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News That Affects You Archives for 2023-12

Sheriff's Corner: Lack of accountability and placement is a problem among youth offenders

A year ago, I wrote an editorial regarding the viral disrespect, which is prevalent in a portion of our society and how that disrespect has trickled down to our younger generations. I come to you again about this continuing problem and the lack of accountability and consequences which is present in some of our youth and in our juvenile justice system.

We are continuing to merely slap the hands of violent juvenile offenders. There seems to be very little in the way of concrete repercussions, allowing them to repeatedly be a nuisance and danger to our communities. Raising the legal age from 17 to 18 for individuals to be considered adults in our criminal justice system has exacerbated matters and has only compounded the problems we are having.

In October 2019, Governor Whitmer signed 18 bills into law as part of the “Raise the Age”, legislative package to raise the age of persons considered to be adults under the criminal justice system from 17 to 18 years of age. On October 1st , 2021, the change went into effect. Although there are some positives to this legislation, there are still problems that come with it, even though there were revisions which allow 17-year-olds who commit violent criminal offenses to be treated as adults.

Across the country and in Michigan, there have been reforms which call for the moving away from charging youths as adults and incarcerating them in adult prisons. I understand the logic of this premise and respect the fact that studies have clearly outlined the negative health and
socioeconomic outcomes of this. The current change in our law requires teens charged with committing or attempting certain violent crimes, such as murder, felony assault, first-degree rape, armed robbery, firearm offenses and others, to be charged as adults.

Prosecuting minors as adults used to be more common. But the practice has declined amid increasing awareness that young people, whose brains which are still developing, may not fully understand the consequences of their actions, as well as documented evidence that suggest teens are more likely to commit additional crimes if they are prosecuted as adults.

The problem we are seeing in the criminal justice system is even in cases where 17-year-olds have been charged as adults, it is extremely difficult to find placement for these teenage offenders. We have had two occasions in the past month where we had 17-year-olds who, because of their prior criminal behavior, were under the jurisdiction of an adult court or the
Michigan Department of Corrections and we could do nothing with them because of the circumstances. This keeps our community at risk and emboldens the undesirable and criminal behaviors which drew our attention to those individuals in the first place.

In the last month we have had a couple of investigations of a serious nature involving juveniles, who are repeat offenders, and if they had been adults, they would have been incarcerated instead of being out on the streets continuing to commit crimes and put the safety of our public
at risk.

In November, our agency investigated a string of thefts from motor vehicles, with four firearms being reported as stolen. Through investigation, we were able to identify a 19-year-old female, a 16-year-old female, a 16-year-old male, and a 17-year-old male for being the responsible parties. After items had been recovered, including three of the four firearms, the 19-year-old female was arrested. However, due to the age of the others, and the fact we were unable to find placement in a juvenile detention facility for them, they were turned over to the custody of their guardians.

The concern to the law enforcement investigators from our office and the Michigan State Police was the 17-year-old male was on tether for an attempted murder out of Kent County Courts, where he had been bound over to adult court and was out on bond awaiting trial. That court was in no hurry to revoke his bond and Kent County would not accept him based on the new charges we had against him. The young man was an Isabella County resident and due current juvenile laws, would need to be placed through Isabella County Probate Court. However, they also declined to place him. We were able to get charges through the Mecosta County
Prosecutor, however the facility we were looking to send him to, refused to accept him because they felt he was too dangerous for a juvenile facility. 

The Mecosta County Probate Court had initially advised that the male could be placed in a facility in Osceola County but were then
advised that he was too dangerous for that facility, and they refused to accept him. There was a lot of confusion and lack of answers throughout this process due to the age of the offender, his extensive criminal history, who had jurisdiction over him, and which adult court was supervising him. In the end, we were forced to leave a violent criminal, despite his age, on the streets, putting citizens at risk.

In December, our agency assisted in a vehicle pursuit on the east end of our county, which also involved deputies from Isabella and Montcalm Counties and troopers from the Michigan State Police. The suspect, a 17-year-old male under the influence of Methamphetamine, had been suspected of stealing several cars and been involved in previous pursuits in the past 24-hour in Gladwin, Gratiot, and Midland Counties. He was apprehended through a canine track after abandoning the stolen car he was driving in a field in Montcalm County. Detective Sergeant Mike Mohr and I had previously interviewed the young man in February of 2022 for thefts in Isabella and Mecosta counties. At that time, only barely being 16 years of age, he was already regularly using Methamphetamine.

In each of the instances to which I previously referenced; we had a difficult time in finding any kind of placement for the juvenile offenders. The problem comes down to a lack of availability for appropriate placement, as these offenders are sometimes too dangerous to be placed with other juveniles, but they are not of the age to legally be placed with adults. Prior to the law being changed, these two scenarios would not have been an issue. 17-year-old violent offenders would have been placed in one of our adult facilities as they were considered adults for the purposes of the criminal justice system.

We need to either begin taking a tougher approach regarding the juvenile offenders we are encountering, or there needs to be a better process and more facilities available to house violent/dangerous juveniles when necessary. The concern law enforcement officials have is that when we merely turn the juvenile over to the custody of their guardians who often times are not the juveniles’ parents, we are giving these offenders free reign to continue to terrorize the safety and well-being of our community which puts us all at an unnecessary and avoidable risk of harm.

Erickson's record-breaking day leads #17 Ferris State to huge home win to close out 2023

The nationally 17th-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball team closed out 2023 with a big day, dominating visiting Kuyper College 111-44 in its final non-conference game of the season on Saturday (Dec. 30) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

Bulldog junior guard Ethan Erickson set a new school record in the victory, knocking down 11 three-point field goals en route to a game-high and career-best 36 points as FSU improved to 11-2 overall this year.

Ferris State, which was coming off a decisive win over Fanshawe (Ontario) on Saturday in Big Rapids, bolted in front early and took a 56-20 halftime lead. FSU then outscored the Cougars 55-24 in the second half to garner the win.

Despite holding three players with starting experience this season out of the lineup, the Bulldogs still played 11 in the game and all 11 saw at least 10 minutes of action. Six reached double-figure scoring and all 11 had at least one assist as FSU finished with 35 on the afternoon.

Along with Erickson's 36 points on 11-of-23 shooting from long range, Ferris State also got 14 points from senior guard Jack Ammerman and 13 by senior guard Ben Davidson. Redshirt freshman Jorden Brooks added 11 points with seniors Amari Lee and Vejas Grazulis notching 10 points each.

The Bulldogs forced 34 turnovers in the win and came up with 25 steals, including five apiece from Jimmy Scholler and Owen Hardy. That led to a 53-7 advantage in points off turnovers for the game. FSU also blocked 11 shots on the defensive end with four from senior Dolapo Olayinka and three each from Grazulis and sophomore Nate Claerbaut.

Overall, Ferris State shot 48.1% for the game and made 17-of-43 (39.5%) three's as a team, coming up only two shy of the school record of 19 in a game. The Bulldogs also won the rebounding battle 46-40 and pulled down 18 offensive caroms. Hardy and Scholler led FSU on the glass with seven rebounds each. Scholler also added a team-high tying eight assists along with Ammerman with Lee contributing seven in the triumph.

Meanwhile, Kuyper was held to 28.1% shooting and the Cougars finished nine-of-25 (36.0%) from the three-point line along with three-of-four (75%) at the free throw stripe.

Along with the decided edge in turnover margin, the Bulldogs also outscored Kuyper 38-12 in the paint along with 23-13 on the offensive glass and 46-7 in fast break scoring. The FSU bench totaled 67 points to only 16 for Kuyper's reserves. The Cougars were led by Elisha Searcy with 14 points, but he was the lone Kuyper player to reach double-digits.

Erickson's 11 three's broke the school record of nine previously set by Leon Larthridge in 1991 against Quincy and matched by national champion alum Cole Walker versus Wayne State in 2018-19.

The Bulldogs will resume Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at home versus Lake Superior State on Saturday, Jan. 6, with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena.

Bulldog Hockey finishes winless despite strong play in 2023 Great Lakes Invitational

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team concluded play at the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) Tournament at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids Friday (Dec. 29). The Bulldogs dropped a 3-2 decision against the University of Alaska in the 3rd place game following their 4-1 loss to Michigan State on Thursday night.

 

Bulldog Hockey Suffers 3-2 Setback Against Alaska at GLI

The Bulldogs battled the Nanooks for the first time since 2019 in what proved to be a highly contested affair for the third-place game at the GLI.  Noah Giesbrecht started in goal for Ferris State and stopped 38-of-41 shots faced.

Luigi Benincasa opened the scoring with his second strike of the season at 8:55 in the first period. Jason Brancheau started a rush to Antonio Venuto, who found Benincasa crashing to the net on the backside and he buried the chance past Pierce Charleson in net for Alaska. Venuto and Brancheau earned their fifth and third assists of the season, respectively.

Alaska answered Benincasa's goal at 12:31 with a tally from Anton Rubtsov with A.J. Macaulay assisting. The Nanooks then took the lead at 18:48 during four-on-four play following roughing after the whistle penalties against Trevor Taulien and Brady Risk. Payton Matsui and Broten Sabo assisted.

Both teams were scoreless in the second period and combined for just 13 shots. To start the third period, the Bulldogs tied the game on a power play goal from Stepan Pokorny. His second goal of the year came on a perfectly placed shot from the right-wing faceoff circle. Zach Faremouth won a faceoff back to Kaleb Ergang, who dished to Brenden MacLaren at the point. MacLaren found Pokorny in the circle and he buried the chance. MacLaren earned his first assist of the year, while Ergang tallied his third helper. 

Alaska got the game-winning goal at 8:00 in the third period from Cade Neilson. He beat Giesbrecht five-hole on a rebound chance, and Chase Dubois assisted. Ferris State pulled Giesbrecht under the 60-second mark but was unable to capitalize with the extra attacker and Alaska emerged victorious 3-2.

For the game, the Bulldogs had 17 shots on goal and Alaska had 41. The Nanooks won 43 faceoffs compared to 23 for Ferris State, and the Bulldogs converted 1-4 power plays while killing all three of their penalties. 

 

Bulldog Hockey Falls in GLI Semifinal Against Michigan State

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team traveled to Grand Rapids for the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) and faced the Michigan State Spartans for the second year in a row at the Van Andel Arena on Thursday (Dec. 28), but fell 4-1.

In Thursday's loss, Logan Stein drew the start and stopped 35-39 shots faced. 

Michigan State scored the first four goals of the game, beginning at 7:38 in the first. Jeremey Davidson tallied his first goal of the night from Tiernan Shoudy and Griffin Jurecki. At 14:13, Tanner Kelly gave MSU a 2-0 lead, while Daniel Russell and Nash Nienhuis assisted.

The Spartans added two more goals in the second period, the first coming from Karsen Dorwart at 5:37. Russell collected his second assist of the night and Artyom Levshunov also assisted. Davidson scored his second of the night at 13:40 to give MSU a 4-0 lead.

Travis Shoudy put the Bulldogs on the board at 16:12 in the second period, beating Luca Di Pasquo for his second goal of the season and team-leading 16th point. Tyler Schleppe recorded the helper.

Through two periods, Ferris State had 16 shots on goal compared to 35 for the Spartans. In the third period, the Bulldogs outshot MSU 11-4 as they attempted a late comeback. Ultimately, the Spartans held their lead and emerged with a 4-1 victory.

MSU took 39 shots in the game compared to 27 for Ferris State. Both teams went 0-2 on their power play tries, and MSU won 38 faceoffs while FSU had 32 wins in the circle.

Russell (0-2-2) and Davidson (2-0-2) each had multi-point performances for the Spartans. Di Pasquo stopped 26-27 shots faced and earned his second win of the season. The Bulldogs also blocked 21 shots in the game.

 

Ferris State will be back in action Friday, Jan. 5, to open a CCHA home series against Bemidji State. The Beavers will visit Big Rapids for a 7:07 p.m. (ET) puck drop for the opener at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

Ferris State Giving Tuesday effort raises more than $10K for students facing food and housing insecurity; over $20K for all causes

Ferris State University supporters donated more than $10,000 to the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance and more than $20,000 overall to programs supporting students on Giving Tuesday.

“We are humbled and deeply excited by the support from our community and campus partners for Giving Tuesday,” said Jennifer Shaw, associate vice president for Advancement. “These funds directly impact our students, and the projects donors care most about. The participation from faculty and staff on campus to our alumni and friends in the community, drives positive change across the university.” 

The Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance at Ferris State provides emergency assistance to students facing food or housing insecurity that would otherwise jeopardize their ability to stay in school.

Maggie Walcott, chair of the BBNA committee, said the BBNA recorded a 340-percent increase in emergency assistance requests from 2021 to 2022. As the need continues to rise, the committee hopes to provide increased levels of support and promote awareness of the aid they offer students. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to have raised over $10,000 for students with food and housing insecurity,” Walcott said. “Coming into the holiday season, knowing how our campus community stepped up and raised these funds to assist our students in need, is such a comfort. We are very grateful for everyone that donated to the Bulldog Basic Needs Alliance on Giving Tuesday.”

Giving Tuesday is an international day of philanthropy that takes place each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year marks the first time in the university’s history that more than $20,000 was raised during the event.

Rep. Kunse: "Unemployment agency audit highlights failures"

State Rep. Tom Kunse, R-Clare, made the following statement Thursday after Michigan’s nonpartisan Office of the Auditor General uncovered failures by the Unemployment Insurance Agency. The report found the UIA neglected to investigate improper payments made during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If someone walked into my bank and stole from my account, I’d count on the bank to do everything possible to track down my money. We fund the UIA with our tax dollars. Governor Whitmer and the UIA could’ve tracked down fraudulent payments and ensured those dollars went to eligible recipients. Instead, they let payments to inmates and nursing home patients walk right out the door.

“House Republicans introduced a plan to reform the UIA. It’s currently sitting in a Democrat-led committee that has not met since June. Our proposal makes the whole process more transparent and connects jobseekers with much-needed training. UIA benefits are important but writing blank checks without oversight or support isn’t the answer. Benefits should bridge the gap until a person can find a long-term career.

“Democrats are disregarding our common-sense solutions and forging their own misguided path. Their plan would pay people more money to do less, incentivizing people to not explore career opportunities. If the UIA were a bridge, it would’ve already collapsed. The Democrat plan would send cars driving right off the ledge.”

The audit into the Investigations Division at the Whitmer administration’s UIA found that between January 2020 and October 2022, the agency failed to attempt to identify a large share of imposter claims or to recover many payments and penalties. To date, audits have already uncovered billions of dollars in fraudulent payments. The most recent report revealed another $245.1 million in potentially improper payments to ineligible individuals, even after the agency found that an individual was dead or in prison. The UIA did not identify or act to evaluate whether the payments were appropriate.

The House Republican plan to reform the UIA, co-sponsored by Kunse, would increase transparency, prevent fraud, and improve customer service for unemployed workers seeking benefits and employers who pay taxes into the unemployment system. The bills were referred to the House Ethics and Oversight Committee.

Ferris State Men's Basketball back at home this Friday & Saturday at Wink Arena

The Ferris State University men's basketball squad will return from the holiday break with a pair of home contests this week inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The nation's 17th-ranked Bulldogs, who are 9-2 overall, will host Fanshawe (Ontario) on Friday (Dec. 29) along with Kuyper on Saturday (Dec. 30) in Big Rapids. Both games are slated for 3 p.m. (ET) tipoff times.

Friday's contest is billed as Community Day with all local fans encouraged to come out and support the Bulldogs. The support is needed with FSU students currently on the holiday break.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be Kids Day and all youth ages 10 and under will get in FREE.

The Bulldogs won back-to-back regional matchups over Ashland and Cedarville prior to the Christmas Holiday.

This weekend's action marks FSU's final two non-league games of the season. Ferris State will resume Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at home versus Lake Superior State on Saturday, Jan. 6.

Tickets for all 2023-24 home games can be purchased in advance online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

Detroit Lions Quarterback Jared Goff Quote Sheet: 12/26/23

LIONS QB JARED GOFF QUOTE SHEET

December 26, 2023

 

On Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell saying the team needs to stay focused and not prolong celebrating the NFC North division title: “Yeah, I think he’s exactly right. We’ve got to move forward now. It was a fun 24 hours enjoying that, having a good Christmas, being able to enjoy the fanfare of all that was winning the division, but that’s over. That’s behind us now and now we’ve got another game to win in Dallas.”

On if he thinks complacency caused them to lose any of their earlier games this season and what lessons were learned from it: “I don’t think complacency caused us to lose any games. I think that’s what you get fearful of when you do win a division. And certainly, in our situation, won one for the first time in a long time and think the job’s done, and by no means is it. We’ve got a ton more goals ahead of us and everything is in our control, and we can go out there and do whatever we want to this year, just have to go execute.”

On Cowboys CB DaRon Bland’s ability to intercept and return passes: “Yeah, he’s very opportunistic. He makes those plays when they come his way and has seemed to take them all back to the house. It’s a good thing to do as a defensive back. But yeah, he’s played well, he’s made plays on the ball, he’s got great ball skills. And I think he’s got the NFL record, right, for most taken back? It’s incredible. It’s a good testament to what type of player he is and yeah, has great ball skills.”

On the value of having two running backs like Lions RBs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs that both add high levels of production: “Yeah, they’re both starting backs in this League for really any team and to have them both on the same team and have them both be able to complement each other so well, it makes us dangerous. And we try to use it to our advantage as well as possible. I think one of the biggest things I’ve noticed is how we’re able to keep them both pretty fresh throughout the game. It doesn’t feel like either of them get too tired because they’re able to rotate in and out, and when you can do that, it’s hard on a defense. And those two guys are special and we’re lucky to have them.”

On the challenges Cowboys LB Micah Parsons’s varying alignments presents: “Yeah, moves around quite a bit. I think that’s kind of their advantage with him is they can move him around. They can put him off the ball, they can put him on the ball, stand him over the middle. So, yeah, they do a bunch of stuff with him. He’s a dangerous player, he’s a great player, he can do a hell of a lot and we’ve got to be aware of where he’s at.”

On if playing well the past two weeks against two good defenses carries confidence over into this week: “Yeah, sure. I think it seems like every week for the last handful of weeks we’re just looking at every team’s defense’s turnover stats and how good they are on the ball and then we come in and we’ve had two games in a row now with taking care of the ball pretty well. And so, yeah, it’ll carry into this one certainly, but yeah, it’s something we’re always conscious of is taking care of the ball and giving our team the best chance to win. But this defense is good, and we’ve got our work cut out.”

On if Lions WR Jameson Williams is considered to be ‘one of the guys now’: “Yeah, no doubt. He’s worked himself into that role and trust him on really everything he’s doing now. And he’s done a hell of a job, man, getting himself there. And again, it’s just reps, just time and he’s still a young player and still learning and growing, but just keeps doing this every week. And it’s exciting for me, it’s exciting for our offense.”

On what caused the number of delay of game penalties in the game against Minnesota: “It’s a handful of things. It’s mostly us to just getting up out of the huddle and getting set and snapping the ball. Typically, that’s the issue with those and it was this week. I think I spoke it after the game, but that end of game sequence wasn’t our best and defense bailed us out. It was nice to have that, but we’d like to finish with the ball on the field in one of those last two drives and weren’t able to. But yeah, it was just poor communication.”

On if there is anything particularly challenging as a quarterback about playing at AT&T Stadium compared to other stadiums: “It’ll get loud. It’ll get loud like other places, but I just think they’re very comfortable there, right? That’s what it seems, and we’ve got to find a way to go in there and be comfortable as well and find a way to win. And they’re a great team. They’re really good at home like you mentioned and we’ll have our work cut out.”

On if they feel equally as comfortable playing on the road as they do at home: “Yeah, I think so. Yeah, we’ve won games on the road, and we’ve won games at home. And we’re a good road team and we feel good about in about pretty much anywhere. We went to Arrowhead earlier this year and won there and are much harder atmospheres to play in than that. So, yeah, we feel good about going in anywhere and find a way to win.”

On what the last 36 hours have been like since winning the NFC North division: “Yeah, it’s been fun. It’s been cool. You try to soak it in, you try to enjoy it. The old 24-hour rule, win or lose and try to treat it that way, and yeah, it’s been exciting. I think the city’s excited. We’re excited. I know the fans are thrilled we get a home playoff game at the very least, but with that being said, like I said earlier, we’ve got so much more in front of us that we want to accomplish and we’re very, very happy with winning the division, but by no means satisfied or content. Have got a lot to do still and it’ll be fun.”

On how valuable it is to play a playoff-caliber team like Dallas late in the season: “Yeah, it’s always good late in the year. You get teams – I mean you have Minnesota, Denver, those teams are playoff bound potentially, and Dallas obviously as well. You get teams like that you can kind of stack up with and see where you’re at. And yeah, these are the fun ones, man. Late in the year, another good team, at their place, can’t draw it up much better. It’ll be fun. It’ll be a good atmosphere. They’ll be ready to go, we’ll be ready to go. It’ll be a good game.”

On if the goal now is to get a better seed for playoffs: “Well, yeah, we’d like to win this game first, and if we win this game and then we win the next one, we would have the two seed I believe. But yeah, what we can control is winning this week and again, obviously a big one. They’re a great team. They’re fighting for their division as well, so it’ll be a tough one. But yeah, we’d like to win this one and continue our chance at a higher seed.”

On if they as players believe in the Cowboys’ mystic of being ‘America’s Team’: “Well, that’s certainly their nickname, right? I don’t know if that means anything. They’re a good team. Yeah, I don’t know. I didn’t play them in the ‘90s when they got that nickname, but they’re a great team and have been a great team for a long time and have a lot of really good players and are really well coached. Yeah, they’ll be a tough challenge for us.”

KCAD student completes highly selective Tamarind Institute of Lithography program, looks to bring new life to centuries-old medium

After completing the world’s premier program for lithography, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University alum Katherine Westbrook is on a mission to help give the centuries-old artistic medium new life in the 21st century.

The renowned Tamarind Institute of Lithography at the University of New Mexico is widely credited as the modern steward of lithography, a method of printing invented in 1796 in which a design is drawn onto a flat stone or a prepared metal plate and then transferred to another surface via chemical reaction.

Tamarind’s Printer Training Program is highly selective, with no more than eight students admitted each year. Participants expand their technical and professional skills while helping other artists explore lithography’s vast creative possibilities.

For Westbrook, who graduated from KCAD in 2022 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking, spending a year immersed in the medium only deepened her appreciation of it.

“What I find the most endearing about lithography is how complicated it is,” she said. “You need a very technical understanding to be able to execute it successfully, and even then, you still mess up sometimes. But the joy of lithography for me is the versatility of it. It can look like a graphite drawing or painting, or it can be very graphic, almost like a screen print.”

Becoming a master printer goes beyond technical expertise. Westbrook also learned how to manage a studio environment, communicate with others, and solve the inevitable problems that arise during the creative process.

“I was expecting the rigorous training in technique, but we got trained in so much more: life skills, business practices, time management, and everything that you would expect professionally,” she said. “It’s about approaching things calmly and very methodically, with a clear understanding of what you're doing on every level.”

Westbrook had ample opportunity to put her training to the test. She and her classmates were in constant collaboration with four University of New Mexico art students and two established artists, all from different creative disciplines and with little to no experience in lithography.

Working with painters, drawers, and sculptors, Westbrook soon discovered that no two partnerships were alike.

“It's really fun to work with artists outside of printmaking because they have such a different way of thinking,” she said. “It helps grow the medium when you're working with someone who doesn't necessarily understand it. That's critical if we want lithography and printmaking to continue to develop.”

Throughout the program, Westbrook learned to intuit other artists’ needs and help them get comfortable with lithography. She developed a process of giving them a small test stone to experiment with, tweaking the materials and techniques until they found a combination to their liking, and then scaling up to the full-size project.

With the result being large-scale prints with multiple colors and layers, that initial time and labor paid off handsomely. As Westbrook said, “The exciting part is getting to see their faces as you pull a proof!”

Those rich experiences inspired Westbrook to start thinking about how she could make lithography more accessible to other artists. Despite its rich history, the artform remains a bit arcane and out-of-reach for many aspiring printers.

“You have this big chunk of limestone, and this big, big press, a bunch of toxic chemicals, and all of this technical knowledge that isn't available to most people because you can only get it through education, literature that’s behind a paywall, or word of mouth,” she explained. “I don't think that's reasonable if we want to see this medium continue on into the future.”

Westbrook’s solution: developing a curriculum to teach lithography techniques to other artists through a streaming workshop—a task she managed alongside her education. Over 100 people from around the world joined her first workshop to learn about tusche wash, an advanced lithography technique. Through step-by-step demonstrations, she showed how to prepare the materials and control the chemical reactions to achieve the desired results.

The opportunity to share her knowledge and answer questions from the art community resonated deeply with Westbrook. While she plans to continue printing in her own studio, she’s also determined to keep widening the sphere of understanding and engagement by leading classes or workshops that help people meet lithography where they are.

That spark she feels from connecting with other people, whether they’re established artists or just beginners, is something that will continue to shape Westbrook’s career. She’s currently establishing a lithography practice and workshop at San Jose, Calif.-based art studio Visual Philosophy that she hopes to use as a platform for her creative and educational pursuits.

“Knowing that I can do way more than what I could even a year ago--I don't want to keep this knowledge to myself,” Westbrook said. “I want to continue to spread it, and we have a whole new world of opportunity in front of us when it comes to how to do that.”

Additional information about Katherine Westbrook is available at eastcreekpress.net or @eastcreekpress on Instagram.

Fuel Your New Year with Scooter's Coffee® Energizing Winter Menu

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scooterscoffee.com or Scoot on Around to your local Scooter’s Coffee location.

Ferris State opens action at the Great Lakes Invitational against Michigan State on Thursday

Ferris State returns to Grand Rapids this season for the second year in a row to play Michigan State in the Great Lakes Invitational on Thursday (Dec. 28). Last year, the Bulldogs topped the Spartans 4-2 and played Western Michigan for the GLI Championship. This year, the #7-ranked Spartans enter 12-4-2, while the Bulldogs wrapped up their first half of the season with a 5-11-1 record. Ferris State last took the ice against Lake Superior State Dec. 16 in a 5-1 loss before departing for the holiday break. Michigan State last played Dec. 9 in a 2-1 win over Notre Dame.

Ferris State and Michigan State will hit the ice on Thursday at 7 p.m. The third-place and championship games of the GLI are set for Friday (Dec. 29) at 3:30 and 7 p.m., respectively. All games in the GLI will be carried by FloSports and can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM or FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

 

On Deck for the Dawgs
Dec 29 - vs Opponent TBA, @ Great Lakes Invitational
Jan. 5 - vs Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
Jan. 6 - vs Bemidji State, 6:07 p.m.
Jan. 12 - @ Minnesota State, 8:07 p.m.
Jan. 13 - @ Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Jan. 19 - vs Lake State, 7:07 p.m.
Jan. 20 - @ Lake State, 6:07 p.m.

Scouting The Spartans
Michigan State will face-off against the Bulldogs for the second consecutive year at the GLI. The Spartans have been one of the best teams in college hockey this year, and are very solid all around. They are elite on special teams with a .278 power play percentage (6th nationally) and .831 mark on the penalty kill (T-23rd). Their shot percentage of 11.3 is a top-10 mark in college hockey, and they score 4.2 goals per game (3rd most). Defensively, MSU allows 3.1 goals per game, which is middle of the pack.

The Spartans struggle on the faceoff circle, winning 48.1% of faceoffs. They are a very young team, with 18 freshmen or sophomore skaters. At 21.2 years old on average, they are the fifth youngest team in the nation.

Trey Augustine leads the Spartans between the pipes with 11 wins this year while stopping 91.6% of shots faced and allowing fewer than three goals per game. Offensively, Isaac Howard has 20 points (15 assists) and each of Joey Larson, Karsen Dorwart and Artyom Levshunov have 19 points. Miami (Ohio) transfer Red Savage has 18 points on 12 helpers. Larson leads the squad with nine goals and four power play strikes.

All but two of the Spartan skaters have an on-ice mark of even or better, with Levshunov leading the way at +16.

Bulldogs Wrap Up The First Half
Ferris State closed the first half of their season with a 5-1 loss against Lake Superior State at home. Through 17 games, the Bulldogs have five wins, four of which have come in overtime. In overtime contests, they are 4-1-1 with a shootout victory over Western Michigan.

Logan Stein is having a terrific senior season with a .919 save percentage (T-13th) while allowing 2.64 goals per game. Antonio Venuto is one of the best goal scorers in the CCHA with 11 tallies this year (15 points). Travis Shoudy leads all conference blueliners in assists (14), and rookie Luigi Benincasa has 11 points with 10 helpers.

The Bulldog power play has converted eight times on 55 tries (.145), and they win 49.6% of their faceoffs. Zach Faremouth wins at nearly a 56% clip, the fifth best mark in the CCHA. Ferris State's penalty kill continues to be an area of emphasis, as they kill at a .677 clip.

FSU leads the conference in shots on goal per game (32.65), but their shots percentage is lowest in the CCHA (.07). The Dawgs are middle of the pack in penalties per game (4.06).

Joe's Takes: The Lions did it...but aren't done yet

If you didn’t love the Lions at the multiple three-win or less seasons, you don’t deserve their NFC North Championship. In all seriousness though, it doesn’t matter if you were a fan yesterday, a fan today, or have been a fan your entire life, what matters is that the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan are alive and well. It may have gotten a little too close to comfort near the end of the game, but a win is a win and Detroit beat Minnesota when the clock hit triple zeroes.

With the Sunday win, the Lions clinched the NFC North, a playoff spot, and dare I say every single heart in the Midwest outside of Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The game was filled with highs and lows, but ended on the best high with an interception by Ifeatu Melifonwu to seal the deal 30 to 24.

The Lions did win the game and had four interceptions defensively, but that side of the ball played just above horrible. An effort like that won’t win us the game in Dallas this upcoming week and it sure won’t be easy against the Vikings again in the final regular season game. Our defense continues to diminish my confidence with each week.

On the other hand, our offense was pretty darn solid in all aspects. The run game was working; as Jahmyr Gibbs had 80 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns, and David Montgomery picked up 55 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown as well. Jared Goff had a pretty standard day too, chucking for 257 yards, 30 completions on 40 attempts, a touchdown, and no picks. Hopefully, he can carry that confidence in the pocket to Dallas this week too.

Detroit’s receivers were balling out too but didn’t have the big stats to prove it at first glance. Amon-Ra St. Brown led Lions’ receivers with 108 yards and a touchdown, Jameson Williams showed some improvement with ball security when getting hit hard after the catch, and Khalif
Raymond took advantage of single coverage with a pair of catches for big gains. This Sunday will be a big tell on how our receivers and Goff can do against a stronger secondary core, especially since Dallas has pick specialist Daron Bland and hard hitter Micah Parsons. Yeah, they are scary.

Now, I am not worried about the offense at all for next week. I believe they’ll be able to match the output of the Cowboys, but it’s the defense that will win or lose the game. Against Minnesota, we had four interceptions, two by Kerby Joseph, one by Ifeatu Melifonwu, and another by Brian Branch. Keep in mind though, Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens, threw for a staggering 411 yards on 22 completions. If that happens with Dak Prescott, we are cooked.

Detroit was able to pressure Mullens pretty much all game, but were only able to take him down four times for sacks. That is a good amount for a game, but the problem is we could of had a lot more. Mullens was able to scramble out of the pocket even though he isn’t a running quarterback.

Regardless, we got the win and made franchise history. I have never seen so many Detroit Lions story posts on Instagram to celebrate the historic occasion. It was so good to see a city and franchise that has been struggling for so long, finally give us something we desperately needed.

The question is now, what are we even playing for? Well I’ll tell you: the number one seed in the NFC. Monday night saw the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Baltimore Ravens, which means that the 49ers, Lions, and Philadelphia Eagles all share an 11-4 record. These next two weeks are must wins for the Lions to earn the first round bye. The Cowboys also have a 10-5 record, meaning they’re no slouch and we have to keep an eye on them too.

The upcoming game is in Dallas. The Cowboys fanbase, in my opinion, is a top three worst fanbase in the league. This is the first time that they have been good since the 1990's, but each year they think they still have Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin to make a Super Bowl run. Instead, they have CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott, so really not as good in comparison.

Expect a high scoring affair this next Monday. Whichever quarterback cracks first is going to be the one that loses. Both teams have the ability to get multiple takeaways so the Lions need to play clean football for all four quarters. It sounds simple right? But, I don’t know what Detroit team is going to show up. Will it be a team that is fine with just a easy ride into the playoffs, or will it be the team that wants to fight till the end like last year?

Enjoy this week, enjoy this year, and enjoy every second you can people. We deserve this NFC North championship and it’s been a long time coming. This isn’t just a one time deal either, the Detroit Lions takeover is here to stay for many more years to come.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (12/18 - 12/24)

Monday, December 18

  • Officers took a report of a juvenile who had left his residence and not returned as expected. The juvenile was determined to be with a friend and was turned over to parents.

Tuesday, December 19

  • Officers were dispatched to as child custody dispute. Officers had to return after the mother returned back to the father’s residence and became disorderly. The matter will be submitted to the prosecutor for review.

Wednesday, December 20

  • Officers served a notice of no trespassing.

Thursday, December 21

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, December 22

  • Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff deputies on a traffic stop for officer safety.

Saturday, December 23

  • Officers took a report of a lost wallet.

  • Officers stood by for a child custody exchange. There were no issues.

  • Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff deputies on a traffic stop for officer safety.

  • While patrolling an officer investigated possible vandalism to a town business door.

Sunday, December 24

  • Officers took a report of drone use and lasers shining in windows. Verbal warnings were issued.

KCSO Investigates Fatal Crash in Grattan Township

At 10:30 A.M, Friday morning, two cars collided at the intersection of Lincoln Lake Ave. & 6 Mile Rd. NE resulting in one fatality and two other people injured.

Preliminary information shows a red Chevrolet Impala was westbound on 6 Mile Rd NE and ran the stop sign at Lincoln Lake Ave. The Impala collided with a Buick Enclave traveling northbound on Lincoln Lake Ave.  

The driver of the Impala was pronounced deceased and is a 46-year-old female from Belding. The driver in the Buick was a 54-year-old female and the passenger a 77-year-old female. They were transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. The Kent County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit is continuing its investigation into the crash. 

Corewell Health receives $115,000 grant to support transportation and lodging for cancer patients

Corewell Health™ recently received $115,000 in grants from the American Cancer Society to fund transportation and lodging for cancer patients. The grants are part of $8.3 million awarded by the American Cancer Society to health systems nationwide.

“Not having access to high-quality cancer treatment due to where you live contributes to the disparities we see in cancer outcomes,” said Dr. Arif Kamal, chief patient officer for the American Cancer Society.  “It’s important to provide the funding and programming needed to keep a lack of transportation or the cost of a hotel room from impacting survival.”

MSUFCU distributes annual giving tree donations to Michigan families

Instead of opening gifts this year, MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) members and the community opened their hearts during the Credit Union’s annual Giving Tree initiative with local nonprofit organizations across Michigan.

Employees, members, and the community collectively donated 735 gifts toward this year’s Giving Tree partners, helping to provide holiday gifts to 151 individuals throughout the communities served by the Credit Union. This is a significant increase from last year when 220 gifts were collected for more than 100 families.

MSUFCU’s annual project to help make the holidays brighter for children and families ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 1. The public could select gift tags from the Giving Tree displays at every full-service MSUFCU branch. Each tag contained one or more individual wish list items to purchase. The new, unwrapped gifts and tags were returned to the branch by Dec. 1 for distribution.

This year, MSUFCU partnered with Child and Family Charities of Lansing, Michael’s Place grief support center of Traverse City, Neighborhood House of Oakland County, American Indian Health & Family Services of Detroit, and Comprehensive Therapy Center of Grand Rapids to distribute the gifts to local families.

“This is one of our favorite initiatives as our collective participation reinforces one of our core philanthropic pillars ? supporting and strengthening the communities we serve,” said Arianna Ridderbusch, MSUFCU’s Vice President of Community Impact. “The Giving Tree embodies the Credit Union’s philosophy of people helping people, enriching lives, and spreading joy in the true spirit of the season.”

Ferris State's website, with personalized experiences for students, named one of the 10 best collegiate sites in the nation

Ferris State University’s website has been named among the 10 best collegiate sites in the nation for the second year in a row, with experts praising the site’s ability to create a more personalized experience for students. 

Ferris State’s ferris.edu website was recognized for excellence in website design and management by Modern Campus, a content management firm that works with about 4,500 college and university websites.  

The winning websites were recognized for their effectiveness at providing students with informative content and engaging user experiences, driving conversions, maintaining interest, and improving enrollments, the company said. 

“The recognition as one of Modern Campus's Top 10 Higher Ed Websites in 2023 underscores our dedication to students and their needs, showcasing a user-friendly website that effectively highlights the opportunities offered by our university,” said Eric Hazen, Ferris State’s executive director for Digital Experience and Marketing. “By streamlining the usual complexity associated with higher education websites, we have successfully created a straightforward and robust online experience.”  

Ferris State also was recognized as a Top 10 Higher Ed Website in 2022.  

Websites were saluted for factors including engaging website design, easy navigation with clear calls to action, mobile friendliness of the website, integrated catalogs with up-to-date career data, personalized experiences, and brand consistency across subdomains. 

The Ferris State website was saluted for creating a personalized experienced tailored to the visitor’s profile. The website’s clickthrough rate increased by 2,800 percent using personalization.   

“Modern students are used to personalized digital experiences, and they expect the same level of engagement from higher education institutions,” the company said of the Ferris State site. “Ferris State has elevated its marketing approach through impressive personalization, tailoring calls to action based on individual student application statuses. This ensures that website visitors promptly access pertinent information and are guided seamlessly toward the anticipated next steps.”   

"With decreasing enrollment rates mounting with increasing student expectations, it's encouraging to see colleges and universities are becoming creative with their websites and digital properties," said Kimberly Prieto, senior vice president for product at Modern Campus. "I'm thrilled that we can recognize these 10 institutions that are delivering exceptional student experiences while supporting their brand with their websites. These websites demonstrate the institution's unparalleled commitment to quality, creativity and student centricity." 

Joining Ferris State on the list of best websites are College of DuPage, Duquesne University, Florida A&M University, Kennesaw State University, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Pepperdine University, Rock Valley College, University of Montana, and University of Wyoming.

Claimants can certify for unemployment benefits online during Christmas holiday

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) reminds workers they can certify their job searches online on Christmas, which is Monday. Certification by telephone will not be available Friday, Dec. 22, and Monday, Dec. 25, which are state holidays.

Claimants must report to UIA every two weeks if they are jobless and meet the eligibility requirements to receive benefits. Certification through the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – even on holidays – by logging in at Michigan.gov/UIA.

Local UIA offices will be closed Friday this week and Monday next week. Also, the Customer Service and Office of Employer Ombudsman phone lines will not be staffed Friday and Monday. Because of the holiday closures, there may be a slight delay before unemployment benefits are deposited into a claimant’s bank account or added to their debit card.

Workers can go to Michigan.gov/UIA at any time to schedule future phone, virtual, and Local Office in-person appointments; find answers to frequently asked questions; and access resources, toolkits and instructional videos.

New resources available to workers

Three new resources for workers have recently been launched by the UIA to make applying for benefits easier:

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

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

MiWAM system replacement on its way

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

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

  • Creating the UIA Modernization Workgroup, consisting of labor, business and jobless advocates to advise the UIA on significant improvements in how it can better serve Michigan workers and employers.
  • Naming a Legal Advisor and creating the Legal and Compliance Bureauto leverage collaborative anti-fraud practices for pursuing bad actors.
  • Extending through September 2024 nearly 50 limited term positions in the Fraud and Investigations Division, with 30 additional staff hired with funding from a $2.6 million Integrity Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).
  • Hiring new advocates in the Advocacy Program and increasing pay for preparing workers and employers for appeal hearings of UIA determinations before an independent administrative law judge.
  • Scoring 100 percent for the third year in a row from the USDOL, meeting the reasonable assurance of quality benchmark for employer audits in 2022, 2021, and 2020.
  • Securing a more than $2.3 million equitable access and communications grant from the USDOL Tiger Teams initiative to redesign and simplify how UIA engages with employers and develop a help center for accessing agency services.

Other significant changes throughout agency

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

  • Revamped the agency’s public website at Michigan.gov/UIA to make it more user-friendly and responsive for those accessing services using cell phones or tablets.
  • Collaborated with the Attorney General’s office as well as local, state and federal law enforcement to bring bad actors to justice and combat fraud at the agency. To date, 158 individuals have been arrested or charged in connection with unemployment benefits fraud, 80 have been convicted, and 51 sentenced for their crimes.
  • Reassigned staff and resources to address the largest categories of claims that are contributing to the agency’s case backlogs.
  • Rebuilt to more than $2.3 billion (and growing) the UI Trust Fund, from which weekly benefits are paid to workers.
  • Approved more than 76,000 overpayment waivers (with more to come) of state and federal benefits paid out during the global pandemic, waiving more than $555 million.
  • Halted overpayment collections on claims filed since March 1, 2020, while the agency addresses pending protests and appeals. More than $13 million was refunded to workers since May 2022.
  • Implemented new ethics and security clearance policies for employees and contractors.

DHD#10 announces holiday office closures

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) offices will be closed Friday, December 22, 2023, and Monday, December 25, 2023, in observance of Christmas. DHD#10 offices will also be closed Friday, December 29, 2023 and Monday, January 1, 2024, in observance of the New Year. 

All DHD#10 offices will reopen as scheduled on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 and on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.
The DHD#10 Drinking Water Testing Lab will not be accepting water samples on Thursday, December 21, 2023, and will be closed on Friday, December 22, 2023 and Monday, December 25, 2023, in observance of Christmas. 

The DHD#10 Drinking Water Testing Lab will also not be accepting water samples on Thursday, December 28, 2023 and will be closed on Friday, December 29, 2023 and Monday, January 1, 2024, in observance on the New Year. 

The Drinking Water Testing Lab will reopen and begin accepting water samples as scheduled on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 and Tuesday, January 2, 2024. 

For more information about DHD#10, office locations, or hours of operation, please visit https://www.dhd10.org/

The Spark, KCAD's retail store highlighting local artwork, earns five nominations for Grand Rapids Magazine's Best of Grand Rapids 2024

The Spark, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s retail space focused on supporting the local creative ecosystem, is nominated in five categories for Grand Rapids Magazine’s Best of Grand Rapids 2024 readers’ poll.   

The Spark’s nominations include Best Gift Shop, Best Home Décor, Best Place to Buy Local Art, Best Consignment Shop, and Best Jewelry.  

The Best of Grand Rapids readers’ poll is a chance for locals to nominate and select the winners among favorite spots to shop, dine, drink, and more. Community members can show their support and vote for The Spark at grmag.com/bestofgr/ballot before the ballot closes on Jan. 10, 2024.  

Open since August 2023, The Spark extends the creative community of KCAD into the wider community of West Michigan. The collaborative and publicly accessible retail space invites visitors to purchase handmade goods from a diversity of local artists and makers.  

Last-minute holiday shoppers can find a wide range of stylish, unique gifts for everyone on their list, including art prints, home décor, stationery, jewelry, craft kits, books, toys, and more.  

"We are honored to be nominated among so many beloved local businesses,” said Mikayla Portee, retail manager for The Spark and a KCAD alumna. “It shows the warm welcome the community has given our efforts to uplift and support the work of local artists since opening this past summer.”   

The Spark is located at 17 Fountain St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids. The Spark is open noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 19 to 21, then closed until Jan. 7. 2024.   

The Best of Grand Rapids 2024 ballot closes Jan. 10, 2024. Vote today to support local artists and small businesses at grmag.com/bestofgr/ballot.  

For more information about The Spark, visit kcad.edu/thespark or follow on Instagram @thesparkgr.  

Three found deceased in Alpine Township

At 2:30 PM yesterday, Kent County Sheriff's Office deputies and Alpine Township Fire responded to the report of three people unresponsive at a home in the 4800 Block of Stage Ave NW. 

When firefighters arrived they located high levels of carbon monoxide in the home. The home had to be exited and ventilated before police could safely enter. Tragically, an 86-year-old man, 81-year-old woman (husband and wife) were located deceased along with their 61-year-old son. 

The Kent County Medical Examiner's Office will make the official determination on cause of death, but there does not appear anything suspicious to investigators at this time. It is possible that the deaths are related to high levels of carbon monoxide. Investigators will also work to determine the possible source.

As a reminder, please take time to check your smoke and CO detectors on a regular basis. 

Big Rapids secures $15,000 tree planting grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The City of Big Rapids is proud to announce that it has been awarded a generous grant of $15,450 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to support a comprehensive tree-planting initiative within the city.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources provided over $390,000 in grants for 18 tree-related projects across the state. The funds have been made available through two federal programs.

This grant through the Inflation Reduction Act aims to foster environmental sustainability and enhance the city's green infrastructure. It will fund the planting of 40 trees strategically selected across Big Rapids. The initiative aligns with the city's commitment to environmental stewardship and community beautification.

City Manager Mark Gifford expressed gratitude for the MDNR's support, stating, "We are thrilled to have received this grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Trees play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for our residents, providing shade, improving air quality, and contributing to the overall aesthetics of our community."

The current tree inventory in Big Rapids totals 3,770 trees, including 79 different species.

Corewell Health receives $12,600 grant to support Reed City High School telehealth clinic

Corewell Health™ has received a $12,600 grant from the Osceola County Community Foundation to support Reed City High School’s onsite clinic for students’ behavioral health needs.

The funds will be used to maintain the clinic and continue providing students with important mental health services right in the school.

“Behavioral health issues among adolescents are at an all-time high across the country, and this program allows students easy access to services in their own communities,” said Katie Thorsen, manager of virtual health at Corewell Health in West Michigan. “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Reed City Public Schools and to OCCF for its ongoing support. These grant dollars are making a difference in the community every day.”

People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our legacy of outstanding outcomes, innovation, strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Corewell Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides health care and coverage with an exceptional team of 60,000+ dedicated people—including more than 11,500 physicians and advanced practice providers and more than 15,000 nurses providing care and services in 21 hospitals, 300+ outpatient locations and several post-acute facilities—and Priority Health, a provider-sponsored health plan serving more than 1.3 million members. Through experience and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness. For more information, visit corewellhealth.org.

Michigan Public Service Commission posts request for proposals for $21.3M renewable energy and electrification grants

The Michigan Public Service Commission announced Wednesday it has posted a request for proposals (RFP) for a renewable energy and electrification infrastructure enhancement and development grant program.

The RFP meets the requirements of Public Act 119 of 2023, under which the MPSC must develop the $21.3 million grant program. The RFP was finalized after a public comment period and is open for businesses, nonprofit organizations, local units of government and tribal governments to fund planning, developing, designing, acquiring or constructing renewable energy and electrification infrastructure projects in Michigan.

The RFP can be found at the MPSC’s webpage for the grant program, which will prioritize funding for infrastructure or planning projects that meet one or more of the MI Healthy Climate Plan goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition toward economy-wide carbon neutrality.

The deadline to submit proposals is Feb. 21, 2024. Proposals must be submitted by email to LARA-MPSC-RE-EIEDGRANT@michigan.gov.

In advance of this deadline, potential applicants have two opportunities to seek clarification on the RFP. The first inquiry deadline will be Jan. 11, 2024, with responses posted Jan 18 to the grant program webpage. The second inquiry deadline will be Jan. 26, with responses posted by Feb. 5. Inquiries must be submitted by email to LARA-MPSC-RE-EIEDGRANT@michigan.gov.

Public Act 119 requires the MPSC to allow all applications for this grant to be reviewed by business interests, environmental groups and local units of government. The MPSC also encourages tribal governments, nonprofit organizations and other interested parties directly affected by the proposals to review the applications. All applications will be posted, unredacted, to the grant webpage on Feb. 28, 2024.

After a 45-day review period, applicants will have a 15-day window to modify their proposal based on the comments received and resubmit, if desired. The final deadline for revised or modified proposals is April 29, 2024. Modified proposals must be submitted to LARA-MPSC-RE-EIEDGRANT@michigan.gov, and the email should explain that the proposal has been modified. Modified proposals will be posted to the grant webpage. The MPSC anticipates notifying selected grant recipients of their award status in September 2024.

The anticipated grant start date is Nov. 15, 2024.

Deadly fire in Byron Township now under investigation

Just before 8:00 AM Tuesday, a Jeep was traveling eastbound on 68th St near Clay Ave and caught fire. Witnesses report hearing an explosion and Kent County Sheriff's Office deputies and the Cutlerville Fire Department arrived to find the vehicle fully involved with flames. Responders located a deceased person inside of the vehicle. The driver was identified as a 42-year-old Kentwood man.  

The Kent County Sheriff's Office, Cutlerville Fire, Michigan State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are looking into what led up to this incident. The cause and origin of the fire is yet to be determined by fire investigators. 

At this time, no further details have been released. 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 (12/11 - 12/17)

Monday, December 11

  • At 3:00 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Deerfield TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 18

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, December 12

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, December 13

  • At 11:10 A.M., deputies investigated a child abuse complaint at a residence in Morton TWP. Additional investigation led to the arrest of male subject for child abuse. He was lodged at the Mecosta county Jail.

  • At 11:38 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Mecosta TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.?

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 8

 

Thursday, December 14

  • Nothing reported.

 

Friday, December 15

Calls for Service: 14

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, December 16

Calls for Service: 10

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, December 17

Calls for Service: 14

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Ferris State exploring development of artificial intelligence by creating two virtual students who will enroll, participate in classes

Ferris State University is exploring the development of artificial intelligence and learning how it can be used in classrooms and beyond by creating two virtual students who will enroll and participate in lessons and activities through the evolving technology.

The virtual students, named Ann and Fry, will enroll as freshmen, starting classes during the Spring 2024 semester. They will be a part of hybrid classes, interact with classmates and complete assignments.

Faculty and staff will monitor the interactions with professors and classmates, then use what they have learned to apply to potential applications in education and other areas.

Molly Cooper, a Ferris State professor and scholar of information security, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence, said the virtual students’ experiences will help faculty members find new ways to make education more accessible, among other uses on campus and in the community.

“Ferris State is a leader in artificial intelligence education and can leverage its expertise to use the technology we teach to strengthen our ability to lead,” Cooper said. “The more we use artificial intelligence, we can see what it is capable of and how we can use it to do things more efficiently and effectively.”

Ferris State’s Artificial Intelligence program is one of just three AI undergraduate programs in the nation. It has close ties to industry and government partners, including the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Amazon Web Services and many Michigan companies.

Artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. That can include visual perception, as well as speech recognition, decision-making and translating. AI technology can process large amounts of data to recognize patterns and make decisions.

The field is growing rapidly, with roles in cloud computing, cybersecurity, data science and robotics, among other areas. The scope of artificial intelligence applications is accelerating and becoming critical for more industries, from healthcare and education to marketing and logistics.

The virtual student project involves a variety of Ferris State academic departments and is being directed by the Information Security and Intelligence Department.

Faculty members created backstories for Ann and Fry based on real student experiences, which will be used to help them complete tasks such as declaring a major.

“These virtual students, and the work we are doing around them, are another example of Ferris State showing leadership in technological fields,” Provost Bobby Fleischman said. “Our students have opportunities to learn from faculty members who are experts in their fields, gaining skills with real world applications that will lead to rewarding careers.”

Ferris State hosted its first AI Day earlier this month, a faculty collaboration from various programs and student organizations.

About 300 area high school students attended sessions at the university’s Center for Virtual Learning and participated in a series of interactive exhibits and workshops with Ferris State faculty and students focused on artificial intelligence technology, including a Deepfake Lab, an AI Social Engineering Lab, autonomous vehicle racing, working with Chat GPT, and AI’s use in space and satellite cybersecurity. 

Deputies catch thieves in Cannon Township Tuesday night

Just after 10:30 P.M. Tuesday night, Kent County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the Lake Bella Vista neighborhood to the report of suspects stealing packages off of people's porches.

As deputies arrived, they located the suspicious vehicle parked in front of a residence Hermoso Ct NE. Two suspects were on foot, but were stopped by arriving deputies.  

In total, nine homes were stolen from by three suspects. Those three suspects were arrested and lodged at the Kent County Jail on larceny charges. All are 22 to 24-years-old men and from Cannon Township.  

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (12/11 - 12/17)

Monday, December 11

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, December 12

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, December 13

  • An officer took a call from a woman who had several complaints about public transportation and other topics. No criminal complaints were voiced. The officer requested an officer in her jurisdiction do a well being check on her mental health.
  • An officer conducted a traffic stop that resulted in the driver being transported to her house after determining that she was having difficulties driving at night safely. No issues.

Thursday, December 14

  • An officer assisted CPS with a case investigation. No issues.

  • An officer responded to a two-car crash incident, no injuries.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a possible baby left unattended left in a car. After investigating, it was determined it was only a child seat covered with a blanket. The reports were unfounded.

  • Officers received and investigated a referral from CPS involving a teen minor. The investigation is ongoing but could lead to charges being requested for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 4th degree, shoplifting, furnishing alcohol to minors, furnishing marijuana to minors, and assault.

Friday, December 15

  • An officer assisted Cadillac Police Department with a welfare check on two minor children. Both kids were found to be fine.

  • An officer was dispatched to a larceny complaint after a woman had taken a taxi without funds to pay for it. The matter will be submitted to the Prosecutor for review.

  • An officer investigated a report of a teen in possession of marijuana edibles after stealing it from a family member. The matter has been sent to the prosecutor for review.

Saturday, December 16

  • While patrolling an officer investigated possible vandalism to a town business door.

Sunday, December 17

  • Officer assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department on a call regarding the possible discharge of a firearm in a criminal manner. The matter was unfounded.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Quote Sheet: 12/18/23

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

December 18, 2023      

Opening Statement: “So, look, things we did well, I’ve got my little sheet up here, alright. But just in comparison, team-wise, our third downs we were 50 percent, defense, 38.5 (percent), five-of-13, so won the third-down battle. Red zone, six-of-six for offense. We – on defense limited them to – they scored two-of-three. We want to be better there, but relative to what we were doing offensively, as a team, we win that category. Obviously, the rushing 185 to their 83. Our average was really good between (Lions RB David) Montgomery and (Lions RB Jahmyr) Gibbs. Explosives, we doubled explosives. So, if you count the DPI we drew relative to one that we actually gave away, we had 13 to their six, so. I mean, those three categories alone are significant. And then the takeaway. We got a takeaway, we took care of the football and really should’ve had another one. I was just up there with (Lions S) Kerby (Joseph). He’s upset that he didn’t get the other one. So, those are significant and I thought we ended the second quarter really well, man. Got a stop on defense and then we just took control of that to finish the half out and leave no time, score points there, touchdown and then really, even the end of the game, fourth quarter, we took control of that ball, and for the most part, we were able to put it away. What we didn’t do well was obviously, offensively, the first three possessions we talked about we’ve got to be better there and those are our own errors between coaches and players and we’ve got to clean that up and a couple of those showed up on third down. And then just consistency on defense in the second half. We – but what we did well was we complemented each other. So, that – the defense gets a takeaway, man we hold them until the offense can come to life and then the offense takes over and because of that, we come out at halftime, they’re able to go down and score and offensively we just stayed ahead of it, we were able to answer back. So, a lot of good things. Game-ball winner, obviously (Lions QB) Jared Goff played an outstanding game and that started with the O-line. All five of those guys, I thought played really, really top-tier ball for us. They were aggressive, but they also played smart upfront, man we passed a lot of things off, saw it, stunts in the run game and they played physical, so. Gibbs, (Lions WR Amon-Ra) St. Brown, (Lions WR) Josh Reynolds, (Lions TE Sam) LaPorta, I mean all had big games. Defense, I thought (Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu) Iffy and (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone) played really well. (Lions CB) Cam Sutton on (Broncos WR Courtland) Sutton, that was a big matchup and he did an outstanding job. And (Lions DL John) Cominsky showed up, he was violent in there. And then special teams was (Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin) Germ, which Germ, every week, I mean, it would be a rare week if Germ is not probably our guy. He just – he’s such a productive player on teams for us. And then thought (Lions LB Anthony Pittman) Pitt and (Lions LB Malcolm) Rodriguez did some good things on teams, so that was kind of the snapshot of the game overall.”

On the appreciation he has for Lions C Frank Ragnow toughing it out and coming back last week after the operation he had on his meniscus the week before: “Well, look, man I know what that’s like. I mean, there’s nothing easy about that and – but I can tell you this, when it was done, I called Frank on the way out and he probably doesn’t even remember it because of what he was on. But I know this, he did say, ‘I’ll be back for the next game. I’ll be back by practice on Wednesday,’ and sure enough, he was. And every day he kept telling me, ‘I’ll be ready next week, I’ll be ready next week.’ And so, that’s how Frank is. Frank’s going to will himself to – his mind controls his body, which we talk about all the time and the good ones can do that. And no, he’s what you already know. He’s a tough – he’s a tough dude and he’s a mind over matter and – but ultimately, what it’s about for him, I just go back to this, you can call it what you want, he is terrified of letting his teammates down. That means more to him than anything. That’s just the way he is and that’s why guys respect the hell out of him.”

On why Lions C Frank Ragnow is able to play at a high level despite the numerous injuries he has battled through the past few seasons: “Just, right between here (points to head) and right here (points to heart). That’s it and you don’t know what, or why, or how, but there’s – and if we – if you knew that, right? If you knew that, when it came time to go to the Draft entirely, you don’t know – but to find whatever that is, truly find it and you could make a lot of money if you could identify that because that is something that it’s hard to find a true test for, or to know. But that’s what it is, because he’s got ability, he’s tough, he’s all the – but it’s that, it’s that difference maker in him that just kind of wills himself to overcome issues, adversity, whatever you want to call it.”

On how he will account for playing the Vikings twice in three weeks in his gameplan: “Well, luckily, right now, all it means – this will be the first time that we face them. And honestly, they’re a different team than they were last year. Certainly, defense because (Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian) Flores has got them. I mean, this is a different style now. This is totally different than what we faced last year. The personnel’s different, but just the scheme alone and the way they play, so this is entirely new. This’ll be something fresh to us to be able to study, to watch, to gameplan. And then even their offense, they’re a little different, they’re a little different than what they’ve been doing. Some of the run game’s different. They haven’t had (Vikings WR Justin) Jefferson in a while. (Vikings WR Jordan) Addison’s playing really good football right now outside and so he’s kind of been the focal point. They still have (Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson) Hock inside, but – and now they’re getting Jefferson back and so, there’s a couple of things they’re really opening up more in the pass game. And their run game’s a little different. So, the most part, this – it’s a little bit of a fresh take on them, somewhat. That’s a good thing and so our whole focus is this is the first one. So, let’s dive into this. Let’s put the best gameplan we can. We can’t worry about the game two after this, after Dallas. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. So, we can’t hold anything back. I mean, this is it. Everything’s about finding a way to get this one and the best gameplan we can possibly put together.”

On if there is something about the makeup of this team that has allowed them to not have a losing streak this season: “I – well, yeah, there is something about it. I mean, that’s why we constructed it the way we did. I mean, certainly, you’re looking for the guys that you believe can play the positions they do, but you’ve got to be made up a certain way too. And – because there is – that’s what this League is. It’s – it is about the obstacles you face, the adversity, the pressure that is put on you from the outside that you have to be able to block out. And I just feel like we have the right type of guys. And I go back to this, the best way to say it is, ‘Man, do we have guys that endear themselves to their teammates?’ That’s got to be a quality you have. And if it’s not, it’s hard for you to stay here with us. That’s important because if you endear yourself to your teammates, the way you go about your business, the way you communicate, the way that you – you just – you interact with them, then those guys are probably going to want to battle with you. They’re probably going to do anything they can for you and that’s – I just think that goes a long way in this profession, especially here we are December, it’s getting late in the year, guys get tired, you start getting worn down, and man this is when you’ve really got to dig in.”

On how Lions WR Jameson Williams and Lions LB Derrick Barnes look injury-wise following the game against the Broncos: “Yeah, good.”

On if Lions WR Jameson Williams and Lions LB Derrick Barnes sustained injuries against the Broncos: “Not as far as I know. We’ll see, but I think they’re OK. Be a little beat up, but I think we’re going to be OK.”

On if the potential of clinching a playoff berth tonight means anything to him or if the focus is still on winning the division: “Yeah, honestly, man, we came into this saying we’ve got to win this division, that’s the goal and that’s where it is. If something happens between now and then, hey, that’s all good, but that is our focus. We talked about that this morning as a team. That was the focus when we entered it and that is still the focus, man. We’re going to do everything we can to win this division and there’s nothing that’s going to be easy about it. Man, we’ve got to go out to Minneapolis and face the Vikings who are a very dangerous team and find a way to win it and get this division.”

On if he has a philosophy of resting players to prepare for the playoffs: “Yeah, when we’re done with the season, they’re going to rest. I promise you that. They’re going to get plenty of time off.”

On his assessment of Lions WR Josh Reynolds’s performance this season: “Somebody referred to him as, this morning, I’m not going to tell you who it was, and this was not meant as a negative, but as ‘the cockroach’ because he just won’t die. This guy just keeps coming back. And he’s had – he’s endured and gone through more stuff, just little things, that he just refuses to – he just won’t go away. He just always bounces back. And you talk about resilient, man he’s resilient and he’s tough and the number of things he does for us, the dirty work that he does for us, on top of look at the explosives he had the other day in the game, and he drew the DPI. So, he’s one of us man, he’s one of our guys and I kind of made the comment about one of the best pickups we’ve had, he is, he’s one of the best pickups we’ve had in a three-year period as a free agent to be able to acquire him when we did at the end of ‘21 because he really helped us. We kind of got up on our feet and he’s one of the reasons we did that year and then to have him last year and he’s just – he’s been a steady, reliable piece. Somebody that (Lions QB Jared) Goff trusts and he really is a guy you can count – you’re going to get some explosives out of him. And I’ve said this before, we put so much stuff on him. We – I mean, the amount of volume we put on him to play the X and the Z between the pass game, the run game, the motions, it’s I mean, we do a lot and he just – he can absorb it all and he’s productive.”

On if Lions WR Josh Reynolds’s ‘serpent’ nickname has been replaced with ‘the cockroach’: “No, no, no, no, he’s still there. And he’s really the mantis. But that was just, alright, it’s a positive, alright? I meant that as a positive.”

On how important the game against the Broncos was on Saturday to get back to playing complete football: “Yeah, I mean, well of course it feels good, but there again, I’m not – I don’t think any of us are surprised. I mean, this is – there’s nothing that surprises me about this League about just knowing our team, how it was constructed, where we’re at, about any – really anything that’s happened. The things that don’t go your way and the things that you do will to happen that go your way. I mean, that’s the nature of this League. And so yeah, it feels good, but I’m not surprised either and we took care of the football. Our details were better in a lot of areas and because of that, we played pretty clean. And that serves us well, that serves us well.”

On if there are lessons he learned in New Orleans about trying to clinch a division that can apply here: “Look, I think the biggest thing is, yeah there’s always lessons to be learned, but I think we’re living through one of them right now, and that is, ‘Don’t listen to the outside world.’ Because I don’t know – I’m sure it’s going to be now we’re talking about seeding, now we’re fighting for the number two – man we are fighting to win this division, just like we started at the end of the year. And then once you get in the tournament, it gives you the best chance to bang away and so that focus doesn’t change and so for us, man just – that’s all you’ve got to worry about. Let’s clean up what we can clean up, we cleaned up the things from the Denver game with the team today. This is where we’ve got to get better, this is what we did well, this is where we continue to go. We’re going to put together a great gameplan for these guys and we’ll know what we have to do against Minnesota. If you just stay focused on that and as this thing goes and it gets tighter and you start getting further, I think a lesson you learn is guys are going to – you’ve got to be careful because as it starts tightening up, guys are going to want to start – if it doesn’t go your way, you can begin to try to do too much. And that’s where, man just fall back to your training and trust what the coaches are telling you and what your teammate’s – his job and you’ll be fine, but if you start pressing too much to try to make plays because you can smell it, you can feel it, that’s where you can run into problems too.”

On if he feels like some of the struggles from the past few weeks can be attributed to listening to outside noise: “Not necessarily, to me, honestly, that was – honestly, that was about turnovers. That’s – if you’re – that’s really, at the end of the day, we can talk about, ‘Well, if we’d have run this – the route a little bit,’ – yeah, all of those play into it, but if we take care of the ball and we get takeaways, we win the turnover battle, let’s just start there. If we just win the turnover battle, I think we’re – some of that doesn’t even happen. And a lot of that is a product of what happens after those, right. You get put in a situation you’re not – you don’t want to be in, and so it’s as simple as that. It’s not easy, but it is simple when you just look at it in that regard.”

On their plans for Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Lions QB Hendon Hooker: “I think the plan will be to start C.J.’s clock. Probably start (Lions FB Jason) Cabinda’s clock too. And I think we’re going to try to get Hooker on the roster.”

Mecosta County Parks receives funding recommendation for improvements to Davis Bridge County Park

A capital improvement project at Davis Bridge County Park has been recommended for funding by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board. The grant amount of $299,800 toward a total estimated project cost of $428,500 would be used to complete water access and shoreline restoration improvements within the park. The funding recommendations of the Trust Fund board will be submitted to the Legislature for approval and appropriation of funds.

Main components of the park update include a new fishing platform, installation of an ADA kayak/canoe launch, a new vault toilet building, a water access pathway, a new watercraft launch dock, sidewalk installations, picnic area enhancements, and paved parking spaces.

With the installation of the water access components of the project, shoreline erosion issues will be remediated, as the new amenities will replace the areas of highest erosion concern within the property. The water access pathway has been designed specifically to assist ice fishermen with a sloped access route during the winter period while preventing future erosion concerns caused from visitors walking over un-developed portions of the riverbank.

The addition of an ADA kayak/canoe launch at this location provides connectivity with a similar structure being installed within Brower County Park and is a continuation of on-going efforts in the development of a Muskegon River Water Trail within the greater Big Rapids area.

The Park Commission considers this capital improvement project as the initial phase of a 2-phase improvement plan for Davis Bridge County Park. Secondary improvements would include significant upgrades for visitors accessing Michigan’s Dragon Trail at Hardy Dam with amenities such as bike racks, bike repair stations, additional parking spaces, additional vault restrooms and continued paving of the roadway and parking areas.

Davis Bridge Park is managed by the Mecosta County Park Commission in partnership with Consumers Energy as the landowner. Plans and Engineering related to this project were made possible through grant funding provided by the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund.

For additional information regarding this project or the Mecosta County Parks visit www.MecostaCountyParks.com.

Teacher, mom, and new graduate Grace Szymchack – with newborn Annabelle – celebrate a Ferris State degree

Grace Szymchack had it all planned: Ferris State University commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 15, and a scheduled C-section today.

But her baby had other plans.

“Annabelle decided to come early on Dec. 6,” Szymchack said. “But I’d worked hard for this degree, and I was determined to walk with the rest of my class … so I just brought her to graduation with me.”

With the 10-day-old infant tucked into her graduation gown, Szymchack received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, magna cum laude, as her husband, Caleb, and the rest of her family cheered her on.

Ferris State conferred degrees to more than 400 students on Friday at the Fall 2023 commencement in Big Rapids. For 24-year-old Szymchack, the ceremony was the culmination of six years of balancing classes, work, marriage, and motherhood.

Born and raised in Traverse City, Szymchack always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

While earning an associate degree in early childhood development at Northwestern Michigan College, she worked for the Great Start Readiness Program and now teaches full-time in a Strong Beginnings program, a Munson Healthcare public preschool for 3-year-olds.

In 2019, she enrolled at Ferris State and began attending classes at the Student Success Hub in Traverse City at Northwestern Michigan College. It was a perfect fit for Szymchack — especially after she and her husband had their first daughter, Isabelle, in 2022.

The Student Success Hub is one of five sites around the Michigan that Ferris State is planning to provide academics and support services to students of all ages who are unable to reach the main campus in Big Rapids. Other sites are in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Flint, and Detroit.

“I had quite a few classes there when I started, but then COVID hit and all of a sudden they were all completely online,” she said. “I definitely found that more manageable because then I could take classes at home and also take care of my daughter.”

The Ferris State education Szymchack received is already serving her — and her students — well.

“My professors were really great about making our learning based on what I was actually doing in the classroom,” she said. “I was able to take the lesson from the day before and apply it straight to my kiddos.”

Now that she’s attained her bachelor’s degree, Szymchack is looking forward to a long career in education.

“I love working with the littles the best … I feel like I can really make an impact there,” she said.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (12/11 - 12/17)

Monday, December 11

  • Assist – Officers were dispatched for a trespassing complaint. A local business wished to have a subject removed from their property. The subject was removed without incident.
  • Breaking and Entering – Officers were dispatched for a breaking and entering in progress. After investigation was complete it was determined to be a false call and was a civil issue.
  • Check Well Being – Officers were dispatched for a check well being on a subject. The subject was fine and did not require any services.
  • Retail Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a retail fraud. The incident remains under investigation.

Tuesday, December 12

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, December 13

  • Traffic Stop – Officers stopped a vehicle for multiple violations. The driver was cited for the violations and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

Thursday, December 14

  • Assault – Officers were dispatched to a domestic assault complaint that had occurred earlier in the day. The complaint was investigated and forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review.

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched to investigate a fraudulent check complaint. The case remains open at this time.

Friday, December 15

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, December 16

  •  Traffic Stop – Officers assisted an Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy on a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle was arrested by the Deputy and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

  • Check Well Being – Officers were dispatched for a check well being on a subject. Contact was made with the subject. The subject was fine and did not require any services.

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched for a civil dispute between husband and wife. Both parties agrees to separate for the night. No additional services were requested. 

Sunday, December 17

  • Harassment – Officers were dispatched to a harassment complaint.

Joe Takes: Lions' dominates Denver to restore the faith

The Detroit Lions finally decided to show up for a football game. Not only did they show up, they showed out for the hometown crowd. They blew out the Denver Broncos 42-17 and restored the faith of the Motown faithful when it looked like a train wreck was going to happen in these last few weeks of the season.

Now, it’s still not totally smooth sailing for the next three weeks but Saturday’s win put some wind in our sails for the voyage to Minnesota next week. Keep in mind a win against the Vikings on Sunday means we win the division for the first time ever, so it’s kind of a big deal.

Alright, enough waffling around. Let me tell you my thoughts from the game. We had another slow start, which makes me feel a little bit uneasy when thinking about playoffs where a complete game is needed. Luckily, Denver also had a slow start, and we turned it on in the second quarter and kept the foot on the gas to win very comfortably.

I think we can all agree that Sam LaPorta is one of our greatest draft pick in probably the last 15 years. Am I getting ahead of myself since he is only a rookie? Maybe, but you can’t argue with 3rd most receptions in a season by a rookie tight end, well you could, but you’d be wrong.

LaPorta had three touchdowns on five receptions for 56 yards; in which efficiency is through the roof with this guy. LaPorta was joined in the endzone by Jahmyr Gibbs, who had a rushing and receiving touchdown, and Amon-Ra St. Brown, who flipped his way into a receiving score to keep the fireworks going. That total meant Jared Goff threw for a casual five touchdowns to tie his career record, completed 24 of 34 passes and finished the day with 278 yards. Something simple and something slight for the boys in Honolulu blue.

Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson finally spread out the targets when it came to the passing game and it paid off heavily. Of course there was the usual suspects of St. Brown and LaPorta getting a lot of looks, but seeing Goff target Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, and Jameson Williams more makes the defense get spread out that much more. I really don’t know why it took till week 15 to finally figure this out, but hey, better late than never!

The Lions’ offense was on fire, but you have to attribute the defense in this win as well. Almost every other snap, there was pressure from the trenches which forced Russell Wilson to get out of the pocket and throw into coverage that ended in incompletions. He finished the day at 18 for 32 with 223 yards, a passing touchdown to Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and a scamper into the endzone for an additional score. He was sacked twice, once by Ifeatu Melifonwu and another by Josh Paschal. We were able to celebrate victory Sunday as a fanbase and the party will go well into this week, but it’s time to talk about the next three games.

I’m afraid that it’s not going to be easy, but I’d rather be tested before the playoffs than have a cakewalk before the postseason. We’re scheduled to play Minnesota twice with a trip to Dallas in between. Prediction from me? We split with Minnesota, win the division, win against the Cowboys in the trip to Texas and finish the season with 12 wins for the first time since 1991.

Minnesota has been in shambles ever since Kirk Cousins’ injury in week. Everyone thought that Josh Dobbs was going to have a career resurrection after his comeback win in his first start, but he’s expectedly fallen off the wagon and Nick Mullens chucked two interceptions in their loss to the Bengals. The Lions defense will get a few takeaways and will force some turnovers, the offense just needs to capitalize on it and they will be just fine.

I’ll talk more about the upcoming game against the Cowboys in next week's installment, but that game is going to be a shootout. Other than their previous game against the Buffalo Bills where they lost 33-10, “America’s Team” has scored more than 30 points for five weeks in a row. Can’t argue with that, but the Lions can put points on the board just the same.

Folks, I am beyond excited for these next few games. There’s a chance that history will be made in this week’s upcoming game, and to be honest, I am scared for the well being of Detroit. Will there be riots fueled by pure joy, or will it be just one giant party to celebrate a division title? I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but you can’t blame me. I’ve waited 22 long years of my life for this moment and I know a lot of people who have waited a lot longer than I have.

Fire up the crock pot with the chili, make some buffalo chicken dip, grab a few cold ones, hop on the recliner, and firmly plant yourself to watch four quarters of hard-nosed football. It’s not everyday you get to see the culmination of 30 some odd years of pain, heartbreak, sadness, and hopefulness come down to one Sunday, but here we are. 1992 was the last time we finished first in the division, and that was when we were in the NFC Central. Lions by a million everybody!

Winter weather advisory tabbed for Lake and Osceola County Monday

Osceola County Emergency Management has released a winter weather advisory for both Lake and Osceola Counties from 4:00 A.M. on Monday, Dec. 18 to 4:00 A.M. on Tuesday, Dec. 19. 

The report states that lake effect snow is expected, accumulating a potential of one to three inches. Wind gusts are also expecting to rise as high as 40 miles per hour. The level of severity is currently listed as moderate.

Plan on slippery road conditions with a chance of patchy blowing snow to significantly reduce visibility in places. The hazardous conditions could impact the Monday morning and evening commutes. Please slow down and use caution while traveling.

Stay tuned to bigrapidsdailynews.com for more updates.

Ferris State basketball earns impressive regional victories against nationally-ranked Ashland

The Bulldog basketball squads took on former conference foe Ashland in weekend regional action. Behind two huge offensive performances, Ferris State were able to knock off the Eagles in both Saturday's women's contest and Sunday's men's game. Read each game recap below.

 

Ferris State women's basketball upsets national #1 Ashland on the road

The Ferris State University women's basketball squad posted one of its biggest wins in school history on Saturday (Dec. 16), knocking off reigning NCAA Division II National Champion and the nation's top-ranked Ashland Eagles 66-62 before a near capacity crowd at Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio.

Ferris State rallied from a nine-point third quarter deficit and the 10th-ranked Bulldogs outscored the Eagles 28-15 in the final quarter to garner the win, moving to 6-1 on the year.

The victory snapped Ashland's nation-leading 45-game winning streak and the Eagles had also won 22 home games in a row prior to the setback. The win was FSU's first over AU since 2014.

The Bulldogs used a late first-half run to grab a 34-30 lead at halftime. However, AU used a big third period to reclaim the advantage, outscoring FSU 17-4 to take a 47-38 lead into the final period before the Bulldogs answered in the final quarter.

Senior forward Chloe Idoni had a huge day for the Bulldogs with a game-high 29 points and six rebounds while Kenzie Bowers added 12 points in the win. The Bulldogs outscored AU 38-20 inside the paint behind the play of Idoni.

Ashland was led by Annie Roshak, who scored 23 points and notched her 2,000th career point late in the game. The Eagles also got 16 points from Morgan Yoder, who nailed four three's in the loss.

Ferris State shot 47.2% from the floor and went 11-of-12 (91.7%) at the free throw line in the win. The Bulldogs also forced 19 turnovers in the triumph.

Ferris State will break for the holidays before returning to action on Jan. 2-3 with a trip to New York for a pair of non-league games at D'Youville and Daemen. FSU then resumes GLIAC play at home on Jan. 6 against Lake Superior State at Jim Wink Arena.

 

Bulldog men's basketball beats 16th-ranked Eagles in home hoops

The Ferris State University men's basketball squad earned an impressive 98-83 regional home win over nationally 16th-ranked Ashland on Sunday (Dec. 17) afternoon inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The 23rd-ranked Bulldogs claimed a key non-conference triumph by topping the Eagles on FSU's home floor.

Ferris State connected on 14-of-31 (45.2%) three's and got 50 points off its bench in beating Ashland to move to 8-2 overall this season. Five FSU players reached double-figure scoring and 12 scored in the victory.

The Bulldogs were led by junior guard Ethan Erickson, who made six three's and finished with a team-high 19 points. Senior guard Jack Ammerman tallied 14 points and dished out six assists while fellow seniors Dolapo Olayinka and Ben Davidson each finished with 13 points. FSU also got 10 points from junior Reece Hazelton.

Ferris State shot 54.2% overall from the floor and went six-of-nine (66.7%) at the free throw line. In addition, FSU outrebounded the Eagles 31-30 and came away with 12 offensive boards. Defensively, the Bulldogs forced 15 turnovers and outscored Ashland 22-12 in points off turnovers.

On the offensive end, the Bulldogs generated 30 assists, including six from both Ammerman and Jimmy Scholler, who also added four of FSU's 10 steals in the victory.

The Eagles managed to shoot 52.8% overall and went 22-of-29 (75.9%) at the free throw stripe in addition to five-of-12 (41.7%) from deep.

Veteran big man Victor Searls tallied a game-high 21 points and 12 boards in a double-double for Ashland with Maceo Williams adding 14 points on the inside. Simon Wheeler contributed 15 points and 10 assists in a double-double showing while Jordan Edwards added 13 points off the bench for the Eagle reserves, who were outscored 50-25 by the FSU bench.

With the loss, Ashland fell to 6-2 overall this season.

The Bulldogs will play their final game prior to the holiday break at home on Tuesday (Dec. 19), hosting Cedarville (Ohio) in another regional tilt at Wink Arena. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Failure to stop at stop sign results in two car accident Friday night in Sheridan TWP

On Friday, Dec. 15 at approximately 9:55 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two-vehicle accident on 30th Ave. and Arthur Rd. in Sheridan Township.

A 17-year-old male from Pierson was driving East on Arthur Rd. when he went through the stop sign, hitting a vehicle that was traveling North on 30th Ave. The driver, a 63-year-old male, and passenger, a 69-year-old female from Evart, were transported to Corewell Health Hospital for minor injuries. The male was cited for fail to stop at a stop sign.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Meceola Central Dispatch, Mecosta County EMS, and Wheatland Fire and Rescue.  

DHD#10 issues Narcan precautions for winter and freezing temperatures

Winter weather and freezing temperatures are here, and District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) wants to remind residents that with colder temperatures comes the potential for Narcan (Naloxone) to freeze.  

According to Emergent Biosolutions, Narcan Nasal Spray freezes when temperatures reach below 5°F (-15°C). If the spray is frozen, the device no longer works. Narcan Nasal Spray can be thawed and will be safe to use if allowed to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. However, in the case of an emergency, do not wait for your Narcan Nasal Spray to thaw, contact emergency services immediately. 

“Narcan is available in our communities via outdoor Narcan Distribution Boxes. The boxes are there to ensure Narcan is easily accessible to those who need it,” said DHD#10 Certified Prevention Specialist Angie Gullekson. “With winter weather and freezing temperatures comes the possibility that the Narcan will freeze, but individuals can take certain precautions to ensure they’re still prepared to respond to an opioid overdose emergency.”  

When accessing Narcan nasal spray from the outdoor distribution boxes, individuals should plan ahead and take multiple boxes to allow them to thaw, if needed, in order to be prepared to respond in an opioid overdose situation 

If your business or organization is interested in placing a Narcan distribution box, please contact Angie Gullekson at agullekson@dhd10.org.  

For more information and to locate Narcan distribution boxes in your community, visit https://www.dhd10.org/men-women/syringe-service-program-ssp/ and click on the Naloxone (Narcan) tab.

Growing Michigan Together Council submits population growth strategy recommendations to Governor Whitmer and Legislature

The Growing Michigan Together Council (the Council) voted 19 - 1 in support of submitting its comprehensive population growth report to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate today. The report examines Michigan’s challenges and outcomes, its competitiveness to faster-growing peer states and outlines growth-oriented strategies to reverse population trends. The Council worked closely with more than 60 individuals from four topic-oriented workgroups: PreK-12 Education; Higher Education; Jobs, Talent, and People and Infrastructure and Places, who produced an initial set of ideas for their consideration.

“The Growing Michigan Together Council focused on actions we can take to grow our state’s population and economy while protecting our quality of life and cost of living,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am grateful to the bipartisan members of the council and the workgroups for doing the hard work of tackling these big questions. In the months ahead, I look forward to reviewing the council’s report in detail and working with my partners in the legislature on solutions to grow the economy and population. Our future is bright and I know we can keep getting things done to help anyone ‘make it’ in Michigan.”

According to an independent report prepared by Guidehouse, Michigan’s population has decoupled from national population growth, creating a gap that’s unlikely to close in the next 20 years. Over the last five months, the Council investigated decades of trends related to key outcomes that could impact growth –  the performance of schools, overall economic health and the quality of infrastructure. The strategies the Council puts forth in its report serve as a starting point to address these fundamental issues and correct the population trajectory of the state to close the gap.

“Michigan is in an unfolding crisis. We’re 49th in terms of population growth and our PreK-12 education outcomes are lagging behind faster-growing peer states. While the challenges facing our state are not new, it's critical that we take action now,” said Council Chair Shirley Stancato. “I’m grateful to my fellow council members who worked diligently to put forth a report we’re proud of that will guide our actions. But we can’t do it alone. To make these strategies a reality and drive real growth, we will need courageous leaders to step up and join us in this effort to ensure a better future for all residents - current and future.”

“Decades of apathy, structural deficiencies and the lack of political cohesion have brought us to this point. Reversing Michigan’s population trend is a bigger challenge than any of us realized. The Council has put a lot of thought, time and effort into crafting a detailed process to tackle our state’s stagnant population,” said Council Chair Ambassador John Rakolta Jr. “The work we’ve been able to accomplish over the last several months has been incredibly insightful and clearly showcases that population decline and its contributing factors are a significant threat to our state’s future prosperity and well-being. Doing nothing is not an option. We put our partisan divisiveness aside to come up with a cohesive strategy that can truly move the needle and grow the population.” 

The Council's report elaborates on a framework for addressing Michigan’s biggest challenges to ensure the key strategies put forth succeed. This includes conducting an in-depth analysis of the challenges Michigan faces, developing actionable recommendations and ensuring momentum through constructive debate and shared commitment. The first two milestones have been attained and are encompassed in this report. The third will be a critical determinant of long-term success. The three strategies put forth by the Council are an intertwined system that work together to drive healthy growth.

Strategy 1: Build a lifelong education system focused on future-ready skills and competencies to thrive. This includes transforming Michigan’s education system into a well-aligned, accountable and adequately funded lifelong learning system. It also means committing to a Michigan Education Guarantee, which ensures all Michigan students will get the necessary support to graduate with the competencies needed to be successful in their next stage of education and in today’s economy. The Council also recognizes that higher education should be more affordable and accessible so all Michigan residents are afforded the option of attending a post secondary institution if interested. 

Strategy 2: Create a transformative economic growth strategy that establishes Michigan as the Innovation Hub of the Midwest and America’s Scale-Up State. This strategy focuses on supporting entrepreneurs and businesses of any size in growing their business and creating high wage, knowledge-based jobs. Another aspect of the strategy are concentrated regional innovation districts to support the cycle of attracting more talent, which contributes to more knowledge-based business creation and growth, thriving communities and median income growth.

Strategy 3: Create thriving, resilient communities that are magnets for young talent. This includes developing regional well-connected public transit systems that allow residents to get to work, school and amenities. By focusing on the fundamentals including transit, housing and climate-resilient, durable infrastructure, businesses and talent will seek to locate here and drive further investment in thriving communities. The Council recognizes Michigan’s relatively low cost of living and suggests that increasing the housing stock will support the growth and economic mobility of employees and address the lack of desirable housing and availability.

The Council was limited in its ability to complete a full cost and revenue source assessment that is critical for prioritizing and implementing these ideas; however, the report provides the legislature and governor with suggestions for next steps to continue the momentum and implementation of the Council’s efforts.

To view the full report, visit growingmichigan.org.

Ferris State salutes hundreds of graduates to cap Fall 2023 semester with commencement ceremonies

As the state of Michigan works to significantly increase its number of college graduates by 2030, Ferris State University has been and will continue to play a key role in meeting that goal, President Bill Pink told graduates attending commencement ceremonies on Friday.

Pink fired up graduates and attendees at the Dec. 15 morning and afternoon ceremonies, reminding them of the celebration they were attending while addressing the work he looks forward to Ferris State graduates doing in communities across Michigan and beyond the state’s borders.

“Today, we get to celebrate the young men and women in front of me,” said Pink, who celebrated his birthday in part by awarding 400-plus degrees to attending graduates in Jim Wink Arena of the Ewigleben Sports Complex in Big Rapids.

“The state of Michigan has a goal of 60 percent of adults earning a skill certificate or college degree by 2030. We want you to stay in Michigan. We need you to make a difference in our state because that is what Ferris State graduates do. They make a difference. They make a difference here in the state of Michigan.”

About 92 percent of Ferris State graduates stay in Michigan and build their careers.

LaShanda Thomas, chair of Ferris State’s board of trustees, spoke about the value of education. More specifically, she spoke to the added value of a Ferris State education.

“As someone who greatly values a college education, I would like to share wisdom about the value of a Ferris State education. It opens doors and employment opportunities,” Thomas said. “This education will be an important part of your future. On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I wish to bestow best wishes upon you.”

The morning commencement ceremony highlighted College of Arts, Sciences and Education and College of Engineering Technology graduates, while the early-afternoon session featured graduates of the colleges of Business and Health Professions.

Graduates and commencement attendees also heard wisdom from the featured speaker, Joshua Pardon, a faculty member from the College of Business and the Television and Digital Media Production program. Pardon, the 2023 Distinguished Teacher Award winner, spoke about curiosity and pride.

“Members of the Class of 2023, your curiosity must not stop today,” Pardon said. “Your community and our society need your curiosity now more than ever for what lies ahead for lifelong learning and engaged citizenship. If you’re curious, you will care. If you are curious, you will want to know how stuff works. If you are curious, you will want to know how people work. I applaud you graduates as you step into this ever-changing world. Never forget that your curiosity will be your greatest asset. I said you graduate of the class of 2023 and make us all proud and we will always be Bulldogs.”

In closing, as she addressed graduates at the two ceremonies, Dr. Emily Coles, president of the Ferris State Alumni Association, offered a warm welcome.

“It’s my pleasure to salute you for the first time as alumni of Ferris State University,” Coles said before offering a reminder to graduates as they leave campus and head out into the world. “Remember, no matter where life takes you, you will always be a Bulldog.”

The students participating in commencement activities on Friday are among the nearly 800 graduates receiving degrees and certificates at the close of Ferris State’s Fall 2023 semester.

Detroit Lions Quarterback Jared Goff Quote Sheet: 12/12/23

LIONS QB JARED GOFF QUOTE SHEET

December 12, 2023

On how they can move past the loss against the Bears and instill confidence into the team in a shorter week: “Yeah, I think it’s really the same every week, and obviously, it stings more coming off a loss and you want to put it behind you quicker, but every week you learn from the good stuff, you learn from the bad stuff and win or lose, you try to take it with you into the next week and this one’s no different. Obviously, didn’t go our way in a variety of ways, but we’ve got to learn from it and move forward and get ready to play a good Broncos team.”

On the positives he noticed after watching the Bears tape and what he saw that they need to improve: “Yeah, the first half execution, aside from a penalty here or there, was really good. Certainly, those last two drives and the way we finished off the first half with the touchdown and kind of ran that clock down to the bottom, I thought that was really well done by us and the coaches of the management of that. And then the second half was just not even close to good enough in execution and I wish there was one thing I could say, ‘If we clean this up, it would be different.’ But it was a million things. It was myself, everyone had a hand in it and has to be a lot better.”

On what happened on the delay of game at the end of the first quarter against the Bears: “Yeah, it’s somewhat subjective. It was very close. And we’ve had a game previously this year where it was, I think, about the same thing. And they gave us the quarter, they didn’t give us the delay of game and I think when they’re within a second of each other is what they try to do and they deemed that one not within a second, so somewhat subjective there, but the call they thought they had to make.”

On the differences he sees between the team before and after the bye and how they can improve going forward: “Yeah, I don’t know what the numbers are. I know we scored 40 against the Chargers and played pretty well against the Saints and then the other three, just didn’t do our thing quite the same way offensively. And yeah, I wish there was one thing you can put your finger on, but there’s not. It’s just plain execution and doing what we’re supposed to do, and it starts with me and leading that charge and getting us back on track.”

On if he can pinpoint why they struggle in the third quarter of games: “No, I wish. Yeah, it’s frustrating as much as it is for everyone else, it’s very frustrating for us. And we’re very aware of it and we know we have to continue to be aware of it and continue to try to find ways to be more productive in the third quarter and that’s everybody and I wish there was one thing that, again, that you could point to as the reason why, or one thing that fixes it, but there isn’t. It’s just plain execution, it’s plain focus, it’s plain doing our jobs a little bit more consistently in that quarter.”

On if the turning point of the game against the Bears was the lost fumble sequence at the end of the third quarter: “Yeah, the snap exchange hurt us in our own territory and then they get the touchdown there to follow that up. And yeah, it’s points off turnovers and something that we preach that we want to do when we force turnovers to score points and typically that helps you win the game, and we were on the wrong side of that.”

On how much he and Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown need to work to get back on the same page after two quiet weeks: “Yeah, you’d love to get him going. I think he’s doing a great job. He’s been very accountable of things that he feels like he can do better and then for me as well, I’m very much just talking to him about ways that I want to try to do better for him and get him the ball in certain ways a little bit better than we have in the last couple weeks. But he’s one of the best guys I’ve ever been around and have no doubts that he's going to be just fine, and we’ll finish this season off pretty well.”

On what defenses are doing to cause Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown to have uncharacteristic games: “Well, the Saints game, they doubled him. They paid a little bit more attention to him in this game. I don’t believe they quite doubled him. But yeah, it’s what good players get. Good players get doubles often and he’s gotten that at times this year and sometimes he’s able to beat the double and it doesn’t really matter, but yeah trying to get him the ball in different ways.”

On when he learned how to not let a loss beat them twice: “Yeah, we’d have no chance if we acted like that. Yeah, I think kind of what I spoke about in the first question is you treat them all the same, the wins and losses. We’ve been fortunate enough to win nine-out-of-13 at this point, so been able to learn from wins a little bit more often than losses, but you treat them the same. You learn from them and you get better and it’s a long season. There’s a 17-game season and each game counts the same and so if you put more weight on one than the other, then you end up beating yourself twice, like you said, at times. So, you treat them all the same, you learn from it, you get better and you improve and at the end of the season, you count them all up and see who continues to go.”

On how he goes about maintaining the team’s confidence through losses as a team captain: “Yeah, you just try to be consistent. Just try to be the same every day, whether it goes your way or it doesn’t the week before. Be the same, be the same guy. Don’t ride the rollercoaster, don’t ride the emotions and know that they can look to me as a guy that’s going to be steady and at the same time, when the urgency needs to be there and the intensity needs to be there, it needs to be there from me and it needs to be there from a lot of guys and I’m aware of that as well.”

On what he has seen from the Broncos’ defense: “Yeah, really good, really good scheme. Obviously, (Broncos CB Pat) Surtain (II)’s a great player, but they’ve got a lot of good players over there. Do some variety of pressures and like you said, try to create turnovers and that’ll be our challenge this week is making sure we’re taking care of the ball and giving us the best chance to win.”

On how valuable it is to have two dynamic and interchangeable running backs in Lions RBs David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs: “Yeah, they’re both really good. It’s fun to have them and I think as well as they both run the ball, they both can catch the ball as well out of the backfield and have been a good tandem for us this year and have certainly run the ball well in the last handful of weeks and need to keep getting them the ball.”

On if Broncos S Justin Simmons will be the first player he identifies on pass plays because of his high production of interceptions: “Yeah, he’s got great instincts. I think you always know where those types of guys are. He’s a ballhawk in the backend and does a great job with his eyes, understanding route concepts, understanding what I’m trying to do. And so yeah, there’ll be somewhat of a chess match with him of where he’s going to be and how I want to try to play and make certain plays depending on what he’s doing. So yeah, there will be a little bit of that, but it’s a good defense all around and he is a good part of it.”

On if playing a late-night game this Saturday will feel like he is in the Pac-12 again: “Yeah, ‘Pac-12 After Dark?’ Yeah, no, yeah, it’ll be fun in front of our home fans, I said this earlier on the radio, but getting in front of them, feeling their passion, their energy is going to be so important for us and we’re excited to be there.”

Ferris State Hockey hosts Lake Superior State for "Autograph Night" this Saturday

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will play its final game prior to the holiday break as the Bulldogs host longtime rival Lake Superior State in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) play on Saturday, Dec. 16, inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

The two in-state league foes will play a single game this weekend, beginning with an early puck drop on Saturday at 5:07 p.m. (ET). It will mark the first of four scheduled meetings between the two opponents this season.

Saturday's game is billed as "Autograph Night" with selected Bulldog Hockey student-athletes slated to stick around after the game to sign autographs in the main concourse.

Fans can purchase digital tickets for Saturday's tilt and all Bulldog home hockey games in advance to guarantee a seat by visiting FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

The FSU Athletic Ticket Office's normal business hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. (ET). A complete pricing structure, ticket office hours and additional information is available online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com and can be found by visiting the "tickets" tab. For additional ticket information, please call (231) 591-2888.

The Bulldog Sports Network and flagship radio station Sunny 97.3 FM will carry Saturday's action live with online coverage also available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Live video coverage will also be provided on a pay-per-view basis via CCHA TV on FloHockey.com.

Following Saturday's outing, the Bulldogs will depart for a short holiday break, but are slated to return to the ice on Dec. 28-29 at the annual Great Lakes Invitational, which takes place for the second-straight year at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. The Bulldogs open the GLI against Big Ten Conference member Michigan State on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. (ET) in the Calder City with host Michigan Tech and Alaska also part of this year's field.

Kent County Sheriff's Office investigates body located in woods

Just after 3:00 PM today, the KCSO received a request for a welfare check for a male in the 2900 Block of Kraft Ave SE. 

Information given explained that the male may be homeless and has been staying in the woods along Kraft Ave. When deputies went to look for him, they located the 37-year-old male deceased. Investigators are treating this as an unattended death and will be working with the Kent County Medical Examiner's Office to determine cause.

If you have information that could help to move the investigation forward, please call the KCSO at 616-632-6125, or call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 to report information safely and anonymously.

'It's time to come together and get to work': Ferris State President Bill Pink supports educational efforts from Growing Michigan Together Council

Michigan must build a lifelong education system focused on future-ready skills and competencies to thrive, with higher education more accessible and affordable so that the state can increase its population in the decades ahead, according to a report issued today (Dec. 14) by the Growing Michigan Together Council.

Ferris State University President Bill Pink and Henry Ford College President Russ Kavalhuna are co-chairs of the Council’s higher education workgroup, which helped compile recommendations to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the state House of Representatives and the state Senate today.

“As co-chairs of the higher education workgroup, we applaud the work of the Growing Michigan Together Council and the strategies it has put forward,” Pink and Kavalhuna said. “We’re proud to see numerous ideas generated by our workgroup in the final report, and while we are incredibly appreciative to all the work thus far, the next phase is incredibly important to our state. It’s time to come together and get to work.”

The report, available at growingmichigan.org, examines Michigan’s challenges and outcomes, its competitiveness to faster-growing peer states and outlines growth-oriented strategies to reverse population trends.

The Council worked closely with more than 60 leaders from four topic-oriented workgroups: PreK-12 Education, Higher Education, Jobs, Talent, and People and Infrastructure and Places, which produced an initial set of ideas for their consideration.

The report includes transforming Michigan’s education system into a well-aligned, accountable, and adequately funded lifelong learning system.

It also calls for committing to a Michigan Education Guarantee, which ensures all Michigan students will get the necessary support to graduate with the competencies needed to succeed in their next education stage and in today’s economy.

The Council also recognizes that higher education should be more affordable and accessible so all Michigan residents can attend a post-secondary institution if interested.

“The Growing Michigan Together Council focused on actions we can take to grow our state’s population and economy while protecting our quality of life and cost of living,” Whitmer said. “I am grateful to the bipartisan members of the Council and the workgroups for doing the hard work of tackling these big questions. In the months ahead, I look forward to reviewing the Council’s report in detail and working with my partners in the legislature on solutions to grow the economy and population. Our future is bright, and I know we can keep getting things done to help anyone ‘make it’ in Michigan.”

According to an independent report prepared by Guidehouse, Michigan’s population has decoupled from national population growth, creating a gap that’s unlikely to close in the next 20 years.

Over the last five months, the Council investigated decades of trends related to key outcomes that could impact growth – the performance of schools, overall economic health, and the quality of infrastructure. The strategies the Council puts forth in its report serve as a starting point to address these fundamental issues and correct the state’s population trajectory to close the gap.

“Michigan is in an unfolding crisis. We’re 49th in terms of population growth and our Pre-K-12 education outcomes are lagging behind faster-growing peer states. While the challenges facing our state are not new, it’s critical that we take action now,” Council Chair Shirley Stancato said. “I’m grateful to my fellow council members who worked diligently to put forth a report we’re proud of that will guide our actions. But we can’t do it alone. To make these strategies a reality and drive real growth, we will need courageous leaders to step up and join us in this effort to ensure a better future for all residents – current and future.”

The Council’s report elaborates on a framework for addressing Michigan’s biggest challenges to ensure the key strategies put forth succeed. This includes conducting an in-depth analysis of the challenges Michigan faces, developing actionable recommendations, and ensuring momentum through constructive debate and shared commitment.

The first two milestones have been attained and are encompassed in the Council’s report. The third will be a critical determinant of long-term success. The three strategies put forth by the Council are an intertwined system that work together to drive healthy growth.

In addition to the education recommendations, the Council seeks to create a transformative economic growth strategy that establishes Michigan as the Innovation Hub of the Midwest and America’s Scale-Up State.

This strategy focuses on supporting entrepreneurs and businesses of any size in growing their business and creating high-wage, knowledge-based jobs. Another aspect of the strategy is the creation of concentrated regional innovation districts to support the cycle of attracting more talent, which contributes to more knowledge-based business creation and growth, thriving communities and median income growth.

The Council also calls for creating thriving, resilient communities that are magnets for young talent. This includes developing regional well-connected public transit systems that allow residents to get to work, school and amenities. By focusing on the fundamentals including transit, housing and climate-resilient, durable infrastructure, businesses and talent will seek to locate here and drive further investment in thriving communities.

The Council recognizes Michigan’s relatively low cost of living and suggests that increasing the housing stock will support the growth and economic mobility of employees and address the lack of desirable housing and availability.

The Council was limited in its ability to complete a full cost and revenue source assessment that is critical for prioritizing and implementing these ideas; however, the report provides the legislature and governor with suggestions for next steps to continue the momentum and implementation of the Council’s efforts. 

Ferris State defensive back Shon Stephens tabbed to AFCA All-America team

Ferris State University senior defensive back Shon Stephens (Bakersfield, Calif.) was recently named to the 2023 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-America squad as announced by the national coaches organization.

Stephens was chosen as an AFCA All-America Second Team choice and it represents the ninth consecutive year the Bulldogs have had at least one AFCA All-America selection, which is the longest active streak in the country.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves. Beginning in 2018, the AFCA has started selecting a first and second team and voting is done by member head coaches.

The AFCA's Division II?All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA's seven districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players in their respective districts prior to a conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which the team is chosen.

A total of 23 Ferris State players have now been named to the AFCA All-America team a combined 27 times, which is the second-most all-time among NCAA Division II schools. It also marks the ninth year in a row the Bulldogs have had a player on the AFCA All-America team. Two-Time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan became the first Bulldog player named to the AFCA squad since former defensive tackle Jake Visser in 2008 by being chosen as the squad's quarterback in both 2014 and 2015 before standout defensive tackle Zach Sieler was a two-time choice in 2016 and 2017 with cornerback Tavierre Thomas garnering laurels in 2017 as well. Vander Laan, Sieler and Thomas all went on to play with National Football League (NFL) organizations. In 2018, Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jayru Campbell was a first-team pick with offensive tackle Devon Johnson named to the second-team. In 2019, former standout defensive end Austin Edwards earned first-team recognition with offensive guard Tyler Allison drawing second-team laurels. Finally, offensive tackle Dylan Pasquali was a first-team honoree for FSU in 2021 follow by defensive end Caleb Murphy as a first-team choice in 2022 along with offensive guard Adam Sieler as a second-team honoree.

Prior to Vander Laan, Visser's selection in 2008 had marked the sixth consecutive season in which a Bulldog player had achieved AFCA All-America First Team status. Former linebacker Kevin Myers was a two-time honoree in 2003 and 2004 followed by wide receiver Carlton Brewster in 2005, linebacker Mike Klobucher in '06 and Visser in both 2007 and 2008. In addition to Visser, Myers, Klobucher and Brewster, Ferris' impressive list of AFCA All-America picks also includes flanker Clarence Coleman (2001), kicker-punter Doc Proctor (1999), defensive tackle Kelly Chisholm (1996), quarterback Bill Love (1995), tailback Tyree Dye (1994), defensive tackle Ed Philion (1993), outside linebacker Monty Brown (1992), and running back Chuck Evans (1976) in addition to Vander Laan, Zach Sieler, Thomas, Campbell, Johnson, Edwards, Allison, Pasquali, Murphy, Adam Sieler and now Stephens.

Previously, Stephens was chosen this year to the Division II Conference Comissioner's Association (D2CCA) All-Super Region Three First Team along with the All-GLIAC First Team in addition to being tabbed as the GLIAC Defensive Back of the Year. Stephens, who transferred from West Liberty prior to this season, intercepted eight passes in 2023 and scored a pair of touchdowns, including a 100-yard kickoff return. He ranked second nationally in interceptions per game (0.7) and finished with 12 passes defended, including four breakups. He finished tied for fourth among the team leaders with 43 total tackles in his lone season as a Bulldog.

This past season, the Bulldogs reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the ninth-straight season, which is the longest active streak in the country. The Bulldogs went 8-3 overall this year following back-to-back NCAA D2 National Championship campaigns in 2021 and 2022.

Green Charter Township Supervisor publicly apologizes to Gotion Vice President

At Tuesday night's Green Township board meeting, Green Charter Township Supervisor Jason Kruse took the moment to apologize to Gotion, Inc. Vice President Chuck Thelen over recent miscommunications.

Reports say the Kruse initally mentioned that he hadn't heard from Gotion following the election. Thelen said that he had tried to contact the new supervisor via email on multiple occasions but hadn't recieved a response.

“Before we begin the meeting, I would like to apologize publicly to Mr. Thelen,” Kruse said. “Mr. Thelen did try to reach out to congratulate the new board and I appreciate his efforts to do so. I have to retract some of my statements, although you can’t ever really retract anything, but I do retract them publicly, and I do publicly apologize for that. His emails were missed, and I am very sorry about that, Mr. Thelen.”

Thelen was present at the meeting and is looking forward to working with the new board.

 

State Rep. Tom Kunse hosting upcoming local office hours in Reed City and Harrison

State Rep. Tom Kunse of Clare will soon host local office hours in Reed City and Harrison.

The meetings will take place at the following times and locations:

  • Saturday, Jan. 13: Reed City Offices, 9:30 a.m., at 227 Lincoln Ave. in Reed City.
  • Saturday, Jan. 20: Harrison District Library, 9:30 a.m., at 125 W. Beech St. in Harrison.

No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those who are unable to attend but would still like to share their thoughts with the representative may call his Lansing office at (517) 373-7317 or email TomKunse@house.mi.gov.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 12/11/23

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

December 11, 2023        

Opening Statement: “Really nothing different than yesterday. Really was a story of our own issues, own errors that we just couldn’t overcome yesterday. It was just too much, dug ourselves in a hole and we’ve just got to clean those things up. And we sharpen up our own issues here and get back to what we do, take care of the ball and we’ll be alright.”

On if Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson has the ability to make his own pass-rush stunts within the calls at times: “Yeah, those guys have abilities to – depending on the protection. And sounds like he took accountability, right? So, we’re good.”

On if it is common for defensive linemen to decide their own moves based on what they see: “Yeah, inside of what the call is. They know.”

On if there is a need to expand Lions WR Jameson Williams’s route tree to get him more involved: “Yeah, we’ll keep working with him. He’s improving, he’s improving. So, we’ll keep working to find some different ways to get him more involved because he is, he’s putting the work in and he’s improving and – but he’s really no different than (Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown) Saint. Keep finding ways to get Saint more involved. (Lions WR Josh) Reynolds did some good things, find a way to get him involved. So, look, we’re going to do what’s best for us and ask our guys to do things they do well. And so, yeah, absolutely. He’s earned that, so we’re going to keep working at it.”

On if there is a chance Lions C Frank Ragnow will return from injury this week: “Yet to be determined. He is improving, he’s improving. But there again, I won’t know for a little bit here.”

On if there is potential for Lions LB James Houston to return to practice this week: “No, no. I think it’ll be a while before that. Look, I do think there’s a chance, but I think it’s – we’re looking late December, January possibly.”

On if there is a chance for Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson to return from injury before the end of the season: “Yeah, I think there’s a chance. I think there’s – Lazarus has a chance. I think he does. He’s improved – both of those guys have, but C.J., man, he’s kicked it into overdrive. And he is, he’s healed quick and is healing quick. And most of it’s going to be about is he – is his body ready for that? Will he be able to do it without re-injuring and is it stable, strong enough? And I know this, he’s taken off, but we’ll see. Probably the same timeline if there is a chance, it’d be late December, January probably.”

On if Lions DL John Cominsky’s performance against Chicago is encouraging moving forward: “Yeah, I mean anytime those guys up front play well for us it’s good, and to get some production on the inside. I thought he did play well and one of the best plays he made was early in that game, probably the third series, they – one of the read-runs there, and (Lions LB Derrick) Barnes did a good job of keeping him boxed in, he surfed it and then came back and made the play on (Bears QB Justin) Fields. That was really good because that’s not easy on him now. That’s not easy on any player, but that was something that even in practice last week we had some trouble with and that was good to see. That was just one of a few plays that he did really well for us, so he showed up.”

On what the Denver game means to him going against his mentor in Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton: “It means we better be on our stuff because he’s going to come here to try to embarrass us. That’s what it means. And so, that’s our motivation, that’s my motivation and it’s about winning, man. All we’ve got to do is find a way to win and we’re going to have to be at our best, and we will be at our best.”

On why he was able to say early in the season that Denver would be playing their best ball when they face the Lions and what Broncos Head Coach Sean Payton taught him about digging out of a hole: “Man, you don’t do this (waves motion), you just do this (steady motion). You just keep putting in the work. You don’t overreact to what it may appear to be. Man, you just go by the facts. You look at, what is the issue? What is the problem? Is it turnovers? Is it the fundamentals? Is it your first step? Are we not getting the call fast enough? And when you go back and look at anything that has hurt us, it’s our own issues, and it’s the little things that come from day one. And honestly, the teams that are winning and consistently win, are the ones that do the little, little things right. The fundamentals, they take care of the football, they get takeaways and those are the most consistent teams. And so, all we’ve got to do is get back to that, man, playing clean football. And it really is as simple as that. Doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it is that simple. And it’s all in our hands, it’s all in our control and that’s the great thing about it.”

On if he saw anything in the team after the Packers loss that could have projected the possibility of more adversity ahead: “No, I just – man, I’ve been a part of all of it. I really have. I’ve been in the lowest lows and the highest highs and inevitability, you just – you don’t always know when and why and what necessarily, but I know this, if you’ve got the right guys, the right coaches, you’ll find your way out of it. And the most important thing is that we don’t buy into the narrative that is not inside of our building and what the tape says. Man, that’ll always – you’ve got to honor the tape, man. Honor what you put on film Sunday and what is the issue, and that’s as simple as that. So, man you just stay consistent. We stay consistent. We start acting like the house is burning down, I mean it’s going to get worse. We know what we’ve got to do. I know exactly what we have to do, and I know this, it all starts tomorrow. We’ve got to go back to work. And I know today, we’ve got to put together a great gameplan. We’re on a short week and this team’s playing at a high level, they get takeaways, number one in the League, they’re efficient on offense. And so, we’ve got our hands full.”

On if he thought Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson was too conservative in the Chicago game: “I thought Ben called a great game. I loved what he called. It’s exactly what I wanted him to call. It was a hell of a job. And the way we played that first half was perfect. We knew what kind of game that was going to be in those elements and we just didn’t execute. We didn’t execute. And look, (Lions QB Jared) Goff has played better, but yet, man, he did some things well for us. That fourth-and-3 was an outstanding throw. The turnover that really got us was the snap. That was the one. The other two on fourth down – like the first one, fourth-and-10, I love the throw. He gave us a chance. Not going to punt from the 35, so. I love that. He gave us a chance. And the other one, fourth-and-24, I mean we’re just trying to get a DPI. That’s a hope and a prayer there at the end. So, those to me weren’t even turnovers for Goff. I mean, it was the snap and that was really – that’s between a couple of people, so. But yeah, to answer your question, I like what Ben did. I really did, man. We had a chance. And we come out at halftime, we find a way to score or get back on the board at some point there, I felt like we would’ve gotten our momentum back, we just couldn’t do it.”

On if it is tough to regain a high level of play during a rut and how to make sure they understand adversity happens to everyone: “Good question. Here is the most encouraging thing about what happened yesterday. Some of our best players on the team did not play well and that’s encouraging going into this one because those are prideful guys, and those are our dudes. And believe me, those guys are going to come back – no different than us as coaches. We’re going to be at our best. And I just know what kind of locker room we’ve got, what kind of players and we will respond. We will respond.”

On if Lions DL Bruce Irvin’s ankle injury is what prevented him from being elevated for the Chicago game: “Yes. He’s improving too.”

On Lions CB Kindle Vildor’s performance and what he anticipates his role to be moving forward: “Yeah, I thought it was solid. He did some good things for us. There are a few things that just getting up to speed with our terminology, how we do things that we’ve got to get him caught up a little bit more on, but all in all, I thought he was what we thought he would be. He’s competitive, he’s smart and he’s pretty crafty. So, yeah, I still see him and (Lions CB) Jerry (Jacobs) kind of working in there a little bit together.”

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (12/4 - 12/10)

Monday, December 4

  • An officer responded to a call regarding two intoxicated people arguing in a business parking lot. Upon arrival one half of the argument had already left. 

  • While an officer was attempting to stop a vehicle without a license plate the vehicle accelerated and fled from the officer. After traveling approximately three blocks the driver jumped out of the vehicle and ran to an apartment complex. Officers have identified a suspect but the matter is open pending further investigation.

Tuesday, December 5

  • Officers were dispatched to an unlawful entry. The matter was unfounded and determined to be a landlord tenant dispute. 

  • Officers took a report of a man violating his bond release conditions by contacting his ex-girlfriend. The matter has been forwarded to the courts for possible action. 

  • Officers were dispatched to a possible suicidal person. Upon arrival the individual refused medical treatment and denied being suicidal. Officers stayed with the individual until family arrived. 

  • Officers assisted Osceola County Deputies with administering a preliminary breath test. Their device had become temporarily inoperable due to cold temperatures it was exposed to during an accident investigation. 

Wednesday, December 6

  • Officers were requested to locate an individual having mental health difficulties and transport them to the hospital. The individual was located and transported without incident.

Thursday, December 7

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, December 8

  • Officers were dispatched to well-being check on an individual. The 26-year-old female was arrested on two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court.

  • Officers were dispatched to be on the lookout for a tractor trailer that was weaving on the roadway. Officers located and stopped the vehicle. The driver was not found to be impaired. Wind may have been a factor. The driver was released with a verbal warning. 

  • Officers were dispatched to a man staggering and lying in the ditch. Upon contact the man was found to simply be tired from walking a long distance. 

  • Officers were dispatched to a 911 hangup call at a business. The building was checked with no problems found. 

  • Officers were dispatched to a well-being check. The individual was found to be okay.

  • Officers assisted the school liaison officer in escorting a man using foul language from a game.

Saturday, December 9

  • Officers were dispatched to an assault, felonious domestic assault, a car crash, leaving the scene of an accident, and operating while intoxicated without a valid driver’s license. The male suspect fled on foot and was apprehended by deputies a few blocks away where the 40-year-old male fought with a deputy while being arrested. The man was also a felony probation absconder. He was lodged at the Osceola County Jail pending arraignment. 

Sunday, December 10

  • Officers were dispatched to a possible suicidal teenager. The teen denied being suicidal and was left in the care of parents.

More than $1.6 million in grants from Children Trust Michigan help prevent child abuse

The Children Trust Michigan’s Board of Directors has approved $1,602,012 for six Michigan community-based organizations to support local child abuse prevention initiatives.

The Direct Services grants will be funded over a four-year period. Winning grant proposals were selected through a competitive bid process.

“We are strongly committed to keeping kids safe,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “Children Trust Michigan provides valuable funding to organizations in communities across Michigan so that they can put in place effective child abuse prevention programs. Children Trust Michigan prevention efforts are a key part of MDHHS’s Keep Kids Safe Action Agenda.”

Children Trust Michigan is housed within MDHHS.

“We congratulate the six successful grantees that emerged from an extremely competitive process with many more excellent proposals than we were able to fund,” said Suzanne Greenberg, Children Trust Michigan executive director. “We will work closely with our new grantees to build protective factors for children and families that will make safe, healthy and happy childhoods possible for Michigan’s children.”

The six organizations receiving funding are:

  • Arbor Circle in Grand Rapids, $320,000 for its Nurturing Fathers program with a trusted messenger approach.
  • Bethany Christian Services of Michigan in Grand Rapids, $124,932 for its Be Strong Families Parent Cafés to build fathers as leaders in their community.
  • Family Services & Children’s Aid in Jackson$210,000 for Parent Cafés and 24/7 Dad programs to build strong families and strong communities.
  • Gratiot County Child Advocacy Association$307,080 for Parent Cafés and 24/7 Dad programs to connect and engage fathers in the community.
  • InvolvedDad of Flint, $320,00 for InvolvedDad & Nurturing Fathers program, preparing fathers to be leaders in their community, workplace and family.
  • Keweenaw Family Resource Center, $320,000 for the 24/7 Dad, Parent Cafés and playgroups for fathers, which use multiple approaches to engage fathers.

The purpose of Direct Services grants is to fund community?based child abuse prevention programs and services. The grants support families that experience challenges that could impact positive parenting and optimal child development. Strong emphasis is placed on assuring that funded initiatives are appropriately integrated into broader community plans for serving children and families. 

With the newly funded initiatives, combined with other multi?year grant commitments and the statewide network of local councils, Children Trust Michigan distributed more than $2.6 million in 2023 in support of child abuse prevention programming across the 83 counties in Michigan.

Visit the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund website to learn more.

Remus pedestrian-car accident leaves 20-year-old man injured Tuesday morning

On December 12, 2023 at approximately 09:29 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office responded to  a car pedestrian accident on 30th Ave. and 9 Mile Rd. in the village of Remus.

A 20-year-old man from Remus was crossing the street when he was struck by a car being driven by a 56 year-old female from Cadillac. The male was transported to Mclaren Hospital by Mecosta County EMS for minor injuries. The female was cited for fail to yield to pedestrians.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Meceola Central Dispatch, Wheatland TWP rescue and Mecosta County EMS. Sheriff Miller wants to remind everyone to share the roadway, use the crosswalk, and to yield to pedestrians.

Joe Takes: A major lie-down in Chi-town

Before I get this whole thing started I just want to say that the Homicide rate in Detroit is the lowest it’s been in 60 years. The last time the rates have been this low is when the Lions were 11-3. Coincidence? I think not. But if the Lions keep playing like they are, this celebration will be short lived.

The Detroit Lions will be lucky if we win just one of the remaining four games of the season. After an abysmal game against the Chicago Bears last Sunday, many Lions fans are questioning the reliability of every single player on the field. From not being able to tackle a quarterback in the
backfield, building up our hopes with an alright first half, to not scoring a single point in the 3rd and fourth quarter, it’s really easy to see why us fans are getting uneasy with the future of this season.

One of the main problems of this team that I have been able to identify is Jared Goff. He has been a shell of his former self. You can bet on him to throw an interception a game at this point because when the pocket collapses, he can’t scramble; so, he’ll either toss it into coverage or crumble down to mitigate the tackle. You can’t expect an NFL team to be successful when the quarterback looks like a newborn giraffe when he runs, not in a league that favors mobile quarterbacks.

Who do we put in though? We have our four very tough games coming up to close out the season, and we need to win at least one against the Vikings to lock the NFC North, and I don’t trust Teddy Bridgewater to win those games. Hendon Hooker is fresh off his injury, and hasn’t seen any NFL action but honestly, I say just toss him in against Denver this week if he can.

Anything would be better than watching Jared Goff play outside. There’s also been a trend of how Jared Goff can’t play outside. The more I look into this the more it looks to be true, because he played well in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Ford Field, but when he has to play in tough conditions outside, he can’t produce. With all that being said, I think we need to look into a new guy under the helm for this offense.

With that out of the way, we can get into the game. The Lions were trash, that’s about it. Defensive secondary is a huge weak point for this organization, more specifically, it seems like they get confused when it comes to pressuring the quarterback with the linebackers, defending
the checkdown passes that turn into 12-yard gains, or suffering a lapse of focus that allows a broken play to turn into a huge gain for the other team. It’s starting to get ridiculous.

The defense got three sacks on Sunday courtesy of Aidan Hutchinson, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and John Cominsky, but other than that they were on the struggle bus. The bus route might add a few more stops too if they bring this type of play into Dallas and Minnesota.

Justin Fields had north of 270 all purpose yards with a rushing and passing touchdown to D.J. Moore, who also had a rushing touchdown. Bears’ kicker Cairo Santos will win kicker of the year, mark my words, he went 3/3 on field goals and notched 10 points on the day. If it wasn’t for Fields’ injury at the start of the year, the Bears probably would’ve been at the top of the NFC North.

Remember when I said the Jared Goff talk was out of the way, well I lied. The guy had 161 yards passing and two interception, he had a touchdown throw to Josh Reynolds, but other than that his performance was in the toilet. Doesn’t help that his offensive line gave up four sacks, but he should probably try to be somewhat athletic to get out of the pocket.

Who else helped out on the offense, really just Jahmyr Gibbs with a rushing touchdown. David Montgomery? Dud. Sam LaPorta? Non-existent. David Montgomery? He was alright. Amon-Ra St. Brown? We might have to put out a MIA on the guy. Detroit needs to rediscover their identity and play with some urgency.

The Lions have four games left and have two games at home during that time. The first of which is this upcoming Saturday against the Denver Broncos. If you asked me six weeks ago if the Lions were going to win, I would’ve said it was a lock. However, the Broncos have won six out of the
last seven games, and three of the wins were on the road.

Ford Field is one of the toughest places to play in my opinion, but cleaning up the mistakes is going to be the top priority. Kind of like what I said last week, but as long as the sloppy play keeps happening, I’m going to keep saying it.

The river of Blue Kool-aid has not dried up just yet though folks, I have faith in this team and Dan Campbell to turn it around. I’m just not too confident in Aaron Glenn’s defense to hold down a lead, which reminds me of last year unfortunately. But you know what I am going to say, Lions by a million.

Fatal pedestrian accident in Grand Rapids Township leads to investigation

Just after 5:00 P.M. Monday, the Kent County Sheriff's Office along with Rockford Ambulance and Grand Rapids Township Fire responded to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in the 3700 Block of Knapp St NE. 

Life-saving measures were attempted, but a 17-year-old female pedestrian from Grand Rapids Township was pronounced deceased at the scene. Initial information finds that the pedestrian was crossing the street and was struck by a westbound Infinity SUV being driven by a 16-year-old male from Grand Rapids Township.

The Kent County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit is continuing the investigation to look at contributing factors.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (12/4 - 12/10)

Monday, December 4

  • At around 08:58 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Martiny TWP. A male subject was arrested on a felony warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 17

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Tuesday, December 5

  • At 12:51 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Martiny TWP. The traffic stop led to the arrest of the female driver. The female driver was arrested on a warrant and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 8:59 P.M., 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.

Calls for Service: 13

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, December 6

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 8

 

Thursday, December 7

  • Nothing reported.

 

Friday, December 8

  • At 12:13 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Sheridan TWP. A female subject was arrested on two warrants. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 9:08 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Grant TWP. A male subject was arrested on a felony warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 23

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Traffic Accidents: 4

 

Saturday, December 9

  • At 9:25 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop on a vehicle in Big Rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the female driver being arrested for OWI.

Calls for Service: 32

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, December 10

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University Alumni look to push boundaries, disrupt industry with line of androgynous swimwear emphasizing practicality over chic

Leigh Ann Cobb and Hannah Yesmunt will be the first to tell you they know nothing about the swimwear industry. 

That makes their mission to disrupt it all the more fascinating.

Cobb and Yesmunt are the co-creators of Saint Andro, a Grand Rapids-based fashion startup pushing the boundaries of what swimwear can look and feel like and who it’s for. For the past year-and-a-half, the pair have been exploring, researching, prototyping—and, as of this month, launching—a collection of androgynous swimwear that emphasizes practicality over chic, ethics over profit and personalization over fast fashion trends.

Both are coming to the industry as outsiders. Yesmunt holds a degree in French language from Grand Valley State University and works as a logistics specialist for Wolverine Worldwide. Cobb is a commercial photographer who graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing with a Printmaking emphasis.

What’s more, they’re launching a fashion line from the heart of the Midwest.

“Swimwear brands are usually coastal or tropical; you don’t see a lot of visuals that are Michigan,” said Cobb. “We are leaning fully into the practicality and functionality of our Midwest roots to make suits that do so much more for the wearer than help them look good at a resort.”

Like the brand, Saint Andro’s origin story reflects a shifting world. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, a restless Yesmunt decided to do something about her lingering dissatisfaction with contemporary swimwear. She taught herself to sew and set about creating the swimsuit she wanted to see: one that was comfortable, functional, durable and most importantly - tailored to both her body and her queer identity.

When Yesmunt shared the results on Tik-Tok, she found she was far from alone. The video drew thousands of likes and comments from people all over the world who shared her frustration and applauded her vision.

One of those people was Los Angeles-based pattern maker Shilo Byrd, who expressed interest in turning the one-off design into a producible garment. Byrd and Yesmunt began working on a prototype, and Yesmunt soon realized that she wasn’t only making a swimsuit anymore—she was building a brand.

Enter Cobb, who specializes in helping companies develop a visual language around their brand. When Yesmunt contacted her about shooting promotional photography, Cobb said she immediately felt drawn to the project.

“I grew up on a lake, and every swimsuit I’ve ever had has been flimsy, cheap, and uncomfortable. When I saw what Hannah designed had so much more practicality and attention to quality, I immediately wanted to purchase it,” she recalled.

More than just the product, the larger mission behind it sparked Cobb’s interest. Using the creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills she cultivated at KCAD, she’d already started a successful freelance business and learned firsthand what it takes to sustain it. With Saint Andro, she saw an even deeper opportunity to translate her creativity into entrepreneurship.

“My KCAD professors were great at showing me what’s possible when you develop the skills and perspective not just to create but to create in a way that connects meaningfully to the world around you,” Cobb said. “When Hannah and I first talked, I was at a point in my career where I was looking to be a part of building something bigger than my own brand, something that had a positive impact and would feel good at the end of every day.”

What started as an initial discussion quickly blossomed into a fully-fledged business partnership, with Yesmunt leading design and production and Cobb as creative director. The idea of who Saint Andro could serve also started expanding.  

“Beyond addressing the lack of swimwear options in the queer community, we started thinking about older women who might feel very seen and comfortable in what we were making. We thought about the compressive nature of swimwear and how that could also benefit neurodivergent individuals with sensory issues,” said Cobb. “There were so many ways we could celebrate humanness with Saint Andro that we just weren’t seeing from other brands out there.”

Saint Andro’s recently released first collection is a mix-and-match lineup, including a sleeveless two-way compression top, a zipped cropped top, a lined ripstop short, a reversible biker short, and separate sleeves that can be worn with both tops. All the pieces are made of double-knit fabric that stretches easily, resists wear and tear, blocks UV rays, and insulates. They’re designed to conform comfortably and provide support to the wearer’s body, last a long time, and be functional in both warm and cold seasons for activities like hiking, biking, and running in addition to swimming.

When it comes to fit, the garments are offered in a size range of XS to 5X. Not only is that level of inclusivity rare in the world of swimwear, Yesmunt and Cobb also worked with Byrd to bring a heightened intentionality to the process of making a production pattern for each size.

“We learned that garment prototypes are usually created in a size small. Once the small pattern is finalized, the pattern maker simply scales it up into the other sizes and calls it good,” Cobb explained. “We knew that we needed to do better.”

Prototyping garments, especially using these kinds of specialized fabrics, isn’t cheap. To minimize costs and material use, Saint Andro employed an innovative digital modeling software called CLO, which allowed them to create virtual patterns and test them on virtual bodies with unlimited control over all parameters.

“We were able to do extensive testing and learning before we even touched a scrap of physical material,” Cobb said. “It saved us so much time, energy and resources, but more than that, it helped us ensure that we had created the most inclusive designs possible before moving forward.”

Once they had initial physical prototypes of each size, Yesmunt and Cobb traveled to Los Angeles, where they held multiple rounds of test fit sessions on real people, making observations and soliciting feedback to refine the designs further. What they learned helped inform the final patterns for the diverse size range in their first collection and the extensive fit guide available on their online store.

“We want people who buy our swimwear to put it on and have this immediate sense of ‘wow, I feel good in this,’” said Cobb. “They shouldn’t have to think about returning it even for a second.”

Sustainability and ethical production are also at the core of Saint Andro. Each garment in the first collection blends recycled polyester and spandex. Yesmunt and Cobb have goals to explore the use of biodegradable materials and a customer take-back program down the road to reduce the brand’s environmental impact further.

Everything is manufactured in Los Angeles at a women-owned production facility emphasizing ethical wages and construction methods that minimize material waste, with material scraps from tops and bottoms used to create the add-on sleeves.

“We’re learning what the industry standard is for sustainable and ethical practice in fashion and looking for opportunities to go further,” Cobb said. “We’re always going to be learning and growing along the way, and that goes for every facet of Saint Andro.”

“Authenticity” has long been a branding buzzword. But much of what makes Saint Andro’s claim to it ring truer than most comes from the transparent way they’ve evolved their ideas. Yesmunt and Cobb have publicly documented nearly every stage of their journey, from posting customer research and prototype experiments to social media to being open and honest about the challenges of entrepreneurship.

They’ve even collaborated with KCAD Exhibitions Director Michele Bosak to create a fluid exhibition/incubation space inside the college’s FlexGallery, where they’ve been hosting community events and displaying thumbnail sketches, draft mission statements, garments prototypes, process notes, and branding development work for all to see.  

In many ways, the exhibition is as much about the changing landscape of creative entrepreneurship as it is about Saint Andro’s evolution. Yesmunt and Cobb are taking full advantage of an age in which the internet and social media have made it possible for anyone to actualize an idea outside of traditional, often exclusive channels.

“You can follow your interest to incredible places and grow your network in ways that didn’t exist not that long ago, and you have more power than ever before to create what you want to see in the world,” Cobb said. “We want to show that it’s really possible.”

The Saint Andro exhibition is on view now through December 15 in the KCAD Flex Gallery at 17 Pearl St. NW in Grand Rapids. It is open Mondays to Thursdays 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Two injured following utility vehicle accident in Morton TWP Friday night

On Friday at approximately 5:40 P.M, deputies were dispatched to Hayes Rd. near 85th Ave. in Morton TWP for a two-vehicle injury accident.

Investigation found that a 39-year-old female from Mecosta was driving a Bobcat down the roadway after dark with no lights on when a 28-year-old female from Mecosta didn't see the Bobcat and rear ended her. Both drivers were transported to Corewell health Big Rapids for injuries sustained in the accident. 

Deputies were assisted on scene by Morton TWP Fire and Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, and MECD.

Moolenaar: "One month later, Gotion must listen to the will of Mecosta County voters"

Today, Congressman John Moolenaar renewed his call for Gotion, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-affiliated battery company, to end its plans to build a factory in Mecosta County. On November 7, Green Charter Township residents voted to recall the entire Board of Trustees that signed the initial agreement with Gotion. Then, on December 3, the newly elected members of the Green Charter Township Board of Trustees voted to rescind the community's support for the project.

“One month ago, the residents of Green Charter Township made it clear they do not want Gotion in their community. Then this week, the Township Board rescinded its support as well. Sadly, but not surprisingly, a Chinese Communist Party-affiliated company has shown little interest in listening to the will of the people. I continue to believe Gotion should listen to the results of the election and the new Board of Trustees, and cancel its plans to build in Mecosta County,” said Moolenaar.

Moolenaar is a member of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the CCP. Last month, he urged Gotion to heed the results of the election and end its plans to build in Michigan.

Three drivers injured after accident on Northland Drive near CK's place in Rogers Heights Saturday night

At approximately 5:30 P.M., deputies were dispatched to Northland Dr. and 11 Mile Rd. in Mecosta Township for a three-vehicle crash on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The investigation found that a 34-year-old female from Stanwood was travelling northbound on Northland Dr. and began to slowly turn left into CK's place. A 20-year-old female from Rockford, who was also traveling northbound on Northland Dr., saw the vehicle turning too late and attempted to avoid the vehicle by swerving into oncoming traffic. She then hit a 51-year-old male from Stanwood that was heading southbound as well as the vehicle which was turning in front of her. All three drivers were transported to Corewell Health BR for non-life threatening injuries. 

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta Twp Fire and Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, MECD, and the Mecosta County Sheriff's Posse.

#14 Ferris State earns first GLIAC victory with overtime triumph at Parkside

The nation's 14th-ranked Ferris State University Bulldogs pulled out a thrilling 77-73 overtime road win on Saturday (Dec. 9) in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at DeSimone Gymnasium.

Ferris State jumped in front by as many as eight points in the early going before settling on a 31-28 halftime lead.

FSU extended its lead early in the second frame and led by as many as 12 points with 6:20 to play before Parkside rallied back down the stretch and used some timely outside shooting to force the extra session. The Bulldogs had a potential game-winning basket with less than two seconds to play in regulation just rim away.

In overtime, the Bulldogs managed to outscore the Rangers 9-5 and came up with several key defensive stops en route to the win.

With the victory, Ferris State improved to 7-2 overall this year and earned a split on its league-opening road trip.

Junior Reece Hazelton dropped in a team-high 16 points for the Bulldogs in the win while Ben Davidson added 15 points. FSU also got 12 points from senior Dolapo Olayinka.

Overall, Ferris State shot 43.1% from the floor and made nine-of-23 (39.1%) three's to go with 12-of-14 (85.7%) free throws. The Bulldogs also won the rebounding battle 356-27 and came up with 10 steals in the triumph.

Parkside played four in double-figure scoring with Josiah Palmer totaling a game-high 19 points. Colin O'Rourke added 16 points with Ethan Ivan netting 13 points and Rokas Castillo 10 points. The Rangers converted 51.9% of their field goals and made 10-of-21 (47.6%) three's, but finished nine-of-14 (64.3%) at the free throw stripe and totaled 18 turnovers.

The Bulldogs will return to the court with a pair of regional games back at home inside Wink Arena prior to the holiday break. FSU will host Ashland on Sunday, Dec. 17, with tipoff set for 3 p.m. (ET) followed by a matchup versus Cedarville on Tuesday, Dec. 19, beginning at 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Ferris State set to graduate more than 400 as commencement ceremonies set for Friday, Dec. 15

Ferris State University will be awarding nearly 800 degrees and certificates with 465 students planning to participate in commencement ceremonies taking place on Friday, Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Jim Wink Arena of the Ewigleben Sports Complex in Big Rapids. 

Following the FSU Concert Choir’s National Anthem performance, President Bill Pink will greet commencement attendees, saluting Class of 2023 graduates, their families, and friends. 

This fall’s featured speaker is Joshua Pardon, Ferris State’s 2023 Distinguished Teacher Award recipient. A professor in the Television and Digital Media Production program in the College of Business, Pardon has received multiple Telly Awards and an Emmy nomination. He has received acclaim for his work on historical documentaries, including “The Factor” and the Emmy-nominated “The Poor Farm,” both airing on public access stations nationwide. 

The Wink Arena doors open at 8 a.m. for the 9 a.m. ceremonies, saluting College of Arts, Sciences and Education and College of Engineering Technology graduates. Following a break, the doors reopen at 11:30 a.m. for the 12:30 p.m. ceremony highlighting graduates of the colleges of Business and Health Professions. 

Near the close of the ceremonies, Dr. Emily Coles, president of The Ferris State University Alumni Association, officially welcomes graduates as the newest alumni. 

Each graduate receives six tickets for the Fall 2023 commencement and can use the online ticketing system to reserve tickets. The Commencement Office or the individual college commencement coordinators will distribute no extra e-tickets. Lost tickets will not be replaced. Guests without tickets can watch the ceremonies via live stream available on the Commencement Office website. Click for more information. 

Kendall College of Art and Design, Doctorate in Community College Leadership, Michigan College of Optometry and College of Pharmacy graduates are honored annually during spring ceremonies.

E-tickets are required to attend all Big Rapids commencement ceremonies. 

Visit the commencement website for more information.

New state program to back pro-housing policy changes by local governments

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) announced the new Housing Readiness Incentive Grant Program, with $5 million in funds to support cities, villages, and townships in adopting or eliminating rules and regulations to encourage building more housing and making housing more affordable.

"We are moving quickly to solve problems that our local and regional partners have identified, and this new program will put state funding directly into addressing local barriers to new and affordable housing solutions,” said Amy Hovey, MSHDA executive director. “In our regional listening sessions around the Statewide Housing Plan, we heard repeatedly about the importance of streamlining local rules to help build more housing, add density, rehabilitate existing stock, and across the board address affordability.”

Cities, villages and townships that apply for the program may receive a maximum grant of $50,000 to cover costs associated with adopting land use policies, master plan updates, zoning text amendments and similar activities that increase housing supply and affordability. The work may be performed by existing and/or contracted employees and/or third-party consultants.

“The Housing Readiness Incentive Program will align state investment directly with the local governments that need help most,” continued Hovey. “These problems didn’t crop up overnight, but we’re going to act decisively as we continue to identify new, innovative solutions to confront the housing crisis.”

Funds will be made available to cities, villages and townships depending on whether they have an Engaged, Essentials or Certified designation from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) program – an initiative for communities to develop best practices in planning, zoning and economic development with the goal of supporting community driven development.

Municipalities will be placed into one of two categories based on RRC designation status. Of the total $5 million allocated to the program, $3 million will be set aside for applicants that do not have an RRC designation. The remaining $2 million will be available to applicants that have a designation.

The online application portal will open Tuesday, January 16, 2024, and will remain open until funding has been fully committed. Applications will be reviewed by MSHDA and awarded as they are received.

For details and access to the application portal when live, visit the Housing Readiness Incentive Grant Program (michigan.gov) page on MSHDA’s website.

MDHHS expands Medicaid coverage starting January 1 to include community health worker services

To help promote preventive care and address health disparities, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has expanded Medicaid coverage for Michigan beneficiaries to include community health worker (CHW) services. This new benefit goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

CHWs are trained public health professionals and trusted members of the community whose goal is to address social determinants of health and serve as links between residents and the health and social resources needed to improve well-being. CHW services focus on preventing disease, disability and other chronic health conditions or their progression, and promoting physical and mental health. The expanded Medicaid coverage includes health system navigation and resource coordination, health promotion and education and screening and assessment.

“This coverage is another step towards addressing health disparities, improving health outcomes and promoting preventive care within Michigan communities,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “By integrating community health workers, MDHHS is working to enhance the overall well-being of Medicaid beneficiaries and promote a more holistic approach to health care.”

The new CHW services coverage is complementary to existing Medicaid strategies that already incorporate CHWs, including targeted case management, health homes models and Medicaid Health Plan contract requirements.

To support the implementation of this policy, MDHHS selected Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance through a competitive bid process to facilitate provider qualification assessment, certification and the development of a registry of certified providers. This registry will ensure Medicaid beneficiaries have access to qualified CHWs to deliver covered services.

For more information, about CHW coverage or other Medicaid policies, visit 2023 Medicaid Policy Bulletins (michigan.gov).

To sign up for Medicaid or to check available benefits, visit Michigan.gov/MIBridges

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University alumna Piper Adonya says Black Barbie documentary work is part of a career celebrating diversity

Artist Piper Adonya believes all people should be seen and heard.

“That’s why I love creating designs of people of color; everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in art,” said Adonya, a Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University alumna who worked on visual development for “Black Barbie: A Documentary.”

The new film tells the story of how the first Black Barbie came to be in 1980 and introduces viewers to the women who made her happen. It also examines the longtime shortsightedness of a toy industry that never imagined a Black Barbie selling.

That battle for representation strikes a deep chord with Adonya, who uses her own illustrations and designs to educate people about the importance of celebrating diversity.

“The sheer amount of time children spend with their dolls is enough to pause and reflect on what those toys look like … and how much the influence of having one that actually looks like you really means,” said Adonya, who graduated in 2018.

“It’s a story that really needed to be told and I’m just so honored to have worked on it. It’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking in some ways.”

“Black Barbie” premiered, to widespread acclaim, at this spring’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The film was recently acquired by Netflix and Shondaland, the entertainment company behind award-winning series including “Bridgerton” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Netflix hasn’t announced a release date for it.

Adonya began her work on “Black Barbie” a year ago when she was recruited by 9B Collective, the first Black-owned concept art studio. She was asked to create the film’s title card illustration, along with other artwork needs. Already a full-time illustrator and graphic designer at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the single mother of three worked evenings on the documentary at her Grand Rapids home.

It was the start of a banner year for Adonya. 

As the art director and lead designer for this year’s Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens campaign, Adonya had the honor of seeing her artwork featured on a Lexus SUV. 

In October, she took part in a panel discussion at the LightBox Expo in Pasadena about balancing kids, career, and personal time in the entertainment industry. The annual expo draws more than 10,000 visitors and showcases the artists who bring today’s films, animation, games, TV shows and illustrations to life.

And this month, she’s featured in ImagineFX, a digital art and fantasy art magazine featuring an eclectic mix of interviews, features, news and reviews with artists and illustrators. 

Adonya and her family moved from Texas to Grand Rapids when she was 8 years old. Even as a child, she loved art.

“I remember watching ‘The Little Mermaid’ for the first time and knowing immediately that one day I was going to draw; I fell in love with it,” she said. “I never had any desire to be anything else. There was no Plan B. It was always art; that was always the only plan.”

After graduating from Union High School, Adonya earned an associate degree at Grand Rapids Community College, got married and had children. A career in art took a backseat until 2014 when she enrolled at KCAD.

“I was working as an administrative assistant at an investment firm, and I knew I couldn’t look at one more Excel spreadsheet,” Adonya said. “Something had to change.”

“She graduated from KCAD with honors with a bachelor of fine arts in digital art and design degree, making work that enabled her to explore connections between her creative skills and her study of culture.”

Adonya said her Kendall professors always went out of their way to support and encourage her.

“They would push me in a good way to do better,” she said. “They saw what was in me, they believed in me, and that was priceless.”

Adonya said she’s excited for what the future holds, saying whatever she works on will include illustrations advancing diversity and amplifying the voices of people of color.

“I’m as passionate about diversity and people seeing themselves as I am about art,” she said. “No matter what I’m working on, it always weaves itself into my work.”

And she’ll be waiting for “Black Barbie” when it debuts next year on Netflix.

“It’s surreal and an honor being a part of such as an amazing story,” she said. “I can’t wait.”

Joe Takes: Lions bounce back with big start; hold on to beat Saints

Word of advice to anyone who goes out for Sunday lunch with family and they try to have a
conversation with you while the Detroit Lions are on the TV, just don’t go. I’m joking of course,
but there were many times where I just straight up wasn’t paying attention to anything other than
the game. And who could blame me, 21 points in the first quarter made for a wild game.

The Lions moved to 9-3 on the season to another late game thriller, beating the New Orleans
Saints 33-28. I am deeply concerned about Dan Campbell, not because of the inconsistencies
from both sides of the ball these past few games, but because of his neck veins that look like they
are about to rupture every time the camera pans to him. The Lions battled their way to the W,
and with a loss from the Philadelphia Eagles to the San Francisco 49ers, the NFC is getting more
shaken up by the day.

It looked like it could be a record setting day from the boys in blue, when David Montgomery
got the scoring started on the first drive with a 2-yard scamper to the corner of the endzone.
Thanks to a combination of Saints QB Derek Carr being trash, his receivers being even worse,
and Lions corner Brian Branch being the absolute dawg that he is, we got the ball back with
Branch’s interception. Three plays later, Jared Goff connected with Sam LaPorta for a 13-yard
TD. Next drive, AMon-Ra St. Brown took a ten yard checkdown pass an additional 20 to the
promised land and the Lions had 21 points with seven minutes left in the first quarter, unreal.

In the second quarter, Jimmy Graham got the Saints’ first score with a receiving touchdown.
That touchdown seemed to just reset the defense for the Lions and made them forget how to play
football, again. Riley Patterson nailed a kick through the uprights to put three on the board in
Detroit’s favor, closing the first half at 24-7.

Third quarter was all Saints, Alvin Kamara got chippy with Kerby Joseph after his touchdown
run. Taysom Hill put Saints on his back for the following drive in the redzone when he bulldozed
his way for a one yard rushing score. New Orleans was flirting with a score again, but myself
and every other Lions fan thanked their lucky stars when a muffed transfer caused a fumble
recovered by Detroit to send us to the fourth quarter.

In classic Ben Johnson fashion, Detroit does a double reverse trick play to get the ball in
Jameson Williams’ hands and he delivers with a massive high flying 19 yard touchdown run to
lengthen the lead. Jamo is so fast that when people see him run they’re like, “Man, that guy is
fast.” Time ticked away, but the Saints scored once again with Kamara on the one yard line.

The Lions closed it out with a big defensive stop, as well as the most athletic play from Jared
Goff that I have ever seen on 3rd and 9. Once again, I almost had a heart attack, but a win is a
win.

This game taught us one thing, no lead is safe with how inconsistent our defense has been.
We’re for sure not a team that I’m confident in going into playoffs, and to be honest, I’m not
confident in our abilities to win both games against the Minnesota Vikings. We finally did
something when getting more personnel with Bruce Irvin, who is a veteran presence and got a
sack this game, but another pass rusher is what we need.

An additional question that I had during this game too is, how stable is Jared GOff if we want to
be a Super Bowl contender? The guy can’t scramble, he falls down when the pocket collapses,
and I’m not confident if we get matched up against the 49ers or the Eagles, even in week 17
against the Dallas Cowboys I’m worried. Out third string QB Hendon Hooker is back from his
injury, and during his time with Tennessee in college he was in the Heisman contention before
his torn achilles.

I think that teams are starting to figure out Aidan HUtchinson as well. He’s in a slump, which
happens with a lot of guys in the NFL, but you can only do so many spin moves at the line before
the Quarterback gets the ball off. Not only that, but when you watch him next week look at the
way he runs, it’s like a guy trying to run in waist deep water.

My last thought about this game is to get Jameson Williams the ball more. He’s been producing
big plays in the last five games, and he has a touchdown in the last two. Utilize the speed that he
has a little more, and with the rushing touchdown he picked up, I think you can Ben Johnson get
a little more versatile in the playbook.

Our third division game is next week against the Chicago Bears in the windy city. I’m really
hoping that we can win this one handily to let me have some bode of confidence with the
toughest part of the conference coming up. But if not, I guess my constant state of stress is my
new life now, which is great.

The keys to a win are simple. All they have to do is keep Justin Fields contained in the pocket,
minimize Montez Sweat’s effect on the defense, keep an eye on Cole Kmet, and just clean up
basically everything that went wrong this week, which was everything. Seems easy enough,
right?

You know what they say, a sloppy win is better than a clean loss, and I’ll be happy as long we
put W’s in the column. Hopefully we get back on the winning streak, do the right things, and
keep us Lions fans happy. Continue sipping the blue Kool-aid, it tastes so good everytime.

 

Lions head to Chicago to take on 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.

Ferris State partners with West Shore Community College to boost access to nursing programs

Ferris State University is partnering with West Shore Community College to create a pathway for students to earn both an associate and a bachelor’s degree in nursing and help fill a growing need for people with nursing skills.

Ferris State President Bill Pink and WSCC President Scott Ward signed an agreement this week to use a state grant to expand a partnership and allow WSCC students to work toward a Ferris State degree while remaining on the WSCC campus with costs covered. 

Pink said the program is an example of Ferris State collaborating with community college partners to help residents gain highly needed skills and grow a talented workforce, especially where there are shortages.

“I believe Ferris State is the strongest four-year university partner to Michigan community colleges,” Pink said. “We have long had a connection with West Shore, and together we can address the huge need for nursing statewide.”

The demand for nurses is increasing across the country. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nursing jobs are expected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. About 193,100 openings for registered nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Michigan has about 100,000 nursing jobs, with 6,345 openings, according to the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics in the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The partnership is tapping a $56 million state program to expand nursing education opportunities. The program is administered by the state Department of Labor and Economic Development and was included in the state’s 2023 budget, which went into effect this fall. Community colleges are encouraged to partner with a four-year college or university and design a Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program with input from local employers and local workforce development agencies.

West Shore and Ferris State have long been partners, including collaborating through the Ferris Connections Program. That allows West Shore students who plan to transfer to Ferris State to have access to university support programs while still at WSCC, which is based in Scottville, just east of Ludington.

Ward said WSCC is excited to partner with Ferris State and create opportunities for students to succeed.

“Ferris is one of those unique institutions, rare institutions, that offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and doctoral degrees and has concentrations on occupational programs,” Ward said after signing the agreement.

Ward said students can earn a bachelor’s degree and quickly enter the workplace, addressing local and national shortages.

“It is the best of both worlds,” he said. “We could not find a better partner.”

Kent County Sheriff's Office Investigating double fatal Crash in Lowell TWP

At 5:15 PM Wednesday, the Kent County Sheriff's Office and Lowell Fire responded to a head-on crash at the intersection of Alden Nash Ave. & Emery Dr. When responders arrived, they located the driver of a white Chevrolet Equinox deceased. Life-saving efforts were attempted on the front seat passenger, but they were pronounced deceased at the scene as well. 

An adult in the rear seat of the Equinox was airlifted by Aeromed to a hospital in critical condition. Two more children were also in the backseat and were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of a black Buick Encore was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.  

It appears the Chevy Equinox was traveling southbound on Alden Nash and for an unknown reason crossed the centerline, striking the Buick. The Kent County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit is working to determine if impaired driving was a contributing factor.  

The deceased driver was a 42-year-old female from the City of Belding. Her two children are an 11-year-old and a 4-year-old boy in the rear seats. The deceased front seat passenger was a 39-year-old female from Lowell Township. The rear-seat passenger who was airlifted is a 36-year-old from Lowell Township. The Buick was driven by a 20-year-old female from Greenville.

BREAKING: Mecosta County Sheriff's Office arrests four following high-speed chase early Thursday morning

On Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, at approximately 9:51 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office attempted to make a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle which led to a chase pursuit through four different townships and eventual arrests.

The Sheriff’s Office had received information of a possible stolen pickup that had possibly been repainted to conceal it. Deputies located the vehicle at a residence in Morton TWP and started to conduct surveillance, in which they observed the vehicle pulling out of the residence. Deputies were stationed to intercept the vehicle as suspected stolen pickup passed by an unmarked Sheriff’s Office vehicle conducting surveillance and the driver was identified as being wanted. Deputies then, utilizing marked patrol vehicles, pulled behind the suspected stolen pickup that was now pulling a small utility trailer. The suspect accelerated and fled at a high rate of speed when deputies activated their emergency lights and siren.

Deputies notified Meceola Central Dispatch of the pursuit and they in turn made notification to the
surrounding counties. The suspect fled with a passenger in the vehicle, who was not identified, driving at speeds reaching 110 miles per hour. The pursuit went through Morton, Martiny, Sheridan, and Wheatland townships and the villages of Remus and Mecosta. The Sheriff’s Office attempted to deploy "stop sticks" on two different occasions but the suspect drove through the ditch to avoid the device. The suspect then drove through a fence onto a small airport property, driving onto the grass runway. Deputies then were able to PIT the fleeing truck to end the pursuit.

Once the pickup was disabled, the driver and passenger both fled on foot from the scene. Deputies gave chase on foot and were able to catch and take both suspects into custody without further incident. Both were found to be wanted and were in possession of methamphetamine.

Deputies conducted follow-up searches at the scene of the foot pursuit and recovered a stolen, altered handgun that was loaded at the time and property, ammunition, and burglary tools in the pickup that was confirmed stolen. Deputies then followed up at the residence where the suspects left and were able to locate a stolen SUV, passenger car, motorcycle, and trailer. Deputies also located additional stolen property, both reported and unreported, from numerous thefts including two sawed off shotguns. There was also a female hiding in the residence, who was wanted, and was taken into custody without incident along with the wanted resident.

All the suspects were transported to the Mecosta County Jail where they were lodged on multiple felony charges. Their names and charges are being held pending arraignment in the 77th District Court.

LIONS OC BEN JOHNSON, LIONS DC AARON GLENN, AND LIONS ST COORDINATOR DAVE FIPP QUOTE SHEET

LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BEN JOHNSON QUOTE SHEET

December 7, 2023

On if he ever allows himself to marvel at the season that Lions TE Sam LaPorta is having: “I haven’t had a chance to watch it all in totality I guess, but we keep – I think I’ve said it a few times now, we keep trying to find out things that he can’t do and we’re still scratching our heads there, so. We like to line him up all over the place. He’s doing a phenomenal job picking up the details, the nuances of alignment splits, responsibilities and that’s what allowing us to push the envelope a little bit. But no, it’s really impressive for a rookie. Doesn’t matter what position, but particularly that one, even more challenging in a lot of ways between the run game and the pass game.”

On if it is a bigger challenge for a younger player like Lions TE Sam LaPorta to learn how to win one-on-one man coverage matchups at this level: “I don’t think so. What he showed on tape at Iowa was that he was going to be a dynamic route runner in this League. He certainly is a little bit more advanced in the run game than I thought. Those guys at Iowa do a phenomenal job coaching and so, that’s why it’s Tight End U right now. Those guys come out ready to roll. But yeah, he was able to win some man matchups last week and hopefully that continues for us. That alleviates the burden on our wideout group too. They were doubling (Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown) Saint at times and so we need somebody else to step up and win the one-on-ones. His number was called more often than not last week.”

On what the Bears defense does well: “They stop the run. They are extremely sound, their Head Coach (Matt Eberflus) is very detailed. You can tell that he stresses the fundamentals and he stresses play style. They are relentless, they pursue, they are very disciplined. And so, when you combine that with a sound scheme, it makes it very difficult to run the ball. He was a good run defense when he was in Indy and that’s really carried over now to Chicago. They’ve got some good talent all across the ball. Upfront they’ve got some guys playing better than maybe what – you might not have heard their names before, but these defensive tackles, they are stout at the point of attack. Obviously, they added another pass rusher in (Bears DL Montez) Sweat, but he’s a good run defender as well. Second level, (Bears LB Tremaine Edmunds) 49 shows up all over the tape and (Bears LB T.J. Edwards) 53, the guy they brought in from Philly is very instinctive. And then on the backend, it’s a bunch of young, hungry guys that just love playing football it looks like. So, it’s a challenge scheme-wise and then also with who they have and how they’re playing.”

On the challenge of having to run the ball more due to weather conditions against a strong run defense: “Yeah, I think the weather’s trending our direction a little bit, but I’m with you. It’s – the way we are built on offense is we can be productive any number of ways. And so, we’ll do whatever we need to do to put ourselves in a position to win this ball game. Our guys of course upfront, they take this as a challenge going against such a good group on defense that’s been so good against the run all year long. And so, I think they’re embracing this challenge with open arms. It’ll be a good opportunity. We’ve got a couple really good backs that help make us right and make guys miss, so it’ll be good for us.”

On if expects Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown to be motivated to be more involved this week after being double teamed in the New Orleans game: “Yeah, I think he’s been targeted quite a bit almost every game. Even last week, he was primary on quite a few things. We didn’t connect on a few that we really want back I think, but I’ve got no doubt that he’s going to come out and be the same productive player that he’s always been. They double him in certain situations and that’s when the other guys have to feast, but when (Lions TE) Sam LaPorta or I think (Lions WR) Kalif Raymond had a big game a couple weeks ago, when these other guys make plays, it makes defenses think twice about trying to take out number 14.”

On Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs having a lower usage percentage against the Saints: “Probably within the moment, don’t equate it. At halftime, we get a feel for who’s touched the ball how many times, but within the circumstance of the game, it’s kind of just an ebb and a flow. And so, may or may not try to just dial it up to get it in someone’s hands, other times it might be, ‘Hey, I think they’re going to be in this defense and we want to attack them this way.’ So, it’s a balancing act right now and it’s a blessing and a curse to have this many talented skill players. I mean we’ve got a phenomenal tight end, we’ve got two really good running backs and we’ve got all five receivers that are up on gameday who really deserve to get the ball in their hands and get a chance to run with it. So, that’s where each week it’s, ‘Guys, somebody – you’re all going to have plays in and somebody’s probably going to be at the end of the game not as happy with not touching the ball enough.’ And we just try to cycle it around each week who’s got that. But we’ve got a lot of dynamic playmakers and that’s a challenge for us right now.”

On how much of his post-game process is understanding their own personnel usage to maintain a weekly balance: “Yeah, we’re very aware of who gets the ball, where they lineup, the self-scout tendencies in which situations we know what those things are and we try to usually use that against the defense.”

On Lions OL Colby Sorsdal’s development these last few weeks: “Oh, yeah, it’s really night and day. I think the first game he was in was maybe Atlanta that he had to get thrown in there if I remember correctly. And he really got thrown in at right tackle and it wasn’t his prettiest tape and I think he would admit as much, but to see where he’s grown from those early reps and playing interior both right side and left side. He continues to get better each week. Is it perfect? No, but for a rookie, this is learning on the fly a little bit. And he – as long as, as well as all of our other young guys, they just continue to get better with reps, and that’s what he needs.”

On if Lions OL Colby Sorsdal is more comfortable on the right side due to his collegiate experience: “We’ve been cross-training him all training camp and so far this season. I think if you probably looked at it, maybe he’s lined up on the right side a little bit more than the left side over the course of that time, but he’s getting a lot more comfortable on playing interior football. It really doesn’t matter which side he’s on.”

On how much he looks at the weather before a game and how much it affects his gameplan: “Yeah, that’s a great question. It certainly plays a big role. It plays a big role in (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell’s decisions of, ‘Hey, do we want to kick? Do we want to receive? Do we want to play with the wind? Do we not want to play –?’ All those things, but for me as a play-caller, certainly we look at wind, we look at precipitation, temperature, all that. Another variable that goes into the play-calls is, ‘What’s the sun? What’s the sun’s location?’ I’ve been a part of a number of times, we’ve thrown deep balls and it gets caught in the sun and it’s all for naught. It’s a perfect ball and the guys’ wide open and it drives – so, all those factors week in and week out always go into our thought process and how we want to call the game. Sometimes maybe you’ve got the wind behind your back one quarter and you know you’re not going to the next quarter, so you want to maybe be a little bit more aggressive and vice versa, things of that nature.”

On when the weather starts to impact the gameplan throughout the week: “Yeah, I mean it’s – the gameplan’s always in flux. And so, we never really put our finishing touches on it until really – we never do. There’s adjustments being made all the time in the game. In fact, I mean we put in a play right before – about an hour before kickoff that we ended up calling there in the last drive before halftime last week. But that’s just an example. We’re always tweaking things and our players, they don’t blink an eye. I mean they’re used to it at this point. We put a lot on them in training camp and so, it’s just par for the course.”

On if the play he added in last week an hour before the game was just an idea that popped into his head: “No, it’s just as you’re going through the plan you’re like, ‘Hey, maybe we’re a little bit light in this area. I think they’ll give us this coverage,’ and just want one more bullet in the chamber just in case the situation popped up.”

On if the play he added in an hour before kickoff last week hit: “It should’ve hit.”

On how to prepare for the unknown from an opponent coming off of a bye week: “I think when you look at a coach’s history, you look at – they have an identity in who they are, and you can trust those things. Listen, there’s wrinkles every game that we have to deal with. (Lions QB) Jared (Goff) has seen enough football in his eight years now that he knows, ‘OK, I haven’t seen this one before. They haven’t shown this before,’ and he knows how to react if they give us a different pressure or different coverage than what we’ve seen. So, that’s the luxury I have is, I’ve got a veteran quarterback and really, veteran offensive line that it doesn’t matter what gets thrown at us. We can adjust and still be productive.”

 

LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR AARON GLENN QUOTE SHEET

December 7, 2023

Opening Statement: “Good to get a win last week at a place that I was at for a long time. Still a lot of faces there that I know, had a chance to get a chance to talk to. Listen, that first half, man, it was the way that we play defense. Second half, we had some events that happen that we’ve got to get better at, which we will get better at. And our guys will continue to practice hard and work on those things. So again, I like where we’re at as far as the record, overall team. Obviously, there are some things we want to clean up on defense and we will continue to do those.”

On the need for making halftime adjustments to have a stronger third quarter performance: “I think that’s really funny that that’s always the buzz word of ‘adjustments.’ And I kind of laugh at it because it just shows that how people just don’t have a clue. I mean we’re winning. We’re doing a really good job and what are you changing?”

On how making adjustments can be a counter approach to the opponent making changes: “And you have to see if they’re going to adjust. And the thing is, they made plays and we didn’t make plays we should’ve made. When you have key plays in a game that’s caused some issues, to me that’s what you try to make sure you make those adjustments. And sometimes you make them on the sideline, sometimes you make them at halftime, but in a game, man, there’s always adjustments that are being made because every team is not just going to come out and do the things that they’ve shown on tape. They’re always going to have something new. So, our job as coaches is to make sure that whatever those new things they come out with, man, we’ll adjust to make sure we put our guys in positions to make those plays. And it happens all the time. So, we’ll continue to do that, but that’s the thing that’s an emphasis that we’ve been – offense and defense, we’ve been going over for a while now. Even in the offseason, we talk about those things, and man, we have to get better at that if we want to be the team we want to be. So, you’re right in that aspect, of making sure that man, we just come out the same way we come out in the first half with energy, effort and doing those things. And I think it’s more of that than anything else.”

On how frustrating allowing big plays has been and how to limit the number of them moving forward: “Well, big plays are always frustrating. The thing that I try to do is look at the big picture. We’re one of the top teams in the League as far as not giving up explosive plays. So, I always try to point back to that and what did we do before to not give those things up, and our guys understand that. And listen, this is a League of teams that are trying to make big plays because usually when you make big plays, obviously you’re going to get scores after that. So, that’s one thing that we try to make sure we focus on, and we look at the things that we’ve done before to make sure we limit those and we want to continue to try to do those things.”

On the urgency to limit the number of points allowed for the final stretch of the season: “Listen, there’s always an urgency in that regard. That’s the first thing that we talk about as a defense is we want to limit points. I think when you look at it in totality, you look at our overall defense, man, there’s really the same core that’s been here and you look at us last year at this time, man, we were not a good defense. I think we were ranked last in a lot of different categories. And you look at it now with really the same core, I mean these guys have improved and that’s the one thing I don’t think people really take a look at is, I mean (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac’s having his best year I would think. I do think (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch is having a good year. The thing is there’s been so much attention to him that he hasn’t had a chance to get the sacks that he’s wanting to get. Those things will come for him. You look at (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone). I think Alex is having the best year of his career. So, this time last year when it comes to yards, when it comes to rush, when it comes to – I mean we were not good last year, but this year, man, things have changed. So, I think we’ve got to give credit to those guys and we don’t hear that enough. Listen, everybody wants to be the number one defense. Hell, I want to be the number one defense, but guys have to develop and the guys have developed. And look where they put themselves. And they’re going to continue to get better at that, even the guys like (Lions DL) Brodric (Martin) that we’re developing now. I mean those guys are going to come along and do well for us.”

On how to keep Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson from getting frustrated by his good performances not being reflective in the stats: “Well, the first thing you’re talking about is how he’s affecting the game, but the numbers might not be saying it, and he’s really doing that. The second thing is, man, understand how the top guys in this League – and I’m not talking about the guys that are playing now, but even the guys that played way before him, how have they handled a double team? I think the one thing that he had a chance to look at, he had a chance to look at (Steelers LB) T.J. Watt who’s an explosive player, and man, he’s always using his hands. And I think if you see the game against New Orleans man, he did a really good job of using his hands and guys man, hell he had three guys on him at one point and he still had a chance to get a hand on the quarterback. So, he’s still developing in that regard and that just goes to show just how much more of his game he has left. Again, I’m happy with where that player’s at. I mean obviously, he wants to get more sacks, we want him to get more sacks, but man, to understand exactly how you – what you’re doing is really affecting a lot of the things on defense.”

On the task of replacing Lions DL Alim McNeill’s production while he is out due to injury: “It’s always hard to replace a player of his stature and we all know that. The thing that we’ve got to do a really good job of is, man, keep developing the guys that we have in our program. And other guys have to step up too. I mean (Lions DL Josh) Paschal has to do a really good job. Sometimes he’s going to be inside and we’re going to need him to step up. (Lions DL) Brodric (Martin) has to continue to develop. (Lions DL Isaiah) Buggs has to continue to develop. Just a lot of these guys that we have in our program have got to take up that slack. And you’re right, it is next man up mentality. No one’s going to feel sorry for us. We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves, and we’re going to continue to try to be the best defense we can each week.”

On Lions DL Brodric Martin’s progress and what he can provide to the team: “Man, just coming from where he did in college and understand exactly how he has to play in this League. The one thing I think that he had an issue with early is just being able to use his hands and understand how to use his hands. And man, I tell him in practice, he’s doing a really good job of that. I mean before practice, after practice, those are the things that Brodric is doing a really good job of to get himself on the field. And then other than that, man, I’m a big believer in D-linemen being able to have lateral agility and he’s working his butt off trying to work on those things too.”

On if Lions DLs Levi Onwuzurike and Josh Paschal have progressed back from their injuries as they had hoped: “Well, I mean it’s hard for Levi because he hasn’t had a chance to really just play for us. And listen, that injury was a significant injury, so it’s going to take him time. I mean obviously (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac, I think he’s having his best season. And Josh is the same thing. I mean he hasn’t had enough plays to really just like, ‘Man, where is he at?’ But, the thing is, you’re starting to see that with Josh. I talked about that last week with him. I mean in the New Orleans game, he had some really good plays. So, the development is coming with that player.”

On what veteran players like Lions DLs Bruce Irvin and Tyson Alualu can add to a young team: “Well, two 36-year-olds. That’s awesome though, man. Golly, to be playing at that age, especially two guys that have been in the fight like they’ve been in when you’re playing at that D-line position. Both of those guys can give just insight on what it takes to play at a high level. I mean I’ve known Tyson for a while as far as who he was as a player, that pick’s come from Cal. So, he has some belts on the wall and he can help our young guys as far as things that they need to do to create to be at that level. Same thing with Bruce. Bruce talked to some of the guys this week about playing at a championship level, so man, it’s good to just hear those guys’ voices, for them to bring what they understand this League is about. But man, I think it’s outstanding for guys 36-years-old still playing in this League, man.”

On if Lions DL Levi Onwuzurike has an opportunity to get more reps with Lions DL Alim McNeill out with an injury: “Listen, anytime he gets game reps, it’s always good for him. The thing is I mean we can’t play everybody. There’s only so many people we can bring on defense and if we could bring them all, I would, but we can’t. The thing is the guys that we’ve had have been playing pretty good. Again, we’re a top run defense in this League. So, we don’t want to just bring guys to just be bringing them. I mean guys have to earn their keep and I’ve said that several times. And when you have an injury, man, guys really have to step up and be a big part of what we’re doing. And this is going to be a week where he has to do that.”

On Lions DL Quinton Bohanna’s production the past three weeks: “Listen, that’s a big man. That’s a huge man. And the thing that he shows that’s pretty impressive is he has some first step quickness to him. Listen, he’s still a young player too. I mean I remember him and I know you guys do when he was in Dallas and he’s played a good amount of plays there, so he understands this game, but he’s still a young player and he still needs to develop. So, we have to be very careful on how we use these elevations to make sure that we can get the best guy for us. And we will do that, but I’m impressed with that player. I’m impressed with him and he’s doing a good job for us.”

 

LIONS SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE FIPP QUOTE SHEET

December 7, 2023

On what Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin has meant to special teams and how much he advocated to get him back on the team in the offseason: “Yeah, I mean, when he left, we thought he was a great player and disappointed to see him go or whatever, but that’s a part of the business. And then obviously, when we had a chance to get him back, it was incredible. He’s a great leader. His way of leading is a lot more by example, than being vocal. However, he has been vocal and that’s also helped the guys. And he’s done a little bit more of that this year. He’s obviously a captain for us, but great player. I mean, for him to go out and make the plays that he made in that game was obviously special. And the one thing that I said, I just talked to (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) about it, but the one thing that happens to these guys, when you’re a good player, you get a lot of attention. They put good players on you, sometimes they put two guys on you. If they don’t put two guys on you, they put their best guy on you. And so, for him to go out and do that against a good football team that has a bunch of good players on their side of the ball and a well-coached group who has a good plan, it obviously says a lot about him, individually.”

On how difficult it is for a player like Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin to see time on both defense and special teams in the same game: “Yeah, it’s great. And I think – it’s just a great example of a guy who – I think sometimes there’s a human element to the whole game and how much you’re playing on defense and everybody wants to be a defensive player, an offensive player. I mean, when you’re a kid, you kind of dream of doing that, I think, for most of these guys. And obviously, special teams fits somewhere in there and I think sometimes when guys start playing more defense, they feel like, ‘Well, I’m playing more defense. I’ve kind of got a built-in excuse of why I might not have been as good on special teams,’ and he obviously took the opposite approach, which I think the great players do. I always say, ‘Competitors compete.’ And it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re playing a game of whatever, pig, or horse, or whatever – I mean, these guys – they’re going to go after it. If there’s a free shirt on the line, I mean, these guys will compete for it. It doesn’t matter how much money you make and the best players compete the most and it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. And so for him to do that was awesome. It reminds me, really, I was watching some football. We were actually on the plane, on our way back and the 49ers were playing against the Eagles and I mean they had (49ers WR) Deebo Samuel back there returning kickoffs for these guys. And it’s like, the guy just went off in the game on offense, but he’s still playing on kickoff return. And I know that, that guy must’ve gone to those guys and said, ‘Hey, put me back there. I want to be back there. I can make a difference.’ It didn’t come from a coach saying, ‘Hey, will you please.’ So, anyway, yeah, for Germ, I mean competitors compete. He’s a competitor, he did a great job and it really speaks volumes and also, such a great example for playing on defense, or playing on offense and playing on special teams.”

On the most sensational competitor he has been around: “Yeah, I’ll stay away from answering in specifics, but I would say that I have been fortunate in my time doing this to see a bunch of really good ones. I mean, (former Eagles RB) Darren Sproles is a guy that comes to mind. That guy wanted to change the game. You could tell he was going to go change the game. He was going to put it on himself. It didn’t matter what anybody else did, how they blocked, how they played, he was going to make the play, no matter what. There are two guys running free? I’ll make both of them miss. There’s one guy running free? Great, got that. There’s three? No problem. We get great blocking? That’s even better. But we need it in a game and it’s at a moment where you need someone to step up big, he did it. He would be one of the better ones. But I have been fortunate to be around a bunch of great ones. And all of them have a different impact. His position’s a little bit easier to see the impact of it, whereas a core player, which is also a good thing about (Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin) Germ, a guy’s just running and covering kicks and making tackles, you don’t tend to see quite as much. Most of those honors go to the kicker who makes four field goals and a game-winner in a game, or the returner who has a big return. But for it to be a core guy that’s making tackles, doesn’t happen very often.”

On if there are unique things teams throw at them on special teams when they face them multiple times in a season: “Yeah, it is a really good question because I think there is a balance between – yeah, the schematics and going against this team and what you’d like to do, but then most of it really comes back, at least for me, it really comes back to who are your players and what do they do well? What are you going to ask them to do? And so schematically, you’re more built around the players that you have, rather than, ‘I think this would be a great idea against these guys because they do X, Y and Z.’ It really comes down more with our players against these guys in this game and the players they have in this game, it makes more sense for us to do this, even though it would be fun to do that, but it’s probably not suited for our guys and putting them in the best spot. So, I think a lot of it comes down to individual matchups and players, but then the other element, which I’m sure you guys are going to ask me about, but the other element, like going into this game, it’s a big difference when you’re playing them indoors a couple weeks ago and then now we’re going to their place and we’re getting into December and we’re playing outside and there’ll be a little bit more wind and weather and that factors into the game also. And I think I’ve said before, that’s some good and some bad. If the wind’s blowing sideways one direction, you generally know which way they’re going to kick the ball. But, it’s still blowing sideways one direction, so.”

On if the weather and field conditions at Soldier Field make it a tough place to kick: “Yeah, I guess in the past, you heard a lot about the field, I don’t know. When I first got into the League, the grass was longer there and that was definitely noticeable and I think you heard a lot of chatter from players about that, or kickers maybe. That really hasn’t been like that for a long time, for me. So, the field’s fine. But yeah, there’s definitely always wind and weather there and the way the stadium’s shaped kind of – it lets some wind and weather in there. So yeah, I would say in general, it’s a little bit tougher place to kick, certainly tougher than indoors at Ford Field.”

On if Lions P Jack Fox was able to get into a rhythm and prevent a lull against the Saints because he had more opportunities to punt compared to previous games this season: “Yeah, and I would say very well said by you because what has happened, and it’s not only that we’ve only had like two punts in a game, but those two punts, sometimes they’re both in midfield. They’re totally different plays than when you’re punting backed-up. And this last game, all those punts really happened down on our end of the field, which hasn’t been standard for us. So there definitely has been some lulls and this is the first time when you really got to go out there and cover a bunch of balls and do all that, so yeah, I totally agree. But yeah, good to see Fox have a chance to let it rip and do what he does best.”

On if Lions P Jack Fox had a better performance against the Saints because he had more opportunities to punt the ball: “Yeah, I thought he was outstanding in the game. Great hangtime, great distance on the ball. It’s good operation time. So, I thought he played really well. He’s playing really good football right now for us. He’s in a really good spot. You can see he’s very confident the way he’s striking the ball too, and so it’s positive.”

On his assessment of Lions LB Trevor Nowaske against the Saints and what it is like as a coach to see an undrafted player make the team and see time on the field: “He was great. And the thing about him, I mean, I love talking about him because I feel like he’s been a great football player since training camp and has just done a great job, So, really, with him, we didn’t miss a beat at all. But yeah, I was excited to see him be able to get out there because a guy like him, he’s doing all this work in practice, he’s giving the looks to the other team every single week and all he wants is a chance to play and finally got a chance to play, I thought did a nice job for us.”

On if Lions LB Trevor Nowaske caught their eye during training camp: “Yeah, yeah, definitely. In training camp, right away, you could say, ‘Hey, man this guy’s got something to him.’ He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he can really run. But, on top of that, he’s got some awareness for where the football is when he’s out there in coverage and he does a good job in the return game too, for a defensive player.”

 

The Lions head to Chicago looking to sweep the Bears on Sunday at 1:00pm.

 

Listen to every game on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, and 96.5fm.

Detroit Lion Football is 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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Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (11/27 - 12/3)

Monday, November 27

Calls for Service: 18

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, November 28

  • At 1829 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant out of Montcalm Co. He was turned over to Montcalm County.

  • At 2048 hours, deputies responded to an assault complaint at a residence in Aetna TWP. A female subject was arrested for assaulting another female.

??Calls for Service: 12

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Wednesday, November 29

  • At around 0900 hours, deputies recovered some stolen merchandise from a residence in Sheridan TWP. The merchandise had been stolen from a business in Big Rapids on 11-22-23.

  • At around 2100 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Chippewa TWP. A male subject was arrested on 2 warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 14

Car/Deer Accidents: 3?

 

 

Thursday, November 30

  • At around 1630 hours, deputies made a traffic stop on a vehicle in Morton TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the  female driver being arrested on warrants. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At around 2023 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 16

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

 

Friday, December 1

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, December 2

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, December 3

  • Nothing reported.

Gotion Inc. meets with Leprino Foods employees at job fair in Remus

Chuck Thelen of Gotion Inc. on Tuesday joined 17 other civically minded companies to meet with employees at Leprino Foods in Remus to discuss job opportunities including those that will be available at Gotion’s battery components facility in the Big Rapids area.

Last month, Leprino Foods was forced to make a difficult business decision and announced it would lay off many of its workers at the beginning of the new year. The layoffs will affect more than 110 local workers. Gotion Inc. will work to expedite training opportunities and hiring plans to help local residents heal from the crippling trend of people in the region affected by multiple layoffs since 2009.

“So many local families have been affected by layoffs in our region, and the recent Leprino Foods announcement hit my conscience especially hard with it being so close to my home,” said Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “I was motivated to try and pull ahead 2024 hiring plans and talk with dozens of Leprino employees about the tremendous employment opportunities at Gotion Inc. These are great jobs with superior benefits, and I am positive we have the talent right here in Mecosta County to help fill these positions.”

In compliance with its development agreement with Green Charter Township, Gotion Inc. is first seeking to hire people from within a 25-mile radius of its planned facility.

Thelen met with residents at the Michigan Works West Central booth, which is helping facilitate the hiring process at Gotion Inc. When fully operational, the facility will employ more than 2,300 people.

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

Big Rapids secures $150,000 grant from the State of Michigan for Swede Hill Skate Park

The City of Big Rapids is excited to announce it received a $150,000 grant from the state of Michigan through its Recreation Passport Program to develop a state-of-the-art skate park at Swede Hill. This generous grant underscores the commitment to fostering recreational opportunities for the community's youth and enhancing the overall quality of life in Big Rapids.

The funds will be dedicated to constructing the Swede Hill Skate Park, providing a dynamic space for skateboarders and enthusiasts of all skill levels. The project aims to create a vibrant hub tor recreational activities, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle among residents.

"'The City is beyond excited to receive this grant," said Michelle Stenger, Director of Big Rapids Community Development. "The community has worked extremely hard in making this project a reality and we wouldn't be able to do it without the support of the citizens and past employees of Big Rapids.

The total project cost with the added features is $240,950 with $150,000 from the Recreation Passport grant and $90,950 being the city's match. $2,000 in donations raised previously and a 525,000 top prize awarded from the "Consumers Energy Foundation's 2022 Put Your Town on the Map" pitch competition.

The Swede Hill Skate Park project aligns with the city's commitment to creating inclusive recreational opportunities. promoting physical activity, and fostering community.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (11/27 - 12/3)

Monday, November 27

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, November 28

  • Trespass – Officers were called to a business regarding a subject they wanted trespassed from the property.
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – Officers received a referral from CPS regarding a possible criminal sexual conduct incident. The case remains open at this time.
  • Larceny – Officers received a larceny of a cell phone complaint. The case remains open at this time.
  • Breaking and Entering – Officers were dispatched to a possible breaking and entering complaint. Nobody was found on the property and there was no evidence that someone entered the residence.
  • Fraud – Offices were dispatched to a residence for a possible fraud complaint. The case remains open at this time.

Wednesday, November 29

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, November 30

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

  • Mental – Officers were dispatched to a well-being check.  Officers spoke with the subject and they did not require any services.

Friday, December 1

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, December 2

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, December 3

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

  • Threats – Officers were dispatched to a threats complaint. While investigating the complaint a subject was found to have multiple warrants for their arrest. The subject was arrested on the warrants and lodged without incident. 

Michigan Lottery warning public to be aware of prize scams

The Michigan Lottery is warning the public to be aware of scam artists claiming to be lottery agents or prize winners.

The Michigan Lottery processes all prize claims for free, and players must have a valid winning ticket to claim a prize. If you haven’t bought a Lottery ticket or played a Lottery game, there’s no way you could win a prize.

To check if a lottery prize, offer, or promotion is legitimate, members of the public may contact the Lottery’s Player Relations Division at 844-887-6836, option 2, or via email at onlinehelp@michiganlottery.com.

Lottery prize scams surface from time-to-time and have been known to pop up around the holidays. The public should always remain vigilant.

Generally, there are two types of lottery prize scams:

  • A person gets a letter, email, text, or phone call to inform them that they’ve won a big lottery prize but must pay a fee to collect the prize. If the person agrees, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arranges a meeting to get the money in cash.
  • A person is contacted by mail, email, text, or phone call by someone claiming to be a lottery prize winner. The scam artist tells the person they will share their prize if the person sends money to them. If the person agrees, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arranges a meeting to get the money in cash.

In some cases, after getting money from the victim, the scam artist comes back asking for more for unexpected processing costs or fees or uses some other excuse to try to get more money from the victim.

Unfortunately, the more money the victim supplies, the longer the scam will continue.

If you believe you have been the victim of such a scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

Former Ferris State Football standout Chris Pulliams making a difference mentoring and educating in the Grand Rapids area where he grew up

Chris Pulliams never expected to return to Godwin Heights High School when he graduated, dreaming of playing college football.

“I had hopes of being an NCAA Division I athlete, specifically at the University of Oregon,” Pulliams said. “I decided to begin my studies at Grand Rapids Community College, with plans to transfer and move to Eugene with my father. There was a preferred walk-on offer at Oregon, but the situation did not develop, and I found myself out of college as the next year began.” 

Chris turned to his high school coach, Jake Kenyon, for direction. The veteran leader had good advice for Pulliams and, ultimately, the Bulldogs. 

“I fashioned a letter for Ferris’ coaches and the Western Michigan University football program, and both offered me preferred walk-on status,” Pulliams said. “I came to see that Ferris had the mix of campus life, education and athletics that would be perfect for me. I wound up making the great decision to become a Bulldog, and it is one I have never found fault with.” 

Pulliams was a redshirt in 1992 as Ferris made its first NCAA Division II postseason appearance and quickly went from contributing as a special teams player to joining the mix of running backs on an undefeated Bulldogs squad the next year. 

Just as a change of direction is critical in success carrying the football, Pulliams made an academic shift that changed his life and the lives of students at his high school alma mater for the better. 

“I started in the College of Business, not knowing exactly what I would do. But I believed strongly that it was a path to success for me,” Pulliams said. “As part of my football experience, I volunteered at a Big Rapids elementary school and it was as if my eyes were opened, everything about the experience felt so right. I immediately made the change in my academic and career direction.” 

Pulliams graduated from Ferris and its College of Education and Human Services in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Education, minoring in Language Arts. 

During his senior year, Chris was named the inaugural recipient of the Jack McAvoy Award, given annually to the football player who best exemplifies on-field character and leadership. The award began in the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference and continues as an honor in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“The award was something that very much came my way at the moment, as we were focused on trying to win a national championship, which didn’t come our way,” Pulliams said. “It took a little time to realize what this accomplishment meant. That included researching Jack McAvoy and what he meant to Hillsdale College, the Great Lakes Conference and the MIFC. Those accomplishments and his philosophy drove home the significance of the honor, and I am proud of this, especially as the first recipient.” 

Pulliams had All-Conference recognition, NCAA playoff appearances in each of his varsity seasons, and his 97-yard game-winning run in the 1995 “Snow Bowl” against Saginaw Valley rivals recent national championship moments for the most iconic play in Bulldog football history. His 1,729 rushing yards as a junior remains a single-season Ferris record. 

That level of heart and commitment Pulliams gave to his on-field performance and studies has continued and serves as a reward for his hometown school district of Godwin Heights, in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming.  

“It has been 26 years of trying to pay back in the same fashion all the effort and direction that Coach Kenyon had afforded me,” Chris said. “I want to see the students I work with in the classroom and on our teams able to define and achieve their goals in life.” 

Pulliams teaches English in Godwin Heights’ Alternative Education program, and before that, was a College Readiness instructor and taught Scholastic Aptitude Test Prep, beginning with seventh- and eighth-grade students. 

“It is once again leaning back on what Coach Kenyon gave me, helping students to graduate and achieve, because that is an important goal in our district,” Pulliams said. “It might sound easy, but the work is to get students to see themselves in the themes and materials, to help them pick up on and appreciate the writer’s message.” 

The contribution to Godwin Heights students continues even after classes are over. Pulliams staffs athletic events throughout the year and has been a coach in the Wolverines’ high school football program for approximately a decade and the track program for more than a dozen years. 

“It is a special relationship that develops when I work with athletes, one I just have not found to be possible in the classroom,” Pulliams said. “There are many friendships with these young people that have continued because of the time and effort we have shared. It is not about wins and losses; though we have enjoyed much success, it was due to the improvement they showed, from meet to meet and game to game. When they give themselves the chance to get to college due to their athletic success, that is so gratifying. Also, the lessons that help them achieve as competitors serving as a foundation to the way they conduct their lives can certainly be labeled a great success.” 

Pulliams has given and received as a Ferris State alumnus, with his service on the Alumni Board beginning in 2018, following his induction into the Ferris State University Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. More prominent in his mind is the reward from weekly worship and connection to Kentwood Community Church. 

“My wife and I became members 12 years ago when we sought to adopt our daughter,” Pulliams said. “It was the right decision then and we feel so welcome and happy as a family there. I mostly serve as an usher and I am open to whatever God is leading me to do, as I know all my accomplishments come from God, and I would not be who I am without his presence in my life.” 

Growing up a Godwin Heights Wolverine and returning for a career in his home district has been rewarding. Chris has been recognized in the media and is respected by neighboring districts.

Pulliams said as another academic calendar begins, he is looking at life at home and in the classroom in a slightly different light. 

“We have much to do as a family, as our daughter is entering her teens and high school days,” Pulliams said. “I work hard to keep my wife and daughter first, even with all my responsibilities as a teacher, coach, and mentor. My daughter’s interest in softball found us watching NCAA tournament games on TV together this spring, and she has kept tabs on the success of Grand Valley’s program. Even when I am watching Ferris’ closest rival, it has been a great joy to share that experience with her.” 

Though he is nearer to the close of his career as an educator than the beginning, considering 2023’s first day of classes found the veteran of the classroom and coaches’ corner brimming, bright-eyed, with a ready smile. 

“I am energized to keep on keeping on for the students,” Pulliams said. “I am so fortunate to have gained so many rewards from investing my time in Godwin Heights among so many great people.”

National Cyber League team competition tests Ferris State Information Security and Intelligence students' skills

A team of 19 Ferris State University Information Security and Intelligence students posted strong results against hundreds of schools and competitor groups during the fall team event of the National Cyber League.

The virtual competition allows the ISI students to demonstrate their prowess as participants from a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

“There are often as many as 7,500 to 8,000 competitors in NCL events,” said Jerry Emerick, a professor of Information Security and Intelligence in the Ferris State College of Business. “Ferris is generally in the top five percent, nationally, with some of the best individual participants in the nation from time to time.”

A longtime advisor to ISI competitors, Emerick noted these students worked in teams of four and five, solving cybersecurity challenges in a “capture the flag”-style contest.

“This presents various challenges that test our team’s skills,” he said. “Generally, team members will work in groups of four or five physically together, virtually, or both while working through the NCL challenges. Student teams determine how to connect and organize their response with the best chance to succeed.”

Emerick said the Ferris State Information Security and Intelligence program’s stature and history, having been organized more than a decade ago, affords its NCL competitors some benefit in the league’s schedule of events.

“The team receives real-time information on its standing through a Cyber Skyline Live Score Report. There will also be a scouting report detailing our results in the team game,” Emerick said, noting Ferris completed the Spring 2023 NCL schedule and finished 22nd out of 451 teams nationally. In Fall 2022, the team placed 15th out of 470 competitors.

Senior Chris Fidell, from Brighton, wants to pursue a Master of Science in Information Security and Intelligence from Ferris State. He is currently in his first year of competition in NCL events and other competitions. Fidell said the recent team event was a great learning experience.

“I thought I would have some idea of the range of questions we would face. There were certainly some crushing elements in the competition,” Fidell said. “I had to go to ‘the gymnasium’ to get tools and resources on those exercises involving web exploitation because that is not my strong suit. I was pleased by my abilities to respond quickly and accurately in password cracking and cryptography.”

Fidell said this was an opportunity to apply what he had learned in the classroom while collaborating with his peers.

“These events show you what you do and do not know,” Fidell said. “I think it will be very valuable for my hopes to continue at Ferris in the graduate program and as a professional when previously unseen problems and scenarios arise.”

77-year-old female overturns car into swamp near Canadian Lakes

On Monday, Dec. 4 at 3:50 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s office were dispatched to a one-vehicle accident on Buchanan Rd. near 130th Ave. in Austin TWP.

The investigation revealed that a 77-year-old female from Remus had went off the roadway, overturned her vehicle into a swamp, and was trapped until first responders removed her from the vehicle. 

The Remus women was then transported by Mecosta County EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta County EMS, Morton TWP Fire and Rescue, Meceola Central Dispatch, and Currie's Towing.  

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (11/27 - 12/3)

Monday, November 27

  • An officer received reports of suspicious events happening at a residence including a decorative fence around a garden area being knocked down.
  • An officer received a report of an abandoned wheelchair. Prior to the officer’s arrival the owner picked it up.
  • An officer is investigating a case that was referred to by CPS. Following the initial investigation, a 25-year-old male has been arrested on an outstanding warrant for Child Abuse in the 2nd Degree. The investigation is still open and additional charges are possible.
  • An officer arrested a 30-year-old male on multiple warrants.
  • An officer arrested a 33-year-old male on an outstanding warrant. He was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Tuesday, November 28

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, November 29

  • An officer took reports of a 31-year-old male violating his probation. The matter was forwarded to his probation officer.
  • An officer investigated reports of some suspicious events happening at an apartment. After investigating, the reports were unfounded.
  • An officer arrested a 24-year-old male on two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court.
  • Officers were dispatched to a report of possible mistreatment of a child. The caller is known to have hallucinations due to mental health. The matter was unfounded.
  • An officer arrested a 32-year-old male on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court.
  • An officer investigated reports of possible child abuse. The case is still under investigation.

Thursday, November 30

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, December 1

  • An officer responded to a call about a business door left unlocked. The building was checked and secured
  • Officers took a report of malicious destruction of property.

Saturday, December 2

  • An officer assisted an individual that was having issues with the bank deposit machine.

  • An officer responded to a call, in reference to a threats complaint.

Sunday, December 3

  • An officer responded to a call to do a welfare check on a 40-year-old female. She was found to be ok.

  • An officer was dispatched for a civil standby while an ex-girlfriend exchanged property with her ex-boyfriend.

Monday's city commission meeting includes community organization updates, deer cull authorization, and police officer introductions

This opening Monday of December is slated for a large scale city commissioner's meeting.

Slated to begin at 6:30 P.M. at Big Rapids City Hall, the meeting is slated to host a pair of special orders, four different study sessions, and three points of general business.

For the special orders, new police officers Rachel Raschke and Luke Killingbeck will be introduced and welcomed.

In the community-related study sessions, the board will hear from four different groups and their leading representative for updates. These include:

  • Mecosta County Development Corporation with Kelly Wawsczyk
  • Redevelopment Ready Community with Michelle Stenger
  • Water Violations with Steve Cook
  • Commission Meeting Calendar with Karen Manoski

To round out the scheduled items, there will also be three resolutions managed within the general business section. These include:

  • Resolution appointing to the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission.
  • Resolution authorizing a deer cull.
  • Resolution approving a mutual aid agreement with Morton Township Fire and Rescue.

For more information on the meeting, visit cityofbr.org.

Bulldog Hockey splits series with St. Thomas after Saturday setback

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team suffered a home Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) loss against St. Thomas Saturday (Dec. 2) in the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

After winning their first regulation game of the year Friday (Dec. 1), the Bulldogs (5-8-1) could not complete the sweep against St. Thomas Saturday. The Tommies took an early lead and held it throughout the entirety of the game, as they led for all 60 minutes.

Quinton Pepper began the scoring at 1:03 in the first period for St. Thomas. Later, at 3:31, Mack Byers scored his first goal of the night, and the Tommies extended their lead to 3-0 at 12:46 with a goal from Ryan O'Neill. Byers assisted on O'Neill's goal, and O'Neill assisted on Byers' tally.

Luke Manning started the second period with a power play goal at 1:05 and gave St. Thomas a 4-0 lead. FSU answered quickly with Antonio Venuto's 11th goal this season at 3:27. Luigi Benincasa collected his 10th helper and Travis Shoudy also assisted, his 12th of the year.

From that point on, it was all St. Thomas in the scoring column. Lucas Wahlin and Byers each had a power play goal in the second period, giving the Tommies a 6-1 lead going into the third period. O'Neill assisted on both goals.

Byers completed the hat trick at 4:44 of period three, with O'Neill and Wahlin assisting. That was the final goal for either squad, giving St. Thomas a 7-1 win.

Noah Giesbrecht started between the pipes for FSU, allowing five goals on nine shots faced through 25:43 of game action. Logan Stein came in for the remainder of play, making 23 saves on 25 shots. 

Jake Sibell earned a win for St. Thomas with a 33-of-34 performance. O'Neill finished with five points on four assists, Byers had four points on three goals and Wahlin also had four points with three assists.

Both teams had 34 shots in the contest. FSU went 0-4 on the power play and killed 3-6 power play chances for the Tommies. The Bulldogs committed eight penalties for 27 minutes in the loss. St. Thomas won the faceoff battle 36-31.

Ferris State will be back in action Friday, Dec. 8 against Bowling Green on the road. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. (ET) with pregame coverage beginning on Sunny 97.3 and FerrisStateBulldogs.com at 6:30 p.m. (ET) from Ohio.

Section of US-131 closed near LeRoy due to accident late Sunday night

At 8:31 P.M. Sunday night, the Michigan Department of Transportation reported a section of freeway is closed following an accident on Northbound US-131 near LeRoy.

The crash was reported around 7:18 P.M. and occurred just after Exit 168 at 20 Mile Rd. No details were reported on the accident.

Crews shortly after the crash reported that the right lane was blocked, but further reports went on to say the freeway is closed completely. 

More details will be added when they are confirmed.

Ferris State University PGA Golf Management Program partners with Golf Links Detroit to introduce Detroit students to golf careers while gaining a quality university education

Ferris State University is partnering with Golf Links Detroit, a non-profit organization, to develop a program introducing Detroit students to sports careers, providing opportunities for entrepreneurship and introducing the golf industry to a more diverse audience.

The Ben Davis Scholars program, connecting students with Ferris State’s PGA Golf Management program, will be a first-of-its-kind effort to recruit and prepare Detroit public high school students for careers in PGA professional golf management and golf course turf management.

“We are excited about this partnership with Golf Links Detroit, especially given the focus of increasing the pool of diverse professionals in this beloved sport,” Ferris State President Bill Pink said. “This partnership with Golf Links Detroit will not only introduce Detroit students to a sport, but also to a wide variety of rewarding careers within the golf industry.”

Joe Hatch, Ferris State’s PGA Golf Management director, said the partnership is intended to spur career and economic growth for Detroit youth, boost minority leadership at metro Detroit’s golf facilities, and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in America’s golf industry.

Hatch said there are nearly 900 public and private golf courses in Michigan, creating about 57,000 jobs and generating $1.4 billion in wages.

However, the industry lags in participation from women and people of color. Of the more than 18,000 members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, less than 2 percent are women, and 0.2 percent identified as Black.

Ferris State’s PGA Professional Golf Management program was the first in the nation when it started nearly 50 years ago and prepares students for a variety of careers in the golf profession through specialized marketing courses and hands-on, golf-related workshops, through the endorsement of the PGA, and an internship allowing students to obtain advanced credit toward PGA membership.

Golf Links Detroit, established as a 501c3 organization in 2006, is committed to supporting Detroit students by providing advocacy through golf-centered recreation, education, and workforce development programs.

“Detroit students don’t often have access to opportunities and experiences that can provide a pipeline to new, non-traditional careers,” said Paul Avsharian, Golf Links Detroit founder and president. “Introducing Detroit students to golf has been one of our missions. This partnership will allow us to take that to the next level, creating a new pathway to higher education that can transform lives.”

The Golf Links Detroit team has experience teaching in Detroit public schools, recruiting and preparing minority students for college, and designing programs for K-12 students.

Avsharian credits Dave Kendall, owner and operator of the Washtenaw Golf Club, as a driving force in spreading the game and opportunities to Detroit youth. Kendall was one of the first Ferris State PGA Professional Golf Course Management program graduates.

The Ben Davis Scholars program is named after Erellon Ben Davis, a golf instructor who influenced generations of metro Detroit residents as the first African American professional golf instructor at a municipal golf facility, Detroit’s Rackham Golf Course. He was the first Black member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and was inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame in 2012.

Ferris State’s PGA Golf Management Program is part of the Ferris State College of Business. It has graduated more than 2,000 students since launching in 1975, with nearly 1,160 graduates still active PGA members.

“The College of Business prepares students to be leaders and innovators in a variety of industries,” Dean Logan Jones said. “We’re proud to have the first PGM program, but even prouder of the people who have graduated from the program and continue to make a difference in the industry and their communities.” 

The program includes preparation in golf shop operation, golf course maintenance, public relations, teaching skills, golf rules, custom club repair and fitting, and organizing and conducting golf events. The curriculum is recommended and endorsed by the PGA.

Huizenga, Kuster, Smucker introduce bipartisan legislation to strengthen adoption process, protect children

Today, Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH), and Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), introduced the bipartisan Protecting All Parents and Adoptees (PAPA) Act. The legislation strengthens the adoption process for birth mothers, adoptive families, and children by establishing a National Responsible Father Registry to increase coordination between states and involved parties throughout the adoption process.

“I am proud to team up with Rep. Kuster and Rep. Smucker to remove barriers from the adoption process and connect children with a safe, loving, forever home,” said Congressman Huizenga.  “This bipartisan legislation takes important steps to respect both privacy and parental rights while protecting victims of domestic violence.”  

“Every child deserves a loving, caring home,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “As an adoption attorney for 25 years, I saw firsthand the need to develop a comprehensive, National Responsible Father Registry to protect the rights of all parents while facilitating a reliable, efficient adoption process. The adoption process is emotional for everyone involved — I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to improve coordination between states to protect the rights and dignity of parents, adoptive families, and children.”

“Children flourish in strong and loving families. I am pleased to join Reps. Kuster and Huizenga in introducing this legislation to strengthen the adoption process by increasing cooperation among the states by establishing a National Responsible Father Registry,” said Congressman Smucker.

“This bipartisan legislation is a commitment to ensure the rights of all parties to an adoption proceeding are protected,” said Ryan Hanlon, the President and CEO of National Council For Adoption. “By connecting existing state registries, we will expand the opportunities for timely notifications so that birth parents are informed of legal proceedings and those that wish can assert parental rights.”

Currently, 37 states have registries that allow potential fathers to seek notification of an adoption proceeding, but there is no system to notify them if the proceeding occurs across state lines. This can result in delays and potential disruptions that prevent children from establishing permanent homes.

Specifically, the PAPA Act would link state father registries, creating a comprehensive national resource that would:

  • Take the burden off of women to identify potential fathers, protecting a woman’s privacy, especially in cases of rape or domestic violence;
  • Empower fathers and protect their parental rights by enabling them to register in one state to obtain notice of a proceeding in a different state; and
  • Enable children to find a permanent home as quickly as possible.

Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson Quote Sheet: 11/30/23

LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BEN JOHNSON QUOTE SHEET

November 30, 2023

Opening Statement: “It was good to have a few days off and kind of hit that reset button and take a look at why the last two games have gone the way they have for us on offense and really, when you look at it, we’ve been able to move the ball, but clearly the turnovers are the issue, so our guys know it, we’re addressing it and we clean that area up, we’ll feel good about going into the next six games of the season. Been around a coach in the past that used to say the season really starts after Thanksgiving, so kind of feels that way here this year. It’s a good thing.”

On how much of the offensive line’s performance against the Packers he considers an anomaly: “I know our guys, they’re going to respond really well. It was not the best game upfront that we’ve had, really in the last year and a half it’d be on the bottom end of that. They know that. And really, it showed up I think more on critical situations, some of those fourth downs (Lions QB) Jared (Goff)’s getting hit, third downs, Jared’s getting hit and clearly, we don’t want any of that, so we’re going to clean that up upfront. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Green Bay. They had a great plan on a short week and they had a high intensity going into the game as well that we never really found our footing and got on a roll. So, credit goes to them on that and listen, great learning opportunity for us. We’ve got to have our best stuff each and every week.”

On if there is a benefit to having a tough game like the one against the Packers on Thanksgiving before the season begins to ramp up: “Yeah, I mean we’ve had – we’ve kind of gotten hit in the teeth a couple times this year, really since (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell took over. Even last year, we got hit in the teeth and our guys come back and they respond. End of the year last year, Carolina kind of took it to us and we ended up cleaning it up and Baltimore got after us a little bit and then we cleaned that up and then hopefully we can learn from the Green Bay experience and play cleaner football. I think that’s really what it comes down to. The guys are, for the most part, we’re handling the scheme and we’re playing fast, it’s just some of the little things, the execution part of it, the technique, has fallen off and that’s what we’ve got to get back on.”

On how much they will lock into playing their best football with the season ramping up going into December: “I think our guys understand we are in a unique opportunity. For the guys that have been here, or at least my time here, this is my fifth season, we haven’t had a record quite like this and an opportunity to seize whatever we want to seize here the second half of the season. And so, I think just keeping big perspective and where we’re headed and what we can potentially accomplish still this year. Had a setback the last few weeks with the Baltimore game and obviously Green Bay, but still big picture, we’re 8-3 and we can improve really quickly and play some good football here at the end.”

On how exciting it was to see Lions QB Hendon Hooker practice for the first time yesterday: “Yeah, he did great yesterday. He is – you can tell he’s fired up and he threw about a million passes, it seemed like, out there and ball’s coming off his hand, he’s spinning it. (Lions Quarterbacks) Coach (Mark) Brunell and (Lions Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) J.T. Barrett have done a heck of a job keeping him up-to-speed. It’s hard, particularly for younger players, to stay engaged when it’s just all mental work for as long as it’s been for him, but now that we can combine the physical to it and get him as many game-like reps as possible will really accelerate his learning from there.”

On how much of a benefit it is to have Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn on staff with the knowledge he has of the Saints defense from the time he spent on their defensive staff: “Yeah, and no question, he’s got some insight. We might see some things on tape and ask him, ‘Hey, what exactly is going on here?’ Because they have a lot of scheme. They play a lot of coverages, very good players in the front and on the backend, they’re about as aggressive as a backend as we’ve seen. They’re going to get up, they’re going to challenge us. Our receivers have got to – they’re going to have to buckle up and be ready to go this week, probably more so than what we’ve seen so far this year. So, AG’s been really good in kind of creating a little clarity for us and then when AG first got here, very similar schematics and so the guys that were here that first year, and some of last year, kind of – they really know, they really know what that style of defense is about. So, I do think the veteran guys in the group, they won’t be surprised by the physical style of play that this defense has.”

On if the flea flicker in the game against the Packers was not successful because they had less time to prepare for intricate plays like that one during a short week: “Yeah, we all love flea flickers, right? That’s right, no, listen, we saw something on tape that made us believe that we could take advantage of potentially getting a flea flicker. It’s a rare opportunity that you would ever see something like that. You listen to the TV copy, the entire defense is yelling draw, draw, draw and so we were getting the sell that we were looking for. But no, the execution was not what we want and just like you said, that is the danger on a short week not ever getting anything full speed of the execution being a little bit off and when you are as multiple as we are, that’s why the full-speed reps in practice are so critical because – and it really happened the first time we played Green Bay that first Thursday night game. Short week again and we had a couple plays that we were just a little bit off and I remember us as a coaching staff saying, ‘Golly, if we would have gotten a full speed, we maybe would’ve been able to clean it up and they would’ve been good plays for us.’ And so you’re always trying to do that balancing act on a short week of, hey we’ve got to have enough to attack them, but at the same time, we’ve still got to execute at a high level. So, that one we fell short.”

On if Lions WR Jameson Williams’s performance against the Packers is another step up for him in improving his game: “He’s getting better every week. You see it and because of that, the way he’s practicing, the way he’s preparing and the way he’s playing, because of that, his reps are going up. And so, he continues to get out there and the ball’s going to just start gravitating to him just a little bit more than it already has. But he’s doing a really nice job and he just needs to continue to put in the work like he’s doing right now and good things will happen.”

On how much Saints RB Jamaal Williams meant to the offense when he was in Detroit the last two seasons: “Yeah, each year’s a little bit different in terms of the vocal leaders on the team. Last year, he was certainly more on that side of things. I’m sure he’s doing that for them down in New Orleans. He’s a heck of a guy, heck of a player and what happens is when – the nature of the business is we move on year-to-year, the team never stays the same and so he leaves, someone else will step up and so we’ve got some young guys, like (Lions T) Penei Sewell’s becoming a more vocal leader for us here on offense. And we’ve got guys along in each position group that are really trying to take charge in that way.”

On how he personally thinks Lions QB Jared Goff has been taking his turnovers the last two games: “It’s really everything for him because he touches the ball every play, so he knows he has to take care of it. It’s one of the first things we do every springtime with him is we go through the uncomfortable act of watching the turnover, the bad play cut up, sacks, fumbles, interceptions, why did they happen? How can we learn from it so it doesn’t happen again? And listen, the ones that we’ve had over the last two weeks are not entirely his fault. Some of those interceptions, that’s the cost of doing business. We’re trying to throw a slant route and (Lions TE Sam) LaPorta gets knocked off his route and this corner’s there to make the play, so those are ones that we can live with and we can handle. And our defense has done a heck of a job. We put them in some tough spots the last two weeks and they’ve really played good football considering the sudden change, as many of them as they’ve been put in. But the ones that we can clean up, and I think (Lions Head) Coach (Dan Campbell) already talked about it, is we’re crossing the line of scrimmage, that ball’s got to be tucked away. We’re not thinking about holding onto it or throwing it anymore, so we’ve got to tuck it away. Jared knows that, we’ll clean that up and we’ll be good to go from there. There are a couple plays last week where he’s holding onto the ball longer than we wanted to. And that’s – they had a good defense compared to our call as well, so that’s on me also trying to help him, so that number one gets open a little more him and so it all plays a part. We all have a hand in it, but he’s certainly taken ownership of it and we’ll see some dividends paid here soon.”

On how difficult it is for a play caller when turnovers happen on third and fourth down when they have a script they wanted to complete: “I mean, it’s – it doesn’t allow us to get in a rhythm. There’s some things we want to establish early in games, and that varies week-to-week that last couple weeks, we really haven’t been able to do and so it’s taken us a little while to get going. Fortunately, last week, our guys responded in a big way out of halftime, that was our best series coming out of halftime all year, and so hopefully we can continue that trend as well. But establishing that rhythm is really important to what we do on offense.”

On what they can learn from their first drive coming out of halftime against the Packers: “Yeah, it helps starting with two explosive plays. No, I don’t think there’s any magic in the plays, but our guys, they weren’t happy with how that first half went and so they came out with some good intensity there in the second half and got us going. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to withstand that for the course of the half and come away with the win.”

USDA announces $330,000 to expand Michigan agricultural markets

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is making investments that will expand markets for agricultural producers and strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is championing America’s farmers and ranchers by helping to expand businesses, support more robust American supply chains and save jobs,” Vilsack said. “Today’s investments in agricultural producers and rural entrepreneurs will create better economic opportunities that spur competition and bolster food supply chains across the country. This will result in more affordable prices and choices for consumers, as well as more opportunities and revenue for farmers.”

Michigan has three projects, with a total investment of $330,000.

“These grants bring additional opportunity and resiliency to Michigan agriculture, and will help bring new jobs to rural communities,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins.

The Welcome Home Organization, in Jackson County, will use a $30,000 Rural Business Development Grant to conduct a feasibility and engineering study for a business incubator, food hub, and commercial kitchen in Jackson.  The project would repurpose the building to feature products from local beef, poultry, and herb farmers plus specialty items from small-business vendors.

Lakeview Hills Organic Farm LLC, in Leelanau County, will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to assist with expanded sales of organic vegetables and flowers.  This grant, combined with $250,000 in matching funds from the grantee, will be used to offset working capital costs related to sales to new customers. 

Aurora Cellars LLC, also in Leelanau County, will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to assist with working capital expenses to expand their market of direct-to-consumer sales of high-end wines through their reservation-only catered tasting experience.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans, loan guarantees 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.

Kent County Sheriff's Office arrests two Kalamazoo men on human trafficking and unlawful imprisonment

Just before 1:00 P.M. Thursday, Kent County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 6700 Block of S Division to the Bank of America on the report of a woman being held against her will. A female entered the bank and told tellers two male suspects were forcing her to open a bank account. When deputies arrived, they located the vehicle in question and located two males inside, along with another female.  

Kent County Sheriff's Office's initial investigation finds that two twenty-seven-year-old male suspects randomly found a 34-year-old and 43-year-old homeless women in the City of Kalamazoo and enticed them to work for them and earn money. It appears the suspects required the females to open bank accounts at several West Michigan banks in the victim's name and in turn give the financial information back to the suspects. It is still being investigated what the accounts were exactly being used for. It does appear that there are several prior incidents and thankfully the victim was able to ask for help at the Byron Township bank who in turn alerted authorities.  

As a result of the investigation by Kent County Sheriff's Office, two twenty-seven-year-old males from the City of Kalamazoo were arrested. This afternoon, the prosecutor's office authorized charges of Unlawful Imprisonment, Human Trafficking, and Resisting and Obstructing Police. It is expected the two men will be arraigned in the 63rd District Court today.

Ferris State exploring impact of emerging artificial intelligence technology, along with educational and career pathways

Ferris State University is exploring the transformational impact of emerging artificial intelligence technology, connecting high school students with potential educational and career pathways in evolving and increasingly important fields. 

Ferris State University AI Day is planned for Friday, Dec. 1, and is a collaboration with faculty from a variety of programs and student organizations. 

“Artificial intelligence is changing the world and Ferris is preparing students to be leaders in Artificial Intelligence,” said Dr. Molly Cooper, a Ferris State professor and scholar of information security, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. “AI Day at Ferris is intended to provide students and guests with an immersive experience highlighting ethical and secure integration of AI.” 

Ferris State’s Artificial Intelligence program is one of just three AI undergraduate programs in the nation. It has close ties to industry and government partners, including the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Amazon Web Services, and many Michigan companies. 

Artificial Intelligence has over 800,000 job openings in the United States and is projected to be over two million by 2026. Cybersecurity has more than 750,000 openings nationwide. The Ferris State programs prepare students for career opportunities in both fields. 

About 150 area high school students attend morning sessions at the university’s Center for Virtual Learning, which opened in August.  

High school students will participate in a series of interactive exhibits and workshops with Ferris State faculty and students focused on artificial intelligence technology, including a Deepfake Lab, an AI Social Engineering Lab, autonomous vehicle racing, working with Chat GPT, and AI’s use in space and satellite cybersecurity.  

AI Day activities include Ferris faculty presenting a discussion – “Preparing Michigan’s Workforce for the AI Wave: What Experience Tells Us” – to look at AI fundamentals, ethical implementation, opportunity for workforce enhancement, and how Ferris State is fostering the next generation of leaders to meet the needs of our industries. 

Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn Quote Sheet: 11/30/23

LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR AARON GLENN QUOTE SHEET

November 30, 2023

Opening Statement: “It’s been about two weeks since I’ve addressed you guys. Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving also because I sure did. Man, we’re 8-3. Going to play a really good team, a team that I know well. A lot of the same players are still there. Some new players, obviously, going on three years. I know this head coach really well, I know that coaching staff really well. And man, I am looking forward to the challenge of playing this team, I really am. And this will be a good one.”

On the challenges a defensive coordinator faces when competing against a dynamic player like Saints QB Taysom Hill and his dominance in the red zone: “Here’s the thing about Taysom, and I want to just talk about him as a person, first off, he’s a really, really good person. He’s a God-fearing man. He’s a family man. He’s a player that’s tough, he’s competitive, he’s faster than what some people think. He’s built different than what some people think because he’s a thicker-bodied player and he has – he’s found a niche in this League where he can excel and I’m not just talking about on offense, on special teams also, because that was his first niche when I was there. But defending him, you really just don’t know where he’s going to line up a good amount of times, so you always have to be on cue on that. And we have certain defense that we’re going to play depending on where he’s at. And we’ve got to be on top of that. We’ve got to be on top of that from a personnel standpoint and then we have to be on top of it of where he’s at, as far as what position he’s going to be at, that standpoint. So it can be difficult, but I think our guys will be ready for it.”

On where he sees the defense right now and where he thinks they need to close the gap to finish the regular season out strong: “It’s funny you say that because that’s what we’ve talked about starting last week because I’ll tell guys, just from my time of playing, people remember what you do in November and December and you want to be peaking at that point. And when we look at – and that’s one of the first conversations we had last week, and when you look at last week, man there were a lot of things that doesn’t really show up statistically, but man when you look at it as a defense, there are some really good things that the guys did. Scoreboard wasn’t it, because we lost. But when you go out there and you have two turnovers and you get a ball back, you have some fourth-down stops and you get the ball back, I mean those are things that our guys have to look at and be like, ‘You know what? We took the field.’ And our motto is man listen, that’s more TV time for us any time we take the field. And man, those are the positives that I try to make sure I talk about with our guys, so we can start looking at the fact that we want to start trending, so was everything great? No, it wasn’t. And we have some things we have to work on, we all know that. So each week, I mean that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make sure we’re trending in this direction. That’s in the run game, that’s in the pass game, that’s with our pass rush, that’s taking the ball away also. So those are some things that we have to make sure we do.”

On how the communication and leadership shifts on defense with Lions LB Alex Anzalone potentially out this Sunday: “Well, that’s the reason we got (Lions LB) Jack (Campbell). He’s a true MIKE backer. And he has to be the one that makes all those checks and he’s capable of doing that. Smart, heady guy that’s tough. He’s built for these moments. I’m looking forward for him to be the actual mouthpiece of the defense going into this game.”

On the value Saints RB Jamaal Williams brought to the defense off the field when he was on the team the last two seasons: “Well, we all know he has a different personality. We all know that, in a good way, in a good way. And he’s actually brought that – just from some of the guys I know, that he’s brought that personality there because he’s not going to change who he is. But here’s what we do know about him as a player, he’s tough, he’s competitive. Anywhere when it’s short yardage at goal line, man we have to be on top of it because he’s superb in those situations, so. And our guys know that from being here. The new guys are just finding that out just watching tape of him. And I know he’s going to be juiced up, just like I’m going to be juiced up, just like (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell)’s going to be juiced up. I mean he played here for a couple years and he wants to kick our ass just like we want to kick theirs. So, this will be a fun game for us to play against him and for me and Dan to go back to where we were, we were there for like five years, so looking forward to it.”

On how to unlock pressures from other edge defenders in a slump when Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson is blocked: “You know what? That’s one thing, as coaches, that we’ve got to continue to try to figure out on – and I guess I can’t figure out, keep coaching our guys on how do we generate these pressures, especially the way teams are playing us now. Because teams now, they’re blocking everything up because they know that Aidan’s a guy, so they’re putting two guys on him. And usually with the other guys, when you watch the tape, they have guys maxed out. And a guy, whoever’s in one-on-one, that guy has got to be able to win. And that’s us, as coaches, continuing to teach these guys how to make sure you always get on edges in those situations. It’s not the easiest thing, but man we are coaching our ass off to try to get those guys to be able to do that and I think the guys are trying their butts off, we just have to continue emphasizing those things. I think – going into last week, I think (Lions DL Josh) Paschal did some pretty good things as far as getting on the edges, so we’ve got to continue to work with that player in that situation.”

On if they are focusing on improvement in the red zone going against a proficient red zone team like the Saints: “Absolutely, and that’s a situation where there’s really a lot of one-on-one situations where you’ve got to win because there’s not a lot of space and you can’t really just play zone, so you have to really match up with guys. And we’ve got to understand where our help’s at also, alright. So that goes in with the players just executing and that’s us making sure we put those guys in the right positions, so any time you’re in the red zone, it is basically one-on-one. We know the ball’s coming out quick, or you’ve got to hunker down because the best teams that happen in the red zone are the teams that can run the ball, so we know we have to be better in that area.”

On how the quarterback pressures Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson produces in games can turn into sacks: “Well, that’s just finishing, that’s just finishing and I think sometimes people put so much into sacks that they get away from understanding that this player is affecting the quarterback at a pretty high rate for us. We just have to get everybody else to be able to affect the quarterback just as much as he is, alright. And I think once that happens, the sack totals will come up. And we’ve been in situations where, man sacks have come in bunches for us and that happened all last year. Even this year it’s been in that situation. Man, we’ve just got to try to unlock that, as you say, not with just him, but with the other guys too. That’s really the focal point, to be honest with you. Everybody knows what Hutch can do. It’s just getting all of our other guys. And even our second-level rushers to be able to create some pressure like that. And last week, man we actually blitzed quite a bit and we have to. I mean, that’s just who we are. You all say cut me open, I mean I like to be in man coverage in blitz. But man, I think our guys do a really good job being able to play zone then being able to play man, because that’s who we are as a defense.”

On if there is a need for tighter coverage to give the defenders up front a better opportunity to produce stops: “Man, that’s always the plan when you’re playing against a team that’s getting the ball out quick because the rusher is not going to get there. So now, when you’re in man coverage, you’ve got to win those one-on-one battles. And that’s what happens with any team that tries to get the ball out quick like that.”

On how much he has heard Lions LB Jack Campbell’s voice grow as a leader: “Here’s what I will tell you, when we’re in meetings, and sometimes I tell (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone) don’t say anything because it’s easier for him for the most part, the next voice that you’re going to hear is Jack and that’s encouraging because what he does in the meeting actually translates to what he’s going to do on the field. And he understands this defense like the back of his hands now. Just the fact of him knowing that he’s the guy, he's the mouth, but he’s a guy that the whole defense is looking at to make sure we get into the right checks. And for him to have this opportunity right now, man I think it’s outstanding.”

On what they have to do to be more efficient at the start of games to eliminate touchdowns on opening drives: “Just play better, play better. I think everybody would say that.”

On what he has seen from Lions DL Josh Paschal in games and practices that shows his growth and where he can improve: “Exactly what you saw in that game film. The thing now is, man he has to take it to another level. I mean, we drafted this player in the second round and he’s had glimpses of what you saw that last game. Now, man, it’s time to – the run game, man he’ll become a really, really good player as far as setting the edge and being able to do things like that. Now, we have to unlock the pass rush part of it to be able to transition from run, man to pass. And that’s when he’s busting his butt to be able to do that. Because that player, I mean that’s just who he is, and you guys have talked to him before, because that player, we need that player to be able to do that. Because besides (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch, (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac, I mean Paschal has to be that guy, because he has that ability.”

Skiing and riding begins this weekend at Crystal Mountain

Grab your gear, it’s time to slide into the 2023-24 ski and snowboard season at Crystal Mountain. The lifts start spinning this Friday at noon with the first chair celebration happening on the Crystal Clipper high-speed chairlift. The first four people in line will get to pose with the iconic CrystalFIRST banner. 

“This is a day skiers and riders have been looking forward to since April,” said Karyn Thorr, Chief Operating Officer. “Mother Nature came through with several fresh inches of snow the past week, but we wouldn’t be heading into opening day weekend if it wasn’t for our hardworking and talented snowmaking team.” 

Crystal Mountain has received nearly one foot of natural snowfall since Thanksgiving (Nov. 23). However, it was the ideal temperatures and humidity levels that allowed the Crystal Mountain snowmaking team to fire up its powerful arsenal of snowmaking machines for several days, creating a 12”-24” base on the slopes. 

What to expect on the slopes:

  • Slope hours: Friday, 12pm-4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am-4:30pm.
  • Open lifts: Crystal Clipper, North Face, and Crystal Carpet.
  • Open runs: Megan’s Way, Tammy’s Turn, Leo’s Legacy, J.T.’s Trail, Brady’s Run, North Face Glades, Last Call Glades, Glacier Valley Glades, and Mountain Adventure Zone Learning Area.
  • Open terrain features: Hike park at the base of Cheers to Lou with multiple features. 

The slopes are scheduled to close for additional snowmaking beginning Monday, Dec. 4 and are scheduled to reopen for the season, Friday, Dec. 8. 

Although many are thrilled to hit the slopes for the first time this season, there are many other winter activities happening off the slopes at Crystal Mountain. With several inches of natural snowfall, the winter trails crew has been able to pack and roll multiple cross-country ski trails. Freezing temperatures also helped build Thompsonville’s only ice skating rink which is now ready to welcome skaters. 

What to expect off the slopes:

  • Cross-Country Center: Located on Mountain Center drive, open daily 10am-4pm.
  • Open XC Trails: Learning Center loop, Jack’s Rabbit and Loon’s Lane, as weather permits.
  • Ice Skating: Rentals available at the Park at Water’s Edge, as weather permits.
  • Fat Tire Biking: Rentals available at the Park at Water’s Edge, as weather permits.
  • Snowshoeing: Rentals available at the Park at Water’s Edge, as weather permits. 

The latest slope and trail conditions, as well as updates on winter activities can be found in the daily online snow report

For the best deals on lift tickets and downhill equipment rentals, skiers and riders should purchase online in advance. The same RFID Crystal Card can be reloaded for future visits to the slopes. 

Gary Green returns to Ferris State University as its new Public Safety Director, Chief of Police

After serving a little over a year as undersheriff in the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department, Gary Green brings his three-plus decades of law enforcement experience to a new role as Ferris State University Department of Public Safety director.

Green first joined Ferris DPS as an officer in 2017 before he was promoted to captain and assistant director in May 2018. He came to Ferris State after serving 28 years with the Michigan State Police and retired as a lieutenant and Mount Pleasant’s assistant post commander. While at MSP, Green was on the fugitive recovery team, was an auto-theft technician, part of the executive protection detail and served on the cold-case unit in addition to other assignments and details.

Green returns to Ferris State enthusiastic and optimistic about a new, forward-thinking emphasis on public safety under the leadership of President Bill Pink.

“I’m excited to be back. I was really excited when Captain Tim Jacobs filled me in on Dr. Pink’s emphasis on public safety and many things that the department and university were doing to enhance that emphasis,” Green said. “This emphasis on public safety is much needed. We are enhancing our cameras and adding to the number of cameras on campus and their capabilities, access and control.”

Green noted that the work is already underway to enhance Ferris State’s emergency operations planning and to fill out the DPS staff.

“There’s excitement building within our agency,” he said. “I don’t know if that excitement has transferred to the greater campus yet, but it will. The people who work for this agency, including myself, are like the people in the community we serve. We have hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears and anxieties just like everybody else. We’re just people.”

Breaking down barriers is a point of emphasis for Green in strengthening public safety.

“This uniform we wear represents a job, it’s a calling, but we’re exactly like them. I will encourage our guys to interact with the students, staff and faculty,” he said. “This interaction and engagement are not necessarily in a law enforcement way, but more so to build relationships. As we get to know each other, we can work better together to keep our campus safe.”

Beginning his second stint at Ferris State, with a stop in between serving the county under Sheriff Brian Miller, Green brings a unique perspective relative to collaborative community policing.

“One of my beliefs is that, especially when you work in a smaller community, is that all the law enforcement agencies have to work together,” he said. “One of my benefits is I’ve worked for the Michigan State Police for 28 years – that works this area – I worked in the sheriff’s department and at Ferris State. Those connections and relationships make working collaboratively as a cohesive unit easier. I know I can pick up the phone and call somebody and they will send people.”

Green officially started as Ferris State’s Department of Public Safety's director on Monday, Nov. 20.

Ferris State Athletics offering special promotions to help support children in need this weekend

Ferris State University Athletics has announced three different promotions for this upcoming weekend's home action intended to help provide gifts for children in need this holiday season.

The Bulldogs will host a pair of home hockey outings against St. Thomas on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 1-2) evenings along with a men's basketball home matchup versus Grace Christian on Saturday (Dec. 2) at the Ewigleben Sports Complex.

Friday night will be Community Night for Bulldog Hockey as FSU returns to the Ewigleben Ice Arena to open up the weekend series' against St. Thomas. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. (ET). As part of Community Night, fans can get $5 off the price of a regular adult reserved ticket by donating a new toy in person at the ticket office prior to the contest.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be Toy Drive Day for the men's basketball contest, which is slated for a 3 p.m. (ET) start inside Wink Arena. All fans can donate a toy at the door and get in FREE for the men's basketball tilt versus Grace Christian.

Finally, on Saturday night, the Bulldogs will hold their annual Teddy Bear Toss during the weekend hockey finale against St. Thomas. The Saturday matchup starts at 6:07 p.m. (ET) and fans are encouraged to bring a new or slightly used teddy bear to toss on the ice following the first Bulldog goal of the night.

All donated items this weekend will be collected and distributed to a local charity to help provide gifts for children this holiday season.

For additional information, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. Tickets for all home contests can be purchased in advance online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

Driver injured following two-vehicle accident outside of Big Rapids Walmart

At 8:09 P.M., deputies from Mecosta County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to a two-vehicle accident on Perry Ave., near Waldron Way, in front of Walmart in Big Rapids Township.

A 28-year-old female driver from Big Rapids, driving a Ford Explorer, was leaving Walmart parking lot towards Perry Ave. when they pulled out in front of a Buick Enclave driven by a 55-year-old male from Frederic. The driver and occupants in the Buick Enclave were not injured. The female driver of the Ford Explorer was taken by EMS to Corwell Hospital in Big Rapids for non-life-Threatening Injuries. 

Deputies were assisted by Meceola Central Dispatch, LIFE EMS, Big Rapids City PD, Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids Township Fire and Rescue, Big Rapids Towing and Curries Towing. 

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Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

MONDAY - 5/13

Reed City 0 @ Big Rapids 3

Reed City 3 @ Big Rapids 16 (5inn)

Lakeview 4 @ C Montcalm 14 (6inn)

Lakeview 4 @ C Montcalm 9

Tri County 5 @ Fremont 1

Tri County 8 @ Fremont 5 (6inn)

TUESDAY - 5/14

Chippewa Hills 5 @ Grant 4

Chippewa Hills 1 @ Grant 2

C Montcalm 7 @ Kent City 6

C Montcalm 12 @ Kent City 2

Big Rapids 13 @ Lakeview 1

Big Rapids 14 @ Lakeview 1 (5inn)

White Cloud 1 @ Morley Stanwood 2

White Cloud 11 @ Morley Stanwood 2

Tri County 1 @ Newaygo 3

Tri County 3 @ Newaygo 4

WEDNESDAY - 5/15

C Montcalm 4 @ Carson City 5

C Montcalm 24 @ Carson City 8 (5inn)

Manistee 3 @ Reed City 4 (6inn)

Manistee 12 @ Reed City 12 (5inn)

FRIDAY - 5/17

Big Rapids 0 @ Byron Center 4

Big Rapids 1 @ Byron Center 3

Kent City 6 @ E Jordan 3

Mancelona 3 @ Kent City 0

Lakeview 3 @ Grant 8

Lakeview 1 @ Grant 13 (5inn)

Ravenna 8 @ Newaygo 15

Ravenna 1 @ Newaygo 2

Morley Stanwood 2 @ Chip Hills 10

Morley Stanwood 2 @ Chip Hills 10

Tri County 6 @ White Cloud 8

Tri County 8 @ White Cloud 3

SATURDAY - 5/18

Inland Lakes 4 @ Big Rapids 7

Big Rapids 1 @ Beal City 11

Fremont 4 @ White Cloud 1

Fremont 5 @ Newaygo 10 (6inn)

Hesperia 2 @ Grant 12 (6inn)

Grant 2 @ Newaygo 1

Clare 22 @ Reed City 2 (4inn)

Ludington 13 @ Reed City 1

******************************************

CSAA Softball

MONDAY - 5/13

Reed City 8 @ Big Rapids 10

Reed City 0 @ Big Rapids 9

Lakeview 0 @ C Montcalm 10 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ C Montcalm 1 (6inn)

TUESDAY - 5/14

Chip Hills 9 @ Grant 14

Chip Hills 9 @ Grant 10

C Montcalm 7 @ Kent City 6

C Montcalm 12 @ Kent City 2

Big Rapids 14 @ Lakeview 1 (6inn)

Big Rapids 16 @ Lakeview 0 (5inn)

WEDNESDAY - 5/15

C Montcalm 0 @ Sacred Heart 15 (5inn)

C Montcalm 1 @ Sacred Heart 8

THURSDAY - 5/16

Cadillac 0 @ Reed City 19 (3inn)

Cadillac 0 @ Reed City 11 (5inn)

FRIDAY - 5/17

Lakeview 0 @ N Branch 10 (6inn)

SATURDAY - 5/18

Big Rapids 2 @ Dakota 12

Big Rapids 4 @ Oakridge 5

Big Rapids 9 @ Canton 4

Grant 2 @ Newaygo 1

Holton 1 @ Reed City 1

Ludington 0 @ Reed City 7

SUNDAY - 5/19

Big Rapids 14 @ Milan 2

CSAA Softball Standings

1.) Big Rapids: 16-0

2.) Reed City: 16-2

3.) Newaygo: 11-3

4.) Kent City: 9-6

5.) Central Montcalm: 7-5

6.) Grant: 6-8

7.) Morley Stanwood: 4-7

8.) White Cloud: 3-11

9.) Lakeview: 2-12

10.) Chip Hills: 0-10

11.) Tri County: 0-10

(from available data)

CSAA Baseball Standings

1) Big Rapids: 17-1 | +172 -42 (+130)

2) Chippewa Hills: 11-5 | +91 -57 (+34)

3) Grant: 12-6 | 107 -57 (+50)

4) Newaygo: 12-6 | +104 -65 (+39)

5) Central Montcalm: 10-6 | +109 -71 (+38)

6) Reed City: 11-7 | +125 -81 (+44)

7) White Cloud: 8-10 | +79 -117 (-38)

8) Morley Stanwood: 6-12 | +57 -117 (-60)

9) Kent City: 5-13 | +86 -144 (-58)

10) Tri County: 4-14 | +89 -147 (-58)

11) Lakeview: 0-16 | +60 -181 (-121)

This Week's Poll

What place will the Tigers finish in the AL Central?