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Big Rapids Daily News
News That Affects You

Mecosta & Osceola County Judges recuse themselves regarding Nestle Waters' water station case

 

Court judges in Mecosta and Osceola counties have recused themselves from future hearings involving the Nestle Waters North America appeal of a local zoning denial the company hopes to reverse in order to build a water pumping station in the area of Evart.

 

Both 49th Circuit Court judges, the 77th District Court judge and 18th Probate Court judge in Mecosta and Osceola counties excused themselves on Tuesday from hearing the case. 

 

Its now up to State court administrator Bruce Kilmer to assign the case to a new judge elsewhere in Michigan. 

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Police investigating suspicious death in Isabella County

 

The Isabella County Sheriff says they are investigating a suspicious death.

 

Sheriff Michael Main says they received a call from a woman who discovered a man inside his vehicle deceased.

 

During an investigation, deputies found a 45-year-old man from Union Twp., in his driveway. A hand gun was found at the scene but it was located under some clothing in the driveway.

 

The first responding deputies determined that the incident required further investigation.

 

According to a press release, it appeared the man may have taken his own life as the investigation continued but the matter is still open waiting autopsy and other follow up by the Sheriff’s Office.

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Pair arrested on drug charges in Big Rapids Township

 

A Newaygo man and Grand Rapids woman face drug charges after being arrested by the Central Michigan Enforcement Team in Mecosta County.

 

39-year old Jonathan Scott Kuhlman is charged with operating/maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine while 31-year old Vanessa Marie Kinlaw faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

 

The charges stem from an investigation by CMET officials of an alleged incident in Big Rapids Township on August 5th

 

Kuhlman's bond is set at $250,000, while Kinlaw's is set at $75,000. 

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Consumers Energy to test warning siren system at Rogers, Hardy and Croton plants

 

Consumers Energy will be testing its emergency public warning siren systems near its Rogers, Hardy and Croton hydroelectric generating plants on the Muskegon River Wednesday, August 16 at approximately 9:30 a.m. 

 

The test will include a voice message, a 30-second siren and a second voice message.

The public does not need to take any action during the tests.

 

The siren systems are tested each August and December.

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Fremont man arrested in connection to murder in Newaygo Co.

 

In an update we to a story we told you about yesterday, a 29-year-old Fremont man has been charged in connection with the murder of a Muskegon man, who's body was found over the weekend in Newaygo County.

 

Anthony Blamer has been charged with felony mutilation of a dead body and concealing the death of an individual.

 

Police say D'Anthony Keenan's head and hands had been removed.

 

Investigators say a fight over money lead to Keenan's death.   

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Body found in wooded area of Newaygo County

 

The Newaygo County Sheriff's Office is investigating the possible murder of a missing Muskegon man who was found in a wooded area.

 

Deputies say they discovered a deceased black male in the woods of the Crystal Trails area between 20th and 28th streets.

 

On Monday, Police found the victims SUV 25 miles away in a carpool area in Fremont.

 

Police are now seeking help from the public, and asking those who currently have trail cameras in the Crystal Trails area for footage from between Friday, Aug. 4 and Saturday, Aug. 5.

 

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to call (231) 689-5288. 

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Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals offering the da Vinci System to patients

 

A new piece of medical equipment has been brought to Big Rapids to benefit residents and those in the surrounding area who need hernia or gall bladder surgery.

 

The da Vinci System allows the surgeon to operate through a few small incisions and perform operations, though their hands are never inside a patient’s body.

 

Dr. Mark Haan, a general surgeon with Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals is excited to be able to use the da Vinci system and says there are many great benefits to patients.

 

"I've seen a huge difference in patient recovery with this peice of equipment," Haan Said.  "There is less pain following surgery and thus are not requiring narcotic pain medications, it's also a win for employers because normally a patient is out 4-6 weeks, now they are out only two weeks."  

 

Haan is scheduled to begin using the da Vinci system this week, initially performing hernia and gall bladder operations. 

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White Cloud man suffers medical issue; vehicle catches fire near Big Rapids

 

A 19-year old White Cloud man was sent to the hospital this morning after suffering a medical issue while traveling in Mecosta County.

 

Sheriff Deputies say the driver was traveling on Northland Drive near West Ave. when he suffered a medical issue, ran off the roadway, struck a guardrail and went into a ditch that is when the vehicle caught fire.

 

The White Cloud man was able to get out of the vehicle.

 

He was taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  

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Ithaca man recovering following motorcycle accident in Isabella County

 

A dog running out into the road left one motorcyclist in a ditch unconscious over the weekend.

 

It happened Saturday afternoon in Isabella County's Sherman Township.

 

Deputies say a 56-year old man from Ithaca was riding his motorcycle with a group when a dog ran out in to the road and the driver tried to avoid it then lost control and crashed into a ditch.

 

When first responders arrived, they found the man unconscious but breathing.

 

The man was flown from the scene by helicopter. His condition is unknown at this time.

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MSP K-9 stabbed by suspect during suspect altercation

 

A suspect in a drive-by shooting in Montcalm County tried to stab a Michigan State Police K-9 before being arrested.

 

The shooting happened early Sunday morning in Reynolds Township and police tried to pull over the suspect, but the suspect took off.

 

Two suspects ran into a wooded area and one tried to stab a K-9 with a pocket knife, but was tased and arrested. Police say the dog suffered a small cut.

 

The suspects are in the Montcalm County Jail facing several felony charges.

 

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Fmr. Greenville Public Safety Director sentenced to jail on health care fraud charges

 

A former public safety director in west Michigan is going to jail for health care fraud. Former Greenville public safety director Mark Reiss has been sentenced to 60 days in jail, with 30 days suspended.

 

He and his ex wife Christine were accused of defrauding Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan out of $113,000 dollars. They divorced in 2014, but she remained on his city provided insurance.

 

Reiss will serve his sentence on weekends at the Montcalm County Jail.

 

His ex wife was sentenced to 50 days in jail, which she has already served.

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State of Michigan delaying proposed health insurance rate increases till next month

 

Due to uncertainty over threats made by the president to stop payments to health insurers, the state of Michigan is delaying posting rate increases proposed by health insurers within the government marketplace.

 

Rates were supposed to be published Tuesday, but the state was granted a 30-day extension over an uncertain status.

 

Open enrollment for 2018 begins November 1 and continues through December 15. 

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Consumers Energy natural gas rates going up for residential customers

 

If you pay Consumers Energy for natural gas service, your bill is about to go up.

 

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a gas rate increase for Consumers Energy totaling over $29 million.

 

The increase will allow the utility to further upgrade and modernize its natural gas distribution system by replacing older pipe and equipment.

 

The approval means the average residential customer will pay an additional $1.66 a month, starting August 7th. 

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Parole absconder caught in Mecosta County

 

A parole absconder caught by police here in Mecosta County has led to additional arrests.

 

Detective Casey Nemeth of the Sheriff's office says they caught 20-year old Steven Alan Baker at the Remus Apartments where he had been hiding out. Baker was taken to the Mecosta County Jail and was lodged for the Felony Parole Absconding warrant and Possession of Methamphetamine.  Charges for the Felony Resisting/Obstructing charge are being sent to the prosecutor.

 

The three other people in the apartment with Baker, a 30 year old Grayling man, a 20 year old Grayling woman, and a 31 year old Shepherd woman, were all arrested on a combined eight different fugitive warrants out of Alcona, Midland, Otsego, and Crawford County.

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Remus man sentenced to jail for crimes connected to break-ins

 

A Mecosta County man is heading to jail for at least the next five years after taking a plea deal from prosecutors.

 

28-year old Dwayne King of Remus arrested and charged in February with one count of conducting a criminal enterprise and one count of first-degree home invasion.

 

King pleaded guilty to the criminal enterprise charge and the home invasion charge was dropped.

 

The Remus man was part of a trio with 50-year old Anthony Edward Hustin and 19-year old Fredrick Turner accused of a number of break-ins around Sheridan Township last August.  

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National Night Out set for Aug. 1st in Big Rapids

Local non profit organizations along with Big Rapids Police officers and firefighters are gearing up for it's 14th annual National Night Out event, August 1st from 6-9pm.

 

Along free food and games for kids, there will be new additions like magician performances and Cran-Hill Ranch is bring its bounce house and rock climbing wall.

 

The event is a way for the community to interact with local law enforcement officers to be more comfortable with them. 

 

Event Coordinator/ DPS officer Ryan Myers says he looks forward to the event every year.

 

"This event is special for me cause I have my own kids who go to it and enjoy all the activities that are available," Myers said.  

 

Dial-A-Ride is  offering free rides to and from the event, running on a continuous loop. A shuttle will pick up and drop people off at College Park apartments by the mailboxes, the Evergreen Community Building, the Ryan Creek Apartments office, the Parkview Village Housing Office and the Appleridge Apartments Office.

 

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Rosebush man suffers serious injuries following motorcycle accident

 

A Rosebush man suffered serious injuries to his head and lower body following a motorcycle/car accident in Isabella County. 

 

The driver of the motorcycle, 57-year old Frances Joseph Bailey was traveling eastbound on Weidman road when a deer entered the roadway and struck the motorcycle. The Rosebush man was ejected from the motorcycle and then was struck by a vehicle traveling the opposite direction.

 

Bailey sustained serious injuries, including possible head injury and lower extremities.

 

He was taken to a local emergency room and then airlifted by Areomed to Spectrum.

 

His condition is not known as of today. 

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ORV accident in Mecosta County sends woman to hospital

 

A 25-year old Durand woman is recovering after being involved in an ORV accident in Mecosta County.

 

Deputies say they were called to a private property in Sheridan Township, that's where an investigation took place and revealed that a 26-year old Mecosta man was operating the ORV when it flipped onto it's side.

 

A 25-year old female passenger was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  

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East Tailwater access site at Croton Dam temporarily closing

 

Just a heads up to those near Croton Dam’s east tailwater access site in Newaygo County, it will be closed for the next two weeks starting July 24th to allow Consumers Energy to complete work at the hydro facility.

 

During the tile repair project, utility officials say anglers and other recreationalists will still be able to access the river by Croton Dam on the west side of the river.

 

Barricades and signs will clearly mark that the site is closed during construction.

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Mecosta Co. Sheriff urges residents to use caution when dealing with door to door sales

 

The Mecosta County Sheriff is urging you to to use caution following recent concerns voiced by residents of door to door sales men and alleged home break-ins.

 

According to the Mecosta County Sheriff's office, there has been residents calling them about people going door to door in the County and surrounding area. Officials say they have had contact with some of the people called on, that do work for a cable provider. There are some that are legitimate businesses.

 

The Sheriff wants residents to remember to always use caution when dealing with door to door sales.

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Evart child found after going missing for a few hours

 

An Evart child was found safe and unharmed after going missing for a couple of hours.

 

On Tuesday, Osceola County Sheriff Deputies were called to a home on 6 Mile Road near 60th Avenue in Evart Township for  a missing 4-year-old boy.

 

With help from emergency agencies and a drone, police were able to locate the child a half mile from the residence.

 

Police believe the four year old had walked outside following his dog without his parents noticing he had left the home.

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Lake City man crashes into garage and parked cars at Evart home

 

A Lake City man is recovering after a Saturday morning car accident sent him to the hospital.

 

It happened in Evart on Oak Street, that's where the 61-year old man went through a stop sign, then into a private driveway hitting two parked cars and damaging a garage door.

 

The sheriff says the homeowners were asleep at the time and were not hurt.

 

The driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

 

Police believe alcohol is a factor in the accident. 

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Evart man in serious condition following police chase on motorcycle

 

An Osceola County man is recovering in the hospital after taking police on a chase through Evart.

 

It all happened last night when an Evart police officer was involved in a pursuit of a motorcycle for careless driving.

 

They say the motorcycle was traveling in excess of 50 MPH in a 25 MPH zone.

 

During the chase, the driver of the motorcycle crashed trying to negotiate the curves on 85th Ave near River Rd.

 

The 38-year old Evart man is in serious but stable condition.

 

Police say he was not wearing a helmet and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

 

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12-year old boy saves toddler from drowning in hotel pool

 

A 12-year old boy is being called a hero after saving the life of a 3-year old toddler from drowning at a hotel pool in Isabella County.

 

Sheriff Micheal Main says security footage at the Days Inn Hotel in Mt. Pleasant showed the three year old wandering unattended in the pool area and slipping then falling into the water.

 

Main says the child was in the water for two minutes before the 12-year old boy walked in and immediately pulled the toddler out of the pool with the help from a brother carried him into the hallway and called for adult help.

 

CPR was performed by the mother of the toddler for about one minute and the child regained consciousness.

 

The toddler was familiar with the pool and hotel as the parents both work there.

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Medical and needle take back events taking place later this month in Mecosta and Osceola Counties

 

Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals continue their partnership with Ten16 Recovery Network to provide opportunities for residents in Mecosta and Osceola counties to safely dispose of unwanted drugs.

 

Those who use needles to manage their medication or have leftover prescriptions are encouraged to bring them to the listed sites during the specified drop-off times. Proper disposal is important for several reasons.

 

Prescription drugs are Mecosta County’s second leading type of abused drug. By properly disposing of medications and needles we can help prevent them from getting into the hands of those who may want to abuse them,” said Kim Livingston of Ten16 Recovery Network. “Most heroin addicts tell us they started with abusing stolen prescription drugs they get from family and friends without them knowing.” Proper disposal is better for the environment,” Livingston adds. “By disposing of drugs and needles safely, they are destroyed in a self-contained incinerator. Throwing them in the trash or toilet could allow the drugs to dissolve into our drinking water through landfills and sewer systems. Most waste filtration plants are not designed to separate pharmaceuticals and drugs may pass on through into our water.”

 

Within the past year, the program has served 338 people, collecting 556.2 pounds of medication and 402 pounds of needles.

 

Drop-off sites are scheduled at the following times:

 

Tuesday, July 25 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

 

Convenient Care Walk-In Clinic

300 N. Patterson, Reed City, MI

 

Thursday, July 27 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Big Rapids Hospital Main Lobby

605 Oak St. Big Rapids, MI

 

Tuesday, August 29 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Evart Family Practice

5991 95th Ave, Evart, MI

 

Wednesday, August 30 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Tustin Family Practice

111 E Church St, Tustin, MI

 

Thursday, August 31 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Canadian Lakes Family Practice

8354 100th Ave, Canadian Lakes, MI 49346

 

Medications should be in their original container and all identifying personal information on prescription labels should be blocked out. Individuals can stop by at any time during the three-hour window and dispose of unwanted items. For more information, call 231.592.4493.

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Evart man dies in rollover accident in Montcalm County

 

Michigan State Police are investigating a rollover accident in Montcalm County that claimed the life of an Evart man and injured his passenger.

 

It happened Saturday night on US-131 near Cutler Road in Reynolds Township.

 

Troopers say 32-year old John Londo, lost control then rolled his car and was thrown from his vehicle.

 

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

A passenger in Londo's car was seriously injured and taken to a hospital in Grand Rapids.

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5 people behind bars on felony drug charges in Wexford County

 

Five people up in Wexford County are behind bars on felony drug charges after officials from the Traverse Narcotics Team executed a search warrant at a home in Harrietta.

 

It all started when officials received a tip about people buy ingredients to make methamphetamine.

 

When detectives located the suspects, they did a surveillance of the area and then executed a search warrant of the home in question. During it's investigation TNT officials found components to make meth.

 

51-year old Jackie Todd, 32-year old Corry Sisson, 25-year old Kiah Kelley, 56-year old Basil Cooper and 25-year old Nicole Neibauer were all arrested.

 

They’re now charged with felony drug crimes including smurfing to making meth and selling heroin.

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Montcalm County man accused of charity fraud

 

A 29-year old man was arrested and charged in Montcalm County for trying to defraud a local 4-H organization.

 

State Police say Cody Mitchell Foster has been charged with Felony Fraud (Soliciting for Unlicensed Organization).

 

It's alleged that Foster accepted money claiming to be selling “Little Caesar’s Pizza Kits” on behalf of 4H Michigan State University extension.

 

In total, Foster is alleged to have received $1002 from 34 victims.

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Man hurt after explosion in Newaygo County

 

Areo Med was called out to a property in Newaygo County's Bridgeton Township Tuesday after a man was injured during an explosion.

 

The man who was injured was described as being in his 50s.

 

His condition was not immediately known.

 

Newaygo County dispatch says the cause of the explosion is unknown at this time and officials are still investigating. 

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Body of Grand Rapids man found in Muskegon River over the weekend

 

Newaygo County Sheriff Deputies are warning residents and visitors that water levels on the Muskegon River are still high and currents continue to be stronger than normal following the discovery of a body of a missing tuber over the weekend.

 

Police say the 25-year old Grand Rapids man went missing Saturday afternoon in the area of Devil’s Hole, in Brooks Township.

 

Emergency crews searched the river until the victim’s body was located approximately 1 ½ miles down river. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The incident remains under investigation by the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office. 

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Motorcyclist thrown from bike after car accident

 

A motorcyclist is recovering after being involved in a car accident in Mecosta County.

 

It happened at the intersection of 11 mile rd and 90th ave in Morton Twp.

 

Deputies say a vehicle traveling north bound on 90th ave was T-Boned by a motorcycle going westbound on 11 mile rd. The west bound driver was ejected from the motorcycle and was airlifted from the scene for his injuries and transported to Butterworth hospital.

 

The driver of the northbound vehicle was uninjured.

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Police in Mecosta County need help identifying two people

 

Police in Mecosta County are asking for the public's help in identifying these two people in the photos.

 

According to the Sheriff's Office, the two subjects are part of an ongoing investigation in relation to a possible money larceny at Walmart.  

 

If you know who these people are, call the Mecosta County Sheriff's Department at 231-592-0150.  

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Hubbardston woman charged with fatal car/buggy accident in Montcalm Co.

 

A 24-year old Hubbardston woman is now charged with the death of a 10-year old amish boy following a car/buggy accident back in March. 

 

Tiffany Christiansen was charged with a misdemeanor count of committing a moving violation causing death. 

 

On March 15th, a 2011 GMC Terrain Christiansen was operating struck a horse and buggy while traveling Fenwick Road. The buggy was occupied by a 13-year old and 10-year old boy, who are from ther Carson City area. The 10-year old boy died a few days after being taken to DeVos Childeren's Hospital. 

 

According to the original press release by police, speed didn't appear to be a factor; however the angle of the bright morning sun may have played a role. 

 

Christiansen faces up to a year in jail, if convicted. 

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Bicyclist dead after being hit by car in Isabella County

 

A bicyclist is dead after being hit by a car in Isabella County last night.

 

It happened in Union Township, that's where both the vehicle and bicycle were traveling west on River Road near Deer Run Drive.

 

State Police say male bicyclist was taken to Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Midland where he later succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured.

 

The cause of the crash is still under investigation and alcohol is believed to have been a factor.
 

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Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center Celebrates National Cancer Survivor's Day with open house

 

In honor of National Cancer Survivors Day, the Wellness Center at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center is hosting a celebration open house.

 

The celebration will be held Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m.

 

All survivors, including those recently diagnosed and in treatment, friends and family are welcome.

 

Hor d’oeuvres, cake and refreshments will be served. Attendees can learn about the American Cancer Society and enjoy a photo booth and integrative services such as chair massages, acupressure and reflexology.

 

For more information, call the wellness center at 231.832.8486.

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Residents who want to run for Mayor or City Commissioner in Big Rapids have until July 24th to get petitions in

 

Big Rapids residents have just under four weeks to put in their petition into the City Clerks office if they want to run for Mayor or one of two city commissioner seats.

 

Due to term limits, current Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba will not be running for his position. Two city commissioner seats will also be open. Those seats are currently filled by Dan Rothstein and Lorraine James, both of whom are not term-limited and may run again.

 

If your interested, you must be resident of the city for at least one year, a registered voter, a citizen of the U.S.. Petitions must contain at least 25 and no more than 40 signatures of registered voters of the City of Big Rapids. .

 

Petitions must be picked up and submitted to the clerk’s office in City Hall and are due by 4 p.m.. on Tuesday, July 25.

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Flood damage and crop loss still being assessed by officials in Central Michigan area

Three days after heavy rains caused major flooding in mid-Michigan, state and local leaders are conducting damage assessments.

 

Congressman John Moolenaar, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and others are calling on Governor Snyder to request an emergency declaration for Midland, Isabella, and other counties from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

If approved, federal money would become available to help in making repairs. Hundreds of roads were impassable over the weekend. In some cases, the roadway has washed away and sinkholes have formed under the standing water. 

 

Officials say this is the worst flooding in mid-Michigan in 31 years.

 

Meanwhile, an evaluation is underway to determine how the heavy rainfall over the past week will hurt farmers in mid-Michigan.

 

The Farm Bureau says the heavy rains may ruin crops in Central Michigan. Earlier, farmers were worried about drought.

 

Some farmers will have to decide if they want to re-plant fields, some of which were under water for two days.

 

The Michigan State Extension is tallying the damage. 

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Flood watch in Mecosta County extended until Tuesday

 

A flood watch is being extended until Tuesday afternoon for the West Central Michigan area that includes Isabella, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola Counties.

 

Officials from National Weather Service say several rounds of thunderstorms are forecasted tonight. Rainfall rates will top an inch per hour in the strongest storms.

 

Local storm total rainfall amounts could exceed 3 inches which would be enough to trigger flooding. 

 

Mecosta County Emergency Management officials advise residents or commuters to turn around when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Keep children away from storm drains, culverts, creeks and streams. Water levels can rise rapidly and sweep children away.

 

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Osceola Township Planning Commission denies Nestle Waters permit for a second time

The Osceola Township Planning Commission denied an appeal from Nestle to get a new booster pump station so it can draw more water from an aquifer.

 

On Tuesday night, a special land use permit was denied by the township planning commission when it decided the station would not perform an essential service to the community.

 

Nestle requested a change in zoning classification, but it was denied.

 

The planning commission had denied granting Nestle the permit for the pipeline booster station at Spring Hill Camp back in April.  

 

Nestle could appeal to the county circuit court, but says it hasn't decided if it will. 

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Evart man drowns in Muskegon River

 

An 47-year old Evart man is dead from drowning after he jumped off a bridge into the Muskegon River.

 

Deputies in Osceola County say the man jumped off the 50th Avenue Bridge in Sylvan Township then got hurt after hitting the water.

 

According to police, the man told bystanders of his injuries, who then tried pulling him to shore, but the rivers current was too strong.

 

An hour and a half later crews found the man near the bridge and pronounced him dead at the scene.

 

Police continue to investigate the case. 

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Big Rapids woman pulled from vehicle on fire

 

A Big Rapids woman is alive after four good Samaritans pulled her from a burning vehicle Sunday night in Green Township.

 

It happened on 230th Avenue, deputies say the driver lost control of her vehicle then went sideways into a ditch, hitting multiple trees.

 

The four Samaritans managed to pull the woman who was unconscious out of the car while it was on fire.

 

The driver was taken to a local hospital to receive treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

 

Alcohol is being suspected as a factor in the accident. 

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Big Rapids man sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to sex crimes

 

A Big Rapids man accused of sexually assaulting a relative is heading to jail.

 

33-year old Edward Brandon Morton was sentenced up to ten years in prison in Mecosta County court.

 

Morton took a plea deal from prosecutors and agreed to plead guilty to a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration.

 

In exchange for his plea, the original charges of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes were dismissed.  

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Congressman John Moolenaar speaks about baseball field shooting

 

Reactions continue to pour-in following Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice in D.C.

 

Mid-Michigan Congressman John Moolenaar, speaking for the first time about it, was warming-up along the first-baseline when the first shot was fired. 

 

"All of us weren't thinking at 7:15 in the morning in this pastoral setting where you know people in the community were there to watch practice and ask questions,  we just weren't thinking at all about gunfire but after that first shot, a short time later and multiple shots someone yelled shooter and we knew we were under assault," Moolenaar said.  

 

Going forward, the Midland Republican expects a strong debate on open-carry laws.

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Michigan Congressman John Moolenaar not hurt during baseball practice shooting this morning

 

As many as 50 shots rang out during a shooting at an early morning baseball practice in Virginia.

 

According to reports, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and multiple Congressional aides were shot during baseball practice Wednesday morning.

 

US Congressman John Moolenaar of the fourth congressional district which encompasses Mecosta County and other West Michigan communities, was at practice this morning.

 

Moolenaar's Communications Director David Russell issued a statement:

"This morning, Congressman John Moolenaar attended baseball practice. He was uninjured in the shooting that took place. He asks that you keep those injured in this act of cowardice in your thoughts and prayers. "

 

According to reports, all Michigan Congressmen and women have been accounted for. 

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Officials from AMVETS Post 1941 in Big Rapids to hold Flag Day ceremony

 

In honor of flag day, the AMVETS Post 1941 in Big Rapids will be hosting a flag retirement ceremony on Wednesday.

 

Jean Bennett of the AMVETS says they are taking old flags to be properly disposed of.

 

"You can bring your old flags to our post or to the DAV Chapter 18 on Michigan Avenue and we will properly dispose of your old flags with respect," Bennett said.  

 

The ceremony starts at 1pm at the AMVETS Post off of 16 mile road in Big Rapids. 

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Tire collection event to take place June 28th in Osceola County

 

 

As part of a Department of Environmental Quality grant one township in Osceola County is giving residents a way to get rid of their old tires.

 

Middle Branch Township will be hosting a tire collection event starting June 28th and going until July 1st. Officials say hours for the collection are 8am-8pm on June 28th and 29th then 8am-6pm on June 30th and 8am-12pm on July 1st.

 

Officials are asking that tires be fairly clean. Forestry tires, loaded tires, airplane tires and tires bigger than four feet and wider than 12 inches will not be accepted.

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Mecosta County Parks to host 2nd Annual Community Open House Saturday and Sunday

 

The Mecosta County Parks are offering a great way for residents and visitors from out of town to experience their facilities as part 2nd annual Community Open House event.

 

The event will take place on June 10th and June 11th.

 

Park officials say daily vehicle and boat fees will be waived at each county park allowing free day use of the facilities.

 

The event is in conjunction with the DNR free fishing weekend.

 

If you want more information about any of the parks or this weekend, visit mecostacountyparks.com. 

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New leadership taking over next month at Big Rapids Salvation Army

 

There will be a change in leadership at the Big Rapids Salvation Army beginning in July.

 

According to a press release, Lieutenants Chris and Brianne Karlin will be heading to Muskegon for their new assignment with the Salvation Army.

 

The Karlins are preparing for the move and a smooth transition of leadership. While they are excited about this new opportunity, the move is bittersweet. 


“The day we drove into Big Rapids for the first time, I reached over, put my hand on Brianne’s shoulder and said…it’s ok…this is home,” Lt. Chris recounted. “In our short time here, we’ve made many friends. Our son, Nate, was born here. We will always call Big Rapids home.” 

 

During their time with the Big Rapids post, the Karlins establish several new programs to assist families and children, as well as opening the area's first ever Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center in October of last year.

 

Ed and Theresa Hoskins will lead the efforts of The Salvation Army of Big Rapids starting in July. 

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4-year old boy struck by a car in Newaygo County

 

A four year old boy is fighting for his life after he was hit by a car Monday night near Hesperia in Newaygo County.

 

It happened on M-20 near Dickinson Avenue.

 

The Newaygo County Sheriff's Department says the boy entered the road where he was struck by a westbound vehicle driven by a 62-year-old Fremont man.

 

The child was airlifted to a Grand Rapids hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.  

 

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

 

The accident remains under investigation.  

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Wastewater rates increasing in Big Rapids starting in July

 

Waste water rates are going up next month for Big Rapids homeowners and businesses.

 

The rate increases were approved during the Big Rapids City Commission meeting last night.

 

Starting July first, sewer users will be charged $7 per 1,000 gallons of use, which is around a $4 increase for homes or businesses with a 5/8-inch meter.

 

Users previously were charged $6.27 per 1,000 gallons of use. 

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DNR Free Fishing Weekend slated for Saturday and Sunday

 

Get your rod and reel ready.

 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering a free fishing weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday.

 

People can fish without a license and the state is waiving the regular entry fee for all cars and trucks going into state parks and recreation areas.

 

The DNR started the free weekends in 1986 as a way to promote the state's resources. 

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Midland man arrested after car/tractor accident in Isabella County

 

A 55-year old Midland man has been arrested in Isabella County after being involved in a drunk driving accident involving a tractor.

 

It happened on Pickard Road (M20) and Loomis Road.

 

Sheriff Michael Main says during the investigation officers determined that the driver of the vehicle was highly intoxicated at the time of the crash. The tractor was well lit and properly marked.

 

The driver did not sustain any injuries but was taken to a local emergency department to be evaluated.

 

The man was arrested and awaiting arraignment.

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Pair busted for alleged meth lab arraigned in Mecosta County

 

Two people were in front of a judge yesterday in Mecosta County listening to charges levied against them in connection to their drug arrest last week.

 

39-year old Ronald Raymond Garrison Jr. of Harrison and 34-year old Alicia Marie Bracey of Saginaw were charged with two counts of operating/maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine, one count of purchasing/possessing ephedrine/pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine, one count of possession of a controlled substance containing morphine.

 

The charges stem from the pair's arrest on May 26th in Martiny Township following an investigation by the Central Michigan enforcement team. They are being held on $150,000 bond a piece.  

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House committee advances Hoitenga’s ‘right to carry’ legislation

 

A bill  that would enable law-abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols without obtaining a government-issued permit is making its way through the legislature.

 

The legislation sponsored by republican State House Representative Michele Hoitenga of Manton was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. 

 

The current rules are unnecessarily complicated,” said Hoitenga. “Right now, anyone can openly carry a gun without getting a license. It only becomes illegal if they put on a jacket without getting a concealed pistol license. Good, honest people are getting criminal records because they are so confused by the current law. They’re inadvertently covering their firearms, and they don’t realize it makes a difference.”

 

 

Hoitenga’s legislation is part of a four-bill package that removes the penalties for carrying a concealed pistol without first obtaining a license. 

 

Hoitenga said her legislation would not give criminals more access to pistols. A background check would still be required when purchasing a handgun.

 

 

 

 

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White Cloud duo arrested on charges connected to trying to cash stolen checks

 

A couple from White Cloud is in jail after trying to allegedly cash stolen checks in the Big Rapids area from a closed bank account totaling $9,000.

 

According to Big Rapids Department of Public Safety officials, 24-year old Christopher Rager was arraigned on eight charges related to felony uttering and publishing.

 

His partner, a White Cloud woman, was also arrested but hasn't been arraigned.

 

The pair is accused of passing stolen checks at a local financial institution on March 2.

 

Both Rager and the woman have also been arrested and charged in Newaygo County for similar activity. 

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Jackson man airlifted after motorcycle accident in Osceola County

 

Police in Osceola County believe alcohol was a factor in a quad runner motorcycle accident over the weekend.

 

It happened in Cedar Township, deputies say a Jackson man who was found unresponsive was operating the quad when he fell off.

 

They say the man was not wearing a helmet.

 

The Jackson man was airlifted to a Grand Rapids area hospital for treatment.

 

The accident remains under investigation.  

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Reed City Public Schools search for new superintendent amid Webster retirement

 

The Reed City Public School District in Osceola County is looking for a new leader. 

 

Current Superintendent Tim Webster announced his retirement effective June 30th during a special school board meeting May 18th. 

 

The school board held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss what they want and are looking for in a candidate. 

 

Officials hope to have a new superintendent in place by July 1st. 

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Memorial Day activities planned to honor those serving or who have served in armed forces

The start of the memorial day weekend is here and local veteran organizations are gearing up to celebrate and remember their fallen brothers and sisters of the armed services.

 

Jean Bennett of the AMVETS Big Rapids Post 1941 says this day is special to her.

 

This is a day where we reflect on the loss of our fallen comrades over the years that helped keep our country safe and also celebrate those who are currently serving our country,” Bennett said.

 

On Monday, May 29th the AMVETS 1941 Post will be conducting a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Mecosta County Courthouse Building in Big Rapids beginning at 9:45am. Activities continue with a ceremony by DAV Chapter 18 at Mitchell Creek Park then holding a closing ceremony at Highland View Cemetery.

 

There will also be a chicken BBQ hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary at noon on 320 4th street.

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City of Big Rapids giving out free flowers to residents and business

 

The city of Big Rapids is offering free flats of zinnias to city residents and businesses.

 

According to city officials the flowers must be planted in a location within the city limits where they can be viewed by the general public.

 

Coupons for the flowers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and may be picked up  at the clerk’s office in City Hall from May 30th- June 1st.

 

There is a limit of one coupon per address or land parcel.

 

Flowers can be picked up on Friday, June 2nd from 8am-2pm and coupons must be presented to receive the flowers. 

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Spectrum Health opens Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic in Reed City

 

Next week, Spectrum Health in Reed City will open Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic where people who feel ill or have minor injuries — but don’t require emergency care — can get immediate attention without an appointment.

 

The Convenient Care Walk-In Clinic will be located within the Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital campus at 300 N. Patterson in Reed City

 

The clinic will officially open on May 30.

 

The clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

 

More information about the Convenient Care Walk-In Clinic is available online at        spectrumhealth.org/convenientcare.

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No injuries after school bus accident in Mecosta Co.

 

No one was injured. after a  school bus accident in Mecosta County Monday afternoon.

 

Police say as the Chippewa Hills School bus was heading eastbound when the driver was distracted by a couple of students.

 

The bus driven by a 49-year-old Stanwood man rear ended another vehicle driven by a 31-year old Remus woman.

 

 

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Police execute search warrant; discover meth lab in Osceola Co. home

 

Some people in Osceola County could be in trouble with police in the near future.

 

According to Detectives with the Traverse Narcotics Team they received a tip from the Osceola County Sheriff's Office about a potential meth lab at a home in Highland Township.

 

Law enforcement officials executed a search warrant for the residence and found components of a meth lab.

 

The investigation will continue and police say charges will be sought.  

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Mecosta Co. man accused of home break-ins sentenced to jail time

 

A Barryton man accused of multiple home break-ins is heading to jail for at least the next two years after being sentenced in Mecosta County.

 

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, 50-year old Anthony Edward Hustin pleaded guilty to conducting a criminal enterprise.In exchange, a charge of first degree home invasion was dismissed.

 

According to court documents the criminal enterprise charge is in connection to multiple home invasions in Sheridan Township back in August.  

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Petitions for legal marijuana and government contractors approved

 

Michigan residents will soon see volunteers asking for signatures on two petitions.

 

On Thursday, the State Board of Canvassers approved petition language for a legal marijuana initiative and one for a ban on laws requiring government contractors to pay union-level wages.

 

Last year, a drive for that petition fell apart after it was revealed petition circulators turned in fraudulent signatures.

 

 

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Big Rapids water/sewer rates rise slightly

 

The City of Big Rapids is in the middle of restructuring its water and sewer rates to satisfy Michigan Department of Environmental Quality standards. As a result, most customers will see a slight uptick in their monthly water/sewer bills in the near future says City Treasurer Aaron Kuhn.

 

The average customer will see their water bill remain at $28.60 for water and increase from $29.40 to $33.40 for waste water.”

 

The new rate structure was presented to the City Commission at Monday's meeting.

 

 

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Mt. Pleasant man found dead in apartment

 

An investigation is underway in the death of a Mt. Pleasant man.

 

State Police say they were called to Collegiate Way Apartments where they found 20-year-old Mohammed Khalid-Y Alusail dead in his room.

 

Alusail's roommates had tried to contact him throughout the day and eventually had apartment maintenance unlock his door.

 

Troopers say there were no visible signs of injury and an autopsy did not suggest any foul play.

 

Alusail reportedly had a history of seizures.

 

 

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Mesick man arrested on murder for hire case

 

A Mesick man is sitting behind bars right now on charges connected to a murder for hire case.

 

Michigan State Police say they received a tip about the 28-year old suspect had been attempting to hire someone to kill two people.

 

Troopers conducted an undercover operation and obtained evidence that the Mesick man was in fact soliciting for murder.

 

The suspect was arrested during a traffic stop on M-115 last night. The man is awaiting arraignment. 

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Michigan State Police investigating deadly crash on US-131 in Osceola County

 

Two drivers are dead following a three car crash on US-131 in Osceola County.

 

It happened Thursday on southbound US-131 near 20 Mile Road.

 

Michigan State Police say the at fault driver a 43-year old man from Paris was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

An Illinois man who was the driver of the second vehicle involved was taken to Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital and then by helicopter to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids where he died from his injuries.

 

The driver and passenger of the third vehicle were not harmed in the crash.

 

Troopers say all people involved were wearing their seat belts and It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol are a factor.

 

The crash is still under investigation.

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DNR asks for help in tracking fish

 

The Department of Natural Resources is encouraging anglers across the state who fish the Great Lakes to keep an eye out for tagged fish.

“If anglers catch any of these marked or tagged fish, it's really valuable to us as an agency for them to report those fish. So, there's a variety of different type of tags that anglers might come across – one is a jaw tag or an anchor tag attached to a fin,” says DNR spokesperson Elyse Walter.

 

The mass marking provides critical data as fisheries biologists look to determine the value of naturally reproduced fish versus stocked fish, and lake-wide movement of fish. Walter says if you catch a tagged fish, head to michigan.gov/taggedfish to report.

 

 

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State Board of Canvassers reviews legal pot petition

 

Legal marijuana in Michigan would be one step closer to reality if state officials sign off on petition language for a ballot proposal.

 

The State Board of Canvassers is reviewing the form of the petition language but not the legality of the issue.

 

Polling data suggests there is around 50 or 60 percent support for legal marijuana among Michigan residents.

 

If the petition is approved, backers of the proposal would have to collect over 300,000 valid signatures within 180 days to get the proposal before Michigan voters.

 

 

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Culver's Restaurant opening Monday in Big Rapids

 

The wait is over for Big Rapids residents to get their hands on a famous ButterBurger or a fresh frozen custard, as the New Culver's Restaurant will be opening up on Monday, May 22nd at 10:30am.

 

The restaurant is located at 15295 Waldron Way.

 

According to a press release, franchise owner/operator, Pete Spohn is excited to bring Culvers to the area.

 

 

We’re thrilled to bring handcrafted, high-quality meals and desserts to the community of Big Rapids,” says Spohn. "We think it’s a wonderful area and we are excited to become a contributing and active member of the community.”

 

For more information and hours of operation log on to culvers.com 

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Motel explosion in Wexford County sends three people to hospital

 

Three people are hospitalized after a motel in Wexford County exploded this morning.

 

It happened at Green Mill Motel in Manton, deputies say once on scene the motel was fully engulfed in flames.

 

Three people with severe burns were taken to Munson Cadillac Hospital where they will be flown from later to Grand Rapids for further treatment.

 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

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Hersey man charged with multiple felonies involving drugs and weapons

 

An Osceola County man was in Mecosta County court to hear charges levied against him following his arrest last week.

 

27-year old Richard James Bentley, of Hersey was arrested back on May 12th in Big Rapids Township by Michigan State Police.

 

He's been charged with multiple felonies including two counts of delivery/manufacturing of methamphetamine/ecstasy, four counts of felony firearm, one count of possession of methamphetamine/ecstasy, one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

 

Bentley is expected to be back in court later this month.

 

His bond is set at $750,000. 

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Driver ejected from vehicle during two car accident in Mecosta County

 

Two drivers are recovering following a two car accident Tuesday in Mecosta County's Mecosta Township.

 

It happened at the intersection of Northland drive and 8 Mile Rd.

 

Deputies say a vehicle was traveling south bound on Northland drive when it was T-Boned by another vehicle going westbound on 8 mile Rd.

 

The south bound driver was ejected from the vehicle and was airlifted from the scene for his injuries and taken to Butterworth hospital.

 

The driver of the westbound vehicle was transported to the Spectrum Health Big Rapids hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

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Mecosta County Parks 2017 season off to a great start

 

The Mecosta County Parks 2017 camping season is starting off full throttle. Park Superintendent Jeff Abel reported to the Park Commission on Tuesday that everything is going great.

 

Starting out very well. The weather's cooperating for the most part and a lot of guests in the parks and so far the feedback we've gotten has been very positive from everybody coming in.”

 

He adds that bookings for campsites are up at all the campgrounds compared to a year ago. He did note however that many campers have had questions regarding firearms at the campgrounds. He says there is no specific policy on guns, but...

 

Our policy is we'll follow the policies of the state so, whatever those regulations are related to concealed carry or open carry is what you're allowed to do within our parks as well.”

 

Park workers however follow a different set of rules.

 

We do not allow personnel to carry when on duty, but that will be getting sent back to committee for re-evaluation just to affirm that that continues to be our stance,” he says.

 

A recent on-line survey for park improvements received 1,583 responses and Abel says they will start evaluating the suggestions and getting them worked into the park's master plan.

 

 

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