cop Day.

All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 10:00 A.M. on October 5th at The
Old Pioneer Store & Emporium at 118 N Michigan Ave. Please contact Officer William Sell with
questions: 231-527-0005,

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn
more about the department’s work in Big Rapids. The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and
allows for relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice,
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are held across the country, as
local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.
The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving
relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

Lane & ramp closures: NB US-131, Mecosta County, September 26-27


The off and on ramps at northbound US-131 and M-20 (Perry Ave/Business 131) are scheduled to close this Monday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 


On Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the off and on ramps at northbound US-131 and 19 Mile Road are scheduled to close. 


Lane closures remain in effect through mid-October on northbound US-131 from 13 Mile Road to 19 Mile Road. 


Local & County officials to vote on 'Renaissance Zone' to bring large battery manufacturer to area

A joint meeting between Mecosta County and other local township officials will be taking place next week to discuss and vote on the potential of bringing a advanced battery manufacturer to the area.


Members of the Mecosta Co. BOC along with board members from Big Rapids and Green Townships will vote Monday during a special meeting at the Mecosta -Osceola Career Center at 7pm to make an area of the industrial park near the Roben Hood Airport a renaissance zone.


The zone is designed to provide market-based incentive of reduced state or local taxes to encourage new jobs and investment.


Officials of Big Rapids Township, Green Township, Mecosta County and Ferris State University, along with The Right Place, Inc., have been negotiating with Gotion, Inc., who plans to build a battery component parts plant at the industrial park in Big Rapids.


In a statement, Mecosta County Administrator Paul Bullock called this a “once in a century opportunity for the Big Rapids area.”


In conjunction with our partners at Big Rapids Charter Township, Green Charter Township, MCDC, The Right Place, and MEDC, we’re actively working to make this extraordinary project a reality for Big Rapids." Bullock said.  "We have tentatively scheduled a meeting Monday the 26th to consider a renaissance zone on the property, and once the renaissance zone application is received we will confirm that meeting. We look forward to sharing more about this once-in-a-century opportunity for Big Rapids area in the coming days.”


Randy Thelen, President and CEO of The Right Place Inc., said in a statement, "The community has been prepared for an opportunity like this to materialize to utilize the infrastructure, airport, access to freeways and locally trained talent pool."


A site in the Big Rapids area that for the past 25 years has been assembled, developed and marketed for industrial development is being considered by one of the 10 largest advanced battery manufacturers in the world for a new battery production facility." Thelan said.

"The community has been prepared for an opportunity like this to materialize to utilize the infrastructure, airport, access to freeways and locally trained talent pool. Local and state economic and municipal leaders, as well as Ferris State University, have been working diligently with the region’s best interest in mind as it explored this opportunity and are looking forward to disclosing more information and engaging the public. The next step in the process is for the Big Rapids Charter Township, Green Charter Township and Mecosta County board of commissioners to vote on approving the property tax incentives. As the automotive industry undergoes a transformation, companies serving that sector often move at a rapid pace to accommodate emerging needs. As a result, once a decision is made to invest in a new facility, a company will work quickly to bring a factory online. That is very much the case with this opportunity.  However, all parties involved understand there are still numerous processes and steps to be taken before this project becomes a certainty. We remain hopeful to announce more details soon on this project that would position the region at the center of West Michigan’s growing mobility and EV sector.”


Doors open at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center on Monday at 6:45pm, the meeting begins at 7pm. The public comment portion of the meeting will be limited to five minutes per person.  


Police in Lake Co. searching for two suspects who robbed Luther branch of Lake-Osceola State Bank


Police in Lake County are on the lookout for two men they say robbed the Lake-Osceola State Bank in Luther on Thursday.


According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, both subjects wore masks and presented a note to the teller demanding money. After getting money from the bank the suspects left on foot.


Per the demand note, a bomb threat was indicated to a school (no specific school was named) during the robbery. As a precaution the Baldwin Community Schools were put on lock down.


The Baldwin Community School buildings were cleared by MSP K-9 and are safe for students and staff to return this morning.


If you have any information relating to this incident, please contact Det/Lt Nixon @ 231-745-2712 or Silent Observer @ 231-745-7581.

Pro-Turf beginning relocation and expansion process

After many years serving the community from their Northland Drive location, Pro-Turf Outdoor Services is moving their headquarters into the center of Big Rapids.

Their new location at 1207 Maple Street gives the company much better travel efficiency and a larger
presence in town.

“We are now in the business park near our clientele and where we want to be at for our normal
maintenance.” Owner Marty Shaffer said. “It’s going to make us quicker and have easier access to get
the job done.”

Not only did the long-tending LLC outgrow the old location due to being “landlocked,” but they will also be opening up a second location in the Morton Township business park. This will allow Pro-Turf to provide services easier to many of their clients east of town.

“We’re always looking to expand and this will certainly help make us better in the Canadian Lakes area,” Shaffer said.

With the expansion, Pro-Turf will be looking increase their staff in the near future. According to Shaffer, the company will be looking to hire new workers in both the current Big Rapids location and the future expansion site.

“It’s an ongoing process for us but we’re a growing business and are always looking for qualified
applicants to work for us. We’ll have employees stationed at both (locations) and try to fill those spots as quickly as we can.”

For those interested in working and following along with the business, you can find out more
information by following their Facebook page.

Cadillac man arrested on sex crime charges

A Cadillac man has been arrested for possession of child sexually abusive material following an investigation by Michigan State Police.


Troopers said the investigation into 38-year-old Brandon Perales started after MSP received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.


A search of his home secured evidence including multiple internet capable devices. Perales was charged with one count of possession of child sexually abusive material and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

Police in Mecosta Co. arrest Lake City woman following drug bust


A Lake City woman was arrested last week following a drug bust in Mecosta County's Green Township.


It happened September 15th on 19 Mile road.


Deputies say following the drug sting they took 34-year old Samantha Kinch into custody on a charge of felony delivery of methamphetamine. She resisted arrest and had to be physically restrained along the roadside before being placed in the patrol unit.


Kinch was arraigned September 16th on a charge of felony delivery of methamphetamine and the misdemeanor charge of resisting and obstructing arrest.


She posted a $3,500.00 bond and is scheduled to return to court.

Morley woman arrested following drug sting operation

A 41-year old woman was arrested following a drug sting at a home in the Village of Morley. 


The Sting resulted in the arrest of Barb Male of Morley, for multiple drug and weapon charges.


She was arraigned Wednesday on charges of felony delivery of methamphetamine, felony dangerous drugs, felony possession of concealed weapon and felony delivery of crystal meth.


Male remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail  on a $15,000.00

EPIC/MRA Poll shows Whitmer holding a double digit lead over Dixon

A new survey shows Governor Gretchen Whitmer is holding an 11% lead over GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon.


The survey was conducted by the Lansing-based polling firm EPIC/MRA.


Whitmers favorability number, at 51%, mirrors the vote she gets against Tudor Dixon at 51% to 40%.


The poll found Whitmer had the strongest base of support among the top three statewide elected officeholders.


In head to heads with their GOP rivals, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Nessel maintain an 8 point lead over their GOP opponents.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter

The school liaison officer was dispatched to assist with a juvenile having thoughts of self harm. Proper care was obtained for the juvenile’s well-being.

Officers assisted with a juvenile who was refusing to return inside the school.

Officers took a complaint of malicious damage to a vehicle. The matter is under investigation.

Officers were dispatched to a dispute between two individuals who had previously been dating. No crime had been committed and both were given advice on how to get along.

Officers took a report of the larceny of tools. The matter is under investigation.

Tuesday …9/13
Officers took a report of harassment at a senior living apartment complex. The officer spoke with two
individuals about having no further contact with the third individual, who was the complainant in the matter.

Officers served an abatement notice for grass in violation of city ordinance.

Wednesday …9/14
The school liaison officer assisted in speaking with a student who was refusing to go to class.

The school liaison officer located two teens skipping class and returned them to the school.

Officers were dispatched to an off-road motorcycle driving on city streets. The teen was given a warning and advised any further violation would result in the motorcycle being impounded and a misdemeanor appearance citation being issued.

Officers were dispatched to a possible violation of a personal protection order. The matter was unfounded.

Thursday …9/15
Officers were dispatched a possible violation of bond release conditions and possible child neglect. The matter is under investigation.

Friday …9/16
Officers were dispatched to a juvenile thinking of self harm. The juvenile was transported where they could receive mental health help on the matter.

The school liaison officer located a juvenile that was lost and assisted him in locating his parents.

The school liaison officer issued a citation to a teen male regarding the use of a vape device.


The school liaison officer was called to investigate and citations were issued for a female juvenile in
possession of a nicotine vape device and a marijuana vape device.

Officers were dispatched to a complaint of illegal dumping of trash in a private dumpster. The matter is under investigation.

Saturday …9/17
Officers issued a citation for over grown grass that was in violation of city ordinance.

Officers were dispatched to a possible domestic assault in progress. No evidence of a domestic dispute was found but a 30 year old man was arrested on an outstanding warrant and lodged at the Osceola County Jail .

Officers were dispatched to a man feeling suicidal. The man was located and transported to mental health care.

Officers were dispatched to multiple 911 hang up calls. Upon arriving in the area the officer located to teens who are believed to have been the cause of the calls.

Sunday …9/18
Officers were dispatched to a larceny of medication complaint. The matter is under investigation.

Officers were dispatched to a father son dispute. The matter was not criminal in nature and the officer counseled both on how to get along.,

Ferris State University Homecoming festivities begins today!

Gathering and socializing in large groups have been compromised in recent years, but Ferris State University’s Homecoming Committee has fresh energy for 2022’s Homecoming schedule. This year’s theme is “Bulldogs Recharged,” for events beginning Tuesday, Sept. 20, and highlighted by the activities of Homecoming Saturday, Sept. 24.


The Alumni Association and Center for Student Involvement are among the key contributors to the schedule, which starts with a kickball game pitting students against faculty and staff on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. on the West Intramural Fields. Student Outreach Coordinator Ben Avery said a robust early response filled the student roster for this new event.


“We are happy to have University Recreation as collaborators with the committee, which should be a fun way to spend an evening,” Avery said. “We are very encouraged by the student response. We hope others on campus come by to see a couple of innings or the whole contest since everyone is welcome for this free event under the lights.”


On Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m., actors Brian Baumgartner and Oscar Nunez, best known as Kevin Malone and Oscar Martinez, accountants on the former NBC television series “The Office,” visit Williams Auditorium for a question-and-answer event. Nicholas Campau, the associate dean of Student Life, hopes to see a big crowd attend “Everything The Office” and enjoy these well-known stars giving their insights on a series still popular with all ages on streaming platforms.


“We are very excited to follow through on our students’ wishes for a Homecoming comedy event by bringing in Brian and Oscar,” Campau said. “We polled students, offering a range of artists and they were a favorite for many who responded. A new wrinkle for Ferris students to pick up passes to attend is that they can use ‘Bulldog Bucks’ for their purchase.”


Campau further noted that tickets for the event sponsored by the Student Activities Fund, are now available at $10 for students and $20 for the general public. Tickets are available at the David L. Eisler Center’s information desk.


Campau said Baumgartner will host a book signing after the event. The book is his collection of chili recipes lending itself to a classic vignette for his character in an episode. All proceeds from the book sales will benefit the Mecosta-Osceola United Way.


“That will be a great opportunity for anyone who attends to meet one of their favorite actors,” Campau said. “We hope everyone enjoys this show, with the cookbook being a great gift for a parent who loves The Office.”


Alumni Relations staff have a busy Friday before Homecoming, as the Fall Reunion and traditional bonfire take place on Sept. 23, said assistant director Ben Withey.


“We will be pleased to honor our Golden Eagles from Ferris’ class of 1972 back to campus, along with Distinguished Alumni and Pacesetter Award recipients, along with the John and Sue Bradac Above and Beyond Award,” Withey said. “By registering for our event, we can gauge the audience for afternoon bus tours of Big Rapids, along with those hoping to visit the Jim Crow Museum and Card/Riley Conservation and Wildlife Education Center. Those events are free. The reunion reception begins at 5:30 p.m.”


Alumni staff and CSI/Student Life personnel will collaborate on the Pep Rally and bonfire at 9 p.m., in its traditional location near Brophy and McNerney halls.


“With the new wayfinding campus signage program underway, it is now marked as Lot 6-G,” Withey said. “The Center for Student Involvement does a great job setting the scene for Homecoming Saturday with this event. Our only part is to be sure that Brutus The Bulldog is there to stoke up the crowd.”


Tailgating before the 2022 Homecoming game will begin at 11 a.m. Withey said Reunion Row, near Top Taggart Field, will feature a variety of tents hosted by campus groups and departments, along with fraternities and sororities welcoming and engaging alumni, students, faculty, staff, the community and other guests.


“Most of the university colleges have tents. We will welcome Ferris Outfitters and the university bookstore to our location on Reunion Row,” Withey said. “Our catering will include a collaboration with three local businesses, Fatty C’s Doug House, Three Girls Bakery and Big Rapids Nutrition. We ask that our guests RSVP online, so we can offer everyone interested in a great meal before the game.”


Withey added that web searching for a Ferris college or fraternity ahead of Homecoming Saturday is advisable for learning the plans in formation for many organizations.


“Having the latest information is valuable to assuring a rich experience, before the game,” Withey said. “Whatever the forecast for the day might be, we hope our friends and Ferris fans are ready for a great day of socializing and fun on campus.”


Campau said they are hoping to wrap up the sign-up process for groups that wish to take part in the annual Homecoming Parade through downtown Big Rapids, which will step off at 12 p.m. along Michigan Avenue.


“We know that in an election year, there may be some added interest from political candidates, wanting to present themselves to the public,” Campau said. “The annual parade is an event where registered student organizations, Ferris athletic teams and a variety of campus groups can show their Bulldog pride and find an excited and appreciative audience as we collaborate with local groups who participate.”


Withey said 1993 Surveying Engineering alumnus Matt Bissett, a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and board member for The Ferris Foundation, and his wife, Melissa, have agreed to serve as grand marshals for the Homecoming parade.


“We are honored to have Matt continue his involvement as a proud alumnus by serving with his wife as our marshals,” Withey said. “Matt’s dedication to his program and offering support for the university are fantastic and we are proud to have him back in town and on campus.”


Ferris’ football team takes its No. 1 ranking in NCAA Division II and school-record 16-game win streak into its contest against Waldorf University. Waldorf is an NAIA opponent from Forest City, Iowa, with kickoff at 3 p.m. Waldorf opened its 2022 schedule with three wins. This will be the first meeting between the two schools. At halftime of the game, Homecoming Royalty selection will be announced to the Top Taggart Field crowd.


Organizers suggest monitoring the Homecoming page for information and updates, heading into the schedule of events for this celebration.


City of Big Rapids approves proposal from engineering firm for Hemlock Park project

On Monday , the Big Rapids City Commission accepted a proposal from engineering firm Fleis and VandenBrink for pre-design, bidding and construction engineering pending the community development block grant for Hemlock Park.


The project cost is $184,000 however, it is contingent on the city of Big Rapids being awarded community development block grant.


The City Commission also recognized City Assessor Gail Dolbee for her perfect score on the city's AMAR Audit. Dolbee noted to the commission the city also had a perfect score back in 2017 as well.


In other business, the city commission recognized October as American Pharmacists' Month

'Last Call' Fine Art Gallery exhibit offers intimate view of operations, personalities at iconic Big Rapids bar and grill

An insider’s tribute to one of downtown Big Rapids’ signature businesses will be on display from Tuesday, Sept. 6 through Friday, Oct. 28. Ferris State University’s Fine Art Gallery is featuring Jason Swearingen’s “Last Call” photo essay.

Swearingen earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Technical Communication from Ferris in 2016 and is an audio/visual technician for the university’s Information Technology Services department. He said Schuberg’s Bar and Grill serves as a “third place” in his personal experience as a line cook, to join with his home life and position at Ferris.

“It is definitely my ‘third place,’” Swearingen said. “The sense of place and memory is so significant with Schuberg’s since it has almost a century of history in Big Rapids. Everyone who sits at the bar or has a table or booth for lunch or dinner is an equal, very capable of contributing to a conversation, whether they do physical labor for their living or are in a professional field.”

He added, “Some ‘big names’ have found their way to Schuberg’s over the years, like author Elmore Leonard and poet Jim Harrison, along with the famous and near famous in professional sports, art and music. You regularly see former Ferris students who make a pilgrimage to be in a booth with their spouse, or children, to tell their stories of great times past.”

The location is unique in the community.

“Schuberg’s is also where townspeople and current students come together to enjoy a comfortable meal in an understated setting,” he said. “I simply began taking individual photos in 2016, with no intention of coming to the point of offering an exhibit.”
Swearingen said Fine Art Gallery Executive Director Carrie Weis encouraged him to take the creative steps of assembly and production.

“These were pictures taken for my personal satisfaction, not acquired with the intention of display, say, on a social media platform,” he said. “I found it quite an engrossing process to go through the first images I shot to St. Patrick’s Day of this year, to select 20 to encapsulate that timespan.”

Swearingen said his “point-and-shoot” camera was purchased to gather pictures of the end of the night at Schuberg’s when the patrons finish their food and drink. Then, the staff enjoys a shift drink and cleanup takes place to prepare for the next day’s work.

“I was always intentional about framing the shot, right in the lens, an unedited story of the moment,” Swearingen said. “I hope that I captured the dignity of the folks who close down kitchens, count the till and turn off the lights when the night ends. I told the owners, Jen and Brad Rumsey, about this project. They were very excited to know it was going to happen because they love their work, our team at Schuberg’s and this community so much.”

There will be an opportunity to hear from Swearingen about this exhibit on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m., in a program continuing to 6:30 p.m. He intends to follow that appearance with further discussion at Schuberg’s from approximately 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. that evening.

“I am getting very excited about this presentation,” Swearingen said. “Many co-workers from Schuberg’s are planning to be on hand for the question-and-answer session at the gallery, and thereafter.”

Swearingen will also be at the Fine Art Gallery Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. for a discussion with Art History Professor Rachel Foulk, which will be open to the public. The hours of operation for the Fine Art Gallery are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday in the David L. Eisler Center.

Drug Take Back event takes place Wednesday in Evart

Everyone is encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets and take advantage of a free drug take back event Wednesday, September 21, in Evart.


Unused and unwanted items may be dropped off at Spectrum Health Evart Family Practice from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.


This free and anonymous public service is sponsored by Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals, Ten 16 Recovery Network, Mid-State Health Network and the Mecosta Osceola Substance Awareness Coalition.


Items accepted include over the counter and prescription medication, liquids, ointments, inhalers, needles and pet medications. Full needle containers can be exchanged for empty containers while supplies last.

Sheriff's Office looks to identify suspect accused of catalytic converter theft in Barryton


The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man accused of stealing a catalytic converter from a parked vehicle at a business in Barryton.


The incident took place in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 17th.


If anyone recognizes the suspect or vehicle they are asked to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office at 231-592-0150 or through email at

13-year old Montcalm Co. girl dies in house fire

The body of a 13-year-old girl was found inside a home after a fire on Wednesday morning in Montcalm County's Richland Township.


State Police say when troopers responded to the fire on North Caris Road in Vestaburg, they were told the girl was not accounted for.


The State Police Fire Investigation Unit and a canine reportedly found the girls' remains.


The cause of the fire is being investigated, but police reportedly do not believe it was suspicious.

Newaygo County allocates $1.05 million of ARPA funds to Dragon Trail

The Newaygo County Board of Commissioners appropriated $1.05 million of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to fund the completion of Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam Project (Dragon Trail) to meet the increasing demand for recreation and tourism in the region.

Newaygo County, like other municipalities, received American Rescue Plan Act funds from the
Federal Government in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Outdoor recreation has
increased during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Completing the Dragon Trail will help
satisfy that new demand for Newaygo County residents and thousands of visitors that recreate
in the region.

Once complete, the Dragon Trail will comprise 11 segments forming a 40+ mile loop around
Hardy Pond, traversing through both Mecosta and Newaygo counties. Of the 22 miles already
open to the public, 12+ miles are in Newaygo County, and 8+ or more miles of trail are already
open in Mecosta County. Trail builders with Spectrum Trail Design LLC are in the process of
building 14 more miles of trail. Later this Fall, a 7.6-mile connection between Newaygo State
Park and Brower County Park will open to the public. Project officials hope to have all
construction completed in 2023.

These newly allocated ARPA funds will pay for the completion of new construction in Newaygo
County and two more phases in 2023. Most notable will be a fully ADA-Accessible mile of trail
starting at Big Prairie Township’s Operators Park on the East side of Hardy Dam. “It is
important that people of all abilities can experience Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam. This mile
of accessible trail will allow wheelchair accessibility, and the trailhead will include handicapped
parking so everyone can explore the Dragon Trail,” said Nick Smith, Newaygo County Parks

With a recent Mecosta County Board of Commissioners allocation earlier in the year, the two
Counties have ensured that the remaining construction phases are fully funded. The first half of
construction was funded by many generous donors and community partners through fundraising
and grants. Most recently, funds were received from the DNR Trust Fund Grant Program and utilized to fund two construction phases. Newaygo and Mecosta County have been working
together on this project along with the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance for over ten

Restaurants, campgrounds, and other businesses are already experiencing the economic
benefit of the Dragon Trail. Surrounding locations are reporting new visitors to the area due to
the trail and increased sales. In addition, property sales are up surrounding the Dragon Trail,
and new businesses are opening to meet the demand of these new visitors.

At the start of this project, Michigan State University completed an economic impact study that
estimated a $4+ million annual economic impact to the region due to the addition of the Dragon
Trail. “This project is critical to meet our region's increasing recreational and tourism demand.
The economic impact we are already seeing from this project made it a priority for Newaygo
County to complete the Dragon Trail,” explained County Administrator Chris Wren.

Follow official Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam Facebook Page for updates on construction
progresses and new trail sections as they open, or visit

Ferris State University makes gains in attracting first-year students; overall enrollment tops 10K

Ferris State University, celebrating its 138th anniversary, has announced that its Fall 2022 enrollment stands at 10,072 across all campuses. On its Big Rapids campus, student enrollment is 7,882, an increase of 50 students from Fall 2021.


“We are elated that both the Big Rapids and Kendall College of Art and Design campuses saw healthy increases in the number of first-time students this fall,” said Kristen Salomonson, dean of Enrollment Services. “The Big Rapids campus first-time number increased over 23 percent, 311 students, over last year, while the KCAD campus increased 31 percent, or 19 students, over last fall.”


While this fall’s overall enrollment represents a 2.8 percent systemwide decrease from Fall 2021, when the university welcomed 10,361 students, Salomonson noted a 20-plus percent increase in new students, indicative of Ferris’ successful gains in attracting first-year students in Big Rapids, at KCAD and at statewide locations.


“We’re excited about the energy on our campuses as we begin this new academic year,” President Bill Pink said. “While we’re enthusiastic about topping 10,000 for our overall enrollment, retention remains a major focus as we work to create the best academic and social environment for our students. Our ultimate goal is to recruit, retain and graduate our students, welcome them to our Alumni Association and see them off to a good start in successful careers across Michigan and beyond.”


Included in Ferris’ total enrollment, 1,749 are first-year students – up from 1,410 last fall, representing an increase of 339. In addition, enrollment data indicates gains in attracting students from diverse backgrounds, as African American students increased by 56 and Native Americans by 23.


Fall 2022 enrollment at KCAD in Grand Rapids is 565 students, while enrollment at Ferris’ 22 statewide locations is 1,031 students. In addition, the number of online student credit hours taken is up by seven percent from Fall 2021.


“Students and parents grow more savvy each year when deciding where to attend college. They demand the total package – quality academics, hands-on opportunities, vibrant student life and high return on investment,” Salomonson said. “Ferris State University’s distinctive blend of affordability, educational experiences and social mobility is unmatched in Michigan. Students notice we deliver on giving them the tools they need to move forward successfully.”


“Looking ahead, the university is focused on enrollment growth in multiple areas. Ferris has many new programs, including associate degrees in Computer Information Technology and Community Leadership; bachelor’s degrees in Professional Esports Production, Artificial Intelligence and Economics; and a master’s degree in Data Science and Analytics that we believe will attract more students to the university,” said Jeanine Ward-Roof, vice president for Student Affairs. “The athletic success of our intercollegiate teams also has given us more exposure to potential new student markets and will only bolster our enrollment.”


For more than a decade, Ferris has increased financial aid and donor scholarship support, lowering Ferris’ attendance net price, the average amount students and families pay for the academic year after receiving scholarships and grants. In the FY23 preliminary general operating budget approved by Ferris’ Board of Trustees in June 2022, the university increased its student financial aid spending to $27 million while reducing operating expenses by 0.3 percent. In addition, through the university’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, Ferris has generated more than $25 million in endowed student scholarship support.


In late August, Ferris kicked off the 2021-22 academic year with Bulldog Beginnings, two-plus weeks of activities to welcome students to campus.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 9/5-9/10

Officers arrested a 35-year-old man on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court. He was lodged at the Osceola County jail.

Officers were dispatched to a family dispute. No crime had taken place and the individuals were counseled on how to get along with each other.

Officers were dispatched to a family dispute with the caller demanding family be thrown out. She was advised on how to go about filing the paperwork to evict the others if she wished.

Officers were approached by a concerned individual who stated when calling the neighbors phone a stranger answered and said she was dead. It was determined the neighbor had recently changed her phone number and the new owner of the number was being mischievous.

Officers received information and investigated a juvenile providing vape devices to other juvenile friends. The matter is under investigation.

Tuesday …9/6
Officers had a found credit card turned into the RCPD. The owner was contacted and the card returned.

A found cellphone was turned over to the school liaison officer. The owner was located and the phone returned.

The school liaison officer took a report of an assault involving a juvenile. The matter has been referred to Probate Court.

Officers took a report of a 2-vehicle accident. It occurred when the vehicle was parked and the other vehicle left the scene. The matter is under investigation.

Officers were dispatched to a possible domestic assault in progress. Upon arrival it was determined to be an individual experiencing difficulty with Alzheimers. No one was injured. The person was transported to the hospital for evaluation and to make determination on care going forward.

Wednesday …9/7
Officers conducted a joint investigation with CPS in regards to a referral on the living conditions of a child. The child was found to be cared for and okay.

Thursday …9/8
Officers were dispatched to an area check for an intoxicated man stumbling on the side of the road. Officers responded but were unable to locate the man.

Officers were requested to contact an individual regarding the process of removing a vehicle abandoned on their property by family.


Officers received a referral from adult protective services regarding an individual thought to be the victim of a financial scam. The matter was unfounded.

Officers had a phone turned into the RCPD that was found in the park. If you lost a phone, call the RCPD to identify and claim it.

The school liaison officer took a report of one teen showing another pornographic material. The matter was investigation and referred over to Probate Court.

Friday …9/9
Officers took a report over a property line dispute. The owners were talked to and advised the process for solving any dispute over the property line location.

Officers were dispatched to an intoxicated individual who was reported to be suicidal and left his residence. The man returned to his residence, denied being suicidal, and was left under the watch of his family.

Officers took a report of unlawful entry regarding a teen male entering the residence of his girlfriend after being told numerous times by the parents he was not allowed on the property. He was issued a notice of trespass and the matter will be turned over to the prosecutor.

Saturday …9/10
Officers took a report of juveniles frequenting a local business and being disorderly. Once located they will be served a notice of trespass not to return to the business.

Officers issued an appearance citation to a 25-year-old woman for furnishing a vape device to a minor

Officers issued an appearance citation to a 60-year-old man for being in violation of the city trash/junk ordinance

Newaygo woman dies from injuries sustained in two vehicle crash in Mecosta Co.

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a 71-year old Newaygo woman succumbed to her injuries following a two vehicle crash.


It happened early Tuesday morning on US-131 near mile marker 125.


Deputies say a 71-year old woman from Newaygo was rear ended by a 43-year old woman from Illinois.


71-year old woman was taken to Big Rapids Spectrum Health for serious life threatening injuries and later taken to Butterworth in Grand Rapids. The Newaygo woman later died from her injuries.


The other driver from Illinois was not hurt.



This Week's Poll

Who would you vote for Governor of Michigan in November?