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News That Affects You Archives for 2023-04

MCSO investigating hit and run incident; looking for accused driver

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is investigating a hit and run that occurred Thursday.


It happened on 215th/near 15 Mile just before 4pm.


Deputies say a Blue F-150 was southbound on Waldron way in the right turn lane then turned left into the path of a silver Dodge that was northbound on 215th crossing 15 Mile.


The blue Ford left the scene and was followed by a witness to the Holiday Inn parking lot where the witness took the attached photos of the truck, damage and driver.



The MCSO is asking the public’s assistance with any information they may have identifying the driver.

Catfishing mom sentenced to at least 19 months in prison

The mid-Michigan mom accused of catfishing her own daughter and her daughter's boyfriend has been sentenced to 19 months to five years in prison.


Kendra Licari of Beal City, pleaded guilty to two counts of stalking a minor after sending harassing text messages to her daughter and the girl's boyfriend for more than a year.


Police say Licari hid her identity with fake IP addresses and attempted to make it look like another student was sending the messages.


At her sentencing, Licari apologized and said she's getting help for her own mental illness and trauma. Jill McKenny, the mother of the boy victim, says "prison is a good start, give her some time to think about what she did, time away from her daughter and everybody else."

Maple Syrup Festival takes place in Shepherd starting Thursday

What do 1,450 gallons of maple syrup, 7,000 pounds of sausage, and 2,600 pounds of pancake mix have in common? It's all part of what goes into this weekend's Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival. 


Officials expect to welcome upwards of 20,000 attendees this year.


The festival features 23 events with over 200 vendors. It begins on Thursday with pony rides starting at 10am and a midway carnival beginning at 5pm. 


The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Board named Harold and Judy Metcalf to be grand marshals of the annual Maple Syrup Festival Parade that takes place on Sunday at 2:30pm.

Reed City Police Blotter: 4/17-4/22

Officers were dispatched to a residence for a well-being check. The caller was trying to contact his parents with no luck. It was determined that they were just having phone issues. Everyone was ok.

Officers assisted Reed City Rescue and EMS at Reed City High School with a student that was having
irregular reaction to medication. The student was transported to Reed City Hospital.

Officers took a report of the larceny of a propane tank from Rambadt Park. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Reed City Police.

Officer was dispatched to a local store in reference to a customer leaving a small bag of an unknown white powder behind. The unknown substance was determined to be methamphetamine. The case is still under investigation.

Tuesday …4/18
An Officer was dispatched to a residence where a man was making suicide statements. Following this
investigation, he was transported to the Reed City Hospital voluntarily.

Officer assisted a woman that came into the Reed City Police Department to report a possible credit card fraud. Following this investigation, no evidence of fraud was found. She was provided with information to help prevent future fraud attempts.

Wednesday …4/19
An Officer responded to a welfare check of a woman. After investigating, it was determined that the woman had been taken to a hospital prior. The family was informed of her location.

Friday …4/21
An Officer was dispatched to a local store in regard to the larceny of alcohol on a few different occasions. Case still under investigation.

Officers took a report of a larceny. Several construction cones were stolen from a construction area on Stimson Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Reed City Police.

An Officer was dispatched to an apartment complex regarding possible harassment, both parties were advised to contact their manager for further intervention.

Officers arrested a 28-year-old male on 6 counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct 1 st Degree. This stems from an investigation that began at the end of March. The matter is still under investigation with the possibility of more charges being requested on other individuals.

An Officer, while doing a routine property check at the Depot, arrested a 51yr old male on 5 separate


Saturday …4/22
An Officer responded to a call from the OSCD jail to assist with a disorderly inmate. Upon arrival, the
inmate had calmed down.

An Officer was dispatched to a business due to an alarm. Upon arrival, it turned out to be a false alarm.

Officers began an investigation regarding inappropriate photos and videos between two teens after the matter was discovered during another unrelated investigation.

Weidman man dies following Saturday car crash in Isabella Co.

A 55-year old Weidman man died following a car crash over the weekend in Isabella County. 


Sheriff Michael Main said in a press release, on Saturday deputies were called to Weidman Road near Mission Road where a crash had taken place. 


The driver and two passengers (a 45-year old woman and 4-year old girl) were trapped inside the vehicle. The three were freed and taken to local emergency departments for their injuries. 


Deputies were told on the scene that a vehicle had been turning into a driveway in front of the vehicle involved. Deputies gathered information that the vehicle involved left the road to avoid the collision with the other vehicle.

The driver suffered severe head injuries and other trauma and was taken to another medical facility. 


On Monday, police were notified that the Weidman man had passed away from injuries sustained in the crash. 


The incident is under investigation.


Families against Narcotics to expand programming in Newaygo County

On Thursday, April 27th, Families Against Narcotics (FAN), a grassroots nonprofit organization based in Macomb County, will expand their programming to help more individuals and families in Michigan who have been affected by substance use disorder. In addition to launching a brand-new chapter that will cover Newaygo County, FAN will also be implementing their flagship Hope Not Handcuffs (HNH) program in police departments in the cities of Newaygo, White Cloud, Grant, and Fremont. The Center for Hope and Healing in White Cloud will also serve as a community partner for Hope Not Handcuffs.


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 9,400 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 a trained volunteer “Angel” will provide them with resources and work with the HNH Call Center to get them 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.


White Cloud Police Chief Dan Evans said that his department “is collaborating with Hope Not Handcuffs to combat the substance abuse problem in the community. We understand that treatment and recovery can be different from one person to next,” he explained, “and this program is adaptable to fit the needs of the individual. This program uses volunteer Angels that are local community members and the Angels have a vested interest in the success of the recovery process.” Evans added that his team is “looking forward to utilizing this new tool to help the addicted individual, with the understanding that their treatment and recovery will also benefit the community as a whole.”


In Fremont, Police Chief Tim Rodwell stated that his department “continues to identify and endorse effective approaches to drug abuse and prevention. We endorse Hope Not Handcuffs as one of these effective approaches helping those in need.” He went on to say that the initiative “facilitates an often-unattainable goal for those wishing to enter rehabilitation and get their life back."


Chief Georgia Andres of the Newaygo Police Department and Chief Bradley R. Wade of the Grant PD concur with their colleagues. “Giving our community members another option for treatment is a necessity to our officers,” Andres commented. “I'm excited to think we have another option for families in crisis from addiction." Wade agreed, saying that “the Grant Police Department is very excited for this new program, because it will allow an alternative for those needing help in Newaygo County."


Meanwhile, the new Newaygo 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. Beginning on June 5th, these monthly forums will be held on the first Monday of each month, at 6:45 pm, at The Stream, which is located at 1 State Rd. in Newaygo.


Newaygo FAN will be led by Executive Board President Melissa Dykman; Vice President Nicole Klomp; Secretary Missy Clark; and Treasurer John Larsen.

Wheatlake Wellness Walk and 5K Set for May 20th

When cancer patients complete treatment, they often ring a bell in celebration. Hundreds of bells will ring loudly May 20 during the Wheatlake Wellness Walk & 5K as each participant will receive a bell to help mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of  the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed City.


“The annual walk and run supports the wellness center at the cancer center, so it’s fitting to
commemorate the 10th anniversary during this year’s event,” said race organizer John Norton.
“We have special cowbells for everyone to keep as a memento and to ring while cheering on
walkers and runners.”

Registration to participate is open at

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 with the number of early registrations – we expect a great turnout,” Norton
said. “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.

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

Big Rapids baseball player off to Lake Michigan College

Following a fellow teammates’ college decision just a few days ago, Cardinal baseball’s Brody Sleeper
announced his post-prep decision on Monday.

The fellow senior and 1 st team CSAA honoree last year announced his decision over social media. When asked about what drew him to become a Red Hawk, Sleeper said Lake Michigan had several benefits he liked.

“I was looking for a school that had a good educational program and a decent (athletic) program. After talking to a couple colleges, it made the most sense academically and financially.”

Not only is Sleeper a pitcher and infielder for the Cardinals, but he has also spent time on the club circuit with the local Quad City Storm team. He also was a state finals qualifier this past winter on the wrestling mats and was a notable standout on the gridiron during the fall.

Sleeper says he has been working hard on hitting in his current training regimen.

“It’s something I am definitely working on the most. I think hitting is the hardest thing to do in the

Big Rapids currently sits at 8-1 on the season with a double header at White Cloud slated for Friday, April 21 st at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. as well as home games Saturday against Traverse City West at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“I really think we have a team this year that can win a conference and possibly district title.” Sleeper

Sleeper says he plans to study computer science with a concentration on cybersecurity starting next fall.

State Senate Committee approves Gotion Inc. funding

A State Senate committee has approved a proposal to give $175-million dollars in incentives to Gotion Incorporated to build an electric vehicle battery parts plant near Big Rapids.

The vote was 10-9.

Among those supporting the project was Jerrilynn Strong, the chair of the Mecosta County Board of Commissioners.


The direct economic boost will stretch from Cadillac to Grand Rapids and Scotville to Mount Pleasant.” “It will create 2,350 good jobs, better wages and great benefits that will give local families a nicer living in general, not only now but generations to follow.” Strong said.


Gotion is planning to spend $2.4-billion dollars for the factory.

Opponents say the company's ties to China could be a national security threat. Following the approval, State Senator Roger Hauck said in a statement:


Over the past few months, I have tried to support the proposed Gotion battery project in Big Rapids. The proposal promised to bring over 2,000 good-paying jobs to our community, and as a former hourly worker on a factory floor, I know how transformative a project of this magnitude can be for a community and the opportunities it brings for area families.


Major developments such as this are not just about the number of jobs promised, but also about the indirect benefits to the community and other local businesses. For these reasons, I’ve tried my hardest to get behind this development and give the company latitude in addressing the concerns that have been raised by local residents, by lawmakers, and by people across the state.


Unfortunately, the company has failed to maintain transparency on the most basic questions and concerns as to whether or not this is a smart investment for our state. What I’ve seen over the past few months has been an outright community relations disaster by this company that leaves legitimate questions on their ability to gain the trust and support of our state and local community.


This is not the way that partnerships should work. It’s hard for me to support a project when there is a fundamental lack of trust between the company and the community — especially when our tax dollars are at stake.


Because of the process legislative Democrats have chosen to move this initiative forward, I won’t have an opportunity to vote on this project, but I wanted residents to know where I stood and that I actively opposed this use of taxpayer dollars” Hauck said.


Congressman John Moolenaar also issued a statement following the vote:


"To take millions of dollars from Michigan taxpayers and give it to a subsidiary of a company that pledges allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party is a historic mistake by the Michigan legislature. This proposed facility will be 100 miles from Camp Grayling where the Michigan National Guard has trained military partners from Taiwan to prepare for possible CCP aggression. Yet, Michigan's state government leaders are siding with CCP-affiliated companies," said Moolenaar.


Some people also testified that the plant doesn't fit in the rural area and voiced concern about pollution.


The groundbreaking for the Gotion Inc. plant is slated for July, 2023. 

The BIG event slated for Saturday in Big Rapids

Ferris State University’s Student Government Association is excited to again host The BIG
Event, a large-scale student-run volunteer community service project in Big Rapids, on Saturday,
April 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Student Government Association President Cassidy Engels, a junior from Otsego majoring in
Medical Laboratory Science in the College of Health Professions, shared her optimism about a
strong student turnout for The BIG Event on April 22. On April 11, the SGA hosted a
recruitment picnic to strengthen awareness of The BIG Event, which has tabbed Hope House
Free Medical Clinic, of Big Rapids, as a beneficiary of donations this year.

“We were so pleased to see registered student organizations and individuals come out to join us,”
Engels said of the kickoff event. “There were dozens of volunteers who registered, happy to get a
gift from the SGA and confirm their plans to take part.”

During The BIG Event, students perform small tasks for Big Rapids community members,
including yard work, washing windows and gardening as a “thank you.”

Registration for student participants continued through Saturday, April 15, Engels said the SGA
closed registration for Big Rapids area residents who sought visits for lawn maintenance or other
projects in late March.

“We are arranging the schedule for our participant groups, so they can come to Lot 5-E, between
Top Taggart Field and the Interdisciplinary Resource Center, to pick up their assignment
information and equipment the morning of the 22nd,” Engels said. “This plan means the teams
can get supplied and meet with the residents that they will help more efficiently, but we will take
care of all groups signed up when they come to us.”

The Big Event began over a decade ago on the Ferris campus. Engels said she is proud of the
SGA’s efforts to return participation levels to those seen before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Big Rapids approves parking lot improvements and Hills of Mitchell Creek booster station

The parking lot used for the Big Rapids Farmers Market in front of City Hall will be getting resurfaced.


On Monday, the city commission approved a bid from Rieth-Riely Construction in the amount of $105,500 for the improvements.


City Manager Mark Gifford said the parking lot was targeted this year given its use and condition. 


The city commission also accepted a proposal from engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink  for Professional Engineering Services for improvements to Hills of Mitchell Creek Booster Station.


City Manager Mark Gifford told commissioners two years ago it was identified that there was a need to improve the station to mitigate excessive pump cycling and pressure surges. 


Total cost of the project is $66,7000, it's for Spring/Summer 2024 construction. 

State Senate passes 'Red Flag' gun law; heads to Whitmer for signature

"Red Flag Laws" are now one step closer to becoming a reality in Michigan.


The State Senate passed the legislation yesterday, just one week after the House did the same.


The legislation would allow a judge to remove weapons from someone who shows signs of being a threat to themselves or others. Supporters say the law will save lives, while opponents say they will challenge the legislation.


That legislation now heads to the desk of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to sign it into law.

Isabella County Police investigating woman's death at Deerfield Twp. home

A 54-year-old man has been arrested in Isabella County after his missing wife was found dead in their Deerfield Township home.


Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main says the 67-year-old woman's family had contacted them about the missing woman when they had not heard from over the last couple of years.


On Monday, deputies responded to the residence and made contact with the man who was identified as the spouse of the female. Officers were told that the woman no longer lived there but he could not provide a current address for her. 


Main says when deputies executed a search warrant of the home the body of the deceased woman was discovered. The Sheriff said it appears the woman had been dead for some time.


The man remains in custody on the outstanding warrant and charges of fraudulent activity and failing to report a death.


An autopsy will be conducted.


Reed City Police Blotter: 4/10-4/16

Officers were dispatched to an argument between landlords and tenants. No crime had been committed andall were advised they would have to figure out a way to get along.

Officers took a report of an abandoned vehicle.

Officers were called to stand by while a woman moved her belongings out of her boyfriend’s house. During that time, it was discovered he had outstanding warrants. The 54-year-old man was taken into custody and turned over to Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies.

Tuesday …4/11
Officers took a report regarding graffiti at the Depot building. The matter is under investigation.

Officers were dispatched to an argument between landlord and tenant.

Officers took a report of possible Criminal Sexual Conduct between two teens. The matter is under

Officers were dispatched to a smashed windshield in a parking lot. Upon further investigation it did not happen in the parking lot and a report had already been filed with another police agency after an object struck the window on the freeway.

Wednesday …4/12
The liaison officer took a report of a stolen watch by a younger juvenile. The watch was located via the GPS tracking feature in it. The watch was recovered and returned to its owner.

Officers took a report of possible insurance fraud. The matter is under investigation.

Thursday …4/13
Officers were dispatched to an argument between landlord and tenant. No crime had been committed.

Officers took a noise complaint regarding a crowing rooster. The rooster was found to be out of the city limits however the owner was willing to take measures to keep it quiet for the benefit of neighbors.

Friday …4/14
Officers were dispatched to a found cell phone. It was returned to its owner.

Officers responded to a call about a student that walked off from school and was refusing to return. Officers made contact with the student who was released to a parent.

Officers assisted Reed City Fire Department in regard to an illegal burn.


Officers responded to a call about a student that walked off from school and was refusing to return. Officers made contact with the student who was released to the parent.

Officers responded to a call regarding possible harassment. Under investigation.

Officers issued an abatement notice for a broken down vehicle being stored in front of a property.

Saturday …4/15
Officers issued 3 trash abatements to residences for being in violation of the city trash ordinance.

Officers issued an abatement notice for a broken down vehicle being stored in front of a property.

Officers picked up a 31-year-old man from a neighboring county on an outstanding warrant for Contempt of Court. He was lodged on his warrant at Osceola County Jail.

Sunday …4/16
Officers responded to a call regarding an alarm at a local establishment. After securing the building it was found to be a false alarm.

Officers assisted an individual that came to the department to return a wallet that he had found. Officer returned the wallet to the owner.

Officers assisted corrections officer with an inmate that was being problematic.

Dr. Daniel Taylor officially named Dean of Ferris State University's Michigan College of Optometry

Dr. Daniel Taylor, who had been serving as interim dean of the Michigan College of Optometry since August 2021, is now officially MCO’s dean. On Monday, April 17, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Bobby Fleischman announced Taylor has accepted an appointment as MCO dean following a search process.


Taylor, the associate dean of academic and student affairs for MCO since July 2021, is excited to continue leading the work to advance the college.


“It’s a great privilege to be appointed dean. To work with the exceptional faculty and staff and world-class students of MCO is an enviable position for any administrator,” Taylor said. “I am excited to work with all Ferris State University community members to provide the best optometric education and primary eye care in the world.”


Taylor earned his Doctorate of Optometry from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2006, before completing a Primary Care Optometry Fellowship from SCO in 2008 while earning a Master of Science in Cancer and Cell Development Biology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in 2008. Taylor further enhanced his academic credentials in 2016, earning his Doctorate of Education in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Memphis and receiving a bachelor’s degree in Geography. In 2022, Taylor completed a Master of Business Administration from Ferris State University, a Graduate Certificate in Finance from Ohio University, and became a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry with a diplomate in Optometric Education.


A published scholar multiple times over, Taylor is an ideal choice to lead the Michigan of Optometry into the future, Fleischman said.


“We’re extremely pleased that Dr. Taylor has accepted our offer to become the next Dean of the Michigan College of Optometry,” the provost said. “As the Dean of Michigan’s only Optometry College, he brings an outstanding background of proven experience and solid academic credentials that will benefit our faculty and students as the college seeks to meet the needs of our communities in Michigan and beyond.”


Rollover crash sends driver to hospital

Mecosta County Brian Miller is reminding drivers to wear your seat belt and to use caution when traveling during inclement weather following a one vehicle crash this morning.


The Sheriff's Office says a 57-year old male driver was traveling northbound on US-131 near 22 Mile road just before 5:45am when he lost control of his vehicle and went off road.


His vehicle then rolled on the median side of road.


The driver was taken to Corewell Health Big Rapids Hospital with non life threatening  injuries. 

NPS Superintendent gives update on Friday threat

A suspect has been identified following a threat to Newaygo Public Schools Friday.

This morning, NPS Superintendent Jeff Wright gave an update on the threat NPS received Friday.

Wright posted the following on NPS's Facebook page: 

"School Resource Officer Mitch Rood received some new information late last night regarding Friday nights incident. Officer Rood and other members of the Newaygo Police Department worked into the early morning hours to follow up on this information. Based on this further investigation a suspect was identified and located. The case has been turned over to the Newaygo County Prosecutor's Office. There is no threat to the school district."


"Officer Rood and other members of the Newaygo Police Department were diligent in their work. Mitch and the team were looking out for our students and staff. Once again, I appreciate their efforts to keep our community safe."


Classes resume as normal for students today.

On Sunday night, NPS Superintendent Jeff Wright said in a letter to parents: "On Friday, a staff member received a phone call from a person who made a threat toward the school district."

The Newaygo Police Department was contacted and they started an investigation into the nature of the call.


Wright said once some evidence was collected, the Holland City Police Department and the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office also became involved in the investigation. 

Wright continued in the letter that he has been in conversation with Chief Georgia Andrus of the Newaygo Police Department and School Resource Officer Mitch Rood.  Adding, "These law enforcement agencies conducted a thorough investigation and based on the evidence uncovered during the investigation."

Wright concluded his statement: "I understand that this is a stress inducing message. And, I wish that we didn't have to face these situations in public education." "Keeping our students and staff safe is a top priority for our district."

We will continue to follow this story as details become available. 





BR City Commission meeting tonight

The Big Rapids City Commission will meet tonight at City Hall to discuss and act on a few issues.


During study session, commissioners will receive a project plan update for the Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund from Scott Hall from engineering firm, Fleis & VandenBrink.


During general business, commissioners will discuss and act on a resolution to award a bid for the resurfacing of a parking lot on 200 North Michigan Avenue. Next, commissioners will be accepting proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink for professional engineering services for Hills of Mitchell Creek Booster Station. Commissioners will also vote on a resolution to place a proposal for revision of the City Charter on the Ballot during the November general election.


The meeting starts at 6:30pm.

Two drivers suffer injuries following two vehicle crash on Friday

Two drivers were sent to the hospital Friday following a two vehicle crash in Mecosta County.


It happened on Pierce Rd at 155th Ave.


Sheriff deputies say a 57 year old Belmont woman was traveling westbound on Pierce Rd when a 50 year old man from Stanwood headed southbound on 155th Ave went through a stop sign and collided with the Belmont woman's vehicle at the intersection. She had minor non life threatening injuries and was driven by family to Butterworth Hospital for treatment.


The Stanwood man had significant but non life threatening injuries and was taken to the Corewell Health Big Rapids Hospital before being flown by helicopter to Butterworth Hospital.

FSU's Sports Careers RSO to host 17th Annual Heart to Heart, Hand to Hand Basketball game

 Sports Careers RSO and students in the Sports Communication program at Ferris State University will host the 17th annual Heart to Heart Hand in Hand basketball game on Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. inside Jim Wink Arena.  


The basketball game will feature Area 5 Special Olympians playing alongside Ferris men’s and women’s basketball players in unified red and white teams. Bulldog head coaches Andy Bronkema and Kurt Westendorp will coach the teams. 


Alongside the basketball game, spectators will have the opportunity to enjoy halftime activities. These activities include a dunk contest by Ferris athletes featuring celebrity judges, a game of musical chairs and a performance by the Ferris dance team. 


Area 5 Special Olympics will also hold several raffles including a 50/50. 


For those unable to attend in person, you can support Area 5 Special Olympics through the Sports Careers RSO Venmo account (@SportsCareers-RSO). Any donation supporting Area 5 Special Olympics athletes is highly appreciated.  


Special Olympics is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to build self-confidence and social skills through sports. 


If you have any further questions regarding this event, please reach out to or 

State Lawmakers to discuss gun reform and elder abuse bills

More gun reform legislation is moving forward at the state Capitol.


The House Judiciary Committee has approved legislation that would stop someone from buying a gun if they have an extreme risk protection order. Committee Chair Kelly Breen says one change gives police the ability to take guns away from someone if approved by a judge or magistrate.


That change led the Michigan Sheriffs Association to voice support for the legislation which will now be taken up by the full House.


Meanwhile, new legislation has been introduced to help cut down elder abuse.


Senate Bills 258 and 254 include a judge intervention to justify on record why a family member willing to serve as legal guarding is not suitable, as well as a requirement for guardians to be certified and require monthly check-ins of their protected person.


Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said many of the suggestions came from Michigan's Elder Abuse Task Force, which was launched in 2019.


She notes there's more than 73,000 older adults in Michigan that are victims of elder abuse.

Wildfire in Lake County consumes 80 acres on Tuesday

Lake County Sheriff Rich Martin says around 80 acres was burned during a wildfire Tuesday in Sauble Township. 


When fire crews arrived at the scene, they observed a 25 acre area of woods that was actively burning. Crews then requested assistance from several area fire departments to help. 


The fire was contained around 6:30pm, fire crews remained on scene for several more hours following. 


According to a press release, preliminary investigations have determined that the fire started from ashes that exited a 'burn barrel' that started ground debris on fire. 


Fire Warnings in place for local areas

With warm and dry weather in Michigan, there are concerns about wildfires.


There was a forest fire in Sauble Township about 10 miles west of Wolf Lake.


Lake County Sheriff Rick Martin says crews worked on the scene for several hours.


DNR and U.S. Forest Service float airplanes helped local fire crews to contain the fire.


The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids issued a Fire Weather Watch for this afternoon and evening. Newaygo County has ordered residents not to burn anything on their property since they've been working to put on grass and brush fires.


The state DNR has also issued burn bans throughout northern Michigan.

Cardinal cross country standout staying home in Big Rapids

On Monday, Big Rapids senior Ben Knuth signed his letter of intent to confirm his collegiate running
plans at Ferris State University next fall.

As a multi-year all-conference honoree, Knuth enjoyed a breakout senior season that included a 16:37 5K personal best and seven top-10 finishes.

“My junior season, I had dealt with injuries so my senior year was my last year to get my best time out there,” Knuth said. “I had some big goals going into the season and I was really happy with my last race.”

The multi-sport athlete also played basketball and baseball for the Cardinals, including winning a
conference regular season and tournament championship on the hardwood this past winter. When
asked about making his decision, Knuth said he’s very happy to stay close to home.

“(Ferris) was on the top of my list for sure. I was so happy to get an offer from them and have my family in this area. I’m ready to go and represent my hometown.”

Knuth will finish his final baseball season with the Cardinals before enrolling to compete and study land surveying at Ferris State in the fall.

“The last two summers, I worked for my dad’s buddy and I really liked it,” Knuth said about his academic selection. “I like working outside so that’ll be my major.”

For more local sports coverage, follow the Big Rapids Daily News at

Two drivers sent to hospital following two vehicle accident

Two drivers were sent to the hospital following a two vehicle crash in Aetna Township.


It happened Monday afternoon, Sheriff deputies say vehicle driven by a 22-year old woman from Morley was traveling westbound on Jefferson Rd near US-131 N in Aetna TWP. When she came cross a vehicle stopped in the roadway turning northbound onto the US-131 on ramp.  Before she noticed the vehicle was stopped, the Morley woman was rear ended the vehicle driven by a 38 year old Newaygo woman.


Both drivers were transported to Big Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.


Mecosta County Youth Academy accepting applications

The Mecosta County Youth Academy is now accepting applications for their camp in July.


The Mecosta County Youth Academy is a one-week program for boys and girls ages 12-14. It will be
held July 17-21 from 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M.


The academy will focus on several topics, including teamwork, leadership, physical fitness, defensive tactics, firearms safety, first aid, and fire safety. The academy is being sponsored by the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office and the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety.

For more information, please contact Officer William Sell at the Big Rapids Department of Public
Safety, or 231-527-0005, or visit to apply.


Applications are due by May 19, 2022, at 4:00 P.M. Space is limited, so act fast!

State lawmakers to tackle more gun reform issues this week

The topic of gun reform legislation is once again expected to be the focus in Lansing this week, as lawmakers return from a two week recess.


At issue, a proposed "Extreme Risk Protection Order" bill that would allow a court to intervene and confiscate a gun... in cases where someone is deemed an immediate risk to themselves, or others.


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the Democratically-controlled House and Senate are prepared to move quickly. 


The Governor is also expected to formally sign two other gun reform measures into law this week. Those being, mandatory Universal Background Checks on all gun sales in Michigan and Safe Storage requirements.

Pinconning driver and passengers sent to hospital following two vehicle crash

A driver and passengers were taken to the hospital following a two vehicle crash in Mecosta County on Thursday.


It happened on 30th Ave and Eisenhower Rd in Millbrook TWP.


Deputies say a 23-year old woman from Wisconsin was traveling west on Eisenhower Rd and pulled onto 30th Ave and was struck by a 31-year old woman from Pinconning, MI. The Pinconning woman and her passengers were taken to Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids and Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview with none life threatening injuries.


The woman from Wisconsin was not injured in the accident.


Sheriff Miller wants to remind everyone to look twice save a life.

DNR pursuing charges against Mecosta Co. man accused of poaching

Charges are being sought against a Mecosta County man who was found to have over 150 dead cottontail rabbits in the bed of his truck and at his home by conservation officers.


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources say that they became aware of the incident in late-February after two conservation officers received complaints stating a man had been bragging about shooting and stashing over 100 rabbits in his truck.


In Michigan, cottontail and snowshoe rabbits can be hunted from September 15th to March 31st as part of small game season, but hunters have a daily limit of five and have a possession limit of 10.


The DNR said they are now pursuing charges against the man for over-possession of rabbit.

Big Rapids approves street and sewer bids; light installations

Sewer and street improvements are coming to Big Rapids following approval of construction bids Monday.


Big Rapids City Commissioners approved a bid from Wadel Stabilization Inc. of Hart, Mi., in the
amount of $318,650 for sewer system improvements on State Street. 


City officials say engineering firm Fleis and VandenBrink provided them with a report identifying all storm and sewer infrastructure with ratings from good to poor/failing conditions. State Street was on the list and is a 12-inch sanitary sewer line that has 300 feet of poor condition. 


The three week construction project is expected to begin July 17th. Detours on State Street will be posted. 


Commissioners also approved a bid for water, sewer and street improvements on Marion Avenue. The winning bid is from Gerber Construction in the amount of $839,799.04. 


City officials say crews will be replacing a 4-inch water main and increasing it to an 8-inch water main. A poor condition sewer line will also be replaced. The improvements will be on Marion Avenue from Pine Street to Spruce Street. Officials say Pine Street will be incorporated in this project as there have been residents experiencing issues with their sewer, which will be addressed by extending the service. 


Residents near the intersection of Catherine and Platt Streets will be getting new lighting.


City officials say it came to their attention that there is a new bus pick up location within the area and
there is a concern for the children, which having additional lighting will address those needs.

Reed City Police Blotter: 3/20-4-3

An Officer was dispatched to a two-vehicle collision occurred on the 100 block on E Todd Ave. No injuries and minimal damage to both vehicles. A citation was issued to the at-fault driver.

An Officer was contacted by another police agency to attempt to locate and check the wellbeing of a victim in one of their investigations, they had been trying to check on but could not get in contact with. The individual was located and determined to be fine.

An Officer was dispatched to a suicidal subject who was being violent in the parking lot of the medical facility. During this incident, the individual was taken into protective custody and brought into the hospital for treatment.

An Officer responded to a call reporting a possible illegal burn taking place near the intersection of Park and W Upton Avenue. After investigation, it was determined that the individual was in compliance with the city ordinance.

Tuesday …3/21
The school liaison officer took a report of an assault between two students. The matter has been turned over to probate court and the prosecutor to review for possible charges.

Wednesday …3/22
An Officer was dispatched to a residence regarding an unwanted ex-boyfriend. Following this investigation, a 41 y/o male subject was issued a trespassing notice, prohibiting him from being on the property.

An Officer was dispatched to a residence in reference to an individual having some type of medical/mental issue. Following this investigation, she was taken to the RCH for evaluation/treatment.

An Officer responded to a complaint regarding a dispute between 2 neighbors and parking over property lines.

An officer served two abatement notices for trash in violation of city ordinance.

Thursday …3/23
The School Liaison officer was contacted regarding a possible missing juvenile. After a search of the area, the juvenile was found.

Two officers transported an individual from Reed City to a mental health treatment facility in Indiana.

An officer served an abatement notice for trash in violation of city ordinance.

Friday …3/24
Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department with a resistive individual who had been taken into protective custody for a mental health evaluation.


An officer took a report from a teen regarding her ex-boyfriend driving by her work numerous times in an hour period.

Saturday …3/25
An officer was dispatched to the RCH to assist hospital staff with an aggressive patient who had been
petitioned for treatment and a CMH assessment.

An officer issued an abatement notice to a residence that was found to be in violation of Reed City
Ordinance Chapter 1060.02 for excess refuse as well as not having running water.

An officer was dispatched to a location where an elderly man appeared as if he was trying to get into a person’s vehicle. Following this investigation, it was determined that the male was having some type of medical issue and EMS was called to the scene.

An officer met with Lake County Sheriffs Dep, who arrested a 42yr old female with an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court. The female was transported to the Osceola County jail without any issues.

An officer responded to a call regarding a small family dispute. No issues.

Sunday …3/26
An officer was dispatched to assist OCSD deputies with a 45yr old male who was walking down the road acting very aggressive and causing a disturbance. Following this assist, the male was arrested by the OCSD for disorderly conduct and resisting officers.


An officer was dispatched to a residence in reference to a verbal argument between 2 intoxicated individuals.

An officer responded to a local business serve a trespass notice to a 45yr old male to prevent him from coming on the property.

While on patrol an officer observed a man that appeared to be upset and in distress in the parking lot of a local business. Out of concern for the man’s well-being, the officer asked the man if there was any way he could assist him. The man cussed at the officer and refused any assistance. It was determined the man was actually yelling at the officer driving by and flipping him off likely trying to provoke some response from the officer The officer verified with the manager that there was no problem and departed.

Tuesday …3/28
An officer was dispatched to assist EMS with unresponsive male, he was transported to the hospital.


An officer was dispatched to transport an individual to Reed City Hospital for mental evaluation. The
individual was experiencing paranoia and struggled with officers before being placed into protective custody. There were no injuries.

An officer was dispatched to a residence with reports of possible domestic assault. Upon arrival it was unfounded.

An officer was dispatched to an apartment complex in reference to female juveniles fighting with each other.

Following this investigation, the parents/guardians decided to keep all of the kids separated and no one wished to pursue charges.

Wednesday …3/29
An Officer responded to a call at a senior care facility regarding assaultive behavior. In both cases the
subjects were elderly and suffering from some form of mental issue such as Dementia or Alzheimers.

An officer took a report from a man regarding possible missing or stolen items. Due to the onset of dementia and unclear information from the man, there is not sufficient information to investigate further.

An officer made a transport of an individual needing treatment for mental health problems to an in-patient facility.

Thursday …3/30
An officer issued a trespass notice to a 31yr old male at an apartment complex. He was informed that if he returned, he could be cited or arrested. The male agreed and stated he would comply.

After stopping a vehicle for a traffic violation, Officer issued a misdemeanor appearance citation to a 34 year old woman for operating without insurance.


An officer was dispatched with CPS regarding an investigation of Criminal Sexual Conduct 1 st degree
between a younger teen and adult. The matter is under investigation.

Friday …3/31
An officer made an arrest of a 28yr old male that had an outstanding warrant out of Mecosta County. He was turned over to Mecosta County Deputies.

An officer took a report of a possible assault between two men. The matter is under further investigation.

An officer was advised to Be on the Lookout for a vehicle driving erratically. The officer was able to locate the vehicle parked in the driveway of the elderly owner’s residence. No one would answer the door when the officer attempted to make contact.

Saturday …4/1
An officer responded to a car/deer crash. No injuries.

An officer was dispatched to a location where a 29yr old female was experiencing some type of mental health issue. After investigating, she was left in the care of her roommate.

Sunday …4/2
An officer was dispatched to a neighboring county to pick up a 61yr old male for having a warrant out of Reed City. The male was picked up and taken back to the Osceola County Jail.

An officer was dispatched to a report that a man had vandalized the bathroom of a business. Upon arrival the male had departed. It was obvious the man had gotten sick in the bathroom, but nothing suggested any criminal intent.

An officer was dispatched regarding a patient being evaluated for mental health reasons who had become agitated and was trying to leave. The officer spoke to the man and was able to calm him and get him to agreed to stay for treatment.

Reed City's Allen announces commitment to Raider Baseball

As the final season begins on the high school diamond for many high school seniors around the area,
Coyote baseball player Xavier Allen made the decision Tuesday that he will be continuing his baseball
career next year at Grand Rapids Community College.

The senior said he had considered many local schools during the recruitment process, but it was the
connection he made with Head Coach Mike Eddington that made him choose the Raiders.

“I really liked Coach Clark,” Allen said. “They're good people and make me feel wanted. That’s big thing for me is going somewhere where you want to be.”

Allen provided a huge spark at the plate for the Coyotes last season, batting .455 with 49 hits as well as striking out 86 and allowing only 25 earned runs on the mound through 56 innings last season. He also earned all-CSAA first team honors for Reed City, who reached the Regional 35 title game after winning the District 70 and CSAA conference titles.

While the multi-sport standout also earned honors in football and basketball this past year, he chose to ultimately follow the sport he loves the most.

“It's been my dream ever since I was little. I've played other sports and I love them too, but baseball has always been my thing.”

Allen joins fellow teammate and future Chippewa Max Hammond as seniors playing beyond their Reed City careers. As the season now goes back to full swing, Allen feels relieved of the decision and ready to finish his Coyote career strong.

“It's a great feeling. It takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders. We’re a young team this year but I hope we gel together, be the best we can be, and make little noise in the tournament.”

Allen plans to study architecture while competing for the baseball program at GRCC.

One Day for Dawgs preparations underway, Annual Day of Giving Coming April 12

Seventy-plus teams have already registered for One Day for Dawgs, Ferris State University’s annual day of giving set for Wednesday, April 12. One Day for Dawgs is an opportunity for groups across campus to raise funds for scholarships, programs, equipment and other appeals.


Annual Giving Manager Jen Yontz-Barger said that the cluster of 40-plus teams includes eight new proposals. University Advancement and Marketing staff expect more to join the 2023 campaign.


“We have already held in-person and virtual workshops, with the latter recorded and available for review to support these new groups or others that recently formed,” Yontz-Barger said. “Some groups are preparing videos to personalize their requests for their supporters. We feel that is among the best ways to develop a creative and compelling message. Our UAM staff stands ready to support teams by talking through any part of the process they may have questions about.”


Yontz-Barger said that following spring break, One Day for Dawgs organizers expect that more teams will understand this opportunity and access the online toolbox and other resources for teams.


“Any group of alumni, students, faculty, staff or other supporters are encouraged to reach out and establish their proposals as part of One Day for Dawgs by Friday, March 31,” Yontz-Barger said. “That will allow these teams to get the formation and support they need to create a successful campaign.”


One Day for Dawgs teams raised nearly $300,000 to support various proposals in 2022. For more information on establishing a team or structuring a campaign, call Yontz-Barger at (231) 591-3817 or contact her by email.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Weekend Blotter: 3/31-4/2


Calls for service 10

Traffic Accidents 2



Calls for service 14

Traffic accidents 1

Car/Deer accidents 2



At 7:21pm, deputies made a traffic stop on 90th Ave/9 Mile Rd Morton TWP.  The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for OWI 2nd offense.  He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.


Calls for service 9

Easter Egg Hunt set for Saturday at Mecosta Co. Fairgrounds

If you are looking for a fun family Easter event this weekend for little kids, the Big Rapids Elks Club has you covered.

The local club is once again hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for kids in the area on April 8th. It starts at 1pm at the Mecosta County Fairgrounds.

Event Coordinator Tom Stellard says there will be thousands of eggs for kids to pick up and some will randomly have certificates to redeem for great prizes like gift cards, Easter baskets even whole hams. The Easter Bunny will also be on hand for the event.

The Easter egg hunt will be broken up into designated age groups 0-4, 5-7, 8-10.

Stellard says this event always warms his heart.

Just watching the kids scramble and pick up around 15,000 eggs in a short amount of time is great.” “It really is a wonderful thing to see the excitement on their faces.” Stellard said.

Stellard stresses parents get to the fairgrounds 15 minutes before the event because once begins the eggs go fast.

Big Rapids City Commission to vote on road project bids tonight

The Big Rapids City Commission will be meeting tonight to discuss and act on a number of issues.


The meeting begins at 6:30pm at City Hall.


During study session, commissioners will be discussing having a Public Input Session for the 2023/2024 City Budget. City Attorney Brad Fowler and commissioners will be discussing options in regards to Ordinance 151.21 in relation to a local contact person for rental properties for the purposes of service of process or notice as the city will be transitioning to an updated record management system within the next year.


In general business, commissioners will also award bids for State Street Sewer Improvements and Marion Avenue improvements. Commissioners will also take action on a resolution authorizing a change in the Consumers Energy Standard Lighting agreement for the installation of a New Streetlight Near the Intersection of Platt and Catherine Street.


To view the agenda for tonights meeting scroll down: 

6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. Act on the minutes of regular meetings of March 6th and
March 20th, 2023.
a. Public Input Session for the 2023/2024 City Budget.
b. Ordinance 151.21 (Local Contact Person) – Brad Fowler, City Attorney
11. 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 Awarding Bid for State Street Sewer Improvements.
ii. Resolution Awarding Bid for Marion Avenue Improvements.
iii. Resolution Authorizing Change in the Consumers Energy Standard Lighting
Agreement for the Installation of a New Streetlight Near the Intersection of
Platt and Catherine Street – Contract No. 103026070708, Notification No.

b. Resolution Authorizing the Signing of the Opioid Settlement Participation form for
Teva, Allergan, CVS and Walmart.
c. Resolution on Mayoral Appointments to Boards and Commissions.
12. UNSCHEDULED BUSINESS – (Commission Concerns/Reports)
13. WORK SESSION – City Manager Evaluation – Commissioner Jennifer Cochran
***Agenda items requiring a 4/5 Vote.



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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


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


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)


C Montcalm 0 @ Sacred Heart 15 (5inn)

C Montcalm 1 @ Sacred Heart 8


Cadillac 0 @ Reed City 19 (3inn)

Cadillac 0 @ Reed City 11 (5inn)

FRIDAY - 5/17

Lakeview 0 @ N Branch 10 (6inn)


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?