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News That Affects You Archives for 2023-02

Warming Centers set up for affected Newaygo Co. residents without power

Warming centers have been sent up in Newaygo County for those residents affected by power outages caused by the ice storm Monday.

 

Newaygo Emergency officials say the warming centers were sent up last night in White Cloud and Croton Township and will be open again Tuesday Feb. 28th at 8am.

 

Currently 6,152 Consumers Energy Customers (30.4%) and 3,527 Great Lakes Energy Customers (39.7%) in Newaygo County are without power.

 

The two warming centers are located at the Newaygo County Commission on Aging at 93 S. Gibbs Street in White Cloud and Croton Township Fire Department at 6431 Elm Ave in Newaygo.

 

IMPORTANT UPDATES

  • All schools within Newaygo County are closed, except Fremont Public Schools.

  • Only essential county governmental services are open today. This includes the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office and Administration Building. All other County buildings, including the Newaygo County Courthouse are closed due to no power. 

  • If you lose power or heat to your home and do not have backup heat options, call 2-1-1 for local warming center options in an area near you.

For up to date outage information:

 

Mecosta Co. Sheriff urges residents to use caution when out on the roads following ice storm

Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller is reminding residents when out on the roads today to slow down, use caution and always wear your seat belt following the ice storm that hit the area Monday.

 

Sheriff Deputies were called to a crash on south bound US-131 near 8 Mile rd in Mecosta twp.

 

At the scene, a 19-year old woman from Waterford was taken by Mecosta county EMS to Corewell Health Big Rapids Hospital with minor injuries.

 

 

Gotion Inc. reassessing project partnership with BR Township

An advanced battery parts manufacturer potentially coming to Mecosta County will do so without the help of Big Rapids Township.

 

In an email to officials in Big Rapids and Green Townships, Gotion Inc. says they are reassessing plans and will move forward with Green Township but plans with Big Rapids township have been put on hold.

 

Environmental concerns and Gotion being a Chinese founded company have been raised by residents and trustees in Big Rapids Township.

 

Officials say Gotion, originally planned to build a portion of the plant on 115 acres in Big Rapids Township, is now focusing solely on the core 500 acres in Green Township.

 

Gotion announced last year it would build a battery parts plant in the Big Rapids area and create up to 2,300 jobs across four new manufacturing plants spanning a combined 2 million square feet.

Recal Alert: Cosori brand air fryers

More than two-million air fryers sold at big box stores and online are being recalled because they could overheat and cause a fire.

 

The Cosori brand air fryers are being recalled after hundreds have caught fire, melted, overheated, or started smoking.

 

Consumers are urged to immediately stop using the air fryers, which were made between June 2018 and December 2022.

 

They have been sold at Target, Best Buy and Home Depot and online at Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and more.

BBB: Protect yourself against identity theft this tax season

It’s tax season again. Starting your returns now can save you from headaches and scams as the due date nears. The most common scam during tax season is identity theft. Scammers use victims’ social security numbers and other personal sensitive information to file a return to collect the refund. Consumers often don’t realize they’re victims until they’re unable to file their taxes or don’t receive their refund. 

 

Another popular tax season scam involves scammers impersonating the IRS. They call, email or text victims demanding immediate payment (often through uncommon methods like wire transfers or prepaid debit cards) and threaten arrest or fines if the victim doesn’t comply. The IRS will never contact consumers this way, or ask for Social Security numbers and other personal sensitive information over the phone. 

 

Scammers will also create fake websites that mimic popular tax preparation sites. Consumers should make sure they are on the right website before sharing any personal sensitive information like usernames, passwords or Social Security numbers.

 

“File your taxes as early as possible so scammers don’t have a chance to use your information first,” says Lisa Frohnapfel, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Western Michigan. “Using a trusted tax-preparer can save you the headache of navigating fake websites and scammers attempting to gather your information and collect your refund. Use BBB.org to find a trustworthy, Accredited preparer near you.”

 

BBB suggests the following tips to avoid tax season scams:

 

  • File your taxes as early as possible. 
  • The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media to request personal financial information or demand immediate payment. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts. Pressure to act quickly is a red flag that it is a scam. 
  • Make sure you are accessing the REAL IRS when filing electronically. Visit IRS.gov, and make sure the lock symbol is in the browser window. This means the website is secure and safe to enter personal sensitive information. Double check any tax preparation websites to make sure you are not on a fake site. 
  • Only deal with trustworthy tax preparation services. See our tips for finding the right tax preparer for you. Visit bbb.org to find Accredited tax preparation services that already meet our standards for trust and ethics

If you are the victim of tax identity theft, contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490. You should also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. The FTC also offers a personalized identity theft recovery plan at identitytheft.gov.

 

Visit bbb.org/taxtips for more resources on how to find a qualified accountant or tax preparer near you, and learn more ways to avoid tax scams. 

 

Report tax scams to bbb.org/scamtracker.

Hemlock Street culvert repair slated for this summer

The Big Rapids City Commission is moving ahead with repairing the Hemlock Street culvert that was damaged back in May of 2022 due to flooding and heavy thunderstorms.

 

On Monday, the commission accepted a proposal from engineering firm Fleis and VandenBrink for the culvert design plans. The cost will be $18,800.

 

Following the storm, it was determined by the State of Michigan Emergency Management funding would be available to the City in the amount of $250,000.

 

In a position paper, Public Works Director Heather Bowman wrote to the commission, "Fleis and VandenBrink had developed a long term repair to the culvert to reinforce the concrete and restore the slope. The proposal will assist staff with survey, design, permitting, and bidding."

 

Work on the damaged culvert is planned for this summer.

Big Rapids man arrested; accused of stealing from Menards in BR

 

Police have arrested a Big Rapids man accused of stealing from a local Menards store recently.

 

Robert Paul Camp Jr was arrested in Mt. Pleasant, the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says stolen property was recovered as well.

 

Camp was arraigned in the Mecosta County's 77th District Court on first degree retail fraud charges and bond was set at $35,000 cash / surety.

 

He is currently lodged and is awaiting court proceedings.

Wheatlake Wellness Walk & 5K Set for May 20

Runners, walkers and cancer fighters of all ages will once again lace up their sneakers for an in-person Wheatlake Wellness Walk & 5K Saturday, May 20.


The race/walk will start and end near the Big Rapids Bandshell behind the middle school in Big
Rapids. The 5K route will head north into Northend Riverside Park and participants will enjoy
scenic views along the Big Rapids Riverwalk.


“We’re delighted that with COVID-19 subsiding we’ll again be able to host an in-person event,”
said race organizer John Norton. “For many, this event is an annual reunion in the fight against
cancer where the community comes together to encourage those on their cancer journey.”


Event proceeds benefit the wellness center at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer
Center in Reed City, part of Corewell Health. The wellness center includes a resource library,
beauty boutique, gift shop and integrative therapy rooms. Patients have access to services
such as massages, acupuncture, reflexology, wig fittings and more. The center hosts support
groups and educational sessions to assist patients on the road to recovery.


All wellness services are provided free of charge thanks to generous donations to the Wellness
Fund and from events such as the Wheatlake run/walk.


The 5K race is timed with medals for top male and female finishers in 12 age divisions.


Registration is $35 for the run, $30 for wellness walk and $25 for a virtual option, available for
those who wish to participate individually on their own time.


All entries include a 2023 Wheatlake Wellness Walk & 5K race shirt. Kids shirts are also
available for $10.


Children are welcome to participate with registered adults in the 5K run or walk. Strollers and
wheelchairs are welcomed.


Memorial and encouragement stakes will once again be available for $10 and will be displayed
along the start line to honor loved ones.

 

2 Packet pick up and late registration will be from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 19 at Big Rapids
Hospital Professional Office Building.


You can register or purchase stakes online at spectrumhealth.org/wheatlake-races.

Big Rapids City Commission approves resolution supporting Gotion Inc. project

The Big Rapids City Commission gave their support to an advanced battery manufacturer to come to the area. It happened during its meeting on Monday night.

 

The approved resolution reads “The City Commission hereby strongly supports efforts to bring Gotion, Inc. to our county and community, that we will make every effort to work in the interests of our constituents and community by assisting Gotion Inc. and the needs of our partnering local governments.”

 

The Mecosta County Board of Commission recently gave their support of the project as well.

 

Economic Development experts estimate this project has an opportunity to create up to 5,000 jobs in the area and throughout the supply and service chain, and is expected to lead to significant opportunities for the area.

 

Gotion resolution

 

 

Mecosta Co. Sheriff's Office Blotter: 2/17-2/19

2/17/23

 

At 8:43pm, deputies responded to a domestic, at a residence in Mecosta TWP.  Male subject assaulted a female at the residence.  Male subject was arrested for assault.

 

Calls for service 12

Accidents 3

 

2/18/23

 

At 1:30pm,  deputies made a traffic stop on 5 Mile Rd//160th Deerfield TWP. Male driver was clocked at 87/55 MPH zone. After a short pursuit, the a traffic stop was made on the vehicle.  The male driver  was cited for careless, DWLS, No insurance, improper use of registration Male driver  was on probation out of 77th district and several out of county warrants. He was arrested and lodged at 54 w/o incident and his car was towed by Weeks.

 

Calls for service 9

Traffic accidents 2

Car/deer accidents 1

 

2/19/23

 

Calls for service 6

Traffic accidents 1

Rep. Kunse: State investment in Osceola County village will help rejuvenate community

On Friday, State Rep. Tom Kunse applauded the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for its approval of a state grant to upgrade a shared-use pathway in the Village of Hersey, located in Osceola County.

 

“This grant will help those in our community who have faced harder times than most due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kunse, R-Clare. “This is a major win for the residents of Hersey, and all of Osceola County.”

 

The Village of Hersey was one of 21 Michigan communities selected to share $14.2 million in Michigan Spark Grants, administered by the DNR, which offer chances to reach those in communities whose economic opportunities and public health were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hersey is slated to receive $1 million to upgrade the shared-use pathway, which is used by many locals and visitors, according to Kunse.

 

“The residents in the Village of Hersey have provided a great deal of support for this project, and I’m ecstatic to see them receive this much-needed grant,” Kunse said. “I am eager to see the final product, which will benefit our community tremendously.”

 

The Michigan Spark Grants provide a major boost toward creating, renovating, or redeveloping public recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. This program stimulates historic support for projects that provide safe, accessible public recreation facilities and spaces to improve people’s health and well-being. Additionally, the grants help introduce new recreation experiences, build on existing infrastructure, and make it easier for people to enjoy the outdoors.

Ferris Trustees approve major investment into future Jim Crow Museum Facility on Big Rapids campus

Progress toward a future stand-alone home for the internationally-renowned Jim Crow Museum received a significant commitment from Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees.
 

At their regular meeting on Friday, Feb. 17, in Big Rapids, the trustees approved a $5 million commitment to a museum committed to its mission of “using objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice.” The museum moved into its current 3,500-square-foot facility inside the Ferris Library for Information Technology and Education (FLITE) in 2012. During the past 10 years, the Jim Crow Museum’s collection has grown to more than 20,000 objects making it the world’s most extensive publicly accessible collection of Jim Crow-related objects.

 


 

David Pilgrim, Ferris’ vice president for diversity, inclusion and strategic initiatives, is also the Jim Crow Museum’s founder and curator. Pilgrim saluted this major commitment by the administration and the board of trustees.

 

“The financial investment by the Board of Trustees sends a powerful message,” Pilgrim said. “Once built, the new Jim Crow Museum will be a centerpiece of the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and serves our students, the state, and the nation as a teaching and learning resource.”

 

The future Jim Crow Museum will host lectures, conferences and workshops for Ferris students, scholars from universities across the United States, law enforcement personnel, politicians, civil leaders, religious organizations and civil rights advocates. Additionally, an expanded museum will feature a 7,500-square-foot permanent exhibit to highlight the museum’s most compelling pieces and have a greater capacity to display more of the growing collection.

 

The museum has a $20 million fundraising goal with $1 million committed by the state of Michigan and an additional $2 million already secured from donors for the project.

 

Board members approved priorities two and three of the campus wayfinding master plan at a cost not to exceed $1.5 million from the university’s central funds. Included in priorities two and three are the installation of:

 

  • new, larger building identifications signs with LED message centers at the key destinations of the Ewigleben Sports Complex and Williams Auditorium;
  • new, larger building identification signs for the destinations of the Student Recreation Center, Racquet and Fitness Center and Katke Golf Course; and
  • backlit, branded Ferris State University signs and Bulldog logo signs on the highly-visible destination landmarks of FLITE, at the main entrance, and Timme Center of Student Services, highlighting Admissions.

 

The trustees approved priority one of the wayfinding project in February 2022.

 

Trustees also approved citations of merit for outstanding Fall 2022 athletics seasons for football and women’s soccer. The Bulldog football team won its second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship with a 41-14 win over Colorado School of Mines on Saturday, Dec. 17, in McKinney, Texas. The women’s soccer team won the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four for the first time in program history.

 

The trustees are chair LaShanda R. Thomas, of Grosse Pointe; vice chair Ronald E. Snead, of Stanwood; secretary Kurt A. Hofman, of Grand Rapids; immediate past-chair Amna P. Seibold, of East Grand Rapids; George K. Heartwell, of Newaygo; Michael B. Fisher, of Lansing; Michael D. Ryan, of Big Rapids; and Vivian TerMaat, of Ada.

 

The board's next regular meeting is Friday, May 5, in Big Rapids.

Big Rapids City Commission to vote on Hemlock Street culvert project

The Big Rapids City Commission will be voting tonight on resolution to accept a proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink for survey, design, permitting, and bid process for the Hemlock Street culvert.

 

The culvert was damaged during a heavy thunderstorm and flooding back in May of 2022.

 

The Commission will also vote on resolutions to support Gotion Inc. Project Elephant and the 2023 Big Rapids Wastewater User Charge System report.

 

City Manager Mark Gifford will be presenting the commission with the Capital Improvement Plan during study session. The meeting begins at 6:30pm at City Hall.

 

AGENDA FOR REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COMMISSION 2/20/23
1. CALL TO ORDER.
2. ROLL CALL.
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. Act on the minutes of regular meeting of February 6,
2023.
6. SPECIAL ORDERS OF THE DAY
a. Proclamation Recognizing St. Mary’s Catholic Parish on their 150th Anniversary.
b. Introduction of Michelle Stenger, New Director of Community Development.
7. STUDY SESSION.
a. Capital Improvement Plan – Mark Gifford, City Manager
b. Building Inspection Services – Mark Gifford, City Manager
8. PUBLIC COMMENT NOT RELATED TO ITEMS ON THE AGENDA.
9. PUBLIC HEARINGS – None
10. GENERAL BUSINESS. (Regarding public comment, anyone may speak on an item of
general business. Please rise and wait to be recognized.)
a. Public Works
i. Resolution Accepting Proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink to Prepare a
Project Plan for the Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and Clean Water
State Revolving Fund (CWRSF) Program.
ii. Resolution Accepting Proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink for Survey, Design,
Permitting, and Bid Process for the Hemlock Street Culvert.

b. Resolution Approving a Request to Have Alcohol at Northend Riverside Park for
the Pride Big Rapids Event.
c. Resolutions Awarding Bid for Sanitation Services.
d. Resolution to Support Gotion Inc. Project Elephant.
e. Resolution Accepting the 2023 Big Rapids Wastewater User Charge System
Report and Authorizing the Mayor to Sign.
f. Resolution on City Manager Appointment to the Downtown Development Authority.
g. Resolution on Mayoral Appointments to Board and Commissions.
11. UNSCHEDULED BUSINESS – (Commission Concerns/Reports)
12. WORK SESSION – None
13. ADJOURNMENT.

Karamo elected Chair of Mich. GOP

The Michigan Republican Party elected its new chair at Saturday's Spring convention.

 

Kristina Karamo, who lost her race for Secretary of State during the 2022 election has been selected to lead the Michigan GOP through the 2024 elections.

 

After sweeping losses in the state in the 2022 midterms, the state's Republican Party has been torn by infighting and millions in debt. Karamo is tasked with helping win back control of the legislature and flipping one of the nation's most competitive Senate seats, while attempting to help a presidential candidate win the battleground state.

 

The convention was held this weekend in Lansing

 

Evart Promise Plus to hold first annual Boots & Pearls Gala in April

Back in 2017, a group of dedicated citizens from Evart got together to envision how they might be able to make high quality education affordable for all graduates of Evart High School.

 

Now there are over 30 graduates from Evart Public Schools currently benefiting from the Evart Promise Plus Scholarship Program.

 

Every student in the Evart Public School District is eligible for up to $10,000 in scholarship money for college or a skilled trade.” Executive Director Jacqui Gorczewicz said.

What is great about Evart Promise Plus is that it is solely funded by the community and surrounding communities.”

 

On April 22nd, there will be a fundraising effort called the Boots and Pearls gala for Evart Promise Plus.

 

The event starts at 5pm at the Osceola County Building Evart Fairgrounds, there will be games and silent auctions which will lead into a live auction event then dinner and music and dancing.” “This is the first gala that we have had so we really wanted to make it fitting for the community and thought the boots and pearls theme was a really good idea.” Gorczewicz said.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets to the first annual Boots and Pearls Gala, log on to EvartPromisePlus.org. if you are unable to attend, but would like to give you can be a Gala Sponsor or donate an item for the auctions and games. The deadline to turn in your form is March 1st.

Driver dies while passengers suffer injuries following crash in Newaygo Co.

One driver is dead and two other passengers injured following a single vehicle crash in Norwich Township Tuesday. 

 

The Newaygo County Sheriff's Office says it happened on East 7-Mile Road near Beech Ave. 

 

Sheriff Bob Mendham said when depties arrived to the scene, the driver, a 47-year old White Cloud man died at the scene from his injuries. Two other passengers were taken to Corewell Health Hospital in Grand Rapids for injuries. 

 

The crash is still under investigation. 

 

 

2023 Polar Plunge to take place on Feb. 25th in Big Rapids

Are you ready to take the plunge? The area 5 Special Olympics will be hosting its 2023 Polar Plunge February 25th in Big Rapids.

 

Money raised during this event will benefit local special Olympic athletes as they compete in various sporting events throughout the year.

 

Registration starts at 10:30am and plunging begins at 12:30pm.

 

Officials hope to raise $20,000 during this event. Following the plunge, there will be an after slash bash at the Big Rapids Elks Club which is free for plungers and $5 for spectators.

 

To register early or to get more information, log on to plungemi.org

State House Rep. Kunse to visit Big Rapids to speak with residents

State House Rep. Tom Kunse, of Clare and State Senator Roger Hauck of Mt. Pleasant will be in Big Rapids February 24th to speak with residents.

 

The office of Representative Kunse says he and the state senator will be at the Big Rapids Community Library from 1-2pm next Friday.

 

Kunse will also be in Reed City at its district library on Monday, February 27th.

Shooting at Michigan State University leaves three dead and five injured

We're learning new information this morning about the mass shooting at Michigan State University.

The three people who died and five others who were wounded are all Michigan State University students.

 

Seven of the victims were shot at Berkey Hall, and one person was killed at the MSU Union.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer spoke during an emotional news conference in East Lansing this (Tues) morning:

 

"We mourn the loss of beautiful souls today, and pray for those who continue to fight for their lives. Every Spartan, student, staff member and parent should know that Michiganders and Americans everywhere are thinking of you today." Whitmer said.  "President Biden and I spoke last night, he pledged his support and the thoughts of an entire nation to work together to do what's necessary to help the MSU community heal."  

 

Interim President at MSU Teresa Woodruff offered her gratitude to the essential personnel who are on campus today to help support the students in the aftermath of the tragedy. 

 

"I thank directly our students, faculty and staff who complied to shelter in place for hours at end without knowing what was happening, we thank you for your courage to maintain that shelter to allow law enforcement to take actions they did." Woodruff said. 

The shootings were first reported around 8:15pm at Berkey Hall where two people were killed. Then the suspect moved to Union Hall and killed a third person.

 

Classes are canceled until Monday.

The suspect has been identified as 43-year-old Anthony McRae. 

 

Deputy Chief of Campus Police Chris Rozman said McRae shot himself miles from campus while being confronted by officers. Rozman says investigators still "have absolutely no idea" what McRae's motive was -- he did not have any known connection to the university.

 

Reed City Police Blotter: 2/6-2/12

Tuesday …2/7
An Officer served paperwork from Family Court.


An Officer conducted a property check of a seasonal home and found an unlocked door. The owner was advised and stated a family member had forgotten to lock it.


Wednesday …2/8
An Officer was dispatched to a residence regarding a child custody exchange. After arrival, Officer stayed to make sure nothing got out of hand.


An Officer responded to a call about an infant left alone in a vehicle. After investigation, the infant was ok and was not alone in the vehicle. The caller had not seen older siblings due to tinted rear windows.


An Officer conducted a traffic stop for an individual speeding in school zone. The 42yr old male was
arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.


An Officer was dispatched to a business regarding an irate customer. After investigation, the 40yr old female was trespassed from the property.


Thursday …2/9
An Officer assisted with a single car accident due to bad weather. No injuries.


An Officer assisted the Sheriff Department with a disorderly male and a suspect that fled the hospital on foot after being taken for treatment.


Friday …2/10
An Officer was requested to discuss preventative security measures at a local business that was planning on terminating an employee.


An Officer assisted DNR with a minor snowmobile violation, that ended with the arrest of a 32yr old male for an outstanding warrant.


An Officer was dispatched to a location where a vehicle was stolen. After investigation, it turned out that the owner of the vehicle had a warrant for his arrest, he was taken into custody. The vehicle was found a short time later and the juvenile suspect was apprehended.


An Officer assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department on the pursuit of a 15yr old that stole a vehicle. The driver was arrested.


Saturday …2/11
Officers were dispatched to a larceny of merchandise. Upon investigation it was determined to be a
misunderstanding.

Officers were dispatched to attempt to locate the family member of a hospitalized individual. The address was no longer valid but the officer was able to locate a possible address for officers outside the city to check.


Sunday …2/12
An officer was dispatched to a report of a roadkill deer in the road. The officer responded and removed the deer from the roadway.


Officer was dispatched to stand by with two individuals who have a child in common. The officer stood by to ensure the encounter remained civil.


Officer was dispatched to a noise complaint at a local apartment complex regarding a car alarm going off.


The officer was not able to determine exactly which car had been going off but after several minutes of observing there was no further problems.


An Officer was dispatched to an apartment complex where there was a 25yr old male refusing to leave the property. After investigation, he was issued an appearance citation for trespassing.

Sheriff's Corner: It's time to support quality workers over the almighty dollar

As the Sheriff of Mecosta County, I have found how important dividing your time
is between the people I took an oath to serve and protect, the staff I am leading
and working alongside and the meetings with other law enforcement and
administrative individuals. Due to my role, it has been more evident that
administrators, whether it is governmental, educational, health agencies, or our
secondary educational systems, have become increasingly distant in the care and
wellbeing of their employees. It is because of this, in each of these industries we
are seeing people unhappy and not supported. In some of these cases there has
been an exodus from these employers to better employment opportunities where
their work, and themselves, personally are appreciated for the work they do.

 


In some of these instances, instead of looking at providing their employees the
best environment and tools to be successful, while doing so in a fiscally
responsible way, they instead go the cheap route. Cheaper is not always the right
or best way for you and your employees. In a lot of cases this is just a quick fix
that will come around and cost them more in the long run. Whether it is health
insurance, or the equipment provided, cheaper is not always better. I understand
that health care right now, regardless of what you get, is outrageous, but every
opportunity should be made by employers to shop around to find the most
reasonable and best options available. (And is accepted by medical providers in
the community)


It has been two-plus years since COVID-19 showed how important essential
frontline workers are to governmental agencies, healthcare, secondary education
systems, local businesses, but most importantly to our economy. It is our
frontline workers who make the biggest difference in our society moving forward
in this tumultuous time. Yet, they are regularly treated as a number and cost to
be managed, rather than the asset and people they are that should be
empowered and supported.

 


Before being bought out by one of our health care conglomerates, the prior
health care system in our county had the slogan “High quality healthcare with a
personal touch”. Sadly, this organization and others nationally and locally have
lost sense of personal investment with their employees and the communities they
serve or provide services or products to.

 

Due to a lack of support, too much oversight, or micro-managing I have seen
quality employees resign or be relieved of their posts and positions. Some have
moved on to different positions where they are appreciated locally with other
organizations, but, sadly, some have left the area, finding work elsewhere. Not
only are these organizations losing good people, but we, as a community are
losing morally grounded, well-respected professionals who have been valued
assets to the area we live in.


There has been an increasing demand of employees by a segment of
administrators in our society. They are demanding more and more out of their
employees without providing additional support to aid them in doing their jobs.

 

The pursuit of the almighty dollar by some in our society has made us lose our
way on the path of life. I feel employers, while holding to ideals of providing the
best service possible, need to remember there is often an unseen cost. Is the
bottom line, i.e., profit, worth the type of demands placed upon employees that
keep them from their families? How is that beneficial? Happy employees are good
employees. When you have good employees, whatever they do is done so with a
personal touch.


Government and health agencies, businesses and our education systems need to
start putting their workers on top of their hierarchy of needs and responsibilities
and do more coaching and supporting them rather than controlling their
members. This type of change will aid everyone in that organization.


Our top line administrators need to remember they can support and empower
their employees while not enabling them. A segment of our governmental
agencies, education systems and businesses have lost their path and sense of
what is important. It is time to loosen up the restraints they have on the people
they oversee and revisit their approach on what is important in running a
successful agency or business.


Without Pensions, there are very few things that keep people’s commitment to
an agency or company. We need to create a place of employment where workers
find ‘Job Satisfaction’. The administrators should be spearheading a campaign to
create a culture within their respective agencies or organization which make
perspective workers flock to their front doors wanting to work there.

Big Rapids man dies following accident at salvage yard in Chase Twp.

A Big Rapids man is dead following a tragic accident at a scrap yard in Chase Township. 

 

It happened Thursday, Lake County Deputies were called to the Fair Salvage Scrap Yard for a man being pinned underneath a pickup truck.

 

When Police arrived, they noticed a man pinned underneath the tire of his own pickup truck.

 

Emergency resuscitation was performed however the subject was later pronounced dead.

 

The 75-year old man was identified as Danny Oleson of Big Rapids.

 

The incident remains under investigation.

Cosmetology students at MOISD Career Center hosting hair drive for kids suffering from hair loss

Students in the cosmetology program at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center are collecting hair for a great cause.

 

The students say now until February 14th, they will be collecting hair for children with hair loss and donating the hair to Locks of Love, Children with Hair Loss and Maggie's Wigs for Kids. 

 

The students know they are making an impact with this benefit.

 

"We really appreciate taking part in this hair drive because it helps children be more confident in themselves. "There are so many conditions that allow people to lose their hair and sometimes hair is someone's identity so helping these children means a lot." 

 

If you would like to donate your hair, there is a seven inch requirement and it must be dry, braided or banded. For more information, or to donate call 231-796-5805. 

 

 

Big Rapids Housing Commission receives grant to build affordable housing

The Big Rapids Housing Commission was recently awarded a Missing Middle Housing Program grant for $362,500 from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

 

The grant will be used to help construct five new homes on Mechanic Street in Big Rapids.

 

This development of the Mechanic Street property is part of a collaboration with the City of Big Rapids, who has significantly invested in this project by providing the infrastructure components, including water, sewer, sidewalks and streets.

 

The Big Rapids Housing Commission was one of nine projects awarded to date in seven counties across the State of Michigan. The Missing Middle Housing Program is funded by State appropriated American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury. A total of $50 million of ARP funding has been dedicated to the Missing Middle Housing Program.

 

The Missing Middle Housing Program is designed to address the lack of attainable housing and the housing challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Missing Middle Grants are intended to help fill funding gaps in construction costs in order to increase housing stock in communities. New homes will increase the supply of housing stock and will be targeted to household incomes between 185% and 300% of the Federal Income Guidelines.

 

For more information, please contact the Big Rapids Housing Commission at 231-796-8689 or

Imiller@bigrapidshousing.org.

DTE Energy raising rates on residential customers

Starting next month, your energy rates could be higher. DTE Energy will open a "time of day" rate for residential electricity customers.

 

It means weekdays between 3pm- 7pm, customers will see a rate jump that varies depending on the monthly demand. DTE says the change is expected to be cost-neutral, which is off-set with a lower rate during other times.

 

In 2021, Consumers Energy had a similar rate increase. They later reported an average customer's bill went up about $1.25 per month.

Mecosta Co. Sheriff's Blotter: 2/3-2/7

2/3/23

At 6:03pm, deputies transported a male subject from Big Rapids to a mental health facility in Detroit.

 

At 3:03pm, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. Male subject was arrested on a warrant out of Mecosta County.

 

Calls for service 10

Car/deer accidents 1

Traffic accidents 1

 

2/4/23

At 9:26am, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Deerfield TWP.   Arrested male subject for Felony Intimidation and FTA warrants. 

 

Calls for service 10

Car/deer accidents 2

Traffic accidents 1

 

2/5/23

At 6:27pm, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Big Rapids TWP.  Male subject had a warrant out of Montcalm County.  Male subject was arrested and turned over to Montcalm County.

 

Calls for service 11

 

2/6/23

Calls for service 18

 

2/7/23

At  5:24pm,  deputies responded to a domestic, at a residence in Deerfield Twp. Male subject assaulted a female. The male subject was arrested on the assault and a Child Support Warrant. 

 

At 6:43pm, deputies responded to a B&E at a residence in Chippewa Twp. Property owner had a house on his property broken into. This is the Fourth time this residence was broken into.  Still under investigation.

 

At 1:00pm, deputies investigated a retail fraud complaint at a business in Big Rapids TWP.  Two female suspects were identified and were arrested.  Additional investigation revealed that the two female suspects had also stolen from  two other businesses in Big Rapids TWP. Stolen property was recovered and returned to the businesses.  The male suspect was also identified and was arrested at a residence in Austin TWP.  Two other male subjects were also arrested on probation/parole violations at the Austin TWP. residence.

 

Calls for service 5

Car/deer accidents 1

Traffic accidents 1

 

Michigan Congressional representatives react to President Biden's State of the Union speech

President Joe Biden has exhorted Republicans in his State of the Union address to work with him to "finish the job" of rebuilding the economy and uniting the nation.

 

Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says since Joe Biden became president, we have created 12 million jobs , invested in American manufacturing in critical sectors including clean energy, semi-conductors, and infrastructure, & cut prescription drug prices .

 

Republican Congressman John Moolenaar says President Biden's proclamations about the State of the Union are out of touch with Michigan families who are struggling to get by. He says In Mr. Bidens second year, inflation hit a four-decade high, gas cost $5.00 a gallon, China encroached on our airspace, students were left behind, and the border fell further into crisis.

 

 

Deputies in Osceola County investigating fatal camper fire

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal camper trailer fire over the weekend.

 

It happened on Saturday around 4:40 am, deputies were called along with Osceola County EMS and Marion Fire/Rescue to the Cadillac Woods Campground in Highland Township, for a camper trailer on fire with possibly an older male subject inside.

 

Witnesses reported the rear half of the camper to be fully engulfed.

 

Upon arrival of fire personnel and the fire being extinguished, fire personnel located a body inside the camper.

 

Investigation determined the body to be 53-year old Jeanette Marie Whitenton, formerly of Oxford, Michigan. According to police, Whitenton had been staying at the campground with her husband for approximately a week. Whitenton’s husband, who was residing at the campground with her, was not in the area at the time of the fire.

 

The Michigan State Police Fire Marshal was called to the scene and conducted an investigation as to the cause of the fire. While the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, it is not believed to be suspicious as of this time.

 

Further investigation by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is still ongoing as well.

Charles E. Fairman Pool evening swim classes & Pool fees approved for 2023 season

The Charles E. Fairman Pool in Big Rapids will start offering evening swim lessons beginning this year.

 

The City Commission approved a resolution Monday night establishing a fee schedule for evening swim instruction. Pool Manager Josh Pyles told commissioners there has been a demand from residents for additional swim lessons, especially evening hours.

 

In other business, commissioners approved a new fee schedule for airport services at Roben Hood Airport.

 

The Commission also approved accepting a proposal from Gerber Construction in Reed City to replace 143 water service lines within the city. This project is part of a Lead Service Line Replacement Mandate started by the state of Michigan in 2019. City Manager Mark Gifford says the project will begin in April and be completed by November of 2023. The cost of the project is just under $671,000.

BR City Commissioners to get an update on Roben Hood Airport

The Big Rapids City Commission will be getting an airport update from Manager Steve Schroeder during its meeting tonight at City Hall.

 

Commissioners will also be discussing and voting on resolutions that include a fee schedule for airport services at Roben Hood Airport, adding morning and evening swim lesson fees to the Charles E.

Fairman Swimming Pool fee schedule and awarding a bid for audio and video upgrades for the Commission Chambers at City Hall.

 

The meeting begins at 6:30pm.

Public art work popping up around Big Rapids as Festival of the Arts kicks off

 

On the eve of Festival of the Arts kicking off, some Big Rapids residents started noticing some colorful buildings while traveling in the area. 

 

Resident Karen Manowski took these photos of Public Art Creator Joey Salamon's work on window's of the Simonds International Building on the north end of town. 

 

 

For more information about Festival of the Arts and its event schedule visit BRFOTA.org

Michigan WIC transitions back to Similac brand formulas

Michigan's WIC program - the nutrition program for women, infants and children, announced it will transition back to Similac brand formulas starting March 1st.

 

For the past year, WIC recipients were able to choose from a variety of formula brands, even though the state had an exclusive contract with just one company - Abbott. However, due to a safety recall and shortages, the state waived the restrictions and allowed parents to purchase other brands.

 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the decision is based on Abbotts recent production levels and its ability to supply sufficient stock.

Police search for parole absconder following chase in Newaygo Co.

 

Police in Newaygo County are searching for a suspect they say is wanted on a parole absconder warrant and multiple other crimes in Newaygo and Mecosta County.

 

Deputies with the Newaygo Co. Sheriff's Office attempted to stop a vehicle driven by 48-year old Austin Vodry of Newaygo. Vodry then fled the Croton area in his vehicle and entered Kent County where the pursuit was called off.

 

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Vodry or his vehicle are asked to contact Deputy Peacock at 231-689-7303 or Central Disaptch at 231-689-5288.

Rose Lake man arrested following police standoff and chase

A Rose Lake man was arrested on Monday following a standoff with law enforcement.

 

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office says the suspect became violent with a homeowner after consuming alcohol with some friends. The suspect assaulted the homeowner and his wife during his outburst. He then acquired a handgun and fired one round inside the home.

 

The homeowners left the residence and went to the hospital for their injuries sustained during the altercation. The suspect barricaded himself inside the residence and would not communicate with deputies.

 

As deputies were executing a search warrant, the suspect fled the home on foot.

 

A drone team was able to track the suspect, they say the suspect became disoriented due to the cold.

 

Police located the Rose Lake man several hundred yards from the roadway and escorted to an awaiting ambulance.

 

The suspect was lodged at the Osceola County Jail for assault with a dangerous weapon, assault to do great bodily harm less than murder, felony firearm violation, and a probation violation.

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Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

MONDAY - 5/13

Reed City 0 @ Big Rapids 3

Reed City 3 @ Big Rapids 16 (5inn)

Lakeview 4 @ C Montcalm 14 (6inn)

Lakeview 4 @ C Montcalm 9

Tri County 5 @ Fremont 1

Tri County 8 @ Fremont 5 (6inn)

TUESDAY - 5/14

Chippewa Hills 5 @ Grant 4

Chippewa Hills 1 @ Grant 2

C Montcalm 7 @ Kent City 6

C Montcalm 12 @ Kent City 2

Big Rapids 13 @ Lakeview 1

Big Rapids 14 @ Lakeview 1 (5inn)

White Cloud 1 @ Morley Stanwood 2

White Cloud 11 @ Morley Stanwood 2

Tri County 1 @ Newaygo 3

Tri County 3 @ Newaygo 4

WEDNESDAY - 5/15

C Montcalm 4 @ Carson City 5

C Montcalm 24 @ Carson City 8 (5inn)

Manistee 3 @ Reed City 4 (6inn)

Manistee 12 @ Reed City 12 (5inn)

FRIDAY - 5/17

Big Rapids 0 @ Byron Center 4

Big Rapids 1 @ Byron Center 3

Kent City 6 @ E Jordan 3

Mancelona 3 @ Kent City 0

Lakeview 3 @ Grant 8

Lakeview 1 @ Grant 13 (5inn)

Ravenna 8 @ Newaygo 15

Ravenna 1 @ Newaygo 2

Morley Stanwood 2 @ Chip Hills 10

Morley Stanwood 2 @ Chip Hills 10

Tri County 6 @ White Cloud 8

Tri County 8 @ White Cloud 3

SATURDAY - 5/18

Inland Lakes 4 @ Big Rapids 7

Big Rapids 1 @ Beal City 11

Fremont 4 @ White Cloud 1

Fremont 5 @ Newaygo 10 (6inn)

Hesperia 2 @ Grant 12 (6inn)

Grant 2 @ Newaygo 1

Clare 22 @ Reed City 2 (4inn)

Ludington 13 @ Reed City 1

******************************************

CSAA Softball

MONDAY - 5/13

Reed City 8 @ Big Rapids 10

Reed City 0 @ Big Rapids 9

Lakeview 0 @ C Montcalm 10 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ C Montcalm 1 (6inn)

TUESDAY - 5/14

Chip Hills 9 @ Grant 14

Chip Hills 9 @ Grant 10

C Montcalm 7 @ Kent City 6

C Montcalm 12 @ Kent City 2

Big Rapids 14 @ Lakeview 1 (6inn)

Big Rapids 16 @ Lakeview 0 (5inn)

WEDNESDAY - 5/15

C Montcalm 0 @ Sacred Heart 15 (5inn)

C Montcalm 1 @ Sacred Heart 8

THURSDAY - 5/16

Cadillac 0 @ Reed City 19 (3inn)

Cadillac 0 @ Reed City 11 (5inn)

FRIDAY - 5/17

Lakeview 0 @ N Branch 10 (6inn)

SATURDAY - 5/18

Big Rapids 2 @ Dakota 12

Big Rapids 4 @ Oakridge 5

Big Rapids 9 @ Canton 4

Grant 2 @ Newaygo 1

Holton 1 @ Reed City 1

Ludington 0 @ Reed City 7

SUNDAY - 5/19

Big Rapids 14 @ Milan 2

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?