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News That Affects You Archives for 2021-08

Mecosta man arrested in Remus area shooting

On Sunday evening, Deputies and Detectives from Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were able to identify and arrest a 30-year old Mecosta man without incident for a shooting that occurred at a home on 13 mile road and 45th avenue early Sunday morning.

 

According to Sheriff Brian Miller in a press release, a 58-year old man was shot two times at a residence and was taken to a Grand Rapids area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

 

The victim had gunshot wounds to an arm and both legs.

 

The suspect is in the Mecosta County Jail awaiting arraignment on multiple felonies.

One person injured as fight and shooting occurs at Campus Creek Apts.

One person was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a fight and then shooting at Campus Creek Apartments Sunday morning. 

 

According to Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller in a press release, police were called to the Campus Creek Apartments just after 1:30am for the report of two gun shots fired at the apartments.

 

Upon arrival deputies discovered the victim on the ground bleeding from his head. It was discovered that a fight had broken out and the victim was beaten by 3-4 people. During the fight an unknown suspect shot two rounds, reportedly into the air, from a handgun.

 

A 20-year old man sustained head injuries as a result of an assault and was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

 

The suspect, who currently has not been identified, is described as a light skinned black male approx. 5"8 wearing a purple shirt and a purple ball cap turned Sideways. The suspect has a tattoo similar to a tear drop under his right eye.

 

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office at 231-592-0150. 

Commissioner Jennifer Cochran announces candidacy for Big Rapids Mayor

Big Rapids City Commissioner Jennifer Cochran announced on Friday, Aug. 27th her intentions to run for Big Rapids Mayor in the November election. 

 

Cochran becomes the second person to announce their mayoral candidacy as retired Big Rapids Doctor Fred Guenther announced his intentions to run for mayor a month ago. 

 

According to a press release, City Commissioner Jennifer Cochran believes in the future of Big Rapids. The retired university administrator, educator and consultant believes that thoughtful, disciplined
leadership will help Big Rapids continue to attract a variety of high-quality businesses, sustain
the financial support needed to fund crucial city services and help address the economic
challenges on the horizon.


Cochran is asking Big Rapids voters to believe in her, too. She is asking them to elect her Mayor
of Big Rapids on Nov. 2.

 

“It has been my privilege to be an active member of the team – the City Commission working in
conjunction with city staff – that has brought us to where we are today,” Cochran said. “I have
learned a great deal about how the city operates and how we need to think about solutions to
problems. It is now my desire to step up to the next level of leadership as Mayor.”

 

Listen • Learn • Lead – That’s Cochran’s philosophy on public service and governance. During a
time when so many issues of importance are politicized, misrepresented or purposely taken out
of context by political campaigns, Cochran encourages community engagement, public
discussion and research before passing judgment on a proposed policy or project.


“It is incumbent upon us as leaders to make informed decisions on the many, varied issues that
come before the City Commission,” she said. “I know that there will be decisions made by the
commission that some people will disagree with. However, I strongly believe they should
always know how I came to those decisions. I listen, learn and then lead.”

 

Following her retirement, Cochran wanted to use her skills to volunteer to make a positive
impact in Big Rapids. She was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2015. In 2017, the
Commission chose her from a field of seven candidates to fill the seat vacated by Mayor
Hogenson. Two years later, the voters elected her to be their voice and entrusted her with a
seat on the City Commission.


“My priorities as mayor will not be informed solely through my own experiences, but through
my interactions with people who also want the best for Big Rapids,” Cochran said. “Many
people told me they didn’t always feel like they had a voice, that they were heard. I listen to
their stories, and ideas, about how Big Rapids can be a safe, thriving and inclusive community.”


As the city leadership team considers new projects and programs, Cochran believes that Big
Rapids should not further burden taxpayers and business owners.


“We must remain diligent in our practices of sound fiscal management, increase our efforts to
secure funding through state and private sources, and continue to nurture current partnerships
and cultivate new ones with those who also have a stake in seeing Big Rapids grow and thrive,”
Cochran said. 


Outgoing Mayor Tom Hogenson praised Cochran’s philosophy of Listen • Learn • Lead.
Hogenson is term-limited and cannot seek reelection. He is supporting her in her campaign to
succeed him.


“Like all successful leaders, she asks questions in order to understand versus merely to
respond,” Hogenson said. “She seeks the advice of those she serves in order to make decisions
informed by study and diverse input. Her ability to identify problems and solutions and to
prioritize action accordingly are also part of a winning approach to governance.”

 

 

Barryton woman arrested on arson and meth charges

 

A Barryton woman is in trouble with the law.

 

34-year old Kimberly Terry was arrested last week after Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies were called to a home on 15 Mile Road west of M66 where Terry is alleged to breaking into, took items from, and then set on fire. 

 

She was in possession of Meth at the time of the incident.

 

Terry was arrested on felony charges of Breaking and Entering, Arson, and possession of Meth.

Drug Take Back event to be held at SH Reed City and Big Rapids Hospitals

Everyone is encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets and take advantage of free drug take back events at Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals.

 

Medication and needle take back events are scheduled on Tuesday, August 24 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Reed City Hospital Multi Specialty Clinic and on Wednesday, August 25 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Big Rapids Hospital.

 

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.

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse coming to Mt. Pleasant

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is coming to Soaring Eagle Resort and Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The restaurant will become the signature steakhouse for the Resort, and the brand’s fourth location in Michigan.


“At Ruth’s Chris, we are dedicated to providing a comfortable, inviting and memorable experience to all
of our guests,” said Cheryl Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc.
“We look forward to serving those enjoying a visit to the Soaring Eagle Resort and Casino.”
 
Mike Bean, CEO of the Saginaw Chippewa Gaming Enterprises, said: “We are pleased to partner with
Ruth’s Chris to bring this outstanding brand to Soaring Eagle. We look forward to offering the great
Ruth’s Chris experience to our valued guests." “We are looking forward to welcoming Ruth’s Chris to our Soaring Eagle property. Thank you to the Soaring Eagle and Ruth’s Chris teams for making this vision a reality,” said Tim Davis, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Chief.
 
Ruth’s Chris specializes in custom-aged USDA Prime steaks expertly prepared and served on 500-degree
sizzling hot plates. Made-from-scratch sides are prepared from Ruth’s original recipes and are perfectly
portioned to share. Guests can also choose from a variety of seafood options, soups, salads and
decadent desserts all sourced from the freshest ingredients available.
 
In addition to its indulgent menu, Ruth’s Chris offers an award-winning spirits program with a wine list
that features over 200 labels, premium wines by the glass and hand-crafted cocktails.

Rodney woman suffers serious injuries following rollover accident

A Rodney woman suffered serious injuries following a one car crash in Mecosta County's Green Township Thursday morning.

 

It happened just after midnight, deputies say the 56-year old driver was traveling southbound on Northland Drive when she ran off the road jumping a curve then rolling over several times.

 

She was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids for serious injuries.

Marshalls in Big Rapids to open Aug. 19th

Marshalls, one of the nation’s leading off-price retailers will open at Perry Avenue & Water Tower Road on August 19th.

 

Marshalls shoppers in Big Rapids will find an amazing selection of high-quality, on-trend, brand name and designer merchandise in women, men, juniors, kids, shoes, accessories, home, pet, beauty and more.

 

“Our newest store in Big Rapids will offer an ever-changing selection of high-quality, on-trend, and brand-name merchandise at the amazing prices that Marshalls is known for. Our buyers create a broad and exciting mix that offers exceptional values for the entire family, and we’re excited to bring this experience to a new neighborhood,” said Tim Miner, President of Marshalls. “With thousands of new items delivered to our stores every day, we know our shoppers will find unbelievable values every time they shop.”

 

In addition to providing a new shopping option for local residents, the new store plans to add approximately 60 full and part-time jobs to the area.

 

A grand opening event will be taking place August 19th from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. 

 

In celebration of its new Big Rapids location, Marshalls will contribute to the local community by donating $10,000 to WISE, Inc.

Willow Ave One Way Removal

The City of Big Rapids will be removing the temporary one way on Willow Ave between Oak St. and River St.

 

The implementation of the temporary one way was coordinated with the City of Big Rapids and the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital as a means to better direct traffic to the drive-through COVID-19 testing facility.

 

Both parties have communicated and agreed upon the removal of the temporary one-way.

 

Willow Ave between Oak St. and River St. will be reverted to its normal traffic pattern once the temporary signs are removed by the City of Big Rapids Department of Public Works by August 20th, 2021.

 

Drivers and pedestrians are reminded to watch out for other vehicles and the reverting traffic
pattern.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist visits Big Rapids to talk to local businesses

Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist was in downtown Big Rapids Monday morning to talk about revitalizing small business and the economy amid the pandemic.

 

Gilchrist spoke with the owners of Fatty C's Doghouse about their experience of being a startup during the pandemic and challenges they have faced.

 

The Lieutenant Governor then went to the Old Pioneer Store & Emporium to talk with the owners as well to get their experiences. 

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office provides new option for proper disposal of worn U.S. flags

In partnership with the National Association of Counties, the National Flag Foundation, Mecosta County has installed a flag retirement box, at no cost to the county, at the Sheriff’s Office, 225 S. Stewart Street in Big Rapids.

 

Flags should be folded respectfully before being placed in the box.


The United States Flag Code prescribes flag etiquette — everything from flying it near other flags to
instructions on how to raise and lower it.

 

“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning,” says the code. Members of AMVETS Post 1941 will be responsible for the proper disposal of the worn flags. “This centrally-located drop-off provides convenience while respecting our national symbol,” said Sheriff Brian Miller. “The county is unified in helping enable our citizens to respect our great nation while disposing ofold or worn out flags.”


Said NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase, “We are pleased to provide these flag retirement boxes.
Helping residents properly dispose of worn U.S. flags is consistent with our commitment to public service and community engagement.”

Stanwood driver involved in rollover accident over the weekend

A 19-year old driver from Stanwood is recovering following a one vehicle crash early Saturday morning.

 

It happened near the intersection of Pierce Road and West Royal Road in Morton Township.

 

Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies say the 19-year old driver was unable to navigate the curve and went off the road, striking trees before the vehicle overturned.

 

The driver refused EMS but was transported to the Hospital by a family member for treatment of injury sustained during the accident.

 

Alcohol and speed is believed to be a factor in the crash.

Dedication of a bridge on the Dragon Trail in honor of Big Prairie Township Parks

 

A bridge on Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam (the Dragon Trail) has been named for Big Prairie Township Parks in honor of the organization’s partnership with the trail. The bridge, located in segment nine near the intersection of South Cottonwood Avenue and E. 16th Street in Big Prairie Township, was formally dedicated on August 10, 2021.


“Big Bend Park and the Township are host to the busiest segments of trail to date, segments 8 –11,” said Nick Smith, Newaygo County Parks Director. “We are seeing more new campers, day users, and visitors due to this trail portion being installed, thanks to the dedication of past and current Big Prairie Township Parks board members.”


Current Big Prairie Township Parks Chairman Reuben Tucker and Past Chairman John Clark each spoke at the dedication ceremony.

 

“We’re excited about this partnership, and we look forward to the possibility of working together on other projects in the future,” said Tucker.


Ground was broken on the Dragon Trail in fall 2019. The project is estimated to cost around $3.7 million in total, and Big Prairie Township Parks committed $50,000 towards the trail construction. To date, 14.6 miles of the trail is officially open, with another nine miles opening yet this year.


To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit https://www.thedragon.us/support-the-dragon-trail/donate/.

Big Rapids man injured in Newaygo County car crash

A 20-year old Big Rapids man is recovering following a car crash in Newaygo County Thursday evening.

 

It happened just after 5pm at E Baseline Rd near S Cherry Ave in Goodwell Township.

 

Sheriff Deputies say when they arrived to the scene, it was found that a SUV was heading eastbound on E Baseline Rd, crossed over the center-line, went off the road and struck a tree.

 

The driver of the SUV was identified as a 20-year-old man from Big Rapids. He was transported by Aero Med to Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids.

 

Speed appears to be a factor in the crash.

 

The accident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

Power outage update and resources available

The Mecosta County Emergency Manager has an update for residents on the widespread power outages that occurred Tuesday night and has also noted resources and services that are available to residents without power. 
 

POWER OUTAGE STATUS
Currently, Mecosta County has approximately 3026 customers without power. Most outages are Consumers Energy customers. They have posted a statement on their outage page with their goal to have the majority of customers restored by Saturday night and finish almost all of the work by the end of the weekend.

SERVICES AVAILABLE

FREE FOOD (one day event today), WATER CONTAINER FILLING, ELECTRONICS CHARGING, SHOWERS
Today, Friday 8/13, Mecosta County Parks and Consumers Energy will be hosting a free food event. See the following information from the Mecosta County Parks Facebook page:
In Partnership with Consumers Energy we will be hosting a community relief event tomorrow at Brower Park! We hope this event will provide some relief for those who are still without power and have been cleaning up from this weeks storms. Starting at 1:00 PM Free Food will be available from our local vendor Phat Matt's Food Truck. While picking up some food bring some water jugs to fill, grab a quick shower or hit the beach for a short dip to cool off. Before heading home grab a few free bags of ice! We're very grateful to Consumers Energy for sponsoring this event and working hard at getting power restored throughout the county. Food will be served by the Marina Bathhouse and parking lot on a first come first serve basis until product runs out. One meal per person please.
When visiting simply let the gate attendant know that you are without power and looking to utilize these services.

We ask that those visiting the park for non-relief purposes please pay appropriate park entrance fee's.

 
WATER CONTAINER FILLING, ELECTRONICS CHARGING, SHOWERS
Mecosta County Parks Commission is offering services at Brower Park, Paris Park, and Merrill-Gorrel Park from 10 a.m to 10 p.m daily for people still without power. Water container filling, electronics charging, and showers are available. When visiting, simply let the gate attendant know that you are without power and looking to utilize these services.
They ask that those visiting the park for non-relief purposes please pay appropriate park entrance fee's.

WATER CONTAINER FILLING, ELECTRONICS CHARGING

Morton Township has set up an outside self-serve water filling point and charging area at their Fire Station #1 in Canadian Lakes. These services are available 24 hours a day. The Fire Station is located at 8260 100th Avenue, just south of the ACE hardware store in Canadian Lakes. View the Morton Township Facebook Page here.

Power outage update and resources available

The Mecosta County Emergency Manager has an update for residents on the widespread power outages that occurred Tuesday night and has also noted resources and services that are available to residents without power. 
 

POWER OUTAGE STATUS
Currently, Mecosta County has approximately 3026 customers without power. Most outages are Consumers Energy customers. They have posted a statement on their outage page with their goal to have the majority of customers restored by Saturday night and finish almost all of the work by the end of the weekend.

SERVICES AVAILABLE

FREE FOOD (one day event today), WATER CONTAINER FILLING, ELECTRONICS CHARGING, SHOWERS
Today, Friday 8/13, Mecosta County Parks and Consumers Energy will be hosting a free food event. See the following information from the Mecosta County Parks Facebook page:
In Partnership with Consumers Energy we will be hosting a community relief event tomorrow at Brower Park! We hope this event will provide some relief for those who are still without power and have been cleaning up from this weeks storms. Starting at 1:00 PM Free Food will be available from our local vendor Phat Matt's Food Truck. While picking up some food bring some water jugs to fill, grab a quick shower or hit the beach for a short dip to cool off. Before heading home grab a few free bags of ice! We're very grateful to Consumers Energy for sponsoring this event and working hard at getting power restored throughout the county. Food will be served by the Marina Bathhouse and parking lot on a first come first serve basis until product runs out. One meal per person please.
When visiting simply let the gate attendant know that you are without power and looking to utilize these services.

We ask that those visiting the park for non-relief purposes please pay appropriate park entrance fee's.

 
WATER CONTAINER FILLING, ELECTRONICS CHARGING, SHOWERS
Mecosta County Parks Commission is offering services at Brower Park, Paris Park, and Merrill-Gorrel Park from 10 a.m to 10 p.m daily for people still without power. Water container filling, electronics charging, and showers are available. When visiting, simply let the gate attendant know that you are without power and looking to utilize these services.
They ask that those visiting the park for non-relief purposes please pay appropriate park entrance fee's.

WATER CONTAINER FILLING, ELECTRONICS CHARGING

Morton Township has set up an outside self-serve water filling point and charging area at their Fire Station #1 in Canadian Lakes. These services are available 24 hours a day. The Fire Station is located at 8260 100th Avenue, just south of the ACE hardware store in Canadian Lakes. View the Morton Township Facebook Page here.

Severe weather overnight causes power outages in Mecosta County

Severe weather in west Michigan is causing thousands of power outages.

 

Consumers Energy says here in Mecosta County, just over 7,000 homes and businesses are without power this morning.

 

Crews will be working through the day Wednesday to restore power to as many customers as possible.

 

The utility is still assessing the impact so restoration times may change.

 

People should remember to stay at least 20 feet away from any downed power lines.

EVENT POSTPONED: Consumers Energy to host event at Brower Park to celebrate recent grant to Dragon Trail

FRIDAY'S EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE STORMS ON TUESDAY. NO MAKEUP DATE HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED. 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

Consumers Energy is hosting a family fun event on Friday, August 13, from 1 - 6 pm, at Mecosta County’s Brower Park to celebrate the Consumers Energy Foundation’s recent $200,000 grant and other partnerships bringing Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam (Dragon Trail) to life. The Dragon Trail, when complete, will be an estimated 47-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail forming a loop around the Hardy Pond Reservoir.


“Each step along the journey to complete this epic recreational trail is worthy of celebration,”
said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We’re
hoping for a huge public turnout Friday which we promise to make fun for all including
dedicated mountain bikers who want to check out excellent riding opportunities the trail
already offers and for families looking for fun activities outdoors in beautiful northern
Michigan.”


This free event, which is open to the public, will feature food and refreshments, kids’ activities, and more, all complements of Consumers Energy. There will be a brief welcome ceremony at 2pm. Brower Park is located at 23056 Polk Road, in Stanwood.


Plans for the Dragon Trail have been ongoing for more than a decade, and ground was broken
on the trail in fall 2019. The project is estimated to cost around $3.7 million in total, and Consumers Energy Foundation has helped to commit to this work by providing a $200,000 grant for trail construction. By the end of 2020, a total of 14.6 miles had been completed, and 2021 construction is well underway.


“We expect to add another nine miles of trail that’s ready and open for trail visitors this year,”
said fundraiser Jodi Albaitis. “We have a long way to go in fundraising and construction, and it’s
critical we keep up the momentum. We’re grateful for partners like Consumers Energy to help
us make progress.”


Of the 11 total segments planned on the Dragon Trail, completed portions are segments eight through eleven, from Big Bend Township Park to across Hardy Dam. Segments two and four have portions of trail open. 2021 construction starts at the north end of segment four and continues through segments five and six, in Mecosta County around the northeast portion of Hardy Pond. More information about the status of open and upcoming segments can be found at thedragon.us.


To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit
https://www.thedragon.us/support-the-dragon-trail/donate/.

Local Filmmaker Mo Scarpelli Debuts Newest Film Online Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 3:00pm - El Father Plays Himself

El Father Plays Himself, local filmmaker Mo Scarpelli's latest film, debuts online Tuesday August 10th starting at 3:00pm.

Viewers can purchase tickets and watch live starting at 3:00pm followed by an online Q&A with both Director Mo Scarpelli and film character Jorge Thielen Armand at 4:445pm.

If you cannot make the 3:00pm showing, you can still watch the film anytime until August 11th at 11:59pm.

Tickets are available for only $5 to Big Rapids area residents with the code BRFRIEND.

Tickets can be purchased: EL FATHER PLAYS HIMSELF | (eventive.org)

 

El Father Plays Himself has shown internationally at IDFA 2020, the World's Largest Film Festival, over a dozen film festivals in Europe, Northern Africa, and South America, as well as at DOC NYC, the largest Film Festival in the US, as well as the Atlanta Film Festival, San Francisco IndieFest, and the Washington DC Environmental Film Festival.

El Father Plays Himself follows a young film director as he returns to Venezuela, inspired to make a film based on his father's life in the Amazon jungle. This filmmaker casts his father (El Father) to play himself in what starts as an act of love and ambition but spirals into a process which confronts El Father’s struggles with addiction and his life devoid of his son.

El Father Plays Himself holds a steady lens to the way the act of cinema unearths, binds, heals and destroys.

 

Mo Scarpelli, a BRHS alum, has finished multiple films that have shown internationally including Frame by Frame, and ANBESSA.

For more on Mo's other films, visit RAKE HOME - RAKE FILMS (format.com)

Two separate car crashes in Mecosta County sends two drivers to the hospital

Deputies of the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office believe alcohol and speed were the main factors in a one vehicle crash.

 

It happened Saturday just before midnight on 230th Ave near 20 Mile Rd.

 

Deputies say a 24-year old Hersey man was traveling southbound on 230th Ave when his vehicle left the road and struck a tree.

 

The Hersey man was found trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by fire and rescue.

 

The driver was taken to Big Rapids Spectrum Health Hospital for non life threatening injuries.

 

Meanwhile, a 24-year old Grand Rapids man suffered potential life threatening injuries following a two car crash in Mecosta County Saturday.

 

It happened at the intersection of Northland Dr and 19 Mile Rd in Green Twp. 

 

Deputies say a white Subaru, driven by a 24-year old Grand Rapids man, turned north from eastbound 19 Mile Rd into the path of a Blue Jeep, driven by a 52-year old woman from Livingston TX, who was heading southbound on Northland Dr. 

 

The driver of the Subaru was taken to Spectrum Health BR hospital and then flown by Aeromed to a hospital in Grand Rapids for potentially life-threatening injuries. 

 

The driver of the Jeep was uninjured.

Two people in critical condition following car crash in Osceola County Saturday

A rollover crash in Osceola County leaves two men in critical condition.

 

The sheriff's office says it happened just before 6am Saturday morning on Old 131 near 2 Mile Road in Richmond Township.

 

Witnesses told police the car rolled several times before coming to a stop in a ditch and catching fire.

 

Rescue crews had to use the Jaws of Life to get both the 31-year-old driver and his 29-year-old passenger out. They were both taken to a hospital in critical condition.

 

Police are still investigating but believe alcohol and speed may have been involved.

MHSAA Fall Practices to Begin with Common Start Date, Return of Traditional Schedules & Formats

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Aug. 6 – Teams participating in all nine sports for which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors postseason tournaments – featuring more than 100,000 student athletes statewide – will be allowed to begin practice Monday, Aug. 9, and with a return to traditional schedules and MHSAA Tournament formats after COVID-19 resulted in various adjustments for the Fall 2020 season.

 

Postseason competition in cross country, football, golf, tennis and swimming & diving will revert to their customary formats this season, with all fall sports scheduled based on their traditional calendars other than beginning practice with a common start date for the first time. At the time of this release, there are no COVID-19-related state-ordered restrictions regarding school sports, for either athletes or spectators, from either the MHSAA or the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS). County health departments and local school districts may institute restrictions for venues in their areas, and teams traveling to those schools and venues must follow local mandates.

 

For most of the MHSAA’s modern history, football teams had begun practice Monday of the first week of the preseason, followed by the rest of fall teams two days later. A 2019 rule change allowed a few more sports to begin on Monday, dependent on their Finals dates that fall. The common start date for all fall practices this season and annually moving forward was approved by the MHSAA Representative Council at its Spring Meeting in May and allows all teams to begin the 16th Monday before Thanksgiving.

 

Football teams still must have 12 days of preseason practice at all levels before their first game, over a period of 16 calendar days before the first kickoff, with the first varsity games this fall scheduled for Aug. 26 and the weekend of Aug. 27-28. Competition this fall may begin Aug. 16 for golf and tennis teams and Aug. 18 in cross country, soccer, volleyball and swimming & diving.

 

One of the most anticipated sport-related changes for Fall 2021 is the full implementation of the “enhanced strength-of-schedule” format for selecting the 256-team field for the 11-Player Football Playoffs. The new format eliminates automatic qualification based on win total and bases it solely on playoff-point average, which also is determined differently in that it now awards teams more for playing tougher schedules. (Click for a more detailed comparison of the previous and new formats: https://link.edgepilot.com/s/896c94bf/ed35LYSISUaxtA1ad_GYWQ?u=https://www.mhsaa.com/portals/0/documents/FB/Adjusted%2520SOS%2520Table.pdf.)

 

The new playoff-point formula was used in 2020 to seed teams at the District and Regional levels, but its use for qualification was put on hold as COVID-19 caused a one-season switch in playoff format that allowed all teams to qualify.

 

Additional rules changes in cross country, football, golf and tennis will be most noticeable this fall:

 

  • Cross Country will provide an opportunity for more individual Finals qualifiers this season, as a minimum of seven individual qualifiers will advance from each Regional race. Previously, runners on teams that did not qualify as a whole could still advance to the Finals if they finished among the top 15 individuals at a Regional – but at some Regionals runners from the team qualifiers filled the great majority of those top 15 finishes. The seven individual qualifiers from each Regional this season will be the first seven finishers from teams that do not qualify as a whole, even if they finish outside of the top 15.

 

  • Another football change continues the focus on minimizing injury risk, addressing blocking below the waist in the free-blocking zone (the rectangular area extending laterally four yards to either side of the snap and three behind the line of scrimmage). The new rule states a below-the-waist block in the free-blocking zone must occur as an immediate, initial action following the snap, instead of the previous rule which allowed an offensive lineman to delay and block below the waist as long as the ball was still in the zone.

 

  • For Lower Peninsula girls golf, teams will be required to use the scoring platform iWanamaker also for the regular season, just as they were required to do so for MHSAA Tournament competition during the 2020-21 school year. The scoring platform is made available through the MHSAA Golf app, which was created and is operated by iWanamaker and allows golfers, coaches and fans to chart scoring in real time.

 

  • In tennis, if a seeded player withdraws on the day of an MHSAA Regional or Final, all seeded players below that withdrawing player (including the provisional seed in that flight) will move up and be placed on the proper line for that new seed. (Non-seeded players drawn into the bracket will not be moved.)

 

The 2021 Fall campaign culminates with postseason tournaments beginning with the Upper Peninsula Girls Tennis Finals during the final week of September and wraps up with the 11-Player Football Finals on Nov. 26 and 27. Here is a complete list of fall tournament dates:

 

Cross Country

U.P. Finals – Oct. 23

L.P. Regionals – Oct. 29 or 30

L.P. Finals – Nov. 6

 

11-Player Football

Selection Sunday – Oct. 24

Pre-Districts – Oct. 29 or 30

District Finals – Nov. 5 or 6

Regional Finals – Nov. 12 or 13

Semifinals – Nov. 20

Finals – Nov. 26-27

 

8-Player Football

Selection Sunday – Oct. 24

Regional Semifinals – Oct. 29 or 30

Regional Finals – Nov. 5 or 6

Semifinals – Nov. 13

Finals – Nov. 19 or 20

 

L.P. Girls Golf

Regionals – Oct. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9

Finals – Oct. 15-16

 

Soccer

Boys L.P. Districts – Oct. 13-23

Boys L.P. Regionals – Oct. 26-30

Boys L.P. Semifinals – Nov. 3

Boys L.P. Finals – Nov. 6

 

L.P. Girls Swimming & Diving

Diving Regionals – Nov. 11

Swimming/Diving Finals – Nov. 19-20

 

Tennis

U.P. Girls Finals – Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, or 2

L.P. Boys Regionals – Oct. 6, 7, 8 or 9

L.P. Finals – Oct. 14-16

 

Girls Volleyball

Districts – Nov. 1-6

Regionals – Nov. 9 &11

Quarterfinals – Nov. 16

Semifinals – Nov. 18-19

Finals – Nov. 20

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office K9 Zeke awarded body armor

 

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office received a new K9 vest for its K9 officer Zeke.

The bullet and stab resistant protective vest is thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

K9 Zeke’s vest is sponsored by Sharon M. Peters of Grosse Pointe Shores, MI and is embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Det. Lt. Richard J. Scott”.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office thanks Vested Interest and the Peters family for the donation. K9 Zeke has become a loved and appreciated member of the Sheriff’s Office and the community itself.

Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 4,275 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

Moolenaar introduces legislation to prohibit officials from giving themselves COVID-19 bonuses

Congressman John Moolenaar introduced legislation to prevent elected officials from receiving premium pay as eligible workers through the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund that was signed into law in March as part of President Biden's $2 trillion spending bill.

 

“I am introducing legislation that will protect taxpayers and stop what happened in Shiawassee County from happening anywhere else in the country," said Congressman Moolenaar. "When Democrats in Congress passed their partisan $2 trillion spending plan they never put in rules that would stop local officials from giving that money to themselves. My legislation will put those rules in place and stop something like this from happening across the country."

 

The bill stems from an incident last month when the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted to pay themselves bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 using money the county received from the federal government back in March.

 

The legislation prohibits elected public officials with the authority to designate who is eligible to receive premium pay from being designated as eligible workers.

Central Michigan Health Dept: Possible COVID-19 exposure at Soaring Eagle concert July 24th

Health officials are warning people about a possible COVID-19 exposure at an outdoor concert event with more than 10,000 in attendance to see country artists Miranda Lambert and Lee Brice.

 

The Central Michigan District Health Department said six people who attended the concert tested positive for COVID-19 at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant on July 24.

 

Its been determined other concert goers may have been exposed.

 

The Health Department is encouraging people who were at the concert to get tested for COVID-19. 

 

To see the full press release CLICK HERE 

Stanwood man arrested for Big Rapids shooting

A Stanwood man has been arrested in connection to a shooting in Big Rapids just after midnight, this morning.

 

The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety said in a press release, officers were dispatched to the 400th block of South State Street for a gunshot victim. 

 

When officers arrived, there was a vehicle seen leaving the scene.

 

Police tried to perform a traffic stop on the suspected vehicle but the suspect's car then fled officers through the city of Big Rapids. 

 

The suspect's car eventually stopped and the suspect surrendered to law enforcement. 

 

The intoxicated suspect was identified as a 22-year old Stanwood man, who admitted to being involved in the shooting. 

 

The victim was taken to a Grand Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

 

The suspect is lodged in the Mecosta County Jail awaiting arraignment. 

Reed City man arrested on weapon and drug charges

A 23-year old Reed City man was arrested on weapon and drug charges.

 

It happened following a traffic stop with Michigan State Police on July 30th in Clare County's Garfield Township.

 

Troopers say a search of the vehicle was conducted during their investigation and they located a firearm whose serial numbers were intentionally altered/removed. Troopers also located suspected methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

 

The driver, a 23-year-old Reed City man, was arrested and lodged at the Clare County Jail.

 

He is currently awaiting arraignment.

Pet food recall issued by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration issued a recall notice from Sunshine Mills.

 

The pet food distributor has voluntarily recalled food from it multiple brands, including Nurture Farms, Heart to trail and Wild Harvest.

 

According to the notice, the select products may contain “potentially elevated levels of aflatoxin” a byproduct that comes from the growth of mold and can be harmful to pets if consumed in large quantities.

 

These are the products affected, which were distributed nationwide and have a "best if used by" date of February 11, 2022:

 

  • Triumph Wild Spirit Craft Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (3.5 and 30 pound)

  • Evolve Classic Super Premium Food for Dogs Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (15 and 30-pound)

  • Wild Harvest Premium Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (14-pound)

  • Nurture Farms Natural Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (15-pound)

  • Heart to Tail Pure Being Natural Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (5-pound)

  • Elm Pet Foods Naturals Chicken & Rice Recipe Dog Food (40-pound)

To see the full recall notice, visit the FDA website.

To see photos of the recalled products in question CLICK HERE

20 animals taken from Reed City home

Reed City Police officers rescued around 20 animals from a home last week.

 

It happened on Thursday, when officers were serving a court order to pick up an individual for a mental health evaluation at a local residence.

 

During that time, it was discovered there were several animals living in the residence in unhealthy conditions. Due to the unsanitary conditions of the residence, the fire department’s assistance was also requested in retrieving the animals utilizing protective gear with a clean air supply.

 

The preliminary count would put the number of animals removed at around 20.

 

The matter is still under investigation.

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