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News That Affects You Archives for 2023-11

Mecosta County's Beth Wernette wins state Farm Bureau discussion meet

The Sweet 16 of Michigan Farm Bureau’s 2023 Young Farmer Discussion Meet competition narrowed to a Final Four who matched wits to open the Nov. 29 Final Four Breakfast. Taking home the state-level win this year was Mecosta County’s Beth Wernette.

Wernette raises beef cattle outside Remus and earlier this year graduated from ProFILE, MFB’s elite leadership development program for young farmers.

Her Farm Bureau resume includes years of active involvement in Mecosta County’s membership, Young Farmer, Promotion & Education programs, as well as attendance at the organization’s Young Farmer and Growing Together conferences and the MFB State Annual Meeting.

With her state-level win, Wernette will advance to represent Michigan in national-level competition.

Rounding out the Final Four were Matt Hensley (Lenawee County), Sam Ludlam (Ottawa County) and Madeleine Smeltzer (Wexford County).

Discussion Meets are a competitive simulated committee meeting, where competitors are judged on their ability to explore a problem and find solutions.

The final round question saw the contestants examining the challenges young farmers face in amassing the capital necessary to start or grow their operations, and how Farm Bureau could better serve its members in surmounting those obstacles.

Rounding out this year’s Sweet 16 were Drew Bordner (St. Joseph), John Bowsky (Sanilac), Matt DeJonge (Washtenaw), Melissa Fusilier (Washtenaw), Amanda Goodfellow (Mecosta), Darcy Lipskey (Sanilac), Charles Loveland (Jackson), Nate Scovill (Shiawassee), Riley Travis (Isabella), Mark Trowbridge (St. Joseph), Morgan Walton (St. Joseph) and Zoey Zupin (Kent).

As the state-level winner, Wernette earned a $2,000 cash prize sponsored by AIS equipment and will represent Michigan at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet in Salt Lake City, Utah in January.

Ferris State Softball offering bi-weekly camp beginning this Sunday

The Ferris State University softball program has announced a bi-weekly camp will start this Sunday (Dec. 3) and run until early February.

The bi-weekly camp is being offered for pitching and hitting starting at 10:30 a.m. (ET) for an hour and begins this Sunday. It will be offered bi-weekly until Feb. 4 at the Ewigleben Sports Complex.

The camps are limited to four participants and will cover advanced hitting and pitching skills. Each week is $50.

Those interested in taking part should email Coach Jake Schumann at: JakeSchumann@ferris.edu while availability remains.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 11/29/23

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

November 29, 2023        

Opening Statement: “I’ve got a lot of respect for (Saints Head Coach) Dennis Allen. Certainly, I coached with him, I played with him at A&M, coached with him for five years at the Saints. He’s a heck of a coach. Very detail-oriented, tough minded and the team plays that way. And there’s a number of coaches on staff that I was with that I have a lot of respect for. I know how they work there. (Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager) Mickey Loomis, the GM, think highly, obviously, of him. And then certainly some of the players that are still there. And I know what they’re made of. I know they’re prideful guys. They’re tough. They’re a tough opponent in the Superdome and they’re going to be ready to go. So, this is a big task for us. This is a big game and there’s going to be nothing easy about this. But we’re excited about the opportunity to be able to go there and put our best foot forward. So, this will be a good week.”

On what being in New Orleans meant to him and his career and what food he is looking forward to having: “Yeah, I – somebody asked me that the other day. Shrimp gumbo is like my – I mean down there, it’s as good as gold. But look, had good years down there. Myself, (Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG, (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone) was there, (Lions QB) Teddy (Bridgewater) was there for a little bit. We won a lot of games under (Broncos Head) Coach (Sean) Payton and there’s still a number of guys that are there that were a part of that. So, it’s – listen, it was a winning organization, still is, but my time there, things were run right, they were done right and there was a winning attitude, winning atmosphere and that’s what it was all about. It’s just special and that’s why it will always be special. To be able to go back and play there makes it special.”

On how his time being a part of the Saints organization under Sean Payton shaped him as a coach: “Yeah, I mean – well look, I think there’s a number of things we do here that have come from there. My own thoughts, influences, as well as (Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager) Brad (Holmes), where he came from, and both places (are) winning organizations. But it’s – the thing that you always realized when you stepped in there with (Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager) Mickey (Loomis) and Sean (Payton) was, man, it was all about the team, and the team started with the GM and the Head Coach. That’s where the team started. And there was never any divide, there was never any, ‘This is our guy. We’re the scouts, this is our guy. He needs to be playing, he needs to be this.’ The coaches say, ‘No, we don’t trust this guy.’ Everybody was in the same boat, same way with the Draft, same way with playing players, it was – there was never a divide. It was our guy, and it was the way that we worked. And every resource in the building was to help the Head Coach and GM be the most successful they could be. So, that first and foremost, is the most important thing of any organization and Mrs. (Owner & Chief Executive Officer Gayle) Benson giving the resources needed to have success, I mean just critically important. So, that’s where it always starts.”

On what he felt he accomplished in the time off after the Green Bay game and how he feels the team is setup for this week: “Certainly, a little recovery. That’s big. Just a little bit of rest and recovery when you have two games in five days or four days. That goes a long way, just kind of having three days to kind of shake some of that off. But it also gives you a minute to just kind of step back and really, like I mentioned, you get a chance because of that fact, two games in five days, you can go back and watch Chicago, you can go back and watch Green Bay and kind of gather your thoughts in a two-game sequence, just where can we really help and get a little bit better? So, those go a long way on top of the fact (that) now you’re getting ready for this opponent.”

On if he anticipates any personnel changes given the extra time to plan after the Green Bay game: “Yeah, I would say you look at everything. I think it’s – you do step back and you say, ‘Alright, is there somebody we need to get a look at in this position whether it be who’s currently a backup for us, somebody that’s been inactive or our vet squad.’ I mean we are constantly looking at that. We tell those guys all the time, ‘You earn your right to go out there and play and don’t ever think you’re just out here being a show team. That’s not what all this is. Yes, you’re giving a look, but you’re working your craft. And the better you get, the more you catch the eyes of everybody in this building.’ And then it makes you want to give them an opportunity to see what they’ve got. If it’s showing up in practice, well maybe it shows up in the game, so.”

On if he found any personnel changes he wants to make: “Maybe.”

On if he sees a different sense of hunger from the team at this point going forward: “I would say this, I don’t feel – the hunger has been there. I don’t feel like that’s dwindled away or drifted. That’s been there. And I think if anything, we understand the areas of improvement, where we must improve and it’s ball security. And that’s everybody. That’s not – I’m not just talking about (Lions QB Jared) Goff, I’m talking about – and there’s a number of plays that we didn’t fumble that those balls are just dying to come out of our hand. Like we are not secure with the football. We’ve got to get back to what we do and take care of it. And there’s a number of ways that you play the game and how we function, I mentioned this, receivers getting in the routes that help with those things. But I feel like, look, they just came in here, we had meetings, we just finished a walkthrough. I like where they’re at. I don’t feel – I feel like it’s a team that’s ready to go, ready to work. So, I feel like we’re where we’ve been. We’re good. We just eliminate some mistakes here.”

On if there is a level of influence that Saints Head Coach Dennis Allen has had on him from their shared time together: “I think more than anything, not necessarily – look, I’ve always respected him because of – man, when we played, he played safety over there for our defense, started for us, which was not an easy task at A&M when we had some pretty good defenders for a number of years out there and he was always – he was the quarterback. I mean he was the quarterback of the defense, particularly the backend. So, highly intelligent, smart, can anticipate. And as a coach, he’s that way. And so, if anything, I – you just take away the little nuances of how he goes about his business as a defensive coordinator and the way he coaches and his detail. And he’s sound, it’s sound, it’s smart, they play tough ball. He’s coached it all, he’s lived in the secondary room, but he coached D-line for a number of years when he was at New Orleans, he was assistant D-line coach. So, he's got a hand in the whole defense. He understands how it all works. From everything, from the games on the third down, the stunt games, to the pressures, the backends. So, that’s what makes him so good, I think one of the things. But listen, he’s done a great job. He really has. And I just – this team does not make mistakes. Opportunistic defense and they’re going to try to make you mess it up.”

On what gives him the confidence that the other linebackers can step up if Lions LB Alex Anzalone is out due to injury: “Well, number one they’ve all played for us. (Lions LB) Jack (Campbell)’s taken a number of reps, as (Lions LB Derrick) Barnes. (Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin) Germ’s played in this League. (Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez) Rodrigo started for us most of the year last year. So, I kind of mentioned this before, if there’s an area where we have a significant amount of depth, it’s in that room. So, we have a ton of confidence. Anytime you lose a player like Alex, if that’s the case, it’s not easy, but we do feel good about that room, man. We think they’re – we’re going to ask them to do what they do best, and I think they’re going to do a good job for us this week.”

On their plans for Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez on offense and defense if Lions LB Alex Anzalone cannot play: “Yeah, I mean he’s going to have to take on a bigger load. He plays a little bit on defense and he’s going to – we’re going to need him more on offense too. So, we’re going to stretch him out here a little bit, but he can handle it.”

On Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez catching a pass in the Green Bay game: “He’s got hands too. You saw that. He can flip his hips. He’s tough, he’s got leverage, he’s smart. So, it’s pretty impressive. It’s pretty impressive.”

On if there will be a competition for the fullback role with Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez when Lions FB Jason Cabinda returns from injury: “Yeah, I think it’s – as of right now, man, we’re maximizing our roster, Cabinda’s continuing to heal, and we’re not forced into doing something we don’t need to do just yet either. So, it’s kind of the combination of those, but Rodrigo’s doing a good job. We haven’t lost sight of Cabinda, but in the moment, it’s – we’re just letting this kid grow a little bit, see where he can go.”

#7 Ferris State Women's Basketball hosts Spring Arbor in home opener Wednesday night

The unbeaten Ferris State University women's basketball squad, which is off to a 3-0 start this year, will play its first regular-season home contest of the 2023-24 season on Wednesday (Nov. 29) evening against Spring Arbor at Jim Wink Arena.

Tipoff for the non-league tilt is set for 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Tickets for the women's basketball home opener are on sale now and can be purchased in advance online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets or thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. Both season and single-game tickets for all home outings this year are currently on sale.

The Bulldogs have posted three impressive regional victories to date this season and are coming off a decisive 89-59 road win over Northwood two weeks ago on Nov. 15 in Midland in their most recent action. FSU climbed to seventh this week in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II Top 25 poll, which represents the highest ranking in school history.

Wednesday night's home opener will be carried live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with audio coverage online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Pregame coverage starts at 5 p.m. (ET). A live pay-per-view video stream will also be available on FloSports. Complete coverage links can be found on the FSU men's basketball schedule page at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Spring Arbor enters the tilt with a single setback this season. They proceeded to win their first six contests before falling to nationally-ranked Marian 87-86 in overtime last Tuesday (Nov. 21) in their most recent action.

Following Wednesday's home opener, the Bulldogs will then prepare for the start of GLIAC play on the road next week at Purdue Northwest (Dec. 7) and Parkside (Dec. 9). This Friday's (Dec. 1) home matchup with Great Lakes Christian has been postponed and will be played at a later date.

Ferris State Medical Laboratory Science students prepare for internships, careers in simulation lab

Senior students in Ferris State University’s Medical Laboratory Science degree program get hands-on opportunities to master skills in a simulation lab, with 16-week internships as a capstone. 

Medical Laboratory Science program coordinator Daniel deRegnier said the simulation lab is where MLS students can apply what they learned in previous coursework while experiencing many real-life situations in clinical operations. 

“We have the students ordering tests, processing samples, running assays, recording data, troubleshooting errors, reporting results, and even taking calls to simulate interactions with medical professionals,” deRegnier said. “They are placing specimens on agar plates and processing bacteria for identification, typing blood samples and cross-matching for surgery, along with aspects of Hematology, Chemistry and Urinalysis.” 

DeRegnier said there are many opportunities for students to use modern automated instrumentation to simulate the variety of operations common for a clinic or laboratory in their situations.

“We have collaborative partners, such as Bronson Healthcare in southwest Michigan, who will offer us equipment as they upgrade their laboratory supplies,” deRegnier said. “We do purchase some of the instrumentation we have in the simulation lab and take many working units that are offered to us.” 

In one section of the simulated lab, Medical Laboratory Science senior Jenna Murphy, from Lansing, works to determine blood clotting times. She is in a weekly rotation with roles assigned that include section managers to present students with a broad experience during this final semester on campus. 

“We have real samples and tests to complete that show us the kind of work that will come our way in the lab,” Murphy said. “It is important to understand how to interact appropriately with doctors and other medical professionals.” 

“We want our students comfortable with applying their skills on equipment they will be using during their 16-week internships,” deRegnier said. “That includes exposing them to laboratory information systems used to collect and record patient information. The attention to detail and the level of involvement in this lab setting is what we believe separates us from our peers in other MLS programs, based on what we hear about our students from contacts in healthcare.”

Visitors are welcome to the Medical Laboratory Science Simulation Lab, with tours available Tuesday through Thursday each week from 3 to 5:30 p.m. in the Victor F. Spathelf Center for Allied Health Building (VFS) 421. Those interested are invited to call (231) 591-2268 before Tuesday, Nov. 21.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (11/20 - 11/26)

Monday, November 20

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Tuesday, November 21

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, November 22

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, November 23

  • Nothing reported.

 

Friday, November 24

Calls for Service: 24

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, November 25

  • At 9:20 A.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP, the traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.
  • At 9:54 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Fork TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 20

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Sunday, November 26

  • At 8:18 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Green TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 29

Traffic Accidents: 4

Big Rapids Radio Network announces 2023-2024 basketball broadcast team

The hardwood hectic is almost here and the Big Rapids Radio Network has their team selected for full Big Rapids Cardinal Basketball play-by-play broadcasts and area coverage for CSAA hoops. Here’s a look at the team and their respective roles:

 

Lead Play-By-Play: BRANDON WIRTH

In what will be his second consecutive season on the headset with Big Rapids Basketball, Wirth returns as the front man for calling this season’s action on NewsRadio WBRN. Wirth will head nearly 70% of the season’s scheduled broadcasts this winter in complement with his final indoor track and field season at Ferris State.

Wirth serves as the news and sports director for the Big Rapids Radio Network and previously called the Reed City Football season this fall on Y102 as well as Chippewa Hills a year ago in his debut season.

When asked about the upcoming season, Wirth is looking forward to additions in radio interactive elements for this years’ games and bringing the fans even more excitement in year two.

“This year, we are adding a lot of cool features to the broadcasts that will hugely benefit our fans following along from inside the arena or driving several cities away,” Wirth said. “Bringing in studio game updates along with a more structured pregame and postgame show is something I am looking forward to bringing to this season. After a successful year in 2022-2023 and great feedback from the fans, I know we are going to crush it and raise our standards heading into 2024.”

 

Lead Studio Correspondent: JOE NAGY

Former Tri-County standout Joe Nagy will serve as the lead board operator and studio analyst for this season. Nagy made his debut on the boards this fall for Reed City football on Y102, including managing score bug updates, social media coverage, and program management.

Nagy serves as the afternoon radio host for Big Country 100.9 and personality for various commercial campaigns at the network. Nagy will also handle play-by-play duties for Wirth in his absence for the second straight year.

When asked on the upcoming season, Nagy said he expects some big time plays from Big Rapids this year.

“Last year, there were a lot of seniors who made a big impact, but I'm most excited to see the young guys step up and continue winning based on what we saw last year,” Nagy said. “A lot of high-flying theatrics went down all season and I'm hoping to see more to bring some electric calls for the fans.”

 

Lead Conference Analyst: J.T. SCARPELLI

With the newly announced basketball extension of the Big Rapids Media Network’s program, “The RunDown,” Scarpelli will take the role as the lead analyst for the CSAA this winter.

Scarpelli, who knows many of the players and teams as the varsity baseball coach for Big Rapids, also served as the lead play-by-play man for Big Rapids football this past season. He will not only keep track of results but will track the CSAA standings and report on postseason implications later in the season.

When asked about the upcoming season, Scarpelli is also excited to follow how the new Cardinal players settle into their roles on this year’s squad.

“I'm looking forward to seeing how the new starters do,” Scarpelli said. “Last year, the team was loaded with talent. This year’s guys are unproven, but arguably just as talented. I'm excited to see Gabe Njenga and Ty Gielczyk down low and how Kinnally and Haist handle the ball. Their roster is deep as well, so I will be interested to see who earns time off the bench and if those guys can wrangle playing time as the season progresses.”

 

Broadcast/Coverage Information: WBRN.com

Each Cardinal game will be aired live on NewsRadio WBRN all season long. Fans can listen to it on 1460 AM, 96.5 FM, 107.7 FM, WBRN.com, and the WBRN mobile app. Each game will have pre-game coverage starting 15-20 minutes prior to the scheduled tip off time. All these times will be available weekly at WBRN.com.

The West Michigan Sports Show, a weekly local sports coverage program hosted by Brandon Wirth, will also have basketball and other winter sports coverage. These 20–25-minute programs will be aired live on WBRN starting between 3:30 P.M. – 3:35 P.M every Saturday.

For The RunDown, a new in-depth program debuted during the football season, will also return weekly on Big Country’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels. Hosted in majority by Erik Etchison; J.T. Scarpelli, Brandon Wirth, and Joe Nagy will serve as analysts for all things CSAA basketball this season.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office looking to sell more tickets for their Cabin Raffle benefitting families in need for Christmas

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office wants to remind interested participants that there are still tickets remaining for the cabin raffle. 

Raffle sales plan to be completed when the drawing takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6:00 P.M. The goal is to sponsor several families in the community and provide them Christmas for their children and family. This will be done by money raised by selling tickets for the cabin raffle and funds donated by each of the unions at the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office. 

Members from the office are looking at delivering the gifts as well on Thursday, Dec. 21. The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office, Big Rapids Eagles 2535, and Between the Lines Storage Solutions look forward to helping these families for Christmas.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (11/20 - 11/26)

Monday, November 20

  • Officers took a report of a suspicious vehicle that was observed driving through the neighbor’s yard before squealing its tires and leaving the area. The officer checked the area but did not locate the vehicle.

Tuesday, November 21

  • Officer took a report of a found bicycle. If you are missing a bicycle, please call the Reed City Police Department to identify it.

Wednesday, November 22

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, November 23

  • Officers took a report of a stolen vehicle after the vehicle was left unlocked with the keys in it. The vehicle was located by officers a short time later approximately two blocks away. At this time, it appears it may have been an attempt at humor by the person who moved the vehicle. 

  • Officers issued a verbal warning for unlawful operation of a UTV on a state highway. 

  • Officers were requested to perform a well-being check on an individual. The individual was located and was fine. 

  • Officers were called regarding minors who had recently moved into the city and were shooting a BB gun, where the projectiles were landing in a neighbor’s yard. Parents were contacted and advised it is unlawful to discharge a BB gun inside the city limits and if serious injury occurred it could become a criminal matter. 

  • Officers took a report of a broken vehicle mirror. The caller’s mirror had gotten broken by another male who was upset upon seeing the caller’s vehicle at his girlfriend’s residence, since their relationship had been a bit turbulent lately. The caller later changed his mind about pursuing any criminal charges against his friend and they agreed upon settling the matter monetarily amongst themselves.

Friday, November 24

  • Officers were dispatched to a death investigation from a suspected drug overdose. The matter is under further investigation, but no foul play is believed to have occurred at this time.

Saturday, November 25

  • An officer was dispatched to a local business for a patron that was refusing to leave and pay their bill. Upon arrival, the unwanted subject was trespassed from the business, paid their bill and left the area.

  • An officer was dispatched to a residence on the report of a subject refusing to leave. Upon the officer’s arrival, the unwanted subject had already left the area.

Sunday, November 26

  • Officers assisted Osceola County Deputies with the investigation of a road run off complaint. Upon arrival, the officer provided traffic control while the vehicle was removed from the ditch.

  • An officer was dispatched to a residence for a missing persons complaint. Through investigation it was discovered that the missing subject was recently involved in a verbal argument and left the residence several hours prior and had not been heard from since. The officer was able to make contact with the subject, who confirmed that they were fine. The officer then accompanied the subject back to their residence, where a peace officer assist was completed while the subject removed some personal items.

  • An officer arrested a 36-year-old male on a valid warrant that was issued out of the 77th District Court. The subject was transported to the Osceola County Jail without incident. 

Joe's Takes: Packers steal Lions turkey at Ford Field

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I’m so glad we can celebrate it with the Lions reverting back to
their old ways of being a terrible football team on Thanksgiving. I don’t know if you saw it, but
the Lions going into last week’s game were 0-12 when playing on Thanksgiving when there was
a waxing gibbous moon, and guess what moon phase we were in last Thursday, a waxing
gibbous moon. Leading to a 29-22 loss against the Packers, and a status of disarray for what the
rest of the Lions season has in store.
To sum up everything that I am about to say in this article, our defense is criminally bad. Detroit
is ranked 26th in the defensive category, and it’s no different from the past three years. You
cannot win a game by trying to outscore teams in a shootout, at some point you have to swallow
your pride and open up the wallet to get guys who will help out the team. I've had enough of
growing players inside the program, Lions’ GM Brad Holmes needs to pay up some guys who
can make an immediate impact in both the pass rush and secondary or else we’ll see a lot more
of these types of games.
Alright, first complaints are out of the way, let’s get into the game. Right from the jump, with the
Packers getting a big play from receiver Christian Watson, I knew that the Packers were ready to
avenge the loss that we handed them back at Lambeau. Jayden Reed and Jordan Love connected
for their first touchdown, and the game was on from there.
Detroit had to rebuttal to close out any early momentum that the Pacers were trying to obtain,
and thanks to some catches from Jameson WIlliams and Sam LaPorta they were able to do just
that. The Lions capped off the opening drive with a 7-yard connection between Jared Goff and
LaPorta. This was the only bright spot of the half, as Green Bay would score two more
touchdowns and a field goal courtesy of tight end Tucker Kraft, and a potential controversial
forced fumble that ended up as a scoop and score to put the Packers up 20-6 before the end of the
first quarter.
Continuing into the second half, the grass got a little bit greener, we came out and scored on a
run by David Montgomery and he got the two point conversion as well to bring us within 9
points of the Packers at 23-14. Packers marched down the field right after, but wouldn’t be able
to capitalize, giving the Lions a chance to turn it around halfway through the third quarter.
I know what you’re thinking, “Joe, did they score on the drive that some might say wsa the most
important of the game?” No, they didn’t, they did it one better by calling for a fake punt deep in
our own zone that we didn’t convert on and the Packers would go onto score from. Absolute
football genius from Dan Campbell and Ben Johnson.

The Lions defense got the Packers to 2nd & 17, giving some hope to us fans that we’d make up
for the mistakes. But just two plays later, Jordan Love and Christian Watson would complete a
17-yard TD pass to give Green Bay a 29-14 lead. It could’ve been 31 but they muffed the philly
special on the two point conversion.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, we would drive down the field, give the ball away,
maybe get a stop here and there and do it all over again. The last score from the Lions was a 12-
yard TD pass to Josh Reynolds, followed by a perfectly executed fake pull to the right to find
LaPorta in the endzone for the two point conversion. I don’t know what it is about when there is
three minutes left in regulation, but Jared Goff turns into the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen,
why he can’t do that for the whole game is beyond me.
THe game rested on the foot of Jack Fox, as all the fans across America were hoping for a good
bounce on the onside kick. Wouldn’t you guess it, the ball went right to the Packers and the
game was over. It put a sour mood for the rest of Thanksgiving for my family after that, so
thanks for that Detroit Lions.
Goff closed the game out with a respectable 332 yards and 2 TDs while going 29/44.
Montgomery accumulated 71 yards on 15 carries and a TD, LaPorta had 47 yards on 5 receptions
and found his way into the endzone along with Reynolds getting only two receptions but one was
in the endzone. AMon Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond, and Jameson Williams 95 yards on 9
receptions, 90 yards on 5 catches, and 51 yards on 2 receptions, respectively. A win would’ve
been a lot cooler though.
If you’re worried about what happened on the defense, let me clue you in. Nothing, we did
nothing. No sacks, maybe a QB pressure here and there, but ultimately nothing. Against the
Packers, we did nothing, pretty pathetic if you ask me.
Now the Lions still have one of the best teams in the NFC, are on top of the NFC North, and
have one of the best records in the NFL. However, this loss raises even more concerns for Lions
fans. With mine being, can we win a playoff game with this team? With how the defense played,
that is still up in the air.
The boys in blue head to New Orleans to play the Saints this week Sunday at 1:00. Hopefully
they can get back on track since we have three divisional games coming up in these last six
games. Keep in mind, two of those games are against the Minnesota Vikings who are just two
games back from sharing the North with the Lions. Regardless, the Saints are on a two game
losing streak with their last loss coming from the Falcons who we beat in week 3 so I’m liking
our chances.

The Saints wide receiver room is empty thanks to injuries so hopefully the defense will have
their get back game. If they don’t, I have no idea how clear a signal has to be to Brad Holmes for
him to find guys to make this defense better. We didn’t do it in free agency and that was a crime,
so I don’t know what he’s looking for at this point. If we lose this week then hit the panic button,
but I don’t think that it’ll happen.
Lions by a million and sip the blue Kool-aid. You already know the formalities, the Detroit
takeover resumes this Sunday. Don’t take part, take over.

 

Lions head to New Orleans to take on the Saints this Sunday at 1:00pm.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

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Rollover accident on US-131 leaves 74-year-old driver and 73-year-old passenger injured

On Sunday, Nov. 26 at 9:12 A.M., deputies from Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a single motor vehicle rollover.

The incident occurred on US-131 at mile marker 146. The two occupants, one 73-year-old female and one 74-year-old male out of Paris, Michigan were involved in the incident.

The 74-year-old male was transported by Mecosta County EMS to Corewell Health in Big Rapids for non life threatening injuries. Deputies were assisted by Big Rapids Fire, Mecosta County EMS, Meceola Central Dispatch, and Big Rapids Towing.

MDHHS seeking proposals for student internship stipend program to enhance behavioral health workforce

As part of the state’s continuing commitment to improving access to behavioral health services for Michigan’s families, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) on behalf of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to establish a program that will provide stipends for student interns in Michigan’s public behavioral health system. 

The Internship Stipend Program seeks to increase the availability of behavioral health services across the State of Michigan by incentivizing internship opportunities for college students. People will be eligible for stipends if they are working toward behavioral health credentials from an accredited program and interning at approved sites in Michigan. 

Organizations with expertise in or experience with internship programs or Michigan’s behavioral health care organizations are encouraged to bid on this RFP. 

The submission date for this RFP is 1:50 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30. Proposals must be submitted electronically through the SIGMA Vendor Self-Service (VSS) system. To bid on solicitations, vendors must first be registered with SIGMA VSS. There is no charge to register. 

For additional information on how to register and obtain a VSS account to bid on open solicitations, please visit DTMB – How to Register as a Vendor (michigan.gov). The program period tentatively begins the first quarter of 2024. 

DTMB anticipates issuing one award. DTMB reserves the right to change mandatory minimum requirements, dates or any other information deemed necessary. 

#7 Ferris State returns from Thanksgiving holiday with big Monday matchup at Lewis

The Ferris State University men's basketball squad, which was ranked seventh in the nation this past week, returns from the Thanksgiving holiday break with a regional road contest at Lewis University on Monday (Nov. 29) evening in Romeoville, Ill.

The Bulldogs and the Flyers will square off at LU's Neil Carey Arena with tipoff set for 8 p.m. (ET).

Monday night's contest will be carried live by local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with online coverage available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Rob Bentley will call the play-by-play action beginning with the pregame show starting at 7:30 p.m. Lewis will provide a live pay-per-view video stream and live internet statistics at LewisFlyers.com.

The Bulldogs are currently 4-1 overall this year and coming off a close 71-68 home regional setback to McKendree this past Wednesday (Nov. 22) night at Jim Wink Arena. Meanwhile, Lewis is 1-2 to date this season and dropped an 84-72 road decision in its most recent action on Nov. 18 against Wayne State in Detroit.

Last season, the Bulldogs dominated the Flyers in a 97-73 triumph on New Year's Eve at Jim Wink Arena. The Flyers, though, won the most recent matchup in Romeoville in the longstanding series by a 90-85 count two years ago (11/20/21). FSU is 2-10 all-time versus Lewis in Romeoville.

Overall, Lewis has claimed three of the last four series' matchups and leads the all-time series by a 14-9 count. The two teams have played each other each season since 2009-10 with the exception of the 2020-21 campaign that was impacted by COVID.

Following Monday night's tilt, the Bulldogs will return home to host Grace Christian on Saturday (Dec. 2) in Big Rapids starting at 3 p.m. (ET) before opening Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on the road at Purdue Northwest on Dec. 7 and Parkside on Dec. 9.

Giving Tuesday around the corner in Mecosta County this week

Coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 28, is Mecosta County’s Community Giving Day. This special day is an opportunity for community members to support various non-profit organizations and learn more about their missions, visions, and volunteering opportunities.

“This event is not just something done locally,” Laura Currie said about the event. “It’s national thing. We do Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which Community Giving Day is just in time to show that generosity and philanthropy.”

The event is a collaborative effort by three significant Big Rapids groups: Big Rapids Eagles, Big Rapids Lions Club, and Rotary Club of Big Rapids. Tuesday’s event is being held at the Big Rapids Eagles on 16 Mile Rd from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

As one that participates in many different organizations, Lion’s Club member Dave Hamelund says the partnerships and collaborations made on days like this is “special.”

“Between the Lions, the Rotary, and the Eagles, all three organizations (come) together to help make this community what it is,” Hamelund said. “This is what makes Mecosta County a place we want to live.”

When asked what visiting participants can expect, Hamlund said there will be plenty of opportunities for people to navigate all the tables, meet organizational members, and learn more about what they do.

“The public is welcome to command and navigate that enables them to talk to as many as they want,” Hamelund said. “(Non-profits) bring their staff and whatever information they want to share to the different people. There's no pressure at all and it's a wonderful gathering of community.”

Over 40 different groups are slated to attend the event, including Angels of Action, Project Starburst, Mid-Michigan Honor Flight, Youth for Christ, and Area 5 Special Olympics. A full list of participating organizations can be found at: https://wbrn.com/community/calendar/20231128/details/.

This is the fourth year of the event, in which was held virtually on a Facebook live stream due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In her third year helping, Laura Currie of Meceola Comfort Home says the projected numbers this year are “huge” and she is excited to see the event continually grow.

“There's a much bigger push for in-person and just bringing back that community. I think there's so much more community relationship that's built when you have those in-person interactions.”

Lunch will also be served at the event. For more information, visit http://communitygivingday.org/.

Kent County Sheriff's Office investigates fatal crash in Plainfield TWP

Just after 8:30 P.M. Thursday night, a Volkswagen Jetta was traveling northbound on Jericho Ave near Peter Creek Dr. The driver lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle left the roadway, striking a tree.

The driver, a 19-year-old female from Plainfield TWP suffered serious injuries and was transported to an area hospital. The passenger, an 18-year-old female from Grand Rapids was pronounced deceased as a result of the crash.  

The Kent County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit is continuing to look at data and evidence collected from the crash to help determine events leading up to it and any contributing factors. 

On the Road Again: Ferris State student Vinny Short's internship takes him behind the scenes of the music business touring with Dailey & Vincent

Vinny Short headed to Nashville, Tenn. two weekends a month last summer to hop on a tour bus with the band Dailey & Vincent and travel across the country selling merchandise, preparing music charts, recording audio and video liners, and performing other duties to help the band on the road. 

For Short, a student in Ferris State University’s Public Relations program, the experience was both thrilling and grueling – a fantastic internship to get a peek behind the scenes of the music business.  

When on tour, “You average only a couple hours of sleep per night, you live off venue catering and gas station food, and by the end of a weekend, you feel exhausted.” 

But Short also gained valuable connections to the music industry, connecting with publicists of Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Morgan Wallen, Eric Church, and George Strait. 

He graduated from high school in 2020, and started at Eastern Michigan University before deciding the campus and curriculum were not the right fit.  

He enrolled at Ferris State in fall 2022 and quickly bloomed into leadership roles on campus. 

With his passion for performance arts, Short navigated toward the Music and Entertainment Business registered student organization, the Music and Entertainment Business Association, becoming the group’s director of External Relations.  

“MEBA was going to save my life and make my life,” he said. “I saw the beauty in every person I came across in that program, and for the first time, I felt like I was a part of something.” 

He is now studying for a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.   

Short was inspired to make a change when he was introduced to the Public Relations program in the PR Principles class and the professor who teaches the program, Dr. Patrick Bishop. He was inspired to make a major change.  

“I fell in love with PR and put two and two together by doing PR in the music industry,” he said. 

Short also became the Programming chair and Publicity chair of Entertainment Unlimited, the registered student organization responsible for on-campus events such as concerts, comedians, and festivals.  

He also is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Ferris State chapter of a national organization focusing on student advancement, networking, and development. 

Short took a Music and Culture class with professor Daniel Cronk during his first semester at Ferris State and enjoyed staying after class to talk music. The conversation was often sparked from the band on his t-shirt and would wander to Cronk's vast music entertainment experiences.  

Cronk asked Short if he would be interested in learning more about the music business through an summer job in the tour industry and connected him with a Ferris State alumnus working for Morris Higham Management, a Nashville-based artist management firm. 

He was offered an intern position as the official tour assistant and merchandise seller for Dailey & Vincent, a band that plays a mix of bluegrass, gospel, and country.  

Experiences ranged from watching Billy Ray Cyrus rehearsing while backstage at the Grand Ole Opry to selling his parents t-shirt when they came for a show at the historic Ryman Auditorium.  

Short said he had a fantastic experience and learned a lot during his tour but is excited to be studying public relations to work in the music industry.

He’s still making connections. Short was thrilled to receive a call from his alumnus contact in early October, asking him to work an additional three shows. He was flown to Nashville and toured with Dailey & Vincent to Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri, resuming his previous duties. Short’s hard work, passion, and attitude have his Nashville contact consistently asking when he graduates. 

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (11/13 - 11/19)

Monday, November 13

  • Disorderly – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a disorderly person who was suicidal. The subject was transported to Reed City Hospital for a mental evaluation.
  • Fail to Pay – Officers were dispatched for a fail to pay at a local business. The incident remains under investigation.

Tuesday, November 14

  • Assist – Officers assisted CPS while they investigated a child abuse case.
  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched for a two car accident. There were no injuries and both cars were drivable.

Wednesday, November 15

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, November 16

  • Traffic Stop –  Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. The driver was found to be operating while intoxicated. The driver was arrest and lodged.

Friday, November 17

  • Personal Injury Accident – Officers were dispatched for a vehicle versus pedestrian personal injury accident. The pedestrian was transported to Reed City Hospital for serious injuries. 

Saturday, November 18

  • Personal Injury Accident – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office with a 2-vehicle accident involving multiple injuries. 

Sunday, November 19

  • Nothing reported.

Rep. Borton urges hunters to focus on harvesting does

State Rep. Ken Borton is joining a chorus of state officials in calling on outdoorsmen to focus on doe hunting this year. Officials have been sounding the alarm about a concerning rise in deer populations. Overpopulation can lead to damaged crops, widespread disease, and increased car accidents.

“Too many deer can become dangerous for Michigan,” said Borton, R-Gaylord. “Hunters are Michigan’s first line of defense for conserving our environment. This year, we're asking them to let a couple big bucks walk and focus on the does.”

State officials have reported mounting annual decreases in Michigan hunters. This, paired with a growing trophy hunting mindset, has led to deer overpopulations. Officials said hunters focusing on adult female deer could help manage the overpopulation.

“We’ve all seen the growing number of deer dead at the side of the road,” Borton said. “This comes as farmers report increased damage to their crops. It’s time for outdoorsmen to step up and embrace Michigan’s conservationist history. Everyday hunters are the best way for the state to get this problem under control.”

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (11/13 - 11/19)

Monday, November 13

Calls for Service: 19

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, November 14

Calls for Service: 11

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

 

Wednesday, November 15

  • At 1927 hours, deputies responded to a domestic assault complaint at a residence in Martiny TWP. A female subject was arrested for domestic assault. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 20

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Thursday, November 16

Calls for Service: 20

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Friday, November 17

  • At 1105 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Colfax TWP. The traffic stop resulted in a female passenger being arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail. 

  • At 1351 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject was arrested on 2 warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 27

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

 

Saturday, November 18

Calls for Service: 20

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Sunday, November 19

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Cost of Thanksgiving dinner down slightly from last year's record high

Gathering around the table for a Thanksgiving dinner will cost less this year compared to 2022, but the meal still reflects historically high costs. The American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 38th annual survey provides a snapshot of the average cost of this year’s classic holiday feast for 10, which is $61.17 or less than $6.20 per person. 

This is a 4.5% decrease from last year’s record-high average of $64.05, but a Thanksgiving meal is still 25% higher than it was in 2019, which highlights the impact high supply costs and inflation have had on food prices since before the pandemic.

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – helped bring down the overall cost of dinner. The average price for a 16-pound turkey is $27.35. That is $1.71 per pound, down 5.6% from last year.

“Turkey makes up most of the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” said Michigan Farm Bureau Senior Industry Relations Specialist Ernie Birchmeier. “Thanks to a major drop in cases of avian influenza, which has allowed production to increase in time for the holiday, families will see lower turkey prices this year.”

According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys declined further during the second week of November. Consumers who have not yet purchased a turkey may find additional savings in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

"While prices are still higher than in some recent years, America continues to have one of the world’s most affordable food supplies," said Michigan Farm Bureau Lead Economist Loren Koeman. 

"However, the pressures of inflation are impacting farmers, who see an average of just 14 cents of each dollar spent on food. It’s critical that Congress makes a commitment to passing a new, modernized farm bill to provide a safety net for those who raise the crops and livestock that make our Thanksgiving meals possible."

The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty of leftovers.

Individual Prices

  • 16-pound turkey: $27.35 or $1.71 per pound (down 5.6%)
  • 14-ounces of cubed stuffing mix: $3.77 (down 2.8%)
  • 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.50 (down 4.9%)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $1.73 (down 22.8%)
  • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.88 (down 1.1%)
  • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.84 (up 2.9%)
  • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.95 (down 4.4%)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.44 (up 3.7%)
  • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.74 (down 2.6%)
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.97 (up .3%)
  • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): $.90 (up 2.3%)
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.10 (down 18.3%)

"Farmers are price takers, not price makers, and are not able to set the prices that they sell their commodities for," Koeman noted. "For example, while the cost of dinner rolls is up 2.9%, the price of the wheat used to make those rolls fell more than 20% compared to a year ago."

This year’s national average cost was calculated using 245 surveys completed with pricing data from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers checked prices Nov. 1-6, before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices.

The AFBF Thanksgiving dinner survey was first conducted in 1986. The informal survey provides a record of comparative holiday meal costs over the years.

Ferris State Softball inks first early signing class under Coach Jake Schumann

The Ferris State University softball squad has landed six prep student-athletes as part of head coach Jake Schumann's first early signing class with the Bulldogs.

All six signees will join the FSU program as freshmen in the fall of 2024.

The early signing class includes shortstop Jayden Marlatt (Johannesburg-Lewiston), outfielder Breanna Blair (Thornton, Solo./Mountain Range), outfielder Braleigh Miller (Gaylord), catcher Addison Wangler (Gaylord), utility player Kaelinn Jozsa (Muskegon Oakridge) along with utility player Bailey McCalister (Allen Park).

The Bulldogs concluded the 2023 season with their most wins in seven years under Schumann's direction. FSU reached the GLIAC Tournament this past season and finished in the top four of the league standings during regular-season play. Ferris State finished regular-season play last year by winning three of its last four contests and five of the final eight games overall.

Below is a biographical sketch on each Bulldog signee:

Jayden Marlatt; Johannesburg-Lewiston HS (SS)

Two-Time First Team All-State and the Ski Valley Player of the Year … Hit .670 as a junior with 13 home runs and 61 RBI's … Posted a 19-1 pitching mark with a 1.32 ERA and 234 strikeouts in 117 innings … Three-time player of the year in volleyball and is in the state record books for kills … Three-time member of the Gaylord Herald Times Dream Team in softball, basketball and volleyball.

Why Ferris?: "I chose Ferris because of the atmosphere around the college and how welcoming the coaches are to make it feel like home, and their integrity to build the softball program to its best abilities."

Coach Schumann's Comments: "Jayden might be the best overall athlete I have seen in 20 years. She is a generational talent that will make an immediate impact in our lineup. There is no limit to what Jayden will be able to accomplish in her college career based on her athleticism."

Breanna Blair; Thornton, CO; Mountain Range HS (OF)

First Team All-State in Colorado … Named MaxPreps/NFCA National Player of the Week in the fall … State Champion Welder

Coach Schumann's Comments: "Bre has a natural smooth swing that will translate well to the college game. She has plus speed and arm talent which will enable her to compete for a starting outfield position. Bre is a tough nosed, no-nonsense player that will add to our changing culture."

Braleigh Miller; Gaylord HS (OF)

State Champion … Tied the state championship record for hits in a game with four … Two-Time all-region and academic all-state selection.

Why Ferris?: "I felt comfortable on campus immediately. I clicked with the coaching staff and the girls quickly and wanted to be a part of a spectacular rebuild."

Coach Schumman's comments: "Braleigh is a ball hawk that can put them up and put them down on the basepaths. Her style of play works perfectly on what we are trying to do offensively, which is always put pressure on the defense. Braleigh is one of three Gaylord Blue Devils we will have from their 2023 state championship team. Changing culture with players that know how to win is essential for our growth and Braleigh is bringing that to Big Rapids."

Addison Wangler; Gaylord HS (C)

State Champion … All-Conference … Three-Time Academic All-State honoree.

Why Ferris?: "I chose Ferris because of the positive atmosphere and because I see myself with a bright future there."

Coach Schumann's comments: "Addison is a wall behind the plate with a plus arm. She brings a championship mentality to a position that requires leadership and accountability. Addison will add the depth we need at the catcher position and provide us with the competition we are looking for everyday at practice."

Kaelinn Jozsa; Muskegon Oakridge HS (UTL)

All-State Honorable Mention as a junior … National Honor Society member and All-Conference Scholar Athlete in all three of her sports … Conference and District Champion.

Why Ferris?: "I chose Ferris because the campus is beautiful, everything is within walking distance, and it felt like the perfect home for me for the next four years."

Coach Schumann's comments: "I had the privilege of coaching K JO when she was a freshman. She can really do it all. She pitches for OHS, plays shortstop and carries a huge bat, along with the ability to play in the outfield. Kaelinn will come here as a true utility player. Being able to do it all at this level gives her the opportunity to earn playing time at different positions."

Bailey McCalister; Allen Park HS (UTL)

State Champion in softball … All-District honoree … Varsity starter for four years in softball and volleyball … Claimed volleyball All-District, All-Region, and News Herald Dream Team honors …
Academic All-State in both sports the last three years … Served as a Student Council and Link Crew Representative.

Why Ferris?: "I chose Ferris because of the amazing culture not only found on campus, but within the team. They are built on strong standards and want each player to reach their best potential. Ferris also provides me with great academic opportunities to advance in my future career of wanting to become a Physician's Assistant."

Coach Schumann's Comments: "Bailey is yet another athlete that brings versatility and a championship mindset to our program. Her ability to play a corner infield and outfield is invaluable at the college level. I look for Bailey to make immediate strides and to push our players to the next level."

Both Bulldog basketball teams earn top-11 ranks nationally in Division II

Ferris State soared into the Division II rankings this week behind unbeaten weeks in regional road action. Not only did both teams reach nationally top-25 marks, but they are the only school in DII with both squads represented by top-11 teams.

 

Men's Basketball registers #7 ranking in DII table

The Ferris State University men's basketball squad, which is off to a 4-0 start this year, is ranked seventh in the nation this week by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in the Division II poll.

The Bulldogs are also listed eighth in the country this week in the D2CSC National Media Rankings.

Ferris State, which was not ranked in the NABC poll last week, moved into the top 10 nationally after staying unbeaten with a pair of wins. Three of the Bulldogs' four wins to date this year have come against NCAA D2 regional competition.

This week's number seven national ranking in the NABC listing marks the Bulldogs' highest ranking in the poll since the end of the 2017-18 campaign when FSU won the school's first NCAA Division II National Championship.

In this week's rankings, the Bulldogs totaled 236 total points. Nova Southeastern (Fla.) holds down the top spot with 400 total points followed by West Liberty, Central Oklahoma, Cal-State San Bernardino and Chico State in the top five. Saint Martin's (Wash.) was sixth in front of FSU. Ferris State is the lone Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) squad found in the nation's top 25 and one of only three from the Midwest Region along with Ashland (#18) and Walsh (#23).

In the D2CSC poll, which is compiled by members of the College Sports Communicators (formerly known as College Sports Information Directors of America), the Bulldogs finished with 226 points and are among three Midwest Region teams also listed along with Ashland (#14) and Hillsdale (#24).

The Bulldogs will host McKendree in a regional showdown on Wednesday (Nov. 22) evening with tipoff set for 5:30 p.m. (ET) inside Jim Wink Arena.

 

Women's Basketball tallies #11 spot in national poll

On the other side, the Ferris State University women's basketball squad has vaulted nine spots in the first Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II National Rankings of the regular-season this week, coming in at a school all-time best #11 in the nation overall.

The Bulldogs, who were ranked 20th in the WBCA Preseason National Rankings, moved up to 11th in the initial regular-season listing following an impressive 3-0 start this year, which has included three regional wins away from home.

This week's #11 national ranking in the WBCA poll is believed to be the program's highest national ranking ever in the poll, which dates back to the 1996-97 season. The Bulldogs have been ranked at least once in the national rankings each the past two seasons, including moving to as high as 19th early last season.

Prior to a year ago, FSU had not been ranked nationally in a decade since the 2011-12 campaign.

The Bulldogs are one of three teams from the Midwest Region ranked in the top 11 in the country this week with Ashland holding down the nation's top spot followed by Grand Valley State at number two overall. Catawba, Assumption and Central Missouri round out the top five with West Chester, Union, Bentley, Texas Woman's University and Montana State-Billings in the second five in front of FSU.

Ferris State is slated to next play its home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 29, versus Spring Arbor inside Jim Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (11/13 - 11/19)

Monday, November 13

  • Officers were dispatched to two car/deer crashes. In each crash there was no injuries and minor damage.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding a street sign being down on the ground.
  • Officers were called to the hospital regarding a patient who has been discharged and was causing a disturbance.

Tuesday, November 14

  • An officer responded to a call regarding someone sitting out in the cold with belongings that looked like they needed assistance. After making contact the man stated he had just sat down to rest. The officer transported the individual to a safe place.
  • An officer responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle in front of a house. It was determined the vehicle had run out of gas and was waiting for assistance.
  • An officer assisted OCSD locating a vehicle that was reported stolen. The vehicle was recovered without any issues.
  • Officers took a report of underage criminal sexual conduct. The matter is under investigation.

Wednesday, November 15

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, November 16

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, November 17

  • Officers were dispatched to a matter involving bank fraud and the use of a counterfeit passport. The matter is under investigation.
  • Officers were dispatched to a harassment complaint. The caller had gotten a new phone and received a call from an unknown number accusing her of stealing a package. The caller has already blocked the number.
  • Officers were dispatched to a teen not coming home from school on time. The teen was located and his probation officer advised.
  • Officers received a CPS referral regarding a possible relationship between an adult male and teen girl. The matter is under investigation.
  • Officers were requested to check the well being of two children after their mother had not returned them after visitation. All was well.
  • While patrolling an officer noticed an unlocked door. The property was checked and secured.

Saturday, November 18

  • An officer took a report of a deceased dog. It is believed the neighbor’s dog may have done it. The matter is under investigation.

Sunday, November 19

  • Officers were dispatched to a possible domestic assault in progress. Upon arrival and speaking with the woman at the house it was determined to have been a loud verbal argument.

Ferris State's Nov. 28 Giving Tuesday efforts focused on Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance to support students, strengthen retention

Ferris State University’s featured Giving Tuesday 2023 efforts focus on supporting students facing food and housing insecurity. 

Ferris State’s Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance’s mission is rooted in its commitment to student academic and personal success to remain on track to earn their degree by providing emergency assistance to students facing housing and food challenges that could hinder their higher education goals. At any given time, 30 to 60 percent of students have experienced a food or housing challenge. 

This year’s Giving Tuesday, taking place after Thanksgiving on Tuesday, Nov. 28, Ferris State is calling on people who would like to support student success to consider a gift to the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance. 

“Everyone knows the story of the starving college student,” said Maggie Walcott, the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance chair. “It’s kind of this societally accepted idea that when you go to college, you’re going to couch surf, or you’re going to eat ramen three times a day. The problem with that idea is that when a student doesn’t know where they’re going to sleep that night or when their next meal is going to come, it is more difficult for them to be successful. It is absolutely a theft of their potential.” 

Emergency student assistance depends on multiple factors but can provide need-based meal access to campus dining areas – called “swipes” on campus -- short-term housing assistance and other food or housing help. To be eligible, students must be a current Ferris State student on the Big Rapids campus and demonstrate an unmet financial need that has or could cause food or housing insecurity. 

Beyond fulfilling short-term needs, the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance focuses on connecting students with the resources for long-term solutions to pursue a sustainable model for student success. 

Supporting the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance can be monetary or made through donating time to assist with a swipe drive or grant writing. People interested in volunteering to help the cause can reach out to the committee by email at bbna@ferris.eduTo donate to the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance, visit our Mobile Cause site, or by texting BBNA to 41444. 

Walcott also shared that she is “really proud of the program's work for our students. There is something magical about supporting a student who felt out of options. Without department or grant funding, we have to work hard to move the BBNA forward and we are honored that Ferris would choose us as this year’s featured cause.” 

Anyone interested in donating a meal can contact Dining Services to designate one or more specifically to the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance. Donated meals are allocated to the swipe fund. Individuals with meal plans can donate unused meal wipes by contacting Dining Services. 

Click Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance to learn more, including seeing frequently asked questions, local food resources and more.

While Ferris State annually highlights one cause, donors offering support can choose to dedicate their funds to any of the more than 2,100 existing funds at the university. 

Giving Tuesday, which dates back to 2012, is a global movement aimed at giving support to people in need. The original concept was a day to encourage people to perform good deeds to help people in need. Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to support local organizations, community organizers, perform acts of kindness, outreach to people in need and more. 

Joe's Takes: Lions come alive late in comeback win over Chicago

I have never been so equally happy and upset at a football game in my entire life, than I was for this past Sunday with the Lions 31-26 win against the Bears. From an abysmal three quarter effort from Jared Goff and company, to what looked like a Super Bowl winning team in the fourth quarter, I can confidently say that the Lions have been doing numbers to my blood pressure.
In all seriousness though, The Lions got lucky with this win. The only reason we won, and the only reason we nearly lost was because of Jared Goff. The guy threw three picks, almost four, and took away so much momentum that could’ve propelled the Lions to a greater win margin.
But you know what they say, doesn’t matter how it gets cooked, as long as it looks good on the plate.
The game started with an opening drive touchdown for the Bears, where Fields showed with his legs and threw the ball well. They finished it off with a hand off to D’Onta Foreman, which was one of his only looks at the ball all day. Chicago couldn’t capatilize on two interceptions on back to back drives which allowed the Lions to even the score at seven early in the second quarter with a shove play to Jahmyr Gibbs to the near side pylon.
The rest of the second quarter saw Fields march down the field to about the Lions 21-yard line where they’d settle for a field goal. I must say, Cairo Santos, the Bears’ kicker is automatic and it made me want to pull my hair out. But they can have their field goal, as a few big runs from Gibbs set up a 7-yard TD pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown to put the Lions ahead 14-10.
The good times didn’t last, because Khalif Raymond can’t hold onto a football when he returns a kick and gifted the Bears the ball at the Lions 40-yard line. It only took them 3 plays to go and score on a bomb connection between Fields and DJ Moore, and once again I was not mad, just severely disappointed the we were down 20-14 late in the 3rd. But guess what, it gets better, because right after that Jared Goff threw another interception and all I could do was smile through the pain.
Chicago would go onto another field goal to extend their lead 26-14. The Lions got the ball with less than five minutes to go, and one thing I know for certain is that there is only three quarterbacks that I would trust my life with to get a touchdown with not a lot of time on the clock, and that’s Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Jared Thomas Goff. Quickly, Goff and Jameson WIlliams connected with a huge 32-yard touchdown catch and just like that the Lions are a touchdown back at 26-21.

The defense came up with a huge stop, mainly because of a Justin Fields overthrow on third down, but it gave a chance for the offense to get the team back in front. Smart throws to St.
Brown, Sam LaPorta and aggressive runs from Gibbs and David Montgomery got the Lions within a yard of the end zone. Montgomery would get the ball and put the nail in the coffin against his former team, and LaPorta would sneak his way into the back of the endzone for a successful two point conversion, 29-26 Lions lead.
Then, in need of the biggest stop of the game, Aidan Hutchinson, who hasn’t gotten a sack or really any defensive productivity in the past four games, powers his way into Justin Fields, and knocks the ball away. Bears’ offensive lineman Darnell Wright kicked it into the back of the endzone and that was it for the game. Needless to say, I was jumping up and down in my living room when that happened.
Yes, Jared Goff turned it on at the end to lead the Lions down the field, but if you want to talk about who really won us this game, it was hands down the defense. Alim McNeil came up with a huge sack that gave the team much needed momentum since it held the Bears to a field goal.
Hutchinson, who keep in mind has been playing nothing like himself the past few weeks, waited for some late game theatrics when he strip sacked Fields and forced a safety to lock the win for the Lions.
Let’s be honest here, all of the analysts and fairweather fans are thinking that since we’re on an 8-2 start for the first time since 1962, we’re sitting top two in the league behind Philadelphia.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re a good football team, but with how we’ve been playing the past two or three weeks, I don’t see us making it out of the second round of playoffs.
However, with Thanksgiving coming up, we’re on the short week since we play Green Bay on turkey day at Ford Field. The Packers are fresh off of a close win against the Chargers, but I don’t know if they’ll be able to handle the raucous environment of Detroit on Thursday.
Hopefully you’ll have the TV on after Thankgiving dinner, your belly will be full, a cold one will be in your hand, and your feet will be kicked up to watch the Lions roll the Packers.
Keep sipping the blue Kool-aid ladies and gentlemen. The brand new Lions will be enjoying a hearty helping of turducken at the end of the day. Lions by a million.

 

Lions host the Packers on Thanksgiving at 12:30pm.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

The Lions are brought to you by Michigan ADAS Calibrations and Glass: when your windshield needs replacing, the experts at Michigan ADAS not only replace the glass, they also recalibrate the cameras your car depends on to keep you safe.

Trust the expert at Michigan ADAS Calibrations

Detroit Lions Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 11/20/2023

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

November 20, 2023        

Opening Statement: “Just, from yesterday, the – we talked about it last night, but you dig yourself in a hole with turnovers, but really, one of the reasons we were able to win that too, our defense put out the fires. I mean, that was – four turnovers and two of those in plus-territory. They did score on one of them, but we hold one to a field goal. We had a takeaway on the other one and we force a punt on the very first one of the game. So, if that doesn’t happen, any one of those doesn’t happen, we don’t get back in that. So, I thought our defense did some really good things and that was the biggest part of that. And then certainly at the end of the game, that sequence with just under four minutes was pretty big, so.”

On if the quick turnaround for this Thursday’s game is easier this year because they will be facing a divisional opponent they have already played this season: “Yeah, it does just because you have common knowledge of what they do and then you just – as you watch the tape, you want to see how much of it still lines up and their personnel, but they have the same thing on us too, we’ve said that. So, I guess if anything, it’s a little easier on both of us, but – from that regard. But then you can’t overthink it and you can’t underthink it because you don’t – you’ve got to have just enough wrinkles to make sure you’re not a sitting duck, but yet, you don’t want to do so much that you slow your own guys down and they’re not able to play fast, so that’s kind of the balance.”

On what he has seen from the Packers’ defense since they played them in September: “There’s a lot. And look, they’re going to be pretty much what they’re going to be. (Packers Defensive Coordinator) Joe Barry’s done a really good job. He’s a hell of a coordinator and he’ll have a little something for us, he does for everybody, but they’re going to play their solid defense and – because they’ve been pretty good at it. I mean, they’ve got good personnel and they do, they play good defense, they have all year and they have since he’s been there, so we have to be ready. They move a lot, they stunt a lot, there’s enough pressure in there. I mean, (Packers LB Rashan) Gary’s playing well. (Packers DL Kenny) Clark is always a force in there, (Packers LB) Quay Walker, I mean these guys are – (Packers LB) Preston (Smith)’s out doing a pretty job over there, so. It’s a challenge, like every week.”

On what he thinks Packers QB Jordan Love will do better this game compared to their last contest in September: “Yeah, I just think it’s – he’s connecting on some of these throws, man. He’s – I feel like he’s always been pretty poised, really. Just some of these connections haven’t – they haven’t been able to connect on some of these critical moments. I feel like he’s making those. He just – he looks pretty composed. He’s certainly, he’s athletic enough, he’s got a big arm talent. And the run game has helped them with that as well, just for what they’re able to do and what they want to do, so I would say they’re executing, he’s executing.”

On if the balance between the run and the pass game will change with Packers RB Aaron Jones potentially being out this Thursday: “Yeah, I mean I think they’re still going to want to – I think, for the most part, they’re no different than anybody else. They’ll have these principles with what they do in the run game and the play-pass off of it, to boot off of it and even if it keeps you honest, they’re going to want to do some of that. Now, I think more importantly, man our thing – we can’t give up explosives. So, kind of to your point, yeah, that could be something you come out and then eventually, if you’re able to get some explosive in the pass game, then it’s going to open your run game up. I think that’s the big thing for us is man, we’ve got to play this top-down. We can’t give up any of these chunk plays because they are having some success with those.”

On the difference between his preparation for this Thanksgiving game compared to the last two he has coached: “No, honestly, no. It’s really pretty similar to what we’ve done since year one. I mean, there’s only so much you can do, right, as far as practice. So they came in, they got a lift, we met with them, kind of give them an intro to Green Bay and then we’re going to have a walkthrough here in a little bit, about an hour, a little over. And then get them out of here, get them off their feet, let them rest, because that’s big since they just played yesterday. And then come back in tomorrow, they’ll get a lot of more of the gameplan, the base, the third down and then we’ll have another walkthrough. So, it’s been really status quo, if you will, for the last couple of years.”

On what he thought of Lions OL Colby Sorsdal’s first start at left guard on Sunday against the Bears: “Yeah, look, I – some good and then some that will – wasn’t as good as you would like, but I – that was his first time to start over there at left guard and I say this again, it’s not too big for him. I thought he fought in there. I know this, at the end of that game, he really – he played well, as really all those guys on offense did. I mean, that was some of our best football we’ve played all year in the last four minutes of the game. They just – we executed at a high level and he really did, he stepped up and that’s a lot of pressure for a rookie to go in there first time at left guard and game’s on the line and thought he played pretty good. So, look, it’s something to build off of on that side. We believe he’ll get better with more reps. We believe he’ll continue to grow. So, it’s good.”

On why Lions QB Jared Goff is able to be successful in tough situations in games: “Well, I think just understanding the menu, the plays. These are things that, for the most part, we’ve had these for two years now. And we have a menu of, as all teams do, we have a pretty large menu of staple plays that we can get to by what coverage we think they’re going to play, or they major in, in two minutes, so this was that game by what they were doing. We had just some of these, line up and snap the ball and find the read, find the play, find your guy and he just – I think it’s having a guy that understands those plays, understands what they’re doing in the coverage, where’s your guy at? Where’s your best matchup? And doing that all by just keeping your composure and that’s what he did. I mean, he didn’t get frazzled by it. I thought he sat in the pocket and he made good decisions with the football and he was just comfortable, he was comfortable.”

On Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson saying he wants to return in a couple weeks: “Well, I want to talk to the doctor he’s talking to. No, listen, that’s – Deucey is – he’s an upbeat, positive, hard-working, will himself to – and that’s what we love about him. So, I don’t foresee that, but yet man I’m not going to – never say never, I’m not going to do that. So, he may have mutant genes. He’s like Wolverine. I mean, there’s no telling. But believe me, that would be unbelievable. But I just – I think it’ll be hard, but you never know.”

On if it will be hard for Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson to return from injury later on in the season: “Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll just have to see. I really, I think that timeline is a matter of how – it would be a very, very fast recovery. But I love where his head’s at and you’ve got to think that way and you’ve got to be positive because I think that does – that leads to quicker healing if you allow yourself to think that way.”

On how Lions S Kerby Joseph is able to be a dynamic playmaker while creating turnovers on cheap routes: “Yeah, I mean I think – some quarterbacks, as they go, and they’re watching the tape, they believe they can move you just with their head and eyes and feel like you’ll really react hard that way then they can use that, but I think it’s – Kerby’s a pretty smart player and that’s not always the case. He’s – Kerby is cerebral enough to understand when he’s being messed with, most of the time, and when he’s not. So, I’m not worried about that. There’s things that can come up, but this is something he’ll learn from. And I’ve also seen Kerby bait quarterbacks into doing some things they shouldn’t do, so that can go either way a little bit, but Kerby will be fine. He’ll be fine.”

On how Lions DL Alim McNeill has helped establish the defense’s core: “He’s playing big right now. He is – he’s having a really, really good season and I thought he really showed up last night. And he played physical. I thought he won his one-on-ones. Look, he and (Lions DL) Benito (Jones), (Lions DL Quinton) Bohanna yesterday, they’re taking on – they do all that dirty work in there in the run game. It all starts with them. And so, I mean you talk about doing the stuff that doesn’t really get noticed all the time. But then, he’s in there in a one-on-one and it transitions to play-pass, he’s winning these one-on-ones right now with violence and he’s able to shed the block and he’s really – he’s giving us some interior rush right now. And that’s all technique, effort and he’s maximizing his ability right now. So, he is a vital part of what we are and what we can be on defense. I mean, he’s – he is, he’s playing at a high level.”

On updates he has on Lions RB Craig Reynolds’s injury and other injuries coming out of yesterday’s game: “No, Reynolds is good. Really nothing to speak on, we came out pretty clean.”

On if they are hoping to get Lions G Jonah Jackson back this week from injury: “We’re hoping, we’re hoping. I mean, he’ll be out at walkthrough today, we’ll just have to gauge it.”

 

Lions host the Packers on Thanksgiving at 12:30pm.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

The Lions are brought to you by Michigan ADAS Calibrations and Glass: when your windshield needs replacing, the experts at Michigan ADAS not only replace the glass, they also recalibrate the cameras your car depends on to keep you safe.

Trust the expert at Michigan ADAS Calibrations

Reed City Police seeking public assistance regarding bank fraud investigation

The Reed City Police Department is asking for assistance regarding help with a current bank fraud case.

Seen below are three pictures of a person of interest in the investigation. It is believed that he may be from outside of the area.

Anyone with information as to his identity is asked to call the Reed City Police Department.

 

Big Rapids Police Announce "Season of Giving 2023"

Chief Danielle Haynes is proud to announce that the Big Rapids Police Department is hosting the fourth annual Season of Giving gift drive benefitting Family Bound of Mecosta County.

Family Bound assists foster, adoptive, and traditional families. The children's age ranges from newborn to 18. They give support to over 30 foster families in Mecosta County. Family Bound offers classes on becoming a foster family, emotional support, and behavioral issues. They work closely with DHHS and CMH.

The Season of Giving Gift Drive was launched by the Big Rapids Police Department in 2020. With the help of department members, residents, local businesses, and organizations, BRPD has donated more than 1000 gifts to children in need.

The holiday gift drive will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 A.M. to noon at The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, 435 N. Michigan Ave. Santa will be on-site to accept your donation and take pictures with you. Representatives from Family Bound will be on-site, as well, to answer questions if you are interested in becoming a foster parent. If you are unable to attend on Dec. 9, gifts can be dropped off at the office at 435 N Michigan Ave. from Monday through Friday between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M.

This event is being held in conjunction with Coffee with a Cop. Feel free to come in and grab a cup of coffee or cocoa and say hello to your local officers. This is a great opportunity to get to know us and support a great cause.

Please see the attached list of items that Family Bound needs.

 

General 

  • Gift Cards for Amazon, Walmart, Meijer, or any restaurant
  • Weighted Blankets
  • Books – nature, adventure tales, heroic stories

Clothing

  • Winter Gloves, Hats
  • Fuzzy Socks
  • Fun Socks
  • Sweatshirts

Personal Hygiene Items

  • Hairbrushes
  • Hair Ties – Scrunchies, wraps
  • Body Spray
  • Lotion
  • Nail Polish

Art Supplies

  • Craft Kits
  • Coloring Books
  • Crayons
  • Canvases
  • Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Diamond Art
  • Scrap Books
  • Picture Books
  • Sketch Pads (not spiral bound)
  • Glue Sticks
  • Playdough
  • Stickers

Games

  • Board Games
  • Card Games
  • Decks of Cards
  • Puzzles
  • Game Books

Sports Equipment

  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Fishing Kits
  • Sleds, Toboggans, Saucers

Tabletop games

  • Air Hockey
  • Ping Pong
  • Foosball
  • Basketball

Toys

  • Dolls
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Toy Trucks
  • Sand Equipment
  • Flashlights
  • Bubble lights – battery operated
  • Kites

For more information on the event, contact Officer William Sell at 231-527-0005 or wsell@bigrapidsdps.org. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent, please visit MICHIGAN.GOV/HOPEFORAHOME or call 1-855-MICHKIDS.

Scooter's Coffee® presents $277,032 donation to The Pink Agenda to support breast cancer awareness and life-saving research

Through a $277,032 check donation that was presented to The Pink Agenda today, Scooter’s Coffee will help the organization provide valuable resources such as funding for life-saving breast cancer research and raising awareness.

From Sept. 27- Oct. 31, and in connection with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, customers across the 30-state Scooter’s Coffee footprint supported this critical research by collectively purchasing 461,673 customer-favorite Courage Cookies and/or by adding a donation to their order—the donations and 20% of the cookie sales will directly support breast cancer research.

Since 2020, Scooter’s Coffee has donated nearly $676,000 to The Pink Agenda and sold more than 1 million Courage Cookies across its footprint. Due to significant progress in breast cancer research, there are more than 4 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

“For the fourth year in a row, we are so grateful for the direct and meaningful impact our partnership with Scooter’s Coffee has had on those fighting breast cancer,” said Serra Eken, Managing Director at The Pink Agenda. “This partnership helps fund groundbreaking research and care needed to save lives while raising awareness. We continue to strive to engage people today to find tomorrow’s cure.”

“We appreciate the unwavering support from our new and loyal customers as they rallied behind this cause. Our gratitude also extends to our dedicated franchisees and employees who made this important initiative happen.

To The Pink Agenda – thank you – for your dedication and incredible work to end this disease,” said Bill Black, Chief Community Officer at Scooter’s Coffee. “We take immense pride once again in partnering with The Pink Agenda to join in the fight against breast cancer. Courage is an important core value at our company, and we extend heartfelt compassion to those battling breast cancer as they show incredible courage every day.”

The Pink Agenda funds four major research projects through its strategic partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). These projects aim to: improve survivorship and treatment approaches; eliminate disparities in access to care in ethnically diverse communities; investigate risk factors to inform preventative strategies; and understand genetic risks.

Ferris State Volleyball knocks off rival Grand Valley State to claim third straight GLIAC tourney title

The Ferris State University women's volleyball squad captured the 2023 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship on Sunday (Nov. 19), beating West Michigan rival Grand Valley State 3-1 at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale.

Ferris State claimed the tournament crown in the title match, rallying from an early deficit for the victory. FSU dropped the first set 25-18, but responded with wins of 25-22 in the second, 27-25 in the third and 25-22 in the fourth.

The GLIAC Tournament Championship is the Bulldogs' 10th in program history and the ninth in the last 10 seasons of action. This year also marks the 19th time in school history in which Ferris State has won either the league's regular-season title, tournament championship or both in a campaign.

By winning the league's tournament title, FSU also earned the GLIAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament in two weeks.

The Bulldogs were led by Olivia Henneman-Dallape's team-high 16 kills in the contest. She added seven digs and three block assists. Meanwhile, Claire Nowicki tallied 15 kills and 15 digs with three block assists and a service ace in the win.

Both Nowicki and Henneman-Dallape were named to the GLIAC All-Tournament Team with Nowicki chosen as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

Additionally, junior setter Kaylee Maat contributed 39 assists and 13 digs with three block assists and two aces in the triumph. Middle hitter Syann Fairfield tallied eight kills and three assists at the net with libero Leah Bylut notching 15 digs on the day.

The Bulldogs finished the match with 49 kills and 18 attack errors on 160 attempts. In addition, FSU finished the contest with 67 digs, 22 assisted blocks, six aces and a solo block.

For Grand Valley State, both Jordyn Gates and Sarah Wight finished with 14 kills and Kendall Stover totaled 12 kills. Stover also had 21 digs while Gates had 24 digs. The Lakers hit .224 overall with 65 kills on 174 attempts, but also had 26 attack errors. GVSU totaled 89 digs to go with five aces, four block assists and two solo blocks in addition to 12 service mistakes.

Ferris State, which beat GVSU for the second time in three matchups this season, improved to 25-7 overall this season. The GLIAC Tournament Championship was FSU's third in a row as the Bulldogs have claimed the postseason title each season since 2014 with the exception of the 2020 COVID season that was played in the spring of 2021.

The official announcement of the NCAA Tournament selections will take place on Monday (Nov. 20) evening starting at 7:30 p.m. (ET) via a live webcast at NCAA.com. Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional postseason information as it becomes available.

Adam Antor, a faculty member in Ferris State's Esports Program, nominated for Global Impact on Collegiate Gaming Award

Ferris State assistant professor Adam Antor is being honored for having a transformative impact on collegiate gaming, recognizing the growing national leadership of the university’s esports team and program.

Antor is one of nine people nominated for the Global Impact on Collegiate Gaming Award from the Scholars, a collegiate gaming symposium. The organization was created by the team behind the Esports Awards, which showcases top-class performance and innovation from players, teams, media, hardware providers, games, events, and personalities within the esports world.

The Global Impact Award honors an individual or organization that has had a transformative impact on the collegiate gaming scene.

“Their work will have made the collegiate gaming scene a better place for everyone involved, and they will have achieved this leading by example and showing the highest level of integrity and professionalism,” reads a statement posted by the organization.

Esports, short for electronic sports, is a video game competition 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.

Ferris State’s Esports Program is up for three other national awards from the organization, including Institution of the Year. Jono Eaton is among nine finalists for Program Director of the Year and Kyle Wilkowski is among 11 finalists for Collegiate Student Leader of the Year. Online voting runs through Nov. 20, 2023, and available at the Scholars website.

“I am honored to be named a finalist for the Global Impact Award from the Scholars Awards alongside a distinguished cohort of collegiate esports leaders,” Antor said. “Ferris State University has swiftly solidified its position as a leader in esports, and the four finalist accolades are a testament to that fact. I remain profoundly grateful for the Ferris State community’s dedication and the unwavering support from our administration, including President Bill Pink, College of Business Dean Logan Jones, and School of Digital Media Director Glen Okonoski. Go Bulldogs.”

Antor also was asked to join the panel of 11 judges for the Scholars Awards. The Scholars Awards ceremony is planned for Nov. 28 in Las Vegas.

Antor started at Ferris State in August after being esports director at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., head esports coach at Aquinas College and West Catholic High School, both in Grand Rapids.

Ferris’ Esports program was organized in 2017, and leaders said there has been steady growth to reach 500 club members.  

Ferris State in August unveiled its dedicated Esports Arena – the first purpose-built esports arena built in Michigan – to attract new students interested in competitive gaming and the careers associated with the growing field.

The arena is the centerpiece of the new $32 million Center for Virtual Learning.

The state-of-the-art arena gives production teams enhanced opportunities to gather and present replays during competition. It provides space for spectators, accommodating 18 participating teams, consistent with the program’s growth goals.

The university began its Bachelor of Science curriculum in Professional Esports Production in Fall 2022.

The Center for Virtual Learning also houses the Information Security and Intelligence program and the Digital Animation and Game Design curriculum. Also, it hosts Digital Media Software Engineering instruction and offices for the School of Education and is home to Esports gaming and facilities.

Ferris State's Dental Hygiene Program positioned to support industry staffing needs, students revel in clinical learning opportunities

Ninety-five Ferris State University Dental Hygiene students are learning in-demand that the industry is actively seeking, according to a report from the oral healthcare website dentistryiq.com.

Samantha Mishler, an assistant professor of Dental Hygiene, said cohorts in their Associate of Applied Sciences degree number 50 students a year for a program that emphasizes hands-on learning.

“Our Dental hygiene students begin treating patients during the spring semester of their first year in the program,” Mishler said. “We work to ensure that they see patients of all backgrounds, varying levels of health status, of all age levels, and of different complexities during their time in the program to ensure they are ready for any patient they will encounter after graduation.”

The Dental Hygiene clinical lab in the Victor F. Spathelf Building is where students gain experience while benefiting community members who visit as patients.

“Students provide free or reduced cost services in our clinics to veterans and several at-risk populations,” Mishler said. “Learning, community dentistry opportunities in several offsite locations have been offered over the years, which include Hope Network, the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, Mission Point, and some local schools and daycares.”

Taylor DeWildt, of Coopersville, is working toward an associate degree in Dental Hygiene. She is eyeing a double major in Allied Health Sciences with a projected graduation date of May 2025.

“I began my studies at Ferris in Architecture. In seeking an alternative, I went back to my interest in oral health care,” DeWildt said. “Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Sciences allowed me to catch the prerequisite courses for Dental Hygiene and continue as a full-time student.”

DeWildt is excited about her advance into clinical learning as a first-year student.

“I have always been meticulous and detail-oriented,” she said. “I have been so ready and excited. You have spent time learning about the tools of dental hygiene, and when you begin, that allows you to be well-versed. We have learned so much in these last eight weeks.”

Mishler said those who complete the Dental Hygiene associate degree are due to enter the industry with salaries averaging $70,000. She noted, however, that students can continue their learning and expand their range of opportunities.

“Our department has developed a degree completion program to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene that can be utilized to expand into other areas of the field, outside of clinical practice,” Mishler said. “The career options for these graduates include dental sales, speaking, advocacy, as well as dental education.”

dentistryiq.com report said factors like an aging population’s need for oral health services and a labor market in flux after the COVID-19 pandemic call for more dental hygienists to support industry demand. DeWildt said her current plan is to work in Michigan after earning her degree.

“I hope to go back near my hometown, there is a care group there with multiple offices that I am familiar with and enjoy,” DeWildt said. “I do plan to keep my options open.”

Transient man found guilty for murder of woman on White Pine Trail in 2022

On November 17, 2023, at 7:20 P.M., after days of testimony by law enforcement, ex-girlfriends, and expert witness, Daykota Dallas Handrich, 25, was found guilty by a jury in the 49th Circuit Court of Murder in the 1st Degree, an offense that carries a mandatory life sentence.

Sergeant David Flore of Big Rapids Department of Public Safety was checking an area known by Police to be frequented by transients, participating in various illegal activities near the White Pine trail on June 3, 2022, at approximately 1:30 A.M. The victim, Ashley Godfrey, 36, was discovered in a concealed location off the trail under brush and foliage and appeared to have been badly beaten and sexually assaulted.

Officers had assistance from various agencies in the initial hours and days of the crime. Handrich was identified as a person of interest in the early hours of the investigation and was subsequently questioned, arrested, and arraigned on open murder charges. During the course of this investigation and questioning officers determined Handrich to be the sole suspect in Ashley’s murder.

Officers conducted a 15-month long investigation ultimately leading up to the trial in November of 2023. Members of the Michigan Attorney General’s office were assigned to the case to assist with and try the defendant, Handrich. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

The lead investigator, Detective T. Haynes, of the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety was assisted by Big Rapids Police Department officers, Detectives and Troopers of the Michigan State Police, along with members of the Michigan State Police Crime laboratory, members of the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit, and analysts from the Michigan State Police.

Chief Danielle Haynes said, “I am so proud of the diligent work of our officers, and the incredible teamwork between all agencies.”

USDA announces $55.2 million to extend, improve rural electrical service in Michigan

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins today announced a $55.2 million loan to extend and upgrade powerlines in rural Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

“From expanding high speed internet access in the Upper Peninsula to strengthening and expanding the power grid in southern Michigan, USDA is making historic investments in rural communities,” said Fewins. 

Midwest Energy & Communications will use a $55,273,000 loan to connect 1,160 consumers and build and improve 285 miles of line. This loan includes $5,260,450 in smart grid technologies. Based in Cassopolis, the rural energy cooperative provides electric service to approximately 36,600 consumers over 4,284 miles of energized line in seven counties in the southeast and southwest areas of Michigan as well as three counties in northern Indiana and two counties in northern Ohio.

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

Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education honors Ferris State Faculty Collaborator Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck

Ferris State University Biological Sciences instructor Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck was honored by the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education for her efforts to train the next generations of educators.

Fitzwilliams-Heck received the Bill Stapp Award from the Lansing-based organization at its annual conference in Alpena.

Fitzwilliams-Heck is an alumna of Ferris State’s Biology Education program and has been teaching in higher education for nearly 20 years. Her affiliations include the Alliance, the Academy of Natural Resources within Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources and the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, sponsored by Ferris State and other entities.

“It was an honor to receive the award,” Fitzwilliams-Heck said. “I feel this is my biggest professional accomplishment, as being associated with someone of Bill Stapp’s stature is rewarding, inspiring and invigorating.”

The Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education lauded Fitzwilliams-Heck for a decade of leadership and service in their environmental educator certification program. She worked collaboratively to create what is the fourth program receiving international accreditation from the North American Association of Environmental Education.

Fitzwilliams-Heck has also been a co-facilitator and planning leader in more than a dozen ANR programs.

“This is a large umbrella of learning, which includes outdoor education,” Fitzwilliams-Heck said. “There is a movement to embrace and support environmental education, with people ready and willing to contribute. Educators have an important role in collaboration that can lead to a sustainable future.”

In her coursework at Ferris State, Fitzwilliams-Heck strives to present connections in nature and natural resource conservation to the students.

“I think students become more aware of and develop a greater understanding of natural processes through their studies, which builds on their willingness and ability to make a difference in environmental outcomes,” Fitzwilliams-Heck said. “I collect data throughout my involvement with my classes to learn about their growth in this regard, which includes a willingness to become environmental stewards.”
She also noted that many of her students at Ferris State are already inspired to learn the material and become agents of change.

“The answers they give in class show they appreciate the magnitude of seeking a sustainable environmental future and are ready to be engaged in positive change,” Fitzwilliams-Heck said. “There is an awareness as they arrive, so their previous educational experiences and the media have played their part in building a strong foundation.”

MDOT unveils Paint the Plow project and urges safe driving as winter approaches

As the last leaves fall and the days turn colder, Michiganders know that winter is just around the corner. To educate motorists about safe winter driving practices, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has teamed up with Ovid-Elsie High School and the Clinton County Road Commission to pilot the Paint the Plow program.

Paint the Plow is an opportunity for MDOT and local road agencies to partner with school districts to promote safe driving behavior and create awareness for the plow operators who work to keep Michigan’s roads free from snow and ice. The community outreach program was first introduced by Pennsylvania DOT and has also gathered momentum through some of Michigan’s county road agencies. Ovid-Elsie High School's National Art Honor Society students were invited to paint a creative and original piece of art reflecting their individual school, while promoting a selected safety theme. This year’s theme was, "Don't rush in ice and slush."

"The Ovid-Elsie High School students in the National Art Honor Society were thrilled to paint a snowplow blade for MDOT's Paint the Plow program," said Logan Kellogg, Ovid-Elsie High School art teacher. "It provided a valuable opportunity for teamwork and communication. Typically, art projects are done individually but this allowed us to collaborate and create an impressive 'Safe Driving in Winter' theme as a group. We're grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this project for MDOT."

MDOT will expand Paint the Plow and announce the application process for the 2024-2025 winter maintenance season this spring.  

MDOT operates approximately 330 snowplows and contracts with 63 counties to maintain state highways (I, M and US routes). While MDOT relies on direct forces to plow about 25 percent of its state roads, the other 75 percent are plowed by county forces paid by the state for their services. Every winter, about 450,000 tons of salt are used to help in anti-icing and de-icing of roads.

"Winter in Michigan brings a number of challenges, but providing safe roads in every winter event is a priority for MDOT," said University Region Engineer Greg Losch. "Any assistance sharing safety messaging and creating awareness about safe driving practices in the winter benefits our entire state, and I'm grateful to see this effort from a group of talented high school students." 

To help motorists prepare for the upcoming winter season, MDOT and the Michigan State Police (MSP) have numerous resources available:

  • MDOT’s Mi Drive website is a useful online tool that helps motorists get to their destination safely. Motorists can visit Michigan.gov/Drive to access hundreds of traffic cameras and MDOT snowplows showing state highway conditions in real time. Also available are a speed layer and incident notifications to alert motorists to road backups or closures due to weather and crashes.
  • MDOT's Winter Safety webpage is a resource that educates motorists about things such as salt use, tow plows, green lights on snowplows, and the department's winter level of service routes.
  • MSP's Office of Highway Safety Planning website (Michigan.gov/WinterDriving) is packed with tips and useful resources for driving in winter conditions. Motorists can find timely advice on winterizing vehicles, passenger and pedestrian safety, handling emergencies, and more.

It is important to remember that MDOT, county road commissions, and municipalities have many brave people who pilot snowplows during Michigan’s most inclement winter weather. It is critical that motorists give plow drivers the space they need to do their jobs so everyone can make it home safely at the end of the day. 

Detroit Lions Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 11/15/2023

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

November 15, 2023        

Opening Statement: “Obviously, first day getting ready for Chicago. This is a physical, tough team. They play hard, they finish, they’ve got weapons, they’ve got skill players. Sounds like (Bears QB Justin) Fields will be back, so he’s a dangerous – he’s dangerous, he’s very dangerous. So, I’d say they’re at full force and this is a formidable opponent. So, we’ve got our hands full. We’ve got to be ready to go. And so, this is day one of it.”

On if Bears QB Justin Fields’s explosive throws are the element Chicago has been missing the last couple years: “Yeah, look, he’s stretching the ball down the field. They’re asking him to do some things in that pass game that they weren’t necessarily doing before, but they also – they’ve got (Bears WR DJ) Moore now. This number two is – he’s one of these premier guys now. He’s dangerous, he’s versatile, he’s strong, he’s got run after catch, vast route tree, he’s a weapon. (Bears TE) Cole Kmet, his game is elevated. He’s dangerous, big red zone target for them. Shoot, (Bears WR Darnell) Mooney’s still dangerous. I mean they’ve got weapons across the board. Sounds like (Bears RB Khalil) Herbert will be back, (Bears RB D'Onta) Foreman’s running hard. He fits that offense, what they ask him to do. We got a dose of him last year at Carolina, so we know what he is, so. And Fields, with his ability to run under duress makes him extremely dangerous.”

On the point of emphasis to the team on winning divisional games: “Man, it’s – look, if you aspire to win the division, you have to win your division games. That’s the bottom line and we’ve only – we’ve got one under our belt and this is number two. So, it’s as simple as that. You don’t know how these games are going to unfold. You don’t know how the season’s going to entirely unfold at the end, but certainly, you better have a majority of the division wins if that’s what you plan on doing. So, it’s that – I always say they count for two. This is like winning two games a little bit when you play these division games. So, it’s important, it’s important. It’s a conference game and more importantly, it’s a division game.”

On how to ensure the team avoids a ‘trap game’ after an emotional win over the Chargers: “Yeah, look, I told them today, I said, ‘You know what, go watch the tape. That’s it and put all your focus on this tape and you tell me what the tape says.’ And the tape validates everything I just opened up with. This team plays hard, they finish and they’ve got some dudes, on offense and defense, they’ve got some players now. This is not the same team we played last year. It’s not. So, I keep it as simple as that and tell them exactly how it is. You don’t know what it’s going to take, but I mean for us, we’ve got to play a clean game, we’ve got to be steady and you don’t know, it make take the fourth quarter to finally get this one, but so be it. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to win this game, but you just tell them exactly what it is, man. And it is as simple as that. Go watch the tape. The tape doesn’t lie, so.”

On signing Lions DL Bruce Irvin to the practice squad and what he can add at this stage of his career: “Well, I think it’s no different than adding (Lions OL Michael) Schofield (III). Let’s get some veteran guys that we feel like – it’s hard to find players as the season goes on here that you may need. So, we added both those guys to the vet squad. We got (Lions CB) Kindle Vildor as well. So, that gives us some veteran guys that have played some football that we have interest in. They have versatility and that’s really what it is right now. Let’s see where it is. For a guy like Bruce for example, he came in, gave us a little workout yesterday, enough to see where he’s at. He’s got superhuman genes by the way. I mean this guy, he takes great care of himself, but he’s not in football shape. He’s in shape, but he’s not in football shape. So, we’ve got to get him there first and then we’ll see where it goes.”

On the pass rush so far and what they could gain from bringing in a pass rusher from outside the building: “Well, look, you can never have too many rushers in your building. So, it brings a guy who – we’ll just see what it is. He still certainly shows that he’s got a quick first step, he’s got power and he can bend. We’ll see where it is. I would say man, there’s been most of the games we’ve played this year, our pressure has been very good. We’re getting to the quarterback. And then we’ve had a couple games where it doesn’t. And I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t – we’re judging everything off of one or two times here. But I’ll start with what I just said, you can never have too many guys that you feel like can affect the quarterback.”

On if he expects Lions G Halapoulivaati Vaitai to return this season from the Reserve/Injured list: “That’s hard to say. I think it’s probably unlikely, but I don’t want to ever – never say never. But I would say it’s probably unlikely.”

On if Lions G Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s injury is related to his back injury from last season: “It is, it is. Just a little bit of a residual effect of it. And look, V’s been a – he’s unbelievable. He really is. I mean there’s nothing easy about the injury he’s had to come back from, then he had the knee and he’s been rehabbing this thing for a long time, he’s put in a ton of work and that’s not easy. It’s not easy at all. But he’s the type of guy you ask him how he’s doing, he always says he’s fine. That’s just him. And so, no matter what, I told him, we want him around here, he wants to be around and he’s still very much a part of us and what we are here.”

On the challenge presented by the Bears’ run defense: “Yeah, I think it’s what I said. They – man, they’ve got length, they’ve got size, they’ve got quickness, they move a ton. This is a stunning defense. They’ve got a ton of different looks coverage-wise, and I think when you’re able to play multiple coverages, you have length, you play with speed and you move, it creates problems. It can create problems. If we can’t handle their movement upfront, it’ll be one of those long days for us, so. And why? Because they play so hard. This team plays hard and they finish on the football. So, this’ll be a test. This is going to be a test for us, but it’s a test that we accept.”

On Bears DL Montez Sweat bringing a new element to their defense: “Oh absolutely. Yes, he does. Sweat’s a good player. I mean I think he’s already got 10 pressures since he’s just been with them. His power and length shows up. I mean it’s there. I just go back to this again, he’s a heck of a player, but we’ve got two pretty good tackles too.”

On if the Minnesota Vikings continuing to win helps motivate the team to stay locked in: “I think it’s always good to have somebody. I mean look man, we’re all about competition and I’ve said it before, we’ve got to assume they’re not going to lose out until we see them again. So, this is – they’ve won three or four in a row, I don’t know what that is. They keep getting better and we’ve got to keep winning. We just have to. We can’t worry about them until the time shows up, but yeah, I mean let’s go. It reminds me a little bit of when I was at the Giants in 2000 and the Eagles were just coming into their own with Andy Reid and (Donovan) McNabb was in his second year. And man, we were winning. We went 12-4 that year. And we’d win, they’d win, we’d win, they’d win, we’d win and they’d win, we’d win – and I think they were 11-5, but I mean it was just back and forth. We played them three times that year, played them in the playoffs too, but man, it was just nonstop. It was back and forth. So, it's going to come down to playing those games. You’ve got to keep winning and then when the time comes and you play that opponent, man, you’ve got to win those games.”

On if he sees Chicago utilizing Bears QB Justin Fields as more of a passer this year: “I think they would like to throw it more than they have is the best way to say it, but we’re planning on getting a lot of what we got last year, particularly the first game, use him more as a weapon. That’s the way we see it. But yes, they are, but the guy’s too dangerous. So, we’re going to kind of prepare that way.”

On what Lions WR Jameson Williams has done to earn the trust to be a part of the gameplan: “Yeah, look, he’s improving, and I think I said this the other day, he feels like he’s one of the guys now. Man, he’s part of the team, he’s one of the guys, he’s putting in a good day’s work, he’s physical, he’s tough. And so, the more that he earns his stripes here, the more opportunities he gets because every time he makes a block like he does or he runs the routes he’s running, he makes some catches, you just gain the trust of everybody around you and it just keeps going and going. And his comfort level, his confidence level is going up. So, he’s in a good place right now. He’s improving. It’s a good thing, man. We’re proud of the way he went after it the other day.”

 

LIONS QB JARED GOFF QUOTE SHEET

November 15, 2023

On how seriously he takes competing against the Bears no matter what their record is: “Oh yeah, very seriously. And I think they’re a whole lot better than their record shows. They’ve been banged up a little bit throughout the year and getting their quarterback back now and have done some really good things on defense, so we’ll have our hands full.”

On if he sees the Bears as in a similar position the Lions were in last year around this time and how dangerous he thinks the Bears can be later on in the season: “Yeah, that’s so hard to compare, contrast, but I do think, like I just mentioned, they’re better than their record may say they are and we know they’re going to come to play.”

On what Bears DE Montez Sweat brings to their defense: “Yeah, he’s a good player. They traded for him for a reason, they extended him for a reason and he’s been a good player for a handful of years now and will – again, will be a challenge for us.”

On if he has confidence that Lions Ts Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell can stop the Bears’ pass rush: “Of course, yeah, of course. A ton of confidence in those guys. I think two weeks in a row now, no sacks, is pretty impressive.”

On how valuable Lions Ts Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell are in allowing the offense to succeed: “I mean, so valuable. We feel like, we don’t like to, but we can leave them on an island and those guys go to work and do their thing and it allows us to get guys out a little bit faster into routes and a whole bunch of other things in the run game that we can do because they’re so good on the edge. But yeah, Deck and Penei kind of have anchored us for a handful of years now and it feels good.”

On how different the Bears defense is from last year with the new personnel they added in the offseason: “Yeah, I think it’s much different. It’s much more coverages they’re calling, for sure, much more blitzes they’re calling, a different guy who’s calling the defense now than last year and so yeah, much different and obviously, the personnel has changed as well and added some things in the offseason. And I think they’ve improved greatly.”

On if there are moments during shootout games like against the Chargers where it hits him that they need to score points every drive: “I think you just know you’re going to need points. I don’t think you change how you’re playing or anything. I think about halftime, when they scored pretty quickly there before half to tie it up, I believe, it would be right after the half, is when you go, ‘OK, we may need a few more touchdown drives here.’ And yeah, they were able to do some good things offensively, but so were we.”

On if it starts to feel like a divisional race in the second half of a season with the Vikings winning their past few games: “Yeah, it always will be and they’re a good team and again, Chicago is, I think, a good team and so is Green Bay, so we’ve got our hands full with all three of those teams and this is another one for us to hopefully get a W with.”

 

Lions host the Bears this Sunday at 1:00pm.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

The Lions are brought to you by Michigan ADAS Calibrations and Glass: when your windshield needs replacing, the experts at Michigan ADAS not only replace the glass, they also recalibrate the cameras your car depends on to keep you safe.

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R.J. Tessier is active in return to renowned Ferris State Professional Tennis Management Program, engaging industry leaders and student prospects

R.J. Tessier, the second director in Ferris State University’s Professional Tennis Management program history, has returned to Big Rapids to lead the program, tapping skills he picked up while exploring other roles. 

Tessier has wasted no time in his return, moving to spark even greater interest from industry leaders and students in PTM. 

He said the program’s founder, Scott Schultz, encouraged him to apply to succeed him in 1998 when he went to the United States Tennis Association.

“I was proud to join the nation’s first bachelor’s degree program to combine training in the sport and learning related to success in the business of leading tennis resorts and the like,” Tessier said. “Though I joined the United States Professional Tennis Association as director of certification and testing several years later, I always had a strong feeling for Ferris and am glad to be back in this role with the program.” 

Tessier has held an impressive list of sports management positions. Most recently, he served as the Dragon Ridge Tennis and Athletic Club general manager in Henderson, Nev. Tessier also hosted “On Court with USPTA,” a television program on the Tennis Channel. 

“I am actively reconnecting with the USTA Midwest Board of Directors and attended the USPTA World Conference in Orlando in late September,” he said. “I also intend to be at and engaging participants and coaches at high school tennis events, so they know Ferris’ PTM program offers young people a chance to continue their passion and help meet the significant demand for professionals in this industry.”

Mike Janz, a 2014 Ferris PTM graduate, continues to work in the program as its assistant director. Tessier values this working relationship. 

“Mike and I are collaborating well. He appreciates and understands our goals for promoting the legacy and stature of the PTM program,” Tessier said. “We look forward to our success in the work before us.” 

Click Professional Tennis Management to learn more about this Ferris State College of Business program.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (11/6 - 11/12)

Monday, November 6

  • Check Well Being – Officers were dispatched to a check well-being at a local residence. The caller was not able to contact the people at the residence for approximately 1 week. Officers made contact with the residents who advised they were fine and would get in touch with the complainant. 

Tuesday, November 7

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, November 8

  • Disorderly – Officers were dispatched to a subject who broke into a residence and was refusing to leave. Upon further investigation the subject was arrested for domestic assault and larceny.   

Thursday, November 9

  • Miscellaneous – Officers were dispatched for a witness intimidation complaint. A report was sent up to the Prosecutor to review for charges.

  • Juvenile – Officers were dispatched for a child custody complaint.

Friday, November 10

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

  • Malicious Destruction of Property – Officers were dispatched to investigate a malicious destruction of property complaint. The case remains open pending contact with the suspect.

Saturday, November 11

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, November 12

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic offense. Officers learned that one of the occupants of the vehicle had warrants for their arrest. The subject was arrested and lodged on the warrants.

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic offense. Upon further investigation the driver was found to be operating under the influence of alcohol. The subject was arrested and lodged.

Calling all dogs! Michigan Lottery accepting entries of paw-sitively precious dogs for Lucky Dog promotion

Michigan Lottery players have a chance to have their paw-recious dog featured on an instant game ticket with the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky Dog promotion!

Beginning Nov. 6, players may enter their pup for a chance to be featured on the Michigan Lottery’s upcoming $1 instant game, Lucky Dog. Thirty Lucky Dogs will be selected for the promotion. 

If you think your dog has the pet-tential, visit MichiganLottery.com/LuckyDog to submit a photo and a short bio explaining what makes you so mutts about your pup! Entries will be accepted through Dec. 8. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2024. Be sure to check MichiganLottery.com/LuckyDog periodically to see if your dog has made it to the Top Dogs page and give them a round of ap-paws!

The Lucky Dog instant game is scheduled to launch June 4, 2024. Each $1 ticket will offer players a chance to win prizes ranging from $1 up to $5,000.

In 2022, lottery players won more than $1.7 billion playing instant games.

Lottery instant games may be purchased at any of the 10,500 retailers across the state.

FULL PREVIEW: Reed City set for state semi-final round rematch against Kingsley

A 28-14 win over Midland Bullock Creek last Friday earned Reed City their second straight regional title on their home field. Now, the Coyotes await a rematch with the Stags for a chance to play at Ford Field. In preparation for the game, here’s a full in-depth look at the matchup including the history, schemes, numbers, and bracket implications for the two programs.

HISTORY

As two of the most historically successful teams in northern Michigan over the past few years, Reed City and Kingsley have matched up four times in their teams’ tenures. The most recent matchup on Aug. 25 went in favor of the Stags 46-12 behind over 400 yards rushing from their backfield. Kingsley also defeated the Coyotes in the 2019 pre-district round en route to a final four finish, where they lost to Grand Rapids Catholic Central 28-14. The Coyotes did beat Kingsley by virtue of a forfeit in the 2020 COVID season as well as a dominant 35-0 thumping in the 2007 season opener.

This is Kingsley’s first year in Division 6 since 2018, where they reached the regional title game and lost to Traverse City St. Francis 41-20. Previously, they played in Division 5 along with Reed City for the previous four seasons and went 7-4 over that span. Reed City, on the other hand, have been in Division 6 for the last three seasons and have won seven of nine games in the postseason. In terms of total success, Reed City and Kingsley each have winning records all time with a .518- and .552-win percentage respectively. Since the year 2000, Reed City has won nearly 73% of its games while Kingsley has won 66%.

SCHEME

If you love traditional smashmouth football, you’ll love this game on Saturday. Both teams run the original “T” and “Wing T” formations that were invented in the early 20th century. In the comparison of the first week matchup, Reed City used more of a “head-down” aggressive running scheme as opposed to Kingsley’s more patient, finesse playbook. Kingsley’s ability to disguise and misdirect on the ground created some hefty problems against the Coyotes’ defense in the opening night loss. Kingsley, like Reed City, will throw the ball occasionally but will tend to use a run-dominant scheme rather than being balanced with passing.

For defense, Kingsley showed a heavy eight, nine and even sometimes ten-man box front against Reed City in week one to firmly pressure the run at the line of scrimmage. Kingsley’s offensive line does often show a tendency to use very low leverage points with their blockers. This causes pileups in the trenches and prohibits much defensive line movement after the snap. On the contrary, Reed City used a more conservative 5-2 front with a more considerate emphasis on containing the big gain potential. The Coyotes also like their defensive backs to roam on the outsides to make plays, especially against considerably fast opponents and more passing-oriented teams.

NUMBERS

Kingsley’s offense this year has put up an incredible 583 points in their 12 games. This averages out to about 48.58 points per contest, including only one game where they scored less than 37 points. This compares to Reed City’s 400, benchmarking about 33.33 per game on the offensive side. Across the line of scrimmage, Reed City has done better on slowing down opponents’ offenses. The Coyotes have held teams to 17 per game and only 204 total on the campaign; while Kingsley averages about 19 points a contest and a complied 227 on the year.

These focal points are seen in consideration of the individual players honored earlier this week by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. Kingsley, ranked #3 in Division 6, was voted to have five all-region 1 players. This includes senior offensive lineman Caleb Bott, senior running back Eli Graves, senior quarterback Gavyn Merchant, senior defensive lineman James Pearson, and senior linebacker Max Goethals. For the Coyotes, ranked #7 in Division 6, they received four player honors in junior lineman Wyatt Spalo, senior linebacker Max Hammond, senior defensive back Spencer Hansen, and senior athlete John Ondrus.

BRACKET IMPLICATIONS

The team leaving Cadillac with a victory Saturday will not only get to play another week of football, but they will also reach the ultimate Mecca of high school football: Ford Field. The prestigious site of the finals for countless years has been reached only once by Kingsley in their lone triumphant trophy tour in 2005. For Reed City, the Coyotes have now reached the semi-final round three times but have yet to stand on the Lions’ turf in the big game.

For whom they would play, the other side of the bracket is what appears to be a matchup of the football equivalent of David and Goliath. David, who is represented by Ovid-Elsie, comes in a 21st ranking in Division 6 with 37.889 playoff points and wins over #27 Ida, #28 Lansing Catholic, and #4 Constantine. Goliath, represented by Almont, is the top ranked squad with a massive 58.222-point total and a victory postseason resume against #30 Clinton Township Clintondale, #2 Warren Michigan Collegiate, and #9 Detroit Edison. The game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 4:30 P.M. in Detroit.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

For all the play-by-play action, join lead broadcaster Brandon Wirth and long-time voice of the Coyotes John Williams on Y102 starting at around 12:40 P.M. Listen in on 102.3 FM, WYBR.com, or the WYBR mobile app.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (11/6 - 11/12)

Monday, November 6

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, November 7

  • An officer assisted OCSD with a wellbeing check of a 14-year-old female. No issues.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding possible domestic disturbance. Case still under investigation.

Wednesday, November 8

  • Officers assisted EMS regarding an 89-year-old male that was lost and confused. He was located and reunited with family members.

Thursday, November 9

  • An officer was dispatched to a 2-car crash with no injuries.

Friday, November 10

  • Officers were dispatched to check on a child left unattended in a vehicle. Upon further investigation there was no violation of the law but the individual was advised, leaving the child unattended for an unreasonable amount of time would be a misdemeanor, at minimum.

  • An officer was dispatched to an address with reports of having trash outside by the property. The home owner was instructed to clean up the trash and did.

  • An officer was dispatched to do a wellbeing check on a 64-year-old female. After making contact, the female was ok.

  • An officer responded to a car versus deer accident. There was minor damage and no human injury.

  • An officer conducted a traffic stop, the 39-year-old female driver was arrested on three outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court. She was lodged at the Osceola County Jail without incident.

  • An officer stopped a vehicle for having no license plate. It was determined the vehicle had no insurance coverage on it. The 25-year-old male driver was issued an appearance citation.

Saturday, November 11

  • An officer responded to a call about a teen female arguing with her father and making suicidal comments.

  • She was transported to the hospital for evaluation. Upon being released the officer was called to return after she became disorderly, assaulted her father, and refused to cooperate with the officer. She has been referred to probate court and her probation officer for assault and resisting and officer.

  • An officer responded to a call of unwanted text message from a very intoxicated ex-boyfriend. The officer spoke with the man on the phone who agreed to have no more contact with the caller.

Sunday, November 12

  • An officer responded to reports of some impolite comments on social media stemming from an incident of attempted assault a year prior that was never reported to the police.

  • The officer made contact with the suspected individuals who agreed to have no more contact with the caller.

  • An officer assisted OCSD on the arrest of a 28-year-old female with three outstanding warrants.

  • An officer was dispatched regarding a teen juvenile assaulting medical staff. The matter has been turned over to the prosecutor and the teen’s probation officer.

Gov. Whitmer kicks of National Apprenticeship Week with 2024 goal to boost the use of Registered Apprenticeship training model to grow needed talent statewide

As Apprenticeship Week kicks off, the State of Michigan is launching a Race to Talent™ with Registered Apprenticeship campaign to attract more employers in more sectors to offer the proven training model to help them secure the talent they need to ensure business success.  

“In Michigan, we are creating more paths to good-paying jobs so everyone can build a great life,” said Governor Whitmer. “During Apprenticeship Week, we are proud to highlight Michigan’s leadership in creating and expanding Registered Apprenticeships to connect people with the skills and training they need to get good-paying, middle-class jobs and fill open positions. We established and funded Michigan Reconnect to offer tuition-free skills training and associates degrees for anyone 21 and older and the Michigan Achievement Scholarship to save the majority of students getting degrees thousands of dollars so everyone can pursue they path that’s best for them. Let’s keep bringing educational institutions, businesses, and hardworking people together to build a brighter future for Michigan.”

While ranked 10th in the nation by population, Michigan had the fourth-highest number of active Registered Apprenticeships in the nation in 2021 according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. The Great Lakes State also ranked seventh for number of new Registered Apprentices and eighth for completers nationwide.

Registered Apprenticeships offer a paid pathway to great careers for workers while providing employers a customized, proven training model that accelerates the growth of right-skilled workers, reduces turnover, diversifies the workforce and retains and transfers key business knowledge to the next generation.

Registered Apprenticeships are an industry-driven, high-quality career training model in which employers develop and prepare Michigan’s future workforce. Registered Apprentices gain paid work experience, related classroom instruction and a nationally industry-recognized credential upon program completion. Employers interested in building their skilled workforce through Registered Apprenticeships in Michigan should visit Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship.

There are nearly 20,000 Registered Apprentices in Michigan and more than 1,200 active programs, according to Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).  Since 2019, LEO has brought in $90 million in state and federal funding to support the growth of the use of Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

Boosting awareness of the benefits of Registered Apprenticeships is a part of LEO’s overall efforts to expand opportunities and pathways to the high skill, high-wage, in-demand careers needed to grow and sustain a vibrant economy. That effort strengthens Michigan's Sixty by 30 goal to have 60% of Michigan’s working-age adults with a skills certificate or associate degree by 2030.

“Apprenticeships have been a robust part of Michigan’s manufacturing and construction trades success since before the Model T, but today’s Registered Apprenticeships go beyond those traditional fields and that’s important to recognize,” Corbin said.

While the bulk of Registered Apprenticeships still come out of the manufacturing and construction industries, Corbin pointed to “significant growth in the energy, health care, information technology, mobility, education and child care sectors in all regions of the state.”

“A wide range of industries and occupations are learning how to set up a Registered Apprenticeship Program to meet their unique needs through LEO’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training.

“We’re seeing Registered Apprenticeship Programs for registered nurses, teachers, golf course maintenance technicians, fine chocolate makers, professional beekeepers, master brewers and the list goes on,” Beckhorn said. “There really is no limit to the types of businesses that can benefit from Registered Apprenticeship.”

Through reductions in turnover, improved productivity and increased work quality, employers who use Registered Apprenticeships to train employers earn a return on investment of $1.47 for every dollar they put in, Beckhorn said.

As more Michigan employers learn about the value of Registered Apprenticeships, LEO has partnered with other state agencies and statewide associations to promote and facilitate greater participation.

Lee Graham, chairperson of the Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee, Inc., said plenty of resources exist for any employer considering establishing a Registered Apprenticeship Program.

“In today’s world, there is a Registered Apprenticeship Program model that can be created or modified to meet specifications for any business,” Graham said. “We build for success and sustainability.”

Support is available to help employers interested in launching a Registered Apprenticeship Program. With state and federal backing, as well as some nonprofit foundation grants, there are ample funding opportunities that even smaller employers can take advantage of to bring on a Registered Apprentice, said Natasha Allen, director of strategic initiatives for the Michigan Works! Association.

Each of the 16 regional Michigan Works! agencies have one or more Apprenticeship Success Coordinators on staff to make it easier for businesses to get started, navigate the requirements to officially start and register an apprenticeship program, and connections to funding for program support. Businesses can connect with a local Apprenticeship Success Coordinator by visiting Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship.

Career seekers interested in exploring opportunities in Registered Apprenticeship are also encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship where they can learn more about the training model’s benefits, available resources and assistance to get started.

Joe Takes: Lions outlast Chargers in San Diego, host the Bears this Sunday.

Each week that the Lions play a game of football is another week that I don’t know how I
haven’t suffered from a stress induced heart attack. With that being said, we won another football game, and I am on cloud nine. A huge, nail biting 41-38 win over the Los Angeles Chargers means we get to celebrate the victory all the way through week 11.
I’ll tell you this right now, it doesn’t matter the situation for Dan Campbell, the Head Coach for the Detroit Lions will pull the gutsiest moves to win football games, and I am here for it. It might not be the best for my blood pressure and wellbeing, but I don’t want it any other way. Winning the game on a field goal after going for it on 4 th and 2 to get your kicker 15 yards closer is such a baller move.
Now that I’ve shared with you how my mental state is after a Lions football game, let’s discuss what happened throughout the game on Sunday afternoon. The defense for the Lions is in what I would call disarray, mainly because we can’t get any pressure on the quarterback, we let the run game walk all over us, and to top it all off our secondary looks like it’s no better than last year at this point in the season.
The team has been plagued with some injuries, and this is the first time that we’ve been able to get a lot of the key pieces back on the field so we’ll see next week if the rust is knocked off for some of the guys. However, after what I saw from this contest against the Chargers, Lions GM Brad Holmes should’ve made some moves on the defensive side last week before the trade deadline.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert was able to sling it for 323 yards and a four touchdowns, but he tossed an interception to Kerby Joseph in the first half. He connected Jalen Guyton and Quentin Johnson for a touchdown a piece, and Keenan Allen caused my fantasy team to get the loss with 2 touchdowns and 175 yards on 11 receptions. Despite their record the Chargers are one of the better teams in the AFC, and they showed with the shootout on Sunday.
There was a bright spot for the defense though. They were able to hold the Chargers to a casual 7 goal line stops in a row late in the game. It should’ve been only four plays, but Cam Sutton was called for a pass interference on fourth down that was a hands down terrible call, and I will die on that hill. Los Angeles would score at the end of the drive, but credit where credit is due, the defense stepped up.
Remember last year when we’d put up forty plus points and we lost a lot at the start of the season? It is so nice now to be on the other side of it when you put up points like that. Huge performances all around, I really can’t complain about it.
Jared Thomas Goff, leader of the Detroit Lions, could very well toss his hat in the ring for the MVP conversation. I said what I said, stats might not be as crazy as some of the other guys, but results are results, and when you cover 333 yards on 23 completions while picking up two touchdowns, it’s not ridiculous to say that.
Goff continued to target his guy Amon-Ra St. Brown with 8 receptions for 156 yards and a TD.
The Sun god also had one of craziest shoe string catches that he sprinted off for a touchdown.
Sam LaPorta had 4 catches for forty yards, and Brock Wright scored the last touchdown for the lions with a huge 25 yard reception over the top of the defense.
David Montgomery made his return to the lineup and shared the love with Jahmyr Gibbs.
Montgomery had himself a day with 116 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Gibbs picked up two scores on 14 carries for 77 yards.
This past week, the Lions offense did what I’d expect them to, especially when the Chargers defense is less than middle of the pack when compared to other NFL teams. I will tell you what I am most excited for though, is how Donovan Peoples-Jones, a Detroit native and former Cleveland Brown, will fit into the lineup, and what that means for guys like Jameson Williams’ development.
Jim Nantz, who was the play by play broadcaster for the game, said that the Lions are a team you might see in Las Vegas this year. The Super Bowl will be in the Sin City, but the Lions need to improve their defense hard and fast before before they think they can get past the NFC gauntlet of Philadelphia, San Francisco, and even Seattle. I remain optimistic, but these next few games where they jump into the heavy part of the NFC North will be a telltale sign.
On the docket for this upcoming Sunday, they have the Chicago Bears coming to town, and that could very well be a blowout. They did pick up a win against the Panthers last Thursday to move to 3-7, but the Panthers are garbage so it’s really not that big of a deal. Additionally, the Bears are looking like Justin Fields won’t return from injury next week so we’re going to have a former number one overall Jared Goff facing off against an undrafted division 2 quarterback in Tyson Bagent.
I will leave you with this thought, this week will be a tune up game for the defense and a trip to the playground for the offense. Sure, the Bears held the Panthers to 13 points, but it’s not that hard when you’re opposing quarterback can’t even see over the offensive line.
Lions are taking this one by at least three scores and we will be sipping the blue Kool-Aid once again while enjoying a nice helping of knee caps for our entrée. Lions by a million.

 

Lions host the Bears this Sunday at 1:00pm.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

The Lions are brought to you by Michigan ADAS Calibrations and Glass: when your windshield needs replacing, the experts at Michigan ADAS not only replace the glass, they also recalibrate the cameras your car depends on to keep you safe.

Trust the expert at Michigan ADAS Calibrations

Kent County Sheriff's Office responds to fight & shots fired in Alpine TWP

Just before midnight on Saturday, Nov. 11, the Kent County Sheriff's Office Communications Center received calls of a shooting at the 4 Mile Show Place along 4 Mile Rd NW. 

Initial information was reporting someone was shot and hundreds of people were in the building at a party. As deputies, Walker Police officers, and troopers arrived, they found hundreds of people inside the venue and many leaving. Upon checking inside, police did not find anyone struck by gunfire. However, people injured from a fight were found with minor injuries.  

Our initial investigation finds that a large party had occurred for several hours. Just prior to 911 being called, several groups of people started fighting and at some point a male suspect walked inside the building and fired a shot into the ceiling. After a bystander confronted the shooter, they were pistol-whipped in the face with the butt of the pistol. The suspect was described as a male wearing all black who left in a sedan. 

Investigators are still working to obtain more details about the incident. If you may have been inside and have a video of what happened, you are encouraged to contact the Kent County Sheriff's Office. 

Ferris State President Bill Pink presented with MCAN Lighthouse Award for expanding access to students of all ages across Michigan

Michigan College Access Network honored Ferris State University President Bill Pink with its Lighthouse Award for the university’s work connecting with students of all ages across the state through regional Success Hubs.

The organization highlighted 13 people and organizations last week at its 2023 College Access Impact Awards, recognizing efforts to expand college access and attainment in Michigan.

Pink is the first recipient of the award, presented to an institution leader or a college or university that has been exemplary in advancing innovative ways to expand access, build critical relationships in the region, and support student persistence and completion.

“I am honored at being recognized by an organization that I have greatly respected since being here in Michigan,” Pink said as he accepted the award. “This recognition is reflective of the many colleagues I’ve worked with who are focused on students and their success and well-being. I am nothing without great people to work with.”

Pink is in his second year at Ferris State after guiding Grand Rapids Community College for five years. Ferris State this year announced the launch of Student Success Hubs across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, providing students with a streamlined, more well-rounded experience by bringing critical services closer to home.

The Success Hubs will be located in Grand Rapids, Traverse City, the Kalamazoo area, Flint and Detroit. The university is partnering with 20 community college partners, and the hubs will work to advance Ferris State’s mission of education opportunities for all.

MCAN was established in 2010 to support students looking to connect with a life-changing college education. The organization’s 2023 conference was based on the theme “The Time is Now: All in for Attainment,” reaffirming MCAN’s commitment to helping Michigan reach 60 percent college attainment by 2030.

“The College Access Impact Awards honor the individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary efforts to improve postsecondary attainment in Michigan, especially among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “The award winners play a crucial role in helping us reach Sixty by 30 through their dedicated efforts to improve college readiness, participation, and completion within their communities and across the state. By working to build inclusive college-going cultures, these award winners are helping create a brighter economic future for Michigan’s students.”

MCAN has recognized more than 100 people and organizations since these awards began in 2015.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (11/6 - 11/12)

Monday, November 6

Calls for Service: 20

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Tuesday, November 7

  • At around 1600 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Fork TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At around 1320 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At around 2031 hours, deputies responded to a domestic assault complaint in Colfax TWP. A female was arrested for domestic assault on her ex-husband. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 9

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 5

 

Wednesday, November 8

Calls for Service: 16

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 9

 

Thursday, November 9

Calls for Service: 18

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Friday, November 10

  • At 0208 hours, deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Sheridan TWP. A male and female were arrested on warrants. They were both lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 1700 hours, deputies responded to a retail fraud complaint at a business in Big Rapids TWP. The male suspect was located and arrested. The stolen property was recovered and returned to the store.

Calls for Service: 16

Car/Deer Accidents: 9

 

Saturday, November 11

Calls for Service: 23

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, November 12

Calls for Service: 10

Car/Deer Accidents: 11

Free Ferris State student tickets for football playoff game & limited general public tickets available for purchase

Ferris State University students and fans have a limited opportunity to get tickets for this Saturday's (Nov. 18) NCAA Division II Playoff showdown between the Bulldogs and rival Grand Valley State directly from the FSU Athletics Ticket Office.

The first 250 FSU students with a valid student ID card can get a FREE playoff ticket for the contest at GVSU in person only at the ticket office located in the Ewigleben Sports Complex. The free student tickets are limited to one ticket per student ID.

Additionally, a limited number of tickets are on sale for the general public to purchase for the game and are $20 apiece. All ticket purchases must be made in person at the FSU ticket office and no phone orders will be accepted.

The ticket office will be open until 5 p.m. (ET) today (Monday) or reopen at 9 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday morning.

All parking must be purchased directly thru GVSU and is $10 in advance online (GVSULakers.com/FBParking) or $15 on game day.

Kickoff for Saturday's first-round playoff matchup at Lubbers Stadium is set for 1 p.m. (ET).

Road work scheduled Monday and Tuesday on US-131 in Big Rapids

US-131 has scheduled road work over the next two days near Big Rapids.

Lane closures for road work are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13, from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. on northbound US-131 at 12 Mile Rd. and at Woodward Ave.

Southbound US-131 lane closures are also scheduled for tomorrow at these locations from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

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

Ferris State Alum Mary Dale Receives 2023 Human Resources Lifetime Achievement Award

There’s more to Mary Dale than her six-page resume.

There’s a heart and soul and resiliency that the Ferris State University alumna said first blossomed in Big Rapids while pursuing her bachelor’s degree.

“I feel like Ferris really helped me find myself and better understand who I was,” said Dale, chief human resources officer for Convivial Brands in Grand Rapids. “The professors lit a fire in me that I’ve carried throughout my career.”

And quite a career it’s been.

Before joining Convivial in 2019, Dale served in several other leading human resource roles at West Michigan companies, including Metron Integrated Health System, Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan, and K-Force Professional Staffing and effected many key changes.

In recognition of her long-running professional accomplishments, the Michigan Council of the Society for Human Resource Management honored Dale in October with its 2023 Human Resources Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Honestly, I was quite surprised and shocked to win the award,” she said. “So much of what I’ve accomplished in my career was a team effort. I’ve had the most amazing HR teams who have supported me throughout my career, as well as a great husband and family.”

The youngest of five children, Dale grew up in Farmington Hills and learned early on the importance of education, good character and a strong work ethic. Her father, now 88, was her first professional boss. When it came time for college, she chose Ferris because it was a good school — and where her now-husband, Tyler, attended.

She immediately knew she’d made the right choice.

“I’d attended an all-girls college prep school near Detroit and I honestly never felt good enough,” said Dale, who graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. “Ferris felt like a fresh start to me; I really got to build my identity there and shine.”

She earned excellent grades and held roles in the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Leadership, Golden Key International, and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership honors societies. She even created her own class, taking it upon herself to successfully revamp the annual student job fair.

Already a driven student and worker, Dale said she discovered a new resiliency her senior year when a fire damaged half of the Big Rapids-area home her then-fiancé had just purchased.

“We lost a lot in the fire — even the school papers I’d been working on,” she said.

Thanks to the generosity and support of her Ferris State professors and the Big Rapids community, they were able to eventually rebuild their home and start their careers. The experience also ignited a compassion and giving spirit that Dale still nurtures today.

“Throughout my life, the kindness we experienced has allowed me to respond to people in ways I might otherwise have not,” she said.

Dale didn’t foresee a career in human resources. But she found success in the field by living a purpose-driven life and helping others.

She now serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Ferris State West Michigan Council and the FSU Communications/Humanities Advisory Board. She also served three terms on the Ferris State Alumni Relations Board of Directors.

Other community involvement includes membership on the University of Michigan Health West Foundation Board of Directors; MISHRM State Board as membership director, treasurer and conference committee member; and as a founding member of the Grand Rapids International Network.

Aside from her board memberships, Dale was named to the “40 under 40 Class of 2018” by the Grand Rapids Business Journal, was highlighted in Profile Magazine for top HR professionals, and was awarded the HR Unite! Purpose and Inspire awards in 2021 and the HR Unite! Ambassador Award in 2023.

“To know Mary is to know phenomenal Human Resources,” said Liz Cotner, founder and CEO of The HR Ninja, a human resources consulting firm.

The Dales now live in Hudsonville with their two children, Emma and Joseph, and regularly visit their family cottage near Big Rapids.

She says she’ll always be grateful to Ferris for a great education … and for teaching her the kind of life lessons you can’t find in a textbook.

“As HR leaders, we see people every day experiencing their greatest career accomplishments as well as some of the most tragic and difficult moments in life,” Dale said. “I’m honored to help them no matter what.”

City commission discussing resolutions for police body and in-car camera replacements

The Big Rapids City Commission is slated to meet this Monday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 P.M.

Before the official meeting, there will be a tour of the Ives Drain project. Those interested can meet at City Hall at 5:30 P.M. for a scheduled Dial-A-Ride to the site.

Items on the agenda include honoring Commission Jennifer Cochran for her service, a study session for local recreation projects, resolutions for the purchase of new police body cameras, in-car cameras, and a 2024 Ford Transit Cargo Van. Ordinances will also be discusses for the city's special event policyies, zoning for small wireless facilities and structures, and Title Xi with wireless communication facilities.

Commission meetings are open to the public.

Ferris State Football closes out regular season with big senior day victory

Ferris State University closed out the regular-season in style on Saturday (Nov. 11) as the Bulldog football squad rolled to a 63-19 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home win over Wayne State at Top Taggart Field.

The Bulldogs racked up 611 yards of total offense and put up 35 second-half points in registering the win.

With the triumph, the Bulldogs solidified their position as a potential NCAA Division II Playoff squad and are expected to make the program's ninth-straight trip to the playoffs when the official selection announcement is made on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. (ET) at NCAA.com.

In Saturday's victory, Ferris State ran for 353 yards on 45 carries while throwing for 258 yards on 18-of-24 passing, utilizing multiple quarterbacks on the day. Ferris State also went seven-of-seven in the red zone and eight-of-12 on third down.

After an early Wayne State field goal from Griffin Milovanski, the Bulldogs jumped in front quickly on their opening offensive play with Mylik Mitchell finding Tyrese Hunt-Thompson on a 75-yard TD throw. The Bulldogs increased their lead to 14-3 late in the third on Carson Gulker's 12-yard carry to the endzone.

In the second period, the Bulldogs extended their edge to 21-3 as Mitchell found the endzone from five yards away to finish a nine-play, 54-yard jaunt. The lead eventually grew to 28-6 when Gulker hooked up with Xavier Wade on a 10-yard scoring throw before WSU notched its third field goal of the opening half late to make it 28-9 at the break.

Ferris State wasted little time in taking control in the second half, scoring 21 points in the third period and 28 in the opening 16:12 to make it a 56-9 game. The Bulldogs got a 30-yard TD run from Gulker in the third along with a three-yarder from Mitchell and a 17-yard sprint to pay dirt from tailback Markel King before Trinidad Chambliss started the final period with a three-yard carry for a score.

The Bulldogs later added a 16-yard run from tailback James Coby after Wayne State notched its only TD of the day with 11:28 to play. The Warriors added yet another field goal from Milovanski from 48-yards away with three seconds left to account for the final margin.

Gulker ran for 95 yards and two scores on the ground with King totaling 91 yards on 10 carries. Mitchell completed nine-of-13 passes for 155 yards and CJ Jefferson caught eight balls for 88 yards with Hunt-Thompson hauling in four catches for 122 yards.

Ferris State also intercepted Wayne State twice defensively and limited WSU to 341 total yards with only 134 coming on the ground. FSU also forced a fumble.

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional information regarding postseason play as it becomes available.

Kent County Health Director Adam London sharing experiences learned during the pandemic with Ferris State students in Master of Public Health program

Adam London, who guided the Kent County Health Department through the pandemic and led the community-wide response, is sharing what he learned with the next generation of public health officers at Ferris State University.

London was named an assistant professor in Ferris State’s College of Health Professions, teaching asynchronous, virtual classes in public health in addition to continuing his ongoing duties for Kent County.

He said this new work feels like a homecoming.

“This campus and this community are priceless to me,” he said with a smile. “I spent many, many days of my life in the VFS Building during the mid-90s as a Ferris State student. In fact, as a Big Rapids native, I remember watching that building being constructed in the late 70s. My parents and grandparents would sometimes park nearby and let me watch the cranes and heavy equipment.”

London said he’s had the chance over the past decade or so to teach in other settings, including at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Grand Valley State University, and those experiences helped him realize the joy he found in mentoring young professionals.

When the opportunity arose to do that work for his alma mater, he couldn’t pass it up. Beyond that, he said, he saw a chance to give back to his profession.

“The public health workforce is experiencing a unique dilemma coming out of the pandemic,” he said. “Many long-term public health workers have retired or resigned prematurely due to the stresses placed upon them. Almost half of the workforce has turned over since COVID arrived in 2020. We are now seeing an influx of young professionals who are embracing the challenge of public health in the post-COVID world. Helping this next generation of professionals be successful is very exciting for me.”

The Kent County Health Department is responsible for continually assessing the health of the community and ensuring services are available and accessible. The department investigates the causes of disease, epidemics, morbidity and mortality, and environmental health hazards using vital and health statistics for epidemiological studies.

The department also plans and implements public education and enforces public health laws.

Ferris State, he added, is especially well positioned to empower the public health workforce via its asynchronous and virtual Master of Public Health program.

And he hopes his own experiences in public health, including more than 25 years with local health departments – 13 at the Kent County Health department – past presidency of the National Environmental Health Association and more, will also benefit Ferris State students.

“I have fresh stories and examples to share with my students on an ongoing basis,” he said. “I also have an extensive list of professional contacts I can refer students to for internships and practicum, job shadowing, projects, employment and other opportunities.”

He’ll benefit, he added, from his dual roles as scholar and practitioner.

“The mission of public health is central to who I am and all I do, in every role,” he said. “Over the years, I have found that teaching makes me a better practitioner. Teaching refines, expands and strengthens my command of the subject matter. It also makes me a better communicator and leader. Likewise, the experience of practicing public health makes me an effective instructor.”

London was saluted as an EH Hero in the Time of COVID-19 by the National Environmental Health Association in 2020. He coordinated efforts that included law enforcement, homeless shelters, retail stores, hospitals, pharmacies, philanthropy, public transportation, campgrounds, hotels, faith-based organizations, media, universities, and others.

Emmanuel Jadhav, who heads up the program, said adding London to the instructional mix was an easy call.

“For one,” he said, “Adam is a Bulldog.”

Beyond that, Jadhav added, getting someone of London’s caliber and expertise is sure to benefit Ferris State public health students.

“Students will have direct access to a professional who represents the best of public health practice,” he said.

London has a doctorate in Public Health, a Master of Public Administration and earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health Management at Ferris State in 1998.

As the executive director of the Kent County Health Department, he oversees approximately 260 employees and a $33 million budget.

Ferris State Basketball squads tipoff season on the road in regional crossover action this weekend

The Ferris State University men's and women's basketball squads will both officially tipoff the 2023-24 seasons this weekend as each plays a pair of regional matchups away from home.

The Bulldog men's basketball team, which was picked to win the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) this year, will face former league rival Northwood on Friday (Nov. 10) in the season opener in Painesville, Ohio. The game is slated for a 5 p.m. (ET) start at the regional crossover with FSU slated to take on host Lake Erie in the finale on Saturday (Nov. 11) at 6 p.m. (ET).

Meanwhile, the Bulldog women, who were picked second in the GLIAC and listed 20th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) D2 Preseason National Rankings, will also compete in regional crossover action. The Bulldogs open the year on Friday with a neutral site contest versus Missouri S&T with tipoff set for 6 p.m. (ET) in Lebanon, Ill. Ferris State then squares off against host McKendree (Ill.) on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. (ET).

Both Ferris State teams return nearly every letter winner from a year ago this season.

There will be no local radio coverage of the weekend games due to other home events on the FSU campus, however both Lake Erie and McKendree will offer live internet statistics and a live video stream of all contests. Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com and click on the respective men's and women's basketball schedules for a complete listing of available links.

Following this weekend's road action, the Bulldog men will return home to host Cleary University in the home opener on Wednesday (Nov. 15) at 7 p.m. (ET) inside Jim Wink Arena in Big Rapids. The women will continue their regional road action at Northwood the same evening before playing their first home game on Nov. 29 against Spring Arbor.

Tickets for all FSU home basketball contests can be purchased in advance online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

MPSC Winter Energy Appraisal forecasts lower petroleum and propane prices, increased demand for natural gas

The Michigan Public Service Commission’s Winter Energy Appraisal for 2023-2024 projects demand for electricity will decline slightly while demand for natural gas will increase, mainly because of increased use of the fuel in electricity generation.

The annual report released today projects electricity demand will decline 2.7% overall, with residential demand declining 5.7% and commercial demand falling 2.5%, while industrial demand increases 0.9%. Consumption of natural gas is projected to increase 7.6%, due to increased use of gas in electrical generation, outweighing expected declines in the residential (-5.4%), commercial (-4.3%) and industrial (-1.6%) sectors.

While household electric use is expected to decline, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that average electricity prices in the east north central part of the country, which includes Michigan, will increase to 16.09 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), up 3.9% from 2022. For natural gas, the average commodity price for natural gas for the upcoming home heating season is expected to be $3.53 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), down from $5.80 per Mcf last winter.

For families struggling with home energy costs, help is available. Information about financial assistance and other resources is available at michigan.gov/mpsc/gethelp, a one-stop webpage that has information and links to state and utility company programs that offer energy bill assistance to income-qualified households, including State Emergency Relief, the Michigan Energy Assistance Program, and the annual Home Heating Credit.

The web page includes links to contact info for all of the natural gas and electric utilities whose rates are regulated by the MPSC; many utilities offer payment programs, including those that help spread seasonal higher costs year round. The page also has information on home weatherization and other ways to help lower energy use.

Anyone needing help may reach out to their utility or contact Michigan 211 by calling 211 or going to www.mi211.org. Michigan 211 is a free, confidential service that connects Michiganders with a broad range of assistance programs and services and other resources, including help with food, housing, transportation and home energy bills.

Other significant findings from the MPSC’s energy outlook include:

  • Residential propane prices as of October 2023 averaged $2.09 per gallon, down 16.6% from the year before.
  • 2 heating oil started the season at $3.88 per gallon, down 12% from last year.
  • Average Midwest gasoline prices are expected to average $3.47 per gallon in 2023 and $3.56 in 2024, down from $3.89 per gallon a year ago.

Here is the outlook by category of fuel:

 

NATURAL GAS

Demand: Total natural gas sales are expected to rise 7.6% in 2023 to 1.06 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), assuming normal winter weather. Power generation, expected to increase 33% in 2022, is expected to drive the growth in sales, overriding declines in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors. Natural gas fuels about 77% of Michigan’s home heating.

Supply: Michigan gas storage levels — the state has 10% of the nation’s available underground storage capacity — are expected to be 544 billion cubic feet (Bcf) to end 2023, an 18% increase year over year. U.S. inventories were 3,700 Bcf as of Oct. 20, 9.2% higher than in 2022.

Cost: The projected weighted average commodity price for residential customers of regulated Michigan utilities this season is $3.50 per Mcf, compared to last year’s actual average of $5.80/Mcf.

 

PROPANE

Demand: Propane is used for home heating by 8% of Michigan households, and Michigan uses more propone for residential heating than any other state. Current federal weather forecasts call for above normal temperatures this winter heating season, and weather is the chief determinant of demand.

Supply: U.S. propane production remains strong. U.S. inventories are at 102 million barrels, 19% higher year over year. Midwest inventories were at 27.7 million barrels, 6% above the five-year average.

Price: For the week of October 16, 2023, the average residential propane price in Michigan was around $2.10 per gallon. The EIA reported that wholesale propane prices began the season at 87 cents per gallon, 24 cents lower than in 2022.

 

ELECTRICITY

Demand: Michigan’s total electric sales for 2023 are projected to decrease 2.7% to 97l7 terawatt-hours (TWh) compared to 100.37 TWh in 2022. Sales are expected to decline in the residential and commercial sectors while increasing in the industrial sector.

Supply: No supply shortages are expected by the independent system operators serving the state.

Prices:  The EIA forecasts residential retail electricity prices in the east north central U.S. to average 16.09 cents per kWh for 2023, up 3.9% from the prior year. In Michigan, prices vary by utility.

 

MOTOR GASOLINE

Demand: Sales in Michigan are expected to decline 1.2% in 2023, following a 0.5% decline in 2022.

Supply: As of November 4, the Midwest held 44.3 million barrels of gasoline inventories, 1.2 million barrels less than a year ago. Nationally, gasoline inventories are 6.6% lower than last year and near the middle of the five-year range for this time of year.

Prices: A gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Michigan on Oct. 23 averaged $3.39 compared to $4.05 the year before. Midwest retail regular grade gasoline prices are expected to average $3.47 per gallon for 2023 and $3.56 per gallon in 2024.

 

DISTILLATE FUELS

Demand: Use of distillates for home heating continues to decline in Michigan, currently estimated at 35,680 homes compared to nearly 77,000 in 2010.

Supply: Midwest distillate stocks as of Oct. 13 were at 29.3 million barrels, 3.8 million barrels higher year over year. National inventories were at 114 million barrels, 8 million barrels higher than in 2022.

Prices: On-highway diesel fuel is expected to average $4.29 per gallon for 2023, 72 cents per gallon lower than in 2022, and remain relatively steady in 2024. AAA Michigan found the average diesel price in Michigan at $4.31 per gallon on Oct. 23, $1.15 lower than the year before. The average cost of heating oil was $3.74 per gallon as of Oct. 23, $1.24 per gallon lower than the same time last year.

Read the full Michigan Winter Energy Appraisal.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (10/30 - 11/5)

Monday, October 30

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a financial scam. The scammer posed as a possible love interest. The case is still under investigation.

Tuesday, October 31

  • Officers received information regarding a possible additional victim of Criminal Sexual Conduct of a suspect already in jail for the same type of charges. The investigation led to the discovery of yet another victim. The matter was turned over to the Prosecutor who authorized 5 counts of CSC to the 3rd Degree on the 29-year-old male suspect. It is now pending arraignment.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding a father and son domestic dispute. The case is still under investigation.
  • An officer responded to a call about someone dumping waste in a private business dumpster.

Wednesday, November 1

  • An officer was dispatched to assist State Police regarding a fight between residents at an assisted living home.

Thursday, November 2

  • Officers assisted the county liaison officer in looking for a teen who had left school without permission. The teen returned to the school on his own.

Friday, November 3

  • An officer assisted an individual that came to the department wanting to have a trespass notice issued.
    An officer was dispatched to the scene of two car rear end crash. There was minor damage and no injuries.

Saturday, November 4

  • An officer issued a citation to a male that was smoking marijuana on a public area.

  • An officer responded to a residence regarding death threats made after an argument between two sisters and their boyfriends over rent money. The matter has been submitted to the prosecutor for review.

  • An officer was dispatched to investigate harassing text messages. The caller was receiving text messages that stated distasteful things about her reproductive health. She believes it to be related to a recent domestic dispute she was involved in. The matter is under investigation.

Sunday, November 5

  • An officer assisted a resident that is trying to locate a lost dog.

  • An officer investigated reports of a couple of inoperable vehicles parked within city limits. Case still under investigation.

  • An officer assisted the sheriff’s department in locating a juvenile who walked away from an at risk youth facility.

City of Big Rapids receives funding from Community Street and Boulevard Tree Planting Grant Program

The City of Big Rapids has recently been awarded a tree planting grant from Consumers Energy and Michigan Forestry and Park Association, Inc (MFPA) Community Street and Boulevard Tree Planting Grant Program.

Reed City's Hammond officially signs with Central Michigan baseball

After making a commitment over a year ago, the decision has now been put pen-to-paper for the future Chippewa. Senior pitching standout Max Hammond signed his official national letter of intent Tuesday to attend Central Michigan University next fall.

“It feels great now that it’s official,” Hammond said. “I’m super excited to get down there and get to work.”

The senior multi-sport standout has a stellar baseball resume, including two All-CSAA first team awards, Pioneer Dream Team Player of the Year in 2022, and a division 3 MHSBCA All-State 1st team selection this past spring. Reed City’s ace struck out 146 batters with a 0.733 ERA through over 57 innings of work in 2023.

Not only was Hammond a dominant arm on the mound, but he also contributed greatly with his bat. In his junior season, Hammond hit for a .440 batting average as well as five home runs, 38 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.152.

“Baseball has always been my favorite,” Hammond said. “I’ve always had a thing for baseball so to play it at the next level is great.”

When asked on why he chose Central Michigan, Hammond said the location and sports management degree complimented the baseball program’s excellence.

“I love the coaches and the facilities are awesome. It’s only an hour away from home and they have the degree I want go into. It’s a great fit.”

Hammond’s career will not only be remembered for his greatness on the diamond, but also on the hardwood and gridiron. His multiple all-conference awards in basketball and football shows how truly talented of an athlete he is.

Central Michigan enters the 2024 fall season coming off a 34-23 season and a MAC championship two years ago. The Chippewas added Hammond as one of seven early signing period recruits.

*Attached image provided by Max Hammond.

More than a toy: The story behind Peace Through Puppets

Through the eyes of children, war can be the most traumatic even possibly imageable. The constant shelling of gunfire and destruction of buildings can leave severe physical and psychological scars.

Many people want to help but just don’t know how. For former Army veteran and Big Rapids area native Bruce Reges, the answer came with his firsthand experience on the battlefront.

“When I was a solider in Iraq, I brought puppets out on patrol and gave them the soldiers,” Reges said. “They would then give them to kids to help lessen the tension between us.”

This simple idea led to Reges’ venture standing to this day: Peace Through Puppets. This project has taken Reges to places all over the world; including Guatemala, Ukraine, Poland, and his most recent stop a few weeks ago in Israel.

 

*Reges sharing puppets with local children while on duty (Image provided by Bruce Reges).

 

“This year, I came here to Israel and didn't expect to have a war,” Reges said. “I came because I used to live there and wanted to see friends and the family that adopted me when I was younger. It became a beneficial trip because I could bring puppets to give out to kids who were evacuated from up north of Lebanon.”

With over 30 years of active service in the Army and time in the National Guard reserves, Reges finds joy in his work through a concept called “bidirectionality.” According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the word can be defined as “involving, moving, or taking place in two usually opposite directions.” This is a concept that Reges wrote about for his PhD, an action that gives a positive reaction both ways.

“When I give the child a puppet, most of the time the child is happy to get it,” Reges said. “What then happens is you start to feel good about what you're doing. In other words, not only is the child getting something that they feel good about, but you're feeling good after giving it to him.”

Curious minds may be wondering, “Why a puppet?”

As a toy, they are often fluffy and soft. They can come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Seems like simple reasoning; but according to Reges, there’s more to a puppet than any other child’s toy.

 

*A child receiving a puppet animal from Reges (Image provided by Bruce Reges).

 

“They're more than a toy, they’re a communication device. The kid may not speak your language and you may not speak the child's language, but the puppet can do it.”

While the project has been used heavily in other countries, Reges is hoping to start making connections locally to spread awareness of his project. His local ties including serving with the Big Rapids Rotary, in which he hopes for a potential way to partner with international rotaries in countries like Israel and Ukraine.

Reges has received support from his project already, including different GoFundMe fundraisers for his travels. One instance, he even received 15 large tubs of puppets that were donated by a kindergarten teacher. He even had a cousin willing to drive the shipment from Lincoln, Nebraska. Another measure of aid comes from a local source for finger puppets, which Reges said he is hoping to pass out at Big Rapids’ Saturday Veteran’s Day parade.

“One of the new phrases we have is ‘Soldier for Life,’” Reges said. “That means we try and live the values that we represent as soldiers of the United States. When I'm thinking about (Veteran’s Day), I'm seeing veterans who are just like soldiers that I was with in Iraq. If you saw how they respond to a child who will respond to them, that's where that personality comes in. It’s exciting to see how much emotion flows between the child and veterans.”

For more information of Reges’ work, visit http://peacethroughpuppets.net.

FULL PREVIEW: Big Rapids heads to Byron Center for Regional vs Grand Rapids South Christian

The magic just keeps flowing for the Cardinals! After a thrilling OT win at Spring Lake to open the playoffs, Big Rapids upset the #4 ranked Whitehall Vikings at Holton High School last Friday night, 28-27. They are District Champs for the 1st time since 2003 and move on to play the Grand Rapids South Christian Sailors in the Region 1 Finals Friday night at Byron Center High School.

 

LAST WEEK

The District Final vs Whitehall came down to 2 field goals for the Vikings; 1 extra point and 1 32-yard attempt as time expired. Riley Vennix, known for his QB play, almost blocked the extra point and clearly influenced the kick to go wide opposite his direction of attack. He then fully blocked the 32-yard attempt to end the game. During pre-game Whitehall kicker Kyler Frees proved he had the leg and accuracy to make that kick, but on the game ending attempt Coach Selzer and staff noticed a favorable matchup and moved Vennix from the far side (where he almost got the XP) to the near side. Vennix went untouched and the Cardinals won.

Senior Riley Vennix had the game of his life. With college coaches on hand, Riley completed 24 of 36 for 222 yards and 3 TDs. He added 30 yards on the ground and, like the OT touchdown at Spring Lake, rumbled his way through defenders and into the end zone to go ahead late in the 4th.

“He’s a playmaker” one of the recruiting coaches remarked after the game.

All game long, Vennix was ‘playmaking’ when the Cardinals needed them most. His offense converted 8/17 3rd downs and 5/5 4th downs. In Round 1 of the Playoffs, Allendale went 0-6 against Whitehall on 4th downs. They outgained the Vikings but couldn’t convert on the big downs when they needed it most. Riley Vennix did convert, and the Cardinals scored 14 points in the 1st half on a team that had given 14 points total since week 3.

The Cardinals held possession for almost 70% of the game running 68 plays to Whitehall’s 42.

BR knew that Whitehall had an explosive offense with QB Kyle Stratton, RB Darnell Mack, and CMU commit WR Camden Thompson. The Viking’s averaged 9.1 yards per play to the Cardinals 2.7. But football games are coached against the clock and the efforts of Riley Vennix and the offense proved instrumental in helping Coach Selzer and staff own those seconds. When you only have 30% of the time to score all the points, even the most explosive offenses will struggle.

 

HISTORY

There is no history between these teams. Big Rapids has never played GR South Christian. In Big Rapids history, they are 9-9-1 versus private schools. The last time BR played a private school was 1999 when they lost to Saginaw Nouvel Catholic 34-18.

The closest we can get to a similar matchup is South Christian playing Whitehall in the Regional last year and winning 28-21. They’re 2-0 all time versus the Vikings with the other win coming in the 2014 Regional, 49-14. The Sailors have matched up with school’s BR has played such as Coopersville, Paw Paw, and Spring Lake however the last game with any of them was in 2012 against Paw Paw.

This is the 2nd time in school history the Cardinals have been in the Regional. The 1st being the historic 2003 team that went to the Semis with Three Rivers and lost 28-17. The Three Rivers Wildcats won the whole thing that year.

This is the 4th consecutive season the Sailors have been in the Regional with last year being their only win in that span. Since the program’s inception in 1965, they’ve made it to the Regionals 14 times. They won the State title 4 times (2002, 2012, 2014, 2022) with 8 Finals appearances.

 

MATCHUP

The Sailors will spread it out on offense and use junior QB Carson Vis’s arm. Vis is not a football player first. He’s one of the state’s top basketball recruits after taking the Sailors to the Finals in 2022. Every regional MAC school has offered him as well as numerous GLIAC schools including Ferris’ own Coach Bronkema. Bronks tried to lock up Vis before he even started his sophomore year at South Christian.

As a football player, Vis is a dynamic 1st year QB who will push the ball down field while on the run. The Sailors will throw the ball 43% of the time compared to BR’s 29%.

Vis accounted for 44% of all rushing attempts this season. Coming into last Friday, he was 113/180 (63%) passing for 2,083 yards and 26 TDs. That’s good for 208 yds/gm and a Passer Efficiency of 200.98 (LSU’s Jayden Daniels has the highest rating in the NCAA at 198.85).

While all football offenses run through the QB, 73% of all of SC’s yardage is off the legs and arm of Carson Vis. To compare, 53% of the Cardinals total offense depends on Riley Vennix.

The other problem for the Cardinals is Vis’ connection to senior WR Jake Vermaas. In their final game of the regular season (a loss at Wayland), Vermaas caught 16 passes for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns. This will put Vermaas just behind Brant Athley’s 300 yard game in 1999 in the MHSAA record book. Vermaas is averaging 126 yards receiving a game and has 16 total TDs. He’s being recruited by Ferris, GVSU, Western Michigan, and more.

Coach Fricke’s defensive unit has put together the best season in the Mike Selzer era. They surrender only 13.3 points a game including only 27 to a Whitehall team that scored 46 a game. Vennix, Heck, and Dubowski will continue to minimize damage in the air while Cheese, Foster, and Bollman shut down the 2nd level. The key will be for the defensive line, led by Caiden ‘Earl’ Schuberg, to get pressure on Vis and contain him to the middle of the field. “[We] must contain [the] QB as much as possible and not let him scramble” said Coach Selzer. “Designed runs and QB scrambles. WR has good size, speed, [and] hands. Favorite target.”

The key to the defense will be the offense. The Cardinal offense, also the best of the Mike Selzer era, will look to repeat the time destroying effort they accomplished at Whitehall. The Sailors will score, and they will do it quickly.

“O-line is probably the biggest we have seen. Keeping our offense on the field and limiting their possessions will be huge.” Said Coach Selzer.

South Christian’s #77 OT/DT Camren VanSolkema is another individual to focus on. The GVSU commit plays tough on both sides of the ball and his 6’2” 275lb frame with create holes in the offense and walls in the run game for BR.

“He’s pretty solid, they will put him at multiple positions on the d-line. [He] has good range for a bigger guy.” Coach Selzer added.

Despite the players noted, South Christian is not as deep as Whitehall. They do have some serious playmakers and game wreckers. If the Cardinals execute their gameplan of dimnating possession, then they will have a good shot at matching the 2003 Big Rapids team.

The stars have aligned in these tight games for Big Rapids so far. I’m knocking on wood as this is written that the stars stay that way for at least another week.

 

NUMBERS

Since 2019 the Sailors have been coached by Danny Brown. A South Christian Alum, Coach Brown is 42-16 overall, 26-5 at home, 13-3 in the playoffs, and 7-0 at home in the playoffs. Coach Brown’s ‘23 Sailors is his worst defense by points surrendered (-23.3/gm). They have their 2nd best offense (+36.2pts/gm) next to last year’s state champion offense led by current Toledo Rocket Jake Dehaan (+37.8 pts/gm).

Coach Mike Selzer has run the Cardinals since 2015 compiling a 45-42 overall record. He’s 29-24 on the road, 4-5 in the playoffs, and 3-5 in road playoff games. He’s won 18 of his last 21 games outscoring opponents 38 to 20. The 2023 season has been his most dominant with a career best +35 -13 point split (+22/gm).

1st year Varsity QB Senior Riley Vennix is the primary artery of the offense. Vennix is 78/126 of the season passing for 1,007 yards and 11 TDs. He’s rushed 93 times for 636 yards and 9 TDs. Ruley season passing efficiency rating of 149.91 puts him on par with SMU’s Preston Stone (150.25). As noted, the Cardinals do not rely on him as much as the Sailors, but that’s because of the abilities of the supporting cast namely Garret Foster, Jack Bollman, and Kaleb Dubowski.

Junior Garret Foster totaled over 100 yards for the 6th time this season when he strung together 120 all-purpose yards vs Whitehall. Garret leads everyone not named Vennix with 1,026 all-purpose yards. His 18 TDs are 2nd only to Vennix’s 20 as well. Foster was the go-to guy when the Cardinals needed short yardage in the air. He will motion all over the place to mix up coverages and get open. Look for more of the same from OC Scott Pedigo.

Sophomore Jack Bollman displayed more of his dynamic athletic ability last Friday. Jack only tallied 1.15 yards per carry, but he matched his week 1 season high of 4 receptions for a season high 39 receiving yards. If Bollman also joins the passing game, the offense takes another step.

Senior Kaleb Dubowski had 9 targets last Friday. This matched his season high from week 1. Dubo brought in 7 of the 9 for 56 yards. While those stats don’t explode off the page, his efficient route running off the ball and at the top of his route created significant separation from defenders that allowed Vennix to hit him open in big down situations. If the Cardinals need to throw the ball, he’s the deep threat with explosive down field speed.

 

BRACKET IMPLICATIONS

With a win, Big Rapids would move into the Final 4 and play the winner of #6Niles and #10Portland. The fields move to neutral sites after this week. An expected Niles win may result in a Northern Kalamazoo location or somewhere similar to Byron Center. A Portland win could be in the Greenville area.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Big Rapids at South Christian kicks off at Byron Center High School Friday (11/10) at 7:00pm on Big Country 1009.

You can listen online at WWBR Big Country 100.9 or via the WWBR mobile app.

Ferris State hosting its Annual Veterans Breakfast on Friday, Nov. 10

Ferris State University will host its annual Veterans Day Breakfast on Friday, Nov. 10, at 8 a.m. in the David L. Eisler Center ballroom in an event open to campus and local veterans.

The Veterans Day Breakfast, sponsored by the Ferris State President’s Office, features a presentation of the colors, the singing of the National Anthem, and remarks from John Van Etten, who graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Aeronautics.

Van Etten married his love for innovation to his childhood dream of flight. He joined the U.S. Air Force, where he piloted the OV-10 Bronco—an aircraft known for its crucial role during the Vietnam War for reconnaissance and light attack missions.

Following his active-duty separation, Van Etten became a member of the Air National Guard. He flew the F-100 Super Saber, a testament to his advanced flying abilities and dedication to service. During his time with the Air National Guard, Van Etten’s career took a parallel path as he became a corporate pilot.

After completing two successful decades as a business leader, Van Etten retired, choosing Mid-Michigan as his home.

The Reserve Officers Training Corps members will present an honor guard and flag ceremony.

Veterans run Ferris State’s Veteran Resource Center for Veterans. The office is a centralized location available to all veterans – active duty, reserve guard, separated, retired and their dependents. 

Ferris State’s commitment to supporting students from military service backgrounds was recognized by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, which presented the university with gold-level status.

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

For more information about the Veterans Day Breakfast, can contact the Veterans Resource Center at (231) 591-2022 or by email at Veterans@Ferris.edu.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (10/30 - 11/5)

Monday, October 30

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched to investigate a single vehicle property damage accident.
  • Check Wellbeing – Officers were dispatched for a wellbeing check on a subject. The subject was transported to the hospital by ambulance, for medical care.

Tuesday, October 31

  • Private Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched for a two-vehicle private property accident.
  • Suicide – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a suicidal subject.
  • Juvenile – Officers were dispatched for a wellbeing check on a juvenile. The juvenile was displaying aggressive behavior and was trying to hurt themself. Officers transported juvenile to Reed City Hospital for a mental evaluation. 
  • Retail Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a retail fraud complaint. A suspect was identified, and the report will be sent to the Prosecutor for review. 
  • Malicious Destruction of Property – Officers were dispatched for a malicious destruction of property complaint. The suspect followed an individual to a parking lot, got out of their vehicle, and damaged the victim's mirror.
  • Suicide – Officers responded for a wellbeing check on a suicidal subject. The subject advised they were suicidal and requested to be brought to hospital for a mental evaluation. Officer's transported subject to Reed City Emergency room where they were evaluated. 
  • Check Wellbeing – Officers were dispatched for a wellbeing check on a subject who might have been assaulted. The subject advised nothing physical happened and they did not require any services from the officer.  

Wednesday, November 1

  • Harassment/Child Abuse – Officers were dispatched to a harassment complaint. Upon further investigation it was discovered the suspect may have been abusing the complainant’s children. A CPS referral was made, and the report remains open pending further investigation.

Thursday, November 2

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched to a civil dispute over property.  Parties were advised to contact the court if they were unable to resolve their dispute.

  • Trespass – Officers were dispatched to a residence for a trespassing complaint.  The subject was located and issued a no trespass notice. The subject left the property without causing any further issues. 

Friday, November 3

  • Juvenile – Officers were dispatched for a wellbeing check on a juvenile. After speaking with the juvenile, they calmed down and no other services were needed.

  • Harassment – Officers were dispatched for a harassment complaint which involved harassment over social media.   

Saturday, November 4

  • Hit and Run - Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a one car accident. The driver of the vehicle fled from the scene on foot. The driver was found and arrested for OWI and possession of Methamphetamines.

Sunday, November 5

  • Nothing reported.

Cardinals' Warren signs letter of intent to University of Toledo

Wednesday afternoon in front of her coaches, teammates, friends, and family, three-sport standout Marissa Warren made her choice of collegiate destination.

The 2023 all-state selection signed her letter of intent to attend the University of Toledo and play softball for the Rockets. When asked why she chose Toledo, it was the fit with her intended major of exercise science and the program’s style of softball.

“For me, it was ultimately the coaching staff,” Warren said. “Coach (Bracamonte) is changing the environment there and bringing a better culture. I love what she is trying to do and I think her coaching style really fits with my personal style.”

Warren helped lead Big Rapids to three straight district titles and back to back conference championships during her three years starting on varsity. She also collected 1st team All-Conference and Pioneer Dream Team honors individaully all three years. 

The current senior has broken numerous records already for the Cardinals, holding the current top marks for single season batting average (.603), home runs in a single season (15), and RBIs in a single season (84). According to head coach Dawn Thompson, she also holds a top-five statistical ranking 15 different times in the Big Rapids history books.

“Marissa is a coach’s dream,” Thompson said. “Not only is she athletic and extremely talented, but more importantly she is a leader whose work ethic, determination, and commitment to her team is admirable.”

As one of Toledo’s eight early signees, Warren will join the team in the fall of 2024. The Rockets will look to improve on a 21-25 season this coming spring in the second full season for Coach Bracamonte.

For more local sports news, subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily Newsletter at wbrn.com.

Detroit Lions Jared Goff Quote Sheet: 11/7/2023

LIONS QB JARED GOFF QUOTE SHEET

November 7, 2023

On if he prefers Gene Wilder’s or Johnny Depp’s version of Willy Wonka after dressing as him for Halloween: “Yeah, Gene Wilder and I was quite upset that (my fiancé) didn’t want to stay consistent with me, but it worked out good. It was fun.”

On if the bye week serves as an opportunity for players to self-scout like Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell mentioned it was for the coaches: “Yeah, you reflect on it. I think they kind of show us the facts and the reality of where we’re at, both good and bad. There’s a lot of good to be had, but there’s a lot of stuff that we can work on. And I think he pointed it out, the red zone, and we’ll just continue to take care of the ball better. That’s what you’re always trying to do and will continue to be points of emphasis.”

On what Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell’s goal of playing their best football in the month of December means: “Yeah, just keep on trending upwards. I think we’ve been doing that for most of the year and we had a little setback in Baltimore, but really been trending upwards and have been getting better. And hopefully still a lot of room to get better as the season goes on.”

On if there is still ‘meat on the bone’ for what the offense can do: “Yeah, I think so. I think there’s a lot of meat on the bone, both for offense and defense. I’m sure they’d say the same thing where we feel like maybe the Carolina game was a complete game, but other than that, I don’t know if we’ve really had one, and how do we get closer to that as the season comes to an end? And no reason to not start this week and try to put together a complete game this week as well.”

On if he ever looks at which upcoming opponents on the schedule are considered weaker: “No, we’re trying to beat the Chargers this week.”

On what stands out about the Chargers’ defense: “Yeah, good front, really good front. Good at every level, good front, good backers, good backend, really talented, fly around. Obviously, (Chargers OLB Khalil) Mack and (Chargers OLB Joey) Bosa are the guys you’ve got to be really worried about and what they can do in both the pass game and the run game. But yeah, all those guys are really good. (Chargers LB) Eric Kendricks is a hell of a player, (Chargers LB Kenneth) Murray (Jr.), (Chargers S) Derwin (James Jr.). I played a lot of those guys a handful of times and they’re great players.”

On his initial assessment of Lions WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: “Yeah, he looks great. He looks great. He’s doing a good job acclimating himself and excited to play with him.”

On what it means to have Lions C Frank Ragnow back: “Yeah, certainly just gives us that continuity that we’ve been used to with those guys throughout training camp and the majority of the season. And getting (Lions G) Jonah (Jackson) back after he’s been able to heal himself up, should be fresh and good to go, and same with Frank.”

On where the Chargers’ pass rush ranks against other units they have already faced: “Yeah, I don’t know, up there though. They’ve got two guys who can go, two guys who can get after the quarterback and their sacks numbers represent that.”

On if he did anything with Lions WR Donovan Peoples-Jones over the bye week to speed up his acclimation period: “No, I texted him and told him if he needs help, I’m here to help him, but I think he’s a smart guy. He’s picking it up. And yeah, we’ll move as quickly as he can pick it up, but yeah, he’s been handling it well.”

On if he needs to say anything to the team to keep them motivated or if they are still locked in after the bye week: “Yeah, we’re still really hungry and for a lot of reasons. I think one of them is we know we can play better, and we can finish games a little bit better and put together a complete game on every facet of the game. And as well as we haven’t done anything yet. Yeah, we’re 6-2 and feel good about it, but not even at the halfway point. We still have nine games left and have got to do a lot more, better stuff if we want to be playing late into the playoffs.”

On if there is a reason for their uncharacteristic red zone struggles: “Yeah, just simple execution and doing what we’re supposed to do. Yeah, I wish it was one thing that we could clean up and fix, it’s not. It’s just execution and we know what the answers are and being able to do things a little bit better.”

On if there are any special emotions going back to play in California this week: “No, I don’t think there will be emotions. No, it’ll be fun to play in front of a lot of my friends and family and have a lot of people going to this game, but no, it’ll be just a normal game. It’ll be cool to be back in that stadium.”

 

Lions head to SoFi Stadium to take on the Chargers this Sunday at 4:05pm.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

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FULL PREVIEW: Reed City seeks third ever regional title against Midland Bullock Creek

After a 1-3 start to the season, many analysts thought the Coyotes’ postseason chances would be in jeopardy. Coach Shankel’s team has ignored the naysayers and now will line up against the Lancers of Midland Bullock Creek this Friday night for a regional championship. In preparation for the game, here’s a full in-depth look at the matchup including the history, schemes, numbers, and bracket implications for the two programs.

HISTORY

Midland Bullock Creek and Reed City have only squared off two times in the history of the programs. Each matchup occurred in the district rounds of 2004 and 2005, with both outcomes falling in the Lancers’ favor by a combined score of 82-46. Since then, Reed City has owned the record comparison with a 148-40 record compared to the Lancers’ 64-104 mark.

For consideration of common opponents between the two teams, the Lancers recently defeated Clare 22-19 in the district opening round. The Coyotes have taken down the Pioneers in their last three matchups and hold the edge in the all-time series with 13 wins compared to Clare’s eight. Bullock Creek also faces Millington as a conference foe: the team Reed City narrowly beat 6-0 last year for the regional crown. The Lancers are 1-4 against the Cardinals over the past five matchups including a 32-10 loss this season. The Lancers and Coyotes do share one opponent that has given them fits in recent memory: Saginaw Swan Valley, who is a combined 5-1 against the two teams since 2017.

SCHEME

Based on the film, Bullock Creek likes to use a pistol formation with a variation of two-back and single-back type looks. The Lancers like to play “smashmouth” football, where they use their physicality to wear down opposing defensive lines. This worked especially against quicker, smaller teams like Clare and Chesaning where they were able to break a couple long touchdown runs. They will throw the ball on occasion, using short quick route concepts to pick up moderate gains and keep drives going on third down. Reed City’s experience against teams like Tri-County, Big Rapids, and Cadillac will certainly be used in benefit for their defensive backs and linebackers to stay disciplined after the snap.

Defensively, the Lancers have shown more of a zone-type look over the past two weeks of the postseason as opposed to Reed City’s man-to-man style. This is likely due to matchups with Clare and Chesaning, who like to spread the field out with more balanced running and passing playbooks. Against Harrison, a team that runs the “Wing-T” style offense like Reed City, they used a heavy five man front with lots of defenders condensed “inside the numbers.” The position of their linebackers will be interesting to watch if Reed City decides to stretch the field laterally using sweeps, tosses, and ither outside runs.

NUMBERS

As the ultimate underdog in this year’s playoffs, Bullock Creek is the only number four seed left across all divisions. The Lancers rank 120th in the state according to MaxPrep’s football rankings, the lowest among Division 6 teams. Reed City enters week 12 at 96 in the same rankings, which is 27 spots higher than they were a week ago. Based off playoff points, Bullock Creek ranks 26th while Reed City sits in 7th overall in the MHSAA.

The Lancers offensively have averaged 30.1 points per game this season. This almost doubled their output from last season at 17.2. Defensively, they have allowed opponents to only 15.4 points per game this year. Reed City, in comparison, has scored slightly more points per game offensively at 33.8 but have given up a few points more at 17.3 per contest.

BRACKET IMPLICATIONS

The Region 2 Championship winner on Friday will face the winner of Gladstone and Kingsley next week. Gladstone ranks one spot ahead of Reed City in Division 6 with 46.569 points and is amidst their second straight nine-win season. On the other side, Kingsley’s high-powered offense has scored an average of approximately 48 points per game this year and earned the Stags the number 3 seed overall.

The state semi-final matchup would take place on Saturday, Nov. 18 at a neutral facility located between the two winning schools. If Reed City were to play Kingsley, the game would potentially be played at Cadillac. If Reed City were to play Gladstone, they would likely go back to Gaylord in similar fashion to 2022 when they played Negaunee.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Brandon Wirth and Joe Nagy will be on the call for all the game action. Tune in to Y102 starting at 6:45 P.M. for the full pre-game show on 102.3 FM, WYBR.com, or the WYBR mobile app.

Green TWP board recalled, Chippewa TWP millage passed in Mecosta County elections

The tallies are in from Tuesday's local elections for Mecosta County.

In the vote for Big Rapids City Commission, Amanda Johnson and Lorraine James were selected with 424 and 353 votes respectfully. The other two nominees, Clifton Franklund and David Rhodes, received 250 and 195 respectively.

In the Green TWP Board Recall, the votes favored all five board members' to be replaced. Here are the results:

  • For supervisor, Jason Kruse defeated Jim Chapman 550-222.
  • For treasurer, Robert Henderson defeated Denise McFarlane 500-271. 
  • For clerk, Corri Riebow defeated Janet Clark 508-264.
  • For the trustee positions, Kelly Cushway defeated Roger Carroll 529-241 and Jeff Thorne defeated Dale Jernstadt 561-208. 

In the other two Green TWP votes for the planning commission and the library millage, neither passed by margins of 491-269 and 457-314 respectively.

The Big Rapids Charter Revision did pass in a 165-87 tally as well as the Chippewa TWP Hall Millage falling 145-93 in favor of yes.

Kent County Sheriff's Office investigating shooting in Gaines TWP

Just before 2:30 PM Tuesday, the Kent County Sheriff's Office received multiple calls for shots fired in the area of 60th St. & Kalamazoo Ave SE.

Deputies arrived to find bullet casings in the area, but no persons were injured. The initial investigation found there was an exchange of gunfire between a white Jeep Cherokee and a Red KIA SUV while traveling eastbound on 60th St. between Kalamazoo Ave. & Campus Park Dr. The Red Kia has and its owners have been located. The white Jeep remains outstanding.

If you have any doorbell cameras in your neighborhood that may help investigators please contact the Kent County Sheriff's Office. As always, if you have information that could help to move the investigation forward, please call the Kent County Sheriff's Office at 616-632-6125, or call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 to report information safely and anonymously.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (10/30 - 11/5)

Monday, October 30

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Tuesday, October 31

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 5

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Wednesday, November 1

  • At around 1500 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on several warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At around 1740 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Morton TWP. A female subject was arrested on a felony warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 8

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, November 2

  • At 0835 hours, deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Hinton TWP. A female subject was arrested for assaulting her husband and daughter. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 21

Car/Deer Accidents: 8

 

Friday, November 3

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, November 4

  • At 0618 hours, deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in a female being arrested on a warrant and possession of methamphetamine. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail. 

  • At 1415 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Millbrook TWP.  A female was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 16

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Sunday, November 5

Calls for Service: 11

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Detroit Lions Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 11/6/2023

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

November 6, 2023          

On if there was anything that surprised him while self-scouting the team’s last eight games during the bye week: “I don’t think necessarily surprised. I just think it – I think the obvious are the turnover-takeaway ratio, we need to be better on both sides. Red zone, both sides. And there’s a number of reasons behind that, that I’m not going to get into. And then third-quarter production, or lack thereof, we can be better on both sides. So, I think those are the three things that we’ve kind of came away with. There’s other areas, but those were the big ones collectively, as a team. I know that for our special teams, we’ve got to get (Lions WR Kalif Raymond) Leaf going, we’re so close. We’ve been close, but man we’re one block away. We’re – there’s just – we’re close, but we’ve got to start breaking some of these with him in the return game.”

On if Lions C Frank Ragnow, Lions G Jonah Jackson and Lions RB David Montgomery are closer to returning this week: “All three of those guys moved around today. They were out there. Today was really more priming the pump, get them ready for tomorrow. But we did some individual, some group, did a special teams segment and they were all involved, all three of those guys.”

On if there is a possibility that Lions C Frank Ragnow, Lions G Jonah Jackson and Lions RB David Montgomery will play on Sunday: “Yeah, I think so. We’ll see tomorrow when we pad them up, but they’ve been trending the right way now for a while, so certainly hopeful.”

On how they began the onboarding process for Lions WR Donovan Peoples-Jones after signing him right before the bye week: “Yeah, I think more of it was just getting him in here, getting him acclimated with just everybody that – our resources that we have. We’ll get him up to speed with the playbook here, make sure he’s good and healthy and then just see where it is. I mean certainly, we acquired him to – because we think he can help us, but I also want to make sure he’s ready, mentally and physically, he’s 100 percent ready before we do that. So, this week will be big for him. He was out there today and then tomorrow we’ll see where it’s at and just kind of take it day-to-day.”

On the goals he has for the team moving forward: “Well I know this, by December we need to be playing our best football collectively and up to date, like the Chargers, we need to play our best football game. We still have left so much out there and as good as we played to get six wins, we’ve been able to complement each other, but yet I would say we have not played our best football collectively, offense, defense and special teams. So, we’ve got to play a clean game. We’ve got to come out with no turnovers, we need to get our takeaways back. We talked about red zone and those things. We need a fast start to the third quarter. So, I just think cleaning some of those things up, our focus to the details of what we’re doing, got to take another step up, another notch up.”

On having extra time to scout the Chargers over the bye week in addition to being able to watch them play on Monday Night Football tonight: “Yeah, well I would say the bye helps you because you’ve already – I mean here’s the – I don’t know how much tonight’s game – I mean we’ll certainly look at that, but it’s – the hay is kind of already in the barn. We’ve got an eight-game snapshot of this team already and there’s not going to be a ton that we’ll change on that. There’ll be a couple things that we’ll just make sure we’ll verify one way or another, but it’s really – the bye gives you that luxury to kind of catch up. But I also told the staff, I did not – at the sake of us not looking at ourselves and deep-diving ourselves and putting in a little bit of work today, I wanted to make sure our guys got that and saw that because it’s always going to be about us, it is. So, we’ll really deep dive the Chargers tomorrow. They come in and then we’ll start on them.”

On the plans for Lions QB Hendon Hooker moving forward: “Yeah, we’re not there yet. I mean, he’s getting better and we’ll make that decision when we feel like it’s ready to go, but we’ve certainly discussed him. The only way he’s going to get practice is if you put him on the roster, so we know that’s the obvious, it’s just a matter of when we do it.”

On if there is a big-picture element they are missing that is hurting their red zone success: “No, I mean look, I think it’s as a – we need to do better in third down. But some of that is because second down wasn’t as good and you’re getting in some of these long situations. Defensively it’s, really on both sides, it’s – they’re self-induced and so that’s the tough part of it, but it’s also – that’s the encouraging part, we can clean all these things up. So, certainly be able to convert or make them manageable conversions. We get them in third-and-long defensively, we can’t allow them to do it. There’s a couple of things that have shown up and it really is, it's whether it’s turnover or it’s penalty on offense, a holding, or it’s a DPI, or something, those have kind of bit us a little bit there, so those are all things we can clean up and it’s just a reminder for all of us. We get down there and it’s really about alleviating the mistakes, more than it is making the plays. It’s, man, alleviate the errors. And that’ll go a long way for us.”

On the challenges rookie Lions OL Colby Sorsdal faced when starting at right guard for the first time against the Raiders: “Yeah, it’s – it is big. I think that’s a big step for him and it’s not the easiest thing to do, especially at that position. And so, I thought that he did an admirable job, he stepped in there and it was a better showing than when we had to use him in Atlanta, now that was out at right tackle and that’s a different position all in itself as well, but I thought he represented himself well and banged away in there and what we learned is it’s not too big for him and so, he’s another guy, the more reps he gets, the better he’ll get. But no, that’s a good sign because you don’t know how it’s going to play out. For some guys it’s too much, too early, and some guys, boy they just – they love the opportunity, and they thrive in it and I thought he stepped up and it wasn’t too big.”

On if there is something they needed at the linebacker position that caused them to sign Lions LB Trevor Nowaske to the active roster from the practice squad: “Yeah, he was being poached, potentially, so we didn’t want to lose him and we felt like we had the flexibility to make that move. We feel like we’re going to need him before it’s all said and done and we like where he’s going. He’s another young guy that we’ve got on this roster that’s really developing and growing and he’s – that’s a good room right now, all seven of those guys, counting him. I mean, it’s an outstanding room between what they’re able to do defensively, but special teams too. I mean, we rely on them for a lot, so yeah, he was a guy that we didn’t want to lose.”

On the plan for Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs if Lions RB David Montgomery returns to play this week: “Yeah, I mean, I think certainly we know what David can do, but we know that Gibbs has gotten better every week, so we’re going to ask those guys to do things they do well and that help our offense move the football. So, I don’t think necessarily sitting here talking to you right now, that I see Gibbs getting 65 plays. I don’t see that, but he’s going to get his fair share, now. We know what he can be and he’s growing. So, I think it’ll be a little bit by committee and make sure we get those guys touches. Gibbs will get his touches.”

On if he can share any weaknesses that he saw during his self-scout over the bye week that he thinks opponents see: “No. No, because I don’t want them to think what I think about us through their eyes. So, no. I like where we’re at, like where we’re at. We’ve got things to clean up, as any team would.”

On if he thinks the team possesses characteristics that will allow them to succeed in the second half of the season: “Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely.”

On if he got the message across to the team that they need to play their best football going into the second half of the season: “There’s no question. That’s right. Look, we – we’re sitting in a good spot after eight games, but now we’ve got nine to go here, post-bye. And the other thing, we’re about to get three. I mean, it’s really, here’s the three-game schedule right now and it starts with the Chargers and it’s three games in 11 days and it’s bam, bam, bam and that’s November. And then we’ll worry about the rest after that. But yeah, we’ve got to be playing – we’ve gotten a little bit better, but we need to be playing our best football because those are the teams that are going to make a push. I mean, you see what Minnesota does, I’m not surprised by that. They just keep winning, they’re playing good football. We’ve got to keep playing good football for us and every team that is going to make a run here are the teams that start to clean it up and they just get a little bit better, a little bit better. And some of the teams that stay the same are going to begin to lose and they’ll be jockeying going on here November into December, so we’ve got to keep playing good ball and we’ve got to clean our own issues up.”

 

 

St. Clair County Sheriff's Department Detective forges successful career in law enforcement that started at Ferris State University's Law Enforcement Academy

Chris Schwartzkopf says most of the people in his family worked in the business world, but he wanted to go in another direction.

“There was a time when I was considering a career in engineering, which would have been in line with our tradition of taking roles in corporate life,” he said. “It came down to the realization I wanted to work outside a business and office setting, in a career that would allow me to help other people and keep our community safe.”

Schwartzkopf, now a St. Clair County Sheriff’s detective, forged a career in law enforcement in eastern Lower Michigan, which started decades ago at Ferris State University by recognizing and pursuing his passions.

Schwartzkopf completed studies in Ferris State’s Law Enforcement Academy, in 1989 and joined the police department in the village of Capac, in western St. Clair County. Then, he met Steven Amey, the director of Ferris State’s LEA program.

“My education and dedication to learning really helped my ability to be an effective communicator with the public,” Schwartzkopf said. “I came to Capac and succeeded in continuing studies for a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at Ferris by working with the police department half-time, on weekends. I earned that degree in 1992 and am proud to have come along as a law enforcement professional with Steve Amey, who went on to earn his Ph.D. I have always enjoyed our relationship and accomplishments.”

Schwartzkopf joined the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office in 1997. He started as a special deputy and progressed in responsibilities for the next 19 years by moving to full-time road patrol duty and receiving a promotion to the detective bureau in 2017.

“I had gained experience as a crash investigator and training officer for our road patrol,” Schwartzkopf said. “I have also served as a special investigator in support of our county’s medical examiner’s office. I feel the knowledge I gained from Criminal Justice studies at Ferris placed me in a position to excel in investigative and leadership roles.”

Since joining the detective bureau, Schwartzkopf is proud of his contributions in investigating felony cases, including crimes of abuse against victims of all ages.

“As officer-in-charge for one of the largest sexual assault cases in our county’s history, we were able to get the predator off the street,” Schwartzkopf said. “I found great satisfaction in delivering a case to our prosecutor’s office that led to the suspect’s conviction. I also able applied my investigative skills to secure the conviction of an embezzler who had taken nearly $100,000.”

The detective duty demands mean Schwartzkopf’s role as a community servant has been almost entirely offered through law enforcement.

“I am proud to be a member of the Masons in Capac, which included a term as Master of the Lodge,” Schwartzkopf said. “The demands of my job really do not allow me to continue as a leader there.”

The detective added that while he works well across the state from Ferris State, his alma mater is frequently a conversation topic, whether on the job or around his community.

“Here at the sheriff’s office, several deputies earned certificates or degrees from Ferris, along with other alumni who have retired from the force,” Schwarzkopf said. “We also have a lieutenant and sergeant from the university, so we are well-represented in the department’s administration. Ferris CJ and LEA graduates are given top priority as we recruit to build and maintain our staffing levels because we know they have received excellent training.”

While out and about off the job, Schwarzkopf said dental hygienists and optometrists he has also encountered hail from Ferris State, which is always a pleasant discovery.

Even at this point in an active and accomplished career, Schwartzkopf sees his educational journey as incomplete.

“I know that retirement is in my not-too-distant future,” Schwartzkopf said. “Regardless, I am continuing to learn to become a sergeant and further my service in our detective bureau.” 

Ferris State Soccer advances to GLIAC Tourney semifinals with quarterfinal-round road win

The Ferris State University women's soccer team advanced to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Semifinals after beating Saginaw Valley State by a 1-0 score in the quarterfinal-round on Monday (Nov. 6) in University Center.

The Bulldogs (7-8-4) topped the Cardinals for the second time in five days, as they were previously victorious 2-1 on Thursday (Nov. 2) in the regular season finale.

With the win, FSU will next face host Northern Michigan in the league semifinals on Friday (Nov. 10) as the top-seeded Wildcats topped Purdue Northwest 3-0 and will host the semifinals and finals of the league tourney this weekend in Marquette.

Lauren Kubacki started at goalkeeper in Monday's quarterfinals and made four saves while earning a shutout win.

FSU senior Payton Price had the lone goal of the game. Her seventh score of the year was unassisted at the 25:59 mark in the first half. She controlled a pass that came over the top into the box and beat Lainey Garbarz to the lower-right part of the goal to give Ferris State a lead that held up the rest of the way.

In the win, the Bulldogs attempted four shots on goal, took one corner kick and had 14 fouls. Saginaw Valley sent four shots on target, had six corner kicks and committed seven fouls. 

Ferris State will be back in action on Friday against the Wildcats in the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals. More information will be released by the league office following the conclusion of quarterfinal-round play on Monday evening.

An official response: Threatened lawsuit against Gotion Inc. is "without merit, riddled with inaccuracies"

An opposition group’s “notice of intent to sue” Gotion Inc. is without merit and riddled with inaccuracies, according to the law firm representing Gotion Inc.

"Gotion Inc. will not be deterred by such a frivolous attempt to stop ongoing progress of our battery components facility in Green Charter Township,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “Gotion Inc. is an environmentally centered company that is committed to meeting and exceeding all state and federal expectations. We continue to move forward on getting all the necessary regulatory permits and on-site reviews to begin construction of the facility.”

Gotion Inc. responded to the notice today. In its official response, the following inaccuracies were cited:

  • Because Gotion is still awaiting additional approvals before constructing the facility, there are no violations that need to be remedied, as suggested in the notice.
  • The notice repeatedly claims Dalziel Creek runs through Gotion’s property, but the creek is located nearly 1.5 miles outside of the property.
  • The notice claims the Gotion property includes a population of endangered Rusty Patch Bumble Bees and Karner blue butterflies, but no documentation was submitted to support the claims.
  • The notice claims that wild blue lupine, the alleged sole source of nourishment of Karner blue butterflies, grows on Gotion’s property, but the plant does not exist on the property.
  • The notice claims Gotion Inc. is using large trucks on nearby roads, but Gotion has not begun construction activities and the trucks referenced are not owned by Gotion.

Gotion Inc. will continue to seek the necessary approvals for its activities at the proper time relating to the Endangered Species Act and Michigan Environmental Protection Act.

Corewell Health Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed City celebrating ten-year anniversary Tuesday

Corewell Health™ Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center invites community members, patients and their families to celebrate the center’s 10-year anniversary on Tuesday, Nov. 7.  

The event, set to begin at 4 P.M. and continue until 6 P.M. at the Cancer Center, 4499 220th St., near Corewell Health Reed City Hospital, will include a brief ceremony with remarks from Andrea Leslie, president of Corewell Health’s Big Rapids, Reed City and Greenville hospitals. The evening will include refreshments, facility tours and an opportunity to write messages to patients. 

“We have been embraced by our community from the beginning,” said Samantha Triplett, operations manager for Corewell Health Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center. “The support of our donors and the dedication of our team have transformed cancer care in our area. This is a milestone we wish to honor and we invite everyone to attend.”     

In 10 short years, Corewell Health Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center has changed the accessibility of cancer care services for Michigan’s rural communities. The cancer center allows patients to go to one facility for most of their cancer care needs. Before its opening in 2013, patients from Mecosta, Osceola and surrounding counties had to travel at least 50 miles to receive care at the closest outpatient clinic, and comprehensive services were not always available at each location.  

“Some patients would have to travel to separate locations for radiation therapy and chemotherapy,” Triplett said. “The Corewell Health Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center provides patients with the option to receive exceptional outpatient cancer care close to home without the requirement of extensive travel.” 

Philanthropy has played a substantial role in ensuring that free integrative therapies and patient support programs remain available at the cancer center. Since 2013, 2,676 people have made donations to Corewell Health Foundation West Michigan in support of these free programs, which funded: 

  • 1,440 reflexology appointments
  • 2,215 acupuncture treatments
  • 1,549 massage treatments 

The Corewell Health Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center is a comprehensive regional treatment facility bringing together the full range of services for patients and families on their cancer journey. The cancer center offers radiation therapy, chemotherapy, outpatient infusion therapy and a wellness center, which includes a library, boutique, gift shop and an integrative therapy room. For more information, call 231-832-5817. 

Local CSAA teams show dominant performances at 2023 cross country state finals

It was a showcase of speed from local teams at Michigan International Speedway this past Saturday, as a handful of CSAA teams competed at the MHSAA Cross Country state finals.

On what was a great day for running weather-wise, the event certainly showed with one of the fastest set of races in championship history in terms of time.

Starting in division two boys’ race, Hayden Gould and Alex Culver represented Big Rapids and Tri-County respectfully finishing 109th and 170th out of the heavily contested 252-person field.

Leading the way in the division three boys’ race was Reed City, who collected a fourth-place team finish with 217 points and three all state honorees with 2nd, 15th, and 29th places for junior Gus Rohde, senior Anthony Kianus, and senior Ryan Allen respectfully.

 

*Reed City team picture following award presentations (provided by Rich Saladin).

 

"The boys’ team has been working toward this year since Ryan and Anthony were freshmen,” Reed City head coach Rich Saladin said. “Truly a great performance from our runners. The 4th place effort as a team matches the 1982 boys' team and is best in school history."

Also in the race was Central Montcalm, who outperformed analysts’ projections for a fifth-place finish with 242 points. They were led by sophomore standout Gage Hoffman finishing 8th overall and senior Graham Coston who placed 25th for all-state medals.

Competing individually in the race were senior Samuel Martini of Kent City who placed 5th and senior Tyler Vining of Morley Stanwood who finished 151st overall.

On the women’s side, Central Montcalm led the CSAA with an 8th place finish in the division three race, followed closely behind Chippewa Hills in 11th and Kent City in 14th.

The Hornets were led by all-state performances from a 3rd place and 12th place finish in juniors Kyah Hoffman and Ashley Choponis. Sophomore Grace Coston also took the final all-state spot with a 30th place finish.

For the remaining CSAA teams’ all-state finishers, Lakeview’s Kamryn Salladay placed 8th, Kent City’s Lila Volkers finished 10th, Morley Stanwood’s Miranda McNeil placed 16th, and Chippewa Hills’ Avalina Hollandsworth finished 18th.

Down in division four, White Cloud placed 16th overall in the boy’s race. Upperclassmen Coleson Cruzan and Carson Foondle led the Indians with 36th and 99th place finishes respectfully. Individually in the girl’s race, Andrea Feldpausch placed 100th in the 244-runner field.

 

*White Cloud team picture at Michigan International Speedway (provided by Andrea Atwood).

 

“Running at the state meet is a great honor and privilege,” White Cloud head Coach Andrea Atwood said. “Your hard work and efforts to qualify to have the chance to compete is to be commended.”

For full results, visit www.mhsaa.com/sports/boys-cross-country or www.mhsaa.com/sports/girls-cross-country.

Big Rapids upsets Whitehall 28-27: Game Facts & Stats

Facts and Stats from Last Friday's Thrilling Victory over the #1 seed Whitehall Vikings:

  • In D4 Rankings, BR is ranked #22 while Whitehall was ranked #4
  • 8 teams remain playing in D4 after last Friday:
    • Reg1: BR @ GR S Christian
    • Reg2: Portland @ Niles
    • Reg3: Haslett @ Goodrich
    • Reg4: Carleton Airport @ Harper Woods
  • Of the top 8 ranked teams in D4, 4 remain
    • #1 Harper plays Carleton Airport in the Reg4 Final @Harper Woods
    • #2 Chelsea lost to #15 Haslett: 30-22
    • #3 Goodrich hosts Haslett in the Reg3 Final
    • #4 Whitehall lost to Big Rapids: 28-27
    • #5 Carleton Airport plays @Harper Woods in the Reg4 Final
    • #6 Niles beat Paw Paw to move to the Reg2 Final vs Portland
    • #7 Paw Paw lost to Niles: 42-13
    • #8 Hastings lost to #10 Portland 38-24
  • BR is the lowest ranked team remaining with GR South Christian the 2nd lowest:
    • #22 Big Rapids @ #20 GR South Chrisitian
    • #10 Portland @ #6 Niles
    • #15 Haslett @ #3 Goodrich
    • #1 Harper Woods vs #5 Carleton Airport
  • BR is in a Regional Final for the 2nd time in program history
    • 2003: BR beat Whitehall at Top Taggert Field 22-19
  • BR Head Coach Mike Selzer is now 4-5 in the playoffs: he has 6 playoff appearances in 9yrs
    • He’s advanced past Rd1 3x in his 9yr tenure
  • The last BR Playoff upset was Coach Selzer’s 1st season coaching (2015)
    • #3 seed BR won at #2 Escanaba: 21-17
  • In 2023, 5 upsets have happened in D4 (# is regional seed):
    • Rd1:
      • #3 Big Rapids @ #2 Spring Lake: 27-20
      • #3 Dearborn Divine Child @ #2 Redford Union: 39-22
    • Rd 2:
      • #3 Big Rapids @ #1 Whitehall: 28-28
      • #2 Portland @ #1 Hastings: 38-24
      • #2 Haslett @ #1 Chelsea: 30-22
  • Only 2 #3 seeds remain in all of the 11-man MHSAA Playoffs:
    • D2: Roseville (@ #1 Warren De La Salle Collegiate)
    • D4: Big Rapids (@ #2 GR S Christian)
  • Only 1 #4 seed remains & they play at Reed City next Friday (Midland Bullock Creek)
  • BR was 1-1 vs Whitehall all time prior to last Friday
    • 2003: BR win 22-19 in Regional Finals
    • 2022: WH win 42-12 in Districts
  • BR has now won 9 consecutive games for the 1st time ever in a single season
    • BR won 9 straight games over 2 seasons (10/21/1983-10/12/1984)
  • WH was 10-0 entering last Friday
    • They are now 29-5 since the start of the 2021 season
  • WH had not given up more than 7pts since wk 3
    • The last team to scored more than 7pts on WH was Tecumseh in Wk2 (WH won 56-28)
    • BR scored 14pts in the 1st half
  • BR has scored 1st in both Playoff games
  • WH ran only 42 plays compared to BR’s 68
    • BR’s time of possession was 33:11 compared to WH’s 14:49
  • BR fumbled 2x but recovered both
    • WH fumbled on their 1st play & BR recovered. This led to BR’s 1st TD.
  • WH out gained BR 410yds to 248yds
    • WH rushed for 142yds to BR’s 26yds
    • BR was out gained by 60yds in the 1st half & 102yds in the 2nd half
  • BR was 8/17 on 3rd downs
    • 5 of them were 3rd & more than 5
  • BR was 5/5 on 4th down conversions
    • WH was 0/3
    • In WH’s game vs Allendale, Allendale was 0/6 on 4th down
  • BR QB Vennix completed 24/36 for 222yds & 3TD
    • Riley had not throw more than 14 times in a game since Wk1 @Paw Paw (31att)
    • Riley rushed 10x for 30yds & a TD
    • Vennix also led the team in tackles (4), influenced the missed XPT, & blocked the final kick
  • BR Garret Foster caught 9 passes for 107yds & 2 TDs
  • BR Jack Bollman, who had 5 receptions for 31yds entering last Friday, caught 4 passes for 39yds
    • Jack had an 18yd catch & a 21yd catch
  • Whitehall WR Camden Thompson (offers from WMU & CMU) was not targeted until the 3rd QTR & was only targeted 3x total in the game
    • He finished with 3 catches for 70yds including a 41yd reception

Big Rapids heads to Byron Center HS next Friday at 7:00pm to take on the defending state champion Grand Rapids South Christian Sailors.

South Christian knocked off Forest Hills Eastern last week 22-14. They are the 4 seed in the Region (BR is the 5).

  • South  Christian finished w/ 50.889 playoff pts compared to BR’s 49.444
  • In D4, GR S Christian is ranked #20 overall. BR is ranked #22.

 

Listen to every play on WWBR Big Country 100.9, at WWBR.com, & on the WWBR mobile app

 

UPDATE: Suspect images released from Admiral Gas Station armed robbery

Officers from the Big Rapids Police Department are still investigating the armed robbery that occurred earlier Friday morning.

*Image one of the suspect (Provided by Big Rapids Dept. of Public Safety).

The caller advised that the suspect had entered the gas station, showed a handgun, and demanded money. The suspect left the scene and headed west through the parking lot of the store.

*Image two of the suspect (Provided by Big Rapids Dept. of Public Safety).

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a green hoodie, gray sweatpants, tennis shoes, and a ski mask. This is an active investigation and detectives and officers are still on scene.

*Image one of the suspect's vehicle (Provided by Big Rapids Dept. of Public Safety).

Attached above are several pictures of the suspect and the suspect's vehicle.

*Image two of the suspect's vehicle (Provided by Big Rapids Dept. of Public Safety).

If you have any information about this case, please contact Det. David Flore at 231-527-0005 ext. 1017.

Officers respond to armed robbery at Big Rapids Admiral gas station

On Nov. 4, 2023, at approximately 6:38 A.M., officers responded to the Admiral Gas Station at 805 N. State St. for the report of an armed robbery. The caller advised that the suspect had entered the gas station, showed a handgun, and demanded money. The suspect left the scene and headed west through the parking lot of the store.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a green hoodie, gray sweatpants, tennis shoes, and a ski mask. This is an active investigation and detectives and officers are still on scene.

The Big Rapids Police Department is being assisted on scene by the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, the Michigan State Police, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

If you have any information about this incident, you are asked to call the Big Rapids Police Department at 231-527-0005 ext. 1017.

Big Rapids looking up following competitive season and conference championship share

This past season marks the second year in a row the Cardinals have won a share of a regular season CSAA title.

Despite only finishing this season with an 8-12 record, head coach Justin Fox was very pleased with the competitiveness his team showed with their tough schedule.

“Playing that level of competition puts it right in front of the guys,” Fox said. “(They) know that this is the expectation if we want to be successful.”

Big Rapids finished the season with a 4-3 record at home and a 6-1 record at home. The Cardinals improved their offensive output with an average of 2.4 goals per game as opposed to 2.27 in 2022; however, they did allow almost 0.5 goals per game more defensively with their tough non-conference schedule.

Coach Fox’s team also earned seven all-CSAA honors individually with first-teamers William Heydens, Tyler Neil, Nick Pischel, Isaiah Reidinger, Mason Richards, and Chrisitan Smits along with honorable mention Keaton Edwards.

According to Coach Fox, next year’s group will need a huge boost from the lower classmen.

“We are going to have a new look this (coming) year. We are graduating a bunch of key guys in key spots. I think from a positioning standpoint, the guys did well playing in new roles and dealing with that uncertainty at the beginning. We grew to figure out our positions and I think that showed in the results that we were able to get.”

When it comes to improvement, the Cardinals will work to gain better control and confidence with the ball.

“I’d like to see the boys get a little more technical, more comfortable with the ball their feet,” Fox said. “We did some technical work in the summer and I think the boys grew from that so we're going to continue it.”

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

Ferris State product design engineering technology MakerSpace students take golf coach's idea to unique place

Long road trips can spark periods of reflection. Ferris State University Golf coach Sam Stark used a return trip from Ohio to consider how to dress up the course for the men’s programs’ B&R Investments Bulldog Fall Classic. 

“It was a random situation. We had competed in a tournament in Findlay, Ohio,” Stark said. “There were tee markers the University of Findlay program had turned out, with the aid of 3-D printers on their campus. As an alumnus of Ferris’ Education program, I was not real familiar with our College of Engineering Technology.” 

That familiarity changed. 

“Some questions got me lined up with Ferris’ MakerSpace, and assistance from Product Design Engineering Technology assistant professor and program coordinator Luke Hedman,” Stark said. 

The tee markers were created and placed as the Bulldog men’s golf squad topped a 16-team field with a four-under-par third round, winning its invitational 16 strokes better than Wayne State. Stark expressed his appreciation for the supportive sponsors and the amenity of campus-created tee markers. 

“Brandi Brooks, owner of B&R Investments, has a real affinity for golf and is excited by any opportunity to collaborate and promote our program,” Stark said. “The tee markers are very nice, and we heard many compliments about them from other teams in the field.” 

Stark said a critical element of the markers is their sustainable design. 

“The centerpieces are interchangeable so that we can have proper years placed on a ring, or if sponsor adjustments come about, those can be addressed,” Stark said. “We are so pleased that these can be kept fresh, with Product Design Engineering Technology students allowed to put their creativity to the test by assisting us.” 

Stark said Hedman and his students responded quickly, but in years to come, he hopes to be more forward about generating the next marker for the event, generally held early in an academic year. 

“There was a tight timeline based on our discovery and request for 2023,” Stark said. “In the future, we want to build on this general concept and continue a great collaboration. It really shows off the excellence of Ferris State to visitors beyond our state and region.”

TRAFFIC ALERT: State St., Maple St., and Perry Ave. seeing lane closures in spots for work on manhole covers

Some of Big Rapids' busiest intersections will be down to one lane or even closed off in spots on Thursday due to work being done on the city's manhole covers.

According to the City of Big Rapids, the work is being done in a contractive collaboration between Michigan Department of Transportation and AT&T.

The affected areas are the intersections of State St. and Maple St. as well as State St. and Perry Ave.

More information on the duration of the project is not available at this time.

Game Preview: Cardinals take on top ranked Whitehall in Rd 2 of the MHSAA Football Playoffs

Coming off a thrilling 27-20 overtime win at Spring Lake, the Cardinals head to Holton to play the Whitehall Vikings for the Division 4 Region 1 District 1 Finals. In 2022, Whitehall ended the Cardinals season with a 42-12 playoff opening win at Whitehall High School. This season, a resilient Big Rapids team gets a chance at retribution. Let’s look at last week, the history of the matchup, numbers, and the bracket implications of the outcome.

 

LAST WEEK

The Cardinals were underdogs at Spring Lake. The Lakers were 7-2 out of a tough OK-Blue Conference. They had size. They had dynamic athletes. They had a coach who knows how to win in the post season. But 2 unforced fumbles and the most questionable call you’ll see in football gave Big Rapids the opening they needed to win, and Coach Selzer’s crew did just that.

The Cardinals took an early lead but relinquished it just prior to the half. Late in the 3rd, the Lakers would launch a 9 minute drive that took the game into the 4th with Spring Lake up 8; 20-12. Any extra point would have given Coach Mallory’s Lakers a 2 score lead. Initially he opted to kick the field goal and go up 21-12. The Cardinals, instructed to be hyper aggressive and block the kick to keep the game a 1 possession match, jumped offsides twice in a row. Players for Spring Lake then started voicing how they should go for the 2 points instead of kicking. But Laker QB Reid Grimmer, undoubtedly their star, was emphatically signaling not to go for 2. Coach Mallory went for 2 anyway. Grimmer kept the ball, did not get the 2 points, and broke his leg in the process.

The Cardinals responded by eating up almost 7 minutes on a 74-yard touchdown scoring drive to get within 2. On the conversion, Coach Selzer and crew drew up a play to their go to guy: Garret Foster. Senior QB Riley Vennix rolled out to his arm side and hit Foster in the numbers on a flat route just past the goal line. Game tied at 20.

The Lakers, now without their starting QB, turned to backup QB and sophomore Landon O’Donnell who was unable to muster any kind of offensive threat and the game went to overtime.

In OT, Big Rapids took 1st possession. Overcoming a 1st down penalty, QB Vennix hit Senior WR Kaleb Dubowski on 3rd and goal from the 15 for a 12 yd gain. On a gutty call, Vennix punched in the 4th and goal attempt on a keeper to give BR the lead, 27-20. Spring Lake, again without their starting QB and already showing their backup was struggling to throw the ball, turned to the outside run game to kick start a response. On the 1st play, the Lakers fumbled on a pitch, the Cardinals recovered, and BR stormed the field in victory. It was a heartbreaking loss for Coach Mallory’s program, and a historic win for Coach Selzer’s. Oh the beauty of competition.

 

Whitehall appeared to blast the Allendale Falcons last week at Whitehall High School, 28-7. However, Allendale outgained the Vikings on offense 361-345. The difference maker was that Allendale went 0 for 6 on 4th downs. The Viking defense, known to play a soft shell in the passing game until the red zone, was the definition of bend don’t break. Whitehall went up less than 60 seconds into the game when Senior QB Kyle Stratton hit his 6’5” WR Camden Thompson for a 71-yard TD. Thompson, who has received offers to play for both Central. And Western Michigan, finished with 4 catches, 111 yards, and 2 TDs. The Falcon defense would firm up keeping the game a 7-0 affair at the half. But early into the 3rd, the Vikings offense proved too much. Ultimately, Whitehall would quickly pull away. Seniors Darnell Mack, who totaled 117 yards himself, and Malcom Earvin led a 217-yard team rushing effort. Senior QB Kyle Stratton would throw 12 times completing 7 passes for 128 yards. And the Falcons would only score in the final minutes to make it a 28-7 game. To note, those 7 points were the first points surrendered by Whitehall since week 6 when they clobbered Oakridge; 48-7. Those Oakridge 7 points were the only points scored on Whitehall in the West Michigan Lakes Conference in 2023. Needless to say, the Vikings are a scary team on paper and in practice.

 

HISTORY

Big Rapids is 1-1 all-time versus the Vikings. The lone loss coming to end the 2022 season, and the lone win coming during the historic 2003 Semi-Final run. Big Rapids met Whitehall at Top Taggart Field in the Regional Final that year winning 22-19. Like every playoff win that season, there was magic in the air when Big Rapids took the field. Fast forward to 2023, and we saw some magic down at Spring Lake last Friday.

 

MATCHUP

Coach Selzer’s Cardinals are the underdogs in this game. There is no doubt. The Vikings are the #3 ranked team in D4, the top 3 teams all coming from the East side of the state meaning Whitehall is the #1 D4 team in West Michigan. The scores they have thrown up this season are dominating regardless of who they’ve played.

Some pundits are predicting a score similar to the 2022 outcome. But as a pundit myself, I’m predicting a much closer game. The 2023 Cardinals play with a little extra something. They have yet to get ‘out smashed’ this season. They play tough, hard-hitting football on both sides and they are exceptionally resilient, case in point the Spring Lake game.

Additionally, after breaking down the Spring Lake film the BR coaching staff had a lot to talk about with the offense. There were frequent miscues with formations, routes, timing, reads, etc. The offense was capable of so much more than the 27 points at Spring Lake. Coaches know that Whitehall is significantly less forgiving than Spring Lake was, so practice this week is focused on cleaning up check communication and focusing on individual execution.

 

NUMBERS

Since 2012, Whitehall has been coached by Tony Sigmon. He’s 79-43 with 9 playoff appearances. His Vikings average 35 points a game and give up 20. At home, which this game technically is despite being played at Holton High School’s Red Devil Field, he’s 45-16, scoring 38 and giving up 17.

This season, the Vikings are averaging 48 points a game and giving up only 7. The Vikings pitched 6 shutouts including a 35-0 blasting of Hastings in week 3. Hastings is the #8 team in D4 and the #1 seed in Region 2 District 2.

In the playoffs Coach Sigmon is 7-8 overall, scoring 32 and surrendering 29. Last season his squad beat BR in RD1 42-12, knocked out Fruitport in Rd2 51-26, then lost to the eventual D4 State Champion GR South Christian Sailors 51-26 in the Regional. He’s a proven coach who has built a powerhouse program at Whitehall.

Coach Selzer is in his 9th season at Big Rapids High School. Overall he’s 44-42, scoring 25 and giving up 24. On the road he’s 28-24, scoring 28 and giving up 23. Selzer’s Cardinals have made the playoffs 6 times in 9 years, going 3-5. BR advanced past the opening round in 2015 with a win at Escananba 21-17, in 2020 with a win versus Newaygo 48-20, and now in 2023 with the win a Spring Lake. The Cardinals have won 16 of their last 20 games dating back to 2022. In that span they’ve outscored opponents 33 to 17. The future continues to trend upwards for Coach Mike Selzer and his Cardinals and tomorrow’s game versus Whitehall has the potential to impact the program for years to come.

 

BRACKET IMPLICATIONS

The winner of Friday’s game will play the winner of Ada Forest Hills Eastern and defending state champs Grand Rapids South Christian. Regardless of that game’s outcome, the games move to a neutral site after tomorrow. If they did not, the Cardinals would still be the underdog regardless of the winner (#5 seed in Region).

Last week’s win for Big Rapids was 1 of 2 upsets in D4. Dearborn Divine Child (#3 seed in Region 4) upset Redford Union 39-22. Otherwise, all favorites won their games.

 

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Big Rapids at Whitehall kicks off a Red Devil Stadium at 7:00pm on Big Country 1009.

You can listen online at WWBR.com or via the WWBR mobile app.

Detroit Lions EVP & GM Brad Holmes Quote Sheet: 10/31/2023

October 31, 2023

Opening Statement: “This is literally just hot off the press, so we just traded with the Cleveland Browns for Donovan Peoples-Jones, wide receiver. It literally just happened, so we’re still kind of – but it’s been sent in but want to make sure you guys know. We’re excited about the kid. He’s had good production in the past, he’ll be a good fit here, he’s been a high character kid. Obviously, he’s from Michigan, he’s from Detroit, he’s a local kid, so I think he’ll be very, very happy. I just talked to the kid. He's fired up about getting this process going and we – all these moves that we make is always for the best thing for the franchise, best thing for the team and that’s every single move we make. So, that’s the best way I can sum it up of the reason why.”

On what they traded to get WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: “2025 sixth-round pick.”

On if he is done making any more trades before the deadline: “We don’t have much time, so probably. That might be it.”

On what WR Donovan Peoples-Jones adds to the wide receiver room he felt was needed: “Yeah, he brings versatility. He’s a big guy, he’s got good contested catch skills. He can play outside, he can play inside. He’s a very smart player. He’s been very, very durable. He just – he fits everything that we’re about, so I think he’ll fit in just fine. He’s just another flavor that we’re adding to our mix. And so, it’s a lot of things that he can do for us and we’ll just see how quickly we can get him acclimated."

On if there was a specific position they were aiming to trade for: “Well, I mean obviously we – (former Lions WR) Marvin (Jones Jr.) had to step away, so we were down a receiver period, so we had to look to add another one regardless. There’s a lot of different avenues that you can take, so this is the one that we chose.”

On if they were interested in a trade for a defensive player before former Lions WR Marvin Jones Jr. stepped away from the team: “We look at every position. A lot of these names that you might see pop up, they look good in the media, and they are names, but that’s often – it’s not reality. Those same names that you see pop up, when you start getting into conversation, it just doesn’t work out for the best for us. So, every team has a different plight, every team is in different place, different direction, different phase in their team building, but no, there’s nothing that we leave unturned or ignored or anything. We look at every position, we look at everything and this was the best one for us.”

 

Lions have a bye this week. They travel to LA to take on the Chargers 11/12.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

The Lions are brought to you by Michigan ADAS Calibrations and Glass: when your windshield needs replacing, the experts at Michigan ADAS not only replace the glass, they also recalibrate the cameras your car depends on to keep you safe.

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Detroit Lions HC Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 10/31/2023

October 31, 2023             

Opening statement: “Just to kind of build off of last night, we had a number of guys that played really well for us. But offense, (Lions RB Jahmyr) Gibbs, it’s the best game he’s played up to date, really showed up for us. (Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown) Saint, (Lions T Taylor) Decker, and (Lions OL) Graham (Glasgow) all played really good games for us. And I would say key points, keys to success, was taking care of (Raiders DE Maxx Crosby) 98 and look, he had production, but man, no quarterback sacks. Decker and (Lions T Penei) Sewell, I thought did really well. They accepted a challenge and stepped up. Defensively, (Lions CB) Cam (Sutton) and (Lions CB) Jerry (Jacobs), (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac, (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone), (Lions S) Kerby (Joseph) and (Lions S) Tracy (Walker) and I would say Cam, Jerry coming back and then Tracy, man, were all – man, they wanted to show up and they worked all through practice. They work every week, but man, they took on the challenge, they wanted to play tighter, show up in the run game, all those and I thought those guys really just challenged on the perimeter and made a statement. It was great to see. And then special teams, (Lions WR Kalif Raymond) Leaf, he’s just been steady for us. He does so many things that I think sometimes you forget about and just him fielding those balls, he gets a good return there. And then (Lions CB Chase Lucas) Lukey and (Lions CB Khalil Dorsey) Dorse really helped us out on the perimeter on the punt return, things of that nature and then the one punt we had, running down the field, so I just thought it was – there again, there were things that we’ve got to clean up, but ultimately, our identity showed up.”

On what he felt like they were lacking in the wide receiver room that pushed them to trade for WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: “I think you just – you always feel like you’re one injury away and that was a position we felt like, man if we can find a steady, reliable guy that fits us, that can play outside, that was something that we wanted to look and see if we could acquire and DPJ out there, we felt like really fit us. We feel like he fits our style and he’s smart and he can play multiple positions. He plays everything for them out there and so we just feel like he’ll be a good fit for the team and the room.”

On the balance between making valuable trades during the season while not giving up first and second round picks: “Yeah, I think, ultimately, we said – (Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager) Brad (Holmes) and I said from day one, man we have a plan in place that we don’t want to alter, we don’t want to mess with that and we’re in year three of this right now, our beginning of year three, and everything had to be right. I just go back – it had to be the right player, it had to be the right fit and it had to be the right price, all three of those and that’s not an easy thing to do, but that’s how we look at it. And so, you know what? We found one.”

On what he noticed about Lions DL Alim McNeill when watching the tape from last night: “Listen, there was an emphasis from last week for a number of guys, but it was man, transition into rush and if we could get an edge, make it happen and then anchoring in the run game, playing strong, striking blocks and I thought Mac really showed up and I thought he really showed up, first and foremost, in the run game. That’s where those guys don’t get enough credit, but obviously, what everybody sees is the pass game. He was able to create pressure and I really feel like Mac has gotten better every year, but I feel like this year, he has really taken a significant step forward from where he’s been. And that’s a credit, obviously to him, but (Lions Defensive Line Coach) John Scott (Jr.) too, his coach, and (Lions Assistant Defensive Line Coach) Cam (Davis), those guys have really been – they’ve done a great job in that room, but really proud of Mac.”

On the importance of the timing of the bye week in the middle of the season with their 6-2 record and getting their injured players healed: “I think it’s perfect. This is perfect timing. This is exactly when I know – you really want it. I just know for where we’re at, it’s perfect. Here we are after eight weeks and then if you count training camp, that’s – we’re talking about 13 weeks, somewhere in there, so it couldn’t have come at a better time. I think we’re going to get reinforcements back when we get back for the Chargers, that are going to be critical to helping us. Certainly, it’ll only help us. And then we’ve got a number of guys that, just the nature of the way we play, that I think, just to get a little more energy back, get their legs back under them, it’s going to do a number of guys, I think, a lot of good here. So, it’s perfect timing. I think the worst is when you get a bye like on Week 3 or something, Week 4, that’s the worst. Actually, I’ve got a good one because this was back in the day, but I remember with (former Cowboys Head) Coach (Bill) Parcells it was our first year at Dallas. We’re building everything ground up and so we’d had a physical training camp, full pads, twice a day, five weeks and so we play Atlanta Week 1 in Dallas, we get beat and we get beat pretty good. And then we’re going into the bye, so I just remember him saying, ‘Buckle up boys. We’re going back to work.’ That was Week 2. We’re like, ‘Oh man, we’re back in it,’ so. And we did and we came back and won, so he was – but anyway, thank God you don’t have to do those anymore.”

On how much time he devotes to studying the previous game during the bye week and how much of it he spends decompressing: “Yeah, I’m going to spend most of – I’m going to spend all of tomorrow really just digesting the last eight weeks, self-scout, got the coordinators on that right now and then I’m going to try to get out for a little bit here and then be back on the weekend. That’s the plan.”

On why it is important for him to digest the last eight weeks before getting into the bye and preparing for Week 10: “Well, I think you’ll always – we always try to take a look at where we’re at per the last week, so you enter Week 5, you’ve looked at those last five, six. Now, what do we kind of look like? But you’re – everything has to happen so fast that sometimes, you’re trying to see that, but you’re also trying to get to the next opponent and I mean, this gives you a chance to really just sit back and you can really look in detail, everything, what do we really look like? What do we really do well? Here we are, eight weeks, what is something we can hang our hat on? What are the best spots for our players? Is there somebody we’re missing that needs to get an opportunity that may help us in a certain spot? Should we move somebody, defensively or offensively, to another position, or ask them to do a different type of – have a different responsibility? So, I think it’s all encompassing and this gives you a chance to really look at it in detail.”

On if there is a different process of evaluating these past eight weeks compared to how he evaluated their season during last year’s bye based on the success they are having this season: “No, I think it’s the same process. I mean, we were same thing last year, now it’s different. We’re going in and we had lost a few in a row, but you’re still going through looking at yourself. What are we, really? And at that point, you’re turning the ball over a lot. If we don’t turn them over, what do we look like? What does our team look like? What do we do well? So, I think it’s still the same process. And more importantly, you want to know what you do well, but you also want to know what are the opponents, when they look at us, what do they think we do well? What are they seeing? What are our weaknesses? And I think that’s where you really get the benefit of it.”

On how much of their identity is shutting teams down defensively: “Well, you – who doesn’t want to do that, right? But I think – man I think of it as, you just, ultimately, of course we all want to win, but you want to know the opponent came out and they were in a dog fight. They know it was a physical battle. They know that we were detailed in what we did. And man, I just think you want to create havoc and chaos, but it needs to be organized. So, I think that’s part of our identity and it’s not always going to work out that way, but the fight should always be there. And you just want to know – I mean, ultimately, you just want to know you’re in it, right? You want to know that when the bell rings and you’re in the ring, you’re in it and you’re throwing the first punch and hopefully, the last one as well.”

On if the fact that they are competing for first place in the NFC changed their approach to the trade deadline: “Yeah, I mean, there again, I just have to go back to this, it had to – everything had to be, it’s the right person, it had to be the right pick, the right fit for us and then it’s got to be the right price. And that’s really the best way to say it. (Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager) Brad (Holmes), I mean scoured a ton – I can’t tell you the number of calls that he made and just asking, looking at players that, I think, there are some players that you may not even know about, that could be perceived as very good players and maybe the tape’s not there. So, there’s all kinds of things there. But trust me, he did his work and we’re good with where we’re at.”

On how equipped he feels the team is to win in any environment on the road: “Yeah, I feel really good. As long as we play our style of game, we play with our identity, we take care of the football, I feel really good on the road, weather, all good.”

On his reaction to seeing other NFC teams trading for defensive players in a season where offensive numbers are down: “Good for them.”

On where Lions LB James Houston is in his rehab and if there is a possibility that he could play again this season: “Yeah, I think so. I mean, we’ll see. That’s another one – some of these guys that are – that we’ve got on IR, it’s just part of the rehab process. Not – what he had was pretty clean, so the rehab to it, the healing should be pretty clean. But there again, if it’s happening, we’re talking about December, so we’ll see.”

On the status of Lions LS Scott Daly’s injury: “Yeah, he’s going to need to be – he’s going to need surgery. It’s a tough one to lose. I’m glad you brought him up because he’s been – he’s kind of – nobody really talks about Daly, right? And you don’t talk about the long snapper unless something bad happens and we hadn’t talked about Daly, really since (Lions Special Assistant Football Operations Don Muhlbach) Muhl was gone, which that was the one where I screwed that one up. And Daly, man, just grew from there. He took the challenge and just grew. And he’s been, I mean just a steady rock for us. And he’s improved every year. He was having the best year that we’ve had and just – and so, it hurts. It’s going to hurt to lose him. He’s been really good for us, but we’ll figure all that out and we’ll move forward.”

On if Lions Special Assistant Football Operations Don Muhlbach can still play if needed: “That’s a good question. He needs to be ready, I can tell you that. I don’t know if that’s legal. I don’t know if we can have him hired here and then – but, we may have to check on that.”

 

Lions have a bye this week. They travel to LA to take on the Chargers 11/12.

All Detroit Lion football games air on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, & 96.5fm.

 

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National top-10 showdown this Saturday as Ferris State Football visits Davenport

A pair of West Michigan squads ranked among the nation's top 10 teams will clash on Saturday (Nov. 4) as the Ferris State Bulldogs visit unbeaten and ninth-ranked Davenport in a game featuring significant NCAA Division II Playoff implications.

The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) showdown will kickoff at 12 p.m. (ET) at DU's Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex in Caledonia.

Ferris State, which is 6-2 overall and 3-1 in league action, is coming off a decisive 56-0 shutout home win over American International in non-league play this past weekend while the 8-0 Panthers topped Saginaw Valley State in comeback fashion at home by a 24-21 score. DU is 4-0 in the GLIAC and tied for the conference lead.

This week, FSU is listed fourth in the D2Football.com national poll along with seventh in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) D2 National Poll while DU climbed to #9 in the country in the AFCA Rankings after its win over SVSU.

Heading into Saturday's tilt, the Bulldogs are 7-0 all-time against the Panthers, who are guided by former FSU assistant coach and Bulldog Football alum Sparky McEwen. FSU beat Davenport twice last season by scores of 28-7 in the regular season and 41-7 in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs en route to a second-straight NCAA Division II National Championship.

Saturday's game will have major postseason implications as Davenport is listed sixth this week and Ferris State eighth in the NCAA Division II Super Region Three Rankings. The top seven teams at the end of the regular-season will earn NCAA D2 Playoff bids. Overall, the Bulldogs have made eight-straight trips to the playoffs, which is the nation's second-longest active streak.

Tickets for Saturday's showdown at Davenport can be purchased in advance online at DUPanthers.com or will be on sale at the stadium starting two hours prior to kickoff. Tickets are $18 for reserved adults or $12 for reserved students and seniors. Parking is $10 per space. Fans are encouraged to purchase both game tickets and parking in advance.

The FSU-DU football game will be broadcast live locally by the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley handling the play-by-play duties and Sandy Gholston offering color commentary. Pregame coverage gets underway at 11 a.m. (ET). The contest will also be available from Davenport on FloSports.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (10/23 - 10/29)

Monday, October 23

  • Officers responded to a call regarding some stolen property. After investigation, the case was unfounded.
  • An officer was dispatched to an address for a peddler without a permit. After investigation, the peddler was nowhere to be found.

Tuesday, October 24

  • An officer investigated a possible fraud report. A fraudulent check was sent, from out of state, for the purchase of a vehicle over Facebook Market Place. The case is still under investigation.
  • An officer took a report regarding a dispute over property at a storage facility that he been removed after 5 months of non-payment. It was found to be a civil matter.
  • An officer investigated a possible road rage incident. The case was unfounded.

Wednesday, October 25

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, October 26

  • An officer responded to a call regarding someone dumping some kind of liquid into a parking lot. After investigating and talking to the people involved, it was determined to be a carpet cleaning service. While the substance was not toxic or hazardous, they agreed to go to a filtered system to dump the liquid.
  • An officer arrested a 43-year-old man on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court.

Friday, October 27

  • An Officer took a report from a driver stating that someone on a bicycle struck her car and kept going. The case is still under investigation.

  • Officers were requested to serve a trespass notice at an apartment complex

  • An officer stood by on a civil matter while an ex-girlfriend collected her belongings. No issues.

  • While patrolling, an officer noticed a street sign and stop sign appeared to be bent and/or damaged. The case is still under investigation.

Saturday, October 28

  • An officer investigated an accident that occurred during the city’s Halloween at the Park event. A driver struck a tree in the middle of the park while the event was on going. The driver appeared to be having a medical episode.

  • An officer conducted an area check after reports of suspicious individuals in front of a residence. After searching and investigating, the reports were unfounded. The officer did find an open door on a nearby business. The building was checked and door secured.

Sunday, October 29

  • An officer served court paperwork for probate court.

FULL PREVIEW: Coyotes hunting for district title on Friday against Hart

Following a monstrous win over Montague last week, Reed City will take on first-year playoff team Hart in their fourth consecutive district championship game this Friday. In preparation for the game, here’s a full in-depth look at the matchup including the history, schemes, numbers, and bracket implications for the two programs.

 

HISTORY

Like Montague, the Pirates hold the edge over the Coyotes all-time in the series with a 9-5-1 record. The last matchup between the two teams came all the way back in 1965, when Hart took down Reed City 24-7. For those interested in the last time the Coyotes beat the Pirates, you will have to look back seven years earlier when Reed City won 21-14 in 1958. Both teams also spent time in the same West Michigan Conference between 1957 and 1965, until the Coyotes moved into the US-10 conference while Hart stayed in the West Michigan Conference and have continued to do all the way to 2023.

Hart enters this game with an all-time program best 9-1 record and their first true playoff performance aside the COVID 2020 season. The Pirates have had a winning record over the past two seasons, their first winning years in over three decades. In Hart’s only playoff game, they were overpowered by future state champion Montague 75-0. In consideration of common opponents, Hart’s only loss this season came at home against North Muskegon 34-14 in week five. Another team that fell to Norseman this year: Montague a week later by a score of 34-7. The Pirates also took down Kent City at home a week ago by a score of 44-22, a team Reed City pummeled 40-6 on the road earlier this year.

 

SCHEME

Like Montague, Hart runs a similar spread look out of the shotgun offensively. Where the Pirates made bank against Kent City last week and other opponents this season is using a lot of cross motion fakes from their interior fullbacks and h-backs. Their unique formation gives a lot of options for their run-heavy offense both between the tackles and on the outside. Their QB does have a solid arm for occasional deep shots, but he also will keep it on designed runs quite often as one of their top playmakers. For Reed City, a mix up of 5-2 and 4-3 fronts as well as spacing on the boundaries for their corners will be something to watch defensively, especially after their strong tackling performance last week.

Defensively, Hart trusts their toughness and tackling in a similar type of formation as Reed City. While not as bold in playmaking as their offense, their defense shows glimpses of big stops at the expense of being overly aggressive and giving up big plays. Against a tougher passing offense like North Muskegon, they did show a tendency to play more spread out and conservative outside the box and in the secondary. In pertaining to Reed City’s offense, it’ll will be interesting to watch how they respond to the Coyotes’ strong outside running game and potential playmaking ability through the chance of play action. This could possibly lead to more inside run success as the game progresses if their offense starts out fast on Friday.

 

NUMBERS

By the decade, the 2020’s have been successful for both programs. Reed City has won 36 of 44 games so far in this decade, calculating as a .818 win percentage. For Hart, their best football has been over the past four years with a .571 win percentage and 20 wins total.

Both teams also share similar numbers in enrollment. According to MHSAA.com, Hart’s 2023 enrollment stands at 413 people while Reed City’s stands slightly higher at 428. When it comes to the history of enrollment, this is where the schools differ. Hart has never grown more than 468 since 1985, where Reed City had a max of 729 students back in 1998 and has slowly decreased since.

This year, the Pirates enter the game with the upper hand offensively scoring a whopping 41.6 points per game, including a pair of 50-point performances and a remarkable 72-point output in week 7 against Holton. Reed City follows up averaging 32.2 per contest on the offensive side of the ball while averaging 17.2 points defensively to Hart’s 15.1. Based on scoring and yardage totals, it’s fair to expect an offensive shootout this Friday night.

 

BRACKET IMPLICATIONS

Friday’s winner will not only take home the district 43 title but will advance to the region 22 title game the following week. They will play the winner between host Chesaning, who stands at 9-1 after a dominating win over fellow CSAA foe Central Montcalm 31-12, and Midland Bullock Creek, who pulled off a major upset over top-seeded Clare on the road 22-19.

The game would be at Reed City if the Coyotes won, regardless of outcome in the other matchup. Hart needs to win and Midland Bullock Creek to win to host, otherwise, they will travel to Chesaning if the Indians were to come out on top. This is due to the playoff point totals, in which Reed City leads at 46.444, followed by Chesaning at 42.000, Hart at 40.000, and Midland Bullock Creek with 34.223.

 

BROADCAST INFORMATION

For all the play-by-play action, tune in to Y102 starting at 6:45 P.M. Listen in on 102.3 FM, WYBR.com, or the WYBR mobile app.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (10/23 - 10/29)

Monday, October 23

  • Mental – Officers were dispatched to a court ordered transport of a subject from the Reed City Hospital to a behavior health facility.
  • Breaking and Entering – Officers were dispatched to investigate a suspicious situation at a residence.

Tuesday, October 24

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, October 25

  • Nothing reported. 

Thursday, October 26

  • Domestic – Officers were dispatched for a Domestic assault. After investigating the complaint, it was determined to be a verbal argument only.

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched for a civil complaint involving roommates and property.  

Friday, October 27

  • Standby – Officers were dispatched to a civil complaint over property.  Parties were advised to contact the court regarding civil court proceedings.

  • Traffic Stop – Officers assisted the Michigan State Police on a traffic stop where the driver of the vehicle was determined to be operating under in the influence of alcohol.

Saturday, October 28

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, October 29

  • Nothing reported.

NYT Bestseller list latest stop on Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University alum Kirbi Fagan's career journey

Just 10 years after graduating from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Kirbi Fagan has reached the pinnacle of publishing success by seeing the children’s novel she illustrated, “A Horse Named Sky,” appear on The New York Times Bestseller list in the Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover category.

Fagan, who graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, has firmly established herself as one of the leading illustrators working today.

She’s created for high-profile clients like Marvel Comics, Disney, Simon and Schuster, and Penguin Books.

Since winning the nationwide Creative Outlook cover contest for college students in 2012, she’s gone on to win the Illustrator of the Future Award in 2013, the Muddy Color Rising Star Award in 2017, and the Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist in 2017.

Despite an impressive résumé, the news about “A Horse Named Sky” still felt surreal. Fagan was on vacation and unplugged at the time, relaxing away the exhaustion of finishing the project.

“I didn’t have data service, so I didn’t know at first. My agent called and told me, ‘You’re a best seller!’” she said. “I could have never dreamed of this.”

Written by Rosanne Parry and published in Aug. 2023, “A Horse Named Sky” is the story of a young, wild horse struggling to reunite with his family after being captured for the Pony Express, told with vivid illustrations depicting the horse’s adventure throughout the Old West. At nearly 300 pages, illustrating the book was an especially demanding challenge.

 

*A copy of Fagan's "A Horse Named Sky" (Provided by Jackie McLane and Sandy Gholston.

 

“I’ve never worked on a project that long with covers,” Fagan said. “But I felt ready, and when you work longer term, you really get to know everyone working on the book. When the whole team is working together, that’s where the magic happens.”

The publisher was looking for an illustrator who liked horses, and Fagan had just completed a different personal project about wild horses.

Before starting “A Horse Named Sky,” she spent time with the animals to study their movements and facial expressions, capturing much of it in photos and videos she could refer to while illustrating the ways they walk, run, and jump.

“It was really inspiring how subtle their facial expressions are and how horses can take on other people’s emotions or feelings from their environment,” Fagan said. “They make it easy because they’re so beautiful and so inspiring.”

Fagan always envisioned herself as an artist. Growing up with Crohn’s disease, she felt isolated by a litany of treatments and surgeries that kept her out of school for long periods of time. Creativity became her way back to the world.

“Art was a lifeline for me,” she says, “Just a total escape from everything I was going through.” 

Turning her creative passion into a career came naturally. With her health challenges, Fagan knew she would never be a 9-to-5 person. She wanted to make her own path. She soon found herself at KCAD, where she was instantly drawn to the Illustration program and the student work on display.

“When I saw the work on the wall, I said, ‘Wow! What’s that?’ and they explained how illustration tells stories. I just felt like that was the perfect place for me,” she said. “The technical ability I saw really drew me to KCAD because if you have that ability, you can do anything, right?”

A visit to campus from award-winning illustrator Greg Manchess early in Fagan’s time at KCAD convinced her that she had made the right decision. She called meeting him, “a very inspiring moment.”

“It showed me that people are out there making a flexible living with their art, and I can build a career out of it,” she said. 

Fagan’s conviction—along with a tireless work ethic—has continued to open doors for throughout her career. Post-graduation, she attended every illustration-related event she could, whether they were local or on the other side of the country, looking to connect with and learn from more established professionals.

"If you want that face-to-face interaction with people who are farther along in their career but willing to mentor you and take you under their wing, the only place to meet them is at conventions or workshops,” she said. “I was really focused on going to a lot of them and finding my place in the industry.”

The creativity and tenacity Fagan had cultivated throughout her early life also came in handy for promoting herself at these events. In one instance, when she didn’t get a time slot with an art director she was intent on meeting, she showed up anyway and took advantage when another hopeful artist did not show. 

“I stepped forward and said I didn’t have an appointment, but they said, come on in,” she said. “You could call it luck, and that’s definitely part of it, but you have to be in the room to get lucky.”

Fagan’s career began with covers for middle grade and young adult novels. She then moved on to comic covers for Marvel and Dark Horse Comics, including a coloring book created by “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk. Though it was rewarding work, Fagan ultimately craved the freedom to draw her own stories. 

She shifted toward children’s books and was chosen to illustrate “The Summer of the Tree Army,” a novel about the Civilian Conservation Corps written by Gloria Whelan and released in 2021.

Fagan describes the collaborative process of creating a children’s book as slower in comparison to other work she’s done, but rich with possibilities. 

“When I work with an art director or editor, they give me a pitch of what they’re looking for. Sometimes, they will just trust me completely and give me control, and I will present the sketches through an e-mail. But I’ve also presented them over video, and I find that that works well,” she said. “With everyone together, I can take their feedback, adjust, and go back and forth many times.

Once a direction for the final artwork is decided, Fagan can immerse herself completely in her craft.

“That’s when I disappear and just go do my thing” she says. “Then they’ll review the work again very specifically and we may have to make more adjustments. There’s a lot of stamina required in these projects.”

Fagan has three more picture books coming out in 2025, including her first written and illustrated picture book for upper elementary audiences. The move to author/illustrator is a fresh challenge demanding new ways of thinking and working, but she’s unwavering in her belief that passion and persistence can overcome any obstacle.

To artists aspiring to follow in her footsteps, she said, “If your heart is connected to the work that you’re doing and you truly love what you’re making and how you’re making it, there’s no way other people won’t connect with it, too.”

“A Horse Named Sky” is available for purchase on Amazon as well as in local bookstores, Target and Costco. See more of Kirbi Fagan’s creativity at kirbifagan.com.

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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?