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News That Affects You Archives for 2022-05

Remus man arrested in fatal Isabella Co. crash w/ motorcycle

The Isabella County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal crash between a motorcycle and a pickup truck.


It happened on Friday at the intersection of Drew and Old State Road, Sheriff Michael Main says during the investigation of the accident, it was learned that the motorcycle, driven by 45-year old Kelly Boskovich of Big Rapids was traveling eastbound on Drew Road when a pickup truck driven by 58-year old Kevin Sellers of Remus pulled away from a stop sign and Boskovich was unable to stop and struck the pickup truck.


It was later discovered during the investigation that the driver of the pickup truck was intoxicated. Sellers was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol causing death.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 5/23-5/29

Monday… 5/23
Officers took a report of a teen juvenile who had consumed a brownie with marijuana in it. The resulting investigation could lead to officers requesting charges of Distribution of Marijuana, and Providing an Adulterated Substance, in probate court.

Officer assisted the Osceola County Sherriff Department with a traffic accident.

Tuesday … 5/24
Officers issued an abatement notice for tall grass

Wednesday …5/25
Officer took a report of Stalking. The matter is under investigation.

Officer dispatched to a possible fraud case. The allegations were unfounded and the case is now a civil matter.

Officers took a report of a juvenile in possession of a nicotine vape device at the middle school. A citation was issued and a petition forwarded to Probate and Juvenile Court.


Thursday … 5/26
Officers issued an abatement notice for overgrown grass.

Officers received a call stating a local business had their lights off, but the front doors were wide open. Officer responded and found all was well.

Friday …5/27
Officers took a report of dogs running loose. Upon arrival the dogs were on the owner’s property but the front door was wide open. The owner refused to come to the door and once the dogs had gone inside, the open front door mysteriously closed by itself.

Officers were dispatched to a report of shop lifting. A 29-year-old woman was issued an appearance citation.

A man and a woman were found to be using marijuana in public. Both were issued a citation.

Saturday …5/28
Officers issued 3 abatement notices for overgrown grass.

Officers were dispatched to what the home owner believed was knocking on the side of her house. Upon arrival no one was located.

Sunday …5/29
Officers took a report of possible elder abuse. The matter was unfounded.

Big Rapids softball hosts local clinic

Last Mon. May 23, the Cardinal softball team hosted a one-day teaching session for local players at the high school varsity softball field.

The clinic was put on in partnership with the local league program for kindergarten through eighth
graders. In total, 45 participants attended the two-hour session to learn skills from coaches and even
high school players.

“It was a great opportunity for the player to teach,” Head coach Dawn Thompson said.

Players were able to learn next level tools within pitching and fielding in the first portion from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., as well as hitting and bunting in the second portion from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The whole goal of the clinic: share the love of the game.

“It was great to give back to the next generation of Cardinals,” Thompson said.

Due to the success of the clinic, Thompson is hoping to create more opportunities for young players.
This includes hosting more camps through the year.

“We’re hoping to do more in the fall,” Thompson said.

Be sure to subscribe for more news right here on WBRN.

Car crash in Mecosta County kills Chase woman

A Chase woman is dead following a car crash Monday morning in Mecosta County.


It happened on Cleveland Road and 90th Avenue. According to the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office 34-year old Tabitha Hubble failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road and overturned and struck several trees.


According to a press release, there were multiple factors in this crash including, failure to wear a seat belt, alcohol and drug use.

MCSO: Investigation continues into shooting of mother and three kids in Austin Twp.

An investigation into a multiple homicide case in Austin Township continues.


On Friday, Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller said deputies responded to reports of shots fired at a home in Austin Township.


When they arrived, deputies found 40-year old Dawn Gillard, her three children, all under the age of 10 with fatal gunshot injuries and a 51-year old male with a gunshot would to the head. 


Deputies found the male to still be alive and EMS took him to hospital where he has critical injuries.


The Mecosta Prosecutor’s Office to review for charges against male in relation to the actions leading to the four deaths. The male’s name is being withheld until he is arrested and formally charged.

Could gas prices decrease next month?

The state Senate passed legislation Thursday afternoon that will suspend the 6% sales and use taxes on gas and the 27-cent-per-gallon excise gas tax.


The pause would begin on June 15th and would remain in place until September 15th.


The bills received bipartisan support in the Senate which may be a signal that Governor Gretchen Whitmer will sign the measure.


A spokesman said the governor is "encouraged" by the Senate package.

Jury finds Mecosta Co. man not guilty of assaulting and injuring a police officer

Facing up to four years in prison, James Alan Hatchew was acquitted by a Mecosta County jury yesterday, following a two-day trial. Mecosta County prosecutors charged Hatchew with two felonies in February 2021, after police officers were dispatched to his home to intervene in a dispute over snowmobiles, and one of the responding officers accused him of assaulting her.


For nearly a decade, Hatchew had stored and maintained snowmobiles on his property for an out-of-town acquaintance who seldom used them.  After several years passed without the owner using the machines or otherwise contacting Hatchew, Hatchew used his own resources and expertise to maintain them and keep them from falling into disrepair.


When the owner showed up in February 2021 and suddenly demanded Hatchew return the vehicles without compensation, Hatchew regrettably became frustrated.  What started as a civil dispute quickly escalated when a Mecosta County deputy arrived at his house to speak with him and the other parties to the dispute.  While all witnesses agreed that Hatchew willingly invited the deputy into his home to view the disputed snowmobiles, accounts of events that followed differed wildly.  The deputy reported and later testified at trial that Hatchew “shoved” her, slammed his house door so hard against her body that the door came off the hinges, and broke her finger while struggling against her attempts to handcuff him.


Hatchew took the stand in his own defense and denied all the accusations of resistance and assault.  The jury took less than ninety minutes to return a “not guilty” verdict on both counts.


Attorney Heath Lynch of Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, PLLC, Hatchew’s trial attorney, said, “The real problem here for the prosecutor, who really did the best he could with these facts, was a lack of corroboration.  The deputy claimed Jim, a large man, shoved her with both hands in the back, but both civilian eyewitnesses testified they saw no physical contact at all between the two.  Jurors who spoke to us after the verdict expressed that they believed there was ‘reasonable doubt’ when it came to the deputy’s story. When Hatchew took the stand, his testimony undeniably impacted the jury.”


Hatchew said, “I just wanted my name cleared.  I’ve been dragged through the mud and my reputation and business have suffered over the last year.” 


Lynch also stated, “I was happy Jim took the stand to tell his story, as I was confident he would come across as the earnest, humble, and likeable guy we have all known him to be.  You know a defendant made a good impression on a trial jury when, following the verdict, one of the jurors went out of her way to not only congratulate him, but to hug him in the hallway.  He has been through a lot and I am very grateful this is over for him.”

Big Rapids City Manager updates Treasurer and Attorney searches

Since the last meeting earlier this month, city commission has progressed in their search to hire a new city treasurer and attorney.

The treasurer search has progressed to what City Manager Mark Gifford called the “mid-way” point.

Candidates that have advanced from the initial name pool are currently being scheduled for interviews. Originally, the city reported there were three applicants for the position. 

“We are hoping to hire someone by early July,” Gifford said. “This would get them in the office by
around August.”

The current treasurer, Aaron Kuhn, will be leaving the office in early June. He has been serving in the
position for the past six years. While there will be a bridge gap, Gifford is confident his team will be able to manage while the process continues.

In regard to the attorney position, the city is now fully entertaining contracting with outside law firms
due to a low number of candidates. The commission reported there were two legitimate candidates at a meeting in early May.

“The number of candidates for both positions have been very low,” Gifford said. “It’s just the current
times of hiring people.

The new attorney will begin Jan. 1.

While the quantity has been low for both positions altogether, Gifford mentioned that the applicants
they have received some quality candidates.

According to Gifford, there is a chance both positions will be filled in the upcoming months.

“I think we are about a month or two out on the whole process,” Gifford said.

To follow the city officer search, subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at

Hawkins Bull Bash taking place Friday at 7pm

As a way to kick off Memorial Day weekend, a family fun event will be taking place in Osceola County.


The Hawkins Bull Bash is taking place May 27th at 7pm at the Wrights Last Chance Saloon in Reed City.


Along with bull riding, there will be a kids boot scramble, wild donkey riding and more.


Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

Ground breaking ceremony held for Hemlock Park Improvement Project


Groundbreaking for the Hemlock Park improvement project in Big Rapids took place on Monday. The Improvement project will include new pickleball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, a kayak launch on the Muskegon River and a splash pad.  


Jon Coles, director of the park project told attendees this project will benefit this community for years to come. 


“Over two years ago, in pre-pandemic , a group of citizens came together and  saw a need for this community.” Coles said. “The need for free outdoor recreational activities to improve physical and mental wellness The need was magnified during the summer of 2020 and 2021 and we're appreciative of you, our donors for stepping up and meeting the challenge.”



Donations to this project are well over $850,000. 


Andrea Leslie, president of Spectrum Health United, Kelsey, Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals echoed the benefits of the park with these new improvements. 


“Hemlock Park is a Big Rapids Community gem and the improvements being made will encourage people of all ages to enjoy outdoor recreation and physical activity.” Leslie said.  “We know less screen time and more family time or time kayaking and picnicking along the beautiful Muskegon River is good for our physical and our mental health, which is something obviously near and dear to my heart.”


Big Rapids Mayor Fred Guenther is very excited for the city’s future. 


“Just looking through the audience, you can see why the project was successful. All the City commissioners are here, they totally believe in the whole project.” Guenther said. “And it's amazing how many city employees are here who put in a ton of hard work. It's wonderful to think about being the mayor of this town. This is one heck of a project for this small town.” 


Four of the projects will be finalized this summer while the splash pad won't come until summer of 2023.

Getting to know Reed City's new head basketball coach

Long-tenured Big Rapids assistant coach Brennan Walsh will begin his first season as varsity head coach this winter, but it will not be in Cardinal blue.

Instead, Walsh will be taking over the reins at rival Reed City just 12 miles up the road. He replaces
Stephen Ernst, who resigned after just one season with the Coyotes.

“I’m excited about the group I have.” Walsh said. “I know coming into this situation we are built to win
ball games next year.”

Walsh was one of eight reported finalists for the position according to Reed City Athletic Director Ryan Hanson.

As a former alumnus, Walsh has coached for Big Rapids for over 19 seasons at the high school level.


The Cardinal grad was also a former all-conference honoree in basketball himself. While he has spent a vast majority of his career in Big Rapids, Walsh did spend a year with Reed City under Jesse Kailing in 2005.

“We had to hire somebody who looked at team building and relationships as our number one goal,”
Hansen said. “Coach Walsh fits that mold and on top of that, he has pure passion for life and

Outside of coaching, Walsh is self-employed in the construction and contracting business. He and his
wife of 18 years have one child and live in the Reed City school district.

“The most important thing in our household is our family,” Walsh said. “That’s what we’re all about and I’m lucky enough to have a wife that has bought into it.”

Walsh has learned a lot during his time under multiple successful head coaches, including current
Cardinal head coach Kent Ingles. When asked about the insight going into this role, he said mentioned consistency and continuity.

“(Ingles) always stressed to utilize the skillset the boys had. I think being able to adjust to what you have is huge.”

Walsh’s staff has not been announced and the school is currently accepting applications for the assistant coaching positions.

This upcoming season will bring a third new head coach onto the Reed City sideline since 2018. Reed
City will be looking to build off a 14-7 season a year ago, finishing third in the CSAA Gold conference
behind Fremont and Big Rapids.

“We’ve got a great group of young men,” Hansen said. “While there were some eyebrows raised when they heard we hired a Big Rapids assistant, once they met and had short meetings with him, that thought was very short lived.”

While the upcoming season schedule has not been released, there will certainly be one game many
people will be anticipating now more than ever. The Reed City-Big Rapids rivalry spans back over
decades and will now have some extra “juice” with Walsh’s move up US-131. When asked about the

inevitable reunion, Walsh says he’s still in it for the coaching and looks forward to seeing his former
players perform.

“Just because I’m on the other side doesn’t mean that I don’t care about them anymore. I appreciate
the rivalry because it drives the players to work harder. I do imagine there will probably be some
sleepless nights.”

For more coverage on high school sports, be sure to follow along and subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at

Computer problems over the weekend at Meijer leads to customers getting charged twice

Advice if you shopped at Meijer over the weekend - you might want to double-check what you were charged.


Meijer officials say that problems with the computers at some stores caused delays in processes and in some cases, customers were charged twice.


Officials say that banks usually will catch a duplicate charge, but it's best to check you account just in case. 


Those who were charged twice are advised to call their financial institution.


Meijer claims the register problems affected other retailers as well.

Mecosta County Sherriff's Office receives grant for K9 unit

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office has received a $1,875.00 grant from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund.

Officials say the grant was used to purchase some vital equipment for K9 Zeke.


Through this grant Zeke is receiving a new doghouse and a long-range GPS tracking / training collar.


This will help both Zeke and his handler tremendously in both training and in the field when he is out on calls.

Members of the Great Lakes Energy support the People Fund by voluntarily rounding up their bills to the next highest dollar.


The rounded-up amount is distributed to non- profit organizations and charitable activities that benefit people in communities served by the cooperative.


Please contact Great Lakes Energy, 1-888-485-2537, or visit for details.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter


40-2201011 @ 8:20am Juvenile complaint 500 block N Warren Ave. A student was suspected of being intoxicated.

40-2201012 @ 8:58am walk in PDC occurred State/Locust at 0730 pending contact with the other driver

40-2201013 @ 8:57am Warrant arrest at community corrections

40-2201014 @ 12:00pm Civil/threats Third Ave. Complainant wanted to report her coworker’s husband making indirect comments to her

40-2201015 @ 12:50pm 2 car PDC Woodward/Division at fault driver cited

40-2201016 @ 1:40pm 2 car PDC Maple/Michigan at fault driver cited

40-2201017 @ 6:05pm 1100 block Catherine.  Complainant stated one of her children was assaulted.  Investigation revealed that an assault didn't occur and was only civil between kids

40-2201018 @ 10:35pm 200 block N Warren.  Dispatch requested an officer stop by the residence after caller wanted a male to leave the residence.  Subjects spoke Spanish, causing a language barrier.  Once an officer arrived on scene the male had already left per an on-scene interpreter.  No assault.  Only arguing.

40-2201019 @ 11:03pm 100 block S. Michigan.  Called in as a disorderly, subjects refusing to leave.  Dispatch watched the subjects exit into lot 4 on camera.  Subjects got in a vehicle and when leaving the lot, dispatch watched them hit a parked car.  Subjects were identified and located.  Driver was identified and was lodged for OWI High BAC, leaving the scene of an accident, and cited for PBT refusal.     

40-2201020 While investigating above, passenger was found to be in violation of his Felony probation for being in a bar and consuming alcohol.



40-2201021 @ 3:30pm FTP 500 block S Third $193.40 of diesel was taken. White heavy duty crew cab Ram with black brush guard, tinted windows, and a gas tank in the bed.

40-2201022 @ 6:30pm Warrant Pickup Kent County

40-2201023 @ 7:52pm 500 block Sanborn.  Check Wellbeing.  Passerby noticed the lawn was getting long.  Resident was fine and waiting for her services to cut her grass.

40-2201024 @ 7:54pm 400 block Maple St.  Male was scratched by a neighbor’s dog.  He only wanted her talked to about keeping the dog on a leash.  Dog was friendly and very energetic.

40-2201025 @ 11:39pm Traffic Stop Ferris and State led to driver being cited for no insurance.  Curries towed the vehicle.

40-2201026 @ 12:30am 300 block Morrison.  Anonymous caller overheard a male state he hit a car at Venlo Pl and Perry Ave and didn’t stop.  Contact was made with the male who stated a vehicle pulled in front of him and he bumped it.  The other vehicle didn’t stop so he didn’t.  Damage was a tweaked bumper.  No other caller and the male stated it happened 2 hours before contact.



40-2201027 @ 6:33am 400 block Perry Ave. 911 Hang up – 911 Hang Up/Faulty telephone line. Continuation issue at the business. Management is continuing to work on the issue.

40-2201028 @ 10:11am 400 block Maple St. Civil/Warrant Arrest – Officers responded to a civil issue between two males. This issue is a continuation of an animal complaint between these two residences.  One was found to have warrants out of Mason and Manistee Co.

40-2201029 @ 10:13am 300 block S Warren Ave. Civil/Animal Complaint – Officers responded to a civil complaint between neighbors. A dog was accidentally let out of the residence.

40-2201030 @ 11:49am 1100 block Fuller Ave Civil Dispute – Officers responded to a civil dispute between two females.

40-2201031 @ 1:50pm 200 block Monroe Ave. Civil – Officers responded to a civil issue involving parenting time between male and female.

40-2201032 @ 2:10pm 800 block N State St. Found Property. Owner notified.

40-2201033 @ 5:49pm 500 block Division St. Civil issue reported between roommates involving a PlayStation.

40-22001034 @ 8:41pm Alarm 300 block N State St, building secure, unknown cause.

40-22001035 @ 8:51pm Civil 600 block Maple. Found to be a verbal argument between mother and daughter. While on scene one made suicidal comments she was then transported to ER for evaluation.

40-22001036 @ 9:57pm Traffic stop State/Rust led to driver being cited for no insurance, vehicle towed by Curries.

40-22001037 @ 2:03am Traffic stop Perry/Division led to driver being arrested for OWI, vehicle towed by BR Tow.

Six Cardinal athletes announce college destinations

In a press conference held in Big Rapids High School’s auxiliary gym Monday, six Cardinal athletes
officially declared their next sporting ventures.

For men’s soccer, both Brady Fox and Aden Herron will be attending Jackson College, a division two
junior college competing in the MCCAA. Both players obtained All-Conference awards last season,
including Herron breaking the single-season school scoring record with 30 goals.

The duo will be looking to bring the Big Rapids winning success to the fairly new Jets program, which
began just nine years ago.

“I really didn’t want to hang up the cleats yet,” Fox said. “I knew I was able to play at the next level, but just had to put in the work to get there.”

Adding to the soccer list is All-Conference honoree Rebecca Allers, who will attend Coe College in Iowa, and All-Region award winner Katie Williams, who will attend Kellogg Community College this fall.

Both ladies used premier goal-scoring to help the Cardinals reach a 12-5-2 record this season, with a
chance to clinch the CSAA Gold divisional title this Friday vs. Newaygo.

The remaining two signees consist of DeMarcus Lee and Zach Jones.

Lee, a standout basketball player, will be taking his talents to Grand Rapids Community College on the hardwood. The 2021 Pioneer Dream Team Player of the Year helped Big Rapids win two conference titles in his varsity career.

Meanwhile, Jones will be heading north to Lake Superior State University, where he will join the Laker
club hockey program. The fellow three-sport athlete has shown his versatile skill throughout his career, which included recording a shutout in an emergency appearance at goaltender.

“I’m glad seeing Zach continue his journey,” Hockey coach Tim Blashill said.

Blashill believes Jones’ size, physicality, and team-first mentality will help him become a successful at
the next level.

These six signees add to a total of nine Big Rapids athletes that will be competing collegiately next year.

Earlier this year, Kate Langworthy (Northern Michigan University Cross Country & Track and Field), Ryan Ososki (Ferris State University Cross Country & Track and Field), and Makenna Rautio (Mid-Michigan Community College Basketball) declared their decisions individually.

This year adds even more prominence to an already long line of Cardinal athletes competing collegiately. Not only do the athletes deserve a bulk of credit but also the support staff alongside.

“It’s a lot of dedication and a lot of time,” Thompson said. “Not only on the athletes part, but those people surrounding them and helping them reach their goals.”

Whitmer & legislature propose competing tax cut plans

Both Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-led Legislature are proposing new plans to cut taxes -- but remain at odds over the scope and immediacy of any relief.


The governor called for a one-time $500 rebate for "working families" -- adding to her earlier proposals to gradually repeal a tax on retirement income and fully restore a credit for lower-wage earners.


Republican lawmakers approved a 2.5 billion dollar plan Thursday that would permanently reduce the state income tax, increase the personal exemption, create a child tax credit, fully bring back the credit for low-income workers, and expand a tax break for veterans.


The legislation now heads to the Governor's office for consideration.

Brower Park sold out for Memorial Day weekend; other campsites still available

Camping spots in Mecosta County are filling up for Memorial Day weekend, according to the Park Superintendent.  

Jeff Abel says Brower Park is currently sold out for Memorial Day weekend but there are other options in the area for campers next weekend. 

"School Section currently has 3 campsites available out of 162 and cabins are full. Paris Park has availability with 11 sites out of 66 available as well as 2 cabins and 2 group campsites open. Merrill-Gorrel has 9 available campsites out of 126 in the water and electric section and 17 of 20 rustic campsites are available.  1-Cabin left open." Abel said. 

If you don't have a camper or an RV and want a more rustic feel, abel says there are still options available. 

"For the rustic campgrounds that don’t take reservations at Tubb’s Lake, Tubb’s Island and Haymarsh you typically would need to be established on a campsite by Wednesday leading into the holiday to get into either Tubb’s Rustic Campground." Abel said. "Haymarsh usually runs 60-70% occupied over Memorial Day weekend, but typically has some last-minute availability as well as the Rustic section of Merrill-Gorrel Park."

"The nice thing about the rustic area in Merrill-Gorrel park is that you still have access to modern restrooms and showers even though you don’t have water and electric directly on your campsite." Abel adds. 

The time to make your campsite reservation is now but if you can family or friends are split into different parks due to campsite availability during the holiday weekend, Abel says not to worry. 

"Our advice for those that can’t find a campsite at their favorite park this Memorial Day would be to try getting a reservation at Merrill-Gorrel or Paris Parks before they are full.  Once you are staying in one of our County Parks your vehicle pass provides access to all of the Mecosta County Parks, so you can take day trips to any of the parks and experience all the incredible amenities available throughout the park system." Abel said.  

Rothbury man suffers serious injuries after SUV hits motorcycle in Newaygo Co.

A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a two vehicle crash in Newaygo County's Wilcox Township Thursday afternoon.


Michigan State Police say a 47-year-old woman driving a Toyota Rav4 was heading westbound on M-20 when she crossed the center line and hit an eastbound motorcycle driven by a 29-year-old Rothbury man.


He was wearing a helmet , but suffered serious injuries and was taken to the hospital by Aero Med. The woman was not injured.


State Police say drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor, but distracted driving does to be a factor in the crash.

City of Big Rapids wins 2022 Consumers Energy Foundation Put Your Town on the Map Competition

The City of Big Rapids is the top pick for Consumers Energy Foundation’s 2022 Put Your Town on the Map pitch competition.

Big Rapids received $25,000 for first place, Gaylord received $15,000 as runner-up, and Hart received $10,000 after submitting ideas for projects that will help strengthen and grow their communities.

Consumers Energy recognizes that Michigan’s small and rural towns may not have the same access as larger cities to resources to support projects in their communities.  That is why we are so proud to celebrate the big ideas from our small towns and champion the Put Your Town on the Map contest,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “These winning projects will help transform and grow their communities, and we look forward to celebrating with them once the projects are complete.”

Big Rapids submitted to the foundation for a skate park project which will provide the city with the most colorful, welcoming, modernized skate park in northern Michigan.

Along with the skate park's development, staff are exploring expanding public art with skateable art, a graffiti wall, and unique sculptures.

"We are so grateful to be receiving this funding from the Consumers Energy Foundation Pitch Competition because it allows us to move ahead with phase one developments for the skate park,” said Jessie Black, Big Rapids Community Economic Development Specialist. “As a newly designated Pure Michigan Trail Town, adding a cutting edge skate park along the city’s Riverwalk trail is great for the local skaters/BMXers and other outdoor enthusiasts coming to visit."


A panel of judges chose the three winning projects on Wednesday, May 18th after officials from the 10 finalist communities made presentations at the 2022 Small Town and Rural Development Conference led by the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.

Detectives investigating stolen van found submerged in Rogers Pond


Detectives in Mecosta County are investigating why there was a mini-van submerged in Rogers Pond.


According to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, deputies received a tip about a possible stolen vehicle that had been driven off 10 Mile Rd and Millerdale Dr.


Members of the dive team then scanned the area with their sonar and were able to locate an image of what appeared to be a vehicle in 17 feet of water. Divers went down and were able to locate the vehicle which appeared to have been in the river for an extended period of time.



The vehicle was identified as a 2009 Dodge Caravan.


The incident remains under investigation

Big Rapids Police Blotter 5/16-5/17


40-2200979 @ 7:56am 600 block S State St PDA. 


40-2200980 @ 2:36pm Parkview Village Apts. Larceny- Child's BMX bike. Suspect possibly identified by video, mother later found bike at Hemlock Park and suspect ran off. Juvenile, finally admitted to stealing it.


40-2200981 @ 7:05pm 500 block S Third Ave. Fail to Pay- Suspect pumped $44.14 in gas and drove off.  Plate obtained and contact letter sent.


40-2200982 @ 12:10am W Pine St/Finley Ave – Traffic stop performed on a vehicle for no plate.  The vehicle came back stolen out of Muskegon County.  The driver had recently purchased the vehicle off Facebook and did not know it was stolen. Vehicle was towed to Big Rapids Tow with a hold for Muskegon.  Under investigation.




40-2200983 @ 11:27am 1800 block Milton Ave. Civil/PPO. Complainant reported a possible PPO violation. Sent over for review.


40-2200984 @ 12:34pm 100 block Williams St. Civil. The complainant reported a juvenile skateboarding on their property. Were advised to call back if the juvenile returns.


40-2200985 @ 2:39pm 200 block N State St. CPS complaint reference possible CSC. Currently unfounded after talking to parent and juvenile.


40-2100986 @ 2:33pm BRPD Assist Muskegon County with possible CSC. Most likely happened in Mecosta County and will be forwarded to them.


40-2200989 @7:46pm 1700 block S. State St CSC. CAC interview requested. Pending further investigation.


40-2200988 @10:19pm Maple St/S State St 2 vehicle PDA. One vehicle turning left from Maple to State drifted into outside turn lane hitting the other vehicle.


40-2200990 @11:51pm 400 block Bjornson Check wellbeing. 3rd party report of possible domestic between male and female. Contacted female who denied any assault occurring and did not show any signs of injury. Female’s mother arrived on scene and convinced her and her children to stay at a hotel for the evening.


Big Rapids City Commission approves 2022-2023 budget

The 2022-2023 fiscal year budget was approved by the Big Rapids City Commission on Monday. 


The budget is just over $31-million dollars. 


City Treasurer Aaron Kuhn noted some changes to the budget that starts on July 1st. 


I just wanted to comment on a couple of changes made since we talked last week so we increased the revenue and expense numbers for the Mechanic Street development to reflect the estimates given to us by the engineers, so we increased it from $1-million dollars to $1.2-million dollars, so that comes out to a net zero.” Kuhn said.  “Based on discussion we had about the marijuana fund distribution at the last meeting, we adjusted that revenue estimate to be half of what we've received in the current year, so we adjusted it down from where we have it at $500,000 to $340,000 then we included a revenue estimate for insurance refunds of $1,500.”


Kuhn told commissioners sanitation rates will be going up for Big Rapids residents. 


The City Commission approved an increased rate of 2.75% over last year which begins July 1st. 


Kuhn noted this is the last year the city is in a contract with Republic Services and will be bid out next spring.  


Water rates remain unchanged however, sewer rates will be increased $2.00 per month.

Police identify Marion shooting suspect

We now know the identity of the suspect involved in a shooting in Osceola County.


36-year old Dale Ervin Orvis, of Marion was arraigned Tuesday in Osceola County District Court for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Felonious Assault).


State Police were called to a shooting complaint in the village of Marion on Sunday evening.


Troopers say the 31-year old male victim is recovering from injuries sustained from the incident.


The incident remains under investigation.

Reed City disc golf course resuming construction

After a series of postponements from COVID and inclement weather, the proposed building of Reed
City’s disc golf course is returning to schedule.

The project was given the green light by city council back in October of 2019, with an intent to finish by the following spring. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak caused planning and production procedures to be paused.

After getting back on track the following spring and summer, the potential opening in 2021 came to an abrupt halt due to damage from a massive storm last September.

“That storm pretty much took out the whole north half of the city,” City Councilman Dan Burchett said. “It pretty much destroyed everything in the park along with the woods, which is where the course was going.”

While the project has had many bumps in the road, the city is now looking to get the project moving
once again. With the help of the Reed City Disc Golf Club, there are scheduled work events June 3, 4 & 5 to clean up the course. All locals and volunteers are invited to attend any of the days from 8:30pm- 5:00pm.

With help from the community and these clean-up events, Burchett is hoping for the course to be open for play by potentially this fall.

“I would love to have this thing up and running by August,” Burchett said. “I don’t know how realistic
that goal is, but I think it definitely gives us a few months to take care of it.”

For local disc golfers, the Reed City course will bridge a large gap of courses in the area. This will be its first disc golf course and the first registered public course currently in Osceola County.

“We have the crossroads trails here, kayaking, baseball, and stuff like that,” Burchett said. “Why not add something new to the city recreational area? Having the ice rink this winter was a huge success so I think the course will bring in a lot of people from out of town.”

The new course at Rambadt Memorial Park is mapped out to truly be a unique course. When asking
course designer Steve Hedstrom, he believes the course will largely benefit unfamiliar players as a way to introduce the game.


“I am designing the course for new players and children,” Hedstrom said. “Having all par threes with
medium to short holes makes it a great course to learn disc golf.”

Dave Maddox, who has nearly 30 years of disc golf experience, believes the course will also benefit
advanced players with its unique landscape.

“The terrain has lots of differences than some of the other local courses,” Maddox said. “It will have lots of elevation change and fairways no longer than 250 feet.”


Over the past few years, locals have been forced travel to places like Big Rapids, Cadillac, Ludington,
Grand Rapids, or Mount Pleasant to play. Not only will this new course benefit local players but will
provide another course for experienced players from outside the area.

“We’ve had people in Grand Rapids asking about the course and even coming down to help too,”
Hedstrom said.

Playing disc golf can bring lots of physical benefits. Things like exercise, being outside in nature, and
exploration of the course are just to name a few. Beyond the tangible takeways, there’s a whole other element that can be found within the sport: social connection.

As a prime example of a community-driven sport, Hedstrom believes disc golf can be a way to bring
people together beyond just playing.

“Having physical activity is huge, but the social community of golfers brings people together. I think this course is going to be really good for the people of Reed City.”

To follow more stories, don’t forget to subscribe and follow the Big Rapids Daily News.

Big Rapids City Commission receive storm damage assessments

The Big Rapids City Commission received an update on storm damage that occurred last week in the area.

Big Rapids DPS deputy Director Steve Schroeder told commissioners damage assessments are still ongoing but they have identified five businesses, one school property, one apartment complex and two residences affected by the flooding.

Public Works Director Heather Bowman says initial assessments show the cost of repairs from the flooding will be in the millions.


"First and foremost is Mitchell Creek, it was full of water.  We've lost three picnic tables, the foot bridge that goes over the creek was found Monday, the asphalt walkway that goes up to the downtown area has been damaged by the waters, we lost two garbage cans and the rain guard by the parking lot has been destroyed." Bowman said. "Crews will be out at the Clay Cliffs area due to the damage that happened over there.  The parking lot at the pool was damaged and needs to be repaired. We have been in contact with the Mecosta County Drain Commissioner to assess damage to Ives Drain and the Woodward Ave culvert erosion issues."


Bowman also addressed damaged culverts:

"Baldwin Street over the Muskegon River assessment is in the ballpark of $10,000-$15,000.” she said. “Pine Street over Mitchell Creek assessment is between $10,000-$15,000, Michigan Street over Mitchell Creek assessment is $30,000-$40,000 and the last one, Hemlock Street over Mitchell Creek is between $2-million to $2.2-million dollars." Bowman said.

Officials are looking into a number of grants to help offset the costs. Both the city and county declared a state of emergency due to the area flooding.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 5/9-5/15

The Depot fire pit is primarily for use by snowmobilers with snow on the ground. Any other use for special events, is by permit from the City Manager.

Monday… 5/9
Officers dispatched to local business with report of a female unsteady on her feet, seemed confused, and walking around the building. The woman suffers from a neurological disorder. All was okay.

Officers were given report of trash and kitty litter being left on the Pere Marquette Trail and W. 5 th Ave. Officers looked around the property and along the trail and found no evidence of such.

While on patrol officer saw a bonfire at the Depot fire pit. Officers made contact with a male and female who had cooked hot dogs there. They were made aware of current dry weather conditions and city ordinance and the fire put out.

Officers arrested a 25-year-old woman on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court. She was lodged at the Osceola County jail without incident.

Officers were dispatched to a domestic assault. Upon investigation, a 35-year-old woman was arrested for domestic assault. She was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.


Tuesday … 5/10
Report of a vehicle and tractor accident. There was damage done to the car, but none to the tractor. No injuries resulted.

Officers took a report of a possible CSC involving a minor. The matter is under investigation.

Officer took a report of a cat that had been hit in the road. When the officer arrived, he could not locate the cat or the owner.

Officers stopped a vehicle on US 10 and Chestnut St. for defective equipment. The 19-year-old male driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant. The 19-year-old male passenger also held an outstanding warrant. Both individuals were lodged at the Osceola County Jail. The vehicle was towed from the scene.

Wednesday …5/11
Officers took a juvenile complaint in reference to truancy and general incorrigibility at home.

Officers took a report of harassment involving female minors through social media. All involved were
advised to stop communicating and if it continues the court system would get involved.

Officers were dispatched to inappropriate photos being exchanged between juveniles. The matter was found to have taken place in another county. The matter was referred to the Michigan State Police for investigation.


Officers dispatched to a man attempting to pick up his daughter and his family felt that the man was
experiencing mental health difficulties and not currently safe for his daughter to be around. The child was sent home with other family members pending the man getting help for his mental health difficulties.

Thursday … 5/12
Officers arrested a 26-year-old man on two outstanding warrants. One was for violating bond release
conditions. The second was for trespassing. He was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Officers were dispatched to a report of a person possible smoking marijuana in a public place. The officer did not locate the individual.

Officers observed two women smoking marijuana in a public place. Both were issued citations.

Friday …5/13
Officers located and arrested a 30 female on an outstanding warrant for assault.

Officers received a complaint of possible child abuse. The matter is under investigation.

Officers were contacted by two men looking for the jail trying to find their friend. It was determined they were in the wrong county and the officer assisted them in finding directions to the correct location.

Officers served an abatement notice for an unregistered and inoperable vehicle.

Saturday …5/14
Officer dispatched to assist an elderly man who had trouble regulating the temperature in his room due to health issues.

Sunday …5/15
Officer dispatched to Reed City Hospital to assist Osceola County Deputy with a disorderly subject.

Shooting in Marion sends one person to hospital; suspect arrested

One person is recovering in a hospital following a shooting in the village of Marion Sunday evening.


Michigan State Police say one person has been taken into custody on charges related to the shooting.


It is not yet known what led up to the shooting or what the extent of the victim’s injuries are.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter



40-2200955 @ 7:34am 500 block N Warren Ave Suspicious- Juvenile that is suspended, but is doing virtual school, was caught wandering through the halls on 5/12/22. 

40-2200956 @ 9:18am 500 block S Third Retail Fraud- Male was caught shoplifting a couple earbuds.  He was seen in the store two weeks ago doing the same thing.  He was cited, released, and trespassed. 

40-2200957 @ 9:52am 800 block Marion Barking Dog- Caller was complaining about the dogs barking at a residence while the owner was at work. Caller complained of the dog feces and the marijuana smoke.  Caller signed a citation, and the owner was issued a citation. 

40-2200958 Warrant Pick up- Reed City arrested female and met at dispatch.

40-2200959 @ 10:17am State/Pere Marquette- A traffic stop resulted in driver being cited for No Insurance

40-2200960 @ 11:53am 1100 block Catherine Civil- Complainant does not want another female around the trailer because she has an autistic daughter. 

40-2200961 @ 12:22pm 800 block N State St Civil/Warrant arrest- Caller reported male smashed her TV.  Caller went to jail for warrant out of Wexford.  Male was attempting to get U-Haul to get his belongings. 

40-2200962 @ 1:20pm 400 block S Third Civil Called as disorderly/threats/mental- Male became very upset swearing at everyone threatening everyone because his pants were stolen.  He said things to get the reaction.  He calmed down and is remaining at the shelter until they can find him a new place.

40-2200963 @ 3:01pm 500 block S Third Fail to Pay- Clerk was able to get an accurate plate.  Contact was made with the owner.  This was his mom’s car.  He was going to pay it.

40-2200964 @ 8:28pm N Warren/Hemlock Abandoned Vehicle- Curries Towing was called to impound a vehicle that had been tagged with a 48-hour abandoned sticker. While waiting for Curries to arrive, the owner of the vehicle came out and stated he had just gotten back from vacation and had just purchased the vehicle. At that time Curries was disregarded.

40-2200965 @ 1:27am 100 block S Michigan Ave Disorderly- Male became upset when a fellow patron called him stupid. Male slammed his beer bottle down on the bar causing it to break. He had a minor cut on his palm. He was escorted out of the bar by security. He waited with officers for a friend to arrive and give him a ride home because he was too intoxicated to drive.

40-2200966 @ 3:56am Suspicious 100 block S Michigan Ave.- The front door of the building was found unsecured by officers. The interior of the building was secure.

40-2200967 @ 4:19am 800 block Country Way Suspicious- Female left to run to the store and realized both rear tires of her vehicle were flat. She believed the upstairs neighbors let the air out of her tires. Under investigation.  



40-2200969 @ 12:00pm 1100 block Fuller Civil – officers responded to a civil issue between tenants over the use of a washing machine.

40-2200970 @ 12:24pm 400 block S Third Ave. Civil – Complainant reported being harassed by her ex-husband who is homeless in GR. She requested the contacts be documented for possible PPO.

40-2200971 @ 4:28pm 500 block S. Michigan Ave. Suspicious – Complainant advised that a male was possibly using methamphetamine. Under investigation

40-2200973 @ 7:11pm 400 Elm St. Warrant Arrest. Met with Montcalm County who had arrested a male for Criminal Bench Fail to Appear warrant.

40-2200972 @ 7:57pm N. State St/E Grand Traverse Traffic Stop for expired plate led to driver being cited for no insurance. Vehicle impounded by Curries.

40-2200974 @ 0123 500 block W Bridge St- During property inspection a window that was previously broken had plywood removed. Building searched and nothing appeared to be disturbed.

40-2200975 @ 1:38am 1100 block Platt Ave Noise. Male had loud music and was issued a written warning.

40-2200976 @ 3:30am 100 block N. Michigan Ave Suspicious- Open door found. Nothing inside appeared disturbed. Keyholder later responded and nothing was found out of place.  



40-2200977 @ 12:46pm 1800 block Milton Ave. Natural Death. Officers responded to assist with the deceased. Nothing suspicious noted.

40-2200978 @ 2:21am 1100 block Fuller Ave Domestic- Male was intoxicated and woke up girlfriend. He grabbed her hard enough to leave several marks on her arms as he held her against the wall and accused her of cheating. He had marks on his neck from her attempting to push him away. Male was lodged for domestic assault.

Downstate man killed in motorcycle crash in Lake County Sunday

State police are investigating a fatal motorcycle accident in Lake County in west Michigan.


Troopers say the crash happened early Sunday morning on M-37 in Peacock Township killing a downstate man.


A 50-year-old from Chesterfield was riding his bike when it ran off the road and hit a tree.

Big Rapids City Commission to get update on storm damage tonight

The Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight at city hall to discuss and act on a number of issues.


The commission will receive an update from Public Works Director Heather Bowman and Big Rapids DPS deputy Director Steve Schroeder on the storm damage heavy thunderstorms and flooding from a week ago, Big Rapids Mayor Fred Guenther declared a state of emergency last week due to flooded out streets and sink holes.


City Treasurer Aaron Kuhn will give commissioners a presentation about Hemlock Park Financing options.


City Commissioners will act on approving a resolution for new water, sewer and sanitation rates for residents.


The meeting begins at 6:30pm in person at city hall or you can attend virtually on Zoom.


Big Rapids Police Blotter 5/11-12


40-2200937 @ 9:39am Found Property handicap placard turned in to BRDPS

40-2200938 @ 11:18am 500 block N Warren Ave Juvenile complaint taken by the SRO

40-2200939 @ 1:24pm State St/Maple St number pulled for the traffic assists that were performed during the heavy rain.

40-2200940 @ 6:51pm PDA at N State St/W Pine St 

40-2200941 @ 6:30pm Civil 500 block Division St – complaint of roommates arguing, one roommate spit at the feet of the other.

40-2200942 @ 7:45pm Warrant Arrest/civil complaint 1000 block Fuller Ave – Officers were called to a possible domestic between an adult and a juvenile. It was determined to be just a push between the two, the adult had a warrant out of MSP Hart and was lodged at MCSO. 

40-2200943 @ 4:51am Suspicious Situation 1100 block Catherine St, Complainant was getting ready to leave for work when he found an unknown vehicle in his driveway. A male was sleeping in his car, appeared intoxicated, and thought he was at a friend’s. The car was removed by homeowner per the male’s request and parked across the road. The male left on foot and was told by officers not to drive. Approximately a half hour later dispatch received a call the suspect’s car was south bound on Catherine St. Officers found the suspect car parked at a residence and the male stated he wasn’t driving. The complainant couldn’t identify the male as the driver.



40-2200944 Prisoner pick up from Lake County

40-2200945 @ 10:08am 900 block N Dekraft Ave.  Complainant had $330 stolen off Bridge Card. Under investigation.

40-2200946 @ 11:11am 500 block N Warren Miscellaneous call handled by SRO

40-2200947 @ 1:33pm Sunoco 500 block S Third Ave Fail to pay.  Silver vehicle, black male driver, no plate info, headed WB on M20. No other info.

40-2200948 @ 12:57pm Mental/Disorderly 400 block S Third St.  Female was having mental crisis.  She went to ER voluntarily

40-2200949 @ 2:02pm 600 block Bjornson Ave Check Wellbeing on female.  Severe medical issues and hadn’t been around for 2 weeks.  Entry was made as dispatch advised she was in hospital in GR.

40-220950 @ 3:21pm 700 block Perry Larceny of Cellphone.  Complainant came in to report his cell phone stolen from 5/6/22.  No suspects

40-2200951 @ 3:45pm 200 blk S Stewart Arrest male for Reed City PD. Met a dispatch and turned over to them.

40-2200952 @ 7:33pm 400 block S Stewart, 9-year-old throwing rocks and smoking cigarettes. Parents and CPS were contacted, and petition will be sent over.

40-2200953 @ 12:07am 1200 block Maple St., Domestic between male and female. Parties were separated and warrants will be sought for both. CPS also contacted due to kids being present.

40-2200954 @ 4:23am 1200 block Perry Ave., ALARM building was secure and no key holder responded. 

Big Rapids Police Blotter 5/9-10


40-2200921 @ 6:38am 400 block Perry Ave 911 Open line, all fine

40-2200922 @ 9:56am – Found Social Security Card turned into office

40-2200923 @ 10:13am Found property – Gray backpack found near dog park turned into office

40-2200924 @ 9:50am 200 block Woodward – Civil, civil between two subjects over internet and a Nintendo Switch. One was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant from Osceola for animal abandonment and turned over to OCSO at dispatch.

40-2200925 @ 1:00pm 300 block N Warren, area check- juveniles were on the island behind BRMS chopping down trees. Located juveniles in Hemlock, who were all skipping school. Will be referred for truancy

40-2200926 @3:46pm 500 block N Warren Ave Juvenile complaint- female refused to leave school due to her phone being taken.  Given a ride home and turned over to her mother.

40-2200927 @ 4:59pm Darwin/Bjornson Hit and Run–tree service truck backed into power pole, stopped, looked at it, and left.  Driver was identified. Citation will be issued. Pole was damaged and will need replacement. Consumers was advised.

40-2200928 @ 8:57pm 800 block S State St. traffic stop for no plate led to driver being cited for No Insurance. Passenger was arrested for Fail to appear warrant out of Ottawa County.

40-2200929 @ 4:11am 400 block Linden St. Suspicious, Male sent nude photo to scammer who threatened to send it to friends or have him arrested. The male sent $150 through Cash App. Suspect appears to be foreign based on text conversation. He was advised to report to Cash App for possible refund.



40-2200930 @ 11:06am 500 block Willow Ave. Assault. SRO took an assault complaint involving juveniles.

40-2200931 @ 11:56am 400 block Perry Ave 911 Hang Up. Building is having continued phone issues and is in contact with their IT to correct the phone issue.

40-2200932 @ 1:32pm BRPD. Found property. The fishing tackle box and ID were returned to the owner.

40-2200933 @ 11:55am 400 Elm St. Prisoner Pick Up. Male was picked up from Manistee County Jail for his court warrants.

40-2200934 @ 6:47pm Parkview Village. Civil Dispute. Female upset that ex-husband keeps calling because he is upset about her dating a new man and the possibility of the children being around him.

40-2200935 @ 7:30pm Maple St/Fourth traffic for no plate led to driver being cited for No Insurance/Unregistered Vehicle.

40-2200936 @ 8:51pm Escott St/Spring St traffic stop for speed on Fuller led to driver being cited for No Insurance/Improper Plate/Unregistered Vehicle. Curries Impounded.

Proposed 2022-23 budget presented to Big Rapids Commissioners

The Big Rapids City Commission discussed its proposed $31-million dollar for next fiscal year, during the study session earlier this week. 

City Treasurer Aaron Kuhn detailed the budget to commissioners.

"The budget is balanced, with all operating and capital improvement expenditures covered by current revenues and available fund balance." Kuhn said. "There are continued one-mill investments into city streets, the Big Rapids Community Library as well as a proposed one-mill for Hemlock Park." There are sufficient resources allocated for close to $6.5-million in suggested capital projects."


Kuhn also told commissioners he expects income tax revenue to increase and is expected to return to normal due to the employment sector and a rise in wages. However, he noted state transportation revenue sharing for roads will decrease due to the latest census. 


During his presentation, Kuhn noted how the city has been paying off its outstanding debt of $9.2 million from five years ago its current amount of $5.3 million dollars. 

Streets in Big Rapids that have been impacted by Wednesday's storms

Storms and flooding from Wednesday are impacting residents and commuters today.


 According to the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety as the rain stopped, the rivers and creeks around the area became overfull and caused more extensive flooding within the city.


This flooding is forcing the closure of several streets within the city; Hemlock St. between N. Michigan Ave. and N. State St. will be closed indefinitely due to damage. N. Michigan Ave. from E. Pine St. to E. Bellevue St. will be closed until this afternoon.


Police remind you to NOT travel through flooded roads and find another way to reach your destination.

Blessing of the Bikes weekend starts Friday in Baldwin

The 50th annual Blessing of the Bikes will take place once again as the community of Baldwin , will host thousands of motorcyclists.


The event is always held the third Sunday in May, which falls on May 15 this year. Bikers gather at the Baldwin Municipal Airport and receive a blessing for a safe riding season.


The event started in 1972 with four bikes.


Since then the Blessing of the Bikes has grown into a weekend-long community gathering that includes fundraising, music, vendors and contests.

Couple injured in vehicle/semi crash on US-131 in Mecosta Co.

Deputies in Mecosta County believe a medical issue was the likely cause of a crash involving a vehicle and semi-truck.


An investigation found that a 57-year old man from Stanwood ran into the back of a semi on southbound US-131 near Jefferson.


Stanwood man and his passenger, a 55-year old woman from Missouri, were injured. 


They were taken a local hospital  for treatment. The semi driver was not injured.

Just in: Police asking avoid Big Rapids area because of flooding

The Mecosta County Emergency Management and Big Rapids Department of Public Safety is advising those who are out on the road to avoid the area due to flooding and other traffic issues. 


S. State Street and Perry Ave. 


According to Big Rapids DPS, affected areas are S State St/Perry Ave,  State St/Maple St and 600 block of Maple St. 


S. State Street and Perry Ave. 

There is a flood warning until 7:30pm, according to the Mecosta County Emergency Management thunderstorms could bring a potential of an additional one to two inches of rain. 

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital recognized with an 'A' for safety

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital was awarded an ‘A’ in the spring 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing the hospital’s achievements protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care.

“We’re very excited to earn this distinction that validates our team’s good work,” said
Andrea Leslie, president of Spectrum Health Big Rapids, Reed City, United and Kelsey
Hospitals. “With the challenges COVID-19 has brought, patient safety is more important
than ever. I’m really proud of our team in keeping patient safety our highest priority.”

Big Rapids Hospital was one of four Spectrum Health West Michigan hospitals that were awarded “A” grades this fall by Leapfrog. Spectrum Health United Hospital, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital were also recognized for providing safer care.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. The Safety Grade assigns an ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ or ‘F’ grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months. It is based on a hospital’s performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

“As our health care system continues to feel the strain of the pandemic, I thank the
workforce and leadership of Big Rapids Hospital for sustained commitment to patient
safety, day in and day out,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog
Group. “An ‘A’ Safety Grade is an outstanding achievement, and one that is not possible
without a 24/7 effort by the entire health care workforce to protect patients from harm.
This community should be proud.”

Developed under the guidance of a national Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety
Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades
to more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s
methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.


To see Big Rapids Hospital’s full grade details and to access patient tips for staying safe
in the hospital, visit

Sheriff's Corner: Respect and family environment leads to a successful Sheriff's Department

Leading up to doing this editorial, I had contemplated on a couple different topics. An incident
in March made my choice clear. There aren’t many career fields that are so closely related to
being on a sports team as law enforcement. This was never more evident than during our
arrest of a felony probationer showing the true team and family aspect that drew me to this

A deputy from our office conducted a traffic stop on a subject that was wanted by the 49th
Circuit Court Probation / Parole Office. The traffic stop took place at the Dollar General, in
Green Township. The deputy contacted the probationer who was driving the vehicle.

A second deputy arrived on scene and was at the passenger side of the vehicle as the primary
deputy was speaking with the driver and had advised him that he needed him to step from the
vehicle, as his Michigan Department of Corrections Agent wanted him taken into custody for
being in violation of his felony probation. The driver disregarded the order, threw the car into
reverse, and attempted to flee, striking the deputy, knocking him to the ground, and then
hitting the patrol car. The lone passenger in the car, attempted to get the driver to stop, yelling
at him to stop and then throwing the vehicle in park and pulled out the keys – throwing them
from the vehicle.

The suspect then fled on foot, running toward Northland Dr. The deputy who was struck, was
able to get up and pursue the suspect. The suspect was blocked from running across Northland
Dr. by a responding / assisting detective who was with the suspect’s probation officer. The
detective, probation officer and deputy were able to then get the suspect into handcuffs. The
suspect continued to resist arrest while being patted down and attempted to be secured in a
patrol car.

As a result of the call, and a call for backup by the assisting deputy on scene, multiple law
enforcement units, from both the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office and Big Rapids Department
of Public Safety, responded to the area. The law enforcement officers on scene attempted to
secure the 29-year-old male.

The suspect continued resisting after being taken to the ground to control him. Once on the
ground, the suspect was put in a seated recovery position where he continued resisting and
then attempted to grab an assisting officer’s weapon. The suspect was restrained and was then
attempted to be put in a patrol car. The suspect continued resisting and while attempting to
get him into the patrol car, head-butted the rear window breaking out the window and injuring

Deputies were able to get the suspect into a patrol vehicle where he was taken to the hospital.
Due to the male’s past and present violent behavior with law enforcement, several MCSO and
BRDPS stood by with the male while he received his medical care, so he could be cleared to be
lodged at the jail.


We all realized how fortunate we were that the incident was handled in the tactically sound
and professional manner it was, that helped lead to the safe and positive outcome we had. We
are also fortunate to have one another’s back and to be unified, no matter of the color of our
uniforms, in serving and protecting our community.

Since being in office at the MCSO, we have looked upon and treated our members of the
department as being family members, and the fact we are a team. This means not only the
road personnel, but our corrections, and support staff too. Just like any other team, everyone
has a role for us to be successful. Our family is not just our office but extends out to the other
first responders we work with, local and nationally.

You often hear law enforcement, and first responders speak of family when referring to one
another. Our family goes beyond the men and women who wear the uniforms. They are also
the significant others and their children. These are the family members who sacrifice having a
loved one who chose a career to serve the public.  It is these family members who are not able
to have their loved one present on a holiday or special occasion. These men and women who
have chosen a career in public service often know they will miss a lot of personal family
moments or milestones. Like being called away from their child’s birthday celebration, missing
a sporting event with family, or canceling a family trip due to their work schedule. The list goes

Being a law enforcement officer or in the first responder field has nothing to do with being
friends and buddies.  It’s respect and admiration for one another. It means working hard for the
family unit, doing things the right way, and holding each other accountable for our actions.  Not
only for our primary family but, our extended families too.  That is what a law enforcement,
first responder family is about.

This family doesn’t just include our present members but extends out to those who came
before us. Something always important to me is to respect those who came before us, or who I
had a chance to work with who have since moved on in their lives. The history that led our
agency to be what it is today needs to be respected and remembered. It has made me very
happy to have past employees of the MCSO feel comfortable enough to stop in and just say

Nowhere has the idea of family been more evident than, in the past year, Undersheriff Williams
and I meeting with a former MCSO Administrator.  We began meeting weekly after we reached
out to him inquiring on him consulting the two of us on the administrative roles we had and to
aid us as in broadening our perspective on what was needed, to guide our agency as we move
into the future. This person and his wife were a mentor to Mike as he began his career in law
enforcement over 20 years, with the two of them being the same to my wife and I both
professionally and personally. We still consider them part of our MCSO Family.


This takes me back to the arrest leading to this editorial. The law enforcement family can be a
complex and dysfunctional one at times. We don’t always love or get along with one another.
We have differences and disagreements, sometimes heated and drawn out. In the end though,
when in times of trouble we always come together to cover one another’s 6.

With National Corrections Officer Week and National Police Week both taking place this month,
despite the current state of law enforcement, I am optimistic about the future of policing in the
United States. The level of cooperation, sophistication, and professionalism has never been
higher, here in Mecosta County, and in our country. Our job is an honorable one, with law
enforcement battles day-after-day, hour-after-hour, requiring us to give our very best and
continually fight for what we believe in. The sacrifices that our family make is not in vain. To
protect and serve the community we all took an oath to work for and with. Family working
with family as a team to make this the safest community it can be.

Rep. Hoitenga: State budget plan provides critical resources while respecting taxpayer dollars

State Rep. Michele Hoitenga last week voted to advance budget proposals that make crucial investments in schools, roads and public safety throughout northern Michigan and prioritize sustainable spending, while paving the way for needed tax relief.


“People want access to crucial services for themselves and their families, but they also want their tax dollars to be put to good use,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “They want to feel safe in their communities and have infrastructure that isn’t crumbling when they’re out running errands. The Legislature has responded to these priorities and needs with this budget plan – and I supported measures that prioritize targeted one-time funding instead of pursuing a bunch of new programs that aren’t sustainable and may have to be cut later. This plan is an effective way forward for our area and our state, and it is both mindful and respectful of taxpayer dollars.”


Highlights of the plan include:

Support for students: Hoitenga advocated for $50 million within the House K-12 plan to offset outsized transportation costs for rural schools as inflation soars and gas prices rise substantially. Rural schools will be able to help get kids to school through a weighted funding formula that provides up to $250 per pupil, depending on pupils per square mile.


Better roads: The House plan includes a Department of Transportation budget of nearly $6.8 billion, including an additional one-time investment of $750 million specifically for local roads – continuing House Republican efforts to improve roads without additional tax increases.


Emphasis on public safety: The House budget plan boosts resources for a variety of law enforcement recruitment and retention efforts with $125 million in funding. Hoitenga said the measures came from speaking with local first responders and law enforcement officials throughout Michigan to determine what they need to keep their communities safe, and the budget plan reflects these needs.


The plan also leaves $1 billion for annual tax relief starting in the upcoming fiscal year that will put more money back in people’s pockets across northern Michigan. Whitmer has vetoed Republican tax relief plans that would have helped workers and retirees, as well as drivers going to the gas pump, but efforts will continue to lower taxes immediately as part of the budget process.


The measures now move to the Senate for further consideration.

Area law enforcement pay respects at 2022 Police Memorial


After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, members of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies came out to the campus of Ferris State University to pay respects to past and present fallen officers during the 17th Annual Police Memorial.



Keynote Speaker and Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller told attendees when he got his first job as a police officer 26 years ago he wanted to make a difference like a lot of his other brothers and sisters in law enforcement. 


“We all go into this job to make a difference, a positive one,” Miller said. “Events come up sometimes where we have to make that quick decision. And you hope through training and experience that those decisions are the correct ones.”


Following Miller's speech, Ferris State DPS Director John Allen addressed the crowd and the playing “Taps,” to close out the program. 

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter

Monday… 5/2
Two juveniles were issued citations for being in possession of a marijuana vape pen.

Complaint made to the department by a parent of phone threats that were made to her minor daughter. The person involved is no longer living in the state, but the incident was recorded and on file.

Tuesday … 5/3
Officers found a child’s bike at Westerburg Park. If you are missing a bicycle please contact the RCPD to identify.

Wednesday …5/4
Officers found 3 juveniles in violation of the city curfew. All 3 were returned to parents and issued a


Officers were dispatched to a residence for possible child neglect. The mother was intoxicated, and the children were turned over to a grandparent and case sent to CPS for investigation.

Thursday … 5/5
Officers dispatched to conduct a well being check. After a conversation with the person, it was found that he is well and feeling okay.

Officers dispatched to residence for person exhibiting unusual behavior. Community Mental Health was briefed and the person assisted back to their apartment.

Officers assisted Osceola County Deputy with a B&E investigation.

Officers dispatched to residence for an out of control juvenile. Following an investigation, the juvenile was transported for mental health treatment.

Friday …5/6
Officers were dispatched to an individual experiencing mental health difficulties. The matter was turned over to Community Mental Health.

Officers were requested by Community Mental Health to take an individual into protective custody and transport them for an evaluation.

Officers arrested a 32-year-old male on an outstanding warrant out of Mecosta County for violation of bond release conditions.

Saturday …5/7
Officers transported an individual to a mental health facility for in-patient treatment


Sunday …5/8
Officers issued an abatement notice for an unregistered and/or inoperable vehicle.

New MCEDC Executive Director meets Big Rapids City Commissioners

New Mecosta County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Kelly Wawsczyk met with the Big Rapids City Commission last night.


Wawsczyk told the commission she grew up on the Newaygo/Mecosta County boarder and Big Rapids was always a hub for getting groceries or if her family had any medical needs.


She says she's very excited to work with those in Big Rapids to achieve long term goals.


"The city will thrive by communicating and collaborating. My role is to connect the county with resources to educate and planning opportunities to assist in projects including expansion, talent and sustaining efforts you already have in place.” Wawsczyk said.

My approach to the job is to lead the promotion of economic development Mecosta County through attraction expansion and retention within our businesses and industries.”


Wawsczyk previously served Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency’s Headway Coalition collaborating with community sectors to provide services to promote a healthier community.

BR City Commissioner Andrews resigns from seat

Big Rapids City Commissioner Robert Andrews has resigned.


The announcement was made during a special Big Rapids City Commission meeting last week.


In a letter to City Manager Mark Gifford, Andrews cited personal medical problems and related concerns.


The City must fill the vacancy within 45 days according to City Attorney Eric Williams.


Anyone who is interested in filling the open commission seat, there will be a form to fill out on the city's website.


The deadline to apply is May 27th.

Chronic Wasting Disease found in Mecosta Co.

State officials say Chronic Wasting Disease has been found in a farmed white-tailed deer in Mecosta County.


The infected three-year-old deer was found through routine testing and the state is investigating to rule out if there were any other CWD exposures in the farmed deer.


CWD is a deadly neurological disease that affects different species, which includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It can be spread directly from one animal to another, and indirectly through the environment.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter


40-2200901 @ 1:23pm 600 block S State St. BOL for possible intoxicated driver in drive thru. Driver left prior to arrival but was later located and arrested for OWI high BAC after she left the roadway, hit a street sign, and then a tree as she was pulling into her residence.  Vehicle impounded to Curries; canine passenger taken to shelter. 

40-2200902 @ 6:40pm Warrant Pickup Lake County Male in Contempt of Court.

40-2200903 @ 9:04pm 100 block Maple St Mental.  Female stated her 14 year old grandson was missing.  Long history of mental and dementia complaints of the same.  Attempted to contact her daughter both by telephone and her home. 

40-2200904 @ 9:31pm 1100 block Catherine.  Female was yelling for help.  She suspects her significant other of cheating on her and was "emotionally" crying.  Nothing physical.  Male left for the night.

40-2200905 @ 9:44pm 423 Ives.  Missing autistic juvenile. He was found in the house prior to our arrival. 

40-2200906 @ 1:52am 1800 block Milton.  Caller stated she was being threatened by a male.  Information she provided dispatch was unable to be verified on scene.  Advised of PPO process.  Male was contacted and advised as well. 

40-2200907 @ 10:00pm Warrant Pickup Calhoun County for FTA.  

40-2200908 @ 3:55am 300 block S. Warren.  Fire under the front porch believed to be from a tenant’s cigarette but unknown on the real ignition source.  No foul play suspected. 



40-2200909 @ 7:50am N Stewart/Maple traffic stop for no plate resulted in driver being cited for No Ops, No Insurance, MIP Alcohol. Vehicle towed by Curries

40-2200911 @10:22am 1000 block Bjornson Juvenile was allowed to stay the night at a friend’s house after argument with mom. Mom went to pick her up this morning and she was gone. Juvenile located at different friend’s house and was allowed to stay.

40-2200910 @10:41am 300 block Morrison St Mental. Male was walking around and incoherent. Transported to SHBR to be evaluated.

40-2200912 @ 8:31pm 1100 block Platt.  Loose Mastiff was taken to ARC.  Very friendly.  No tags

40-2200913 @ 12:36am CWB 200 block Hemlock.  Male texted his mom SOS.  Contact was made with him, and he advised it was an accidental dial. 

40-2200914 @ 3:15am City Lot 4.  Heavily intoxicated male stumbled back into the bar.  He was located in his vehicle in the back seat and had urinated himself.  Contact was made with his mother who responded from Howard City to pick him up.



40-2200915 @ 1:21pm 200 block S Stewart Ave. Assist. Officers responded to assist with a disorderly 21-year-old autistic male who had become violent. Male calmed down as officers arrived and officers assisted the family with getting to the Rock Café.

40-2200916 @ 3:04pm 300 block N Warren Ave. Traffic stop led to driver being issued an appearance ticket for no insurance.

40-2200917 @ 4:08pm 800 block N State St. Civil. Male and female disputed who took a set of speakers from the residence.

40-2200918 @ 8:39pm Assist to fire 1100 block Catherine led to male being arrested on multiple misdemeanor warrants.

40-2200919 @ 10:52pm Assist to MSP on traffic stop Colburn/Bronson led to two females being arrested for misdemeanor warrants.

40-2200920 @ 1:54am Tampering with vehicle, 1100 block Fuller. Caller went out to her vehicle and found that all four tires had been removed from her car and had been placed under the vehicle. Unknown suspects.


Bill Pink officially voted in as Ferris State University's 19th President

Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to name Bill Pink as its 19th and next president during official action at its regularly-scheduled board meeting on Friday, May 6, in Big Rapids.


Pink, currently the president of Grand Rapids Community College, will become the first African-American president in Ferris’ 138-year history after previously becoming GRCC’s first African American president in its 100-plus-year history in May 2017. Following the trustees’ official vote, Pink expressed gratitude in the confidence the board has placed in him to become the university’s next president, following in the footsteps of David L. Eisler, the current president, who is retiring after serving 19 years of leadership at Ferris.


“I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for the honor they have given me and the confidence they have in me to become the next president of Ferris State University,” Pink said. “Ferris has a long and proud tradition in higher education that extends more than 135 years. Ferris embodies its core values of collaboration, diversity, ethical community, excellence, learning and opportunity. These foundational principles will be at the heart of the work we continue to do moving Ferris forward. I also thank Dr. David Eisler for his many years of guiding the university.”


Board of Trustees Chair Amna Seibold, on behalf of her fellow trustees, announced Pink as the selected finalist to become the next Ferris president on Monday, March 28. That announcement capped a comprehensive national search with input from a search advisory committee that included participation from students, alumni, faculty, staff, the community and the trustees. Seibold has high praise for Pink, who will officially assume the presidency on Monday, July 11.


“Today’s vote by the Board of Trustees reaffirms the confidence we have in Dr. Pink as he is now officially the next president of Ferris State University,” Seibold said. “While there is significant work ahead, we’re united in our confidence in Dr. Pink as the right person to take on the challenge of leading Ferris into the future.”


The search for Ferris’ next president started in 2021, aided by the efforts of the 25-member search advisory committee. The executive search firm, WittKieffer, assisted the trustees and the search advisory committee before the trustees made the final decision.


With the process now completed, Pink looks forward to the work ahead as he prepares to step in as Ferris’ next president.


“When I was named the selected finalist in March, I was overwhelmed by so many warm welcomes and well wishes that have made me and my family all the more excited to join the Ferris State community,” Pink said. Bill and his wife, Lori, have two children, Lance and Lydia. Lance is married to his wife, Kayla, and they have a son, Nate. “I very much look forward to meeting with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members and talking more about how together we can build upon the impactful work and momentum at Ferris and take the university to new heights.”


Pink’s salary will be $425,000.

Big Rapids City Commissioners to hold meeting tonight

The Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight to discuss and act on a number of resolutions on their agenda.


In study session, commissioners will be discussing issues including a budget presentation from Treasurer Aaron Kuhn, water and sewer rates, the Muskegon River Watershed and how the marijuana tax revenue should be spent.


A public Hearing will also be held on the city budget.


In general business, commissioners will be taking action on resolutions including, awarding bid for the Jackson Street and N. Third Street improvement project and awarding a bid for airport farming services.


The meeting begins in person at 6:30pm at City Hall or virtually on Zoom. 

Here is the agenda for tonight's meeting: 


Home invasion suspect shot and killed by homeowner in Clare

A home intruder was shot and killed at a home in Clare County this morning. 

In a press release, Clare Police Chief David Saad said officers received a call to a home in Clare for a home invasion in progress. Upon arriving to the scene, officers heard gunshot from the residence. 

An initial investigation determined the homeowner shot the suspect causing fatal injuries. 

The homeowner and police officers were not injured. 

The case remains under investigation.  


Intuit ordered to pay millions to customers tricked into paying for TurboTax

Intuit -- the owner of TurboTax, has reached a multistate agreement in which the company has to pay a total of $141-million dollars to consumers who were unfairly charged.


$3.5-million-dollars will be distributed to more than 115,000 Michigan consumers who were deceived by Intuit in paying to file their federal tax return between 2016-2018.


The investigation found that Intuit engaged in several deceptive and unfair trade practices that limited consumers participation in the IRS Free File Program.


The company used confusingly similar names for both its IRS Free File product and its commercial freemium product.


Consumers are expected to receive about $30 for each year they paid for services, the announcement said. They will automatically receive notices and a check by mail.


Road work on Perry Avenue beginning next week

Road construction season will be in full swing starting next week in Big Rapids as one of the area's most popular roads will be having some work done.


According to a letter from Big Rapids Public Works Director Heather Bowman, the city and the Michigan Department of Transportation have a coordinating project along Perry Avenue beginning Monday, May 9th.


Bowman says that grass/sod will be removed in the right away between the curb and sidewalk to allow for snow removal to be more efficient in the winter and to assist debris to not flow into the roadway.


Traffic will be impacted during this time and access to driveways may also be briefly impacted while work is taking place.


To read the letter scroll down:




Lane closures on M-66 in Osceola County begin next week


Heads up for those traveling in Osceola County.


The Michigan Department of Transportation says there will be lane closures on certain parts of M-66 due to construction from 7am-7pm on May 9th-13th.


Officials say construction areas include from 21 Mile Road north to the bridge over Middle Branch Creek in southern Missaukee County.  

Ferris State University's Spring 2022 Commencement set for May 6-7; more than 2,100 to graduate


Ferris State University is wrapping up its 2021-22 academic year with spring commencement Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, in Big Rapids. Ferris expects to graduate approximately 2,100 students with degrees and certificates, including 1,600 planning to take part in five ceremonies over two days inside Jim Wink Arena of the Ewigleben Sports Complex.


On Friday, May 6, commencement ceremonies start with a 3:30 p.m. ceremony for the Michigan College of Optometry and the College Health Professions, followed by a 7 p.m. ceremony for graduates of the Doctorate in Community College Leadership and the College of Pharmacy. The ceremonies continue on Saturday, May 7, with a 9 a.m. session for the College of Business, 12:30 p.m. for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education and a 4 p.m. for the College of Engineering Technology.


In keeping with tradition, spring commencement includes honorary doctorates awarded to its featured speakers, including alumnus Phil Hagerman, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry. Hagerman will address graduates of the Doctorate in Community College Leadership and the College of Pharmacy at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 6. Alumna Dana King, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, speaks to College of Business graduates on Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m. Later that day, alumnus Dick Shaw, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Industry, will address College of Engineering Technology graduates at 4 p.m. in the last ceremony.


Phil is part of three generations of Hagermans who have earned Ferris Pharmacy degrees. He co-founded Diplomat Pharmacy with his father and led this company for 27 years. During this time, Diplomat grew to be the largest independent provider of specialty pharmacy services in the country. In addition, Phil Hagerman strongly supported the university’s first-ever comprehensive capital campaign, Now and Always, providing a $5 million lead gift to the College of Pharmacy and a second $5 million gift to boost Ferris past its $115 million comprehensive campaign fundraising goal.


King, a broadcast journalist in Los Angeles, San Francisco and national television, earned five Emmys, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, and two Gracie Awards. Currently, she is an award-winning classical figurative sculpturist who creates public monuments of black bodies in bronze. Recently, she was appointed to The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors, a cabinet member of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia Building Campaign. King was named a Ferris Distinguished Alumna in 2018.


Shaw earned his associate and bachelor’s degrees in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. A proud veteran, he joined the Ferris faculty after graduation and served for 27 years; he was recognized as the Ferris Distinguished Teacher in 1978 and served as HVACR program director beginning in 1985. Upon retirement, he became a national consultant for the HVACR industry, recognized by the American “Spirit of Independence Award.” Further, Shaw has established and helped to develop multiple scholarship endowments at Ferris, has served on the Ferris Foundation, including chairing the Foundation Board, was highlighted as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2018, and is of the “Now and Always” Campaign Cabinet.


A renowned designer with global residential and commercial projects and an accomplished artist, Stallings is a differentiator in the design industry. Moving from San Francisco to East Lansing during the pandemic, he reached out to Kendall College of Art and Design to explore collaboration opportunities. In December, he established the Ian Stallings Design Endowed Scholarship at KCAD. Stallings, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts, will address Kendall College of Art and Design graduates on Saturday, May 7, in Grand Rapids.


Students planning to participate in Spring 2022 commencement ceremonies can receive up to six electronic tickets. No extra e-tickets will be distributed by the Commencement Office or the individual college commencement coordinators. Likewise, lost tickets will not be replaced. Guests who do not have tickets can watch the ceremonies via live stream on the Commencement Office website. 


E-tickets are required to attend all Big Rapids commencement ceremonies. Children 2 years old and younger do not need a ticket.


Kendall College of Art and Design hosts its commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center (600 Forest Hills Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49546), beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets are required to attend. In addition, the ceremony will be live-streamed on the KCAD website for people who are unable to attend in person. Additionally, KCAD’s Annual Student Exhibitions are on view to the public in Grand Rapids (17 Fountain St. NW) from Tuesday, May 3 through Saturday, May 7.


For people interested in but unable to attend commencement, the ceremonies are streamed live. Watch the online stream by clicking the link. That live stream will be courtesy of Ferris Cable 22.

Three people killed in two car crash on US-131

Three people were killed after a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction collided with another car head on. 


It happened last night on US-131 near mile marker 125 in Aetna Township. 


Deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office say when they arrived at the scene, one passenger vehicle was engulfed in flames. 


Witnesses told police a passenger vehicle was traveling Southbound in the Northbound lanes and never slowed down before hitting an on coming passenger vehicle out of Minnesota.

There were no survivors in the accident that claimed the lives of three people.  The names are being withheld pending notification. 

Voters approve operation millage proposals for Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills Schools

Just under 14%  of voters in the Big Rapids Public School District came out to vote in Tuesday's special election.


Voters approved Big Rapids Schools 18 mill operation millage renewal for the 2023 school year.


Meanwhile, 15% of voters came out in the Chippewa Hills School District and approved its operation millage proposal of 19.5 mills per year for the next four years.

Big Rapids & Chippewa Hills School Districts have operating millage renewals on May 3rd ballot

Both Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills Public Schools will be asking voters to renew their operating millage proposals today as part of a special election.


Big Rapids Superintendent Tim Haist says this is a millage proposal that the school district brings to voters every year to renew for general operating revenue.


The state of Michigan expects us to collect a portion of our state foundation allowance locally, and this is that portion. So this tax is not any primary residence, they are exempt. But it does allow the school district to bring in around $4 million in operating revenues for our district.” Haist said.


BRPS will be asking voters to approve its proposal of 18-mills for 2023, while Chippewa Hills will be asking residents in its district to approve a millage proposal of 19.5-mills per year for the next four years.


Polling precincts for the BRPS Special Election are as follows:

? City of Big Rapids, Precinct #1 (All City voters) Location: City Hall – 226 N. Michigan Ave, Big Rapids, MI

? Big Rapids Township, Precinct #1 Location: 14212 Northland Drive, Big Rapids, MI

? Colfax Township, Precinct #1 Location: 14428 157th Avenue, Big Rapids, MI

? Grant Township, Precinct #1 Location: Corner of 21 Mile and 150th, Big Rapids, MI

? Green Township, Precinct #1 Location: 21431 Northland Drive, Paris, MI

? Martiny Township, Precinct #1 Location: 15051 110th Avenue, Rodney, MI

? Norwich Township, Precinct #1, (+ Barton, Goodwell & Monroe BRPS’ voters) Location: 7213 N. Cypress Avenue, Big Rapids, MI


Polling precincts for the CHSD Special Election are as follows:

? Austin Township, Precinct #1 Location: 14132 Pierce Road, Stanwood, MI

? Chippewa Township, Precinct #1 Location: 10467 19 Mile Road, Rodney, MI

? Colfax Township, Precinct #1 Location: 14428 157th Avenue, Big Rapids, MI

? Fork Township, Precinct #1 (+ Orient Twp CHSD voters) Location: 147 Northern Avenue, Barryton, MI

? Martiny Township, Precinct #1 Location: 15051 110th Avenue, Rodney, MI

? Millbrook Township, Precinct #1 Location: 3015 Jackson Road, Blanchard, MI

? Morton Township, Precinct #1 (All Morton Twp voters) Location: 290 W. Main Street, Mecosta, MI ? Sheridan Township, Precinct #1 Location: 15020 30th Avenue, Barryton, MI

? Wheatland Township, Precinct #1 Location: 201 S. Sheridan, Remus, MI

Big Rapids Farmers Market opens on Friday!

The Big Rapids Farmers kicks off the 2022 season on Friday. Director Josh Pyles says there will be a lot of floral offerings as well as some seasonal vegetables.

"Probably in the beginning of the season, you'll see a bunch of flowers and planters. There will be some veggies like asparagus and things like that and then we will have lots of crafts and goodies. And then very soon into June and July we will be getting much more produce, fruits and veggies, the things people are used to seeing here." Pyles said.

Pyles says the Pocket Park Concert Series in the downtown area will also be starting up in June so there will be music during the market as well.

The market will be open from 9am-3pm on Friday and the market will be open on Tuesdays starting May 24th from 10-3pm.

Area organizations receive grant money from GLE People Fund

In its first round of grants for 2022, Great Lakes Energy’s People Fund has awarded more than $144,000 to 61 local nonprofit organizations across the cooperative’s 26-county service area, which stretches from Kalamazoo to the Mackinac Straits.

Last year the People Fund surpassed the $4 million mark in grants awarded since the program’s inception in 1999.

“It’s exciting to see the People Fund continue to build on its past success in supporting the many organizations who are making a real difference in their communities,” Great Lakes Energy President/CEO Shaun Lamp said. “The People Fund owes this success to the outstanding support and generosity of our members spanning more than 20 years.”

Funding for the program comes from members of the electric cooperative who agree to have their monthly bills rounded up to the next whole dollar. Members are encouraged to enroll in the People Fund online at or by contacting Great Lakes Energy’s office.

Cooperative members also have the opportunity to increase their contributions to the People Fund through People Fund PLUS. The People Fund PLUS program allows members to choose an amount, in addition to the monthly bill round-up, to contribute to the program.

Grants are awarded twice each year by three independent regional boards representing the cooperative’s north, central, and south regions.

Lamp added: “We are grateful for our members’ longstanding support for the People Fund and encourage nonprofit groups in our service area to apply for the fund’s next round of grants in the fall.”


Central Area:

The central region board awarded the following 16 grants totaling $27,800 in the first grant cycle of 2022. Great Lakes Energy’s central service district includes the counties of Clare, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Osceola, and Wexford. Information on grants awarded to organizations in GLE’s north and south regions are listed at

  • Angels of Action, Big Rapids: $1,000 for summer family engagement, nutrition, and literacy programs.
  • Bread of Life Food Pantry, Baldwin: $2,000 for food and supplies for the greater Lake County area.
  • Carr Community Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., Branch: $2,500 for turnout gear for new volunteer firefighters.
  • Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm Inc., Free Soil: $3,000 for roof repair, asphalting for handicap, and a hard drive.
  • Gateway to Success Academy, Scottville: $2,000 for a garden and sustainability center, contingent on raising the rest of the funding needed.
  • Grant Township Fireman’s Association, Manistee: $1,900 for task-appropriate turnout gear.             
  • Habitat for Humanity of Mason County, Scottville: $1,000 for their ramp program.
  • Lake County Habitat of Humanity, Baldwin: $2,500 towards home construction, contingent on raising the rest of the funding needed.
  • Lincoln Township Fire Department, Reed City: $2,400 for firefighter safety communications equipment.
  • Mid-Michigan Honor Flight, Inc., Mecosta: $1,000 for #13 and #14 honor flights and missions.
  • Norman Township Fire Department, Wellston: $1,500 for Seek Thermal imaging cameras.
  • PoWeR! Book Bags, Suttons Bay: $2,000 for PoWeR! Book Bags in Lake County, contingent on raising the rest of the funding needed.
  • Reed City Area District Library, Reed City: $2,000 for backyard games and seating.
  • Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association, Ludington: $1,000 for an informational panel for the fog signal building.
  • Staircase Youth Services, Ludington: $500 for the Back-to-School Backpack Bonanza.
  • Western Michigan Fair Association, Ludington: $1,500 for roofing repair.


The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is accepting applications from local nonprofit organizations for the final 2022 grant cycle. The deadline for letters of intent is Oct. 1, with grant applications due by Oct. 15. Visit for more information on the program or to apply.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 4/25-5/1

A family member requested officers to check on the well being of a family member they had not been able to get a hold of. Contact was made the family member was okay.

Tuesday …4/26
Officers issued a teen juvenile a citation for being in possession of a vape device.

Officer took a report of a possible threat by a juvenile. The matter was investigated and determined there was no threat. The juvenile was referred to mental health counseling.

Officers were dispatched to a RV on fire on the side of US 10. It is believed to have been a mechanical

Wednesday …4/27
Officers were dispatched to assist EMS with a person in seizure. The person came out of seizure prior to arrival and declined treatment from EMS

Thursday …4/28
While on patrol officers noticed a school bus, parked, with its lights flashing after hours. The officer checked the area before turning off the lights and notifying staff to check the surveillance cameras in the morning.

Friday …4/29
Officers took a report of one juvenile threatening another. It was determined the words were said out of anger and there was no intention to harm the other juvenile.

Officers investigated a suspicious Snap Chat posting. It was found the juvenile made a poor decision when angry and posted content that could lead someone to believe they may want to harm others. The matter was investigated and no credible threat found. The juvenile was referred to counseling for their anger issues.

Saturday …4/30
Officers served an abatement notice for a violation of the city trash ordinance. The matter has been cleaned up and taken care of.

Officers took a report of unwanted phone calls. The caller stated her former neighbor has recently started calling since the passing of her husband and the calls are unwanted. The officer assisted the woman in blocking the number from her phone and contacting the other party, instructing them to stop calling.

While on routine patrol officers observed two men who appeared making a calculated effort to avoid any contact with the officer. The officer attempted to make friendly contact but the two only quickened their pace and went inside a residence. Finding this suspicious, the officer made contact at the residence to ensure the men belonged at the residence and hadn’t entered unlawfully to evade the officer. The woman occupant stated one of the men was her husband and all was okay. Officers continued on patrol.


Sunday …5/1
Officers were requested to accompany a woman to get her son who had runaway. The teen was located and turned over to his mother.

Officers served an abatement notice for an inoperable vehicle being stored in violation of city ordinance.

Officers took a report of malicious destruction of property to a security camera and a vehicle. The suspect in the matter admitted to doing the damage. The matter is pending further investigation.

Officers took a report of a possible criminal sexual conduct matter. It is currently under investigation.

Officers took a report of a suspicious person in a KKK costume. The woman was located wearing a white knit winter hat, a white knit sweater, and a white dress, none of which would indicate any affiliation to the KKK. In fact, the woman is known in the community to wear white because, due to some mental health difficulties, she finds the color comforting. The matter had absolutely nothing to do with race or hate and was completely unfounded.

Ferris State University Department of Public Safety to host 17th Annual Police Memorial on May 10

For the first time since 2019, Ferris State University will host the 17th annual Police Memorial on Tuesday, May 10, beginning at 9 a.m. in the north stage area of the Robinson Quad near the University Center building on the Big Rapids campus.


Because of cancelations in 2020 and 2021 related to COVID-19, this will be the first Police Memorial hosted by John Allen, the current Ferris Department of Public Safety director.


“I am very excited to have this very important event back for our community. The University and its leadership have supported our law enforcement officers and local law enforcement partners,” Allen said. “Our local school children come out to support our law enforcement community and pay their respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”


Allen added that the Police Memorial provides an opportunity for the public to meet and engage local, state and federal law enforcement members to get to know them as people in their communities and not just as law enforcement officers.


This year’s Police Memorial program includes playing “Taps,” the Big Rapids Middle School Choir singing the Irish Prayer, placing the wreath and the police formation of local, county, state and federal officers in the event that is free and open to the public.


“This is an important event for our local and surrounding communities,” Allen said. “It shows that the University and surrounding communities support their local law enforcement and empathize with their daily sacrifices to keep our communities safe. It also shows their respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”


Public attendees are encouraged to park in Lots 1 and 13, located east of the University Center. A campus map is available here.


If it rains, the event will move indoors to the nearby University Center building at 805 Campus Drive, Big Rapids, Michigan.


Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to attend this event should contact dispatch specialist Brittany Taylor at (231) 591-5000 or email the DPS Dispatch Office at least 72 hours in advance.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter



40-2200844 @ 7:45am MDOP 700 block Tioga. Roommates destroyed items belonging to another roommate. Will be forwarded for review.


40-2200845 @ 8:33am Assist 500 block S. Michigan. Called in as a disorderly assaultive juvenile by school workers. Officer arrived and found student calm and speaking with a school counselor. 


40-2200846 @ 12:08pm Mental 800 block N. State. Caller advised female had left the residence earlier in the morning and had texted suicidal statements to him. Phone was pinged. MSP contacted the female who advised she was fine and not suicidal.


40-00847 Civil 1:00pm block N State St, customer upset over bill, and was refusing to pay.


40-2200848 @ 7:26pm 100 block Gilbertson.  Female refused to get in her adopted mother's vehicle to go home.  Eventually she got in the van and mom took her back to home.


40-2200849 @ 9:30pm 1800 block Milton.  Assist to CPS ref a mandatory reporter stating that juvenile stated she had been touched.  Under investigation.


40-2200850 @ 11:47pm Oak and Ives.  After female was released from jail after her impaired driving arrest in the county, she was delusional, having hallucinations and calling people in her phone.  She refused to go to the hospital unless it was a real hospital and a real ambulance.  Transported to Spectrum via EMS for medical and mental concerns.


40-2200851 @ 12:52am 100 block S Michigan.  Disorderly.  Subject was kicked out.  Subject left without incident.


40-2200852 @ 12:58am 100 block Maple St.  Female was having a mental episode and believed she wasn't in her own apartment.





40-2200853 @ 12:19pm 600 block Oak St. Disorderly/Assault. Staff reported male had attempted to assault a hospital staff but no assault. Later officers were called back as staff then reported he had bitten one staff member and brushed another with his fist as he attempted to assault them.


40-2200854 @ 12:21pm 400 block Maple St. Suspicious/Stalking. The complainant reported suspicious activity that has been happening at her residence. She reported that multiple strange items have been left at her doorway, including shots of alcohol and deli meats.


40-2200855 @ 1:03pm Big Rapids Spectrum Health Drug Take Back event.


40-2200856 @ 1:39pm 300 block S Third Ave. Civil/Warrant Arrest – Male and female were having civil issues. Female was found to have a civil child neglect warrant out of MCSO.


40-2200857 @ 4:08pm 600 block Hutchinson St. Civil/harassment – Complainant reported civil issues between herself and another person. She was advised to block the person on social media.





40-2200858 @ 11:54am S State St/Spring St. Traffic Stop. Driver was given an appearance ticket for expired ops.


40-2200859 @ 12:48pm 1100 block Catherine St. Domestic/Warrant arrest. Officer responded to a domestic. It was investigated that two males assaulted each other. One had an active warrant and was arrested. Charges are to be submitted on both.


40-2200860 @ 11:52am 400 block Elm St. Warrant Arrest. Male was picked up in Evart. He was lodged for his contempt warrants.


40-2200861 @ 1:02pm S State St/Linden St. PDA


40-2200862 @ 2:47pm 700 block Perry Ave. Civil. Officers were dispatched for an unruly customer who was threatening employees. The customer was told not to come back to the store.


40-2200863 @ 2:32pm 1100 block Catherine St. Juvenile Complaint. Officers were dispatched to the area for kids throwing rocks at cars. It was found that the kids were throwing rocks at each other and near cars.


40-2200864 @ 3:53pm 300 block Woodward Ave. Civil/Noise. Officers were initially dispatched for a noise issue. However, the noise was not heard, and the original complainant was advised that it is not a noise violation for the upper tenant to walk in their apartment.


40-2200865 @ 4:13pm N State St./Hemlock St. Traffic Stop Driver was given an appearance ticket for no insurance.


40-2200866 @ 12:42pm 600 block Oak St. Assault. Officers were dispatched for an assault. Male is being held for his mental evaluation and had slipped his restraints. He assaulted a worker.


40-2200867 @ 5:39pm 100 block DeKrafft Ave. Suspicious. Officers found a flare falling in the area. Unable to locate the source but the area was searched.


40-2200868 @ 6:20pm hours, 800 block Perry Ave. PDA- Car/Deer


40-2200869 @ 6:42pm Civil 600 block Oak St. Female was refusing to leave because she didn't believe she felt well enough to be discharged. She called a ride.


40-2200870 @ 8:00pm Unlawful Entry 1100 block Catherine. Male and female advised while someone was babysitting their children the previous night, the mother of one of the children came over without permission and began cleaning and waking up the other children. She left upon getting on the phone with the father. Female would not answer the door to be trespassed.


40-2200871 @ 12:52am Suspicious 700 block Fuller Ave. Male claimed someone stole his SIM card from his phone while he was in the shower because his phone, which had coffee spilled on it and was smashed, would not turn on. Makin wanted officers to take the phone to the "experts at Walmart."


40-2200872 @ 6:02am Alarm 800 block Maple St VM left for keyholder. Building secure.


Lakeview man injured in Millbrook Twp. crash

A Lakeview man was taken to the hospital with severe injuries following a crash over the weekend in Mecosta County.


It happened at the intersection of Monroe Rd and 50th Ave in Millbrook Township.


Deputies say a 52-year-old Lakeview man went off the road and struck a tree. He was then taken to Big Rapids Spectrum Health Hospital for severe, but non-life threatening injuries.


Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident.


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Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

District 37 @Big Rapids HS

  - 5/28: Ludington 5 @ Newaygo 4

  - 6/1:

     10a: Ludington @ Fremont

     12n: Whitehall @ Big Rapids

     District Final: Whitehall/Big Rapids @ Fremont/Ludington

District 39 @Comstock Pk HS

  - 5/28: Sparta 5 @ Grant 1

  - 6/1:

     10a: Sparta @ Belding

     12n: Comstock Park @ Tri County

     District Final: Sparta/Belding @ Comstock Park/Tri County

District 70 @Evart

  - 5/28: Pine River 8 @ Harrison 4

  - 6/1:

     10a: Pine River @ Evart

     12n: McBain @ Reed City

     District Final: Pine River/Evart @ McBain/Reed City

District 72 @ Montague

  - 6/1:

     10a: Montague @ Ravenna

     12n: N Muskegon @ Kent City

     District Final: Montague/Ravenna @ N Muskegon/Kent City

District 74 @ Chip Hills

  - 5/28: Clare 15 @ Farwell 0

  - 6/1:

     10a: Clare @ Lakeview

     12n: Chip Hills @ Morley Stanwood

     District Final: Clare/Lakeview @ Chip Hills/Morley Stanwood

District 77 @Pewamo-Westphalia HS

  - 5/28: C Montcalm 4 @ Ovid-Elsie 3

  - 6/1:

     10a: C Montcalm @ St Louis

     12n: Pewamo-Westphalia @ Ithaca

     District Final: C Montcalm/St Louis @ Pewamo-Westphalia/Ithaca


CSAA Softball

District 37 @Shepherd HS

  - 5/29: Big Rapids 2 @ Freeland 3

  - 6/1:

     10a: Freeland @ Swan Valley

     12n: Shepherd @ Alma

     District Final: Big Rapids/Freeland/Swan Valley @ Shepherd/Alma

District 38 @Newaygo HS

  - 6/1:

     10a: Tri County @ Newaygo

     12n: Sparta @ Fremont

     District Final: Tri County/Newaygo @ Sparta/Fremont

District 72 @Chip Hills HS

  - 5/28: Chip Hills 10 @ Morley Stanwood 11

  - 6/1:

     10a: Morley Stanwood @ Lakeview

     12n: Evart @ Reed City

     District Final: Morley Stanwood/Lakeview @ Evart/Reed City

District 73 @Montague HS

  - 5/28: Grant 1 @ Kent City 7

  - 6/1:

     10a: Kent City @ Montague

     12n: N Muskegon @ Ravenna

     District Final: Kent City/Montague @ N Muskegon/Ravenna

District 95 @Bullock Creek

  - 5/29: Ithaca @ St Louis

  - 6/1:

     10a: Ithaca/St Louis @ Bullock Creek

     12n: C Montcalm @ Hemlock

     District Final: Ithaca/St Louis/Bullock Creek @ C Montcalm/Hemlock

District 108 @ Marion

  - 5/28: Pentwater 8 @ Mason County Eastern 4

  - 6/1:

     10a: Pentwater @ White Cloud

     12n: Marion @ Holton

     District Final: Pentwater/White Cloud @ Marion/Holton


CSAA Softball Standings

1.) Big Rapids: 16-0

2.) Reed City: 16-2

3.) Newaygo: 11-3

4.) Kent City: 9-6

5.) Central Montcalm: 7-5

6.) Grant: 6-8

7.) Morley Stanwood: 4-7

8.) White Cloud: 3-11

9.) Lakeview: 2-12

10.) Chip Hills: 0-10

11.) Tri County: 0-10

(from available data)

CSAA Baseball Standings

1) Big Rapids: 17-1 | +172 -42 (+130)

2) Chippewa Hills: 11-5 | +91 -57 (+34)

3) Grant: 12-6 | 107 -57 (+50)

4) Newaygo: 12-6 | +104 -65 (+39)

5) Central Montcalm: 10-6 | +109 -71 (+38)

6) Reed City: 11-7 | +125 -81 (+44)

7) White Cloud: 8-10 | +79 -117 (-38)

8) Morley Stanwood: 6-12 | +57 -117 (-60)

9) Kent City: 5-13 | +86 -144 (-58)

10) Tri County: 4-14 | +89 -147 (-58)

11) Lakeview: 0-16 | +60 -181 (-121)

This Week's Poll

What place will the Tigers finish in the AL Central?