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News That Affects You Archives for 2023-05

ATV crash involving a combine kills Reed City man in Newaygo Co.

A Reed City man is dead and a woman was injured following a crash involving an ATV and a combine, Sunday in Newaygo County. 

 

It happened in Barton Township at E 14 Mile Rd. near N Cypress Ave. 

 

In a press release, Newaygo County Sheriff Bob Mendham said a 52-year-old man from Reed City had died from his injuries in the accident. A 51-year-old woman from Reed City was taken to Corewell Health in Grand Rapids for her injuries.

 

This accident is currently still under investigation.

 

 

Deputies arrest 7 minors involved in a stolen vehicle pursuit spanning multiple counties

Deputies with the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office assisted officers in Lake County in a stolen vehicle pursuit early Sunday morning.

 

Deputies got the call around 1:30am, they were advised the suspects were headed south on US-131 from US-10 going 130mph.

 

Officers set up two patrol cars at Perry Street on the south side with stop sticks. 

 

The suspects vehicle exited the Big Rapids exit then re-entered the highway. 

 

Deputies were able to spike a tire of the suspects vehicle which ended the pursuit.

 

Seven suspects were involved, they were also minors and taken into custody.

 

Deputies also found a loaded gun under the drivers seat. 

 

The  deputies then assisted Lake County in transporting 2 minors to the Lake County Sheriff's Department.

Ferris State announces prep strength and conditioning summer camp

On May 20, Ferris State Athletics announced the addition of a brand-new strength and conditioning academy to their summer camp lineup.

 

This month-long opportunity will allow area middle school and high school athletes to advance their own sport training in Ferris’ brand-new Center of Athletic Performance.


“This camp is designated for middle to high school students who are looking to build a foundation for athletic performance and also get a sneak peek at how our athletes train,” strength and conditioning head coach Andrew Thiede said.


Ahead of his third full year with the Bulldogs, Andrew Thiede has helped all 17 athletic programs excel in large ways. This includes leading training programs for ten different conference championship teams, three regional champions, and two national champions.


This summer, Thiede is ready to share his work with the upcoming generation of athletes.


“My main focus is to establish high quality movement in regard to all facets of performance, speed, power, strength and mobility. I want this camp to be an opportunity for students to build a solid foundation and get an understanding of how to train the correct way.”


The camp is slated to begin on Monday, June 5, and continue every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday through the month of June. Each session will begin at 9:30 A.M. and conclude around 12:30 P.M., as well as benefit the use of multiple Bulldog Athletic facilities.


“We went this route because I want to really perfect our movement patterns and be able to see progress,” Thiede said. “We will be on the track, the weightroom, the court, etc. to really develop all levels of performance.”


Registration is still available for any student athletes between 6th and 12th grade. For more information, visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Camps.

Self-driving Tesla crashes in Mecosta County Sunday

A self-driving Tesla caused a one vehicle crash in Mecosta County.

 

It happened on Sunday in Colfax Township on Mckinley Rd near 135th Avenue.

 

The Sheriff's Office says a 41 year old Hudsonville woman was traveling west on Mckinley Rd when she put her Tesla in self driving mode.  Once the vehicle was in Self driving mode, the driver stated that the vehicle pulled to the right and went off the roadway and hit a tree. The vehicle then rolled several times before coming to a stop. 

 

The Hudsonville woman was the only occupant of the vehicle and was taken to Corewell Health Big Rapids hospital for minor injuries.

Lane closure on Southbound US-131 in Osceola County

 

Heads up for those drivers on US-131 near Osceola County.

 

The Michigan Department of Transportation says road work on southbound US-131 at US-10 is scheduled for today, (May 30th) from noon to 5 p.m.

 

For more information/updates visit:  michigan.gov/drive


 

Two people suffer injuries following two vehicle crash in Aetna Township

Two people were sent to the hospital Wednesday evening following a two vehicle crash in Mecosta County's Aetna Township.

 

It happened just after 5pm, that's when deputies were called to Northland Dr near 180th Ave.

 

An investigation revealed, a 77-year old woman from Morley rear ended another vehicle driven by a 35-year old woman from Howard City who had been stopped to turn into a driveway.

 

The 77-year old Morley woman suffered non life-threatening injuries and was taken to the Corewell Health Big Rapids Hospital for treatment. A 55-year old woman from Howard City who was a passenger with the 35-year old female driver was also taken to the Corewell Health Big Rapids Hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

FULL PREVIEW: Softball district playoffs

While released third in order of our previews, softball might bring the most intriguing postseason to date. Many storybooks remain open for historical finishes this June, whether it’s back-to-back State Finals appearances, a district title streak of over three years, or a Cinderella run no one expected. Here are some notable brackets to keep an eye on this postseason:

 

District 34 (Big Rapids)
Looking for their third straight title since the COVID pandemic, head coach Dawn Thompson’s Cardinals have proven their strength to be a serious regional title contender this year. Behind an offense that has totaled over 400 runs already and a defense and pitching staff that has allowed less than 90, Big Rapids comes in as the heavy favorite with their experience playing four all-state caliber teams across all four divisions. Gladwin and Ogemaw Heights come in as notable competitors with three games experience playing against each other, in which Gladwin owns a 2-1 series advantage. The Vikings and Orioles also bring intrigue entering as sneaky underdogs that each won at least a game in district play in last year’s tournament.

 

1st Round Matchups
Cadillac (1-9-0) vs. Ogemaw Heights (21-12-0*) – Big Rapids Softball Field**, May 30, 5:00 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Gladwin (22-12-0*) vs. Cadillac/Ogemaw Heights Winner – Big Rapids Softball Field, June 3, 10:00 A.M.


Big Rapids (32-4-0*) vs. Ludington (4-17-1) – Big Rapids Softball Field, June 3, 12:00 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Big Rapids Softball Field, June 3, 2:00 P.M.

 

District 71 (Evart)
The defending state runner-up Wildcats enter this year’s tournament as top team in the Division 3 state rankings. Evart’s dominant pitching and explosive hitting will experience playing on their home diamond, a place they haven’t lost at in almost 380 days. Coach Brown’s team will have to take down Highland conference foes Lake City and McBain to face the winner of a rejuvenated Reed City team that has won four of their last six games and a Pine River team that gave the Wildcats a run for their money in the district final a year ago. While many of these teams haven’t played each other during the regular season, historical matchups and similar play style will certainly bring some extra excitement in Evart next
Saturday.

 

1st Round Matchups
Evart (26-5-0*) vs. Lake City (1-13-0) – Evart High School, May 30, 4:00 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Reed City (16-20-0*) vs. Pine River (7-10-0) – Evart High School, June 3, 10:00 A.M.

 

McBain (3-18-0*) vs. Evart/Lake City Winner – Evart High School, June 3, 12:00 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Evart High School, June 3, 2:00 P.M.

 

District 74 (Remus Chippewa Hills)
In a highly contested CSAA race, Central Montcalm found themselves right in the mix for a second-place finish in the regular season standings. The Hornets have proven they can play with anyone, including a pair of tight losses to Division 3 honorable mentions Traverse City St. Francis and St. Louis and a split with state honoree Ithaca on the road. They face an opening test against a motivated Warrior team who will play in front of their home crowd for the first time since 2021 in postseason play. The Lakeview Wildcats also stand an intriguing matchup for the winner, while White Cloud and Morley Stanwood will square off in a regular season rubber match that saw over 27 runs cross the plate in their split double header 10 days ago.

 

1st Round Matchups


Central Montcalm (25-12-1*) vs. Chippewa Hills (7-21-0*) – Chippewa Hills Softball Field, May 30, 4:00 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Lakeview (9-21-0) vs. Central Montcalm/Chippewa Hills Winner – Chippewa Hills Softball Field, June 3, 10:00 A.M.


White Cloud (10-22-1*) vs. Morley Stanwood (3-18-0) – Chippewa Hills Softball Field, June 3, 12:00 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Chippewa Hills Softball Field, June 3, 2:00 P.M.

 

*-Occupied via GameChanger result and statistics app.
**-Subject to change, original location reported on MHSAA.com.

FULL PREVIEW: Baseball district playoffs

The dog days on the diamond are through. The month of June in high school baseball is the closest thing to the month of October in the big leagues.

Battles for trophies commence next week and here are some key brackets you should be watching this postseason:

 

District 35 (Kingsley)
In his first year at the helm of the varsity, J.T. Scarpelli has continued the dominance on the diamond in Big Rapids. The Cardinals have already won 25 games this year, the most since the regional runner-up season back in 2018. Scarpelli’s squad has the flexibility in personal, power at the plate, and depth on the mound to make a run at a district crown. The biggest obstacle in their way: a first-round flurry with fellow 20-win Gladwin who has dominated the Jack Pine this season. On the other side, the Kingsley Stags and Cadillac Vikings will battle it out to break the 1-1 season split and find a spot in the District 35 title game.

 

1st Round Matchups
Big Rapids (25-5-1) vs. Gladwin (27-5-1) – Big Rapids Baseball Field, May 30, 5:00 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Ludington (12-15-0) vs Big Rapids/Gladwin Winner – Kingsley Athletic Complex, June 3, 10:00 A.M.


Kingsley (8-6-1) vs. Cadillac (14-15-1*) – Kingsley Athletic Complex, June 3, 12:30 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Kingsley Athletic Complex, June 3, 3:00 P.M.

 

District 72 (Clare)
Defending district champs, Reed City, have enjoyed a successful season behind strong performances from college commits Xavier Allen and Max Hammond. The Coyotes’ strong pitching staff has the stuff to lead back-to-back title seasons, but familiar foes with improved second halves of the season will make things interesting. Their first-round matchup, Evart, has won four of their last six behind some hot bats from coach Josh Johnson’s team. Chippewa Hills, a team who has proven to play tough against fellow CSAA teams like Reed City and Big Rapids, will square off between the winner of host Clare and Harrison. Pine River also sits in the mix, looking to take advantage of their first district bye since 2016.

 

1st Round Matchups
Reed City (16-12-0) vs. Evart (20-13-0*) – Brookwood Athletic Complex, May 30, 4:00 P.M.

 

Clare (13-11-0) vs. Harrison (2-9-0) – Brookwood Athletic Complex, May 30, 6:00 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Pine River (10-6-1) vs. Reed City/Evart Winner – Brookwood Athletic Complex, June 3, 10:00 A.M.

 

Chippewa Hills (11-16-1) vs. Clare/Harrison Winner – Brookwood Athletic Complex, June 3, 12:00 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Brookwood Athletic Complex, June 3, 2:00 P.M.

 

District 69 (Hart)
Almost doubling their win total from a year ago, White Cloud’s season has brought their fans some excitement going into postseason play. Coach Kelly Mahn’s team has swung the bats well, averaging almost 8.4 runs per game with eight games in double digits offensively. White Cloud has also beaten every other team in this bracket except for one, a tough Mason County Central team who enter their first year in District 69 with one win fewer than the Indians. This first round matchup certainly looks to be the battle of the favorites, with wild card teams like hosts Hart and Morley Stanwood looking to play spoiler on the other side.

 

1st Round Matchups
Shelby (8-16-0) vs. Morley Stanwood (7-16-1*) – Shelby Baseball Field, May 30, 4:00 P.M.

 

White Cloud (20-11-1) vs. Mason County Central (19-7-0*) – White Cloud Baseball Diamond, May 30,
4:30 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Hesperia (6-23-0) vs. Shelby/Morley Stanwood Winner – Hart Baseball Field, June 3, 10:00 A.M.

 

Hart (10-18-0*) vs. White Cloud/Mason County Central Winner – Hart Baseball Field, June 3, 12:00 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Hart Baseball Field, June 3, 2:00 P.M.

 

*-Occupied via GameChanger result and statistics app.

Tele-Pharmacy opens in Weidman; planning Grand Opening event in June

A new pharmacy in Weidman recently opened to serve area residents in a unique way.


Wrigley Pharmacy opened May 8th at the R & R Family Store. It's Wrigley Pharmacy's second location, the first being in Wellston, MI.   


Manager Tisha Peterson said Wrigley's is unique because of bill that passed in Michigan back in 2020, that allowed tele-pharmacies in the state.  


A tele-pharmacy is staffed by trained, certified, and licensed pharmacy technicians, with the pharmacist verifying all prescriptions and offering PT consultation via an audio/video link with the pharmacy.


Peterson said they are very excited to offer its pharmacy services to residents in Weidman. Adding the response from the community has been great since being open. 


Wrigley's is planning a big grand opening event on Friday, June 16th from 2pm-7pm.

 

Both State Senator Roger Hauck and State House Representative Jerry Neyer will be in attendance during festivities. 

 

The free community event will be offering hot dogs, beans & chips, bounce houses, kids games, pop corn, and sno-cones. They'll also be doing a 50/50 raffle with the proceeds being donated to the Weidman food pantry and a matching donation from Wrigley's. The pharmacy will also be collecting non-perishable's for the food pantry as well. 


 

Reed City disc golf course installs new tee pads

It’s been almost nine months since the first sneak peek tournament at Reed City’s new disc golf course.


Since then, the course has earned prominence by adding permanent baskets, trimming pathways to each hole, and now putting in brand-new concrete tee pads.


“The last month, we have been killing it out here,” City councilman Dan Burchett said on the course improvements.


With the help of eight individuals over the past weekend, the course now has 18 4x8 feet concrete slabs for players to tee off from. Those involved included Burchett, course designer Steve Hedstrom, course director Dave Maddox, and club members Jonathan Zelinski and Bill Westveer.


“On Friday, Dave Maddox and myself got all the frames built and laid out,” Burchett said. “The next day, we got them leveled out and put into the ground. Then from there, Steve ordered the concrete and we worked diligently as a team.”


In future consideration for the course, Burchett said there are many ideas in the works towards new tee signs. This includes expansive geographical maps and drone flyover videos for each of the hole layouts on the course.


“It’s going to similar to Navionics in fishing. You’ll see the lines and be able to see (if a hole) goes down fast or back up slow. There’s also going to be QR codes, where you can take a picture and see a video of a drone flying down the fairway towards the basket. Hopefully we are going to have those within the next month.”


The course will be officially re-opening to the public Wednesday afternoon following a two-day closure for the concrete pad installations.

Lakeview woman injured in two-vehicle crash in Mecosta County Tuesday

A Lakeview woman is recovering following a two-vehicle crash in Mecosta County.

 

It happened Tuesday afternoon, at the intersection of 30th Ave (M-66) and Arthur Rd in Sheridan Twp.

 

An investigation by the sheriff's department concluded  that an east bound vehicle proceeded through the intersection in front of a south bound vehicle causing the accident.

 

The south bound driver, a 48-year old Lakeview woman, did sustain non life threatening injuries and was taken to Corewell Health Big Rapids hospital for treatment.

FULL PREVIEW: Girls' soccer district playoffs

The postseason is finally here. Two months of work for one chance to reach top honors in Michigan. The road to a state title begins this week for all the area’s best teams. Here are the local brackets and matchups to look out for:

 

District 46 (Big Rapids)
For the first time in many years, Tri-County enters as the district 46 favorite after a 14-win campaign and second place finish in the CSAA. Coach Brian Campbell’s offensive firepower up front carries the Vikings with an average of 6.31 goals per game this season. They look to avenge their 2022 district finals loss starting in the semi final round against the winner of Clare versus Alma. The hometown Cardinals come in as the second favorite after .500 regular season under head coach Curt Ray. While Big Rapids has had a considerable down year, veteran presence on both sides of midfield and home field advantage can give the Cards a boost towards chasing a third straight district crown. Reed City also enters the tournament coming off two tough tests against Newaygo and Big Rapids in CSAA conference tournament action. The Coyotes do have an advantage with tough game experience, as they endured the toughest regular seasons among the seven teams in this bracket.

 

1st Round Matchups
Reed City (6-8-2) vs. Chippewa Hills (0-13-0) – Reed City Athletic Field, May 24, 6:00 P.M.


Big Rapids (10-10-0) vs. Shepherd (7-11-1) – Cardinal Stadium, May 24, 6:00 P.M.


Clare (7-9-2) vs. Alma (5-15-1) – Brookwood Athletic Complex, May 25, 6:30 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Tri-County (14-3-1) vs. Clare/Alma Winner – Cardinal Stadium, May 31, 5:00 P.M.


Big Rapids/Shepherd Winner vs. Reed City/Chippewa Hills Winner – Cardinal Stadium, May 31, 7:00 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Cardinal Stadium, June 2, 6:00 P.M.

 

District 47 (Newaygo)
It’s certainly been the Lions’ year. With a CSAA Championship under their belt, Newaygo looks for back-to-back District 47 titles with a chance to win on home soil. Matt Painter’s team not only has the offensive fundamentals to make a potential regional run, but they also have the defensive intrigue through only allowing 6 goals in their 17 regular season games. The Lions await the victor of Grant and Whitehall, which looks to be an intriguing game considering both team’s win totals and results against common teams. The Tigers go in on a two-game win streak, including a dominant win over fellow CSAA foe Lakeview last Friday. Underdog Manistee is also a team to watch out for, as the Chippewas began the season winning eight of their first ten contests. While they have cooled off recently, Manistee has shown a tournament staple of success throughout the season in their ability to win low-scoring games.

 

1st Round Matchups
Grant (6-10-2) vs. Whitehall (6-7-3) – Grant Athletic Complex, May 24, 5:00 P.M.


Manistee (9-4-2) vs. Hart (3-11-4) – Manistee Chippewa Field, May 26, 5:00 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
Newaygo (16-0-1) vs. Grant/Whitehall – Newaygo Soccer Field, May 31, 5:00 P.M.


Montague (10-5-0) vs. Manistee/Hart Winner – Montague High School, May 31, 5:00 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Newaygo Soccer Field, June 2, 5:00 P.M.

 

District 62 (Brethren)
The dominance of McBain Northern Michigan Christian continues as the Comets earned another number one seed and opening round bye for the third year in a row. Head Coach Jen VanNoord’s squad has registered a 0.559 Michigan Power Rating during the regular season, which is ranked 12 th in all of Division Four. The Comets await a semifinal matchup between the winner Benzie Central and Big Rapids Crossroads Academy. The Cougars host the Huskies in a first-round rematch from April 10 th , in which Crossroads edged Benzie Central 2-1 thanks to a second half winner from Leah Nelson. Lakeview also finds themselves in the mix with a tough test right off the bat with Shelby. While the Wildcats will travel around 70 miles to face the Tigers, the team does have a considerable advantage with their away playthis year earning a 5-3 record in road games this spring.

 

1st Round Matchups
Big Rapids Crossroads (4-9-2) vs. Benzie Central (1-11-1) – Mitchell Creek Park, May 24, 5:00 P.M.


Shelby (9-9-1) vs. Lakeview (8-8-1) – Shelby Soccer Feld, May 24, 4:30 P.M.


Brethren (3-13-1) vs. Buckley (5-8-2) – Bobcat Stadium, May 26, 1:30 P.M.

 

Semifinal Matchups
McBain Northern Michigan Christian (13-3-0) vs. Crossroads/Benzie Central Winner – Bobcat Stadium, May 30, 4:30 P.M.


Shelby/Lakeview Winner vs. Brethren/Buckley Winner – Bobcat Stadium, May 30, 6:30 P.M.

 

Final Matchup
Semifinal Winners – Bobcat Stadium, June 1, 5:00 P.M.

 

For more sports coverage, subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at wbrn.com.

Red Flag gun law signed by Gov. Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the red flag law Monday afternoon that aims to keep firearms away from those at risk of harming themselves or others.

 

The new law, also known as extreme risk protection orders, is expected to go into effect next spring. It will allow family members, police, mental health professionals, roommates, and former dating partners to petition a judge to remove firearms from those they believe pose an imminent threat to themselves or others. If granted, the judge would then have 14 days to set a hearing during which the flagged person would have to prove they do not pose a significant risk.

 

A standard order would last one year. Michigan becomes the 21st state to implement a red flag law.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Weekend Blotter: 5/19-5/21

5/19

At 11:09am, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Fork TWP. A male subject was arrested on a felony warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

 

Calls for service 10

 

5/20

At 11:20am, deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Deerfield TWP.  A female was assaulting her girlfriend at the residence. The female was arrested and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

 

At 3:03pm hours, deputies responded to a larceny complaint in  Morton TWP.  Additional investigation led to the recovery of the stolen property at a residence in Big Rapids TWP.  The male suspect from the larceny was given an appearance ticket.

 

Calls for service 22

Car/deer accidents 2

Traffic accidents 1

 

5/21

At 7:53pm, deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Aetna TWP. A female reported being assaulted by her boyfriend.  The male subject was arrested and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

 

Calls for service 10

Car/deer accidents 5

GM recalls 668,000 SUV's due to seat issues

General Motors has announced that they are recalling 668,000 SUV's due to an issue with anchoring car seats.

 

There is an issue with the lower anchors. The recall involves newer Chevy Equinoxes and GMC Terrains, models years 2020-2023.

 

There's an injury risk, if the car seat doesn't attach properly. There is no details available regarding possible injuries connected to this issue.

State revenue projections lower than expected

Revenues for the State of Michigan will miss projections.

 

Expect state revenues to fall short of previous estimates by $883-million this year and $1.8-billion next year.

 

State Treasurer Rachel Eubanks says the change is a result of intentional policy changes and the economy "continues to perform really well."

 

Governor Whitmer's proposed $79-billion budget, Michigan's highest ever, might need a trim to accommodate the new revenue projections, according to State Budget Director Chris Harkins.

 

High revenues automatically triggered an income tax rate reduction. However, the state's coffers are still pretty full. Harkins expects the state to finish this fiscal year, ending October, with a $7.5-billion surplus.

Congressman John Moolenaar to host Veterans and Military Resource Fair in Big Rapids

Congressman John Moolenaar will be in Big Rapids on Friday to host a resource fair for current and former service members. 

 

This event is an opportunity for them to talk with Moolenaar’s office about issues they are facing with VA benefits, service medals, and other concerns. 

 

Representatives from the VA Medical Center, VA Regional Office, Mecosta County Veterans Services, and the Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority will also be on hand to help service members and veterans.

 

The event will be at the Michigan Works! West Central location at 14330 Northland Drive in Big Rapids.

 

It starts at 11am and runs through 2pm.  

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter: 5/8-5/14

Monday…5/8
An Officer, while in patrol, found a tent in a wooded area. After investigating, the owner of the tent was located, and advised to vacate the area and advised where he can legally camp out. No issues.


An Officer was dispatched to a 2 vehicle Property Damage Accident at US10 and Old 131. Both vehicles were off the road and no injuries reported.


The School Liaison Officer responded to a call about a student that got out of at a stop other than theirs, ran away, and hid. The juvenile was located and transported for mental health evaluation.


An Officer assisted the Evart PD on serving an order of trespassing.


An Officer responded to a call of a dispute between mother and daughter in which the mother was concerned for the daughter’s mental health.


An Officer assisted the Fire Chief with reports of someone that started a small fire in the driveway. The homeowner put the fire out. Officer contacted the resident and made sure she understood the ordinance.


Tuesday …5/9
The School Liaison Officer responded to a call about a suspicious car parked at the middle school. After investigating, it was discovered that it was a motorist with a disabled vehicle. The motorist arranged for a tow.


An Officer responded to a call about two dogs out at large. The owner was contacted, and the dogs returned to the house. The owner was advised to fix the fence, so the dogs don’t get out again.
Officers received a referral from CPS regarding improper contact between two young juvenile siblings. The matter is under investigation.


An Officer assisted a driver that was stranded at the gas station and was having car issues.
Officers issued a verbal warning regarding a vehicle unattended on a jack stand in violation of city
ordinance.


Wednesday …5/10
An Officer responded to a call about some graffiti that was discovered on the south wall of the North
Chestnut Bridge.


The School Liaison Officer responded to a call about a student at the Reed City middle school who damaged two school computers and was aggressive towards staff members.

 

Officers responded and spoke with an individual who is in the process of a divorce. The person was
concerned their spouse may be stalking them and have a tracking device on their vehicle. A report was taken and no device was found.


An Officer was dispatched for a property damage accident. After investigating, the driver was issued a misdemeanor appearance citation for driving on a revoked license.


Thursday …5/11
Officers located graffiti under the Roth St. bridge. The matter is under investigation.


Friday …5/12
Officers met with Lake County Deputies and took custody of a 36-year-old man with an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court. He was taken to the Osceola County Jail and lodged without incident.


An Officer responded to a retail store with complaints of two juveniles being disrespectful and making comments about stealing in the store. Both boys were advised per the store’s wishes that they were not allowed back in the store.


An Officer responded to a call regarding paintballs being fired at the neighbor’s garage. Case still under investigation.


Saturday …5/13
An Officer while on foot patrol of the downtown area found an unlocked door to a business. The officer searched the building and secured the door.


An Officer responded to a call of a possible larceny. After investigating, reports were unfounded.


Sunday …5/14
Officers were called to a suspicious situation of 2 men knocking on a door asking to be let in. Officer made contact and it is believed to have been a church group on a local mission trip.

Local high school basketball coaches react to new foul count rule change

After an announcement on Monday, the MHSAA is adopting a proposed rule change by the National Federation of State High School Associations regarding basketball foul count and eligibility for the “bonus.”


Instead of the foul counts being totaled for each half, foul counts will now reset after each quarter. This will change the bonus count towards opponent’s earning free throw chances, which now will become five fouls in a quarter rather than the previous rule of seven in a half.


Along with the overall number changing, Rule 4-8-1 will be amended to remove the single bonus “one- and-one” free throw in favor of only the “two-shot” double bonus once a team reaches five fouls in a quarter.


“This rule aligns with what they do in the NBA and women's collegiate basketball and is designed to improve game flow,” Big Rapids boys basketball coach Blake Thomas said. “I think this will ultimately benefit the future of the game.”


Many local coaches don’t feel too strongly one way or the other about the change but they all agreed on one thing: it will certainly affect the game’s flow.


“I'm hoping this creates more flow in the game, especially in girls’ basketball,” Reed City girls’ basketball head coach Tim Beilfuss said. “I think (the old rule) has slowed some games down and stopped flow in the action. I like that we are not punishing a team for having a team that had a bad quarter and rolling it into the next quarter.”


Due to the change, many teams may consider changing their strategy towards addressing high foul counts. When asked about this idea, Reed City boy’s head coach Brennan Walsh said this could lead to teams being more aggressive.


“Defensively in the first and third quarters, you don't have to worry about carrying over your team fouls to the next quarter. This could lead to teams playing more aggressive early (in the game).”


According to the official NFHS release, the rule change will be enacted during the upcoming 2023-2024 season.

Allergen-free serving station highlights The Rock Cafe renovations, Quad Café open daily through Summer

Ferris State University’s main dining facility closed for the summer on Sunday, May 7. Soon, The Rock Café will begin undergoing its first significant upgrades since 2009.

 

Jennifer Thede, the operations specialist in Campus Auxiliary Services, highlighted several renovation notes in the facility. Among them, she pointed to an allergen-free serving station.

 

“Our students and other customer groups speak freely about their nutritional requirements. This includes identifying dietary items that present issues for them,” Thede said. “Peanut allergies, gluten and the presence of milk and eggs in certain products have long been a concern. Sesame is now getting greater attention as a risk for some diners. We look forward to offering a serving station focused on giving all guests a safe and pleasant experience in keeping with their needs.”

 

Thede said Dining Services’ survey responses show the Mongo Grill is a favorite in The Rock Café and will resume operation following the renovation. However, when the facility reopens this fall, it will feature new stations for visitors.

 

“We will have a new logo and different station names for customers to experience,” Thede said. “These improvements will be in place when the café reopens, as our renovations are complete.”

 

Facilities Management Project Manager Karen Simmon said the Board of Trustees approved updated renovation plans for The Rock and Miller Hall in October 2022.

“The plans for these facilities were first approved by our trustees in 2019 but had to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic to be implemented,” Simmon said. A variety of upgrades appropriate for a high-use structure are coming, such as with advanced lighting, updated finishes at café serving stations, and new furnishings and flooring, for example.”

 

As of Sunday, May 14, the Quad Café will begin a 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. service schedule, seven days a week, continuing through The Rock Café renovation. Founders Grille at Katke Golf Course also offers food items daily and is open to the public until 6 p.m.

 

Big Rapids approves bid for Third Avenue sidewalk improvements

Sidewalk improvements are coming to the eastside of Big Rapids.

 

City Commissioners recently approved a bid by Olsson Concrete Construction out of Stanwood, for just under $34,000 to install sidewalks along Third Avenue.

 

City Manager Mark Gifford told commissioners organizations and businesses have been advocating for more sidewalks in that area.

 

"This is something on the east side of town that individuals and organizations have been advocating for sometime now, to extend the sidewalk from the East Side Grocery on Colburn Ave to Community Mental Health, New Journey Clubhouse and My Brothers Keeper." Gifford said. "It's been a project that has been waiting for a long time and we are happy to bring it to you." Gifford added

 

Gifford also told commissioners the project will also have a $5,000 grant applied to it through the Michigan Dept. of Transportation to help lower costs.

Mercury spill shuts down Clare Co. post office Monday

A scare at a Clare County post office has left seven people in isolation.

 

While loading mail at the Lake Station Post Office in Garfield Township Monday morning, workers noticed a possible Mercury spill. The workers were isolated, and a nearby store was also evacuated.

 

They are said to be monitored onsite rather than risking exposure to others at the hospital.

 

No adverse health affects were reported by any of those exposed.

 

Officials are investigating the package, but it appears to have been shipped from the Detroit region.

Police looking for unbuckled drivers as 'Click it or Ticket' campaign starts

Michigan State Police are on the lookout for your seat belt.

 

Starting today until June 4th, the "Click It or Ticket" campaign will enforce the law that requires drivers, front-seat passengers, and passengers 15 and under to be buckled up.

 

If not, you could get a $65 dollar ticket. 254 people who were killed in traffic crashes during 2021 were not wearing a seat belt.

Hit and Run suspects found hiding in woods following incident

A hit-and-run crash between an ATV and a truck in north west Michigan.

 

The Newaygo County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to the crash just after noon Friday in Ashland Township.

 

The pickup truck was heading north when the driver lost control, went off the road and hit an ATV  then drove away.

 

The 85-year-old driver of the ATV was hospitalized for his injuries. No word on his condition.

 

Police found the 50-year-old driver of the pickup truck hiding in the woods. He was arrested. A 38-year-old woman was found hiding with him. Police also took her into custody.

Gotion provides Safety Data Sheets on three main elements used at facility

During Tuesday night's presentation at the Green Township Board meeting, Gotion Vice President of North American Operations, Chuck Thelen explained to board members and attendees of the three main elements used in their assembly of its battery components.


 

Lithium Carbonate, Lithium Iron Phosphate and Graphite Powder were mentioned on Tuesday by Thelen. The Gotion VP told those in attendance the SDS (Safety Data Sheets), that anyone can find on the internet, for the key materials they will be using show that they have no hazardous association to air, water or aquatic life.  


 

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are documents that provide information on the hazards of working with a chemical and procedures to ensure safety. They are a primary source of information regarding chemical hazards and handling. They are required under OSHA's Hazard Communication and Process Safety Management Standards, EPA's Right-to-Know regulations, DOT's transportation regulations, and other federal and state regulations. 


 

In an effort in transparency, Big Rapids Daily News received Gotion's Safety Data Sheets for Lithium Carbonate, Lithium Ion Phosphate and Graphite Powder.


 

Click on the following links for SDS: 


 

LITHIUM CARBONATE


 

LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE


 

GRAPHITE POWDER

 

 

CSAA seeking modifications following successful inaugural basketball conference tournament

With the new league merger last fall came a spark of an idea for revamping the postseason. The CSAA initiated a new, four-team end of the year tournament the week before the MHSAA District rounds.


According to head coach Jessica Haist, the tournament was a large success in its debut.


“The idea behind the CSAA end of the year tournament is strong,” Haist said. “It allows teams to
compete against similar level teams right before the state tournament begins and also allows a regular season champion and a tournament champion, which is similar to the college conference tournaments.”


This year, the Big Rapids girls and boys teams swept the inaugural tournament titles. The girls took down Central Montcalm in the semifinal round before defeating Kent City 46-44 in the snow day Saturday rescheduled championship game.


For the boys team, the Cardinals also beat the Eagles in the semi-final before winning the title game
over Newaygo 60-45. Both teams finished the season with unblemished conference records to capture the regular season titles as well.


"There was a lot of excitement surrounding the tournament for players, fans, and coaches,” Big Rapids Athletic Director Dawn Thompson said. “The traveling trophy and t-shirts add a nice touch and we had great crowds for the championship games.”


Based on feedback from the players and coaches, the tournament will be seeking some improvementfor the future. Some key elements being discussed include the number of teams and seeding structure.


"We have discussed tiebreakers for seeding as well as include 8 teams in the championship part of the bracket,” Thompson said.


Thompson also said these possible modifications will be discussed by the conference athletic directors during their monthly meetings.


According to Coach Haist, these possible changes will only bring more excitement for the tournament.


“We think that may help generate a bit more suspense for the tourney. Like anything new, we have to
work out some kinks, but overall, we are pleased with the concept and hope to see it become a bigger event in the future.”


For more local sports coverage, be sure to visit bigrapidsdailynews.com.

State House approves 2023-2024 budget

The Democratic-led Michigan House of Representatives has passed a new state budget, but some Republican members aren't very happy about it.

 

The fiscal 2023-24 budget includes the largest investment in education in Michigans history, making preschool accessible for every student, provides free breakfast and lunch for students and provides funding for tutoring. It also sets aside nearly half a billion dollars for investments in lead line remediation and water infrastructure upgrades.

 

However, while Democrats applaud the budget, the state GOP says they're out of touch. Representative Sarah Lightner, the ranking Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee, says in a statement that what Michiganders want are crumbling roads fixed, school safety improvements and access to affordable and reliable health care. She says she remains hopeful that bipartisan collaboration will result in a better budget that addresses the needs of the people.

Mary Pine Award nominations deadline approaching

The Mary Pine Award will be presented at the 34th Annual Senior Enrichment Day on Wednesday, June 28th at the Big Rapids High School.

 

The deadline for the award nominations is Friday, June 9th. The award is proudly sponsored by Corewell Health.


The award is designed to find and honor special citizens, age 55 and over, who use the gifts of a long and productive life to benefit Mecosta County in a positive manner. Special consideration will be given to those “unsung heroes” whose efforts and civic spirit may not ordinarily receive adequate recognition. The Awards Nominating Committee is looking for that unique person who acts behind the scenes or in a subtle way, avoiding publicity and notoriety.


The nomination form and registration information for the event may be found on the Senior Enrichment Day website: http://www.seniorenrichmentday.com. You may also pick up copies of the nomination form at the Mecosta County Senior Center.

 

For more information, please contact the Mecosta County Commission on Aging at 231-972-2884.

18th Police Memorial an opportunity to thank, honor, engage law enforcement personnel

An audience of 100-plus gathered on Ferris State University’s Dewaine V. and Jana B. Robinson Quad on Tuesday, May 10, for the 18th annual Police Memorial, hosted by Ferris’ Department of Public Safety.

 

Community members of all ages joined law enforcement personnel from the university, municipal, county and state levels in recognition of 2023’s National Police Week, continuing a tradition that began with a 1962 proclamation by President John Kennedy. By resolution, the U.S. Congress supported a Police Officer Memorial Day as a mid-May remembrance of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

 

Mecosta County Undersheriff Gary Green served as master of ceremonies in the collaborative event that featured a presentation of the colors by an honor guard, commemorative prayers and placing a ceremonial wreath. A unique addition to this year’s Police Memorial was a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flyover.

 

Ferris President Bill Pink offered remarks, noting that in 1995, he was a schoolteacher in Oklahoma City, on April 19, close enough to feel a rumble from the Murrah Federal Building and learned of the horrific loss of life in a domestic terrorist act.

“Our law enforcement community gives us the opportunity to run to safety while they run to the danger, putting their lives between you and me and each threat,” Pink said. “Do not forget those who sacrifice their lives so we can live free.”

 

The keynote speaker for the Police Memorial was Ibrahim Haroon, Ferris’ new Department of Public Safety director. He encouraged the audience to show feelings of thanks and respect to those in law enforcement.

“The next time you see a first responder, smile at them. Let them know you are supportive,” Haroon said. “It will go further than you will ever imagine. Trust me, I know from experience.”

 

Big Rapids City Manager Mark Gifford, a Ferris alumnus, regularly attends the Police Memorial.

“I am happy to support my staff each year, as they take part in and help to organize this event,” Gifford said. “We rely on these people 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they deserve our respect and gratitude.”

 

Big Rapids High School sophomore Gabriel Chapman, a member of Boy Scout Troop 114 in Big Rapids, was among the youngest of the participants in the memorial as he performed “Taps” near the program’s conclusion.

“I just feel it is important to pay our respects to all those who have given their lives in support of us,” Chapman said.

 

The Police Memorial also allowed attendees opportunities to engage the law enforcement officials on hand and offer their greetings and thanks.

Hundreds of people attend Green Township Board meeting for Gotion presentation

Hundreds of residents, local officials came out on Tuesday during the Green Township board meeting Tuesday night at the Paris Stone Hatchery. 

 

The main topic on everyone's mind was a $2.5 billion dollar battery components plant set for construction early in the fall. 

 

During the meeting, Gotion Vice President of North American Operations, Chuck Thelen addressed enviromental and safety concerns as well as accusations of Chinese Communist Party influence. 

 

“We’re not Chinese owned or controlled by a political party," said Thelen. "Our stock is traded amongst multinational owners of that stock.”

 

Thelen also addressed rumors going around the community regarding materials and chemicals used to make the battery components.

 

Thelen said Gotion will be using graphite, iron phosphate and lithium carbonate.

 

"The scares about lithium self-exploding in the trucks around our city and then the plant don't make sense," said Thelen. "Why would we invest $2.4 billion just to blow up the building. Makes no sense."

 

On Monday, Gotion safety officials met with local emergency personnel to present and discuss what chemicals and materials the battery components manufacturer would be transporting and using at the Green Township facility.

 

 

Research engineer, Martin Payne, Safety engineer Dr. Jennifer Hoffman and logistics expert Jason Cecil all from Gotions Independence, Ohio facility made presentations ranging from what the materials and chemicals are made of, the safety protocols in place if something were to happen and how Gotion would be transporting these materials.

 

The project is expected to hire over 2,300 employees over the next 10 years. 

 

(Residents waiting for Green Twp. Board meeting to start)

 

(More people filing in before meeting)

 

(Gotion VP of North America, Chuck Thelen addressing the board's questions and concerns during Gotion presentation)  

 

 

(Thelen answering a resident's question regarding the battery components plant)

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter: 5/1-5/7

Monday…5/1
Officers assisted sheriff deputies with a warrant attempt on a wanted felon at a residence. The wanted individual was not located.


The school liaison Officer, with the school administration, investigated a possible bullying case happening at school.


School Liaison Officer assisted school administration with a disorderly student while awaiting the arrival of the student’s probation officer.


An Officer received a call from a parent reporting a possible threat happening to his child at school. After investigating, no threat was found.


An Officer responded to a call from a man saying he was feeling suicidal, he was transported to hospital for evaluation.


Tuesday …5/2
An Officer responded to a 2-car accident. No injuries.


Officers assisted with traffic control for a funeral procession.


Officer was dispatched to a residence for a well-being check. Everything was ok.


An Officer took a report of a possible larceny. After investigating the larceny was unfounded.


Wednesday …5/3
An Officer responded to a call about a paring knife that was found on the property of Reed City schools. The knife was collected.


Officer conducted a well-being check on an individual with known mental health issues who had been making strange statements. The individual was found to be okay.


Thursday …5/4
The school liaison officer conducted a walk of the school grounds. The officer located an empty alcohol bottle and marijuana cigarettes stashed on the edge of the property.


The school liaison took a report of a possible assault witnessed by another individual. The alleged victim stated he and the offender were joking around with each other. No crime occurred and the matter of the horse play was addressed by school staff.


Officer stood by with Osceola County Deputies for officer safety while an arrest was made on a parole absconder.

 

Officers investigated a reported self caused injury at an assisted living facility as per state policy. The injury was found to be accidental. No crime occurred.


Officers took a report of a possible Criminal Sexual Conduct 2 nd Degree. The matter is under investigation.


Officers took a report of a loose dog that had torn into a trash bag. The owner took the dog and cleaned up the trash. A verbal warning was given.


Friday …5/5
Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department with a domestic assault.


Officers were dispatched to a report of shop lifting by a teen. She was issued a misdemeanor citation and her probation officer was notified.


Officers were dispatched to a noise complaint. Prior to arrival the noise had stopped, and its origin could not be located.


Officer served court appearance paperwork for Probate court.


Officers were dispatched to a noise complaint regarding boisterous conduct around a bonfire. A verbal warning was given to keep their voices down.


Saturday …5/6
Officers were dispatched to a structure fire in the 400 Block of S Chestnut St. The fire was mostly contained in the attic and at this time is not believed to be suspicious.


Officers conducted a traffic stop for no license plate. The 27-year-old male driver was issued a citation for not having proof of insurance and arrested on two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court.


Officers took a report from a woman who had obscenities shouted at her and her daughter while walking. The woman did not wish to pursue disorderly conduct charges on the alleged offender, her aunt.


Sunday …5/7
Officers issued abatement notices regarding trash being in violation of city ordinance at two residences.


Officers were requested to check the wellbeing of children by CPS. The children were checked on and found to be okay.

Gotion officials to address residents concerns during Green Twp. meeting

Gotion officials will make a presentation to address safety topics and enviomental concerns during the Green Township board meeting tonight.


Chuck Thelen, Vice President of Gotion North America says hopefully addressing and dispelling the rumors going around the community will start to move this project in a more positive direction.


"We will go over key points regarding safety and environmental concerns" Thelen said. 

"Green Township Supervisor Jim Chapman will show attendees different requirements the township needs from Gotion for information submissions, things of that nature." We will go over some of the more salacious rumors that people have been spreading, and understand those rumors were spread out of political science not physical science. which has nothing to do with reality."  "We just want transparency, so everyone knows what's happening." Thelen added.

 

The meeting will be held at the Fish Hatchery in Paris, it starts at 7pm.

BRHS Teacher wins Mecosta County Teacher of the Year award

Governor Whitmer has proclaimed this week as teacher appreciation week across the state.

 

Whitmer says teachers help Michigan children grow and become their best selves from pre-school all the way to high school.

 

On Monday, State House Representative Tom Kunse presented Big Rapids High School Social Studies teacher, Kristy Britton with an award as the Mecosta County Teacher of the Year.

 

(Photo courtesy of BRPS)

 

In a post on its Facebook page, BRPS congratulated Britton on winning the award: 

"In addition to her role as an educator, Kristy has gone above and beyond to volunteer in various extra-curricular activities at the school. She serves as the student council advisor, an assistant softball coach, and volunteers at various school events. In addition to these contributions, she is being honored for success in the most fundamental component of learning - motivating young people."

 

Nearly 1,600 graduate over the weekend at Ferris State

Energy and emotion levels were running high as Ferris State University concluded its 2022-23 academic year celebrating 1,500-plus graduates during five ceremonies on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, at Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids.


Ferris opened commencement activities with an afternoon ceremony on Friday, May 5, for Michigan College of Optometry and College of Health Professions graduates before evening festivities for the College of Pharmacy and Doctorate in Community College Leadership. Saturday, commencement finished with sessions for the College of Engineering Technology, in the morning; College of Business, in the early afternoon; and College of Arts, Sciences and Education later.


President Bill Pink, drawing from his college basketball playing career when he often competed as an undersized post player, encouraged graduates to think “big” and play “big” as many will leave Ferris and begin their professional careers.


“The speaker and writer Marianne Williamson said it best when she said, ‘Your playing small does not serve the world,’” said Pink, leading his first spring commencement, to the 1,400-plus students taking part in the weekend ceremonies. “If you play small, that doesn’t help us out. It doesn’t help a world that needs Ferris State grads to come in, make a difference, and, in effect, change the world. Your playing small does not help this world. You play big. You go out and make a difference in lives.”


Pink further urged Class of 2023 graduates to focus on what’s next in their lives while remembering Ferris will remain a home-away-from home.


“As the very founder of this great university, Woodbridge Ferris, and his wife, Helen, the way that they mapped out the university on the path to what we are today, over 135 years later,” Pink said. “Their whole goal, in providing education for everyone, the focus was simple: make the world a better place. That’s what Ferris State graduates do, and you do it because you play big. Don’t ever forget that. You come back and see us. You come back because you’re always a Bulldog. Bless you, and where you go from here.”


Graduates received their official welcome to the Ferris Alumni Association from Emily Coles, an alumna and president of the organization.


“It is my great honor to congratulate all of you for the first time as alumni of Ferris State University,” Coles said. “It’s been 15 years since I was sitting where you’re at today, and although it sounds like a cliché, it really does feel like it was just yesterday. I know you will face many new possibilities, opportunities and, yes, challenges. But you’re ready because you are a Bulldog. You are and always will be a Bulldog. That means we are depending on you to represent Ferris State University with pride, to use the knowledge and skillset you have acquired here to really make the world a better place.”


Beyond Big Rapids, Kendall College of Art and Design hosted its commencement ceremony on Saturday morning, May 6, at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. KCAD celebrated graduates from December 2022, Spring 2023 and Summer 2023.

Big Rapids to hold public hearing tonight on budget

The City of Big Rapids will hold a public hearing on its 2023-2024 fiscal year budget tonight at city hall as part of the city commission meeting.

 

During Study session, City Treasurer Carla Staffen will present the budget to the commission before the public hearing begins. Officials from the Big Rapids housing commission will also present its housing report, Community development director Michelle Stenger will present a master plan update.

 

During general business, commissioners will take action on a resolution declaring a charter revision and establishment of Charter Revision Commission. Commissioners will also award bid for the 2023 sidewalk improvement program.

 

The meeting begins tonight at 6:30pm.

 

FULL AGENDA SCROLL DOWN: 

 

AGENDA FOR REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COMMISSION
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 April 17, 2023.
6. SPECIAL ORDERS OF THE DAY - None
7. STUDY SESSION.
a. Housing Report – Mark Sochocki, Linda Miller – Housing Commission
b. Master Plan Update – Michelle Stenger, Director of Community Development
c. Ethic Policy Language – Commissioner Jennifer Cochran
d. 2023/2024 Budget Presentation – Carla Staffen, City Treasurer
8. PUBLIC COMMENT NOT RELATED TO ITEMS ON THE AGENDA.
9. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. Public Hearing on Fiscal Year 2023/2024 Budget.
10. GENERAL BUSINESS. (Regarding public comment, anyone may speak on an item of
general business. Please rise and wait to be recognized.)
a. Resolution Requesting for an Extension of Star Shooters as part of the Big Rapids
Alumni Reunion.
b. Resolution Declaring Charter Revision and Establishment of Charter Revision
Commission.
c. Public Works
i. Resolution Awarding Bid for the 2023 Sidewalk Improvement Program.

ii. Resolution Approving the Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) Third

Party Contract Addendum for Dial-A-Ride Employee Training.
d. Roben Hood Airport
i. Resolution Accepting Contract No. 2023-0307 with the Michigan Department
of Transportation for Continued Operation and Maintenance of a Weather
Observation and Data Dissemination System for Roben Hood Airport.
ii. Resolution Authorizing the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Agreement for

Roben Hood Airport.
e. Request that Legislature/Governor include Funding in the 2023 Budget for
Communities following Pension Best Practices Established by the State.
f. Resolution Adopting the amended City’s Paid Parental Leave Policy for the Full-
Time Non-Bargaining Unit.
*** g. Ordinance for Single Family Manufacturing Housing.
11. UNSCHEDULED BUSINESS – (Commission Concerns/Reports)
12. WORK SESSION – Social District – Mark Gifford, City Manager
13. ADJOURNMENT.
***Agenda items requiring a 4/5 Vote.

Sheriff's Corner: It's time to tackle the mental health problem in this country

The recent school shooting in Nashville have once again revived calls for
stricter gun control laws - increase the age to purchase; require background
checks; ban assault-style weapons and red flag laws. These senseless acts of
violence have also put a focus on mental illness in our society. Yes, someone
who resorts to these mass shootings and murder is clearly emotionally
unstable, but a study by the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit of sixty-three
active shooters found that only a quarter of those had a diagnosis of mental
illness. What other studies are showing and what we are finding are that
mass shooters are not acting on an impulse but have deep grievances and
anger that drive their actions.


The public tends to link serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia or
psychotic disorders, with violence and mass shootings, but serious mental
illness—specifically psychosis—is not a key factor in most mass shootings or
acts of deadly violence. Approximately 5% of mass shootings are related to
severe mental illness. And although a much larger number of mass
shootings (about 25%) are associated with non-psychotic psychiatric or
neurological illnesses, including depression, and an estimated 23% with
substance use. Studies have shown contribution of mental illness to mass
shootings has decreased over time, and that data suggests other risk
factors, such as a history of legal problems, challenges coping with severe
and acute life stressors, and the epidemic of the combination of emptiness,
anger, and a desire for notoriety among young men to be a bigger factor in
the mass shootings. 


A portion of our politicians have the unfortunate tendency to react to what is
most publicized in social media and to react to anecdotes, with much of it
being incorrect. As a result, we end up with policies politicians saying “we
did something” but, in fact, it is either not helpful or in some cases
counterproductive. 


In Michigan, specifically, we have not recovered since 1997, when then
Governor John Engler moved to close more than a dozen state psychiatric
hospitals. 30 years later, our local mental health services and hospitals
statewide are still struggling to keep up, with first responders and
communities feeling the effects. Our jails have become a dumping ground
for those suffering from mental illnesses.


As a society we need to see the public mental health system better funded
and more capable of intervening in providing crisis response. So, when
somebody feels depressed, enraged, insignificant, they have access to
counseling that may dissuade them from acting violently.

 

More money needs to be allocated so we can have more timely, more competent crisis response
services by the public mental health, as well as other first responder
systems. Locally, we received a grant to help train local first responders in
Mental Health First Aid, a skills-based training course that teaches attendees
about mental health and substance-use issues, to better aid them in the field
when someone they are dealing with is experiencing a mental health crisis or
beginning to experience signs and symptoms of a mental health challenge.


This will be helpful to provide some assistance or direction to someone who
may be suffering prior to them making the decision to resort to committing
mass homicide and ending their life. In these circumstances they are either
going to commit suicide or they are going to get the police to shoot them, or
they are going to go to prison or hospital for the rest of their life. They have
given up. Their life is over. We know a ton about suicide prevention and yet
the suicide rates in the United States have not gone down because we have
not made a good societal investment in suicide prevention and crisis
responding. It is particularly important and would make a dramatic
difference.


With all, there is a quick knee jerk reaction to restrict and change the gun
laws by a segment of our lawmakers. However, these same people continue
to linger and sit back on bettering the access to mental health services in
our country. Society needs to come together on this front to combat what is
the true epidemic we are facing, the mental wellbeing of our loved ones and
neighbors alike. Like everything, it all starts in the home.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In a recent statement by President
Joe Biden on this topic, he mentions isolation, sickness, grief, and job loss as
contributing factors on declining mental health as well as lack of access to
mental health services during challenging times. What is important to
remember is that these people are not alone. More important to me is the
fact that “talk is cheap.” Those in political positions need to come together
and address our growing mental health epidemic. Actions speak louder than
words.

Senior Enrichment Day is set for June 28th

The 34th Annual Senior Enrichment Day will be held on Wednesday, June 28th at the Big Rapids
High School.

 

The day begins with 8:00 a.m. registration and includes time slots for four seminars
and a luncheon with the event concluding at approximately 3:00 p.m.


The seminar series offered this year includes a choice of more than 40 diverse educational
sessions. Such options include fitness classes, floral arranging, painting, long-term care, and
financial planning options, help with Medicare, Veteran’s benefits, and more. The sessions are 45
minutes in length and are designed for seniors, their children, and caregivers.


During the luncheon, the Mary Pine Award winners will be announced. The Mary Pine Award is
given to honor special citizens, age 55 and over, who use the gifts of a long and productive life to
benefit Mecosta County in a positive manner.


Registration materials for the Senior Enrichment Day may be found at locations throughout the
county including the Mecosta County Senior Center, the Big Rapids Community Library, Lake
Osceola State Bank, the Morton Township Library, and many area churches. The materials may
also be found online at http://www.seniorenrichmentday.com.


For more information, please contact the Mecosta County Commission on Aging at 231-972-2884.

Police arrest woman who is accused of threatening officers with bat

Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies arrested a woman Wednesday after threatening officers with a bat.

 

According to the sheriff's office, it started around 9:45am when the woman was driving erratically and lost control and drove her vehicle on the grass and sidewalk, in front of the Mecosta County Jail. The woman then exited her vehicle and came inside the building yelling at staff.  She then went back out to her vehicle and grabbed a baseball bat, and was going to hit a deputy with the bat.  

 

She was arrested and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail for disorderly and assault.

Alpena Community College adds Reed City cross country standout

 

For Ty Kailing, the running journey isn’t quite ending just yet.


The Coyote senior signed his letter of intent Wednesday to attend Alpena Community College this next fall as a member of the cross country team.


When asked about what made him choose the Lumberjacks, he said it only took the initial visit to put
pen to paper.


“It sold me right away,” Kailing said. “(They) have a very competitive program and they are well
coached.”


This last fall, Kailing helped lead the Coyotes to their first ever team appearance in the cross country
state finals in almost 40 years. He also earned first team all-CSAA honors as well as a nod to the Pioneer Dream Team.


Alpena is coming off an 11 th place finish in the NJCAA Region XII & MCCAA Championships with a large number of returners and signees coming back for head coach Mark Jacobs next year.


“These guys came up to me on my visit and shook my hand,” Kailing said on the team interaction. “They told me about how they’re like a brotherhood and that’s what I want at the next level.”


Kailing also mentioned his senior year success and the high school team’s comradery contributed to his newfound happiness for running.


“Every single one (of my teammates) was at my signing. It shows how much support we have for each other, no matter if it’s a bad race. Coach Saladin puts us through some adversity to help bring us together and have fun.”


While his end goal is to become a lineman in the field, Kailing said he is still looking at options for majors in the upcoming fall.


For more local sports news, log on to BigRapidsDailyNews.com.

Gotion delays rezoning request in Green Township

Despite the state legislature giving approval for Gotion to build a battery plant near Big Rapids, Gotion is delaying its request for rezoning in Green Township.

 

This comes as there's been community concern over what they believe is a connection from Gotion's parent company to the Chinese communist party.

 

Gotion's vice president of North American Affairs, Check Thelen, says that Gotion Inc. is a subsidiary of its Chinese parent company and is independent from any communist influence.

 

In a press release, Thelen says the rezoning has been delayed to answer the community's questions.

 

"Temporarily delaying the rezoning application also gives us the time needed to continue to communicate with the local community and answer the many questions that have been raised. We're confident that when the facts are presented, we can effectively resolve these questions and show the tremendous benefit to the community." Thelen said. 

 

"This property, which is adjacent to the freeway, is currently zoned for agricultural use. Our long term goal is to get this particular property zoned industrial  like the rest of the land for the proposed project but it's not needed to get the construction phase started." Thelen added. 

 

The project is expected to hire 2,300 people over the next decade. 

 

 

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter: 4/24-4/30

Monday…4/24
The School Liaison Officer was asked to do a well-fare check on 2 middle school students that haven’t been in school for a while. After investigating, the students were ok.


School Liaison Officer took a report regarding an assault between 2 students.


Tuesday …4/25
School Liaison Officer responded to a report of found marijuana.


The School Liaison Officer responded to the High School to a report from a student about harassment happening. Still under investigation.


The School Liaison Officer took a report of a fight between two students.


Officer was dispatched to a residence for possible domestic violence. During the investigation, the female was transported to a safe location, while the male was taken to the hospital for mental health care.


Wednesday …4/26
Officer responded to a residence to assist a Sheriff Deputy for officer safety with a family dispute over the ownership of a vehicle.


Officer took a report from a parent regarding his son being assaulted by another student. The matter is under investigation.


Officers where dispatched to a residence in reference to a domestic argument. The officer stood by to keep the matter peaceful while one finished moving their belongings out.


Thursday …4/27
The School Liaison Officer responded in reference to a student assaulting another student at the elementary.


Parents were notified and an investigation was conducted by the school and school resource officer.
Appropriate action is being taken.


An Officer transported an individual needing treatment for mental health problems to Reed City Hospital.


An Officer was dispatched to a welfare check of a woman. The couple had history of domestic assault, after investigating, the woman was ok.


Friday …4/28
Officers were dispatched to the Middle School in reference to a student being disorderly and throwing rocks at staff. Upon arrival the student was calmer. Officers stood by until his mother arrived to pick him up.


Officer took a report from a resident that called the department to report some property stolen from their front porch.

 

Saturday …4/29
Officer arrested a 40 y/o male from Reed City for forcible Breaking and Entering into the Reed City High School during the early morning hour on Saturday, while school was not in session. The man was visibly intoxicated when arrested. It was discovered he had raided the refrigerator and then laid down and fell asleep prior to being found.


Sunday …4/30
Officers were dispatched to a noise complaint at an apartment complex. Upon arrival several intoxicated individuals were issued a warning. One 42-year-old man decided not to accept the verbal warning and was issued a misdemeanor citation for disturbing the peace.


While investigating another incident at an apartment complex, officers observed an 18-year-old male playing music at a significant volume and using a vape device. The male was issued a citation for being a minor in possession of a vape device and a citation for disturbing the peace. The male’s mother was also issued a citation for furnishing a vape device to a minor.


Officers transported an individual for mental health treatment at an out of town facility.

MDOT to begin road construction Monday on 30 miles of Mecosta County roads

 

The Michigan Department of Transportation is investing $3-million dollars into fixing and repairing 30 miles of roads in Mecosta County. 

 

Road work will begin Monday, May 8th on M-20 from Bronson Avenue in Big Rapids to Maple Street in Remus. Work will also be done on M-66 from 17 Mile Road to 19 Mile Road, and Old 131 from 19 Mile Road to Meceola Road. 

 

MDOT Officials want to remind drivers that there will be lane closures and traffic shifts in effect. Both directions of traffic will share one lane and alternate via traffic regulators. 

 

The project is expected to be completed by August.  

Great Lakes Energy 'People Fund' awards funds to local groups in Mecosta, Osceola and Lake Counties

Local groups in Mecosta, Osceola and Lake Counties are part of the first round of recipients to share $140,000 through the People Fund from Great Lakes Energy. 

 

Since its inception in 1999, the People Fund has awarded more than $4.3 million in grants.

 

“’Concern for Community’ is much more than one of the seven guiding principles we follow at Great Lakes Energy -- it’s a way of life,” Great Lakes Energy President/CEO Shaun Lamp said. “The People Fund provides us with a wonderful opportunity to partner with our members in support of the nonprofit organizations who are making a meaningful difference in the communities we serve.”

 

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

 

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

 

Grants are awarded twice each year by volunteer board members representing the cooperative’s north, central, and south regions.

 

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

 

Local first round recipients include: 

 

  • FiveCAP, Inc., Scottville: $2,000 for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Lake County.
  • Lake County Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, Baldwin: $1,993 for computer equipment and building a website.
  • Lake Fellowship Ministries, Baldwin: $2,000 to repurpose space in the River Community Center for a personal care center, contingent on raising the rest of the funding.
  • Lincoln Township Fire Department, Reed City: $5,895 for the Lincoln Township Lifepak AED Project, contingent on raising the rest of the funding.
  • Mid-Michigan Honor Flight, Inc., Mecosta: $1,250 for Veterans Honor Flights/Missions # 15, 16, and 17.
  • Pathfinder Community Library, Baldwin: $ 2,932.89 for STEM and Lego storage.
  • PoWeR! Book Bags, Suttons Bay: $2,500 for reading and enrichment bags for Lake County children.
  • Reed City Area District Library, Reed City: $2,500 for an outdoor equipment storage shed.
  • Reed City Police Department, Reed City: $2,368 for an MPH Sure Shot handheld lidar.
  • Riverton Firefighters Association, Scottville: $2,000 for (4) Battery powered portable LED scene lights.

The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is accepting applications from local non-profit organizations for the final 2023 grant cycle. The deadline for letters of intent is Oct. 1 with grant applications due by Oct. 15. Visit gtlakes.com/people-fund/ to learn more.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Blotter: 4/28-4/30

4/28

Calls for service 21

Car/deer accidents 1

Traffic accidents 1

 

4/29

At 9:33am, deputies responded to a disorderly complaint, at a business in Big rapids TWP. A female was walking around the business naked, and was being disorderly.  She was arrested for MDOP, indecent exposure, and MDOP.  She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

 

At  11:34pm, deputies made at traffic stop on 14 Mile/Northland Dr in Big Rapids TWP.  The stop resulted in female driver being arrested on a warrant.  She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

 

Calls for service 23

 

4/30

At 3:27pm,  deputies responded to a domestic  at a residence in Fork TWP.  A male subject was arrested for assaulting his son.  The male subject was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

 

At 3:20pm, deputies made a traffic stop in Wheatland TWP.  The traffic stop resulted in a female passenger being arrested on3 felony warrants.

 

Calls for service 8

Traffic accidents 1

Car/deer accidents 2

 

Two 1-vehicle crashes occur in Mecosta and Newaygo Counties over the weekend

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says alcohol and controled substances played a role in a one vehicle crash Sunday.

 

It happened on Jefferson Rd near 90th Ave.

 

Deputies say a 50-year old female driver from Lakeview was traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed before leaving the road and overturning.

 

The Lakeview woman was taken to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids for serious possibly life threatening injuries.

 

Meanwhile in Newaygo County, a 20-year old Kent City man is dead following a one vehicle crash.

 

It happened Saturday morning in Brooks Township on South Spruce Ave at East 96th St.

 

Deputies say a preliminary investigation revealed a vehicle heading southbound on Spruce lost control and crashed into the trees. The driver and lone occupant of the vehicle, a 20-year-old man, from Kent City was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The crash remains under investigation.

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Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Basketball (Boys)

12/4/23 - 7:00pm

Lakeview 48 @ Saranac 19

12/5/23 - 7:00pm

Big Rapids 58 @ GR Aviation Acad 48

   -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

Tri County 35 @ Greenville 77

Grant 57 @ Hart 54

Newaygo 48 @ Montague 68

Pine River 61@ Morley Stanwood 40

Evart 25 @ Reed City 66

Mason County Central 42 @ White Cloud 53

12/6/23 - 7:00pm

Chip Hills 46 @ Gladwin 78

12/8/23 - 7:30pm

Big Rapids @ Reed City

   -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

Central Montcalm @ Newaygo

Chip Hills @ Morley Stanwood

Grant @ Lakeview

White Cloud @ Tri County

Kent City @ Fruitport Calvary Christian

 

CSAA Basketball (Girls)

12/4/23 - 7:00pm

Reed City 27 @ Evart 47

Tri County 30 @ Lakeview 38

Grant 56 @ Ravenna 13

Farwell 37 @ Chip Hills 41

Mason County East 9 @ White Cloud 50

12/5/23 - 7:00pm

Cedar Springs 42 @ Big Rapids 30

Carson Ciy-Crystal 15 @ Central Montcalm 61

Greenville 60 @ Tri County 25

Pine River 29 @ Morley Stanwood 63

Montague 23 @ Newaygo 34

12/8/23 - 7:30pm

Big Rapids @ Reed City

Central Montcalm @ Newaygo

Chip Hills @ Morley Stanwood

Grant @ Lakeview

White Cloud @ Tri County

Kent City @ Kenowa Hills

 

Big Rapids Ice Hockey

12/2/23 - 2:00pm

Big Rapids 0 @ Plymouth 8

12/8/23 - 2:00pm

Grosse Ille @ Big Rapids

12/9/23 - 8:00pm

Big Rapids @ Gaylord

12/15/23 - 7:00pm

Jackson Lumen Christi @ Big Rapids

12/16/23 - 11:35am

Okemos @ Big Rapids

12/20/23 - 7:15pm

Big Rapids @ Midland Dow

12/22/23 - 5:00pm

Big Rapids @ Cheboygan

 

Big Rapids Bowling (Boys & Girls)

12/2/23 - 2:00pm

Boys - Big Rapids 22 @ Lakeview 8

Girls - Big Rapids 20 @ Lakeview 9

12/9/23 - 9:00am

Boys - Central Montcalm @ Big Rapids

Girls - Central Montcalm @ Big Rapids

12/16/23 - 9:00am

Boys - Big Rapids @ Kent City

Girls - Big Rapids @ Kent City

CSAA Basketball Standings

CSAA - Boys

  1. Big Rapids 2-1 (1-0)
  2. Grant 2-1 (1-0)
  3. Reed City 2-1 (1-0)
  4. Kent City 1-1 (1-0)
  5. Newaygo 2-2 (1-0)
  6. Tri County 1-3 (1-1)
  7. Central Montcalm 2-1 (0-1)
  8. White Cloud 2-1 (0-0)
  9. Lakeview 1-2 (0-2)
  10. Morley Stanwood 0-3 (0-1)
  11. Chip Hills 0-3 (0-1)

CSAA - Girls

  1. Lakeview 1-0 (1-0)
  2. Central Montcalm 1-0 (0-0)
  3. Grant 1-0 (0-0)
  4. Morley Stanwood 1-0 (0-0)
  5. Newaygo 1-0 (0-0)
  6. Chip Hills 1-0 (0-0)
  7. White Cloud 1-0 (0-0)
  8. Big Rapids 0-1 (0-0)
  9. Tri County 0-2 (0-1)
  10. Kent City 0-0 (0-0)
  11. Reed City 0-1 (0-0)

This Week's Poll

What place will the Lions finish in the NFC North?