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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 27

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

Tuesday, November 28

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, November 29

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

Thursday, November 30

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, December 1

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

Saturday, December 2

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

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

Sunday, December 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the meeting, visit

Bulldog Hockey splits series with St. Thomas after Saturday setback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More details will be added when they are confirmed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Specifically, the PAPA Act would link state father registries, creating a comprehensive national resource that would:

  • Take the burden off of women to identify potential fathers, protecting a woman’s privacy, especially in cases of rape or domestic violence;
  • Empower fathers and protect their parental rights by enabling them to register in one state to obtain notice of a proceeding in a different state; and
  • Enable children to find a permanent home as quickly as possible.

Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson Quote Sheet: 11/30/23


November 30, 2023

Opening Statement: “It was good to have a few days off and kind of hit that reset button and take a look at why the last two games have gone the way they have for us on offense and really, when you look at it, we’ve been able to move the ball, but clearly the turnovers are the issue, so our guys know it, we’re addressing it and we clean that area up, we’ll feel good about going into the next six games of the season. Been around a coach in the past that used to say the season really starts after Thanksgiving, so kind of feels that way here this year. It’s a good thing.”

On how much of the offensive line’s performance against the Packers he considers an anomaly: “I know our guys, they’re going to respond really well. It was not the best game upfront that we’ve had, really in the last year and a half it’d be on the bottom end of that. They know that. And really, it showed up I think more on critical situations, some of those fourth downs (Lions QB) Jared (Goff)’s getting hit, third downs, Jared’s getting hit and clearly, we don’t want any of that, so we’re going to clean that up upfront. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Green Bay. They had a great plan on a short week and they had a high intensity going into the game as well that we never really found our footing and got on a roll. So, credit goes to them on that and listen, great learning opportunity for us. We’ve got to have our best stuff each and every week.”

On if there is a benefit to having a tough game like the one against the Packers on Thanksgiving before the season begins to ramp up: “Yeah, I mean we’ve had – we’ve kind of gotten hit in the teeth a couple times this year, really since (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell took over. Even last year, we got hit in the teeth and our guys come back and they respond. End of the year last year, Carolina kind of took it to us and we ended up cleaning it up and Baltimore got after us a little bit and then we cleaned that up and then hopefully we can learn from the Green Bay experience and play cleaner football. I think that’s really what it comes down to. The guys are, for the most part, we’re handling the scheme and we’re playing fast, it’s just some of the little things, the execution part of it, the technique, has fallen off and that’s what we’ve got to get back on.”

On how much they will lock into playing their best football with the season ramping up going into December: “I think our guys understand we are in a unique opportunity. For the guys that have been here, or at least my time here, this is my fifth season, we haven’t had a record quite like this and an opportunity to seize whatever we want to seize here the second half of the season. And so, I think just keeping big perspective and where we’re headed and what we can potentially accomplish still this year. Had a setback the last few weeks with the Baltimore game and obviously Green Bay, but still big picture, we’re 8-3 and we can improve really quickly and play some good football here at the end.”

On how exciting it was to see Lions QB Hendon Hooker practice for the first time yesterday: “Yeah, he did great yesterday. He is – you can tell he’s fired up and he threw about a million passes, it seemed like, out there and ball’s coming off his hand, he’s spinning it. (Lions Quarterbacks) Coach (Mark) Brunell and (Lions Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) J.T. Barrett have done a heck of a job keeping him up-to-speed. It’s hard, particularly for younger players, to stay engaged when it’s just all mental work for as long as it’s been for him, but now that we can combine the physical to it and get him as many game-like reps as possible will really accelerate his learning from there.”

On how much of a benefit it is to have Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn on staff with the knowledge he has of the Saints defense from the time he spent on their defensive staff: “Yeah, and no question, he’s got some insight. We might see some things on tape and ask him, ‘Hey, what exactly is going on here?’ Because they have a lot of scheme. They play a lot of coverages, very good players in the front and on the backend, they’re about as aggressive as a backend as we’ve seen. They’re going to get up, they’re going to challenge us. Our receivers have got to – they’re going to have to buckle up and be ready to go this week, probably more so than what we’ve seen so far this year. So, AG’s been really good in kind of creating a little clarity for us and then when AG first got here, very similar schematics and so the guys that were here that first year, and some of last year, kind of – they really know, they really know what that style of defense is about. So, I do think the veteran guys in the group, they won’t be surprised by the physical style of play that this defense has.”

On if the flea flicker in the game against the Packers was not successful because they had less time to prepare for intricate plays like that one during a short week: “Yeah, we all love flea flickers, right? That’s right, no, listen, we saw something on tape that made us believe that we could take advantage of potentially getting a flea flicker. It’s a rare opportunity that you would ever see something like that. You listen to the TV copy, the entire defense is yelling draw, draw, draw and so we were getting the sell that we were looking for. But no, the execution was not what we want and just like you said, that is the danger on a short week not ever getting anything full speed of the execution being a little bit off and when you are as multiple as we are, that’s why the full-speed reps in practice are so critical because – and it really happened the first time we played Green Bay that first Thursday night game. Short week again and we had a couple plays that we were just a little bit off and I remember us as a coaching staff saying, ‘Golly, if we would have gotten a full speed, we maybe would’ve been able to clean it up and they would’ve been good plays for us.’ And so you’re always trying to do that balancing act on a short week of, hey we’ve got to have enough to attack them, but at the same time, we’ve still got to execute at a high level. So, that one we fell short.”

On if Lions WR Jameson Williams’s performance against the Packers is another step up for him in improving his game: “He’s getting better every week. You see it and because of that, the way he’s practicing, the way he’s preparing and the way he’s playing, because of that, his reps are going up. And so, he continues to get out there and the ball’s going to just start gravitating to him just a little bit more than it already has. But he’s doing a really nice job and he just needs to continue to put in the work like he’s doing right now and good things will happen.”

On how much Saints RB Jamaal Williams meant to the offense when he was in Detroit the last two seasons: “Yeah, each year’s a little bit different in terms of the vocal leaders on the team. Last year, he was certainly more on that side of things. I’m sure he’s doing that for them down in New Orleans. He’s a heck of a guy, heck of a player and what happens is when – the nature of the business is we move on year-to-year, the team never stays the same and so he leaves, someone else will step up and so we’ve got some young guys, like (Lions T) Penei Sewell’s becoming a more vocal leader for us here on offense. And we’ve got guys along in each position group that are really trying to take charge in that way.”

On how he personally thinks Lions QB Jared Goff has been taking his turnovers the last two games: “It’s really everything for him because he touches the ball every play, so he knows he has to take care of it. It’s one of the first things we do every springtime with him is we go through the uncomfortable act of watching the turnover, the bad play cut up, sacks, fumbles, interceptions, why did they happen? How can we learn from it so it doesn’t happen again? And listen, the ones that we’ve had over the last two weeks are not entirely his fault. Some of those interceptions, that’s the cost of doing business. We’re trying to throw a slant route and (Lions TE Sam) LaPorta gets knocked off his route and this corner’s there to make the play, so those are ones that we can live with and we can handle. And our defense has done a heck of a job. We put them in some tough spots the last two weeks and they’ve really played good football considering the sudden change, as many of them as they’ve been put in. But the ones that we can clean up, and I think (Lions Head) Coach (Dan Campbell) already talked about it, is we’re crossing the line of scrimmage, that ball’s got to be tucked away. We’re not thinking about holding onto it or throwing it anymore, so we’ve got to tuck it away. Jared knows that, we’ll clean that up and we’ll be good to go from there. There are a couple plays last week where he’s holding onto the ball longer than we wanted to. And that’s – they had a good defense compared to our call as well, so that’s on me also trying to help him, so that number one gets open a little more him and so it all plays a part. We all have a hand in it, but he’s certainly taken ownership of it and we’ll see some dividends paid here soon.”

On how difficult it is for a play caller when turnovers happen on third and fourth down when they have a script they wanted to complete: “I mean, it’s – it doesn’t allow us to get in a rhythm. There’s some things we want to establish early in games, and that varies week-to-week that last couple weeks, we really haven’t been able to do and so it’s taken us a little while to get going. Fortunately, last week, our guys responded in a big way out of halftime, that was our best series coming out of halftime all year, and so hopefully we can continue that trend as well. But establishing that rhythm is really important to what we do on offense.”

On what they can learn from their first drive coming out of halftime against the Packers: “Yeah, it helps starting with two explosive plays. No, I don’t think there’s any magic in the plays, but our guys, they weren’t happy with how that first half went and so they came out with some good intensity there in the second half and got us going. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to withstand that for the course of the half and come away with the win.”

USDA announces $330,000 to expand Michigan agricultural markets

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is making investments that will expand markets for agricultural producers and strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains. 

“The Biden-Harris Administration is championing America’s farmers and ranchers by helping to expand businesses, support more robust American supply chains and save jobs,” Vilsack said. “Today’s investments in agricultural producers and rural entrepreneurs will create better economic opportunities that spur competition and bolster food supply chains across the country. This will result in more affordable prices and choices for consumers, as well as more opportunities and revenue for farmers.”

Michigan has three projects, with a total investment of $330,000.

“These grants bring additional opportunity and resiliency to Michigan agriculture, and will help bring new jobs to rural communities,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins.

The Welcome Home Organization, in Jackson County, will use a $30,000 Rural Business Development Grant to conduct a feasibility and engineering study for a business incubator, food hub, and commercial kitchen in Jackson.  The project would repurpose the building to feature products from local beef, poultry, and herb farmers plus specialty items from small-business vendors.

Lakeview Hills Organic Farm LLC, in Leelanau County, will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to assist with expanded sales of organic vegetables and flowers.  This grant, combined with $250,000 in matching funds from the grantee, will be used to offset working capital costs related to sales to new customers. 

Aurora Cellars LLC, also in Leelanau County, will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant to assist with working capital expenses to expand their market of direct-to-consumer sales of high-end wines through their reservation-only catered tasting experience.

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

Kent County Sheriff's Office arrests two Kalamazoo men on human trafficking and unlawful imprisonment

Just before 1:00 P.M. Thursday, Kent County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 6700 Block of S Division to the Bank of America on the report of a woman being held against her will. A female entered the bank and told tellers two male suspects were forcing her to open a bank account. When deputies arrived, they located the vehicle in question and located two males inside, along with another female.  

Kent County Sheriff's Office's initial investigation finds that two twenty-seven-year-old male suspects randomly found a 34-year-old and 43-year-old homeless women in the City of Kalamazoo and enticed them to work for them and earn money. It appears the suspects required the females to open bank accounts at several West Michigan banks in the victim's name and in turn give the financial information back to the suspects. It is still being investigated what the accounts were exactly being used for. It does appear that there are several prior incidents and thankfully the victim was able to ask for help at the Byron Township bank who in turn alerted authorities.  

As a result of the investigation by Kent County Sheriff's Office, two twenty-seven-year-old males from the City of Kalamazoo were arrested. This afternoon, the prosecutor's office authorized charges of Unlawful Imprisonment, Human Trafficking, and Resisting and Obstructing Police. It is expected the two men will be arraigned in the 63rd District Court today.

Ferris State exploring impact of emerging artificial intelligence technology, along with educational and career pathways

Ferris State University is exploring the transformational impact of emerging artificial intelligence technology, connecting high school students with potential educational and career pathways in evolving and increasingly important fields. 

Ferris State University AI Day is planned for Friday, Dec. 1, and is a collaboration with faculty from a variety of programs and student organizations. 

“Artificial intelligence is changing the world and Ferris is preparing students to be leaders in Artificial Intelligence,” said Dr. Molly Cooper, a Ferris State professor and scholar of information security, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. “AI Day at Ferris is intended to provide students and guests with an immersive experience highlighting ethical and secure integration of AI.” 

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

Artificial Intelligence has over 800,000 job openings in the United States and is projected to be over two million by 2026. Cybersecurity has more than 750,000 openings nationwide. The Ferris State programs prepare students for career opportunities in both fields. 

About 150 area high school students attend morning sessions at the university’s Center for Virtual Learning, which opened in August.  

High school students will participate in a series of interactive exhibits and workshops with Ferris State faculty and students focused on artificial intelligence technology, including a Deepfake Lab, an AI Social Engineering Lab, autonomous vehicle racing, working with Chat GPT, and AI’s use in space and satellite cybersecurity.  

AI Day activities include Ferris faculty presenting a discussion – “Preparing Michigan’s Workforce for the AI Wave: What Experience Tells Us” – to look at AI fundamentals, ethical implementation, opportunity for workforce enhancement, and how Ferris State is fostering the next generation of leaders to meet the needs of our industries. 

Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn Quote Sheet: 11/30/23


November 30, 2023

Opening Statement: “It’s been about two weeks since I’ve addressed you guys. Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving also because I sure did. Man, we’re 8-3. Going to play a really good team, a team that I know well. A lot of the same players are still there. Some new players, obviously, going on three years. I know this head coach really well, I know that coaching staff really well. And man, I am looking forward to the challenge of playing this team, I really am. And this will be a good one.”

On the challenges a defensive coordinator faces when competing against a dynamic player like Saints QB Taysom Hill and his dominance in the red zone: “Here’s the thing about Taysom, and I want to just talk about him as a person, first off, he’s a really, really good person. He’s a God-fearing man. He’s a family man. He’s a player that’s tough, he’s competitive, he’s faster than what some people think. He’s built different than what some people think because he’s a thicker-bodied player and he has – he’s found a niche in this League where he can excel and I’m not just talking about on offense, on special teams also, because that was his first niche when I was there. But defending him, you really just don’t know where he’s going to line up a good amount of times, so you always have to be on cue on that. And we have certain defense that we’re going to play depending on where he’s at. And we’ve got to be on top of that. We’ve got to be on top of that from a personnel standpoint and then we have to be on top of it of where he’s at, as far as what position he’s going to be at, that standpoint. So it can be difficult, but I think our guys will be ready for it.”

On where he sees the defense right now and where he thinks they need to close the gap to finish the regular season out strong: “It’s funny you say that because that’s what we’ve talked about starting last week because I’ll tell guys, just from my time of playing, people remember what you do in November and December and you want to be peaking at that point. And when we look at – and that’s one of the first conversations we had last week, and when you look at last week, man there were a lot of things that doesn’t really show up statistically, but man when you look at it as a defense, there are some really good things that the guys did. Scoreboard wasn’t it, because we lost. But when you go out there and you have two turnovers and you get a ball back, you have some fourth-down stops and you get the ball back, I mean those are things that our guys have to look at and be like, ‘You know what? We took the field.’ And our motto is man listen, that’s more TV time for us any time we take the field. And man, those are the positives that I try to make sure I talk about with our guys, so we can start looking at the fact that we want to start trending, so was everything great? No, it wasn’t. And we have some things we have to work on, we all know that. So each week, I mean that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make sure we’re trending in this direction. That’s in the run game, that’s in the pass game, that’s with our pass rush, that’s taking the ball away also. So those are some things that we have to make sure we do.”

On how the communication and leadership shifts on defense with Lions LB Alex Anzalone potentially out this Sunday: “Well, that’s the reason we got (Lions LB) Jack (Campbell). He’s a true MIKE backer. And he has to be the one that makes all those checks and he’s capable of doing that. Smart, heady guy that’s tough. He’s built for these moments. I’m looking forward for him to be the actual mouthpiece of the defense going into this game.”

On the value Saints RB Jamaal Williams brought to the defense off the field when he was on the team the last two seasons: “Well, we all know he has a different personality. We all know that, in a good way, in a good way. And he’s actually brought that – just from some of the guys I know, that he’s brought that personality there because he’s not going to change who he is. But here’s what we do know about him as a player, he’s tough, he’s competitive. Anywhere when it’s short yardage at goal line, man we have to be on top of it because he’s superb in those situations, so. And our guys know that from being here. The new guys are just finding that out just watching tape of him. And I know he’s going to be juiced up, just like I’m going to be juiced up, just like (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell)’s going to be juiced up. I mean he played here for a couple years and he wants to kick our ass just like we want to kick theirs. So, this will be a fun game for us to play against him and for me and Dan to go back to where we were, we were there for like five years, so looking forward to it.”

On how to unlock pressures from other edge defenders in a slump when Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson is blocked: “You know what? That’s one thing, as coaches, that we’ve got to continue to try to figure out on – and I guess I can’t figure out, keep coaching our guys on how do we generate these pressures, especially the way teams are playing us now. Because teams now, they’re blocking everything up because they know that Aidan’s a guy, so they’re putting two guys on him. And usually with the other guys, when you watch the tape, they have guys maxed out. And a guy, whoever’s in one-on-one, that guy has got to be able to win. And that’s us, as coaches, continuing to teach these guys how to make sure you always get on edges in those situations. It’s not the easiest thing, but man we are coaching our ass off to try to get those guys to be able to do that and I think the guys are trying their butts off, we just have to continue emphasizing those things. I think – going into last week, I think (Lions DL Josh) Paschal did some pretty good things as far as getting on the edges, so we’ve got to continue to work with that player in that situation.”

On if they are focusing on improvement in the red zone going against a proficient red zone team like the Saints: “Absolutely, and that’s a situation where there’s really a lot of one-on-one situations where you’ve got to win because there’s not a lot of space and you can’t really just play zone, so you have to really match up with guys. And we’ve got to understand where our help’s at also, alright. So that goes in with the players just executing and that’s us making sure we put those guys in the right positions, so any time you’re in the red zone, it is basically one-on-one. We know the ball’s coming out quick, or you’ve got to hunker down because the best teams that happen in the red zone are the teams that can run the ball, so we know we have to be better in that area.”

On how the quarterback pressures Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson produces in games can turn into sacks: “Well, that’s just finishing, that’s just finishing and I think sometimes people put so much into sacks that they get away from understanding that this player is affecting the quarterback at a pretty high rate for us. We just have to get everybody else to be able to affect the quarterback just as much as he is, alright. And I think once that happens, the sack totals will come up. And we’ve been in situations where, man sacks have come in bunches for us and that happened all last year. Even this year it’s been in that situation. Man, we’ve just got to try to unlock that, as you say, not with just him, but with the other guys too. That’s really the focal point, to be honest with you. Everybody knows what Hutch can do. It’s just getting all of our other guys. And even our second-level rushers to be able to create some pressure like that. And last week, man we actually blitzed quite a bit and we have to. I mean, that’s just who we are. You all say cut me open, I mean I like to be in man coverage in blitz. But man, I think our guys do a really good job being able to play zone then being able to play man, because that’s who we are as a defense.”

On if there is a need for tighter coverage to give the defenders up front a better opportunity to produce stops: “Man, that’s always the plan when you’re playing against a team that’s getting the ball out quick because the rusher is not going to get there. So now, when you’re in man coverage, you’ve got to win those one-on-one battles. And that’s what happens with any team that tries to get the ball out quick like that.”

On how much he has heard Lions LB Jack Campbell’s voice grow as a leader: “Here’s what I will tell you, when we’re in meetings, and sometimes I tell (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone) don’t say anything because it’s easier for him for the most part, the next voice that you’re going to hear is Jack and that’s encouraging because what he does in the meeting actually translates to what he’s going to do on the field. And he understands this defense like the back of his hands now. Just the fact of him knowing that he’s the guy, he's the mouth, but he’s a guy that the whole defense is looking at to make sure we get into the right checks. And for him to have this opportunity right now, man I think it’s outstanding.”

On what they have to do to be more efficient at the start of games to eliminate touchdowns on opening drives: “Just play better, play better. I think everybody would say that.”

On what he has seen from Lions DL Josh Paschal in games and practices that shows his growth and where he can improve: “Exactly what you saw in that game film. The thing now is, man he has to take it to another level. I mean, we drafted this player in the second round and he’s had glimpses of what you saw that last game. Now, man, it’s time to – the run game, man he’ll become a really, really good player as far as setting the edge and being able to do things like that. Now, we have to unlock the pass rush part of it to be able to transition from run, man to pass. And that’s when he’s busting his butt to be able to do that. Because that player, I mean that’s just who he is, and you guys have talked to him before, because that player, we need that player to be able to do that. Because besides (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch, (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac, I mean Paschal has to be that guy, because he has that ability.”

Skiing and riding begins this weekend at Crystal Mountain

Grab your gear, it’s time to slide into the 2023-24 ski and snowboard season at Crystal Mountain. The lifts start spinning this Friday at noon with the first chair celebration happening on the Crystal Clipper high-speed chairlift. The first four people in line will get to pose with the iconic CrystalFIRST banner. 

“This is a day skiers and riders have been looking forward to since April,” said Karyn Thorr, Chief Operating Officer. “Mother Nature came through with several fresh inches of snow the past week, but we wouldn’t be heading into opening day weekend if it wasn’t for our hardworking and talented snowmaking team.” 

Crystal Mountain has received nearly one foot of natural snowfall since Thanksgiving (Nov. 23). However, it was the ideal temperatures and humidity levels that allowed the Crystal Mountain snowmaking team to fire up its powerful arsenal of snowmaking machines for several days, creating a 12”-24” base on the slopes. 

What to expect on the slopes:

  • Slope hours: Friday, 12pm-4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am-4:30pm.
  • Open lifts: Crystal Clipper, North Face, and Crystal Carpet.
  • Open runs: Megan’s Way, Tammy’s Turn, Leo’s Legacy, J.T.’s Trail, Brady’s Run, North Face Glades, Last Call Glades, Glacier Valley Glades, and Mountain Adventure Zone Learning Area.
  • Open terrain features: Hike park at the base of Cheers to Lou with multiple features. 

The slopes are scheduled to close for additional snowmaking beginning Monday, Dec. 4 and are scheduled to reopen for the season, Friday, Dec. 8. 

Although many are thrilled to hit the slopes for the first time this season, there are many other winter activities happening off the slopes at Crystal Mountain. With several inches of natural snowfall, the winter trails crew has been able to pack and roll multiple cross-country ski trails. Freezing temperatures also helped build Thompsonville’s only ice skating rink which is now ready to welcome skaters. 

What to expect off the slopes:

  • Cross-Country Center: Located on Mountain Center drive, open daily 10am-4pm.
  • Open XC Trails: Learning Center loop, Jack’s Rabbit and Loon’s Lane, as weather permits.
  • Ice Skating: Rentals available at the Park at Water’s Edge, as weather permits.
  • Fat Tire Biking: Rentals available at the Park at Water’s Edge, as weather permits.
  • Snowshoeing: Rentals available at the Park at Water’s Edge, as weather permits. 

The latest slope and trail conditions, as well as updates on winter activities can be found in the daily online snow report

For the best deals on lift tickets and downhill equipment rentals, skiers and riders should purchase online in advance. The same RFID Crystal Card can be reloaded for future visits to the slopes. 

Gary Green returns to Ferris State University as its new Public Safety Director, Chief of Police

After serving a little over a year as undersheriff in the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department, Gary Green brings his three-plus decades of law enforcement experience to a new role as Ferris State University Department of Public Safety director.

Green first joined Ferris DPS as an officer in 2017 before he was promoted to captain and assistant director in May 2018. He came to Ferris State after serving 28 years with the Michigan State Police and retired as a lieutenant and Mount Pleasant’s assistant post commander. While at MSP, Green was on the fugitive recovery team, was an auto-theft technician, part of the executive protection detail and served on the cold-case unit in addition to other assignments and details.

Green returns to Ferris State enthusiastic and optimistic about a new, forward-thinking emphasis on public safety under the leadership of President Bill Pink.

“I’m excited to be back. I was really excited when Captain Tim Jacobs filled me in on Dr. Pink’s emphasis on public safety and many things that the department and university were doing to enhance that emphasis,” Green said. “This emphasis on public safety is much needed. We are enhancing our cameras and adding to the number of cameras on campus and their capabilities, access and control.”

Green noted that the work is already underway to enhance Ferris State’s emergency operations planning and to fill out the DPS staff.

“There’s excitement building within our agency,” he said. “I don’t know if that excitement has transferred to the greater campus yet, but it will. The people who work for this agency, including myself, are like the people in the community we serve. We have hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears and anxieties just like everybody else. We’re just people.”

Breaking down barriers is a point of emphasis for Green in strengthening public safety.

“This uniform we wear represents a job, it’s a calling, but we’re exactly like them. I will encourage our guys to interact with the students, staff and faculty,” he said. “This interaction and engagement are not necessarily in a law enforcement way, but more so to build relationships. As we get to know each other, we can work better together to keep our campus safe.”

Beginning his second stint at Ferris State, with a stop in between serving the county under Sheriff Brian Miller, Green brings a unique perspective relative to collaborative community policing.

“One of my beliefs is that, especially when you work in a smaller community, is that all the law enforcement agencies have to work together,” he said. “One of my benefits is I’ve worked for the Michigan State Police for 28 years – that works this area – I worked in the sheriff’s department and at Ferris State. Those connections and relationships make working collaboratively as a cohesive unit easier. I know I can pick up the phone and call somebody and they will send people.”

Green officially started as Ferris State’s Department of Public Safety's director on Monday, Nov. 20.

Ferris State Athletics offering special promotions to help support children in need this weekend

Ferris State University Athletics has announced three different promotions for this upcoming weekend's home action intended to help provide gifts for children in need this holiday season.

The Bulldogs will host a pair of home hockey outings against St. Thomas on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 1-2) evenings along with a men's basketball home matchup versus Grace Christian on Saturday (Dec. 2) at the Ewigleben Sports Complex.

Friday night will be Community Night for Bulldog Hockey as FSU returns to the Ewigleben Ice Arena to open up the weekend series' against St. Thomas. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. (ET). As part of Community Night, fans can get $5 off the price of a regular adult reserved ticket by donating a new toy in person at the ticket office prior to the contest.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be Toy Drive Day for the men's basketball contest, which is slated for a 3 p.m. (ET) start inside Wink Arena. All fans can donate a toy at the door and get in FREE for the men's basketball tilt versus Grace Christian.

Finally, on Saturday night, the Bulldogs will hold their annual Teddy Bear Toss during the weekend hockey finale against St. Thomas. The Saturday matchup starts at 6:07 p.m. (ET) and fans are encouraged to bring a new or slightly used teddy bear to toss on the ice following the first Bulldog goal of the night.

All donated items this weekend will be collected and distributed to a local charity to help provide gifts for children this holiday season.

For additional information, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. Tickets for all home contests can be purchased in advance online at

Driver injured following two-vehicle accident outside of Big Rapids Walmart

At 8:09 P.M., deputies from Mecosta County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to a two-vehicle accident on Perry Ave., near Waldron Way, in front of Walmart in Big Rapids Township.

A 28-year-old female driver from Big Rapids, driving a Ford Explorer, was leaving Walmart parking lot towards Perry Ave. when they pulled out in front of a Buick Enclave driven by a 55-year-old male from Frederic. The driver and occupants in the Buick Enclave were not injured. The female driver of the Ford Explorer was taken by EMS to Corwell Hospital in Big Rapids for non-life-Threatening Injuries. 

Deputies were assisted by Meceola Central Dispatch, LIFE EMS, Big Rapids City PD, Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids Township Fire and Rescue, Big Rapids Towing and Curries Towing. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ferris State Softball offering bi-weekly camp beginning this Sunday

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

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

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

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

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


November 29, 2023        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 20

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 2


Tuesday, November 21

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, November 22

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, November 23

  • Nothing reported.


Friday, November 24

Calls for Service: 24

Car/Deer Accidents: 2


Saturday, November 25

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

Calls for Service: 20

Car/Deer Accidents: 2


Sunday, November 26

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

Calls for Service: 29

Traffic Accidents: 4

Big Rapids Radio Network announces 2023-2024 basketball broadcast team

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


Lead Play-By-Play: BRANDON WIRTH

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

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

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

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


Lead Studio Correspondent: JOE NAGY

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

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

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

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


Lead Conference Analyst: J.T. SCARPELLI

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

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

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

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


Broadcast/Coverage Information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Basketball (Boys)

12/4/23 - 7:00pm

Lakeview @ Saranac

12/5/23 - 7:00pm

Big Rapids @ GR Aviation Acad

   -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

Tri County @ Greenville

Grant @ Hart

Newaygo @ Montague

Pine River @ Morley Stanwood

Evart @ Reed City

Mason County Central @ White Cloud

12/6/23 - 7:00pm

Chip Hills @ Gladwin

12/8/23 - 7:30pm

Big Rapids @ Reed City

   -> Game broadcasting on WBRN 1460am, 96.5fm

Central Montcalm @ Newaygo

Chip Hills @ Morley Stanwood

Grant @ Lakeview

White Cloud @ Tri County

Kent City @ Fruitport Calvary Christian


CSAA Basketball (Girls)

12/4/23 - 7:00pm

Reed City @ Evart

Tri County @ Lakeview (6:30pm)

Grant @ Ravenna

Farwell @ Chip Hills

Mason County East @ White Cloud

12/5/23 - 7:00pm

Cedar Springs @ Big Rapids

Carson Ciy-Crystal @ Central Montcalm

Greenville @ Tri County

Pine River @ Morley Stanwood

Montague @ Newaygo

12/8/23 - 7:30pm

Big Rapids @ Reed City

Central Montcalm @ Newaygo

Chip Hills @ Morley Stanwood

Grant @ Lakeview

White Cloud @ Tri County

Kent City @ Kenowa Hills


Big Rapids Ice Hockey

12/2/23 - 2:00pm

Big Rapids 0 @ Plymouth 8

12/8/23 - 2:00pm

Grosse Ille @ Big Rapids

12/9/23 - 8:00pm

Big Rapids @ Gaylord

12/15/23 - 7:00pm

Jackson Lumen Christi @ Big Rapids

12/16/23 - 11:35am

Okemos @ Big Rapids

12/20/23 - 7:15pm

Big Rapids @ Midland Dow

12/22/23 - 5:00pm

Big Rapids @ Cheboygan


Big Rapids Bowling (Boys & Girls)

12/2/23 - 2:00pm

Boys - Big Rapids 22 @ Lakeview 8

Girls - Big Rapids 20 @ Lakeview 9

12/9/23 - 9:00am

Boys - Central Montcalm @ Big Rapids

Girls - Central Montcalm @ Big Rapids

12/16/23 - 9:00am

Boys - Big Rapids @ Kent City

Girls - Big Rapids @ Kent City

CSAA Basketball Standings

CSAA - Boys

  1. Newaygo 2-1 (1-0)
  2. Big Rapids 1-1 (1-0)
  3. Grant 1-1 (1-0)
  4. Kent City 1-1 (1-0)
  5. Reed City 1-1 (1-0)
  6. Tri County 1-2 (1-1)
  7. Central Montcalm 2-1 (0-1)
  8. White Cloud 1-1 (0-0)
  9. Lakeview 0-2 (0-2)
  10. Morley Stanwood 0-2 (0-1)
  11. Chip Hills 0-2 (0-1)

CSAA - Girls

  1. Newaygo
  2. Big Rapids
  3. Grant
  4. Kent City
  5. Reed City
  6. Tri County
  7. Central Montcalm
  8. White Cloud
  9. Lakeview
  10. Morley Stanwood
  11. Chip Hills

This Week's Poll

What place will the Lions finish in the NFC North?