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News That Affects You Archives for 2023-09

Big Rapids Department of Public Safety to host "Coffee with a Cop" event on October 6

On October 6th, 2023, officers from the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and community members, will join other officers and community members nationwide to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee during a Coffee with a Cop Day at the Big Rapids Farmer’s Market.

All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 9:00 A.M. on October 6th at the Big Rapids Downtown Farmer’s Market, in the City Hall parking lot, 226 N Michigan Ave. Please contact Officer William Sell with questions: 231-527-0005, wsell@bigrapidsdps.org.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Big Rapids. The majority of contacts law enforcement has with
the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship-building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are held across the country, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time. This Coffee with a Cop is also being held in conjunction with National Faith and Blue Weekend.

MPSC approves orders to expand low-cost phone service, boost competition among telecommunications providers

The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved orders meant to expand wireless Lifeline service in areas of the state and boost competition among existing telephone service providers.

The Commission today approved an application from DISH Wireless LLC for designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier, which permits the company to have access to federal Universal Service Fund support for expanding and enhancing wireless Lifeline phone service (Case No. U-21382). The company intends to offer plans through the Lifeline program that provides phone discounts for low-income families.

DISH Wireless, based in Colorado, sought approval to offer its Gen Mobile service, which provides low-cost wireless phone service to underserved communities, to areas throughout the state, including a dozen federally recognized Tribal lands.

The Commission also:

  • Granted a permanent license to EarthGrid PBC, doing business as EarthGrid Corp., to provide basic local exchange phone service throughout Michigan (Case No. U-21417). The Commission in August granted the company a temporary license. The Commission found that granting EarthGrid the permanent license will expand competition among service providers; the company intends to offer service in areas in which Frontier North Inc., Frontier Midstates Inc., and AT&T Michigan are the incumbent local exchange carriers.
  • Granted a permanent license to Ohio-based Cincinnati Bell Extended Territories LLC, doing business as Altafiber Connected Services, to provide basic local exchange service throughout Michigan (Case No. U-21449). The Commission granted the company a temporary license in July. The permanent license permits Altafiber to provide service, also in zones and exchange areas served by Frontier North Inc., Frontier Midstates Inc., and AT&T Michigan.

MPSC SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON UTILITIES’ PROPOSED INTERCONNECTION PROCEDURES

The MPSC today announced it is seeking comments from interested parties on proposed interconnection procedures, also known as MIXDG procedures, under new Interconnection and Distributed Generation Standards the Commission adopted this year, formally rescinding legacy net metering rules (Case No. U-21455 et al). As directed by the Commission, the following utilities filed final proposed interconnection procedures, along with requested rule waivers: Northern States Power Co., Indiana Michigan Power Co., Upper Peninsula Power Co., Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corp., Consumers Energy Co., DTE Electric Co., and Alpena Power Co., along with Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Cloverland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon REA, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, and Thumb Electric Cooperative. Any person may file written comments, suggestions, data, views, questions, argument or modifications. Comments must be filed, referencing the appropriate case number, by 5 p.m. Oct. 27, 2023. Reply comments are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 13, 2023. Electronic comments may be emailed to mpscedockets@michigan.gov. Comments also may be mailed to Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909.

 

COMMISSION APPROVES ADJUSTMENT OF POWER OUTAGE CREDIT TO $38

The MPSC today raised the daily power outage credit for customers whose service remains out longer than state service quality and reliability standards permit to $38 from $35, marking the first required annual inflation adjustment since the Commission approved raising the credits from $25 per day in March 2023 and made the credits automatic (Case No. U-20629). The outage credit is required to be adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index each October 1, with the amount rounded up to the nearest dollar.

 

MPSC OKS CONSUMERS ENERGY’S POWER SUPPLY COST RECOVERY RECONCILIATION

The Commission approved Consumers Energy Co.’s application for a power supply cost recovery (PSCR) reconciliation for the 2021 calendar year, with modifications, with a net overrecovery balance of $7,394,644, inclusive of interest, as the company’s 2022 beginning balance (Case No. U-20803). The Commission disallowed $338,067 in replacement power costs associated with a more than 8-hour outage on Aug. 24, 2021, at the utility’s Karn Unit 1. The Commission also approved a request from biomass merchant plants Cadillac Renewable Energy LLC; Genesee Power Station LP; Grayling Generating Station LP; Hillman Power Co. LLC; TES Filer City Station LP; National Energy of Lincoln LLC, and National Energy of McBain LLC for $17,120,794 in capped and uncapped costs. The Commission directed Consumers Energy to provide reporting on planned and unplanned wind generation outages in future PSCR reconciliations and set the company’s net financial compensation mechanism overrecovery balance of $341,056, with interest, as its 2022 financial compensation mechanism calculation beginning balance.

 

MPSC APPROVES GAS TRANSPORTATION SERVICE AGREEMENT BETWEEN DTM MICHIGAN GATHERING CO. AND DTE GAS CO. FOR USE OF ANTRIM EXPANSION PROJECT

The MPSC approved an application by DTM Michigan Gathering Co. (DGC) for approval of a firm gas transportation service agreement between DGC and DTE Gas Co. with the rates, terms and conditions of transportation on the Antrim Expansion Project (Case No. U-21406), a pipeline project previously approved by the Commission. Today’s approval also applies to future similarly situated shippers. The approved transportation service will not result in an increase in the cost of service for other shippers on the AEP system. The Commission noted that MPSC Staff and intervenors will have the chance to assess the reasonableness of the rate DTE Gas will pay under the agreement in future gas cost recovery proceedings.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (9/25 - 9/28)

Monday, September 25

  • At 1345 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP. The male driver was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 1437 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Newaygo County. A male subject was arrested on two warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 14

 

Tuesday, September 26

Calls for Service: 10

Traffic Accidents: 3

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Wednesday, September 27

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Thursday, September 28

Calls for Service: 13

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

MDHHS alerts Michiganders about available COVID-19 testing options

As fall season begins, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) encourages Michiganders to get free COVID-19 at-home tests through the federal government’s COVID-19 tests website and provides additional information about state-specific testing resources.

As of Monday, Sept. 25, all U.S. residents are able to go to COVIDTests.gov to sign up to receive up to four free at-home tests per household delivered via the U.S. Postal Service.

For Michiganders who are thinking about plans for on-site testing, Michigan.gov/COVIDTest remains in place to assist in locating a testing location.

MDHHS also continues to partner with libraries across the state to provide free at-home COVID-19 tests to Michiganders. Click here for a list of participating libraries.

Private health insurers are no longer required to cover at-home COVID-19 tests, however information is available regarding eligibility and options for individuals with private insurance and Medicare. Under federal law, Medicaid and MIChild participants can obtain free at-home and laboratory COVID-19 tests through Sept. 30, 2024. Check with your insurer for the most up-to-date information for your specific plan.

“Testing continues to be a critical tool in managing the spread of COVID-19 and we encourage Michigan families to take advantage of the available free COVID tests to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to our loved ones and neighbors,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “It is important to test for COVID but to also consider other respiratory diseases, like RSV and influenza, as we head into fall and winter when these respiratory diseases spread most easily. Please stay home if you are sick, even if you have a negative COVID test.”

MDHHS encourages Michigan families to have a COVID plan that works for them. This may include keeping a supply of COVID-19 over-the-counter tests and well-fitting masks at home; getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine; and speaking to a health care provider about eligibility for therapeutics that reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 disease for those who test positive.

More information about MDHHS-sponsored testing is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

Ferris State's Museum of Sexist Objects supporters plan traveling exhibit, storytelling projects, social identity game to engage and inform

Ferris State University faculty members and advocates are working to expand the message and mission of the Ferris Museum of Sexist Objects by nurturing discussion in the region and beyond.

MoSO co-founder and History professor Tracy N. Busch said the museum’s emphasis is more on telling stories than focusing on its objects.

“We have gathered responses from those who are struck by items they viewed in our collection, as we believe these messages can be valuable and encouraging to people of all ages,” Busch said. “We feel the MoSO is more of a movement than a museum, so we want to take our objects and message out into the community.”

A “Mini-MoSO” was curated as Busch consulted with Carrie Weis in Ferris State’s Fine Art Gallery, and the MoSO Storytelling Community had its beginning in Fall 2022. Busch said a student storytelling pilot project brought a significant response.

“They followed our vision, which encouraged us to continue seeking out more stories,” Busch said. “Our curated items allow us to travel with our story and gather responses from a more diverse audience.”

Busch said another initiative for the committee is to create content that tells the story of Anna Howard Shaw, a suffrage leader in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

“The idea that Shaw came from England to rural Big Rapids as an adolescent, and by her life experiences grew to lead the largest suffrage association in the United States remains an important story worth sharing,” Busch said. “Our founder, Woodbridge Ferris, kept her portrait in his office, saying he was a ‘radical advocate’ for the women’s rights causes she promoted. That was not a popular stance to take, at that time.”

The museum’s intentions also reach to dialogue and debate on discriminatory practices beyond sexist attitudes, and Busch said committee member Mari Kermit-Canfield’s skills in gamification of societal issues are being applied to develop an exercise in examining intersectionality.

“We hope to illustrate notions of bias that pertain to social class, racism and sexism,” Busch said. “Game players can see what gives them social ‘value,’ in terms of their employment status and social acceptance. By making use of innovative educator Sylvia Duckworth’s ‘Wheel of Privilege,’ along with Kimberle Crenshaw’s presentations on intersectionality’s layers of oppression, our hope is to give participants the opportunity to see where sexist and other obstructive practices exist and might be avoided.”

The Ferris Museum of Sexist Objects strives to raise awareness and inspire activism in response to everyday items that promote sexism, gendered violence and female stereotypes. The Museum is a learning environment that works to encourage scholarly dialogue and fosters research.

Museum of Sexist Objects website: https://www.ferris.edu/moso/index.htm

Ferris State names five alums as distinguished alumni award winners and three more as pacesetters to be honored at 2023 Fall Reunion

Recognizing the continuing accomplishments and contributions of the alumni community, Ferris State University will recognize five Distinguished Alumni Award winners and three Pacesetter Award honorees at Fall Reunion on Friday, Sept. 29.

The Ferris State Alumni Association salutes alumni based on professional growth, leadership and contributions to the community, society and Ferris State University through the Distinguished Alumni Award and Pacesetter Awards. Honorees serve as role models for current students and help build a community of Ferris State alumni who support each other.

“Our Alumni Association takes great pride in recognizing the best of the best among those who have graduated from Ferris State University. This is at the heart of the work our Alumni Association leadership invests in identifying and honoring the winners of our Distinguished Alumni Award and our Pacesetter Award,” said Brandi Behrenwald, executive director of Alumni Relations. “We have a diverse group of alumni we’re highlighting this year with great stories strengthened by their Ferris State experience. We look forward to recognizing their past and continuing accomplishments and connections to Ferris State.”

The 2023 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award and Pacesetter Award from Ferris State and its Kendall College of Art and Design are:

 

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

 

  • Kim Herremans, a Class of 1982 Dental Hygiene alumna of the College of Health Professions, is the executive director for the Greater Tampa Bay Oral Health Coalition. She founded, implemented, or expanded various programs to increase access to dental health services in Florida. The Apollo Beach, Fla. native co-authored a dental hygiene textbook and has lectured in numerous states at dental hygiene meetings and at universities. She has also been involved in Operation Smile, an organization of volunteers and surgeons who correct children’s cleft lips and palettes.

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  • Shane Napper, a Class of 1997 Construction Management alumnus from the College of Engineering Technology, is the president and COO of Rockford Construction and serves on the Ferris State Construction Advisory Board. The Caledonia native is a founder of and presenter for the Rockford Construction “Dimensions” program, which supports local minority, women, and veteran-owned trade contractors.

 

  • Mike Van Diepenbos is a Class of 1987 alumnus of the College of Engineering Technology in Architectural Technology and a 1989 College of Business alumnus in Business Administration. Van Diepenbos is she senior vice president and group manager for Business Banking at Comerica Bank. The Cascade resident is a former Alumni Association board member who co-founded and co-chaired the Ferris State Grand Rapids Council and is currently serving on the Ferris Foundation Board of Directors. His professional affiliations include the Economies Club of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids, Southwest Michigan and Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

 

  • Gary Waters, a Class of 1975 and Class of 1978 alumnus of the College of Business majoring in Business Administration and Business Education, is a nationally recognized collegiate basketball coach. Now residing in Tampa, Fla. Waters was a head coach at Kent State, Rutgers, and Cleveland State. He started his career as an assistant coach at Ferris State after playing for the Bulldogs for two seasons. An inductee to three halls of fame, Gary authored the books “Ten Principles of a Character Coach” and “Coaching Millennials from a Character Perspective.”

 

  • Keith Winn, a Class of 1972 Kendall College of Art and Design alumnus in Interior Design, is the founder and president emeritus of Catalyst Partners, a sustainable consulting firm. The Grand Rapids native is also a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and was a developer of the LEED building certification. When the Catalyst Partners headquarters building in Grand Rapids was renovated in 2010, it received the highest number of LEED credits in the world at that time.

 

The Pacesetter Award, established in 1998, is presented based on similar criteria as the Distinguished Alumni Award, but winners have graduated in the last 12 years or less.

 

Pacesetter Award recipients

 

  • Farah Jalloul, a Class of 2017 College of Pharmacy/MBA, is the director of professional development for the Michigan Pharmacists Association. The Lansing native is a preceptor of Ferris pharmacy students and has spoken numerous times at the College of Pharmacy, including giving the keynote address for the Class of 2026 White Coat ceremony. Jalloul has authored a pharmacy law book to help prepare students for the state required MPJE law exam for licensure. She also serves as the state Pharmacy Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

 

  • Robbie Rankey, a Class of 2010 College of Business alumnus in Business Administration, is the executive director of Simon Group Holdings. His career includes law school, public accounting and more than 10 years in politics. The Orchard Lake native has been an active member of the Alumni Association board since 2019, Robbie also regularly attends the Ferris Foundation Benefit and various athletic events. He is active with the Boys and Girls Clubs of SE Michigan.

 

  • Joshua Solas, a Class of 2018 Kendall College of Art and Design Illustration alumnus, is an artist and creative director of Solasink. He is an active member of the Equity Council at KCAD. The St. Andrews, Jamaica resident’s company was commissioned in 2022 to restore the National Coat of Arms Sculpture at the National Stadium in Jamaica and to brand the Universal Music Group’s Black History Month digital campaign in 2023.

 

John and Sue Bradac Above and Beyond Award Winners

 

  • Garrett Beaulieu, of Alpena, is serving his second term as president of the Student Alumni Gold Club. In addition to his involvement in SAGC, Garrett is president of the Ferris State Associated Construction Students RSO, Secretary of Ferris State Sigma Lambda Chi Construction Honors Fraternity and is an active member of the Ferris State ASC Construction Competition Team. Garrett will graduate this coming May with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management and has secured a position with The Christman Company.

 

  • Rebecca Bovee, of DeWitt, is the new member coordinator for Student Alumni Gold Club. Becca is also consistently volunteering to help staff and plan SAGC events throughout the year while keeping busy with her other professional affiliations such as membership in Phi Lambda Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa, The American Pharmacists Association at Ferris State and Kappa Psi Professional Pharmaceutical Fraternity. Becca maintains a 4.0 GPA in the Doctor of Pharmacy program. In the spring, she will move to Grand Rapids as she continues her doctorate in Pharmacy with an expected graduation date of May 2026.

 

For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Award and Pacesetter Award, visit the Alumni Association website at https://www.ferris.edu/alumni/Distinguished-Alumni.htm.

 

Funded zipper merge road construction in effect for I-96 work in eastern Kent County

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is investing $2.5 million to improve approximately 8 miles of I-96 from Whitneyville Avenue to the Kent/Ionia county line. Work includes full-depth concrete pavement repairs and shoulder resurfacing.   

Immediate work will include lane closures through noon this Saturday on westbound I-96 from Morse Lake Road to Whitneyville Avenue. Eastbound I-96 lane closures are in place between M-50 and the Kent/Ionia county line through 7 A.M. this Friday. 

Lane closures and traffic shifts will remain in effect for the project on eastbound I-96 between M-6 and the Kent/Ionia county line weekly from Sunday evening through Friday morning. Westbound I-96 lane closures and shifts will be in effect 9 a.m. Monday through Friday mornings until late November.

This work zone will utilize the zipper merge. When traffic is heavy, motorists should use both open lanes and take turns merging into one lane at the signed merge point. This project will provide a better ride and extend the service life of the roadway.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University alumni place among top 25 in ArtPrize 2023

Two Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University alumni are among 25 artists selected as finalists to compete for first place and the $125,000 Public Vote Grand Prize for ArtPrize 2023.

Bryce Culverhouse and Christopher Shields each received enough public votes over the week-long Round 1 voting period for their respective entries to land in the Top 25.

ArtPrize voters now have the chance to cast one vote for the Top 25 entry they feel is most deserving of the Grand Prize, with Round 2 voting open through 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 28.

KCAD is playing a leading role in ArtPrize 2023, hosting exhibits and celebrating student, faculty, staff and alumni contributions in the nationally known competition stretching throughout Grand Rapids. The college is part of the new public-private partnership alongside the city of Grand Rapids and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. The event runs through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Culverhouse, who passed away earlier this month, graduated in 1972 with a professional certificate in Advertising Design.

He affirms a legacy of creativity, connection and activism with his “Black History Series,” on view at the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, 87 Monroe Center St. NW, in Grand Rapids.

Following a career as a graphic designer, art director and creative director, Culverhouse began blending history, fine art typography and advocacy into a deeply connective creative practice.

Using typography as brush strokes, he created unique portraits of transformative historical figures composed entirely of their most famous words and stories, captivating viewers from a distance and inviting them in close to explore the stirring narratives within.

Culverhouse’s tremendous passion for connecting with people through his art was evident in how he carried it out into the world.

He was a proud participant in multiple ArtPrize events, where he reveled in the opportunity to spark inspiration and dialogue with his creativity. 

While his work has been featured in group, solo, and juried exhibitions throughout the United States and won numerous awards, it is most distinguished by its power to reflect the best of humanity back at the viewer, and to remind us that the capacity to create change lies within us all.

Shields earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from KCAD in 1996. 

His Top 25 entry, “Technophobia,” is a beautifully rendered and hauntingly fragmented oil painting on view at The Morton, 55 Ionia Ave. NW in Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids-based artist’s work explores human identity and creativity in the age of artificial intelligence. 

Shields explores themes of inclusion, desire, authenticity and queer identity in a creative practice that spans—and often blurs the lines between—multiple mediums, including digital manipulation of analog paintings and drawings.

After graduating from KCAD, Shields exhibited his work nationally and internationally and taught art in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Detroit.

Technophobia” stemmed from Shields’ experiments feeding his work into an AI image generator, where he manipulated the results to achieve his desired effect before manually recreating the final image as a large-scale oil painting. The final piece stands powerfully as both a stirring confrontation of the ethical implications of AI’s rapid intrusion into the world of fine art and a reflection of the ever-present tension members of the LGBTQ+ community face living in a society that affirms and condemns them.

The winners of ArtPrize 2023 will be announced at a public awards ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. For more information, visit artprize.org.

Moolenaar: One year later, Gotion is still a bad business partner for Michigan

Today marks one year since local leaders in Mecosta County made a deal with Gotion, a subsidiary of Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-affiliated Gotion High-Tech, to build a battery component factory. Since September 26, 2022, Gotion has secured over $715 million in tax incentives from the state of Michigan, and officials signed non-disclosure agreements to keep details secret from the public. Congressman John Moolenaar, who represents Mecosta County in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, is opposed to the project. 

“Over the past year, we have learned about the very concerning ties Gotion has with the Chinese Communist Party, including its parent company making products for the Chinese military, and the son of a CCP official leading Gotion’s American operations. The CCP will use any form of leverage it has to pursue its agenda and further its goals against the United States,” said Moolenaar. “The Gotion project is still not in the best interest of Michigan and should be stopped.” 

Moolenaar recently joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to investigate the ownership of Gotion. He also called on the Treasury Department to deny tax credits to CCP-based companies and their subsidiaries.

Joe's Takes: Let the Streak Begin

The Lions just know how to get the job done. Forget about last week’s lost, because the team won this week with a pretty heavily depleted offensive line and key pieces on defense missing. Getting back in the win column after beating the Atlanta Falcons 20-6 is exactly what this team needed, especially with a short week of rest in store.

I really don’t think that there is a better place to play than Ford Field. It was so loud and electric that I could feel like I was there through the TV screen. And rightfully so, seeing as this was a chance for us to get a glimpse at the two top RB’s of this past draft, Bijan Robinson of Atlanta and Jahmyr Gibbs for Detroit, battling it out on the gridiron.

So let’s get into the meat and potatoes the game. Despite not scoring, Gibbs notched 80 yards on 17 carries compared to a measly 33 yards and no touchdowns on 10 carries by Robinson. The Lions’ offense had me a little worried with an unconventional way of getting into the endzone last Sunday. Jared Goff got his first rushing touchdown in a Lions uniform and Sam LaPorta got his first NFL score. We didn’t see much from Kalif Raymond, but Amon-Ra St. Brown reached 106 all purpose yards despite suffering a toe injury last week.

Here is the question though, should we be worried about Jared Goff? He ended his snap streak of 359 snaps without an interception last week and added another one against the Falcons. 2022 was his first year that he didn’t throw more than seven in a season, so was last season just a fluke or will he clean it up quick?

Okay, enough of the offense talk because what really stood out this game was the Lions’ defense. Aidan Hutchinson and the defensive front finally showed up with a whopping seven sacks, and Hutchinson pulled out what I can only say was the worst sack celebration that I have ever seen with the stanky leg, it was gross.

The Lions’ secondary was okay, I guess. Even without Kerby Joseph for the Lions, Falcons QB, Desmond Ridder went 21/38 for 201 yards which for Ridder is pretty much his average, so that gets a thumbs up from me. Anytime I see a defense, regardless of who it is, hold a team to only field goals, you know that the guys in the trenches were doing the work.

Coming into this game, Lions had a lot of guys on the IR, and most of them were ones that you couldn’t afford to be hurt, like Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Taylor Decker. I liked the decision by Head Coach Dan Campbell to sit most of these guys, since most of the injuries weren’t anything season ending. However, with week 4 being a short turn around with the game on Thursday, it’s best to let those guys recover a few extra days and have them ready to go for kickoff against the Green Bay Packers.

Speaking of the Packers, they lost to the Falcons in week 3 by a margin of one point, 24-25, so it gives us a good glimpse as to the competition that we’ll see. But remember, the Lions went into Lambeau last year and eliminated the Packers from the playoffs for the last game of the year, so is revenge on the Packers’ mind? It will for sure be.

As long as the defense can replicate the pressure that they had against the Falcons, and Goff can shake off his previous passing errors, I think you’re going to see the beginnings of what people can call a little winning streak.

It’ll be a house divided for me this week as my dad is a Packers fan. So find your favorite recliner, crack open a beverage, toss the chili in the crock pot, and bear witness to one of the best rivalries, in my opinion, that the NFL has to offer.

 

Lions head to Green Bay Thursday night for TNF.

Listen on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, and 96.5fm.

 

Lions games on WBRN are brought to you by Michigan ADAS Calibration and Glass.

When you need them, find them: Michigan ADAS Calibrations – Avanced Driver Assistance Systems

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (9/18 - 9/24)

Monday, September 18

  • Officers arrested a 29-year-old man on an outstanding warrant for domestic assault from an incident the
    previous day.

Tuesday, September 19

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, September 20

  • An officer investigated a larceny of prescription narcotics from a medical facility. Case is still under investigation.
    An officer responded to a call regarding two suspicious males with possible stolen items. The matter is under
    investigation.
  • An Officer transported a 29-year-old female with outstanding warrant to the Osceola County Jail without any incidents.

Thursday, September 21

  • An officer took a report of a suspicious truck that was possibly following some a juvenile. The matter was
    unfounded.
  • An officer took a report of threats. The person victim did not wish any action taken regarding the threats.
  • An officer assisted someone that came into the department with concerns for the wellbeing of a family
    member. After investigating, it was established that he was ok.

Friday, September 22

  • An officer was dispatched to a fight involving two males and a knife allegedly being pulled during the course of the fight. The case is still open under investigation.

  • Officers observed a vehicle in the cemetery well after hours. I was found to be a funeral home dropping off
    flowers from a funeral earlier in the day.

Saturday, September 23

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, September 24

  • An officer investigated a suspicious vehicle parked illegally. The vehicle was moved, no issues.

  • An officer transported an individual to the hospital for mental health treatement. No issues.

Red Wings Head Coach Derek Lalonde announces Ferris State Hockey captains for 2023-24 season

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program invited Derek Lalonde, former assistant coach and current Detroit Red Wings head coach, back to Big Rapids to announce the team's captains for the upcoming season on Monday.

The Bulldog Captains for the 2023-24 season will be: Brenden MacLarenJason BrancheauStepan Pokorny and Nick Hale.

Senior Brenden MacLaren will wear the captain's patch for the second year in a row. While wearing the patch last year, MacLaren set a career-high with 16 points (12 assists). The fifth-year senior earned CCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors on Dec. 19 and will look to build upon what was a strong senior season in his fifth year. MacLaren's leadership abilities, locker and weight room presence and excellence in the classroom are a few of the many reasons he was selected to wear the captain's patch in 2023-24.

"It's a tremendous honor," McLaren said. "Our leadership group is more than us four guys. It's more than one guy wearing a letter that leads the team."

Senior Jason Brancheau will wear an assistant captain's patch for 2023-24. After scoring just one goal in his first four seasons with Ferris State, Brancheau broke out in a huge way last year. He led the team with 13 goals and finished second on the team with 21 points. He also led the team with three power-play goals. In his fifth season with FSU and first wearing a captain's patch, "Branch" will look to build on an impressive offensive output from 2022-23 as he heads into 2023-24.

"It's (feels) awesome for the guys to pick me," Brancheau said. "It's tremendous honor with all the other "A's" and "C's" that have been here before me."

Senior Stepan Pokorny will join the captain's group in 2023-24 while wearing an assistant captain's patch. Pokorny led the Bulldogs with 22 points, 16 assists and 79 shots a year ago. The top line center for FSU, Pokorny's offensive production was a driving force behind the team's ability to score. Now in his fourth season with the Bulldogs, "Poky" will once again be a focal point offensively but will also wear a patch for the first time in his career.

"I'm really happy for the coaches and the players to trust me to lead the team," Pokorny said.

Graduate transfer Nick Hale (Holy Cross) will wear an assistant captain's patch for the upcoming season. Hale follows in former Bulldog Matt Slick's steps, as Slick also transferred from Holy Cross and became a captain in his first season with FSU on last year's squad. Hale brings strong offensive ability to the Bulldog blueline, as he scored 39 points in his final two seasons with Holy Cross. He integrated into the Bulldog culture rapidly upon arrival, and his strong leadership and voice in the locker room earned him the captain's patch for 2023-24.

"(An) unbelieveable honor," Hale said. "It didn't take long to get to know the guys well and just excited to get things going now."

The Bulldogs begin their season Oct. 7 against Miami (Ohio) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. (ET).

Kent County Sheriff's Office investigating fatal head-on collision in Vergennes TWP

Just before 3:00 PM Monday, the Kent County Sheriff's Office received a report of a car fire along Fallasburg Park Dr. near Heim St.

The accident was quickly learned to be the result of two vehicles colliding. When first responders from the Sheriff's Office, Lowell Police, and Lowell Area Fire Department arrived, they located a 16-year-old female from Lowell injured and another vehicle on fire. After the fire was put out, investigators located a 41-year-old male from Saranac deceased in the vehicle.

The 16-year-old teen was traveling northbound on Fallasburg Park Dr. and crossed the centerline of the roadway. The Chevrolet pickup she was driving struck a GMC Envoy head-on. 

At this time, the Kent County Sheriff's Office and Victim Advocates are working alongside the families involved in this crash. The Traffic Safety Unit will be continuing to look over data collected from the scene and investigate contributing circumstances.

Award-winning author and Ferris State University professor continues to earn national acclaim with new book forthcoming

When Ferris State University professor Deirdre Fagan walks into a classroom, she wears all her many hats: widow, wife, mother of two, professor — and award-winning author.

And for that, her students are grateful.

“I believe I’m able to continue growing as an educator because I am out in the field of creative writing every day while also maintaining my foot in the classroom,” said Fagan, who publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and scholarship and has taught at Ferris State since 2015.

“Find a Place for Me: Embracing Love and Life in the Face of Death” is her most recent award-winning book. Published in 2022, the memoir explores how she and her 43-year-old husband, Bob, traversed their remaining months as a couple with two young children after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Find a Place for Me” recently earned the 2023 Readers’ Favorite Grief & Hardship Gold Medal and top honors in the Death and Dying category in the 17th annual National Indie Excellence Awards, among many others. It was also featured on Disney/ABC's “Tamron Hall Show” and several other media outlets.

Other works include “The Grief Eater,” “Have Love” and “Critical Companion to Robert Frost.” Her work has also appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies.

Her latest book, “Phantom Limbs,” is a poetry collection that publishes in late September. Described as part celebration, part elegy, it’s about living fully despite — or perhaps even because of — repeated loss. The collection reveals intimate moments from childhood trauma to marriage, divorce, parenting, terminal illness, disability, caregiving, widowhood, remarriage, and mortality itself.

Fagan is a native New Yorker who holds a doctorate in humanistic studies (English and philosophy) and a master’s in English from the State University of New York at Albany and a bachelor’s in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

She taught college writing and literature courses for nearly two decades in New York, Maryland, Florida, and Illinois. After losing her husband, she moved to Michigan eight years ago to join the faculty at Ferris. In addition to her role here as a creative writing professor, she is coordinator for the Literature in Person Reading Series, which brings national and regional authors to the university.

It’s at Ferris State that her creative writing career blossomed.

Fagan has been eager to share her writing and publishing expertise with students. She’s piloting a new 300-level creative writing course in Genre Studies that focuses on a single writing genre each term.

“The idea is to allow students, after they have had an introduction to creative writing, to advance their knowledge of a single genre, as well as to more fully develop over several semesters their understanding of the various genres,” she said. This semester, the genre is fiction.

The university has made great strides, Fagan said, toward increasing creative writing offerings — and she’s happy to continue helping in whatever way she can.

“Working on the craft of creative writing develops not only one’s written and oral communication skills, but the creative and critical thinking that invigorates one’s career and personal life,” she said.

For more information on Deirdre Fagan’s publications, visit deirdrefagan.com.

DHD#10 Receives Funding to Improve Health and Prevent Chronic Disease in Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) will receive $719,008 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the first year in the five-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program. The REACH funding will help DHD#10 improve health, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities among our Hispanic, Latino, African American, and Black populations who experience the highest burdens of chronic disease in Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties. 

DHD#10’s “LiveWell REACH” project will help to prevent and delay chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, through a combination of educational programs as well as policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that make physical activity, nutritious foods, and healthcare services more accessible. 

“We are so honored to be given the opportunity to do this important work for and with our communities,” said Katie Miller, DHD#10 Supervisor and Principal Investigator for the LiveWell REACH project.

“The health disparities experienced by our communities are the preventable differences that can lead to an added burden of disease - such as access to safe physical activity opportunities and retailers with affordable, nutritious foods. When combined with the rural nature of our communities, access to these and other resources is further compounded for our at-risk populations. Through this project and with collaboration across health systems and community partners, I truly believe we will see changes in our communities to help turn the tide on health disparities and reduce the chronic disease burden experienced by our most vulnerable residents.”  

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke are among the most common causes of illness, disability, and death in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs. In each of the three communities for DHD#10’s funding, populations experience a notable burden of chronic disease: Adults in Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties have high rates of diabetes (Lake: 12%; Newaygo: 10%; Oceana: 11%) and obesity (Lake: 39%; Newaygo: 39%; Oceana: 38%) and report relatively high rates of physical inactivity (Lake: 26%; Newaygo: 23%; Oceana: 23%). In addition, residents who identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino in each of the three DHD#10 counties experience higher levels of poverty than those who are non-Hispanic White. Populations in these communities are also at higher risk for mortality related to diabetes and heart disease when compared to the state as a whole, which exemplifies the severity of these diseases.

These chronic conditions—and the factors that lead to them—are more common or severe for some racial and ethnic groups due to systemic barriers and societal inequities. DHD#10 will work with partners and local coalitions to enhance existing resources, address health needs, and reduce health disparities for populations in the three communities of focus. 

“CDC is excited to announce this new REACH funding to 41 communities across 27 states and the District of Columbia,” said Terry O’Toole, PhD, MDiv, Program Development and Evaluation Branch Chief in CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “With this funding, organizations will plan and carry out local, culturally-appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among racial and ethnic minority groups where health gaps remain. REACH intends to improve health where people live, learn, work, and play.”  

As one of 41 REACH recipients, DHD#10 will implement proven public health strategies for the following: 

  • Healthy food choices made easier everywhere—promoting food service and nutrition guidelines, expanding fruit and vegetable voucher incentive and/or produce prescription programs. 
  • Safe and accessible physical activity—connecting pedestrian, bicycle, or transit transportation networks to everyday destinations. 
  • Family healthy weight programs—improving access to effective, family-centered, culturally relevant health behavior and lifestyle treatment programs. 

A complete list of CDC’s REACH recipients and additional information can be found on the REACH website: https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/state-local-programs/reach/reach-2023-2028.html.

Bulldog men's tennis kicks off year with big performance at Davenport University tourney

The Ferris State University men's tennis squad kicked off its 2023-24 season on Friday (Sept. 22) at the Davenport University Tournament, which took place in Allendale.

The Bulldogs started in impressive fashion, winning 12 of 15 singles contests overall and posting five doubles wins in the event. The tournament featured competitors from FSU, Davenport and Grand Valley State, which the Bulldogs picking up the most wins on the day.

"We started this invite three years ago to give our players a chance to get some match play before we head to the ITA Midwest Regional Championships," said FSU head coach Mark Doren. "So, we treat this as a warm up and a way to practice some of the things we've been focused on early in our fall season.

"Overall, I think today showed all that focus is working," he added. "All eight guys on our team played today and this gives us a lot of confidence going into next week."

FSU finished 12-3 combined in singles competition and 5-3 in doubles action. Players were divided into four different singles groups or flights along with two in doubles competition.

The ITA Midwest Regional Championships will take place beginning next Saturday (Sept. 30) back at GVSU in Allendale.

West Nile virus confirmed in human case in Grand Rapids

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is tracking a human case of West Nile Virus in a Kent County Resident. The patient has a limited travel history so it is likely they contracted the virus after being bit by a mosquito in the 49507 zip code. The patient is currently hospitalized. No other patient details will be released. 

With weather forecasters predicting unseasonably warm temperatures this weekend, people will likely be spending more time outdoors. “People need to know that mosquitoes are still quite active this time of year,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer at KCHD. “It continues to be important that people take measures to protect themselves from being bitten.”

The best treatment for West Nile Virus is prevention. The KCHD recommends wearing a mosquito repellant that contains 10 - 35% DEET, wearing light colored clothing, and staying indoors during dusk. To learn more about the choices and usage of insect repellants, click here. You can help stop mosquitoes from breeding by removing any standing water in your yard and keeping your lawn and shrubs cut. 

West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito borne illness in the United States. Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus will never know it but about 20% of those infected may develop a fever or other symptoms. In rare cases West Nile Virus can become a serious and sometimes fatal illness. 

For more information about West Nile Virus, click here.

Ferris State is among 10 Michigan public universities uniting to admit state high school graduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above

Ferris State University is among 10 of Michigan’s 15 public universities today announcing a bold new initiative to greatly streamline the college admissions process, boost enrollment and help students realize their full educational potential.

Beginning this fall, universities participating in the Michigan Assured Admission Pact will admit Michigan high school graduates who have earned a cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale).

The institutions will work together to promote the initiative to high school students, parents, secondary school partners, and college access organizations throughout the state.

Ferris State is the only public university in West Michigan participating in the program. Other participating universities are: Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Michigan-Flint, and Wayne State University.

MAAP universities believe a uniform and widely communicated standard for admission will reduce the uncertainty and anxiety that are often part of the college admissions process and empower students to achieve their educational goals.

MAAP is a cooperative, cross-institutional effort aimed at increasing awareness of educational options among recent high school graduates and making the admissions process more efficient and transparent.

This initiative is aligned with the State of Michigan’s goal to have 60 percent of working-age adults possess a college degree or other post-secondary credential by 2030.

“Our future depends on helping young people graduate without debt so they can get a good-paying job and ‘make it’ in Michigan,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “The MAAP is proof of what’s possible when we come together to create opportunity for tens of thousands of Michiganders. In tandem with the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, we are lowering costs, building a skilled workforce, and leading the future of advanced manufacturing, technology, and so many other industries.”

“Strengthening Michigan’s talent pipeline to meet the needs of a transitioning economy is a key Business Leaders for Michigan priority,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and chief executive officer of Business Leaders for Michigan. “The new MAAP initiative advances this goal by assuring admission to universities across the state for qualified students. It opens the doors of educational opportunity to more young people and creates pathways to the high-skill, high-wage careers that will help us build a strong foundation for Michigan’s future economic success.”

According to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the number of high school graduates in Michigan is expected to decline by 11.4 percent from 2022 to 2037. While many states are just now approaching the so-called “enrollment cliff,” the number of high school graduates in Michigan has been flat or declining since 2008, when it peaked at over 123,000. By 2037, that number is expected to have decreased by nearly 40,000 graduates.

At the same time, Michigan high school graduates are less likely to pursue higher education than in previous years. The college-going rate among the state’s high school graduates has declined each year from 2013 (65.8 percent) to 2022 (52.8 percent).

“Higher education is the surest path to prosperity for our state and its residents, yet college enrollment has been declining each year over the past decade,” said Daniel J. Hurley, chief executive officer of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “MAAP aims to counter this trend by assuring that every high school graduate in Michigan with a 3.0 or higher will be admitted to all ten participating public universities across the state. Combined with the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, this collaborative effort will send a powerful message that a public university education in Michigan is more accessible than ever before.”

Visit the Ferris State Assured Admissions page and MAAP.org to learn more about the Michigan Assured Admission Program.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (9/18 - 9/21)

Monday, September 18

Calls for Service: 12

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, September 19

  • At 1332 hours, deputies made a traffic stop on 14 Mile and 100th Ave in Martiny TWP. The traffic stop resulted in male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 12

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, September 20

  • At 2009 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Morton TWP. A male and female were both arrested on warrants. Both were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 9

 

Thursday, September 21

  • At 1021 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest in Martiny TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant and possession of meth. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 15

'Ferris Famous' Homecoming activities include new twists for events, traditional element revival at Ferris State University

“Ferris Famous” is the theme for the 97th Homecoming for Ferris State University’s athletic and institutional faithful, with activities including the return of a Homecoming Kick-off Dance. 

Events start on Saturday, Sept. 23, and run through Saturday, Sept. 30. The Center for Student Involvement collaborated with Ferris State’s Alumni Relations Office and Entertainment Unlimited for a week of activities.  

“Each year’s Homecoming at Ferris is fantastic, and with the unparalleled success of the football program, we know the crowd will be amped up and all about backing the Bulldogs,” said Ben Avery, Center for Student Involvement coordinator. “We want everyone who takes part in any event on the schedule to be aware of Ferris’ founders, famous campus leaders and those who attended the university, who have gone on to gain national attention.”

Brandi Behrenwald, the executive director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, is excited to welcome alums and friends back to campus for Homecoming 2023 activities. 

"Whether you are an alum who attends Homecoming every year or are just thinking about returning to campus after some time away, this is a great occasion,” Behrenwald said. “Our guests will find photos of ‘Famous Ferris’ friends in our tent, along with a caricature artist on duty Homecoming Saturday, Sept. 30, so that any alumnus can have their rightful fame recognized with a picture to keep and join the rank of images to see that day.” 

The collaboration continues as a new start time is set for the Homecoming Parade. Avery said they will step off along Michigan Avenue at 10:30 a.m., and there are incentives for greater participation from student organizations. 

“Registered student organizations and our Panhellenic and Greek groups can win from between $100 to $300 for their operations, which we hope brings a large response,” Avery said. “The registration process is accomplished on the EU Instagram account. Starting earlier allows all these parties to trek to the tailgate area, so the parade ends on campus and allows everyone to gather and socialize before the game.” 

The Homecoming 2023 grand marshal is Mike Van Diepenbos, who earned an associate degree in Architectural Technology from the College of Engineering Technology in 1987. and in 1989, he graduated from the College of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

“This is a chance to honor Mike for all his service to the Alumni Association, from board appointments to a term as president in support of our cause,” Behrenwald said. “He has joined the Ferris Foundation Board of Directors and chaired the university’s Grand Rapids council, and with his wife, Liz, they are avid contributors in so many ways.” 

The 11 a.m. start for Tailgating is an opportunity for many Ferris colleges, academic and service programs across the university to welcome students, alums and the community in a grand celebration of Ferris in all its famous aspects. 

“We are glad to offer an extensive and enjoyable tailgate experience, with a catered assortment of snacks and desserts in the Alumni Association tent, including puppy chow,” Behrenwald said. “We are happy to renew acquaintances and catch up with all alumni who stop by before the game.” 

Thousands are expected to move through the various tents or seek out their groups of choice between the start of tailgating and halftime of the Homecoming game. 

“We will be ready for a big crowd, with long-range forecasts showing temperatures a little above normal,” Behrenwald said. “Reunion Row’s fraternal groups and the Office of Multicultural Student Services’ Black Alumni gatherings are always well represented.” 

Ferris’ two-time defending national champions will face the Northern Michigan Wildcats in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest at 3 p.m. Avery cited four Homecoming Ambassador candidates vying for the honor. The winner is announced at halftime of the game. Student voting begins Thursday, Sept. 21, and concludes on Sept. 28. 

“Our contestants have great involvement and pride in Ferris,” Avery said. “We see this field as a great cap for our Homecoming activities.” 

Avery said a Homecoming Kick-Off Dance opens the week schedule on Sept. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. in the David L. Eisler Center ballrooms. 

Bringing back the dance during an off week for Ferris football means students can use the day for preparation rather than having to rush off from a Homecoming game or other activities at this early point in the year,” Avery said. “It seemed like a great opportunity to re-establish a traditional and enjoyable event.” 

There will be a cornhole tournament Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Robinson Quad, which Avery said should provide various enjoyable opportunities to students. Entertainment Unlimited’s Instagram account is how students register their team for the tournament. 

The Homecoming comedian performance is set for Williams Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Avery explains their Entertainment Unlimited board took the lead on this selection. 

“EU has joined in collaboration with many Homecoming events. We are glad to have their new approaches to mix with the traditional offerings of the week,” Avery said. “This is a free event for all who attend. Ferris students with ID will be admitted at 6:30 p.m., and if space remains, a community audience can join the fun at 7 p.m. ahead of the first performance at 7:30.” 

On Friday, Sept. 29, the Alumni Association welcomes a variety of guests for the Fall Reunion, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Behrenwald said Ferris’ Class of 1973 are their Golden Eagles will be well represented.

“More than 25 members of the Class of ’73 have committed for the reunion, and we will honor five Distinguished Alumni, three Pacesetter Award winners and two Student Leadership Award recipients,” Behrenwald said. “Their great stories will make for a wonderful evening in the David L. Eisler ballrooms.” 

A homecoming bonfire and pep rally begins at 7 p.m. that evening, on the Robinson Quad. 

“We want to have a good crowd, to rally with our Ferris Nation for the game against Northern Michigan,” Avery said. “The football program’s tradition of outstanding successes helps to make this a great event each year.” 

On the way to their second straight national championship, the Bulldogs topped Northern 56-20 in Marquette on Oct. 29, 2022. Ferris’ Homecoming win last year was a 69-3 romp over an NAIA opponent, Waldorf University, of Forest City, Iowa.

Rep. Tom Kunse: Bipartisanship, Lansing charity wins as lawmakers play ball

In an inspiring display of unity and community support, Reps. Tom Kunse (R-Clare) and Alabus Farhat (D-Dearborn) organized a bipartisan softball game that not only brought lawmakers from both sides of the aisle together, but also benefited a local charity.

The game took place at the scenic Lansing Lugnuts baseball stadium on Wednesday evening, just down the street from the state Capitol, drawing a diverse crowd of legislators, staff, and community members. The Lansing City Rescue Mission was the selected charity this year.

“Yesterday’s big winners are bipartisanship and the Lansing City Rescue Mission,” said Kunse. “In a time when it can seem like division dominates the headlines, it’s encouraging to see colleagues from different parties come together for a common goal: supporting our capital city. We’ve shown that we can find common ground, not only on the softball field, but also in our dedication to helping those less fortunate.”

Rep. Kunse extended his appreciation to all participants, supporters and volunteers who made the event possible.

“The game was a blast,” Kunse said. “But much more importantly, we raised over $20,000 for the Lansing City Rescue Mission, which provides food, shelter, clothing and hope throughout the downtown area. We were also able to help generate significant awareness for the organization’s mission. I am encouraged by the participation on both sides of the aisle, and I plan to promote this as an annual event going forward.”

Kunse hopes the bipartisan softball game will serve as a strong example of the benefits of cooperation in the political arena while also underscoring the importance of supporting local charities.

Ferris State Volleyball moves up two spots to #22 in the nation this week

The Ferris State University women's volleyball squad has climbed two spots in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/Taraflex Division II Rankings as the Bulldogs are listed 22nd in the country.

Ferris State moved up two spots from 24th a week ago after winning its first two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches of the season this past weekend. FSU beat Wayne State 3-2 in Detroit in its league opener on Thursday (Sept. 14) before sweeping Parkside 3-0 at home on Saturday (Sept. 16).

Ferris State is one of four schools from the Midwest Region found in the national rankings this week along with fifth-ranked Missouri-St. Louis, #20-ranked Lewis (Ill.) and Rockhurst (Mo.), which is ranked 25th.

The Bulldogs will hit the road for two more league contests this week. FSU visits Saginaw Valley State on Friday (Sept. 22) evening for a 7 p.m. (ET) conference tilt in University Center. Ferris State then faces Davenport on Saturday (Sept. 23) in a 5 p.m. (ET) conference match in Caledonia.

FSU, which is now 7-3 overall this year, is slated to play its next five contests on the road and will not play another home match until Oct. 6.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University to showcase technology and programs at Confluence Fest

Confluence, a multifaceted festival that explores what’s possible when art, music, science and technology converge, returns for its third year on September 22-23 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University is excited to renew its collaboration with Confluence, promising a dynamic display of creativity and innovation.

“Confluence is a celebration of art, design, and technology with a community of fellow makers and innovators,” says Jon Moroney, KCAD Professor and Product Design Program Chair. “We are excited to demonstrate some of the technologies that enable KCAD students to experiment with their ideas as they pursue their passion for art and design.”

The Maker Expo on Saturday, Sept. 23, presented by Ferris State University, is a diverse showcase of enthusiasts, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists, and organizations who create amazing things in celebration of the DIY spirit. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., makers will come together to share their work and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering and art.

KCAD’s Maker Expo booth will highlight its product design tools, technologies, and processes, including 3D modeling and rendering, fiber laser cutting, and more.

The booth will offer interactive demonstrations using the fiber laser where visitors can receive a custom engraved coin. KCAD staff and faculty members will be on-site to share how students employ the tools and technologies to take ideas from sketches and digital models to physical objects.

The Innovation Showcase spotlights gaming and the regional organizations that are driving it forward.

This year’s esports competition, co-produced by Ferris State, will host four collegiate teams and four high school teams to compete in Super Smash Bros. tournaments. The winning team in each division will receive prizes and a custom trophy designed and produced by KCAD, utilizing some of the same technologies on display at the college’s Maker Expo booth.

Between matches, festival attendees will be invited to play onstage and experience the full thrill of competition. The tournament and gaming experience runs Saturday, Sept 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information about Confluence Fest, visit confluencefest.com.

Ferris ranked seventh CCHA unveils preseason polls ahead of 2023-24 hockey season

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) unveiled its 2023-24 preseason polls on Monday.

Ferris State, which opens the season on Oct. 7-8 at home against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, was picked to finish seventh overall by both the league's head coaches and the media.

Overall, Michigan Tech tallied 67 points out of a possible 70, including a league-high four first-place votes, in taking home the top spot in the coaches' poll, with Northern Michigan grabbing 66 (3 first-place votes) and Bowling Green picking up 55. Bemidji State had 49 points, which was good for fourth, while St. Thomas claimed the eighth and final first-place vote and was tied with Minnesota State with 45 points apiece. Ferris State and Lake Superior State captured 36 and 29 points in the poll, respectively.

The eight CCHA head coaches competing in a full conference schedule ranked each school in projected order of finish for the regular season, excluding their own. Points were awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4 basis.

In the preseason media poll, Michigan Tech picked up 152 points in the poll with 11 first-place votes. Northern Michigan collected 133 points and was tied with third place Bowling Green (124) with two first-place votes apiece. Defending MacNaughton Cup and Mason Cup Champion Minnesota State was fourth with 114 points (1 first-place vote), while Bemidji State University (100 points), St. Thomas (88), Ferris State (72) and Lake Superior State (49) rounded out the league.

The CCHA Media Poll was comprised of 16 members of the local and national media, who cover the conference and its teams regularly. Points were awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3 basis.

The CCHA Media Day took place on Tuesday, September 19, beginning at 10:50am ET / 9:50am CT. Along with CCHA Commissioner Don Lucia and CCHA Director of Officiating Marco Hunt, all nine CCHA Head Coaches previewed the upcoming season and answered questions from local, regional and national media outlets via Zoom.

The CCHA officially drops the puck on year three of the reconfigured league on Saturday, October 7. Seven CCHA teams will be in action across opening weekend, with conference play getting underway with a pair of series on October 27.

Fans can stream all CCHA games live and on-demand, on their home televisions, computers, tablets, and mobile devices via the FloSports app. The FloSports App can be accessed on all screens and streaming devices by downloading the FloSports app on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, the App Store and Google Play Store. Additionally, FloSports can be accessed on any smart device browser by visiting FloHockey.tv.

Single-game tickets for the 2023-24 Bulldog Hockey campaign are on sale now and can be purchased online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

MPSC highlights Michigan Relay Service's role in helping people connect as part of Deaf Awareness Week

September is Deaf Awareness Month, and the Michigan Public Service Commission is highlighting the importance of the Michigan Telecommunications Relay Service that allows deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired persons to communicate by telephone.

The Michigan House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 129 of 2023, declaring September as Deaf Awareness Month in Michigan, honoring the ways in which deaf culture and heritage have enriched life in the state.

The resolution notes that at least 7.4% of Michiganders identify as deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing, and notes the importance of ensuring Michigan’s deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing individuals have equal access to the many benefits and opportunities available to hearing individuals to live, work, play and communicate in Michigan.

One of the critical tools in that effort is Michigan’s Telecommunications Relay Service.

Michiganders not familiar with the service may not know what to do if they receive a call through Michigan Relay. If you answer a call and someone says, “A person who may be deaf or hard of hearing is calling you through Michigan Relay,” don’t hang up.

Through Michigan Relay, people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have difficulty speaking can communicate using a TTY (teletypewriter), TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) or other technology to connect with friends and family, conduct business, make or cancel appointments, order a pizza or other activities.

To learn more about how it works, you can read the MPSC’s consumer tip on the Michigan Relay. There are no extra charges for users of the Michigan Relay. Only normal telephone charges apply. There also are no limits on the number or length of calls for relay users.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc, sign up for its monthly newsletter or other listservs. Follow the Commission on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

New resource hub to benefit Michigan communities via $1 million in federal grant awarded to LEO and MML

Today, the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML), announced they have partnered to create the Michigan Local Capacity Enhancement Program through a $1 million grant under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Under the new program, the League will provide local communities with a robust online resource hub (MIFundingHub.org) and technical assistance to support them in understanding, seeking and successfully deploying new grant funds for economic growth, infrastructure and other community projects.

“LEO is excited to partner with the League on this local capacity program and to develop the much-needed MI Funding Hub,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “Michigan Communities of all sizes will have the opportunity to gain knowledge on how to successfully deploy new grant opportunities that will directly impact on their community’s and help their residents thrive.”

With billions in available funding for local units of government through programs like ARPA, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act there is a significant need for communities to track funding opportunities as they become available. For many communities across Michigan, especially those small and medium-sized, navigating this process and developing projects and programs that meet their current and future needs exceeds their capacity.

“Here in Saginaw, we’ve relied on the League to help us decide how to invest our ARPA funding,” said Brenda F. Moore, Saginaw Mayor. “This partnership between with the League and the state will ensure that we can continue to depend on this assistance moving forward. It’s great news for Michigan’s communities and cities like Saginaw.”

In 2020, the League launched two programs — “ServeMICity” and “MI Water Navigator” — to help communities plan and secure new recovery and infrastructure funding for projects that address long-standing community needs. Through those technical assistance and training programs they’ve helped hundreds of communities leverage over $200 million in new state and federal funding.

“This new funding from LEO will allow the League to build on our already successful technical assistance programs that are helping communities leverage new federal funding for high impact local programs,” Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the League. “This work will provide local governments with the critical information and tools they need to capitalize on this once in a generation opportunity.”

Gilmartin explained there are billions of dollars in new federal funding available and Michigan has an opportunity to maximize access to these resources by providing support to communities in understanding, seeking and successfully deploying new grant funds for economic growth, infrastructure and other community projects.

With additional funding from LEO the League will significantly scale up its technical assistance program for communities including:

  • Creating a robust online resource hub that provides information on new grants and funding opportunities as well as resources and tools for successfully managing projects.
  • Providing technical assistance for local governments to assist them in understanding funding opportunities, evaluating local project options and potential grant matches, and directing them to applicable funding sources.
  • Offering a variety of training and outreach efforts including funding newsletters, grant readiness training, webinars and more.

The League will act as the project lead for this initiative and oversee the project timeline, budget, strategic partnership management and continuous improvement activities. Technical assistance for communities is available now, and the online funding and resource hub is projected to be completed in January 2024.

To learn more about this program or get technical assistance in navigating funding opportunities, visit MIFundingHub.org or contact the League team at: helpdesk@mifundinghub.org.

Two-car collision in Rodney leads to AeroMed hospital transport

On Tuesday, Aug. 19 at approximately 7:59 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to McKinley Rd near 120th Ave reference a two-vehicle accident involving a passenger car and a pickup truck. 

The investigation found that a 63-year-old Male from Rodney rear-ended a 24-year-old female also from Rodney. The female's two younger children were also present in the pickup truck and were uninjured. The male and his 59-year-old female passenger were severely injured during the crash. 

The male was transported to Big Rapids Corewell Health Hospital before being flown by an AeroMed helicopter to the Butterworth Hospital. His female passenger was transported directly to the Butterworth Hospital. Both had severe but non life-threatening injuries. 

Deputies were assisted by Mecosta County EMS, Colfax TWP Fire Dept., Morton TWP Rescue, Big Rapids Towing, Meceola Central Dispatch, and AeroMed. 

Reed City celebrates home cross-country course debut with CSAA team victory

Reed City High School hosted their first home meet since 2007 on Tuesday afternoon. The CSAA jamboree featured all 11 conference schools with Reed City boys and Central Montcalm girls team earning victories.

"It was a really great atmosphere and Coyote Nation came out in full force to cheer on the runners," Head coach Rich Saladin said. "The kids, as well as coaches, were pretty nervous but settled down and ran a great race."

On the girls side, junior Kyah Hoffman of Central Montcalm took home the individual victory with an official time of 18:23 followed by junior Lila Volkers of Kent City (18:54) and senior Miranda McNeil of Morley Stanwood (19:43). For team scoring, Central Montcalm paced the race with a dominant 31 points, followed by Chippewa Hills (62) and Kent City (86). Reed City placed fourth overall (115) with Tri-County sixth (135) and Big Rapids seventh (165).

"The our top two girls, Clara Smoes and Caelynn London, both ran season best times today," Saladin said. "Carly Carlson, Marlowe Walcott, Ava Hammar, and Charity Rogers were fantastic. Miriam Hunt also had a PR with a solid run. This is a tough conference and we have a very young team. The girls did great."

For the boys side, it was senior Samuel Martini of Kent City who led the field at 16:20 with sophomore Gage Hoffman of Central Montcalm (16:29) and senior Anthony Kianus of Reed City (16:37) right behind. Reed City defended their home course for the first time, earning the team title with 47 points. Central Montcalm (62) and Big Rapids (63) finished second and third respectfully with Tri County in fourth (97) and Chippewa Hills seventh (193).

"Our boys are currently ranked 4th in D3 and we continue to get tested and challenged," Saladin said. "They keep rising up to championship effort and continue to see solid progress. Anthony Kiaunis was really strong. Gus is a little nicked up but had a very strong effort along with Ryan Allen. Those top 3 have been great. Isaac Clementshaw had a PR today and Paul Saladin had a phenomenal effort to hold off some runners. Aaron Allen, Izaiah Lentz, Elijah Lentz, and Brady Dozier really complement our top 5. Central Montcalm and Big Rapids have some great teams and I'm really proud of our boys today."

Many CSAA squads will see each other next Saturday in Shepherd for the Blue Jay Invite, known as one of the fastest courses in the state of Michigan.

"We have 11 days off and won't race again until September 30th," Saladin said. "There will be a lot of the top teams (at Shepherd) and another test for our kids. I'm hoping the fans got a great taste of the excitement of cross country and continue to come out and cheer us on."

For more results and information, visit athletic.net.

Ferris Foundation Merit Grant support advances Salvadoran video, testimonies for possible inclusion in Shoah Genocide archive

Preserving and archiving battlefield video and testimony from people who endured mass violence in El Salvador to help future generations understand the impact of such atrocities will continue at Ferris State University, supported by a Merit Grant awarded by The Ferris Foundation. 

Social Work professor Michael Berghoef said a previous Merit Grant allowed him to acquire various recorded materials of regional battles and witness accounts of the country’s civil war. About 75,000 people were killed between 1980 and 1992 when government forces conducted massacres, landmine placements, bombings and summary executions. 

Berghoef, in November, met leaders of the Shoah Foundation and the Institute for Visual History and Education at the University of Southern California. The nonprofit organization dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides.  

The foundation has 56,000 testimonies from El Salvador archived.  

“If we include the Salvadoran stories we have gathered, that would represent the 10th country to be archived and serve as only the second group of testimonies from Central America, joining the Guatemalan collection,” Berghoef said. 

Berghoef said Ferris State alumnus and philanthropist Mickey Shapiro gave the university access to the Shoah Archive, making Ferris State one of three universities in Michigan and among the fewer than 200 full-access sites worldwide for the video histories.  

Shapiro has been a strong supporter of the Shoah Foundation’s efforts. USC and the foundation in March announced the first Mickey Shapiro Endowed Chair in Holocaust Research is expected to be seated in 2025. 

“Many of our videos are in their original unmediated technological state, and to be included in the archive, they will require translation, transcription, captioning, time stamping, geocoding and incorporation of keywords,” Berghoef said. “We will be turning to Wes Thompson of Ferris’ Media Production team to complete the processing, which has already begun. This submission needs to move on to researchers with the Shoah Archive, who would determine whether they would be included by 2024. That would be a successful result for a process that began in Summer 2018.” 

If the USC Shoah Foundation chose not to fully include the Salvadoran video testimonies for its archive, Berghoef would exploring other archives, such as Unfinished Sentences project at the University of Washington, the El Salvador Memory project at Western University in Ontario, and the Ferris Institutional Repository. 

Berghoef appreciates the donor support that has helped make this work possible. 

“We hope to see that this material has an appropriate venue to reach scholars, students, and others who would benefit from its availability and make these important Salvadoran testimonies heard,” he said. 

Gotion Inc. begins hiring process for battery components facility in Green Charter Township

Gotion Inc. yesterday announced it has officially started the hiring process for its planned battery components facility in Green Charter Township and is looking for local residents to fill several key positions.

Initial positions that will be filled include: financial controlling specialist; human resources specialist; purchasing/logistics; electrical engineering; mechanical engineering; executive assistant; construction management; and IT specialist.

“In my experience, Gotion Inc. has been a wonderful place to work with a community-based, company culture that is second to none,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “As a reflection of our commitment to this community and in compliance with the requirements set forth by Green Charter Township Supervisor Jim Chapman, Gotion Inc. is first seeking to hire people from within a 25-mile radius of our planned facility."

“While we conduct our current environmental assessment in collaboration with Michigan EGLE and other local and national agencies, Gotion Inc. is filling these key positions to prepare for an exciting project kickoff in the next month.” 

Thelen said the positions will support the agreements with local and state agencies to bring large scale, safe and environmentally friendly manufacturing practices to Mecosta County.

Michigan Works! West Central, which serves employers and job seekers in Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana, and Osceola counties, will help coordinate the hiring process.

“Michigan Works! West Central is pleased to work with the team at Gotion Inc. to recruit local talent for several key positions as this long-awaited project gets underway,” said Shelly Keene, Michigan Works! West Central executive director. “Our team is working closely with Gotion Inc. to develop a recruitment strategy and timeline to fully staff the EV battery component production facility in Mecosta County.”

Those seeking more information about available positions at Gotion Inc. can visit MWWC.org/Gotion.

Ferris State Athletics, NewsRadio WBRN to launch "Behind the Bulldogs" sports podcast

Beginning this coming week, Ferris State University Athletics will debut its second podcast addition to the Bulldog Sports Network lineup. The new show, joining alongside the recently released hockey program called "Off the Ice", will be named "Behind the Bulldogs."

Co-hosted by Athletics Communications Assistant Brandon Wirth and FSU sports communication alum Joe Nagy, the new series will cover all 17 sports at Ferris State with matchup previews, game recaps, stats, analysis, and "behind the scenes" interviews with Bulldog coaches, players, and staff. "Behind the Bulldogs" is produced in collaboration with Ferris State Athletics and NewsRadio WBRN at Mentor Partners, Inc.

"This new show is going to give family, friends, and fans an exclusive inside look about life in Bulldog Athletics," Wirth said. "Whether its players in competition, coaches in the film room, or staff at a venue, this program will give Bulldog Country a chance to learn more about their favorite teams, players and coaches."

As a re-branded expansion of the popular show, "The MVSP," Wirth and Nagy are excited to return to the microphones to cover the Bulldogs all season long in 2022 and beyond.

"What this podcast has developed into is miles above what we thought we could reach when we first started our freshman year," Nagy said. "I can't be more excited to take this show to the next level professionally and have opportunities that we thought were out of reach before. Even with the change in our goal, the show is the same: showcase the athletes and coaches in a way that most don't get to see them."

Each episode will be approximately 20-25 minutes in duration and will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other major podcast platforms. It will also be aired weekly on NewsRadio WBRN every Saturday at 3 p.m. (ET) on 1460 AM, 96.5 and 107.7 FM.

The first episode of the show is slated to be released next Wednesday, Sept. 20, on all platforms. To follow the show, check out the show's social media @BehindTheBulldogs (formerly @TheMVSP) on Instagram, X, and on corresponding Ferris State Athletics team pages.

Big Rapids High School tabbed as best high school in the area by US News & World Report

Big Rapids High School was recently awarded with a US News and World Report’s Best High Schools award for 2023-24, earning the highest ranking amongst area schools. 

"We owe this distinction to a variety of factors including our commitment to academic excellence in the classes we offer including AP coursework as well as dual enrollment classes; a highly qualified teaching staff who care about our kids and their success; a district and board of education committed to providing the funding and resources required to succeed; and of course students who care about their education and their families who are supportive," Principal Ron Pincumbe said.

According to the US News and World Report rankings, Big Rapids ranks around the 6,000 mark amongst all high schools in the nation. This also includes a ranking of 193 in the state of Michigan out of 651 registered schools.

After recieving the award, Principal Pincumbe made sure to give credit to the middle school and elementary staff for their work with the students before they reach the high school level.

"It is important for us to recognize as well that our students would not perform well if it were not for the work put in by our K-8 staff. They are responsible for setting our students up for success at the high school level."

80-year-old man dies in fatal fire in Mecosta TWP

On Monday, September 18, 2023, at approximately 3:17 P.M., Meceola Central Dispatch received multiple calls regarding heavy smoke and then a report of a structure on fire.

Mecosta Township Fire responded to the address located in Mecosta Township on Old State Rd. as did mutual aid fire departments including Big Rapids City Fire, Big Rapids Township Fire, and Morley Area Fire Department. Additionally, as personnel were responding to the reported fire, the call was updated that a person was possibly trapped inside the fire. Mecosta County EMS and the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office also responded to assist in the report as well.

Emergency personnel arrived on scene and began attacking the fully involved structure fire. Upon arrival, personnel were hearing explosions and the roof of the structure was already beginning to
collapse. The responding fire departments were able to quickly knock down the fire and began to conduct a search of the area for the missing resident. Fire personnel were able to locate the resident
who was found to be deceased.

Further investigation at the scene revealed that the deceased, an 80-year-old Stanwood resident, had been welding in his workshop when the fire broke out. The resident had mobility issues and was not able to escape the fire. The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Fire Investigation Team responded and assisted the fire personnel with the investigation. The fire was not suspicious and determined to be accidental.

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office was assisted in this complaint by the Mecosta Township Fire & Rescue, Big Rapids Department of Public Safety – Fire Division, Big Rapids Township Fire, Morley Area Fire Department, Mecosta County EMS, Meceola Central Dispatch, Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Fire Investigation Team, Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Victim’s Services Unit, Mecosta Fire Chief’s Association Chaplin, the American Red Cross, Mohnke Funeral Home, and the MidMichigan Medical Examiner Group.

Joe Takes: Lions lose to Seattle 37-31; Get the Kool-Aid Ready

When is it my turn to be happy? The city of Detroit is crying through their blue ski masks, wondering when it will be our time. I shouldn’t be surprised though, it’s a familiar feeling seeing that I’ve experienced it through my whole life.

On Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, it was the first time that Ford Field would be sold out of season tickets and it showed with how loud it was as the decibels were touching the 125 mark at times. Which is equivalent to a jet engine, by the way. The Lions however, decided it would be a great time to not live up to the hype and lose the game in overtime, 37-31.

The offense was showing out Sunday. Jared Goff slung the ball around for 323 yards, going 28-35 with 3TDs, but a single interception would break his 383-snap streak without a pick. Kalif Raymond, David Montgomery, and Josh Reynolds came to play with each of them reaching the endzone, with Reynolds doubling up in the contest. But like I said last week, some of the game management decisions made by head coach Dan Cambell were questionable.

My main focus is consistency. From the jump, the Lions were going for it on 4th downs throwing in some trick plays and they were keeping the Seahawks guessing each snap. But please, tell me why when you have two timeouts with 25 seconds left, you’re down by three, and you’re on the Seahawks 27-yard line, you opt for a three yard slant over the middle and settle for the field goal. You have two plays to get a touchdown and end the game, but instead you kick the field goal and send it to overtime where the defense has to stop Geno Smith who they haven’t been able to do all game. Ridiculous.

While I’m on the topic of defense, our secondary was atrocious. Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett could play till he’s fifty if he was to go up against the Lions’ defense each week. Kerby Joseph and Brian Branch played him so softly that I was surprised when he didn’t have more than 4 yards of separation. Lockett was on the receiving end of 8 passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns, DK Metcalf’s situation was no different, he ended the night with 75 yards on 6 receptions.

Our run defense wasn’t that much better either, as Kenneth Walker trounced around and broke tackles at will. Which was easy to do because each time they went to tackle him they were going for his upper body and not his leg. Walker had two touchdowns with 43 yards.

Now I know it sounds like I’m venting again, which I am, and it may seem like I have jumped ship already this season, but that’s not the case. This upcoming week the Atlanta Falcons are coming into town, and I am really looking forward to this matchup. Especially with the Falcons new addition in Bijan Robinson at running back, and how we’ll deal with Drake London and Mack Hollins for their receivers.

The Falcons won a tough game last week against the Packers, a Lions’ division rival, 25-24. So a convincing win this weekend could mean some good fortune for the latter part of the season.

The coaching staff for the Lions do have some maneuvering to do. With David Montgomery looking to miss a few weeks after a thigh injury, it’s Jahmyr Gibbs at RB1. Amon-Ra St. Brown is questionable with a foot injury, so that’s not great. Not to mention Halapoulivaati Vaitai is questionable as well as Taylor Decker, meaning the offensive line might be getting stretched a little thin.

I am just asking one thing though, I can’t go through another season like last year’s where we start off terrible and barely miss the playoffs, so please don’t let the happen Dan Campbell. I can guarantee one thing though, The atmosphere at Ford Field is going to be the exact same. There aren’t fair weather fans in the motor city, get the kool-aid ready.

 

Lions host the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at 1:00pm.

Listen to the Lions on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, and 96.5fm.

 

#1 Ferris State battles to finish in tight setback at Montana

The nation's top-ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs battled one of the premier and storied FCS programs in the country to the wire on Saturday (Sept. 16) night, but fell short 17-10 to Montana in front of a near sellout crowd at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula

The Bulldogs built a 10-3 halftime lead against FCS's 11th-ranked Grizzlies, however came up short in the end by a single score.

Ferris State gave up a pair of short third-quarter scoring drives to Montana covering 40 and 30 yards before trying to rally in the final period. FSU got down inside the Montana five-yard line in the final quarter before the drive stalled and had one final possession following a defensive stop that reached the Montana 20-yard line.

The Bulldogs outgained Montana 285 to 189 yards offensively in the setback, which included 156 passing for FSU and 129 on the ground. 

The matchup was the first-ever meeting between the two programs and FSU's first contest versus an FCS school in 10 years. The loss snapped Ferris State's 28-game road winning streak dating back to 2017.

The Bulldogs will have a bye this coming week before opening GLIAC play back at home versus Northern Michigan on Sept. 30 at Top Taggart Field.

Kent County Sheriff's Office and Tactical Unit arrests home invasion suspect Sunday morning

Just before 3:00 AM Sunday morning, a residence was broken into along Peterson Rd just east of Myers Lake Ave in Courtland TWP. The homeowner was able to escape the residence while the suspect stayed inside and made threats of a shootout with police.  This was not a random crime, but the suspect and victim were known to each other.

Kent County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the home and attempted negotiations, but the suspect was not cooperative and remained inside. The KCSO Tactical Team, Negotiators, and Technical Services Unit were called to the scene.

Contact with the suspect was lost until around 8:30 AM. Negotiators were able to make phone contact and the suspect was seen moving throughout the home. Firearms were known to be in the residence and the suspect's truck. The suspect came outside, tried to get in his vehicle, and was uncooperative with officers' commands. Less-lethal rounds of pepper ball and bean bag were deployed and struck the suspect. He retreated back into the garage, but after a few more minutes, he returned peacefully and surrendered.  

The suspect is a 40-year-old Muskegon man who was subsequently lodged at the Kent County Jail for Home Invasion and Aggravated Stalking.  

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (9/11 - 9/14)

Monday, September 11

  • At 1223 hours, deputies made an arrest for a probation/parole violation at a residence in Green TWP. A female was arrested for a violation. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office.

  • At 2119 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Mecosta TWP. A female was arrested on a warrant out of Kent County.

Calls for Service: 11

Traffic Accidents: 4

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, September 12

  • At 1033 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A female was arrested on 2 warrants. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.   

  • At 2131hrs, deputies made a traffic stop in Green TWP. The traffic stop resulted in female driver being arrested on a warrant out of Osceola County. She was turned over to Osceola County.

Calls for Service: 19

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Wednesday, September 13

Calls for Service: 12

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Thursday, September 14

  • At 2150 hours deputies made a warrant arrest in Mecosta TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant and a bond violation. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 1

Deerfield TWP side-by-side accident leaves driver and passenger in hospital

On Saturday, Sep. 16 at 4:52 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to a private property injury accident involving a side by side vehicle. The incident took place near Jefferson Rd. and 165th Ave. in Deerfield TWP.

Per witness statements and an early investigation, a 48-year-old male from Morley and his 15-year-old passenger were traveling westbound in a field when they hit some rocks and lost control of the side by side. The vehicle then went air born and flipped, ejecting both the driver and passenger. Neither driver or passenger were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the incident.

The driver was transported directly to Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids for serious injuries. The 15-year-old passenger was transported to Corewell hospital in Big Rapids as precautionary measure by family.

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Department was assisted by Meceola Central Dispatch, Morley Fire and Rescue, and Mecosta County EMS. 

Coast Guard suspends search for missing fisherman off Holland

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for the missing fisherman
pending any further developments Thursday, who was reported missing in Lake Michigan Tuesday off Holland, Michigan.

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan was contacted on Tuesday, at approximately 7 p.m., by Muskegon County dispatch reporting that the fisherman was overdue from a fishing trip that they had taken that morning.

Rescue crews collectively searched 6,553 square miles over the span of three days.

Coast Guardsmen from the following units were involved in the search; Air Stations Traverse City and Elizabeth City, Stations Grand Haven, St. Joseph, Michigan City, Milwaukee and Kenosha.

In addition, our partners Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, Ottawa County Sheriff, Fruitport Police Department, and Muskegon Police Department aided in the search.

If you have information regarding the whereabouts of the missing fisherman, David Split, please contact the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan command center at (414) 747-7182.

Big Rapids snaps losing streak with 25-14 win over Reed City

For the first time since 2009, the Cardinals were able to knock off the Coyotes last Friday night with a 25-14 victory at home.

Big Rapids were able to use big plays and an efficient passing game of 119 passing yards to hold off Reed City's heavy rushing attack.

After a fourth down stop defensively to start the game, the Cardinals were able to slowly move the ball up the field to the Reed City 10-yard-line on their first possession. The Coyotes were able to hold Big Rapids on three downs and force a 21-yard-field goal from Jace Heck.

Reed City would answer with a fourth down stop on the Cardinals early in the second quarter, getting the ball back on the Big Rapids 42-yard-line. Big runs by quarterback Landon Jackson and running back Zach Erickson would ignite the Coyote offense to put them inside the five yard line. At 4:12 to go in the half, it was John Ondrus who punched in a one-yard touchdown and the enusing two-point coversion to give Reed City an 8-3 lead.

With Big Rapids trying to get back with the lead before half time, they would put the ball in the hands of Garrett Foster who would cash in following a 16-yard run and a 32-yard touchdown catch to give the Cardinals an 11-8 lead going into halftime.

The Coyotes would fight back to start the second half, with Hammond forcing a Foster fumble on the first offensive play to get Reed City the ball. Reed City rode the momentum with back to back third down conversions to set up at the Cardinal 10-yard line. On fourth and five, it would be Hammond who would burst through the line and into the endzone for a five-yard score. A failed two-point attempt would keep the game at 14-11.

The Cardinals' speed would be the method to answer, as quarterback Riley Vennix would fire a perfect pass to Kaleb Dubowski for a 55-yard toudown on the following possession, retaking an 18-14 lead. 

Facing a fourth down punting scenario, the Coyotes were unable to handle the snap and would fumble at the 28-yard line of Big Rapids. The Cardinals would only need three plays to punch it in from eight yards out courtesy of Riley Vennix, extending their lead to 25-14.

Needing a stop to take over on offense, Big Rapids' defense would get it on the ensuing possession. The offense would slowly move the ball for the next nine minutes before Reed City would force a fourth down incompleton for one final shot to extend the game on offense. Unfortunately for the Coyotes and their long-time winning streak, a fourth down pass fell incomplete and would give the Cardinals their first snaps in victory formation against Reed City since 2009. 

Vennix led the Cardinals passing going 7 for 8 with 119 yards and two scores while also adding 40 yards rushing and a touchdown. Garrett Foster led Big Rapids with 137 scrimmage yards and a touchdwon on 21 touches followed by Jack Bollman with 70 yards rushing and Dubowski with 55 yards recieving. Phillip Wilber recorded a team-high nine tacles with Foster adding two tackles for loss.'

For Reed City, Jackson finished the game 1 for 4 for 12 yards as well as added nine yards rushing. Hammond led the Coyotes on the ground with 67 yards on 15 carries and a score with Ondrus following with 46 yards and a score and Erickson adding 29. Hammond recieved the only pass for a 12 yard game for the Coyotes. Ondrus paced Reed City with eight tackles followed by Ethan Powell with six. Hammond added two tackles for loss as well as a forced fumble.

Big Rapids (3-1) will face Chippewa Hills (2-2) next Friday in Remus while Reed City (1-3) will return home to host Central Montcalm (2-2) for week four action on the 23rd. For more football, be sure to subcribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at WBRN.com.

Joe's Takes: Lions are 1-0, Detroit vs Everybody

Some say it’s Christmas, but football season is the most wonderful time of the year. The days of kicking back, cracking open a cold one, and doing nothing but watching football for 9 hours on Sunday have returned and I couldn’t be happier. What makes it even better is that the Detroit Lions have taken the NFL world by storm.

Last week the Lions shocked 99% of the NFL fanbase by beating the Kansas City Chiefs 21-20. In what was arguably the most well-rounded game on both sides of the ball for the Lions in recent years, that was overshadowed by so many saying that some key absences from the Chiefs are the reason that they lost rather than the Lions winning.

Thanks to Mike Tirico’s comment of, “This has an asterisk because of no Chris Jones and Travis Kelce…”, referencing two stars of the Chiefs who didn’t play, many seem to think that the Lions won’t be able to live up to the hype. This is not the “same old Lions” of yesterday, this is a team that warrants opposing offensive linemen to be two yards behind the line of scrimmage before each snap, and the Chiefs are lucky that the refs were absolutely blind and didn’t call false start till the fourth quarter.

Regardless, a “W” is in the column and the Boys in Blue are headed into week two against the Seattle Seahawks. An organization who looks to have found their new quarterback in Geno Smith after the departure of Russell Wilson. Keep in mind, the Lions and Seahawks were in a heated battle for the playoffs that ended in the Lions being on the outside looking in.

The mantra of “Detroit vs. Everybody” is alive and well in the Motor City. From biting off kneecaps for the past three years to what will be over half of the stadium wearing blue ski masks in the stands, sipping the blue kool-aid. All I have to say is that the Lions are coming, and you better get out of the way.

 I’m getting too ahead of myself, let’s get into the nitty gritty of what you can expect for this game. Jared Goff shared the love in week one, passing it off to seven different receivers for 253 yards at 22/35. Favoring “Sun god” Amon-Ra St. Brown six times and getting a touchdown in the process.

The only thing that I didn’t like about Dan Campbell is that his game managing could use some heavy work. Jahmyr Gibbs looked like a seasoned vet when he got the ball, but the guy only gets a chance 7 times in the game? The duo combined for 116 yards, with Montgomery notching a TD, but Campbell has to understand that Gibbs could be a dynamic game changer if you give him the ball at least ten plus times each game.

Maybe we’ll see a little bit of a different approach when it comes to the run game in week two, especially when the Seahawks got routed by the Rams, 30-13. Geno barely broke the triple digit mark in passing with 112 yards, and their run game really wasn’t any better with 85 yards and no scores. Keep in mind, the Rams were ranked 31st in defense coming into week one.

In my 22 years of living, the Seahawks have normally been a team that wins games they shouldn’t and loses games that should be an easy win. With that being said, this decision was a little bit harder to conclude. Now, let’s get into my prediction.

I’m really hoping to see Gibbs get at least 10 touches this game and get his first NFL touchdown. Sam LaPorta and Kalif Raymond are going to be sneaky producers in the contest, St. Brown and Goff will keep on clicking, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lions secondary comes up with two interceptions by the end of the fourth quarter.

Lions will win the game, 38-14, or at least by two scores. Aidan Hutchinson wants revenge on Kenneth Walker III, CJ Gardner Johnson is entering his villain era, and forget about Lumen Field it’s going to be Ford Field that holds the crown as the loudest stadium in the league, and I can guarantee you that.

Keep sipping the blue kool-aid people, it’s our time now.

 

Listen to the Lions this Sunday on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, and 96.5fm.

Kickoff at 1:00pm.

Driver rolls vehicle after suffering medical issue at the wheel

On Thursday, Sep. 14 at approximately 5:15 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office responded to a rollover accident with injuries on US-131 northbound near Jefferson Rd in Aetna TWP.

The accident occurred when a 19-year-old female from Grosse Pointe suffered a medical issue, went off the roadway, and rolled the vehicle. The driver received minor injuries and was transported to Corewell Hospital Big Rapids.

Deputies were assisted by Morley Area Fire and Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Ferris State University Director of Academic Advising pledges advocacy and development opportunities to advance student counseling

Advising Ferris State University students on degree plans, overcoming personal challenges and reaching their academic and career goals are points of emphasis for Michael Zaborowski Jr., the university’s first campus-wide Director of Academic Advising.

Zaborowski said emphasizing consistency in student advising ranks atop a list of goals. He came to Ferris State in June 2023, operating in the Retention and Student Success unit.

“We must work for consistency in advising across each of our colleges and promote coordination in developing professional academic advisors and faculty mentors,” Zaborowski said. “We will provide professional development opportunities for our advisors and allow them to share their unique qualities while they join their peers across the state and the country in advancing student success and so they can thrive and serve as professionals.”

Zaborowski said his overarching goal for serving the university and students is simple.

“We want to promote connectedness and opportunities for these professionals, who play a key role in giving benefit and support to each of our students,” Zaborowski said.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Bobby Fleischman sees Zaborowski’s skills as an excellent fit to lead this new initiative strengthening academic advising for Ferris State students.

“Michael’s addition to the university campus could not have come at a more opportune time,” Fleischman said. “We are entering into revision of the University Strategic Plan and the creation of our first Academic Master Plan. These are ‘student-first’ focused and a critical component of assuring student success is advising. I am excited to work with Michael and our faculty advisors to help us drive student success.”

Zaborowski holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and interdisciplinary studies and a Master of Science in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University. He is working toward a certificate in Institutional Research from Pennsylvania State University.

12 Mile Road lane closures continuing through Sep. 18 in Rockford

Lane closures have been in effect over the past two days on US-131 on 12 Mile Rd and according to MDOT, the project will be continuing. 

12 Mile Rd will closed over US-131 for bridge work through September 18. In the mean time, traffic will be detoured using Algoma Ave, 10 Mile Rd and Wolven Ave.

Weekday (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.) lane closures from 9 A.M to 8 P.M. will remain in effect through Friday on southbound US-131 from M-57 to 10 Mile Road. 

The work is weather dependent. For up-to-date information on this project and others, visit www.michigan.gov/drive.

Regional pizzerias serve up size of youth substance use prevention

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) and Talksooner.org are teaming up with Pompeii’s of Lake County and Chuck Wagon Pizza of Mason County to inspire parents to have the “drug talk” with their kids. 

Talksooner.org has partnered with several pizzerias across a 7-county area to inspire customers to come together for family meals and conversation, including both Lake County and Mason County from DHD#10. These Talksooner.org partnerships are honoring the month of September which is National Family Meals month through a promotion called, “Any way you Slice it, Prevention Matters.”

Promotional fliers will be served up with pizza orders this month, as well as complimentary Talksooner.org pizza cutters, available in-store, while supplies last.

“Pizza represents that easy, portable, and informal meal that fits into almost any busy schedule,“ explained Amy Embury, Prevention Manager for the Lakeshore Regional Entity (LRE) which powers Talksooner.org. “It’s all about having those fun moments and conversation together, but also checking in with your children on important topics like teen drug use.” 

For more information about Talksooner.org, please visit www.talksooner.org.

Rep. Kunse organizes bipartisan softball game for charity

Reps. Tom Kunse (R-Clare) and Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn) have together organized the official Michigan House charity softball game. The bipartisan event is set to take place at the scenic Lansing Lugnuts baseball stadium, just down the street from the state Capitol.

“This is not about Republicans versus Democrats,” said Kunse. “It’s a unique opportunity for public servants from across the state, and across the aisle to enjoy a spirited softball game and unite in our shared commitment to making a positive impact on our communities.”

Admittance to the game is free, so families, friends, and community members can cheer on their elected representatives. Additionally, concessions will be open – adding to the festive atmosphere and ensuring an enjoyable evening for all.

“My goal is to establish an annual tradition of bipartisan sportsmanship while giving back to various charitable causes in Lansing,” Kunse said. “I hope this game is the first of many.”

The game will be played on Wednesday, September 20 at Jackson Field - 505 E. Michigan Ave. Doors open at 6:30 P.M., and the game begins at 7:30 P.M. The charity of choice this year is the City Rescue Mission of Lansing, which provides food, shelter, home goods, clothing, and hope throughout the community.

Lowell High School bomb threat suspect identified and charged

Last Tuesday morning, a Kent County Sheriff's Office school resource officers (SRO) assigned to Lowell Public Schools was notified of a social media bomb threat made towards the high school.

The threat was made via Instagram on Sunday at 10:30 P.M. Several KCSO resources such as the investigative division and explosives detection K9 were brought in to assist SROs. After conducting electronic search warrants a suspect was identified and interviewed within six hours.  

The following Thursday morning, the Kent County Prosecutor's Office authorized a juvenile petition for False Report or Threat of a Bomb/Harmful Device. This by law is a four year felony. The suspect was identified as a 15-year-old male from Lowell, who does not attend Lowell Public Schools.  

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (9/4 - 9/10)

Monday, September 4

  • An officer arrested a 31-year-old male on outstanding warrant. No issues.
  • An officer was dispatched regarding a possible credit card fraud incident. The reports were unfounded.
  • An officer was called to a business regarding someone illegally dumping trash in the dumpster.
  • An officer took a report regarding a civil dispute between family members over the management of a loved one’s grave site.

Tuesday, September 5

  • An officer picked up a 25-year-old male from Kent County Jail and transported him to Osceola County Jail without any incidents.
  • An officer took a report of possible child abuse. After an investigation it was determined that the teens were unhappy about having a cell phone taken away and there was no evidence of abuse.
  • An officer was dispatched to a business in town regarding retail fraud. A 38-year-old transient woman from Tennessee was identified and issued a misdemeanor citation.
  • An officer was dispatched to an assault. The victim did not wish to seek charges.

Wednesday, September 6

  • An officer responded to a call about a possible missing child. When the officer arrived at the location, the child turned out to be at home, safe.
  • An officer assisted OSCD with a call with reports of a male walking around town and looking confused. The officer contacted the male, it turned out he was not from the area and lost. The officer assisted him with directions. No issues.
  • An officer responded to a call about a truck that backed into a power pole in a parking lot in town, causing the lines to break ending on the ground. The power company was notified, and they cleaned up the damage.

Thursday, September 7

  • An officer responded to a call about a possible fraud case. The caller stated someone had opened a bank account in their name.
  • An officer received a referral from Adult Protective Services regarding access to a bank account by a child. It was discovered to have occurred in another jurisdiction and was transferred.

Friday, September 8

  • An officer assisted an agent from the Inspector General’s office regarding threatening emails to employees.

  • An officer assisted deputies on a possible retail fraud. The matter was unfounded.

Saturday, September 9

  • An officer, while patrolling, investigated a suspicious car parked at a local establishment. No issues.

  • An officer investigated a 911 hang up. All appeared to be okay.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding dogs barking nonstop. The matter was unfounded.
    An officer was dispatched to a call regarding minor on probation and in possession of tobacco. A citation was issued.

Sunday, September 10

  • An officer stopped to check on individuals he had dealt with the previous day in the dugout at the school baseball field. It was discovered that the man’s girlfriend had kicked him out. Upon speaking with the man it was determined she would have to go through the eviction process to remove him.

  • An officer responded to a call about a possible domestic dispute. After investigation, an individual was transported to RCH for treatment.

  • An officer investigated a 911 hang up. The individual stated they had no idea how they had texted 911. No problems were found.

MDOT construction season remains strong as summer comes to an end

As summer turns to fall, temperatures become cooler, days grow shorter, and Michigan students return to school. Seasonal changes can impact road conditions and road safety. It is important to remember fall does not mark the end of Michigan’s road construction season. In fact, depending on weather conditions, many road and bridge projects will last through November.

2023 saw a busy construction season and many road projects have been completed, but a number will remain active as crews wrap up work. In addition, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) uses the fall months to perform necessary maintenance, such as pavement marking and pothole patching, before winter weather sets in.

That is why MDOT is asking all road users to remain alert and focused as they travel through work zones. Road construction is dangerous work year-round, but it can be especially challenging in fall due to changes in weather, travel patterns, and construction fatigue.

Keeping our work zones safe requires everyone’s full attention. Practicing positive driving behaviors like reducing speeds, eliminating distractions, and remaining calm can save lives. By being respectful and safe drivers, we can achieve zero deaths on our roads and in our work zones. Remember: You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us. As a reminder, Michigan has passed a hands-free law, making it illegal to manually use a cell phone or other mobile electronic device while operating a vehicle on Michigan roads. Learn more about the hands-free law at www.Michigan.gov/DistractedDriving.

Beat construction frustration by being prepared for road and bridge work using MDOT’s Mi Drive website at www.Michigan.gov/Drive. In addition to showing current and upcoming work on I, M and US routes, the website also shows current traffic incidents that may cause delays. 

Ferris State University College of Pharmacy students investigating novel anticancer agents through National Institutes of Health grant

Ferris State University College of Pharmacy faculty and students are investigating novel anticancer agents for lung cancer, backed by a three-year, $377,805 National Institutes of Health grant.

Sonali Kurup, an associate professor of Medicinal Chemistry, is collaborating with Felix Amissah, an associate professor of Pharmacology, through a Research Enhancement Award Program grant.

The research efforts continue developing dual-targeted inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor and aurora kinase enzymes to create a product that successfully inhibits tumor growth, Kurup said.

"We have been impressed by the contributions made by PharmD and undergraduate students on this grant-funded project,” she said.

Students in the Kurup lab work on inhibitor development by optimizing enzyme-inhibitor interactions utilizing structure-based drug design, multi-step organic reactions for compound synthesis, compound purification and compound characterization using varied analytic techniques.

The students in Amissah’s lab are working on evaluating the anticancer effects of the dual EGFR and aurora kinase inhibitors in multi-resistant non-small cell lung cancer cells.

The collaborative research work has been presented as posters at the West Michigan Research Undergraduate Symposium at Van Andel Research Institute and HatchEd symposium at Ferris State.

The most recent presentations were from two PharmD students, Brianne Rogers and Dayna Gesinski, who presented the research in April 2023 at the National Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando, Fla.

“The American Association for Cancer Research posters focused on the anticancer effects of dual EGFR/AURK inhibitors,” Kurup said. “This was a milestone for our labs. Brianne and Dayna represented the university so well. They traveled to Orlando for the conference, presented two posters and answered questions from a highly technical global audience of the scientific community from academia and pharmaceutical industries such as Pfizer, Novartis, and Lilly, among others from the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and other countries.”

Nicholas Rohde, a recent College of Pharmacy graduate, received an Excellence in Research Award at the PharmD graduation ceremony in Spring 2023 for his project contributions.

“Nicholas was engaged on this project for the first two years of the REAP grant in the P2 and P3 years of the professional program,” Kurup said. “He worked on compound synthesis in the Hagerman Pharmacy Building and compound characterization using the mass spectrometer at the Shimadzu Research Core Lab.”

Newaygo man suffers non-life-threatening injuries after striking tree

On Sep. 11 at approximately 1:46 P.M., deputies were dispatched to Jefferson Rd. near 230th Ave. in Aetna Twp for a one vehicle accident.

The driver, 78-year-old male from Newaygo was traveling westbound, ran off the roadway to the left and struck a tree. The driver was transported to Corewell Health in Big Rapids for non-life threatening injuries.

Deputies were assisted on scene by Morley Fire and Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, Mecosta County Road Commission, Michigan State Police Commercial Vehicle Patrol and Jerry's Towing.

City of Big Rapids announces fall recreation opportunities

The City of Big Rapids has officially announced its upcoming fall recreation opportunities beginning as early as this week.

Activities include women's volleyball, water aerobics, dance, pickleball, senior fitness, and walking.

Many groups begin as early as today, Sep. 12 and last as late as Mar. 31. All dates and times for meeting vary. For more details on each group, see the image below.

 

*Informational graphic provide by City of Big Rapids.

 

For more information, contact Josh Pyles at 231-592-4038.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekend Blotter (9/8 - 9/10)

Friday, September 8

  • At 2010 hours, deputies investigated an accident in Mecosta TWP. A male subject was arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, September 9

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, September 10

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

White Cloud cross country shows improvement in Fremont Hill and Bale event

White Cloud cross country was in action at the Fremont Hill & Bale race this past Saturday, Sep. 9.

The Indians showed major improvement in the unique steeplechase hybrid event compared to a year ago, including improvements from one minute up to even three minutes from some returning competitors.

The boys squad finished third in their division behind Muskegon West Michigan Christian and Wyoming Potter's House. Coleson Cruzan led the charge with a fourth place finish at 18:40. Carson Foondle was tenth with a time of 19:19, Kaleb Canning finished 14th, Wyatt Karnes 24th, and Angelo Hinson 25th for the scoring five. Avery Bowman came through in 29th, and Trystan Tancock finished 36th to round out the starting seven. Coleson, Carson, and Kaleb were medal winners. The boys team as a whole improved by an average of a minute and 15 seconds from last year's race. 

For the girls race, Annie Feldpausch was the lone medal earner for the Indians with a 13th place finish in 24:08. Charlotte Karnes was 33rd and Anna Mohr was 34th.  

In the JV runners, White Cloud was led by Donnie Grovesteen in the combined division race, who medaled by taking 10th place overall. He was followed by Dalton Crawford in 19th, Mason Price in 30th, Jarrett Warlick (31st), Landon Edwards (35th), Tyler Higgins (37th), Joziah Smith (43th), and Sam Viher (45th.) The JV boys finished 4th overall amongst the nine team field.  

"Our runners of the meet were Charlotte Karnes and Mason Price for improving their times," Head coach Andrea Atwood said. "(They improved) from last week by 6:05 and 4:18 respectively."

White Cloud returns to racing on Saturday, Sep. 16 at the Ludington Invite. 

 

 

US-131 road work expected today in Reed City and Grand Rapids

A day's worth of construction is taking place today, Sep. 11, on southbound US-131 in Reed City and Grand Rapids.

In Reed City, the Michigan Department of Transportation has scheduled work on southbound US-131 at 7 Mile Rd from 7 A.M. to 5 P.M.

 

*Reed City project map provided by MDOT.

 

In Grand Rapids, there will be work expected on southbound US-131 at I-96 from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.

 

*Grand Rapids project map provided by MDOT.

 

Both projects are scheduled for only Monday and lane closures are expected during the duration of the work. According to MDOT, this work is weather dependent.

For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/drive.

Mecosta County Sheriff, Ferris State School of Criminal Justice Alum Brian Miller puts down roots in the Big Rapids area while making a positive impact

Brian Miller’s interest in law enforcement stretches back to when he was reading “Encyclopedia Brown” books as a boy, creating an office in his garage where neighborhood kids brought him cases to solve.

Miller is still cracking cases, today as Mecosta County sheriff.

He was drawn to Ferris State University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and set deep roots in the Big Rapids community. Miller said Ferris State was perhaps the only place to achieve that goal.

“The stature of Ferris’ Criminal Justice program was very appealing, and honestly, the admissions standards allowed me to prove myself since I was not a top student in my graduating class at Jackson Lumen Christi High School,” Miller said. “I needed to mature academically, and Ferris gave me the opportunity to prove myself worthy and build on my interpersonal skills by working as a resident advisor in Pickell Hall and Masselink Hall.”

Miller demonstrated his matured abilities academically and through his campus community service, while building upon a lifelong desire to see justice served and observed.

“I was very interested in advancing a family tradition since my grandfather was a detective sergeant in the Jackson Police Department,” he said. “I would hear the scanner traffic when I visited his house as a young child. My interest in law enforcement and reading led me to my joy of reading ‘Encyclopedia Brown’ books. That led me to set up an office in our garage, where I would meet with neighborhood kids who brought me cases to solve in our area.”

Due to his focus and philosophy, Miller found that hard work and dedication to his desired field were possible and pleasing.

“Being a resident advisor, working night security in the residence halls, returning to Jackson in the summers, and working in a tool shop taught me how important responsibility and managing my time was as I met my educational expenses without taking on much student debt. I also was a Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member and made many lifelong friends in Ferris’ chapter of Delta Chi.”

Miller earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 1994 and put his skills to use with the security staff of what is now Trinity Health Hospital in Grand Rapids.

“The job market was very competitive after I earned my degree, but I remained confident in my abilities and my foundation of learning from Ferris,” Miller said. “In January 1996, the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and Albion’s police department were my best prospects to join a law enforcement community. I was hired as a patrol officer by stressing my familiarity with the community and law enforcement operations in the Big Rapids area.”

Miller said Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Director Kevin Courtney’s acquaintance with my mother through the youth group at Jackson’s Queen of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church also was a factor in his decision to select Big Rapids.”

Miller approached each workday as an ongoing opportunity to improve his law enforcement and public service skills.

“I was so pleased to begin my career in a familiar environment with peers I respected,” Miller said. “I vowed I would seek to complete each assignment to the best of my ability, giving my all while on the job, that I would never be outworked. Sports metaphors are not the basis of every person’s philosophy, but I found that my favorite Major League Baseball player, Tony Gwynn, was tenacious about his pursuit of excellence, from his father’s simple observation that ‘If you work hard, good things will happen’ to being ‘a big believer in whatever you want, that you have to put the work into it.’”

The focus on excellence served Miller well in a 25-year career with the Big Rapids DPS that saw him advance from patrol officer duties to serve on the Central Michigan Enforcement Team, a multi-jurisdictional drug unit, his roles as a school liaison officer and as a detective, while also serving as Barryton’s police chief.

“I would see my classmates from my days in the Criminal Justice program at Ferris when they returned to campus at Homecoming. We had a chance to catch up on our careers,” Miller said. “Big Rapids was a point of departure for so many of them, but time has a way of demonstrating all the positives in this community. It is a great place to raise a family, which is not easy to recognize when you are coming through college.”

When Ferris State alumnus and Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell decided not to seek another term in 2020, Miller took stock of his professional life related to the community.

“There was a great deal of satisfaction in my role with the Big Rapids DPS, but I saw this as my opportunity to aspire by making a difference, not just a living,” Miller said. “I am committed to that idea and philosophy and felt through my many dealings with the sheriff’s department over my career that it was an essential ‘second home,’ where I could serve this community.”

Since being sworn in as Mecosta County’s sheriff, Miller brought a collaborative approach to his local law enforcement leadership role.

“Incidence of computer crime continues to find its way into our area, whether it’s a hacking of someone’s finances or a child is being targeted by an online predator,” Miller said. “Human trafficking is not someplace else’s tragedy or problem. It happens everywhere. I believe collaboration with other agencies is important because we cannot do our best to fight these crimes by going it alone. Our sworn duty is to protect and serve the public in situations that can be straightforward or difficult and sinister.”

The sheriff’s department is well situated to contribute to societal issues and safeguard the public, thanks to a significant percentage of the officers being Ferris State graduates.

“We have more than a dozen staff members who completed Law Enforcement Academy or Criminal Justice degrees at Ferris and serve in the department,” Miller said. “When I took formative training from the Michigan Sheriff’s Association after my election, around 20 first-term leaders participated, and the ‘Go Dawg’” calls were offered regularly in that group. It was impressive to me, then and now, to know Ferris CJ and program graduates are making a difference across Michigan.”

In that group of Ferris alumni serving in the department, Miller said Jason Losinski, a former Ferris football player and Criminal Justice graduate, and the department’s School Resource Officer, deserved mention. Miller understands the significance of Losinski’s role in the Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills school districts.

“I was Big Rapids’ first school liaison officer, which was really seven of the best years of my professional experience,” Miller said. “It is such an important component of our service to the community, to have presence and impact with young people at an important time in their lives. Jason has been a coach for his children and in the Big Rapids school system, so he can bond with youngsters in so many ways.”

Just past the midpoint of his first term as sheriff, Miller has come to a certain perspective on how he might continue, culminate, and contemplate his post-professional life.

“It is up to the voters, of course, but I would love to serve three terms in this office,” Miller said. “My passion for contributing to this community is very strong, but I am focused on being productive, which would call for just over another decade of giving all I can every day on the job. I think that would be a sufficient offer of my abilities and am confident those I work and collaborate with would be well capable of continuing their good works on behalf of those we serve. To reach 38 years in law enforcement in this community would make my life to follow in an ‘empty nest’ an interesting and enjoyable prospect.”

DHD#10 releases tips in acknowledgement of national emergency preparedness month

The Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance (NMPHA) and District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) are acknowledging National Emergency Preparedness Month. Each September, we observe and raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. 

“Emergencies happen and when they do, they happen quickly! Being prepared with supplies and a plan will make recovery after the emergency quicker and easier,” said Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. 

The Ready Campaign’s 2023 National Preparedness Month campaign will focus on preparing older adults for disaster. The older adults may have specific needs during and after a disaster. Using this information to assess your needs and take simple, low-cost steps that help you get better prepared. 

 

Plan Ahead: 

  • Plan how you will communicate if you have communication needs. 
  • Plan for food, water, and essentials for you and pets or service animals. 
  • Plan for your transportation if you need help evacuating. 
  • Include items that meet your individual needs, such as medicines, medical supplies, batteries, and chargers in your emergency supply kit. 
  • Create a support network of family, friends, and others who can assist you during an emergency. Make an emergency plan and practice it with them. 
  • Make sure at least one person in your support network has an extra key to your home, knows where you keep your emergency supplies, and knows how to use lifesaving equipment or administer medicine. 

“Older adults can face increased risk when it comes to emergencies or weather events,” said Hughes. “We have higher populations of residents 65 years and older and they are at increased risk, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, or live in rural areas like much of the NMPHA 31-county region.” 

Every community in the United States should be ready to respond to an infectious disease outbreak, chemical or radiological release, or natural disaster. To learn more about how you can be prepared, visit https://www.ready.gov/be-informed

Scooter's Coffee presents $58,960 donation to Wounded Warriors Family Support to help combat-wounded veterans and their families

Through a $58,960 check donation that was presented to Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS) today, Scooter’s Coffee will help the
organization provide valuable resources and programs to combat-wounded veterans and families of veterans wounded, injured or killed in action.

Between Aug. 2-11, and in connection with Purple Heart Day on Aug. 7, customers across the 29-state Scooter’s Coffee footprint had the option to add a $1 or more donation to their order. All proceeds support Wounded Warriors Family Support to help hometown heroes heal, recover and achieve freedom and independence in their everyday lives.

Since 2018, Scooter’s Coffee has raised nearly $215,000 to help Wounded Warriors Family Support provide caregiver respite services and other programs to military families. The Caregiver Respite Program is designed to provide respite and supplemental services to wounded veterans, which allows them to enjoy a higher quality of life. Resources include meals, housekeeping, medical travel grants and in-home care services. These services 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 support of Scooter’s Coffee franchisees, employees and loyal customers who support our military families.”

“Scooter’s Coffee was 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. “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.”

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 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.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (9/4 - 9/7)

Monday, September 4

Calls for Service: 17

 

Tuesday, September 5

Calls for Service: 15

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, September 6

  • At 1020 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Colfax TWP. A male subject was arrested on a felony warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 2340 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a business in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject was arrested on a felony warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 13

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, September 7

  • At 1030 hours, deputies assisted Kent County detectives on a traffic stop in Morton Twp. The traffic stop resulted in female driver being arrested for possession of dangerous drugs and over $,000 worth of stolen merchandise. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 2255 hours, deputies responded to a one vehicle accident  in Morton TWP. Additional investigation led to female driver being arrested for OWI. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

 

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Ferris State Michigan College of Optometry alumna Dr. Emily Coles makes a well-rounded impact as a local business owner and around the Big Rapids community

The life and career of 2008 Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry alumna Dr. Emily Coles prove that professional success and exemplary community service can be accomplished within miles, even blocks from where they were raised.

“All the skills I have acquired, both professionally and those that help me in roles outside the office, came because of my education. I graduated from Big Rapids High School in 2000 and continued a family tradition by heading to Michigan Tech, where I graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology,” said Coles, whose father is Dr. Fred Guenther, a retired obstetrician and currently the mayor of Big Rapids. “I did apply to another school of optometry beyond MCO, but I very much wanted to come back home for this learning. I was so pleased to be accepted.”

Coles began her professional practice with Optometric Associates and, in 2016, became the business owner of what is now Big Rapids Family Eyecare. If the idea of practicing her profession anyplace else but home crossed her mind, the thought did not persist.

“It took some maturation on my part to understand that Big Rapids is a great place to raise a family, which my husband Jon and I have been so thankful for,” Coles said. “Being a small business owner allows me to support the community by caring for individuals and contributing my time and effort to make this a better place to live and work. I know just about everyone who walks in the door of my business, and it has been so fun to have those kinds of relationships. ‘Fun’ may sound a bit simplistic, but I do not have a better word to describe the feeling and attitude of my practice. It makes giving extra on the job and as a volunteer easy to do.”

Coles added, “At Big Rapids Family Eyecare, the last sentence in our mission statement is ‘We are here to help.’ Again, it is as straightforward as it sounds, helping is what we do, and it is a great feeling to apply my skill set for the good of my clients and as a volunteer and community contributor.”

Coles’ commitment to volunteerism benefit Ferris State University and the Michigan College of Optometry, as she is President of the Ferris Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the MCO Alumni Board.

“Being on the alumni board has allowed me to give back by helping others become more engaged and making new connections,” Coles said. “Developing those initial ‘touch points’ can be a great benefit. Still, when I give my time to a group or cause, I learn much more from that service than what it might require of myself and my time. Seeing peers I have studied with, whether through MCO Alumni Board meetings or professional conferences, is always a joy. We can catch up on each other’s practices and discuss where the profession has taken us. That’s very valuable and enjoyable.”

Her efforts have not been only offered to her alma mater, as Coles is president of the Big Rapids Middle School Parent-Teacher Organization and heads up the BRPS Sports Boosters.

“I would be giving back, even if I were not a business owner,” Emily said. “I do this because I want my three sons to see what volunteerism can do. It is said to be a dying art, to give of your time for a cause, and I have studied this when time allows. Regardless of the theory about why people are not as giving, I believe if everyone found something that stirs their passion, offering support doesn’t even feel like you have paid some cost, and the fun you find is just one of the rewards for that effort.”

Emily has seen recognition and reward for this positive approach to work and service, with honors that include:

  • A Ferris State University Pacesetter Award in 2015
  • 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year from the Big Rapids Downtown Business Association
  • 2018 Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year
  • 2018 Pride of the Neighborhood Award

“Being active in a place that has given me everything is, again, ‘fun,’” Coles said. “I have learned so much from being connected to many different organizations and to have worked with a diverse group of wonderful people. I seek to have a positive impact with each of my efforts and believe what I learn from this has greater rewards than my efforts require.”

Coles uses Big Rapids Family Eyecare to offer her knowledge to current Ferris students, as Chelsea Jepsen of Three Rivers and Big Rapids native Alissa Ruggles work as technicians.

“They are amazing employees. I love showing them what my world is about,” Coles said. “I hope, in some way, this will be a real help to them in their future.”

A personal focus on physical fitness also serves as an opportunity to contribute, as Emily is co-owner of the Big Rapids CrossFit gym in Big Rapids Township, leading that operation along with Jeff and Jenny Mossel. This business serves as another opportunity to provide work experience to Ferris students.

“Logan Workman and Josie Prince are among our coaches, with the motivation they offer being wonderful for all of us who train with them,” Coles said. “It is clear to us who are not as young as these two that everyone benefits from the energy they bring to every workout and the operation as a whole.”

The Coles, whose homestead was the former Ferris President’s residence, also have shown their commitment to the community and the university by establishing the Coles Family Endowed Scholarship. It is structured to benefit a full-time undergraduate student taking Pre-Optometry, Pre-Medicine or Sports Management classes, with a preference given to students from Big Rapids.

“I am so thankful to be living in this small town, which is doing so many big things,” Emily said. “We are fortunate to have Ferris State University as a partner, and Jon and I felt this is just one way we can give back to our community.”

Ferris State Cross Country squads to host 48th Annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invite this Saturday

The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams will host the 48th annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational this Saturday, Sept. 9, at FSU's Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids.

The women's collegiate 5,000-meter race is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. (ET) and will be followed by the men's collegiate 8,000-meter event at approximately 10 a.m. (ET).

Two high school races will also be a part of the invitational schedule with the prep boys 5,000 meters set to start at 10:45 a.m. (ET) proceeded by the girls 5,000 meters at 11:15 a.m. (ET). The invitational is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

In addition to Ferris State, a number of conference and regional teams traditionally take part in the collegiate races in addition to unattached competitors. Several local high school teams will be part of the prep races.

The Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational was renamed in 2010 in honor of former coach Ray Helsing, who passed away in 2014. He guided the Bulldog cross country along with track and field programs from 1968-82. Helsing was inducted into the Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001 and tutored more All-Americans than any coach in FSU history. He helped produce 20 All-Americans in cross country and track from 1968-82 and was best known for founding and coaching Ferris cross country, leading his teams to a 77-17 dual meet mark and four Great Lakes Conference titles.

This year (2023) marks the 48th overall running of the Bulldog Invitational and either a men's or women's collegiate event had been held each year since 1976 prior to the 2020 cancellation due to COVID-19.

The first men's race was held in 1971 before being discontinued and restarted in 1976. Ferris did not participate in men's cross country from 1994-98. The women's invitational had been held every year since the program began in 1980 before the fall of 2020 and subsequent return in 2021, making this year the 43rd women's race in a 44-year span.

Katke Golf Course, which opened in 1974, has played host to the 2003 GLIAC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships along with the 2005 NCAA-II Great Lakes Regional Championships and the 2006 Michigan Intercollegiate Championships. The Bulldogs also hosted the 2008 and 2011 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships at Katke Golf Course along with the 2016 GLIAC Championships.

A university-owned 18-hole golf course situated on the western flank of the Ferris State campus, Katke Golf Course serves as the host site of all home Bulldog cross country along with men's and women's golf events. The course is named after Mr. and Mrs. Marvin L. Katke, whose generous donation influenced campus development and the initial phase of the golf course. Katke, a friend of Ferris and a Mecosta County native, was vice president for manufacturing of the Ford Motor Company and a 1967 recipient of an honorary degree from FSU.

The Ferris State men's and women's cross country teams are guided by former Bulldog standout and local native Jared Kelsh, who begins his ninth campaign at the Bulldog helm. Saturday's meet will represent the first competition of the season for both FSU teams and give both teams their only opportunity to run on their home course this fall.

The Bulldog men's cross country team has qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships twice in the last decade after previously having not reached the final round since 1985. Meanwhile, the Bulldog women's team has qualified for the NCAA-II Nationals five times in the last 14 years heading into the 2023 campaign.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (8/28 - 9/4)

Monday, August 28

  • Check Well Being – Officers were dispatched to check on a motorist that appeared to be having a medical emergency or was intoxicated. Officers made contact with the subject and determined they were okay and were not have a medical emergency.

Tuesday, August 29

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, August 30

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. While investigating the stop the driver was determined to be operating the vehicle was intoxicated. The vehicle was towed and the driver was lodged for the offense.
  • Breaking and Entering – Officers were dispatched for a breaking and entering complaint. The suspect was not able to gain entry. The incident remains under investigation. 
  • Check Well Being – Officers were dispatched for a check well being on a juvenile. The juvenile appeared to be fine. 
  • Domestic – Officers were dispatched for a domestic assault. Investigation determined it was a verbal argument only.
  • Suspicious – Officers were dispatched for a suspicious complaint. An unknown substance was placed at the doorstep of the complainant. The substance was removed and destroyed.
  • Malicious Destruction of Property – Officers were dispatched for a malicious destruction of property complaint involving a lawn mower being tampered with. The incident remains under investigation.
  • Runaway – Officers were dispatched for a runaway juvenile. The juvenile was located in another county. The juvenile was returned to their residence and turned over to their parent.

Thursday, August 31

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched to assist Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a two-car accident.

  • Personal Protection Order Violation - Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a PPO violation call. The suspect was located, arrested, and lodged.

  • Check Well Being – Officers were dispatched for a check well being on a subject. The subject did not require any services from law-enforcement.

  • Animal Complaint –  Officers were dispatched to a dog at large complaint. A report was completed and forwarded to the Prosecutor’s office.

Friday, September 1

  • Fail to Pay – Officers made contact with staff of a local business, they advised it was not a fail to pay. It was a fail to collect that they handle internally. No further action required by law enforcement.

  • Fail to Pay – Officers were dispatched to a fail to pay at a local gas station.  The case remains open at this time.

  • Suspicious – Officers were dispatched to a traffic complaint.  Officers spoke with both parties who then went their separate ways.

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. While investigating the stop it was determined the vehicle did not have insurance. The driver was cited for the violation and the vehicle was towed.

Saturday, September 2

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, September 3

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. While investigating the stop it was determined the vehicle did not have insurance. The driver was cited for the violation and the vehicle was towed.

  • Larceny – Officers were dispatched to investigate property stolen from a parked vehicle. The case remains open at this time.

  • Domestic – Officers were dispatched to a domestic assault. After investigating the complaint a subject was arrested and lodged.

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation.  While investigating the stop it was determined the driver did not have a license and had an out of county warrant for their arrest. The driver was cited for driving without a valid license and arrested on the warrant.

Monday, September 4

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched to investigate a single vehicle accident.

Tomorrow's dueling pianos at the Big Rapids Eagles supports advocacy against child abuse

Coming up Saturday at the Big Rapids Eagles, there will be a unique event for a great cause.

The event will include a dueling pianos competition, as well as a dinner, silent auction, and 50/50 raffle. All the activity proceeds goes to supporting the Open Arms Child Advocacy Center.

Doors open at 5 P.M. with dinner starting at 6 P.M. Deuling pianos will begin at 7 P.M. and last until 10 P.M. with raffles and a silent auction happening as well. 

Tickets for the event are $50.

For more information, visit the link below.

EVENT INFO: Dueling Against Child Abuse Tickets, Sat, Sep 9, 2023 at 5:00 PM | Eventbrite.

Big Lots to open new home store in Big Rapids

Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG), one of America’s largest home discount retailers, today announced plans to open a new home store in Big Rapids this year. The new “Big Lots Home” store features expanded selections of trendy, stylish and quality home décor and furniture with comparable values on thousands of items up to 60% less than other retailers. The Big Rapids store will open this fall after a brief remodeling and transition period at the existing Big Lots store located at 750 Perry Ave., Big Rapids, Michigan.

Big Lots Home stores offer new and exciting products for the entire home, organized by room with stylized vignettes. Many products will be exclusive to Big Lots Home and offered as limited-quantity special buys with items rotating monthly, encouraging shoppers to visit often. The Big Rapids store will open just in time to offer new seasonal décor items. A grand opening event will be held this fall with details to be communicated at a later date.

“Our team has built an exciting new shopping experience in Big Rapids, and we can’t wait to share it with the community,” said Bryan VanLoo, Big Lots Grand Rapids district manager. “Our new Big Rapids store features a refreshed layout, design and presentation that will inspire area shoppers to tap into their own personal aesthetic and design their homes with beautiful items at some of the lowest prices available anywhere. We look forward to welcoming Big Rapids shoppers to their new Big Lots Home and following along as they try new décor trends and enjoy a new and streamlined shopping experience close to home.”

Exclusive to Big Lots Home locations, new and existing BIG Rewards members will receive special member pricing of 5% off every purchase every day at Big Lots Home. Instead of sales and promotions that come and go, Big Lots Home stores feature low comparable prices on every item, every day, so that BIG Rewards members can shop with confidence knowing they received the best price, backed by the Big Lots Pricing Promise. Shoppers can also take advantage of several delivery options, starting at $59 for total order delivery, up to $99 delivered to the room of your choice plus assembly. Shoppers will also be eligible to receive everyday 24-month extended financing when they use their Big Lots Credit Card. 

The Big Rapids Big Lots Home store will be open daily starting at 9 a.m. For more information about Big Lots Home, visit biglotshome.com

Kent County hires new equalization director to maintain accurate property tax valuations

Kent County has hired Megan VanHoose as equalization director. VanHoose started in her new role on September 5. She is replacing Matt Woolford who retired in June of 2023 after 26 years of service.

"We are excited to welcome Megan to our team as we know her experience will be a great asset to our residents, businesses, and staff,” said Deputy County Administrator Mark Rambo. “We are confident she will work collaboratively with our local units of government and efficiently lead them through the many challenging facets of property assessment.”

Most recently, VanHoose was an assessor for Gaines Charter Township in Kent County and for Eureka Charter Township in Montcalm County. She certified the annual assessment and tax rolls for more than 8,500 parcels in Gaines Charter Township with an assessed value over $1.7 billion. VanHoose also supervised residential property valuation and administered aspects of property tax exemptions and abatements. In Eureka Charter Township, she certified the annual assessment and tax rolls for more than 2,200 parcels with an assessed value over $240 million.

In addition to her work experience, VanHoose currently serves as an Executive Board Member and the International Association of Assessing Officers Education Committee Chair for the Kent County Association of Assessing Officers.

“I am excited for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with the County’s excellent equalization team,” VanHoose said. “As an assessor, I have seen Kent County establish a culture that sits firmly in the top tier of equalization departments throughout the state.”

The Equalization Department handles assessments and evaluations of all commercial, private, and residential property for the purposes of county taxes. VanHoose will design and implement an accurate system of property tax valuations throughout Kent County. She will also develop programs to improve property valuation data and oversee the County’s re-monumentation program.

VanHoose holds a Bachelor of Science in Heath Care Systems Administration from Ferris State University. She is also a Certified Assessment Evaluator, Michigan Master Assessing Officer, and Certified Personal Property Examiner.

Two-month, $700,000 project slated to begin Monday on US-10 near Ludington

The Michigan Department of Transportation, or MDOT, is investing approximately $700,000 to resurface US-10 in Mason County from Jackson Road to east of Business US-31 (Pere Marquette Highway). 

The project is slated to begin Monday, Sep. 11 and is expected to last until Mid November. Along with the road work, there will also be sidewalk ramp upgrades and drainage improvements. Lane and shoulder closures will be in effect throughout the project.

Based on economic modeling, this investment is expected to directly and indirectly support about 10 jobs, improve the ride, and extend the service life of the roadway.

For up-to-date traffic information on this project and others throughout the state, go to www.Michigan.gov/Drive.

DHD#10 advocates on International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is the world’s largest annual campaign that aims to end overdose by spreading awareness about the tragedy of drug overdose death. This year, on August 31, 2023, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) staff supported community events in Manistee, Mecosta, and Wexford Counties. 

The IOAD campaign started in 2001, in Australia, with events being held to raise awareness and remember those who have been lost to drug overdose. Now, IOAD is the largest annual campaign to end overdose and to hold a stigma-free remembrance of those who have died and acknowledges the grief of family and friends. Events not only provide awareness and an opportunity to grieve, but also provides education, information on available services, stimulates discussion, and highlights the risk of overdose. 

DHD#10 staff were joined by Centra Wellness in Manistee, the Mecosta Osceola Substance Awareness Coalition (MOSAC), and Catholic Human Services and Harm Reduction Michigan in Wexford County. DHD#10 staff provided Safe Use Kits, Naloxone, Sharps Disposal containers, and HIV and Hepatitis C testing at each location. 

To learn more about IOAD, please visit: https://www.overdoseday.com/about-the-campaign/.  

For more information about DHD#10’s Substance Use Prevention resources, please visit: https://www.dhd10.org/parents-families/substance-use-prevention/.  

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekend Blotter (9/1 - 9/3)

Friday, September 1

  • At 1040 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Wheatland TWP. The traffic stop resulted in male driver being arrested on a warrant out of Isabella County. The male subject was turned over to Isabella County.

Calls for Service: 23

Traffic Accidents: 3

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

 

Saturday, September 2

Calls for Service: 15

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, September 3

  • At 0849 hours, deputies responded to a domestic in Colfax TWP. A female was arrested for assaulting her ex boyfriend. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office.

Calls for Service: 16

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

SONIC donates to Morley Stanwood Elementary School

SONIC® Drive-In is dedicated to getting teachers and students the classroom supplies they need for the new school year. In August, the SONIC Foundation donated $1 million to help fund requests on DonorsChoose, a national nonprofit that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom requests submitted by teachers.

The $1 million donation is part of the SONIC Drive-In brand's ongoing Limeades for Learning initiative.

The following exceptional teacher received support through the funding:

In Morley, Michigan, Mrs. Biller at Morley - Stanwood Elementary School received a donation of $144.00 for the project "We All Want Books!" for Grades PreK-2.

"SONIC's dedication to supporting education through our Limeades for Learning program is a core pillar of our business and the transition into a new school year is a crucial window in setting students and teachers up for success," said Kim Lewis, Vice President of Brand Experience for SONIC. "We're grateful to all the SONIC guests who joined us this month in our commitment to brighten the lives of educators, students and families across our SONIC communities by donating to a classroom request on DonorsChoose, or simply by enjoying their favorite SONIC drink."

Through the SONIC Limeades for Learning initiative, the brand donates a portion of proceeds from every drink, slush and shake purchase to the SONIC Foundation, which is used to support local public education.* Since 2009, SONIC has donated more than $26 million to funding local classrooms, becoming one of the largest programs in the U.S. to support public education.

Visit DonorsChoose.org and donate to one or more of the thousands of public school teacher requests seeking support to provide students with educational resources.

Trevino focused on student engagement and support, community outreach as Ferris State University's Center for Latin@ Studies Director

Sonia Trevino says she is focused on providing Ferris State University’s Latinx students a place on campus where they feel at home while still connected to their roots.  

“In my role with all students, I hope to bring a sense of growth and outreach to area communities,” Trevino said. “One of the main functions of the Center for Latin@ Studies is to offer them a ‘home away from home,’ a safe space where students can learn and grow as leaders to feel represented and valued in the Ferris community.” 

Trevino, serving as the Center for Latin@ Studies’ interim director, was selected to take the helm after a competitive national search permanently. 

The center works to increase Latinx completion rates by informing the holistic student experience, maximizing equitable educational outcomes and career readiness through advocacy, community partnership, and culturally responsive academic, career, and personal development. 

Trevino came to Ferris in January 2022 as an academic advisor in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education. 

“Having earned various degrees in Texas and serving in roles in university and college operations there, I was initially nervous about the change of climate. But it has been wonderful,” Trevino said. “I have been welcomed at Ferris with open arms, which has been like a warm blanket.” 

Trevino said her learning pursuits at the University of Texas system schools and professional duties with universities and colleges there were important to her appointment as interim Center for Latin@ Studies director and receiving her current assignment. 

“I was very fortunate professionally, as my experience in event planning, curriculum involvement and goal setting helped me earn the opportunity to join the Center,” Trevino said. “As interim director, I looked at what events and programs had worked and served best for our student enrichment and engagement goals.” 

Trevino had also taken advisory assignments with Gamma Phi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Chapter of the international sorority, the newly formed Lambda Theta Phi registered student organization group and the Asian Student Organization. 

Trevino holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas-Brownsville and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Texas-Pan American. 

As part of Cohort 14 in Ferris’ Doctorate in Community College Leadership program, Trevino herself is working on furthering her professional development.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (8/28 - 9/3)

Public Notice

  • In regard to scams, if the person asks you to lie about your activities, mail cash, or purchase gift cards for them to cover fees/taxes, it is a scam. Do not send money. If you won a prize or a car there should be no fees. Please pass this along to friends and relatives especially the elderly.

Monday, August 28

  • An officer was dispatched to a location to assist someone who’s ladder had fallen and was stranded on a roof. No injuries.

Tuesday, August 29

  • Officers responded to a call from someone reporting of a possible camp set up illegally.

Wednesday, August 30

  • An officer took a report of an incident that happened between residents at an extended care facility, no injuries.
  • Officers received a tip that a 38-year-old woman was possible driving while impaired. Upon locating the vehicle, the woman was arrested for operating while impaired while having a child in the vehicle. In addition, an Osceola County Sheriff deputy issued a misdemeanor appearance citation for leaving an accident as it was discovered she had struck road markers on the freeway several minutes prior.

Thursday, August 31

  • An officer assisted while a potentially belligerent patient was release from a medical facility. No issues.

Friday, September 1

  • Officers were dispatched to a man consuming alcohol in public in violation of city ordinance. The man was found to be from out of town and given a warning after agreeing to pour it out. The 52-year-old man did have an outstanding warrant for probation violation out of Grand Haven and was lodged at the Osceola
    County Jail to await pickup on the warrant.

Saturday, September 2

  • Officers were dispatched as back up to assist Osceola County Deputies with a report of a possible domestic assault and car crash. Once a second deputy arrived on scene the officer cleared the scene.

  • Officers were dispatched to a dispute over child custody. The caller was advised that it was a civil matter and they would need to go the friend of the court to have set parenting time established.

  • Officers had a found student identification turned into the department. It will be returned to the school to give back to its owner.

Sunday, September 3

  • Nothing reported.

18-year-old Morley man arrested on theft of multiple motorcycles

On Monday, Sep. 4, deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office were sent to an address in Austin Township to investigate a suspicious situation. Deputies spoke with a property owner that had a subject trespassing that was identified through a cellular trail camera in which the deputies located hidden a motorcycle behind an old building. The motorcycle was checked through the police database and did not
come back stolen. The motorcycle was towed from the scene and secured.

Deputies received a call back from the property owner that the subject was back looking around the property. After responding to the area to locate and identify the subject. While responding to the call, deputies were alerted to a break in at a Morton Township business. In that complaint, there was property damage and there was theft of (2) motorcycles. Only one of the motorcycles was removed from the property and the other motorcycle was identified as the motorcycle that deputies had previously impounded and secured.

Deputies were able to locate the suspect in the area initially in a vehicle and the suspect exited his vehicle as deputies turned around to contact him. They were able to identify the suspect using the pictures received in the initial complaint as well as comparing them to the business’ video surveillance. They were also able to secure evidence linking the suspect to both vehicles and the business.

Deputies are continuing to investigate the complaint and believe that the suspect may be responsible for additional thefts in the area. The suspect, a 18-year-old Stanwood male, was arrested on multiple
charges and lodged in the Mecosta Sheriff's Office Jail. The suspect will be identified pending formal arraignment in the 77th District Court.

Deputies were assisted by Big Rapids Department of Public Safety – Police Division, Michigan State Police along with their K9, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

New appointments and city ordinance amendments on the docket for Tuesday's city commission meeting

On Tuesday, Sep. 5, the Big Rapids City Commission is slated to meet at City Hall at 6:30 P.M to discuss a full agenda.

General business items include resolutions and amendments of the following items:

  • Amending the code of ordinance for water rates.

  • Amending the code of odinance for sewer rates.

  • Amending the ordinance of the definition of firearm.

  • Resolving the amendment of the Title VI Program for the City of Big Rapids Dial-A-Ride.

  • Authorizing a City Assessor Hiring Committee.

  • Appointing Commissioner Amanda Johnson as Official Representative and Commissioner Jennifer Cochran as an Alternate to the Michigan Municipal League Annual Meeting.

All city commission meetings are available to the public.

For more information, visit cityofbr.org.

Ferris State Soccer earns home regional win over Northwood to stay unbeaten

The Nationally #6-ranked Ferris State University women's soccer squad earned a victory in its second contest of the season on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Northwood.

The Bulldogs (2-0-0) remained unbeaten with the regional home win. FSU also celebrated last year's Midwest Regional Championship squad that reached the NCAA Final Four with a special pregame ceremony.

Junior goalkeeper Lauren Kubacki recorded the start and victory for Ferris State, while senior Payton Price had a goal and assist. Sophomore Bella Vallone and freshman Katherine Welch each recorded goals as well for FSU.

Price put the Bulldogs up only 53 seconds into the outing as she beat the Northwood defense to the outside and placed a shot above the Timberwolves keeper, Lindsay Jacob. Price's first tally of the season put Ferris State up 1-0 early.

With 35 minutes still on the clock in the first half, senior Isabella Sabo placed an excellent pass off a corner kick set piece to the center of the box. Vallone was the first player to the ball, and her header snuck past Jacob to give Ferris State a 2-0 lead.

Kubacki had a shutout going until there were only 22 minutes remaining in the game. Juliana Paoletti beat Kubacki to a ball in the air and snuck a shot past the Bulldog keeper to make the score 2-1.

With Northwood determined to record the tying goal, Price once again pressed into Timberwolves' territory. She got to the outside and centered a ball right in front of the net. Welch came crashing down and headed it into the back of the net, propelling Ferris to a 3-1 lead with under 10 minutes to play.

The Bulldogs held on to that lead and moved to 2-0-0 on the season with the victory.

Kubacki recorded seven saves in the win, while both teams attempted 16 shots. The Bulldogs had four corner kicks and Northwood had six. Isabella Baron led the Bulldogs with four shot attempts and three shots on goal.

Ferris State will next be on the road Friday, Sept. 8, as the Bulldogs face Findlay at 4 p.m. (ET) in Ohio. FSU then plays yet another regional tilt at Ashland on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m. (ET).

Workers can access UIA online services on Labor Day; offices, call lines closed

Workers who receive jobless benefits can certify online on Labor Day that they have fulfilled the requirement to search for work. However, certification by phone will not be available since the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will be closed Monday for the state holiday.

Certification using the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by logging on at Michigan.gov/UIA. Workers who are scheduled to certify by calling MARVIN on Monday can instead call on Thursday or Friday next week. Unemployed workers must report once every two weeks that they are jobless and meet the eligibility requirements for benefits.

Because of the holiday, local UIA offices will be closed on Labor Day; the Customer Service and Office of Employer Ombudsman phone lines will not be available; and there may be a slight delay before unemployment benefits are deposited into claimant bank accounts or loaded onto debit cards.

Workers can go to Michigan.gov/UIA at any time to schedule phone, virtual, and in-person appointments; sign up for first-time filer coaching sessions; access the Claimant Roadmap, toolkits, and helpful videos; and find answers to frequently asked questions.

 

New resources available to workers

The Claimant Roadmap and first-time filer coaching sessions -- along with the UIA Community Connect program -- are new resources to make applying for and understanding benefits easier for workers:

  • The Claimant Roadmap: An easy-to-follow, user-friendly six step guide to applying for understanding benefits.
  • First-time filer coaching sessions: Online, web-based guidance from UIA staff who will walk users through the steps needed to complete an application and qualify for payments.
  • UIA Community Connect program: An equity initiative that partners with local groups throughout the state to provide guidance for workers from underserved groups who have faced barriers when filing for jobless benefits.

More information about these and other resources can be found at Michigan.gov/UIA.

 

New computer system for workers, employers

Planning has started to replace the decade-old MiWAM computer system used by workers to apply for benefits and employers to pay unemployment insurance taxes. The new system designed by Deloitte will provide a totally new experience that will be easy to use, speed claims processing, and build on the agency’s aggressive anti-fraud tactics. It will give UIA significant programming flexibility for system updates in response to quickly changing economic conditions and is expected to be fully operational in early 2025.

The new system rollout highlights Director Julia Dale’s efforts to transform the UIA into a national model for fast, fair, and fraud-free service, including:

  • 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.
  • Naming a Legal Advisor and creating the Legal and Compliance Bureau to leverage collaborative anti-fraud practices for pursuing bad actors.
  • Extending through September 2024 nearly 50 limited term positions in the Fraud and Investigations Division, with plans to hire at least 30 more.
  • 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 significant changes throughout agency

Since being named in October 2021 to lead the UIA – the agency's 11th director in as many years – Director Dale 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. To date, 158 individuals have been arrested or charged in connection with unemployment benefits fraud, 79 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 the UI Trust Fund to more than $2.3 billion (and growing), 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 all employees.

MPSC approves rate increases for natural gas customers of Consumers Energy Co., Michigan Gas Utilities Corp.

The Michigan Public Service Commission today approved settlement agreements permitting rate increases for natural gas customers of Consumers Energy Co. and Michigan Gas Utilities Corp. (MGU).

 

Consumers Energy

The Commission approved a settlement agreement permitting Consumers Energy to raise rates by $95 million, a more than 55% reduction from the initial $212 million increase the Jackson-based utility had sought (Case No. U-21308), to address capital infrastructure improvements, investment in technology and operational efficiency, and increased financing costs. The agreement approves an authorized return on common equity of 9.9% and a common equity ratio of 50.75%.

The rate increase will take effect Oct. 1, 2023. A typical residential customer using 100 ccf of natural gas monthly will see an increase of $4.20 on their bill, a 4.2% increase. 

The settlement agreement was signed by Consumers Energy, the office of Attorney General Dana Nessel, MPSC Staff, and several intervenors in the case: Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA), Michigan State University, Residential Customer Group, and Citizens Utility Board of Michigan (CUB). Additional intervenors — Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity (ABATE), Energy Michigan Inc. and Lansing Board of Water and Light — signed a statement of non-objection.

Other terms of the agreement:

  • The company is authorized to spend $214 million on its Enhanced Infrastructure Replacement Program on a minimum of 110.8 miles of installed main replacement through Sept. 30, 2024. The company agrees to work with MPSC Staff and other interested parties to provide information on the program’s costs in support of potentially reducing future unit costs.
  • Consumers is authorized to implement a pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) volatility mechanism that will defer for future recovery or refund of pension expense above or below $29,547,000 and OPEB expense above or below $31,142,000 beginning Oct. 1, 2023.
  • Monthly customer charges will be maintained for residential, A-1, and GS-1 service classes.
  • The company will provide a cost-of-service study that shows allocation of Other Distribution Plant by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission account and calculates impact of using average and excess allocation and allocating between high pressure and non-high pressure.
  • The company will conduct a workgroup to discuss their Group Transportation Service Pilot program, including good faith attempts to address reasonable concerns from gas suppliers.

Consumers’ most recent gas rate increase of $170 million was approved in July 2022.

 

Michigan Gas Utilities

The Commission also approved a settlement agreement permitting MGU to raise its natural gas base rate $9.9 million (Case No. U-21366). That amount is more than 48% lower than the $19.1 million increase sought by the utility to fund safety and reliability upgrades and cover increasing costs for materials and labor and the impact of higher interest rates and inflation.

The rate increase will be effective Jan. 1, 2024. A typical residential customer using 100 ccf of natural gas monthly will see an increase of $5.10 on their bill, a 6.6% increase. 

The settlement agreement was reached by MGU, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, MPSC Staff, and intervenors in the case: RESA, ABATE and CUB. 

The settlement agreement approves an authorized rate of return on common equity of 9.8% and a common equity ratio of 51%. Under the agreement, the company also is approved to:

  • Treat its digitization project as a $1.75 million regulatory asset to be amortized over 15 years beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Maintain its current demand response pilot program.
  • Maintain, with some revisions, the utility’s residential income allowance, low-income allowance and senior bill assistance programs.
  • Continue its main replacement program through 2027, with surcharges paused Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Maintain a waiver of meter testing requirements until Dec. 31, 2028.

MGU, which serves about 183,000 customers across the western and southern Lower Peninsula, was last approved for a rate increase of $9.25 million in September 2021.

Wheatland TWP accident leaves driver in the hospital

On Friday, Sep. 1 at approximately 11:11 P.M., Deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office responded to a one vehicle rollover accident with injuries near 30th Ave and Pine Lake Rd in Wheatland TWP.

The driver, a 58-year-old female from Remus lost control of her vehicle, went off the road, rolled, and struck a few small trees. The driver received serious injuries and was transported to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

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

Mackinac Bridge Authority making final preparations for 2023 Mackinac Bridge Walk

The 2023 Mackinac Bridge Walk on Labor Day, Sept. 4, is just days away, and final preparations are under way.

"Whether you plan to cross the Mackinac Bridge in your car or RV, or you plan to join in the annual bridge walk, we want to make sure you have the information you need for a safe and enjoyable Labor Day holiday," said Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) Bridge Director Kim Nowack.

The bridge will again be closed to public traffic during the 2023 walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Labor Day, Sept. 4, based on recommendations from the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Emergency vehicles will still be permitted to cross the bridge, but no public vehicles until the walk concludes and participants are off the bridge.

"If you’re traveling in the Straits area Monday, we urge you to make your plans around this scheduled closure," Nowack said. "Traffic backups are frustrating for everyone, so we ask that you either cross the bridge prior to 6:30 a.m. or time your trip to arrive at the bridge after noon."              

Based on the success of the recent events, the MBA will again start the 2023 Bridge Walk from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, which eliminates the need for busing and offers additional options for participants.  

A video, posted on the MBA website at www.MackinacBridge.org/Walk, explains the bridge walk schedule and the choices people will have whether they start from the north or south ends of the bridge. Most participants have said they are comfortable with the new arrangements and enjoy the variety of options for participation.

Walkers essentially have three main options, outlined in the video:

  • Starting from either end of the bridge and walking toward the center, turning around at the midpoint and returning to the city they started from, where their transportation is located. The turnaround points will move toward the ends of the bridge beginning at 10 a.m., but walkers can walk at least a portion of the bridge if they start by 11:30 a.m. Walkers must be on the side of the bridge they wish to return to before 10 a.m.
  • Walking the entire length of the bridge starting from either end. Those who choose this option must reach the midpoint before 10 a.m. or they will be turned back. Anyone who walks the entire bridge must arrange their own transportation back to the side they started from once the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon.
  • Crossing the bridge, starting from either end, and then turning around and walking back to the side they started from. In this option, walkers will need to cross the midpoint on their return trip by 10 a.m. or they will be turned back and need to find their own transportation back across the bridge after it reopens at noon.

As in 2018-19 and 2021-22, because walkers can start from either end of the bridge when they arrive, there will be no buses transporting participants across the bridge.

People who are interested in receiving text messages about bridge closures, including closure information for the Annual Bridge Walk, can sign up for Mackinac County 911's RAVE Alert System updates. There is no cost to receive these updates, aside from any texting fees from the participant's mobile coverage plan. To opt into this text alert system, text "MacBridge" to 67283.

The bridge walk has been an annual event since 1958, with the exception of 2020 when the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 walk will be the 65th event. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people have participated in recent years; 26,000 participated in the 2022 event.

Bulldog Volleyball wins first-ever match at Bulldog Arena during day one split in home invite

The Ferris State University women's volleyball squad won its first-ever regular season match inside the new Bulldog Arena on Friday (Sept. 1) as FSU opened the 2023 season with a day one split in its own home invitational.

Ferris State dominated Thomas More (Ky.) in a 3-0 sweep in the first match played inside the facility before falling to nationally eighth-ranked Minnesota Duluth 3-1 in the nightcap. The two matches were the first for FSU this season.

The Bulldogs controlled play in the opener, winning the initial frame over Thomas More by a decisive 25-8 count. Ferris State followed with a 25-7 in the second set and completed the sweep with a 25-10 victory in the third.

FSU posted an impressive .523 hitting figure in the opener, posting 46 kills with only a single attack error on 86 attempts. Returner Olivia Henneman-Dallape led a balanced effort with 10 kills while Chelsie Freeman chipped in nine kills.

The Bulldogs also got 25 assists from setter Kaylee Maat to go with a team-high 12 digs by senior transfer Kenzy CorstangeLogyn Geren added eight digs in the win and Freeman posted three block assists.

FSU limited the opposition to a .072 attack total in the contest.

The competition stiffened in the final match of the day as Minnesota Duluth rallied from an early deficit to beat the Bulldogs 17-25, 25-19, 25-17 and 25-19. UMD hit .379 overall to a .272 showing for Ferris State.

Henneman-Dallape again led the Bulldogs with 12 kills while Claire Nowicki finished with 10 kills. Maat had 37 assists for FSU while libero Leah Bylut totaled 15 digs and Henneman-Dallape netted 10 digs. Freeman had both two solo blocks and two assists at the net for FSU.

The Bulldogs will return to the floor on Saturday with two more matches to wrap up the Ferris State Invitational. FSU hosts Adelphi (N.Y.) at 12 p.m. (ET) before concluding the opening weekend versus Indianapolis in regional action at 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Three hospitalized after two vehicle wreck in Mecosta

On Friday Sep. 1 at 4:31 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the intersection of 100th Ave & Pierce Rd in Morton TWP in reference of a two vehicle accident.

The investigation revealed that a 74-year-old Stanwood male was driving south bound on 100th Ave just south of Pierce Rd in his passenger car, when the he then crossed the center line and hit an oncoming 42-year-old Stanwood maletraveling northbound in his chevy truck. 

The 74-year-old male was transported to the Big Rapids Hospital by Mecosta County EMS. 

Two female passengers in the Chevy truck were transported to the Big Rapids Hospital by Mecosta County EMS. 

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office was assisted by, Morton Township Fire & Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, Meceola Central Dispatch, Huffs & Eckerts Towing from Barryton. 

Information Security Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence and Project Management programs see a boost with $32 million Ferris State Center for Virtual Learning opening

Ferris State University’s new Center for Virtual Learning will help students gain security skills ranging from keeping dangerous malware off your home computer to supporting the national defense from cyber-attacks. 

Ferris State’s heralded Information Security and Intelligence program and related study areas welcome students to the new $32 million Center for Virtual Learning this week. 

Molly Cooper, an associate professor in and alumna of Ferris’ Information Security and Intelligence Bachelor and Master of Science programs, said the state-of-the-art facility will have features that are among the first in a Michigan university. 

“We will have nested Faraday Laboratory rooms, which provide isolation from network communication signals,” Cooper said. “That will greatly enhance our abilities for learning in forensic analysis and the study of malware, a unique and awesome capability for analysis by our Information Security and Intelligence students.” 

As Ferris State’s Fall 2023 semester begins, the School of Digital Media, eLearning as part of Extended and International Operations and the School of Education will also be based in the Center for Virtual Learning. Cooper said the CVL’s Esports Arena will be an asset for their program and the others based there. 

“At a minimum, the arena will offer us incredible exposure for cybersecurity competitions, thanks to the staging and spectator seating in its design,” Cooper said. “We have been actively involved with student competitions for years and have hosted our own events for high schoolers and college students, but presentations in the arena will be more forward-thinking for all participants and the audience. The notable advance in monitoring for competitors and observers of these interactive events will bring us to an even more exciting place.” 

Cooper added that the Esports Arena presents a significant upgrade as their venue for tabletop exercises, where students react to cybersecurity scenarios. At the same time, the center’s podcast studio and collaborative spaces will intensify other learning experiences. 

Ferris’ Information Security and Intelligence program is a national leader, accredited by the National Security Agency, U.S. Department of Defense and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Cooper said another significant attribute the center provides is increased space for the Artificial Intelligence and Project Management degree program. 

“The AI program is the only Bachelor of Science curriculum offered in Michigan,” Cooper said. “The new facilities and technology will bring online students in any of our study disciplines a more immersive classroom experience.” 

Information Security and Intelligence faculty continue their work on developing a graduate certificate program in Space Cybersecurity, with a Satellites and Space Cybersecurity course now being offered to Bachelor of Science and Master of Science students. 

“Being in the Center for Virtual Learning will offer greater support for our participation in the Michigan Space Initiative,” Cooper said. “We will be able to increase our involvement and advisement with the added amenities the CVL provides us.” 

Cooper said collaborative opportunities with other programs based in the center will augment learning for all involved. 

“Working with our CVL department partners will be incredible,” Cooper said. “We have just begun to imagine and explore the prospects of working together, bringing varied expertise to benefit all our students.” 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the Center for Virtual Learning begins at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31, the opening event of Ferris’ traditional Founders Day schedule. 

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (8/28 - 8/31)

Monday, August 28

Calls for Service: 21

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, August 29

  • At 1700 hours, deputies responded to a parole violation complaint, at a residence in Sheridan TWP. A male subject was arrested for a parole violation.
  • At 1938 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Morton TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant.

Calls for Service: 11

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, August 30

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, August 31

  • At 0956 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest, at a residence in Aetna TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant out of Newaygo County. She was turned over to Newaygo County.

Calls for Service: 13

Ferris State's New Center for Virtual Learning Prepares Students for Rapidly Evolving Careers while Making Education More Accessible

Ferris State University on Thursday dedicated it’s Center for Virtual Learning, a $32 million facility intended to prepare students for careers in fields that are rapidly evolving – and might not even exist yet.

This new facility is located on the Big Rapids campus but will help Ferris State connect with students around the state and around the world. It is intended to be the physical hub of the Ferris State learning metaverse, bringing students, educators, and technology together, virtually and physically, as a community pursuing innovation and excellence in their fields of study.

“The potential this building has for programming is amazing,” Ferris State President Bill Pink said before joining students, educators and partners in cutting the ceremonial ribbon. “It has the kind of technology that is not only relevant for today but is malleable for skills for tomorrow.”

The building, constructed with state and university resources, houses programs aimed at tapping state-of-the-art technology, and teaching others how to adapt rapidly evolving tech skills to their current work.

Programs include:

  • Information Security and Intelligence: Ferris State’s program is a national leader, accredited by the National Security Agency, U.S. Department of Defense and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The program has increased space for Artificial Intelligence and Project Management degrees.
  • Esports Arena: This is the first arena built purposely for esports, which is a rapidly growing area. Students will be competing, but also be gaining in-demand skills for the rapidly expanding field of game design.
  • School of Education: eLearning: The new facility will help Ferris State teach the next generations of educators to more effectively teach online. This is key as Ferris State creates Student Success Hubs to reach out to learners across the state.
  • School of Digital Media: New facilities and technology that prepare students for ways to convey information and stories in new and evolving ways, connecting with wider audiences.

Bobby Fleischman, Ferris State’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said the programs within the Center for Virtual Learning are consistent with the university’s focusing on making a quality education accessible.

“At Ferris State, we are proud of our history and our mission -- with good reason,” he said. “We are inspired to do better and think more boldly every day. Years from now, when future generations look back, I’m convinced they will look at this day and this facility as a key moment in our university’s history.”

The building’s special features include a Faraday Room, a super-secure room allowing for forensic analysis and artificial intelligence work. Students will work on cyber security and ways to spot and thwart malware, making our computers and world safer.

The Esports Arena is the first arena built purposely for esports. Students will be competing, but also be gaining in-demand skills to design games.

Esports, short for electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games, with participants squaring off as individuals or teams. More than 240 colleges and universities are fielding esports teams with more than 5,000 student-athletes, according to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, a Kansas City based nonprofit.

The area includes special esports chairs, obtained through a partnership with Herman Miller. Jon Campbell, vice president of Herman Miller and vice president and general manager of HMG, Global Retail, said he was proud to partner with Ferris State and study how the chairs are used. 

He said the company will use its history of furniture design to look at how to improve performance.

“How do we use this expertise in ergonomics and human-centered design to really make gamers more comfortable and prevent injuries as they play,” Campbell said. “You guys are creating opportunities for future gamers.”

Chain reaction crash in Ionia County Thursday leaves multiple seriously injured

On Aug. 31 at approximately 2:45 P.M., Ionia County Sheriff’s Office, Saranac Fire, and Life EMS responded to a personal injury accident involving multiple vehicles on W I-96 near Hastings Rd.

Investigation led deputies to believe the vehicles were traveling west bond entering a construction zone, when they were approaching a zipper merge. This caused vehicles to have to slow down and enter using the right lane.

 

*Crash photo provided by the Ionia County Sheriff's Department

 

At this point the driver of the black Dodge pick-up advised they did not notice traffic slowing and stopping and rear-ended the Subaru Legacy. This caused the Legacy to come to a stop after hitting the cable barriers dividing the highway and forced the pickup to spin out and hit the rear end of the Honda CR-V.

The driver of the Dodge and Honda sustained apparent but minor injuries. The driver of the Legacy was transported to a nearby hospital to be evaluated for serious internal injuries.

This investigation remains open. Speed appears to be a factor in this incident.

Assisting on the scene was Ionia County Sheriff’s Office, Saranac Fire, Life EMS, MDOT, Reed and Hoppes and Ionia County Central Dispatch.

Thank you to the concerned citizens who called and assisted first responders on scene.

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Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Basketball (Boys)

3/1/24

 District 35 Championship @Manistee

  Ludington @ Reed City - 7:00pm

    -> Game broadcasting on Big Country 100.9

2/28/24

 District 35 Tournament @Manistee

  Hart 42 @ Reed City 57

    -> Game broadcasting on Big Country 100.9

  Manistee 38 @ Ludington 67

 District 36 Tournament @Gladwin

  Chip Hills 38 @ Clare 50

 District 41 Tournament @Fremont

  Newaygo 61 @ Grant 57

 District 74 Tournament @Hesperia

  Ravenna 50 @ White Cloud 53

 

CSAA Basketball (Girls)

2/26/24 - 7:00pm

Tri County @ Montabella

2/27/24 - 7:00pm

 CSAA Tournament

  Grant @ Kent City

  Reed City @ Morley Stanwood

  Chip Hills @ White Cloud

2/29/24 - 7:00pm

Tri County @ White Cloud

 

Big Rapids Ice Hockey (12-12-1)

MHSAA Regional 21: 2/24/24

Big Rapids#4 4 @ E Grand Rapids#1 5 (OT)

CSAA Basketball Standings

CSAA - Boys

  1. Reed City 18-3 (10-0)
  2. White Cloud 16-5 (8-2)
  3. Big Rapids   15-6 (8-2)
  4. Grant   13-6 (8-2)
  5. Newaygo 13-8 (6-4)
  6. Central Montcalm 8-12 (4-6)
  7. Kent City 7-14 (4-6)
  8. Tri County 6-15 (3-7)
  9. Chip Hills 5-16 (3-7)
  10. Morley Stanwood 2-17 (1-9)
  11. Lakeview 5-16 (0-10)

CSAA - Girls

  1. Morley Stanwood 15-3 (8-1)
  2. Grant 13-4 (8-1)
  3. Kent City 15-4 (7-2)
  4. Reed City 11-8 (7-2)
  5. Big Rapids 10-8 (6-3)
  6. Lakeview 10-9 (4-5)
  7. Central Montcalm 8-11 (4-5)
  8. Newaygo 10-9 (3-6)
  9. White Cloud 7-13 (2-8)
  10. Tri County 3-14 (1-8)
  11. Chip Hills 1-18 (0-9)

This Week's Poll

What place will the Lions finish in the NFC North?