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News That Affects You Archives for 2022-10

Big Rapids receives $1-million dollar grant for Hemlock Park improvements

It's an exciting time to live in Big Rapids.


Big Rapids has been awarded a grant of $1-million dollars for improvements to Hemlock Park.


Those improvements include construction of a splash pad, pickleball, basketball and tennis courts, an ADA accessible kayak launch and a new playscape area that would include a new accessible and universal playground equipment for children with various abilities and a warming station during the winter months to serve participants enjoying the ice rink, snowshoeing, or hikes.


Officials from the city of Big Rapids, BRPS and Hemlock Park improvement Project leaders believe this is a very exciting time for the area and will have a big impact for future generations living in Big Rapids.


It’s another great day for Big Rapids, our residents, and our visitors. The community supported our vision of this initiative since Day 1 and I’m just so happy that the State saw value in this project too. We wouldn’t have been awarded this grant without the $600k plus dollars that were donated by our community. Thank you Big Rapids.” Jon Coles, Hemlock Park Improvement Committee Chair said. “In addition, I want to publicly thank former City Employee Suzanne Wiggins for her work on this application. Without her, both the $238k DNR grant nor this last grant would have been possible. Kudos to Mark and his staff for such an impactful hire.”


This is another big win for our Big Rapids community.” Big Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Tim Haist said. “Any time we can improve the quality of life in our community, it will have a positive impact on our students and our schools.”


This grant is a crucial piece in completing the entire vision of the Hemlock Park Improvement Project committee.  This project will modernize and transform the park and wonderfully compliment the City’s Downtown District as well as the Big Rapids Public Schools.” Big Rapids City Manager Mark Gifford said. “Thank you to all the community members and partner organizations that have made this project a reality.”


This grant is monumental!  The joy watching children playing on the playground and splash pad is priceless.  Keep progressing Big Rapids!” Big Rapids Mayor Fred Guenter said.

MSP: Help identifying theft suspect

As part of a theft investigation, Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post is asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect they say allegedly committed retail fraud at the Big Rapids Walmart store Friday afternoon.



 Please contact the post at 989-773-5951 if you know this person/vehicle.

Treasury Department warns about tax debt scam

The Michigan Department of Treasury is warning taxpayers of a recent scam.


Michigan taxpayers have received scam-like letters regarding an overdue tax bill asking them to contact a toll-free number in order to resolve state tax debt. The letter is threatening to seize property -- including bank accounts, wages, cars and refunds.


The treasury says the letter looks credible because it uses personal facts but is a criminal attempt to take money. The Treasury Department sends letters with the state of Michigan letterhead and names of the governor and state treasurer. They are always sent through the U-S Postal Service.


Those who believe to have received a letter can contact the Treasury's Collections Service Center.

UHAUL truck falls into Muskegon River; Driver arrested

A 52-year old man was arrested after the UHAUL he was driving went over an embankment and into the Muskegon River.


The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says it happened Tuesday at Elder near Pierce Road where two fishermen saw the UHAUL go into the river. They told police they saw two men wearing black running away from the scene. The Dive team arrived on scene and entered in the water. No one was inside.


Police did locate driver information in the vehicle. While on scene dispatch received a call regarding a suspicious male,walking on the Davis bridge. A deputy made contact with the 52-year old man who was identified as the driver of the UHAUL. The driver stated a Bronco pickup truck was inside the UHAUL.


He was arrested for operating under the influence of drugs.


Pharmacy Fraternity, Department of Public Safety Collaborate on Prescription Drug Take Back Day Collection, Saturday, Oct. 29

Ferris State University students will continue supporting National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a biannual collection of unused prescription medications for safe disposal, on Saturday, Oct. 29. Local organizers will set up a drop-off station outside the David L. Eisler Center in Lot 3A.


Members of the Gamma Chi chapter of the Kappa Psi pharmacy will join a Ferris Department of Public Safety cadet to manage the process near the east entrance of the David L. Eisler Center. Cayman Dulz, of Armada, is the College of Pharmacy student who organized Kappa Psi’s participation in the event.


“Students and community members are encouraged to come and dispose of their expired medications,” Dulz said. “We can take expired medications or medications that need to be discarded. We cannot accept needles as part of this event.”


Ferris’ Department of Public Safety will receive the discarded medications, weigh them, and hold them for pick up by a U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration representative. 


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides a safe and convenient way to dispose of prescription drugs while educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.


The Gamma Chi chapter and a DPS contact also staff a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day station on campus each April. For additional drop-off locations, visit the DEA’s site locator.

Reed City & Evart awarded grant money to make water system improvements

Two towns in Osceola County will be benefiting from a grant to make improvements to their water systems.


The nearly $15-million dollars in Community Development Block Grant Water-Related Infrastructure grants were awarded to Evart, and Reed City along with seven other towns around the state.


In a press release, Governor Whitmer and Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced the grants Tuesday.


Quality, reliable water infrastructure is vital to the health of our residents and critical to the economic success of our communities,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today’s nine projects totaling $15 million in infrastructure upgrades will support good-paying jobs, protect access to safe drinking water for residents, and lower costs for households and small businesses. When we work together on the fundamentals, including water infrastructure, we create a solid foundation for economic growth. I will work with anyone to ensure every Michigander has the resources they need to thrive and every community has the infrastructure to support job-creating projects.”  


The money can be used to make improvements to their existing water, sewer, and wastewater public infrastructure systems.


Both officials from Reed City and Evart are thankful for the funds.


The city of Evart is grateful for the upgrades to our wastewater system that this funding will help implement,” said City Manager Pepper Lockhart. “It will ensure that we have backup power in the event of an emergency power outage for our treatment plant and will also provide much-needed upgrades to the city’s sanitary sewer collection lines.”  


The city of Reed City is extremely grateful to be selected for CDBG funding from MEDC,” said City Manager Rich Saladin. “This much needed infrastructure removal and replacement will provide a system that is safe and reliable for our residents and businesses while addressing environmental concerns within the Muskegon River watershed. It is truly with a sigh of relief that we were able to be awarded this grant. Thank you!” 

Chippewa Twp man dies after crashing van into house

A 50-year old man is dead following a one vehicle crash in Isabella County Sunday evening.


The Sheriff's Office says when the deputies arrived to the scene, they found a van that left the road and struck a tree. The van then continued from the tree and struck a residence on River Road in Deerfield Twp. The van then caught fire which ignited the residence on fire as well. The driver and only occupant of the vehicle Todd Hamilton of Chippewa Twp may have been thrown from the vehicle but landed near the burning vehicle and residence.


The owner of the residence sustained minor injuries when the vehicle struck the residence.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 10/17-10/22

Officer was contacted by an individual requesting a police report for possible bank fraud. The man wanted to report money his ex-girlfriend had taken from his bank account over the last 4 years. He was advised since he was okay with it until they broke up, he would have to sue her in court since it was a civil matter.

Officer responded a request for a welfare check on a couple of students that haven’t been at school in a month. Officer went to the home but the apartment was vacant.

Officers arrested a 31-year-old woman on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court. She was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Tuesday …10/18
Officer responded to an accident involving 2 deer. The driver was not injured and there was only minor damage to the vehicle. The driver took the deer for consumption.

Wednesday …10/19
School liaison officer responded to the elementary school about a student being very disorderly and
aggressive. Juvenile petition submitted for review.

School liaison officer investigated a complaint of an assault that occurred on a school bus after school. The complaint was determined to be unfounded.

Thursday …10/20
Officer received a complaint of two underage teens engaging in sexual activity. The matter is under

Officer responded to Reed City High School regarding a male concerned that rumors were being spread he touched a female student inappropriately. An investigation revealed that did not occur. The School will take appropriate action regarding the rumors being spread.

Officer responded to a wellbeing check, after arriving to the location, the individual was determined to be fine.

Officer arrested a 21-year-old woman on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court. She was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Officer responded to a report of an individual listening to loud music in a parked car. During investigation, officer did not hear loud music or find anyone inside the parked car.

Friday …10/21
Officer was called regarding a lost wallet. After investigating, officer could not find the man that reported the wallet stolen. The man called back a short time later to advise he found his wallet.


Saturday …10/22
Officers come upon a vehicle parked at a local business after hours. Upon contact it was discovered the driver had an argument with their spouse and was taking a few minutes to calm themselves before proceeding on.

Officer spotted someone at the park after closing time. They were not aware of the time the park closed and departed.

Officer found an individual that was having a diabetic reaction lying on the sidewalk. He was transported to the Hospital.

Officer responded to a call about some stolen property. After investigation, no crime was committed.

Officer was called about a possible child abuse. CPS was involved and the matter is under investigation.

Whitmer announces $30 million dollars in grant money to hire more law enforcement officers

Governor Whitmer announcing that $30-million-dollars in grant scholarships are now available to local law enforcement agencies to help hire more police officers.


The Public Safety Academy Assistance Program was established to help address the need for additional police officers by reducing or eliminating the cost associated with basic police training for hiring agencies.


The funding comes from the 2023 bipartisan budget Whitmer signed in July that includes several investments to improve relationships between communities and law enforcement.

Missing Cirgliano family found in Wisconsin

A West Michigan family of four who have been missing for a week have been located in Wisconsin.


Fremont Police say the Cirgliano family which includes the 51- year old parents, a 19-year old and 15-year old sons, were all interviewed. Both sons have autism. Fremont Police say they're still believing people to be after them-- but they did not need to go into protective custody.


Police saying the family from Fremont had last made contact with loved ones a week ago and left their home after the father exhibited paranoid behavior. Fremont Police put out the missing alert for them a couple days later.


They were found Sunday in Stephens Point Wisconsin and police determined they were safe.

Baldwin man charged with open murder in death of 21-year old man

A 62-year old Baldwin man has been charged in connection with the death of a 21-year old man who was found with a gunshot wound to the head on Monday night.


The lake County Sheriff's Office says Danny Kehm McCarty, 62, of Baldwin was arraigned on charges of Open Murder, Felony Firearm, Resisting and Obstructing Police and Interfering with EMS.


McCarty remains in the Lake County Jail with no bond.


He was originally arrested on Monday on a charge of Resisting and Obstructing Police.


Police received a call for shots fired at a home in Webber Township on October 17th, when they arrived they found the victim deceased on scene.


The investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE: Police looking for missing family from Fremont

UPDATE: UPDATE: Fremont Police Chief Tim Rodwell has updated the missing persons case of the Cirigliano family. According to Rodwell,  Fremont Police Department has corroborated a sighting of the Cirigliano family in Gulliver Michigan on Monday October 17, 2022 between 10:40am and 10:55am. Authorities in the eastern and southern section of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have been notified and are aware of the sighting.
Surveillance video from the BP Gas Station in Gulliver Michigan shows Anthony, Suzette, Brandon and Noah in the station purchasing fuel and food. Fremont Police have verified the video to be accurate.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fremont Police Department.



Authorities in west Michigan are searching for a family of four who haven't been seen since Sunday.


Michigan State Police say 51-year old Tony Cirigliano, his wife and two teenage sons are from Fremont, and are missing. Family members say the father was showing paranoid behaviors on Sunday.


Authorities say a family member who requires full time care and the pets were left at home alone and cell phones have been turned off.


The family may be in a silver minivan with a license plate of DJL 1982.


Anyone with information should call 911 or Fremont police.

Ferris State to retire jersey of two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan this Saturday

The Ferris State University Football program and Bulldog Athletics will hold a special pregame ceremony on Saturday (Oct. 22) prior to the start of FSU's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home contest against Michigan Tech, paying triubute and officially retiring the jersey of FSU legend and two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan.


The ceremony will take place prior to the 1 p.m. (ET) kickoff and fans are encouraged to be in the stadium early. Vander Laan wore jersey #15 during his FSU career from 2012-15 and the number will officially be retired for good after current Bulldog standout wide receiver Xavier Wade concludes his Ferris State career.

Vander Laan will become the first Bulldog football player in the program's 113-year history to have his jersey and number officially retired.


"We're looking forward to honoring Jason on Saturday and he's extremely deserving of this recognition," said FSU head coach Tony Annese. "His accomplishments as a college football player and student-athlete at Ferris State were extraordinary and we're all proud of his achievements and thankful for what he's meant for our university."


A four-year starter and two-time team captain. Vander Laan had a historic collegiate gridiron career at Ferris State and concluded his career as the greatest rushing quarterback in college football history with 5,953 total yards on the ground.


Vander Laan ranks as the school's all-time rushing and scoring leader and broke the school record for most career TD's (81). At the conclusion of his collegiate career, he ranked number one all-time in career rushing by a quarterback at any level of college football and number two for career rushing TD's at any level of college football. He was also the first QB in NCAA History to compile 1,000 plus rushing and passing yards for four-straight years.


Vander Laan was a two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner as the NCAA Division II Player of Year and was also the 2014 and 2015 Division II National Scholar-Athlete of the Year as the country's top male student-athlete for all sports. He was honored as a 2015 Campbell Trophy "Academic Heisman"

finalist, for all levels, and chosen as a consensus All-American each of his final two years. He was also a two-time GLIAC Player of the Year and two-time All-GLIAC First Team choice. The signal caller led FSU to back-to-back GLIAC Championships and NCAA Playoff appearances in 2014 and 2015.


Following his Bulldog career, Vander Laan was recognized as one of the NCAA's Today's Top 10 Award winners for his success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Vander Laan was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and also had NFL stops with the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots in addition to the New Orleans Saints.

Reed City Police Blotter: 10/2-10/16

School liaison officer responded to a complaint of a damaged bus seat and a vape device found. The matter us under investigation.

Officer was dispatched to a report of a woman having difficulty walking. The individual has a medical
disability and was ok.

School liaison officer responded to a student wanting to make a police report regarding a consensual sexual encounter that was recorded without their knowledge. Since it occurred in a different area of the state, the matter was forwarded to the police department with jurisdiction in that area.

Officer was dispatched in reference to damage to a vehicle. There is no evidence to show how or where it occurred and/or who did it.

Officer was dispatched to a local business about someone doing some illegally dumping garbage in their dumpster.

Officer responded to a call of a possible phone scam. The victim was called using voice over internet from an unknown location. The caller offered cable TV at a lower rate and took financial information. The victim was advised to contact her financial institution. The victim did not suffer any financial loss.

Officer responded to a call about a woman dressed all in black, staggering around in the street.


Officer located the woman who has a medical disability and she accepted a ride home.

Tuesday …10/04
Due to other officers being tied up on calls, the RCPD assisted the Michigan Stated Police on a call that was suspicious in nature and a check well being on those involved. The matter was turned back over to MSP for investigation.

Officers took a report of an individual violating their bond release conditions. The matter was forwarded to the Prosecutor.

School liaison officer issued a citation for an MIP vape after observing the teen using it.

Officer took a report about a possible domestic violence situation that happened the day prior. Due to jurisdictional reasons, the case was referred to Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

Officer took a report about a former employee of a local business stealing property. All parties involved were interviewed and all missing items were returned to the owners.

Wednesday …10/05
Officer assisted Probation and Parole with an arrest and transport of a 46-year-old man to the jail.


Officer assisted Probation and Parole with an arrest and transport of a 30-year-old woman to the jail.

Officer assisted Probation and Parole with an arrest and transport of a 31-year-old man to the jail.

Officer administrated a PBT and assisted with a probation violation.

School liaison officer responded to Reed City Middle School for minors in possession of alcohol. The
investigation resulted in 3 juveniles being cited for MIP Alcohol, 1 for MIP marijuana, and a 3-count
misdemeanor citation for furnishing alcohol to a minor. An adult was also cited for Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor and Furnishing Marijuana to a minor. The matter had been forwarded to the Prosecutor

School liaison officer issued a citation for a teen being in possession of a Marijuana vape device and a nicotine vape device.

Thursday …10/06
Officers were dispatched to a disorderly juvenile. The investigation resulted in the juvenile attempting to assault the officer. The matter has been turned over to the prosecutor and probate court.

Officer responded to a possible trespassing; a 33-year-old man was arrested on his warrant out of Mecosta County.

Officer responded to a welfare check for a baby. Upon investigation it was determined that the child was taken care of.

Friday …10/07
Officer responded to a property line dispute between neighbors, both parties agreed to wait until the surveyor comes back out.

Officers took a report of a woman who received a text message from an unknown individual telling her to kill herself. She was advised to block the number and call back if there were any further problems.

Saturday …10/08
Officer responded to a call, in reference to a verbal altercation over neighbor dogs barking at each other


Officer issued a misdemeanor appearance citation for a 24-year-old woman found to be operating without a driver’s license, having an unregistered vehicle and no insurance.

Officer responded to a two semi crash, no injuries, minor damage.

School liaison officer responded to reports of a student in possession of a Vape, a citation was issued.

Officer conducted a traffic stop resulting in the arrest of a 32-year-old man for bond violation and a citation was issued for speeding.

Tuesday …10/11
Officer received a call from a woman reporting she was been harassed by her soon to be ex-husband. A report has been sent to the prosecutor requesting charges of Aggravated Stalking.

Officers took a report of a two-vehicle crash on private property. There were not injuries and minor damage to the vehicles.

Officer took a report regarding a lady that wanted to report a phone scam. She was contacted in reference to a family members utility bill and instructed to obtain and send a gift card.

Officer was requested to check the wellbeing of an individual after his friend had not heard from him, he was fine.

Officer assisted with an arrest of a 30-year-old woman with two outstanding warrants for felony probation violation.

Wednesday …10/12
Officer assisted County Deputies with a disorderly subject complaint at the Wesco. After investigation
subject was asked to leave. Subject complied.

School liaison officer was informed about a potential runaway juvenile experiencing some mental health difficulties. The juvenile was located and taken for help.

Officers took a report of a suspicious individual. The matter is under investigation.

Officer was asked to check on a child that might be in need of assistance. After investigation, the child was fine.

Officer was approached by a new resident that wanted to give him special information regarding a medical issue in the event first responders were ever called to her residence.


Friday …10/14
School officer liaison responded to the High School to reports of a student making threats. The student stated they were joking and no imminent threat was found to exist. Due to the serious nature of the statement, regardless if it was meant in a joking manner, a juvenile petition has been submitted to the prosecutor for review.

Officer was dispatched to a home where the homeowner was complaining that his neighbor’s side light was too bright and shining into his living room window.

Officers were dispatched to two unwanted individuals. One individual has been served a notice of Trespass not to return to the property. Contact is still being attempted with the second who will also be served notice.

Saturday …10/15
Officer was dispatched to a home that the homeowner was complaining that the neighbor was obstructing traffic with a scooter.

Officer was dispatched to make a wellbeing check on a person that left the hospital against medical advice in another town. The officer was unable to locate the person.

Sunday …10/16
Officer was dispatched out of concern that an extremely intoxicated male subject was trying to walk home. Individual was taken home.

Officer assisted a female that came into the dept to report a domestic assault. Following this investigation, the 20-year-old man was arrested for domestic assault and lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

One driver arrested for drunk driving following two vehicle crash in Mecosta Co.

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office believes alcohol was the primary factor in a two vehicle crash last night on Northland Drive and 18 Mile Road.


Deputies say a female driver from Evart sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Big Rapids Spectrum Health Hospital for treatment.


A male driver from Pierson in the second vehicle was found to be intoxicated and was arrested at the scene for operating while intoxicated. 

Lake Co. Sheriff's Office investigating 'suspicious death'

The Lake County Sheriff's Office is investigating a suspicious death.


Sheriff Rich Martin said in a press release, deputies were called to a home in Webber Township for shots fired on Monday just after 10pm.


Deputies were advised that a man was injured.


When police arrived they located a 21-year old man suffering from a gun shot wound to the head, he pronounced deceased on scene.


A 62-year old man is currently in custody at the Lake County Jail on charges unrelated to the victims death.


The death is currently being investigated as a suspicious death. If you have any information about this incident, please contact Detective Hedlund or Det/Lt. Nixon at 231-745-2712.

List of Trunk or Treat events around Mecosta County

As Halloween is getting closer Big Rapids Daily News has gathered a list of local Trunk or Treat events in and around the area for kids and their families.


Oct. 22nd


Remus Trunk or Treat at Janowicz Family Funeral Home
469 W Wheatland Ave from 2pm-4pm


Oct. 28th

Hillcrest Apartments, Big Rapids 5pm-7pm


Oct. 29th


Fall Festival, Downtown Big Rapids 12pm-2pm


Betten Baker Trunk or Treat 14061 Northland Dr.
Big Rapids from 1:30pm-3pm


Peacock Real Estate Trunk or Treat at 18030 3 Mile Rd
Morley Morley from 4pm-6pm


Reed City Halloween Block Party at the Train Depot from 5pm-8pm


Oct. 30th


Mecosta Fall Fest at Pine Tree Park from 12pm-4pm


Oct. 31st


Morley Community Center Haunted Halls from 4:30pm-6:30pm


Garden Shack Trunk or Treat in Chippewa Lake 5pm-7pm


St. Peter's Lutheran Church Trunk or Treat 408 W. Bellevue St.
Big Rapids from 5:45pm-7pm

Big Rapids Police want to expand but are finding hurdles

The City of Big Rapids is in the process of trying recruit more law enforcement officers to the area but are finding it difficult.


During a study session Monday night with the city commission, Chief Danielle Haynes said her department is struggling in attracting new officers and retaining the ones she has.


Salary is one, the opportunity for different types of assignments, we don't have a spot team, like the canine position are things that we don't offer, I think the last one is that they are changing careers and are just leaving law enforcement.” “ It’s a tough climate right now the way law enforcement officers are perceived." Haynes said.


All of these positions are absolute needs to help build on our transparency within the community to continue providing the level of service that the citizens deserve.”


As a way to make Big Rapids more attractive to new hires, Haynes proposed a hiring bonus for new recruits.


'We are competing with other agencies and they are all offering something special and I think if we gave a $1,500 bonus once they completed their probationary year that would be something different that would draw interest to our agency.” Haynes said.  


Currently, Big Rapids Police has 15 full time officers on its staff. Haynes proposed to the commission to give officers a stipend to show officers they are appreciated.


Another piece is retention. I need to keep them so, I'm proposing a $1,500 stipend to the current officers to show they're appreciated for all of the extra work during the holidays, the weekend, Birthdays and anniversaries missed the kids sporting events and everything that they sacrifice to be here to serve the city.” Haynes told the commission. 


Chief Haynes told the commission they want to develop a police recruiting program that can attract a younger demographic.


We want to really develop our recruiting program and do a recruiting video and develop our YouTube channel and try to get just a lot more information about the department and about the City of Big Rapids. “We want to target a younger audience, high school students, MOISD, Career Center.” Haynes said.

Shepherd man dies after being struck by an SUV on US-127

A mid-Michigan man has died after he was hit by an SUV along U.S. 127 near Mt. Pleasant.


The Isabella County Sheriff's Department say the 33-year old victim from Shepherd hit a deer while driving on the freeway just after seven o'clock Monday morning. He got out of his car and was hit when the other driver swerved in an attempt to miss the car that was still in the road and not on the shoulder.


The 77-year old woman driving the SUV was taken to the hospital to be evaluated.


Investigators say it was very dark and misty rain hindered the unlit area of the expressway. While traffic was being re-routed, a Sheriff's patrol car was hit by another driver, however there were no injuries in that crash.

New MAB Poll shows small leads for Whitmer and other Dems

It's three weeks until election day.


The latest poll from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters shows democrats have small leads in the three races at the top of the ballot.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer leads republican challenger Tudor Dixon by five points. Attorney General Dana Nessel leads republican Matt DePerno by two points and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has a six point lead over Kristina Karamo.


CLICK HERE for a more in depth look at the MAB poll. 

Families Against Narcotics launching new FAN Chapter & Hope Not Handcuffs Initiative in Mecosta & Osceola Counties

On Wednesday, October 19th, Families Against Narcotics (FAN), a grassroots nonprofit organization based in Macomb County, will expand their programming to help individuals and families in mid-Michigan who have been affected by substance use disorder. In addition to launching a brand-new chapter that will cover Mecosta and Osceola counties, FAN will also implement their flagship Hope Not Handcuffs program in the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, and Ferris State University Department of Public Safety.


FAN was founded in 2007 and is a community-based program for those seeking recovery from substance use disorder, those in recovery, family members affected by addiction, and community supporters. Their Hope Not Handcuffs initiative, launched in February of 2017, has compassionately connected more than 8,200 people statewide with the resources necessary to find recovery from addiction.


The 120+ agencies across Michigan that collaborate with FAN in the Hope Not Handcuffs program assist FAN’s efforts to find viable treatment options for individuals seeking help to reduce their dependence on prescription medications, heroin, alcohol, or other drugs. The concept is simple: Any person who is battling a substance use disorder can go to any Hope Not Handcuffs-affiliated police department or community partner and ask for help. They will be greeted with support, compassion, and respect, and one of FAN’s trained volunteer “Angels” will provide them with resources and assist them with getting the treatment they need and deserve.


Hope Not Handcuffs also provides trained and certified Peer Recovery Coaches for the individuals who participate in the program, as well as Family Recovery Coaches for family members or loved ones. Addiction is a family disease, so the goal is to help everyone who’s been affected by it find recovery.


“Helping people in crisis is our job,” stated Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Chief Danielle Haynes. “Our partnership with Hope Not Handcuffs gives us another tool to better serve the members of our community who are suffering from substance use disorders. We know that jail is not always the best option, and we look forward to helping people start on the road to recovery.”


Detective Sergeant Timothy Jacobs of the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety is also pleased to be initiating Hope Not Handcuffs. “We believe the program will be a welcomed resource in our local community because it helps people with addiction get the help they need in a caring and compassionate way,” he commented. “When a person is ready and willing to seek treatment, Hope Not Handcuffs and local law enforcement agencies will provide help in a non-criminal and non-judgmental way.”


Meanwhile, the new Mecosta-Osceola FAN chapter will help citizens in local communities navigate the difficult task of dealing with substance use disorder. Among the resources the chapter will offer are their monthly FAN Forum meetings, which will be open to the public and be a place to learn, listen, grow, and share. These monthly forums will be held on the first Monday of each month, at 6:00 pm, at Liberty Baptist Church in Reed City, which is located at 485 Old U.S. Highway 131.


Mecosta-Osceola FAN will be led by Executive Board President Erin Clark; Vice President Wendy Lenon; Secretary Gail Bullard; and Treasurer Michael Mendenhall.


FAN’s Executive Director, retired Judge Linda Davis, is excited for the expansion of FAN programming into Mecosta and Osceola counties. “Adding a new chapter that covers two counties in this part of the state is a big win,” remarked Davis. “We will be assisting more families who, up until now, didn’t know where to turn to for help with a loved one’s substance use disorder. And the fact that we’re launching Hope Not Handcuffs in three local police agencies simultaneously is an added bonus. This will save lives.”


Please join us for this press conference at the Michigan College of Optometry Atrium, located at 1124 S. State St. in Big Rapids. Members of the new Mecosta-Osceola FAN chapter will be speaking, as will representatives from the parent FAN organization and local law enforcement. They will discuss how the new chapter intends to make a difference in the community, and what impact the expansion of the Hope Not Handcuffs program into the area will have.

Two people arrested following drug bust in Aetna Township

Two people are behind bars on drug charges following their arrest last week in Mecosta County's Aetna Township.


The Sheriff's Office says on October 13th, detectives conducted background information and surveillance which ultimately led to the arrest of two subjects for the selling of methamphetamine.


Drugs and money were recovered and the suspects were arrested and lodged in the Mecosta County Jail.


The suspects were 60-ytear old Benjamin Mosqueda of Sparta, and 50-year old Velancia Ridley of Grand Rapids.


Mosqueda is currently lodged in the Mecosta County Jail with a bond of $75,000 cash / surety bond.


Ridley is currently lodged on the Mecosta County Jail with a bond of $15,000 cash surety bond.

Ferris State Hockey faces off with Special Olympians

On Tuesday, October 18 th , the Area 5 Special Olympians will play the Ferris State Hockey team in a poly hockey exhibition game. The contest will take place at the Student Recreation Center at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the game are free with baked goods also being sold to support Special Olympics. Much of the sweet treats are being supplied by Three Girls Bakery, with pricing starting at approximately three dollars a cookie. The event is being put on by the Sports Careers RSO and Special Olympics College Club, both organizations of Ferris State students.

"The Poly Hockey Exhibition game was one of the first collaborations between Sports Careers RSO and the new Special Olympics College Club,” Lead Director of the Sports Careers RSO Sandy Alspach said. “With Unified Intramurals, this event earned Ferris State special recognition as a Unified Special
Olympics Champion School. We're very proud of that banner hanging in the Student Recreation Center."

For more events and updates, follow the Big Rapids Daily News at

Gov. Whitmer & GOP challenger Tudor Dixon debate each other in Grand Rapids

It was a historic debate in Michigan last night as for the first time two women went at it in a gubernatorial debate.


Republican challenger Tudor Dixon and incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer started the debate at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids outlining their positions on abortion. Dixon called the Governor's support for abortion rights "extremely radical." Whitmer said abortions are still legal in Michigan because of her actions and said Dixon's position is "too extreme and too dangerous."


The two candidates also answered questions about education, the COVID pandemic and the economy. Political analysts say there were no knockout blows delivered by either candidate.


Voters will get their say November 8th, or earlier if they vote by absentee ballot.

Cardinal Tennis gears up for state finals

It’s the final weekend for Big Rapids Tennis, which means it’s the biggest of them all.


The Cardinals will be heading to Kalmazoo for Friday and Saturday competition in the Division Four State Finals. For Head Coach Jon Coles, the privilege of playing in this finale comes from the hours spent in preparation on and off the court.

“It didn’t come down to a final match or game result,” Coles said. “This is the work of four years and the more intently work since June.”

The Cardinals began the 2022 Fall season red hot, winning 14 of their first 15 matches. This included
beating three ranked opponents in their first four matchups. Since then, the Cardinals have kept their number three spot in the state rankings with large wins and premier play in the regional round.

“We got that state ranking and we and we haven't given it.” Coles said. “We've won because we're
consistent down the down the lineup. We are solid at every single position whereas some teams are
good at certain flights.”

Competing for the Cardinals this weekend includes senior Owen Westercamp, who will compete in the number one singles flight, senior Nathan Sanders in the number two singles flight, senior Logan Fuller in singles flight number three, and junior Preston Younge in singles flight number four.
For doubles, junior Austin Hinkley and freshman Carson Coles are slated in flight one, sophomore Isaac Zocco and freshman Noah Sweppenheiser in flight number two, junior Dylan Walsh and sophomore Mason Sleeper will play in flight three, and senior Elijah Haynes and sophomore Ari Ziska in the final fourth flight.

According to Coles, the tough schedule has helped the team prepare for playing on the big stage.
“The guys now believe that they're battle tested and can win close matches against good opponents.
Without question, that will give them confidence when it means the most this weekend.”
Off the many top-ranked teams playing this weekend, Big Rapids finds themselves in a unique category.

Out of the top 10 ranked teams, only Big Rapids and Allegan are the only public schools on the list.
When asked about this feat, Coles said he and his team take pride in competing with the “ritzy, country club” type schools.

“We’ve got a chip on our shoulder and I love to play with that. It’s frustrating that you can pay money to be good at tennis. Our kids have done it the hard way and it’s a testament to our mindset and grit when things get tough.”

The Cardinals will begin play Friday morning at both Kalmazoo College and Western Michigan University sites.

Consumers Energy announces planned outage Thursday night in Lakeview area to fix equipment

A heads up for those living in the Lakeview area, Consumers Energy will be making electric system upgrades that will require a 6-hour power interruption from 11 p.m. Thursday, October 13 to 5 a.m. Friday, October 14.


The emergency interruption is needed for crews to safely repair an isolator bank near the intersection of M-91 and M-46 and will affect approximately 600 customers.


The approximate location of the outage is east of the intersection of M-91 and M-46 all the way to Six Lakes and extending south as far as Indianhead Lake.

Road Construction work on US-131 in Mecosta Co. extended until Oct. 22nd.

The Michigan Department of Transportation has announced that Lane closures are scheduled to remain in effect through October 22 on northbound US-131 from 13 Mile Road to 19 Mile Road. 


It's part of a $6.6 million project to rebuild approximately 6.5 miles of US-131 from 13 Mile Road to just north of 19 Mile Road.    


Work includes resurfacing, drainage improvements and new guardrail. 



Ferris State University's Board of Trustees accept $2 million U.S. Department of Education Grant, approve room and board rates, general fund budget

Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees has approved accepting a U.S. Department of Education grant for up to $2 million, a new five-year capital outlay plan, 2023-24 room and board rates, a final 2022-23 general fund operating budget and more at its regular meeting on Friday, Oct. 7 inside the David L. Eisler Center on the Big Rapids campus.


On Sept. 21, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education notified Ferris that it received approval for funding up to $2.04 million for a “Child Care Access Means Parents in School” grant. The funding will support the existing Ferris campus-based childcare facility, the Early Learning Center, which for 34 years has offered educational programs to children and families while doubling as a hands-on academic lab for Ferris students preparing for careers in early childhood education. Led by grant and ELC director Lori Johnson, a grant goal is improving two generations of learning outcomes by addressing parents’ childcare access needs for infants and toddlers, providing childcare subsidies with a sliding fee scale for student parents and wrap-around services.


The board of trustees further approved the submitted fiscal-year 2024 state of Michigan capital outlay project request for a Center for Interprofessional Health Sciences Education. The proposed renovation project has an estimated $29.5 million cost. An approved request would renovate the existing Allied Health Sciences Building with an expansion to add new spaces for interprofessional health sciences education with availability for nearby College of Pharmacy and Michigan College of Optometry students on the Big Rapids campus.


Renovation projects for The Rock Café and Miller Hall, approved initially by the trustees in 2019, were paused during the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. The board has approved a revised plan at a cost not exceeding $3.6 million. The Rock Café serves 2,000 patrons daily and upwards of 4,000 during special events and will receive various upgrades, including new flooring, furniture, upgraded lighting, painting, an allergen-free station and other reconfigurations and updated fixtures. Meanwhile, the Miller Hall project includes equipping it with many modern amenities and finishes similar to what residents of the newer North Hall experience.


The trustees approved a 2022-23 room and board rate of $10,509 for a freshman with a double room and the popular Crimson Meal Plan. The new rate is an increase of 2.35 percent, even as Ferris maintains one of the lowest room-and-board rates among state university peers. The board further approved a final fiscal-year 2023 general fund operating budget of $194 million, a reduction of $1.67 million from the preliminary projection. Included in the budget is a 3.6-percent student scholarship increase to $27.6 million. Further approved by board members was a final $30.95 million fiscal-year 2023 housing and dining budget.


The board also heard from President Bill Pink regarding the possibility of the EV battery manufacturing company Gotion’s plan to build a plant in the Big Rapids area.

“Our university was a major reason for Gotion’s interest in the region. As a university, we will rise to meet their needs,” said Pink, whose inauguration took place on Saturday, Oct. 8.


In additional Oct. 8 action, the trustees approved the following:


  • the College of Engineering Technology is adding an Associate in Applied Science in Engineering Technology. The new degree will serve as a general-purpose degree providing an entry point into the college for students accepted at the University but not yet eligible for a specified CET degree pathway, and


  • a professional services agreement with EDU Information Security to aid in software integration of Microsoft phone as a replacement for the existing PBX phone switch.


The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees is Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 3 p.m. followed by the full board meeting at 4 p.m.

Don Sprik & Freewheelin releases new single "Reunion Jam"

Don Sprik & Freewheelin is excited to release their new hit “Reunion Jam”.

“If you’ve ever reconnected with an old friend after years apart and picked up right
where you left off, I think you’ll find that this song hits home,” Don Sprik says of the
new single.

While every song the band has released has been special in its own way, this one is
especially close to their hearts. The band itself has a long history that began about 40
years ago with its 5 members playing together in different lineups; however, as is often
the case, life happens and each went their own way. Fast forward to 2020 – Don Sprik
(lead vocals and guitar) and Jimmy Warren (lead guitar) decided it was time to get the
band back together. Their old friend Jon Jarecki joined them to rock the bass, Al
Arkestyn came back to keep the band on beat with drums, and Jim Markle brings it all
together on keyboard – with everyone filling in vocals as well.

“Call it a 40-year itch. Don and I started talking music again and we have a way of
building each other up with our passion for music,” says Warren. “Right away, we
started talking about the Freewheelin days, did some searching, and found Jon and Jim
open to the idea. I had played with Al briefly at Don’s about a decade ago and really
respected his talent (the guy’s a machine). I couldn’t be more excited!”

Though the band has only been back together for a little over a year, they are already
making waves. They’ve been featured on FM airplay across Europe and the United
States and have been on talk shows throughout the United States. Their recent hit
“You’re the One” had over 57K views on YouTube, and this new hit was mastered by
Grammy award-winning Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering.

“What makes us unique is our ability to interact with one another while we are in the
creating process,” says Sprik. “Each musician puts their own individual touch on their
part – no one is telling the others how to play. That’s how ‘freewheelin’ kind of came

Some of Don Sprik & Freewheelin’s biggest fans include lovers of Classic Rock, who feel
a wave of nostalgia listening to their catchy tunes. Just as their previous hits have,
“Reunion Jam” is sure to have fans moving to its beat in no time – and maybe even
calling up an old friend for a beer or coffee.

Sheriff's Corner: New 'tranq dope' drug hitting local communities

If the continuing fight against Methamphetamine, Opioids, specifically Heroin and Fentanyl, wasn’t enough, information of a new drug that is more deadly and with no antidote has begun to haunt the lives of those who use it and their loved ones who are sometimes left to pick up the pieces. Xylazine is a non- opioid animal tranquilizer, which is being mixed into Michigan street drugs, making the already deadly supply more dangerous, according to toxicologists and researchers. Xylazine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for human use. It cannot be purchased without a prescription or having a veterinary license.


Currently, it is still unknown how users have been getting the drug. Xylazine can be swallowed, inhaled, smoked, snorted, or injected into the muscle or vein.

Locally, law enforcement was first notified of this growing threat at a detective meeting in May of this year by the Michigan State Police 6th District Intelligence Analyst. Xylazine, or “tranq dope”, as it is called on the street, is believed to have been the factor in overdose deaths during this time period in
Osceola and Montcalm Counties, and possibly one in Mecosta as well, although never confirmed. Xylazine, is a fast-acting central nervous system depressant, which is showing up largely in fentanyl, the ultra-potent synthetic opioid that is mixed into heroin and pressed into counterfeit pills and responsible for more overdose deaths than any other drug. A fentanyl high is more intense than a heroin high, but also shorter lived. Adding xylazine to this product extends the feeling of euphoria they get from a fentanyl high. Adding xylazine to fentanyl, which is also a depressant, sadly increases the odds of overdoses.

Due to Xylazine not being an Opioid, an overdose involving this drug cannot be reversed by naloxone (Narcan). This does not mean if a person believes another is overdosing, they should not consider using naloxone. If it doesn’t appear to be working, then get immediate medical attention for that person by administering rescue breathing and getting them to a hospital emergency room. There they may be able to get the treatment they will need, such as further rescue breathing to secure the airway and the fluids and medication, they will need to increase the depressed blood pressure brought on by xylazine.

Xylazine first gained attention after being found in the drug supply on the east coast in the last 4-5 years. In the last 2-3 years, it appears to have made its way west, just like fentanyl before it, showing up in Michigan. Testing in Michigan for xylazine-involved deaths started in 2019. Michigan had at least 50 xylazine-involved deaths in 2019 and 70 in 2020.


A xylazine overdose looks similar to an opioid one, with those using it showing pinpoint pupils, loss of consciousness, slowed or no breathing. If use of the drug doesn’t kill you or stop you from breathing long enough to cause unrepairable brain damage, another complication is a skin abscess at the point of injection, leading to soft tissue damage. A theory of this being that decreased blood flow from xylazine keeps the wound from healing.

Concerning to me is we will continue to see a rise in use of this drug, adding to the already high number of overdose deaths in Michigan and across our country. I would bet to gather that most users are unaware that xylazine is being laced with the heroin or fentanyl they are purchasing on the street. Of concern is also the fact that the drug knocks people unconscious. Those taking
fentanyl cut with xylazine may black out and awaken hours later. This leaves those using it more vulnerable to harm, such being the victims of sexual assaults, or being passed out in poor environmental or weather conditions.

I don’t write this to be an alarmist, or to tell you the sky falling. I do this to continue to keep the general public informed on the trends we as society, and specifically law enforcement, are seeing. We have had missed opportunities in the past to get ahead of the curve when it comes to the opioid crisis, and prevalence of methamphetamine and fentanyl, to effectively respond to the dangers they bring. We have the chance to educate before xylazine takes over and becomes a lethal drug crisis we must fight.

Isabella Bank employees to give back to local communities

Isabella Bank employees are turning their Compassion into Action on Monday, October 10.


All Isabella Bank locations will be closed to allow employees to volunteer with one of nine local organizations; Big Rapids Charter Township, Habitat for Humanity Isabella County, Isabella County Parks and Recreation, Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency, United Way of Montcalm County, United Way of Saginaw County, Village of Breckenridge, West Midland Family Center, and William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center.

Volunteering and giving back is part of the culture at Isabella Bank. In 2021, employees donated over
5,000 hours to hundreds of different organizations across the Isabella Bank footprint. The idea to
dedicate an entire day to making a positive difference came after recognizing the incredible impact
employees make locally. Allowing all employees to get involved empowers their sense of purpose and makes them feel more connected to neighbors and community.

Over 350 employees will be volunteering at one of nine community service projects.

  • ? The Big Rapids Charter Township project participants will work on cleaning up and revitalizing

Highbanks Park.

  • ? The Habitat for Humanity Isabella County project participants will work in their ReStore facility

in Mount Pleasant.

  • ? The Isabella County Parks and Recreation project participants will work on cleaning up and

revitalizing Deerfield Park.

  • ? The Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency project participants will work on packaging meals

for the local food bank.

  • ? The United Way of Montcalm County project participants will work on packaging meals for the

Michigan Food Bank.

  • ? The United Way of Saginaw County project participants will work with Hidden Harvest and the

East Side Soup Kitchen to help serve meals to those in need and stock the shelves for local
pantries throughout the county.

  • ? The Village of Breckenridge project participants will work on community clean-up around the


  • ? The West Midland Family Center project participants will work with the center to clean-up the

grounds, package food boxes for distribution, and revitalize the picnic area.

  • ? The William and Janet Strickler Nonprofit Center project participants will work with the

nonprofits in center to help with clean-up, sorting and organizing, as well as with the Isabella
Community Soup Kitchen to help serve and prepare meals for those in need.

All locations will re-open with normal business hours on Tuesday, October 11. Isabella Bank ATMs,
online, mobile, and telephone banking are all available 24/7.

Dixon agrees to second debate with Whitmer

A second debate has been added as the race for governor enters the home stretch.


Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer will debate Republican challenger Tudor Dixon on October 25th at Oakland University. The pair will add the event to their schedules alongside a previously-scheduled debate on October 13th in Grand Rapids.


Over the summer, Whitmer agreed to participate in both debates -- but Dixon only committed to the first.


Her decision to now participate in the second debate comes one day after a new poll showed her 17 points behind Whitmer ahead of the November election.

Gov. Whitmer Announces New Battery Component Manufacturing Facility in Big Rapids, Creating 2,350 Jobs and an Investment of More than $2.3 billion

As part of a series of electric vehicle battery investments made today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in announcing Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) support for a transformational investment by the global battery company Gotion, which has chosen to build its battery component manufacturing facility in Big Rapids.

“Gotion’s $2.36 billion investment creating 2,350 good-paying jobs in Big Rapids is the biggest ever economic development project in Northern Michigan and will shore up our status as the global hub of mobility and electrification,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am proud that Republicans and Democrats worked across the aisle to build up our economic development toolkit and empowered Michigan to compete for every project and every job. Together, we will continue winning investments in this space and become the preeminent destination for electric vehicle and mobility companies. We will work with anyone and compete with everyone to keep bringing supply chains of batteries, chips, and electric vehicles home to Michigan.”

“We are thrilled to congratulate the Gotion team on choosing Michigan as their American home for opportunity! Team Michigan continues to out-hustle and out-compete to ensure every global company considering their future expansion opportunities can see their future here in our state, just like Gotion does,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We are grateful for the support and collaboration from our multiple local partners at the city and country levels, our partners at The Right Place and Consumers Energy, in particular, and appreciate the bipartisan support of the legislature to bring these good-paying jobs and economic opportunities to our friends and neighbors both here in Big Rapids and throughout the region.”

Founded in 1998 and based in Hefei, China, Gotion High-tech Co. engages in the research and development, production, and sale of power lithium batteries in China and internationally. Its products include lithium iron phosphate materials and batteries, ternary materials and batteries, power battery packs, battery management systems, and energy storage battery packs for use in electric commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, special vehicles, and hybrid vehicles. Gotion also offers high-voltage electrical appliances, switchgear equipment, electrical digital equipment, intelligent distribution network equipment, serialized transformers, transformers, circuit breakers, integrated charging piles, on-board chargers, and energy storage cabinets for use in thermal power, hydropower, nuclear power, wind power, metallurgy, railway, and other industries.

Gotion was incorporated in California in 2014 and was focused on research and development activities in Fremont, California as well as Cleveland, Ohio. Now, future operations, including this project, will focus on establishing production capacity for the United States.

“We are thankful to the Big Rapids community, State of Michigan and all who have supported us in getting the project to this important milestone. We are dedicated to bringing world class lithium battery production to North America and delivering high-quality products to our customers in a timely fashion. We look forward to our continued partnership to ensure a smooth launch,” said Chuck Thelen, Vice President of Gotion Global.

The MSF Board today approved support that will enable up to $2.364 billion investment in Michigan by Gotion creating up to 2,350 new jobs in Big Rapids and the surrounding area, to serve increasing demand in the battery production industry. Gotion will initiate a multi-phase project in Big Rapids where it will build a battery components manufacturing facility to serve a growing customer base throughout North America and globally.

Once completed, the facility in Big Rapids is expected to produce 150,000 tons of cathode material per year, covering an area estimated to span 260 acres with plans to build two 550,000 square foot production plants along with other supporting facilities. Additionally, the project will involve the construction of two production plants specifically dedicated to producing anodes, ultimately resulting in 50,000 tons of anode material produced per year.

“We are proud to partner with Gotion, Governor Whitmer, the Right Place and MEDC to support this once-in-a-generation opportunity for Big Rapids to bring more success and prosperity for Michigan,” said Garrick Rochow, President and CEO of Consumers Energy. “Consumers Energy plays a pivotal role in the economic development success of this project providing a competitive electric rate to attract this investment and a unique partnership ensuring high reliability, not only for Gotion, but for the entire Big Rapids region. We are also thrilled to partner with the company to deliver on their commitment to have 100% renewable energy powering their facility which aligns with our strategic vision through our Clean Energy Plan.”

In order to secure today’s project – which Michigan won out over Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Illinois and Ohio – the MSF Board approved a package of incentive support, including:

  • A $125 million Critical Industry Program performance-based grant through the SOAR Fund
  • An MSF Designated Renaissance Zone estimated to be worth $540 million
  • A $50 million Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based grant through the SOAR Fund will be administered by The Right Place to assist with infrastructure improvements.

In addition to MSF support, both Green Charter Township and Big Rapids Charter Township anticipate approval of a PA 198 real property tax abatement. Green Charter Township, Big Rapids Charter Township, and Mecosta County have also authorized a 30-year Renaissance Zone in support of the project.

“This project has the potential to provide great jobs to multiple generations of our citizens,” said Mecosta County Controller/Administrator Paul Bullock. “Citizens who will not have to leave our community for this type of opportunity, but who will be able to stay, grow, and enrich our community through their presence.”

“The Right Place is honored to have played a role in bringing this transformational project to the Big Rapids area, said Brent Case, Vice President, Business Attraction, The Right Place, Inc. “The location and community have been prepared for an opportunity like this to utilize the infrastructure, locally trained talent pool and outstanding resources from Ferris State University. We are well on our way to positioning the region at the center of West Michigan’s growing mobility and EV sector.”

It is anticipated the influx of jobs will result in spin-off investments and redevelopment opportunities. Over $11.5 billion in new personal income is expected to be generated by the direct, indirect, and induced jobs that this opportunity will create over 20 years.

“We are excited at the opportunity to partner with Gotion, our municipal leaders, and our economic development partners on this once-in-a-century project that will have a significant impact for both the Big Rapids region and for Ferris State University. Gotion has made it clear that Ferris State University will be a strong partner in this effort for many years to come, and we are well prepared to do so,” said Ferris State University President Bill Pink. “While we have not yet reached the finish line, the board approval this morning has moved us one step closer to a collaboration that will positively impact and enhance our region and state as a whole. I am excited about this opportunity to advance our region, the city of Big Rapids, and our great university!”

Actor Sean Astin to speak on mental health advocacy, empowerment and representation Oct. 6

An opportunity to experience a heartfelt talk on mental health issues comes to Ferris State University students and the greater community Thursday, Oct. 6. Actor, producer and director Sean Astin will speak on that topic at 7 p.m. in Williams Auditorium.


The free event, hosted by Entertainment Unlimited, is open to the public. Student Life Student Outreach Coordinator Ben Avery said Astin’s visit is significant and timely.


“Oct. 2-8 is Mental Health Awareness Week,” Avery said. “Sean’s message highlights the importance of advocacy, representation and empowerment for those dealing with mental illness, as he continues the legacy of his mother, actress Patty Duke, by being a voice of concern, inclusion and support.”


Duke was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during her son’s adolescence, and Sean was 16 when she made her condition known in a bestselling autobiography. Astin began his acting career several years prior with his mother, in a role as an abused eight-year-old in the television movie, “Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom!” However, he is perhaps best known for portraying Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and having the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy.”


“We are excited to hear Sean’s plea to end the societal stigma related to mental health, as well as having this chance to get to know someone with such stature who has that kind of concern and compassion,” Avery said. “There will be a 30-minute question-and-answer session to conclude the program, so we welcome all interested to share in this intimate presentation.”


Anyone requiring accommodations to attend this seminar is encouraged to contact the Center for Student Involvement by email or by calling (231) 591-2606.

Four area Fire and Rescue departments receive part of a grant for breathing equipment

The Morton Township Fire and Rescue along with three other area departments have been chosen to receive a grant of just under $500,000.


Morton Township Fire and Rescue Chief Allen Sutherby said in a press release, the grant of $483,500.00  will assist four departments in Mecosta County to replace non-compliant unrepairable SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus).


The grant requires a 5% match from the departments to Purchase 64 SCBA ,64 spare bottles and 7 additional SCBA masks.


The departments that will benefit from this grant are Mecosta Township, Morley, Morton Township, and Wheatland Township.


The Morton Township Board of Trustees are currently accepting sealed bids for procurement of the specified equipment until close of business on October 12th , 2022.

Two men arraigned on charges connected to Lake Co. bank robbery

Two men accused of robbing the Lake-Osceola State Bank Luther branch in Lake County last month, have been officially charged.


Both, 54-year old James Phipps of Fraiser and 34-year old Timothy Fullerton of Luther have been charged with two felonies,  one count of bank robbery and one count of false report or threat of terrorism. 


Their bond is set at $75,000 each.


Back on September 22nd, the duo is accused of handing the bank teller a note demanding money and referenced a bomb at a school. Although the men did not specify a specific school, law enforcement still took the necessary precautions and evacuated Baldwin Community Schools.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 9/26-10/2

An individual came to the RCPD to report a hit and run incident that happened in the Rite Aid parking lot. Upon investigation the responsible driver has been identified. The matter us under further investigation.

The school liaison Officer was requested to assist while CPS conducted an interview with a student.

Officer took a report of a lost wallet, the individual came to the RCPD to make the report.

The officer took a call from a woman who had been scammed into giving personal information by someone reporting to be from the cable company.

Tuesday …9/27
The school liaison officer took a report of a family dispute and family troubles. The matter us under

The school liaison officer responded to a call about a possible assault incident between 2 students at the High School. A juvenile petition has been submitted for review.

Officer responded to a call about a disoriented woman walking around the Sheriff’s Office/Court area. While speaking with her in the lobby of the Sheriff Office she pulled the fire alarm. She was arrested on for false summoning of the fire department.

Wednesday …9/28
The school liaison officer assisted with a student having difficulty breathing. The student was transported by EMS to the hospital.

While assisting parole, officers arrested a 42-year-old man on two outstanding warrants.

Officer was dispatched to a home for a possible domestic disturbance. A referral to CPS was completed. The matter is under further investigation

Thursday …9/29
Officer was dispatched to assist with a juvenile that was possible trying to hurt themselves. The individual was transported for mental health treatment.

Officer was dispatched a report of an injured fox.

Officer was dispatched to a complaint of two dogs at large.

Officer assisted CPS with a suspected child abuse case. It was determined the teen had been untruthful and the suspected bruises were make-up used to create the look of a bruise.


Officer was dispatched to a home of an individual, that called dispatch, sounding confused. He was
complaining about having some electrical issues in his house. Officer found the problem to be a breaker had tripped. The individual also complaint about mold in the basement, Officer advised him that he needed to take that complaint to civil court with his landlord.

Officer assisted OCSD about a woman outside of a gas station. The woman stated she nowhere to go and there were no beds available in the shelter. The manager of the gas station allowed her to remain in property until the following day when she could go to the shelter.

Friday …9/30
Officer was called to a restaurant about a disorderly customer. He was upset that his food was going to take long to prepare since the restaurant was extremely busy. He stormed out, knocking down planters just outside of the door on his way out. The owner chose not to seek charges as long as the man did not return.

Officer assisted Osceola County Sheriff Department with traffic control on a two-vehicle traffic crash.

Saturday …10/1
An individual came to the department to report that some headstones were missing from the cemetery. Officers met with the individual at the cemetery and it was discovered they were new concrete slabs. The individual thanked officers for checking.

Officer got dispatched to a man urinating in public. He was intoxicated and had supposedly just fallen and hit his head. He was not injured and refused medical. There were no signs of public urination. He was cooperative and accepted a ride home.

Officers assisted Osceola County Sherriff Department with a customer that was fighting, striking and
punching the staff at an assisted living facility. By the time the officer arrived, the individual was calm, and EMS transported him for a mental health evaluation.

Officer assisted Mecosta County Sherriff Department with a death notification

Sunday …10/2
Officer assisted the Osceola County Jail with an inmate that was fighting with Correction Officers.
Officer was called by a boyfriend about a possible overdose. Both individuals were intoxicated but no pills had been taken. The woman was got a ride to her other boyfriends house to avoid any further arguments.

One dead following house fire over the weekend in Big Rapids

The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety is investigating following a fatal structure fire on 190th Avenue on Saturday.


According to a press release, Big Rapids firefighters received a call just before 7pm about a house on fire with a woman trapped inside. Once on scene, Big Rapids City Fire Department personnel attempted to locate the trapped victim multiple times and found the victim in the room of origin.


The victim was pronounced deceased on the scene. The fire investigation is ongoing.

Driver suffers injuries following two vehicle crash in Big Rapids Township

One driver suffered a broken arm following a two vehicle crash in Mecosta County Saturday.


It happened on US -131 northbound ramp in Big Rapids Township.


Deputies say a 1997 Burgundy GMC Savana rear ended a 2014 Gray Suburu Outback.


A 64-year old woman was taken to Spectrum Health Hospital for a possible broken arm.


Sheriff Brian Miller reminds Mecosta County residents and visitors to drive safely and buckle up.

Marion man dies in one vehicle accident in Osceola County

Speed was a contributing factor, according to police as one man died following a one vehicle crash in Osceola County Friday.


It happened on M-66 near 7 Mile Road.


The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says a vehicle was traveling southbound on 30th Avenue when it went off the roadway.


The 37-year old male passenger from Marion, died at the scene.


The 37-year old female driver from Rockford was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, her condition is unknown at this time.



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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

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