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News That Affects You Archives for 2021-12

LSSU reveals banished words for 2022

Any words you're tired of hearing over and over again? Lake Superior State University is out with its Banished Words List.


The Number one on the list people want banned-"Wait, what?" Contest judges from the LSSU English Department say these two four-letter words should never go together.


Seven of the ten banished words are more conversational based with three applying to the coronavirus.


Other words to banish: No worries, at the end of the day, that being said, asking for a friend, circle back, deep dive, new normal, you're on mute, and supply chain. 


For the full list CLICK HERE

Minimum wage to increase Jan. 1st

The New Year comes with a pay increase for some.


Starting tomorrow, Michigan will increase its minimum wage to $9.87 per hour.


Jennifer Fields, a manager for the state labor department, says increases will happen annually as long as Michigan's unemployment rate stays below 8.5 percent.


Workers who receive tips will also start to earn more in the new year. Their pay goes to $3.75 an hour as long as they report enough in tips to equal the minimum wage.


There's also a sub-minimum wage for workers ages 16 and 17, set at $8.39 an hour.


Big Rapids man hit deer with vehicle

A Big Rapids man is recovering after striking a deer with his vehicle.


It happened Thursday evening on 19 Mile Rd. near 220th Ave.


Mecosta County Deputies say the 31-year-old Big Rapids man was then transported to the Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

DHD#10 moving forward with new CDC COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidelines

 District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) announces they will proceed with the CDC’s updated quarantine and isolation for the general population, and ask that special populations, including schools, congregate care settings, daycares, jails, etc., continue to follow existing guidelines until updated guidance is provided.

Today, Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a release declaring that the state will wait to proceed with the CDC’s new guidance and continue to follow existing quarantine and isolation guidelines for all populations, including general and special populations, until further guidance is provided by the CDC. At this time, DHD#10 plans to proceed with CDC’s updated guidelines for the general population only but emphasize that masking during days 6-10 is crucial for this approach to be effective.

“We understand that the difference in guidance between the CDC and MDHHS is causing frustration and confusion,” stated DHD#10 Health Officer, Kevin Hughes. “At this time, DHD#10 stands by our decision to move forward with the new CDC guidance for quarantine and isolation for the general population but urge individuals to closely follow the masking requirement spelled out for days 6-10. For special populations, such as schools, residential care facilities, daycares, and jails, we ask that these groups continue to follow the guidance they currently have in place while the CDC and MDHHS work to determine the best approach to quarantine and isolation.”

On December 27, the CDC released updated guidelines for quarantine and isolation for the general population effective immediately. In the release, the CDC announced that, given what is currently known about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, they are shortening the recommended timeframe for isolation and quarantine from others for those who have COVID-19 and are asymptomatic as well as those who have been exposed to COVID-19. The CDC also stated that the change was motivated by science demonstrating that most SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

Below is the breakdown of the new guidance:

If you test positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Stay home for 5 days
  • If no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

If you have been boosted OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within 6 months OR completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months:

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days
  • Test on day 5, if possible
  • Quarantine not required unless you develop symptoms, after which, get tested and stay home for 5 days

If you completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson over 2 months ago and are not boosted OR have an incomplete vaccine series OR are unvaccinated:

  • Stay home (quarantine) for 5 days
  • After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days
  • If you can’t quarantine, you must wear a mask for 10 days
  • Test on day 5 if possible
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home

It is important to note that there are various resources utilized for contact tracing across the state. The guidance you receive if you test positive or are a close contact may vary depending on what specific contact tracers and case investigators are following. If you reside in DHD#10's ten-county jurisdiction and are not part of a special population, such as a school, daycare, or congregate setting, you can follow the new updated CDC quarantine and isolation guidance. If you are part of a special population, such as a student or staff member of a school, a resident or staff member in a long-term care facility, a child or employee of a daycare, etc., you should follow the MDHHS’s current guidance for your specific population.

For those wanting to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine, booster dose and/or flu shot, please visit or call 888-217-3904. If no appointments are available, consider going to a pharmacy or your primary health care provider.

DHD#10 is also hosting COVID-19 and Flu vaccine clinics at various locations throughout our jurisdiction. Find a clinic near you at  or on Facebook at

For those needing a COVID-19 test, DHD#10 is hosting testing clinics at various locations throughout the jurisdiction. Find a testing site near you at You do not need to be a resident to get tested at any of these clinics. COVID-19 testing also takes place at most pharmacies, urgent cares, and your primary health care provider’s office.

If you utilized a COVID-19 Home Test Kit and your results came back positive, please submit your results here:

For more information on COVID-19, visit

UPDATE: Father charged with killing son during argument in Newaygo Co.

A 69-year-old Newaygo County man, Darrell Dakan, of White Cloud, has been charged with killing his 38-year-old son, Joshua.


The elder Dakan allegedly accused his son of leaving a cable across his driveway, which damaged his pickup truck.


They argued and the father grabbed a rifle and aimed it at his son, according to testimony.


The father claims he shot him in self defense. He has been denied bond.

Big Rapids City Commission set for first meeting of new year on Jan. 3rd

The Big Rapids City Commission will kick off the new year with a meeting at City Hall to discuss and act on a number of issues.


During its study session, commissioners will discuss marijuana ordinances in regards to curbside delivery and sales within the city.


In general business, commissioners will act on adopting the 2022 city commission meeting schedule and the 2022 rules and procedures for the city commission meetings. Commissioners will also act on adopting resolutions amending ordinances for peddlers/transient merchants. Finally, commissioners will act on a resolution approving a sale of vacant land on 18 Mile Road.


The meeting begins at 6:30pm at City Hall or join virtually on Zoom.

Morley woman strikes tree with vehicle Wednesday evening

A Morley woman is recovering following a one vehicle accident Wednesday evening on 180th Ave just south of 11-Mile Rd.


Deputies from the Mecosta Co. Sheriff's Office say a 64-year-old woman from Morley had traveled off the road and struck a tree.


She was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Dole issues voluntary recall on its packaged salads due to listeria concerns

Check your refrigerators! Dole is announcing a voluntary recall of packaged salads due to listeria concerns.


The products has been sold in dozens of states-- including Michigan. Products subject to the voluntary recall are identified by a product lot code beginning with the either the letter N or Y and will have a Best if Used By date between November 30, 2021, and January 8, 2022.


Listeria is a bacteria that can cause fever, upset stomach, and in extremely rare cases-- death. It's also associated with stillbirths and miscarriages in pregnant women.


No deaths or illnesses have been associated with the recall.

Redistricting Commission approves new legislative maps

After much debate and scrutiny, the Michigan Redistricting Commission has approved new legislative maps for the next decade.


In a vote Tuesday afternoon, eight of 13 members of the panel created by a voter-approved constitutional amendment voted for the 13-district plan.


Michigan lost a house seat in the 2020 census.


Republicans Fred Upton, Bill Huizenga, and Peter Meijer could compete for two districts on the west side of the state if they all run.


Groups on both sides of the political aisle have threatened lawsuits over the new maps.


The new state Senate and House maps were also approved.


Commissioners say they don't expect everyone to be happy, but they did the best in the time they had.

Local gym owner offers advice to those who want to be healthier in 2022

It's about to be 2022 and people are making their new years resolutions to get in shape and get healthier.


John Durante of JD Fit in downtown Big Rapids says one piece of advice he can give those who want to get healthier for the new year is having patience.


So anything worthwhile takes time and we try to teach you that exercise is a lifelong endeavor and it's something that you're going to do multiple times a week for the rest of your life to maintain your health.” Durante said.


The mistakes I see people make is going too hard too fast, people with that type A personality that is just very intrinsically motivated they just go, go, go they diet down and then they just kill themselves through extreme measures then they just get sick of it and develop a negative relationship with exercising and dieting and just don't want to do it again.” Durante said.


The owner of JD Fit says he trains a number of different clients from high school athletes to college athletes to the average person who just wants to get back in shape. Durante says he will create a personalized workout plan for you and what goals you want to attain.


For more information, CLICK HERE or you can contact John at 231-349-8870.

16-year old identified as suspect in Stanwood Eagles break ins

Detectives from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office have identified a suspect in November's break ins at the Stanwood Eagles.


According to an update on its Facebook page the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says they identified a 16-year old Stanwood male who was interviewed by detectives and subsequently confessed to the crimes.


Deputies have recovered the stolen property.


The complaint has been turned over to the prosecutors office and is being handled by the Meosta Co. Probate Court.

Newaygo Co. Sheriff's Department investigating homicide

Detectives from the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office is investigating a homicide that occured Monday night.


It happened in Monroe Township at a residence on the 800th block of East Peirce Rd.


Deputies say when they arrived to the scene they found a 38-year old man on the ground with a gun shot wound.  Deputies rendered aid until EMS arrived on scene.


The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.


A 69-year old man (victims father) was taken into custody and lodged into Newaygo County Jail on Murder charges , and is expected to be formally charged later today.


The incident remains under investigation.

CDC shortens quarantine guidelines from 10 days to 5 days

U.S. health officials are cutting isolation restrictions for Americans who test positive for the coronavirus and shortening the time that close contacts have to quarantine.


The CDC now says people with the virus can leave isolation after five days, down from 10 days. People exposed to the virus can also leave quarantine after five days.


Officials say the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that the coronavirus is most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptom onset.

Reed City Weekly Police Blotter 12/20-26

Officer responded to a report of teen juveniles messing with Christmas lights. A warning was issued.

Tuesday …12/21
Officers were requested to stand by while a woman attempted to get a vehicle from her estranged wife. They were unable to reach an agreement and the woman departed.
While on patrol officers observed a street light that had broken off its pole but was still on and hanging by its power cord. The utility company was notified.

Thursday …12/23
Officers were called to a civil dispute over a broken fence. The fence owner agreed to allow the neighbor to temporarily repair the fence until it could be done properly in the spring.

Friday …12/24
Officers were requested to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department regarding threats by a family member to drive their vehicle through a residence. Officers assisted with no damage found.
Officers were dispatched to a burglar alarm. Upon arrival the building was found to be secure with no sign of entry. It was determined to be a false activation.

Officers were dispatched to a car vs deer accident. There was damage to the vehicle but no injuries were reported.

Saturday …12/25
Officers were dispatched to a local apartment complex regarding noise. The noise was found to be the footsteps of the children in the above apartment. In addition, while neighbors were discussing the matter, prior to the officer’s arrival, a heated argument developed. It was reported threats were made of assault. Both parties involved stated they did not wish a police report and stated they would contact the apartment manager on the matter.

Officers took a report of a car vs deer accident. There was damage to the vehicle but no injuries were

Officers were dispatched on a medical call to an individual not breathing. Officers arrived at the same time as EMS. The individual was breathing and alert at that time and the matter was left in the hands of EMS.

Officers were requested to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department regarding a possible domestic assault in progress. The caller stated they believed an assault had taken place and stated they believed, due to strange behavior exhibited, that there may also be drug use involved. Officers stood by for safety while the matter was investigated. No arrests were made in the matter.

Sunday …12/26

Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department on an OWI investigation for officer and scene safety while sobrieties were conducted.

Holiday gift return season has begun

Retailers have been trying to gear up for the holiday gift return season.


But returning items could be a bit frustrating for consumers. There are almost 200,000 fewer workers in retail stores now than before the pandemic. That means there could be fewer people able to handle gift returns. Retailers have been trying to hire people just to handle all of the returns this year but many are still understaffed.


So, as you return items, be patient. Many of the sales people are newly hired, some still learning the ropes. It's important to make sure they realize the item you're returning was a gift and should not be put back on the credit card of the purchaser.

COVID-19 and the Obese

Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are learning more about why so many obese people are hospitalized and dying from the coronavirus and that could have big implications for Michigan.


Stanford University researchers found that the virus penetrates fat cells, which can act something like a COVID-19 storage tank - and trigger a potentially fatal immune response in the body.


Approximately 35 percent of Michigan adults are obese and experts say that the research underlines the urgent need to address the problem.


Obesity afflicts all demographics, but it is more prevalent in minority communities.

Faces of Ferris, Gary Green--Captain, Assistant Director, Department of Public Safety

Careful listening while learning can produce poignant moments, and such was the case for Gary Green, captain and the assistant director of Ferris State University’s Department of Public Safety. A couple of significant phrases struck his ear when he was a recruit attending the Michigan State Police academy in 1989.

“Trooper Rodney Olney, who had volunteered his time to lead my group, had a wrinkle he would work into our ‘up-downs,’ or pull-up routine,” Green said. “He would call out that we needed to ‘hang there,’ holding a fixed position, regardless of where we were in the repetition. I took this as a call to persevere, feeling that if I could make it one more second, whether it was during a physical trial or to pause and consider all my options in a moment of conflict, I should hang onto all that I had been taught, so I could make the best response in those tough moments.”

The other axiom had to do with what a law enforcement professional needed to remember during each encounter of every shift as they served the public.

“He would tell us again and again that ‘you live in a fishbowl,’” Green said. “It let me know that someone was always watching our interactions while in a traffic stop, taking a report from a citizen, and this was well before the digital age, with mobile phones and cameras in most everyone’s possession. It brought about a great focus on accountability for every action I took, a reminder that I must always act and think with integrity in mind. I took him to be saying that if we remember that concept, especially during the hard times, we had a great foundation and opportunity to succeed in our role.”

Green said he has not kept in touch with Olney, who has since retired from the MSP, but those messages heard as a 22-year-old recruit still resonate, as Gary serves the university community and leads fellow professionals and cadets seeking their Criminal Justice degrees at Ferris.

“Those messages were such important things to receive. I doubt he knew how significant they were to me,” Green said. “It crystallized what I should keep in mind and has become a big part of my professional philosophy and message for those I interact with on the job. Now, just like then, people are keeping track of our actions and responses.”

Green built a career of increasing responsibility with the State Police, with assignments including fugitive recovery, investigating cold cases, applying technical considerations to identify auto thieves, and providing security for state, federal and foreign executives. He also had a period of service in Afghanistan, joining a task force that conducted investigations to identify insurgents before carrying out attacks on citizens or military groups.

“We made a focused and aggressive pursuit of the evidence necessary to identify perpetrators, so the military and local law enforcement could find these suspects and apprehend them and present them to Afghan authorities for prosecution,” Green said. “The task force was made up of 30 professionals during my time in Afghanistan, but the investigative team grew to 230 the year after my assignment.”

One of Green’s later assignments with the Michigan State Police was as assistant post commander in Mount Pleasant, where former Ferris DPS Director Bruce Borkovich was a peer in that building, serving as a Department of Natural Resources investigator.

“I was reviewing my professional options, having been with the State Police more than 28 years,” Green said. “I was well acquainted with Bruce and was open to making the change to join the DPS at Ferris when he encouraged me to apply. My daughter, Liberty, had already expressed her interest in studying Criminal Justice, so when Bruce presented the opportunity to me, I agreed, and Liberty joined me at the university as a student.”
Green started at Ferris in 2017 as a road officer, with responsibilities as a liaison in the newly opened North Hall. Shortly thereafter, the assistant director’s position, serving as a captain, became available, and Green was one of two finalists.

“It was an opportunity to make the most of my experience with the MSP. I was blessed to be selected and have enjoyed this role with the department immensely,” Green said. “Whether you serve the public in a community or on a college campus, you are dealing with people, where their ethnicity is no factor in the response. People have the same cares, anxieties, family concerns and every right to our kindness, no matter where they are from or their skin color. Showing them a willingness to help in a time of need will bring about the best results.”

Green said the philosophical foundation he developed as a recruit in the MSP academy still serves him well with the DPS.

“There are situations where someone might refuse to accept our directives, but I know I can make things go better or worse when I arrive,” Green said. “A majority of the time, if I seek to build rapport with that person and show them kindness, it will be the best course. That is the philosophy I bring to every response I make, on or off the job.”

Green is not a direct supervisor to students who serve as cadets, handling parking lot patrols and other duties for the DPS, but he consults regularly with Detective Sergeant Tim Jacobs and interacts with the student employees.

“I really appreciate having students in the mix here because the experience they get as service officers and cadets is great,” Green said. “There are also student dispatchers who report to Brittany Taylor, our dispatch specialist. The student employees learn to exercise discretion and properly respond in their roles. They might make a call on writing a parking ticket or decide to issue a verbal warning instead of a citation. That is a true experiential learning opportunity. Cadets know they can come to speak with me, and they may not be ready to make a particular decision or might wonder how I will respond, but I find their judgments are spot-on much of the time. I am envious of the opportunities Ferris provides them. It would have been an asset in beginning my career.”

Working with students who want to be law enforcement professionals, Green said sometimes he can relate his experiences to provide insights on some difficulties in maintaining relationships with the public.

“The impact of technology is both a benefit to our service and an obstacle,” Green said. “Officers do not walk a beat much these days. Walking a beat was, in my opinion, an asset to building community. If officers get out of the car and interact with community members, it goes a long way to building trust between the officers and the community. The proliferation of mobile devices that can record and transmit video means an observer can capture the response, showing the worst moments of serving as a peace officer. It is dramatic and immediate, but when there is no context with that message, it can harm the public’s level of understanding and their appreciation for our intentions. Since we cannot often frame those occasions as officers, transparency in our service to the campus and community is affected. We recently learned that the amount of demographic data gathered during our shifts could stand improvement. A contact demographic sheet has been produced, so the details of gender, race and other facts are recorded and known, along with the particulars of the incident.”

Green said gathering witness information and other pertinent facts are essential components of being professional and transparent as a department.

“These are essential elements for building trust with the people we serve and encounter, serving as a guideline for our intentions during every shift and call,” Green said.

Along with his career change, Green continued and recently expanded his involvement in local ministry. Gary built upon a family tradition, becoming the pastor of the Wheatland Church in Remus.

“Shortly after I became a trooper, I got involved in opportunities to work with people in need and began my religious studies,” Green said. “I have family members from all over the area, many of them attend Wheatland Church, and I have been an ordained elder for nearly 20 years. The church has a lineage that goes back to when the Underground Railroad’s trail led into eastern Mecosta and nearby Isabella County. My great-great-grandfather, Thomas Cross, was the first pastor of that church in 1869. Someone aware of my record of service and family ties to the church sought me out, and I began in this role around Easter of 2020, in the first rush of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been blessed in this role, very happy to serve there, and will continue with my duties at Ferris.”

2021 a tough year for small businesses; according to report

2021 was suppose to be a recovery year for small businesses, but many just couldn't stay open.


A report from small business support organization Allignable shows nearly 40 percent fewer small businesses now than at the beginning of the year.


Researchers say we may not know for months how many are closed permanently.


In Michigan, more than a third are having trouble paying their rent and two out of three Michigan small businesses want national policymakers to offer more support for their recovery. A third want loans or grants. Most say their future in 2022 is uncertain.

Chase man injured in Mecosta Co. following rollover crash on icy road

A Chase man suffered non-life threatening injuries following a one vehicle rollover accident on US-131 Thursday night.


It happened just after 8pm, deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office say a 48-year old man from Chase hit an icy patch, loss control of his vehicle, and overturned on the northbound side of US-131 near Meceola Road.


The driver was ejected from the vehicle and was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital and then Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

NORAD is ready to track Santa's flight for the 65th Year!

The North American Aerospace Defense Command is celebrating the 65th Anniversary of tracking Santa's yuletide journey around the globe! The NORAD Tracks Santa website,, launching Dec. 1, features Santa's North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, movie theater, holiday music, webstore, and more. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.


The official NORAD Tracks Santa app has been updated for 2020 and is also available in the Apple App and Google Play stores, so parents and children can count down the days until Santa's launch on their smart phones and tablets. Tracking opportunities are also offered through social media on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, as well as on partner platforms Amazon Alexa and OnStar.


Starting at 4 a.m. EST on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD's "Santa Cams" will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 6 a.m. EST, trackers worldwide can call to inquire as to Santa's whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) where they will either speak with a live phone operator or hear a recorded update. Due to COVID concerns, the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center will have fewer phone operators, so callers who do not reach a volunteer will hear a regularly updated recording as to Santa's current location. Anytime on Dec. 24, Amazon Alexa users can ask for Santa's location through the NORAD Tracks Santa skill for Amazon Alexa, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa.


Tracking Santa has been a tradition since 1955 when a local newspaper advertisement informed children they could call Santa directly – only the contact number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty, U.S. Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the predecessor to NORAD. Col. Shoup was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the child he was Santa. Shoup then assigned a duty officer to continue answering calls. Thus, a holiday tradition was born, which NORAD has carried on since it was created in 1958. Each year since, NORAD has reported Santa's location on Dec. 24 to millions of children and families around the world.

Biden Administration extends student loan moratorium

The Biden administration is extending a student loan moratorium that has allowed millions of Americans to put off debt payments during the pandemic.


Under the action, payments on federal student loans will remain paused through May first.


Interest rates will remain at zero percent during that period.


The measure has been in place since early in the pandemic but was set to expire on January 31st.


This is the second extension from the administration.

AAA offering "Tow 2 Go" for impaired drivers this Holiday Season

It's the final week of the holiday season and AAA is bringing back TOW-2-GO to ensure those celebrating get home safe.


Starting this Friday at 6pm until Monday January 3rd residents can call 855-2-TOW-2-GO and a tow truck will transport impaired drivers and their vehicle to a safe place with-in a 10-MILE radius.


The service is free, but AAA asks it be treated as a backup plan.

Rate hike for Consumers Energy customers starting Jan. 2022

Well it looks like your consumers energy utility bill is about to go up next year.


The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a rate increase of just over $27-million dollars on Wednesday.


What does that mean for your wallet? a typical residential customer who uses 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will see an increase of 59 cents (0.64%) on their monthly bill starting in January 2022.


The rate increase that was approved was 88% less than what Consumers presented for approval.


MSP investigate shooting in Fremont involving sergeant from Newaygo Co.

Michigan State Police are investigating a shooting in Newaygo County Tuesday evening.


It happened when an officer from the Fremont Police Department responded to a call about a domestic incident. When the officer arrived to the scene, they heard what sounded like a gunshot inside the residence. Police then established a perimeter around the home and evacuated neighbors.


The suspect went outside while holding what looked like a two guns.


A sergeant from the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office confronted the suspect, the suspect then appeared to level their firearm at the sergeant, who then fired their gun.


The sergeant and the suspect were not hit. The suspect was arrested. Officials say it appears to be an isolated incident and no threat to the community.  


The sergeant has been placed on administrative leave.


This remains an active investigation.

COVID testing clinic opening in Hart

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is hosting an ongoing COVID-19 testing clinic at the Oceana County Council on Aging in Hart beginning Tuesday, December 28. The clinic will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. 


COVID-19 testing is provided by Honu Management Group and is free to the public. It is necessary for individuals to register with Honu prior to receiving COVID-19 testing, and they can pre-register before arriving to any testing clinic. Pre-registration links are listed below for each clinic location.  


The details for the Hart Clinic are as follows: 


OCEANA COUNTY – in conjunction with the Oceana County Council on Aging 

Location: 4250 W. Tyler Road, Hart (Council parking lot) 

Days & Times: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays – 1:00-5:00pm 

Honu Pre-Registration Link: 


Below is the full list of the other COVID-19 testing clinics to date: 


CRAWFORD COUNTY– hosted by Kirtland College and MDHHS 

Location: 4800 W. 4 Mile, Grayling (COVID Testing Trailer in Kirtland College parking lot) 
Days & Times: Tuesdays & Wednesdays-10:00am-5:00pm, Thursdays-10:00am-6:00pm 
Call to schedule:?866-809-8282 or 844-778-2455 or online at: 


KALKASKA COUNTY– in conjunction with Kalkaska Memorial Health Center 
Location: 515 S. Birch Street, Kalkaska (across from County Courthouse) 
Days & Times: Tuesdays & Thursdays - 11:00am-5:00pm, Sundays - 9:00am-12:00pm 
Honu Pre-Registration Link:? 

CLOSED 12/26 


MASON COUNTY– in conjunction with Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and City of Ludington 
Location: 400 S. Rath Ave., Ludington (Harbor View Marina parking lot) 
Days & Times: Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays - 9:00am-5:00pm 
Honu Pre-Registration Link:?  

CLOSED 12/24, 12/26, 12/31 


Location: 14485 Northland Drive, Big Rapids (DHD#10 parking lot) 
Days & Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - 10:00am-5:00pm 
Honu Pre-Registration Link:? 
CLOSED 12/24, 12/27, 12/31, 1/3 


NEWAYGO COUNTY- in conjunction with NC RESA 
Location: 4747 W. 48th?Street, Fremont (NC RESA parking lot) 
Days & Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - 1:00-6:00pm 
Honu Pre-Registration Link:? 

CLOSED 12/24, 12/31 


WEXFORD COUNTY– in conjunction with Northern Lakes Community Mental Health 
Location: 521 Cobb Street, Cadillac (DHD#10/NLCMS parking lot) 
Days & Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - 10:00am-4:30pm 
Honu Pre-Registration Link:?
CLOSED 12/24, 12/27, 12/31, 1/3 


Below is additional important information regarding these COVID-19 testing clinics:?  


  • All COVID-19 testing clinics are first come, first served, except for the clinic at Kirtland College in Grayling where an appointment is required. ?? 
  • Please do not line up early prior to clinic times.?? 

  • Please stay in your vehicles and someone will come to you for paperwork and testing.

  • All clinics end promptly at the time stated or when capacity is reached (capacity is reached when the number of cars in line meets the clinic’s ability to perform testing during clinic hours).

  • COVID-19 testing is free and no ID or insurance is required but accepted.

  • Clinics offer rapid antigen (results typically available within 30-60 minutes) and PCR testing (results typically available within 72 hours).

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a text message from DHD#10 asking you to complete a survey so case investigation and contact tracing can begin.

  • Please note that most offsite testing locations are generously providing the space for the clinics only. Please do not contact them with questions or concerns as they are only donating the space.

  • For questions on test results, call Honu at 866-809-8282

  • For all other COVID-19 questions or concerns, call 231-305-8675 or email? 


 If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, booster, or a flu shot, go to? call 888-217-3904.


City of Big Rapids passes post election audit

Mecosta County Clerk Marcee Purcell was on hand at the Big Rapids City Commission meeting last night to present post election audit results.


The reason for the post election audit, Purcell says the City of Big Rapids was the only municipality that had an election in November.


The Mecosta County Clerk says Tammy Gillis and her team passed with flying colors.


I have never done a post election audit that I had found anything detrimental, and it should probably come as no surprise that Tammy had absolutely nothing wrong in the audit.” Purcell said “It usually takes me one to two hours to complete an election audit and because Tammy was so prepared it only took me about an hour to complete.“


The next city commission meeting is January 3rd at 6:30 pm


Ferris resumes hosting in-person commencement, offering congratulations, support and hope

For the first time in two years, Ferris State University graduates gathered in the Wink Arena of the Ewigleben Sports Complex Saturday, Dec. 18, for in-person commencement. More than 600 graduates earned degrees and certificates.


During the three commencement ceremonies, Ferris President David Eisler told students that their dedication and perseverance helped them reach an important goal. He added that the accomplishment happened despite various obstacles, including COVID-19.


“I am pleased you joined us to celebrate your accomplishment,” Eisler said. “With your hard work, sacrifice and determination, you made it to the end of this journey, but for you, another one now begins.”


Eisler also asked the Class of 2021 graduates to recognize the faculty and staff at Ferris, along with their parents, grandparents, spouses, children, significant others or friends who helped them with their accomplishment.


“As you celebrate, take time to thank those who have supported you,” Eisler said. “Their love and other contributions have helped you achieve this goal.”


Ferris alumnus Ronald Snead, of Stanwood, offered greetings for his peers on the university’s Board of Trustees. 


“As a fellow Ferris graduate, I want you to understand that you have a huge network of alumni who are available and actively interested in supporting you,” Snead said. “On behalf of the board, I congratulate you.


Traditionally, the most recent recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award is the featured speaker during the fall commencement ceremonies. In keeping with that tradition, the 2021 Distinguished Teacher Award winner Patrick Bishop, a professor of Marketing, in the College of Business, also addressed the commencement audiences. He offered a message of hope, rising from experiences with his young dog, Cooper, and his love of the works of poet Mary Oliver.


“If no one has ever told you, you can be a creative spark that can change this world,” Bishop said. “As Mary Oliver said in ‘A Summer Day,’ Tell me, ‘what is it that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’”


Approximately 860 students graduated with degrees or certificates. Students in Ferris’ Statewide and Online programs took part with their affiliated colleges. A morning commencement greeted graduates in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, an early afternoon session celebrated those from the College of Business. The late afternoon gathering honored the colleges of Engineering Technology and Health Professions.



MHSAA Press Release: Michigan Schools to Designate February for Statewide 'Oxford Strong' Support

Schools across Michigan will be dedicating February to “Oxford Strong” in support of Oxford Community Schools as the district continues to mourn the deaths of four students during a shooting at the high school Nov. 30.


The Oakland Activities Association – of which Oxford is a member – as well as the Kensington Lakes Activities Association and Detroit Catholic High School League, with merchandise vendor E.A. Graphics, have been primary organizers of this effort. 


E.A. Graphics, based in Sterling Heights, will be printing T-shirts and sweatshirts supporting “Oxford Strong” – with schools able to purchase those items and then provide them in their communities. E.A. Graphics will be donating the price of the apparel, after costs, directly to Oxford High School and its community. T-shirts, for example, cost $20, with $16.20 being donated from each sale.


Schools taking part may ask their spectators to then wear the apparel as part of an “Oxford Strong” sporting event at their schools during February. Organizers have designated Friday, Feb. 4, as a day for as many schools as possible to be “Oxford Strong” and contribute to a statewide outpouring of support for the Wildcats and their community. However, it’s expected many schools will sponsor “Oxford Strong” events throughout the month.


“Every day since Nov. 30, schools have asked us what they can do, how can they help,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “While there is no way to take away the pain from such a tragedy, our statewide community will be glad to provide any comfort possible to Oxford schools and their community at this time of such great sorrow.”


E.A. Graphics is the merchandising partner of the Michigan High School Athletic Association and the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA), the professional group for athletic directors and other school sports administrators in Michigan.

Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight for last time in 2021

The Big Rapids City Commission meet for the final time at City Hall this year.


According to the agenda, commissioners will have a study session when they will discuss city of Big Rapids election results audit with Mecosta County Clerk Marcee Purcell, Matt Biolette from Republic Services will update commissioners on the Kent County recycling fee.


The commission will also have two public hearings, one in regards to a special assessment roll on the sidewalk improvement project and the other to review the Parks and Recreation master plan.


In general business, the commission will take action on a resolution that would adopt an agreement with Mid Michigan Action Agency for a utility assistance program. The commission will also discuss and take action on a resolution extending a contract by one year with Joe McNally as the city's Realtor. Finally, the commission will vote on a resolution amending the city's ordinance on the code on animals.


The meeting starts at 6:30pm, virtually on Zoom or in-person at City Hall.

Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight for last time in 2021

The Big Rapids City Commission meet for the final time at City Hall this year.


According to the agenda, commissioners will have a study session when they will discuss city of Big Rapids election results audit with Mecosta County Clerk Marcee Purcell, Matt Biolette from Republic Services will update commissioners on the Kent County recycling fee.


The commission will also have two public hearings, one in regards to a special assessment roll on the sidewalk improvement project and the other to review the Parks and Recreation master plan.


In general business, the commission will take action on a resolution that would adopt an agreement with Mid Michigan Action Agency for a utility assistance program. The commission will also discuss and take action on a resolution extending a contract by one year with Joe McNally as the city's Realtor. Finally, the commission will vote on a resolution amending the city's ordinance on the code on animals.


The meeting starts at 6:30pm, virtually on Zoom or in-person at City Hall.

Online study finds road rage incidents on the rise

Road rage is on the rise.


One-in-five drivers on the road following the pandemic report more frustration while driving compared to before.


The Zebra --an online insurance site study says distracted drivers are the number one cause of frustration, followed by lack of turn signal use, being tail-gated and getting cut off.


Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw says people lately are just angry, but there is no specific data on why.


The study reports 95% of its' participants observed road rage or aggressive driving in the past year.

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital recognized as one of the nation's best maternity hospitals

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital has been recognized as one of the nation’s best maternity hospitals, according to the inaugural list of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for Maternity.

“We’re honored to join some of the best hospitals in the nation for maternity care and the
recognition speaks volumes about the outstanding care our OB/GYNs, nurses and our
entire team provides to the families we serve,”
said Andrea Leslie, president of Spectrum
Health Big Rapids, Reed City, United and Kelsey Hospitals.

Big Rapids Hospital is one of 12 hospitals in Michigan that U.S. News recognized for high performance in maternity care. Out of the 2,700 hospitals across the United States that
offer maternity services, 237 were identified as “high-performing.”

The Best Hospitals for Maternity evaluation looks at hospital data relating to uncomplicated pregnancies at five different factors:

? Scheduled early deliveries
? C-section rates in low-risk women
? Newborn complications
? Rate of exclusive breast milk feeding
? Option for vaginal births after cesarean.


Participating hospital profiles also include a variety of relevant information on services and amenities, like private rooms, valet parking and availability of child birthing classes.


Three of Michigan's Rural Hospitals were recognized as High Performing in Maternity Care, all of them Spectrum Health hospitals: Spectrum Health Big Rapids, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and Spectrum Health's Pennock Hospital in Hastings. Spectrum Health Butterworth and Blodgett, as well as Zeeland Community Hospital were also recognized for high performance in maternity care.

17 area businesses awarded $677,000 to train employees

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced Friday it
is awarding more than $677,000 to 17 local employers to help fund training opportunities for more than 500 workers.

Funds are being awarded through the Going PRO Talent Fund, which is a competitive funding
program that can help employers train, develop, and retrain current and new employees. Training plans approved by the state must be short-term and fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer. Training also must lead to a transferrable, industry-recognized credential.
Locally, companies applied for funding this past fall with the help of Michigan Works! West Central’s
Business Services Team. Training at those who received funds is expected to start as early as Jan. 1,

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Going PRO Talent Fund plays a vital role in helping
employers train, retain and hire new employees. By providing them with industry-recognized training
opportunities, these 17 employers will be better situated to navigate the future workforce landscape,”
said Shelly Keene, Michigan Works! West Central executive director. “The Talent Fund is an investment in Michigan’s workforce helping provide the critical skills necessary for a wide variety of in-demand jobs across our region. I applaud our Business Services Team for all of their hard work during the application period and congratulate our award winners.”

Statewide, $40 million is being awarded through the program to train about 30,000 workers. In
Michigan Works! West Central’s six-county coverage area – Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana
and Osceola counties – 28 applications were submitted in October, totaling $1,024,521 in training
funding requests. Seventeen applications were approved, totaling $677,041 to upskill 515 individuals, including 12 new U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) registered apprentices.

The following companies are being awarded funds to train their respective workforces:

Lake County
? Family Health Care
? StealthCraft Boats

Mason County
? The Brill Company
? Change Parts Inc.
? Great Lakes Castings LLC
? Medilodge of Ludington
? ServePro of Scottville
? Superior Exteriors
? UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries

Mecosta County
? Leprino Foods

Newaygo County

? Magna Mirrors Newaygo
? Nestle-Gerber Products

Oceana County
? Michigan Freeze Pack

Osceola County
? Northern Precision Products
? Papa’s Place Adult Day Care
? Reed City Group
? Yoplait/General Mills

The Going PRO Talent Fund (formerly the Skilled Trades Training Fund) began in 2014. In the first
seven years of the program, Michigan Works! West Central helped secure more than $2.9 million to
train more than 2,700 workers at more than 50 different companies in its service area. Of those 2,600- plus workers, 76 were new USDOL registered apprentices.

The Going PRO Talent Fund aligns with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the
number of working-age adult with a skill certificate or college degree to 60 percent by 2030. LEO awards the annual funds, which are then administered by the local Michigan Works! agencies.
Michigan Works! West Central’s Business Services Team will continue to work with this year’s
awardees to file all the necessary paperwork to ensure they maximize their funding reimbursement

“The Going PRO Talent Fund is an invaluable funding source for Michigan businesses looking to
upskill their workforce and train new hires. It’s just one of the many tools Michigan Works! West Central has available to offer to businesses in our region,”
said Michigan Works! West Central Business Services Director Merri Bennett. “We are very pleased with this year’s talent fund awards. Our Business Services Team is ready to work with this year’s winners to maximize their awards upon training completion.”

Consumers Energy says power should be restored by Saturday

Tens of thousands of Consumers Energy customers are experiencing outages across Michigan after strong winds swept across the state on Thursday.


Consumers spokesperson Josh Paciorek says the utility is aware of the frigid temperatures expected in parts of the state today.

We see that temperatures are supposed to be falling and that's why we have our crews out for restoration efforts as soon as possible.” Paciorek said. ”We are looking at different assistance and looking at community organizations that can help those who will be without power also may set up warming stations, things like that.”

In Mecosta County, around 2,100 residents and businesses are without power. Based on initial damage assessments, Consumers expects to have all effected customers restored by the end of Saturday.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/16

40-2102355 @ 6:46am Trespassing 400 block S Third. Male arrested for trespassing in continuation of 40-2102354. Male stuck his arms out and advised officers he wanted to be arrested for trespassing and was not leaving the property.


40-2102356 @ 7:10am Civil 200 block Winter. A resident was upset over parking citations he is receiving. He was also upset about city plow trucks plowing snow onto his driveway.


40-2102357 @ 9:08am BRPD Office Obstructing Justice. Female charged for false reports taken between September 28th and October 19th.


40-2102358 @ 9:18am 100 block S State St. Female was called in as suicidal by family members. She made various statements indicating an altered mental status and was taken to the ER for a voluntary eval.


40-2102359 3:59pm 600 block S State St Assist. Female was trespassed from business after being fired and causing a scene and refusing to leave. Female agreed to leave the premises and was given a ride home.


40-2102360 @5:40pm  2V PDA State/Rust.


40-2102331 @ 11:17pm Citizen assist, 600 block S State St. Male came in and told the clerks he had a flat tire. They reported he seemed confused. Upon arrival it was discovered he had two flat passenger side tires, one with extensive damage. He initially could not remember why he was in Big Rapids, later remembering he went to the store. He was unable to tell us what he hit only saying he “caught a curb”. It is unknown where or when this occurred. His car was towed to his house by Curries.

Big Rapids Planning Commission approves Wendy's renovation plans

Looks like Big Rapids is one step closer in getting a new Wendy's Resturant.


The Big Rapids Planning Commission approved a site plan from engineering company Fishbeck, which would demolish the current Wendy's Drive-thru Restaurant at 614 S. State Street and construct a new building.

Emily Szymanski of Big Rapids Community Development says the new plan addresses past problems with the property.


The site plan includes doing a complete demolition of the current Wendy's restaurant and rebuild it.” Szymanski said. “It also addresses current problems with the drive-thru like traffic congestion and stuff like that.”


The Planning Commission approved the plan, it now goes to the Big Rapids City Commission for final approval.

Power outages spread across Mecosta County due to high winds

There are some power outages around Mecosta County due to the high winds that have gone through the area.


Consumers Energy outage map shows areas of the City of Big Rapids, Big Rapids Township, Mecosta Township, Canadian Lakes and Martiny Township are without electricity.


In total, just under 2,000 residents and businesses are without power. Utility officials say restoration times range from 10:30am-5:30pm.

Cadillac High School student could face charges after written threat was found

A 14-year-old student at Cadillac High School could face charges after police said a threatening note was left at the school.


Cadillac Area Public Schools officials sent a letter to parents regarding the threat that was discovered in a school bathroom Monday.


Police were immediately contacted and were able to identify the student who left the note. Police say the student confessed to the threat.


Their report has gone to the prosecutor's office for review.

Rep. Hoitenga provides needed COVID relief, treatment options with advancing plans

State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, voted to provide needed support for Michigan patients, health care workers and schools as they face challenges due to COVID-19.


Supplemental funding measures approved in a vote by the Michigan House invest over $1 billion in federal relief dollars to continue moving the state forward. Hospitals and clinics on the front lines of the fight against COVID – dangerously short-staffed with many available jobs unfilled – would receive $300 million for recruitment and retention. The funds work to boost staffing levels and provide people with the care they need.


The measure also provides $134 million to buy and administer monoclonal antibodies and other promising treatments for COVID patients, which studies suggest reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by up to 85 percent for COVID-positive patients. With demand outpacing supply and treatments being slow to reach patients at short-staffed hospitals, the House plan will expand delivery to eight additional sites across Michigan.


“Other states have used antibody infusion programs to successfully battle COVID for over a year – and this has reduced hospitalizations. Michigan has not only been late to the game in promoting this, but the demand has outpaced the timely availability of these lifesaving treatments for both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients,” Hoitenga said. “Time is of the essence for this particular treatment. It must be administered as soon as possible upon a positive COVID diagnosis. Unfortunately, there have been problems getting it to people in all corners of our state and so they miss out.


“This legislation is especially important now as cases continue to surge and hospitals reach capacity. We need ways to ease the stress on our hospitals and their staff. This is a strategy that will do that while saving lives.”


Lost learning for students has also been a noted consequence of the pandemic and shutdown orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in response, and the plan Hoitenga worked to approve aims to prevent more situations that would put kids in the U.P. at a disadvantage. A total of $300 million will be provided to boost COVID rapid testing capacity in schools and offer more clarity for administrators, staff and students. Half of the funding will be authorized for distribution immediately and the other half is expected to be distributed early next year. The commitment comes on top of the $4 billion in additional COVID relief given to schools overall so they can operate effectively.


The plans also include funding for rental assistance, support of families, mental health, nursing homes, rural transit and snowmobile trail development and maintenance. House Bills 5523 and 4398 now move to the Senate for further consideration.

Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital announces Top Baby Names of 2021

Teachers at area elementary schools are going to have plenty of “Jacks” in their deck of student names for years to come.

For the fourth time in five years, Jack and all spelling variations including Jackson, Jaxsen, Jaxson, Jaxton and Jaxxon lead the list of most popular baby names of those babies born at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Family Birthing Center.

Oliver temporarily stopped the Jack top name streak last year, but alas, Jack is back. Ella, Peyton and Madalyn were the most popular girls name in 2021, replacing Adalynn and Everleigh that tied for top honors last year. Those winning girls’ names included alternative spellings Madeline, Madilyn, Madison, Maddie, Payton and Peighton.

As of this writing, 457 babies were born at the Big Rapids Hospital in 2021, up slightly from the 2020 total.

Tied for second place for girl names was:

  • ? Isabella, Izzabell, Isabel
  • ? Olivia
  • ? Rosalee, Roselia, Rosalie, Rose
  • ? Sophia, Sophie

Tied for third place was:

  • ? Adeline, Adelyn
  • ? Amelia
  • ? Eliana, Ellaina, Elliana
  • ? Everlee, Everleigh, Everly
  • ? Hazel
  • ? Reagan
  • ? Riley

For boys’ names, there was a two-way tie for second most popular:

  • ? Colt, Kolt, Colten, Colton
  • ? Henry

Third most popular boys name was Clay, Clayton.


A group tying for fourth most popular was:

  • ? Asher
  • ? Brantley
  • ? Easton
  • ? Elijah, Elyjah, Eli
  • ? Graysen, Grayson
  • ? Kingston
  • ? Miles, Myles
  • ? Samuel

Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/13

40-2102340 @ 8:11am 700 block Fuller.  Unattended Death.  Male was found deceased around 0800 by nurse.  ME notified.  Nothing suspicious noted. Under investigation


40-2102341 @ 8:33am 1000 block Fuller.  Child was holding a knife on the couch. Mom had been arguing with him to go to school after he had been throwing up all night.  Child never made threats with the knife.


40-2102342 @ 11:23am Trespassing 1100 block Catherine St.  Female was cited for trespassing after resident was slamming the door in her face. Female forced the door open and went inside.


40-2102343 @ 1:52pm Found wallet was returned.


40-2102344@ 4:37pm 900 block Colburn. Civil.  Female called and stated that male was trying to leave with their child.  Male had signed over parental rights during birth.  Both live together. Male was advised to petition the court for parenting rights.


40-2102345 @ 8:19pm 600 block S State St. Traffic Stop led to an appearance ticket being issued to driver for DWLS.


40-2102346 @ 9:47pm 1100 block Fuller Assist another Agency.  Located missing juvenile for Montcalm County and transported to our department until mother could pick up. 

Big Rapids businesses plan watch party events for Ferris State's NCAA D2 national title game appearance

Ferris State University football fans in the Big Rapids area who are not able to make the trip to Texas for this Saturday's (Dec. 18) NCAA Division II National Championship game will still be able to take in the action as three different establishments have announced plans to showcase the live television broadcast of the game.


The Bulldogs' matchup with Valdosta State (Ga.) kicks off at 9:03 p.m. (ET) on ESPNU across the country.


The game will be shown live in Big Rapids at Crankers Restaurant & Brewery along with Buffalo Wild Wings and the Sawmill Saloon. All three participating businesses are sponsors of Ferris State Athletics.


The Bulldogs, who are 13-0 overall, will face the 12-1 Blazers in a rematch of the 2018 national championship game in McKinney, Texas, at the McKinney ISD Stadium.


Participating Big Rapids Businesses:


Crankers Restaurant & Brewery
213 South State Street


Buffalo Wild Wings
1264 Perry Ave.


Sawmill Saloon
1003 Maple Street

Season of Giving Gift Drive runs through Wednesday!

The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety is extending its Season of Giving Gift Drive till Wednesday in case residents were unable to donate their items on Saturday due to the weather.


Big Rapids Officer William Sell says because of the weather on Saturday the turnout for the gift drive was a little disappointing but that's not going to stop them from giving the kids at Eagle Village a great Christmas.


"The turnout on Saturday wasn't quite what we were hoping for but we have recieved a lot of cash donations and we plan on buying alot of toys this week." Sell said. 


If you would like to make a donation, the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Building is open from 8am-5pm. Tthe gift drive runs until Wednesday. 

Your DTE gas bill is about to go up next month

At its meeting last Thursday, the Michigan Public Service Commission released its final order in DTE Gas most recent rate case, approving a more than $84-million dollar annual increase in DTE Gas rates.


The increase is nearly $111 million less than the original request. In February, DTE Gas requested a $195 million increase, so the Commissions decision represents a $110 million dollar reduction.


For the average residential customer, this will represent an overall increase of approximately 3.7%, or $3.18 per month when new rates go into effect January 1, 2022.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's intervention in the case found that DTE Gas had a $19 million revenue deficiency, arguing against many of DTE Gas projections and expenses as unreasonable and not providing commensurate customer benef

This week is busiest time of year for postal workers

Rushing to get those holiday cards and packages in the mail? U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Elizabeth Najduch, says they expect to process and deliver more than 12 billion pieces of mail from now through New Year's.


December 13th through 18th is the busiest week of the year for postal workers, it's the busiest for shipping and delivery.” Najduch said.

Najduch says go to for information on the dates to have items mailed by domestically and internationally.

Big Rapids Police Blotter Weekend


40-2102325 @ 9:55am MDOP 600 block N State St, graffiti on the building.

40-2102326 @ 10:48am Threats 15000 block 190th Ave, A student threatened another student last week. School has suspended student pending investigation.

40-2102327 @ 12:18pm Larceny 200 block N. Third. Complainant had canoe stolen from his yard a couple of months ago and found it at a pawn shop today. Canoe recovered and suspect identified.

40-2102328 @ 4:09pm Larceny 1100 block Catherine St. Fed Ex package containing a toaster was taken off front porch sometime today. No suspects.



40-2102329 @ 3:06pm Suspicious 600 block S Michigan Ave, Subject wanted to report that he was drugged at a party after consuming several beers.  

40-2102330 @ 6:06pm 800 block N. State.  Called in as an Alarm.  Due to power being out, their internet was out and was advised to test the alarm by the alarm company.  Officers were disregarded as we were arriving on scene.  

40-2102331 @ 7:43pm 400 block S. Third.  Stood by as they removed a male due to drinking.

 40-2102332 @ 12:16am 100 block S. Michigan.  Disorderly.  Male was asked to leave after he had an incident last week. 

40-2102333 @ 12:58am 100 block S. Michigan.  While at above a subject was issued an MIP alcohol. 

40-2102334 @ 1:28am 200 block Woodward Ave.  Noise complaint.

40-2102335 @ 4:13am N Stewart/Maple Traffic stop for Disregard Red light led to driver being arrested for OWI. Driver was also DWLS, No Insurance. Registration tab on vehicle was also from a different vehicle to conceal that his plate was expired from Jan 2020. Lodged for OWI and Fraud.



40-2102336 @ 1:23pm 200 block S Third Ave Animal Control, Dog found and taken to ARC

40-2102337 @ 8:46pm 800 block Marion Ave.  Missing Persons.  Caller stated that a female he was recently seeing had flown back from Miami into Detroit on 12/12 and went to a club in Pontiac after.  2:30am on 12/12 was the last time caller had spoken to the female via text and snapchat and she quit responding to him and shut off her location.  After about 2.5 hours of attempting to locate the female, it was discovered that the female went to Miami with another male and back to his place when they returned to Detroit.  Farmington Hills located the female, and the caller was advised she was OK.

40-2102338 @ 11:11pm 1300 block Catherine Suspicious Situation.  Male stated female stole his medication or he misplaced it.  

40-2102339 @ 1:46am Traffic Stop on Campus Dr. resulted in driver being cited for no insurance. The vehicle was removed by Curries.


Grand Rapids based company offering a service to track natural or vaccine produced immunity for COVID-19

A Grand Rapids drive-thru and concierge healthcare provider is offering a new monitoring service for employees looking to demonstrate natural COVID-19 immunity to their employers.


Nathan Baar, founder, and CEO of HealthBar says his company joined hands with another corporation to develop the monitoring system.


We wanted to provide individuals with additional information to be able to take care of themselves. We saw a lot of interest in our more point of care antibody test that we offer. We want to provide a more comprehensive picture of one’s immunity either vaccine produce or natural immunity to COVID so we started seeking out partnerships to provide a test that could do just that and we found a company called Aditx Therapeutics, Inc who provides a unique form of immune monitoring that details out somebody's quality of immunity against COVID-19 .” Baar said.

The cost of the monitoring system is $200 and is not covered by your insurance.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/9

40-2102316 @ 7:38am PDA 500blk Willow.


40-2102317 @ 11:55am Traffic stop Milton/Dekrafft led to driver being cited for no insurance.


40-2102318 @ 12:43pm PDA Linden/Michigan.


40-2102319 @ 11:59am Assist at BRMS taken by SRO.


40-2102320 @ 1:38PM PDA State/Mill.


40-2102321@ 3:43pm Civil 1100 block Fuller Caller female has been letting male live with her for last two months and wants him to now leave. Advised of eviction process.


40-2102322 @ 5:48pm Unattended death 1800 block Milton appears natural.


40-2102323 @ 10:55pm Hutchinson & Spring CCW violation.  During a traffic stop violation investigation, the driver had a stun gun in her purse.  It was seized and submitted the report for review.


40-2102324 @ 12:55am N State St/ Pere Marquette Area MDOP A group of 3 males were observed acting suspicious around the Baldwin St Bridge.  The subjects moved down Glen Elm Ct where they spray painted a creature on the back of a garage. Also found the subjects tagged the bottom of the Bridge, Riverwalk, and the north end of the Canoe Livery building. Under Investigation.


Season of Giving Gift Drive takes place Dec. 11th

Officers at the Big Rapids Department of Public safety Police Division have been collecting toys and other gifts to donate to children at Eagle Village as part of the 2021 Season of Giving Gift Drive.


The gift drive culminates on Saturday when officers have their final event at the Big Rapids DPS building from 9am-noon.


Santa and his reindeer Boomer will be on site to accept donations and take pictures.


Department members, residents, local businesses, and organizations, the department donated over 700 gifts to Eagle Village during the 2020 Season of Giving gift Drive. Officials are hoping to exceed last year's donation record.

12 & 15-year old student charged with threats against Newaygo Schools

Newaygo County prosecutors are charging three students for making threats against schools.


A 15-year-old has been charged with making a threat of terrorism against Newaygo High School on December 6th. A 12-year-old is being charged with threatening to commit violence at Newaygo Middle School on December 8th.


Meanwhile, prosecutors say a 14-year-old was charged last month for making a bomb threat against Hesperia High School on November 8th.


Over 100 districts statewide have had to shut down due to copycat threats.



Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/8

40-2102305 @ 11:15am PDA State/Perry


40-2102306 @ 12:09pm PDA State/Perry


40-2102308 @ 12:05pm Assist at BRMS taken by SRO.


40-2102309 @ 1:30pm PDA Perry/State


40-2102310 @ 2:02pm Civil 600 block Maple St. argument between female and male.


40-2102311 @ 4:12pm Possible CSC 1100 block Catherine. Caller lives out of the area advised she believes children in the house possibly are being sexually abused. Pending further investigation.


40-2102312 @ 5:39pm walk in Hit and Run PDA, occurred in Pine/State, suspect vehicle red pickup. 


40-2102313 @ 6:24pm 1100 block Fuller Ave.  A verbal argument over dogs.  Caller stated that a male could not control his 2 dogs out behind 2 of the apartment buildings and got close to him and his dog.  Leash law explained to caller; he will avoid the other owner.


40-2102314 @ 8:35pm 800 block Country Way Natural Death. 


Spectrum Health reminds community to utilize alternative same day health care services for cold and flu

Due to the rapid increase of patients with COVID-19 and other serious health conditions across West Michigan, Spectrum Health’s emergency rooms and urgent care centers are experiencing significantly higher volumes.


To help minimize the added strain on these important services and to treat patients faster, Spectrum Health is urging the community to utilize other care options for non-emergency health issues such as cough, sore throat, ear pain and mild fever. More information about the differences between flu, cold & COVID-19 symptoms, as well as same day care options, can be found here.

Additional health care options that will help individuals get the non-emergency care they need quickly and at a lower cost include:  


Virtual Urgent Care

Virtual urgent care is on-demand, 24/7 and can assist those with flu or cold symptoms in as little as 10 minutes or less in most cases, right from home.


Walk-In Clinics

For in-person care, walk-in clinics are available with evening and weekend hours.


Primary Care Offices

Many Spectrum Health primary care offices are offering more same-day appointments, and evening and weekend hours. Every office has 24/7 support for questions, concerns and prescription refills. In-person, virtual and e-visits are available, too.


For COVID-19 testing options, visit Spectrum Health’s COVID-19 Resource Center for locations.


In cases where emergency care is needed, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain and trauma, individuals should continue to access Spectrum Health emergency departments or call 911.

Moolenaar votes to support military families with a pay raise and more resources

On Tuesday night, Congressman John Moolenaar voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2022.


The legislation includes a pay increase for U.S. servicemembers and extends retention bonuses for those who stay in the military. Additionally, the legislation increases parental leave and provides more support to military families with special needs children.  


"I am proud to help support our brave servicemembers with increased pay and more resources for them and their families," said Congressman John Moolenaar. "This legislation will also give them the tools they need to keep the American people safe and meet the rising challenges from Russia, China, and terrorist organizations. Finally, this year's NDAA increases accountability and forces the Biden Administration to outline a plan for bringing home Americans who are still stranded in Afghanistan."


The NDAA also has a number of provisions related to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, including a requirement for the Administration to brief Congress on how it will get Americans out of Afghanistan. There is also a prohibition on the Defense Department providing financial support to the Taliban and a prohibition on using U.S. aircraft to deliver cash to the Taliban. 


A summary of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2022 is available here

Big Rapids Hemlock Park Splash Pad Project receives DNR grant money

The City of Big Rapids was awarded funding from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan DNR for its Hemlock Park Splash Pad. According to a press release, the Hemlock Park Splash Pad Project is slated to receive $238,600.


The Land and Water Conservation Fund is critical to creating quality outdoor recreation resources that add value and improve the quality of life for communities throughout Michigan,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “This fund is an excellent example of successful collaboration among federal, state and local government partners that yields health and social benefits for residents and visitors.” 


Big Rapids was one of 22 communities awarded grant money as part of the the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


Michigan residents and visitors turn to trails, parks, campgrounds and other welcoming public places to connect with family, friends and the outdoors,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund, along with other important grant programs administered by the DNR, continues to provide vital access to Michigan’s out-of-doors.” 


For a list of other communities receiving grant money CLICK HERE


Program background 

The DNR uses Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars to help develop public outdoor recreation facilities and to provide matching grants for local governments to do the same. The program supports Native American tribes, villages, cities, townships and counties, and divisions within the DNR in their efforts to give people better, broader access to quality public outdoor recreation opportunities. 


The Land and Water Conservation Fund is supported by revenues from federal gas and oil development from the Gulf of Mexico. Following congressional appropriation, the monies are apportioned to the states by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior each fiscal year. The project recommendations will be sent to the National Park Service for federal approval. 


The Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law in August 2020, established permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Just five years ago, Michigan was issuing just over $2 million in annual grants on behalf of the National Park Service. With the change in legislation, the state will see more fiscal stability and increased funding in the Land and Water Conservation Fund grant program. These changes resulted in the DNR raising the maximum application request from $300,000 to $500,000 for application cycles. 


Application information 

Eligible applicants include any unit of government including Native American tribes, school districts or any combination of units with the legal authority to provide recreation. Applicants can seek funding for a variety of projects, including development of and improvements to playgrounds, trails and walkways, skate parks, boat launches, picnic areas, sports fields and campgrounds, in addition to improved access for users of all abilities beyond Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. 


Application materials and information for LWCF grants will be available early in 2022 at Applications for the 2022 funding cycle are due April 1. 

Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/7

40-2102301 @ 12:33pm Larceny 200 block S. State St.  A laptop was stolen out of a vehicle 2-3 weeks ago.  The laptop was recently used at the Granger Building.  Pending further investigation.


40-2102302 @ 3:16pm walk in Suspicious.  Female wanted to report that her boyfriend had made a fake Instagram profile of consensual sexual pictures and linked them to a pornographic site.  Pending further investigation.


40-2102303 @ 6:00om 1100 block Fuller Suicidal.  Male attempted to harm himself.  He was transported to ER for evaluation.

Workplace violence at hospitals is an increasing problem according to hospital leaders

As cases of COVID-19 increase in West Michigan, healthcare systems around the region say doctors and nurses are experiencing an increased number of workplace violence incidents. 


During a State of Health West Michigan conference call the leaders of Spectrum Health West Michigan, Mercy Health St. Mary's and University of Michigan- West say incidents involving patients and hospital staff has been increasing over the last two years. 


Spectrum Health West Michigan President Dr. Darryl Elmouchi says over the last 20 months as Society has become more stressed they're taking it out very often on the people who are trying to care for them.


"Every single day we have a report out at the lunch hour about workplace violence issues and every single day we hear about workplace violence. Nurses being hit, scratched, spit on, yelling at doctors and nurses.” Elmouchi said “At the same it's really really challenging and sad and so hard for caregivers who really are the heroes to face this and I think this is a national problem.”   

Dr. Peter Hahn, President and CEO, University of Michigan Health-West agreed with Elmouchi's comments. 


Workplace violence is unacceptable, tragic and it's contributing to I think people leaving healthcare, those are people that we vitally need not just now but in the future” Hahn said.


Dr. Matt Biersack  President, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s echoed what his colleagues mentioned.


I think this is the third crisis if you will, that we're dealing with right now in addition to covid and just a contracting workforce.” Biersack said.  “It's just the threat that our colleagues face on a day-to-day basis, our staff is yelled at, hit, punched and scratched on a day-to-day basis.” “It feels unrelenting and it is a reason for people to make decisions unfortunately to leave healthcare after only being in for a few years and this is a serious issue that we're facing.”  


All three agreed that this time is stressful during the holidays, the pandemic and supply chain problems but ask the broader community to have patience and kindness with hospital staff.  

Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/6

40-2102287 @ 9:58am 300 block S. State St.  Fraud.  Complainant has been working for a company where he receives packages, opens them up and then inspects the items to see if there's any damage and then reships them.  After not getting paid on 12/3 he believes he's being scammed and found multiple complaints online of the same.


40-2102286 @ 10:31am 800 block Clark St, False Alarm.  


40-2102288 @ 10:37am 1800 block Milton, Fraud- Someone used caller’s credit card.  Unknown suspect.


40-2102289 @ 10:49am 200 block Morrison St, PPO Violation.  PPO violation to be forward for review on male after he made threats towards protected person.


40-2102290 @ 3:06pm PDC State and South


40-2102291 @ 2:50pm 400 block Ives.  Breaking and Entering- Large amount of blood was found in the residence after a door window glass was smashed in.  Unknown Suspects.  Pending further investigation.  Occurred between Friday and time of call.


40-2102292 @ 4:53pm 600 block Linden.  A Pitbull was camped outside of the building.  He was friendly.  Owners arrived on scene looking for the dog and he was turned over.


40-2102293 @ 5:39pm PDC at State and South.  At fault driver was cited for operating without a driver’s license


40-2102294 @ 7:18pm 800 block Division.  Called in as a disorderly.  Male called stating that a customer was stealing quarters.  After arriving on scene, it was disclosed that female had actually paid for $10 in quarters from the change machine. The laundromat had a policy that they don't want the quarters to leave the building.  Classified as a civil.  They were trespassed.


40-2102295 @ 10:07pm 1100 block Fuller Ave., Civil- Caller stated that her roommate had the TV too loud.  Resolved on scene.


40-2102296 @ 10:27pm. 1100 block Fuller Civil- Called in as a domestic by the neighbor.  Roommates arguing. Civil as no assault occurred.  


40-2102297 @ 12:11am 700 block S State St Hit and Run- A Ford Escape ran over shrubbery and hit a gas station pump pole. The vehicle was UTL upon arrival until but was later located and the driver cited for Hit and Run.


40-2102298 @ 12:41am Assist Dept.  MCSO requested City PD to respond to a PDC in front of the Sheriff's Office.  Officers responded and identified the driver.  Her vehicle was identified as being the suspect vehicle from the Hit and Run above.  Driver arrested for OWI.


40-2102299 @ 1:15am 1100 block Fuller. Suicidal subject resulted in voluntary transport to the ER.


40-2102300 @ 3:39am 100 block N. Michigan.  Alarm.  Keyholder would not respond.  Alarm believed to be due to power failure.

Big Rapids Police Blotter: Weekend



40-2102258 @ 10:10am Disorderly at MOISD Education Center.

40-2102259 @ 11:05am Check well-being 400 block S. Warren, Male had not shown up for work the last two days. Contact was made with him.  He said he was sick.  Advised him to contact work.

40-2102260 @ 12:46pm 1000 block Perry Ave Larceny of a TV, under investigation.

40-2102261 @ 2:21pm H&R PPDA 1300 block Catherine.

40-2102262 @ 3:25pm H& R PPDA Third/Maple. 

40-2102263 @ 3:58pm walk in UDAA Complainant bought a vehicle for a friend to use, friend has had vehicle for last month will not return it.

40-2102264 @ 3:19pm Natural death 600 block Bjornson.

40-2102265 @ 5:11pm PDA State/Pine.

40-2102266 @ 6:56pm MDOP/road rage. S State/S city limit A white Cloud male advised he had a male in a white Ford Focus throw an object at his windshield causing a chip on his windshield. The driver of the Ford then sped off. It was last seen at Meijer. Under investigation

40-2102267 @ 9:32pm Traffic Stop State/Pine resulted in driver being issued a citation for no insurance.  Vehicle towed by Curries

40-2102268 @ 10:28pm Traffic Stop S Michigan/ Locust resulted in driver being issued a citation for no insurance. vehicle towed by BR Tow

40-2102269 @ 12:46am Suspicious Michigan/ Locust. While on patrol officers located a blue Ford Fusion running with its driver door and trunk open and an iPhone on the roof of the car. The vehicle owner was unable to be located. The vehicle was secured at the time with a business card left. The iPhone was taken as property. The owner was later located.




40-2102270 @ 9:51am Suspicious 400 block S Michigan. Male was concerned about the behavior of female due to items going missing and getting tampered with. Male also stated that he was concerned about her wellbeing after finding a letter. Male admitted he had not seen the female tamper with or take any of the items. He also admitted that he couldn't read what was on the letter and did not actually know it was from the female.

40-2102271 @ 10:43am Civil 800 block Perry Ave Customer was upset after paying for a meal which was ordered to go and was not ready yet and wanted a refund. Restaurant protocol was to submit it through corporate since there was no function for refund readily available. They were able to locate the way to refund the order.

40-2102272- @11:15am 2 Vehicle PDA Michigan/Maple.

40-2102273 @ 12:36pm CSC 800 block Country Way. Complainant reported that a male kissed her and touched her inappropriately.  Male possibly suffering from onset Alzheimer's/dementia.

40-2102274 @ 7:20pm 1100 block Catherine Check wellbeing- Caller requested a check on her sister.  She reported she has not heard from her, and she has not answered any social media in over a week. This is not normal for her. A TV could be heard in the bedroom area of the residence, but no one would answer the door.  Her credit card was used yesterday at Admiral.

40-2102275 @ 9:25pm 100 block N Third. Two females got into an argument after one showed up at the others house wanting to fight her. She was trespassed from the residence.

40-2102276 @ 1:44am 300 block Winter. Resident called when woken up to a male banging on the picture window and front door. Male was highly intoxicated and believed he was at his house. Even after being told several times, he was not at his house he believed he was.  He also told us he was going home from the football game, which ended several hours earlier.  Male was checked out by EMS and cleared. He was given a ride home. He was missing a white sneaker and had a cut on his hand. It is unknown where he was before he showed up on Winter.

40-2102277 @ 1:21am 100 block S Michigan. A fight occurred in the bar resulting in a male being punched in the face receiving minor lacerations. One of the managers identified another male as being the suspect. Upon reviewing video, the only person seen being punched was the suspect.  He did not want to speak with officers, and the victim did not wish to pursue anything. 



40-2102278 @ 2:07pm Baldwin and N. State PDC

40-2102279 @ 4:05pm Water Tower and Fuller.  Check on a vehicle that had smoke coming out of the hood.  Put out before arrival.

40-2102280 @ 4:17pm State and Ferris. Dispatched for a motorist assist, Driver was found to be operating without a DL.  She was cited.

40-2102281 @ 5:36pm Clark and Morrison.  PDC

40-2102282 @ 5:46pm 900 block Sheridan.  Assist to MCSO for subjects in a field with flashlights.  Contact was made and they were looking for an injured doe.

40-2102283 @ 12:34am Open Door.  100 block N. Michigan

40-2102284 @ 12:42am Open Door.  100 block S. Michigan

40-2102285 @ 12:49am 1300 block Catherine.  Verbal argument between male and female.  Female left for the evening.

Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital earns national recognition

Highlighting its nationally recognized achievements in patient safety and quality, Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital was named a Top Rural Hospital by The Leapfrog Group.

Announced today, the Leapfrog Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive. The Top Hospital designation is bestowed by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers recognized as the toughest standard-setters for health care safety and quality.

“We’re thrilled with the Top Rural Hospital distinction,” said Andrea Leslie, president of Spectrum  Health Big Rapids, Reed City, United and Kelsey Hospitals. “It’s Leapfrog’s top rating and reflects the quality-of-care Reed City Hospital provides the community. I’m so happy for our team to be recognized for their outstanding performance.”


Over 2,200 hospitals were considered for the award. Reed City Hospital was one of 23 hospitals across the country to be named a Top Rural Hospital. Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview was also awarded the distinction.


A total of 149 top hospitals nationwide were selected as Top Hospitals, including:
• 8 Top Children’s
• 46 Top General
• 23 Top Rural
• 72 Top Teaching

The quality of patient care across many areas of hospital performance is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, surgery, maternity care, and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication and other errors.

“We are pleased to recognize Reed City Hospital as a Top Rural Hospital this year,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Even with the continued strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reed City Hospital has demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to excellent health care in the Reed City community. We congratulate the board, leadership, staff and clinicians who put their patients first.”

To qualify for the Top Hospitals distinction, hospitals must rank top among peers on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which assesses hospital performance on the highest standards for quality and patient safety. To see the full list of institutions honored as 2021 Top Hospitals, visit

Big Rapids City Commission approves 2022 Deer Cull

There will be a deer cull in the City of Big Rapids' future.


The Big Rapids City Commission voted in favor of the cull last night during its meeting.


Sargent Ryan Meyers with the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Police Division says Big Rapids has had deer culls within city limits over the last 15 years and 2022 is no different.


Meyers says through resident surveys and calls made to police about accidents involving deer, the Big Rapids DPS, Department of Natural Resources and USDA have determined a few areas including North Dekrafft Avenue, Ives Avenue, North 4th Avenue and Woodward Avenue to focus on between January and April.


According to the resolution, Big Rapids has up to 25 deer tags for the 2022 cull.


The cost of the deer cull will be just under $7,500.


In other business, the city commission approved a resolution naming a recently purchased 2.2 acre of of land just south of the old train depot, “Depot Park”.


Commissioner Johnathan Eppley was appointed Mayor pro-tem but the City Commission.


Commissioner Jennifer Cochran and Paula Priebe  was appointed to the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission for the 2022 Calendar Year.


Suzanne Wiggins was appointed to be the City’s representative to the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Committee.

Moolenaar supports legislation to improve service at the VA

Congressman John Moolenaar is a cosponsor of two new bills that would improve services at the Department of Veteran Affairs. The first one is the VA Telehealth Strategy Act and second one is the POW Priority Care Act. The first bill would would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve telehealth accessibility for veterans. The second bill requires the VA to elevate former prisoners of war to Priority Group 1. Right now, former POWs are in Priority Group 3, out of eight priority groups at the VA.

“Telehealth services have been vital to veterans as they have received care over the past couple of years and the VA Telehealth Strategy Act will require the VA to improve care and convenience for our veterans," said Congressman Moolenaar. "The POW Priority Care Act is also essential because it will help ensure that courageous veterans who endured enemy captivity will receive the care they need most. I hope the House will quickly pass both bills to help veterans receive the benefits they earned serving our nation."

More information on the Department of Veterans Affairs Telehealth Strategy Act is available here, and more information on POW Priority Care Act is available here.

Community Giving Day raises over $103,000 for area non-profits

Coordinators of the 2021 Community Giving Day event say residents fully embraced the meaning of “giving back”.


This years event raised more than doubled the 2020 Community Giving Day donation totals. 


36 nonprofit organizations participated with a total just over $103,000 being donated. Of that total amount, $32,500 was raised via on-line donations with another $70,500 in checks that were delivered in-person during the day of the event.


Event Coordinator Robyn Stratton says checks and on-line donations are expected to be continuing throughout the month. If you missed the event date, the Community Giving Day website will stay open until December 31st.

State Savings Bank welcomes new mortgage lender

State Savings Bank announced that Kimber Etchison has been named a Mortgage Originator. Kimber will serve customers in Big Rapids and across mid-Michigan.

Kimber brings more than 12 years of business experience to her new position, four of which are in banking. She attended Muskegon Community College and is a volunteer with Angels of Action in Big Rapids.

Kimber will join Regional President and Commercial Lender Kim von Kronenberger at the State Savings Bank Loan Center, located at 115 Ives Avenue, Suite A, in Big Rapids. She can be reached at 231-383-4356 or

State Savings Bank has offices in Traverse City, Empire, Frankfort, Beulah and Gaylord and loan centers in Big Rapids, Caro, Houghton Lake and Suttons Bay. The bank offers a refreshing “Yes, I can!” approach to customer service.

For more information, visit

District Health Department #10 expands COVID-19 testing locations

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) has added a fourth location to the list of COVID-19 testing clinics hosted by DHD#10 and community partners available in the jurisdiction.  


“As more people are seeking COVID-19 testing, we recognized the need for more access to testing within our communities,” stated Kevin Hughes, DHD#10 Health Officer. “Our goal is to try and add additional testing clinics in other counties within our jurisdiction that may not have adequate access to testing elsewhere.” 


Hughes noted that some challenges realized from the testing clinics so far are the volume of participants needing testing resulting in traffic build up due in part to people lining up early for testing. Some of the testing clinics are near other businesses that service those not seeking testing, or the clinic locations offer other services that the public needs access to but are having a difficult time getting to because of the long lines for COVID-19 testing. For that reason, DHD#10 is asking those seeking COVID-19 testing to wait to line up until the clinic start times and to be respectful of others trying to enter locations for other services.  


All COVID-19 testing is performed by Honu Management Group, a company contracted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to provide COVID-19 testing at clinics throughout the state. Hughes added that, “some locations for these testing clinics, such as in Kalkaska and Fremont, are being provided by our partners as a courtesy at no cost and so we ask that individuals respect their property and not direct any concerns or negative comments towards them. Again, their only involvement with this testing is that they have provided space to make it happen.” 


It is necessary for individuals to register with Honu prior to receiving COVID-19 testing, and they can pre-register before arriving to any testing clinic. Pre-registration links are listed below for each clinic location.


Current testing clinics are as follows: 

WEXFORD COUNTY – in conjunction with Northern Lakes Community Mental Health
Location: 521 Cobb Street, Cadillac, MI 49601 (DHD#10/NLCMS parking lot)
Days & Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - 10:00am-4:30pm
Honu Pre-Registration Link:  


KALKASKA COUNTY – in conjunction with Kalkaska Memorial Health Center
Location: 515 S. Birch Street, Kalkaska, MI 49646 (across from County Courthouse)
Days & Times: Sundays - 9:00am-12:00pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays - 11:00am-5:00pm
Honu Pre-Registration Link:   


NEWAYGO COUNTY - in conjunction with NC RESA
Location: 4747 W. 48th Street, Fremont, MI 49412 (NC RESA parking lot)
Days & Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - 1:00-6:00pm
Honu Pre-Registration Link:   


Location: 14485 Northland Drive, Big Rapids, MI 49307 (DHD#10 parking lot)
Days & Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays - 10:00am-5:00pm
Honu Pre-Registration Link:   


Below is additional important information regarding these COVID-19 testing clinics:  

  • All COVID-19 testing clinics are first come, first served.   
  • Pre-registering does not give you a specific testing time.   
  • Please do not line up early prior to clinic times.  
  • Please stay in your vehicles and someone will come to you for paperwork and testing.
  • All clinics end promptly at the time stated or when capacity is reached (capacity is reached when the number of cars in line meets the clinic’s ability to perform testing during clinic hours).  
  • COVID-19 testing is free and no ID or insurance is required but accepted.   
  • Clinics offer rapid antigen (results typically available within 30-60 minutes) and PCR testing (results typically available within 72 hours).  
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a text message from DHD#10 asking you to complete a survey so case investigation and contact tracing can begin. 
  • For questions on test results, call Honu at 866-809-8282  
  • For all other COVID-19 questions or concerns, call 231-305-8675 or email  

If you need a COVID-19 vaccine, booster, or a flu shot, go to or call 888-217-3904.  

3-year old dies in two vehicle crash in Mt. Pleasant Saturday

A three year old boy from Mecosta County died in a two vehicle accident in Mt. Pleasant Saturday.


The Isabella County Sheriff's Office say a deputy witnessed two vehicles collide. The deputy immediately approached the crash to discover that there were three children ranging in ages from 3 to 14 and one adult in a vehicle.


The deputy also confirmed one occupant in the pickup.


The 3-year boy was pronounced deceased at the scene, the other two siblings, along with the adult family member (all from Mecosta County) were taken to a local hospital for treatment.


A male sibling was then flown to Devos Children’s hospital in critical condition.


The driver and only occupant of the pickup truck, a 33-year-old man from Union Twp refused medical treatment.


Deputies add the crash is still under investigation, but early findings point towards an improper turn at the intersection.

Consumers Energy to test public warning siren systems near its Rogers, Hardy and Croton hydroelectric generating plants

Consumers Energy announced the emergency public warning siren systems near its Rogers, Hardy and Croton hydroelectric generating plants on the Muskegon River will be tested on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at about 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 test.


The siren systems are tested each August and December.

Big Rapids City Commissioners to discuss authorizing deer cull tonight

Is a deer cull on the horizon for the city of Big Rapids? The Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight at City Hall to discuss that and other issues.


According to the agenda, in its study session the commission will discuss the Ives drain with Drain Commissioner Karla Miller and will discuss the 2022 wastewater user charge report with Treasurer Aaron Kuhn.


In general business, the commission will vote on a resolution to name a portion of land by the old train depot. “Depot Park”.


Big Rapids Commissioners will also vote on a resolution authorizing a deer cull within the city.


The meeting begins virtually and in person at 6:30pm.

Outman supports Senate plan investing in water quality, dams and natural resources

State Sen. Rick Outman on Thursday voted in favor of legislation that includes more than $3 billion to repair public water systems and critical dams and protect Michigan’s environment and natural resources.


“This is a major investment in our state’s future,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality. “The bill uses existing state and federal resources to help with repairs or upgrades in communities all over the state. If signed by the governor, the bill will be a major step forward for public health and safety.”


Senate Bill 565 would use $2.37 billion in federal funding, $680 million in state resources and $290 million in repurposed state bond funds to improve or repair the state’s aging dams, upgrade wastewater systems and groundwater protection efforts and help ensure residents have access to clean drinking water.


Included in the legislation is $1 billion to replace lead pipes throughout the state; $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities; $100 million in grants to remove PFAS chemicals from “orphaned” sites and $85 million that will help ensure students have access to clean drinking water at school.


The plan would repurpose $290 million in bonds to assist communities with upgrading and replacing water treatment infrastructure; establish a loan program for homeowners to replace failing septic systems; and dedicate money for private well users, including grants to help connect to a community water system or increase the depth of their well if their water was contaminated or their well failed after a disaster. Also included is funding to conduct surface water monitoring and implement recommendations included in the Groundwater Use Advisory Council Report


SB 565 would also designate $680 million for improvements to the dams across the state. Funds are outlined for projects prioritizing dam risk reduction, emergency response efforts from the state and for a grant program dedicated to dam rehabilitation or removal.


“Ensuring folks have clean drinking water and being good stewards of the environment is something I think we’re all trying to accomplish. It’s not a one side or the other issue,” Outman said. “Utilizing these funds rather than raising taxes will get us to the same finish line without dumping the burden on people who are already stretched thin.


“Addressing these issues and making the needed repairs or upgrades now could save a lot of money down the road as we work toward a cleaner, safer Michigan.”


SB 565 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/2

 @ 7:28am PDA car/deer, N. Dekrafft/Hanchett.


@ 11:34am Fail to pay 600 block Maple St, owner contacted and returned.


@ 11:53am PDA Michigan/Locust.


@ 2:28pm Domestic assault 1300 block Catherine.  Female was arrested for domestic assault and interfering with 911 call.


@ 3:38pm PDA State/Morrison.


@ 3:48pm PIA Perry/Watertower, 3 vehicle minor injuries.


@ 3:53pm Suspicious 200 block N. Michigan Ave. Earlier in the morning caller saw an infant that was left alone in a vehicle, initially called to report it but hung up when parent returned to the car, later decided to report incident.

USPS Operation Santa is now open for letter adoption

The holidays can be a tough time for some families.


The U.S. Postal Service has been helping people over the holidays for more than 100 years with its Operation Santa.


Spokeswoman Elizabeth Najduch says an adult or child can write a letter to Santa and someone can adopt their letter to fulfill their wishes. Najduck says if you write a letter to Santa, include a complete return address , postage and mail it. It has to be postmarked by December 10th.


Those who want to adopt a aletter have to register at

Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills Schools to close Friday, Dec. 3rd due to threats

A couple of local school districts have closed Friday out of an abundance of caution.


Big Rapids Pubic Schools and Chippewa Hills Schools both recently received threats.


On Thursday night, Big Rapids Public Schools posted message on its Facebook Page stating:


Late this evening we were notified of a potentially concerning statement that may have been made today by a high school student. Out of an abundance of caution, the timeliness of the situation, and in order to investigate further, Big Rapids Public Schools will be closed, tomorrow, Friday Dec 3, 2021.”


Chippewa Hills Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Grover posted a letter on the district's Facebook Page late Thursday afternoon stating the school received a email with "vulgar language" and while there were no threats of harm, the message can be interpreted "threatening". 

Gover went on to say Chippewa Hills School District is not taking the message lightly.


Initally, school was going to be conducted normally with a police presence but school officials decided to close for Friday, Dec. 3rd.


The threats come just days after a shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland Township which killed four students and injured seven others, including a teacher.


On Wednesday, Big Rapids Superintendent Tim Haist sent a letter to parents discussing all the safety messures that are in place to keep BRPS safe.  CLICK HERE TO READ

Three Big Rapids men arrested during sex trafficking sting

Three men from Big Rapids have been arrested and arraigned in connection to a sex trafficking sting conducted by law enforcement.


Detectives from the Meosta County Sheriff's Office say all three suspects traveled individually to Big Rapids Township with the intention of engaging in sexual activity with a minor. 


On Thursday December 2, all three suspects were arraigned in the 77th District Court.


Randall Pion, 26 of Big Rapids, was arraigned on two felonies:

Accosting a minor for immoral purposes

Computer used in the commission of a felony

He remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail on a $100,000 Bond



Jeremy Ostrander, 25 of Big Rapids, was arraigned on three Felonies:

Accosting a minor for immoral purposes

Computer used in the commission of a felony

Resist/Obstruct/Assault Police

He remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail on a $125,000 Bond



Austin Donley, 27 of Big Rapids, was arraigned on five Felonies

Accosting a minor for immoral purposes

Computer used in the commission of a felony

Resist/Obstruct/Assault Police

Felony Firearms Count 1

Felony Firearms Count 2

He remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail on a $150,000 Bond


Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/1

@ 1:25pm Walk in fraud, male reported that his debit card was used fraudulently on 11/15.


@ 2:23pm Mental at 100 block Maple St. Female thought there were people in her apartment again, no one located.


@ 2:24pm Fail to pay 600 block Maple St, turned into a civil complaint as card reader appeared not to work, MCSO assisted with contacting suspect who then paid for fuel. 


@ 3:29pm Suspicious  400 block Woodward. Property owner advised he had found bullet holes in house when he came to check on it. Upon investigation it appears holes were not bullet holes but had most likely been drilled into the house for future cable installation.


@ 10:29pm T/S State/Chestnut for missing headlight resulted in driver being issued a citation for no insurance. 


@ 11:34pm 300 block Finley originally called in as a civil argument over a shoe, resulted in female being assaulted by a 14-year-old. Female was also taken into custody and turned over to Evart on an original warrant for harassment. Report sent Kent County probate court as 14-year-old lives in Grand Rapids.


@ 11:55pm 100 block Fourth Ave. Suspicious, Female heard knocking on her door and windows. She thought it might have been her ex. Officers were approximately 2 blocks away when she could hear knocking. UTL anyone around the residence. She was advised of the PPO process. 

Coffee with a Cop to take place next week at Bigby Coffee in Big Rapids

You can keep your coffee pot off next Tuesday!

The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety is inviting the public to Bigby Coffee for its 'Coffee with a Cop' event from 5:30pm-7pm on December 7th.

Big Rapids Officer William Sell says this event provides an opportunity to interact with the public they protect.

The goal of this event is to have an open conversation with people, no pressure, no agenda the public can come out and speak with us and have a good time.” Sell said.


Officer Sell added gift donations can also be dropped off for the Season of Giving gift drive as well.

Downtown Big Rapids 'Home for the Holidays' shopping event happening Dec. 16th

There is only a few more weeks to get your holiday shopping finished before Christmas.


On December 16th there will be a downtown Big Rapids shopping event called 'Home for the Holidays' from 5pm-8pm.


Josh Pyles of the City of Big Rapids says this event is a way to encourage people and families to shop in the downtown area for their gifts this year.


"It's really about promoting the shops in the downtown area, ejoying the holiday atmosphere while getting your final christmas shopping done here. There will be hot coco,  Christmas caroling, some shops will be offering free gift wraping and Santa will be at the Red Fox Market from 5:30pm to 7pm." Pyles said. 


There will be store giveaways and some shops will offer discounts on items. 

Emergency service preparedness exercise to take place in Reed City area 12/1

Osceola County's emergency services will be conducting routine field training on Wednesday, December 1st in the Reed City area. 


This training will involve a brief assembly of police, fire, and ems vehicles at various points throughout the city.

This training is part of our community partnership with local businesses, schools, and other sites that are actively working together to ensure the highest possible level of emergency preparedness.  

State, County and local law enforcement to try and curb speeding as part of initiative

In an effort to combat rising speeding and fatal crashes on roads, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is launching a new initiative that will focus on speeding drivers.


Between December 1 and February 28, more than 100 municipal, county and Michigan State Police law enforcement agencies will work together to make sure motorists adhere to speed limits.


Even though Michigan saw a 22% reduction in traffic crashes in 2020, there was a 10% increase in fatalities. Recent insurance industry studies show that approximately 112,000 speeding tickets are issued each day, or about 41 million per year.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 11/30

@ 11:22am UDAA  1100 block Catherine Female stole her neighbor minivan.  It was later located nearby at her old boyfriend’s residence. She did confess and is currently lodged for a parole violation 


@ 1:48pm Assist Probation and Parole, Above female was arrested for felony probation violation.


@ 2:05pm General non-criminal 200 block N Michigan Ave.  Subjects recording a several city locations.  No crime


@ 4:21pm PDA Warren / Cedar


@ 5:39pm Suspicious 500 block S. Michigan Male and female were hearing noises in the basement.  No sign of anything.


@ 8:04pm 1200 block Perry Ave Area check for intoxicated male who was laying in snow. Located male who was highly intoxicated and upset after being fired. Male transported to residence..


@ 9:42pm 700 block Fuller Ave Assist. Assisted with transporting resident to Spectrum Health for voluntary eval. Transport only.


@ 10:17pm 700 block Woodward Ave Civil. Female was upset that her granddaughter was cooking bone broth and would not stay in the kitchen to watch the stove or turn the burner off. Unable to reach an agreement between the two. Granddaughter was going to contact mom in the morning and possibly get grandma placed in an assisted living facility.


@ 11:52pm 300 block W Bridge St Check wellbeing on female after it was found she was home alone after father was arrested. Female was found safe and in good health and was turned over to mother who responded from out of the area.


@ 12:53am 1100 block Fuller Ave Civil. Reported as a possible CSC after roommates were concerned about two male guests and hearing the roommate say no. Contact female who was fine and advised that all activities with her and guests were consensual.


@ 4:53am S State/Maple T/S for avoiding traffic control device led to driver being cited for expired ops and no insurance. Vehicle towed by Curries.


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Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

White Cloud 9 @ Holton 5

White Cloud 0 @ Merrill 13 (6inn)

Clare 16 @ Chip Hills 7 (4inn)

Greenville 9 @ Chip Hills 9 (8inn)

Kent City 1 @ Whitehall 16 (4inn)

Fremont 3 @ Kent City 0


MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 3 @ Big Rapids 9

Shepherd 12 @ Big Rapids 0 (5inn)

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 1

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 2


TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City @ Newaygo

Grant @ Reed City

C Montcalm @ White Cloud


THURSDAY 4/18/24

Shelby @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview


FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills



CSAA Softball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

Grant 0 @ Ravenna 15 (3inn)

Tri County 0 @ Ravenna 10 (CH Forfeit)

Chip Hills 0 @ Clare 16

Chip Hills 0 @ Vestaburg 12

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 2 @ Big Rapids 12 (5inn)

Shepherd 9 @ Big Rapids 6 (8inn)

Newaygo 15 @ C Montcalm 11

Newaygo 1 @ C Montcalm 14 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ Vestaburg 16 (4inn)

Lakeivew 4 @ Vestaburg 10 (8inn)

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City @ Newaygo

Grant @ Reed City

C Montcalm @ White Cloud

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Greenville @ C Montcalm

Sparta @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

SATURDAY 4/20/24

Lakeview @Beaverton Tournament

Big Rapids @ TC West

This Week's Poll

What place will the Tigers finish in the AL Central?