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Deer baiting bill approved in State House; moves to Senate for consideration

State Rep. Michele Hoitenga’s plan to end the ban on baiting deer and elk in Michigan was approved today by the State House Tuesday 57-49.


Hoitenga said the ban – issued by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in August 2018 amid concerns about the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) – is hurting outdoor enthusiasts and local businesses.


Baiting is a method that hunters have relied on for generations, and there’s absolutely no evidence it contributes to the spread of disease,” Hoitenga said. “It’s silly for the NRC to ban hunters from scattering apples around their deer blinds when every day deer graze on apples that fall off trees in nature.”


The plan, House Bill 4687, would allow people to engage in baiting during open seasons on deer and elk in Michigan.


The ban is doing more harm than good by chasing hunting families away from the sport,” Hoitenga said. “The revenue generated from hunting licenses helps support conservation efforts carried out by the DNR, and hunting enthusiasts play a crucial role in supporting our state’s northern and rural economies.”


Last year, hunting and fishing license sales made up 20 percent of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ entire annual budget, equal to $83.5 million. These funds were used to aid the recovery of endangered and threatened species, including restoring thousands of acres of habitat and wetlands.

According to one recent study, 171,000 jobs are created and supported annually across Michigan by hunting and fishing activity. Hunting generates around $8.9 billion in economic impact, the study said.


The bill now moves to the State Senate for consideration. 


Young Team, Winning Attitude: Mohawk Volleyball looking to go the distance

With clinching the Central State Activities Association, the Morley Stanwood Mohawks moved to 12-0 in conference play and hold a 28-6-1 record going into district play.  

The Mohawks ended their regular season play with a win over Hesperia and in turn led to the Mohawks winning the CSA silver with and undefeated record in conference play. The Mohawks have only lost one match in conference play while winning 34 and holding an 81.4-win percentage.  

Senior Mohawk Ryleigh Newton said, “it’s really big for us because we’ve always had tough competition and it was a goal for us to go undefeated in our conference.” 

Outside the conference the Mohawks have won 70 sets and only lost 16 and are on a for game win streak. They are also ranked 9th in their class, 81st in the state, and even nationally ranked at 2863rd.  

Head Coach Robin Kozuch said, “they don’t take any team lightly because the game is so much highs and lows, you have to stay fired up or it’s the end of your season and I believe the girls realize that if they don’t give it their all then they’re done.” 

The Morley Stanwood volleyball team is full of young talent with three sophomore, five juniors, and their three senior leaders. Kozuch said that her three seniors are huge players for the team, but the younger kids have really grown and developed as well.  

“The biggest thing is from the leadership of the seniors this year, they are three really nice girls, they take the rest of the team under their wing even kids that we brought up that are younger they are all great mentors and very positive and nurturing, but they still push each other and I hope this keeps the young girls to be like them moving forward," Kozuch said. "I feel like this team has really gelled very well, they perform well, they are great athletes and we’ve had that a lot of years in the past as well but I feel like it really takes a family and a cohesiveness to be successful down the stretch.” 

Both Kozuch and Morley senior Breanna Berry said that this past summer the entire team went to a volleyball camp in Caledonia. Berry said that the camp was very challenging and that the girls were not allowed to have their phones for the entire week. 

“To see how hard the girls pushed and persevered through that tough summer camp that we went to and bond together is such an amazing memory and I’d like to keep that tradition going because it was awesome,” Kozuch said.  

Morley senior Jaidyn Schmitt said that she is pumped for post season action since it's her last year and would love for her team to go the distance. Schmitt feels that her team can get past districts and make it to states because the team has worked very well together this year than ever before. Berry said that she agrees with her teammate and that she really loves the team chemistry and leadership from the younger girls.  

“I think we are doing really really good at communicating when we need it the most and just being there for each other to lift each other up,” Newton said. ““Coach knows what to say and when to say it for all of us girls, she knows all of our tendency's and what to do it fix things when we struggle which has helped a lot.” 

Kozuch said that she has really enjoyed being allowed to coach this group of girls and that she has seen them play well enough that she believes that this team could go all the way. Kozuch loves the communities support and loves the Mohawk family and that it continues to grow.  

The Morley Stanwood Mohawks will play in the first round of districts that start Monday November 4th at 6 p.m. against Lakeview on the Mohawks home court. If they win, they would play again on Wednesday November 6th at 7:30 p.m. with the championship game Thursday at 7 p.m. 


Suspected drunk driving accident sends Remus man to hospital

Deputies with the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office believe alcohol was a factor in a one car accident early Sunday morning.


It happened at the intersection of 35th Avenue and 8 Mile Road in Remus.


Deputies say the driver, a 29-year old Remus man, was traveling southbound on 35th Avenue when his vehicle went off of the roadway, striking a tree.


The driver was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids for non-life threatening injuries.


Police in Mecosta Co. looking for break-in suspect

Police in Mecosta County are looking for a suspect they say broke into a home and was confronted by the homeowner.


It happened on October 30th at a residence on 15 Mile Rd near 230th ave in Big Rapids Twp.


According to deputies, the suspect broke into the occupied residence and was confronted by the home owner. 


The suspect asked the homeowner to call 911 for a accident that didn't occur. 


The suspect left the scene while the home owner was calling 911.


No accident was found in the area. 


The suspect is described as white male, 5'11'-6'00, Thin build, blonde to sandy blonde hair, with a clean cut. 


The suspect is thought to be driving a red Jeep wrangler with a black top.   


Any tips can be reported to Mecosta County Sheriff's Office. 


Mecosta-Osceola Transit Authority hoping voters approve millage proposal to continue operations

A special election on November 5th is right around the corner and one local entity is hoping voters will approve its millage proposal to keep their operation going.

The Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority is asking voters to approve their millage proposal of a .5 mill to continue its transportation operations.


Last May, MOTA ended their partnership with the Hope Network, that in turn, reduced state and federal funding to continue providing its services for those who need it.


Last year, MOTA provided over 49,000 rides to people in both Mecosta and Osceola Counties which translates to 196 rides per day.


Executive Director Mike Tillman says if this isn't passed MOTA will have to shutdown on November 8th. “We will have to close our doors because we won't have enough funding for operations.” Tillman said.


However if it is passed, Tillman says MOTA will have the ability to increase hours of operation and lower fares for passengers. “Our hours of operations will extend to Saturday and Sunday, the millage will also allow us to lower full rate fares from $5.00 to $2.00, lower senior and disabled fares from $2.50 to $1.00 and seniors 80 years and over ride for free.”Tillman added. 


So how much would this cost residents in Mecosta and Osceola Counties?

If your home value is $100,000, a .5 mill would cost you $25.00 a year OR .07 cents a day.

If your home value to $200,000, a .5 mill would cost you $50.00 a year or .14 cents a day.


Central Lake man suffers medical emergency; killed in car accident in Osceola Co.

A Central Lake man is dead following a car accident in Osceola County Sunday morning.


It happened on northbound US-131 HWY near US-10 HWY in Richmond Township.


Sheriff Ed Williams says deputies found a white 2017 Ford F150 had went off the road and came to rest against a sign post. Attempts to revive the man were made by citizens and responding personnel but were unsuccessful with life saving measures.

Upon preliminary investigation it is believed that 62-year old Roger Hibbard from Central Lake Michigan suffered a medical incident while driving.


This investigation is ongoing and a direct cause of death has not been determined, however, neither alcohol nor speed is believed to be a factor.


Saturday morning crash in Montcalm Co. kills driver; passenger suffers injuries

A Sheridan man is dead and his passenger with severe injuries following a car accident Saturday morning in Montcalm County.


It happened on Condensery Rd. in Bushnell Township.


Michigan State Police say the 24-year old driver was traveling eastbound when his car went off the road and rolled over.


Troopers say he was pronounced dead at the scene.


They say his passenger, also a 24-year-old man from Sheridan, was taken to the hospital for severe injuries.


The accident remains under investigation.


UPDATE: Passenger car driver dead, two students suffer minor injuries from crash involving school bus

UPDATE: The Isabella County Sheriff's Office says the female driver of the passenger vehicle was the only occupant in the vehicle at the time of the accident. 


A female driver is dead following a car/school bus accident.


Michigan State Police say it happened last night in Isabella County around 9pm, a school bus carrying the  Chippewa Hills junior varsity football team with coaches and staff was traveling north bound on Coldwater approaching River Road in Broomfield Twp when a passenger vehicle entered the oncoming lane and struck the school bus.


Two students suffered minor injuries, while the other students were removed by a second bus to a reunification site away from the accident, so as parents could respond and pick up their children.


The passenger car sustained heavy damage and immediately caught fire after the crash, the only occupant in the car the driver was killed in the accident. 


An autopsy is being conducted to identify the woman. 


We will have more on this story as it becomes available. 


9-year old boy found in Montcalm Co.

A missing nine year old boy with autism has been found safe in Montcalm County.


Kevin Yarrington walked away from his home in Stanton Wednesday morning and state police, the DNR, the Ionia County Sheriff's Office and volunteers searched for him all day.


A homeowner nearby found him behind a tree just before five yesterday afternoon.



Man airlifted after dirt bike accident in Mecosta Co.

A 38-year old man suffered life threatening injuries following a dirt bike accident in Deerfield Township.


Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies say it happened on Northland Drive near four mile road where a 38-year old man lost control of the dirt bike, went off the road and struck a tree.


The man was not wearing a helmet.


He was airlifted by AeroMed to a Grand Rapids hospital for treatment of his injuries.


Mecosta County Man Wins $350,000 on Michigan Lottery's The Big Spin Show

Winning $350,000 on the Michigan Lottery's The Big Spin show is going to be "life changing" for a Mecosta County man.


Donald Bassett, 54, won the big prize after spinning the prize wheel on The Big Spin show hosted by Detroit basketball champion John Salley. Bassett was selected to participate in the show after entering non-winning The Big Spin tickets at


"The drawing took place on my birthday and when I didn't get a call that day I thought: 'Man, I didn't win!'" said Bassett. "The next day I answered a call from a number I didn't recognize and it was a woman from the Lottery telling me I had been selected to be on the show!


"I'm so excited to win a life changing amount of money. I'm going to live debt-free and put the rest away for my retirement in two years."


Bassett was one of five players selected for The Big Spin show by a random drawing. Ten more players will be selected to participate on The Big Spin show. Additional The Big Spin second chance drawings are scheduled to take place on Oct. 31 and Jan. 2, 2020.


Each player selected will spin The Big Spin wheel and have a chance to win up to $2 million. All the players who spin The Big Spin wheel are guaranteed to win at least $100,000.


Twenty players will be selected to appear on the Lottery's The Big Spin televised events, which will air shortly after evening Lottery drawings. Players may submit non-winning The Big Spin ticket Spin Codes at By entering codes, players will earn entries for the drawings for the opportunity to appear on television and spin the big wheel.


Each $10 The Big Spin ticket offers players a chance to instantly win prizes ranging from $10 up to $1 million. Players have won more than $14 million playing The Big Spin. More than $61 million in prizes remain, including three $1 million top prizes, four $10,000 prizes, and 115 $1,000 prizes.


In 2018, Lottery players won more than $1 billion playing instant games. Instant games may be purchased at the Lottery's 10,500 retailers across the state.

Click here for video content from The Big Spin show.


Spectrum Health Big Rapids & Reed City Hospital receive 5-star rating for treaments

Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals are both five-star rated for treatment of sepsis outcomes according to a national report released by Healthgrades , the leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals. Big Rapids Hospital also received five-star distinction for the treatment of pneumonia. This achievement is part of the Healthgrades 2020 Report to the Nation, which underscores the importance of hospital quality to both consumers and hospital leaders.


Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions using Medicare data, and additionally analyzes outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 15 states.

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital has received the five-star distinction for treatment of pneumonia two years in a row and the five-star distinction for treatment of sepsis seven years in a row. Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital has received the five-star distinction for treatment of sepsis three years in a row.

“To receive this five-star rating in the fight against sepsis and pneumonia is very rewarding,” said Andrea Leslie, President of Spectrum Health United, Kelsey, Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals. “I want to commend our entire clinical team for their continued dedication to providing quality care in earning this distinction.”

The complete Healthgrades 2020 Report to the Nation and detailed study methodology, can be found at


Click it or Ticket patrols begin Thursday

Michigan law enforcement is again looking for unbuckled motorists and encouraging safe driving.


The two-week Click It or Ticket campaign will run October 17-31.


In Michigan, 192 people killed in traffic crashes during 2018 were not wearing a seat belt.


October is the second deadliest month, behind only July, for fatalities of those unrestrained in a passenger vehicle in Michigan between 2013 and 2017.


Ban on flavored E-cigarettes put on hold after judge's ruling

A Michigan Court of Claims Judge has ruled that the state must stop enforcement of the ban imposed on e-cigarette flavors.


The judge granted the preliminary injunction requested by two e-cigarette businesses to block the emergency rules enacted by Governor Whitmer.


The judge says sufficient evidence was presented that the ban causes the business owners irreparable harm, and that by prohibiting flavored vaping products, adults will return to using more harmful products.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer has released a statement after a judge on the Court of Claims issued a preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing its emergency vaping rules, which banned the sale of flavored vaping nicotine products among other measures to protect public health.


The governor says “This decision is wrong. It misreads the law and sets a dangerous precedent of a court second-guessing the expert judgment of public health officials dealing with a crisis. I plan to seek an immediate stay and go directly to the Supreme Court to request a quick and final ruling."



UPDATE: MSP says Marion man died from falling on a knife after being tased by officer

An Evart Police officer has been placed on administrative leave following an domestic incident on Friday that left a 29-year old Marion man dead.


According to a press release, Michigan State police say on Friday, October 11, 2019 at approximately 5:30pm, two officers from the Evart Police Department assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department by responding to the village of Marion for a report by a female of a domestic incident between her 29-year-old son and her husband, in which the son came to their home brandishing two large knives.


Evart Police Department Officers arrived on scene and contacted the 29-year-old male, who was on foot at the intersection of Broadway and 3rd Streets near the home. Officers issued verbal commands, ordering the subject go to his knees, to which he complied. Additional orders by officers to have the subject then place his hands on his head were not followed, and the subject reached into his waistband, producing a large bladed weapon, appearing to be a large knife or small sword.


One officer was positioned in front of the subject with TASER drawn, while the other officer was positioned behind the subject with firearm drawn. The officer to the rear of the subject then transitioned to a TASER, deploying it into the subject’s back. This resulted in him falling forward and onto the knife in his hand, puncturing his chest cavity. Officers immediately called for an ambulance and rendered first aid to the subject, however the subject died on scene from the stab wound.


Officials from the City of Evart advised that per policy, the officers involved in this incident have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation and review by the Osceola Co. Prosecutor’s Office.


Detectives from the Michigan State Police are investigating the incident, which is ongoing.


Morley woman dies in one car accident in Isabella Co.

A Morley woman died on Friday following a car accident in Isabella County.


It happened on E. Fremont Rd. near S. Crawford Rd. in Lincoln Township.


Michigan State Police say 53-year old Deanna Evanzo, was driving east on E. Fremont Rd. when she lost control of the vehicle on the gravel roadway. The vehicle then left the road where it rolled and struck several trees.


Evanzo, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.


Speed is believed to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.


Downstate man dead following ORV accident in Osceola Co.

A 62-year old downstate man is dead following an ORV accident Sunday in Osceola County.


The Sheriff's Office says they received a call for a well being check for a man who left his cabin in Shelby Township just after 10am to head to his hunting property in Cedar Township but had not been heard from since.


Deputies canvassed the area and located the man and the ORV on a trail a short distance from the cabin.


It appears the man rolled the ORV down an embankment pinning the man against a tree.


The man was pronounced dead at the scene.


The investigation is still ongoing; however alcohol is not believed to be a factor and the man was not wearing a helmet.


Marion man dead following domestic incident

Michigan State Police are investigating what they call a domestic incident after discovering a man dead from stab wounds in Osceola County Friday evening.


Troopers say they received reports of a man with a knife outside of a home in the village of Marion.


When police arrived to the scene they discovered a 29-year old Marion man deceased from a stab wound.


An autopsy was conducted over the weekend.


The investigation into the incident is still ongoing.


New low cost meal plan for students approved by Ferris State University Trustees

Beginning next school year incoming Ferris students will have a new low cost meal plan option.


The Board of Trustees recently approved the administration's proposed 2020-21 room and board rate at $9,650 for a freshman with a double room and the bronze or silver meal plan. That represents a 3.9-percent rate decrease, for a freshman, from 2019-20.


The administration also added a lower-cost "bronze" option for students seeking a smaller meal plan.


The university does anticipate that the "silver" plan will continue to rank as the most popular student option.


The university further anticipates that the addition of the lower-cost meal plan option will move Ferris' ranking to second-lowest among peer Michigan universities. In 2009-10, Ferris was second-highest among state universities in Michigan.



Alcohol suspected in early morning rollover accident in Mecosta Township

A Big Rapids man was taken to the hospital early this morning following a rollover accident in Mecosta County's Mecosta Township.


It happened just before 3am on Park Road, deputies say the 24-year old driver was traveling eastbound on Park Road when he lost control of his vehicle ran off the right side of the road and stuck two parked cars and a utility pole before overturning on the front lawn of a residence.


The Big Rapids man suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.


Alcohol is suspected in the crash.


Big Rapids City Commission "Opt in" to bring marijuana facilities to the area

On Monday, the Big Rapids City Commission said yes to "opt in" to bring marijuana businesses to the area.


Back in 2008, Michigan voters approved the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, with the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act following in 2016. 


In November of 2018, recreational marijuana use and establishments were legalized following a statewide vote, making Michigan the 10th state to do so. However, with the approval it also gave cities, townships and villages the option to decide for themselves whether they wanted to allow businesses like retail stores and grow operations to set up shop before the state begins accepting applications on Nov. 1. 


During Monday night's vote, commissioners voted 5-0 to "opt in" and approve an ordinance to allow for medical marijuana and its corresponding ordinance for business applications. Commissioners then voted "No" 4-1 to allow recreational marijuana facilities to operate in Big Rapids. 


Big Rapids City Manager Mark Gifford says interest from those in the marijuana industry about "setting up shop" have already begun. "we have had a tremendous amount of interest about Big Rapids from the industry when it comes to its use, sale, testing, quality control and manufacturing, especially over the last few days." said Gifford.  


Though the ordinances were passed, they will not become effective until they are published by the city. Further information on this can be found at




Police suspect alcohol in two vehicle accident in Morton Township

Police in Mecosta County believe alcohol was a factor in a two car accident that occurred Monday evening.


It happened in Morton Township, on 105th Avenue just north of Buchanan Road.


Deputies say an investigation found an intoxicated driver lost control of his vehicle, and hit a northbound vehicle.


The driver of the northbound vehicle, a 57-year old woman, received minor injuries and was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids for treatment.


The intoxicated male driver also resisted arrest and assaulted police officers.


He is getting treatment at the hospital.


Croton Pond Boat Launch closure changed to October 9th and 10th

Access will be closed to the duChemin Park boat launch at Croton Pond on October 9 and 10 to allow a contractor crew working for Consumers Energy to safely work there.


That work had been scheduled to take place October 3 and 4, but had to be rescheduled due to high flows on the river system.


The duChemin boat launch is near the Croton Dam. Signs will clearly mark that the site is closed while crews use the site to remove a crane and barge that had been utilized to perform work upstream at Hardy Dam.


Two nearby boat launches will remain available at the Croton Township Campground on the east side of Croton Pond. In addition, the closure does not impact the Muskegon River recreational access sites on the downstream side of Croton Dam.


Morley man taken to hospital following car accident

A 19-year old Morley man is recovering following a car accident in Mecosta County, Wednesday.


It happened on 9 Mile Road near 160th Avenue in Austin Township.


The driver of the vehicle was traveling too fast for road conditions, lost control of his vehicle, and rolled it off of the roadway.


The passenger, a 19-year old man from Morley was taken to Spectrum Health for his injuries.



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