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News That Affects You Archives for 2023-08

One suspect arrested in Campus Creek shooting; two suspects needing identification

One of the three shooting suspects involved in the off-campus shooting incident that occurred on
Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, at Campus Creek Apartments in Big Rapids has been identified and arrested.

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, Malik Dontae Taylor, of Norton Shores, was formally charged in 77th
District Court on the following charges:

COUNT 1: WEAPONS-FIREARMS-DISCHARGE IN OR AT A BUILDING
COUNT 2: WEAPONS FELONY FIREARM
COUNT 3: WEAPONS -FIREARMS-POSSESSION BY FELON
COUNT 4: WEAPONS FELONY FIREARM
COUNT 5: WEAPONS -AMMUNITION – POSSESSION BY FELON
COUNT 6: ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON (FELONIOUS ASSAULT)
COUNT 7: WEAPONS FELONY FIREARM

Taylor’s bond was set at $125,000.00. All suspects presumed innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.

 

*Image of the two unidentified suspects from the scene (Provided by Mecosta County Sheriff's Office)

 

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office is still seeking assistance from the public in trying to help in identifying the other 2 suspects involved in the incident. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office at 231-592-0150 or tips@mecostasheriff.org.

Ferris State Soccer opens home slate this week in Big Rapids

The Ferris State University women's soccer team, which is ranked sixth in the 2023 United Soccer Coaches Association Division II Preseason Poll, will open the season at home this week.

The Bulldogs will host Maryville (Mo.) in regional action on Thursday (Aug. 31) with match time set for 1 p.m. (ET) at the South Athletic Complex. FSU then hosts Northwood in another regional tilt on Sunday (Sept. 3) starting at 1 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids.

Ferris State will welcome nearly 200 youth on Thursday from Riverview Elementary for the season opener and celebrate last year's Midwest Regional Championship and run to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals with a special pregame ring ceremony.

Tickets for all Ferris State Soccer home contests can be purchased at the gate and are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 65+) along with FSU Faculty/Staff or $5 for students age 3-17. FSU students are admitted free with a valid student ID card.

The Bulldogs, who reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history a year ago, will embark on a challenging 18-game regular-season slate, which includes nine home contests at the Bulldog Soccer Field.

The Bulldogs will begin GLIAC play on the road at GVSU on Friday, Sept. 15, in Allendale. The first conference home tilt is against Northern Michigan on Sept. 22.

The Bulldogs won their first-ever NCAA Regional Championship this past year and earned a national quarterfinal win to move on to the NCAA D2 National Semifinals for the first time in the program's third national tournament appearance. FSU claimed four postseason victories along the way and went 11-3-5 in its final 19 games of the year.

US-196 enduring rescheduled lane and ramp closures for Thursday night

Lane and ramp closures for road and bridge work have officially been scheduled for this Thursday night between 8 P.M. and 6 A.M. on Friday morning.

 

*Construction map provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

 

The construction is taking place on westbound I-196 between College Ave. and Lane Ave. During this time, the ramps from northbound and southbound US-131 to westbound I-196 will be closed and the off ramp from westbound I-196 to Lane Ave. will also be closed. 

The work is weather dependent.

For up-to-date information on this project and others, go to the list of statewide lane closures at www.michigan.gov/drive.

Ferris State University student-athlete, second-generation Bulldog reflects on achievement, eyes bright future

Turning the clock back as far as Kaitlyn Fick’s memory stretches, Ferris State University has been a part of her life. 

A four-year varsity letter winner as a Bulldog softball catcher, Fick is the oldest daughter of a pair of 1998 Ferris State alumni. Jeremiah Fick graduated from the College of Engineering Technology, and Trisha Kamrowski Fick is an alumna of the College of Pharmacy.  

The love story between Jeremiah and Trisha started with a chance encounter in the former Vandercook Hall before Trisha helped get Jeremiah a job working in the Sports Information office. At the same time, Trisha worked with the Bulldog volleyball team. 
While Kaitlyn’s parents’ memories date back to the late 1990s, her memories are a tad fresher. 

“I remember I always had the Ferris hoodies and the sweatshirts,” Kaitlyn said, reflecting on the ice hockey team’s historic 2012 run to the national championship game.  

“I remember when the hockey team was doing well, and they were playing in the Frozen Four, I still remember watching them play. So, I was always familiar with the Ferris State University, and, yes, I wore the Bulldog merch.” 

But Kaitlyn Fick wasn’t necessarily destined to be a Bulldog. The Wixom native prepped at Walled Lake Central High School, where she was the 2019 Lakes Valley Conference Student-Athlete of the Year in the metropolitan Detroit area. 

“My parents didn’t try to sway me one way or another, but they were excited, and they had their merch ready when I announced that I was coming to Ferris,” she said. 

Fick is finishing up her studies in the School of Nursing in Ferris State’s College of Health Professions, striking a balance enduring the rigor of academic demands with those of being a college athlete. 

“Ferris’ softball team was one of only a few that worked with nursing students to help make their schedules work,” she said. “A lot of schools turn you away when they find out the tough academic schedule will conflict with their practice schedule. Ferris was one of the few that gave me a ‘yes’ on their willingness to work with me. Plus, Ferris was, of course, familiar to me. I knew some alumni, including obviously, my parents, and I didn’t think I could go anywhere else.” 

Thanks to her mom bringing daughter Kaitlyn to work in the pharmacy, the younger Fick was introduced to how a career in the medical field could look.  

“I remember career fairs in high school helped me to figure out what I wanted to do, that I wanted to pursue a career in nursing,” she said. “I realized there was a need for shortages, that I would always have a job with many options and career paths.” 

Not long into her Bulldog experience, Fick was sure she’d made the right decision and realized she inherited a support system that would help her through thick and thin. 

“I’ve always had a team around me, just built-in friends with travel ball and in high school that came from my playing sports,” she said. “Then, coming to college, I immediately had 25 best friends. That helped me ease into the college experience much easier than it would have if I had not had them with me. We went to Ferris football and hockey games together. We went to many activities together, which helped build a bond.” 

The pandemic changed everything.

“It hit toward the end of my first year. So, I was still working on my prerequisites. I wasn’t in the Nursing program yet. Some general education classes, like English and Communications, moved online. I had never taken online classes before. Changing to online was a little difficult. I adjusted to do well in my classes, but it was very different. Once COVID got a little more familiar, I chose online classes on purpose because I was used to it and had a few more options.” 

Her softball career also was put on hold.  

“We were in Florida for our spring break trip. Then, we got the call to fly home … we were putting on and tying our cleats, getting ready to step on the field,” she said. “We sat in the dugout, and all the seniors were crying … it was very difficult because nobody it was a thing or how it all would play out.” 

Fick bounced back, resuming her college softball career. Splitting catcher duties this season mostly with freshman Natalie Teague, Fick initially came to Ferris State as part of a large freshman group of which she, infielder Amara Zukowski and first baseman Evelyn Blood are the remaining members who made it all the way through.  

In addition, outfielders Kylie Winkels and Kaitlyn Orme, fifth-year players, joined transfer senior Kristie Gray as members of the 2023 seniors concluding their college softball careers at Ferris State.  

Kaitlyn has two younger sisters who are players, too. Middle sister Danielle played her freshman season at Notre Dame College in Ohio and had a strong rookie season. The youngest Fick, Jessica, was a Walled Lake Central High School sophomore. All three Fick sisters are catchers – among other positions they can play. 

“I don’t think we’ll ever not be a softball family,” Kaitlyn said.  

Hoping for a career in the Detroit area, Kaitlyn is wrapping up her Nursing program requirements on the Big Rapids campus during Summer 2023 – all while enjoying Detroit Tigers baseball and savoring the final weeks of her college undergraduate life. 

“I’m doing preceptorship in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) this summer. Eventually, I might want to end up in the ICU,” she said of a preceptor, an experienced and licensed clinician charged with supervising nursing students during their required clinical rotations. The preceptor helps the students transition classroom-learned theories into clinical practice. 

Kaitlyn’s softball career ended during the GLIAC Tournament in Rosemont, Ill., with a hard-fought 6-5 setback to Wisconsin-Parkside in an elimination game. 

“It didn’t really hit me until we got back to campus because we were at the GLIAC Tournament. Then, we drove home … It hadn’t hit me yet that I was going to be done playing,” she said. “But I think that I was all right because if I wanted to keep playing, I could have taken my fifth year I knew I was going to be all right not playing because I knew I would have the friends that I do and that I’ve made because of my softball experience at Ferris.” 

Fick's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (registered nurse) pinning ceremony, with the School of Nursing, took place on Aug. 12. 

Kent County & City of Grand Rapids receive $8.5 million in federal funds to address in-home lead hazards

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced last week it awarded Kent County and the City of Grand Rapids nearly $8.5 million to protect children and families from lead-based paint and other home health hazards.

Kent County received nearly $2.5 million from the Lead Hazard Reduction Capacity Building Grant and the City of Grand Rapids received $6 million from the Lead Hazard Control Demonstration Grant to identify and address lead-based paint hazards in homes. Additionally, the City received $600,000 from Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help with safety and non-lead health hazards.

“With over 50 percent of our homes constructed prior to the ban on lead paint, the health and safety of our community is a top priority,” said Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Stan Stek. “This grant will provide the necessary funds to ramp up our capacity and further tackle in-home lead hazards.”

The Kent County Health and Community Action departments will use the County funding over three years to develop a new lead program for communities located primarily outside of the City of Grand Rapids. This includes, but is not limited to, abatement activities, contractor development, and a countywide educational campaign. Additionally, this funding will be used alongside the $3.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated by the Kent County Board of Commissioners in December 2022.

This marks the nineth grant the City of Grand Rapids has received from HUD. Since the City’s program began in 2004, lead-based paint hazards have been addressed in more than 1,500 homes, 154 people have been certified as lead abatement professionals, and 3,400 residents, property owners and contractors have been trained in lead-safe cleaning and work practices.

“We have operated a successful program for nearly 20 years, but there is still much work to do,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “We are thrilled to receive another round of funding to protect children’s health and preserve housing affordability in Grand Rapids.” 

Over four years, the City of Grand Rapids funds will address lead-based paint hazards in 180 homes, assist 40 individuals or businesses in obtaining lead abatement supervisor certifications, and train 600 rental property owners, contractors, and others in lead-safe work practices.

“Lead abatement is a new service for Kent County but very necessary to ensure that every child has the opportunity to live in a healthy and thriving environment,” concluded Stek. “Our staff is excited to strengthen our partnership with the City and community organizations in addressing lead hazards and making a real impact in our community."

AAA urges drivers to stay alert as students return to school

Michigan roads are about to get more crowded - and hazardous – as 1.4 million students return to school. This time of year is particularly dangerous due to the combination of young inexperienced drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who will all share the road in the early morning and afternoon hours.

“Drivers should have a heightened sense of awareness from the moment they leave the driveway,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Expect more foot traffic in neighborhoods and along city streets. Since children can move quickly and cross the road unexpectedly, it’s important to constantly scan the road for people while driving and be ready to stop at a moment’s notice. You can reduce risk of injury by slowing down and avoiding distractions like using your cell phone or eating while driving.”

new AAA survey reveals that many drivers admit to risky behaviors like speeding and using their handheld mobile phone while driving through a school zone.

According to a new survey of Michigan drivers:

  • 44% admitted to speeding in an active school zone.
  • 29% admitted to using their hand-held cell phone while driving in active school zones.

“When driving through a school zone, it’s extremely important that you lower your speed and raise your awareness to ensure you can respond to any potential hazards on the roadway,” Woodland continued.

 

Top Safety Tips for Drivers

AAA – The Auto Club Group, through its School’s Open Drive Carefully campaign reminds motorists to:

  • Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
  • Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
  • Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
  • Share the road with bicyclists. Children on bicycles are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist.
  • Talk to your teen. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occurs during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.

Top AAA Safety Tips for Students

For Pedestrians

  • Pay attention at all times. Avoid texting or wearing headphones, so you can detect nearby traffic.  
  • Use sidewalks where available. If not, walk against the direction of traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles.
  • Make yourself easier to be seen by wearing reflective, bright colored clothing.

For Bicyclists

  • Wear a helmet and neon or bright colored clothes.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible. Use bike lanes when you can.
  • Do not wear headphones so you can detect approaching traffic.
  • Cross the street at intersections. Do not pull into the roadway from between parked cars.

For Students at the Bus Stop

  • Arrive at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Stay five steps away from the curb.
  • Be alert and remove headphones so you can hear oncoming traffic.
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the bus driver signals for you to board.

School Bus Traffic Laws Explained

Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended. The only exception is on a divided highway with a raised divider. Here is an explanation of the laws:

  • Two Lane Street – All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying overhead flashing red lights and a stop arm extended, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children, the overhead red lights are turned off AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
  • Multi-Lane Paved Median – All drivers approaching in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying overhead flashing red lights and a stop arm extended, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children, the overhead red lights are turned off AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
  • Divided Highway – Traffic approaching an oncoming school bus does not need to stop if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus. 

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (8/21 - 8/27)

Monday, August 21

  • An officer was contacted by a resident making a complaint about his neighbor’s pet coming into his property.
  • An officer received a call from a city resident regarding an unstable building/abandon house. After investigation, the house is in violation of the city’s Nuisance Ordinance for dangerous building.

Tuesday, August 22

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, August 23

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, August 24

  • An officer responded to a call of someone reporting some stolen property involving juveniles. Suspects have been identified and property recovered. The matter has been turned over to the prosecutor for review.
  • An officer took a report of disorderly conduct regarding an individual tampering with security cameras. The matter is under investigation.
  • An officer responded to a call from a city resident requesting extra patrol around the area, due to kids lighting off firecrackers and some other suspicious activities happening around.

Friday, August 25

  • An officer took a report of a scam. The scammer claims to be from Publishers Clearing House and tells the person they won a car and money. The matter is under investigation.
  • Officers were dispatched to an unknown dispute with a report of the involved threatening to shoot each other. The matter was found to be a verbal dispute between a couple and they denied any threats to shoot anyone.
  • Officers were dispatched to assist with a man who was intoxicated and having mental health problems. The man was combative and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
  • Officers made contact with a juvenile riding a dirt bike in the city limits. City ordinance prohibits operation and in addition the juvenile was not old enough to ride without a parent. His parents were notified.
  • Officers responded to a dispute over child custody. Both parties were advised on how to properly proceed.

Saturday, August 26

  • Officers were dispatched to a domestic assault. The male half had left prior to officers’ arrival. The matter has been turned over to the prosecutor for charges.

  • An officer on patrol observed individuals who did not appear to be old enough to be out after curfew. The officer checked their identifications and they were found to be old enough.

  • Officers responded to an ongoing neighbor dispute at an apartment complex. No crime had occurred.

Sunday, August 27

  • An officer performed a wellbeing check on an individual. All was found to be okay.

Ferris State Volleyball to host annual home invitational this weekend

The Ferris State University volleyball squad will open its 2023 campaign by hosting its own home invitational this Friday thru Saturday, Sept. 1-2, in Big Rapids.

The 2023 Ferris State Invitational will be held with matches on Friday and Saturday at both the new Bulldog Arena along with Jim Wink Arena on the FSU campus.

This season, the tournament field is comprised of seven teams from six different states - Adelphi (N.Y.), Malone (Ohio), Thomas More (Kentucky), Indianapolis, Minneosta Duluth, Wayne State and host Ferris State.

A total of 14 matches involving the seven teams will take place on the two courts over the two-day span.

The two-day tourney will begin with the day one slate on Friday, Sept. 1, starting at 9:30 a.m. (ET) with matches running throughout the day until the 6 p.m. (ET) finale. The final day of the tourney takes place on Saturday, Sept. 2, with another seven matches on the docket. Match times for Saturday begin at 9 a.m. (ET) with the last match of the event starting at 5 p.m. (ET).

Ferris State is scheduled to play a total of four contests, starting with its 2023 season opener versus Thomas More on Friday at 11 a.m. (ET) inside the new Bulldog Arena. On Friday, FSU also faces preseason nationally top-10 ranked Minnesota Duluth starting at 5 p.m. (ET). In Saturday's final day of action, FSU takes on Adelphi beginning at 12 p.m. (ET) followed by the final contest versus Indianapolis at 5 p.m. (ET).

Ticket prices for the 2023 Ferris State Invitational are $15 for an all-tournament pass (includes all matches) or $10 for adults per day in addition to $5 for students in grades K-12. Ferris State students with valid ID and children under the age of five will be admitted free of charge. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

The Bulldog Volleyball squad won both the GLIAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships while making a trip to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen and the Midwest Regional Championship match a year ago. FSU closed the year with a 26-10 overall record and went 16-2 in GLIAC regular-season play.

This fall will represent the 51st season for Ferris State Volleyball and FSU has won at least 20 matches in a campaign 20 times in 27 seasons under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs also made their 25th consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance last fall and has made 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths to date while advancing to the regional semifinals or beyond 10 of the last 11 years.

Otsego County man wins $105,000 Fantasy 5 Jackpot from the Michigan Lottery

n Otsego County man topped off the luckiest day of his life by winning a $105,000 Fantasy 5 jackpot from the Michigan Lottery.

Greg Osantowski, of Gaylord, matched the winning Fantasy 5 numbers on Aug. 8 – 03-10-28-35-39 – to win the big prize. He bought his winning ticket at Upper Lakes Tire, located at 1260 West Main Street in Gaylord.

“I was feeling pretty lucky after winning $250 playing instant games, so when I went to cash those in, I bought a Fantasy 5 ticket,” said Osantowski. “The next morning, I sat down to check my tickets and like I always do, I covered the winning numbers and then revealed them one-by-one.

“After I matched three, I was pretty happy. Then, I matched the fourth and thought: ‘Wow! I really have a shot to win this thing!’ I slowly uncovered the fifth number and when I saw the three, my heart started jumping. When I saw I had matched the number 39, I about fell off the couch!”

Osantowksi, 60, recently visited Lottery headquarters to claim the big prize. With his winnings he plans to build a pole barn and then save the remainder. 

“Winning is a real gift. We’d been trying to figure out how to pay for a new pole barn and then I won this prize. It really was the luckiest day of my life!” Osantowski said. 

Each Fantasy 5 play is only $1. For an additional $1 per play, EZmatch may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a chance to win up to $500 instantly. For an additional $1 per play, Double Play may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a second chance to win up to $110,000 in the nightly Double Play drawing. Fantasy 5 players select five numbers from one to 39. Players who match all five Fantasy 5 numbers drawn win a jackpot that starts at $100,000. Fantasy 5 drawings are held seven days a week at 7:29 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at a retailer or online at MichiganLottery.com until 7:08 p.m. on the day of the drawing.

USDA commemorates groundbreaking for Isabella County's new public safety facility

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins last Wednesday joined Isabella County community leaders in celebrating a ground-breaking ceremony for its new public safety facility.

“Many rural communities are burdened with outdated buildings and ageing civic infrastructure,” said Fewins.  “This investment demonstrates how USDA can work with our partners to create new, modern facilities, increasing accessibility and public safety.”

USDA Rural Development provided a $41.5 million loan to Isabella County to construct a public safety and correctional facility. The project will replace an undersized structure that was originally built in 1959. The completed facility will contain 187 cells and increase inmate visibility and security throughout the facility to meet regulatory standards. The facility is located in Union Charter Township.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Ferris State among the first Michigan state universities to pilot a pet-friendly residence hall

Ferris State University leaders are trying a new tool to help students struggling with anxiety and homesickness: their pets.

Ferris State is piloting Michigan’s first pet-friendly residence hall floor. Students are allowed to bring dogs, cats, and other pets to live with them on the second floor of Cramer Hall starting this week, when they return for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Many colleges let students have aquariums in their dorm rooms and have processes to allow emotional support and service animals. Others partner with local agencies to bring puppies to campus for a few hours to help students relax during stressful times, like final exams.

But Lisa Ortiz, Ferris State’s director of Housing and Residential Life, said her aim is to provide creature comforts all year through an open invitation for dogs, cats, and other furry friends.

“We know many students struggle with depression, anxiety and homesickness when they start college, and sometimes the answer is to bring a little bit of home with them,” she said. “Students may really miss that dog they’ve had since they were a little kid, or that cat they got when they were 12 years old.”

Studies show there are both physical and mental wellness benefits for students living with a pet. Aside from companionship, dogs motivate students to get outside and take walks and interact with their community.

Ortiz said students will pay a $250 fee and must follow rules about keeping the pets under control and cleaning up their messes.

Students also must have had a relationship with the pet for at least six months prior to the start of the semester and must provide veterinary records to show the pets have been spayed or neutered and have the necessary shots.

Ortiz said there has been much interest in the pilot program. The floor is full, and 30 pets are expected to live with student Bulldogs. Cramer Hall rooms are configured in suites where two bedrooms share a bathroom and common room.

Students must follow local laws about leashes and keep their pets under their control when taking them outside the residence hall. An expansion of the program, dog park and other amenities could be added down the line should things go well, Ortiz said.

Residence halls at Ferris State and across the country are adding features like lounges and kitchen areas to make them homier for students living on campus. But studies indicate cuddling puppy can have a big and positive impact on student wellbeing, too.

2021 Tarleton State University study published by the Georgia Journal of College Student Affairs indicated pet ownership can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Students who have pets with them during the school year report decreased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and stress, as well as increased fitness levels.

Ferris State fall semester classes started on Aug. 28. Additional information about campus housing is available here. 

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekend Blotter (8/25 - 8/27)

Friday, August 25

  • At 1437 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP. A male driver was arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 13

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, August 26

  • At 2305 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 15

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Sunday, August 27

  • At 1159 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Wheatland TWP. The traffic stop resulted in female driver being arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 1908 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Millbrook TWP. A male subject was arrested on 6 warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 8

Top-ranked Ferris State football kicks off 2023 season at home on Thursday night

The Ferris State University football squad hosts the Mercyhurst Lakers this Thursday (Aug. 31) in the 2023 season opener under the lights at FSU's Top Taggart Field.

The two-time defending national champion Bulldogs, who are the nation's preseason #1 team, will kickoff the campaign on their home field with game time set for 8 P.M. (ET).

This Thursday will represent "Community Night" and take place as part of FSU's annual Founders Day celebration.

Tickets for Thursday's game can be bought online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets and fans are encouraged to purchase their digital tickets in advance to avoid the gameday lines. The Wheeler Pavilion Gameday Ticket Office will also open on Thursday starting at 6 P.M. (ET). For more information on ticket sales, please call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Football tickets for Thursday's game are $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens (ages 65+) and FSU faculty/staff along with $10 for students age 5-17. Ferris students with ID will be admitted free by showing their student identification cards.

As part of Community Night, Ferris State will offer a $5 discount on all tickets on game night to fans who present a ticket stub or program from the Big Rapids High School contest versus Newaygo, which kicks off at 6 p.m. (ET) at Cardinal Stadium. The ticket discount can be redeemed in person upon arrival at the Wheeler Pavilion Ticket Office at Top Taggart Field.

Tailgating will be permitted on Thursday starting at 5 P.M. (ET) with the gates to the stadium opening 90 minutes prior to kickoff at6:30 p.m. (ET). All tailgating must end 15 minutes before kickoff.

Parking in lots near Top Taggart Field is $10 per car or $30 per oversized vehicle (bus, motor coach, motor home, trailer, etc.) on a first-come, first-served basis. As a convenience to fans, credit cards will also be accepted at the ticket window along with the concession stand.

The FSU-Mercyhurst football game will be broadcast live locally by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. The Bulldog Tailgate Show starts at 6 P.M. (ET) with the Johnson Automotive Pregame Show from inside the stadium beginning at 7 P.M. The contest will also be televised on FloSports and FloFootball with video coverage provided by Ferris State Television.

For more information on the contest, please visit the Gameday Information page at this link: Gameday Information

Ferris State is ready to serve students in various ways as the 2023-24 academic year officially begins when classes start on Aug. 28

It is “get ready time” for Ferris State University students with the 2023-2024 academic year beginning on Monday, Aug. 28. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof said her best advice for students is to get engaged on campus, try new things and ask for help when needed.

“One area we want to emphasize as students prepare for the Fall 2023 semester is to discover and understand our You@Ferris portal that is available to them,” Ward-Roof said. “The Personal Counseling Center, Birkam Health Center and University Recreation have collaborated to present this portal to help students consider their health in all possible aspects and assist their focus on learning.” 

Ward-Roof added the Birkam Health Center is a ready resource for primary care services and acute care for all Ferris students and their dependents. She further noted that the Healthy Dog Student Patient Portal is available to gain an appointment convenient to their class schedule. 

Lina Blair, Ferris’ new dean of Student Life, said they will be sure to greet students at the start-of-year organizational events for the Office of Multicultural Student Services, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center and the Center for Latin@ Studies, along with other programs. 

“It is important to continue the traditions of our welcome events so students can find a place where they belong, and it can be as simple as meeting someone new, or attending Rec Fest Monday, Aug. 28,” Blair said. “That is a great way to learn about a club or other activity they would enjoy.” 

Blair is thankful for committees supporting the Bulldog Beginnings schedule and other activities offered throughout the year, whether they come from Entertainment Unlimited, the Residence Hall Association or another campus sponsor. 

“Our Career and Professional Success program has First-Year Peer Engagement Coaches, who are ready to connect with new students, giving them a sense of place,” Blair said. “We want students at any point in their academic journey to understand they are welcome, wanted and important to our campus community.” 

Facilities modernized during the summer include The Rock Café, where a new allergen-free serving station is in place as part of its first significant upgrade since opening in 2009. Housing and Residence Life Director Lisa Ortiz said Miller Hall renovations were part of a $3.6 million appropriation by Ferris’ board of trustees, done this summer in concert The Rock Café upgrades. 

“Common spaces that students enjoy in North Hall and other facilities are now available in Miller Hall, such as a group kitchen and dining area, study rooms and open spaces,” Ortiz said. “They will also serve as a place for our students to simply hang out with other residents.” 

Karen Simmon is a project manager with Facilities Management in Ferris’ Administration and Finance organization. Simmon said planning for this summer’s facility improvements began in August 2022. 

“The lounge in Miller’s lower level and the first-floor lounge are those areas being retrofitted for new amenities,” Simmon said. “This work was designed to support our student residents’ health, safety and enjoyment.” 

Ward-Roof said the Merrill/Travis lounge is freshly painted. She added that a movie theatre and mini-golf course have gone into the basement of Ward Hall and hammock parks are now in place across campus. 

A first-week highlight for the entire Ferris community is Founders’ Day, offered to commemorate the lives and efforts of Woodbridge N. Ferris and Helen Gillespie Ferris on Thursday, Aug. 31.  

This year’s Founders’ Day includes the ribbon cutting for the $32 million Center for Virtual Learning, an exciting new hub for the Ferris State’s learning metaverse. Students and guests can enjoy activities such as a zip line on the north edge of the Robinson Quad, musical performers on a nearby stage and an ice cream social that afternoon. 

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (8/21 - 8/24)

Monday, August 21

Calls for Service: 19

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, August 22

Calls for Service: 14

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, August 23

Calls for Service: 15

 

Thursday, August 24

  • Nothing reported.

Limited tickets remain for Wednesday's Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet

Limited tickets remain for the Ferris State University Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 30, on the FSU campus.

Seven former standout student-athletes representing six different sports programs comprise the star-studded Ferris State University Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame Class, which was originally voted in back in 2020 before COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the event.

The 2023 class, which will represent the school's 13th class of inductees, includes: Jeff Blashill (Hockey, 1994-98), Lucy (DeMartin) Prior (Women's Basketball, 2000-04), Dannie Hayes (Men's Basketball, 1991-95), Tianna Kirkland (Women's Basketball/Track & Field, 1997-01), Brad Morris (Wrestling, 1985-89), Jason Vander Laan (Football, 2012-15) and the late Gideon Smith (Football, 1910-11), who is likely to be represented by his grandson John Belcher.

The Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee also selected longtime supporter and former administrator Carma Burcham as a recipient of the Athletics Special Service Award.

The Hall of Fame banquet will take place on Aug. 30 at the David L. Eisler Center ballroom on the Ferris State campus beginning with a reception at 5 p.m. (ET) followed by a welcome and dinner starting at 6 p.m. (ET). The program and induction ceremony will follow at approximately 7 p.m. (ET).

Tickets for the event are $75 per person and can be purchased online while availability remains at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets. For additional information, please contact Coordinator of Revenue Generation & Advancement Cedric Frierson via email at CedricFrierson@ferris.edu.

"We look forward to what should be an exceptional event honoring these standout former student-athletes," said FSU Athletics Director Steve Brockelbank. "This class of individuals is an outstanding group that deserves this recognition and the opportunity to be showcased in front of family, friends, former teammates and supporters. We hope to have a big turnout on this special night for this Hall of Fame ceremony."

Together, the class includes four individuals who earned All-America honors at FSU, including Prior, Kirkland, Vander Laan and Morris along with one of the top men's basketball scorers in school history in Hayes, a former head coach of the Detroit Red Wings and current Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach in Blashill, a two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner as the nation's top football standout in Vander Laan along with Smith, who was an early college football pioneer as one of the school's first African-American players and is currently on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame.

A 13-member Selection Committee comprised of faculty, staff, alumni and community members selected the 2020 inductees back in 2020 from a large group of initial nominees. The seven individuals will become the newest members of a current Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame member group that presently includes 108 previous inductees along with one team. Vander Laan, who also played in the National Football League (NFL) and regarded as one of the top players in Division II football history, was chosen in the selection process after the mandatory 10-year waiting period was waived, becoming the first recipient ever chosen by FSU for early induction.

This year's Hall of Fame event will take place the night prior to the Bulldogs' 2023 football home opener against Mercyhurst, which takes place on Thursday, Aug. 31, at Top Taggart Field. The Hall of Fame inductees will also be recognized during the contest.

The Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame, which inducted its Charter Class in 2000, was established to honor those student-athletes and coaches who have distinguished themselves in their sport or honorary members who made truly exceptional contributions to athletics.

Those who are inducted must first meet the following nomination criteria - Nominees must be departed from Ferris State University for at least 10 years; Nominees must have earned at least one varsity letter and must have distinguished themselves by exemplary performance in the field of athletics; Secondary consideration is given for the performance of meritorious service in behalf of Ferris State Athletics after leaving FSU, or a singular contribution to FSU's Athletics program, and Nominees must have demonstrated good citizenship and conducted exemplary professional/occupational careers which reflect credit on the individual and Ferris State University.

Reed City Cross Country makes noise in night race debut

Reed City Cross Country came into this season ranked as the sixth best boys team in all of Division 3. In their first big meet against top tier competition, the Coyotes stormed into the spotlight with a massive win. 

Last Saturday, Reed City participated in the annual "Under the Lights Invite" at Grand Rapids South Christian High School. This unique event is held on a course during night time hours with temporary lighting throughout the race. The Coyotes competed in the Starlight Division with the girls running at 10:20 P.M. and the boys starting at 10:55 P.M.

"Overall, this was a fun meet with great competition," Head coach Rich Saladin said. "Running under the lights was a thrill for the kids and the coaches and parents enjoyed it too."

The Coyote boys went up against two of the top teams in Division 3 including last year's Division 4 champion Wyoming Potter's House and Grand Rapids Covenant Christian and came out as champions in the Starlight Small Schools Division. Gus Rohde finished tops for Reed City at 3rd overall with a 16:37, followed by Anthony Kiaunis in 5th at 16:54 and Ryan Allen in 6th at 16:55. Isaac Clementshaw (18:21) and Paul Saladin (18:42) finished out the scoring for the Coyotes. Twin brothers Elijah and Izaiah Lentz finished with the exact same time at 19:29 and rounded out the top 7 for the Coyotes. Allen and Saladin were noted to have set personal bests.

"Our top 3 will compete with any team in the state," Saladin said. "They set the standard and then we push our 4 and 5 to get up to the front.  It worked today and I'm extremely proud of this effort. We beat two really good teams and showed that we can contend for a state title in November. It's early but we'll keep improving, keep raising the bar, and keep rising up to meet the challenge."

The Coyote girls finished 6th in the Starlight Small School Division.  Carly Carlson (23:59), Clara Smoes (24:03), and Caelynn London (24:29) led the way followed by a tight pack that finished in a photo finish of Taytum Sanford at 25:24.7, Hallee Hervey at 25:24.8, and Marlow Walcott at 25:25.3.

"There was some tremendous competition in our division," Saladin said. "Our girls competed and worked hard to push each other. They also had fun wearing the glow paint and glow bracelets. It was a great run for them."

Reed City competes next on Friday, Sep. 1 at the Oiler Invite in Mt. Pleasant.

Over 40 shots fired at off-campus college housing complex in Big Rapids TWP

On Saturday, August 26, 2023, at approximately 3:19 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of shots fires at an off-campus college apartment complex, located in Big Rapids Township. Deputies responded to the scene where they located a large shooting scene.

The incident took place in the parking lot where deputies located a reported 40 or more shell casings from multiple caliber handguns. Deputies also located multiple cars damaged and bullet strikes to several apartments. It was reported that several hundred people were outside in the parking lot at the time of the shooting.

While investigating the scene, deputies were alerted that a 21-year-old female was shot in the leg and was now inside an apartment. Responding Officers were able to secure the scene and Mecosta County EMS then treated and transported the victim to Corewell Health – Big Rapids Emergency Department for treatment. The victim was treated and later released with non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies were assisted on scene by Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, Ferris State University
Police, Mecosta County EMS, and Meceola Central Dispatch. The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the
public’s assistance with any information that they may have regarding the identity of the suspected
shooter(s). It was reported that there were at least 3 shooters. Anyone with information can contact the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office at 231-592-0150 or tips@mecostasheriff.org.

Bulldog Soccer picked second in 2023 GLIAC preseason coaches poll

The Ferris State University women's soccer team has been chosen to finish second in the 2023 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Preseason Coaches Poll announced on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs notched 42 points and tallied a first-place vote in being tabbed behind preseason favorite Grand Valley State, which totaled 48 points and six top mentions. Northern Michigan placed third among the eight conference schools with 39 points and the lone remaining top vote.

Ferris State, which reached the NCAA Division II Final Four for the first time in school history last season, returns a strong nucleus for the 2023 campaign under head coach Greg Henson.

The Bulldogs have earned recognition as one of the country's top teams heading into the fall 2023 campaign as FSU was listed sixth in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason National Rankings. Ferris State was one of only two GLIAC member schools found in the national preseason top 25 along with rival Grand Valley State, which came in eighth.

The Bulldogs, who reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history a year ago, will embark on a challenging 18-game regular-season slate, which includes nine home contests at the Bulldog Soccer Field.

Ferris State will open its regular-season action at home on Thursday, Aug. 31, against Maryville (Mo.) in regional play starting at 1 p.m. (ET). FSU will host another regional opponent and former conference member in Northwood on Sunday, Sept. 3, as part of the opening weekend homestand. The Bulldogs will honor last year's Midwest Regional Championship squad as part of the contest.

The Bulldogs will begin GLIAC play on the road at GVSU on Friday, Sept. 15, in Allendale. The first conference home tilt is against Northern Michigan on Sept. 22.

The Bulldogs won their first-ever NCAA Regional Championship this past year and earned a national quarterfinal win to move on to the NCAA D2 National Semifinals for the first time in the program's third national tournament appearance. FSU claimed four postseason victories along the way and went 11-3-5 in its final 19 games of the year.

Night of music, dueling pianos in Big Rapids to raise funds in fight against child abuse in Mecosta, Osceola, Newaygo, Lake counties

Open Arms Child Advocacy Center is inviting the public to have fun, enjoy terrific music and help fight child abuse and neglect at a dueling pianos fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 9. The event is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Big Rapids Eagles #2535, 18361 16 Mile Road Big Rapids, MI 49307.

“Open Arms Child Advocacy Center is thrilled to invite everyone in our community to show their support in the fight against child abuse and neglect,” said OACAC Executive Director Laura Britting. “OACAC’s fundraising event promises to be a fun-filled and music-filled evening for everyone. And just as important, the funds we raise can help us provide essential support for the children and families we serve so they can begin the journey toward hope and healing.”

OACAC is a nonprofit that provides forensic, medical and other services to victims of child abuse and neglect in Lake, Newaygo, Osceola and Mecosta counties. OACAC located to a new facility in Big Rapids over the summer, recently opening its doors at 621 N. State in Big Rapids. The Big Rapids location is aligned with requirements for OACAC to meet accreditation and certification. OACAC relies on donations for 100% of all operations and programming.

As of July, OACAC has conducted 131 interviews across our four-county service area in 2023 and is on pace to pass the number of interviews conducted in 2022.

Ferris State move-in days begin; fresh faces start college experience as campus residents

Malaya Thompson is ready to experience a new world as a Ferris State University freshman.

Thompson was among the first students to complete the check-in process at Wink Arena on Thursday, Aug. 24, before heading to her new campus home in North Hall. About 3,000 students will be calling the Big Rapids campus home this fall, greeted by volunteers ready to help them move boxes from vehicles to residence halls, apartments, and suites.  

The freshman from Grand Rapids plans to study Forensic Psychology. Thompson said she is experiencing something new by beginning her Ferris experience. 

“I do not know too many people here. My roommate and I met through an app,” Thompson said. “She reached out, and we have the same interests, so we have shared those and are getting ready for our time on campus.” 

Thompson and her mother were preparing to cross the campus and to begin moving items into her room, preparing for her first time living away from home. 

“I know Ferris is not far from Grand Rapids, but I am looking forward to being on my own and starting my college experience,” Thompson said. 

Director of Housing and Residential Life Lisa Ortiz was on one of her first circuits of facilities welcoming students in the morning session, driving a cart to check in with volunteers, Department of Public Safety cadets and families unloading their vehicles in campus parking lots.

“We have had around 500 students already on campus for more than a week, with athletic teams preparing for their season, our Residence Hall Association staff and others,” Ortiz said. “Thursday will bring approximately 1,000 students and their families here to complete their move-in process, and Friday will be the busiest day of this schedule.”

Bulldogs-in-Action volunteers were active across campus, using golf carts designed to take sizable loads of furnishings, study equipment and many other items from parking areas to the doors of residential facilities.

Jennie Stange, a student activities specialist in the Center for Student Involvement, was at the wheel of a cart near West Commons, bringing items from the parking area to West Campus locations.

“I have been involved with Bulldogs-in-Action each year as I very much enjoy engaging with the students and parents,” Stange said. “It is an important outreach program, whether students are brand new to Ferris or returning to campus. We certainly make their move-in work easier. It makes a good first impression and people love it.”

Ferris State’s Fall 2023 semester classes start on Monday, Aug. 28. 

Big Rapids Drops Football Opener at Paw Paw: 34-13

The score didn’t tell the whole story Friday night for the Big Rapids Cardinal Football team. The Cardinals lost to the Paw Paw Red Wolves 34-13 but for most of the game the Cardinals were either leading, trailing by a point, or trailing by 1 score.

 

Big Rapids opened their season with a ‘3 and out’ series before a Red Wolf 4-down offsides penalty gave Senior Riley Vennix new life. He took advantage. 7 plays later it was 6-0 Big Rapids. Vennix went 3/3 to Junior Garret Foster for 41 yards en route to the Red Zone. Sophomore Jack Bollman then capped the drive with an easy 2 yard touchdown. Things looked smooth for an offense with a new QB.

 

The Cardinal defense then went to work against a ‘Reed City’ style T offense in Paw Paw. Coach Selzer’s game plan was to “load the box to stop the T run game.” Senior Philip Wilber, aka ‘Cheese’, did just that. Philip led the way with an astonishing 15.5 tackles on the night but if you tuned into the Big Country 100.9 broadcast, you would’ve thought he had 50 tackles. Wilber’s name was called on almost every play defensively.

 

In typical T fashion, Paw Paw ran 14 plays on their opening drive for 56 yards, all rushing, culminating in a 4th and 1 on the Cardinal 9 yard line. Wilber and Sophomore Wyatt Skiera stood up Paw Paw’s PJ Deyoung and threw him back where he came for a 1 yard loss.

 

Flipping to offense, it then took 3 plays to go 91 yards. Vennix hit Senior Kaleb Dubowski in stride as he burned his defender for a 78 yard touchdown. A botched extra point made it 13-0 Big Rapids. A great start on both sides of the ball!

 

But then things started shifting. Paw Paw returned the kickoff to the 42, Big Rapids stood offsides for a free 5 yards, then on a 3rd and 7 the rare T-Offense pass play came out for Coach Strey, 2nd year coach for Paw Paw. QB Gunnar Goodell hit lone receiver Troy Vandenberg for 34 yards to the Big Rapids 8. 2 plays later, PJ Deyoung ran the ball up the back of Junior Darrin Strey for a touchdown. Coach Strey would use this same tactic repeatedly as the night progressed, all to great effect. “They like to run behind [Strey] in critical downs.“ Coach Selzer said pre-game. Darrin Strey, the son of Coach Strey, is a 6’7” 285 pound University of Cincinnati commit for O-line. The kid is the real deal too.

 

He, like the rest of the offense, would work to wear down a Big Rapids defense that found itself on the field for 65% of the total time played. Big Rapids would only run 14 offensive plays in the 2nd half. From 6 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter, Paw Paw would rack up 34 unanswered points to get to our final.

 

Those points came from mistakes and misses for Big Rapids that could just as easily have gone Big Rapids’ way. A missed Jace Heck 27 yard field goal as the half ended hurt. Big Rapids could have retaken the lead for the half. But then on their 1st possession of the 2nd half, a turnover on downs on their own 18 led to the 3rd score for Paw Paw after a critical 4th and 5 pass interference penalty took the ball to BR’s 7. Deyoung found his best friend Strey again, and the Red Wolves had their 3rd unanswered touchdown.

 

However, there were exceptional individual efforts from Big Rapids. Senior Riley Vennix had 217 yards passing, 29 yards rushing, and 3 solo tackles on defense. He made a fantastic defensive play to break up a pass late in the 3rd. Senior Kaleb Dubowski led the receivers with 90 yards and added 4 tackles on defense. Junior Garret Foster tallied 73 yards receiving and 4 solo tackles. Sophomore Jack Bollman added 28 yards receiving and 6 tackles. And Senior Philip Wilber finished with an estimated 15.5 tackles, but again the jury is out if that number needs correction higher.

 

Overall, the score was not emblematic of the product on the field. Coach Selzer’s Cardinals are loaded with a solid front line and exceptional talent and athleticism in the skilled positions. With more playing time, this team will be dangerous. We saw it early Friday night. We just need to see it for 4 quarters next Thursday when Big Rapids hosts Newaygo to open conference play.

 

Game versus Newaygo is Thursday, August 31, at 6:00pm at Cardinal Stadium.

Listen to the broadcast on 100.9, at WWBR.com, and via the WWBR mobile app.

Fatal car crash leaves three dead in Spencer TWP

At 8:11 PM, the Kent County Sheriff's Office responded to a head-on crash near 18 Mile Rd. and Harvard Ave.

Initial information shows that a Mitsubishi Eclipse lost control on the roadway crossed the center line and struck an Audi SUV. The driver of the Mitsubishi was a 22-year-old Gowen man who was transported to the hospital with serious injuries. His front-seat passenger was a 21-year-old Gowen woman who was found deceased. In the rear seats were a 1-year-old girl and a 3-year-old girl in car seats. First responders attempted life-saving efforts on the girls, however, they were pronounced deceased.  

The driver of the Audi SUV was a 42-year-old man from Sparta who was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The Traffic Safety Unit is continuing the investigation to determine any additional factors involved in the crash including alcohol, speed, and rain. We have not released the identities of the family yet as they are still working through this extremely difficult time.  

Reed City falls 46-12 to Kingsley in regular season opener

It was tough sledding in the season opener for Coyote football, as Kingsley outmatched Reed City by a final score of 46-12 on their home field Friday night.

The Stags started the night with a strong presence in the run game, breaking two 40+ yard runs by Isaiah Cosgrove and Skylar Workman to set-up their first two scores in the first 14 minutes of action, making it a 14-0 game early on. Eli Groves would later add to the Stags' tally, adding a three yard score to give Kingsley a commanding 20-0 lead.

Reed City came close on their second possession, as a near touchdown fell through the hands Jack Deitsch on fourth and goal passing play. They would respond with their own 50-yard-run on a QB keep by senior Max Hammond. Sophomore Andrew Kianus would later punch it in on third and goal from one yard out to cut the Stags' lead to 20-6 just before halftime.

Coming out of halftime, Kingsley continued to dominate the trenches. The Stags would stall three straight drives against Reed City by closing up the Coyotes' traditionally strong run game. Kingsley would open the second half scoring virtue of a third touchdown run by Workman set up by a 40-yard play-action pass play. A sailed snap on fourth down would add to Kingsley's lead, creating a safety and eventual 22-yard field goal by Evan Trafford to extend Kingsley's lead to 33-6. Myles McCarthy would add a three-yard score before the conclusion of the third making it 39-6.

Coyote Country would have something to cheer about early in the fourth, thanks to an 83-yard kickoff return by Jack Deitsch to cut the lead down to 39-12. The Stags would cement their victory later in the fourth on another three-yard score to make it 46-12 before the final horn.

The Stags totaled over 400 yards rushing, one of the highest given up by Reed City defensively in recent memory. The Coyotes finished the game with 126 yards on 27 carries.

Hammond led Reed City with 51 yards rushing on six carries, followed by John Ondrus with 50 yards on 10 touches. Zach Erickson added 13 yards as well as Kianus earned the Coyotes' lone offensive score. Hammond finished the game with three pass attempts and zero completions.

Sophomore Tyler Woodside led the Coyotes with seven tackles up front, followed by Ondrus with six and Deitsch and Spencer Hansen each accumulating five. Senior JC Contreras tallied the Coyotes' lone tackle for loss with Kianus and Ondrus adding a pass-break up.

What was a tough night for Reed City fans comes with understanding, as the team's young, talented players earned immediate learning and will hope to improve in next week's contest.

The Coyotes will begin their CSAA slate in a rematch of last year's dogfight against the Tri-County Vikings on Friday, Sep. 1 at Alumni Field at 7:00 P.M. Pregame coverage will begin at approximately 6:45 P.M. on Y102 on 102.3 FM, the WYBR app, and WYBR.com.

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Awards Gold-Level Status to Ferris State as 2023-24 Veteran-Friendly Program

Ferris State University’s commitment to supporting students from military service backgrounds is again receiving Gold-level status from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, an operation of the state government.

Ferris State is among 62 universities, colleges, and trade schools to earn Veteran-Friendly Schools recognition for the 2023-24 academic year.

Assistant Director of Veterans Services Jacob Schrot said the program continued to serve military-connected Ferris students.

“This is great recognition for our office and Ferris State University for the work that we are proud to provide to serve our veteran students,” Schrot said. “The Veteran Friendly Schools program began in 2015-16, and we have received the Gold recognition each year. We take this work seriously to serve and support our military-connected students.”

Ferris State has an on-campus, military-connected students coordinator with an ideal background to serve this student population. The university also offers scholarships and grants to qualifying military-connected students and a dedicated lounge.

Understanding and catering to the needs of military-connected students is one of the cornerstones of the office’s success.

“My experience has shown me that our military-connected students are most comfortable making office visits to have a conversation or to seek out support,” Schrot said. “We work to ensure we keep up on the necessary paperwork and data gathering we know is frequently requested or needed. We want our office to be one where our veterans feel they can approach us and know that we’re knowledgeable about their challenges and opportunities and that we’re here and ready to help.”

Schrot noted that beginning this year, spouses of National Guard Soldiers can use the Michigan National Guard Tuition Assistance Program following a bill signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“So, we will be working with even more family members of Veterans beginning this semester,” he said.

Ferris State has annually hosted a Veterans Day breakfast in November – an event open to campus and community veterans and hosted by the office of President Bill Pink.

“We are incredibly grateful to have 62 Veteran-Friendly Schools in Michigan that are committed to supporting their student-veteran population,” MVAA Director Adam Hollier said. “Making the transition from boots and a helmet to a cap and gown can be a daunting process, but having guidance and resources from their academic institution is a game changer.”

The Veteran Friendly Schools program recognizes academic institutions committed to supporting the needs of veterans and military-connected students. Honored institutions are awarded gold, silver or bronze status based on their veteran-centric services and programs.

“Their talent and experiences matter, and the best way to thank a student veteran for their service is to support them in their journey and offer them a job after they graduate,” Hollier said. “I want to wish our student veterans the best as they start this next academic year and continue their educational journey.”

Tree work scheduled along M-37 near White Cloud until Sep. 1

The Michigan Department of Transportation announced there will be continued construction coming up in White Cloud.

Daily work, from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M., will include lane closures for tree work scheduled through Sep. 1 on M-20 (Baseline Rd) between M-37 and Beech Road. 

This work is weather dependent. See map below for more.

*Image provided by MDOT.

Gotion Inc. and Green Charter Township sign key development agreement

Gotion Inc. will give area residents priority over new jobs at its proposed battery components facility, significantly reduce potential traffic congestion near the facility, and ensure all emergency services in Green Charter Township are paid for over the next 30 years under a development agreement reached with the township.

Township Supervisor Jim Chapman worked to define the content of the agreement with Gotion Inc. It clearly states the terms and obligations for both Gotion Inc. and Green Charter Township.

“This agreement represents a good-faith contract that will help guide the development and ongoing function of Gotion Inc.’s proposed facility in Green Charter Township,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “It ensures everyone is on the same page when it comes to both of our obligations and responsibilities. I want to thank the Township Board and especially Supervisor Chapman for his leadership in helping to formulate the bilateral agreement that will guide the project to a successful launch.” 

Under the agreement, Gotion Inc.’s obligations include:

  • Giving area residents priority over new jobs for the first two weeks through the Big Rapids Area Michigan Works, prior to seeking job applicants outside the area;
  • Greatly limiting traffic congestion on public roads by constructing an on-site truck/trailer staging area.
  • Ensuring all township emergency services relating to the facility and overall community support are paid for by Gotion Inc. for the next 30 years.
  • Creating a collaboration on legal strategy where Gotion Inc. will provide a large amount of financial assistance to cover the township legal fees surrounding the startup of the project.
  • Adhering to a dark sky design to limit the amount of light generated from the facility;
  • Maximizing the recycling of raw materials and manufacturing by-product to prevent adverse environmental impacts to the air, sanitary sewer system and ground and surface waters;
  • Preparing, filing, and updating the township on Gotion Inc.’s comprehensive safety plans. This includes allowing fire department personnel to receive accessibility to familiarize themselves with the plant layout and procedures; and
  • Prohibiting activity that supports or encourages any political philosophy among its employees or the community.

Green Charter Township’s obligations include diligently reviewing plans and specifications for the project to ensure Gotion Inc. complies with applicable township ordinances; coordinating with the Mecosta County Road Commission and Mecosta County Drain Commission with respect to public infrastructure improvements contemplated; and assisting Gotion Inc. in obtaining any licenses, permits, or other governmental authorizations necessary to advance and support the project.

The Green Charter Township Board unanimously voted on Aug. 1 to allow Chapman to negotiate and sign the contract.

SPECIAL NOTE: The development agreement is linked on the front page of Green Charter Township’s website here.

A Fine Art Mystery Exhibit to Open at Ferris State University

Do you have what it takes to follow the clues and solve the mystery?   

Ferris State University’s Fine Art Gallery is hosting Stolen: A Fine Art Mystery open from August 28 to October 27, 2023. The Director, Carrie Weis will give a brief presentation about the FSU Permanent Collections during the opening reception on Thursday, September 14 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. All events are free and open to the public. 

GAME PREMISE: One of the gallery’s most valuable paintings is missing, (but not really because this game is all in fun)! Clues have been left throughout the Art Gallery and you must use the selection of art on display from the university’s Permanent Collection to decipher each puzzle and find the missing artwork. 

Inspired by the popularity of escape room puzzles, Rosemary Graham, Gallery Assistant curated a selection of artwork and puzzles crafted for the spirited intellectual and adventure-seeking thinker. If that sounds like you, visit the Fine Art Gallery at Ferris State University to solve a series of specially curated anagrams, encryptions, and ciphers that will transport you on a journey through a selection of the art gallery’s permanent collections. You do not have to be an expert to follow the clues, but we recommend bringing your most resourceful friends. While challenging, each clue is solvable and brings you one step closer to the sweet gratification of victory when the treasure is uncovered, and the mystery is solved! All participants that solve the mystery will receive a prize and be entered in a drawing for a grand prize. 

For more information about this and other upcoming exhibitions, visit www.ferris.edu/gallery and follow us on Facebook.

Scooter's Coffee Celebrates Aug. 26 National Dog Day with Free Pumpkin Spice Pup Cups and Dogfluencer Search

Even though it’s the dog days of summer, fall will be top of mind as Scooter’s Coffee puts a fun spin on its puppy-loved Pup Cups for National Dog Day on Saturday, Aug. 26. Dogs can enjoy a free, fall-inspired Pumpkin Spice Pup Cup made up of all dog-friendly ingredients, including whipped cream, a pumpkin dog treat and a dusting of cinnamon. The first 15 canine customers at each Scooter’s Coffee store on National Dog Day also will receive a bandana imprinted with the Scooter’s Coffee signature Smiley logo, at participating locations while supplies last.

“We know how much dogs mean to our customers, and with the upcoming launch of the Scooter’s Coffee fall menu and popular pumpkin offerings, we wanted to provide something special for our pup friends to celebrate National Dog Day,” said Scooter’s Coffee Chief Community Officer Bill Black. “It’s always fun to see our customers’ Pup Cup photos, and we look forward to seeing how their dogs enjoy the new Pumpkin Spice Pup Cups.”

Scooter’s Coffee also is launching a search for the first-ever Scooter’s Coffee Dogfluencer. A participant may enter their dog in this Contest by timely completing all of the following actions:

  • LIKE and FOLLOW Scooter’s Coffee on Facebook or FOLLOW Scooter’s Coffee on Instagram.
  • LIKE the Aug. 25 Facebook or Instagram post that announces the contest and TAG three friends in the comments.
  • VISIT a Scooter’s Coffee location during operating hours on Aug. 26 and take a photo of participant’s dog enjoying a free Pumpkin Spice Pup Cup.
  • UPLOAD the photo to participant’s Facebook or Instagram between
    Aug. 26 and Aug. 27, utilizing the hashtag #ScootersPupCup and tagging Scooter’s Coffee in the post.

Between Aug. 28 and Aug. 29, customers can visit Scooter’s Coffee Facebook or Instagram to view the top six finalists that the company selected and vote for their favorite dog. The dog with the most votes will be announced on Aug. 30 and receive the grand prize of being featured on a billboard in Omaha, Neb., where Scooter’s Coffee is headquartered. The winning dog’s owner will receive a doggy bag full of fun surprises and free coffee for a year, via a credit through the Scooter’s Coffee Mobile App. The remaining finalists will also receive a doggy bag.

Visit scooterscoffee.com/NationalDogDay for specific terms and conditions, and to learn more about how Scooter’s Coffee is celebrating National Dog Day.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (8/14 - 8/20)

Monday, August 14

  • An officer conducted a wellbeing check on an 80-year-old female. She was okay and with family.
  • Officers took a report of threats. The matter is under investigation.
  • An officer was dispatched to a location to assist with a semi that ran off the road to avoid a collision.
  • An officer responded to a call for a man walking very close to traffic. The 71-year-old man was arrested on two outstanding Mecosta County warrants.

Tuesday, August 15

  • An officer responded to a call from someone reporting a possible mail scam.
  • An officer transported an individual who was experiencing hallucinations to the Hospital for evaluation.

Wednesday, August 16

  • An officer was dispatched to a residence to investigate after the owner thought something had been thrown at her house. Nothing was found.
  • An officer took a 34-year-old female into custody for violating parole. No issues.
  • An officer responded to a call of someone reporting that the neighbor’s dogs were barking too much. After investigating, the dog owner agreed to take care of the problem.
  • Officers transported an individual for mental health treatment without any incidents.

Thursday, August 17

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, August 18

  • An officer was dispatched to a local business regarding a suspicious individual. After the Officer arrived, the man left. No issues.
  • An officer was requested by the probate court to serve papers regarding an upcoming case. No issues.
  • Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff department on a traffic stop.
  • An officer was called to investigate a car park illegally. After investigation, the vehicle was not in violation.

Saturday, August 19

  • Officers issued a verbal warning to an individual preparing to use marijuana in an area open to the public.

  • An officer, while patrolling observed a vehicle with the door open, after investigation and talking to the owner, nothing was wrong. No issues.

  • Officers, after an anonymous call, went to a local business where they found a 39-year-old male that had multiple warrants for his arrest. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to the county jail without any issues.

  • An officer responded to a call with reports of yelling and arguing coming from neighbors. After investigating, reports were unfounded.

  • Officers stopped a vehicle for a license plate violation. Further investigation revealed the 24 year old driver had no insurance on the vehicle. He was issued a misdemeanor appearance citation and the vehicle was towed.

Sunday, August 20

  • Nothing reported.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (8/14 - 8/20)

Monday, August 14

  • Personal Injury Accident – Officers responded to assist Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a PIA. Officers arrived on scene and assisted with traffic control. Once vehicles involved were moved to a safe location, Officers cleared the scene and returned to service.
  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with serving a felony warrant. Contact with the subject was made and the subject was placed into custody without incident. 
  • Domestic – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a possible domestic dispute. Officers stood by during the investigation until their assistance was no longer needed.
  • Burglary Alarm – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a burglary alarm. Upon arriving and searching the property it was determined the alarm was accidentally activated.
  • Domestic – Officers were dispatched to a domestic assault not in progress. The suspect was arrested and lodged for domestic assault.

Tuesday, August 15

  • Assist – Officers were dispatched to check the well being of a subject. Contact was made with the subject who requested to go to the hospital for further treatment. The subject was transported to the hospital and turned over to medical staff.
  • Stalking – Officers were contacted regarding a subject who kept driving by the complainant’s residence. Officers were unable to locate the subject and the complaint remains open pending contact with the subject

Wednesday, August 16

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, August 17

  • 911 Open Line – Officers were dispatched to a 911 hang up at a local business. It was determined the business was having trouble with their phoneline.

  • Check Wellbeing – Officers were dispatched to a check wellbeing on a subject. The subject was fine and no services were required.

  • Fraud –  Officers were dispatched to a local business in regards to a subject trying to pass a fake $100.00 bill. The subject was gone upon the Officers arrival, but the Officer made contact with the subject a few days later. A report will be forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Friday, August 18

  • Flee and Elude – Officers were requested by Osceola County to assist with deploying Stop Sticks in a pursuit. Subject eventually crashed and was taken into custody by the Osceola County Sherrif’s Department. Officers cleared the call and returned to service without incident.

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. It was determined the operator did not have insurance on the vehicle. Driver was cited for the offense and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. It was determined the operator did not have a valid license or insurance on the vehicle. Driver was cited for the offenses and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

Saturday, August 19

  • Personal Injury Accident – Officers were dispatched to assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department with traffic control at the scene of a personal injury accident.

Sunday, August 20

  • Home Invasion – Officers were dispatched to a breaking and entering. Officers located two juveniles attempting to break into a residence. The juveniles were returned to their parents, the complaint was investigated, and a report requesting criminal charges was forwarded to the Prosecutor's Office.

Ferris State Golf Program to hold Annual Duffer's Club Golf Outing on Aug. 26

The Ferris State University men's and women's golf programs will hold their annual "Duffer's Club" Golf Outing on Saturday, Aug. 26, at FSU's Katke Golf Course and registration is open now.

The annual event helps support the Bulldog men's and women's teams and the FSU student-athletes in their quest for championship success. The event begins at 9 A.M. and is open to alumni, family and friends.

The four-person scramble is only $100 per person and will cover the entry free, a light pre-round breakfast spread, post-round lunch and awards. A team signup option is available for $400.

In addition, individuals and businesses can help support the program by sponsoring a tee or green for only $100. Each sponsor will receive a sign prominently displayed on a tee box or green side as well as recognition during the post-round reception. A corporate sponsorship package is also offered for $475 and includes four golf registrations in addition to a tee/green sponsorship.

The event will include opportunities to further support Bulldog Golf throughout the day with chances to win prizes thru 50/50, silent auction and more.

Additional registration information and a link to register can be found online at:
https://ferrisstatebulldogs.com/information/golfoutings

Ferris State's Katke Golf Course ranks among the finest University-owned golf courses in the United States. The course covers over 6,847 yards and is the highest point in Mecosta County, helping to define the scenic West Michigan landscape. Katke has won the Mecosta Country Peoples' Choice Awards for favorite golf range and favorite golf course in the area in recent years.

Designed by Robert Beard, Katke Golf Course opened for public play in 1974. The golf course has undergone some major renovations since 2004. Katke is a true test for any caliber of player.

This past season, both the Ferris State men's and women's golf teams reached the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldog women captured their first GLIAC Championship since 2007 while the men's team advanced to the league medal match play semifinals for the fourth consecutime time.

Ferris State University's Early Learning Center Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony today, Aug. 23, to celebrate expanded educational opportunities and return to community service

Ferris State University’s new $5.5 million Early Learning Center will feature enhanced educational opportunities for students and additional learning outcomes for children in care. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility on the west side of the Big Rapids campus is planned for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23. The public is welcome. 

Lori Johnson, the Early Learning Center manager, is enthusiastic about moving operations into the new facility, located at 1310 Cramer Drive, in Big Rapids, near Bishop and Cramer halls and the Ferris State Department of Public Safety. 

“We have greatly emphasized improvements to our educational programming,” Johnson said. “The new Early Learning Center was designed to be a calming, natural environment with enhanced safety and security measures. In addition to the nurturing relationships our educators provide to children, we have purchased some of the most current and innovative equipment available.” 

Johnson said an Illumination Station is among the additions. 

“This new interactive equipment will allow our children to explore sand play in a whole new way,” she said. “Not only will young children benefit from our improvements, but it will help prepare academic students in the School of Education for their futures in teaching.” 

Ferris State’s Early Learning Center works closely with the Early Childhood Education academic program offering a hands-on practicum and lab experiences for School of Education students. Faculty supervise the Early Childhood Education students in the facility. 

The board of trustees last year signed off on the plan to design and develop a stand-alone facility, which Johnson said is inspiring for the Early Learning Center staff. 

We will be serving from essentially the same location on campus, but to have more room to work in brand-new spaces and expand the opportunities to support the children of our students is so exciting,” Johnson said. 

Ferris President Bill Pink will be among those speaking at the event, with a festival atmosphere for the guests with food and games continuing until 6 p.m. Johnson noted that Granger Construction has offered to provide dessert.

“We are going through the last steps leading up to the contractor’s punch lists and our move-in,” Johnson said. “In preparing for our celebration, we have invited current and previous families, including parents who were once enrolled at the center and now bring their children to the ELC.” 

With the additional classroom space, Johnson added that the Early Learning Center team is ready to return to serving families from Big Rapids and surrounding communities. 

“We are glad to offer opportunities to area children once again and welcome hearing from any families interested in being part of our learning environment,” Johnson said. 

Since 1987, the Early Learning Center has been in Bishop Hall. 

This link provides information about the Early Learning Center’s accreditation and other attributes.

UIA offers new coaching sessions for first-time filers seeking jobless benefits

Workers applying for jobless benefits for the first time can now get online guidance from trained instructors with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) who will walk users through the steps they need to follow to qualify for payments.

Coaching sessions are available Tuesdays through Fridays and will provide ample time for questions. Workers can sign up at Michigan.gov/UIA for the voluntary web-based orientations. Participating in an orientation session is not required to qualify for benefits.

During the sessions, UIA staff will guide first-time users through the UIA’s new online Claimant Roadmap, which offers six steps that explain applying for and understanding benefits. The roadmap is an easy-to-follow, user-focused tool that provides answers, clarifies instructions, and eliminates confusion about filing for benefits and searching for work.

“The new worker orientations, in combination with our recently launched Claimant Roadmap, is another example of how we are modernizing the Unemployment Insurance Agency to make it easier for anyone to file for benefits,” said Julia Dale, Director of the UIA. “We listened to what users told us about their experiences with the UIA. These new user-focused tools are significant improvements and can take a lot of stress out of the filing process.”

 

Convenient Days and Times are Available

Workers can sign up for a coaching session through the UIA’s public website where they can choose a day and time that fits their schedule:

  • 9-11 A.M. Tuesdays.
  • 3-5 P.M. Wednesdays.
  • 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. Thursdays.
  • 1-3 P.M. Fridays.

After signing up, users will be emailed a link to use on their selected day and time. Reminder emails will be sent one day and one hour before the session begins.

The sessions are not intended for someone who has a current claim. They can either call UIA’s Customer Service line at 1-866-500-0017; go to the Schedule an Appointment page at Michigan.gov/UIA to make an in-person, phone or virtual appointment; or use the website’s Ask Ava chat feature to get answers to their questions.

 

Sessions are Part of UIA Transformation

The online sessions are one of a number of initiatives being launched under a $6.8 million equity grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant will also fund outreach to communities of workers who have historically had difficulty accessing UIA resources and translations of letters, documents, and forms sent to workers and employers.

The changes highlight Director Dale’s efforts to transform the UIA into a national model for fast, fair, and fraud-free service. Key elements of her agency modernization include:

  • Creating the UIA Modernization Workgroup, consisting of labor, business and jobless advocates to advise the UIA on significant improvements in how it can better serve Michigan workers and employers.
  • Securing a more than $2.3 million equitable access and communications grant from the USDOL Tiger Teams initiative to redesign and simplify how UIA engages with employers and develop a help center for accessing agency services.
  • Naming a Legal Advisor and creating the Legal and Compliance Bureau to leverage collaborative anti-fraud practices for pursuing bad actors.
  • Revamping the agency’s public website at Michigan.gov/UIA so it is more user-friendly and responsive for those accessing services using cell phones or tablets.

Other Reforms Initiated Throughout the Agency

Since being named in October 2021 to lead the UIA, Director Dale – the agency's 11th director in as many years – has also:

  • Collaborated with the Attorney General’s office as well as local, state and federal law enforcement to bring bad actors to justice and combat fraud at the agency. To date, 158 individuals have been arrested or charged in connection with unemployment benefits fraud, 79 have been convicted, and 47 sentenced for their crimes.
  • Reassigned staff and resources to address the largest categories of claims that are contributing to the agency’s case backlogs.
  • Rebuilt to more than $2.3 billion (and growing) the UI Trust Fund from which weekly benefits are paid to workers.
  • Approved more than 76,000 overpayment waivers (with more to come) of state and federal benefits paid out during the global pandemic, waiving more than $555 million.
  • Halted overpayment collections on claims filed since March 1, 2020, while the agency addresses pending protests and appeals. More than $13 million was refunded to workers since May 2022.
  • Implemented new ethics and security clearance policies for employees and contractors.

Late orientation offered Aug. 24 for admitted students ready to begin Ferris State experience this fall

Admitted Ferris State University students ready to begin classes this fall for the 2023-24 academic year can still be a Bulldog. Ferris State is hosting a late orientation session from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24, in the David L. Eisler Center.

Assistant Director of Orientation Emily Hicks said Ferris State is ready to welcome new and transfer students admitted to the university for a brief and direct morning schedule.

“We are excited to connect with this group of incoming Bulldogs,” Hicks said. “We have 170 students registered for the event, and we would welcome those still undecided on their fall study plans to complete the admissions process and join us.”

The late-orientation agenda allows students who have applied and been admitted to meet university departments, financial aid experts and students who can offer their perspectives on life in the Ferris State community.

Ferris State welcomed approximately 1,600 orientation participants this summer in June and July.

Ferris State’s first day of classes for the Fall 2023 semester is Monday, Aug. 28.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekend Blotter (8/18 - 8/20)

Friday, August 18

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Saturday, August 19

  • At 2032 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Colfax TWP. The traffic stop resulted in a male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 13

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Sunday, August 20

  • At 2359 hours, deputies responded to a one vehicle accident in Big Rapids TWP. The male driver was arrested for OWI and male passenger issued an appearance ticket for MIP.

Calls for Service: 8

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Tonight's city commission meeting includes loaded docket of resolutions

Tonight, the Big Rapids City Commission is meeting at city hall at 6:30 P.M to discuss a number of items.

General business items include resolutions of bids for the following projects:

  • Ferric Chloride for the Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Replacement of the South State St. Watermain
  • Dial-A-Ride Painting Project,
  • Procurement of one vehicle from the Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Grant Agreement with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for the City’s Master Plan
  • Signing of the Opioid Settlement Participation form
    for Walgreens
  • Amendments to the Non-Bargaining Employees Personnel
    Policy and Procedure Manual
  • Ordinances ameding regarding bicycles and matters related thereto

The meeting will also include a study session regarding the new Big Dam Bike Ride and updates with water and sewer rates.

All city commission meetings are available to the public.

Ferris State Move-In Days Aug. 24-27 Emphasize Access to Residence Halls, Suites and Apartments and Information to Begin Academic Year

More than 3,000 Ferris State University students are preparing to move into campus residence halls and apartments beginning Thursday, Aug. 24, with many staff members and volunteers ready to help students feel welcome.

Students coming to campus for move-in days will pass through Jim Wink Arena and Information Alley in the Ewigleben Sports Complex, 210 Sports Drive, before heading to their assigned halls and apartments before the 2023-24 academic year.

Director of Housing and Residence Life Lisa Ortiz said university halls and apartments are at 96 percent occupancy.

Ortiz said students have signed up for an arrival time through Ferris State’s MyHousing program. That allows staff and volunteers to be helpful and supportive in a system that works well in controlling campus congestion during move-in days.

The check-in process begins at Wink Arena and includes an opportunity to check out Information Alley, where university departments welcome new and returning students and their families.

“Some important conversations we have in that area involve parents engaging with the departments and organizations available on campus,” Ortiz said. “Staff who comprise our ‘Care Squad’ will be in Information Alley, wearing pink shirts. Anyone who needs added assistance during Move-In Days is encouraged to seek out this group.”

Getting personal items into the appropriate suite, apartment or residence hall room can be a collaborative effort, Ortiz said. Bulldogs in Action volunteers will offer assistance each Move-In Day.

“These students are very excited about welcoming fellow Bulldogs, which includes several Ferris athletic teams and a variety of student organizations,” Ortiz said. “We will have faculty and staff with golf carts to easily move larger items from designated parking lots to the proper location for each student they serve.”

Ortiz said the department is ready to support students new to campus or those familiar with Ferris State through years of residing in the system.

“We have six professional hall directors and more than 100 resident advisors, or community advisors in our facilities on campus,” Ortiz said. “Their training began on Thursday, Aug. 10, and all of our Residence Hall Association staff understand their role in creating a fun, welcoming environment throughout the year.”

Move-in for South and North Campus students, along with West Campus Apartment residents, continues Friday, Aug. 25, and a more freeform assistance pattern is set for the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 26, and Sunday, Aug. 27. The first day of the Fall 2023 semester is Monday, Aug. 28.

Corewell Health Research Team Receives $400,000 American Heart Association Grant

A Corewell HealthTM research team has been awarded a $400,000 grant by the American Heart Association for its study to better understand how differences in people’s cells impact illness and recovery from a number of cardiovascular diseases. 

The project is led by primary investigator Jeremy Prokop, Ph.D., Corewell Health data science advisor, one of only 19 investigators to be awarded the Second Century Implementation Science Award. The research is supported by a team of clinicians and scientists including Maximiliano Tamae Kakazu, M.D., Renzo Loyaga-Rendon, M.D., Ph.D., and Dave Chesla, Corewell Health senior director of research and development.

The Second Century award is designed to be implemented into clinical and community settings to ultimately improve the health of individuals and populations. Corewell Health’s study is entitled “Integrating response genetics into a clinical implementation model” and brings cutting edge lab experiments into strategies for improving outcomes in cardiovascular diseases.

“Some individuals have risk factors for cardiovascular diseases that manifest later in life even though they are coded in the genetic material. Understanding the differences between people and how they respond to traumatic events is critical in understanding these risk factors,” Prokop said. “We will develop tools to understand the differences in how people respond to illness and changes in their bodies.”

The project uses a model system where human cells and data from multiple individuals will provide knowledge of their differences in response to illness. These tools will provide better understanding of how differences in people’s cells impact illness and recovery from heart, lung, kidney, and blood vessel diseases.

“This study uses a holistic approach to understand not only our biology, but also our ever-changing environment and the role that condition or disease-induced stress may play on our epigenetics*, as well as the genetics of future generations,” Chesla said.

“This is the only Second Century grant awarded within the state of Michigan,” said Winni Walsh, development director, American Heart Association. “We are so proud to have this work happening right here in West Michigan.”

FULL PREVIEW: Big Rapids emphasizing grittiness ahead of 2023 football season

After one of the best seasons in recent memory, the Cardinals are appearing to be a team everyone is watching this year. Big Rapids started the season 2-2, in which they would win the next five games in a row and upset the would’ve been outright CSAA champion Tri-County in a nailbiter. The Cardinals have a lot of talent retained on the roster this fall and anticipate making noise again in 2023.

 

PERSONNEL

Key Departures: QB Wil Strickler, DB Zander Prince, LB Noah Brandt, DL David Miller

Key Returners: QB Riley Vennix, WR Kaleb Dubowski, RB Jack Bollman, LB Philip Wilbur

As mentioned, the Cardinals have a very talented roster that shows a lot of potential ahead of this season. Big Rapids has one of the deepest depth charts in all the CSAA and brings a lot of athleticism on the gridiron. The playbook can be wide open for this Cardinal squad but their execution will have to be top tier to make a deep playoff run.

“The team has been highly motivated and enthusiastic during the first week of practice,” Head coach Mike Selzer said. “Everyone is excited to get the season started.  We are getting good leadership out of many athletes.”

 

SCHEDULE

Notable Games: Week 1 @ Paw Paw, Week 4 vs Reed City, Week 7 vs. Tri-County

The Cardinals have backed down their strength of schedule this year after having the second hardest in the CSAA last year. Big Rapids starts off the season with a road trip to Paw Paw, a traditional team out of the highly contested Wolverine contest with over 33 wins over the past five playoff-bound seasons. The Cardinals then host a revitalized Newaygo team followed by another long road trip to Central Montcalm and the US-131 rivalry against Reed City. Coach Selzer’s team will finish with three straight home games, creating one of the more favorable slates in recent memory for the Cardinals.

“We will have to get the ball in space and utilize our formations and motions to manipulate defenses to get the ball in space in the hands of our athletes,” Selzer said. “Defensively, we will have to have great read discipline and pursuit to the ball.”

 

THINGS TO WATCH

  • Focus on grit
    1. The Cardinals have developed a philosophy based on determination, which has been heavily implanted over summer camp. The “NOW” motto, standing for “Never Out Worked,” has motivated the group to continue last year’s success. If the team can stand tall when the chips are down, they can contend with any team in the CSAA.
  • Defensive pursuit improvement
    1. Big Rapids has had tendencies to give up big “chunk” plays over the past few seasons. Consistency with defensive pursuit, according to Coach Selzer, has been a focal point for improvement over the past few weeks. A veteran group returning at the linebacker position could be a key element to the team’s improvement in tackling and assignment discipline on defense.
  • Close game composure
    1. The Cardinals have given up 24.7 points per game defensively over the past five seasons. Considering the offense averaged 25.7 per game over that same stretch, it’s safe to say the close-game stress is something the coaches, players, and fans would like to see less of compared to blow out victories. Big Rapids has played in 10 one-score games since 2018, in which they have lost eight of those games. In a conference that is projected to be the tightest in recent memory, this will be a crucial part of the game the Cardinals will need to be improved in for this year.

Big Rapids kicks their season on Aug 25th on the road against Paw Paw. Listen to every play all season long on Big Country on 100.9 FM, the WWBR app, and WWBR.com. Be sure to subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News for full CSAA football coverage all season long.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (8/14 - 8/17)

Monday, August 14

Calls for Service: 10

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, August 15

  • At 2126 hours, deputies responded to a one vehicle accident in Morton TWP. The male driver was arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 12

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, August 16

Calls for Service: 15

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, August 17

Calls for Service: 14

 

Ferris State University Groups Focus on Mental Health Awareness Outreach with Merit Grant Support from The Ferris Foundation

With student mental wellness a growing concern nationwide, Ferris State University educators and administrators are preparing an outreach effort to promote student well-being on campus.

The Bulldog Mental Health Taskforce plans to use a Merit Grant award from The Ferris Foundation to build learning modules for faculty and staff to better address student mental health concerns.

Sara Higley, the senior woman administrator in Ferris State Athletics, is a task force member. She pointed to the Green Bandana project, established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison several years ago. Displaying a green bandana signifies a person is available for someone seeking mental health support to approach.

The Green Bandana project has now spread to multiple college campuses.

“Our athletes who feel strongly about this have participated in tabling to increase awareness of the project and make the bandana visible on their backpacks,” Higley said.

Mental wellness is recognized nationally as a growing concern among college students. A 2022 American College Health Association study found that nearly 75 percent of college students reported psychological distress.

Higley said Ferris Media Production is working on a video with President Bill Pink and Provost Bobby Fleischman to introduce the task force’s goals and training.

College of Arts, Sciences and Education assistant professor Carrie Thompson chairs the Bulldog Mental Health Taskforce.

Thompson, director of the Bachelor of Social Work program, said the group formed after Ferris State Athletics requested a presentation on building awareness and continued its work to develop scaffolded training on mental health and suicide prevention.

Task force membership includes departmental leaders and faculty from the College of Health Professions and the College of Arts, Sciences and Education. Their mental and emotional health curriculum is separate from the Green Bandana initiative for college athletes.

“One of our goals is to have several basic awareness training that will help faculty and staff identify if further intervention is needed and also highlight available resources so that those trained can be a conduit for students who may need direction to those services here at Ferris or in the community,” Thompson said. “We will also have a more involved training that will help identify on-campus champions willing to step forward and receive additional information and skills in dealing with the mental health crisis.”

Thompson said the $4,500 in Merit Grant funding allows the task force to assemble the materials it will distribute to employees who participate in the training.

“We are glad to have The Ferris Foundation’s support to provide literature and other materials, to provide this training free of charge,” Thompson said. “The task force includes passionate people from across our campus acting on a commitment to fight stigma related to mental health, to build a culture of acceptance.”

The Gifts and Grants Committee of The Ferris Foundation funded seven Merit Grants for 2022-23.

Michigan continues to make progress in preserving Medicaid coverage for residents

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced last Thursday it has renewed Medicaid enrollment for more than 121,000 people whose eligibility was up for redetermination in July.

The number of renewals demonstrates the success of the department’s efforts to make sure Michiganders who receive health insurance coverage from Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan are aware of the need to fill out enrollment paperwork.

“Our staff and valued partners continue to do all that we can to preserve Medicaid coverage for Michigan families,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “I am pleased that our partners from other state government agencies are helping MDHHS get the word out to Medicaid beneficiaries that it’s important for them to submit their renewal paperwork.”

Today has been declared a Day of Action, with State of Michigan government departments committing to share messaging about Medicaid renewals on communication channels such as social media to continue the flow of information regarding the Medicaid eligibility renewal process.

The latest data on Medicaid renewals can be found on MDHHS’ online dashboard. Redetermination of Medicaid coverage restarted this year due to federal legislation after being paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries must renew their coverage over the next year to comply with the federal legislation. In Michigan annual renewals are being staggered to take place monthly starting in June 2023 and running through May 2024.

The dashboard shows current data on renewals for June and July, which will change as the department processes additional forms. MDHHS has until the end of August to receive renewal forms from the July cohort to determine eligibility. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allowed Michigan and other states to take new actions to preserve Medicaid coverage. As a result, MDHHS gave enrollees an extra month to submit renewal forms.

The dashboard – which will be updated every month – shows that as of Aug. 7, MDHHS had renewed Medicaid or Healthy Michigan plan coverage for 121,217 people who were up for renewal in July. So far, including June renewals, 224,757 people have been renewed. The department is awaiting completed enrollment forms from another 123,744 people who were up for renewal in July and have until the end of August to return their paperwork.

There were 9,121 people who were disenrolled in July because they were no longer eligible and 1,779 whose eligibility was not renewed for procedural reasons – such as not providing requested verification documents like driver’s license, pay stubs and bank statements.

MDHHS is continuing to review, analyze and update its data for Medicaid beneficiaries who were up for renewal in June due to the extension of procedural terminations to the end of July.

Additional MDHHS efforts to help Michiganders keep their coverage are possible as a result of the federal government releasing new flexibilities and strategies in June to state officials to lessen the impact of the resumption of Medicaid renewals.

Michigan has been a leader in using these flexibilities, as the state has been recognized for its efforts by the U.S. Digital Service as MDHHS has gained approval of eight federal waivers that are needed to implement additional strategies for renewing coverage and has submitted two other requests that are being considered.

Strategies being used by Michigan include:

  • Allowing managed care plans to assist enrollees they serve in completing and submitting their Medicaid renewal forms.
  • Sharing lists with managed care organizations of their enrollees who are due for renewal or have not responded to provide outreach to those beneficiaries.
  • Reinstating eligibility back to the termination date for people who were disenrolled based on a procedural reason – such as not returning renewal forms on time – and are subsequently found to be eligible for Medicaid during a 90-day reconsideration period. 
  • Renewing people passively – or automatically – when MDHHS has enough current information available on that person in its eligibility system so that the department doesn’t need to receive additional proof from the beneficiary.

State government agencies – including MDHHS – are reminding parents whose Medicaid benefits are up for renewal to return paperwork as soon as possible and cross it off their back-to-school to-do list.

MDHHS advises families to return any renewal paperwork from the department even if they believe they are no longer eligible for Medicaid. Some members of a household can obtain health care coverage even when others are not eligible. For example, a child may be eligible for MIChild even if their parent is not eligible for other Medicaid programs. Or some Michiganders may have income that is over the income limit for one program and still be able to obtain health care benefits through another program.

MDHHS will assess a household’s eligibility for all Medicaid programs – not just for the programs in which someone is currently enrolled, and also for each family member in the household.

MDHHS advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month at michigan.gov/MIBridges.

Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders will be able to shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid, and many Michiganders can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month. 

What Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries need to do to prepare:

  1. Make sure your address, phone number and email address are up to date at michigan.gov/MIBridges. You can also call your local MDHHS office. If you do not have an online account for MI Bridges to access your Medicaid case or report changes, visit michigan.gov/MIBridges to sign up for an account. You can also locate organizations that can help you by searching for community partners.
  2. Report any changes to your household or income. You can report changes at michigan.gov/MIBridges or by calling your local MDHHS office.
  3. If you get a renewal packet, be sure to fill it out, sign the forms and return it by the due date with any proof needed. NOTE: If you do not complete and return the renewal, you may lose Medicaid coverage.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is working with MDHHS to help impacted Michiganders get affordable health insurance if they are determined to be no longer eligible for Medicaid. DIFS can answer questions about purchasing a health insurance plan. Call DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit Michigan.gov/StayCovered to learn more.

More information about the how benefits connected to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency are changing can be found at www.Michigan.gov/2023BenefitChanges.

FULL PREVIEW: Coyotes hunting for fourth straight CSAA football crown despite younger roster

While the long-standing streak of championships came to an end in 2019, the Coyotes under head coach Scott Shankel have found themselves back on track of championship success over the past three seasons. Reed City hits the gridiron after a shared conference, district, and regional championship in the 2022 campaign with plenty of high expectations for similar success this fall.

 

PERSONNEL

Key Departures: RB/CB Bryson Hughes, QB/DB Xavier Allen, WR/DB Seth Jackson, OL/DL Kyle Crusan

Key Returners: QB/LB Max Hammond, TE/DB Spencer Hansen, RB/DB John Ondrus, RB/DB Zach Erickson

While the team did lose a lot of experience and scoring from last year’s team, the upstart young core does bring a lot of intrigue heading into the 2023 season. A slight loss in speed will be substituted by what seems to be a slight gain in size on both sides of the ball. The biggest question mark likely lies in the trenches, as Reed City will endure one of the largest turnovers at that position in many years.

“No one has spots right now,” Shankel said. “Everything’s open. You’re going to have to compete. We are getting some of our three-year players to step up into leadership roles.”

 

SCHEDULE

Notable Games: Week 2 vs. Howard-City Tri-County, Week 4 @ Big Rapids, Week 9 vs. Cadillac

Using a strength of schedule formula based on last year’s results, Reed City enters the 2023 season with the hardest 9-game slate of all the teams in the CSAA. With the switch from Muskegon Orchard View to Kingsley in Week 1, Reed City opponents average out to 37.12 playoff points from the 2022 season. This number is three points than the league average and about four points higher than last year. Tough schedules have worked out for Reed City in the past preparing for a postseason run, but a highly anticipated improved CSAA conference could create the hardest regular season journey for the Coyotes in many years.

“We like to challenge our kids,” Shankel said. “Each week is brand new and we're not looking overlooking anybody. We will compete day in and day out and hopefully compete for a CSAA conference championship. We know we got a tough test with our conference.”

 

THINGS TO WATCH

  • Early season home stand
    • The Coyotes begin the season with three straight home games to start the season followed by a road game only 13 miles down the road in Big Rapids and another home game in week five. This first stretch could bring momentum for Reed City going into a late season road stand and a tough week nine matchup with Cadillac. Alumni Field has treated Reed City well in recent memory, as they have only lost one game on home turf in their last 39 games.
  • Offensive power
    • Known for a gritty, tough play style, Coach Shankel’s squad has shown their ability and willingness to stretch the field over the past few seasons. The Coyotes scored a whopping 543 points last season, over 160 points more than each of the past three seasons. With the consideration of having a younger offensive line, it will be interesting to see if Reed City will look to expand the playbook ahead of this fall campaign.
  • Roster health
    • The saying goes “the best ability is availability.” With the number of talented players on the roster, coach Shankel believes this team can be successful. What matters most? Having everyone healthy. The Coyotes have had some impactful injuries to their rosters over the last couple seasons, so keeping starters on the field may be as important as ever this year with a lack of experience in the depth charts this season.

Reed City begin their season on Aug. 25 at home against the Kinglsey Stags. Listen to every play all season long starting at 6:40 P.M. on Y102 on 102.3 FM, the WYBR app, and WYBR.com. Be sure to subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News for full CSAA football coverage all season long.

Kent County Sheriff's Office investigating fatal motorcycle crash near school in Plainfield TWP

Just before 6:30 P.M. on Tuesday, Kent County Sheriff's Office responded to a crash where it was reported a motorcyclist was unresponsive after colliding with a vehicle along Pine Island Dr.

Deputies along with Plainfield Township Fire Department and LIFE Ambulance responded to the scene, however, the motorcycle rider was pronounced deceased. Initial information finds the motorcycle was southbound on Pine Island Dr. approaching Scott View Dr. and struck a northbound Jeep Wrangler turning into Pine Island Elementary. The motorcyclist was a 30-year-old Comstock Park man.  The Jeep was driven by a 44-year-old Walker man with a 12-year-old in the passenger seat and both suffered minor injuries.

The Kent County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit is continuing to investigate and would like to speak with any witnesses that were nearby. It is believed that a white midsize SUV was traveling southbound and turned into Pine Island Elementary at the time of the crash.

To assist in obtaining a clear depiction of what led up to the crash, the Sheriff's Office would like to speak with the driver of the SUV. Please contact the Traffic Safety department at 616.632.6239.

Ferris State University Criminal Justice Alumnus Remains Mothers Against Drunk Driving Outstanding Officer of the Year

Ferris State University alumnus Shane Waskevich can still recall a tragic yet formative 2018 experience while on patrol.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department patrolman remembers a fatal crash that strengthened his resolve to keep people from driving under the influence, protecting themselves and other drivers.

“I witnessed a rollover that took the 16-year-old driver’s life that night,” said Waskevich, a Midland native and Ferris State School of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academy graduate. “It had an obvious and direct effect which has steeled me to do all I can to eliminate drunk driving through my work in enforcement and training.”

Recently, Waskevich repeated as Mothers Against Drunk Driving-Michigan Outstanding Officer of the Year, honored in June at the 2023 MADD Lifesavers Recognition Luncheon.

Waskevich joined the Mount Pleasant Police Department in 2019 and in 2020 completed his field training process with the department’s training officers. He has since received awards from MADD Michigan due to his 88 and 114 driving while under the influence of alcohol arrests in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

“I do not seek this kind of recognition,” Waskevich said. “I am careful to stay within the boundaries of best practices for each traffic stop and do what I can to enforce the law and protect all drivers properly.”

He works closely with fellow officers, who occasionally defer to him as they handle patrols on weeknights and weekends, the active bar nights when these incidents frequently occur.

“I might say I was lucky with my shift mates since we are given calls for service as well as requests to check on potential drunken drivers,” Waskevich said.

Waskevich is now among the department’s officers training recruits who welcome his field experience as they begin serving the community.

“We have had a handful of new hires in the last six months to a year, and these officers recognize their responsibility to help make the roads safe for everyone,” Waskevich said. “I regularly take overtime during their shifts and am happy to give them pointers so they can excel in their enforcement.”

Learn more about Ferris State’s Criminal Justice program and Law Enforcement Academy.

Grand Rapids man flees traffic stop and crashes into ambulance

Around 12:00 P.M. last Tuesday, a sedan sideswiped another vehicle and crashed into an American Medical Response (AMR) Ambulance at the intersection of Leonard & Scribner.

A short time prior, the sedan fled from Kent County Sheriff's Office deputies during an attempted traffic stop near Cedar St. and Clancy. The traffic stop was immediately called off due to the suspect's driving. The suspect was a 30-year-old Grand Rapids man who deputies were attempting to arrest on a felony warrant.  

Deputies located the suspect attempting to leave the crash scene after injuring paramedics and was trying to move his vehicle as police were surrounded him. A pepperball gun was fired into the suspect's vehicle and the suspect then complied with commands to exit the car.  He was arrested and evaluated at a nearby hospital and eventually lodged at the Kent County Jail.  

Two AMR staff who were driving the ambulance were taken to an area hospital and were treated and released. The driver of the vehicle that was sideswiped was uninjured. 

Reed City Disc Golf Club prepares for grand opening tournament Saturday

Almost exactly a year ago to date, the first sneak peek round of Rambadt Park Disc Golf Course was debuted during the 2022 Great American Crossroads Celebration. Now, the course will be officially unveiled with a tournament during the festival this year in Reed City.

On Saturday, Aug. 19, players from all over the local area and beyond will partake in a multiple round event starting at 11:00 A.M.

“From the very beginning we talked about as a club,” City councilman and club member Dan Burchett said. “For it to finally happen, everybody is completely ecstatic about it. We (have) great weather coming up and a ton of people coming to the tournament.”

Major improvements have occurred since the initial event 12 months ago, especially with navigation and signage. Each hole is now equipped with yardage signs, layouts to the basket, direction arrows to the next hole, and even QR codes that link to videos associated to the hole and the whole course map.

“We're the only ones in Michigan who actually have these signs so that's a big thing for us,” Burchett said. “We're stoked with everything that we have accomplished.”

There are already 55 players registered for the event as of Thursday night with potentially 20 more signing up before the event’s start.

Registration, which costs $30 a player, begins at 8:00 A.M. with the grand opening ceremony and player’s meeting beginning at 9:15 A.M. The first round of singles will start at 11:00 A.M followed by lunch and the second round starting at 2:00 P.M. Awards, raffle tickets, and mini-game prizes will be given out at 4:30 P.M. with random doubles and glow rounds in the evening beginning at 5:30 P.M. Participants will also receive a Reed City Disc Golf Club Disc courtesy of Discraft.

“The registration fee is going to include the two rounds that you'll get and then of course anything after,” Burchett said. “If you don’t choose (to play) the tournament, you're welcome to come to doubles. If they want to go to the car show or participate in the cornhole tournament, feel free to (come) out later to the course and shoot.”

For more information, visit https://www.discgolfscene.com/tournaments/Rambadt_Park_DGC_Grand_Opening_2023.

Fork TWP car crash caused by driver swerving to miss deer

On Wednesday, Aug. 16, at approximately 1:12 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single vehicle accident on 50th Ave. and Meceola Rd in Fork TWP.

The accident occurred when a 34-year-old female from Barryton swerved to avoid a deer and went off the roadway.

The female received non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to Big Rapids Hospital for further evaluation.

Deputies were assisted by Barryton Fire & Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Big Rapids Radio Network announces 2023 football broadcast team

As we approach a season on the gridiron, the network has finalized their team on the headsets for this fall. This includes full play-by-play broadcasts, weekly preview and review coverage, and score updates from around the area. Here’s the 2023 team:

 

J.T. SCARPELLI

For his third straight season, Coach Scarpelli will return to the booth to call Big Rapids football this season. This will mark the ninth year in broadcasting from the former Cardinal baseball standout.

Scarpelli was recently named head coach of the Big Rapids varsity baseball program, in which they won a CSAA regular season title.

To date, he has over 17 years of athletic playing and coaching experience in both high school and college baseball.

“I know the kids from coaching baseball so I love covering them in another sport,” Scarpelli said. “I think it gives a unique insight into the kids so listeners can get to know them beyond the field. I try to stay loose, real, and fun. My mission is to involve the kids as often as possible into the on air content, especially siblings who get shout outs and cameos!”

Scarpelli admires the work of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully. He also is a large Chicago Bears fan and firmly believes they will win the Super Bowl within the next 3 years…and before the Lions.

 

BRANDON WIRTH

Returning to his alma mater, Wirth will head play-by-play duties for Reed City Coyote football this fall on Y-102. The fellow Bulldog made his debut with the network last year calling for Chippewa Hills and will be replacing veteran Christian Booher as the voice of the Coyotes.

Wirth currently competes as student athlete for Ferris’ cross country and track and field programs while also serving as the news and sports director at the station.

He was also a former Reed City Coyote athlete, competing in four sports at the varsity level and earning all-state in cross country, all-conference honors in baseball, and all-area in soccer.

“I cannot be more excited to be back home in the booth this year,” Wirth said. “I had a great experience working with the Chippewa Hills program last year but having the Coyote logo on my chest brings me another level of passion. You can expect some highlight reel touchdown calls, in-depth statistical analysis, and the occasional Brandon-ism to bring some laughter along the way.”

Wirth’s favorite broadcasters include Bob Wischusen and Kevin Harlan. He also enjoys tossing lines in the water and shredding pow in the winter.

 

JOE NAGY

Born and raised in Sand Lake, the former Tri-County Viking and Ferris State Bulldogs joins the crew as the lead studio analyst and board operator for this fall. He will also be filling in for various games at the play-by-play position later in the season.

Nagy has high school varsity experience with baseball and soccer as well as continuing his athletic career at Ferris, winning four intramural championships in dodgeball, softball, soccer, and volleyball, respectively.

The Bulldog graduate obtained a sports communication degree from Ferris State last spring and has a handful of seasons calling games at both play-by-play and color positions in different sports.

“I got into broadcasting to fulfill a childhood dream of sharing my love for sports and sharing that love with people around me,” Nagy said. “I love to have fun in anything I do and I like to think my call style reflects that. Some of my favorite things are finding new ways of describing what is happening beyond the basics. I'm a high energy guy, and I like to keep that going on the broadcasts.”

Nagy’s favorite broadcasters include Jim Nantz and Gus Johnson. He also has “many leather-bound books and has an apartment scented of rich mahogany.”

 

BROADCAST NETWORK INFORMATION:

Big Rapids Cardinal Football on Big Country: 100.9 FM, WWBR.com, and WWBR mobile app.

Reed City Coyote Football on Y102: 102.3 FM, WYBR.com, and WYBR mobile app.

CSAA & Area Football Coverage via The West Michigan Sports Show on WBRN: 1460 AM, 96.5 FM, 107.7 FM, WBRN.com, and WBRN mobile app.

UPDATE: Armed suspect arrested following inner perimeter search of Original Footwear

At approximately 4:35 P.M., the armed suspect spotted on Catherine Ave. earlier this afternoon was taken into custody without further incident.

The Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team was on scene and took over the inner perimeter of the incident at around 3:00 P.M., prior to finding the suspect. Upon arrival, officers were able to clear the building of bystanders and find and speak with the subject.

Officers were dispatched to the inital call at 1300 block of Catherine Ave. around 12:46 P.M. in reference to a subject armed with a gun.

There isno found threat to the public but city police requests for the public to avoid the area at this time.

The Big Rapids Police Department was assisted on scene by the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, the Michigan State Police, the Ferris State University DPS, the Big Rapids Fire Dept, Mecosta County EMS, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (8/7 - 8/13)

Monday, August 7

  • An officer transported a 58-year-old male that was arrested in Kent County on a warrant for failing to appear in court out of Osceola. He was lodged in the jail without incident.
  • An officer was dispatched to a location regarding a disorderly person. The man left without further issue.
  • An officer issued various abatement for violation of lawn maintenance city ordinance.
  • Officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation. The caller stated a man had been loitering around the Chamber of Commerce for several days. The man is known to officers from previous contact and no criminal activity took place.
  • An officer assisted someone that came to the department to make reports of online harassment. He was advised on how to handle the matter.
  • An officer took a report of an elderly scam where the scammer pretends to be on an oil rig offshore and starts a relationship online asking for money. The woman stated she was aware it was a scam.

Tuesday, August 8

  • An officer took a report or a found bike. If you are missing a bicycle, contact the RCPD to identify it.
  • An officer took a report of an attempted fraud scam. The woman stated she received a message telling her to click a button to receive an IRS refund. Upon inspection the link, clicking the button takes you to a non IRS website where they attempt to gather personal information.
  • An officer transported a 23-year-old male that was arrested in Montcalm County on a FTA warrant out of Osceola. He was transported to the local jail and lodged.

Wednesday, August 9

  • An officer assisted the Michigan State Police on the scene of a minor accident with traffic control.
  • An officer issued various abatement for violation of lawn maintenance city ordinance.
    An officer assisted deputies in attempting to locate a runaway juvenile. He was found later and returned home.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding threats to the caller’s dog from a previous neighbor in another town. The previous neighbor could not be reached, and it is believed he is unaware the caller is no longer his neighbor.
  • Officers investigated a report of a possible suicidal man. The man stated he had been having a rough time
    previously and no longer wished to harm himself.

Thursday, August 10

  • An officer found a phone on the side of the road after it alerted 911 to a possible crash. There was no crash but the phone sensed the impact from being left on the car and falling off going down the road. The owner was located and the phone was returned.
  • An officer issued various abatement for violation of lawn maintenance city ordinance.

Friday, August 11

  • An officer took a complaint regarding a possible harassment case from an ex-husband. The case is still under investigation.
  • An officer transported a man to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.
  • An officer took a report from a woman who is the guardian of another adult with mental health problems who made statements expressing they wished another family member was no longer around. The matter was unfounded.

Saturday, August 12

  • An officer took a report from a man that came into the department to report an internet scam. He had been lead to believe he was going to a lustful encounter with a woman met online but had to provide a gaming card to keep the woman’s nephew, she was supposedly babysitting, occupied. An investigation showed the scammer to be a male in another country.
  • An officer was dispatched to a report of a sexual assault that had allegedly occurred several nights prior. The man calling has known mental health problems and it was determined he was suffering from auditory hallucinations.
  • A man called the RCPD to report the sighting of UFOs. It was determined the man was in Lake County and the matter was turned over to the sheriff department to check on the man. The UFOs were determined to likely be meteors from the Persied meteor shower.

Sunday, August 13

  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for speeding that led to the arrest of a 39-year-old male for operating while impaired with a high BAC.

  • An officer took a report from a man regarding a family disagreement on how his elderly grandmother was being cared for.

  • An officer responded to a call about a 59-year-old male that was showing suicidal behavior. The officer transported him to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Mylik Mitchell Tabbed As Ferris State's Jimmy Swears Courage Award Recipient

Ferris State University senior quarterback Mylik Mitchell (Cleveland, Ohio), who has helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships, has been chosen as the recipient of Ferris State Athletics' Jimmy Swears Courage Award for the recently-completed 2022-23 campaign.

The Jimmy Swears Courage Award is presented to a deserving student or current personnel within the Bulldog Athletics program, who when confronted with a life-altering or difficult situation, has used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome the odds while inspiring others.

"Mylik Mitchell is a great choice for the Jimmy Swears Courage Award and has had to battle both injury and adversity in his collegiate career," said FSU Athletics Director Steve Brockelbank. "He's the ultimate team player and played thru pain last fall to help our team claim the national championship for the second year in a row. He's been a leader for his team and deserves this recognition for the way in which he has overcame the odds."

Mitchell, who returns for the Bulldogs this fall, played thru a foot injury last fall that forced him to miss five games. He returned to the lineup in October and helped spark Ferris State on yet another memorable postseason run, culminating in a decisive win over the Colorado School of Mines in the national championship game. He finished the year by throwing for 1,512 yards and six scores while adding 209 rushing yards and four scores.

A team leader and captain, Mitchell has also sacrificed for the team the past two seasons, splitting time at the offensive controls with former Bulldog Jared Bernhardt in 2021 and fellow Bulldog Carson Gulker in 2022. He began his collegiate career on the NCAA Division I level at Kent State before being injured and eventually leaving the program. After time away, Mitchell joined the Bulldogs in the winter of 2020 before having to sit out yet another year due to the fall 2020 COVID season cancellation. The 26-year old Mitchell has helped tutor FSU's younger quarterbacks and is expected to lead the Bulldogs on their quest for another NCAA D2 Playoff berth this fall.

"Mylik is a deserving candidate for this honor and has put the team's best interests at heart," said FSU head coach Tony Annese. "He's a humble and passionate young man wtih outstanding ability and a desire to be the best he can be. We're thrilled he's been selected for this prestigious honor."

The Jimmy Swears Courage Award is named in honor of longtime FSU Athletics booster Jim Swears, who passed away Jan. 17, 2007, at the age of 64 following a lengthy bout with cancer. A local businessman and community activist, Swears was a strong supporter of Ferris State men's ice hockey, football, and basketball. He worked diligently to help develop and maintain FSU's status as a NCAA Division I men's ice hockey program. Additionally, Swears served on the board of directors for the Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association and was an active member of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. He was the 2006 recipient of the Northern Lights Lifetime Achievement Award for business and industry in the Big Rapids (Mich.) area.

Nominees for the award are an inspiration to their peers, serve as a role model to others and are a team leader while responding to adversity. Those individuals nominated for the award must be involved with the Bulldog intercollegiate athletics program and possibly include student-athletes, student managers, student coaches and/or student athletic trainers in addition to current athletics department personnel.

Mitchell becomes the 15th-ever winner of the Jimmy Swears Courage Award and the third Bulldog Football student-athlete to earn the recognition. Former women's basketball guard Kylie Muntz is the only two-time winner of the prestigious honor, making this year's honor the 16th time overall in which the award has been bestowed.

Veteran Birkam Health Center Leadership Stands Ready to Support Healthy Student Life at Ferris State University

New leaders of Ferris State University’s Birkam Health Center and Personal Counseling Center say they are focused on keeping students healthy to succeed in classes and beyond.

Christy Bourdlais will head the Birkam Health Center and Andy Slater will lead the Personal Counseling Center. Both are Ferris State graduates and familiar with student wellness needs.

Bourdlais earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Ferris State in 2010 and is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She has been with Birkam Health Center since the summer of 2016 and has served as BHC’s interim director since March 2022.

“My experience in clinical and administrative roles have helped me to understand the intricacies of insurance as it applies to student accounts and being ready to respond in light of care considerations, such as an influenza outbreak,” Bourdlais said. “I hope to make more students aware that the center can serve them just as a primary care physician would, with clinical response to their concerns, fully capable of writing prescriptions for them, as needed.”

Bourdlais said she is excited by the opportunity to direct Birkam Health Center and collaborate with other university areas.

“There are certainly facilities and areas of expertise that can be applied, to bring about the best possible care for our students,” Bourdlais said. “If we can come together with the College of Pharmacy and other appropriate avenues across campus, I am very willing to utilize all possible resources to support a healthy, well-served university community.”

Slater also came to Ferris State in the summer 2016. He will also be leading anti-violence programming on campus in his role as Personal Counseling Center director.

“Ferris has been very concerted in its efforts to go beyond state and federal requirements of the Department of Education, in assuring rights and protections that are afforded through Title IX regulations,” Slater said. “I am glad for my experiences in counseling and training and will apply those in the leadership of our staff as we offer care and support for each Ferris student.”

Slater sought to build on relationships with peer programs across campus as interim director of the Personal Counseling Center.

“Our students’ mental health needs are growing significantly, especially in terms of the demand they present to our center,” Slater said. “Contact hours for our counselors have increased annually for the last six years, and supporting our students cannot be our battle alone.”

Slater said the counseling staff had addressed this need by providing more training modules with campus partners in the academic and departmental ranks.

“One area where we hope for greater impact is bringing benefit to students who are feeling lonely, though they are among thousands like themselves in our residence halls and on campus,” Slater said. “Creating a caring culture through training and offering outreach so students feel connected is important to their well-being. We believe they will stay on campus and thrive in pursuing their degrees when they truly feel that they belong.” 

Slater also hopes to increase student awareness about Personal Counseling Center availability and opportunities.

“I am not joking when I tell my clients this is likely that last time you might be able to take advantage of counseling for free,” Slater said. “If you have ever been even slightly interested in trying therapy, please come check us out! I am proud to be part of a team of experienced and caring counselors, available to any student who requests our support and understanding.”

Kent County to partner with lender IFF on $58 million Affordable Housing Fund

The Kent County Board of Commissioners today unanimously approved the parameters for a new Kent County Affordable Housing Loan Fund and authorized negotiations with nonprofit lender IFF to administer the loan fund. The overall management of the fund will be under the guidance of a yet-to-be formed advisory committee and the Board of Commissioners.

Kent County last December appropriated $17.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to address the affordable housing shortage throughout the county. Partnering with IFF provides a 2.33:1 match, adding $40,833,333 to the Affordable Housing Loan Fund for a total amount of $58,333,333.

“With its proven affordable housing experience and unique funding match, IFF was a clear choice to help ensure the success of our innovative new housing fund,” said Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Stan Stek. “We listened intently to our residents who wanted us to make housing a priority when allocating our ARPA funding. The loan fund will be transformative for Kent County families who desperately need more affordable housing options.”

A 12-member Kent County Revolving Loan Housing Fund Advisory Committee recommended the loan parameters. The loan fund will support rental and homeownership developments that meeting the following affordability requirements:

  • Rental projects will be priced appropriately for households earning at or below 80% of the county-wide area median income. Eighty percent of Area Median Income (AMI) for a family of four currently in Kent County is $71,600.
  • Homeownership projects will be priced appropriately for households earning at or below 120% of the county-wide area median income. One hundred and twenty percent of AMI for a family of four currently in Kent County is $107,400.
  • All projects will be required to maintain affordability requirements for at least 20% of the housing units for a period of at least 10 years or the length of the loan period, whichever is longer.

The Affordable Housing Loan Fund will launch officially within the coming months.

Additionally, local nonprofit housing organization, Housing Next, received a $500,000 appropriation from Kent County last December to support local governments in increasing affordable housing development through zoning and land use reforms. These reforms are important to increasing the impact of investments like the Affordable Housing Loan Fund and to build the almost 35,000 units needed by 2027 in Kent County.

The Board also voted to fund 30 projects last December that draw on the $127.6 million Kent County received through ARPA. In total, more than $108 million was allocated in this round of funding.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (8/8 - 8/13)

Tuesday, August 8

  • Miscellaneous – Officers were dispatched for a check well being on an individual laying on the ground. The subject was transported to Reed City Hospital for a mental evaluation.

Wednesday, August 9

  • Miscellaneous - Officers were dispatched to assist the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office with a runaway. 
  • Assist – Officers were dispatched to assist Children’s Protective Services with a home visit.

Thursday, August 10

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, August 11

  • Larceny – Officers investigated a larceny complaint involving a stolen Vape pen and tobacco products. The case remains open at this time.

Saturday, August 12

  • Domestic – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff's Department while handling a domestic violence call. 

  • Juvenile – Officers were dispatched to a suspicious complaint involving an unattended juvenile. The juvenile was returned home and Children’s Protective Services was notified of the incident. 

  • Disorderly – Officers were dispatched to a fight in progress between a few juveniles. Upon arrival the suspect had left in a vehicle. Officers caught up to the vehicle and stopped it. After investigating the complaint nobody wanted to seek charges.

  • Warrant Arrests – Officers made contact with two subjects who had warrant out for their arrest. Subjects were arrested and lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Sunday, August 13

  • Animal Complaint – Officers were dispatched to a dog at large complaint. Officers attempted to catch the dog but were unable to. The case remains open pending contact with the owner.

Road construction near Grand Rapids slated for next two weeks

Over the next two weeks, many major highways and freeways will be undergoing work in the Grand Rapids and Kent County areas. There are four projects scheduled at various times and dates throughout the period.

 

M-37 (8/15 - 8/17)

There will be daily lane closures for road work at 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. and are scheduled for Tuesday through this Thursday on M-37. The specific area of work is between 3 Mile Rd. to 7 Mile Rd. 

 

*Map provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

 

WB I-96 (8/15 - 8/16)

Lane closures for road work are in effect through 9 P.M. on Wednesday on westbound I-96 from Montcalm Ave, near the Ionia and Kent County lines, to Morse Lake Ave. Lane closures will resume next week on eastbound and westbound I-96 from M-6 to Montcalm Ave. 

 

*Map provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

 

NB US-131 (8/16)

The off ramp from northbound US-131 to Cherry St. is scheduled to be closed for maintenance Wednesday from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M. From 12 P.M. to 3 P.M., the off ramp from northbound US-131 to Hall St. is also scheduled to be closed.

 

*Map provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

 

M-21 (8/18 - 8/30)

Nightly lane closures between 7 P.M. to 6 A.M. are scheduled beggining this Friday night through Aug. 30 on eastbound and westbound M-21 from Forest Hill Ave to Grand River Dr.

 

*Map provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation. 

 

All work by MDOT is weather dependent. For specific alerts and more information, visit www.michigan.gov/drive.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekend Blotter (8/11 - 8/13)

Friday, August 11

Calls for Service: 10

 

Saturday, August 12

  • At 2351 hours, deputies responded to a one vehicle accident on 8 Mile and Northland Dr. in Mecosta TWP. The male driver was arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Sunday, August 13

Calls for Service: 15

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Ferris State University Welding Engineering Major Charts Less Common Academic Path that Opens Doors

Ferris State University junior Abby Frisk never imagined the domestic and international doors that would open for her when she charted her course toward a Welding career. 

Majoring in Welding Engineering Technology from New Lisbon, Wisconsin, Frisk earned an opportunity she wouldn’t have dreamed of passing up. She was one of 10 people selected in the United States for the GE Aerospace group, a trip sponsored by the president of Poland, GE Aerospace and the Polish and Slavic Credit Union. Frisk’s winning pitch included a successful application, video response, and resume. 

Frisk, traveling outside the U.S. for the first time, departed from Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Poland, on May 24 for 10 days, through June 3. She traveled with a party of 20 U.S. students, the GE Aerospace USA leader and two women from the chancellery of the President of Poland. 

“It was a cultural, historical and economic experience to learn about Poland,” said Frisk, who attended Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin, where she graduated with an Industrial Welding Technology associate degree before Ferris. “I learned a lot about the history of Poland. It was cool to see and tour many castles and towns. It was interesting to learn about how they rebuilt after World War II, how some of the towns were mostly destroyed and what they look like today. This trip also showed me the importance of learning another language.” 

Any doubts Frisk had doubts about traveling abroad, before Summer 2023, were quickly extinguished. 

“I would definitely tell students who are thinking about it to do it,” she said. “It is so much fun, and you will meet cool people as well as have some amazing experiences. We visited Warsaw, Warka, Chelm, Lublin, Belzec, Rzeszow and Mielec. We explored many aspects of Poland, from companies and museums to government offices. I was excited to tour Lockheed Martin and GE Aerospace.” 

Frisk notes one of the trip’s highlights was an opportunity to interact with Poland’s leader. 

“It was very memorable getting to meet the President of Poland, Mr. Andrzej Duda,” she said of visiting the presidential palace on May 26, where group members participated in a diploma ceremony with the president. Frisk shook hands with the president, received the diploma and posted with him for photos during an event captured on video. 

Other trip highlights included a day-two visit, laying flowers at a memorial for former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and a tour of the royal castle in Warsaw. Day five featured a tour of Lublin University of Technology and the Aerospace Center of the National Academy of Applied Sciences. The group visited the Chelm and the Chalk Tunnels and stopped at the memorial site in Belzec for victims of the Holocaust. 

On day eight, Frisk got her opportunity to visit a branch of Lockheed Martin, in Rzeszów to PZL Mielec. 

“We were unable to take pictures,” Frisk said. “But we got to see where they make Blackhawk helicopters! Then we drove for four-4ish hours back to Warsaw.” 

On day nine, the group’s final full day in Poland, Frisk took a tour of GE Aerospace. 

“We got to see where they do engine fan blade testing and then where they have engines for new engineers and hires to learn about the engines and to take them apart,” she said. “We had lunch with GE employees and chatted about GE and our experiences in Poland. We finished the day with dinner with the Secretary of State Andrzej Dera at the Belweder Palace and a tour.” 

From there, Frisk and fellow group members started their journey back to the U.S., which included flying over Paris and spotting the Eiffel Tower in the distance from their plane. 

Back on U.S. soil, Frisk is wrapping up her summer home in Wisconsin before returning to Ferris to continue her Welding Engineering Technology academic program toward an anticipated May 2025 graduation date. 

“Welding has fascinated me since learning to weld in high school,” said Frisk, who is working as a welding/metallurgy intern at Walker Forge. “Welding is a great career choice as there are so many options for jobs related to welding, whether it be hands-on welding, inspection, robotics, education or engineering.”

Frisk urges anyone, male or female, to not see this career path as intimidating. 

“If you’re thinking about a career in welding, it is very rewarding and not as scary as you may think,” she said before reflecting on being a woman in a field made up traditionally of predominantly men. “In my work experience, I have worked with mostly men, and they have always been super helpful and usually think it’s pretty cool that a woman is going into welding engineering.”

Alpine TWP man arrested following shooting incident at his residence

Just before 6:00 A.M. on Monday, Kent County Sheriff's Office received a report of shots fired at 3814 Yorkland Dr NW in Comstock Park.

Deputies, along with Michigan State Police Troopers and Walker Police Officers responded to the scene. They found five additional people in the apartment who were afraid to come out and were hidden away in different rooms from the 48-year-old suspect. 

Additional Sheriff's Office resources, such as the Tactical Team and Negotiators, were requested to assist. Deputies attempted to communicate with the suspect but he was not cooperative despite appearing to be unarmed. 

The Tactical Team was fortunate enough to make entry into the apartment and took the suspect into custody without incident. They also located a firearm nearby at the scene.

Detectives interviewed those involved and ultimately arrested the suspect who was residing at the apartment with felony charges. Those involved were all known to each other and the incident appeared to stem from a domestic argument. 

The case will be further reviewed by the Kent County Prosecutor's Office.

Ferris State Soccer and Volleyball Squads Reporting For Fall Preseason Camp

The Ferris State University women's soccer and volleyball squads, which are both coming off championship seasons last fall, will begin preparations for the 2023 campaign as both squads officially report for the start of fall preseason workouts this weekend.

Both teams will hold their first official practice and training sessions on Monday following initial testing and official check-in activities.

Along with the normal preseason practices, both squads will also participate in several scrimmages before preseason camp comes to a close. Team meetings, presentations and conditioning are also part of the various scheduled preseason activities.

The Ferris State women's soccer program, which reached the NCAA Division II Final Four for the first time in school history last season, has earned recognition as one of the country's top teams heading into the fall 2023 campaign as the Bulldogs were listed sixth in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason National Rankings. The 2023 fall season will represent Ferris State's 25th season of intercollegiate competition.

The Bulldogs, who reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history a year ago, will embark on a challenging 18-game regular-season slate, which includes nine home contests at the Bulldog Soccer Field. Ferris State will open its regular-season action at home on Thursday, Aug. 31, against Maryville (Mo.) in regional play starting at 1 p.m. (ET). FSU will host another regional opponent and former conference member in Northwood on Sunday, Sept. 3, as part of the opening weekend homestand. The Bulldogs will honor last year's Midwest Regional Championship squad as part of the contest.

The Bulldogs will begin GLIAC play on the road at GVSU on Friday, Sept. 15, in Allendale. The first conference home tilt is against Northern Michigan on Sept. 22. Last year, FSU won its first-ever NCAA Regional Championship and earned a national quarterfinal win to move on to the NCAA D2 National Semifinals for the first time in the program's third national tournament appearance. FSU claimed four postseason victories along the way and went 11-3-5 in its final 19 games of the year.

Meanwhile, the Bulldog Volleyball squad won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Regular Season and Tournament Championships while making a trip to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen and the Midwest Regional Championship match a year ago. FSU closed the year with a 26-10 overall record and went 16-2 in GLIAC regular-season play.

The Bulldogs will open the 2023 fall slate at home, hosting their annual Ferris State Invitational on Sept. 1-2 at the new Bulldog Arena along with Jim Wink Arena inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. FSU opens play versus Thomas More and Minnesota-Duluth on Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. (ET) and 5 p.m. (ET), respectively. This fall will represent the 51st season for Ferris State Volleyball and FSU has won at least 20 matches in a campaign 20 times in 27 seasons under head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. The Bulldogs also made their 25th consecutive GLIAC Tournament appearance last fall and has made 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths to date while advancing to the regional semifinals or beyond 10 of the last 11 years.

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for complete coverage of both teams!

Barryton's Paul MacKersie receives 17 awards for exceptional service from Congressman Moolenaar

Last Thursday, Congressman John Moolenaar honored a special man in Barryton for his outstanding service.

American Legion Post 473 Commander, SGT Paul MacKersie from Barryton, received 15 medals for his service of over 27 years in the U.S. Army reserves in front of his family, friends, and legion.

During his service, MacKersie served time in his home state as well other states like Nebraska and Delaware. Some of his duties included being a unit supply clerk specialist as well as a motored transport operator. MacKersie currently serves as the Mecosta County Veteran’s Service Officer, in which he helps former veterans with filing claims for county, state, and federal benefits they may be entitled to.

When asked about his current duties, MacKersie said he is happy every day to be helping fellow veterans.

“I love working with veterans,” MacKersie said. “I really do love my job. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming and you feel like you get angry, but I have resources and situations that can tweak or push something through or acquire something that a veteran deserves. There's nothing more gratifying than when a claim is approved.”

MacKersie comes from a long line of family history in the service, as his step-grandfather, father Ronald, and uncle Veral served in World War II, brother in Vietnam, and son also in the Army reserves. His second grandson, Cameron, also just reported to the U.S. Navy.

 

*John Moolenaar adressing the crowd of SGT MacKersie's awards (Brandon Wirth).

 

When asking Congressman Moolenaar, he said the family line of service really made MacKersie stand out amongst many he has honored.

“The continuity of service that he started many years ago (has) continued to this day,” Moolenaar said. “There is an ethic of service, excellence and humility recognized by those around him and who contributed to his life. To me, that was a very gracious act and exemplary in terms of our military leaders.”

Following Moolenaar’s speech to MacKersie at the ceremony, the congressman also answered questions from those in the legion. The turnout was very positive for the community and MacKersie couldn’t thank guests enough for their support.

For more local news, subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at WBRN.com.

Promesa Summer Success Program Continues Tradition of Learning Opportunities, Ferris State University Campus Experience

More than 40 West Michigan high school students are blazing a trail to completing college-level courses while gaining higher education preparatory skills and cultural experiences through Ferris State University’s Promesa Summer Success Program.  

Center for Latin@ Studies Director Sonia Trevino said this was the 11th year of the free, eight-week program in which students from Holland, Grand Rapids, Grant and Hart gather for daily instruction in reading and math in a college setting.  

Nearly 30 of our Promesa students attended a Ferris campus visit in July, spending nights in Travis Hall and engaged in group activities such as campus tours, a scavenger hunt, movie night and a video game tournament. 

“We are very thankful that Ferris’ Esports program collaborated with our students for that competition,” Trevino said. “Those who came and stayed seemed to enjoy being in a collegiate setting.”  

Trevino added that the tradition of an end-of-summer group gathering was adjusted this year to accommodate the wishes of student-athletes involved in the program.  

“Traveling to Big Rapids would conflict with the early practice schedule for our participants who compete in fall sports,” Trevino said. “Each cohort has its own celebration, presenting certificates of completion to their students as the Promesa Summer Success program concludes on Friday, Aug. 11.”  

Students in Promesa Summer Success are rising high school juniors and seniors committed to attending weekday classes to potentially earn as many as seven college credits.  

Sheriff's Corner: Helping the homeless population

The following was written by Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller in part of a monthly editorial.

 

At a recent Mecosta County Board of Commissioners meeting, there were advocates presenting and asking for support to build a new building for Our Brothers Keeper Homeless Shelter. Going back five years ago, having the professional background I did, and at that time, being a member of the Big Rapids Public Schools Board of Education, I was aware of the homelessness problem we have in our community. I knew we had several in our student population couch surfing from one friend or family member’s place to another.

Nationally, our homelessness population has continued to grow. Whether the problem regionally is a lack of affordable housing, or, what I believe we are seeing here, based empirical evidence, is a homeless crisis with the root problem of mental illness and substance abuse.  In recent poll from Los Angeles, the homeless population grew by 9% from the prior year to a whooping 75,900. The numbers have ticked upward over the past several years, from 52,765 in 2018 to what it is now. Washington D.C. has already reported an increase of 11 percent, while the Phoenix area homeless population was up 7 percent. Chicago and New York have said their homeless populations spiked in the past year as asylum seekers arrived; New York officials have reported that it had people living in homeless shelters. Reports from New York City is the city has turned its land used for children and adults’ recreational sports have been turned in to ‘Tent Cities’.

In Mecosta County, we are just a reflection of what is taking place nationwide. The question everywhere has been what is the solution to this growing problem? I agree from a large-scale standpoint, the only way to achieve that lowering the homeless numbers we are seeing nationwide, is to improve communication among nonprofit groups and government agencies. A portion of the homeless were employed before COVID and lost their jobs and have struggled to get back on their feet. It is a fact that when some people fall on hard time and a pit of homelessness, it can be very hard to get out of it.

However, locally, the problem we are seeing is that several in the homeless population who are having contact with law enforcement, first responders and whom local business owners have used their bathrooms to bathe themselves are outsiders who have come to our community or been dropped off because there is a shelter here. Nearly half of those at our shelter are from outside the area. These are the same people who we have had reports of being disorderly, suffering mental health episodes, setting up encampments along the White Pine Trail and committing a plethora of crimes, including murder.

I have a lot of understanding and compassion for those who have fallen on hard times and need a hand with getting back on their feet. I very much believe in redemption and reconciliation, so I completely understand the need for services like the shelter. What I haven’t said publicly but have been thinking for some time is opening, or allowing those individuals from outside our county, or in some circumstances, our state, has caused a significant amount of the problems, and we should not be compounding the problem by expanding the shelter or its capacity.  

Due to the increasing numbers of people seeking assistance and the shelter’s limited capacity, people have resorted to camping along the trail, forcing those locally who use it, to find other places to walk, run, or ride their bike to get exercise and enjoy nature without being exposed to or exposing their children to harassment and/or lude behavior.  

Recently, a staff member from the National Forest Service who was recently assigned to our area from West Virgina stopped in the office and told the undersheriff he was sent here to deal with the increasing number of homeless people camping in the Manistee National Forest.

I understand Los Angeles is a much larger scale, but I do not want to see our fine community become a hub for everyone in Mid-Michigan’s homeless population. I know several who are on the board for the shelter. I respect and hold them in the highest regard, knowing they have the right intentions, and their heart is in the right place. Often folks with big hearts and the right intentions get taken advantage of by those who are looking to dump their problems on the well-meaning hearts. We need to take care of our own before we open our doors to everyone else. I question at what point are we enabling people instead of caring or providing aid to them.

Ferris State Hockey To Host GVSU In "Anchor-Bone On Ice"

The Ferris State University NCAA Division I men's ice hockey squad will square off against Grand Valley State inside FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena this fall as the "Anchor-Bone On Ice" exhibition game takes place on Friday, Oct. 20, in Big Rapids.

The Bulldogs will face the Lakers' American Collegiate Hockey Association (AHCA) club team on Oct. 20 with puck drop set for 7:07 p.m. (ET). It will mark the first matchup between FSU and GVSU on the ice since the Bulldogs moved to varsity status in the mid-1970's.

The two West Michigan institutions are longtime rivals in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and compete against one another in NCAA Division II action, but have not faced each other on the ice since the 1974-75 season when Ferris State beat the Lakers five times while midst moving from the club level to the NAIA level prior to becoming a Division I member in the late 70's. Ferris went 5-0 versus the Lakers during the 1974-75 season, outscoring GVSU 41-9 over the five contests.

The Bulldogs were slated to have a bye week before agreeing to the exhibition matchup.

"We're looking forward to bringing this great rivalry to the ice and expecting a big crowd for this matchup," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. "This game fits into our schedule well and will be a contest that should feature plenty of energy and excitement from both the players and the fans."

Tickets for the contest will go on sale once FSU single-game sales begin on Sept. 11 and will be $20 for adult reserved seats along with $15 for seniors (age 65+) and FSU faculty staff along with $10 for kids ages 3-17. FSU student tickets are only $5 for general admission in the Dawg Pound or $10 for student reserved seats with identification.

The game will take place the week following a football showdown between FSU and GVSU on the gridiron in the Anchor-Bone Classic, which is set for Saturday, Oct. 14, at Lubbers Stadium in Allendale.

The "Anchor-Bone On Ice" game will be included in all Ferris State Hockey season ticket packages, which are currently on sale now.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (8/7 - 8/10)

Monday, August 7

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, August 8

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, August 9

Calls for Service: 21

 

Thursday, August 10

Calls for Service: 16

Traffic Accidents: 3

Multiple lane and ramp closures on I-196 in Grand Rapids scheduled for Sunday

Lane closures for road and bridge work are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 13, from 7 A.M. to 3 P.M. on westbound I-196 between US-131 and Market Ave.

Both ramps from southbound US-131 to westbound I-196 and from Lane Ave. and Second St. to westbound I-196 are scheduled to close from 7 A.M. to 11 A.M. The ramp from northbound US-131 to westbound I-196 is also scheduled to be closed from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

For up-to-date information on this project and others, go to the list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive

Nation's oldest cross-country camp completes first successful year at new central Michigan location

What started as a simple running camp in 1969 has turned into one of the most influential instructional opportunities in all of Michigan.

HQ2 camps, formerly known as Wolverine Camps, spent many years in their first location up north in the town of Wolverine. Following Wolverine Camp’s closing after 50 years, the cross-country camp rebranded to HQ2 camps and began a new venture this summer at their new location at Eagle Village Camp and Retreat Center in Hersey.

“Eagle Village is an amazing place to be and to run,” Co-camp director Drew Ludtke said. “We loved combining our HQ2 Cross Country staff with the outstanding Eagle Village staff. They have an outstanding organization and we were very happy with the ability to host a running camp that felt safe both on-site and when running the local dirt roads and trails.”

Over a two-week period in late July, 150 campers from all over Michigan and even other states like Virginia, Minnesota, and California, received a full camp experience that included teaching in biomechanics, nutrition, sports psychology, and mentorship. Campers also experienced activities provided by Eagle Village like high ropes adventure, climbing wall, basketball, and swimming.

 

*Campers climbing in Eagle Village's high ropes course (Photo credit to Joan Perry Ludtke).

 

Led by Ludtke and experienced co-director Stu Scholl, the camp provides mentors with over 100 years of running experience. This includes a counselor staff made up of current and former collegiate athletes with experience in NCAA cross country and track and field competition as well as post-collegiate racing on the trail, road, and snowshoe circuits.

“We started in 1969 at Wolverine Camps and have been able to continue,” Ludtke said. “We have the most cross-country national champions of any camp in the country having three Footlocker and Eastbay National Champions. (Former director) Kermit Ambrose kept the camp going from 1971 to the early 1990's had coached Olympic athletes and many other great athletes.”

Other mentors include experienced coaches and speakers that hold instructional sessions with the campers. One of these speakers includes former 10 mile and half marathon world record holder Herbert Lindsay, who has been a part of the camp for over 20 years and grew up in the area. Herbert even has family ties to Eagle Village from the start of his running as a kid.

 

*Herbert Lindsay speaking to campers during instructional session (Photo credit to Joan Perry Ludtke).

 

“(Herbert) had family members who helped construct the first dining hall at Eagle Village,” Ludtke said. “He spent many hours running around the Eagle Village property as a youth, before the camp was developed. Herbert credits this play and experience in nature as a major reason he developed his love for running.”

Along with Lindsay, former Olympian Paul McMullen had been a staple speaker in the camp lineup for many years and even filled in as a director for one year. McMullen unfortunately passed away in 2021 from a skiing accident but his impact on the camp is still felt every year.

“Paul was a great motivator who helped many athletes in his time at camp,” Ludtke said. “We keep his name, stories and impact going through sharing his life stories.”

 

*Campers on a run led by co-director Drew Ludtke on the bike (Photo credit to Joan Perry Ludtke).

 

With a mission to be the best running camp in the nation, HQ2 continually searches for ways to be better each year. According to Ludtke, their first camp at Eagle Village was extremely successful but that won’t stop them from searching for more ways to be better.

“We are always looking forward to next year and what we can improve. This year was some of the most positive feedback that we have had. Campers loved the climbing and running trails and roads.”

For more information on the camp, visit HQ2running.com.

More crime victims eligible for financial assistance under historic expansion

Michigan’s Crime Victim Compensation program will be more widely available to crime victims and their family members thanks to legislative changes going into effect Saturday, Aug. 12. Expansions to Crime Victim Compensation were signed last year by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to broaden program eligibility requirements and help ensure equitable access to financial benefits.

“This historic expansion in Michigan’s Crime Victim Compensation and the investment in the bipartisan budget I just signed shows our shared commitment to supporting victims across the state,” Gov. Whitmer said. “Since I took office, we have invested $1.5 billion in public safety. As a former prosecutor, this is a top priority for me and I will work with anyone to ensure Michiganders feel safe at home, school, work, and in their neighborhoods.”

Under the new legislation, the maximum award limit has been increased from $25,000 to $45,000, and more people impacted by crime physically, emotionally, psychologically or mentally may be eligible for compensation. In addition to medical expenses, counseling, lost wages, and replacement services, compensation will now be available for items such as residential security, bereavement and relocation-related expenses.

“We want victims of violent crime to know that they are not alone,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Our Division of Victim Services is here to advocate for crime victims and their survivors and to help them deal with the physical and emotional toll that crime can take.”

Gov. Whitmer’s recent fiscal year 2024 budget approved $30 million for victim services, marking one of Michigan’s largest and most historic investments in services for crime victims and survivors. In addition to funding other direct services, this investment will help maintain victim rights services required by Michigan’s Crime Victim Rights Act and Constitution through grants to prosecutor’s offices and direct compensation to victims through Michigan’s Crime Victim Compensation program. The investment is particularly crucial given the recent expansions and will help ensure a smooth transition as new benefits and eligibility requirements are added to the program.

“These expansions reduce barriers and create greater accessibility to financial benefits for victims and their loved ones,” said Robin Hornbuckle, chair of the Michigan Crime Victim Services Commission. “We look forward to connecting more crime victims with financial assistance and thank our state lawmakers for enacting the changes necessary to make these benefits more broadly available.”     

More information about what to expect when the new changes go into effect can be found in an InfographicFrequently Asked Questions for Victims and Frequently Asked Questions for Advocates and Providers.

Consumers Energy to conduct siren tests near dams along Manistee and Muskegon Rivers

Consumers Energy announced Friday morning that emergency public warning sirens and speaker systems near its dams will be tested next week.

Sirens near the Rogers, Hardy, and Croton hydroelectric generating plants on the Muskegon River will be tested on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at about 9:00 A.M.

Near the Tippy and Hodenpyl hydroelectric generating plants on the Manistee River, sirens will be tested on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at about 9:00 A.M.

Each test will include a voice message, a 30-second siren and a second voice message. The public does not need to take any action during the test.

The siren systems are tested each August and December and are required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Ferris State Soccer Tabbed Sixth Nationally In United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll

The Ferris State University women's soccer program, which reached the NCAA Division II Final Four for the first time in school history last season, has earned recognition as one of the country's top teams heading into the fall 2023 campaign as the Bulldogs were listed sixth in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason National Rankings.

The Bulldogs were one of only two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) member schools found in the national preseason top 25 along with rival Grand Valley State, which came in eighth.

Overall, the top five teams in front of FSU included Western Washington (#1), West Chester (#2), Columbus State (#3), Colorado School of Mines (#4) and West Florida (#5).

The Bulldogs, who reached the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history a year ago, will embark on a challenging 18-game regular-season slate, which includes nine home contests at the Bulldog Soccer Field.

Ferris State will open its regular-season action at home on Thursday, Aug. 31, against Maryville (Mo.) in regional play starting at 1 p.m. (ET). FSU will host another regional opponent and former conference member in Northwood on Sunday, Sept. 3, as part of the opening weekend homestand. The Bulldogs will honor last year's Midwest Regional Championship squad as part of the contest.

The Bulldogs will begin GLIAC play on the road at GVSU on Friday, Sept. 15, in Allendale. The first conference home tilt is against Northern Michigan on Sept. 22.

Follow coverage of the Bulldogs all season long at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

The Bulldogs won their first-ever NCAA Regional Championship this past year and earned a national quarterfinal win to move on to the NCAA D2 National Semifinals for the first time in the program's third national tournament appearance. FSU claimed four postseason victories along the way and went 11-3-5 in its final 19 games of the year.

MSHDA Welcomes New Homeownership Director

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority, or MSHDA, announced Tonya Coon as its new homeownership director on Wednesday.

In this role, Coon’s primary areas of responsibility will focus on management of MSHDA programs related to single-family homeownership, including its Single-Family Mortgage Loan, Michigan Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) and Housing Education programs. Additional responsibilities include oversight of business operations, personnel and other affairs within the homeownership division of MSHDA.

“Throughout her career, Tonya has displayed an immense passion and dedication to helping others achieve their dream of homeownership,” MSHDA Executive Director Amy Hovey said. “That passion, along with her extensive history of leadership within the mortgage lending space, speak directly to MSHDA’s fundamental mission of making housing and homeownership more equitable and attainable for the people of Michigan.”

Coon comes to MSHDA with over 20 years of mortgage lending experience, most recently serving as President of myCUmortgage in Beavercreek, Ohio, where she empowered credit unions across the country to improve their mortgage lending initiatives.

During her tenure at myCUmortage, Coon received the 2023 Inman Best of Finance Award, which recognizes a commitment to innovation and service within the residential lending industry. Before myCUmortage, she also held leadership roles at Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture Company, and MidWest Financial Credit Union.

“Throughout my career, I’ve especially enjoyed ensuring new homeowners feel supported during every step of the homeownership process,” Coon said. “The people at MSHDA share my passion for helping others, and I’m looking forward to stepping into this role and collaborating with the team to identify new and exciting ways to make homeownership a reality for Michigan residents.”

Former Homeownership Director Mary Townley, who retired earlier this year, will continue to oversee the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund on a contractual basis until the program ends.

Ferris State's New Center for Virtual Learning to Boost eLearning Experts' Efforts to Help Train Faculty for Innovative Approaches to Online Teaching

Ferris State University’s new Center for Virtual Learning will be a state-of-the-art resource for professors to learn innovative approaches to leading online classes.

Online classes are vitally crucial as Ferris State reaches out to students of all ages across the state, helping them gain an education while scheduling around home and work responsibilities.

“The need for online training has gone through the roof, and we are excited to support our faculty’s ability to connect their students with academic concepts through eLearning.,” said Andrew Peterson, Ferris State’s interim director of eLearning.

The $32 million facility opens this month as a hub for several of Ferris State’s innovative academic programs. Besides the eLearning team, the 64,000-square-foot center will include the School of Digital Media, Information Security and Intelligence, and the School of Education. The facility includes the Esports Arena, the first facility in Michigan designed and built for that purpose.

Peterson said some faculty members who began their eLearning journey out of necessity now collaborate with his office to optimize their instruction and create a better student experience.

“We have moved from the ‘getting it done’ mentality brought on by COVID-19 to how course materials can be accentuated and improved,” Peterson said. “The alignment between Ferris’ resources, with eLearning in the CVL, and the impact it will have on student learning is coming together. This collaboration is exciting for everyone.”

Peterson said working with students online and in hybrid settings differs from working together in a classroom. His team can help professors better demonstrate their passion for the content and engage with students in online environments.

At the core of its mission, Ferris State’s eLearning team supports faculty to help enhance student success through high-quality course design and technology.

In March 2020, as COVID-19 changed the world, Ferris State students, faculty and staff transitioned to online learning. The eLearning team had to shift gears but transitioned to a 100 percent remote work environment while simultaneously assisting faculty and students to do the same.

Online classes have remained a popular option for many students. Peterson said the team will support faculty members as the university expands opportunities in Student Success Hubs across the state, assisting students taking classes and receiving services away from the Big Rapids campus.

The office also will help Ferris State grow its international programs, assisting professors to connect with students worldwide.

Peterson expects the Center for Virtual Learning to strengthen these efforts in a physical hub designed to support Ferris State’s learning metaverse, providing a technologically advanced space for educators and students. The new center consolidates the eLearning team’s offerings.

“We have offered our training in ad hoc spaces on campus, being flexible and supportive to our faculty contacts, but it was difficult to bring consistency to our offerings and academic experiences,” Peterson said. “The simple aspect of presence for faculty instruction in this dedicated home and space will be very satisfying for our team and instructors.”

Extended and International Operations’ centralized faculty service begins in late August, as the Center for Virtual Learning opens officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Click eLearning for more information about its work at Ferris State, including resources for faculty and staff.

https://www.ferris.edu/administration/academicaffairs/extendedinternational/elearning

https://www.ferris.edu/map/center-for-virtual-learning/homepage.htm

12 Mile Road bridge re-opened in Kent County; Construction to resume in September

After first construction, the Michigan Department of Transportation has announced that 12 Mile Road over US-131 is open.

The bridge is scheduled to close again in September for approximately seven days to apply deck sealant.

 

*Map provided by the Michigan Department of Transportation

 

Traffic will again be detoured using Algoma Ave., 10 Mile Rd. and Wolven Ave.

This project's work is weather dependent and subject to change.

Fall Camp Officially Underway For Back-To-Back NCAA D2 National Champion Ferris State

Fall camp is officially underway for the Ferris State University football team, which has been picked first nationally in multiple Division II Preseason National Rankings, as the D2 national power and reigning back-to-back national champion reported this past weekend and held its first official practice on Monday (Aug. 7) at Top Taggart Field.

The Bulldogs' newcomers and veterans hit campus over the weekend for player check-in and meetings along with orientation activities. The Bulldogs then held their first full team practice on Monday morning. FSU will practice once per day under the NCAA's guidelines and restrictions.

Ferris' training camp period will not only feature practices and scrimmages, but also meetings, lifting, conditioning, testing, orientation sessions and more leading up to the season opener. FSU will also hold its annual Media/Photo Day on the morning of Aug. 19.

 

*Photo taken by Brandon Wirth

 

FSU will begin its 11th season on the field this fall under head coach and two-time D2Football.com National Coach of the Year Tony Annese and is expected to contend for its ninth-straight NCAA Division II playoff appearance. Ferris State has made the D2 National Semifinals five times in the past six seasons of on-field action, including three trips to the D2 National Championship game.

The Bulldogs, who are expected to return a strong nucleus from last season, enter the 2023 campaign as the two-time defending NCAA Division II National Champion. FSU will begin the season at home on Thursday, Aug. 31, against Mercyhurst at Top Taggart Field with kickoff set for 8 p.m. (ET) under the lights in Big Rapids.

Last fall, the Bulldogs captured a second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship, finishing with a 14-1 overall record. Over the past two seasons of action, the Bulldogs own a 28-1 overall record and FSU has reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs eight consecutive years and counting. Ferris State also ranks as the country's winningest program over the past eight full seasons in D2 Football.

 

*Photo taken by Brandon Wirth

 

Both season and single-game tickets are now on sale for all five home contests and can be purchased in advance online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for complete coverage throughout fall camp and the 2023 season!

For complete camp updates, including photos, videos, interviews & more, visit this link: Fall Camp Updates

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekend Blotter (8/4 - 8/6)

Friday, August 4

Calls for Service: 12

 

Saturday, August 5

  • At 1201 hours, deputies made a traffic stop on 9 Mile Rd. and Costabella Ave. in Wheatland TWP. The traffic stop resulted in a female being arrested on a warrant.

Calls for Service: 20

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, August 6

  • At 1541 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail on a warrant.

  • At 2241 hours, deputies made a traffic stop on 9 Mile Rd. and 70th Ave. in Morton TWP. The traffic stop resulted in male driver being arrested on a warrant and the recovery of some stolen property. 

Calls for Service: 19

Traffic Accidents: 4

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Gov. Whitmer Hosts Higher Education Summit

Yesterday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to host a higher education summit at Henry Ford College.

The event, attended by Michigan higher education officials, students and state leaders, highlighted progress toward the state’s Sixty by 30 attainment goal, to get 60% of working-age Michiganders a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030. As of today, Michigan’s education attainment is 50.5%, up from 45% when the goal was first announced by the governor in 2019. 

“Together, we have lowered costs and opened the doors of higher education to more Michiganders,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Last week, I signed my fifth bipartisan state budget which temporarily lowers the age of Michigan Reconnect, bolsters funding for colleges and universities, continues our commitment to the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, and invests in student success, including tuition assistance and basic needs support to increase graduation rates. The budget also funds the new Growing Michigan Together Council to help grow our population by attracting and retaining talent, with an emphasis on lifelong education. Together, we will ensure anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan, no matter who they are or where they come from.” 

Under LEO, the Office of Sixty by 30 has played a key role in developing historic initiatives that provide tuition-free pathways to postsecondary education for Michiganders. Futures for Frontliners, launched in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, provided frontline workers the opportunity to earn a skill certificate or associate degree at one of Michigan’s 28 public community colleges and GED classes to adults without a high school diploma or equivalency. The temporary program resulted in over 120,000 applicants?, with 27,000 students enrolled?at an education institution and over 4,200 participants completed? their programs. 

Building on the success of Futures for Frontliners, LEO joined the governor to launch Michigan Reconnect, a scholarship program for Michiganders 25 or older who already have a high school diploma or equivalency. Since the program’s launch in February 2021, over 123,000 Michiganders have been accepted, 27,000 have enrolled and at least 2,800 have already earned a degree or certificate.  

The recently signed bipartisan fiscal year 2024 budget includes an additional $70 million investment to temporarily lower the Reconnect age from 25 to 21, expanding eligibility to another 350,000 people. 

“Increasing education attainment is essential to ensure that Michiganders have access to high-paying, in-demand jobs now and in the future, and that our businesses have the talent needed to compete, grow and innovate,” said Susan Corbin, director of LEO. “Thankfully we have a governor and legislature who understand this and continue to prioritize opportunities that make Michigan more competitive for economic growth and help people realize their full potential.”  

During the event, the governor shared more on the new Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP), which will focus on early learning and higher education, and improving?long-term student outcomes, ensuring they can pursue a fulfilling career in Michigan. 

A panel discussion with community and education leaders focused on increasing enrollment and how institutions can foster new strategies and collaborations to support student success. 

“The value of postsecondary education is higher than it has ever been, and we continue to see doors opened through the attainment of certificates and degrees,” said Henry Ford College (HFC) President Russell Kavalhuna. “Education institutions are uniquely positioned to adopt strategies that ensure students can find success not only on campus, but far beyond. At Henry Ford College, we are committed to developing strategic partnerships with state, business, industry and community leaders to ensure that when our students graduate, they are ready to lead the way as educated, skilled workers.” 

The event also featured a student panel and testimonies from recent graduates highlighting their experience from application to graduation.  

“I started college when I was 18 to prepare for my dream career as a nurse, but this dream was delayed when I took a break from school to focus on raising my three children,” said Sarah Sparks, recent HFC graduate. “After years away, I knew it was time to go back to school and finish what I started. Thanks to the support of my family, my teachers and advisors at Henry Ford College and the state of Michigan for putting scholarships like Michigan Reconnect in place, I was able to overcome the barriers of returning to school, graduate and land my dream job as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”   

The rallying call from the summit was for higher education institutions and community partners to work in tandem with state government to ensure Michigan students have the supports needed to enroll, graduate with a degree or certificate and thrive in Michigan’s evolving workforce.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (7/31 - 8/6)

Monday, July 31

  • Larceny – Officers were dispatched to a larceny complaint.  Officers made contact with the complainant and the case remains open pending further investigation.

Tuesday, August 1

  • Property Damage Accident – A subject waived down an Officer to file a car/deer accident report.
  • Stolen Vehicle – Officers were dispatched to a stolen vehicle complaint. The vehicle has been recovered and the suspect has been apprehended.
  • Found Property – Officers received a found bicycle. The owner claimed it the following day.

Wednesday, August 2

  • Suspicious/Driving While License Suspended – Officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. The driver was found to have a revoked license. The driver was also out on bond and was on probation. The driver was arrested for the license offense, bond violation, and probation violation. 
  • Malicious Destruction of Property – Officers were dispatched to a malicious destruction of property complaint. Officers investigated the scene and the complaint remains open at this time.

Thursday, August 3

  • Animal Complaint – Officers were dispatched to an animal complaint. The animal was secured and the complaint remains open pending contact with the owner.

Friday, August 4

  • Assist - Officers were requested to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department with a traffic control at the scene of a vehicle fire. Officers remained on scene until no further assistance was needed. 

  • Larceny – Officers received a larceny complaint. Officers made contact with the complainant and the complaint remains open pending further investigation.

Saturday, August 5

  • Traffic Complaint – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop it was found the driver did not have a valid license. The driver was issued an appearance citation and the vehicle was driven away by another person who had a valid license.

Sunday, August 6

  • Traffic Complaint – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic offense. While investigating the traffic stop it was determined the vehicle did not have insurance. An appearance citation was issued to the driver. 

  • Area Check – Officers were called to an area check for an ORV with a loud exhaust which was driving around the neighborhood. Contact was made with the owner of the ORV at a residence. It was discovered the owner had a warrant for their arrest. The subject was arrested on the warrant and lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Investigation underway regarding fatal car crash in Algoma Township

Just before 4:00 PM on Monday, a motorcycle was traveling southbound on Northland Dr. approaching the intersection of 13 Mile Rd NE. A northbound Ford Mustang was attempting to turn westbound onto 13 Mile Rd and the motorcycle struck the Mustang.

 

crash

*Image provided by the Kent County Sheriff's Department

 

The driver of the motorcycle was found deceased and was identified as a 24-year-old man from Rockford. The driver of the Mustang was a 75-year-old man from Rockford and received minor injuries. 

 

crash2

*Image provided by the Kent County Sheriff's Department

 

The cause of the crash and helmet use is still under investigation by the Kent County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (7/31 - 8/6)

Monday, July 31

  • Officers took a report of an online scam. The matter is under investigation.
  • An officer was called to a residence regarding trespassing. The officer contacted the unwanted individual who agreed to stay away.

Tuesday, August 1

  • An officer conducted an investigation on a report of fraud/ID theft. No loss had occurred.
  • An officer was dispatched to a call about some suspicious activity by some juveniles in the street. Reports were unfounded.

Wednesday, August 2

  • While on patrol, an officer checked on a suspicious vehicle in a business parking lot after hours.

Thursday, August 3

  • An individual turned in a personal planner that had been found. If you are missing your planner, contact the Reed City Police Department to identify it.

Friday, August 4

  • An officer assisted deputies on a well-being check for mental health reasons.

  • An officer was dispatched to a residence regarding of an alarm going off nonstop. It was determined to be a malfunctioning car alarm.

  • An officer was dispatched to an address about screaming and loud noises coming from an apartment. Upon investigating no problems were found.

  • An officer was dispatched to a minor two car traffic crash with no injuries and minor damage.

  • An officer issued several abatements for lawns in violation of city ordinance.

  • An officer was dispatched to a group of juveniles reportedly causing a disturbance. The officer checked the area but was unable to located anyone.

  • An officer was dispatched to an apartment complex in reference to loud noises coming from a unit. Following this investigation, the noise was determined to be reasonable.

Saturday, August 5

  • An officer was called to a residence regarding a dispute. After investigating, it turned out to be a civil matter.

  • An officer got a called about someone possibly driving while intoxicated but did not locate the vehicle. A short time later the officer was advised of a verbal argument in the city campground involving the same individual but on foot. Upon contact the 41-year-old man was arrested on a child support warrant.

Sunday, August 6

  • An officer investigated a called about some suspicious noises and possibly a person around an apartment. The matter was unfounded.

  • An officer issued an abatement notice for violation of the city trash ordinance.

  • An officer was dispatched regarding some individuals who believed they were being followed. They were unable to get a vehicle plate and the officer was unable to find a vehicle matching the description. No further problem was reported.

Ferris State University College of Business Faculty Member Researching Ways to Help Businesses Succeed Focusing on Sustainability Inbox

Ferris State University professor Henry Ho is working with researchers in the Netherlands to help businesses learn how sustainability can help them lower costs while being better stewards of the planet.  

Ho, who has taught nine years in the College of Business, is on sabbatical, collaborating with researchers from Saxion University in Enschede. 

The longtime international partner institutions are focusing on the benefits of shifting from a linear economy to a circular economy, which aims to reduce waste and endorse a sustainable use of natural resources, through innovative product design, refurbish and re-use, recycling, as well as regenerate nature. 

“I hope that this work will stimulate reflection and learning, contributing to the world-class student experience at Ferris State University,” Ho said.  

The project, wrapping up two semesters of work, is funded by the Research Group Business Models of Saxion and led by a group including Ho at the Saxion Business Model Lab of Saxion University of Applied Sciences. 

“The findings of our study demonstrate that organizations that have successfully transformed into a circular economy have benefited from developing new markets as well as gaining new customers and keeping their existing customers,” said Ho, a professor of Marketing at Ferris. 

The research group has conducted interviews with mid-sized organizations currently using the circular business practice in the Netherlands.  

Benefits extended to customers but also to other stakeholders such as suppliers and employees. 

The studies identified barriers while implementing circular business practice and how organizations overcame the impediments. 

Ho and fellow researchers concluded that the findings could be considered a best practice for similar organizations considering making the shift. Resources in a linear economy are converted into products that become waste without maximizing product potential. 

“The research findings will also be incorporated into my undergraduate and graduate teaching materials. I will draw on case examples and experience researching the Dutch enterprises and their managers,” Ho said. “Since this is an ongoing research project, this is an opportunity to show how Ferris has actively collaborated with our European partner while also sharing Ferris researcher findings that can be used as ‘best practice’ for today’s business organizations.” 

Joining Ho on the research team were Timber Haaker and Kees Schöller, from Saxion.  

The research group presented findings at Saxion in Enschede this summer in an event attended by staff, teaching academics and researchers. Ho said that attendees judged the event “a great success,” with delegates describing it as informative and thought-provoking. 

Ho’s areas of expertise include consumer behavior, international marketing, market research and strategic marketing. He also focuses on problem-based learning and integrating industry and community involvement, through client-based projects, in his courses. 

Prior to joining Ferris State, Ho taught at Swinburne University of Technology and Victoria University in Australia as well as Hamline University in Minnesota.  

Before his academic career, he worked for two multinational companies for several years. He received his Doctor of Business Administration from Southern Cross University, Gold Coast and Master of Business in Marketing from Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. 

Big Rapids residents collect school supplies for children overseas

As the school year approaches, shoebox packers are making use of back-to-school prices to purchase gifts and essential items for children in need around the world. Residents in Big Rapids? are collecting school supplies, along with personal care items and fun toys, to pack in shoeboxes. Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, will deliver these gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 100 countries.

For many children, access to these simple items is essential to an education. This was the case for Justin Thomas, a shoebox recipient in Southeast Asia whose parents could not afford the supplies needed for school.  Thomas remembers the specific day he received a gift-filled shoebox from Operation Christmas Child and found it filled with toys and most exciting to him—school supplies!

Growing up with hand-me-down clothes and used items, Thomas used to write with a pencil so short that he held it using a pen cap. Having an entire packet of new pencils and a pencil sharpener all his own was a treasure to him. This simple gift made a life-changing impact for Thomas because it opened the doors for him to receive an education.

For more information, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. National Collection Week is Nov. 13-20. Participants can donate $10 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, Operation Christmas Child will celebrate its 30th year of ministry!

The Milkshake Spot: How dining room table talk created the city's destination for desserts

The Milkshake Spot, owned by the McNally and Lenau families, has seen major success since their ribbon cutting in May.

Based on their unique style and charisma, many would have thought this project was long years in the making. However, the Milkshake Spot came as a random brainstorm between a group of family friends.

"Kati and I, along with our husbands, were sitting at the dining room table one evening discussing real estate and opportunities in our community,” Co-owner Karen McNally said. “My husband Joe mentioned that the owner of the shop had asked him, ‘Why don't you just buy it from me?’ We looked at each other and said let’s give it a shot.”

The group of four then dove headfirst into what was first called the “Milkshake Yard.” They would first purchase the building which was former home of “Dairy Queen” and “State Street Scoops.” Next, they cleaned up the space by providing maintenance on the interior and giving what McNally called a “face lift” to the exterior. This included adding an additional deck space with artificial grass, lights, and benches for outdoor seating.

“Collaboratively, we have experience in construction, real estate, investing, creative and social marketing, head chef, waitressing, owning and managing businesses, customer service, and good old fashioned hard work ethic.” McNally said. “Along with our desire and vision to raise the bar in offering not only quality ice cream and milkshakes, (we want to give) an experience with a spot for our community and families to enjoy.”

Upon first opening, the Milkshake Yard was an absolute hit. People from all over the community flooded into the small shop on 250 N South State St. It was in fact so busy that McNally said the store ran out of some ingredients a few times.

“The demand we had in the first weeks set us on our heels a bit. We did not expect the overwhelming support of the community. We had to make multiple drives to our suppliers an hour away because we ran out of product. We have found amazing ways to adapt, systemize and become more efficient and speed up the process to better serve our customers.”

The newly re-named “Milkshake Spot,” which was changed due to a copyright by another store, has now continued success with their plethora of exotic concoctions from shakes to malts to sundaes to ice cream. There also have been some fun added items and flavors such as Tennessee toffee ice cream, waffle cone nachos, and Michigan chillers.

With their list of items on their menu, you can also purchase simple items like cones and cups of ice cream from a whole list of over 20 different flavors. The best part is if you can’t pick one, you can purchase a “flight” of six different flavors to try within one bowl.

“Our customers overall have given us amazing feedback and are delighted with our selections,” McNally said. “The kids light up over the endless free sprinkles and the wiser folks love that we have malts, the traditional banana splits and sundaes. Our iconic shakes are a true experience with our over-the-top toppings and flavors.”

As a small business with a close-knit relationship between owners, the McNally’s and Lenau’s have greatly impacted the community through their work so far. They have also given their families a unique opportunity through the shop.

“Although we are not family by birth people often ask us if we are sisters and we do feel like family,” McNally said. “One of the things that excited us the most about this opportunity was that the shop would provide jobs for our own children.”

Feedback from customers so far has given the Milkshake Spot much to look forward to in developing new flavors, incorporate new items, and adjusting their environment.

“We have received some constructive feedback which we take to heart. We have made tweaks and adjustments already. We love to hear from our customers because if there is any way we can better serve our community, we want to do so.”

The shop is open Tuesday through Friday from 3 P.M. to 9 P.M. and every Saturday and Sunday from 12 P.M. to 9 P.M. For more information on menu items, pricing, hours and more, visit themilkshakespot.com.

Kent County Sheriff's Office arrests eight in undercover operation

On the evening of Aug 3, detectives with the Kent County Sheriff's Department Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF) & Kent Area Narcotics Team conducted an undercover operation targeting the commercial sex industry.

The operation was conducted along the 28th St. corridor in Cascade TWP. Seven Michigan men and one Indiana man were arrested on charges of solicitation for prostitution at an area hotel. The suspects were lodged at the Kent County Jail and are scheduled to be arraigned in the 63rd District Court.  

The Kent County Sheriff's Office continues to work to prevent human trafficking through operations such as this. The investigation remains open as detectives continue learning more after the arrests were made. 

Charges include using a computer to commit a crime & solicitation for prostitution. The following were among those who were charged:

  • 42-year-old male, Holland
  • 24-year-old male, Alto
  • 25-year-old male, Ann Arbor
  • 42-year-old male, Allendale
  • 32-year-old male Kentwood
  • 23-year-old male, Coopersville
  • 33-year-old male, Grand Rapids
  • 23-year-old male, Angola, IN

For more information about human trafficking or how to submit a tip, please visit: https://www.accesskent.com/Sheriff/human-trafficking.htm.

Three area road projects slated to begin this week

The Michigan Department of Transportation has announced multiple road construction projects that will begin today, Aug. 8, and tomorrow, Aug. 9.

First, lane closures for bridge work in Paris are scheduled for 7 A.M. today through mid-September on Northland Drive (Old US-131). The area of construction is over Paris Creek, between 21 Mile Rd and Hoover Rd.

*Provided by Michigan Department of Transportation

 

The second is between Kent City and Cedar Springs and will continue on weekdays from 9 A.M. to 8 A.M. This will include lane closures through 8 P.M. this Wednesday on M-46 (17 Mile Road) between M-37 and US-131.

*Provided by Michigan Department of Transportation

 

Number three includes lane closures for bridge work south of Baldwin. Work is scheduled to start at 8 A.M. this Wednesday and continue through Oct. 31 on M-37 over the Pere Marquette River.

*Provided by Michigan Department of Transportation

 

To follow each individual update, follow along at www.michigan.gov/drive

Corewell Health Surgeon Named Chair of the American Board of Surgery

The American Board of Surgery (ABS), the national certifying body for general surgeons and related specialists, has named Dr. M. Ashraf Mansour as chair for 2023-2024.

Nominated to the ABS by the American Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery in 2016, Dr. Mansour served on the previous ABS Board of Directors (now the ABS Council) until 2019 when he was elected to serve as a director on the new governing board of the ABS.

“It is a great honor to serve as the American Board of Surgery chair this year,” said Dr. Mansour. “I am very proud of all the accomplishments of the Board since I joined in 2016, from governance redesign to leading by example on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The American Board of Surgery is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 to provide board certification to individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Surgeons certified by the ABS, known as diplomates, have completed at least 5 years of residency training following medical school, met all ABS training requirements, and successfully completed the ABS examination process.

“Achieving board certification is a milestone in every surgeon's career,” said Dr. Mansour. “Being a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery tells the public that this surgeon has successfully completed surgical training and went through a rigorous certification process."

Dr. Mansour is the chief of vascular surgery at Corewell Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., and professor of surgery at Michigan State University. Born in Cairo, Egypt, he attended medical school at the Cairo University School of Medicine. After completing a general surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Dr. Mansour served in the United States Army Medical Corps. He then completed a vascular surgery fellowship at Southern Illinois University in Springfield. His current practice focuses on vascular and endovascular surgery, in addition to surgical critical care.

Dr. Mansour previously served as vice chair of the Vascular Surgery Board of the ABS (VSB-ABS) from 2018-2019. He has held leadership positions in many surgical organizations and is a past president of both the Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society and the Western Surgical Association. He is currently the president for both the Midwest Surgical Association and the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery. Dr Mansour has been an author and co-author of many publications and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

Bids to be awarded for multiple projects at tonight's City Commission meeting

Mayor Guenther and the city commission will be meeting tonight to discuss a full agenda within general business.

Within the public works category, resolution award bids will be handed out for both the Hemlock Street and Park paving improvements as well as the Ferris Water Tower cleaning project. There will also be additional resolutions relating to general appropriations, property sales on Rust Ave., ordiance rezoning on Maple St., and employee delegation appointment.

The meeting will be open to the public and is scheduled to take place at 6:30 P.M. at Big Rapids City Hall.

Leadership in Communities Across Michigan and Beyond a Highlight of The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit on Nov. 10

Ferris State University will celebrate 25 years of support for student scholarships and the innovative pursuits of faculty and staff at this year’s Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit. 

The benefit, planned for Friday, Nov. 10 at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, will also highlight three Ferris State alumni recognized for their leadership in communities across Michigan and beyond.  

“The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit is one of the highlights of the year, and we are excited to focus on leadership with a panel of outstanding Ferris State University alumni in Rich Antonini, Paul Doyle and Vivian Pickard,” Ferris State President Bill Pink said. “We will hear inspiring stories on a night where we will celebrate 25 years of The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit, showing the impact of our university and its graduates.” 

Ferris State is a primary pipeline for leaders in Michigan communities, with 92 percent of all graduates staying in the state after earning their degree.  

Antonini is a Class of 1986 alum who recently retired from Plante Moran, where he was a partner in the firm. Doyle, a Class of 1979 alum, has worked in the healthcare industry in West Michigan since 1985. Pickard, from the Class of 1977, retired after over three decades at General Motors, including serving as president of the General Motors Foundation and director of GM Corporate Relations. 

Panelists plan to share their experiences ascending to community leadership roles on a foundation of a Ferris State education. The alumni will discuss the impact Ferris State graduates, emerging from the 190-plus academic programs the university offers, have in their communities. 

Arlen-Dean Gaddy, chair of The Ferris Foundation’s Board of Directors and vice president of West Michigan-based Erhardt Construction, sees this 25th-anniversary celebration as an opportunity for reflection on a rich history and looks ahead to a bright future. 

“I look forward to hearing inspiring stories of leadership from our alumni and recognizing some of the people who make Ferris State University a great institution of higher learning,” Gaddy said. “This silver anniversary of The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit makes a night we already look forward to even more special as we again celebrate the legacy of Woodbridge Ferris’ vision of providing access to higher education.” 

Kathy Mullins, vice president of University Advancement and Marketing, said the annual event connects alumni and salutes their support for the university’s students and their success. Donor contributions can have a lifelong impact for Ferris students. 

"I’m proud to welcome alumni who are making an impact in communities across Michigan and hear their stories of leadership, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps,” Mullins said. “The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit gathers people who care about Ferris and are driven to create scholarship opportunities to expand access to higher education while helping fund our faculty and staff with innovative pursuits inside and outside the classroom that can change lives for the better.” 

The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit started in 1999 and has been running strong for decades and years, dedicated to a grassroots mission of developing external support for Ferris State students, faculty, and staff. 

“The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit is a great opportunity to spread the word about what we’re building here at Ferris State University and what the leadership of The Ferris Foundation is doing to support the university’s mission,” said Jen Shaw, associate vice president for Advancement and executive director of The Ferris Foundation.

For more information about sponsorships and tickets for The Ferris Foundation for Excellence Benefit, contact Kimberly Erickson at (231) 591-3825 or email FerrisFoundation@ferris.edu

Late night crash in Big Rapids on Saturday leaves both drivers injured

On Saturday, Aug. 5 at 10:11 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a two-vehicle injury accident that occurred at the intersection of Perry Ave. and Waldron Way.

A 65-year-old male driver from Big Rapids was traveling South bound on Waldron Way, when he turned East onto Perry Ave. and struck a 18-year-old female driver from Big Rapids traveling West bound. The female driver was transported to Spectrum Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries by family. The male driver had minor injuries and was released on scene.

Deputies were assisted by Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids Township Fire, Ferris State DPS, Meceola Central Dispatch, and Currie's Towing.

Rep. Kunse invites local residents to office hours on Saturday

State Rep. Tom Kunse, of Clare, announced he will host his local office hour in August in Mecosta County.

The meeting will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Currie’s Amoco (620 Maple St., Big Rapids) from 12 P.M. to 1 P.M.

No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those who are unable to attend but would still like to share their thoughts with the representative may call his Lansing office at (517) 373-7317 or email TomKunse@house.mi.gov.

Two-Time National Champion Ferris State Reports For Fall Camp This Weekend

The Ferris State University football team, which is the two-time defending NCAA Division II National Champion and preseason #1 team in the country, officially reports for the 2023 campaign with big expectations again as fall camp opens for the D2 national power and reigning back-to-back national champion this coming week in Big Rapids.

The Bulldogs' newcomers and veterans will hit campus this weekend for player check-in and meetings along with orientation activities. The Bulldogs will hold their first full team practice on Monday morning. FSU will practice once per day under the NCAA's guidelines and restrictions.

Ferris' training camp period will not only feature practices and scrimmages, but also meetings, lifting, conditioning, testing, orientation sessions and more leading up to the season opener. FSU will also hold its annual Media/Photo Day on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 19.

FSU will begin its 11th season on the field this fall under head coach and two-time D2Football.com National Coach of the Year Tony Annese and is expected to contend for its ninth-straight NCAA Division II playoff appearance. Ferris State has made the D2 National Semifinals five times in the past six seasons of on-field action, including three trips to the D2 National Championship game.

The Bulldogs, who are expected to return a strong nucleus from last season, enter the 2023 campaign as the two-time defending NCAA Division II National Champion. FSU will begin the season at home on Thursday, Aug. 31, against Mercyhurst at Top Taggart Field with kickoff set for 8 p.m. (ET) under the lights in Big Rapids.

Last fall, the Bulldogs captured a second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship, finishing with a 14-1 overall record. Over the past two seasons of action, the Bulldogs own a 28-1 overall record and FSU has reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs eight consecutive years and counting. Ferris State also ranks as the country's winningest program over the past eight full seasons in D2 Football.

Both season and single-game tickets are now on sale for all five home contests and can be purchased in advance online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

DHD#10 gives update on fuel spill in Lake Michigan; says pollution threat is contained

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10), along with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), State of Michigan, and additional local agencies are issuing an update on the response to the M/V Manitowoc diesel spill in Lake Michigan, near the city of Manistee, MI. 

Results from a USCG flight confirm no visible sheen as of Friday, August 3, 2023. At this time, there is no known or expected impact on drinking water. While there have been no reported shoreline impacts, the USCG, as well as state and local agencies are continuing to monitor the situation. 

“At this time, the swimming area at 5th Avenue Beach and North Beach access in Manistee are open for swimming and recreational use,” said DHD#10 Environmental Health Supervisor Matt Fournier. “However, we are continuing to ask residents inside and outside of city limits to exercise caution and report any confirmed sightings or contact with diesel fuel on the shoreline within Manistee County by calling (231) 723-6241.” 

Diesel is a potentially hazardous material that can present significant health impacts with prolonged exposure. DHD#10 and local agencies are continuing their request that residents avoid areas that may have diesel contamination and to not attempt to rescue injured wildlife.  

12 Mile Road bridge over US-131 to be closed next week

12 Mile Rd is scheduled to be closed over US-131 for bridge work at 7 A.M. this upcoming Monday through August 14.

Traffic will be detoured using Algoma Avenue, 10 Mile Road and Wolven Avenue. This work is weather dependent.

 

*Targeted area of construction is on 12 Mile Rd NE over the US-131 freeway near Rockford (provided by Michigan Department of Transportation).

 

For up-to-date information on this project and others, go to the list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive

Detroit Lions announce "Little Lions" youth co-ed flag football league in partnership with Detroit PAL

The Detroit Lions, in partnership with Detroit PAL, announced today that they will be launching Little Lions, a new co-ed flag football program for Detroit youth ages 6-8.

Each team will play a total of eight games over five weeks during the inaugural season, which will kick off Sunday, September 17 and will be played at The Corner Ballpark, the historic site of Tiger Stadium. A showcase event in week 6 will take place October 22, 2023 at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, to close out the season.

Participants will include teams from PAL’s partner schools, as well as limited spots open for individual registration, in which youth will be assigned to the team that corresponds with their home zip code. For families with youth who are interested in participating, more information regarding registration can be found by visiting Detroit PAL’s website, www.detroitpal.org or by emailing programs@detroitpal.org.

“We are excited to institute this league as a new element to our historical partnership with Detroit PAL,” said Detroit Lions Vice President, Detroit Lions Foundation & Community Relations Roxanne Caine. “Working alongside such an impactful organization, we are able to create another opportunity to grow the game of football while establishing a community for local youth, both on and off the field.”

Detroit PAL is a Detroit Lions Foundation partner focused on creating a supportive place for kids to find their greatness through athletic, academic and leadership development programs, while building positive relationships between the police force and the community. The Little Lions co-ed flag football league is designed to introduce local youth to the game of football as well as provide a fun and safe environment to learn transferrable life skills that youth naturally develop through playing a sport.

In addition to the Detroit Lions and Detroit PAL partnership, donations from Seattle Seahawks fans – the 12s – will also support funding of the inaugural season. Members of the 12s graciously donated to Detroit Lions Foundation after the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers in week 18 of the 2023 season, subsequently sending the Seattle Seahawks to the NFL playoffs.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (7/31 - 8/3)

Monday, July 31

Calls for Service: 20

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, August 1

  • Nothing reported.

 

Wednesday, August 2

  • At around 1700 hours, deputies made a traffic stop on Northland Dr. and 180th Ave. in Aetna TWP. A female passenger was arrested on a warrant and possession of methamphetamine. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 34

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

 

Thursday, August 3

Calls for Service: 17

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Scooter's Coffee Unites with Wounded Warriors Family Support for Purple Heart Day

With Purple Heart Day approaching on Aug. 7, Scooter’s Coffee will give customers the opportunity to support Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS), an organization that helps wounded veterans and their families heal, recover and connect with needed services and resources. Between Aug. 2-11, Scooter’s Coffee customers can support Wounded Warriors Family Support by adding a donation to their order.

“Scooter’s Coffee is proud to join forces with Wounded Warriors Family Support for a sixth consecutive year to help combat-wounded veterans and families of veterans wounded, injured or killed in action,” said Bill Black, Chief Community Officer for Scooter’s Coffee, LLC. “Courage is an important core value at Scooter’s Coffee. We thank veterans for their sacrifices and courage in serving our country. With the help of Wounded Warriors Family Support, veterans and their families continue to demonstrate courage in overcoming the challenges they face in life.”

Since 2018, Scooter’s Coffee has raised over $154,700 for WWFS to help provide caregiver respite services to military families.

All donations will directly support Wounded Warriors Family Support programs, such as its Caregiver Respite Program, which is designed to provide respite and supplemental services to wounded veterans, allowing them to enjoy a higher quality of life. Resources include meals, housekeeping, medical travel grants and in-home care services. These help relieve the physical, mental and emotional burdens of family members who navigate the caregiver role for their loved one.

“Scooter’s Coffee has made a direct and meaningful impact in the lives of combat-wounded veterans and their families,” said Kate McCauley, President of Wounded Warriors Family Support. “We are extremely thankful for the continued support of Scooter’s Coffee franchisees, employees and loyal customers in supporting our military families.”

In addition to its partnership with Wounded Warriors Family Support, Scooter’s Coffee is a member of the International Franchise Association (“IFA”) and supports the IFA’s VetFran Program. Honorably discharged veterans who meet Scooter’s Coffee’s qualifications to be a franchisee can receive a $20,000 product credit from the Scooter’s Coffee’s affiliated company, Harvest Roasting, for use in the first year of operation of the veteran’s first store. More information on the IFA program can be found at VetFran.com.

UPDATE: Big Rapids gas station robbery suspect arrested in Evart

The suspect from Thursday morning's armed robbery at the Big Rapids Admiral Gas Station has been identified and taken into custody according to the Big Rapids Police Department.

During the investigation, detectives identified a juvenile suspect who was also a possible suspect in a stolen vehicle in Evart that matched the description of the vehicle used during the armed robbery.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had a close friend who lived in Evart. Detectives from the Big Rapids Police Department and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office located the stolen vehicle at that residence, along with the suspect. At approximately 6:00 P.M. on Thursday, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. During a search of the vehicle, detectives located a handgun and clothing that matched what was used during the robbery.

The Big Rapids Police Department requested charges on the 14-year-old juvenile male for armed robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. He was held in Osceola County by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office on their local charges.

The Big Rapids Police Department was assisted in this investigation by the Ferris State University DPS, the Evart Police Department, the Mount Pleasant Police Department, the Michigan State Police, and the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

O'Connor Applies Career Experiences, Collaborative Commitment to Role as Interim Ferris State University College of Engineering Technology Dean

Kate O’Connor, a Ferris State University associate professor of Architecture, is starting the 2023-24 academic year in a new role – but not the one she was expecting to fill.  

The move was announced this month by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Bobby Fleischman announced this month that O’Connor will be filling in as the interim dean of the College of Engineering Technology. 

O’Connor is confident the college’s academic departments and programs can flourish. 

“I intend to communicate freely with my peers, work to empower individuals, and do so to make our community stronger,” O’Connor said. “Community success comes from the success of its individuals, and these dedicated professionals have started new programs and completed accreditation processes for the good of our college. With the wonderful people I am working with, I am glad to take up my new role, knowing we can continue to enhance and add to our accomplishments together.” 

O’Connor was set to become director of the School of Built Environment as the 2023-24 academic year began. But when College of Engineering Technology Dean Michael Staley departed, O’Connor offered to fill the role on an interim basis.  

O’Connor said her philosophical commitment to the success of communities has guided her as a professional and an academic, and she intends to apply herself similarly as an administrator. 

“I was operating my own firm in Vail, Colorado, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans,” O’Connor said. “I moved there and gave of myself and what I had learned to help that community recover. During that time, I made connections with Tulane faculty, which led me to earn my Master of Architecture II there and enter higher education.” 

O’Connor said her love of teaching brought her to Ferris State, where she has worked to serve the university while advancing to the associate professor rank. 

“I was a Ferris Faculty Association Executive Board member and held a similar role with the university’s Academic Senate,” O’Connor said. “Those experiences have contributed to my perspective and understanding of Ferris. I am thrilled as I enter this new opportunity and will work to help build the success of our community in a state I have grown to love.” 

Visit the College of Engineering Technology to learn more about its departments, academic programs and more. 

https://www.ferris.edu/CET/homepage.htm 

Car collision leaves two injured in Mecosta County

On Thursday, deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office responded to a two-car crash at the intersection of Northland Dr. and 8 Mile Rd.

The driver from Illinois failed to yield to the right of way entering the intersection, which led to the vehicle traveling east and striking a local resident who was traveling south. The Michigan driver that was hit was transported to Butterworth Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The Illinois driver was transported to Corewell Health Big Rapids for not life threatening injuries. 

Thanks to Mecosta TWP Fire and Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, and Osceola County EMS for their assistance as well as Weeks' Towing and Curries Towing for clearing the roadway quickly so traffic could resume.

Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority looking to advance services with upcoming millage

Many know of the green and gold buses that move around the Big Rapids area, but “MOTA” is more than an ordinary transportation service.

According to MOTA director Staci Hitts, their mission is to “improve mobility and quality of life for all people” in the means of transportation.

This of course can relate to moving people around but the organization does much more to assist with emergency response.

“We are one of the first organizations that they will call in the event of any type of emergency situation that requires the evacuation or transportation of large groups of people,” Hitts said. “Two years ago, we responded to a call in Evart for a potential gas leak and last winter, we responded to a handful of vehicle accidents and transported people to warming centers to get them out of the elements. We deal with that kind of stuff more behind the scenes.”

In their upcoming millage, MOTA is hoping to expand their services including adding prescription and medication pick-up as well as adding a non-emergency medical transportation service as well.

“Our intention is to increase current services and then expand on services that we would like to get into,” Hitts said. “(Prescription pick-up) is something that we have kept since COVID, so we would like to see that be increased into a potentially standalone service. Then, one of the biggest things that we're looking forward to is creating and implementing non-emergency medical transportation. It would ideally be its own service separate from the demand response, which will be a lot more efficient and beneficial for those who need to get to their appointments on time.”

MOTA’s previous millage in 2019 was actually the company’s first successful vote. The impact of the passing not only kept their doors open but allowed expanded hours of service to the community. Hitts believes this new millage will bring the same amount of impact towards the counties.

“(The previous millage) was very vital, especially with the market for buses right now. It has enabled us to be able to go out, buy buses and not have to worry about cutting costs elsewhere. The millage that we have put in is all operational, so it helps pay the bills and cover those unexpected costs. This includes buying a bus outside of a state contract, since there was a three year wait before they were going to start shipping buses out again.”

Vote for the millage is slated to take place Aug. 8, with township halls opening for voting from 7 A.M. to 8 P.M. MOTA will have free transportation available for all travelling to vote at the polls.

SUSPECT AT LARGE: Armed Robbery at Admiral Gas Station in Big Rapids

On Thursday morning at approximately 12:54 A.M., officers were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery at the Admiral Gas Station at 805 N State St.

The caller advised a male had entered the store and held her at gunpoint, demanding money and merchandise. The male left the store prior to the officer’s arrival.

 

*Suspect photos provided by Big Rapids Department of Public Safety

 

The suspect is described as a tall white male, 20-30 years old. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and gray sweatpants, driving a small maroon SUV, similar to a Ford Escape or Chevy Trax, heading east on the Baldwin St. bridge.

If you recognize the suspect or have any information on this case, please contact the Big Rapids Police Department at 231-527-0005.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (7/24 - 7/30)

Public Notice
There has been a recent increase in scams involving the older population. One tells the victim they have won the lottery of clearing house. It asks to send gift cards. Another preys on older single women who meet a man online that works on an oil rig and needs financial help because he can’t get to his bank until he is back on shore. Again, it asks for money and gift cards.

 

Monday, July 24

  • Officers served an abatement notice for overgrown grass.
  • An officer was dispatched to a residence for a well fare check. After investigation, all parties were ok.

Tuesday, July 25

  • Officers served an abatement notice for overgrown grass.

Wednesday, July 26

  • An officer was dispatched to a residence for a stolen bicycle complaint.
  • An officer served a trespass order.
  • An officer assisted Big Rapids Police with a scam investigation that partially occurred in Reed City.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding some wires down.

Thursday, July 27

  • Officers were dispatched to a larceny of solar lights from a front yard.
  • Officers were asked to stand by while a utility service made contact with a disgruntled customer.
  • An officer was dispatched to a location for a possible forged check and a senior citizen being taken advantage of. Upon investigation the matter was unfounded.
  • Officers served an abatement notice for trash at two different residences.

Friday, July 28

  • Officers took a report of a found cell phone. The phone is heavily damaged and does not appear to be functional. If you are missing this cell phone contact the RCPD to identify.

  • Officers were dispatched to a disagreement between a landlord and tenant.

  • An officer stopped a vehicle for speeding. The 50-year-old male driver was arrested for OWI 2nd, Probation Violation, and Violation of Bond conditions.

  • An officer made a well fare check of a man after he made comments of hurting himself, he was ok.

  • An officer was dispatched to a location with claims of minors smoking marijuana, upon arrival, nobody was at the location.

Saturday, July 29

  • An officer stopped a vehicle for running a red light. The 23-year-old female driver was cited for running the light and given a misdemeanor citation for Improper Use of a Registration Plate.

Sunday, July 30

  • An officer was called to an apartment complex regarding an upstairs neighbor walking too loudly. The loud walker had likely sat down prior to the officers arrival as he heard no offending footsteps.

  • An officer issued an abatement notice regarding overgrown grass in violation of city ordinance.

Kent County Sheriff's Office investigating fatal crash in Tyrone TWP

Around 7:00 A.M. on Wednesday along 18 Mile Rd NW near Sparta Ave., a black sedan veered off the roadway and rolled several times. 

When Kent City firefighters arrived they located the driver who was ejected from the vehicle.

 

*Crash scene photo provided by Kent County Sheriff's Office

 

A 58-year-old Fremont woman was the only occupant and was pronounced deceased.

The KCSO Traffic Safety Unit is investigating the crash and initial information finds alcohol may be a contributing factor.  

71-year-old man dies after jumping from Maple St. bridge

On Wednesday, August 2, at approximately 7:18 A.M., officers from the Big Rapids Police Department responded to the Maple St. bridge for the report of a subject who had jumped off. A witness advised they had seen a male jump from the bridge.

Upon arrival, officers discovered a 71-year-old male who had apparently jumped from the southwest side of the bridge. EMS pronounced the male deceased on the scene.

The Big Rapids Police Department was assisted on the scene by the Big Rapids Fire Department, the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, the Michigan State Police, the Mid Michigan Medical Examiner Group, and Mecoela Consolidated Dispatch.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekend Blotter (7/28 - 7/30)

Friday, July 28

Calls for Service: 15

 

Saturday, July 29

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, July 30

Calls for Service: 11

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Scheduled lane closures for US-131 near Grand Rapids scheduled for Wednesday

Lane closures for sign work are scheduled for today, Wednesday, from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. on northbound US-131 between M-11 (28th St.) and Wealthy St. 

 

 

The work is weather dependent and will be re-evaluated in the case of changing conditions.

For up-to-date information on this project and others, go to the list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive.   

Gotion Inc. acquires land in Green Charter Township

Gotion Inc. today announced it has purchased 270 acres of land in Green Charter Township, marking the completion of an integral step needed in order to construct a state-of-the-art battery components facility. 

“Completion of the land acquisition process is a step forward for Gotion Inc. and the region as a whole,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing.

A large majority of the property, about 260 acres, is zoned for industrial use. About 10 acres is currently designated for residential or agricultural use.  Thelen said the small parcel of Gotion Inc.’s property currently zoned for agriculture use had been zoned for industrial use for close to 20 years. Gotion Inc. will work to rezone that property back to industrial use.  Some nearby home purchases were due to their proximity to the overall site. 

“We’ve listened to the concerns of local residents and decided not to purchase two large parcels of land zoned for agriculture use at this time,” Thelen said. “Gotion Inc. will continue to work with members of the community, and our municipal, county and state partners, throughout this entire process.” 

Gotion Inc. will now begin stage 2 environmental studies in preparation for an environmental review by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The site plan also will be finalized.

MDHHS director, health leaders discuss state's commitment to behavioral health service access for Michigan families through nearly $364 million in budget investments

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel joined with other health leaders today at Pine Rest in Grand Rapids to discuss with stakeholders how the state is continuing its commitment to ensuring Michigan families can more easily access behavioral health services. The roundtable discussion focused on the nearly $364 million in investments for behavioral health services included in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Fiscal Year 24 and FY 23 budgets.

“Everyone deserves access to quality health care where and when they need it,” said Hertel. “This year’s budget builds upon the current-year budget with investments in behavioral health services that build a Michigan where everyone can live a safe, healthy life. We will work to increase the number of providers in Michigan through scholarships, as well as continue to improve access to care through certified community behavioral health clinics, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, crisis stabilization units and mobile crisis response units to help improve access to behavioral health care for youth and adults.”

Bob Nykamp, vice president and chief operating officer at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, noted the state’s investment in behavioral health demonstrates alignment between Michigan legislators and leading behavioral health care organizations on one of the state’s most pressing health care issues.

“The need for behavioral health services has been steadily rising over the past several years, and this is especially true for children and young adults. Families in crisis have often found the services they or their children need do not exist in their area or require extended wait times for care,” Nykamp said. “This investment from the State of Michigan is a commitment to prioritizing access to care for all who need it. It allows Pine Rest and other behavioral health leaders to take action to help Michigan residents thrive.”

The FY 24 budget includes the following investments to improve access to behavioral health for Michigan youth and families:

  • $279.7 million to expand the number of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) sites in Michigan. CCBHCs serve anyone who requests care for mental health or substance use, regardless of their ability to pay.
  • $45 million to improve facilities for school-based health services and $28.9 million to continue school-based mental health services on campuses.
  • $5 million for the Michigan Crisis and Access line.
  • $5 million to offer scholarships for those going to college studying behavioral health and strengthen the health care workforce.

 Roundtable 1

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel joined with other health leaders today at Pine Rest in Grand Rapids to discuss with stakeholders how the state is continuing its commitment to ensuring Michigan families can more easily access behavioral health services. Pictured are (l. to r.) Meghan Groen, senior deputy director of Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services, MDHHS; Al Jansen, senior advisor to the director, MDHHS; Hertel; and Dr. Mark Eastburg, President & CEO of Pine Rest.

 

CCBHCs are non-profit or local government agencies that are federally required to provide nine comprehensive behavioral health services, including 24/7 mobile crisis response and medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. Nationally, the CCBHC model has been shown to substantially increase access to care, advance physical health integration, strengthen community partnerships, address health inequities and improve the quality of behavioral health services. 

 

Roundtable 2

Pictured are Michigan Department of Health and Human Services staff, health leaders and stakeholders following a roundtable at Pine Rest in Grand Rapids where the discussion focused on the nearly $364 million in investments for behavioral health services included in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Fiscal Year 24 and FY 23 budgets.

 

There are currently 13 CCBHCs in Michigan, and an additional 24 provider organizations that are currently receiving federal grant funding to provide CCBHC services. In FY22, CCBHCs provided services to 62,626 unique individuals across Michigan. Approximately 30% of individuals served were children and young adults ages 0 to 21 and 70% were adults.

These investments build upon the current year FY 23 budget, which includes $238.1 million to build behavioral health capacity. Funding includes:

  • $38 million for the Pine Rest pediatric behavioral health center.
  • $32 million for establishing crisis stabilization units.
  • $10 million for establishing psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs).

The Pine Rest Pediatric Behavioral Health Center will offer a comprehensive continuum of care for children and teens, including new and expanded programs tailored specifically to meet the needs of those who are struggling in our Michigan community. The Pediatric Behavioral Health Center will increase access to inpatient and partial hospitalization, residential services, psychological testing and outpatient care, along with a developing a new pediatric psychiatric urgent care center and many specialty services.

PRTFs are a new model for Michigan and provide an environment that allows someone to transition or step-down from inpatient care services to community placement. The facilities also relieve pressure on hospital emergency departments by expanding the number of beds for people who need short-term crisis stabilization or residential treatment.

Michigan Public Act (PA) 402 of 2020 created crisis stabilization units to provide an alternative to emergency department and psychiatric inpatient admission for people who can be stabilized through treatment and recovery coaching within 72 hours. Currently, MDHHS is collaborating with pilot sites and other interested partners on administrative rules and CSU development.

Another MDHHS effort to improve access to services is the implementation of a standard behavioral health assessment for children across the state entering the mental health system or the child welfare system by Dec. 31, 2023.

“Children too often wait days or weeks for an assessment to identify what treatments they need, if any,” Hertel said. “MDHHS is developing a customized statewide version of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment tool so children can be seen, wherever they are, by clinicians who specialize in working with children."

 

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (7/24 - 7/30)

Monday, June 24

  • Personal Injury Accident – Officers were dispatched to a three-vehicle personal injury accident. One of the drivers were checked on scene by EMS but refused further treatment.

  • Suspicious Situation – Officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation at a local business involving threats of violence. The complaint was investigated and determined to be unfounded.

  • Warrant – Officers made contact with a subject who had a valid warrant for their arrest. Subject was arrested and lodged on their warrant.

Tuesday, July 25

  • Area Check – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a suspicious situation complaint. The subject was found to be driving under influence and was lodged.

  • Well-Being Check – Officers were dispatched to a check well-being at a residence. All parties were fine and no assistance was needed from law enforcement.

  • Juvenile Complaint – Officers were dispatched to locate a juvenile who left their residence. The juvenile was located and returned to their parent.

Wednesday, July 26

  • Operating While Intoxicated – Officers received a call regarding a suspicious vehicle. Officers made contact with the subject and they were found to be intoxicated. The subject was arrested and lodged. 

Thursday, July 27

  • Civil - Officers were dispatched to a larceny complaint. After investigating the complaint, it was determined the complaint was a civil issue.

Friday, July 28

  • Trespass - Officers were dispatched for a civil complaint involving a subject trespassing. The complainant was advised due to the circumstances it was a civil matter and they needed to get the subject evicted through the courts.

  • Suicide - Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a suicidal subject. The subject was transported to Reed City Hospital for a mental evaluation. 

  • Warrant - Officers made an arrest of a subject who had a warrant. 

Saturday, July 29

  • Civil - Officers were dispatched for a civil complaint between two subjects who share a residence together. One of the subjects agreed to leave the scene for the night.

  • Alarm - Officers were dispatched for a burglary alarm. The building was searched and was secure. The alarm was determined to be a false alarm. 

Sunday, July 30

  • Runaway - Officers were dispatched to assist Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a juvenile runaway. The Juvenile was found and returned to their home. 

  • Animal Complaint - Officers were dispatched for an animal complaint involving a dog attacking a cat. The report will be sent up to Prosecutor for review.

Two-Time Defending National Champion Ferris State Football Picked To Win GLIAC

Two-time defending NCAA Division II National Champion Ferris State University was picked to finish first in the 2023 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Standings as the league unveiled its 2023 preseason coaches poll on Monday (July 31) in conjunction with its football media day event in Grand Rapids.

The Bulldogs received five of a possible seven first-place votes and totaled 34 points in being chosen as the favorite among the league's seven conference football institutions. The votes were made by the conference member head coaches, who could not vote for their own team.

Rival Grand Valley State, which was the league's 20212 champion before falling to FSU in the NCAA Division II Super Region Three Championship Game, earned one first-place vote and 31 points in finishing second. Meanwhile, Davenport also claimed a first-place mention and notched 27 points in placing third following a playoff season a year ago. The remaining teams in the standings included Saginaw Valley State in fourth (21), Michigan Tech in fifth (16), Wayne State in sixth (10) and Northern Michigan in seventh (8).

The media day activities were held at the Sheraton Grand Rapids Airport Hotel and included the release of the preseason coaches' poll, a live webstream, and various social media events.

Ferris State was represented by two-time National Coach of the Year Tony Annese along with two West Michigan senior standouts in defensive end Ian Hall (Wyoming/Grandville) and wide receiver Xaiver Wade (Holland/West Ottawa).

The Bulldogs enter the 2023 campaign as the two-time defending NCAA Division II National Champions and have been picked as the nation's preseason #1 team again by Lindy's Sports.

Last fall, the Bulldogs captured a second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship, finishing with a 14-1 overall record. Over the past two seasons of action, the Bulldogs own a 28-1 overall record and FSU has reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs eight consecutive years and counting. Ferris State has also reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals five times in the past six seasons of action and ranks as the country's winningest program over the past eight full seasons in D2 Football.

The Bulldogs will begin the season at home on Thursday, Aug. 31, against Mercyhurst at Top Taggart Field with kickoff set for 8 p.m. (ET) under the lights in Big Rapids.

Below is the complete GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll:

1. Ferris State - 34 (5)
2. Grand Valley State - 31 (1)
3. Davenport- 27 (1)
4. Saginaw Valley State - 21
5. Michigan Tech - 16
6. Wayne State - 10
7. Northern Michigan - 8

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Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

District 37 @Big Rapids HS

  - 5/28: Ludington 5 @ Newaygo 4

  - 6/1:

     10a: Ludington @ Fremont

     12n: Whitehall @ Big Rapids

     District Final: Whitehall/Big Rapids @ Fremont/Ludington

District 39 @Comstock Pk HS

  - 5/28: Sparta 5 @ Grant 1

  - 6/1:

     10a: Sparta @ Belding

     12n: Comstock Park @ Tri County

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

District 70 @Evart

  - 5/28: Pine River 8 @ Harrison 4

  - 6/1:

     10a: Pine River @ Evart

     12n: McBain @ Reed City

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

District 72 @ Montague

  - 6/1:

     10a: Montague @ Ravenna

     12n: N Muskegon @ Kent City

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

District 74 @ Chip Hills

  - 5/28: Clare 15 @ Farwell 0

  - 6/1:

     10a: Clare @ Lakeview

     12n: Chip Hills @ Morley Stanwood

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

District 77 @Pewamo-Westphalia HS

  - 5/28: C Montcalm 4 @ Ovid-Elsie 3

  - 6/1:

     10a: C Montcalm @ St Louis

     12n: Pewamo-Westphalia @ Ithaca

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

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CSAA Softball

District 37 @Shepherd HS

  - 5/29: Big Rapids 2 @ Freeland 3

  - 6/1:

     10a: Freeland @ Swan Valley

     12n: Shepherd @ Alma

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

District 38 @Newaygo HS

  - 6/1:

     10a: Tri County @ Newaygo

     12n: Sparta @ Fremont

     District Final: Tri County/Newaygo @ Sparta/Fremont

District 72 @Chip Hills HS

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

  - 6/1:

     10a: Morley Stanwood @ Lakeview

     12n: Evart @ Reed City

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

District 73 @Montague HS

  - 5/28: Grant 1 @ Kent City 7

  - 6/1:

     10a: Kent City @ Montague

     12n: N Muskegon @ Ravenna

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

District 95 @Bullock Creek

  - 5/29: Ithaca @ St Louis

  - 6/1:

     10a: Ithaca/St Louis @ Bullock Creek

     12n: C Montcalm @ Hemlock

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

District 108 @ Marion

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

  - 6/1:

     10a: Pentwater @ White Cloud

     12n: Marion @ Holton

     District Final: Pentwater/White Cloud @ Marion/Holton

 

CSAA Softball Standings

1.) Big Rapids: 16-0

2.) Reed City: 16-2

3.) Newaygo: 11-3

4.) Kent City: 9-6

5.) Central Montcalm: 7-5

6.) Grant: 6-8

7.) Morley Stanwood: 4-7

8.) White Cloud: 3-11

9.) Lakeview: 2-12

10.) Chip Hills: 0-10

11.) Tri County: 0-10

(from available data)

CSAA Baseball Standings

1) Big Rapids: 17-1 | +172 -42 (+130)

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

3) Grant: 12-6 | 107 -57 (+50)

4) Newaygo: 12-6 | +104 -65 (+39)

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

6) Reed City: 11-7 | +125 -81 (+44)

7) White Cloud: 8-10 | +79 -117 (-38)

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

9) Kent City: 5-13 | +86 -144 (-58)

10) Tri County: 4-14 | +89 -147 (-58)

11) Lakeview: 0-16 | +60 -181 (-121)

This Week's Poll

What place will the Tigers finish in the AL Central?