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News That Affects You Archives for 2024-04

Players with Ferris State football ties look to take their game to the highest level after connecting with NFL teams following draft

Standout Ferris State All-America defensive back Shon Stephens and Bulldog two-sport alum Mason Pline are hoping to take their game to the highest level after connecting the National Football League teams following this week’s NFL Draft.

Stephens accepted a rookie minicamp invite from the Philadelphia Eagles and Pline agreed to a free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers.  

In his lone season as a Bulldog, Stephens was named to the 2023 American Football Coaches Association All-America squad as announced by the national coaches organization.

The Bakersfield, Calif. native was chosen as an AFCA All-America Second Team choice, representing the ninth consecutive year the Bulldogs had at least one AFCA All-America selection - the longest active streak in the country.

Stephens also was a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award presented to the nation's top small college defensive player.

Stephens was chosen this year to the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association 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 University 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 with 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.

Pline competed as a graduate transfer this past fall at FCS member Furman University. He began his collegiate career as a men's basketball student-athlete under head coach Andy Bronkema, appearing in 83 games for the Bulldogs from 2018 to 2021. He helped lead the Bulldogs to the GLIAC Championship on the hardwood during the 2019-20 season.

Pline then joined the Bulldog football squad in 2021 and appeared in 25 games for head coach Tony Annese during back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championship seasons in 2021 and 2022 while scoring a pair of touchdowns.

This past season, Pline hauled in 32 catches for 287 yards while claiming all-conference honors and helping lead Furman to a 10-3 record as a graduate transfer, including a run to the FCS National Quarterfinals. Pline earned opportunities to showcase his skills following this past season in both the Hula Bowl and the Shrine Bowl collegiate all-star events.

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

Six years ago, former defensive tackle Zach Sieler became Ferris State's first-ever NFL Draft choice when he was picked in the seventh round as the 238th overall selection by the Baltimore Ravens.

Overall, the Bulldogs have had 11 players in a NFL Preseason Camp over the past three summers, which is the most of any D2 school in the country. The Bulldogs who took part in NFL camps from 2021 to 2023 have included former DB Tavierre Thomas, (Houston Texans), DL Zach Sieler (Miami) Dolphins), DT Justin Zimmer (Buffalo Bills), WR Jake Lampman (New Orleans Saints), WR Malik Taylor (Green Bay Packers and New York Jets), DL Austin Edwards (Kansas City Chiefs), DT Chris Okoye (Los Angeles Rams), receiver Jared Bernhardt (Atlanta Falcons), offensive tackle Zein Obeid (Detroit Lions), offensive tackle Dylan Pasquali (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and defensive end Caleb Murphy (Tennessee Titans).

Four Bulldog alums are currently still with NFL organizations, including Thomas, now with the Buccaneers; Sieler; Taylor, now with the Jets; and Murphy, which is among tops of all D2 schools. Several other Bulldog alums are competing professionally in other indoor and outdoor leagues.

The recent Bulldog alums in the NFL have also included former linebacker Brady Sheldon and former two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan. A total of 10 of the alums have played in at least one NFL regular-season game since 2016. Three former Bulldogs were part of team's that made the NFL Conference Championship Games in 2020 in Taylor, Zimmer and Edwards.

While Sieler is the only Ferris State football player to ever be drafted by an NFL team, several other former Bulldogs have inked NFL contracts as free agents and played in the league.

The Bulldogs have now had at least one NFL free agent pickup following the draft each of the past nine seasons in which they've played a campaign. A total of 16 alumni have now earned camp invites over the past five years as offensive tackle Devon Johnson and receiver Keyondre Craig also competed in training camps in 2019.

Over the past nine seasons, Sieler, Vander Laan, Sheldon, Zimmer, Thomas, Lampman, Taylor, Edwards, Bernhardt, and Murphy have all seen NFL regular-season action after Lampman became the first to do so in 13 years back in 2016.

At least 27 former Ferris State players have previously inked NFL free agent deals. Former defensive back Marvin Robinson signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014 with defensive tackle Marcus Cribbs signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. Those two represented the first since free agent cornerback Angelo Williams with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010.

Previously, in 2013, former defensive end Jordan Morgan received a rookie tryout with the New York Giants but did not sign. In 2016, Vander Laan, Lampman and Zimmer all signed and reached NFL camps while Sheldon did likewise in 2017 before Sieler, Thomas and Okoye joined NFL organizations in 2018

In 2019, the trio of Taylor, Johnson and Craig all were signed following the draft while Bernhardt, Obeid, and Pasquali garnered opportunities in 2022 followed by Murphy in 2023.

The select group also consists of running back Dave Gagnon (1974-Chicago Bears), outside linebacker Monty Brown (1997-New York Jets), defensive tackle Ed Philion (1994-Buffalo Bills), defensive end Dave Zuiderveen (2001-Atlanta Falcons), flanker Clarence Coleman (2002-Buffalo Bills), tackle Matt McCoy (2004-Detroit Lions), wide receiver Carlton Brewster (2006-Cleveland Browns) and defensive tackle Jake Visser (2009-Houston Texans).

Two other former Ferris State players, offensive guard Bill Bourdlais and safety Patrick Wells, received tryout invitations from the Cleveland Browns in 2008 and participated in the team's rookie minicamp, but did not ink a deal. Several others have also had NFL tryouts including wide receiver Andre Johnson (1989), quarterback Dave DenBraber (1987), tight end Scott Alward (1984-Detroit Lions/NY Giants) and receiver/returner Fred Kirkland (1981). Defensive back James Skodak (2006) also had tryouts with several NFL organizations among other past Bulldog standouts.

Medicaid renewed for another 141,000 Michigan residents, bringing total to more than 1.5 million

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) renewed Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan coverage for an additional 141,471 people whose eligibility was up for redetermination in March, bringing the total to more than 1.5 million. 

This announcement comes during Medicaid Awareness Month, which recognizes Medicaid as the largest insurance program in the United States.

The department is continuing its efforts to maintain Medicaid coverage for eligible Michiganders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people continued to receive Medicaid coverage without having to renew annually under the Families First Coronavirus Act. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ended the pause on annual redeterminations. Michigan reinstated the renewal process beginning in May 2023.

“As part of Medicaid Awareness Month, we are encouraging Michigan residents to submit their renewal paperwork to continue their access to quality, affordable health care,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “Maintaining health care coverage for as many residents as possible continues to be our goal, whether it’s for routine check-ups or health care challenges. I’m pleased we’ve been able to renew Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan coverage for more than 1.5 million people so far.”

In addition to Governor’s proclamation, Meghan Groen, Michigan’s Medicaid director, was featured in a video that provided an overview of Medicaid benefits and reminded Michiganders to watch for their renewal packet and submit needed information to ensure they keep their health care coverage. 

Over the past several months, MDHHS has used numerous strategies approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help make the renewal process easier and to reduce the number of residents at risk of losing coverage.

These include:

  • Renewing Medicaid eligibility for people receiving benefits under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program without conducting separate income determinations.
  • Permitting managed care plans to assist enrollees in completing renewal forms.
  • Reinstating eligibility for people who were disenrolled for procedural reasons and are subsequently redetermined to be eligible for Medicaid during a 90-day reconsideration period.
  • Extending renewals to May 2024 for beneficiaries undergoing life-saving treatment, such as dialysis or for cancer.
  • Extending automatic reenrollment into a Medicaid managed care plan to up to 120 days.
  • Providing beneficiaries an extra month to submit paperwork to avoid loss of health care coverage.

The latest data on Medicaid renewals can be found on MDHHS’ online dashboard. The dashboard, which is updated monthly, shows that 1,431,695 million people have been renewed to date. The department is awaiting completed enrollment forms from another 108,190 people who were up for renewal in March and have until the end of April to return paperwork.

There were 15,372 people disenrolled in March because they were no longer eligible and 2,203 whose eligibility was not renewed for procedural reasons, such as not providing verification documents like a driver’s license, pay stubs and bank statements. MDHHS can reinstate eligibility back to the termination date for those disenrolled based on a procedural reason and are subsequently found to still be eligible during a 90-day reconsideration period.

MDHHS advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month and renew online at Michigan.gov/MIBridges

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

Michiganders who no longer qualify will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders can shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid. Many can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month. Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries can learn more, including what they need to do to prepare for renewals, on the Medicaid Benefit Changes website.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (4/22 - 4/28)

Monday, April 22

  • At around 2:00 P.M., deputies assisted probation at a residence in Green TWP. A male subject was arrested for a probation violation. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 20

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, April 23

Calls for Service: 19

 

Wednesday, April 24

  • At 6:03 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Big Rapids TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 20

 

Thursday, April 25

  • At 1:46 P.M,, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A female subject was arrested on a couple of warrants. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.  

  •  

Calls for Service: 23

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Friday, April 26

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 4

 

Saturday, April 27

  • At 11:07 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Colfax TWP. A male subject was arrested on 3 warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 5:29 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Green TWP.  The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for OWI and other charges. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Sunday, April 28

Calls for Service: 10

Ferris State men's tennis team tops Wayne State to win GLIAC Tournament Championship

The Ferris State University men's tennis squad completed a season sweep of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships as the top-seeded Bulldogs defeated No. 2 seed Wayne State University by a 4-3 score on Sunday in the league's postseason title match at the Midland Tennis Center.

Ferris State claimed the GLIAC Tournament title for the fifth time in the last eight times it has been awarded, beating the Warriors for the second time this year, and avenging a setback to WSU in last season's championship match.

"What an unbelievable day," said FSU head coach Mark Doren. "The grit and determination that we showed today was amazing. We had a goal of not just winning the regular season, but to win the tournament today and for it to come the way it did, down to the last match was special.

"We overcame some adversity at the end, and it was awesome to do this with such a great group of young men," he added.

Ferris State took the doubles point by winning two of the three flights, claiming both two doubles and three doubles, before taking the first two completed singles flights in straight sets to build a 3-0 match lead. The Bulldogs' Esunge Ndumbe was victorious 6-4, 6-2 at one singles and Alessandro Santangelo captured a 6-1, 6-1 win at five singles.

However, Wayne State rallied, and the Warriors tied the match up 3-3 with a straight-set win at two singles to go with three-set triumphs at three and six singles.

The match came down to four singles where Bulldog senior Jan Koupil emerged victorious in a grueling and lengthy three-set showdown, topping WSU's Denali Kitayama 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 for the win.

Ferris State, which is now 17-4 overall, most recently also swept the GLIAC's regular-season and tournament titles from 2016-18 along with 2021. This year's league tournament championship was the Bulldogs' first postseason championship in three years.

The Bulldogs, who were ranked second in the most recent NCAA D2 Midwest Regional Rankings, will next take part in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament with the official pairings and teams making the field slated to be announced on May 6.

 

*Photo provided by Ferris State University.

Moolenaar staff available locally to discuss constituent assistance starting next week

In May, staff members from the office of Congressman John Moolenaar will host meeting times across the district where constituents can sit down to discuss personal casework issues they are having with a federal agency.

Local meeting times include:

  • Evart City Hall - Tuesday, May 7 from 9:00 - 10:00 AM (200 South Main Street, Evart, MI 49631)
  • Pathfinder Community Library - Tuesday, May 7 from 11:00 - 12:00 PM (812 Michigan Avenue, Baldwin, MI 49304)
  • Newaygo Area District Library - Tuesday, May 7 from 1:00 - 2:00 PM (44 North State Street, Newaygo, MI 49337)
  • Big Rapids Community Library - Tuesday, May 7 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM (426 South Michigan Avenue, 
    Big Rapids, MI 49307)
  • Mount Pleasant City Hall - Thursday, May 16 from 11:00 - 12:00 PM (320 West Broadway Street, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858)
  • Cadillac City Hall - Friday, May 17 from 9:30 - 10:30 AM (200 North Lake Street, Cadillac, MI 49601)

Constituents who cannot attend one of the meetings can call Moolenaar's office at (616) 528-7100, or visit Moolenaar.House.gov to receive assistance with their issue.

Moolenaar's office has helped thousands of constituents who needed assistance with a federal agency, including the VA and the IRS. The office helped them cut through red tape and reclaim millions of dollars owed to them by the federal government.

Ferris State celebrating 2024 commencement with ceremonies planned to be meaningful for a special class

Ferris State University will celebrate the graduation in Big Rapids and Grand Rapids with ceremonies planned to be meaningful for a special class.

Ferris State President Bill Pink knows what this moment will mean for graduates who will cross the stage during the ceremonies – transitioning from one important life chapter to the next.

“This fall marks 140 years of educating and ultimately graduating Ferris State University Bulldogs,” Pink said. "Our graduates don’t just have a piece of paper when they leave here. They have successful careers in high-demand fields. We are extraordinarily proud of our alumni and the role that they play in ensuring Ferris State remains relevant and responsive in an ever-changing world.”

The university is bestowing 1,800 degrees and certificates, with 1,300 students participating in ceremonies. Pink said the Class of 2024 is particularly special.

“They are one of the first classes to matriculate that may not have experienced a high school graduation because of the events of 2020,” he said. “Ferris State is so honored that we can provide and share in this meaningful graduation experience for this cohort of students.”

The ceremony for the College of Health Professions, Doctorate in Community College Leadership, College of Pharmacy, and Michigan College of Optometry is planned for 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3 on the Big Rapids campus. It will be followed by a 7 p.m. ceremony for the College of Engineering Technology.

Ferris State celebrates graduates of the College of Arts, Sciences and Education at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, followed by the College of Business at 1:30 p.m. All Big Rapids ceremonies are planned for the R.L. Ewigleben Sports Complex, 210 Sports Drive. 

Graduates can reserve up to six tickets using the online ticketing system. No extra e-tickets can be distributed by the Commencement Office or the individual college commencement coordinators.

The office is unable to replace lost tickets. Guests can watch the ceremonies via a live stream on the Commencement Office website. Click for more information.

KCAD will celebrate graduates from December 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 classes on Saturday, May 4, at 10 a.m. at the Forest Hills Fine Art Center, 600 Forest Hills Ave SE, in Grand Rapids.

“It is a great pleasure and honor to celebrate the remarkable achievements and creative growth of our graduating students,” KCAD President Tara McCrackin said. “These talented emerging artists and designers have dedicated themselves to expanding their skills and pushing the boundaries of their disciplines, and we are proud to share their passion with the entire community.”

KCAD’s Class of 2024 Valedictorian Sophia Forystek, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Medical Illustration, will deliver the student address.

Tickets are required to attend. Each graduate can reserve up to eight tickets. After the initial distribution, a lottery will be held for any student interested in additional tickets.

The ceremony will be live streamed on the KCAD website and Facebook page.

KCAD’s 2024 Annual Student Exhibition is on view to the public in Grand Rapids at 17 Fountain St. NW from Monday, April 29, through Saturday, May 4. The public closing reception is Friday, May 3, from 4 to 7 p.m.

For people interested in but unable to attend commencement, the Ferris Big Rapids ceremonies are streamed live via the Ferris State Video YouTube channel. Watch the online stream by clicking this link. That live stream will be courtesy of Ferris Cable 22.

Spring 2024 Ferris State graduates join current and future Bulldogs as members of the Ferris State Alumni Association, a network of alumni making a difference in Michigan, across the country and worldwide.

Visit the commencement website here or more information.

Detroit Lions NFL Draft Day 3 Quote Sheet: 4/28/24

LIONS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER BRAD HOLMES DRAFT DAY 3 QUOTE SHEET

Opening Statement: “I know there’s still work to do, picks still going on, but I wanted to make sure I got you guys out of here and you didn’t have to wait long. I stepped out and made sure convenience. First of all, I wanted to start off by – man, I know it wasn’t just Lions fans, but to set the NFL record for attendance for the Draft site, that’s – I mean, I’ve said all along that we have the best fans in the world. The anticipation of having the Draft here just meant so much. We talked about it just being able to let the world and the NFL world get a taste of what Detroit’s about and what this culture’s about. Great for our city, great for our franchise, but that’s something to be said. You get 700,000 fans at one Draft host city, that’s about as impressive as it gets. Just want to really thank the fans. Just want to really thank the League and the (Detroit) Sports Commission and everybody, just everybody that played a part in this. Just really, really excited about this.”

On the uniqueness of scouting Lions fourth-round draft selection OL Giovanni Manu out of Canada: “Yeah, it was a cool story because (Lions Senior Personnel Executive) John Dorsey, he kind of got wind of – he had a really good workout and he kind of got on the workout circuit, and really starting back with (Lions Scout, Auxiliary) Ademi Smith who scouted him and then Dorsey finds out about the workout, and Dorsey and (Lions Assistant General Manager) Ray (Agnew) talk and Ray comes to me and he’s telling me like, ‘Man, I think you’ve probably got to take a look at Giovanni here.’ Then, I watched the tape, and you know it’s what it is. It’s a low-level competition, but when I watched the tape, the upside of the actual player – it’s not about who he was going against and all that stuff, I just – we just kind of got enamored with the upside and then when we reached out to his agent and tried to get him in for a visit because he wasn’t at the Combine, we could hardly get on the dance car. The whole dance car was filled up. So, he came in on a Sunday, like a Sunday afternoon and that was like visit number nine. He came in and he did a great job and sat with the coaches, and we felt really good about him. We felt really good about his makeup. He’s wired the right way. He’s got a really cool story and he’s been through some things. But we were so blown away just (by) his makeup, his character, the way he’s wired and he’s got a lot of upside. It’s not a whole lot about right now with him, a lot like – you know we talked about (Lions DL) Brodric Martin last year. This is more of a down-the-road future deal, but the upside is enormous. Just really, really excited to work with him. Him and (Lions RB Sione) Vaki, those are the guys that going to bed last night, going to bed I was like, ‘We’re not trading into – we’re not trading into the fourth. We’re just going to sit back and wait.’ But when I woke up, that’s when I was like, ‘Man, it’s those two guys that if they don’t make it, those are going to be some gut punches.’ So, when I finally got to the facility and I went to (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) and I said, ‘Dan, dude, these two guys.’ And I told him the two guys and he was like, ‘Those are the same two guys that I was thinking about this morning.’ And I was like, ‘Let’s go get them. Let’s not mess around.’ And again, you always get the answers to the test after you pick them, and if we would’ve waited around, they weren’t going to make it.”

On what they liked about the versatility of Lions fourth-round draft selection RB Sione Vaki and his ability to be a three-phase player: “Yeah, well that’s what first stood out is we thought he was one of the better special teams players in this entire Draft, all four phases of special teams. Especially with some of the changes that are coming about, he’s really – he’s starting to come to life even more. And then really later on in the process, just sticking to the special teams component, it kind of came to life even more with some possible return value. You’re looking at him at four corps in the return units as more of a blocker, but he can actually – the stuff that he can do with the ball in his hands. I first saw him when he had first made the switch when they got kind of short at running back there at Utah. They just had him fill in. But we were more so looking at him as a safety, but he looks so natural as a runner. I was like, ‘Wait, where did these backyard instincts of his come from of just him running the ball and making these plays?’ Not only does he have these instincts that are (more) natural (than) we thought, he’s not even majoring in it. He just did that because they just got kind of shorthanded and he was like, ‘Oh, you need a running back? I’ll help out.’ And he started making these plays running the ball and in the passing game. When I saw that, I was like, ‘He’s not even majoring in this and he’s looking like that?’ And then you get more into his background, and he was more of an offensive player in high school. He did a lot of things on offense. But it was very impressive what he did with the ball in his hands, and not just making (people) miss and things like that, but he runs hard. Again, he’s a football player who plays football how we like it, and there’s nothing about him that he doesn’t have the ability to play safety because he can do that too. He was one of the guys that had one of the more impressive pro days I thought because he worked out as a DB. Very long DB workout and the DB workout was really good, and then he worked out as a running back. And then, good running back, and then after the running back workout he worked out as a wide receiver. And then he does a wide receiver workout, and then he works out at special teams. You see all that and the guy’s like – I mean the fact to even go through all those different phases of that workout was impressive in itself. Just the love for him just kept growing. But he’s a very unique player. Again, it’s nothing saying that he cannot play safety, but our vision of what he could become as a runner, really it starts with those special teams.”

On how much Lions RB Sione Vaki will be working with the running backs versus defensive backs to start: “We have some options there, but we know he can play safety. We know he can do that, but the vision is we’re so intrigued by the running back stuff, especially because he hadn’t been majoring in it, so it’s like how far can this thing go if he’s actually majoring in this thing in one room? So that’s going to be the vision.”

On giving up 2025 NFL Draft assets for players that have upside down the road and what they have to do to make it worthwhile: “Well, I wouldn’t say shorthanded. I think the only pick we don’t have is a third-round pick. Is that right? Would that be shorthanded if you’re missing one third-round pick? So, I feel really good about it. And we looked at that because I would not have thought that we would’ve been able to trade twice into the fourth round. When I looked at the – again, when you look at those things it’s like, ‘OK, well what are the future assets?’ Well, we did all the calculations and I was like, ‘Wait, well you can do it because you have the extra four.’ I was like, ‘Man, if you can do all of this and the only thing you feel like you’re losing is a future third, just go ahead and do it.’ And so, we felt really good about that and that’s why we went ahead and did it. You always get a better feeling that you can go and get your guys and that’s what we did. We couldn’t be more thrilled about it and even with what we still have left from a capital standpoint for the future.”

On if he feels he has enough to help get the team to the next level: “Yeah. Look, I was thinking about that this morning. A lot of these guys – where we’re at as a roster – man, if they win a spot and they play, then they play. If they don’t, they don’t. You look at the corners – yeah, we really like these corners. They’re rookies. They’ve got to win a spot, you know, because (Lions CB) Carlton Davis III has been a proven starter. A healthy (Lions CB) Emmanuel Moseley is a proven starter. (Lions CB) Amik Robertson is a proven – like these are good players that have been proven starters that’ve made plays. It's not just a given, you know? They all want to play, they’re all wired right, but man look, it’s good to be there from a roster standpoint. If these corners play, they play. They’ve got to win a spot, and that’s for everybody. It’s a good feeling to be in a spot where we feel good about the depth we have, we feel good about the future we have, but man, those guys have got to compete and win spots. I know that we’re a better football team, now, to take that step, like you were talking about. It’s going to be really up to them. Now, we’re going to do our part and make sure that they’re surrounded with the resources to be set up for success with their development, but those guys got to compete.”

On if he has any insights into why Lions OL Christian Mahogany fell in the Draft: “I was shocked. I didn’t think he would still be there at that point. I can’t really go into details. I can probably point out a thing here or there that may have been a reason that we’ll keep internally, but there’s other players that I probably would have had a lot more questions on that went. I don’t know. I just know that he fits how we want to play, and he’s a tough, physical – he’s got some dirtbag in him and he’s just one of those tough, Jersey kids that doesn’t take a lot of crap. He’s got some fun tape to watch and he’s gone against some good defensive linemen and he’s done well versus them. So, we were excited to get him.”

On if his willingness to trade up is because he has a very specific idea about the type of players he wants: “Yeah, it’s a little mixture of both. Me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell), we’ll have the same vision of what we see with that player, whether it’s with their development, which stage that they might be able to contribute, what the usage will be, what the role will be, but once we’re aligned there, it’s just, man, let’s just go get the guys that we want. That’s really what it comes down to, but it also comes down to, I mean, how many late-round picks can you have from where we are as a roster? You start looking around and you start looking at the board as well, it’s like, ‘Man, these guys are just sticking out a little bit more than some other guys.’ They’re on the board for a reason because you’re comfortable with drafting those players, that’s why they’re up there, but some kind of stick out a little bit more than others. So, then you start looking back, and you’re like, ‘Well, you’ve got two sixes, you’ve got a seven.’ You start looking, you’re like, ‘It’s going to be hard. You could get this wide receiver, but he doesn’t play special teams, so I really don’t know how this is going to work because now you have to really want a spot but he’s probably not,’ and some guys, it doesn’t add up or make a lot of sense. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the guys that we got.”

On Lions DL Mekhi Wingo having a good football character and if he has the experience to help project where he might contribute in the NFL: “I would say that you’re right on the football character aspect. I mean this guy fits our culture like a glove. Great kid. Look, it’s hard to lock down that No. 18 at LSU – that just means something. I think his character speaks for itself. His football character shows on film too, the way that he plays. But the role – and that’s a good question – because that’s kind of what I had to get to. I originally was just looking at him as purely just a defensive tackle that was just going to be playing inside. I was like, ‘Man, I’m not sure.’ But when I kept watching him, his rush ability really started to come to light. I kind of put him in a different box – a little bit like when we talked about (Lions DL Josh) Paschal when Paschal came out. It’s like, ‘OK, can he play on the edge on first and second down, and can he do some inside rush?’ Wingo, he’s got a lot of good stuff on tape as an edge rusher actually, surprisingly. His sub-rush is pretty impressive. Not saying that he can’t play base downs inside because he can do that as well, but when you put him in that specialized category, or that position – whether it’s more of a big end or more of an elephant that can do some interchangeable things, that’s kind of where he's standing. When we saw him in that light, that’s kind of when he became more attractive to us.”

On the origin of the Draft room wearing the black, Dan Campbell No. 89 jerseys: “Look, I’m not taking any credit for this one, but I’m glad that the idea was brought up. But this is (Lions President and CEO) Rod Wood’s idea for us to wear these jerseys. I thought it looked awesome on television. I mean just the texts that I was getting and just me seeing it, I was like, ‘Wow, that was even cooler than I thought it was going to be.’ But yeah, it was Rod’s idea, obviously with the new blacks and just the whole story. I’m sure you guys heard about Dan when he wanted the black jerseys back, so it all kind of came full circle. But I thought it was a good look.”

On if envisions the NFC North being one of the best divisions in the NFL in the near future: “I could see it heading that way for sure. It’s hard to make an argument for it now in terms of – those guys got some good players. We’ve got some good players too. It’s going to be a good division. Obviously, you kind of saw it last year of some of the guys in the division making some surges. So, yeah, we’re going to expect everybody’s best, whether it’s in the division or outside. But yeah, we’ll be ready.”

On how he sets up the Draft board: “I’ll try to be as generalized as I can. It is vertically by positions. We’re not big rounds – we have it set up in a way where it equates to a round, we just don’t use the word ‘round.’ It’s the same thing with our grading scales – we don’t use ‘rounds’ on our grading scale. Sometimes I might say, ‘We’ve got a second-round grade,’ because that’s kind of what makes sense, but the reason we kind of stay away from the whole ‘rounds’ thing is that when they come on your roster, they’re either a starter, they’re either a backup. They’re not a ‘round’ anymore. It’s not a fourth-round receiver, it’s not a sixth-round safety. He’s either a backup or he’s a high-end backup – that’s what it is. It's vertically by position from the top to the bottom.”

On how big the drop is in tiers of prospects: “It’s really more so – the grade will reflect what the upside and the role is, and then that’s where you kind of get the separation and gaps. Really, it’s actually cooler to look at it horizontally than it is to look at it vertically. You do so much work over the whole year that by the time you get to around to March, you have a good feel of how it looks vertically. But sometimes you’ve got to look at it horizontally with different positions, and then that’s when you can truly kind of get a sense of, ‘How good is this Draft? How strong is this Draft?’ We’re looking at the whole thing – I believe it was Monday – and you could clearly see – we had it split with offense and defense. You could clearly see we had a whole lot more names on the offensive side of the ball than we had on the defensive side of the ball. That’s when you kind of got clarity that this is an offensively strong Draft.”

On how it looks to compare the Draft board horizontally: “If you have everything stacked vertically by position – you have your running backs, your quarterbacks and wide receivers, well, you’ve got them vertically stacked. But also, when you look at it next to other positions, it’s like, ‘What’s this wide receiver that we’ve got in the same bucket as this guard? What’s this D-tackle?’ That’s kind of when you get a feel.”

On what it meant to the organization to extend Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and Lions T Penei Sewell: “It meant everything. First of all, I’m so happy for them. Those guys are truly our core. Those guys truly are our foundation. They were our first Draft. But the main thing that I’ve been saying to everybody is it represents not only a testament to all the hard work that they’ve done, but it’s such a representation of who we are as an organization in terms of man they earned that. They earned that. We’re all about earning it. We’re not expecting a shortcut here or there, and man all the credit to them. Extremely happy, but it is cool that both of those guys – look, it says a lot to be extended. It speaks not only to a lot of different areas, but it speaks to the locker room and who you pay, who you draft, who you extend. And so, I do think I was – I kind of saw the clip of our other wide receivers celebrating St. Brown outside in front of the facility, and I just think that’s really cool because I just think he’s highly respected and I think no one would argue that he’s truly earned that, and the same thing with Penei. I was talking with Penei after he got done signing his contract and I was like, ‘Man, it was like three years ago you were here with your parents.’ We had just drafted him and he was here with his parents, and now he’s got two kids running around and he just signed and he’s the highest-paid tackle. But no, those guys represent everything that we’re about. They embody everything that we’re about. It was a no-brainer in terms of making the decision to do those extensions. Obviously there’s business that gets involved, we actually thought we were going to get it done a lot earlier but the business is kind of – takes a little bit longer, but those are easy decisions. Happy for those guys.”

On if it was purposeful to extend Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and Lions T Penei Sewell on the first day of the NFL Draft: “No, it really wasn’t. We kind of got wind that it was getting close, either Tuesday or Wednesday, that we were like, ‘OK, I think we’re getting close. I think it’s a possibility that it could be Wednesday.’ And so that’s just kind of how it happened, but it wasn’t intentional.”


LIONS FOURTH-ROUND DRAFT SELECTION (NO. 126 OVERALL) OL GIOVANNI MANU DRAFT DAY 3 QUOTE SHEET

On what his experience was like during his Top 30 visit and how much he could gauge the interest the Lions had in him through this process: “Yeah, one thing that made me really appreciative and knew that the Lions were all in was that they decided to do the visit on a Sunday. And I remember my agent called me, he told me, ‘That’s something rarely any teams want to do for prospects.’ So, he told me, ‘Them willing to do this on a Sunday, coming in on a day off to host me says a lot.’ And I was truly appreciative of it. And just walking down the hallway, seeing all the historical figures on the wall and seeing the amazing facility, but most importantly, to me, was meeting (Lions) Head Coach Dan Campbell and the (Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes) GM. Both of them are really good guys. I relate to their work ethic and all that. And I loved my visit overall and I remember leaving, I told myself, ‘I felt at home here. And I would not mind at all if these guys took a chance on me.’ And I so happen to be here now. So, yeah, it was great.”

On what it means to him to be the first NFL Draft pick out of the University of British Columbia: “Yeah, it’s great. It’s been a long journey. My family’s had to sacrifice a lot for me to be at this stage and I’m just truly thankful for it. I’m not here on my own. I’m here because of my family and all the mentors I’ve met on the way through this amazing sport of football I discovered here, in Canada. My aunt raised me out here in Vancouver, Canada. Yeah, truly thankful to them. And yeah, the journey’s only starting. It’s going to get a whole lot better. But, yeah, it’s been a long process, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but I’m happy to be here.”

On if he projects himself to play more left tackle or right tackle and which position he played more in college: “In college, I predominantly played left tackle. I only played one season of left guard. But when I took my visit to Detroit, they asked me where I prefer to play. I just told them, ‘I’ll play anywhere. I’ll play at a position that puts me on the field the quickest. I’ll play a position that contributes to the team winning.’ So, either that’s right side, which is a side that will be, obviously, awkward at first, but something I believe that I can accomplish with repetition. I’m willing to do those small things to do whatever it is to bring Detroit more wins and, hopefully, a Super Bowl championship, so yeah.”

On why he decided to come to North America and pursue football instead of basketball: “Yeah, so I’m in Vancouver, Canada. That’s where I did college. I did it – I wasn’t in America, but – so, my journey was basically, I was born and raised in Tonga, in the South Pacific. It’s really close to Samoa. I’m pretty sure you guys know where Samoa is with (Lions T) Penei (Sewell). Our islands are really close to each other. It’s about a 45-minute flight from each other. But – so, I was born and raised in Tonga until about the age of 11 and then migrated over to up here to Vancouver, Canada. And the reason for the migration was just for better life opportunities and better education because as nice as it is growing up in the South Pacific by the sun and having this constant sunshine on the beach, it is extremely hard to make a living out there. It's considered a third-world country. So, I moved up here to Vancouver, Canada, where my mom’s oldest sister has been living out here since the 90s. And, basically, she told my mom before my mom had myself and my siblings, she told her, ‘If you ever have kids and you want to send them somewhere for better living opportunities and education, you can always send them up here to me and I’ll make sure they’ll have all those.’ So, my mom basically raised myself and my two siblings on the island until we reached a reasonable age for high school. And then she moved us up here and then we went to a small school, small town called Pitt Meadows, about an hour outside of Vancouver. And then that’s where I discovered American football, as well as basketball, and just kind of ran with the two until I graduated and then got recruited and it was a – I think discovering American football has been the greatest blessing in my life. And yeah, I love this sport, so yeah.”

On if Lions T Penei Sewell is someone he has studied throughout his career: “Yeah, I look up to Penei a lot. I do study a lot of his film. I think he’s the best tackle in the League right now. He moves so fluid for how big he is and not just that, but he’s an inspiration to the Polynesian community. I remember when I was in college, I watched his Draft Day process, and it was just basically a vlog of his whole day of being drafted. I remember he ended the vlog by saying, ‘Any Polynesian kids out there,’ and he named all the islands and I remember he said Tonga. He said, ‘If you kids out there want to make it to the NFL, you can truly make it if you put your mind to it.’ And I remember I was in my second year of college when he said that, and I remember him saying that. It really motivated me, and I told myself, ‘If one of my fellow Polynesian brothers can make it, which is him – and he’s giving me words of motivation, there’s no reason why I can’t do it either.’ So, he’s a true inspiration, not only to Samoa, but to the whole Polynesian community. And it’s great that I’ll be playing with a guy like that, and I just hope to soak up as much information and technique from him.”

On what his Draft Day experience has been like: “Yeah, my whole family is here. My mom, dad, sister. Just my brother, he stayed back on the island back in Tonga because he has to look over the – someone’s got to look over the family business while everyone’s here. So, he decided to sacrifice and do that, which I’m truly thankful for. He’s not here to share this moment, but right after this, I’m probably going to phone him up. But, yeah, he’s back there. My niece came too, my brother’s daughter. And my girlfriend’s here and just my – some of my teammates from my college and my high school friends. I didn’t want to do it too big. I just wanted those who I consider in my small circle here and just share that moment. And it was amazing when I got that phone call and I saw the Detroit (city) on it. And it was just – it was just a blessing. It was something out of a dream and I’m truly thankful for it, so yeah.”

On what the family business in Tonga is and how difficult the transition between rugby and football was for him: “Yeah, so the family business back home, my dad runs a workshop. So, it’s like anything to do with vehicles, whether it’s painting, maintenance, engine repair, my dad deals with that. So, that’s what he’s been doing since he was a youngin’ and that’s what’s helping feed the family right now. And I’m truly thankful for my dad’s hard work and my brother. And the transition from rugby to football was pretty – I feel like the stuff I took from rugby was the physicality. I love physicality. I love hitting people. I love creating big hits and just hitting people in general. And that’s why I played rugby. And transitioning from that to football, sometimes it’s hard to motivate someone to hit someone, or something like that in football, but that just flowed naturally to me. But the only thing that I remember that I had trouble with, with football were things like getting in a stance, learning the rules, such as you can’t hold, or you can’t move until the ball’s snapped, those little things. But in terms of physicality, someone having to motivate me to hit someone, that was never an issue. One thing my coach always preached he – my coaches who actually told me in high school that I’m hitting people too hard, so yeah.”
 

LIONS FOURTH-ROUND DRAFT SELECTION (NO. 132 OVERALL) RB SIONE VAKI DRAFT DAY 3 QUOTE SHEET

On what his conversations were like with the Lions and what position they envision him playing: “When I visited with the Lions, I was just – my initial thought was to just come in and, I don’t know, just be wherever the coaches – wherever the organization needed me to be. It was for the offensive side of the ball. So, wherever they need me, I’m ready to go.”

On if he was told he would play running back for the Lions during his pre-Draft process: “Yes, when I came in, I met with the (Lions) Offensive Coordinator (Ben Johnson) as well as with the (Lions Assistant Head Coach/) Running Backs Coach (Scottie Montgomery), so I assumed that it was for the offensive side of the ball.”

On his history as a running back and what he likes about the offensive side of the ball: “Yeah, it was a – it was a crazy story. I had just walked into the facility and one of the GAs, Coach (Chase) Murdock, had a – he remembered to remind me as soon as I got there that I was going to have an offensive period with the offense. So, my experience hasn’t been a lot, but my willingness to be able to learn, to put my head down and learn from the vets in the room is what I’m going to be coming in, whether that’s – whether I’m starting on defense, I’m going to try to – I’m going to try to lift where I stand, or if I start on special teams.”

On how unique his pre-Draft process was with him being able to play multiple positions and teams choosing how they wanted to use him in their schemes: “I was, I don’t know, it was nerve-wracking for me, just not understanding – not knowing which teams or which side I was going to be picked on. But I’m just grateful to come to the Motor City and just ready to get started whenever.”

On how having experience on both offense and defense gives him an advantage as a football player: “I think, just my understanding of both sides of the ball, being able to play in both positions and understanding where – what to attack, where the offense wants to attack and things like that. So, in that sense, I feel like it helps me a lot coming into this Draft.”

On the special teams roles he has had in his career and his passion for this element of the game: “Yeah, I was an R3 on kickoff. I was an edge on punt return. I also have some experience with returning kickoffs, as well as being in-depth for punt returns. So, I mean, I’m all about special teams. So, when it comes to that, that’s where I earned my stripes and that’s where I’ll kind of earn my stripes as well there, in Detroit.”

On how his time at Utah has helped him prepare to play in the NFL and grow his game: “Yes sir, Coach (Kyle) Whittingham runs a tight ship. I think he goes perfectly with the standard that (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell brings, as far as just putting our head down and working. He’s – it helped me to just be able to be mentally tough, to understand that everything’s important, that we should worry about all the details, all small details in our craft and so that’s what I plan on coming here and doing. It’s just perfecting my craft.”

On if there was different feedback from each team based on the position they envisioned for him and which position he focused on the most during the Draft process: “Yeah, there was definitely a lot of chatter on both sides of the ball. I honestly didn’t know. But now, there’s only one team that matters right now and it’s Detroit and I’m going to play wherever they need me to play.”

On what it was like growing up the youngest of 11 children and how his childhood influenced his football career: “Yeah, it was definitely tough. Being the youngest, you definitely have your own chores as well as everyone else’s. So, you can say I always learned to fight my way through life. And I love my family so much, as well as my siblings, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

On if he took his mission to Tonga: “Yes, sir.”

On if he knows Lions OL Giovanni Manu who is from Tonga: “No, sir, but I can’t wait to get to know him.”

On how unique it is to have a connection to Tonga with Lions OL Giovanni Manu as well as them both being fourth-round picks: “Yeah, I mean, it’s a blessing. I’m known as a ‘plastic,’ someone who doesn’t know the language, so I’m definitely going have to be coached up by Manu on the language, as well as possibly football tips, so I’m excited to meet him.”

On if he is interested in being a three-phase player without a defined position: “Yes, sir, I’m here to be a resource. I feel like my biggest thing is being available. So, yeah, wherever the organization needs me is where I’m going to be. If they need me passing out waters to the vets, that’s what I’m going to do.”

On how much upside he thinks he has with being older and not having much experience at running back: “I feel like it gives me a lot of upside, just – the coaches are able to mold me into whatever they want me to be. And I’m a kid who comes from hard work and putting my head down and giving 110 percent effort in wherever I stand. So, when it comes to the organization, they’re getting everything that I got, so I feel like it brings a lot of upside to not only myself, but the organization itself.”
 

LIONS SIXTH-ROUND DRAFT SELECTION (NO. 189 OVERALL) DL MEKHI WINGO DRAFT DAY 3 QUOTE SHEET

On what it meant to wear number 18 at LSU: “So, the number 18 is awarded to one guy on the team each year that just exemplifies what the program stands for on and off the field. Just a high-character guy that’s out in the community, but also a guy you can count on every Saturday that is going to bring it. So, that’s what the 18 is about at LSU.”

On if wearing number 18 plays into why he decided to play in his last Bowl game at LSU: “Yes, sir, absolutely. That’s the type of guy that I am. Being at number 18, being that leader, I had the injury early throughout the year, didn’t feel like I got my full 18 season. And of course, I could’ve just packed up, declared, and did this, but it really got to me watching my team lose a few games with me being on the sideline. So, once I had my surgery, I just rehabbed my butt off and made it an emphasis to get back on the field and be with my guys one last time.”

On if he and Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell mesh together because of their violent style of football: “Definitely, yes, sir, that’s definitely something that we have in common. I’ve seen the style of football that the Detroit Lions like to play and I’m glad I’m a part of the club now because I definitely bring that to the organization.”

On how he makes up for his lack of size in comparison to the players he competes against and what he thought of former Rams DL Aaron Donald and his game: “How I would make up for the lack of size is I have to do the ordinary things, extraordinary things extremely well. I have to have better eyes than the guy that’s 6 (feet) 5 (inches) that might fall into a play and my hand placement has to be better, but I’ve been undersized my whole life. It’s nothing that just happened, so I’ve just got to continue to work with the habits that I work with now and hopefully, it’ll lead me to have a successful career.”

On what he believes his abilities are as a pass-rusher and what he thinks he can do at the next level: “Yes, sir, definitely a guy that can push the pocket and get out to the quarterback. But, immediately coming in, I just want to come in and learn from the older guys. The vets in the room, see what different things they can tweak to my game and the coach as well. And just see how I can take my game to the next level by working with them.”

On what Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell and Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes said they like about his game: “Just, how I’m a disrupter and a leader and a guy that’s going to give you everything that he’s got. I’m going to lay it on the line for the team week-in, week-out. That’s the type of guy I am. I’m a team-first player and they love that mentality.”

On the background on his Zoom call: “Yes, sir, this is a background in this little room. It’s kind of like superhero design. I’m at an Air B&B out in Orlando right now with my family. And it’s kind of like – it’s nice all around the walls.”

On if he is a big superhero fan: “No, absolutely not. I do not like superhero movies at all.”

On whether or not he is looking to be a ballhawk in the NFL with the one interception he recorded against North Texas in 2021: “If I’m lucky enough to get another interception, that’ll be great. But I’m just trying to be a guy that can do everything that the team needs of me. I’m just trying to come in and learn and just be a valuable asset in any way that I can. That’s my mindset right now.”

On what he likes about joining a room with veteran defensive linemen in Lions DLs Alim McNeill and DJ Reader: “I like that there are some guys in the room that have been where I want to be in this League, just guys that can take me under their wing. I can really follow their lead and be successful. So, I’m glad that I got drafted into a veteran room and I’m going to soak up as much knowledge as I can from those guys.”

On if he had a relationship with Lions CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr. during the time he spent with him at Missouri: “Yes, sir, Ennis is my guy. We text all the time. Ennis is my guy. I still have a good relationship with a lot of guys from Missouri.”

On what he thinks the Lions will get out of Lions CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr.: “Ennis, you’re getting a dog. Man, he’s relentless. He’s going to fly around to the ball. He’s going to make plays on the ball and he’s a great person. That’s another guy that’s going to give you everything he’s got day-in, day-out, play-in, play-out.”

On how he has had to overcome adversity in his career including injuries: “Yes, sir, obviously, the injuries that I had this year. But honestly, my whole career has been adversity. I’m a six-foot D-tackle, there’s not a lot (of them) that make it far in the NFL, and getting to the NFL was always a goal of mine. So, I’ve always been overlooked from the high school level, college level. But now that I finally have this opportunity, I’m just ready to make an impact the best way that I can for the team.”
 

LIONS SIXTH-ROUND DRAFT SELECTION (NO. 210 OVERALL) OL CHRISTIAN MAHOGANY DRAFT DAY 3 QUOTE SHEET

On if he thinks Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes saying he has some dirtbag to him is a compliment: “Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s something that I really pride myself on, and I’m glad Mr. Holmes saw it as well as (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell and everyone else. That’s something I pride myself on and I look forward to bringing it to the National Football League.”

On if he wondered why he slipped in the NFL Draft: “No, I wasn’t really thinking that. Everything happens for a reason. I really do feel like this is one of the best spots for me. I probably said that before the Draft started, before the pre-Draft process started. Just being able to get picked where I got picked is a blessing in and of itself. I’m glad that it was Detroit and I’m just happy to move on.”

On why he thought Detroit was one of the best spots for him: “Offensive line is a strong culture, and I feel like you guys – well now, us, I can say – we have one of the best offensive line rooms in the NFL. Me just being a sponge and learning from those guys – (Lions T) Penei Sewell, (Lions G Graham) Glasgow, (Lions T Taylor) Decker, (Lions G Kevin) Zeitler – it’s going to be special for me (for) where I’m at in my career just to learn and be a sponge and take everything in. That’s why I feel that way.”

On what his contact with the Lions was like before the Draft: “We spoke a little, obviously, at the Shrine Bowl and at the Combine, but it wasn’t anything too over extensive. I had a feeling maybe around this time that they were going to take me. It happened so it was good.

On why he decided to stay at Boston College and not transfer his senior year: “I would say I’m a very loyal person. I’m loyal to teammates, players, the people around Boston College, my city, this school, everything around. I could have transferred, I could have taken the easy way out and done something that maybe in the moment is the sexy thing to do, but I wanted to stay and be able to win at Boston College for my coaches, (Boston College Head) Coach (Jeff) Hafley, all my teammates, (Boston College OL)  Ozzy (Trapio) and the O-line – we revamped that. I just wanted to be able to stay – and my family as well. I just wanted to be able to stay and do the things that I wanted to do at Boston College, which was win, and we did that this year.”

Two cars crash on Northland Drive near 8 Mile Road

On Friday at approximately 6:15 P.M., deputies were dispatched to Northland Drive at 8 Mile Road in Mecosta Township for a two vehicle accident.

Investigation found that a 19-year-old female from Morley was travelling northbound on Northland Drive when a 19-year-old male from Ada failed to yield while going eastbound on 8 Mile Road and caused the collision.

The 19 y/o female was transported to Corewell Hospital in Big Rapids for non-life-threatening injuries. Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta Township Fire/Rescue, Mecosta County EMS and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Detroit Lions NFL Draft Day 2 Quote Sheet: 4/27/24

LIONS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER BRAD HOLMES DRAFT DAY 2 QUOTE SHEET

Opening Statement: “Again, I hate to sound like a broken record, but again thrilled with how it fell tonight. Obviously (Lions CB) Ennis (Rakestraw Jr.) was a guy we had ranked very, very high. He’s another one that we didn’t think he was going to make it that far. We didn’t even know if he was going to make it out of really the first night. But when he was still there starting today, I didn’t think he was going to last that long. But just – we were actually trying to get up, but we were just so far down. A lot of people don’t really want to trade that far down, so we just kind of stayed pat. We were just thrilled that he landed there. He had some medical stuff he had to go through last season, and he battled it throughout the whole spring process as well. So, I think that kind of set him back a little bit too, but just thrilled how it panned out.”

On what the competition will look like at cornerback after loading up at the position this offseason: “Yeah, it’s a bloodbath in there now. It is, and that’s what makes everything better. It makes the room better, it makes the defense better, it makes the team better. Competition just brings the best out of everybody. And look, it’s something that – we didn’t go into it saying that we were going to get two corners in the first two rounds. We really didn’t, it was just he was the highest-graded guy for us at the time. We went ahead, and you know how we roll. We went ahead and got him. But those were also our top-two ranked corners as well. And you know, look, it’s an all-things-considered process, not just stats and highlights. It’s a lot of things that are involved in those rankings. But we’re just thrilled because they’re all the same in terms of they both fit us like a glove. They’re both gritty, physical, challenge-mentality kind of guys. They can press. I know I talked a lot about (Lions CB) Terrion (Arnold) yesterday but sticking on (Lions CB) Ennis (Rakestraw Jr.), a guy that – saw him on film at first and thought he was going to be a lot smaller. He was thinner the year before, but when I saw him at the LSU game, Mizzou-LSU game, his frame looked good. He looked like a guy that can play outside and survive and then you see how he is in the run game, and now you get up and face some really good receivers in the SEC. But yeah, just thrilled how it fell through.”

On if Lions second-round draft selection CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr. was high up on their board when they tried to trade up: “Yeah, it just wasn’t a lot of guys that we had that highly ranked. It was really just a couple of guys that we had up there where they would’ve been possible considerations at 29. So, it was a couple of those guys so we were trying to get one of them. One of them went, and then Ennis was still there, so we went ahead and got him. Again, we don’t really care the position it’s just we take the best player. It just so happens that setup. Again, it’s something that we’ve always been trying to find that future at that position, and it just never really matched up. It never really lined up. We weren’t in a position to get one or we just had a better player at another position ranked over that – another corner. It’s not anything that we’ve been ignoring or anything, it just really hadn’t been lined up. We’re not going to reach for a corner just to get a corner either. But yeah, super ecstatic that we finally got some future and youth at that position.”

On Lions CBs Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. being on the same Top 30 visit together and what stood out about them off-the-field: “Yeah, so first of all, going to Terrion I know we talked about just the personality and just big energy, big personality, very, very confident. Ennis is actually different. You feel the confidence. Me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) sitting there and talking to him, I just kind of felt ‘dog’ exuding out of him, just a lot more quiet, just kind of to the point and to the business, not as loud and vocal and vivid personality like Terrion was. And again, that’s how all these kids are. There’s – it’s actually a really fun process where all of them are asked a lot of the same questions and you get these different answers. They’re all different personalities. But Terrion and Ennis, both of them you really felt like, ‘OK, these guys fit who we’re about. These guys fit our culture.’ But it was something about Ennis, just the competitiveness, the drive, how he talked about his story, how he talked about his process, how he talks about just the details of ever since he came out of high school out in Texas and just the whole recruiting process and how when he got to Missouri, his whole thing about these receivers that he’s been up against in the past going against (Steelers WR George) Pickens. All these things that I was just like, ‘Man, this guy’s about one of the more competitive kids just talking with him.’ So, it’s not only that I felt a competitive dog out of him, but he was speaking it too and his tape shows the same thing.”

On not taking prospects out to Top Golf like the Washington Commanders: “No, it probably would’ve been a good little tournament though.”

On if there was a self-scout process within the defense that identified certain characteristics they wanted their offseason secondary additions to have: “Yeah, me and (Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG have had conversations about that. Again, really open and transparent conversations just about what the process has been about kind of really solidifying that position. But I know exactly what we want it to look like. Often what we were – when I was in L.A. with the Rams and playing against when (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) and AG were with the Saints, I actually thought of them as one of the more suffocating defenses that we went against. Just everything felt very tight and suffocating and sticky. It was just a lot of just – it was hard to find separation. Going against that kind of defense, I had a really good feel for what Dan and AG kind of wanted that defense to be like. That’s what we’ve been striving for. Look, we had a lot of work to do on defense. Like I told you guys back maybe around Owners Meetings, there was maybe a little less work to do with some of the offensive linemen that we had in place when we got here, but defense was a complete start-over basically. So, we just have been kind of doing it brick-by-brick, but again we’re not going to reach on a position. We’re not going to just draft a corner just because he plays corner. No, it’s got to be the right football player. So, it just so happened that this year (Lions CB) Terrion (Arnold) was the right football player. (Lions CB) Ennis (Rakestraw Jr.) was the right football player, he just happened to play the corner position.”

On if the team wrestles with doubling up at a certain position when they have needs at other positions too: “No, I really don’t. Yeah, I mean you look at it, and you probably wouldn’t draft seven corners. You probably won’t do that, but the board probably wouldn’t be shaped like that. At some point, there’s going to be another player at another position that’s probably ranked higher. But eventually, yeah, it probably hits a maximum, but we were kind of lacking some youth – especially on the outside there. That’s why it lined up. Again, it’s hard for us, it’s hard for me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell), it’s hard for our staff, to have a guy that’s a really good football player that fits for us and you say, ‘Ah, no, we already took at that position. Let’s get this other player. He’s not as good as this player at this position, let’s get another player at another position that’s not as good because he plays another position or a player that we’re not that fired up about, but he plays another position.’ It’s hard to sleep at night, to do that. That’s how we’ve operated so far to this point and that’s what we’ll keep doing.”

On the value of drafting players who have overcome adversity on the field: “That’s huge, and that’s something that’s really, very important to us when we’re talking to these prospects about telling us about adverse moments. The way they answer that question, some of it is football related, some of it is life-related. But I think that’s a very important and critical factor that plays in the success of a lot of these players because when you get to this level, it’s hard. You can have a lot of success in college, but it's hard up here. The competition is different, the grind, all the standards – it’s hard. It’s pressure. So, sometimes you can just have some days where you might not feel like doing that extra (work), you get late in the season, ‘Man, I’ve got to get up early again and go to the weight room and get treatment.’ It gets hard. Guys that will grind through and persevere – grit’s all over this place. The adversity piece is a big deal for us and a lot of the guys that we’ve acquired, they’ve had good stories about persevering through.”

On the logjam at the cornerback position: “Why do you call it a logjam? It’s healthy competition.”

On if there is a cornerback on the roster that he envisions moving inside: “Terrion (Arnold) has played inside and out, Ennis (Rakestraw Jr.) has played inside and out. It’s funny you brought that up. Me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) were talking this morning, or early afternoon, about the potential of another corner being the best player and us taking another corner. We talked about that. We didn’t know it was going to happen, but we talked about that, and we know that these guys were – it’s not just, ‘Oh, we’ve got outside corner.’ No, they’re DBs. Like, they’re DBs – they’re versatile. They can play outside, they can play inside. These guys can play special teams if they’re not starting or playing. That’s the beauty of all of it. There’s guys that we thought could play nickel and safety, and it’s like, ‘No, we have a safety, we have a nickel,’ but there’s nothing wrong with adding another one. The versatility component is big for us and it’s kind of the approach that it was last year too, when we got E-Man (Emmanuel Moseley) and (Cam) Sutton and CJ (Gardner-Johnson) and all those guys. It wasn’t about just fitting those DBs in boxes, it was just the versatility in getting smart, gritty DBs.”

On what intrigued him about bringing in Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs Deshea Townsend and newly-selected CBs Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr.: “Well, obviously got a lot of respect for Deshea in terms of I know he was a good player in the League, has been coaching a lot in this League. I used to see Deshea at pro days a lot. I’ve never worked with him, but you can kind of tell the passion a coach has, how much he puts into that drill-work, and how he works with those kids. So, I’ve always had a lot of respect for him from afar. A lot of places he’s (gone), he’s shown that he can develop DBs and put out good DB play. But to get Townsend and then get these two corners, which again, those were our top-ranked guys, it was kind of the perfect storm that just all came together. It doesn’t always line up that way. Obviously, we could have gone with other positions that you guys have rattled off in the past, but it just happened to work that way. I think Deshea was telling me that he still wanted some more. You said logjam, but he was still asking for some more.”

On if he can explain the meaning of his ‘Positional Villain’ hoodie: “I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever released kind of what villain really means, so we’ll still keep that in-house. Just the positional part – I got hit with positional value last year. It’s just a little spin on it.”

On the uniqueness of the long gap between picks and if he is willing to use future assets to trade back up: “I’ll consider anything if the player’s right. It’s funny – going into today, I kind of went into today thinking we’re just going to sit there at No. 61 and stay pat and see what falls to us, but we were actually making calls trying to get up into the high 30s and 40s. I kind of woke up with kind of an aggressive mindset and there were some dudes still up there that we really liked and we were just trying to get them. But then you’ve also got to look at, OK, these resources that you allocate to move up and the future capital and all that, we also have meetings about, ‘OK, what’s that going to look like when this time comes next year?’ Or ‘What’s that going to affect what we might have to do in the future?’ I try to be very, very mindful of not being a prisoner of the moment, and it seems like every single year there’s going to be a Day Two Darling that you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I really want (him),’ and sometimes you’ve got to catch yourself. Last year, it was (Sam) LaPorta. It’s always going to be that personnel – we had that pick to acquire him, but you’ve got to just be disciplined from that standpoint and kind of go through the consequences if there are any for what those move-ups can mean for the future.”

On if he has someone in the draft room keeping him in check on potential moves: “There’s really not some specific get-back person, but the communication and dialogue of our internal group is very healthy and it helps put a lot because someone might point something out about, ‘Well, if this happens, if you do this, than this, that, that, that and that could come about.’ Some things that I’ve already thought about, but I’ve come to peace with, and I say, ‘Yeah, I get it, but let’s go ahead and do it because it’s for the betterment of the now and we can survive in the future.’ Or sometimes it’s a point that’s brought up that says, ‘That’s going to hurt us too much in the future.’ You guys have heard me talk about the marshmallow experiment, so sometimes you’ve got to just embrace that delayed gratification a little bit.”

On if the hoodies were his idea for the draft room: “You think this would be my idea? I can’t tell everything. We are looking for villains, but I got tipped off on what positional value was. I didn’t know what that was. I didn’t know what it was, so when you guys showed me, I was like, ‘Oh, wow.’ And then I thought about it, and I was like, ‘Positional value is like – so you pick a position but not the player.’ I was thinking like, ‘No, you’re looking for football players.’ So, you’re looking for these guys. But it doesn’t matter, so it’s more positional villain.”

On him not hearing the term ‘positional value’ before: “No, I haven’t. I mean I understand the term, like, ‘Oh, well you want to get a quarterback over whatever.’ Like, I understand that, but I didn’t know that it was a thing where you would draft a position regardless of the player, because I think that’s very easy. Just like I talked about it with free agency in the spring. You can win the headlines in March and April and all that stuff. That’s easy to draft whatever the premium positions are – quarterback and edge rusher and tackle and those positions. Say you draft only those positions, but they’re not contributing to your football team. So, did you win the Draft? Did you win the Draft because you drafted those positions? But they’re not contributing to your football team. Or do you draft the best football players that contribute to your football team that make you a better football team? We’re trying to draft football players that contribute and make us a better football team versus just those. When I heard it in that light, just, ‘Draft this position,’ that’s the part that I really couldn’t come to grips with. I really didn’t understand it.”
 

LIONS SECOND-ROUND DRAFT SELECTION (NO. 61 OVERALL) CB ENNIS RAKESTRAW DRAFT DAY 2 QUOTE SHEET

On the emotions he and his family are feeling after getting drafted and how surprised he was that the Lions picked him after picking Lions CB Terrion Arnold in the first round: “The first part of the question, my emotions were all over the place because I didn’t know what to expect. Everybody waits for the phone call to be made. So, it was just a lot of waiting anxious and watching players go by, just really anxious. So, I was extremely proud and grateful for the moment. I’m glad I got to talk to (Lions Head) Coach (Dan Campbell). I got an understanding. The Arnold situation, me and Arnold actually were on our Top 30 visit together, so it was great to actually get to know him a little bit better now because he seems like a cool dude, chill dude who can – and his drive and determination are what the Lions want and I feel like my drive and determination are what they want as well. So, we’re just trying to get to work as soon as possible.”

On how he and Lions CB Terrion Arnold were paired together on their Top 30 Visit and how they interacted with each other that day: “My vision, I didn’t know Arnold was there until I got in the car. And, obviously, you know we’re SEC guys, so SEC knows each other a lot, so we were talking. I saw him at the Combine. We chopped it up at the Combine and when we were there it was just a lot of laughs. We – at that point, this was a journey. It wasn’t our final destination, but we just enjoyed it and every moment of that.”

On what he looks forward to learning from Lions CBs Emmanuel Moseley and Carlton Davis III: “Everything as possible, anything that they can help me with as a player because they’re vets. Those guys have been there, done that. They’re good at what they do, so I just have to learn as much from them as possible and apply it to my game.”

On how he describes his game as a cornerback: “I call myself the ‘Tone-setter.’ My defense used to call me the firecracker of the team, because yeah, I’m a corner, but I’ll come up and set that edge. I’ll hit you like a linebacker and I just let my presence be felt every play that I’m out there.”

On if he pegged himself as a fit for the Lions and how his perspective changed after Lions CB Terrion Arnold was selected in the first round: “Yeah, it was up in the air. And during the process I thought – it was just one of my visits with them and I liked how (Lions Head) Coach (Dan Campbell) is, Coach Campbell, his philosophy and the (Lions Defensive) Coordinator (Aaron Glenn)’s philosophy about physicality. I feel like that’s what I brought, so I felt like it was a great fit. Terrion, I didn’t think he would fall that low in the Draft, so it was kind of crazy to see, but they picked up a great corner and I’m just happy to be a part of it. So, I was kind of shocked that they picked me, but now I’ve got to make them right.”

On the value of having Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn and Lions Passing Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach Deshea Townsend as his teachers: “I feel like that will elevate my game a lot more than it’s already been because they’ve been there, done that. And they’re – they’re player-coaches. All of them in the building, when I walked around, that was one unique thing that I saw in the Lions organization, there’s a whole bunch of talented coaches who once were players, so they know the ins and outs of both worlds.”

On how much pride he takes in being able to leave the Missouri football team better than when he first arrived: “That was the whole goal for me. I decided to go to Missouri – the reason I went there is because I wanted to go to a program that wasn’t already built up. My high school wasn’t already built up, so I just went back on my training. We worked hard, we showed grit and then my senior year, my last two years of high school, we turned it around. I’m happy I got the job done in Missouri. I was just one small piece. I wasn’t the main piece, we all were the main pieces. We all split it all even. We bled together, we sweat and we almost passed that on stadiums together, so that was a team effort.”

On if he had been to Detroit prior to his Top 30 Visit and what he knows about the city: “That was my first time actually being in Detroit. I’m a guy where I grew up kind of like we never traveled, we never left the state. The only time that I left the state was during football, so that was my first time actually seeing it. But now that I’m a Lion, I guess I can explore the city a lot more now.”

On the pair he thinks he and Lions CB Terrion Arnold can be for the future: “A force to be reckoned with. We’re going to fit the culture. We’re going to leave it like how we found – better than we found it, or even as much as we found it. They’ve already established their DNA which was – almost close to being in the Super Bowl. It’s already there, we’re just happy to learn from those guys and keep the train moving.”

On how much he needs to work on his ball skills to earn more interceptions than the one he had in his collegiate career: “You’re never a complete player, so you can always work on everything. For me, ball skills are – I had one interception, so you can say that’s not ball skills, but the PBUs that I make, you can tell that I’m judging the ball. Some of the passes in the air, you still have to judge it. There’s never been a time where I jumped too early or anything. It’s just me needing to be on the jugs a little bit more. Some of my PBUs could’ve been interceptions when I watched film so just fixing my technique and staying sharp. And as I do that, I feel like I’m going to have more interceptions. I’m going to be more effective in the League than when they ask me for the game that I was in college because now I know exactly what I need to work on, and I’ve been working with a trainer who has been helping me with my movements.”

On at what point he knew he had what it took to make it in the NFL and how much motivation he still carries with himself going back to that time: “So, going into my senior year, I wasn’t let in the Under Armour All-American Camp. I was at the gate, Coach was supposed to let me in, but then he came back and said some of the guys said I don’t look like a Power Five athlete because I was so small. I called my mom, my mom picked me up. I cried in the car, and I put an oath to myself that for the rest of this year, every four or five-star I face is going to feel me and I’m going to show them I’m that type of guy. And I did that and got to this point. There’s always going to be a chip on my shoulder, I was born with it.”

On what goes through his mind when he is on an island guarding a wide receiver: “It’s me versus you, who wants to win, my family is on the line and all the stuff that they talk you up about, that’s not me. You have to show them.”

On how he felt after being turned away from the Under Amour All-American Camp: “OK, so, I actually was in Lawrence – I was in, yeah, University of Kansas on an unofficial visit. One of my teammates had an offer, but I went because they showed that they had interest in me. We got the call from my coach and said that they wanted both of us to go to the Under Armour All-American Camp, so we drove back that night straight there, so that’s probably like four hours away. I got there, they turned me around, so it was kind of like, ‘Man, we drove all the way here and he’s the only one that got to go.’ So, I felt like it was a slap in my face and showed me that I needed to work a little bit harder because nobody believed in me. In the offseason, I just worked a day of extra reps. I just changed my whole mentality of a player.”

On how he changed in order to be considered a top prospect after being turned away from the Under Armour All-American Camp: “See, I was always a smaller guy, so I was like 139 pounds. My senior year, I was like 150-154 pounds, so I got a little bit bigger. But it really was just – I was the number one corner at my school now, so I’m – obviously, Texas has the best football, 6A. I had to guard some top receivers who even were draft picks or five-stars, player of the years and I shut them down and I feel like that’s when I started getting my credit and people started turning on the tape and actually knew that I was good besides looking at my size and just writing me off.”

On if he feels that people still write him off or if he has silenced most of his doubters: “I feel that I’m where I’m supposed to be in the Draft. Through my process, or whatever, I feel like I could have (gone) a lot earlier, but I can’t look at it that way. I’m in the best fit for me as possible. So, I’m going to just prove the Lions right and everybody else wrong.”

One hospitalized, three others injured following car and carriage crash in Mecosta County

On Friday at 8:44 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a personal injury accident involving a car and carriage on Jefferson Rd. near 165th Ave.

The investigation showed that a 42-year-old female driver from Morley was traveling eastbound when she rear-ended an Amish carriage containing three occupants. The 71-year-old operator from Morley, along with 13-year-old and 46-year-old passengers from Ashland, Ohio, were all ejected from the carriage upon impact. 

All occupants of the carriage received minor non life-threatening injuries. The 46-year-old male from Ashland was transported to the Big Rapids Corewell Health Hospital for treatment. 

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

Stephens, Oladipo, and Wade among former Ferris State football players hoping to hear their names called during the NFL Draft

The 89th annual National Football League Draft takes place this weekend in Detroit and former Ferris State University football standouts are hoping to hear their names called or be contacted as potential free agent pickups following the annual event.

The Bulldogs have several players who completed their eligibility this past fall, leading FSU to a nation-leading ninth consecutive playoff appearance and hoping to make the jump to professional football.

Defensive back Shon Stephens, defensive end Olalere Oladipo and wide receiver Xavier Wade are receiving the strongest attention. All have either spent the past several months training for an opportunity, taken part in pro day events or been pegged on various draft boards.

Former quarterback Mylik Mitchell has already started his pro career in the Indoor Football League while other alums such as defensive end Ian Hall and slot receiver CJ Jefferson have also been listed among players competing for training camp opportunities.

Several lists have Stephens featured among the top players in the small college ranks leading into the draft and tabbed as either a potential late round or preferred free agent pickup by various sources. He has drawn significant interest from NFL organizations. Both Wade and Oladipo have also garnered interest from professional football teams.

The NFL Draft will take place in Detroit this year and be aired across ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network from Thursday to Saturday. The opening round begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. with rounds two and three set for Friday starting at 7 p.m. The final day will consist of rounds four thru seven on Saturday beginning at noon.

Six years ago, former defensive tackle Zach Sieler became Ferris State's first-ever NFL Draft choice when he was picked in the seventh round as the 238th overall selection by the Baltimore Ravens.

Overall, the Bulldogs have had 11 players in a NFL Preseason Camp over the past three summers, which is the most of any D2 school in the country.

The 'Dawgs who took part in NFL camps from 2021 to 2023 have included former DB Tavierre Thomas (Houston Texans), DL Zach Sieler (Miami Dolphins), DT Justin Zimmer (Buffalo Bills), WR Jake Lampman (New Orleans Saints), WR Malik Taylor (Green Bay Packers and New York Jets), DL Austin Edwards (Kansas City Chiefs), DT Chris Okoye (Los Angeles Rams), receiver Jared Bernhardt (Atlanta Falcons), offensive tackle Zein Obeid (Detroit Lions), offensive tackle Dylan Pasquali (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and defensive end Caleb Murphy (Tennessee Titans).

Four Bulldog alums are currently still with NFL organizations, including Thomas with Tampa Bay, Sieler with Miami, Taylor with the Jets, and Murphy with the Titans, which is among tops of all D2 schools.

Several Bulldog alums are also competing professionally in indoor and outdoor leagues.

The recent Bulldog alums in the NFL have also included former linebacker Brady Sheldon and former two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan.

Ten of the alums have played in at least one NFL regular-season game since 2016. Three former Bulldogs were part of team's that made the NFL Conference Championship Games in 2020 in Taylor, Zimmer and Edwards.

While Sieler is the only Ferris State football player to ever be drafted by an NFL team, several other former Bulldogs have inked NFL contracts as free agents and played in the league.

The Bulldogs had at least one NFL free agent pickup following the draft each of the past eight seasons in which they've played a campaign. Fifteen alumni have earned camp invites over the past five years as offensive tackle Devon Johnson and receiver Keyondre Craig also competed in training camps in 2019.

Over the past nine seasons, Sieler, Vander Laan, Sheldon, Zimmer, Thomas, Lampman, Taylor, Edwards, Bernhardt, and Murphy have all seen NFL regular-season action after Lampman became the first to do so in 13 years back in 2016.

Unofficially, nearly 30 former Ferris State players have inked NFL free agent deals.

Former defensive back Marvin Robinson inked with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014 with defensive tackle Marcus Cribbs signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. Those two represented the first since free agent cornerback Angelo Williams with the Minnesota Vikings in 2010.

In 2013, former defensive end Jordan Morgan received a rookie tryout with the New York Giants but did not sign. In 2016, Vander Laan, Lampman and Zimmer all signed and reached NFL camps while Sheldon did likewise in 2017 before Sieler, Thomas and Okoye joined NFL organizations in 2018. In 2019, the trio of Taylor, Johnson and Craig all were signed following the draft while Bernhardt, Obeid, and Pasquali garnered opportunities in 2022 followed by Murphy in 2023.

The select group also consists of running back Dave Gagnon (1974-Chicago Bears), outside linebacker Monty Brown (1997-New York Jets), defensive tackle Ed Philion (1994-Buffalo Bills), defensive end Dave Zuiderveen (2001-Atlanta Falcons), flanker Clarence Coleman (2002-Buffalo Bills), tackle Matt McCoy (2004-Detroit Lions), wide receiver Carlton Brewster (2006-Cleveland Browns) and defensive tackle Jake Visser (2009-Houston Texans).

Two other former Ferris State players, offensive guard Bill Bourdlais and safety Patrick Wells, received tryout invitations from the Cleveland Browns in 2008 and participated in the team's rookie minicamp, but did not ink a deal.

Others with NFL tryouts including wide receiver Andre Johnson (1989), quarterback Dave DenBraber (1987), tight end Scott Alward (1984-Detroit Lions/New York Giants) and receiver/returner Fred Kirkland (1981). Defensive back James Skodak (2006) also had tryouts with several NFL organizations among other past Bulldog standouts.

The Bulldog standouts awaiting the draft all played key roles this past fall in leading Ferris State to a ninth consecutive playoff berth this past fall and many were part of back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championship teams in 2021 and 2022. FSU also ranks as the country's winningest program over the past nine full seasons in D2 Football.

Bulldog NFL Fact List:

1 - Alum was chosen in the NFL Draft (Zach Sieler - 2018)

4 - Alums currently on NFL rosters

6 - Alums received NFL training camp invites in 2022

10 - Alums have played in NFL regular-season action since 2016

10 - Alums playing professionally in NFL, XFL or USFL in 2023

15 - Alums have earned NFL training camp invites since 2019

15 - Alums all-time have played in an NFL regular-season game

27 - Alums all-time have signed NFL free agent contracts

 

(Photo provided by Ferris State University).

Detroit Lions NFL Draft Day 1 Quote Sheet: 4/26/24

LIONS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER BRAD HOLMES DRAFT DAY 1 QUOTE SHEET

Opening Statement: “So obviously – I don’t want to say speechless, but overly thrilled with how tonight went. All these Drafts, you never know how it’s going to go. You know, you kind of got winds – we knew it was an offensive-heavy Draft, that’s what we did know. But we didn’t quite know was that those defenders would get pushed to that point, especially a guy like (Lions CB) Terrion (Arnold). But we couldn’t be more ecstatic or thrilled how it went.”

On what point they started to make calls about trading up when they saw Lions first-round draft selection CB Terrion Arnold was still available: “Yeah, I mean I was calling late teens. I was calling just trying to see. I didn’t think he was going to be there. Really, didn’t think he was going to be there calling late teens, but really trying and thinking we were going to have to settle for a different player at a different position but still trade up. But yeah, it wasn’t a whole lot of trade backs that early just because it kind of fell I think well for a lot of people. So, I’m still a little kind of – never thought he would be there, but we couldn’t be more thrilled.”

On if selecting Lions CB Terrion Arnold is a perfect combination of choosing the best available player while filling a need: “One hundred percent. It doesn’t always match up that way. I know you guys have heard me say a million times we don’t care what the position is, we just want to get the best football player, but it happened to match up with it’s the best football player and it was an area where we wanted to add one at some point. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to add one in the first round, and to be honest we weren’t really anticipating being able to add one in the first round. So, we just kind of thought we would be out of the mix for a lot of those guys, especially him. Especially him because he was our best – he was our highest-rated corner.”

On Lions CB Terrion Arnold’s ball production and if it could translate to the NFL: “Yeah, he’s sticky. He can play man coverage. The thing about Terrion, what’s great about him – some of these guys, they are what they are or you might say, ‘Well, the ceiling might not be as high.’ The thing about him is you go back to his ’22 film, you go back to earlier this season, and you saw an incremental improvement just every single game. So I think the first time I watched one of his games was I think it was the LSU game, that’s when I first kind of saw him and I was like, ‘OK, I see skillset.’ But then you start getting down – you start getting to those late games in the college football playoffs and you see him against Georgia and you’re like, ‘OK, it’s on the come.’ And that as well with the skillset. We feel really good about his floor, but we feel even better about his ceiling. We feel really good about the kid. We brought him in, we interviewed him. We brought him in, he’s got a big personality. He’s got a high ceiling. He’s a sticky corner. He’ll tackle. He’s got good size and length. He had a great workout when I went down to see him at his pro day. That was a game that I kind of wanted – I wanted to catch an Alabama game, but never was able to get there. We made a concerted effort to get to his pro day, and he had a great workout. Again, we’re just really thrilled with how it fell this way.”

On Lions CB Terrion Arnold’s physicality playing man-to-man: “Yeah, that’s not an issue. That’s not an issue. He’ll get in your face. He’s got a challenge mentality. He will tackle. He’s got the right mindset that we’re looking for. He fits us like a glove. He fits us to a tee exactly how we want to play. We couldn’t be (more) thrilled. Like you guys know, it’s kind of a – when guys don’t play hard, when guys aren’t physical, it’s hard to play here when those guys aren’t wired that way, but he’s one of those guys that are wired that way.”

On what he has learned about the Alabama program after selecting a player from the school three first-rounds in a row: “Yeah I mean look, I have so much respect for (former Alabama Head Coach) Nick (Saban) and everything that he’s done with that program. That’s one of those places where when I was a young southeast scout, you just go to Alabama and you just want to camp out there for a week because not only do they have really good players, but you knew the level of player you were getting and you saw the type of practices you were having and the information access. But ultimately, the coaching that they were already receiving, those guys practice hard. They practice intense. And so, you just kind of – I think I said it last year about not only about Alabama, but we got the two kids from Iowa last year. There are a lot of other schools I can say that about, like you know we’ve got Michigan right down the road. But when you pull kids out of those programs, you pretty much have a good feel. Not all of them are the same as a person, but you kind of know what they’ve already been through and you definitely know what kind of coaching they’ve had and you’ve seen them versus the highest level, and there’s really not a whole lot more to see. Again, I never thought it would have worked out like that with the continuous Bama to Bama to Bama, but I’m not surprised either because we knew how we wanted to build our football team, and those guys have been a stalwart powerhouse in the top college football conference for a very long time. Again, Saban, you see him in practice. He spends a lot of time with his DBs every time I’ve been to practice, an Alabama practice. Again, it gives you a little higher-level comfort.”

On what he learned about how Lions CB Terrion Arnold is wired through the pre-Draft process: “Yeah, he’s got a lot of energy. A lot of energy. Again, he’s got a challenge mindset. He’s got a challenge mentality. He’s got the physicality. I mean, he’s gritty. And he’s still developing, that’s the thing about him. He’s still growing and he’s still getting better. That’s what you kind of love about him. He is a corner. I don’t want to say he’s a flashy guy, he’s a big personality, but in a good way. I think you guys will enjoy him. He’s got a great smile. He’s got a lot of energy. He’s got different interests. I know me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) enjoyed our time spent with him as well as all of our coaches. The mindset checked. That box was checked and obviously the player and the skillset checked. And as you guys know, it’s more than just the skillset for us. That’s the easy part. That’s the easy part to see if someone is athletic, if someone can run fast, can change directions. You can do that day one. It’s like how’s a guy wired, and we felt good about that.”

On how close the group of top cornerbacks was in his mind and what set Lions CB Terrion Arnold apart: “Yeah, just – again, this is the great thing about the Draft. It’s 31 other rankings and boards. We had a pretty let’s call it ‘significant’ line underneath him to the next guy in our opinion. It wasn’t – we didn’t really have a lot of guys that were up there even in that first round bucket at that position, but he was one of the small few that was even up there in consideration for us. But it was a line.”

LIONS 2024 FIRST-ROUND DRAFT SELECTION (24TH OVERALL) DB TERRION ARNOLD DRAFT DAY 1 QUOTE SHEET

On his confidence and what he can bring to the Lions defense: “I’m a shut-down corner. So, I’m coming in to guard (wide) receiver ones off the rip. I feel like I was already coming in with a chip on my shoulder just based on the Draft, and how everything was going. On top of that, (Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager) Brad (Holmes), he traded up to get me. And that means a lot to me, so I’m going to go out there and I’m going to show why he did it.”

On if he had a sense that the Lions drafting him was a realistic possibility: “Yeah, of course. Even talking to guys like (Lions DB) Brian Branch. I was like, ‘If I can get united with you in the secondary again, it would be elite,’ because playing with him at Alabama, it was fun. We played off each other, fed off each other, and I’m just glad I get to do it again. As far as competing against guys like (Lions WR) Jameson Williams, being with guys like (Lions RB) Jahmyr Gibbs, it means everything to me, man. Those are my brothers. It’s something special going on here in Detroit. I feel like they just need to take that one extra step, and I think we could do it this year.”

On what it was like to get drafted in Detroit tonight: “It was ecstatic, man. I grabbed the mic, and I said I was home because I really meant it. Like, you could feel it. You could feel the crowd, the energy and I’m just ready to get in front of our fans. I feel like we’ve got the best fanbase in the NFL.”

On if he feels like the secondary is on solid ground with the offensive threats in the NFC North: “I’m ready. It’s just an opportunity to go out there and win Defensive Rookie of the Year. When you come in everybody knows when you are a rookie, you know teams are going to try you. It’s a great opportunity to just establish myself and show the fans I really am a crowd favorite. You sit up here, and you talk it, you’ve got to be able to back it up.”

On what makes him so good at forcing turnovers: “I am not looking to get PBUs. Anytime the ball is in the air I am looking to take it away. Not only am I looking to take it away, I am looking to score. You guys haven’t really seen my return ability, but just know when I get my first (turnover) one, if I am kind of on equal footing, it’s going to be a show, man. I can’t promise I’m going to score because I don’t want to sit up here and give false hope, but I promise you I’m not going down without a fight.”

On where he thinks he needs to develop and grow the most: “I feel I need to get stronger. With me just turning 21, obviously, I’m not even into my grown-man strength (yet). I’ve only been playing corner for two years. So, this year, I’m looking forward to taking the next leap in my game. I would have done the same thing if I was returning to college, but I am grateful I can do it in the NFL this year.”

On the biggest lesson he learned from his time at Alabama: “I just learned the importance of camaraderie and just having a great relationship with your teammates. You can’t call someone your brother if you don’t really know what they stand for, if you don’t know their family, or what motivates them. So, I learned how to interact with my teammates and figure out what pushes them and what drives them, and they learned the same thing about me.”

On his impressions of Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell and Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn during his top 30 visits: “Sat in there with Coach Glenn, I said, ‘Coach, I would love to play for you. As far as being a cornerback, man, we’re going to be best friends,’ because he played the game. He knows what it’s like to run out of the tunnel, to feel the emotion. He’s going to make me a great player. He’s going to coach me hard. And then Coach Dan, as far as a coach, man, he’s a great guy, man. Gets the best out of his players. The first thing he told me, he was like, ‘Dude, your level of play speed, you have another gear that you could tap into. You’re only 21 years old. I think you’re one of the youngest players in the Draft. If we get the chance to have you, if the opportunity presents itself, we’re coming to get you.’ So, when they called me, I said, ‘It’s go time, Coach.”

On Lions CB Carlton Davis being from Auburn: “I am the new kid on the block. All that college stuff goes out the window. We’re teammates. I’m ready to listen to him because obviously he’s been in the League. He’s been successful in the League and I’m eager to learn from him. I just pride myself on being humble, and obviously, if I don’t know anything, or if I’m in unchartered territory and someone wants to go out there and give me great advice, teach me how to be a professional, learn from him, I’m looking forward to doing that.”

On what it is about players from Alabama that makes them good pros and attracts them to the Detroit Lions: “Development, and the importance of winning, and the importance of competing. When you come to Alabama you have to change your mindset because it’s going to be a dogfight every day – as far as whether it’s practice, definitely the games because you’re going to get everyone’s best, and Coach (Nick) Saban pushed us to the limit every day and that’s what the Lions are trying to do. We’re trying to take that next step as far as winning that Super Bowl.”

LIONS PASSING GAME COORDINATOR/DEFENSIVE BACKS COACH DESHEA TOWNSEND DRAFT DAY 1 QUOTE SHEET

On if he worked picking a cornerback in the first round of the Draft into his contract: “Oh, man, that’s the one thing we always want is good competition. It makes everybody better, makes the room better, makes the building better, so he adds more competition to our room.”

On his first impressions of Lions first-round draft selection (24th overall) CB Terrion Arnold and what he showed him in pre-Draft meetings as a person and player: “Well, one thing that he showed was just how smart he was. The type of competitive and just smart and understanding of football were some of the things that stood out right away. His understanding of the scheme, the things they did at Alabama, how he was able to have some position flexibility, all those. You saw that when you talked to him and then you just saw his personality. You got a chance to kind of understand how he wants to compete, how he loves to compete and that’s one of the most important things to be a really good pro, is have that competitive nature.”

On the attributes Lions CB Terrion Arnold needs to have to be successful in the NFL: “Oh, man, he’s a corner. That’s one thing you’ve got to have – you’ve got to have confidence. You’ve got to be borderline cocky, but you’ve got to be humble at the same time. And he is – he is a kid that has confidence, but having that confidence, he understands that he has to work, and that’s the one thing I felt from him when I talked to him.”

On what he saw on film from Lions CB Terrion Arnold and his ability to get takeaways: “Yeah, no that’s one of the most important things that I look at is when we’re watching a corner is can he track and locate? Can he take the ball away? That’s one thing that you want to have the ability to do is be able to find the ball when you’re in phase and go create turnovers. And that’s always good when you can do it. But his ability, naturally find the ball is something that he has.”

On the first things he does as a coach to help a young cornerback in his transition into the League: “I just – the biggest thing is just getting that foundation or technique. I always try to find home base when things don’t go right and then having the short-term memory, not panicking, not being that type of person that when something goes wrong, that you go into a hole or to a tank. You’ve got to stay here, especially at corner. You’ve got to be able to go play. It’s not always going to go perfect, but we want to have more wins than losses and that’s the one thing that I always try to make sure my guys understand is we’ve got to keep playing. No matter how it goes, we’re going to finish it the right way and he has that mentality. Just making sure that his foundation is right, making sure his technique is sound and we’ve always got some home base to go back to when things get a little bit shaky.”

On if he was rooting for Lions CB Terrion Arnold to be the Lions’ first pick or if he wanted a different pick: “Well, I’ll say this, every coach in the building selfishly wants all the players they can get. But when you have a guy like that, that’s kind of – other teams pick who they want, but when you see one of your top players is still there, it always makes it exciting to have an opportunity to get him and when we saw the trade come in, we’re not in the room with the head coach and the GM, so we kind of looking who is it and we had an opportunity to see who it was, so it was a nice feeling.”

Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Accreditation Assessment Team invites public comment

A team of assessors from the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (MLEAC) will arrive on Thursday, May 9, 2024, to examine all aspects of the Big Rapids Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services Chief Danielle Haynes announced yesterday.

“Verification by the team that the Big Rapids Police Department meets the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission’s “best practice” standards is part of a voluntary process to achieve accreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence”, Chief Haynes said.

As part of this final On-Site Assessment, employees and members of the public are invited to provide comments to the Assessment Team. They may do so by telephone or email. The public may call 231-527-0018 on May 10, 2024, between the hours of 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Email comments can be sent to brpdcomments2024@bigrapidsdps.org.

Telephone comments are limited to five (5) minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with the Commission’s standards. A copy of the standards is available for inspection at the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, 435 N. Michigan Ave. Please contact Sgt. Liz West, Accreditation Manager at 231-527-0005 ext. 1218.

Anyone wishing to offer written comments about the Big Rapids Police Department’s ability to comply with the standards for accreditation is requested to email the Accreditation Program manager at rwiles@michiganpolicechiefs.org or write the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission at 3474 Alaiedon Pkwy, Suite 600, Okemos, MI 48864.

The Big Rapids Police Department must comply with 108 standards to achieve accredited status. Chief Haynes indicated, “Accreditation results in greater accountability within the agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, stronger defense against civil lawsuits, increased community advocacy, and more confidence in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and respond to community needs.”

The Accreditation Program Director for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police is Chief Ron Wiles (Ret.). “The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar Michigan law enforcement agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview agency
members, and visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed.

Once the assessors complete their review of the agency, they will report to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status”, Ron Wiles stated.

Accreditation is valid for a three-year period during which time the agency must submit annual reports attesting to their continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

The MACP, through its Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, is the legitimate authority and accreditation agency in the state of Michigan. For more information regarding the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, please write the Commission at: MACP, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission at 3474 Alaiedon Pkwy, Suite 600, Okemos, MI 48864, or email at rwiles@michiganpolicechiefs.org.

Please contact Officer William Sell with any questions. He can be reached at 231-527-0005 ext. 1036 or wsell@bigrapidsdps.org.

MDHHS to issue maternal health quality payments to hospitals

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will begin providing payments this fall to hospital birthing units fully participating in the Michigan Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (MI AIM) that have committed to participating in the Joint Commission Maternal Levels of Care (MLoC) Verification Program. 

Hospitals can be reimbursed for the costs associated with MLoC verification, including the annual fee and on-site visit fees, in addition to receiving a lump sum payment for participation in both programs. The program is being funded by $9 million in general fund dollars and funds will be released to all participating hospitals in September.

Supporting Michigan birthing hospitals is critical as we work to save lives during pregnancy and the postpartum period,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “MDHHS’ strategic vision seeks to achieve zero preventable deaths and zero health disparities. This innovative program supports that goal through hospital implementation of patient safety bundles and risk-appropriate care for pregnant and postpartum people.”

From 2011-2020, 172 women died of pregnancy-related causes in Michigan, and in 2021 the severe maternal morbidity (SMM) rate was 100 events per 10,000 inpatient delivery hospitalizations. Hypertensive disorders and hemorrhage are leading causes of pregnancy-related maternal mortality in Michigan. However, these tragedies impact Michigan families inequitably. From 2016-2020, Black women were 2.2 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.   

MI AIM is a quality initiative program dedicated to improving the culture of maternal safety by decreasing preventable severe maternal morbidity and mortality through the implementation of early recognition patient safety bundles, sets of practices that improve the quality of care provided during delivery and in the postpartum period. MI AIM has helped hospitals achieve a 54.5% improvement in hemorrhage-related SMM and a 15.4% improvement in hypertension-related SMM since the adoption of the MI AIM program in 2016.  

The Joint Commission Maternal Levels of Care Verification Program provides hospitals with an independent, external evaluation of their organization’s maternal health expertise, equipment and resources. This assessment allows for risk-appropriate care of pregnant and postpartum people, reducing the risk of poor maternal outcomes. 

Birthing hospitals wishing to learn more can visit MI AIM’s Maternal Levels of Care website or The Joint Commission’s Maternal Levels of Care Verification website.  

TRAFFIC Alert: Lane reduction expected for Ferris State University sign installation

Ferris State University is installing new signage today, Apr. 25, around its Big Rapids Campus. Traffic will be a factor during this installation procedure.

Drivers can expect northbound traffic on State St. near Cedar St. to be reduced to a single lane between 9:30 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. Both lanes will be reopened after 11:00 A.M.

Workers will be on site in front of the roadside streets during this time  as far north as the Williams Auditorium all the way down south across from McDonalds.

For details on the location, view the maps attached below.

 

(Maps provided by the City of Big Rapids).

 

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (4/15 - 4/21)

Monday, April 15

  • An officer investigated a complaint of found property, where the items were related to a case in Mecosta County.

  • An officer assisted the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety with locating a subject that was a person of iinterest.

Tuesday, April 16

  • An officer was dispatched to a city business regarding a harassment issue.

  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign.

Wednesday, April 17

  • No incidents reported.

Thursday, April 18

  • An officer took a report of a possible assault. The case is still under investigation.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a verbal domestic dispute.

  • Officers conducted two traffic stops for vehicles failing to stop at stop signs.

Friday, April 19

  • While patrolling, an officer found a town business door unlocked. The keyholder was notified and the building was secured.

Saturday, April 20

  • An officer assisted another department with a traffic investigation, where the driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated.

  • An officer checked on a subject walking on the side of the road. Through investigation, it was determined that the subject was fine and was walking to work.

  • Officers conducted several traffic stops for various violations.

Sunday, April 21

  • An officer investigated a fraud complaint involving a 54-year-old male victim.

  • An officer investigated a car/deer accident.

  • An officer responded to a domestic assault complaint that resulted with the arrest of a 55-year-old male.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a noise complaint.

  • An officer assisted a family with an incorrigible juvenile.

High school welders, machinists competing at Ferris State, with students vying for scholarship, job opportunities

More than 200 teenage competitors will converge on Ferris State University’s Swan Technical Arts Building Friday, May 3 as a 20th State Secondary Welding Competition and a fourth year of contests for student machinists will be held in laboratories of the School of Manufacturing and Design.

This is the 40th anniversary of Ferris’ Welding Engineering Technology Bachelor of Science degree program, which is the largest of its kind in the nation.

Professor and Welding Engineering Technology coordinator Jeffrey Carney is an alumnus and co-founder of the welding competition. 

He points out more than 100 graduates of Ferris State’s Bachelor of Science degree in Welding Engineering Technology participated in these categories as high schoolers.

“Our goal in this competition is to see every student guest gets full exposure to our facilities, along with complimentary gifts made possible through collaborative efforts of Ferris’ Academic Affairs office, the College of Engineering Technology and very supportive industry partners,” Carney said. “It is a pleasure to see t-shirts given out in past years worn into our labs by students whose first campus visits came about in this competition. Ferris scholarships are also available to champions of our competition.”

Carney said judges assess skills in five welding processes, with more than 140 students from 35 schools, intermediate districts or regional educational service agencies set to participate this year. 

Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program Coordinator Mark Rusco said more than 60 students from 16 institutions will test their abilities in milling, working with grinders or lathes, or metrology, the practice of precision measurement.

“Industry sponsors donate tools that are distributed to our guests, helping with short-term learning and when they return as Ferris students,” Rusco said. 

He said because the demand for machinists is so strong, sponsors will staff tables to recruit prospects that day for their own training programs and career opportunities. 

“There will be teachers on hand who have brought students each year of the competition, some whose relationships with Ferris go back several decades,” Carney said. “We are glad to help supply their labs with materials to continue their learning and knowledge of the skills their students can master by pursuing Associate or Bachelor of Science degrees in the field.”

A $30 million renovation and expansion of the Swan Technical Arts Building was completed in 2018, accentuating world-class instructional and laboratory facilities for several College of Engineering Technology programs.

Ferris State alumna's empowering body image instruction for collegians, at-risk youth honored by National Communication Association

Angela (Prater) Mensah, an alumna of Ferris State University’s Television and Digital Media Production program, was recognized for her efforts to empower students through a service-learning designated course.

Mensah received the Pedagogy Award from the Activism and Social Justice division of the National Communication Association, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization established in 1914 with membership including educators, practitioners, and students in every state.

Mensah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in what had been Ferris’ Television and Video Production program in 1996. She is a teaching assistant professor in Communications and a joint faculty member of African and African American studies and communication at the University of Arkansas.

Her course, Communicating Body Image, was one of five selected from a field of entries for a National Communication Association honor.

“My course is a social justice-directed work, and I applied though at that time, I had only offered it for one semester at the university,” Mensah said. “I went into this, hoping I might get an honorable mention but am thrilled to have been recognized with this selection.”

A faculty peer with the University of Arkansas was asked by a Washington County, Arkansas court staffer if there was a course appropriate to present to young women at risk. 

Mensah said graduate students aware of the Communicating Body Image course assisted in creating modules appropriate for those students, while offering them mentorship as part of a service-learning opportunity.

Angela said there was much work needed to complete supporting documents for consideration from the National Communication Association.

“The topic of body image has many ‘hot button’ considerations, ranging from providing medication to adolescents, or approving them for bariatric surgery,” Mensah said. “Having the resources and support of body image experts Lexi and Lindy Kite is intentional, so our participants have tools to serve them for every state of their lives.”

The partnership was developed in greater Fayetteville with community groups and organizations is designed to empower the participants.

“Theirs is a difficult time of life, where learning and encouragement might keep them from entering self-destructive behaviors. Ultimately, we are striving to be an element of a transformative opportunity for all involved,” she said.

As a Pedagogy Award winner, Mensah will serve in the field of judges considering submissions for the 2024 cycle of consideration.

Detroit Lions Pre-Draft Press Conference Quote Sheet w/ Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes

Opening Statement: “Just want to start off by thanking everybody that’s been involved in this process up to this point, our entire personnel department. Look, when I say personnel, it’s not just scouts. That’s football information, football tech, our ops support, everybody. It’s really been all-hands-on-deck. I want to thank our area scouts. Those guys did a great job. I thought that we had our best April meetings since we’ve been here, that’s kind of when they tie the bow up on all the work that they’ve done throughout the whole year. I thought it was awesome. I wanted to highlight (Lions Director of College Scouting) Brian Hudspeth, our college director. This was his first full-time year in this role. I thought he did a great job leading and organizing and everything that comes along with being in that role. The rest of our execs, (Lions Assistant General Manager) Ray Agnew, (Lions Senior Personnel Executive) John Dorsey, (Lions Director of Scouting Advancement) Mike Martin, (Senior Advisor, Player Personnel Operations/Strategic Initiatives) Don Corzine, those guys are key cogs in this process and in extremely critical roles. So, appreciate everything that they did. I wanted to thank (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell), the entire coaching staff. They play a huge part in our process, very critical roles as well, so appreciate all their time and effort in it. We’re in a good spot right now.”

On the challenge of having a later first-round Draft pick for the first time in his Lions tenure: “Yeah, you’ve just got to keep wrapping your head around it. You’re kind of looking at a different level of player. It’s just – it is what it is. I don’t want to say it’s any less pressure because you’ve got to get every single pick right as well, at least that’s the standard that we hold ourselves to whether it’s at 29 or it’s been at seven or six or two or all those things. So we just take the same approach, but I don’t see it as any more or less pressure. I just think it’s probably, I don’t know, maybe less heralded. I don’t know if people are even still hanging around or even remembering who picked 31. It kind of seems like everyone is just kind of celebrating one through 15 or something. But we just kind of stick to the same process. You’ve just got to get your head around the players, and we’ve been doing this long enough to know like, ‘Alright, we’re probably not going to be in the mix on some of those guys.’ And that’s something that I picked up when we were in LA and did not have even a first-round pick for a long time, so you kind of expedite the guys you think you can be looking at.”

On the philosophy of trading up and giving up draft picks to select a specific player: “It’s a good question. First of all, it’s got to be the right guy. You guys see this, how we’ve operated in the past. If it’s the player that we want, we’re just going to go and get them. There are a lot of boxes that need to be checked. I think we kind of said it a little bit at the end of the season, everybody can’t play here. It’s got to be identified. That player has to be identified as, ‘OK, he’s checked all those boxes. He’s the right pick and he’s the right fit.’ Also, it’s just how high you’re talking. Is it way high? Is it just a few spots? Either one, obviously when you trade up for a player you identified him. But me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) have been saying from day one, it just has to be the right fit. There are going to be some talented players that you all have been looking at in mock drafts and stuff that just may not be good fits, and that’s OK and we’re fine with that. But look, if it’s a guy we really want, we’ll definitely make an effort if it makes sense. It just sometimes might not make sense. You’ve got to look at what you’re giving up. It’s a good question you brought up of where the roster’s at. You’ve got to look at expiring contracts coming up, and it’s just a lot that goes into it, but it’s a good question.”

On balancing building through the Draft with how much they want to maximize the window of success they have now: “Yeah, I don’t really base it off of windows really. Again, it’s just how much of an impactful player do you want to get. I’m just trying to think – look, if there was a – I think I told you guys last year we had what, six and 18 originally? We were looking to trade up from 18 if we stayed how it stayed. That didn’t really depend on the window that we were in or anything, it’s just that those were some players that we really, really wanted to have, and that’s just kind of what we had in mind that that was going to be the plan. It kind of worked out a little bit differently, you have to be prepared for everything. I understand the question because you’re like, ‘OK, the roster’s at a certain point. OK, you guys should be contenders headed into the season so OK, how do you operate this way?’ But again, I just think if we keep improving every single year through doing it in our process, that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s what we’ll continue to do. I think when you start getting into that, ‘We’ve got this window, we’ve got this, so we’ve got to pivot,’ that’s when I think you kind of get into a little bit of trouble.”

On how this year’s cornerback class ranks among years’ past: “It’s a solid group. I don’t think it’s really far from – I think I made a comment just the other week, just kind of looking at the whole class, I think it’s very normal of previous drafts in terms of the guys that I think probably are true legit Day 1 guys or Day 2 guys. So, I think it’s pretty normal. Again, they’re always different, but in terms of numbers of guys that are in those top rounds, I think it’s very similar.”

On the potential of trading out of the first round with the unique dynamics of being in front of Lions fans while the Draft is in Detroit : “Look, that’s a fair question. Look, we have to do the right thing for the organization. If it makes sense and it lines up and it’s the right thing to do, then we have to do the right thing. Say that happens where the fans have been waiting there all night for this pick and we get an offer that we can’t really turn down and makes sense, we’ve got to do the right thing and hopefully our fans will forgive us. Now, we won’t expect immediate forgiveness right then and there, but hopefully when the season starts and that player that we end up selecting they’re like, ‘OK, alright. We can kind of get past that.’ But no, I totally understand that. Obviously with the fans there – first of all, I’m so excited about the Draft being in Detroit. I really am. It’s just another opportunity for our franchise, our city, just for the world to kind of migrate to downtown Detroit. We have a lot of – we have multiple major NFL markets that are within driving distance. I expect it to be pretty packed. I’m excited for the local businesses. I just think it’s going to be really exciting. All that being said, I know the perfect storm is, OK get to the pick, stage area, they’ve been waiting all night, you make the pick and everybody’s happy. But if it’s the best thing for the organization, you’ve got to do what’s right. I’ll just do a PSA public apology later and we’ll roll.”

On if he considers this to be a strong Draft class and where it ranks among the previous three classes he has seen in Detroit: “Yeah, that’s a good question. I thought this Draft was a little bit more normalized. Last year, I don’t want to say weaker Draft, but there were less guys that you would have as true first-round prospects last year. I thought this year was more kind of like previous years before the ’23 Draft. But I still think it’s a good class. I think the other component is more guys that are not coming out. It’s because of the college landscape has changed, so outside of just the COVID deal with guys who have had more experienced and are a little bit older, it’s a lot of players that we’ve looked at that we thought were going to come out that ended up not declaring. I think that’s a big effect of what the college landscape is right now.”

On how they have been able to find as many Pro Bowlers through the Draft as they have: “I just think we make sure we’re convicted on every single pick. You guys have heard me say it, it’s no secret, it’s about the right football player. As long as we’re convicted on the football player, then you sleep good at night. That’s a lot of work that goes into being convicted on the right player. We just had (Top) 30 visits. We had medical meetings. There is a lot of stuff that’s like, ‘OK, this is the right guy.’ We’re still looking at tape now. It’s a lot that gets to that conviction. But as long as (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) and I are really aligned and convicted and we’re still like, ‘This guy fits,’ and not getting into the – I think at the Owners Meetings there were questions asked about like drafting an outside corner. No, we draft the right football player we’re convicted on. If the outside corner was the right football player we’re convicted on, then we would take that player. We don’t really get anchored on positions. We don’t really get anchored on windows. We don’t get anchored on – it’s just, there’s only one Draft every year. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, so that’s our recipe. We just kind of look for guys that we’re convicted on that are right fits for us and we don’t get into the premium positions and the – look, you can pick another position, and that doesn’t mean the guy’s the right fit. I know you guys were asking after the last Draft, ‘Well how come you guys didn’t pick another position?’ Well, it’s like, no it’s not another position, who? Which player? You don’t just pick a, whatever the premium position is. You don’t just pick a player because he plays that position. No, he has to be the right football player. That’s what we stuck to, and it’s worked so far for us.”

On if drafting for talent versus need changes as the roster has gotten better: “That’s a really good question because when we first got here, we had a ton of needs. So, we could go for the most talented guy, the guy that really fit the most. We could have gone in so many different directions, and that resulted in a lot of young players having to play early and (they) got a lot of experience. Really, with where the roster is now, I actually think you have even more flexibility to not be anchored into a need. Again, we try to do the best we can in free agency in terms of plugging holes and pulling out the depth chart and doing all of those things, and we feel that we did a great job in free agency and we’re in a position to go whichever direction that we want to go. I actually get more comfort of how the roster is now. It’s less of, ‘Oh, we really need this, we need depth here, we need that…,’ no. We’ve always said ‘best player,’ but it’s more emphasized now.”

On how much value there is to trade out of the late first round into the early second round and having time to reset the board: “It’s a really good question because it depends on a couple of factors. It’s, all right, you have a pool of players. Say you’re at your pick, we’re at No. 29, and you get an offer that gets you somewhere in the 30s early on in Day Two. If you’re pretty much convicted, ‘These are kind of the same players,’ regardless of position, you’re getting the same level of player. Is it a good starter or is it a developmental, high-upside backup? Whatever the case is, I’m happy with either one. I always go back to, ‘You get them in ranges.’ Don’t spend a lot of time arguing going to Grand Cayman or Turks and Caicos – you’re not going to be mad either way. When you’re happy with the decision of, ‘If we come away with any of these guys,’ you kind of do the math. You’re like, ‘OK, if we trade back here, some of these guys will be left, and we’ll be happy and we’re going to get some capital.’ Or, is it – you go back to that conviction conversation, ‘No, this is that guy that we have been convicted on. We’re not moving and we’re just going to stay put.’ Whatever extra capital you get on the backend, it’s really not worth it – let’s just go ahead and pick.”

On if the team has a foundational philosophy to build through the offensive line: “We’re firm believers that that’s where the game is won, and I’m sure you’ve heard that before. But that’s the foundation, that’s the core of our team. Yeah, there were some guys in place already, so there was less work that needed to be done. Now, the pieces that we’ve added with the guys that were previously here have just fortified it and made it even stronger, but again, you guys asked me – I think at the end of the season – that’s always going to be the utmost importance. That’s something that’s hard to overlook. I don’t care who you’ve got at quarterback. I don’t care if you have more of a pocket guy, a scrambler – I don’t care what it is. Offensive line, that’s critical. When you don’t have them, it can make life hard in a lot of different areas. We’ve had to do more work on the defensive side of the ball and there wasn’t a lot of pieces there when we got here, so we had to do a lot more work there. It’s always of the utmost importance and we feel really good about our offensive line now. We love what we did in free agency and I feel like we could line down and play now and be totally fine. If we do add somebody, it’s going to be hard to crack one of those big boys up front.

On if the COVID-19 realities and the transfer portal has made it easier for the team to identify prospects’ football character: “Everybody has a different plight, a different story. I’m meeting a lot of these kids and sitting down with them to hear their reasonings for their decisions. It’s been really fascinating because they’ve all been different. On the surface, I used to think just that. I was like, ‘Oh, well he wasn’t going…,’ but no, when you really hear what went through these kids’ decisions to jump into the portal, they’re all different and I respect them. It’s a lot more in depth in a lot of cases than I even thought.”

On how this receiver class compares to past Drafts and if there’s an opportunity for the Lions to add to their room: “I think it’s a solid receiver group. There’s some guys that should be able to contribute immediately. In terms of my opinion of strength, that’s always subjective. That’s what makes the Draft so fascinating, is what our Draft board is, there’s 31 other Draft boards and they may think that it’s not as good. We’ll just keep those to ourselves, but I do think there’s some receivers that will be able to contribute pretty early, I would think in this class.”

On how quickly a player is deemed as a Holmes and Campbell type of player: “Some of them, they declare themselves pretty early. I credit our area scouts. They do so much work on the front end, and the back end, they tee it up for us very, very well. And they kind of already have the kid nailed, really. And just say like, ‘Look, this is who this player is.’ And you might meet them and it lines up exactly. Some guys declare themselves pretty early. Some guys you sit down with at the Combine and it’s like, ‘Yep, this is exactly who the scout said that he was going to be and he knocked it out the park, boom, boom, boom.’ And some guys it might be a little different. Nothing on the scouts, but the kid might have been nervous. He didn’t really show his personality, and then we might bring him in for a 30 visit. We might spend time with him at a pro day or something and get to know him a little bit more. That’s happened in this process already just in some of these visits and some of these pro-day visits it’s been like, ‘Oh, wow, I feel a lot better about him being a fit here.”

On whether the new NFL kickoff rules have played a role in player evaluations: “Yeah, we’ve had a lot of discussions about that. I think we’re still in the exploratory stages in terms of a personnel standpoint. We have an idea of what we think is going to be the right fit. It has tweaked it a little bit, especially on the return aspect. You might be looking for a different kind of returner than you have been in the past, and vice versa on the other side, on your actual kickoff team. Trying to find your kickoff team, and your return unit, does that body type change, does that type of player change, does the movement skills change? So, we’ve had a lot of discussions on that. Obviously, you guys know special teams is high priority here, but I have all the faith in (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) and (Lions Special Teams Coordinator Dave) Fipp, that we’re going to have the right guys for it.”

On who on staff helps him keep a balanced perspective when making personnel decisions: “It’s probably harder than we maybe realize on the surface just because we try to lay out our process to avoid those anchors, really it’s probably more of the groupthink and the influence that is even a greater threat to our process. That’s just human nature. People naturally just want to be a part of the tribe. They want to get along. People naturally want to agree and be likeable. It takes work to go against the grain. It takes a lot of work. That’s why I have always had a lot of respect for the lone wolf. When we’re in there and everybody is saying, ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,’ and it’s some obvious prospect. It’s that one person in that room in that room that’s like, ‘I don’t.’ I’m like, ‘I want to listen to him or I want to listen to her.’ I want to listen to that person because that was the lone wolf. It takes a lot to be that lone wolf. I just have a lot of respect for that person. The anchors, we try to setup our process to avoid them, but again, it’s really the groupthink and group influence that is probably even more of a danger than those anchors.”

On how a lone-wolf opinion influences his personnel approach: “Sometimes I am the lone wolf. I might be the lone wolf. I’ll tell you, me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) were the lone wolves on a player that we took last year and it worked out. We loved the player. The rest of the group was like, ‘No, no, no, get this guy,’ at the same position. So, it may be something that you already knew and you got confirmation. So, if I am the lone wolf and everybody else is completely different than me, no one really knows what I think and I am listening to everybody, I am like, ‘Man, I need to go back and look. I missed something,’ and I have the confidence and the humility to do that because I have so much respect for the process. It’s an art form. The best thing about scouting is you get 20 people, 10 people, however many, looking at the same film in a dark room and you have 10 different opinions. That’s what’s awesome about it. So, when I am the lone wolf, and everybody is the opposite, I am like, ‘Man, I need to look back and see if I missed something.’ If hear the lone wolf that matched up with what I thought, I am like, ‘Well, at least that person saw it, but everybody else still was the same.’ It just depends – but if I saw something that the rest of the group said, and the lone wolf said something different, oh, damn right I am going to go back and look and see because that person is in the room for a reason and I have got a lot of respect for that person’s evaluations.”

On if he listens to everyone’s opinion on players before sharing his own: “Yes, basically.”

On if he will share who the prospect was from the 2023 Draft class that he and Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell were lone wolves: “No.”

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (4/8 - 4/21)

Monday, April 8

  • Larceny – Officers were dispatched to investigate a larceny of a registration plate that was removed from a trailer. The incident remains open at this time.

Tuesday, April 9

  • Threats – Officers responded to a threats complaint. A subject used a phone to make threats towards the caller over a tv remote.
  • Animal Complaint – Officers responded to a report of dogs at large. Upon officers arrival the dogs had been located and returned home. The incident was investigated and a report was forwarded to Prosecutor for review.
  • Hit and Run – Officers responded to a local business for report of a hit and run accident. The report remains open at this time.

Wednesday, April 10

  • Assist – Officers were dispatched for a trespassing complaint.  The subject agreed to leave without causing any further issues.

Thursday, April 11

  • Alarm – Officers responded to a burglary alarm at a local business. The business was secured and it was determined to be a false alarm.

Friday, April 12

  • VIN Check – Officers responded to a local business to check a VIN on an abandoned vehicle. Vehicle did not return stolen and was towed at the property owners request.

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a warrant attempt. Subject was located and placed into custody without incident.

Saturday, April 13

  • No incidents reported.

Sunday, April 14

  • Assist – Officers responded to assist CPS with a child abuse investigation. The investigation remains open at this time.

  • Fail to Pay – Officers responded to a local business for report of a fail to pay. Officers were able to locate the subject and the subject returned to the gas station to pay for the fuel. No further action needed.

  • Domestic - Officers responded to a report of a domestic in progress. The incident was investigated a report was sent to the Prosecutor for review.

Monday, April 15

  • Found Property – Officers were advised a bicycle was found on the edge of the road. The bike was brought to the Evart Police Department for safe keeping.
  • Trespass – Officers responded to a residence for a trespassing report. The subject was found at a residence and determined to be violating a protection order as well. The subject was placed into custody and transported to Osceola County Jail without incident.
  • Assist – K9 Officer was requested by Reed City Police Department to do an area search for a possible weapon used in a homicide. K9 deployed with no articles located.

Tuesday, April 16

  • No incidents reported.

Wednesday, April 17

  • Juvenile – Officers were dispatched to a residence for a disorderly juvenile that was refusing to go to school. Officers spoke with the juvenile and a parent took the juvenile to school without incident.

Thursday, April 18

  • Suicide – Officers responded to the report of a suicidal subject. No actual suicidal attempt was made. Subject was transported to Corewell Health Reed City for an evaluation.

Friday, April 19

  • Disorderly – Officers were dispatched for a disorderly complaint. Two female subjects were arguing with another female subject. The two females left the scene prior to Officer's arrival. 

  • Noise – Officers were dispatched for a noise complaint involving loud explosive sounds. Officers checked the area and did not see any evidence suggesting the sounds were coming inside of the city. 

Saturday, April 20

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched for a two-car accident. No injuries were reported and both cars were drivable.

Sunday, April 21

  • Juvenile – Officers were dispatched to a check the wellbeing on a juvenile. A CPS referral was made in reference to the complaint.

  • Assault – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with an assault in progress. The suspect was arrested and lodged at Osceola County Jail.

  • Check Wellbeing – Officers were dispatched to a check the wellbeing of two juveniles. The juveniles appeared to be good and did not require any services.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (4/15 - 4/21)

Monday, April 15

  • At around 6:00 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Morton TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the female driver being arrested on two warrants. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 31

Traffic Accidents: 5

 

Tuesday, April 16

  • At around 10:19 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Wheatland TWP. A male subject was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail on warrants.

Calls for Service: 29

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, April 17

Calls for Service: 25

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Thursday, April 18

  • No incidents reported.

Friday, April 19

Calls for Service: 31

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, April 20

  • At 8:42 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Big Rapids TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 23

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Sunday, April 21

  • At 4:35 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 40

Traffic Accidents: 2

From Cameroon to Big Rapids: Edwige Fute Ngouen finds Ferris State provides the education and support to launch a successful business

It's a long journey from Cameroon to Big Rapids, more than 6,000 miles and some 20 hours of flying.

But the journey from a college degree in engineering to a career in the beverage industry might be even longer, metaphorically speaking.

Ferris State University graduate Edwige Fute Ngouen has done both.

She laughs as she sketches out the broad parameters of the tale from her native country to the CEO and co-founder of Cocktail Menot, a Chicago-based company that makes non-alcoholic gourmet cocktail enhancers.

"Yes, back in Cameroon, I was studying for applied mathematics, but my goal was always to become an engineer," she said. "Ferris State was recommended to me, and my father and I built a strong relationship with the International Student Office. Because I was coming to the US on my own, my parents needed to have a trusted relationship with the school, and they found comfort and support with Ferris."

That comfort and support, she added, would endure both during her time as an undergraduate and then during her days as a graduate student. She earned a Bachelor of Science Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology degree in 2006 and a Master of Science in Information System Management degree in 2009.

"From picking me up from the airport in Grand Rapids, connecting me with other international students and onboarding me through an international student orientation, everything at Ferris State was truly designed to help make international students welcome," she said with a smile.

Adjusting to life on a university campus in the United States had its challenges, she said.

"I worked extra hard the first year to get up-to-speed with my cohort," Ngouen recalled. "I had to adapt to my new environment, learn and comprehend a new language, adjust to a new school system and deal with race and gender disparity."

With the assistance of many on campus, she persisted.

She still recalls with gratitude the many people in the International Student Office who assisted her. Professors in the Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology were also key resources and mentors on her journey as the only woman in her graduating class ("Mr. Ron McKean has always been my strongest advisor," she said).

And, she added, her fellow students were amazing. "Thanks to Kurk Laird, James V. Rhoden and Dan Scully especially as we learned to help and support each other through lab homeworks, exams, projects and more," she said.

Tara Braun, Ferris State’s executive director of International Education, said Ngouen’s is a perfect example of how international students are welcomed at the university, and how they enrich learning.

“International students provide diversity and cultural enrichment, research and innovation opportunities, and enrich the classroom by providing different perspectives not only on campus but in the greater community,” she said. “Ferris State University is committed to growing international enrollment and providing this diverse perspective in the classroom and welcomes students from all over the globe to learn in the world classroom.”

As an undergraduate student in engineering, Ngouen wasn't afraid to take on more work, including working some 16-20 hours per week as math tutor and as an orientation leader during International Orientation week.

Today that work ethic serves her well as the CEO and co-founder of Cocktail Menot, a Chicago-based company that makes non-alcoholic gourmet cocktail enhancers.

She said that after working for a number of years in engineering in West Michigan, and numerous volunteer hours with the Red Cross and Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids, she was driven to start her cocktail company because of both passion and frustration.

"I’ve always been fascinated by the art of mixing different flavors into a cocktail," she said. "That was the passion. But, after being in the U.S. for 20-plus years, I was still frustrated by the gaps in the flavor diversity on the store shelves."

Her Cameroonian heritage was a big part of that frustration, she said.

"Access to traditional tropical flavors such as pineapple, coconut, passion fruit, lemongrass, ginger was improving, but not fast enough for my taste," she said. "Plus, I thought that a lot of the products mentioning these flavors did not taste right. My husband and I made it my mission to create cocktails that would reflect our Cameroonian origins and our current U.S. experience."

She said she is now driven to create "a liquid legacy."

She added: "Motivating people like me to dare, to innovate and to dream big is part of that legacy."

Her company makes premium Ready-to-Drink Spritzers and "cocktailizers" meant to be added to your alcohol of choice to create one-of-a-kind drinks.

They also are associate partners of the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer team, a relationship that Ngouen said is a natural fit.

"Growing up in the streets of Douala, Cameroon, football has been an intricate part of our daily lives," she told Eleven Sports Media. "As a local-based company, supporting our football team (Chicago Fire) felt so natural. We hope that partnering with the local team will play its part in bringing more flavors and diversity to the stadium.”

She is excited about the TITÙN Spritz launch at the Chicago Fire vs Columbus Crew game on May 18 at Soldier Field, but acknowledges that it is often hard work to juggle the many responsibilities of being an entrepreneur with her responsibilities as both a wife and a mother of three young children, ages eight, six and two.

"The lines between work and family easily get blurred," she said with a chuckle. "But, to stay motivated I stay focused on my objectives, and I stay positive."

Those are qualities, she added, that she can trace to her childhood in Cameroon and also to her days on the Ferris State campus.

And she welcomes Bulldogs of all ages to get connected to her company, including at the May 18 soccer game.

"It will be a historic event, and it would mean a lot to have Ferris well represented," she said.

Moolenaar: "Gotion parent company hosted Iranian officials"

Last Thursday, Congressman John Moolenaar voted for legislation condemning the Iranian regime for its unprecedented attack on Israel last weekend. The resolution passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in a vote of 404 to 14.  

Iran can also be linked to a potential Mecosta County battery factory. Last year, Gotion parent company, Gotion High-Tech, hosted Abbas Aliabadi, Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, at its facility in Hefei, China. The visit included a meeting between Aliabadi and Gotion High-Tech CEO, Li Chen. The meeting was publicized by Iran’s government-run news agency. 

“Iran is the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world, an avowed enemy of the United States, and on April 13 it launched an unprecedented attack on Israel. For state and local officials to give Gotion millions of dollars, knowing Gotion will send its profits back to China, and possibly use the money for business deals with Iran is simply wrong. This is yet another reason Gotion’s plans in Mecosta County should be ended for good,” said Moolenaar.

On April 13, Iran launched missile and drone attacks against Israeli targets. In November, Moolenaar introduced the NO GOTION Act, which would prohibit IRA tax credits from going to companies based in Iran or China, or their subsidiaries.

Bulldog Softball garners Sunday split on Senior Day against Purdue Northwest

The Ferris State University softball team celebrated senior day on Sunday (April 21) while battling to a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home split against Purdue Northwest at the FSU Softball Field.

On a day in which the Bulldogs honored senior ace pitcher Aryn Gallacher along with two other key senior staff members, Ferris State pulled out a 1-0 win over the Pride in eight innings in game one before falling 2-1 in a tightly-contested game two.

Gallacher earned the victory in the opener, earning the complete game shutout win for her eighth victory of the campaign. She struck out three and walked three while giving up no runs on 10 hits to the Pride.

The Bulldogs won the opener on a walk-off in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double to center field from first baseman Alexis Kozlowski, which scored second baseman Jadyn Joseph in the extra-inning affair.

Kozlowski had two of the Bulldogs' five hits in the victory. Outfielders Ella McDonald and Maddie Gkekas along with Joseph all added a hit apiece.

In game two, the Pride jumped in front with two runs in the top of the second and the lead stood until the Bulldogs put a run on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Ferris State had opportunities in the final three innings, stranding a runner in both the fifth and the sixth, before loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh. However, the Pride recorded the final two outs to secure the win.

Ferris State posted six hits to five for the Pride in the nightcap, including two from Joseph along with one each by Kozlowski, catcher Emily Killion, third baseman Brooklyn Verbeek and Gkekas. Both Joseph and Gkekas doubled and Gkekas accounted for FSU's lone RBI.

The setback spoiled a successful outing for pitcher Ashley Webb, who threw all seven innings and allowed only one earned run on five hits with one strikeout. PNW's Gabby Paliska held FSU to a single run on six hits with seven strikeouts and five walks in seven innings of work.

The Bulldogs are slated to host Lewis (Ill.) in a non-league home doubleheader on Tuesday (April 23) at the FSU Softball Field starting at 1 p.m. (ET).

Gotion Inc. working to improve the environment by donating $5,000 to the Mecosta Conservation District for tire recycling event

The Mecosta Conservation District in Big Rapids has received a $5,000 donation from Gotion Inc. to help sponsor a countywide tire recycling event on Thursday, Aug. 8 in Big Rapids.

Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing, said the monetary gift is part of Gotion’s ongoing commitment to donate to nonprofit organizations in Mecosta County that keep people safe, help those in need, and protect the environment.

“Gotion’s commitment to safeguarding our environment extends far beyond creating advanced battery technologies,” Thelen said. “By helping fund this important recycling event, we are supporting the safe and sustainable disposal of old tires while contributing to a cleaner, greener future in Mecosta County.”

Gotion Inc. has made separate donations to the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety to purchase fire detectors for area families and Women’s Information Services Inc. (WISE) to help women and children in need in Mecosta County.

The tire recycling event takes place on Aug. 8 from 3-6 p.m. at the Mecosta County Fairgrounds, 540 West Ave., Big Rapids. Standard passenger vehicle and light truck tires will be accepted free of charge. There is a 10-tire drop-off limit.

"The community's support and donations are extremely important for the continued success of the long-standing Household Hazardous Waste Program and the new Tire Recycling Program,” said Brook Baumann, district administrator for the Mecosta Conservation District.  “When Gotion approached us and expressed interest in helping out, we welcomed the idea and appreciated the opportunity to provide these services to our Mecosta County residents.”

For more information about the recycling event, residents can call the Mecosta Conservation District at 989-309-9229.

KCAD showcasing 2024 graduates' creative work in wide-ranging annual student exhibition

Emerging artists and designers from all of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s programs will present a diverse showcase of their best creative work, transforming KCAD’s 17 Fountain St. building into a massive gallery on display to the public for one week.

The 2024 Annual Student Exhibition exhibit runs from April 29 through May 4. All are invited to attend the closing reception celebrating the exhibition on Friday, May 3 from 4:00-7:00pm. The open house style event will feature live music from local bands Low Phase and PHABIES. Admission to both the exhibition and reception event is free.

“Celebrating our 2024 graduating seniors, this exhibition represents a culmination of student experience and highlights the breadth of learning that happens in our studios, labs, and classrooms,” KCAD President Tara McCrackin said.

"These talented emerging artists and designers have dedicated themselves to expanding their skills and pushing the boundaries of their disciplines, and we are proud share their passion with the entire community."

The Annual Student Exhibition also offers employers an opportunity to scout new talent and connect with the next generation of creative leaders. In addition, art and design lovers will have the chance to purchase students works to add to their collections.

For prospective students, the show also offers a valuable glimpse at KCAD's wide range of programs, close-knit community, and creative career possibilities.

High school and transfer students and their supporters are invited to join the KCAD Admissions team for a free Connect to KCAD event on Tuesday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Participants can meet with faculty and students, learn about the admissions process, and take a guided tour of campus, including the 2024 Annual Student Exhibition.

Guests must register for Connect to KCAD to attend. Group tours of the 2024 Annual Student Exhibition are available by request.

An online exhibition, opening April 29 at kcad.edu/ase, will complement the on-campus exhibition. KCAD's 2024 Master's Thesis Exhibitions have also begun and will continue throughout the semester.

The annual tradition concludes with KCAD’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 5 at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. From May 2–10, the work of First Year Experience students will be on display at the FHFAC gallery and serve as a reminder for graduates of how far they have come as artists, designers, and scholars.

Additional information is available at kcad.edu/events.

Children Trust Michigan raises awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month

Children Trust Michigan is recognizing the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect with a month of activities that will culminate with a special ceremony at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 23, at the State Capitol.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention MonthActivities and initiatives planned throughout the month will center on the symbolic blue-and-silver pinwheel of Prevent Child Abuse America, which serves as a visual representation that everyone plays a role in providing children with a bright future. Participants have been asked to share information on social media, using the hashtags #CAPMonth2024, #MIWearsBlue and #StrengtheningFamilies.

Children Trust Michigan, housed within MDHHS, was established by the Michigan Legislature in 1982.  It serves as a voice for Michigan's children and families and promotes their health, safety and welfare by funding effective local programs and services that prevent child abuse and neglect.

“Our department is devoted to improving the safety and well-being of Michigan children, as outlined in our Keep Kids Safe Action Agenda,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We are working with lawmakers, police, judges and other child welfare system leaders to do everything in our power to make Michigan the safest place in America to raise kids and nurture families.”

“Child abuse prevention is a community responsibility and Michigan is committed to ensuring all children grow up safe, healthy, educated and prepared to reach their full potential,” said Suzanne Greenberg, executive director of Children Trust Michigan. “The blue and silver pinwheels displayed in April, and throughout the year, symbolize the health and happiness all children deserve. We encourage everyone across the state to help raise awareness this month about the impact child abuse and neglect has and to help us create more stable environments and brighter futures for all children.”

Child Abuse Prevention Month culminates with the 16th annual Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day rally on the steps of the State Capitol Tuesday, April 23. Featured speakers this year include Earl Major, Children Trust Michigan board member, Sen. Aric Nesbitt, Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet and Fatima Salman, president of the National Association of Social Workers.

Featured programs include Child & Family Services of Northeast Michigan, InvolvedDad, Inc. and Gratiot County Child Advocacy Association. Parent stories will be shared by Ian Agee, Danni Franzoni and Julie Hunter. For information on Children Trust Michigan and Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit childrentrustmichigan.org.

Ferris State men's tennis team earns 21st GLIAC championship with win over Lake Superior State

The Ferris State University men's tennis squad captured the outright 2024 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Regular-Season Championship as the Bulldogs recorded a 6-1 home triumph over Lake Superior State on Saturday.

The win lifted Ferris State to a perfect 6-0 record in the GLIAC and came in the regular-season finale for the university, which also secured the top seed for the upcoming league tournament with the triumph.

The Bulldogs claimed their 21st all-time conference title. Ferris State has now won back-to-back GLIAC Championships in regular-season play and the Bulldogs have now won seven of the last nine regular-season titles that have been awarded.

Ferris State won its 10th consecutive match this season. The Bulldogs took the doubles round with wins at all three flights and Ferris State then claimed a victory in the top five singles spots in the lineup for the win. All five singles wins came in straight sets as Ferris State improved to 15-4 overall this year.

"It was the perfect day to celebrate our seniors who have meant so much to both our men's and women's programs” head coach Mark Doren said. “We had a great crowd that came out to support both teams and help send the seniors out in style. I know that it was senior day, but I really thought the seniors showed amazing leadership and toughness on the court today. It was super important to the men's team to outright win the conference championship and you could tell in the focus they had on the court today,"

The GLIAC Tournament will take place Friday thru Sunday, April 26-28, at the Midland Tennis Center. The Bulldogs will be the No. 1 seed and official matchups and information will be announced by the league office soon following the completion of regular season play for all teams.

Ferris State’s men’s golf team earned the GLIAC championship earlier this month, following the GLIAC crowns earned by the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

(Image credit to Ferris State Athletics).

Big Rapids baseball stays unbeaten; sweeps Indians in CSAA doubleheader

The Cardinals moved to 8-0 Friday night following their victories over conference rival White Cloud in baseball action.

Big Rapids won the opening tilt 9-0, including six runs coming in the fourth inning alone. Mason McNeilly, Ty Gielczyk, and Nick Teceno each had two hits. Teceno paced the Cardinals with 3 RBI's while Izaac Zocco scored twice. Gielcyzk went five innings on the mound, only allowing two hits and striking out 11.

"The boys battled early on," Head coach J.T. Scarpelli said. "Ruether threw well but we stayed on him and broke through the second time around. There’s work to improve upon, but it’s small things now."

Game two was finished following five innings, with Big Rapids storming out to a commanding 12-0 lead after the first three. White Cloud would fight back with a few runs but would fall short by a score of 16-3. All but four Cardinal batters had multiple hits in the contest, including Brody Ososki pacing Big Rapids with four knocks, two RBI's, and two runs scored. Cole Haist threw three shut out innings for Big Rapids to get the win, with Corbin Clark and Cole Kiebala each registering an inning in relief.

According to Coach Scarpelli, the offense executed their approach and pitchers attacked hitters effectively.

"We’re looking forward to Chip Hills next week. They have some players and they always battle."

Big Rapids will face the Warriors next Tuesday at home. Game times are slated for 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M.

Ferris State Softball Military Appreciation Day set for Saturday afternoon

The Ferris State University softball squad will hold Military Appreciation Day this Saturday (April 20) as the Bulldogs host the Parkside Rangers in a pivotal Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) home doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field in Big Rapids.

The first pitch for Saturday's twinbill is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) with game two scheduled to begin an approximately 3 p.m. (ET).

As part of Saturday's events, the Bulldogs will wear special camo jerseys for the Military-themed contest. All current active military members and veterans are encouraged to attend and admission is free. Fans will also have an opportunity to win prizes each inning by answering military-related questions.

The Bulldogs currently own a 21-20 overall record to date this year and are presently near the top of the GLIAC standings with a 9-7 overall conference record.

Following Saturday's doubleheader, Ferris State then hosts Purdue Northwest on Sunday (April 21) for Senior Day beginning also at 1 p.m. (ET) and 3 p.m. (ET) for games one and two, respectively.

Ferris State Football to honor three key individuals during Friday's Spring Game

The Ferris State University football program will pay tribute to three individuals on Friday (April 19) evening during the Bulldogs' annual Crimson & Gold Spring Game at Top Taggart Field.

Former Ferris State University Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger, who retired in 2021, will serve as the game's honorary captain and take part in the coin toss prior to the spring game. Weisenburger hired current FSU head coach Tony Annese in 2011 and played a key role in the resurgence of Bulldog Football.

Along with Weisenburger, two other individuals who have played key roles in recent years will serve as the game's honorary coaches. Former FSU Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine and head athletic trainer, Brett Knight, will be one of the game's honorary coaches while current FSU Strength & Conditioning Coach Andrew Thiede will be the opposite side. Knight departed from FSU earlier this spring for another career opportunity while Thiede will be leaving the Bulldog program and moving out of state in May. Both have played lead roles in working with FSU's football student-athletes and were part of back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championship staffs in 2021 and 2022.

In addition to honoring the honorary coaches and captains, the Bulldogs will also honor other Ferris State championship teams from this academic year, including the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship men's and women's basketball teams along with the volleyball and golf conference championship squads. Various FSU student-athletes and teams will also take part in special halftime activities.

Kickoff for the spring contest is set for 5:30 p.m. (ET). Admission to the event will be free and gates will open one hour prior to kickoff.

As in years past, the annual Crimson & Gold Spring Game is also slated to be broadcast live on the Bulldog Sports Network and local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM with Rob Bentley and Sandy Gholston on the call starting with pregame coverage at 5 p.m. It will be streamed online with both live audio and a free live video webcast courtesy of the Ferris State Television & Digital Media Production program at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. The live radio call will also be carried over the stadium public address system for the fans in attendance.

The annual spring game will provide fans with an opportunity to watch the Bulldogs for the first time since last fall in a game-like situation under head coach Tony Annese and his staff. The spring game will feature a modified scoring and timing format and provide an opportunity for many of FSU's younger players to take the field for the first time while wrapping up spring drills.

The Bulldogs will begin their 115th season of varsity competition this coming fall with their sights set on making a 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The Bulldogs have made five national semifinal appearances along with three trips to the national championship game and back-to-back national titles in 2021 and 2022 during the stretch.

Over the past three seasons of action, the Bulldogs own a 36-4 overall record and FSU has reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs nine consecutive years and counting. Ferris State has also reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals five times in the past seven seasons of action and ranks as the country's winningest program over the past nine full seasons in D2 Football. FSU is 63-6 over the last four seasons of on-field action, including back-to-back NCAA D2 National Championships in 2021 and 2022.

Ferris State also holds the GLIAC's best mark and the best overall record of all collegiate programs in Michigan at 123-20 (.860) overall since the arrival of Annese as head coach in 2012.

Big Rapids Middle School hosting "Mother-Son Night Out" event

Coming up on Friday, Apr. 26 will be a mother-son bonding event at the Big Rapids Middle School.

The event is slated to start at 7:00 P.M. and end at 9:00 P.M. There will be games, sports, crafts, snacks, dancing, and more fun activities.

Pre-registration for the event is $7 with cost of admission being $10 at-the-door.

For more information, contact the City of Big Rapids by email at info@cityofbr.org or by phone at 231-592-4038.

PHOTOS: Detroit Lions unveil new uniforms

The Detroit Lions unveiled their new uniforms last night at Ford Field during a Lions Loyal Member-exclusive Uniform Reveal presented by Ford. The new uniforms come following the success of the Lions 2023 season and convey a combination of the team’s modern era and the legacy of the historic franchise.

“We are excited to launch a new era of Lions football,” said Detroit Lions President & CEO, Rod Wood. “Honolulu Blue and Silver has defined the Detroit Lions for generations and I am proud that we found a way to continue to evolve the look with a nod to the past and a focus on the future. The traditional look of our primary jerseys combined with the bold attitude of our alternate jerseys capture the essence of Detroit and the multi-generational fans base that supports us.”

The Lions leadership team set out to reestablish Honolulu Blue by working with Nike to adopt a richer tone of the unique color that harkens back to an earlier era. True silver has also made its way back into the uniform, featured in various outlines and stripe elements, as well as in the team’s traditional pant. Outside of the conventional colors, the team is also bringing black back into their uniforms, with a black jersey featuring Honolulu Blue lettering encased in a silver outline and an all-black alternate pant option.

Inspired in part by Ford’s reimagination of the Bronco, the SUV served as a muse for the team in taking a classic look and creating a sharper interpretation for the modern era. The Lions and Nike Design teamed up on their new primary jersey to create a fresh take of the uniforms worn by the early 90s teams. The striping across various pieces of the uniform were also inspired by the sleek design commonly seen on the iconic Mustang. Rooted in Detroit, the uniforms draw the connection between the team and the hardworking, passionate community the Lions represent.

“Ford and the Lions have a rich, shared history grounded in Detroit heritage,” said Lisa Materazzo, global chief marketing officer, Ford Motor Company. “We’re proud that the Ford Bronco and the iconic Mustang served as inspiration for elements of their new uniforms and excited to see the Lions when they proudly represent Detroit in Ford Field and celebrate our shared passion for football.”  

Applying a modern classic version of the Lions iconic 90s look to the best of Nike performance technology, the Nike Vapor Field Utility Special Edition (F.U.S.E.) combines lightweight Nike Dri-FIT technology with a precision fit to allow for ultimate performance on the field. Strategically positioned mesh and perforations help ventilate high-heat areas and provide additional zoned breathability, resulting in a uniform that is two-times more breathable. The most visible changes to the uniform are perforations in the body of the numbers, which provide increased breathability for players.

Other notable changes visible on the new template can be seen in the cowcatcher-shaped mesh collar design and a horizontal seam in the shape of a “V” on the upper part of the jersey, which appears to push the font further down the chest. The uniform also features vertical seams that run from the top of the jersey to the bottom to give it a more structed fit. An upgrade from the team’s previous Nike Vapor Untouchable uniforms, the F.U.S.E. is 18-percent stronger and 23-percent lighter.

The new jersey, as well as traditional merchandise inspired by the updated designs, will be available in the Lions Supply store at Ford Field and on shop.detroitlions.com. More information can be found at www.detroitlions.com/uniforms.

 

NEW UNIFORM ELEMENTS

 

PRIMARY (HOME & ROAD):

Both primary uniforms feature all three of the teams’ classic colors. The jerseys also feature a patch under the inside back collar that pays homage to William Clay Ford, the team’s longtime owner who secured the team’s future in the Motor City. Inspired by Mr. Ford’s classic style, the patch mimics a custom suit label and uses the WCF logo with iconic stripes above his penned signature. Both primary jerseys can be paired with either a silver pant option that features blue and white striping down the leg or three unadorned pant options – silver, blue or white.

 

HOME

The home jersey features a redefined Honolulu Blue with a classic white number font encased in silver borders and reimagined shoulder striping. The inside collar of the jersey is inscribed with “ONE PRIDE,” acknowledging the team’s passionate fans that pack Ford Field each home game.

 

(Image Credit: Detroit Lions Communications)

 

ROAD

The road jersey presents in classic white with blue numbers encased in silver outlines and shoulder striping in blue and silver. The inside collar of the white jersey is trimmed in Honolulu Blue as a nod to not only the Lions gritty style of play but an homage to the work ethic that built Detroit into an iconic American city. The back of the collar features a “313” wordmark and for the first time in team history, the Lions will wear “DETROIT” across their chest on the road.

 

(Image Credit: Detroit Lions Communications)

 

ALTERNATE (BLACK & CLASSIC):

BLACK

The black jersey features blue classic numbers wrapped in a silver outline on a black background and striping in blue and silver on the sleeves. The “LIONS” wordmark will lay across the chest and “MOTOR CITY” is inscribed on a blue trim inside the back color. The black jersey can be paired with either an all-black pant or the team’s blue pant.

 

(Image Credit: Detroit Lions Communications)

 

CLASSIC

The Lions’ closet will continue to feature a classic uniform as a nod to the late 50s teams that dominated the early era of professional football. The redefined blue is the only change the team made to the classic uniform as they will still feature classic numbers in silver with no outline. The jersey will be paired with silver stripe-less pants and blue socks.

 

HELMETS:

PRIMARY (BLUE AND WHITE JERSEY)

The team will continue to wear their classic silver helmet with the leaping Lion in redefined Honolulu Blue and trimmed in white on the side of the helmet. The updated look will feature a blue and white stripe that ties to the jersey sleeves. A blue facemask has been introduced as an additional reference to early 90s teams. The helmet also features a permanent helmet sticker that pays homage to William Clay Ford, showing the classic WCF mark featuring a pair of iconic Ford stripes on the back left of the helmet.

 

(Image Credit: Detroit Lions Communications)

 

ALTERNATE (BLACK JERSEY)

The team’s alternate helmet, which was introduced leading into the 2023 season, now features a black leaping Lion trimmed in silver on the matte blue shell. The leaping Lion is complimented by a black and silver stripe the runs the length of the helmet, as well as a black facemask.

 

(Image Credit: Detroit Lions Communications)

 

CLASSIC

The Lions will continue to embrace their classic look in an all-silver helmet paired with their classic jersey. The team will have the option of matching the helmet with a silver facemask or providing some contrast with their new blue facemask.

 

(All images are credited to the Detroit Lions and Detroit Lions Communications).

Ferris State applications up nearly 40 percent, with specialists ready to help students take their next steps

Applications to attend Ferris State University are up nearly 40 percent from a year ago – and are at an all-time high.

Now university specialists are ready to help prospective students take the next steps and register for classes, guiding them through the enrollment and financial aid processes and sharing details about housing and other options.

Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson said 18,772 students have applied to enroll for the Fall 2024 semester, up from 13,457 at this time in 2023, and greater than the 16,839 applicants in the pre-pandemic year of 2018.

The figures include the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, which is seeing a 47 percent increase from a year ago. 

University leaders say the application increase is likely tied to students of all ages learning about educational opportunities that will prepare them for rewarding careers and taking classes in a supportive environment with resources to help them succeed.

“Applications are at an all-time high as students recognize the quality and affordability of a Ferris State education,” Salomonson said. “Ferris State degrees lead to great jobs, here in Michigan. The application is the first step, and we are ready to help students enroll in classes that will change their lives.”

A Ferris State application is free and can be found at ferris.edu/apply.

Applications are coming from students graduating from high school this spring, community college graduates looking to continue their education, and older students looking to start or restart their education to gain skills and advance in their careers.

Many Ferris State academic programs are available online, with assistance available at Student Success Hubs across the state.

The university has 180 programs leading to associate, bachelor’s or graduate degrees, small class sizes, and a hands-on approach that will help students move at the speed of industry.

The Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, located in the heart of Grand Rapids’ thriving cultural scene, offers undergraduate and undergraduate degrees in fields including fine arts, graphic and product design, and architecture.

The Ferris State Admissions Department has hotlines to assist students. Anyone seeking help with applications, transcripts, visits, orientation, and other admissions features can call 231-591-2000 or email admissions@ferris.edu.

Students can get assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – also known as FAFSA – by calling 231-591-2110 and emailing finaid@ferris.edu. The team can also assist with questions about scholarships, grants, and loans. Students also can schedule one-on-one appointments online.

Salomonson said she knows many students are delaying making a college decision until they hear details about federal financial aid, which has been delayed while the U.S. Department of Education revamps the FAFSA process.

Ferris State is sending students financial award letters this week even though administrators and prospective students are awaiting additional information.

The university helping students make those decisions by increasing the amount of money available in some merit-based Woodbridge N. Ferris Scholarships for new students that are based on academic performance. Increases vary between $500 and $1,500 depending on the scholarship. Those awarded a $1,500 Crimson Scholarship will see a $1,500 increase. Students earning a $3,500 Dean’s Scholarship will get a $1,000 increase.

Students receiving $6,000 President’s Scholarships and $5,000 Provost’s Scholarships will see a $500 increase. The dollar amount for a $1,000 Ferris Forward Scholarship will be the same, but it will be available to more students as students with a 2.25 high school grade point average are now eligible, adjusted from the prior 2.50 requirement.

Woodbridge N. Ferris Scholarship funds are available for students who have already applied and been accepted, as well as those still to apply for the fall 2024 semester.

The university also encourages students to look at its ScholarshipUniverse program, which provides access to thousands of scholarships.

Additional information about the scholarships is available at this link. Bulldog Bonus information is available at this link.

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, MiLEAP launch "Reach for the Pie" initiative to promote financial aid opportunities for Michigan students

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II joined the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP) today to kick off “Reach for the Pie,” a statewide initiative and contest, in partnership with Hungry Howie’s and Michigan Credit Union League, encouraging students and parents to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to lower the cost of college and unlock valuable financial aid opportunities such as the Michigan Achievement Scholarship.

The goal of the initiative is to encourage Michigan students to complete the FAFSA to increase access to student aid. By completing the FAFSA, class of 2024 students will be eligible to enter the contest for a chance to win free Hungry Howie’s pizza for a year. The prize will be awarded to 100 randomly selected students. The deadline to enter the contest is June 30, 2024. MiLEAP’s MI Student Aid will post the list of winners on www.reachforthepie.org on or after Aug. 1, 2024.

“Reach for the Pie” comes as the White House and the U.S. Department of Education recently declared April 15-19 the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Week of Action, advocating a concerted effort from all stakeholders at all levels to assist students and families with completing the 2024 FAFSA.

 “With FAFSA, students can ‘Reach for the Pie,’ and unlock doors to opportunity,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “They can access critical financial aid like the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which offers up to $27,500 for college. The Achievement Scholarship is a cornerstone of our vision to remove financial barriers and ensure that by 2030, 60% of Michiganders will hold a postsecondary credential. We will keep working hard to pave the way for future leaders.”

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship, established to lower the cost of college and support the state’s educational goals, offers significant financial assistance to eligible high school graduates. This scholarship, along with other state-funded programs such as Michigan Reconnect, Tuition Incentive Program and MI Future Educator programs, aim to increase access to higher education and workforce development.

“There has never been a better time for students to explore financial aid. The new streamlined FAFSA process can open scholarship and grant opportunities like the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, providing all Michiganders an affordable path to college.,” said Michelle Richard, acting director of MiLEAP. “Our goal with ‘Reach for the Pie’ is to not only make students aware of these opportunities but also to incentivize them to take action and complete the FAFSA now so they can enroll in college this fall.”

“Filling out the FAFSA is the gateway to unlocking scholarship opportunities, including the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which provides up to $8,250 over three years at a community or tribal college, up to $27,500 over five years at a four-year public college or university or up to $20,000 over five years at a private college or university,” said Diann Cosme, director of MiLEAP’s MI Student Aid. “By participating in this statewide FAFSA initiative, students not only have the chance to win free pizza for a year but also take a significant step toward securing their financial future.”

“Encouraging students and families to complete the FAFSA is not just about accessing federal student aid or grants; it’s about making a smart financial decision,” said Kieran Marion, executive vice president of advocacy for the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and the Michigan Credit Union Foundation (MCUF). “This event exemplifies MCUL’s priorities to provide Michiganders with access to pathways for financial growth and stability, and by supporting this FAFSA initiative, MCUL and MCUF are demonstrating their commitment to financial literacy, empowering individuals to make smart financial decisions and advancing the broader goal of promoting financial health and security for all.”

The pizza is provided through a partnership with Hungry Howie’s.

“Our independently owned and operated franchises are deeply rooted in their communities,” said Kevin Dittrich, franchisee owner of Hungry Howie’s in the Lansing area. “We are excited to partner with MiLEAP and MI Student Aid to provide incentive for students to complete their FAFSA and have more opportunities for financial aid.”

Ferris State Softball doubleheader at Northwood cancelled due to weather

 Ferris State University's scheduled non-conference doubleheader against the Northwood Timberwolves slated for Wednesday (April 17) in Midland has been cancelled due to impending rain and weather conditions.

The two-game set will not be made up between the two former Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) counterparts.

With the cancellation, the Bulldogs will next be back in action on Saturday (April 20) as FSU hosts Parkside in a GLIAC doubleheader at the FSU Softball Field. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) for game one with game two scheduled for a 3 p.m. (ET) start. Saturday will be Military Appreciation Day and all active military members and veterans are encouraged to attend. Admission is free and the Bulldogs will be donning camo jerseys for the contest.

Ferris State then hosts Purdue Northwest on Sunday (April 21) for Senior Day beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) and 3 p.m. (ET) for games one and two, respectively.

The Bulldogs currently own a 21-20 overall record to date this year and are presently near the top of the GLIAC standings with a 9-7 overall conference record.

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for any additional schedule changes throughout the season.

KCAD Product Design student Spencer Hope named student finalist in 2024 International Society of Furniture Designers INNOVATION+DESIGN Competition

Spencer Hope, a Product Design major at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, earned a place in the finalist stage in a prestigious international contest, making him one of the most promising young designers on the planet.

Hope competed in the 2024 International Society of Furniture Designers INNOVATION+DESIGN competition. Open to both design students and industry professionals on a global level, the annual competition promotes the outstanding work of the world’s finest designers and makers.

This year, a record number of entries was judged by a panel of ISFD board members and other industry professionals who evaluated each product’s innovation, construction, function, construction technique, and aesthetics.

Hope’s entry, a sconce dubbed “Empyrean,” was one of eight student finalist designs for 2024. Finalists’ pieces were judged while on display at the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame in High Point, North Carolina from April 4-17, in conjunction with Spring High Point Market, a trade show that stands as the pinnacle of the home furnishings industry.

While he did not win, Hope found plenty of value in the opportunity to take part in the prestigious event and enlarge his network.

“Getting to connect with other students and professionals, listen to people who are far better than I can be right now, and be a part of the greater design world is just an amazing opportunity,” he said.

“Empyrean” was inspired by the awestruck emotions people feel when coming face-to-face with something that takes their breath away. The layered lighting fixture embraces its emitted light as a design element, using organic shapes and repeated geometry to cast a celestial glow onto the wall above.

“I wanted to convey the sense of beholding something,” Hope said. “There’s a higher energy that comes with this angelic light that I tried to capture in a material sense.”

The sconce began with a series of sketches, which helped Hope focus ideas for refinement in a CAD program. After finishing the design, he crafted a custom plywood form, vacuum-molded a black walnut veneer over that, and sanded the finish—all in the KCAD woodshop. Next, he cut the outer form, making a custom jig to guide the slots that would hold the lamp’s acrylic fins.

Once the wood form was ready, he clear-coated it to create a glossy finish on the surface. He then used the laser cutter in the KCAD FLEXlab digital fabrication facility to cut out the fins from 1/4" acrylic. Each fin was sandblasted to create a frosted look that would diffuse the light, then glued into place. Finally, he cut the stamped aluminum base, assembled the lamp, and added the wiring, lightbulb, and wall mount.

“There were a lot of challenges in this piece, specifically creating those slot cuts,” Hope said. “When I got to that point in the design, I was tens of hours into my development, and it's all behind a jig so you really can't eyeball anything.”

One of the questions with any piece of art or design is deciding when it’s complete. Hope explained, “There comes a point where everything's adhered, everything's together, and any more finishing is going to upset whatever surface treatment I've done. But in a more abstract sense, is a piece ever finished? I don't know. I think it becomes finished in what it can do and what happens when it lands in front of people's eyes. For my work to be finished, it has to be felt and received.”

State, local partners highlight Gov. Whitmer's budget recommendations and benefits for Michigan's rural communities

Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) joined local community members, business leaders and stakeholders to discuss Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s FY25 budget recommendations in Capac, MI. The discussion focused on rural issues and what LEO’s Office of Rural Prosperity is doing to foster strategic and coordinated investments in people and places, with an intentional focus on building the capacity and resources necessary to address complex rural needs.   

"Rural communities play an integral role in Michigan’s economy,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “We are honored to host this roundtable event and bring together local community members, business leaders and stakeholders to discuss the investments being made to ensure rural communities have the funds and resources to solve their most complex issues.” 

In February, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released her sixth executive budget recommendation that will lower costs, power economic development and build a brighter future to ensure any person or business can “make it” in Michigan. The proposed budget includes $2.5M Rural Prosperity Grants to enhance regional and statewide coordination of services in rural communities. These grants would be overseen by Office of Rual Prosperity, who joined LEO late last year. 

"Rural communities are facing unprecedented opportunities, but at the same time, they often have issues solving complex challenges like housing shortages and health access, due to the lack of funding or staff resources,” said Sarah Lucas, director of the Office of Rural Prosperity. “The proposed $2.5M investment towards additional grant opportunities for our rural communities puts vital dollars in underserved areas across the state a to ensure residents have the resources they need to respond to the urgent, complex needs in their communities, while also preparing for the important opportunities in front of them.” 

In just a short time, Office of Rural Prosperity has made big strides for rural communities:  

  • Created in mid-2022 with only three staff joining in early 2023, they were able to launch the Rural Readiness Grant Program last year that’s now supporting rural innovations in housing, healthcare access, infrastructure and more, and will leverage millions of dollars in investment across the state.   
  • Built an extensive network of rural partners and resources, ensured rural needs were a part of new policies and programs across state government and developed a comprehensive statewide strategy – the Roadmap for Rural Prosperity, just released last month, which includes a vision for coordinated action.  

"We are grateful for programs and initiatives like the Rural Readiness Grants and the Roadmap for Rural Prosperity that actively address the issues that rural communities face today,” said Kathy Dickens, executive director of Four County Community Foundation. “With the Rural Readiness Grants, Four County Community Foundation has been able to implement a grant writing internship program that will give communities the knowledge to apply for additional funding opportunities. We are excited to see the potential for more funding that will positively impact our rural communities and their residents.” 

Rural Prosperity programs are a necessary tool to make sure we're investing in underserved areas across the state, giving everyone an equal playing field to address a wide range of needs that lead to positive change for Michigan residents. By investing $2.5M for Rural Prosperity grants and programs the Michigan will be able to build on the road map, lift up more communities and fund projects that will address complex challenges like housing shortages and health access.   

To learn more about Rural Prosperity, their programs and initiatives visit, Michigan.gov/ORP

Haist throws perfect game as Cardinals sweep Blue Jays in a baseball battle of birds

The Cardinals remain undefeated following a series with Shepherd Monday, defeating the Blue Jays by scores of 9-3 and 12-0.

Big Rapids used big hits in the middle of the order, with a combined five RBI's from Mason McNeilly, Ty Gielczyk, and Isaac Zocco to push the Cardinals home seven runs in the final two innings to win game one. McNielly finsihed the game with two of the Cardinals' five extra base hits. Gielczyk got the win with five innings of work, only two earned runs and eight strikeouts on 82 pitches. Noah Sweppenheiser finished last two innings giving up no hits or runs with four strikeouts.

"We came out ready to hit. Pretty much hitters one through nine, in both games, had solid approaches at the plate and executed," Head coach J.T. Scarpelli said. "Gielczyk and McNeilly showed that they are two of the most powerful bats in the area. 

Game two was a continuation of game one's momentum offensively, as Big Rapids shelled 12 runs in the first four innings on 10 hits to end the game in five innings. Sophomore Cole Haist held the Blue Jays runnerless through all five frames with the help of a strong defensive effort. Phillip Wilbur led the Cards with three hits and five runs batted in and two runs. Gielczyk also added a home run and Zocco registering a triple.

"Haist’s box score speaks for itself," Scarpelli said. "Cole was perfect through five innings and he only threw 45 pitches. He attacked the hitters early and often getting into only three two-ball counts and nothing deeper. He used his defense including his own glove. Cole was very impressive."

Big Rapids faces White Cloud at home in a conference twinbill on Friday at 4:00 and 6:00 P.M.

Big Rapids hosting business and artisan fair next week

All fans of local businesses and artists are invited by the city of Big Rapids next Saturday, as it will be hosting a local business and artisan fair.

The fair will take place on Saturday, Apr. 27 from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. at the Big Rapids Middle School. There will be local crafters, artists, business, community organizations, food trucks, music, and more.

“Before, we were just an expo,” Band of Locals board member Kelly Rickabus said promoting the event. “Now, we will have business, non-profits, and lots of vendors. It’s a great exposure and networking (opportunity).”

Vendors can sign up and register for a space with the cost of $50. There will be 10 feet by 10 feet booths will be located in the gymnasium and 4 by 12 feet booths will be in the hallways. Pre-event set-up will take place from 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M.

“Get out there and support small,” Rickabus said. “You can buy stuff from the big stores, but it’s not going in the pocket your neighbor. In America, that’s what small towns are about: supporting each other.”

For more information on the event or to apply to be a vendor, visit bandoflocals.org.

Ferris State Athletics announces NIL partnership with Athlete's Thread

Ferris State University Athletics has officially announced a partnership with Athlete's Thread, providing the Bulldogs' nearly 400 student-athletes an exciting platform to showcase their own brand and to financially benefit from their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).

The partnership allows every Bulldog student-athlete to sell customizable gear and jerseys with their name and number and receive monetary compensation for a portion of each sale. 

Athlete's Thread is a leading supplier of NIL merchandise, which allows student-athletes the ability to take advantage of opportunities to sell merchandise while using FSU's official logos and trademarks under current NCAA guidelines.

Presently, Athlete's Thread works with more than 100 colleges and universities, providing over 10,000 athletes with high-quality merchandise and jerseys to leverage their own NIL rights and create their own brand.

"We're excited to partner with Athlete's Thread and to support our student-athletes with a way to benefit from their own Name, Image and Likeness," said FSU Athletics Director Steve Brockelbank. "This partnership with Athlete's Thread gives our student-athletes a platform to engage with fans through custom and personalized Bulldog apparel and an avenue to profit themselves."

Bulldog student-athletes will be able to sign up and partner with Athlete's Thread, earning commissions on all merchandise sales. When partnering with Athlete's Thread, student-athletes earn 12 percent commissions on all merchandise sales, with the opportunity to earn an additional 10-15 percent commissions by sharing their affiliate link – a total of 22-27 percent. All partnerships are non-exclusive.

The NIL opportunity is open to all student-athletes at Ferris State University. Athlete's Thread believes that every athlete has an amazing story to tell, and it is their mission to empower them to share it.

As an approved licensee with Ferris State University, Athlete's Thread will contract directly with interested Bulldog student-athletes to design and create NIL licensed product as well as launch personalized online stores. Among the items offered for purchase include: replica jerseys, sweatshirts, shirseys and caricature designs with youth and adult sizing options. New gear featuring Ferris State student-athlete names, numbers and likeness will be added continuously as they opt to sign with Athlete's Thread.  

For more information on Ferris State Athletics, visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or follow Ferris State Athletics on all social media platforms.

Athlete's Thread can be found online at AthletesThread.com. A link for Ferris State University will be available once athletes beginning registration and partner with the company.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (4/8 - 4/14)

Monday, April 8

  • An officer took a report from a caller stating that some kids keep knocking very loudly on his door and then run away.
  • While patrolling, an officer found a mattress lying in front of a house after large trash pickup. The officer contacted the homeowner and the mattress was taken care of.
  • An officer conducted a welfare check on a 44-year-old female. The officer arrived at the location, and the female was found to be fine.

Tuesday, April 9

  • No incidents reported.

Wednesday, April 10

  • An officer conducted a welfare check on an 80-year-old male after a concerned citizen called. Upon arrival, the subject was determined to be fine.
  • An officer conducted a welfare check on a 56-year-old female as she called dispatch and was making suicidal comments. After contacting her son, the subject was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
  • An officer investigated a report of a minor car accident that occurred within a parking lot. No injuries occurred and only minor damage was sustained to the vehicles.
  • An officer investigated an incident where medical documents were being withheld from the victim. Through investigation, the second party was contacted and the documents were returned.

Thursday, April 11

  • No incidents reported.

Friday, April 12

  • While patrolling, an officer observed a semi-tractor parked on the roadway within a residential area. After contacting the driver, the semi-tractor was moved.
  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for an expired registration plate.

Saturday, April 13

  • While patrolling, an Officer found a business back door unlocked. After contacting the keyholder, the building was searched and secured.
  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for a defective taillight.

Sunday, April 14

  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for a window tint violation.
  • An officer issued an abatement letter concerning refuse on a property within the city.
  • Officers investigated an assault complaint, where a juvenile through a rock at and struck another juvenile.

Ferris State men's golf team beats rival GVSU to win 22nd GLIAC Championship

The Ferris State University men's golf team captured its 22nd all-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship by beating rival Grand Valley State University in the league finale on Sunday in Augusta, Mich.

After earning the No. 3 seed following the stroke play portion of the league championships, the Bulldogs advanced to the medal match round and beat Wayne State on Saturday 3-2 to reach the league final. In the championship match, Ferris State then knocked off No. 1 seed GVSU by a 3-0-2 score to emerge with the league title.

This year marks the fifth consecutive time in which the Bulldogs have reached at least the semifinal round at the league men's golf championships and Ferris State’s third title since 2019. Ferris State also won the 2021 championship after no tournament was held in 2020 and reached the finals in 2022 before falling in the semifinals a year ago.

Overall, the Bulldog men's golf squad has now captured 22 GLIAC Men's Golf Championships in school history.

In Sunday's showdown against the Lakers, Ferris State’s McCoy Biagioli was a four-stroke winner while Zach Koerner won his match by seven strokes. Both Nathan Kraynyk and Sam Havey forged ties in their head-to-head contests before Caleb Bond came up with a three-stroke triumph for the Bulldogs. Ferris State did not drop any of the five matches to the Lakers.

The 2024 GLIAC Championships continued the format established four years ago with each league school competing in 36 holes of stroke play and the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. The head-to-head medal match play bracket format for the semifinals and finals was similar to the current format utilized at the NCAA Championships.

This year's event was held again in Augusta with action at the Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort near Battle Creek on the Stoatin Brae Golf Club course. The par 71 course measured at 6,742 yards. Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort has become one of the largest golf resorts in the world, featuring six championship courses in one destination.

Ferris State, which was ranked fifth this past week in the NCAA Midwest Regional Rankings entering the conference championships, will await the official NCAA selection announcement set for later this month.

Overall, the Bulldog men's golf squad has now captured 22 GLIAC Men's Golf Championships in school history.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (4/8 - 4/14)

Monday, April 8

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, April 9

  • At 5:54 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Green TWP. A male subject was arrested on three warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 6:34 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Austin TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 31

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Wednesday, April 10

  • At around 10:00 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Millbrook TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At around 2:30 P.M., deputies assisted the U.S. Marshal task force in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject had 2 felony warrants out for his arrest. The male subject was found and arrested. A search was executed on the wanted subjects residence. The male subject is currently lodged at the Mecosta County Jail. Deputies were assisted by the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office ERT and Ferris DPS.

Calls for Service: 31

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Thursday, April 11

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Friday, April 12?

  • No incidents reported.

 

Saturday, April 13

  • At 4:26 P.M., deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Colfax TWP. A male subject was arrested for domestic assault and a parole violation. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 25

Traffic Accidents: 4

 

Sunday, April 14

  • At 10:30 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Colfax TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

???Calls for Service: 21

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Social district, alcohol in public parks, and swimming pool fees on Monday's Big Rapids City Commission meeting docket

The Big Rapids City Commission meets tomorrow night, Monday, Apr. 15 at city hall at 6:30 P.M to discuss a number of items.

Special orders on the docket include citizen recognition for Thomas Hogenson by the Park And Recreation Board, proclamation for GFWC Federation Day, and proclamation for Arbor Day. The meeting will also include a study session for public input on the 2024-2025 city budget.

Other general business items include resolutions for the following:

  • Awarding bid for Runway 27/9 extension at the Roben Hood
    Airport.

  • Authorizing a publication of notice of intent to issue capital
    improvement bonds and declaration of intent to reimburse.

  • Establishing the City of Big Rapids downtown district as a social
    district and authorizing staff to pursue state licensing.

  • Amending Chapter 92 of the Big Rapids Code of Ordinances regarding alcoholic beverages in city parks.

  • Amending the Charles E. Fairman 2024 Swimming Pool fee schedule.

  • Authorizing a listing agreement with Re/Max Together Realty to sell
    property located at 906 N. State Street.

  • Mayoral appointments to boards and commissions.

All city commission meetings are available to the public.

Ferris State's College of Pharmacy ranked in nation's top tier by U.S. News and World Report

Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy is in the top tier of graduate pharmacy programs in the nation, based on new rankings from U.S. News and World Report.

Nationally, Ferris State’s program ranked 60th in a list of 141 schools and colleges offering Doctor of Pharmacy degrees accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. That’s up eight places from the prior ranking.

The U. S. News and World Report said rankings reflect peer assessments of academic quality and research.

Ferris State is in the top three programs in the nation in the Carnegie Class Doctoral/Professional Universities category and is ranked No. 1 among public Doctoral/Professional Universities that offer only the professional degree.

This recognition also reflects significant achievements in research funding from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, and advanced practice initiatives.

“Rankings continue to affirm what we’ve long known and celebrated – that Ferris State’s College of Pharmacy is one of the very best in the nation,” Dean Stephen Durst said. “We’re proud of the work of our faculty and staff, but also of the thousands of graduates who are serving their communities on the cutting edge of health care.”

Ferris State’s Pharmacy programs includes more than 1,700 hours of field experience, and coursework with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. Students spend the first and second academic years on the Big Rapids campus, and the third year on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile. The final year of the four-year program utilizes clinical sites through both the upper and lower peninsulas.

Pharmacists are increasingly in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the field is expected to grow by 3 percent through 2032, with about 13,400 openings for pharmacists projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or retire.

Information about the College of Pharmacy and how to apply can be found at ferris.edu/pharmacy.

KCSO seized 3,200 grams of illegally grown marijuana

The Kent County Sheriff's Office has noticed a consistent trend where our youth has access to nicotine vape pens, marijuana, and marijuana-related products.

The Sheriff's Office received information regarding a business in Oakfield Township that is believed to have sold nicotine pens and marijuana to underage children. Last month, after a lengthy investigation, the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team seized 3,200 grams of marijuana and marijuana products, 4,100 vape pens, 2 handguns, and $39,500 from this business. This is still an ongoing investigation.

Kent County Sheriff's Office first received information from the community expressing concern that their children could purchase nicotine vape pens from Nature's Edge, formerly known as Greenville Hydroponics, in Oakfield Township.

Last May, a decoy was able to purchase a nicotine vape pen from this business, despite being under the legal age. The business was cited. 

Months later, an area school resource officer received information that Nature's Edge was selling marijuana and marijuana products to students. This information was also presented to our narcotics team which started an investigation, resulting in 3 search warrants last month.

Kent County Sheriff's Office wants to thank our community for its attentiveness, which keeps our community safer.

Bulldog Men's Golf to compete in GLIAC Championships this weekend

The Ferris State University men's golf team will compete in the 2024 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships Friday thru Sunday (April 12-14).

The event will be held again this year in Augusta, Mich., with action at the Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort near Battle Creek.

The 2024 GLIAC Championships will continue the format established four years ago with each league school competing in 36 holes of stroke play with a single round per day on both Friday and Saturday. The low four of five scores will count towards the respective team score for each squad.

Following round two, the top four teams will advance to head-to-head medal play on Sunday with a bracket format similar to the current format utilized at the NCAA Championships. The two winning teams following semifinal-round play will advance to the finals in which a GLIAC Champion will be crowned.

Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort has become one of the largest golf resorts in the World, featuring six championship courses in one amazing destination. Golfers can play 18 holes a day for six days, without ever playing the same hole twice.

The men will tee off on Friday at the Stoatin Brae Golf Club course. The par 71 course measures at 6,742 yards.

Overall, the Bulldog men's golf squad has captured 21 GLIAC Men's Golf Championships in school history and won back-to-back medal match play league titles in 2019 and 2021 (no tournament was held in 2020) before earning runner-up honors in 2022. FSU reached the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year a season ago.

Live online scoring will be available throughout the tournament. Visit the link below to follow the action.

GLIAC Men's Golf Championships:
https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=29041

Local baseball and softball games postponed due to weather

Due to inclement weather in west central Michigan, the following baseball and softball games have been postponed in the area:

 

BASEBALL 4/12

  • Reed City @ Big Rapids (Rescheduled Monday, May 13)
  • Morley Stanwood @ Chippewa Hills (Rescheduled TBD)
  • Onekama @ Pine River (Rescheduled TBD)

BASEBALL 4/13

  • Cedar Springs @ Tri-County (Rescheduled Friday, May 17)

SOFTBALL 4/12

  • Reed City @ Big Rapids (Rescheduled Monday, May 13)
  • Onekama @ Pine River (Rescheduled TBD)

SOFTBALL 4/13

  • Cedar Springs @ Tri-County (Rescheduled Friday, May 17)

Proposed make-up dates for Pine River vs. Onekama and Morley Stanwood vs. Chippewa Hills will be announced by each school soon.

Spring Dawg Days event on April 13 to capsulize Ferris State experience for prospective students

More than 200 high school students and guests are expected to attend Ferris State University’s springtime “Dawg Days” event on Saturday to learn more about how the university can provide a life-changing education.

The event starts at 9 a.m. at the university’s David L. Eisler Center, 805 Campus Drive in Big Rapids.

Assistant Director of Orientation Emily Hicks said guests will be joined by hundreds of family members who also learn about the university’s programs, campus life and various Ferris resources from student ambassadors and a variety of faculty and staff members.

“We have been reaching out to prospective students through emails, messaging on a number of social media platforms and offering personal invitations from Admissions recruiters on school visits,” Hicks said. “Our Dawg Day program is a comfortable yet comprehensive view of the Ferris experience for an audience of high school sophomores and juniors, through interactions with college representatives and presentations from our financial aid experts.”

Hicks said their visitors receive a meal from Dining Services and are given a campus tour to visit the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education, along with Ferris State residence halls and recreational facilities

“We will also have a summer Dawg Day on Saturday, Aug. 3, prior to Welcome Week for new and returning Ferris students,” Hicks said. “Students are encouraged to contact Admissions as there are visitation programs throughout the spring and summer to learn about campus on a more intimate basis.”

Ferris is approaching the 140th anniversary of its founding Sunday, Sept. 1, as the Big Rapids Industrial School was established in 1884 by Woodbridge N. Ferris and his wife Helen.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office reported a scam alert to citizens

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is advising of a scam the has been going on for the past two days.

The Sheriff’s Office has received several calls from residents around the state of Michigan that have been contacted by phone by what sounds like a Deputy from our office advising them that they have missed court and need to pay a fine. 

This is a scam and the Sheriff’s Office does not call notifying anyone about court dates, fine, or warrants. If you receive one of these calls advise the caller that you know it’s a scam and hang up. If they call back, block their number.

Kunse introduces plan to rename highway after fallen veteran

State Rep. Tom Kunse is spearheading an effort to rename a portion of US 131 near Big Rapids after Sergeant Matthew Webber, an army veteran. Webber passed away in 2006 after an accident in Iraq.

After the accident, Webber survived five and a half months in a U.S. Hospital, where staff began calling him “Miracle Matt” because of how long he was able to keep fighting despite injuries.

“Sgt. Webber is a true American hero who sacrificed everything for our country,” said Kunse. “I’m honored to play a small part in ensuring Matthew’s service will be remembered for generations.”

Webber, who was from Stanwood, enlisted in the Army National Guard during his junior year of high school. He rose to the rank of Sergeant and assumed the role of squad leader. He signed up for the United States Army in 2000 and served until he passed in 2006. His service was recognized with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star awards. He also was posthumously awarded a degree from Western Michigan University.

“Once we heard Matthew’s story, we did our best to step up and honor his legacy,” Kunse said. “My staff used their own time to help Matthew’s family raise the $6,000 it would’ve cost them to purchase and install the signage should my bill be signed into law. I’m proud to have a staff willing to go above and beyond on behalf of our community.”

When the Stanwood community learned of the effort to have the Muskegon River overpass on U.S. 131 named after him, they rallied together to raise all that was needed for Webber’s sign.

While the Legislature must approve a highway naming, the cost of purchasing and installing the signage usually falls back on the family of the person being recognized.

Evart Police Department's K9 Koda has received donation of body armor

Evart Police Department’s K9 Koda has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Koda’s vest was sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Toonces and Lloydee”.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 5,514 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $985 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1800.00, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

Ferris State football season tickets for 2024 season now on sale

Ferris State University has announced season tickets for the 2024 campaign are on sale now.

The Bulldogs enter the 2024 season aiming to make their 10th consecutive postseason playoff appearance as one of the country's top programs. Potential big crowds are expected for all six 2024 regular-season home contests.

This fall's home slate includes early season non-conference matchups against Lake Erie (Sept. 7) and Ashland (Sept. 14) along with league games versus conference newcomer Roosevelt on homecoming (Oct. 5) in addition to contests against Michigan Tech (Oct. 19), Saginaw Valley State (Nov. 9) and the regular-season finale versus Davenport (Nov. 16).

Fans can purchase season tickets thru FSU's digital ticketing platform in partnership with HomeTown Ticketing at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

Bulldog fans can purchase a season ticket for admission to all six home games for only $100 plus applicable online fees, which represents a $20 discount over purchasing each game separately. Once season tickets are purchased, tickets will be emailed to the customer upon checkout and then scanned at the gate on gameday. Tickets can also be printed at home.

In addition to the season ticket package, fans can also purchase a standard season parking pass online this year for only $60 or an RV season parking pass for $180.

Single-game tickets for all 2024 home games will go on sale later this summer along with Gridiron Club memberships in the near future.

For additional information regarding ticket sales, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket office at (231) 591-2888.

The Bulldogs will begin their 115th season of varsity competition this coming fall with their sights set on making a 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The Bulldogs have made five national semifinal appearances along with three trips to the national championship game and back-to-back national titles in 2021 and 2022 during the stretch.

Over the past three seasons of action, the Bulldogs own a 36-4 overall record and FSU has reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs nine consecutive years and counting. Ferris State has also reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals five times in the past seven seasons of action and ranks as the country's winningest program over the past nine full seasons in D2 Football. FSU is 63-6 over the last four seasons of on-field action, including back-to-back NCAA D2 National Championships in 2021 and 2022.

Ferris State also holds the GLIAC's best mark and the best overall record of all collegiate programs in Michigan at 123-20 (.860) overall since the arrival of Annese as head coach in 2012.

BREAKING: Truck dragged by semi-truck in Montcalm County accident

On Wednesday, Apr. 10, a truck was travelling west on M-46 west of Northland Drive when it hit the back of a semi truck that was slowing down. The accident occurred on the section of M-46 in front of Burley Park in Montcalm County.

An observer of the incident reported the truck was travelling about 60 miles per hour and was not allowing a safe distance behind the semi. The truck was also reportedly dragged behind the semi for a half mile. 

No injuries were reported from the wreck. Lakeview state troopers were on the scene along with an ambulance for potential medical assistance. 

Big Rapids men's softball league holding captain's meeting this Thursday

A preseason captain's meeting will be held for all 2024 Big Rapids Men's & COED Softball teams on Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at Big Rapids Middle School.

Anyone interested in fielding an adult softball team this summer should have at least one representative at the meeting. The men's and co-ed meeting will take place in the school library.

The cost to take part in the Big Rapids Men's Softball Association's (BRMSA) men's and co-ed leagues will be $550 per team this summer with games slated to begin in late May once league alignments and schedules are finalized.

In addition, the league will hold its annual Spring Fling Preseason Tourney on Saturday, May 4. Registration forms are due by April 27.

To stay up to date on all information, please visit the BRMSA website at www.BRMSA.com.

Bulldog Soccer strives to build off past success with One Day for Dawgs fundraising efforts

The Ferris State University Women’s Soccer team made school history in the 2022 season by securing a NCAA Division II regional championship and competing in the national semifinal game.

Four months later, the Bulldogs shattered a second team record, working together to raise more than $10,000 in support of the soccer program during Ferris States’ 2023 One Day for Dawgs.

One Day for Dawgs is Ferris State University’s annual day of giving, empowering university groups to raise funds for the causes they care most about. Fundraising activities range from supporting scholarships and academic programs to funding new equipment that helps athletic teams compete with the best in the NCAA Division II.

Following its in-season success, the Bulldog Soccer team was motivated to keep improving throughout the offseason, including fundraising efforts.

“Fundraising for us is all about helping us bridge the gap to our competition,” said Allison McMahon, a senior midfielder from San Diego. “We worked to get updated cameras and practice equipment to help us evaluate film, be more consistent overall, and improve our practice planning.” 

In the 2023 season, the Bulldogs helped head coach Greg Hanson reach 150 career victories before falling in the GLIAC tournament semifinal game. Maintaining the motivation to keep working through the offseason, though, hasn’t been a problem for the Bulldogs. 

“Funnily enough, we didn’t even expect a trophy in 2022 for winning the regional championship,” McMahon said. “It surprised us because we were just so happy to keep playing together as a team and to move on in the tournament. Our program loves to compete, and that attitude will never change.”   

Lindsey Cole, a junior defender from Grand Rapids, said the team members are focused on getting back to the final four and pushing themselves to bring more championships to Big Rapids.

“We’re inspired by our community and all the support we see during the season and during events like One Day for Dawgs,” she said.  

Looking forward to this year’s One Day for Dawgs, set for April 10, the Bulldog Soccer team is pursuing an underestimated advantage that will help them in their quest for a championship – warmth.  

“Our playoff season is mid-November into early December and many of the host schools are in the northern states,” Cole said. “Solid cold-weather equipment and preparation are underrated but super important to post-season success when we play on these open and exposed fields.”

The most important consideration for the team, though, is remembering what it means to wear the Bulldog on their jerseys.

“The outpouring of support from our fans and community supporters on One Day for Dawgs means so much,” McMahon said. “Your gifts and kind words are inspirational, empowering, and go a lot further than you might think. It really does mean the world to us. Thank you.” 

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (4/1 - 4/7)

Monday, April 1

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a counterfeit money complaint at a local business. The incident remains under investigation.
  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a fraud complaint involving the use of counterfeit money. The suspect was identified and a report will be sent to the Prosecutor for charges.

Tuesday, April 2

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched to an online fraud complaint. The incident remains under investigation.

Wednesday, April 3

  • Runaway – Officers Assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office with locating a subject that assaulted a person and fled the scene. The subject was turned over to Sheriff Deputies.

Thursday, April 4

  • Miscellaneous – Officers were dispatched to check the well being of children at a residence. The children were found to be okay.

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted the Reed City Police Department on a warrant arrest.

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a fraud complaint involving the use of counterfeit money. The suspect was identified and a report will be sent to the Prosecutor for charges.

Friday, April 5

  • No incidents reported.

Saturday, April 6

  • Domestic – Officers responded for a domestic assault that was not in progress. The suspect was arrested on three counts of domestic assault.

  • Attempt to Locate - Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a warrant attempt. When approaching the subject, they took off on foot. The subject was caught and was placed into custody on multiple felony warrants and new charges.

  • Flee/Elude – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the departments K-9 to track the driver of a vehicle that fled from deputies and crashed a short distance later. 

Sunday, April 7

  • Criminal Sexual Assault – Officers and CPS investigated a CSC complaint involving an adult having inappropriate contact with a minor. It was determined he incident occurred in another county and the report was forwarded to the another law enforcement agency.

  • Warrant Arrest - Officers arrested a subject who had a misdemeanor warrant.

  • Juvenile – Officers responded for a check well being on juveniles.

Cardinal baseball uses hot bats to beat Tri-county

Big Rapids' bats stayed hot on Tuesday afternoon, putting up 31 runs in a dominant outing at Tri-County.

The Cardinals strung together 13 runs in the top of the sixth inning to solidfy the win in game one. Big Rapids led game two 12-1 in the bottom part of the second inning until the game was postponed due to darkness. The game has been ruled incomplete and is slated to be finished later in the season.

"Defense struggled tonight," Head coach J.T. Scarpelli said. "We need to see improvement fast. We were without our All Region CF Vennix who is day to day, which hurt us a lot. Pitchers gave up too many free bases."

Jonathan Losinski led the Cardinals with four hits in 8 appearences, including 3 doubles, 4 runs and 3 RBIs. Nick Teceno added 3 hits and 3 RBIs while Ty Gielczyk and Philip Wilbur each added 4 RBIs in the night's action. Gielczyk took the win in game 1 on the mound with 3 2/3 innings pitched, seven strikeouts, and only 3 hits allowed. Cole Haist relieved the junior in 2 1/3 innings with 6 strikeouts and only 1 earned run. 

"Our offense got in rhythm & executed solid approaches to create a decent amount of runs," Scarpelli said. "Losinski, Zocco, Ososki, Teceno, Gielczyk, Wilber and McNeilly all were fantastic. Special thanks to head coach Shawn Nelson & Tri County for hosting us. That field is a very nice baseball surface to play on."

Big Rapids will be back in action on Friday at home against rival Reed City at 4:00 and 6:00 P.M.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (4/1 - 4/7)

Monday, April 1

  • Officers investigated a suspicious situation, where several nails were left in a driveway. This case is open pending additional investigation.

  • While investigating an unrelated matter, an officer seized a large amount of suspected methamphetamine from a residence. This report has been submitted to the prosecutor’s office for charges.

  • An officer was dispatched to a single vehicle accident, where a driver had a medical issue, drove over a curb and into a building. No injuries were sustained in the accident.

Tuesday, April 2

  • No incidents. 

Wednesday, April 3

  • An officer investigated an incident concerning a juvenile acting incorrigible.

Thursday, April 4

  • An officer arrested a 31-year-old female on a felony warrant. The female was transported to the Osceola County jail without incident. Charges have been sought for resisting and obstructing on two subjects concerning this incident.

  • An officer took a report from a 37-year-old female regarding some lost property. After investigating, the property was found.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding two females yelling late at night. Both females were issued citations for disturbing the peace.

Friday, April 5

  • An officer served an abatement notice regarding an ordinance violation.

  • An officer investigated a threats complaint.

Saturday, April 6

  • While conducting foot patrol, an officer found a business door unlocked. The building was searched, the door was secured, and the business owner was contacted.

Sunday, April 7

  • No incidents.

Big Rapids baseball wins home openers

The Cardinals are off to a hot start on the diamond. Big Rapids opened the season with two wins over Cadillac at home last Friday.

Big Rapids won game one behind four runs in the fifth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie to that point. Sophomore Noah Sweppenheiser earned his first career varsity win after two strong innings of relief with four strikeouts. Senior Mason McNeilly reached in base in all three at bats with a single, two walks, and two runs scored. 

Game two resulted in an even great win for the red and blue, as Big Rapids finished off the Vikings in three innings by a mercy rule 16-3. Sophomore Karsen Rehkopf earned his first win on the mound only giving up two hits. Senior Riley Vennix had a double, triple, three runs scored and four RBIs. Nick Teceno also reached base twice and scored three times.

"Our defense needs work but we've only been outside a few times with this weather so that will be remedied shortly,” Head coach J.T. Scarpelli said. “Our pitchers only walked 2 batters tonight and our hitters executed their approaches at the plate. Everyone got better tonight. Big thanks to Coach Franklin and Cadillac for traveling down here to play tonight. My guys are looking forward to Tuesday's conference opener at Tri County."

Big Rapids will return to action in their conference openers against Tri-County this afternoon at 4:00 and 6:00 P.M. For more scores and updates, visit wbrn.com.

FSU Sports Communication program is set to host "Heart To Heart Hand to Hand" basketball game

Ferris State University (FSU) Sports Communication Program will be hosting “Heart to Heart Hand to Hand” basketball game to honor the Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan organization. The FSU Men’s and Women’s basketball teams will unify with athletes from Area 5 to perform an exhibition game. The event will also be sponsored by Dean Transportation.

The basketball game will take place in the Wink Arena, located at the Ewigleben Sports Complex on the southwest side of campus on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m.

In attendance will be athletes from Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan, Pat Rosales, Regional Manager of Special Olympics West Michigan and Director of Special Olympics Michigan Area 5, the FSU Men’s and Women’s basketball teams, and students from the FSU Sports Communication Program.

There will also be a "Lightning" contest between four Ferris athletics teams and a round of musical chairs featuring the Special Olympics College Club at halftime. The event will also contain a “Miracle Minute,” giving guests an opportunity to donate to Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan. 

Ferris State sophomore wins 2024 Disc Golf Singles National Championship; Team places fourth continuing tradition of excellence

Sophomore sensation Benji Zorn further bolstered Ferris State University’s tradition of excellence in disc golf as he fired a three-under-par 28 in the final round to win a singles national championship in Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

The Grand Rapids native, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Professional Sales at Ferris State, stood tall atop a hotly contested leaderboard at Winthrop University. Only three singles competitors ended under par, and two others even. Facing tough competition, Zorn understood he had little room for error and elevated his play accordingly. 

“It was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life. I was feeling a ton of pressure,” Zorn said, thinking back to the year before when he earned All-American status but missed out on a national championship as a freshman. “I wanted to stay focused on doing the best I could for my team, Ferris and myself. 

Zorn did that, noting the extremely windy and wet playing conditions as he locked his focus during the final round. 

Ferris State professor emeritus and former associate provost Leonard Johnson, advisor for the Disc Golf team, couldn’t be prouder of the highly recruited Zorn, who first rose to prominence as a freshman in 2023 when he earned All-American honors at the Collegiate Disc Golf National Championship in North Carolina. 

“When Benji joined the team last year as a freshman, he made an immediate impact. He is one of those incredibly gifted athletes who comes along once in a blue moon,” said Johnson, who retired from Ferris State in 2022 but remains highly involved with a team and program that mean a lot to him. “His leadership guiding weekly team practices has been instrumental in helping to develop and hone the skills of players on both our men’s and women’s teams.”

Johnson admired Zorn, who elevated his play when it mattered most. 

“His hard work and dedication came together during the final nine holes of singles play when he came from three strokes behind to capture the 2024 men’s singles national collegiate disc golf championship,” Johnson said. “The last time a Ferris player won the men’s singles title was when Bryan Murphy crushed a field of over 100 competitors to win the title in 2014.” 

Zorn expressed his gratitude to Johnson. 

“Leonard sold me on coming to Ferris, and it started when he took me on a campus tour and showed me the course. That was when I really started to buy into Ferris, the disc golf team, and Leonard,” he said. I love this team and its commitment to success. I always want to go out there and do my best for my teammates.” 

Zorn added, “We’re so happy to have Leonard continue to be part of this program, given everything he has done to help get it to where it is now. He could be off somewhere, retired, but he is still with us and loves being part of this program. We love having him with us.” 

Johnson noted that the team battled to a fourth-place finish – ahead of 44 schools. The team finished at -23, behind the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, the University of Cincinnati and North Carolina State University. 

The Ferris State Disc Golf Men’s Team was previously crowned national champions in 2015, 2017 and 2019. The Women’s Team won its first national title in 2021. 

Click Disc Golf Club at Ferris State for more information about the team and club sports.

*Image credited to Professional Disc Golf Association.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (4/1 - 4/7)

Monday, April 1

Calls for Service: 22

 

Tuesday, April 2

Calls for Service: 14

 

Wednesday, April 3

Calls for Service: 28

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, April 4

  • No incidents reported.

Friday, April 5

Calls for Service: 39

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, April 6

  • At 2:05 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Deerfield TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver and female passenger being arrested on warrants out of Newaygo County. Both were lodged in Newaygo County.

  • At 8:00 P.M., 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.

  • At 9:35 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence Sheridan TWP. A male subject had a warrant out of Osceola County. He was lodged in Osceola County.

Calls for Service: 15

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, April 7

Calls for Service: 16

Ferris State Women's Basketball to celebrate historic season at postseason banquet

 The Ferris State University women's basketball squad will celebrate a historic season as the Bulldogs hold their annual postseason banquet on Sunday, April 14, at the David L. Eisler Center on the FSU campus.

The banquet will start at 6 pm. (ET) and include a dinner along with a celebration of this past season, which included FSU's first-ever NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship and appearance in the national semifinals.

The cost for the dinner is only $25 per ticket and please RSVP by April 8 if possible. Online registration and payment is preferred, but payments will be accepted at the door. 

For additional information, please contact Cedric Frierson at 231-679-9852 or via email at CedricFrierson@ferris.edu. Please email Cedric Frierson directly to utilize in-person payment option.

Registration and payments can be made online at this link below:
https://igfn.us/form/E39Ujw

Ferris State, which was guided by fourth-year head coach Kurt Westendorp, concluded the 2023-24 season with a school all-time best 26-6 overall record. FSU won the Midwest Regional Championship for the first time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time, eventually reaching the national semifinals.

This season, the Bulldogs beat three teams that were ranked number one in the nation at game time, including both GVSU (once) and Ashland (twice). Additionally, FSU's win over Grand Valley State in the Midwest Regional Championship game in Allendale came when the Lakers were ranked second in the country, giving Ferris State four wins this year over opponents ranked first or second nationally.

Ferris State Softball sweeps Purdue Northwest in GLIAC road doubleheader

The Ferris State University softball team opened its weekend road trip with a sweep on Saturday (April 6) as the Bulldogs captured a pair of wins over Purdue Northwest in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play in Hammond, Ind.

The Bulldogs recorded a 1-0 shutout in the opener and came away with a 4-2 win in the nightcap to take the league doubleheader.

In the opener, senior ace pitcher Aryn Gallacher allowed only three hits and no runs in a full seven innings of work to garner the victory. She struck out four and walked one in the performance.

Offensively, the Bulldogs totaled four hits and produced the game's only run in the fourth inning on an RBI from Maddie Gkekas, who notched a double in the win. Freshman Alexis Kozlowski also doubled while Ella McDonaldnotched a sacrifice hit for FSU. Shortstop Emma Gillard and designated player Abby Meyer also garnered hits.

The Bulldogs had another strong performance in game two. PNW struck first in the opening inning with a run, but FSU answered in the top of the second to tie the game back up. The Bulldogs scored in the fourth and the Pride in the fifth before the Bulldogs eventually got their final two runs in the sixth and held Purdue Northwest off the board in their final two at-bats. Both teams finished with six hits.

FSU's Ashley Webb earned the pitching win, giving up only two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. She had three strikeouts. Izzy Regner pitched two-thirds of an inning and did not allow a hit or run before Gallacher came on to earn the save with a single hit allowed and one strikeout in one-third of an inning.

McDonald had two hits and an RBI at the plate while Meyer also produced two hits and drove in a run. FSU also got hits from designated player Emily Killion, who added an RBI, along with Gkekas in the victory.

The Bulldogs will visit Parkside on Sunday (April 7) for a league doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. (ET) in Kenosha, Wis.

View the April 8 solar eclipse safely with tips from the Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry

Catching a glimpse of Monday’s rare solar eclipse can be exciting – but can cause lasting vision damage without proper safety precautions, say faculty members at Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry. 

“Unsafe viewing of the sun, even for a few seconds, is not worth a lifetime of vision impairment,” said Dr. Eric Syverson, an MCO assistant professor and chief of Medical and Surgical Services.

A rare total solar eclipse will be visible across parts of the United States, Canada and Mexico on Monday, April 8.  A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between Earth and the sun – blocking the sun’s light and darkening the sky as if late in the evening or early in the morning.

As cool as a rare solar eclipse is to observe, Syverson strongly urges skywatchers to carefully use special eye protection and limit even protected exposure to minimize the risk of eye damage.

“Some may say it is safe to remove solar viewing glasses to look directly at the total eclipse. Theoretically, this has some merit, but I would not recommend taking that chance,” he said.

Syverson recommends purchasing certified solar viewing glasses that meet the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 12312-2). He further suggests Certified Solar Viewing Glasses with an ISO logo and reference number 12312-2.

Preparation matters.

“These glasses are designed to ensure that solar viewing glasses provide adequate protection for the eyes when looking at the sun or a solar eclipse,” Syverson said. “They are not expensive, but I recommend ordering them ahead of time. They can be found online.”

Syverson said pinhole projectors or indirect viewing methods, as recommended by the American Optometric Association, are also recommended. He also noted that the total solar eclipse can be viewed via the NASA live stream. Additionally, NASA offers eye safety tips for viewers.

Syverson has safety reminders for casual viewers:

  • Normal sunglasses do not have the required optical density or transmission requirements to protect your eyes against the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Supervise and educate children on the harm of looking directly into the sun.
  • Homemade filters should not be used.
  • Limit your viewing of the total eclipse even with the proper safety equipment.

The consequences of not exercising caution in viewing the total solar eclipse could be significant, including the possibility of permanent vision loss and impairment due to solar retinopathy, which is damage to the retina - the back of the eye -- from harmful sun rays. 

Other potential consequences include red, irritated and or painful eyes due to solar keratitis, which he likened to a sunburn on the cornea that can be painful and difficult to treat.

NASA’s quick facts include the corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere, being normally not visible. During a total solar eclipse, however, the corona becomes visible and provides an opportunity to study this aspect of the sun.

Also, according to NASA, the next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States is not expected until Aug. 23, 2044.

The MCO faculty and staff encourage viewers to protect their vision while observing this unique natural phenomenon.

Ferris State’s Michigan College of Optometry, founded in 1974, is the only optometry program in the state. It includes the University Eye Center, a full-service eye care clinic serving university employees, students, and the surrounding community. In addition to providing comprehensive care, the center has specialty clinics in ocular disease, pre- and post-surgical care, specialty contact lenses, pediatrics, and binocular vision and vision therapy. 

*Image provided by Ferris State University.

Fourth largest jackpot in Powerball history up for grabs in Saturday's drawing

The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $1.3 billion, making it the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history. The cash option for the jackpot is $608.9 million.

If a player wins Saturday’s jackpot, it will not only make Powerball history as one of the largest jackpots ever won, but it would also be the eighth-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.

“Winning Saturday’s $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot would have an incredible impact on the life of a Michigander and their family for generations,” said Lottery Commissioner, Suzanna Shkreli. “While the thought of winning a huge jackpot is exciting, I encourage everyone to always play responsibly.”

The Powerball jackpot was last won Jan. 1 when one ticket purchased in Michigan won the $842.2 million jackpot. The winning ticket was purchased at the Food Castle of Grand Blanc, located at 3035 East Grand Blanc Road in Grand Blanc. 

The huge jackpot has yet to be claimed. The lucky winner should contact the Lottery’s Player Relations Division at 844-917-6325 to set up an appointment to claim their prize. Powerball tickets are valid for one year from the drawing date.

Saturday’s drawing will be the 41st drawing in the jackpot run, tying the record for Powerball’s longest stretch without a jackpot winner. A 41-drawing Powerball jackpot run has only happened twice before, and those runs resulted in jackpots of:

•    $2.04 billion jackpot, won on Nov. 7, 2022
•    $699.8 million jackpot, won on Oct. 4, 2021

Since the Powerball jackpot run began Jan. 3, Michigan Lottery players have won more than $8.8 million in prizes, including three $1 million prizes.

Lottery retailers throughout the state are selling Powerball tickets until 9:45 p.m. Saturday. Tickets also may be purchased online at MichiganLottery.com.

Powerball plays may be purchased for $2 each at Lottery retailers across the state and online at MichiganLottery.com. A “Power Play” option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes by up to 10 times to a maximum of $2 million may be added to any Powerball play for only $1. For an additional $1 per play, Double Play may be added to a Powerball ticket, giving players a second chance to win up to $10 million in the nightly Double Play drawing.

The Powerball drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday and may be watched live online at: http://www.powerball.com. Powerball tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington D.C., U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Ferris State University Sports Communication program set to honor Area 5 Special Olympics at softball game

Ferris State University (FSU) Sports Communication Program will be honoring Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan at the Ferris State softball home battle against Davenport University.

The softball game will take place at the Ferris State Softball Field located off Ferris Dr. on the west side of campus. The softball field sits right across from the Department of Public Safety.

The games will take place on Saturday, Apr. 13 with game one beginning at 1P.M. and game two beginning at 3 P.M.

In attendance at the game will be athletes from Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan, and students from the FSU Sports Communication Program.

There will also be a “Miracle Minute” during each game, giving guests an opportunity to donate to Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan. The members of Area 5 will also have the opportunity to walk out with the starting lineup of the Ferris State softball team. 

For more information or special accommodations, contact Ferris State Athletics at (231)-591-2860 at least 72 hours in advance. 

*Image provided by Ferris State Sports Communication.

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist II announces the approval of Michigan's first-ever digital equity plan

Today, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) announced the approval of Michigan’s first-ever Digital Equity Plan by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This landmark approval marks a significant step forward in Michigan's commitment to eliminating the digital divide and ensuring that every Michigan resident has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. 

“Every Michigander deserves access to affordable, fast internet, and the approval of Michigan’s first-ever Digital Equity Plan will help us more efficiently and effectively connect more individuals, families, and small business owners,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “The development of this plan will help us understand better where we need to target resources and make investments and how we can ensure a level playing field for every Michigander no matter where they live. I applaud the Michigan High Speed Internet Office for getting this done, and Governor Whitmer and I look forward to continued work to ensure every Michigander can connect to opportunity and potential through affordable, fast internet.” 

The development of the Michigan Digital Equity Plan was a community-driven process, informed by feedback from over 800 residents across Michigan during MIHI’s 41 stop MI Connected Future statewide tour. This extensive engagement effort highlighted the broadband barriers many Michiganders face when it comes to high-speed internet, including affordability of service, availability of service, digital skills and the affordability of internet enabled devices. With the vision of achieving a digitally equitable state by 2030, the plan outlines a comprehensive approach to address these barriers in Michigan. 

“The MIHI Office is proud to lead this effort to ensure digital equity for all Michigan residents”, said Eric Frederick, Michigan’s chief connectivity officer. “This plan is a blueprint for empowering Michiganders with the digital tools and access the necessary resources to succeed in today’s digital world.” 

The Michigan Digital Equity Plan includes a holistic approach to closing gaps in education, healthcare, workforce development and civic engagement, which culminates the future implementation of a state-wide Digital Navigator Resource Network to support capacity building for communities to meet the needs of their residents throughout the state. This week, the NTIA announced more than $20M will be awarded to Michigan through the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program. The plan approval by the NTIA and the funding from the Capacity Grant Program enables MIHI to begin the implementation of the plan and make these initiatives a reality.  

“MIHI approaches digital equity holistically and we are looking forward to working with communities to close the digital divide once and for all,” said Allie Herkenroder, Michigan’s digital equity director. “This plan could not exist without the support and involvement from Michiganders everywhere and we are excited to usher in an era of digital inclusion for Michigan.”    

For more information on the Michigan Digital Equity Plan and other digital equity and inclusion resources, visit Michigan.gov/MIHI

Community Column: What food establishment should find its way to Big Rapids?

The types of cuisine available in this world is represented by an endless abyss of options. Many of them stick in certain places, while others do not. As a unique area that Big Rapids is, there have been many attempts to insert new options. Satisfying that need is tough, as the audience is very diverse and unique. The question comes down to what’s the next big idea?

After proposing this question over our social media platforms, here are five of the top responses from our followers within the community:

 

Steakhouse

As one of the most popular responses, a franchise steakhouse has been absent from the area for some time. A Ponderosa once frequented Old US-131 north of 19 Mile Road, but lack of traffic eventually led to the disintegration. With a plethora of casual bar and grill restaurants, both locally owned like Schuberg’s or a franchise like Applebee’s, it has made steakhouse fans travel up to 60 miles or settle for limited options at these versatile establishments. Especially considering the addition of hotels and professional meeting venues, adding a large-scale steakhouse like Logan’s Roadhouse or Longhorn Steakhouse could boost the idea of businesses venturing to Big Rapids for cheaper rates than Grand Rapids. 

 

Italian Restaurant

Remember when the talk of the town was an Olive Garden prank on Facebook? Welp, it turns out it has stuck with townspeople to this day. This was the most liked comment of all posted via our Facebook inquiry. Big Rapids is home to quite a few pizza parlors, but not many sit down pasta, “wine and dine” restaurants have reached this far north. The city used to have Vivo’s a few years back, until the establishment left and was inhabited by A La Mode on State Street. Since then, there isn’t many places that a couple or friends can dress up and go out to eat in formal fashion. This could be a cool add to the town.

 

Seafood/Sushi

Seeing this common nomination definitely caught my attention. Get it? Outside of Long John Silvers, there really is little to no options for finding seafood options in Big Rapids. It’s a shame because Big Rapids has a reputation, or at least a partial reputation, when it comes to bodies of water. First, the word “Rapids” in our name. Second, the heavily travelled and fisherman-filled Muskegon River. And third, a fairly large population of people that live in the area on the river or a nearby lake. Adding a seafood place could amplify this idea back into the town’s image. This can also include a sushi place, which had some success before at TTOWA before it closed and was replaced by Timber Cannabis Co.

 

24-Hour Diner

One of the more unique ideas on this list, a 24-hour diner is an interesting idea. While downtown can be quiet during night hours, placing a dinner along Perry Avenue near the hotels may bring success. Similar to a Waffle House, the establishment would likely need to specialize in breakfast to fill the void in that area. The hardest part of putting in a 24-hour diner would be staffing the full day as well as obtaining licenses for serving late hours, but the wide-open opportunity to provide visitors with a convenient any meal, any time option may be enticing enough to draw in a business. 

 

Thai Pad/Chinese Restaurant

Adding some international spice to the town’s menu could be a huge hit. In this category, China One Buffet and New China Chinese Restaurant have been trying to capture that audience, but their tucked away locationshave made it a little difficult. I think adding a second, different style restaurant or faster food place could help boost the desire for Thai or Chinese food. Examples of this could be Panda Express or Lai Thai Kitchen could be options as well as a homestyle, non-franchise original restaurant as well. 

 

In summary, all these options would seem to be bring a plus to the foody scene in Big Rapids. The town has its hidden gems, well-established historical restaurants, as well as some modern fast-food options. Adding a popular, yet unique restaurant in any of the five categories above would add another slice towards completing a positive pie of food places for everyone. 

Osceola County Sheriff's Office: Monthly Blotter (3/1 - 3/31)

The Sheriff’s Office took 493 calls for service for the month of March. The corrections staff booked 93 subjects into the jail between Mar. 1 and Mar. 31.

The average daily inmate population for March was 55 inmates.

 

911 Hang Ups: 4

Abandoned Vehicles: 7

Alarms: 10

Animal Control: 8

Area Check: 15

Assaults/Sexual Assaults/Threats: 14

Assist to Other Jurisdictions: 10

Attempt to Locate: 2

Breaking & Entering: 2

Check Wellbeing: 18

Civil: 14

Death Notification: 1

Disorderly: 10

DNR Calls: 5

Domestic Assaults: 11

Fail to Pay (Gas Drive Off): 0

Flee & Elude (Pursuits): 0

Follow-Up investigations/Details: 30

Found Property: 1

Fraud: 4

Hit & Run?: 2

Juvenile Assaults/Runaways: 23

Larceny: 9

Malicious Destruction of Property: 4

Mental Health Calls: 4

Minors in Possession: 1

Missing Persons: 2

Motorist Assist: 8

Misc. (PPO Vio, Standby, etc.): 38

OWI/OUID: 2

Paper Service: 6

Parking/Traffic Hazard: 2

Personal Injury Accident: 3

Property Damage Accident: 38

Property Check: 1

Retail Fraud: 0

Road Run-Off: 0

Stolen Vehicles: 1

Suspicious Situations: 9

Traffic Stops: 135

Prisoner/Mental Transport: 4

Trespass: 5

Vehicle Inspections: 9

Warrants: 21

Weapon Offenses: 0

Ferris State Planning Workforce Development Summit to help businesses grow and thrive

Ferris State University is focused on sustaining and growing our West Michigan businesses and is planning a workforce development summit to connect with the region’s employers and learn how to best assist them.

The event is planned for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 in Ferris State’s Interdisciplinary Resource Center, 1301 S. State Street in Big Rapids. The free event is open to employers whether they represent large businesses or small ones.

The purpose of the inaugural workforce summit is to identify strategies that will strengthen West Michigan’s workforce and economy, said Dr. Kasey Thompson, special assistant to the president for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and an associate professor.

“We are committed to growing the economy of the state of Michigan, but with a specific focus on businesses in the West Michigan area,” Thompson said. “Ferris State University is a community partner and is taking the lead in helping to provide resources that enable West Michigan business growth.”

Summit topics will include housing, recruitment, credit and non-credit workforce training and educational opportunities.

Thompson said the Ferris State leaders believe the university is a resource for the region, and part of the solution in sustaining a viable Michigan workforce. Ferris State has faculty and staff with experience in a wide variety of industries as well as expertise in what it takes to start, maintain, and grow a business.

“We have to collectively work on identifying issues that prohibit business growth in our region and Ferris State is facilitating the plan to overcome those obstacles and is committed to creating a clearer pathway for West Michigan businesses to flourish,” Thompson said.

Lunch will be provided for all registered guests. Registration is due by Monday, April 8 and is available at this link.

Additional information is available by contacting Thompson at (231) 591-2766 or by email at kaseythompson@ferris.edu.

Mecosta County Youth Academy accepting applications until May 3

The Mecosta County Youth Academy is now accepting applications for their camp in July.

The Mecosta County Youth Academy is a one-week program for boys and girls ages 12-14. It will be held July 15-19 from 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. The academy will focus on several topics, including teamwork, leadership, physical fitness, defensive tactics, firearms safety, first aid, and fire safety.

The academy is being sponsored by the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office and the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety.

For more information, please contact Officer William Sell at the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, wsell@bigrapidsdps.org or 231-527-0005, or visit https://cityofbr.seamlessdocs.com/f/YouthAcademyApplication to apply. Applications are due by May 3, 2024, at 4:00 P.M. Space is limited, so act fast.

New local golf ball printing business debuts online website

It’s hard to run one full time business, let alone two. This is the challenge that Courtney and Jordan Murphy are about to tackle. Along with their time at Reed City Brewing Company, the two have announced the addition of a separate business specializing in golf ball customization.

“I am trying to focus solely on Par FORE Printing at this time but still put my time and effort into the brewery through running the social media and events,” Courtney Murphy said. “Time management will be very important as I transition into running two businesses but I feel that I can work the two businesses and my connections well together. My wife, Jordan will also be very hands on as she is excited to work side by side with me when she has time away from her full-time job.”

The new business, tabbed Par FORE Printing, has always been an idea in the mind of Courtney Murphy. This dates all the way back to college seven years ago.

“I started to enjoy traveling around Michigan and to multiple states and collecting golf balls from the different courses with their logo on it. About a year ago, I started to see funny sayings on golf balls. I was conversing with a friend on it and how I could help people elevate their golf experience by personalizing their golf balls for company representation, bachelor party favors, gifts, or just individual fun. I started looking for the best printers to print golf balls on and my wife thought I was out of my mind. Once I wrote up my business plan, she realized how passionate I was about bringing joy to people in a way that makes me happy as well.”

According to Murphy, Par FORE Printing will be a “strictly online” business to start with a potential hope of adding a storefront in the future. They also will be taking visits to local courses and businesses to add personal customer service experience.

“We hope to allow our customers the ability to showcase their brand,” Courtney Murphy said. “Whether it’s an individual person, golf course, brewery, or business, branding is a huge part of business and golf is very popular here in the state of Michigan. I want to elevate people's experience on the golf course.”

The business has added social media on Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit parforeprinting.com. For further inquiry, email courtney@parforeprinting.com or call (810) 623-6449.

*Images provided by Courtney Murphy.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (3/18 - 3/31)

Monday, March 18

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched to a local business for a fraudulent bill that was passed. The complaint remains open at this time.

Tuesday, March 19

  • No incidents reported.

Wednesday, March 20

  • Suicide – Officers dispatched to check on a suicidal subject. Subject denied wanting to harm himself and would be accompanied by family members and friends. Officers cleared without incident. 

Thursday, March 21

  • Traffic Stop – Officer assisted MSP with a traffic stop where a stolen firearm was located. Operator of the vehicle arrested on the possession of the stolen firearm.

  • Traffic Stop – Officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle. The driver was taken into custody due to having warrants for their arrest.

  • Threats – Officers were dispatched to investigate a harassment complaint.  The complaint remains open at this time.

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriffs Department in a warrant attempt. The subject was located and arrested on the warrants.

  • Traffic Stop – Officer assisted the Osceola County Sheriffs Department in a traffic stop. 

Friday, March 22

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a warrant arrest. The subject was located and taken into custody without incident.

Saturday, March 23

  • Assault - Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a complaint involving multiple assaults.

Sunday, March 24

  • No incidents reported.

Monday, March 25

  • Breaking and Entering – Officer assisted Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with searching multiple structures that had been broken into. No one was located at the time of the searches. 

Tuesday, March 26

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched to a civil complaint involving one neighbor harassing the other. Contact was made with both neighbors and a report will be forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney to be reviewed for criminal charges.

  • Domestic – Officers were requested to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department with a domestic violence complaint. One subject was arrested and lodged on a warrant, and after deputies had time to investigate the complaint the subject was also lodged on domestic violence.

  • Civil - Officers received a civil dispute involving ownership of a vehicle. Parties were advised they should contact Probate Court to help resolve the issue.

Wednesday, March 27

  • Fire – Officers assisted Evart Fire Department with a small fire at a business.

Thursday, March 28

  • No incidents reported.

Friday, March 29

  • No incidents reported.

Saturday, March 30

  • Warrant Arrest – Officer assisted the Osceola County Sheriffs Department with a warrant arrest. Subject was located and arrested without incident.

Sunday, March 31

  • Harassment – Officers responded to a possible harassment complaint. Officers contacted the other person involved and they advised they would stop contacting the complainant.

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers were requested to assist the Reed City Police Department on a narcotics complaint. Officers stood by with the subjects involved while the residence was searched for narcotics and paraphernalia.  K-9 Koda was also used during the search. 

Area residents invited to participate in Gotion Inc. virtual town hall meeting on April 8

Chuck Thelen of Gotion Inc. is hosting a “Chat with Chuck” virtual town hall meeting on Monday, April 8, at 6 p.m. to provide residents with an update on the proposed battery components facility in Green Charter Township and answer any questions.

Residents can access the town hall meeting at this link. The “Chat with Chuck” meetings will take place on a monthly basis, and include project announcements, guests from the local community, subject matter experts from Gotion Inc. and other information.

“A virtual town hall meeting is a convenient, easily accessible, way people can get their questions answered about the facility and learn more about the ongoing progress of our project,” said Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “I’m looking forward to talking with people. The meetings also will be an effective way to reduce misinformation that continues to be spread about the facility.”

Thelen and several officials held a similar virtual panel discussion last year. The video of the meeting was posted on Green Charter Township’s website, but has since been taken down

“People in the region deserve to have access to as much information as possible, and Gotion Inc. will continue to be transparent and open about our efforts,” Thelen said. “A virtual town hall meeting is a great way to allow people to participate in the comfort of their own homes.

MDHHS issues request for proposal for EMS workforce support grants

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workforce grants to provide funding for enhancing and training Michigan EMS workforce personnel.

The focus of the program is to continue and expand the workforce development program used for training people in EMS. The intent is to address the critical shortage of paramedics statewide and increase accessibility by reducing barriers to enrollment in EMS education programming, specifically paramedic programs.

MDHHS has identified several potential uses for funding:

  • Traditional grants to cover costs of tuition and associated fees for paramedic training at a Michigan-approved education program, limited to:
    • $20,000 per paramedic student.
    • $1,500 per emergency medical technician specialist student.
    • $2,000 per emergency medical technician student.
    • $500 per medical first responder/emergency medical responder student.
    • $2,000 per instructor student.
  • Hourly reimbursement for time spent in EMS training programs at a rate of $15/hour to a maximum of:
    • $16,000 per paramedic student.
    • $2,100 per emergency medical technician specialist student.
    • $3,000 per emergency medical technician student.
    • $900 per medical first responder/emergency medical responder student.
    • $2,600 per instructor coordinator student.

EMS Education Access grants may be funded in the following potential categories:

  1. Expansion and increased access to EMS education to areas currently not served by initial education programs. Applicants will be responsible for demonstrating how their proposal increases access to an underserved area.
  2. Barrier reduction efforts, if the proposal specifically outlines how the funding request will decrease barriers to enrollment or student success.
  3. Outreach campaigns to increase student enrollment in EMS training programs.

The award period begins Oct. 1, 2024, and ends Sept. 30, 2025.  MDHHS expects to award approximately $9 million, with a maximum award of $400,000 per applicant. 

Project director requests to get access to the application are due by 5 p.m., Thursday, May 23. Grant applications must be submitted electronically through the EGrAMS system by 3 p.m., Thursday, May 30.

A pre-application conference will be held to discuss this funding opportunity and provide instruction on using the EGrAMS system at 11 a.m., Monday, April 8, and will last approximately 90 minutes. The webinar can be accessed at https://bit.ly/42JnY7S. At the conclusion of the conference, this link can be used to access the recording of this webinar.  

Any questions concerning the content of this RFP must be sent by email at mdhhs-ems-grants@michigan.gov on or before Thursday, April 11. Questions may be discussed verbally at the pre-application conference. MDHHS will compile all relevant questions and answers and post these as well as any other clarifications or revisions to the initial RFP by Wednesday, April 17, on the EGrAMS website.

For more information or to apply, visit the EGrAMS website and select "About EGrAMS" link in the left panel to access the "Competitive Application Instructions" training manual. The complete RFP can be accessed under the ‘Current Grants’ section under the “Public Health Administration” link and selecting the “WEMSS-2025” grant program.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (3/25 - 3/31)

Monday, March 25

  • At 11:21 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Big Rapids Township. A male subject was arrested on two warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 5

 

Tuesday, March 26

  • At around 3:58 P.M., deputies conducted a felony traffic stop on a vehicle in Deerfield Township. The traffic stop resulted in all five occupants of the vehicle being arrested. A male passenger was arrested on several felony warrants. He was also arrested for possession of two stolen handguns and possession of methamphetamine. The female driver, female passenger and two other male passengers were arrested for possession of methamphetamine. All subjects were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 15

 

Wednesday, March 27

  • No incidents reported.

 

Thursday, March 28

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 4

 

Friday, March 29

  • At 9:20 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Millbrook Township. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a couple warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 11:22 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna Township. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 20

 

Saturday, March 30

Calls for Service: 21

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Sunday, March 31

Calls for Service: 10

Traffic Accidents: 2

Bulldog Softball Tuesday doubleheader versus Wayne State postponed

The Ferris State University softball squad's upcoming schedule has been adjusted due to expected weather conditions.

The Bulldogs' rescheduled Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader versus Wayne State on Tuesday (April 2) has been postponed again due to incoming weather and low temperatures.

The matchup with Wayne State has been rescheduled again for Tuesday, April 9, starting at 2 p.m. (ET) for game one with game two to follow at approximately 4 p.m. (ET) at the FSU Softball Field.

Due to the change, the Bulldogs' previously scheduled non-league matchup at Northwood on April 9 has been moved to April 17 in Midland starting at 3 p.m. (ET) for the opening game of the twinbill.

Prior to the home matchup with Wayne State next week, the Bulldogs will first visit Purdue Northwest for a league doubleheader this Saturday (April 6) before venturing to Parkside on Sunday (April 7).

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for complete schedule updates as needed throughout the season.

27-year old female dies from T-bone accident in Mecosta Township

On Sunday, Mar. 31, at approximately 09:04 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of 8 Mile Rd. (M-20) & Old-State Rd. in Mecosta Township. 

The investigation revealed a 32-year-old female from White Cloud was traveling east bound on 8 Mile Rd approaching Old State Rd. A 27-year-old female from Tustin was travelling north bound on Old State Road, when she proceeded through the stop sign and failed to yield to oncoming east bound traffic. The White Cloud female then hit the Tustin female on the driver side.

Subsequently, the 27-year-old female from Tustin was identified as Catherine Brinks, Brinks died instantly as a result of the injuries she sustained in the collision. The 32-year-old female involved, was transported by Mecosta County EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital for the injuries she sustained in the collision.

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta County EMS, Mecosta Twp Fire / Rescue, Mecosta County Sheriff Posse, Michigan DNR Officers, Mid-Michigan Medical Examiner’s Office, Big Rapids Towing and Meceola Central Dispatch. 

Ferris State Alumni Association bringing annual golf outing home to Katke Golf Course to celebrate its 50th anniversary

The Ferris State University Alumni Association’s annual golf outing has traveled to some of the top courses in Michigan, but the 2024 event is coming home. 

Ferris State’s Katke Golf Course, celebrating its 50th year, will welcome the Alumni Association’s annual outing on Friday, May 10. The course is one of the Midwest’s premier learning facilities benefiting students in Ferris State’s renowned PGA Golf Management program. It’s also home to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. 

Early registration is open as the Alumni Association eagerly welcomes a strong turnout of Bulldogs to hit the links. 

“We could not be more excited to have our annual alumni golf outing, one of our most popular events of the year, return to campus as we celebrate 50 years of Katke Golf Course,” said Brandi Behrenwald, executive director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “We think this is a great opportunity for our alumni to come back to campus and to see how much things have changed and grown, but also to see that Ferris State still feels like home.” 

Registration opens at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon to precede dinner, an awards presentation, and the handing out of prizes. Registration includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, complimentary access to the driving range, lunch, dinner and tournament apparel. 

The outing also features a range of sponsorship opportunities such as Katke’s 50th anniversary, dinner, lunch, the putting green, snack station, driving range, scoreboard and holes. Sponsorships include a custom embroidered flag with proceeds benefiting the Alumni Legacy Scholarship. 

“For many of our alumni, Ferris State is a family tradition,” Behrenwald said. “The Alumni Golf Outing helps fund our Legacy Scholarship, which salutes the achievement and leadership potential of students who had a parent, sibling, grandparent, son, or daughter who is a Ferris State graduate.” 

Katke Golf Course is located at 1003 Perry Street in Big Rapids. 

Anyone interested in registering for the event or receiving additional information about sponsorships or any other outing aspect can contact Lynn Miller in the Alumni Relations Office at LynnMiller@Ferris.edu or (231) 591-2345.

*Image provided by Ferris State University.

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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 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?