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News That Affects You Archives for 2021-06

Farwell man arrested in Clare Co. after police chase

A 67-year old Farwell man is in police custody following a police chase in Clare County Sunday afternoon.

 

It happened just before 4pm, Michigan State Police say troopers attempted to perform a traffic stop on a vehicle near Vandecar Road and Clarabella Road in Surrey Township.

 

The vehicle failed to pull over and stop.

 

Troopers observed the vehicle pull into the driveway of a residence on North County Line Road. The driver of the vehicle, a 67-year-old Farwell man, was found to be intoxicated and was operating the vehicle on a revoked driver's license.

 

The driver was lodged at the Clare County Jail and is pending arraignment.

 

Speed & Alcohol factors in one vehicle crash in Green Twp

Police in Mecosta County believe speed and alcohol where factors in a car crash Monday night in Green Township.

 

It happened just after 6:30pm on 230th Ave approximately 1/2 Mile North of 19 Mile Rd.

 

Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies say an investigation revealed that a 31-year old man from Evart was traveling Southbound on 230th Ave, and when his pickup truck crested a hill, another vehicle was starting up on the roadway also traveling Southbound.

 

The driver of the truck avoided striking the car but lost control and crashed into trees and a fence.

 

The 31-year old driver was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Big Rapids Police investigating fatal car crash

One person is dead following a car crash in Big Rapids early Saturday morning according to the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety.

 

According to a press release, officers were called to Ives Avenue and South Street for a one- vehicle accident. The caller advised that the vehicle had struck a tree and was on fire.

 

Within 8 minutes after arriving on the scene, officers were advised that there was a trapped, deceased victim inside the vehicle fire.

 

While searching the area, a trail of blood was found moving away from the scene. The search of the area found a male walking around the Ferris State University campus with apparent injuries. The male was provided medical attention and was transported to Butterworth Hospital for treatment.

 

The cause of the accident is still unknown and is under investigation. BRDPS says more information will be provided as it is gained and available to be released.

Tornado confirmed in Mecosta on Saturday afternoon

The National Weather Service has confirmed five tornadoes touched down in Michigan on Saturday.

 

The strongest was near Port Austin, in the Thumb Region. Forecasters say the EF-2 tornado had top winds of 120-miles per hour and was on the ground for about seven miles.

 

Locally, the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado in Mecosta County rated an EF-1, started around 3:33 p.m. on Saturday. It reached speeds of 90 mph, was 100 feet wide and traveled three miles. No fatalities or injuries were reported.

 

One barn was destroyed just south of the 80th Avenue and 5 Mile intersection, according to an alert from the National Weather Service. Some power lines also snapped before the storm ended around 3:41 p.m.

 

(credit: NWS)

Bitely woman arrested on meth charges following traffic stop in Mecosta Co.

A routine traffic stop by Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies led to the arrest of a Bitely woman who was a passenger in the vehicle.

 

It happened on Wednesday on Jefferson Rd near 10th in Aetna Township for no tail lights. 

 

Detective Casey Nemeth says an investigation led to the arrests of the driver, 34-year old Kevin Meek, of Cedar Springs for Driving While License Revoked and his passenger, 23-year old Katie McCallum of Bitely, for Possession with Intent to Deliver Meth.

 

On Thursday, McCallum was arraigned in the 77th District Court and remains in custody awaiting her Preliminary Hearing on $5000 bond.

 

Mecosta County Parks and Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority partner to enhance river tubing adventures

The Mecosta County Park Commission has partnered with MOTA the Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority
to provide streamlined transportation services for group river tubing adventures through Paris 
Park on the Muskegon River.


River tubing adventures began at Paris Park in 2017 as a service to draw additional
camping guests to the park. Services include tube rentals and transportation from Paris Park
upriver to either the Green Township Launch (approximate 3.9 mile float) or the Hersey Launch
(approximate 10.25 mile float.) The Park offers additional transportation services for visitors
who have their own kayaks or canoes.


With the closure of the Sawmill Livery in Big Rapids, demand for river tubing through Paris Park
quickly changed from a small campground operation to the go to spot for visitors of the Big
Rapids area. From the beginning, the parks only transportation availability was an 8-passenger
van, which made large groups difficult to accommodate. Paris Park staff can deliver 24-30
tubes in a single run but could only transport 8 passengers.


In partnering with MOTA, transportation of additional passengers will be much more efficient
and provide a better experience in getting from the park quickly onto the river. Paris Park will
continue to handle all reservations and fee collection along with supplying and transporting
equipment. MOTA will now provide transportation of customers when groups have greater
than 8 people. The partnership allows large groups to arrive to the park and be transported
together and adds opportunities for the scheduling of additional reservations.


The Park Commission and MOTA have created an arrangement where pricing will remain the
same for the customer. Tube rental and transportation service to the Green Township launch
costing $10 per person and tube rental and transportation service to the Hersey launch at $15
per person.

 

Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel stated “We are really excited to partner with MOTA to provide
better river adventure services to the Big Rapids area. We have had a lot of local businesses
and organizations contact us asking for expanded opportunities to fill the current void of these
services and this is a step in that direction. Without an operation like the Sawmill Livery in Big
Rapids, business owners are not seeing some of the traffic that they previously gained from
that operation. We hope that this service will bring groups back to stay in local hotels and
campgrounds and visit local restaurants and shops while here.”


Abel also noted, “The Park Commission hopes to see a river services operation return to the
downtown Big Rapids area in the future whether private or public and if that occurs, we will
gladly scale our operation down to it’s original concept while promoting larger groups to return
to utilizing services in the downtown area.”


All river adventure trips from Paris Park begin with customers being transported upriver from
the park which allows for groups to experience the river at their own pace and eliminates
waiting for a return ride at the conclusion of the trip. Customers exit the river at the park and
can either return to their vehicles or campsite on their schedule.


Vehicle entrance fees of $7 per vehicle for a day pass or $30 per vehicle for an annual Mecosta
Parks pass are required in addition to river tubing fees. Visitors to the park can walk the White
Pine Trail or other trail loops within the park grounds, feed the trout in the fishponds, learn the
history of the facilities through displays in the hatchery building and throughout the park, and
even get a picture in front of the mini-Eiffel Tower.


Reservations are required for all River Adventure Trips through Paris Park and can be made by
calling the park offices at 231-796-3420. For additional information regarding river tubing
adventures visit: www.MecostaCountyParks.com

Moolenaar votes for bill to protect veterans

This week, the House of the Representatives passed the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act.

 

The legislation makes it a federal crime, punishable by fine and up to five years in prison, to defraud veterans of their VA benefits.

Congressman John Moolenaar voted for the legislation and it passed with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 416-5.

“Our veterans served and defended this country, and now this is a small way we can help protect them. Anyone who defrauds our veterans of their benefits should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Moolenaar.

DNR announces Fred Meijer White Pine Trail 1.5-mile section closure in Osceola County for repairs

Beginning in July, a portion of the White Pine Trail in Osceola County will be closed off in order to repair a failing culvert.

 

The Michigan DNR recently announced a 1.5 mile section of trail will be closed off starting July 1st and hope to have it reopened by the end of October.

 

In a press release, DNR officials say a detour has been established and is signed.

 

The detour is as follows:

  • If traveling north, turn right (or east) on 9 mile Road, turn left (or north) onto 210th Avenue and follow 1.5 miles north to Sylvan Road , turn left (or west) and travel 0.2 miles until the White Pine Trail crosses Sylvan Road.

 

  • If traveling south, turn left (or west) onto Sylvan Road, turn right (or south) on 210th Avenue and follow for 1.5 miles, turn right (or east) on 9 mile Road and travel 0.2 miles until the White Pine Trail crosses 9 mile Road.

Muskegon River Watershed Assembly receives grant money from Michigan DNR

A local conservation group has received some big time grants from the Michigan DNR to rehabilitate and protect valuable fish habitats.

 

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly received $270,000 in grants to help fund the removal of two Mecosta County dams.

 

It's all part of 17 projects statewide the Michigan DNR announced will share over $2.1 million in Fisheries Habitat Grants.

 

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly received $114,700 to help fund the removal of the Altona Dam, and $156,200 to remove the Buckhorn Dam. 

Ferris State University raising tuition rates; approves housing & dining budgets

It is going to be a little bit more expensive to take classes at Ferris State University during the 2021-22 school year. 

 

On Friday, the Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved the 2021-22 tuition rates, general fund operating budget, and the housing and dining budget.

 

Trustees approved tuition rates including an average and normal range undergraduate increase of 3.16 percent. This new rate is below the proposed state tuition restraint limit of 4.2 percent while covering a portion of the university’s fixed costs. For Ferris and Kendall College of Art and Design undergraduate general education students, the freshman-sophomore increase is 2.71 percent, to $455 per credit hour, while the junior-senior increase is 3.62 percent, to $487. KCAD’s tuition will also increase by 3.16 percent for undergraduate studio students from the U.S. and Canada.

 

For the coming year, Ferris has committed an additional $1.1 million toward scholarship funding for a total of $26.5 million dedicated to providing an affordable student experience. During the last decade, the increased financial aid and donor scholarships have lowered Ferris’ attendance net price, an estimated amount students and families are expected to pay for the academic year, ranking fifth-lowest among Michigan’s 15 public universities. Ferris is the only public Michigan university where this is the case. With the stimulus dollars earmarked for students from the American Rescue Plan, the university believes that students will pay less next year.

 

Board members approved a preliminary 2021-22 general fund operating budget of $202.1 million. This fall, after the start of the academic year, the administration will present a final budget to the board for approval.

 

Trustees also approved a preliminary 2021-22 housing and dining budget of $28.1 million.

COVID indoor restrictions to be lifted June 22nd

Michigan will lift all indoor capacity restrictions and mask requirements tomorrow -- 10 days sooner than planned amid vaccinations and plummeting COVID-19 infections.

 

The state's main coronavirus order will expire at midnight tonight instead of on July 1st. It means 50 percent occupancy limits will end at restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues -- and at indoor events like weddings and funerals.

 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer made the announcement last Thursday. She says it is a day everyone has been looking forward to.

State House votes to end COVID unemployment payments

Could the federal unemployment bonus be a thing of the past here in Michigan?

 

Along nearly a party line vote Thursday afternoon the State House passed a resolution that would end the weekly federal COVID unemployment payments of $300. It will now move on to the Senate -- which like the House -- is controlled by Republicans where it's expected to pass.

 

But Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she would veto that bill.

 

Opponents of the continued federal payments say the money is incentivizes people not to work which has left employers unable to fill open positions.

 

Proponents of the payment said it's not fair to punish those who lost their job through no fault of their own.

Grant Application Period for the 2021 Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund Open Through July 15

The 2021 application period for the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund is now open and will close on July 15.  

 

The Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund was established through Fremont Area Community Foundation in 2002. Grants awarded through the fund help sustain the waters and water-dependent natural resources of the Muskegon River by supporting conservation, enhancement, and restoration projects. The fund provides up to $50,000 annually and typical grants range from $5,000 to $20,000.  

 

Grant requests are accepted for projects or programs which conserve, enhance, or restore the Muskegon River watershed. Since 2002, the fund has provided grants to support projects including streambank stabilization, rain garden creation, site clean ups or enhancements, erosion control construction, and education, to name a few. In 2020, grant recipients included:   

 

  • Mecosta County Park Commission, which received funds to stabilize over 500 feet of eroding streambank along the Muskegon River at the Davis Bridge boat launch.  
  • Grant Public Schools, which received a grant to help educate students about careers related to the environment and empowering them to become community ambassadors. 
  • Mecosta Conservation District, which received some funding to help support the annual Household Hazardous Clean-Up event that provides a safe method for residents in Mecosta, Osceola and Lake Counties to dispose of toxic and hazardous products.  
  • The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly received a grant to help educate landowners on erosion control techniques that minimize pollution and help keep the waterways healthy and vibrant. 

 

Projects considered for grants must be located within the Muskegon River Watershed, which is one of the largest watersheds in Michigan at over 2,700 square miles. The application period for 2021 is from June 1 through July 15, 2021. Recipients will be notified by the end of the year and funds will be distributed in early 2022.  

 

For more information about the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund or to begin an online grant application, visit facommunityfoundation.org/icemountain

Local police taking part in speeding crackdown initiative

You better take it easy with your speed on Michigan freeways this weekend .

 

Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, the Big Rapids Police Department, and the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety are taking part in a multi-state crackdown on speeders. 

 

t's all part of the"Great Lakes, High Stakes" campaign as more than 30 municipal, county and Michigan state law enforcement agencies will focus on speeding drivers between Saturday and June 27.

 

The Michigan and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is partnering with five other states on the campaign.

 

The Michigan office says there have been more traffic fatalities with one thousand 83 last year, a 10% increase from 2019 even though the number of crashes was down.

Breaking: Spectrum Health and Beaumont Heath take first step in creating new health system

Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health, two of the most respected health systems in Michigan, announced today they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore creating a new health system. Leaders from Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health believe that creating a new Michigan-based health system will build a stronger future that provides more accessible, affordable and equitable health care and coverage for people across the state. Priority Health, Spectrum Health’s top-rated, Michigan-based health plan, will also be part of the new system.
 

“Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health are leaders in our respective markets, and by bringing together our organizations to create a new system, we have the opportunity to deliver greater value in high-quality and affordable health care to our communities,” Spectrum Health President & CEO Tina Freese Decker said. “Together, we can provide a more personalized experience that prioritizes individuals’ health while also attracting and retaining great talent to our vibrant communities.”

Beaumont Health Board Chair Julie Fream said, “As health care continues to evolve, there are a number of factors that proactive health systems must consider as they plan for the future. Beaumont Health has found a great Michigan partner in Spectrum Health, and together, we are uniquely positioned for success. As a new organization, we will provide Michiganders an enhanced, high-quality health care and coverage network built for them.”

 

The organizations have shared goals for the new system, including:

 

  • Improving health and health equity: Providing exceptional, equitable care and service to all patients and health plan members will always be at the center of the system’s work.

 

  • Enhancing the consumer experience: Making the experience easier for patients and members will include investing in new digital technologies and providing services in more convenient ways such as virtual and in-home care.
     
  • Improving health care quality, value and outcomes: Creating a new health system, which includes the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, will allow for the development of and investment in innovative solutions that improve health care and coverage for all Michiganders.

 

  • Making health care more affordable for the communities we serve: Bringing together the strengths of Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health will improve efficiency and deliver affordable, high-quality care and coverage across the state.
     
  • Ensuring the voices of team members and physicians are heard: Gathering the input of physicians, nurses and other team members who are closest to patients will be critical to realizing the mission and vision of the new organization. The new organization will also foster a culture that attracts and retains top health professionals to live and work in Michigan.
     

Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health have also developed five guiding principles that will guide the creation of the new organization. The principles are outlined in a letter to the community.

The new organization will be governed by a new systemwide Board of Directors. The 16-member Board will include: seven seats appointed by Beaumont Health, seven seats appointed by Spectrum Health, the President & CEO of the new system, and a new Board member to be appointed following the creation of the new system. The Board will include at least three physicians. The temporary legal name of the new organization will be “BHSH System.”

 

The new health system will be led by Tina Freese Decker, the President & CEO of Spectrum Health. The first Board Chair will be Julie Fream, the Board Chair of Beaumont Health. John Fox, President & CEO of Beaumont Health, will help ensure a successful transition to the new health system. Following this transition, he plans to leave the organization. A thorough process will be developed to identify and select the BHSH Beaumont Health president.


The new organization will operate 22 hospitals and 305 outpatient locations, with more than 64,000 team members, including more than 7,500 affiliated, independent and employed physicians, more than 3,000 affiliated, independent and employed Advanced Practice Providers, and more than 15,000 nurses. The new system will operate dual headquarters in Grand Rapids and Southfield, and the President & CEO and senior executive leadership team will spend time on both sides of the state. 

 

 

Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health are strong brands in their respective markets. There will be no immediate changes to the legacy brands. Those names will remain in their local markets pending adoption of the overall branding plan by the System Board. The new BHSH System will work together to determine a path forward that honors both legacy brands and will engage physicians, team members, donors and the community in that process.

 

Local fiduciary boards with committed community board members will remain in place to provide governance and leadership to the BHSH Beaumont Health, BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan, BHSH Spectrum Health Lakeland and Priority Health divisions. Each board will retain local governance oversight over key areas unique to the communities they serve.

 

“Our organizations share complementary strengths in areas such as quality and have similar missions, visions and values,” Beaumont Health President & CEO John Fox said. “We also both have deep relationships in our communities that are built upon providing excellent care and service. Together, we can leverage both of our strengths to further our focus on providing exceptional care for our communities.”

 

Spectrum Health Board Chair Robert Roth added, “Spectrum Health has a proven track record of successful integrations and partnerships that improve quality and access to care and coverage, while maintaining important local relationships with physicians, donors and community members. Our ultimate focus is ensuring high-quality care for patients and members that is sustainable for today and tomorrow, and we are confident that creating a new system with Beaumont Health will achieve that goal.”

 

As this process continues to evolve, Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health patients, members and communities will continue to receive exceptional care from physicians and teams they know and trust.
 

Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health hope to complete this process, which is subject to the execution of an integration agreement and applicable regulatory reviews, this fall. 

 

A letter to the Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health communities, as well as updates on this process, is available here: www.formichiganbymichigan.org.

 

Spectrum Health merger with Beaumont in the future?

Could a potential merger between West Michigan health care provider Spectrum Heath and Southeastern Michigan's Beaumont Hospital be on the horizon? 

 

An article published late Wednesday night by Deadline Detroit's Eric Starkman says a potential announcement could come as soon as today. 

 

According to Starkman, Beaumont spokesman Mark Geary ignored a request for comment. Spectrum spokeswoman Ellen Bristol Wednesday morning said she would “look into” whether a merger was imminent, seeming to indicate Deadline Detroit’s inquiry was the first she’d heard of a potential deal. She never followed up with a comment.

 

Big Rapids Daily News will update this article as more details become available. 

Demolition work underway in central campus, center for virtual learning site preparation as focus

Two Ferris State University residence hall sites find contractors engaged in significant activity as the campus profile changes ahead of the $29.5 million Center for Virtual Learning construction.

 

Physical Plant Senior Project Manager Joe Haupt said Vandercook Hall is the current focal point as summer begins. However, work began before the 2020-21 academic year ended to prepare Taggart Hall for demolition.


“In April, contractors were moving through prep work from the upper floors downward, such that activity in June will be based in the first floor of that building,” Haupt said. “Their abatement tasks will continue through the lowest levels of the building, ahead of the demolition crews’ advance to bring Taggart Hall down.”

 

Haupt said since students and staff were living in Vandercook Hall until the first part of May, all grounds work and other efforts had to wait, but most of the contractors involved in abatement are now on the job of demolition preparations at that site.

 

“The process for abatement in Vandercook follows the same pattern as in Taggart, and the removal of infrastructure there will not be as extensive,” Haupt said. “To follow our schedule for site development, as it relates to the CVL construction project, we intend to have Vandercook Hall razed by early July.”

 

Haupt said they expect to have Taggart Hall demolished by the first week of August.

 

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget is currently following a review process on plans for the Center for Virtual Learning, which will be located at the Vandercook site between Hallisy Hall and the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education (FLITE). The Center for Virtual Learning development has $22 million in state of Michigan funding as a Capital Outlay Project, and Haupt said that government approval of their drawings is required accordingly.

 

“Once the DTMB concurs, our construction management firm can solicit estimates on project pricing,” Haupt said. “The best-case scenario for this aspect of the project would see negotiations wrapped up by the end of July, with awards made to subcontractors almost immediately thereafter.”

 

Haupt said their optimal timeline for developing the Center for Virtual Learning would find the foundation for the center laid before students return to campus for fall classes. He said the work to create a green space on the Taggart Hall parcel is sufficiently set back from South and State streets that it will not restrict campus vehicular traffic.

 

“Even in the Center for Virtual Learning construction area, we do not anticipate needing to close North Campus Drive for north or southbound travel,” Haupt said. “There may be days where partial closure is required when we reach the point of demolition on those higher sections of Vandercook Hall so that safety is assured for motorists and contractors.”

State Senate passes voting rules legislation

Republicans in the state Senate have passed legislation to require photo ID's to vote in person --- and added identity requirements for people who want to vote by mail.

 

The bills are among several measures to tighten voting rules.

 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she would veto the bills if they reach her desk, but the GOP could sidestep her by enacting ballot proposals.

 

Michigan voters without a photo ID can sign an affidavit to vote.

 

Under the legislation, they'd vote a provisional ballot and would have to later verify their identity for it to count.

District Health Department #10 releases findings from COVID-19 survey

As COVID-19 vaccination rates declined across District Health Department #10’s (DHD#10) jurisdiction, a survey was created to understand vaccine hesitancy within the communities and to increase vaccination rates. This survey allowed participants to identify their main concerns about receiving the vaccine or identify concerns they may have heard from others in the community.  

 

The survey was sent out to the public around the first of May 2021. Nearly 300 responses were received within the first week of sharing the survey, with a grand total of 349 responses received when the survey closed at the end of May. Approximately two-thirds of respondents had already received the vaccine but were willing to share what they heard in their community about why others were not receiving the vaccine. Approximately one-third of respondents had yet to be vaccinated. The following is a snapshot of the responses received from the survey (infographic also provided below): 

 

  • When asked why individuals did not receive the vaccine, the following are the responses: 
    • Those who were vaccinated responded that they overheard others saying the following: 
      • 61% - COVID is no big deal 
      • 69% - are concerned about side effects 
      • 70% - said vaccine development was too quick 
    • Those who were not vaccinated responded with the following: 
      • 18% - COVID is no big deal 
      • 58% - are concerned about side effects 
      • 60% - said vaccine development was too quick. 
         
  • When asked what would make them more likely to receive the vaccine, 66% of those who are unvaccinated responded with “Nothing” and 34% responded with “Other” and wrote in the following reasons: 
    • Further research 
    • A requirement for employment or activities 
    • Convenience 
       

“This survey gives us valuable insight into some hesitancies people in our jurisdiction have about getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” stated DHD#10 Health Officer Kevin Hughes. “As more research is presented on the effectiveness of the vaccine, individuals will have more concrete information from which to make an informed decision."  

 

This survey also gathered input on where clinics should be held in the community and the preferred clinic times. This information was collected, and DHD#10 was able to transition to hosting pop-up community clinics at various locations provided by participants. This survey also influenced DHD#10 to implement longer clinic hours on each Tuesday of the month. Pop-up clinics and adjusted hours help to increase the accessibility of the covid vaccine. 

 

Michigan Secretary of State adds 350,000 appointment reservations statewide amid backlog

The Michigan Secretary of State added 350,000 appointments at branch offices to clear a 13-month backlog of appointments.

 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said a switch to an appointment-only system aimed to get people in and out of offices faster.

 

Half of the new appointments are already available, and appointments from the other 175,000 will be added to the system each week as next-day appointments, officials said. Those appointments come online each day at 8 a.m. and noon.

 

Appointments can be made online, through the call center (888-SOS-MICH) or in person at a secretary of state branch.

 

There is also a SOS self service kiosk at the Meijer store in Big Rapids for renewing registration, adding motorcycle endorsement and renew license/ID if photo isn't required.

 

For more information about online services and what other services the SOS offers CLICK HERE

 

 

41-year old woman arrested for stabbing man in Big Rapids

A 41-year old woman is behind bars awaiting arraignment for charges connected to an alleged stabbing Monday afternoon.

 

Officers with the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety were called to the 500 block of S. State St. for a possible stabbing. When they arrived to the scene, they found a 35-year old man with a stab wound to his upper chest. He was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

 

A 41-year-old female on scene was identified as the suspect and was taken into custody.

 

She was taken to the Mecosta County Jail and will be arraigned by the 77th District Court.

Health Department urges residents to be proactive amid booming tick season

Areas across Michigan, including Northern Michigan, are seeing an explosion of tick activity this year. As the weather becomes nicer and people head outdoors to enjoy nature,

 

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) reminds everyone to exercise proper precautions to prevent human-tick interactions.   

 

 

Proper precautions include: 
 
  • Being aware of your surroundings. Most tick encounters happen in shady, moist wooded and grassy areas and fields near wooded areas.  
  • Applying EPA-registered insect repellent that contains 20% or more DEET, picaridin, or IR3535, to skin or clothing according to label’s instructions.  
  • Wearing clothing that has been treated with permethrin. 
  • Walking in the center of trails and avoid walking in areas with tall grass and brush. 
  • Conducting a full-body check of yourself and your pets for ticks after spending time outdoors.  
  • Drying clothing on high heat for 60 minutes to kill any remaining ticks. 
  • Taking a shower as soon as you can after coming indoors. 
  • Talking to your vet about tick bite prevention products for your pets.  

 

 

Michigan also offers tick identification resources to residents and visitors for free. Physical ticks can be placed in a container and mailed to MDHHS, or photos may be submitted to MDHHS-Bugs@michigan.gov 

 

Questions regarding ticks and other vectors should be directed to DHD#10’s Environmental Health Division at 888-217-3904.  

Additional information regarding ticks and Lyme disease can be found here: 

RV takes Michigan State Police on chase

A woman driving a Winnebago RV is facing charges after she struck two police cruisers and four cars on Saturday -- as one point going the wrong-way on U.S. 131.

 

A Kent County sheriffs deputy was injured after colliding with a pickup truck near Cedar Springs.

 

The injuries were minor.

 

The Winnebago struck at least four vehicles while going the wrong way. No injuries were reported to people in the cars.

 

Police say a search of the RV found several large electronic items believed stolen from a Walmart store in Mount Pleasant.

White Cloud woman involved in hit & run accident in Big Rapids Twp.

Police believe alcohol and speed were factors connected to two separate accidents involving a White Cloud woman.

 

Mecosta County Sheriff deputies were called to a hit and run accident on 15 Mile Rd near Oakwood Dr in Big Rapids Twp late Friday afternoon.

 

That's where a 17-year old woman from Big Rapids was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by a 47-year old White Cloud woman.

 

The 47-year old driver then fled the scene and crashed a mile down the road after she had loss control and overturned. The White Cloud woman was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for minor injuries.

 

The Big Rapids female was uninjured.

Gas leak in Evart contained Thursday night

There was a small scare in the city of Evart Thursday evening as a gas leak shut down a part of the area.

 

It happened around 5pm, when the Evart Fire Department received a call that a construction crew hit a gas pipe at Hemlock Street and Fifth Street.

 

The crew was surveying the area to put in internet cables when they struck a two inch pipe.

 

Members of DTE Energy came on scene to shut off the pipe and assist the fire department.

 

The leak was under control within two hours of the initial call.

Moolenaar supports legislation to improve broadband access

Congressman John Moolenaar has signed on as a cosponsor of the Gigabit Opportunity Act, which would create opportunity zones in low-income rural and urban areas that currently lack the federal minimum broadband service.

 

States would designate the opportunity zones in their state and tax incentives would be provided for the companies that build broadband Internet service in those area.

 

“Many rural communities in Michigan lack the infrastructure necessary to provide access to broadband service, making it more difficult for students to do homework and for seniors to access telemedicine,” said Moolenaar. “This new legislation complements my efforts to expand broadband access through the BOOST Act, and it would encourage providers to build more broadband infrastructure in our rural communities.”

 

The Gigabit Opportunity Act complements the BOOST Act, which Moolenaar introduced earlier this year.

 

The BOOST Act would allow rural homeowners and primary lessees to claim a $300 tax credit after purchasing a mobile hotspot they can use to connect to the Internet or a signal booster they can use to increase the speed of a slow connection. Both the BOOST Act and the Gigabit Opportunity Act apply only to areas where Internet connection speeds are below the federal minimum standard of service, which 25 megabytes per second for downloads and 3 megabytes per second for uploads.

Stanwood man suffers minor injuries following one car accident

A Stanwood man is recovering following a one vehicle crash in Mecosta County.

 

It happened Tuesday evening around 6:30pm, deputies say a 20-year old driver was traveling 11 Mile Rd near 215th Ave. when he ran off the road, struck a ditch, over-corrected then struck a tree and went down an embankment.

 

The Stanwood man was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries where he was treated and later released.

Manhunt over as suspect in Isabella Co. homicide/sexual assault turns self in

 

The manhunt for a man wanted for a murder near Mount Pleasant is over.

 

40-year-old Isaiah Gardenhire turned himself in early this morning after he had traveled to the Flint area in a stolen Ford Fusion.

 

He called a tv station there and said he wanted to turn himself in and police negotiated him to do that.

 

Gardenhire was wanted for a murder and sexual assault early Sunday morning in Union Township.

 

State Police say a juvenile female was stabbed and later died and a woman was sexually assaulted.

Michigan AG calls proposed DTE rate increase unreasonable

Michigan’s Attorney General is working to make sure a rate increase from DTE is reasonable.

 

Dana Nessel is urging the Michigan Public Service Commission to significantly cut a rate increase request from DTE. In February, the Attorney General intervened in the company’s filed rate case as an advocate for the utility’s natural gas customers across the state.

 

The company requested a $195 million increase, which would represent a greater than 11% increase for residential customers. Nessel filed testimony back on June 3 and argued the requested increase is unreasonable. She says any increase must remain moderate.

Big Rapids Baseball losses heartbreaker to Gladwin in Rd 2 of District 35 play: 5-4 (8 inn)

In Round 2 of the MHSAA District 35 Tournament last Saturday, Big Rapids took on the Flying G's of Gladwin at Chippewa Hills High School.

 

After surrendering 2 1st inning runs, Big Rapids rallied on a 2nd inning 2-run homerun by Sawyer Meeuewes to even it. Meeuewes was also pitching & locked the game down after the 1st until he ran out of pitches late.

(Meeuewes Pitching Line: 6.2IP   4 Hits   4 Runs   2 Earned Runs   3 Walks   12 Strikeouts)

 

After 2 straight singles to lead off the 4th, the Cardinals would take the lead on a clutch 2-out 2-RBI single by Sophomore Ben Knuth.

 

Up 4-2 heading into the 7th inning, Meeuewes only had 9 pitches of his 105 daily allotment remaining.

2 fielding errors put the tying runs on before Meeuews induced a fielder's choice for the 1st out. With only a few pitches remaining, Sawyer struck out Gladwin's Shea for the 2nd out.

Ballard, typically a starter, then came off 1st base to an intentional walk to load the bases. With 2 outs in the 7th on a 1-0 count Gladwin's Mead singled to right field on a sharp groundball that scored 2 runs, tying the game. Ballard would then quickly end the inning on only 3 more pitches.

 

In the bottom of the 7th, Senior Maurice Camphor led off with a 1-1 single to left. Grant Kidder then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Camphor to 2nd, but Eric Standen's line out to short and Austin Vennix's ground out would end the threat & send the game to extra innings.

 

In the bottom of the 8th, Gladwin's Przyewski drew a lead off walk, Woodford bunted him to 2nd, Yott walked, then on an 0-2 pitch leadoff man Mead reached out and poked a single to center to win it for the Flying G's.

 

Gladwin would move on to win the District blowing out Ludington 13-1 (that after Ludington blew out Chippewa Hills 14-4 earlier in the day). Gladwin moves on to play Bay City John Glenn at Chippewa Hills this Wednesday at 4:00pm.

 

Big Rapids finishes their season with a 22-15 record, a remarkable feat considering they played Rockford, Forest Hills Eastern, Petoskey, Whitehall, Cedar Springs, Sparta, & Traverse City West as non-conference opponents.

The 2021 Baseball team is the 1st team in school history to beat TC West.

Michigan GOP files complaint against Gov. Whitmer

The Michigan Republican Party has filed a complaint with the state over Governor Gretchen Whitmer's re-election campaign paying for her use of a private jet to visit her ailing father in Florida.

 

The law lets elected officials use political funds for incidental expenses incurred while carrying out government work.

 

Republican party leaders say the trip was personal and not for official business.

 

Democrats call the complaint "bogus." Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson could levy a fine if she finds a violation.

Michigan State Police searching for Isabella Co. homicide suspect

 

State Police are looking for a 40-year-old man, suspected in a sexual assault and homicide near Mount Pleasant in Union Township Sunday morning.

 

Police are looking for Isaiah " Zeke" Gardenhire, who's six foot one and weighs 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers. 

Rep. Hoitenga critical of Gov. Whitmer's recent broadband initiative

It's an attempt to get high-speed internet service to more families in Michigan.

 

Governor Whitmer announced that she is setting up the Michigan HighSpeed Internet Office to make the internet more affordable and accessible.

 

However, Michigan House Communications and Technology Committee Chair Michele Hoitenga criticized a high-speed internet directive – saying the proposals replicate failed practices from other states and are “press fluff opportunities” that lack an action plan.

 

Hoitenga called the plan duplicative as Whitmer already established the Connecting Michigan Taskforce in 2020.

 

The third-term legislator said another state-level broadband program is not needed when multiple thoughtful and effective grant programs have recently been enacted – the Connecting Michigan Communities Grant Program and the Broadband Expansion Act of Michigan, the latter of which was spearheaded by Hoitenga.

 

“We know what needs to be done to increase expansion efforts,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “We don’t need more new government committees or dedicated bodies to keep telling us the same information on what needs to happen. The governor should instead stop vetoing legislation that seeks to help broadband expansion efforts. “It’s important to prioritize broadband access. I have done so, but these plans are tone deaf and create additional issues. Gov. Whitmer announcing this initiative in Detroit – which already enjoys more broadband access than much of rural and northern Michigan – shows she’s missed the mark with her approach to this problem. The answer to every problem is not more government.”

Big Rapids DPS promotes two officers

The Big Rapids Dept. of Public Safety recently promoted two of their officers to new ranks.

 

Officers David Flore and William Sell were both promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

 

“I am proud to promote these two officers,” said Chief Danielle Haynes. “Sergeants Flore and Sell
represent our agency with integrity and professionalism. I am sure they will be excellent leaders for
their colleagues and this community.”


David Flore is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. David began his law
enforcement career in 2009 as a bike patrol officer for Cadillac PD. He also worked as a part-time officer
for Mundy Township in Genesee County. In 2010, Flore was hired as a full-time officer for Big Rapids
Police Department. In 2012, he received a Life Saving Award and has received multiple merit awards.
David has served on CMET and the Mecosta County Honor Guard. He is the department’s Radar
instructor, a Field Training Officer, and has taken an active role in the hiring process and revamping of
the field training process. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University.


William Sell is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. William began his
law enforcement career in 2010 as a deputy for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Sarasota, Florida.
There, he served on the department’s Honor Guard and as a Field Training Officer. In 2017, he received
a Life Saving Award and was nominated for Patrol Division Employee of the month. In 2018, he moved
to Big Rapids with his family and was hired by the Big Rapids Police Department. Since coming here,
William has served as a Field Training Officer and has taken an active role in helping create policy and
procedures for the department and helped to revamp the department’s evidence packaging and
handling procedures. He received his associate degree from Manatee Community College, in
Bradenton, Florida.


 

DHD#10 hosting numerous off-site COVID-19 vaccine clinics

Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available, District Health Department #10 is bringing it to the community through off-site vaccine clinics. You do not need an appointment – just walk into any clinic to receive your vaccine. All clinics will have Pfizer for 12 and older and most will have Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for 18 and older. 

 

The following counties currently have off-site COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled: 

 

CRAWFORD
Wednesday, June 2, 2:00-7:00PM – Grayling Middle School Gymnasium, Grayling 

 

LAKE
Wednesday, June 2, 11:00AM-3:00PM – Bread of Life Food Pantry, Baldwin 

 

MANISTEE
Wednesday, June 9, 9:30AM-12:30PM – Manistee High School, Manistee 

Thursday, June 10, 3:00-6:00PM – Iron Fish Distillery, Thompsonville 

 

MASON

Wednesday, June 2, 2:00-6:00PM – Ludington High School, Ludington
Wednesday, June 9, 12:00-2:00PM – Caritas Food Pantry, Custer
Wednesday, June 23, 9:00AM-12:00PM – Mason County District Library, Ludington 

 

NEWAYGO
Wednesday, June 2, 2:30-6:30PM – Hesperia Community School Gym, Hesperia 

Wednesday, June 9 and June 30, 8:30-9:30AM – TrueNorth Food Distribution, Fremont 

 

OCEANA
Wednesday, June 2, 12:00-5:00PM – Pentwater Public School Cafeteria, Pentwater 

Monday, June 7, 1:00-6:00PM – Shelby High School, Shelby
Tuesday, June 22, July 13, and August 10, 4:00-7:00PM – New Era Farmer’s Market, New Era 

 

WEXFORD
Wednesday, June 2, 10:00AM-1:00PM – Kirtland Terrace Apartments, Cadillac 

Thursday, June 3, 3:00-5:00PM – Cadillac United Methodist Church, Cadillac 

Monday, June 7, 3:00-6:00PM – Cadillac Jr. High School Cafeteria, Cadillac
Wednesday, June 9, 10:00AM-1:00PM – Harbor View Apartments, Cadillac
Friday, July 16, 5:00-7:00PM – Manton Truck Show, Downtown Manton 

 

More off-site vaccine clinics will be added and announced each week. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, go to www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine. To stay up to date on the latest information, sign up for Public Health Alerts at www.dhd10.org/schedule.  

Voter ID legislation moves forward in State Senate

Legislation dealing with voter identification is headed to the full Michigan Senate.

 

The Senate Elections Committee voted 3-1 Wednesday afternoon on three bills that are part of an election reform package introduced by Senate Republicans earlier this year.

 

All of the bills approved yesterday deal with issuing provisional ballots to voters who don't have a photo ID.

 

Supporters say the legislation will make sure the individual voting is who they say they are.

 

Opponents say the bills call for voters to provide more documentation than is currently required by law

Big Rapids Baseball wins District Play-In Game versus Standish-Sterling, 6-4

The Big Rapids Cardinal Baseball team opened their District Play at Chippewa Hills High School versus the Standish-Sterling Panthers last night.

 

Big Rapids used their dynamic duo of Seniors Keaton Ballard & Sawyer Meeuewes to keep the Panthers in check long enough to secure the Play-In victory.
Ballard got the win to move to 10-4 on the season while Meeuewes & his .469 ERA/.838 WHIP notched his first save.

 

To get the scoring started, Grant Kidder led off for the Cardinals with a triple before Senior Eric Standen knocked him in with an RBI groundout. An Austin Vennix walk, Keaton Ballard single, and Sawyer Meeuewes Sac Fly would tack on another 1st Inning run to give BR the early 2-0 lead.

 

No further runs would score for either side until the 4th when Big Rapids would load the bases with 1 out. Grant Kidder once again came through with a Suicide Squeeze to make it 3-0.

 

The Panthers responded in their next top half with a walk & 2 singles to knock Ballard off the mound. With Meeuewes pitching, Standish's Chase Raymond would loft a 1 out Sac Fly to right to make it 3-1.

 

Big Rapids returned the favor & some with 3 in the bottom of the 5th. The Cardinals started the inning with 3 straight hits: singles by Vennix & Ballard then an RBI double by Meeuewes.
1 batter later, Sophomore Ben Knuth would execute a gutty 2 strike suicide squeeze to score Ballard before Senior Xavier Prince put the nail in the coffin with a 2 out, 2 strike RBI single up the middle. 
When the 5th inning ended, Big Rapids held a commanding 6-2 lead.

 

Apart from a 2 out, 2 run double by the Panther's Barlett in the 6th to make it 6-4, Meeuewes would slam the door and secure the victory for Big Rapids.

 

"It was the best game they played all season" said Asst. Coach J.T. Scarpelli. "Every guy picked each other up & they won as a team. We're very proud of these guys. Now let's win a district Saturday."

 

The Cardinals move on to play the Gladwin Flying G's this Saturday at 10:00am.
All District 35 games are at Chippewa Hills High School.

Whitmer recall effort not moving forward

A recent recall effort targeting Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel will NOT move forward.

 

The Board of State Canvassers rejected two petitions Tuesday.

 

One was looking to recall the Governor. It says Whitmer continued a State of Emergency without legislative approval and despite a Michigan Supreme Court order.

 

The same person said the Attorney General should be recalled because a mid-Michigan barber's business license was suspended and a west Michigan restaurant owner was arrested for violating emergency orders.

 

Whitmer is not out of the woods just yet, six petitions moved forward after approval by the Board of State Canvassers, ruled by the Michigan Court of Appeals last week.

 

Whitmer’s campaign plans on appealing the decision from last week. 

Restrictions lifting

Starting today, venues can set their own rules for things like weddings and other large gatherings.

 

It's all part of the new health orders taking effect today in Michigan.

 

There will also no longer be capacity limits outdoors or for residential gatherings. Indoor establishments can now be at 50-percent capacity.

 

The 11P.M. curfew for bars and restaurants has been lifted.

 

Masks are still required for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19

Big Rapids woman dies in weekend crash

A Big Rapids woman died over the weekend following a vehicle crash in Big Rapids Township.

 

It happened on Saturday at 205th Ave near Arthur Rd, Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies say a 1998 Chevy Blazer was traveling northbound when the 56-year old female driver ran off the road, over corrected and rolled the vehicle several times.

 

The woman was pinned inside the vehicle, and she had to be extracted by emergency crews. She was flown by Aero-Med to a Grand Rapids Hospital with life threatening injuries.

 

The Big Rapids woman died a day later from injuries from the accident.

 

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