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News That Affects You Archives for 2022-07

Marijuana distribution ordinances requested in Reed City

According to city mayor, Roger Meinert, the town’s city council has requested a legal team to begin
drafting an ordinance for potential distribution of marijuana.


With an ordinance in place, the city can decide to move forward with allowing dispensaries to set up
shop if the appropriate time comes.


“Council has many questions on how this will apply and look for our community, and the drafting of this
proposed ordinance will help answer those questions and provide the necessary framework if the
council decides to move forward.”


The draft was scheduled to be reviewed at the previous city council meeting on July 18.

Mounted Clare Co. Deputy dies after being thrown from horse

Sad news in Clare County after a mounted deputy has died after sustaining a serious head injury earlier this week in Clare County .

 

Deputy Nichole Shuff was responding to a medical call Monday night when she was thrown from her horse.

 

According to a post on Facebook from the MPD Mounted Patrol Foundation, they say "Shuff was not only a community helper as a Deputy but a Physician Assistant. She was know for her kindness, compassion, and love of horses. Two of our own officers were very lucky to have known her and trained with her just a few short months ago. Our thoughts are with her husband, family, friends, co-workers, and department."

 

 

Award-winning blues band heading to Baldwin

On Wed. Aug. 10, the band Harper and Midwest Kind will be performing at Wenger Pavilion in Baldwin.


The free admission concert will begin at 7 p.m.


Peter Harper, originally from Australia, performs his top-ranked blues and roots music for over 200
crowds every year across the globe.


“We’ve traveled all over the world and played in just about in every country,” Harper said. “I'm traveling as far as we can in our own beautiful state. It's nice to do what I call a ‘local gig.’”


His band, which includes guitarist Austin Johnson, bass player Lee Lewis, drummer Bud Smith, and
vocalist and percussionist Bobbi Llewellyn, was nominated in 2021 for “Best Modern Roots Band” and
“Best Modern Roots Album” for the Independent Blues Awards. The band’s latest album, Rise Up,
debuted #3 nationally on the Billboard Blues charts and is quoted as his best work yet.


“Harper is an original, playing the harmonica like an authentic Chicago bluesman, singing about unity
and love like a member of peacenik jam band, belting crisp vocals like a straight-up superb classic soul performer, and then pioneering the didgeridoo into these popular forms of modern music,” Modern Rock Review says on Harper’s music. “Unique and quality music of this kind is truly a rare treat.”


Harper’s music includes the unique sounds of the Australian-based wind instrument, the didgeridoo, as well as the harmonica and harp. His inspiring use of these special instruments has helped him win 14 awards internationally, including his recent honor as “Outstanding Vocalist” at the Detroit Music
Awards. This includes a prestigious gold record for his work “Sailing Australia.”


“it's kind of a soul, bluesy kind of vibe,” Harper said on his music. “It’s Americana (with) the Australian
didgeridoo in it as well. So that makes it slightly different and exciting.”

Mecosta Co. voters to decide on two millage renewals on the Aug. 2nd primary ballot

With the August 2nd primary-election looming, residents in Mecosta County will be asked to vote for two millage renewals for the Commission on Aging and Emergency Medical Services.

 

The Commission on Aging is asking residents to approve a levy of (.4954 mills per $1,000 of taxable value) for the purpose of providing and continuing services to the senior citizens of Mecosta County through the Mecosta Co. COA for a period of eight years from 2022-2029, according to the proposal.


If renewed, the total revenue to be raised in the first year would be $776,703.


Next, Mecosta County Emergency Medical Services is asking residents to renew its millage of (.9342 mills per $1,000 of taxable value) for the next eight years. According to the proposal, the millage will support the continued operation of the EMS network in the county for the tax years 2022 through 2029.


If renewed, total revenue in its first year would raise $1,460,254.

New Center for Virtual Learning project persevering small setbacks

In addition to the Center for Athletic Performance, Ferris State University's other construction project, the Center for Virtual Learning, continues progress despite many obstacles along the way.


The construction is currently in the stage of pouring concrete for the floors and stairs. With the
structural steel put in, the goal is to finish the framing and enclose the building by the beginning of winter conditions in mid-November.


While the project remains on schedule for a full opening in Fall 2023, there certainly have been
some conflicts along the way. This includes problems caused by the large rain-driven flood back
in May.


“It was a small setback and there were areas that had to be re-excavated,” Associate Vice
President of Facilities Chad Stirrett said. “We also had to do a bit of de-watering, but overall, it
didn’t hurt the project schedule.”


Along with the flood, there have also been issues with a lack of availability for materials and
resources. Stirrett says much of it comes with the “post-COVID environment and construction
volume in Michigan and the Midwest region.”


“There have been a number of minor issues that have come up. It’s led to a lot of cost volatility
and delivery issues with a few pieces of equipment. Our construction manager, Triangle
Construction, has done a really good job of navigating the challenges and it really hasn’t had an
impact to the project’s success.”


Despite the obstructions, the construction crew has pushed through and will eventually unveil a
finished product that will impact many students immediately in technology-based programs.
This includes programs like Information Security and Intelligence, Digital Media, Technical
Education, and new programs coming soon.


“The Center for Virtual Learning will also bring the development of new programs as well as
support for existing efforts in one place, helping meet these critical and growing needs,” Stirrett
said. “Ferris’ online programs will also help place-bound students prepare for a new career or
career enhancement while they continue to work with relocation.”

Police respond to three vehicle crash in Big Rapids Tuesday afternoon

A three vehicle crash in Big Rapids left those involved with minor injuries Tuesday afternoon.

 

Officers from the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety say one vehicle was hit crossing Perry Ave from FSU to Clark St by another vehicle heading east on Perry Ave.

 

The vehicle crossing Perry Ave flipped and rolled onto another vehicle stopped at Clark Street’s stop sign.

 

The scene was cleared within 40 minutes.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter 7/18-7/24

Monday...7/18/2022
Officer arrested a 19-year-old male on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court. He was lodged at the Osceola County jail.


Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department regarding a woman, who was experiencing mental health difficulties, making threats toward medical staff.


Officers arrested a 26-year-old female on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court.


Officer dispatched to a local business regarding a woman sitting on the sidewalk blocking foot traffic. The woman was transported to the bus stop to await her bus.


Tuesday … 7/19/2022
Officer dispatched to a local business for a burglar alarm. Following investigation, it was found to be a false alarm.


Officers arrested a 25-year-old woman on an outstanding warrant for Child Neglect after a July incident where her 3 children were left unsupervised.


Officers were called to a woman loitering in a laundromat. The woman was transported to a homeless shelter.


Wednesday …7/20/2022
Officer responded to breaking & entering of storage units. The matter is under investigation.


Officers were requested to do a well being check on a man who was possibly suicidal. The man assured officers he was okay and was advised to call if he needed help.


Officers were dispatched to a potential impaired driver after the caller observed them getting into their vehicle. Upon contact it was determined the person in question was in poor health which affected their balance and walk.


Thursday … 7/21/2022
Officers dispatched to Reed City Hospital where a male subject was disorderly and angry with the time had been waiting. He was advised they were busy and he would be seen as soon as possible but he would have to wait calmly. He opted to leave to seek treatment elsewhere.


Officer received a call of possible criminal sexual conduct between two juveniles. The matter is under
investigation.


Officers arrested a 63-year-old man on a three-count warrant for Installing and Using an eavesdropping device, Surveilling an Unclothed Person, and Stalking, all involving his estranged wife. He was transported to the Osceola County Jail and lodged without incident.

 

Friday …7/22/2022
Officers provided traffic control for a funeral procession.


Officer dispatched to a breaking and entering at a residence. The matter is under investigation.


Officer responded to a residence that reported trash being blown into her yard from a nearby commercial dumpster. Contact was made with the business to remedy the matter.


Officers arrested a 41-year-old woman on an outstanding warrant for child support.


Officers arrested a 26-year-old male subject on 2 outstanding warrants for child support and failing to appear in court.


Saturday …7/23/2022
Officers were dispatched to a possible domestic assault. Upon arrival it was determined the man had gotten into a verbal argument with his boyfriend over his driving. His boyfriend had thrown his things out of the house. The man was transported to a gas station to await a ride from a friend.


Officers arrested a 27-year-old woman on an outstanding warrant for child neglect. This stemmed from a complaint in May where the woman was found to be too intoxicated to supervise or care for her children.


Sunday…7/24/2022
Officer dispatched to apartment building for loud television complaint. After investigation the neighbor agreed to turn it off for the night.


Officer was contacted regarding a juvenile putting graffiti on the support pole of an apartment complex basketball hoop. The matter will be turned over to Probate Court.


Officer dispatched to a call referencing a male minor subject being out of control and threatening to harm himself. Subject was transported to Reed City Hospital for evaluation.


Officer arrested a 19-year-old male subject on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 7/25

40-2201524 @ 11:03am 200 block N Michigan Ave. Misd Traffic. Driver was issued an appearance ticket for no insurance.

 

40-2201525 @ 1:06pm 600 block N State St. PDA/OWI. Officers responded for a PDA which resulted in the driver being arrested for OWI.

 

40-2201526 @ 5:09pm 700 block Division St. Civil. Complainant reported that a person who was kitten watching was possibly harming a couple of kittens. No animal abuse and it was just a civil issue between parties.

 

40-2201527 @ 7:56pm 100 block N. Bronson Civil. Male was trespassed from the property.

 

40-2201528 @ 8:42pm Fuller/Water Tower, Traffic Stop led to driver being arrested on a misdemeanor warrant out of Osceola County, he was also cited for no license.

 

40-2201529 @ 9:35pm Pine/Warren Traffic Stop led to arrest of a male on misdemeanor warrant out of Lansing.

 

40-2201530 @ 10:38pm 400 block S Third Check Wellbeing, female was transported to ER for voluntary mental health evaluation.

 

40-2201531 @ 10:44pm 1800 block Milton Area Check for screaming in the area. Found to be verbal argument between a mother and her teen daughter.

 

40-2201532 @ 3:24pm 700 block Water Tower Check Wellbeing. Neighbor heard loud bang from next door apartment, officers could hear female calling for help. Entry was made into the apartment where resident was found to have fallen while getting out of bed.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter

7/22

40-2201493 & 2:96pm @ 0810 300 block Morrison Ave Threats & PPO service.  Male was let go because of over staffing.  He called the staffing organization several times threatening to shoot up the place if he didn’t get his job back.  He does not have access to any guns.  He was served with a PPO for Montcalm County.  Case will be forwarded to Prosecutor’s office.

40-2201494 @ 9:03am Warrant pick up Oakland County

40-2201497 @ 11:37pm 600 block S Third Found Property.  A green Murray bicycle was found. 

40-2201498 @ 12:02pm 1100 block Fuller Ave.  A teal colored Huffy was stolen from the bike rack.

40-2201499 @ 3:01pm 1100 block Fuller Ave Suicidal male.  Male was having a difficult time recovering from his TBI.  Was transported to ER

40-2201500 @ 3:56pm 500 block Rose Ave Civil Female has been letting people hang out in the garage.  They spray painted things on the floor, got some pain on a tire. 

40-2201501 @ 3:53pm 1100 block Catherine Civil Female was caught cheating on male.  They began to get into a verbal argument. 

40-2201502 @ 4:54pm 400 block S Third Suicidal.  Male was hearing voices and hid in the closet.  He was not going to harm himself.  He spoke with crisis line.  The director was on sight and worked out a safety plan.

40-2201503 @ 5:44pm Maple & Third 2 car crash

40-2201504 @ 6:00pm 700 block Water Tower Rd Larceny/Civil Female left wallet in friend’s apartment, and he was refusing to give it back. 

40-2201505 @ 6:17pm. 600 block Maple Larceny. Caller accidentally left his debit card on the counter, which was taken by a male who attempted to hide the card using the cash he was paying with.

40-2201506 @ 6:09pm  1300 block Bjornson Suspicious. Caller has had several issues with her roommate. Caller now has damage to her truck, although she doesn't know if it was roommate.

40-2201507 @ 7:54pm 700 block Tioga Dr. Suspicious Tenants reported a male with no shirt and black shorts, approximately 25-30, had been standing on the river walk staring into their apartment for 10 minutes. The same tenants had called in an area check on 7/20 for an unknown male walking behind their apartment in the grass during the night. Unknown if it is the same male.

40-2201508 @ 10:25pm Found bike at Hemlock Park.

 

7/23

40-2201509 @ 7:34am 1000 block Maple St. Suspicious/Misd Traffic. Officers responded for a male sleeping in a parking lot. Male was found sleeping in his girlfriend’s vehicle after being too intoxicated to drive the night before. He was issued an appearance ticket for DWLS after admitting to driving to the bar. The vehicle was towed.

40-2201510 @ 7:40am 1100 block Catherine St. Assist. Officers responded for a missing person. He was found at a neighbor’s trailer after spending the night there. He was helping the neighbor with plumbing issues this morning.

40-2201511 @ 11:42am S State St./Maple St. PDA/Misd Traffic. Driver was issued an appearance ticket for DWLS.

40-2201512 @ 12:03pm 300 block S Michigan Ave. Fraud/scam. The victim reported being taken in a rental housing scam and had sent $600.00 to an unknown person for a rental house in Grand Rapids.

40-2201513 @ 4:44pm 1300 block Catherine St. Civil. Officers responded to a civil argument complaint.  Both parties admitted to having a tugging match over a cellphone and wallet. Parties separated.

40-2201514 @ 6:30pm Mental Transport. Officers transported patient Midland.

40-2201515 @ 9:36pm Oak/Warren Traffic stop for no plate led to driver being cited for no insurance. Vehicle impounded by curries 

 

7/24

40-2201516 @ 1:25pm 300 block Morrison Ave - Assist Medical with male who had fallen and cut head open.

40-2201517 @ 5:13pm 400 block S Third Ave. Check Well Being - checked on a male who was upset about rumors going around. Officers were able to calm him down and got him back inside.  

40-2201518 @ 7:33pm Parkview Village. Check Wellbeing on a male after he made comments of not wanting to live. He was visibly intoxicated and upset that he was being evicted. He denied being suicidal and did not want to go in for an eval.

40-2201519 @ 6:30pm Prisoner pickup from Kent County.

40-2201520 @9:45pm 300 block N. Michigan Ave PV/Threats. Male reported being threatened again and stated he had done nothing to provoke the threats. Witness from Roller rink advised that the caller was in an argument with another male and the caller attempted to hit him with a car. The caller had been drinking. Report being sent to probation on the caller.

40-2201521 @ 11:36pm 100 block Pemberton Ave Domestic. Male and female recently broke up but live together along with the female’s brother and his girlfriend. After the female arrived home from work the male started a verbal argument and threw a gate at her. The female’s brother came upstairs, and a physical altercation started when the male began punching him. The male was arrested and lodged.

40-2201522 @ 12:02am 1300 block Bjornson St. Civil dispute between roommates. Both claimed the other was threatening them. Nothing criminal found. Advised that one of them should probably move out.

40-2201523 @ 12:43am 400 block S. Third Ave. Check Wellbeing/PV Check wellbeing on female for more bizarre behavior led to the discovery that she had been abusing her prescribed Suboxone Strips. Report will be forwarded to Probation for review.

Skate Park meet up at Swede Hill Park in Big Rapids takes place July 30th

Those who skateboard, rollerblade and bmx are welcome to Swede Hill Park in Big Rapids on Saturday, July 30th to participate in a Skate Park meet up.


The event will take place from noon until 3pm, there will also be local vendors selling food and drinks.

 

Just like the skate meet up back on April 30th, It's really just a space to come skate, hangout, get to know the other skaters in the community,  and learn more about the project.” Jessie Black, Community Development specialist, City of Big Rapids said. “We are going to have some prints of the design renderings for people to look at that we've been working with American Ramp Company on.” 


The idea of a skate park in Big Rapids has been thrown around for years but nothing really got past the idea phase until last year.


Jessie Black says the skate park project really gained momentum when they won a $25,000 grant through the Consumers Energy Foundation’s 2022 Put Your Town on the Map contest.
 

Winning the top prize in the contest really kind of opened the floodgates of enthusiasm and it was making the project that much more realistic and so once we started seeing that momentum and people started believing OK, this this could really happen now and it's really cool to see all across the community the widespread support for this project.” 

Ferris State Football ranked #1 in GLIAC preseason poll

As the defending National Champions, it is no surprise the Bulldogs are picked as the favorite to win the GLIAC title for the upcoming 2022 season.


The preseason rankings were released Monday in part of the conference wide media session hosted by Wayne State University. The Bulldogs received five of the seven first place votes, with the other two going to #2 ranked rival Grand Valley State.


Along with the poll, players and coaches were interviewed by each team. Ferris State was represented by assistant coach Brian Rock, defensive back Cyntell Williams, and offensive lineman Adam Sieler.


In the Ferris State session, host Emory Hunt asked a series of questions about the Bulldogs’ mindset
coming into the 2022 season after the ultimate high of winning the National Championship. The
response: the past is the past.


“We just had a team retreat a few weeks ago and one of the things we talked about was leaving 2021
(behind) and focusing on the 2022 season; winning each quarter and winning each game,” Williams said.


“That's just our culture and that's what we're going to try to do again this year.”


This culture has certainly been a focal point for the Bulldogs since the hire of Head Coach Tony Annese back in 2011. When it comes to keeping the team hungry year after year, Coach Rock made sure to credit the team’s depth and aspiration for success.


“I can tell you this just as a guy that's walked in a couple of years ago and watched what he has created at Ferris State University,” Coach Rock said. “What he has done is an unbelievable job of creating a culture where the guys take the next step and when good players move on and graduate, the next guys know that it's their turn to lead and make plays. It's a culture of winning, and he's done a great job of really fostering that.”


The Bulldogs will begin their season Thursday, Sep. 1 at 7:30 p.m. against Central Washington.

Ferris State University Prepares to Welcome Wish-A-Mile Bicyclists and Supporters on Campus July 29-30

Ferris State University expects to welcome approximately 700 guests, including 500 cyclist participants, as the 35th annual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour stops on the Big Rapids campus Friday, July 29, from Traverse City, through Saturday, July 30, when they depart for Grand Ledge.

 

The activity starts Friday evening and increases early Saturday as participants and their supports begin and continue arriving. The tour starts on Thursday, July 28, in Traverse City and ends on Sunday, July 31, in Marshall. Approximately 200 people will sleep inside the Student Recreation Center and the newly renamed David L. Eisler Center formerly named the University Center. Another 200 will set up and sleep in tents outside those campus facilities.

 

The Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour serves as the largest fundraising event for Make-A-Wish Michigan. WAM cyclists support raising funds for Michigan children with critical illnesses and wishes. The organization notes that nearly 800 Michigan kids await their wishes to come true through community support.

 

Riders and their support teams can prepare for the leg from Big Rapids to Grand Ledge with breakfast for 600 to 700-plus starting at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, July 30, in the David L. Eisler Center. All campus-based WAM 300 tour activities conclude by 8 a.m.

 

The WAM tour concludes at the Eaton Proving Grounds, in Marshall, on Sunday, July 31, for the Heroes Hurrah, a celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Michigan raises minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation that raises the state minimum age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21. That includes cigarettes, cigars, vapor products, and alternative nicotine products.

 

The governor's office says the legislative package brings Michigan in line with the federal Tobacco 21 legislation and amends several acts to raise the age of sale for retailers, prohibit anyone under 21 from entering a tobacco retail store, and prohibit tobacco sales through the mail to anyone under 21.

 

Penalties for the sale of tobacco products to those under-age are $100 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense, and up to $2,500for third and subsequent offenses.

Cedar Springs man arraigned in Mecosta Co. for road rage incident

 

Bond for a Cedar Springs man was set at $200,000 for crimes connected to a road rage incident following an arraignment Thursday in Mecosta County 77th District Court.

 

55-year old Brien Scott Velting, was charged with assault with intent to Murder, assault with a Dangerous Weapon, (2) counts of Felony Firearm, and Weapons - Carrying Concealed.

 

Velting is accused of shooting a firearm at another vehicle during a road rage incident.

Mecosta Co. Sheriff's Dept. seeking public's help in identifying road rage suspect

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help to identify a person accused of shooting a firearm at another vehicle during a road rage incident.

 

The suspect was traveling eastbound on Newawgo County 36th St into Mecosta County. The suspect fired and struck a eastbound pickup that had previously passed it on Jefferson Rd.

 

A picture of the suspect vehicle was obtained through video surveillance as it passed eastbound from the Hilltop General Store. The suspect / lone occupant was described as a white male with reddish hair and a goatee.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office at 231-592–0150.

Village of Barryton seeking land annexation

In an effort to create a central location for the village barn, Barryton town officials are slated to meet
with the Mecosta County Board of Commissioners in two weeks.


The public hearing is scheduled for August 4. The main goal: add under 80 acres to help move the village barn into a more ideal location.


“The village would like to be able to have a central location for the village barn within the central part of the village,” Barryton President James Soriano said. “Right now, it's outside the village so our guys have to travel a couple of miles out of town.”


With the addition of the land, the village would be able to sell the current barn in the “green zone” and use that money to build a new building in the center of the village. If the annexation proposal is
accepted, the village council can then approve sealed bidding on the property.


“That’s going to be a process,” Soriano said. “I think we should do a 60 or 90-day bidding process to
allow more bids to come in for the piece of property.”


Having a centrally located barn will allow the village to spend less money and time getting equipment. It will also allow the property to be put on the tax role for the village and the township. This can allow the village to pursue a revenue generating business, like a marijuana company, with an increase in licensing fees.


“Potentially, we’d be getting another growth facility that would get top dollar value,” Soriano said.
“(This) will enable us to take care of some projects like having an engineer coming out for an inspection on our dam for repairs and incorporating a fish ladder.”

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter

Tuesday … 7/12/22
Officers received a complaint of amplified music. An individual playing guitar and singing was located. He was advised that it was against City Ordinance to broadcast amplified music and if he wished to perform with a speaker, he would have to get permission from the City.


Officers served an abatement notice for an inoperable vehicle.


Officers conducted a well-being check on a juvenile. All was okay


Officers were dispatched to a possible child abuse complaint. The matter has been forwarded to the
prosecutor for review.


Officers were dispatched to a complaint of loud music. They were unable to locate any excessively loud music.


Wednesday …7/13/2022
Officers took a report of a missing 80-year-old man. His family called a short time later stating they

had located him and he was okay.


Thursday … 7/14/2022
Officers received a report of a young juvenile walking around unsupervised. Contact was made with the boy and his babysitter.


Officers took report of unlawful entry and stalking. The matter is under investigation.


Officers took a harassment report from a local business. A man was repeatedly calling to complain about employees he felt had behaved improperly. He was warned to stop calling the business and served a notice not to return to the property.


Officers took a report of packages being delivered to the wrong address. The caller thought the neighbor might be using their address for unlawful purposes. Contact was made and the packages will be delivered to the correct address in the future.


Officers took a report of road rage. Upon talking to the two involved, no crime had been committed. One driver felt the other had cut them off in traffic and impolite hand gestures were exchanged. Both calmed down and were sent on their way.


Friday …7/15/2022
While on foot patrol an officer located unlocked doors to a local business after hours. The business was check and the doors secured. The owner was notified.


During a traffic stop officers arrested a 22-year-old male passenger on an outstanding warrant.

 

Saturday …7/16/2022
Officers were dispatched to a noise disturbance at an apartment complex. Upon investigating it was learned a couple had a verbal dispute and she had told the male boyfriend, loudly, to leave her apartment. She was warned about the noise and advised to call if he returned and she required assistance.


Officers took a complaint of harassment. Upon investigation it was determined both involved did not like each other and had spoken unkindly about each other. Since the one was causing problems at the other’s place of work, she was served with a trespass notice not to come onto the property.


Officers took a report of a possible violation of bond conditions. The matter was unfounded.


Officers were dispatched to a possible property damage accident. The caller believed someone had backed into her parked car and left. A report was completed.


Officers transported an individual, experiencing mental health difficulties, to a care center.


Sunday…7/17/2022
Officers took a report regarding one resident striking another at an assisted living facility. Both involved suffer from dementia and no injuries occurred. A report was completed. The matter was not found to be criminal in nature.

Big Rapids honors local Special Olympic athletes; approve a number of resolutions

The Big Rapids City Commission honored local Special Olympic athletes Amanda Davis and Tyler Lawton who participated in the national games last month and earned medals.

 

 

Mayor Fred Guenther presented a proclamation to each athlete for their achievements.

 

Next, commissioners approved awarding a bid to Reith-Riley Construction of just under $88,000 for mill and fill of Spring and Chestnut Streets.

 

Commissioners also approved a bid from Zoros Christmas Lights to design and install and removal of lights on downtown trees in the amount of just over $53,000. Public Works Director Heather Bowman says the 'twinkle lights' will be used all year long on 47 downtown trees.

 

Finally, the commission approved a five-year contract renewal with Barton Township of Newaygo County to provide fire protection services.

Mecosta County looking into fiber optic broadband installation

According to the Development Corporation, people of Mecosta County may be soon seeing the installation of higher speed internet networks.

This notion is being made by a newly created Broadband Advisory Committee; a group made in partnership with Connected Michigan.

Goals for the committee include participating in focus groups to recognize needed projects, identifying resources needed to expand broadband services, reviewing expansion plans, and providing input for grant submissions and applications.

“The Advisory Committee will meet monthly from August-December 2022,” Executive Director Kelley Wawsczyk said via letter. “Once the first round of state broadband grant funding application is submitted, we anticipate the committee meeting quarterly to review implementation steps. We except committee members to spend 2-4 hours per month on committee related activities.”

The committee is inclusive of representation from the healthcare, large employer, government, and education sectors. This includes organizations like Spectrum Health, Ferris State University, Mecosta County Parks and Recreation, and the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District (MOISD).

As the committee’s first meeting approaches on Tuesday, August 9 at 10 a.m., the Mecosta County Development Corporation is asking local organizations for participation on the Advisory Committee. According to Wawczyk, the first meeting will base the foundation moving forward.

“(We will) discuss what efforts have been in place from a state level, where we need to go, what barriers are in the way and what steps need to be taken to move forward. We need to, as a community, be seeking grant opportunities and know what is available and how it all works together to bridge the gap with broadband in Mecosta County.”

Over 100 invitation letters have been sent out since last week. If interested, contact Wawsczyk by July 29.

Michigan Works! West Central invites job seekers to Hiring Party

There’s something about food that always seems to bring people together.


In an effort to connect job seekers with employers looking to hire, Michigan Works! West
Central is hoping a free lunch will attract community members looking for work to one of its
upcoming Hiring Parties.


The team at Michigan Works! West Central has held Hiring Parties this summer at its Baldwin
and Reed City service centers, and is organizing its next one for this week in Big Rapids. These
large-scale job fairs are setup like block-party-style events where attendees can stop at each
booth to grab a portion of their meal, as well as talk to employers about open positions they
have available.


“We feel these Hiring Parties are a great way to bring job seekers and employers together in a
more relaxed, casual setting, all while sharing a meal together,” said Michigan Works! West
Central Executive Director Shelly Keene. “We will be providing hot dogs, and participating
employers are encouraged to provide side dishes, snacks, drinks, etc. We also have invited
area service organizations, such as Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Mid-Michigan Community
Action Agency and veterans services, to talk to attendees about any support services they have
that may benefit those in attendance.”


Michigan Works! West Central will be hosting its next Hiring Party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on
Friday, July 22, at its Big Rapids service center, located at 14330 Northland Drive. Additional
events are being scheduled in August at the organization’s Ludington, Newaygo and Shelby
offices.


More than 30 employers and service organizations are expected to participate in this week’s
event. Employers still are being added as each event gets closer.


According to the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives,
Michigan’s unemployment rate in May 2022, was 4.3 percent (the most recent data available),
which is slightly higher than the national average at 3.6 percent. Unemployment was 5.4 percent
in Mecosta County during the same period.


“COVID-19 case numbers continue to remain low and unemployment rates are at pre-
pandemic levels,” Keene said. “However, there still are employers across all industry sectors
struggling to hire. We encourage all those looking for work or to advance their career to come to
our Hiring Parties to help bridge the hiring gap. Our staff also will be available to help assess job
seekers’ individual circumstances to potentially enroll them in programs and services we offer
that may be able to help them advance their career.”


For more information about Michigan Works! West Central’s programs and services, visit
MWWC.org, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Be sure to check
the organization’s social media profiles for the most up-to-date list of employers participating in
the upcoming Hiring Parties.

Three injured in Big Rapids Township accident

Three people were taken to the hospital with injuries following a two car crash in Big Rapids Township Monday night.

 

The Mecosta Co. Sheriff's office says an investigation found that a 18-year old woman from Stanwood was traveling eastbound on 12 mile rd when she disregarded the stop sign at Northland Dr. and hit a northbound vehicle on Northland Dr. being driven by a 37-year old man from Big Rapids.   

 

The Northbound vehicle also had a 32-year old woman along with a 10-year old boy both out of Big Rapids receiving minor injuries.  Both 37-year old man and 10-year old boy were transported to the spectrum Health Big Rapids hospital.

 

The eastbound vehicle also had a 16-year old girl from Morley, she was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids for minor injuries. 

Reed City developing recreation project plans

As summer continues to heat up, so has the progress of many new developments in the town of Reed City.


According to city councilman Dan Burchett, the city is currently working on plans for improving
community recreation. This includes plans for a new dog park and splash pad to compliment the current disc golf course project. These two additional projects were found to be heavily favored during the community surveying process.


“We did a survey here about five years ago asking the community what they would like to see in this
town,” Burchett said. “The dog park was at the top of the list.”


Burchett and the city have been working on plans for the park for about three years. The original
planned location was going to be behind the Reed City Depot, but that plan had gone through. Now,
Burchett says the new spot picked out is in Westerburg Park.


“There's an area down across from The Moose (Lodge) that is open,” Burchett said. “I plan to get down there, measure it out, and get an idea of how big we are going to make it.”


The city has been working slower on this project due to the attention of the new disc golf course being built. Rambadt Park’s course has gained substantial ground over the past two months thanks to the help of two public clean-up efforts: one in early June and another this last weekend. Along with these efforts, there has also been extra help from the local Boy Scouts and a church group.


“We had the scouts also working out there and then I met up with one of the churches that had a bunch of kids help take all the (wood) chips and lay them out to make trails between the tee (boxes) and the baskets,” Burchett said. “It’s starting to take shape a little bit.”


Along with both of these developments, the city’s splash pad project is currently waiting for a response on a grant written towards funding the project. Burchett believes they will get an answer sometime in July.

 

“I want to say it’s a 1.2-million-dollar project, so it’s a substantial amount of money.”

Multiple Police agencies team up to arrest three men during 'Underage Predator Operation'

Isabella County and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), along with Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, and Osceola joined forces in forming a task force to seek out those who prey on youth in our communities.

 

During the task force event, several members of the team began to communicate with dozens of potential predators on a variety of social media apps. During these communications some of the person(s) communicating with law enforcement agree to come to a particular location with the intent to have sexual relations with underage men and women.

 

Once they arrived at the location, they were arrested on charges that pertain to that individual’s interactions with the task force. Three men arrived at the location and were arrested without incident The arrests were shared amongst the Isabella County agencies participating in the event.

 

Warrant requests have been submitted to the Isabella County Prosecutors Office for review and charges.

 

Those arrested and charged include:

1) Joel Middleton, 27-Year-Old Man from Shepherd

a. Charges – Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime

2) Jeffrey Davis – 59-Year-Old Man from Harrison

a. Charges – Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime

3) Eric Rohman – 41-Year-Old Main from Mt Pleasant

a. Charges – Children Accosting for Immoral Purposes and Computer crime


 

Dog treats recall

There is a recall involving dog treats that were sold in Michigan and across the country.

 

Stormberg Foods says its chicken treats sold under the Beg and Barker, Billo's and Green Coast Pets brands are being recalled because some have tested positive for salmonella.

 

The United States Food and Drug Administration says the treats were sold between June 8th and June 22nd. No illnesses have been reported.

 

When infected with the bacteria, animals can have symptoms of lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Buyers should contact Stormberg to return the items.

Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight

The Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight for a second time this month to discuss and act on a number of issues.

 

On the agenda, the city will honor local Special Olympic athletes Amanda Davis and Tyler Lawton who recently participated in the national games down in Florida.

 

In general business, commissioners will vote whether to approve an interlocal agreement for providing information technology services to Mecosta County.

 

Next, commissioners will discuss and vote to approve a resolution awarding a bid for Spring and Chestnut Street Mill and Fill.

 

Finally, commissioners will discuss and vote on a resolution regarding a contract renewal between the the city providing fire protection services with Barton Township of Newaygo County.

 

The meeting begins at 6:30pm at City Hall.

 

 

Big Rapids Police Blotter 7/13-7/14

7/13

 

40-2201408 @ 12:07pm 225 S Stewart St Assist MCSO w/trunarc

 

40-2201409 @ 3:45pm 400 block S State St Larceny of bicycle parts, Somebody stole the bicycle chain from a bicycle IFO the apartment building

 

40-2201410 @ 10:49pm 1000 block Perry Traffic stop led to a male being arrested for an outstanding warrant out of Kent County.

 

40-2201411 @ 11:09pm 1200 block Perry Ave False Alarm from the cleaning crew.

 

40-2201412 @ 1:39am 200 block Baldwin St.  Civil standby for patrons verbally arguing.  All were intoxicated and either walked home or found rides.

 

40-2201413 @ 1:39am 200 block Baldwin.  Lost wallet.  A male from the last call was extremely intoxicated, starting arguments and having a difficult time standing or talking.  He stated his wallet had been stolen.  Through the investigation, it was determined the male had lost his wallet, possibly while riding a Bird scooter, earlier in the evening. 

 

40-2201414 @ 5:19am 600 block Maple PDA

 

7/14

0-2201415 @ 9:16am 700 block S State St Possible PPO Violation/Civil Male went to go into the store and didn’t know ex-girlfriend was working.  He saw her and turned around and left.

 

40-2201416 @ 12:44pm 200 block S Third Ave Domestic.  Female was arrested for assaulting her nephew.

 

40-2201417 @ 3:37pm State/Woodward Hit and Run- Suspect identified and contacted

 

40-2201418 @ 5:08pm Hemlock Park Found bike

 

40-2201419 @ 5:47pm 400 block SA Third Warrant Arrest Probation violation warrant out Osceola County.  Met Osceola County at dispatch.

 

40-22011420 @ 5:57pm Riverwalk near Tioga Park entrance Assist EMS/Fire Male crashed on his electric bike and was found with a head injury.

 

40-2201421 @ 7:28pm 800 block Marion Suspicious Situation.  Caller saw someone in her security camera in her backyard.  Officers arrived on scene and were unable to locate anyone.

 

40-2201422 @ 10:08pm 1100 block Catherine.  OWI/ UDAA.  Caller stated that his girlfriend of 8 years had stolen his Buick, was driving to get more alcohol, was revoked and heavily intoxicated.  Vehicle was located leaving the store.  Traffic Stop resulted in the female getting her 4th OWI.  Female denied stealing the car and stated she often drives it.  UDAA sent to prosecutor for review.

 

40-2201423 @ 10:08pm From Abv, Domestic report created.  Pending further investigation.

 

40-2201424 @ 11:48pm 300 block N Warren.  Neighbor stated a domestic was probably occurring however didn’t see anything physical, only horn honking and yelling and that a black car had just left at a high rate of speed.  Resident stated there was no problem.

Public hearing to be held on potential new gas station in Big Rapids

Big Rapids officials are asking residents to voice their opinion next week about a potential new gas station and food mart to be built on the north end of town.

 

The Planning commission wants to hear if residents are opposed or for a project like this before they make its recommendation to the city commission.

 

According to the site plans, Kristi Oil wants to combine parcels 819 N. State Street ( A rental house and Dezigns by Loni) and 827 N. State Street (Warner Auto Sales) and raze the current buildings.

 

Development plans will include a food mart, canopies for gas pumps, parking lot and landscaping improvements.

 

The public hearing will take place at the City of Big Rapids Planning Commission meeting on July 20th at 6:30pm.

 

To view the full plans CLICK HERE

Cardinal golf's Posey wins Coach of the Year

There’s no question that Big Rapids has been a team to watch on the links for the past 6 years. Now,
head coach Mark Posey has been rewarded for his efforts.


He was named 2022 Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association Boys Golf Coach of the Year after the Cardinals’ state finals appearance and 13 th regional championship.


“I'm honored to have been selected as the 2022 MIGCA Boys Golf Coach of the Year,” Posey said. “We
are fortunate to have recent consecutive years of success and our players work hard in the off-season playing summer tournaments to help achieve our success.”


Posey has endured much success during his 22-year career with the Cardinals. This includes a Division 3 State Championship in 2008, 6 state runner-up finishes, 28 conference championships, and six additional district titles.


While the Cardinals finished slightly behind their recent runs in the state finals this season, the MIGCA considered the last five to six seasons to help determine Posey’s consideration for the honor. This is the fourth time Posey has won the honor on the boys’ side while he added the Girls Coach of the Year award last season.


“I'm appreciative of having players that work hard at that game and strive to be great players,” Posey
said. “We pride our program on teaching the game of golf to all the players on our team.”
While the award goes to the best individual coach, Posey made sure to mention the honor should be
considered a team effort.


“We would never have had this success without the support of a great BRPS school, Dawn Thompson
our Athletic Director and supportive parents. We are also fortunate to have Katke Golf Course as our
home course. They have a great head pro in Brian Corwin, and an outstanding facility and course that supports junior golf. I share our success with all of them.”

 

Ferris State Athletics looking for partnership with NIL management

In the current world of college athletics, the topic of “Name, Image, and Likeness” has stormed onto the scene since the NCAA rule change in July 2021. With the legislation continuing to grow, Ferris State University is looking to advance with it.


According to Athletic Director Steve Brockelbank, the athletic department is “preparing to partner with a third-party organization to help manage and scale all NIL opportunities available to student athletes.”


The school has met with various organizations regarding the management opportunity, including one company they met with on Tuesday.


“We should have that done in a week or two,” Brockelbank said.


Under the name, image, and likeness realm, student athletes now are allowed to make money through ventures like endorsement deals and partnerships with businesses. Many of these opportunities come through the developing world of social media and public engagement.


The first year under new NIL regulations has shown a huge impact on Division One football. Some
players will make excess of $2 million over the next year thanks to this rule change. While many may say only the high-profile athletes can get access to NIL opportunities, Brockelbank believes this isn’t
necessarily the case.


“I think a lot of people make the assumption that NIL opportunities are reserved to high level Division
One student athletes,” Brockelbank said. “That's not necessarily the case. I think our student athletes
want to have some opportunities in the future as well.”


To follow Ferris State news and more, be sure to subscribe to Big Rapids Daily News.com.

Mecosta Co. K9 unit apprehends fleeing suspect

The Mecosta County K9 team nabbed a suspect who tried to flee an arrest Wednesday in Martiny Township.

 

Members of the Sheriff's Office were attempting to make an arrest of a wanted man who fled the back of the home and into a wooded/swampy area.

 

Deputies tracked the suspect through the thick swampy area and were able to locatehim with the assistance of K-9 Zeke and his handler, Sgt. Pippin. The suspect was located hiding under a log, submerged under water with only part of his face out of the water, that was also covered. 

 

The suspect was ordered out and taken into custody without further incident.

 

The sheriff's office says this is the third apprehension that Sgt. Pippin and K-9 Zeke have had in the past 2 weeks.

Stanwood man accused of killing family arraigned on multiple felony charges

A man accused of murdering his family in Mecosta County is now in police custody and has been arraigned on charges connected to the homicides.

 

51-year old Charles Robert Gillard Sr., of Stanwood was formally taken into custody on June 28th where he was transported and lodged in the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Jail.

 

Gillard Sr. was recovering from a gunshot to the head at a hospital in Ann Arbor.

 

He is accused of murdering his wife 40-year old Dawn Gillard and their three children, 6-year old Kaitlynn, 4-year old Ronnie and 3-year old Joshua on May 27th at their home in Austin Township, before turning the gun on himself.

 

Gillard Sr. was arraigned in the 77th District Court on multiple felony charges related to the homicides.

 

He is being held without bond.

Fire investigators to figure out cause of blaze at Luther Grocery store and old hardware store buildings

Both the Luther Grocery Store and the old Luther Hardware Store are a total loss following a fire last night in the Village of Luther.

 

The Luther Fire Department got a call around 9:11pm for a structure fire.

 

Firefighters from multiple departments battled the fire throughout the night.

 

The Lake County Sheriff's Department says the United States Postal Service was contacted due to potential damage to the Luther Post Office as it was connected to the old Luther Hardware Store.

 

The MSP Fire Investigation Unit was contacted, and the cause and origin remain under investigation.

Emergency crews find missing Osceola Co. boy

Multiple emergency agencies from both Mecosta and Osceola Counties worked together Tuesday afternoon to find a missing 2-year old boy, who walked away from his home in LeRoy Township.

 

According to a press release, when emergency emergency personnel arrived at the home on 14-Mile Road a search for the missing child in a heavily wooded/swamp area was conducted using K9’s, drones, volunteers and members from various fire and law enforcement agencies.

 

Officials say at 3:12pm the 2-year old boy was found safe in the woods and returned to his family.

CranHill to host 14th annual golf outing fundraiser

CranHill Ranch will host their 2022 14th Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser, presented by Action Watersports, at The Meadows Golf Club at Grand Valley State University on Tuesday August 9th, 2022. This long running event will feature 18 holes of golf, lunch, dinner, door prizes, shirt and more. All proceeds will benefit CranHill’s Summer Youth and Special Needs Camps. 

 

Last year, over 100 golfers attended CranHill’s Golf Outing. Teams of 4 golfers will be treated to lunch and 18 holes of golf, then attendees are invited back to the clubhouse for dinner and a short presentation by CranHill president Scott Barger. Door prizes and outing awards will be handed out shortly after.

 

This event has played a major role in keeping youth and special needs camps affordable for Michigan families. “Camp is a life changing opportunity for kids”, says Barger. “We live in a dark and messy world, and camp gives kids the opportunity to disconnect from their day to day lives, meet new friends, try new things, and hear how much God loves them.” The goal of the event is to raise $100,000 to help offset the cost of camp for families. 

 

CranHill is currently seeking more golfers and sponsorships to help make the event a success. Those interested in golfing in the outing can visit www.cranhillranch.com/golf or call their office at 231-796-7669. There they can find pricing info and a sample of the event schedule. Anyone interested in sponsoring the event, can contact CranHill advancement director Chris Vallette at 231-349-4612 or chris@cranhillranch.com

FSU's Dr. Bill Pink begins tenure as school's 19th President

A new era of leadership has started at Ferris State University. Dr. Bill Pink is the 19th president of FSU and the first African-American appointed to the position.

 

Ferris State University's Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name Dr. Pink as president in May.

 

President Pink's first day in the new leadership role was Monday, which began with a welcome reception.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 7/12

40-2201402 @ 8:51am 700 block Fuller Ave. Civil/trespassing. Encampment removed from wooded area and subject trespassed from the property.  

 

40-2201403 @ 9:59am Monroe Ave/Madison Rd. Misdemeanor Traffic. Driver was cited for driving without a license.

 

40-2201404 @ 11:09am BRPD. Assist CPS with an interview.

 

40-2201405 @ 3:02pm Catherine St/Platt Ave. Misdemeanor Traffic. Driver was cited for not being licensed and having no insurance.

 

40-2201406 @ 7:35pm 1100 block Platt Ave Assist another Agency. Flagged down by a male from PA who had brought his Pontiac/Ferrari Kit to a person to be completed. After the person couldn’t finish the project, he gave the car to another male to finish who no longer was responding to the complainant. The car originally was brought to a residence in Reed City in December and was taken to Baldwin or Ludington where the male lives/works. It is not believed that the vehicle was in the city or that any part of the incident occurred in the city. The complainant was referred to MSP Mt. Pleasant Post.

 

40-2201407 @1:02am 500 block Rose Ave. Contributing to Minor/PV. Call originated as a 14 y/o female with difficulty breathing. Upon arrival EMS contact two juvenile females who were both intoxicated. One was transported to SHBRH for treatment due to intoxication. It was found that one of the female’s cousins had provided the alcohol and marijuana wax. Prior to EMS and our arrival the cousin fled the area on a bike and was not located. Report being sent for Contributing to Minor and Probation Violation.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter

7/8

40-2201377 @ 9:29am 1800 block Milton Ave, Death, nothing suspicious noted

40-2201378 @ 12:47pm Found property turned into BRPD, item returned to owner.

40-2201379 @ 7:08pm 200 block N Third.  Verbal Domestic between a male and a female led to the bond conditional release violation arrest of the female for using alcohol and meth.  Lodged at MCSO.

40-2201380 @ 9:37pm 200 block W Waterloo Barking Dog complaint led to the dog’s owner being issued a warning. 

40-2201381 @ 10:10pm 500 block Hutchinson Found cell phone.  Phone was locked and is 911 only.  Unable to locate owner.

40-2201382 @ 1:08am 800 block Fuller.  Susp Sit.  Caller in the AFC home stated it sounded like someone was building something in the woods behind the building.  Subject identified.

40-2201383 @ 2:02am 200 block W. Pine.  Domestic called in by female.  She stated her husband had grabbed her.  Both parties were intoxicated with conflicting stories.  Female stated she also slapped the male for not getting out of her face and she felt threatened by it.  Will be forwarded for review due to conflicting stories.  The male was on felony probation and was lodged on a violation due to being intoxicated.

 

7/9

40-2201385 @ 8:12am Maple St/S State St. PDA.

40-2201386 @ 3:04pm Oak St/Warren Ave. Warrant arrest. A traffic stop was conducted, and the driver was found to have an original traffic warrant. He was lodged in Osceola Co.

40-2201387 @ 3:34pm 800 block Fuller Ave. Suspicious. A caller reported a female screaming for help from the wooded area behind them. Contact was made with two subjects. Both advised that it was a verbal argument only.

40-2201388 @ 3:58pm 600 block Maple St. FTP/Civil. The suspect has been identified. Pending contact with her reference coming back to the service station to pay for her fuel.

40-2201389 @ 8:35pm 600 block Maple St Domestic assault.  Juvenile was punched by his brother. Brother left prior to arrival; case will be sent to City Attorney for review.

40-2201390 @ 11:10pm 1100 block Catherine Domestic assault. Male was arrested for assaulting a female.

40-2201391 @ 11:14pm 100 block S Michigan, MIP. Subject in question was of age but was also intoxicated and on probation. He was lodged for probation violation.

 

7/10

40-2201392 @ 9:02am 400 block S Third Ave Disorderly, former resident was being disorderly and got kicked out.  He was trespassed from the property.  He was also lodged on a probation violation from Grand Rapids and was transported to Howard City park-and-ride where he was turned over to GRPD officers

40-2201393 @ 2:51pm 200 block N. Third Ave Traffic stop resulted in vehicle being towed for no insurance. Driver cited.

40-2201394 @ 8:18pm 400 block S Third Ave. Missing Person. Workers advised that a female had left the shelter with her boyfriend the previous day and had not been heard from since.  Contact was made with her over the phone and she advised that she was fine.

40-2201395 @ 1:08am 100 block N Michigan Ave Open door was found during building checks. Building was searched, found to be secure, and door was secured.

 

7/11

40-2201396 @ 9:26am 800 block Bjornson St. Suspicious/VCSA. Officers responded to the area for a person laying under a blanket. Officers found two juveniles. One admitted to smoking marijuana. Both juveniles were released to their parents.

40-2201397 @ 10:57am 1200 block Perry Ave. MDOP. Officers responded to an MDOP complaint of a urinal that overflowed and caused over $5000.00 in damage. Occurred on July 4th. The case is under investigation.

40-2201398 @ 3:54pm BRPD. Assist. Assisted with TruNarc test for MCSO.

40-2201400 @8:54pm 1100 block Platt Ave. Caller is having issues with the neighbors children throwing rocks into his pool possibly damaging the new liner. He just wanted it documented in case he needs to do an insurance claim and wished for the juveniles to be spoken to. Nobody home at neighbors at time of call. Business card left.

40-2201401 @11:00pm 100 block S. State False Alarm. Front door found open. Manager responded and everything was found secure.

World's largest dulcimer festival on deck

In celebration of the trapezoid-shaped stringed instrument, the Osceola County Fairgrounds in Evart will be hosting the annual Original Dulcimer Player’s Club Fanfest festival this weekend to commemorate musical history.


The three-day events, starting Thursday, include over 200 musical learning workshops for the dulcimer and other instruments like the fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. One of the featured events taking place is the Saturday Night Showcase Show, which will contain seven national champion dulcimer players performing in a star-studded concert. Other events throughout the weekend include open microphone sessions, specialty vendors, and various children’s activities like tie-dye and face painting.


“It’s the largest hammered dulcimer festival in the world,” Publicity chairman Scott Freeman said. “We have people that come from all over the world.”


The festival is in partnership with the Original Dulcimer Player’s Club, which was established all the way back in 1963 by hammered dulcimer players Elgia Hickok and Gene Cox. Through the revival of the instrument, the foundation of the first club in the United States was established. Hickok and Cox’s efforts were even documented in the Smithsonian publication, “The Hammered Dulcimer in America” by Nancy Groce.


“This area north of Grand Rapids is known as the mother church of the hammered dulcimer,” Freeman said. “The instrument almost died out here in the United States, but a group of young enthusiasts kept it alive.”


According to Freeman, the festival suits the top-level players and those simply interested in learning about the instrument.


“It’s real cheap and family friendly by design. If you just want to get exposed to the music or sit in on a workshop, you can. If you want to go a little deeper and get a test run on an instrument, there’s plenty of opportunities to do that. There’s multiple opportunities to engage in what we do.”


Admission for the festival is $7 per day or $15 for a full festival pass. Camping is available on site for $20 per night for RV or $17 per night for primitive campers.


Pets and non-electric personal instruments are allowed but alcohol is prohibited from the fairgrounds.

Family of eight injured in car crash in Mecosta Co.

Two adults and six kids were hurt in a crash in Mecosta Township, south of Big Rapids last evening.

 

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says a 16-year-old driver from Grand Rapids hit a rumble strip and over corrected and went off the road and hit a tree on US-131.

 

Two parents and six kids were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Getting to know Mecosta County's new Executive Director of Development

 

Kelly Wawsczyk has been serving central Michigan for over 20 years. In March, the former White Cloud High School graduate was named the new Executive Director of the Mecosta County Development Corporation.


“My goal is to build trusting relationships with the businesses and individuals in the county,” Wawscyzk said on her new position. “I am here for the people and industries to grow Mecosta County.”

 


Not only is she going through a change, but the group as whole is also undergoing a unique shift. With the help of Wawsczyk, the Development Corporation has begun a partnership with The Right Place: another development organization devoted to promoting economic growth in the greater Grand Rapids area.


“The Right Place is a regional economic development organization funded through investments from the private and public sectors,” Wawsczyk said. “They have made it possible to provide region wide resources that were not available prior.”


Wawsczyk previously held a project coordinator assistant position with the Headway Coalition in Newaygo County, where she would “assist the actions teams in collecting data and building community support.”


Prior, she helped build a marketing program with the Legends Ranch and served in public health with District Health Department 10 for over 12 years. Wawsczyk studied her skills of marketing, sales, health and wellness, and administration through Penn Foster College and Career School.


Whether its inside or outside the office, there is one important focus to Kelly: building relationships.
“I thrive off community interaction while providing support as needed. I enjoy bringing my personal circle together to help make lasting memories while building stronger connections.”


Wawsczyk has also worked in community volunteer roles with many nationwide organizations like the American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America, United Way, and the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. She also has served with many local organizations like Newaygo County Tourism Council, Newago County Emergency Preparedness, and the Merrill Township Planning Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside of the office, Wawsczyk enjoys spending time out in nature. This includes participating in a ladies hiking and paddling group, named “Girls Gone Wilderness.” She also enjoys spending time with her family, which incorporates ignoring a common concept other fellow Michiganders follow in the spring.


“My husband Derek and I have never taken our kids to Florida for Spring Break. The memories they remember are growing up camping along the Muskegon River and hiking the trails in our area. Mecosta County has so many natural beauties to experience.”


If there is one thing Wawsczyk would like the community to know, it’s that she is committed to making this area the best it can be.


“This is my home. I want to see it grow and thrive for our future generations to come. Mecosta County is on fire and there is so many great things happening.”

UIA alerts public of text message phishing scam

If you have filed for unemployment benefits and receive a text message claiming to be from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), ignore it – it’s a scam. UIA does not use text messaging to correspond with claimants.

The Agency’s anti-fraud investigators have learned of a recent phishing scheme to try to steal money and personal information from Michigan workers who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. The text message comes from an out-of-state phone number and provides a link to claim back payments. Do not click on the link. Report it as junk or spam and delete the text.

“Bad actors are constantly using sophisticated methods to try to steal the money you deserve,” said UIA Director Julia Dale. “UIA will not tolerate criminals who try to steal money from hard-working Michiganders. Fighting fraud and providing exemplary customer service are our top priorities. If you suspect anyone of trying to get youPhishing scamr personal information or steal your benefits, let us know right away.”

UIA communicates with claimants through their Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) account, letters mailed to the current address on file or by phone.

“Criminals use real government references to try and trick consumers into taking action that then makes it possible for them to steal from you,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “The initial contact could come in any form—letter, phone call, email, or text message. No matter the form, the goal is the same: to get your personal information and steal your money. Don't fall for it!”

The suspicious text message is from a phone number with a 210 Area Code, which is in Texas. The message reads in part: “MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: Your back payment deposit of $2,800 is now pending on your profile.” It then instructs the recipient to click on a strange link to receive payment. The link is to a fake, replica UIA website.

This is an example of a government imposter scam, which Nessel highlights on the Department of Attorney General's Consumer Alerts page.

Here are 10 tips from the UIA to protect your personal information:

  • Scrutinize the webpage URL or link that you receive. If it is not an official Michigan.gov website, do not use it.
  • If you do not trust a website or information, call UIA’s Customer Service at 1-866-500-0017 to verify what you are seeing.
  • You should only link to UIA information or services through gov/UIA.
  • UIA will never ask a claimant to provide logins, passwords or banking information.
  • UIA will never ask a claimant to send information to our personal emails.
  • UIA will never ask a claimant to text information back.
  • Keep your MiLOGIN and MiWAM information secure, do not provide it to anyone.
  • If someone calls and you are suspicious about the intent, hang up and call UIA at 1-866-500-0017 and request staff to send information to you through your MiWAM account.
  • If a caller provides information that sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Hang up.
  • Make sure your contact information is current should UIA staff need to reach you.

If you suspect fraud or identity theft, report it by clicking on the Report Fraud and Identity Theft link at Michigan.gov/UIA and fill out a referral form. Be sure to fill out all the information and make sure it is current. Staff will respond to you in a timely manner. A UIA video explains how to report identity theft.

Stopping fraud is a key priority of Director Dale’s transformation of the UIA. In the eight months since her appointment as director, Director Dale has:

  • Implemented new policies for employees and contractors, including fingerprinting, criminal background checks, and an updated ethics policy.
  • Collaborated with the Attorney General’s office to combat fraud at the agency.
  • Worked closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to bring bad actors to justice. To date, more than 50 individuals have been charged in connection with fraud cases, 13 have pleaded or been convicted and 6 sentenced for their crimes.
  • Built a new, user-friendly website, and collaborated with nonprofit partners to improve access to the website and all other agency interactions with the public.
  • Authorized 55,000 overpayment waivers with more to come. She also secured from the U.S. Department of Labor a temporary pause on certain collections for those who faced overpayments.
  • Rebuilt the Trust Fund to $1.4 billion (and growing).

 

Harness racing returning to Mecosta County Free Fair

One of the fan-favorite fair events is returning to the track this year.


On July 12 and July 13, some of the top harness racers and town celebrities will be taking to the track at the Mecosta County Fairgrounds.


The opening night of racing will be Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for the Michigan Breeders Colt Stakes. There
will be eight divisions competing for the large prize of $11,000.


“Not too long ago, it used to go for $5,000,” Speed Superintendent Matt Currie said. “It’s pretty
exciting.”


On Wednesday, the grandstands will witness the overnight races starting at 6:30, which will compete for a boosted $2,500 prize as opposed to $800 from years past.


Following, the celebrity race will be competing for unique high stakes. The winner will receive the
majority of infield tent donations and have the choice of charity to donate to. This year’s celebrity
competitors include Physician Assistant of West Michigan Primary Care Dennis Behler, Sheriff Brian
Miller’s wife Heather Miller, local Psychiatrist John Farrar, and concrete family-name Dan Hicks.


As an added bonus before Wednesday’s races, the Mecosta County Community Foundation will be
auctioning off one seat to drive for next year’s races.


Grandstand tickets for harness racing are $5. Admission to the celebrity infield party admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children, which includes entry for viewing the races.


For more news, follow the Big Rapids Daily News online at wrbn.com and on social media.

Police investigating accidental death at Fremont's Gerber Products Plant

A worker died in an accident at a Gerber Products Company plant in Newaygo County.

 

Parent company Nestle says the employee was working on repairs to a production line when the accident occurred around 2pm yesterday [Thurs] at the plant in Fremont. The worker's name has not been released.

 

Nestle says it's investigating and cooperating with authorities. The Fremont Police Department is investigating along with the Newaygo County Medical Examiner's Office and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

 

Operations at the plant have stopped temporarily. Support services are being offered to its more than 500 employees.

Reed City Brewery Co. hosting five-year anniversary celebration

This Saturday, the corner of Higbee and Upton will be blocked off for Reed City Brewing Company’s “5
Years of Beers” bash in downtown Reed City.


The commemoration will take place from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Brewery’s location on the street
corner. Activities include live music, food specials on pork and brisket, and outdoor games.


“We are trying to go for something fun,” Co-owner Deanna Murphy said. “We want to open up for
everybody to come down, have some food, dance to the music, and play games.”


There will also be five-year anniversary glassware and shirts available at the event as well as select
Michigan Brewers’ Guild 25 th anniversary items.


According to Murphy, the event was made possible by countless support from the area.


“We’ve had exceptional participation. We feel like we are an anchor in the community and people lookforward to what we have to offer.”


For more news, subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at bigrapidsdailynews.com

MDOT: Construction on Luther Road Bridge in Osceola County starts Friday

Heads up for those traveling through Osceola County tomorrow via US-131 as lane closures will be in effect on US-131 until the end of the month.

 

Luther Road (14 Mile Road) will be closed and traffic detoured using Mackinaw Trail, 200th Avenue, LeRoy Road, and 210th Avenue.

 

It's part of a $1.3 million dollar investment in the Luther Road Bridge over US-131.

MDOT: US-131 construction near Big Rapids exits begins Monday

Officials at the Michigan Department of Transportation announced an investment of $6.6 million to rebuild approximately 6.5 miles of US-131 from 13 Mile Road to just north of 19 Mile Road.    

 

That investment is expected to directly and indirectly support 84 jobs.

 

Work includes resurfacing, drainage improvements and new guardrail. 

 

The project will begin July 11th and last until late September. 

 

Officials say there will be Lane closures and intermittent ramp closures  in effect throughout the project.

 

 

 

 

Big Rapids Mayor gives State of the City report

Mayor Fred Guenther believes there is a bright future for the city of Big Rapids but there are some present concerns that need to be addressed in order to get future burning a little brighter.

 

Guenther discussed those concerns during his State of the City report on Tuesday night.

 

The State of Big Rapids is extremely strong.” Guenther said. “The past mayor (Tom Hogenson) and commissioners (Robert Andrews, Jennifer Cochran, Jonathan Eppley, and Lorraine James) left the city in excellent condition. The current commission (Jennifer Cochran, Jonathan Eppley, Amanda Johnson, and Karen Simmon) and mayor (Fred Guenther) plan to continue the progress. City Manager, Mark Gifford and city staff work tirelessly to help Big Rapids stay at the top of Michigan cities.”

 

The Big Rapids mayor said single family housing and the population loss from the recent census need to be addressed.

 

Housing for our city residents needs improvement and expansion. Guenther said. “The Housing Commission is actively pursuing opportunities for good housing. While working with the City Commission, the Housing Commission will continue to address this problem. The Rust Avenue project has been completed and will offer three premium lots. 25 acres off Bjornson Avenue was purchased and should offer some excellent building sites for the future. The Mechanic Street project will very quickly add building sites this fall.  The Hanchett property also could lead itself to a unique project.”

 

The stress placed on the city budget by the lower census numbers is a concern. The decision to consider a census challenge is upon us very soon. Loss of revenue must be addressed, and growth of revenue explored. Every idea from our citizens must be evaluated.” Guenther added.

 

The mayor did highlight the positives happening around the city, specifically infrastructure and expanding recreational opportunities. 

 

Infrastructure is constantly being improved. Gravel roads are getting paved, and sidewalks are continually being repaired or replaced. Extensive work has been performed on the water plant and sewer treatment plant, keeping them state of the art. Workers are continuing to evaluate all pipes in the city for lead and replacing them for the safety of our citizens.”

 

Recreational life for area residents will be enhanced by the Hemlock Park project. This includes a kayak launch, pickle ball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, and a fabulous splash pad. The citizens of Big Rapids and surrounding areas contributed with volunteer time and monetary gifts. The city provided a large donation to the project with citizen assets. Great work was also done by the city's grant writer to obtain a large donation from the State. The city is also actively working to bring a skate park to Swede Hill Park. Fund raising is going well. All of these additions should make Big Rapids a
better place to enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy.” Guenther said.


The Big Rapids mayor ended his report saying with dedicated citizens, staff, and all the city commissioners, high energy and hard work can lift the city to new levels.

City of Big Rapids hires new treasurer

The City of Big Rapids didn't have to go far to find the next person to fill the city treasurer's position.


 

On Tuesday night, the Big Rapids City Commission voted unanimously to make Assistant Treasurer Carla Staffen the new city treasurer, replacing Aaron Kuhn who took a position with the city of Battle Creek back in May.


 

With this new position, Staffen told the commission it's important to build relationships with the people she will be working with on a regular basis.


 

"I plan to get myself out there and let people know of this new title I have and what needs to be done and then hopefully getting a replacement for the assistant treasurer position." Staffen said. 


 

Staffen has been with the city for more than 30 years, City Manger Mark Gifford says they are lucky to have her.


 

"Carla has done a wonderful job and is extremely capable of doing this position which is why the treasurer search committee is recommending her for this position." Gifford said. 


 

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter

6/30

40-2201327 @ 10:29am 100 block Locust St, Death, Complainant had not heard from her ex-boyfriend since Saturday evening.  He was having a hard time breathing but refused medical help.  He had gone to work but he went home early because he wasn’t feeling well.  Caller went to check on him and found him deceased.

40-2201328 @ 12:14pm 400 block W Pine St, Civil, Female wanted to pursue a PPO against a male.

40-2201329 @ 4:44pm 400 block S Third, Civil, Staff reported having problems with a male.  He was making comments about beating women.  They were concerned he was intoxicated and unstable. 

40-2201330 @ 7:52pm 500 block W. Bridge Suspicious Situation. Open door found during property check believed to be staff related.

40-2201331 @ 10:14pm Baldwin/4th Traffic Stop led to the arrest of driver for her outstanding warrant out of Isabella County. 

40-2201332 @ 12:43pm 100 block Ives.  Called in as a B&E in progress.  Officers arrived on scene to a tenant locked out of his apartment who crawled in through his apartment window.

 

7/1

40-2201333 @ 9:47am 800 block Division.  Bank is reporting multiple of their branches were defrauded by the same female.  Under investigation.

40-2201334 @ 10:26am 900 block Colburn Ave Larceny of a copper-colored BMX type bike.  Stolen sometime on Monday.

40-2201335 @ 10:34am 800 block Water tower Mental health crisis.  Complainant over drafted his card and had no cash or place to go.  Went to the hospital for evaluation. 

40-221336 @ 3:24pm 800 block N State Civil.  Employee was let go by employer and wanted to complain that the manager was vaping THC while at work.  No evidence found at the store.

40-2201338 @ 9:47pm Suspicious Situation Complainant called 911 because she wanted to talk to someone about cyber bullying. She resides in the city but was staying a friend’s house in the county somewhere but didn't know where. She did not want to file a formal complaint, nor did she want her parents to be contacted tonight as she was at a friend’s.  Pending parent contact next week.

40-2201339 @ 10:46pm 600 block S. State St PPDA DWLS.  Driver hit the vehicle in front of him in the drive thru causing paint transfer only.  He was suspended.  Vehicle towed to his residence.

40-2201340 @ 11:11pm 200 block N Third Civil Male and female arguing in the back yard.

40-2201341 @ 2:38am a continuation from the last call, both parties separated for the night.

40-2201342 @ 3:09am 1700 block S State St.  Suspicious Situation.  Caller dialed 911 from her room phone.  She was located and stated everything was fine.  She was highly intoxicated and gave us the name of her fiancé but didn't know how to spell it. 

40-2201343 @ 4:49am 1800 block Milton.  911 Hang-up.  Juvenile playing with the phone.

 

7/2

40-2201344 @ 8:12am 800 block N State St. Silent hold up alarm. A squirrel on the power lines behind DPS caused a power outage. The power outage caused the alarm to trip. Additional alarm trip when manager entered the building to shut alarm off.

40-2201345 @ 9:52am Found property. License was located on S Stewart. Owner requested the ID be destroyed as he had a replacement on the way

40-23201346 @ 10:02am 300 block S Third False Alarm The east interior door was unlocked causing the alarm to trip. 

40-2201347 @ 11:10am 1100 block Fuller Mental Health Crisis Complainant was feeling like she did not want to be here. She requested a ride to ER to speak with someone

40-2201348 @ 1:31pm 600 block Maple Civil Two parties had an argument over a rack for a garage sale. Both advised to leave each other alone

40-201349 @ 12:32pm mental transport to Pine Rest.

40-2201350 @ 6:04pm 800 block Milton Suspicious  passerby thought she saw to males attempting to break into the house. It was the resident. 

40-2201351 @ 7:49pm 100 block E Pine.  Found Wallet. Attempted to contact owner at his residence and place of employment.  Placed in property.

40-2201352 @ 8:39pm 1100 block N State MDOP Caller was upset that 8-year-old children had pulled up his flowers and requested that the parents be talked to.  They were located and advised.

40-2201353 @ 11:07pm 400 block W. Waterloo. Suspicious, someone rang the doorbell and took off.  Doorbell cam shows a W/M however it’s too pixelated to see anything else.

40-2201354 @ 11:36pm 1100 block Fuller.  Noise.  Subject was using the sander to make a new musical instrument.

40-2201355 @ 12:36am 1100 block Catherine. Check wellbeing.  Female was located at home and wasn't cooperative with LE on scene.  Caller notified.

 

7/3

40-2201356 @ 6:38am 600 block Oak St Mental Health Crisis. Officers were dispatched for a naked male running away around the ER. Male was found in the large construction dumpster, clothed. He was taken into the ER for a mental health evaluation.

40-2201357 @ 2:12pm 800 block Clark St. PDA

40-2201358 @ 5:07pm 400 block Sanborn Ave. Civil. Complainant reported previous employees who she fired had driven past her and were possibly harassing her.

40-2201359 @ 5:25pm Perry Ave/State St. Tools found in the roadway.

40-2201360 @ 5:36am 1100 block Fuller Ave. Assault. Complainant reported that her upstairs neighbor dumped a bucket of water on her and her grill. Neighbor was spoken to and advised to not have any more contact.

 

7/4

40-2201361 @ 9:59am 600 block Bjornson Civil Complainant stated that a male who lives with her is disabled and has not received any money. His guardian lives in Hersey. Complainant was documenting the case to see about getting the guardianship changed.

40-2201362 @ 7:48pm 1300 block Catherine CSC. Caller stated she was sleeping and awoke to her ex-husband touching her.  Male stated she had made comments to him recently which led him to believe that is what she wanted. Statements taken from both, will be forwarded for review.

40-2201363 @ 11:31pm 500 block S. Michigan Civil. Male and female arguing over cheating, and a cell phone. No physical assault and both agreed to separate for the evening.

Lakeview man suffers serious injuries following ATV rollover crash in Mecosta Co.

A Lakeview man suffered serious injuries following a ATV crash over the weekend in Mecosta County.

 

It happened south on 5mile and 100th Ave. Deputies say an ATV driven by a 58-year old man lost control and rolled the ATV. The Lakeview man was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for serious injuries.

 

He was later taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth by Aeromed.

Two children involved in ATV accident in Morley over the weekend

Two 7-year old children were injured after they were involved in an ATV crash in Mecosta County.

 

According to deputies, a 7-year old driving an ATV hit a pole in a store parking lot in Morley on Sunday.

 

She was ejected from the ATV along with her 7-year old brother, who was a passenger. They sustained non-life threatening injuries.

 

Police say the parents were cited for allowing a minor to operate an off road vehicle without supervision.

Three injured in two car accident

Three people are recovering following a car crash in Mecosta County.

 

It happened Thursday afternoon on 120th Ave. near 13 Mile Rd in Martiny Twp.

 

Deputies say 29 -year old man from Oakwood, GA was traveling east on 13 Mile and failed to yield a stop sign causing a collision with a with a car traveling south on 120th Ave driven by a 57 year old Remus man. 

 

Both driver and one passenger were transported to the hospital for injuries.

2023 State budget approved

The Michigan Legislature voted earlier this morning to approve a fiscal year 2023 state budget plan that increases funding for K-12 schools, reduces debt, and saves resources to provide tax relief for everyone in Michigan.


The 2023 spending plan includes $10 million to support the redevelopment of Reed City’s wastewater treatment plant and $2.2 million to build a new water tower and connect homes to the main water line in McBain — two projects championed by 35th district senator Curt VanderWall.

 

This is a very responsible budget plan that increases educational funding, supports infrastructure improvements, provides important public safety and human services funding, and pays down state debts,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. 

 

In a statement Governor Whitmer says , ”Today, I am proud to announce that the Legislature and I have reached a deal on a balanced, bipartisan state budget for Fiscal Year 2023 that does not raise taxes by a dime and is delivered on time." She says this is their fourth collaboration on a fiscally responsible budget which delivers on the kitchen-table issues that matter and lowers costs for families struggling with inflation.

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