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News That Affects You Archives for 2024-01

Joe's Takes: The dream comes to an end

I backed out of what I said last week since I didn’t put my house on the money line. This is a good thing, because I’d be homeless right about now. The Detroit Lions fell in a heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, and to be honest, I’m still depressed. I will not get over this, but life goes on. Here’s a quick recap for those who didn’t catch the game on Sunday:

The Lions jumped out to a first half lead of 24-7 and had all the momentum; however, the 49ers decided to wake up and ended up winning 34-31 after what some call coaching blunders or player mistakes. You can be the judge of who is to blame.

Jared Goff looked like an MVP quarterback for most of this game, as the California native finished 25 of 41 with 273 yards and a touchdown to Jameson Williams. Speaking of “Jamo,” he got us started with a big 42-yard end-around touchdown run that was reminiscent of his high-flying celebration against the Saints in Week 12. The run game was our bread and butter, as David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs both found the endzone on 93- and 45-yard scores respectively.

Remember two paragraphs ago when I said we lost because of a coaching blunder or player mistake? I think you need to put the blame on Lions’ receiver, Josh Reynolds. The guy dropped two passes that hit him right in the hands on fourth down with a chance to continue the drive and get us more points. 

You might ask, “Why didn’t we just kick it?” It’s because all year, we weren’t the team that just played it safe. We took risks. We live and die by the sword. You can’t change the game plan to suit just this one game. So, all of you that are blaming Dan Campbell for being irresponsible and not kicking field goals in those two situations: hit the dusty trail. You must realize that we had just as good of a chance at converting the fourth and short than hitting two 40-plus yard field goals.

To be honest, what you can blame this loss on is the second half defense. I really don’t know how you can fall off that bad. We were batting down passes, forcing bad throws, sacking Brock Purdy, and forcing punts left and right. Cut to the second half, Purdy all of a sudden turned into a dual threat quarterback and Christian McCaffrey decided to turn on the jets.

Purdy chucked for 267 yards with a touchdown and interception. McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel both notched a rushing touchdown, but I think the nail in the coffin was Brandon Aiyuk’s touchdown catch that should’ve been an interception. That play alone made every single Lions fan cry a single tear with a violin playing in the background.

If you didn’t see the play, count yourself lucky. Purdy dropped back for a pass and unloaded a bomb down to Aiyuk. Lions’ Kindle Vildor was covering him and had the chance to catch the slightly overthrown ball. Instead, it ends up going through his hands, bounces off his facemask, and has just enough air under it for Aiyuk to dive and catch the ball. Unreal. 

Of course, there were a lot of things that the Lions could’ve done differently during this game, so the result could’ve changed in Detroit’s favor. In the end, I am happy with how we played for the most part. I think that this game, especially, gives the front office a good look into what needs to be changed and improved with the draft coming up and off-season free agency. The Lions are a great team, but they have a chance to be the best.

Although we are a team that has made it to the NFC Championship, there are many areas that we are in desperate need of improvement. To start off, we need a lockdown corner who strives in man coverage because Cam Sutton is not that guy. He can’t cover deep balls and he for sure cannot cover short slant routes over the middle. His only interceptions have been on bad placed throws that a child could catch. That won’t cut it, especially with our schedule next year.

We also need another pass rusher. Aidan Hutchinson is really good, but he can only do so much when he gets double teamed or held for the majority of games. The draft does not have a heavy presence of defensive linemen, so Brad Holmes needs to get out there and bring one in from another team. He lost his chance in free agency, so he needs to make it up now. 

If you can do me one thing, it’s don’t count this season as a failure. This team has made it farther than any group in this franchise has been for over 30 years. It’s not a fluke. Enjoy it while you can. It’s the start of a legacy that will put the Lions as a premiere destination for NFL football for years to come. 

It’s uncharted territory for us Lions fans, but from what I saw this season, we have a pretty solid road map to success. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (1/22 - 1/28)

Monday, January 22

  • An officer spoke with a woman regarding perceived harassment because she did not approve of who her ex-boyfriend had brought to a child custody hearing. The matter was unfounded.
  • An officer was dispatched to a local business where reports were coming from regarding a couple loudly arguing in public. It was determined they were having a verbal disagreement and the woman was hard of hearing which was the cause for the elevated volume.

Tuesday, January 23

  • While on patrol an officer observed a vehicle parked in the travel portion of the street. Contact was made and further investigation into the matter lead to the warrant arrest of a 33 year-old man. In addition the officer seized over 27 grams of methamphetamine. The investigation is still open and ongoing.

Wednesday, January 24

  • An officer took a report of a car striking the side of a business. The driver stated her winter boots caused her to press both the brake and gas pedal at the same time. There was only minor damage to the exterior of the building and minor damage to the car. No injuries were reported.
  • Officers arrested a 22-year-old man on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court. He was lodged without incident.
  • An officer responded to a juvenile being destructive and assaultive. The juvenile was taken for a mental health evaluation.
  • An officer was requested to assist in restraining a combative mental health patient.

Thursday, January 25

  • An officer took a report of littering. The business only accepts donations during business hours and there had been an after hours drop off.
  • An officer was requested to assist with a combative mental health patient who was damaging an exam room.
  • The officer assisted medical staff in getting the individual under control and calmed down.

Friday, January 26

  • Officers received a complaint from a man of being harassed by his stepmother on Facebook. Contact was made and both agreed to stop all contact with each other.

Saturday, January 27

  • Officers transported an individual to a downstate extended care mental health facility.

Sunday, January 28

  • An officer received a report of a found identification at a local business. The owner of the ID was contacted and arrived to take possession of it.

  • An officer spoke with a parent about their troubled teenager. The officer offered advice on how to proceed and resources available.

'Overcoming Hateful Things' traveling exhibit from Ferris State's Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery opening Monday at Wayne County Community College District in Detroit

“Overcoming Hateful Things,” the traveling exhibit from Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery, will open at Wayne County Community College District in Detroit starting Monday, Feb. 5. 

The exhibit, on display at WCCCD’s Curtis L. Ivery Downtown Campus, 1001 West Fort Street, includes artifacts that serve as reminders of America’s past and as an educational tool noting generations of pushback by African Americans through activism and achievement.

“Our mission has always been to provide pathways to better lives through higher education,” said Dr. Curtis L. Ivery, WCCCD chancellor. “This exhibit offers an opportunity to see and engage in history in a way that challenges, but also builds new understanding about where we have come from, and where we are going as a community and as a nation.”

The exhibit explores the Jim Crow system, the African American experience during that era, and its legacy in contemporary society through hundreds of objects from the period. The traveling exhibit includes 151 objects, 21 exhibit crates, 17 exhibits and eight multimedia interactive displays.

“‘Overcoming Hateful Things’ is an exhibit that will help stimulate spaces where intelligent discussions about race, race relations and racism can occur,” said David Pilgrim, Ferris State Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives and founder and director of the Jim Crow Museum. “We are proud to share this impactful exhibit in Detroit and in partnership with WCCCD.”

Detroit is the second stop for the exhibit, which is supported by a $500,000 grant from the Wege Foundation. It debuted in June at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and can move to other parts of the country and around the world after its time in Detroit.

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery is based on Ferris State University’s Big Rapids campus. It houses the nation’s largest publicly accessible collection of artifacts of intolerance and uses them to teach tolerance and to promote a more just society.

The traveling exhibit was created to tell similar stories in ways that encourage dialogue and understanding about painful histories and issues. The exhibit was designed by Howard+Revis, the Washington, D.C.–based design firm that created the exhibits at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, to further its mission and impact across the United States and internationally.
The exhibit connects and expands on a series of educational experiences WCCCD has built. WCCCD recently received a Network to Freedom’s National Park Service Historic Underground Railroad designation for its educational programming, adding to its official designation of the College’s Central Educational Complex as a Detroit Underground Railroad Site Historic District by the City of Detroit.

WCCCD is one of the largest urban-suburban community colleges in Michigan. The district has six campus locations and educational centers, including the Mary Ellen Stempfle University Center, the Heinz C. Prechter Educational and Performing Arts Center, the Michigan Institute for Public Safety Education, the Curtis L. Ivery Health and Wellness Education Center and the Outdoor Careers Training Center.

Ferris State University alumna Most named '2022-23 Resident of the Year' by Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Amoreena Most, a 2021 graduate of Ferris State University’s Doctor of Pharmacy program, was honored by the Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists as the 2022-23 Resident of the Year for her contributions during residency training at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Most, PharmD, BCCCP, completed a PGY-1 pharmacy residency and PGY-2 critical care pharmacy residency at the University of Michigan and is currently completing a two-year critical care pharmacy fellowship at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy.

Most is honored to receive the 2022-23 Resident of the Year award, which was accepted by her parents owing to her assignment in Augusta, Georgia.

“I am grateful for the nomination from the University of Michigan pharmacy residency program, and I am honored to have been selected by the society for this award,” Most said. “The nomination and selection process included many elements. A few highlights include serving as PGY2 chief resident and presenting research on heparin dosing during targeted temperature management at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 2023 Congress in San Francisco.” 

Most said a spark for her interest in critical care pharmacy came while she was a student at Ferris State.

“A lecture I attended during my third year of pharmacy school catalyzed my interest in pursuing post-graduate training in the field of critical care,” Most said. “A career in academia has been and remains my long-term goal. However, I wanted first to develop my abilities to practice as a clinical pharmacist.”

Most said she furthered her clinical skills in critical care pharmacy during my residency training at the University of Michigan. She is now focusing on developing her clinical translational research skills to improve care for critically ill patients by completing a fellowship at the University of Georgia. 

“These opportunities have built on my interests in critical care pharmacy and academia, which began thanks to the Pharmacy faculty at Ferris,” she said. 

Most is the daughter of Robert Most, associate professor in the School of Engineering and Computing Technology at Ferris State’s College of Engineering Technology. 

 

Image provided by Sandy Gholston.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 1/29/24

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

January 29, 2024

Opening Statement: “Look, it’s hard to lose that way, but I’m proud of those guys in there, proud of the staff. And we did some really good things this year and, ultimately, we improved, which is the name of the game. I think, unfortunately, you’ve got to live that to really understand why you’re in this business and that’s what it’s for, playoffs, NFC Championship game, Super Bowl. And now your eyes are open. And our guys’ eyes are open and this should be the ultimate motivation to push forward and it will be for us, it will be. So, we’ll learn and move on.”

On what needs to happen in order for the team to get back to this level next season: “I think it’s everything. I think it’s players and coaches. I think it’s – you’ve got to continue to get better, create more competition on the roster and then in the coaches too. It’s got to be – you’ve got to make sure that you have the right staff and that they all work well together. And that’s it’s a high-level staff with high-level players. That’s important and it’s just – it’s one thing to – you learn a lot about players when you’re 0-10, which I talked about, you also learn a lot when you’re in an NFC Championship game and everything’s – the stakes are a lot higher, and you get in those types of games and we all learn.”

On his plan to replace Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson if he receives a head coaching opportunity: “Yeah, if it comes to that, that’s, obviously, very important. I mean, he was a critical piece for us. He’s a critical piece. And I’m not worrying about that just yet. I need to at least get two hours of sleep and then I’ll begin. But I’m not going to rush, I can promise you that. I’m not in some mad rush. I’m going to make sure it’s right.”

On if his phrase ‘built for this’ is an ideology that can be reused for seasons to come or if it will take some rebuilding to get to this point again: “Yeah, I think the whole point was to create a core that had certain standards. Obviously, they’ve got to be good players and we have that. But they’ve got to be a certain way and there’s got to be a certain mindset and a certain identity, and we have that with our core. And we’ve got to add pieces that are like-minded. We’ve got to add more talent, more competition that thinks the same way that group of guys in that locker room does. And it’s non-negotiable if it’s not. There’s no level of talent that is worth bringing something that doesn’t fit what we’re about in there. And so, that’s very important. But as far as – look, we’ll talk about that when it gets – we’ve got to start all over. Yeah, we have the foundation, there’s things that we won’t have to start all the way from scratch, but man there’s got to be that hunger, there’s got to be that work, there’s got to be that attention to detail, there’s got to be that urgency. And in that regard, you’re starting all over again. And if you don’t and you think you’re just going to walk out there because you went to the NFC Championship game, you’ve got another thing coming. Alright, that’s how you become average in a hurry. And they’ll know that, they understand that and as we get to next year, that’ll be the message. But that’s really it.”

On what he thinks the team learned from their first appearance in the NFC Championship: “I think it, there again, it was – this is what you hear about all the time with catastrophes. It doesn’t take one or two, it takes 12 things to go wrong and we did all 12 of those wrong in all three phases. And ultimately, where we’ve been so good when one area is not – is struggling a little bit, the other two pick them up. We’ve been really good about that and that was the game, the second half, where all three phases just – we were not good. And we continued to make mistake, after mistake, after mistake in all three phases and when that happens, that’s where a game like that against a very good opponent – their guys showed up, man. (49ers QB Brock) Purdy showed up in critical (moments). (49ers RB Christian) McCaffrey, (49ers TE George) Kittle, (49ers WR) Deebo (Samuel), (49ers WR Brandon) Aiyuk, (49ers DL Nick) Bosa. I mean, (49ers LB Fred) Warner. They – and so, I think, if anything, it’s just a reminder, until you’re in there, you understand this is the most critical play of the game. And it’s play four of the game, or it’s play 30 of the game. This is the most important. And so, I just think you have to be in that moment, you have to be on the road, that environment and you’ve got to find a way to dig yourself out, which we’ve done a really good job of.”

On what he can take from the experiences of playing and coaching under coaches who sustained successful teams for multiple seasons: “Yeah, consistency. You’ve got to stay consistent, which we’ve done for three years now. Stay true to what you believe in. When it comes time to start over, you start over. And it’s all about, like what I said, the hard work, the detail. We’ve got to be physical. That’s part of who we are, but if you start to deviate off of what you’ve been – and I think the other thing you’ve got to be careful, you fall in a trap with, the more success you have with these players, the more attached you get. And you’ve got to be careful you don’t get blinded and that’s hard, that’s hard to do. You’ve got to see it for what it is, step back and make sure the player is producing and is capable of producing at a high level and take your emotions out of it.”

On what he will remember most about this team: “I think what we talk about all the time, just how resilient they were. Their ability to overcome, to go into a harsh environment and win big games and not get panicked. And just to see where they really came as a group, man, as a team. And to watch them lean on each other and how strong that bond they’ve got in there, which is important, man. Even in professional sports, it’s still – that’s a deal, that’s a real thing. And the teams that can find that, they’re usually going to have something special and that’s what we’ve got in that locker room. It is a special group.”

On what it means for him to have the team’s trust: “Oh, it means everything, it means everything. Because in this line of work, when you stand in front of those men and you’re selling them on what you really believe, I know that’s not the easiest thing to do. And especially with where we came from, stepping in here, there’s a number of players that didn’t have success, had not known success, and it’s the next coach telling us, ‘This, this and this,’ and, ‘Why should we believe in that?’ And the fact that a number of these players that were already here, to watch them buy-in and trust it and believe in the process and then us to have success, that’s special. That’s something you don’t forget. For the (Lions T Taylor Decker) Deckers and (Lions C Frank Ragnow) Ragnows and – because you want success for those guys that are willing to put in the work another time and to give it its due, is special.”

On if there is anything he would change about his decision to run the ball on third down and have to take a timeout: “Yeah, look the easy thing to do is to throw it. Probably should’ve been the right thing, but for me, I wanted to run it. I thought we would just pop it. We had just – two-minute all the way down the field, throwing the football and they were in a four-down front and I believed we’d walk right in. And we just missed a block, so then yeah, I’ve got to use a timeout. So, hindsight, throw it four times, but I believed in that moment it was going to be a walk-and-run. And it didn’t work out. So, I gambled and lost.”

On Lions LB Derrick Barnes’s injury update: “Yeah, I really have nothing new on him. So, I don’t have an answer right now.”

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (1/22 - 1/28)

Monday, January 22

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched to investigate a two vehicle property damage accident.

Tuesday, January 23

  • Harassment – Officers were dispatched to a harassment complaint. Officers spoke with both parties who advised they said what they need to say and do not plan on speaking with the other party anymore.  

Wednesday, January 24

  • 911 Open Line – Officers responded to a 9-1-1 open line. Officers investigated the complaint and concluded a verbal dispute had occurred.

Thursday, January 25

  • Threats – Officers responded to report of threats. The complaint was investigate and sent to the Prosecutor for review.

  • Retail Fraud – Officers responded to the Evart Wesco for report of a retail fraud. The complaint remains open at this time.

Friday, January 26

  • Disorderly – Officers took a report of a disorderly male at KC's Party store. The male left the scene prior to Officers arrival. The case remains open at this time. 

Saturday, January 27

  • Domestic – Officers were dispatched to a domestic complaint. The complaint was investigated and it was determined that no assault had occurred. 

Sunday, January 28

  • Nothing reported.

Ferris State hosting "Red Out" event to promote and support women's heart health

Ferris State University will partner with Corewell Health Big Rapids Women’s Cardiac Unit for a “Red Out the Rink and the Wink” athletics event at Ewigleben Sports Complex on Saturday, Feb. 3, to support women’s heart health.

The event will kick off at 1 p.m. with Ferris State’s women’s basketball team competing against Michigan Tech University, followed by the men’s basketball team taking the court with Michigan Tech men’s team. The evening will conclude with Ferris State hockey competing against Bowling Green State University. Puck drop will be at 6:07 p.m.

All three athletic events will include opportunities to donate to the Corewell Health Big Rapids Women’s Cardiac Unit, closing with a check presentation during the second intermission of the hockey game. Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction throughout the duration of the event with proceeds benefitting Corewell Health.

Participants of the event are also encouraged to wear red to bring awareness for women’s heart health. Ferris’ athletics teams will be wearing their red jerseys as well.

Ferris State’s “Red Out the Rink and the Wink” event is planned and orchestrated by the Sports Communication program and Sports Careers Registered Student Organization. These students will be available during the event for questions and assistance.

Moolenaar staff available to discuss constituent assistance over next few weeks

This month, staff members from the office of Congressman John Moolenaar will be hosting meeting times across the district where constituents can sit down to discuss personal casework issues they are having with a federal agency.

Here are the following dates and times for local meetings:

  • February 5, 2024 | 9:00 - 10:00 AM | Mount Pleasant City Hall - 320 West Broadway Street, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
  • February 6, 2024 | 9:30 - 10:30 AM | Cadillac City Hall - 200 North Lake Street, Cadillac, MI 49601
  • February 14, 2024 | 9:00 - 10:00 AM | Newaygo City Hall - 28 North State Street, Newaygo, MI 49337
  • February 14, 2024 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Pathfinder Community Library - 812 Michigan Avenue, Baldwin, MI 49304
  • February 14, 2024 | 1:30 - 2:30 PM | Evart City Hall - 200 South Main Street, Evart, MI 49631
  • February 14, 2024 | 3:30 - 4:30 PM | Big Rapids City Hall - 226 North Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307

Constituents who cannot attend one of the meetings can call Moolenaar's office at (616) 528-7100, or visit Moolenaar.House.gov to receive assistance with their issue.

Moolenaar's office has helped thousands of constituents who needed assistance with a federal agency, including the VA and the IRS. The office helped them cut through red tape and reclaim millions of dollars owed to them by the federal government.

Ferris State Track squads wrap up action at GVSU Bill Clinger Classic

The Ferris State University men's and women's track and field squads competed on Friday (Jan. 26) at the Bill Clinger Classic hosted by Grand Valley State in the Kelly Family Sports Center in Allendale.

The annual meet included top competition from schools at various levels.

The Bulldogs' Claudia Wilkinson was the runner-up in the high jump (5-4.5) for the Bulldog women's team. Rebecca Marvin placed third in the weight throw (47-1.50) and was seventh in the shot put (39-1).

FSU had a strong finish in the women's 5,000 meters with Hanna Brock taking third place (17:55.11) followed by Whitney Farrell in fourth (18:10.59) and Melanea Strauss in sixth (18:23.32).

Becci Castillo came in sixth in the women's one mile open run (5:21.97), Abigail Winkle placed eighth in the 400 meters (58.91) and Denae Feldpausch finished ninth in the women's one mile run invite field (5:04.62). Castillo was also ninth in the 3,000 meter open division (10:48.72).

Meanwhile, in men's action, the Bulldogs' Gavin Vansolkema was fourth in the men's one mile open run (4:22.58) and Cooper Sorsen was fourth in the 5,000 meters (15:05.48) while Chase Carter finished fifth in the 60 meters (6.95). Blaine Rogers finished eighth in the 60-meter hurdles (9.62).

FSU's Ben Dousuah finished fifth in the men's shot put (44-2) with Hunter Richardson coming in seventh (42-2.25) in the same event. Devin Dennison was third in the weight throw (48-5.50).

The Bulldogs will next compete back in Allendale at the annual GVSU Big Meet on Feb. 9-10.

NCAA DII powerhouses Ferris State & Pitt State ink two-year football game agreement

Two of the nation's premier NCAA Division II Football programs will square off to open each of the next two seasons of action as the Ferris State Bulldogs and the Pittsburg State (Kan.) Gorillas have announced today a two-year contract for the 2024 and 2025 football seasons.

Pitt State will entertain the Bulldogs in the 2024 season opener on August 31 at Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburgh, Kan., before paying a return trip to Big Rapids to face the Bulldogs at Top Taggart Field in the 2025 season opener.

The 2024 season opener will highlight the newly created "Week Zero" action in NCAA Division II, showcasing two of the division's elite programs in what figures to be a top 10 match-up. The Gorillas and Bulldogs were ranked No. 5 and No. 9, respectively, in the final 2023 NCAA Division II Top 25 poll released in December.

Pitt State and Ferris State officials worked quickly to bring the series to fruition after Division II football-sponsoring delegates approved to permit schools to play their first permissible contest one week earlier than the current legislative date at the 2024 NCAA Convention in Phoenix on Jan. 13.

"We're thrilled to be able to announce this partnership with Pittsburg State and excited the new Week Zero legislation was passed at the recent NCAA convention, giving us an opportunity to make this happen," said FSU Athletics Director Steve Brockelbank. "The addition of this game gives our student-athletes an opportunity to play a full 11-game schedule this coming fall and will be an outstanding way to kickoff the 2024 season."

Pitt State and Ferris State will meet for the second time in program history in August. The Gorillas and Bulldogs faced off in the second round of the 2022 NCAA-II playoffs in Big Rapids where FSU scored a hard fought, 17-14, victory over Pitt State en route to capturing its second consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship.

"This will be a tremendous test for our team and we'll be facing a great opponent to open the season, but we look forward to the challenge," said FSU head coach Tony Annese, who ranks as the nation's winningest active head coach regardless of level. "Pittsburg State is a perennial top 10 team nationally and this matchup will be one of the best in the country. We're excited it gives us a full schedule this fall and a guarantee for our guys to play at least 11 Saturday's."

The 2024 match-up also will usher in the Tom Anthony era for Pitt State. Anthony, who served as the Gorillas defensive coordinator from 2020-22, became the program's 16th all-time head coach on Dec. 3.

"We are excited to announce this update to our 2024 football schedule," said Pitt State Athletic Director Jim Johnson. "Obviously, we wanted to move quickly following the passage of the new NCAA legislation; and we look forward to the opportunity to host a premiere Division II football program in Ferris State University at Carnie Smith Stadium this fall. We continue to look for ways to enhance our strength of schedule in non-conference opportunities. This series certainly will provide added excitement to the start of the 2024 and 2025 seasons."

With the week zero legislative change, the Bulldogs will now play a full 11-game schedule this coming season over the course of 12 weeks of action. The 2024 campaign would have started following the Labor Day holiday prior to the addition of week zero the final weekend of August.

The Bulldogs made their ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA-II playoffs (2014-19, 2021-23) this past fall and have reached the D2 Playoffs 14 times in program history. Ferris posted an 8-3 record, falling to No. 2 ranked Grand Valley State University in the first round of postseason play. The Bulldogs are 26-12 (.684) in 38 postseason games.

Pitt State posted an 11-2 record in 2023. The Gorillas captured their second straight MIAA Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA-II playoffs, before dropping a 24-21 road decision to Grand Valley State. The all-time winningest program in Division II history, Pitt State has made 19 NCAA postseason appearances highlighted by NCAA-II National Championships in 1991 and 2011 and national runner-up finishes in 1992, 1995 and 2004.

The Bulldogs, who captured national championships in both 2021 and 2022 along with being the national runner-up in 2018, will release their full 2024 football schedule, with full opponents and start times, later this spring.

Detroit Lions Quarterback Jared Goff Quote Sheet: 1/26/24

LIONS QB JARED GOFF QUOTE SHEET

January 26, 2024

On if he heard that the crowd chanted ‘Jared Goff’ at the Red Wings game last night: “Yeah, it was sent to me last night by a few people. And yeah, pretty cool, pretty fun to be a part of a city that cares so much.”

On if he was at the Red Wings game last night: “I was not there, no.”

On if the spread of fan support is surreal and if he experienced this when he played for the Rams: “Not like this, no. No, this is a little different. And obviously, the circumstances of it all kind of feeds into that. But yeah, these fans are unbelievable. I expect to see a lot of them this weekend as well, it’ll be fun.”

On how this week of practice went: “It was good, really good.”

On how quickly he is able to build chemistry with Lions TE Zach Ertz with the amount of experience he has had in this League: “Yeah, he’s picked it up extremely fast. He really has. And really impressive, not that you didn’t expect that from a guy like him who’s been around for so long. And I’ve known him here and there throughout the years and just hearing about how smart he is and how well he can pick up things, he’s done it really well this week. And yeah, it’s been good.”

On how valuable it is to have veteran voices who have been in this position before in the locker room: “Yeah, it is cool. It is good having those guys around. I mean, (Lions TE) Zach (Ertz)’s another one. Like you said, he’s won a Super Bowl and having him around for games like this and being able to know that the moment isn’t too big for a guy like that and being able to have guys see that on the field every day is fun.”

On the 'superpowers' he sees in Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell: “Oh boy, yeah. I mean, again, I could probably go for a little while here. But obviously, I think the number one thing that I think about with him is his emotional intelligence, how well he can read the room and know people and that’s maybe characteristic number one of being a leader and why he is so good at that. But he knows when to push, when to pull, when to tell you he needs a little bit more from you, when to love you up. He’s got such a great feel for all that, which is why he’s so special.”

On if Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell's leadership ability is one of the reasons why he was able to lock into the organization from the start: “Yeah, I think not just me, we all respect him because he tells us how it is and he’s sat in our seats before and understands on day 15 of training camp that we’re tired and it’s hard and we know he gets it, but at the same time he’s going to push us. And when a guy that knows it is still pushing you, you kind of trust that a bit more. And yeah, it’s a good way to be as a head coach and it helps us.”

On what he makes of the 'cosmic forces' that led him to play against his former team and his hometown team this postseason: “I don’t know, yeah, they’re the one seed and that’s who’s up next. I don’t think it has anything to do with me. But yeah, it’ll be fun. It’s exciting and yeah, it’s cool for me to go back home, but at the same time, it’ll be a tough game.”

On the similarities and differences between when he was in this position with the Rams compared to now: “Yeah, a lot of similarities. On the road, certainly will be the similarity of that one against a good team. It’ll be a tough matchup regardless of how the game goes. It’ll be a four-quarter game. Yeah, as far as the ins and outs of the team, not much. But yeah, I think it’s certainly being a road NFC Championship game.”

On if he had to hold off on getting the offensive linemen gifts until the postseason ends or if he has to give them a bigger second gift: “Their gifts? They got their gifts at Christmas. Yeah, you do it before the season extends. But those guys, I’ll make sure they’re well taken care of.”

On if he has to give the offensive linemen a second gift for making it this far into the postseason: “No, I may have to. That’s a good idea. I’ll have to think about that, yeah.”

On what it is about his personality that has allowed him to improve programs at California, the Rams and now the Lions: “Yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s – all three of those situations have been very, very much about the people that were there. Certainly, I had a hand in it, but for me, I’ve always had a lot of pride in trying to be the same guy every day. And whether it’s hard, whether it’s great, whether it’s fun, whether it’s not, how do you show up every day and be that same guy? And I think that, certainly, helped me get through it. And maybe it’s rubbed off on some other guys along the way. But yeah, that and optimism, eternal optimism. You’re always knowing, thinking the best situation.”

On if the drive to better the situation at California was part of the reason why he chose to go there: “No, both my parents went there. It was one-of-three scholarship offers and there it’s the number one public school in the world, so made it pretty easy.”

On if there is something about how he was raised that pushes him to have an optimistic outlook on the world: “No, I don’t know. I had great parents, so that probably had something to do with it. But I can’t point to any one thing they’ve pointed to me. I think I’ve talked about this in the past, but my dad played professionally and always just preached to have fun, enjoy it, doesn’t last forever. And that’s certainly carried me through a lot of the hard times.”

On the steps he takes to mentally prepare for a game of this magnitude: “Same things I do every week. No different. Wednesday-Friday, do the gameplan and study it up and get ready to go.”

Evart Police Department's K-9 Koda to get donation of body armor

Evart Police Department’s K-9, Koda, will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. The vest is sponsored by Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Toonces and Lloydee”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K-9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. has provided over 5,435 vests to K-9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K-9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K-9s throughout the United States.

Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $985 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1800.00, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718. 

"Bipartisanship" and "big budgets": the new Lansing buzzwords

The following was written by District 101 Representative Joseph Fox of the Michigan House of Representatives in response to Gov. Whitmer's recent State of the State Address.

 

After listening to Governor Whitmer’s annual State of the State address on Wednesday, it’s clear that, looking at her record, her lauding of bipartisanship constitutes a half-truth meant to score political points.

If she was serious about bipartisan legislation, then she and the Democrats would share power with Republicans in the evenly split House of Representatives and have conversations about bills that benefit Michigan families. With 54 Republicans and 54 Democrats in the House, now marks a crucial time for these discussions. Instead, bipartisanship has become a buzzword to boost Whitmer’s political ambitions, which leaves the rest of Michigan behind.

Reflecting on all the legislation that passed the House last year, which was overwhelmingly supported only by Democrats, it is plain that Whitmer is making phony claims to bipartisanship. While Democrats passed a laundry list of bills into law – from restrictions on Second Amendment rights to anti-life policies and beyond – they never consulted with Republicans. Conservative voices were outright ignored.

Governor Whitmer also spoke at length on the $82 billion state budget passed last year, which was the biggest in Michigan history. But, Michigan can’t prosper while the government throws money at Democrat pork projects and burdens middle-class families with high taxes. How can she think that Michigan is becoming a more attractive place to live? Worse, most of the $82 million went to Detroit and other cities; rural and northern Michigan residents had to fight for the scraps, and I anticipate the same will occur this year. Under the governor’s administration, big
budgets are in style, and taxpayers must foot the bill.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (1/8 - 1/21)

Monday, January 8

  • At 2:26 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna TWP. The traffic resulted in the male driver being arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, January 9

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 5

 

Wednesday, January 10

  • At 11:24 A.M., deputies responded to a domestic at residence in Grant TWP. A male subject was arrested for domestic assault and also also resist and obstruct police officer. The male subject was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  •  

    At 8:32 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. The male subject was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 9:39 P.M., deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested for domestic assault and a probation violation. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

     

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 5

 

Thursday, January 11

Calls for Service: 18

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 7

 

Friday, January 12

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, January 13

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, January 14

  • Nothing reported.

Monday, January 15

  • At around 5:00 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Colfax TWP. A female subject was arrested on  a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 9

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Tuesday, January 16

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, January 17

Calls for Service: 13

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

 

Thursday, January 18

Calls for Service: 34

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Friday, January 19

  • At around 2:00 P.M., deputies responded to a retail fraud complaint in Wheatland TWP. A male subject was arrested for retail fraud and possession of methamphetamine. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 9

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Saturday, January 20

Calls for Service: 13

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Sunday, January 21

Calls for Service: 14

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Traffic Accidents: 1

Unions donate "Buddy Bench" to Eastwood Elementary School

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, members of the Big Rapids Police Department, the Big Rapids Fire Department, and the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office gathered with employees of the Big Rapids Public Schools to donate a "Buddy Bench" to Eastwood Elementary School. 

Buddy Benches are designed to combat loneliness and bullying in schools. Sometimes called a "friendship bench", these benches are installed on school playgrounds as a way for students to let others know that they are feeling lonely and isolated and need a friend to play with or someone to talk to.

Timbree Cosby approached Sheriff Miller and suggested the idea of the benches in local schools. The Big Rapids Police and Sergeants unions, the Big Rapids Professional Firefighters L1776, and the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office unions all donated to have the bench made. The bench will be installed on the playground in the spring.

 

(Photo provided by Bill Sell).

Big Rapids' Malloy staying home; signing with Ferris State Track and Field

Growing up, Big Rapids senior Oliviah Malloy recalls watching former Bulldog cross country and track athletes running by her home. This instilled a dream for her to one day become a collegiate runner.

This past Tuesday, Malloy signed that dream to soon become reality. The Cardinal track standout inked her letter of intent to stay here in Big Rapids and join Ferris State University’s track and field team next fall.

“I started running when I was in elementary and I had always watched the Ferris runners running outside for cross country. I would always hear about the track program and in middle school, I (decided I) wanted to run college track.”

Malloy said she had three schools in consideration of attending: Ferris State, Central Michigan, and Grand Valley State. While her father works in Mount Pleasant as a Chippewa, Malloy said she knew immediately following her visit to Ferris that she would complement the yellow with crimson instead of maroon.

“He always got central gear and wanted me to run for Central, but I had the opportunity to visit Ferris so I took that opportunity,” Malloy said. “I loved it. “As soon as I stepped on campus, it was like I was not even in Big Rapids anymore. It was just an amazing experience. The team was amazing, the coaches were great, and the facilities are amazing.”

The current Cardinal will finish her career this spring on the oval chasing a school record set by former Bulldog Sarah Montgomery in the 400 meters, one that she is three seconds from breaking. According to Malloy, Montgomery has been helping her try to reach the mark along with her Big Rapids coaches.

“She is giving me tips for what she did to get the 58 (seconds). I am very grateful for that.”

“My track coaches, Michele and Mike Selzer, have helped me since freshman year,” Malloy said on her coaches. “Every year we talk about my goals and they’ve helped me achieve those goals. Mr. Hambrick (also), it’s always nice to talk to him because he always has so much information and tips with track (as a former coach).”

Malloy becomes the eighth Cardinal since 2018 to sign with Ferris State’s program, including current freshman Ben Knuth and sophomore Ryan Ososki.

When asked about staying close to home, Malloy said it supplies a good mix of being way from home but not far.

“I always wanted to stay in the state of Michigan, but the fact that it's in Big Rapids is super nice. My family and friends are in Big Rapids so they can always visit me.”

Malloy aspires to become a physician’s assistant in dermatology but has a backup plan in business and marketing within the pharmaceutical field. She says the occupation stuck to her since freshman year of high school, where she mentioned taking a class in anatomy was the turning point.

 

(Photo provided by Dawn Thompson).

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (1/8 - 1/21)

Monday, January 8

  • Assist – Officers were dispatched for an area check for a subject walking in the roadway. The subject was having difficulty getting home due to the weather and snow, so a courtesy ride was provided for them to their residence.

Tuesday, January 9

  • Traffic Stop – Officers located a subject known to have a suspended drivers license operating a vehicle with an expired registration. The subject was issued an appearance citation and a licensed driver responded to the scene to operate the vehicle.

Wednesday, January 10

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers responded to a property damage accident. No injuries were reported.
  • Assist – Officers assisted CPS with a home visit.

Thursday, January 11

  • Assault – Officer were dispatched to investigate an assault and battery. The case has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney.

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – Officer were dispatched to a criminal sexual conduct complaint. The case remains open at this time.

  • Animal – Officers were dispatched to an animal complaint. The complaint was investigated and resolved.

  • Check Wellbeing – Officers responded to a complaint of a possible suicidal subject. Subject agreed to be transported to Reed City Hospital for an evaluation. 

Friday, January 12

  • Private Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched for a two-vehicle private property damage accident. There were no injuries and both vehicles were drivable.

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched for a dispute between two neighbors.  Both parties agreed to leave each other alone. 

Saturday, January 13

  • Disorderly – Officers were dispatched for a disorderly subject. The subject and their significant other were involved in a verbal dispute. The subject took off prior to Officers arrival.

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched to investigate a property damage accident.

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched to a civil complaint involving subjects living at their residence. The caller was advised to seek legal eviction through the court.

Sunday, January 14

  • Missing Person - Officers were dispatched to a missing juvenile. The juvenile was located and transported back to the custody of their parent.

Monday, January 15

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched for a dispute between two neighbors. Both parties agreed to leave each other alone.

Tuesday, January 16

  • Traffic Offense – Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. The operator did not have a valid license and had warrants for their arrest. The operator was issued an appearance citation for the license violation and lodged on their warrants. The passenger was found to have warrant for their arrest as well. The passenger was lodged on their warrants, and a valid driver arrived on scene to drive the vehicle.
  • Assist OCSO – Officers assisted a Deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office with securing an individual who was resisting arrest. Once the subject was in custody and secured in the patrol vehicle the Deputy transported the subject

Wednesday, January 17

  • Assist – Officers were called to a residence for an out of control juvenile. The juvenile was calm upon the Officers arrival. Officers cleared after having a conversation with the juvenile and their parent.

Thursday, January 18

  • Nothing reported. 

Friday, January 19

  • Fail to Pay – Officers were dispatched to investigate a Fail to Pay complaint. The complaint remains open at this time. 

Saturday, January 20

  • Assist – Officers were requested by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office to check on a broken down vehicle just outside of the city limits. The occupants were found to be okay and asked for assistance with contacting a tow company.

  • Traffic Offense – Officers stopped a vehicle with an improper registration. While investigating the traffic stop further it was determined the vehicle did not have insurance. The operator was issued an appearance citation for the offenses and the vehicle was towed.

  • Domestic – Officers were dispatched to a domestic assault. After investigating the complaint the aggressor was arrested for domestic assault and violating their probation.

Sunday, January 21

  • Nothing reported.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (1/15 - 1/21)

Monday, January 15

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, both parties were calm.
  • An officer stood by while an individual collected some personal belongings from his ex-girlfriend’s residence.
  • An officer took a call regarding snow removal and unsafe conditions

Tuesday, January 16

  • An officer responded to a call for backup from another officer.
  • An officer responded to reports of an injured deer on the roadside.

Wednesday, January 17

  • An officer assisted the Big Rapids Police Department in locating an individual with a warrant for his arrest.

Thursday, January 18

  • An officer assisted CPS on a home visit. No issues.
  • An officer responded to a call of someone breaking car windows at an apartment complex. It was determined the owner of the car broke his own windows. The young man was voluntarily taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Friday, January 19

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, January 20

  • An officer responded to a call at the High School regarding reports of a parent acting unruly at a sporting event. The parent left upon the police being called.

  • An officer assisted staff at the Reed City Hospital with a patient that was there for evaluation. No issues.

Sunday, January 21

  • While patrolling, an officer found the door of a local business unlocked. The officer searched and secured the business.

  • An officer responded to a call for a verbal domestic dispute in progress. Individuals calmed down and officer cleared.

Ferris State basketball squads hit the road for two GLIAC doubleheaders this week

The nationally-ranked Ferris State University men's and women's basketball squads will look to keep the momentum going this week as the Bulldogs hit the road for a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheaders.

Both squads are currently ranked high in the national polls following a home sweep over rival Grand Valley State on Saturday with the women vaulting to seventh in the WBCA Division II Top 25 Rankings and the men moving up a notch to 13th in the NABC D2 poll.

This week, the two squads will head to Detroit on Thursday (Jan. 25) for a league twin bill against Wayne State in the Motor City. The women's contest will tip at 5:30 p.m. (ET) inside the Wayne State Fieldhouse with the men's game slated for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) start.

Following Thursday's contests, the two teams then take on Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 27) in University Center starting at 1 p.m. (ET) for the women and 3 p.m. (ET) for the men.

All of this week's action will be carried live on local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with online coverage available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Pregame coverage begins a half-hour prior to the women's game each day.

In addition, a live pay-per-view video stream will also be available for all four games on FloSports. All applicable coverage links, including live internet statistics, can be found at FerrisStateBulldgos.com on the respective team schedule pages.

Following this week's trip, both teams return home for a pair of conference doubleheaders next week back at Jim Wink Arena versus Northern Michigan (Feb. 1) and Michigan Tech (Feb. 3).

Presently, both teams are near the top of the league standings as the FSU women are tied for first with a 6-1 league mark and the men are in second place with a 5-2 conference slate. The women hold a 12-2 overall record to date and the men are currently 15-3 on the year.

Ferris State is currently one of only two schools in the country to have a team listed among the top 13 in both the men's and women's national polls announced by the respective coaches' organizations this week along with Gannon (Pa.).

The Bulldog women are coming off a thrilling 71-65 win over then top-ranked Grand Valley State this past Saturday in Big Rapids, which marked the team's second win over a number one ranked team in the country this year as FSU also defeated Ashland when the Eagles were listed first back in December. The men also beat the Lakers by an 86-73 count to complete the home sweep.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 1/22/24

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

January 22, 2024

Opening Statement: “I thought the game – field position won us that game, it was one of the reasons. I thought (Lions P) Jack Fox was outstanding, flipping the field. Our coverage units, I thought (Lions CB Khalil Dorsey) Dorse and (Lions CB Chase Lucas) Lukey really got down the field to help on a lot of that. I thought (Lions CB) Will Harris played at a high level on teams. The takeaway, I thought our defense set the tone for the game when they went out there, got the takeaway. Set the tone early in the third quarter, got off the field twice, two stops and then finishes the game with an interception which was huge. I thought we were disruptive, all day we hit the quarterback and played an aggressive style of football, which we have to do over there. That’s got to be the way we do it and really came up big. And ultimately, I thought we complemented each other very well, all the units, all three of them. Offensively, we knew we were going to have to be patient, but really, the pass game was going to be an extension of the run game and that was what we felt like we needed to do to loosen that defense a little. And then when we needed the run game, it came through in a big way in the second half. So, I thought (Lions QB Jared) Goff and (Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs) Gibby really played at a high level. That offensive line, for as many times as we threw it, I thought the protection was outstanding. (Lions WR) Josh Reynolds comes up big for us again. (Lions TE) Sam LaPorta comes up big for us again. And defensively, (Lions LB Derrick Barnes) D. Barnes, that pick at the end, but he really played at a high level throughout the whole game, and he really has all year. And then (Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin) Germ, and (Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu) Iffy and (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch really helped us out there too. So, a really good win. It certainly was a team win. Took everything we had. We knew that wasn’t going to be easy, but it’s an excellent win.”

On what Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn was able to do as a play-caller yesterday and how effective he is as a leader: “Well, I mean where do I begin? I mean, let me start with what he did and what he does. I mean the amount of hours that he grinds on tape to prepare his players, his coaches, but himself for what he thinks is going to come and for where he feels like the game is going to go and what he feels like he needs to call in that time relative to what he believes that coordinator’s going to call is – there’s nobody that works harder. There’s nobody. And he’s got great vision for putting a plan together. He understands football very well and when you start talking about his leadership, he’s one of these guys – he’s special. He’s special. He’s got it. His ability to communicate, to relate, to push, to grind, to love, demand, he’s got it all. He’s an outstanding communicator, he’s an outstanding teacher and I mean he just – he is. That’s what I say, I’m fortunate that he’s on staff with me. He’s better looking than me, other than that, I mean.”

On if he was aware that Tampa Bay had a timeout left at the end of the game and could have gone down the field: “Yeah, look, well first of all, we didn’t handle that whole thing well on our end. We should’ve bled it more than we did. Look, I’ll be the first to admit that. And that’s on me. But yeah, we knew they had a timeout left and I could tell he wasn’t going to call it. And so, that’s just – that’s how it ended.”

On Lions C Frank Ragnow enjoying the challenge of identifying the defense’s disguises alongside Lions QB Jared Goff: “So, look, every week – every day of the week to prepare when we have special teams meetings, we have our team meeting then we go special teams and during that time, the O-line and Goff and the backs come upstairs and we go over all the blitz looks. And we’ve kind of got our whole big screen there and we go over all of it. And so, you’re already working through those and you’re working through your base rules. ‘This is what we need to do with this if we happen to get this look.’ So, they go through that and it’s imperative that Frank and he are on the same page and that they understand there could be these very few looks that haven’t shown up since Week 2, we may need to be ready. ‘If it is, it’s a rule breaker and we’ve got to do this with it.’ And that’s not easy, but to your point, Frank loves that stuff. There are some guys that get a lot of anxiety over that, and Frank is not that way. Like Frank loves that. He loves to be tested in that regard. And so, man, to have those guys on the same page, I mean it means everything to our – especially when you throw it like we’re throwing it. I mean it’s everything to your pass game and it’s another one of those reasons why we’re able to keep him upright yesterday. So, Frank prides himself on the mental side of the game. Not only that, protection, but the run game. Like he wants to – ‘Give me the gameplan. Give it to me early.’ He’s – there’s been times we haven’t gotten it spit out yet and it’s whatever, 4:30 in the morning and he’s on one of our young coaches, ‘Hey, I need this thing now.’ So, he prides himself in it and it’s one of the reasons why he’s arguably the best center in the League. He is the best center in the League in my opinion. So, yeah, he does a great job.”

On how far he has gotten into San Francisco tape so far: “I haven’t. Yeah, I haven’t. Other than just crossover tape that I’ve seen throughout the year, I haven’t been able to get to them yet. I’ve been trying to put this game and then other things to bed.”

On if Lions G Jonah Jackson would be able to return from injury and play in the Super Bowl if they advance that far: “It’s hard to say. I mean I think the timeline could be there. It’s just a matter of how fast this thing heals and what it feels like and – but I think there’s a possibility, but we’ll see.”

On the value of having depth on the offensive line: “Yeah, it’s been big for us. We have, we’ve had a number of those guys that have played for us and have banked a lot of reps. I mean there again, (Lions G Kayode Awosika) Yode gets to go in and he did some good things for us. And he’s played though, he’s played quite a bit for us. He played for us last year. And now, goes in this game, he’s going to be able to – ‘You’re the starter, you’re getting all the reps, you’re preparing with the rest of those guys in there.’ And so, that’ll be good for him. But it is big. I mean that’s why you have depth, that’s why you develop those guys and give them a chance to play, practice because you’re going to need them.”

On what it is about Lions QB Jared Goff that allows him to remain calm in high-pressure moments: “Yeah, it’s just the way he’s made. It’s just – I mean I think that’s one of those traits that I believe he learned over time. Probably some of it – look, I don’t know, maybe his father. Maybe it started there. Just his experience, his time playing the game at a high level in big games, understanding what’s coming next. But he does do a great job with it, and he does stay calm, he does stay cool, and he knows even if it feels a little shaky, a little rocky, it’ll smooth out. It’ll smooth out. We just – you just keep playing ball. But it’s one of the reasons why he’s able to play at a high level. It’s one of the reasons he had a fourth quarter like he did yesterday because of what you just said. He can just hang in there and he'll get in a rhythm, he’ll start finding some throws and get hot for us.”

On if he takes any credit for Lions QB Jared Goff’s ability to remain calm under pressure after Goff called him the best leader he has ever been around: “I don’t take credit for that. That is – it’s flattering, man. It’s – I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for Goff, so when he says something like that, that means something to me. But I’m fortunate to be around a number of great men and women in this building, so – and to be able to coach those guys is an honor.”

On the bar they have set for the environment in Ford Field: “Look, this is where we wanted to get it, right? This is where we wanted to go. This is for all the Lions fans. This was the whole idea, right? And I know it’s – everybody has been dying for it for so long, but this is the point because of what we just saw in those last two playoff games. The environment in there is better than any you’re going to find in the NFL. I mean, back-to-back weeks, your eardrums are just banging. The only thing I thought I would get a blown-out eardrum, it didn’t happen this one. We’ll work on that next year. But it was electric, and it was, I mean – I brought this up last night, but if you’re an opponent, that’s tough to play in, but you also walk away going, ‘Man.’ You’ll never forget that environment. It’s special to play under that kind of duress and stress and a home crowd that’s not your own, it’s – so, we’ve got something special that we’ve built, all of us together, and I’m talking about the fans with us. So, this is just the beginning.”

On how Lions DL Charles Harris and Lions S Tracy Walker have continued to contribute despite being inactive the past two weeks: “Yeah, both of those guys are the consummate pros. I mean, they go about their business, and they give us everything they’ve got every week. I mean, I can still – I can think of two rushes we got last week from Charles against (Lions T Taylor) Decker that were outstanding. You talk about preparing the guy across from you for what you’re getting ready to face and doing what I can, ‘Alright, well this is where I’ve got to help the team.’ And not only that, but just to mention what they do for the young guys around them and to try to help them, prepare them. They don’t sulk, they don’t – doesn’t mean they like it, but they handle it like pros. And they’re very much a part of all this. They help us win.”

On how much more he has on his plate this week and how he balances it within his normal game-planning schedule: “Yeah, I don’t know if I entirely know what all is yet to come. I know there’ll be some extra obligations and I’ve got to start looking out a little bit, scheduling, things of that nature, but I think it should be good. And if anything, I’ll just turn my back on those other things and get ready for this game. So, it’ll be good. So, I’m not worried about that.”

On if they will have another walkthrough instead of practice one day this week: “I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking about it. We may keep things very similar to last week.”

Joe's Takes: I'm not scared, bring on San Fran!

I truly don’t think that there is anything sweeter than seeing the city of Detroit and the whole state of Michigan rally behind this team. I’ve said it hundreds of times: forget Philadelphia sports fans, pay no mind to fans in New England, and the Bills Mafia isn’t even in the same ballpark. These cities are no match to how dedicated and loyal Detroit fans are. We’ve seen it hundreds of times over the course of many years, regardless of the sport, it’s always been Detroit versus everybody.

The tale of two fairytale seasons met last Sunday in Motown. The Detroit Lions have been paving their way through uncharted territory finding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose quarterback has been the latest journeyman to find success with his new team. Only one story continues though, as the Lions stay dancing, winning the NFC Divisional contest 31-23.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes, I think I must stop watching sports with my mother. This is mainly because she kept saying how bad she felt for the Bucs when they messed up, especially when Tampa Bay’s kicker Chase McLaughlin missed the field goal. I don’t know if it’s the mom in her but I was happy that he missed it, even if it means he doesn’t have a job in the NFL come tomorrow.

Jared Goff had me shaking in my living room after the first quarter. An abysmal performance from the guy, only registering one completion in his first seven attempts isn’t something that builds your confidence up. However, that's just how he is because he finished the game with a dominant stat like going 30 for 43 with 287 yards and two touchdowns. He’s a second half guy, what can I say?

Remember when everyone was saying how drafting a running back with our first pick of the draft was a mistake? I wonder how those people are feeling now. Jahmyr Gibbs proved himself once again with 114 all-purpose yards and a rushing touchdown. A young legend.

Amon Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds were the two receivers who found the endzone for the Lions. The receiving core as a whole had a slow day, but St. Brown led with 77 yards and Sam LaPorta was right behind with 65. Was it the prettiest performance? No, but it got the job done.

Thank the good lord that the Bucs had no running game, because an all-air offensive scheme often leads to a lot more errors. Baker Mayfield had a day throwing, racking up 26 completions on 41 attempts along with 349 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. His favorite target was Mike Evans, who chalked up 147 of those yards on eight catches. Tight end Cade Otton and running back Rachaad White had the other two touchdowns for Tampa Bay.

After seeing how the Bucs did against our secondary, I’m not loving where we’re at personally. Cam Sutton could not hold down a receiver to save his life and it was evident against Mike Evans. There’s no chance that I’d be confident going in against San Francisco, where they have Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. So, make your choice Cam Sutton, who do you want to give up 100+ yards to?

The Lions defense will be the reason that we win or lose this game. CJ Gardner-Johnson picked off a tipped pass early on and Derrick Barnes iced the game with his interception, so hopefully we’ll see Brock Purdy sling it around carelessly.

All I can say is Aidan Hutchinson is that guy. Eight sacks in his last four games speaks for itself. He is going to be priority number one for the game against the 49ers. Hopefully, James Houston will make his long-awaited return to the lineup too, which will take some pressure off Hutchinson.

It’s going to be the first game in the playoffs where we’ll have to travel, so that’s going to change some things. Especially heading to California, it’ll cause the internal clocks to get messed up a little bit. I’m not worried though. This team has had my confidence for years, so another game is no sweat.

Considering Jared Goff gets to go back home to play in front of friends and family and the 49ers are coming off a terrible game against the Packers, it’s fair to say the whole country is rooting for the Lions. I like our odds. Call your bookie folks and put the house on the “moneyline” and let it ride. The Lions are taking this week’s game and winning the NFC in their first trip since 1991.

 

*P.S.: Don’t actually call your bookie and put your house on the moneyline. That would be a dumb and irresponsible idea. I cannot be held liable if you choose to do that.

 

 

MSHDA board approves funding for housing across Michigan

In its January meeting, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Board approved funding for multiple housing developments across the state, including Holland, Garfield Township, Center Line, Lawrence and Hartford.

“Preserving and creating new housing is a critical need in every corner of the state,” said MSHDA Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Amy Hovey. “The funding approved by the Board will increase the number of affordable homes available for families, seniors and others in areas where our current housing supply is not meeting demand.”

The Board approved a construction loan of up to $31 million for H?M Flats at 24 East, a proposed 202-unit development in Holland. The development will feature 61 units for families with a household income at or below 60% area median income (AMI) and 52 units for households at 40% AMI. Additionally, 49 units are reserved for residents whose income does not exceed the 80% multifamily tax subsidy income limits.

The Board also signed off on a loan totaling $20.8 million to acquire and rehabilitate Lawrence Park, a 252-unit family/senior housing development in the City of Center Line. All units, except for two employee-reserved units, will be available for tenants at 60% AMI; of those units, 26 will be further restricted to 40% AMI. Three will have accessibility features. Construction is expected to create 46 temporary jobs for the surrounding community.

The Board approved loans to rehabilitate 66 senior housing units, including 24 one-bedroom units in Brush Creek Apartments in Lawrence, and 42 one-bedroom units in Woodside Apartments in Hartford. Rehabilitation activities will include updating major exterior and interior systems, renovating the units, adding A/C in the hallways of both buildings, adding an awning at Woodside Apartments, adding outdoor seating at Brush Creek apartments and more.

The Board also approved a construction loan of $11.5 million, a permanent loan of $5.9 million, and gap funding of over $4 million for The Village at Garfield – a new, 80-unit development in the Grand Traverse County area. Site amenities will include a play yard, community garden, dog walk area and a central laundry facility.

The Board also recognized MSHDA Chief of Staff Gary Heidel with a proclamation for his 38 years of service to the State of Michigan. Heidel, who retired on Friday, also received a special video message from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, in which she touted his key leadership positions within the Authority over the years, as well as his instrumental role in housing policy, his coordination of META, a collaborative effort bringing together senior staff from various state agencies to work on placemaking policy, and his involvement in the Sense of Place Council, among other achievements.

“We’re sad to see him retire but are grateful for the impact he’s had on MSHDA, Michigan and on us all. Gary’s legacy will continue to inspire us long after he retires,” Whitmer’s video message said.

Ferris State to host free webinars on the new FAFSA for students and families

The federal government has revamped its FAFSA application, and Ferris State University is hosting two free webinars dedicated to guiding students and their families through the updated process to connect with financial aid opportunities.

The Feb. 7 webinar, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,  is more comprehensive and is geared towards first-time FAFSA filers. The second webinar on Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to noon will highlight changes to the process and is best suited for those who have filed the FAFSA before. Everyone is welcome to attend either event. Both webinars will help demystify the new Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA.

The process is crucial for the more than 85% of Ferris State students who receive financial aid. The FAFSA is the key to unlocking these opportunities.

Ferris State awarded a staggering $126.3 million in financial aid during the 2021-2022 academic year, demonstrating the university's commitment to making education accessible and affordable.

“These webinars are part of Ferris State's ongoing efforts to support students in achieving their educational goals without financial barriers,” said Melanie Mulder, Associate Director of Scholarship and Financial Aid at Ferris State, "We're here to help students, no matter what their situation is.”

In addition to these webinars, financial aid professionals are available to assist students and their families via email, telephone, virtual and in-person meetings.

At the upcoming webinars expert financial aid counselors will provide an overview of the new FAFSA format and answer questions, ensuring that both current and prospective students, along with their families, can navigate the new FAFSA with confidence and take full advantage of financial aid.

Students can register now on the Ferris State website to secure their spot in these invaluable sessions.

Ferris State posts second win this season over nation's top team by beating Grand Valley

For the second time this season, the Ferris State University women's basketball squad knocked off the #1 team in the nation as the ninth-ranked Bulldogs pulled out a thrilling 71-65 triumph over archival Grand Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 20) afternoon before a large crowd at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs, who previously beat then top-ranked Ashland on the road back in December, moved into a first-place tie atop the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) standings with the win over the Lakers.

After the two teams battled back and forth early, giving GVSU a 17-16 edge following the first quarter, the Bulldogs took control and used a strong second frame to take a 13-point halftime lead. The lead grew to as many as 20 points in the third quarter before the Lakers answered. GVSU outscored FSU 23-12 in the fourth, but it was not enough as the Bulldogs came away with the win.

For the second-straight game, FSU's Kadyn Blanchard had a big performance with a game-high 26 points for the Bulldogs. Senior guard Mallory McCartney had the hot hand in the opening half and tallied 23 points for FSU to go along with a game-high eight assists.

The Bulldogs also got 10 points from senior Chloe Idoni on the inside and came notched eight rebounds as the Bulldogs battled GVSU even 35-35 on the boards. Senior DeShonna Day added eight points for FSU.

Ferris State shot 44.1% overall and the Bulldogs made 10-of-30 (33.3%) three's along with nine-of-13 (69.2%) free throws.

GVSU finished with a 35.2% shooting figure and the Lakers went only five-of-22 (22.7%) from long range in addition to 22-of-24 (91.7%) at the free throw line. Grand Valley State was led by Nicole Kamin with 17 points and Ellie Droste with 11 points.

The Bulldogs got valuable contributions from all eight players who saw action, including five steals from senior Amaka Unobagha and three blocks from Idoni. FSU finished with 17 assists as well in the game.

With the win, the Bulldogs are now 12-2 overall and tied with GVSU on top of the league standings at 6-1 this year in conference play. GVSU fell to 15-2 overall and it marked the Lakers' first loss against D2 competition this season as their previous setback came against NCAA Division I Ohio State.

The Bulldogs will hit the road next week for two league matchups, visiting Wayne State on Thursday (Jan. 25) and Saginaw Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 27).

Snowmobiler wrecks after hitting sheet of ice on Rails to Trails

On Jan. 20 at 8:02 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Green Township for a snowmobile accident on 19 Mile Rd. near 200th Ave. 

The investigation revealed that a 26-year-old female from Elise, MI, was traveling northbound on the rails of trails. She then hit a patch of ice, causing her to veer off the trails hitting trees.

The female was transported to the Corewell Health Hospital in Big Rapids for non-life threatening injuries. Deputies were assisted by the Big Rapids City Fire/Rescue, Mecosta County EMS, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Big Rapids City Commission meeting Tuesday evening this week

The Big Rapids City Commission will be meeting Tuesday evening at Big Rapids City Hall.

General business items include resolutions of bids for the following projects:

  • Adopting the 2024 Rules of Procedures for conducting Big Rapids
    City Commission business.

  • Accepting a proposal from Fleis and VandenBrink to assist in the
    the Distribution System Materials Inventory (DSMI) And Drinking Water Asset Management (DWAM).

  • Authorizing an extension of contract with Green for Life (Northern A-1) for grease/grit removal for the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

  • Intention to apply for state formula operating assistance for fiscal year 2025 under Act No. 51 of the Public Acts for 1951, as amended – (Dart).

  • Authorizing the CDBG Grant Agreement from the Michigan
    Strategic Fund for the Hemlock Park Splash Pad Project.

  • Adopting an amended travel policy.

The meeting will also include a study session a master plan update from Director of Community Development Michelle Stenger.

All city commission meetings are available to the public. Estimated start time of the meeting is 6:30 P.M.

Vehicle rollover leaves driver injured in accident Saturday

On Saturday at 1:30 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to 215th Ave. and 14 Mile Rd. in reference to a personal injury accident involving a one vehicle rollover. 

The vehicle lost control on the snow and ice covered roadway, went into the ditch, and over turned. The driver, a 30-year-old female, was transported to Corewell Health for non life threatening injuries. The minors in the vehicle were taken by a private car just to be checked out. 

Deputies were assisted by Big Rapids Township and Fire and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Moolenaar introduces legislation to support Michigan farmers

Congressman John Moolenaar introduced the Supporting Farm Operations Act (H.R. 7046), which will address the high labor costs facing Michigan farmers. The bill would freeze the wage rate for migrant farm workers, known as the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) at the level that was established in 2023 until end of 2025. The wage requirements set for these employees are determined by the Department of Labor.

“Michigan farmers grow and raise food for Michigan residents and people around the world. My legislation ensures they will continue to have a reliable workforce and can make ends meet while growing the food we need. I am proud to introduce the Supporting Farm Operations Act and will continue my work to advocate for the more than 11,000 farmers living in Michigan’s Second District,” said Moolenaar.

"Michigan farmers who rely on seasonal guest workers need a stable and predictable wage structure to be able to keep supplying consumers with a safe and afford food supply that’s grown on our soil. We applaud Congressman Moolenaar and his colleagues for introducing commonsense legislation that allows for a pause while Congress comes up with a long-term solution. Michigan farmers are counting on Congress to act swiftly and provide some much needed relief," said John Kran, National Legislative Counsel of the Michigan Farm Bureau.

“Rep. Moolenaar’s bill offers the short-term stability and reforms that today’s challenges require,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Government Affairs John Walt Boatright. “It’s a step in the right direction to creating a wage standard that benefits farmers and employees alike. Along with this effort, AFBF will continue to press Congress on the full reforms that deliver certainty and parity to farmers who produce food for America’s families.”

“This bill will help provide farmers, ranchers and growers utilizing the H-2A visa program with needed wage certainty and stability as they head into planting season. It is also important to note that it would clarify how primary job duties are determined and would more accurately reflect the realities of on-farm work, where pitching in on multiple tasks as needed is often the norm,” said Chuck Conner, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. “I would like to thank Congressman Moolenaar and Congressman Newhouse for their leadership on this issue. We look forward to working with him and other members on next steps on needed modernization and reform to the H-2A program and the stabilization of the existing agricultural workforce.” 

“Out-of-control labor costs are already dampening domestic fresh produce production, so we know that additional increases would have a devastating impact on the entire supply chain," said Cathy Burns, CEO of the International Fresh Produce Association. "Congressman’s Moolenaar’s common-sense legislation freezes AEWR increases for two years, giving immediate relief and enough certainty for our industry to perform while Congress works on broader reforms that will bring stability to our labor force and long-term food security for our nation.”

"On behalf of our growers across the nation, the U.S. Apple Association thanks Representative Moolenaar for understanding their predicament and taking this action. We call on all Members of Congress to support this effort. Bringing stability and common sense to the H-2A program will be the only way family farms can keep pace with the costs and regulatory burdens they face in producing America' s favorite fruit,” said Jim Bair, President & CEO of the U.S. Apple Association.

On January 1, 2024 the Department of Labor increased Michigan’s AEWR for the tenth consecutive year, to $18.50 per hour, an increase of $1.16 per hour from December 2023. This rate is the fourth highest in the nation.

Original cosponsors of Moolenaar's legislation are Representatives Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Lisa McClain (R-MI), and Tim Walberg (R-MI). The text of the Supporting Farm Operations Act can be found here.

FULL PREVIEW: Lions host Buccaneers for a chance to reach NFC Championship game

The most unlikely of matchups is set to take place this Sunday at Ford Field, as the Detroit Lions play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From a Lions team that made history last week with their first playoff win in over 30 years, to a Tampa Bay squad who snuck in by the grace of winning a less than competitive NFC South, it’s bound to be an animal house with the “OnePride” faithful set to show in full force. In a rematch of week six, the Lions look to continue their success into round three while the Bucs push for another win against a heavily favored opponent.

Detroit battled every second of round one when they took on the Los Angeles Rams. With two quarterbacks facing off against their former teams, it made must see television. The Lions started off hot but had their usual drop off in the second half, in which the Lions’ defense had to step up and secure the victory. A huge factor in that game was the crowd, which was able to reach 133 decibels at one point. This was a new Ford Field record and forced Los Angeles to use two timeouts early in the second half, which proved to help win us the game late in the fourth quarter.

Tampa Bay on the other hand was a team who was technically ranked higher than their opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, but had a worse regular season record. Despite the Eagles being 3.5-point favorites, the Bucs dominated this game 32-9 with an absolute onslaught of passing that caught the Eagles’ secondary off guard. Their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, ended the game with a 119.8 passer rating, one of his best so far this season.

What is it going to take for either one of these teams to be successful? The proof is in their performances from round one.

Lions quarterback, Jared Goff, is on back-to-back games with at least a 110 passer rating, which can bring trouble for the Bucs secondary. Back in week six when these two teams met for the first time, he had a 107.5 passer rating. If the Buccaneers want to stun Detroit, they’ll need to disrupt Jared Goff with an early interception. Goff did have a tough stint in the middle of the year with the turnover bug, he has since cleaned it up but the Buccaneers will try to trigger it again.

That won’t be an easy task though, as Tampa’s pass defense ranks 29th in opponents yards per game with 248.9 and opposing quarterbacks finish with an average passer rating of 92. If Goff and Amon Ra St. Brown can heat up quickly, the yards will start to rack up quick and the Bucs won’t be able to keep up. Don’t forget about Josh Reynolds, Sam LaPorta, Jahmyr Gibbs, or Jameson Williams, because just when you think you got one guy locked down, any of these players could have an impact on the game.

Speaking for Jahmyr Gibbs, he and David Montgomery have been the one two punch that has rocked the NFL this year. They’ll have a tough bout against Tampa, as the Buccaneers have held opponents to just 3.9 yards per carry on average, which is tied for 8th in the NFL, and 95.3 rushing yards per game, which is 5th in the NFL.

Detroit’s secondary needs to find an identity soon other than being bad. They gave up 367 yards to Matthew Stafford last week and two touchdowns, with 181 yards and a score going to Puka Nacua. They’ll have their hands full with Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans this Sunday who is tied for the most touchdowns this season with 13.

Look for Aidan Hutchinson in the backfield this week. He’ll be matched up against Luke Goedeke, who has allowed seven sacks this season. James Houston will also be back in the lineup in return from injury, so that can ease the load for Hutchinson if he finds himself double teamed.

Don’t be fooled by the disparity between the records of these two teams. The ‘Bucs’ have a high rated run defense, and a lethal receiver combo in Evans and Chris Godwin. Mayfield has also shown poise in his new home in Tampa after his journeymen stint with a few teams for the past few years.

The Lions have a plethora of guys in their offensive group that will be impact players, but the biggest impact in this game will be the crowd. “One Pride” fans were as loud as a jet engine from start to finish. Seeing how much the city loves this team, I think a new NFL record could be seen on Sunday. If the Rams had to spend two timeouts because of the Detroit faithful, I can only imagine what woes the Bucs will have to go through with the atmosphere at Ford Field.

Hundreds of analysts have sided with the Lions for this game and its foreign territory for Detroit to be the favorite. Even with the newfound backing from the masses, this Lions group hasn’t forgotten that it’s Detroit versus everybody. I believe that mentality will win the Lions this game. It’s a 6.5-point spread for this game, so the oddsmakers think it’s going to be a close one.

Sunday at 3:00 P.M., we could see history as the Lions could return to the NFC Championship game after 32 years. Either way, it’s two quarterbacks who have had similar, but unique journeys to where they find themselves today. Jared Goff and the Lions. Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers. Two wild season stories but one will end Sunday. Who will come out on top?

New FAFSA will unlock scholarship opportunities for more Michigan students, lowering tuition costs

A new version of the federal financial aid application known as the FAFSA will open scholarship and grant opportunities for more Michigan students and make it easier for them to apply. Some of the changes made by the Biden administration include expanding eligibility for financial aid for low- and middle-income students, cuts the number of questions on the FAFSA form and makes it easier to import financial information.

In Michigan, nearly 20,000 more students are expected to gain eligibility for a Pell Grant and over 38,000 more students are expected to receive the maximum grant award, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education.

“National research indicates that one of the most common barriers to filling out the FAFSA is that many people assume they’re not eligible for financial aid, and that’s simply not the case,” said Michelle Richard, acting director of MiLEAP. “The Michigan Achievement Scholarship is a real game changer. Everyone should complete the FAFSA to learn if they are eligible for it or other scholarships, grants or assistance.”

With the new changes, it takes most applicants less than an hour to complete the FAFSA and learn if they’re eligible for scholarships such as the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which provides eligible students up to $27,500 for college.

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship provides scholarships for undergraduate students who graduate from high school in Michigan with a diploma, certificate of completion, or achieve a high school equivalency certificate in 2023 or after. Students must be attending an eligible Michigan postsecondary institution and demonstrate financial need when they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

To help lower the cost of college and get the state closer to achieving its Sixty by 30 goal, Governor Whitmer created the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which is available to graduating high school seniors and this year’s incoming freshman class.

This scholarship builds on Governor Whitmer’s leadership to lower the cost of college through scholarships like Michigan Reconnect, Futures for Frontliners, and Mi Future Educator Fellowship. These investments get Michigan closer to reaching the state’s Sixty by 30 goal of 60% of adults with a skill certificate or college degree by 2030.

Students may be awarded up to:

  • $2,750 if they attend a Michigan community college, per year, up to three years.
  • $4,000 if they attend a Michigan private college or university, per year, up to five years.
  • $5,500 if they attend a Michigan public university or are enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program at a Michigan community college, per year, up to five years.

“Applying for financial aid can be an extremely complicated and overwhelming process,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “The new and better FAFSA, the Michigan Achievement Scholarship and the Michigan Reconnect program are all laudable initiatives that have combined to create an easier pathway to an affordable college education.”

Students and families can complete the FAFSA by visiting studentaid.gov.

KCAD student Lexi Wierenga wins nationwide creative outlook cover contest

Lexi Wierenga’s artwork usually stays in a small corner of her apartment. But that’s all set to change for the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University student following a first-place finish in the 2023 Creative Outlook Magazine Cover Contest.

Wierenga’s self-portrait painting, “Blindsided,” was chosen by Creative Outlook’s art panel out of a pool of more than 160 entries from high school and college art students across the country. The piece is now featured on the cover of the magazine’s recently released 2023 issue, which also includes a profile on Wierenga.

While the KCAD Fashion Studies major has her sights set on a career in the fashion industry, she’s harbored a love and talent for painting from a young age. Wierenga has always seen her art as a personal passion, and lately she’s feeling inspired to make it a more meaningful part of her life—a desire that recognition on a national stage has fueled even more.

“Winning felt like a big high five,” she said. “It gives me confidence to pursue painting more in the future.”

Wierenga’s artistic skill was evident as early as preschool. She was constantly painting and rarely without a sketchbook, something her parents and teachers were quick to nurture.

“I would make these extravagant paintings and was always creating in general,” she said. “I continued doing that all through childhood because my parents and so many teachers saw how much I loved it and encouraged me to keep exploring and making.”

By high school, Wierenga was painting and screen-printing on jeans and selling them to her classmates. When it came time for the Byron Center native to chart a course for after graduation, KCAD was at the top of her list. As it turns out, applying would inadvertently be the catalyst for her Creative Outlook win.

Wierenga was prepping for her KCAD portfolio review when she realized she didn’t have a piece that showcased her technical skill. So, she decided to make what would eventually become “Blindsided.”

“During that time, I was making a lot of self-portraiture, so I thought ‘why not just do a fun, colorful self-portrait,’” she recalled. “I typically work large-scale, and I painted this at 3 feet by 5 feet almost nonstop over the course of a few days.”

It wasn’t Wierenga’s initial intent for half of the vividly rendered figure in “Blindside” to be cloaked in shadow, but that ultimately became the piece’s defining characteristic.

“Every artist has this phase of painting themselves, and mine stopped right in the middle of making this piece,” she said. “I liked it that way, so I decided to lean into it, and the name comes from that realization coming out of the blue.”

“Blindsided” is one of five paintings Wierenga submitted to Creative Outlook. Another, “Dive,” will be included in her profile in the magazine and reflects a deft balance between realism and abstraction that is far from easy to achieve.  

Wierenga attributes the growing maturity of her painting in part to the influence and mentorship of Laurel Dugan, a fellow painter and 2023 graduate of KCAD’s Master of Fine Arts program. Seeing Dugan’s thesis work in an on-campus exhibition last spring was something of a revelation for the younger creative.

"Laurel’s work has made a huge impression on me, and it’s given me a ton of inspiration,” Wierenga said. “She utilizes a lot of underpainting with these beautiful almost neon orange and red colors. I went right home after seeing her exhibition wanting to be more expressionistic with my paintings, and I sat down and created ‘Dive’ in less than an hour.”

As for what’s next, Wierenga says she’s loved her experience in the KCAD Fashion Studies program thus far and is excited about building a career in an industry that she sees as “the perfect middle ground between fine art and design.”

And her Creative Outlook win and widening creative network have shown her that there is a higher place for art in her future.

“Fashion is what I want to dedicate my work life to, but this is a push to keep making art and painting,” Wierenga said. “I have a goal to be a gallery artist and exhibit my work, and I want to keep nurturing this love of painting throughout my whole life.”

Ferris State alumnus Klein, Big Rapids High School teacher and coach receives Michigan Lottery 'Excellence in Education' award

Ferris State University alumnus T.J. Klein earned an Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery for his work supporting students as a Big Rapids High School teacher and coach. 

“I had to keep the word of my selection a secret for about a month,” Klein said. “The Michigan Lottery brought in a crew for a promotional piece first. I am honored, as there are around 1,000 nominees each year and just 34 teachers are selected for this award.” 

Klein received a $2,000 prize and could be chosen as 2023-24 Educator of the Year and receive another $10,000 as the academic year ends. 

“I was nominated by Isaac Zocco, part of a great family,” Klein said. “Isaac and I are around each other a great deal as he plays varsity hockey and tennis and through his math studies. It was an honor to be recognized for doing what I love to do and to receive that nomination from a student-athlete is even better. It affirms that I am in the right place, doing the right things.” 

Klein grew up in Sparta and was a 2010 Kenowa Hills graduate, beginning his college education at Grand Rapids Community College before earning his Bachelor of Science in Math Education from Ferris State in 2015. 

“Job openings were tough to find when I earned my degree. I had considered a position in Coopersville, then learned Big Rapids had an opening in Chemistry,” Klein said. “I applied and got an interview for that position, but the district came back to say I had my choice between science and math, and I made a very satisfying decision.” 

Klein is busy with the Cardinal hockey team and the tennis program, assisting Tim Blashill and Jon Coles by accepting the junior varsity tennis role in 2022. The Klein family has strong Ferris ties, as his wife, Kendra, was part of the women’s basketball program after earning All-State honors at Big Rapids High School. 

“Everything is so great right now,” Klein said. “Teaching is very rewarding, because you have the opportunity to make an impact on students that can last for a lifetime.” 

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public-school educators statewide during the school year. One winner is selected each week. 

Gotion Inc. aiming to break ground on new battery plant this Fall

Many questions have been asked by residents about the area’s incoming battery plant. Questions like “Is it happening? When would they break ground?”

According to Gotion-North America Vice President Chuck Thelen, the project has seen some delay but is ready to move forward this year.

“We expect about a six-month delay for permit applications to be finalized since they go through the (federal level), the EPA, and the Army Corps of Engineers,” Thelen said. “We need to make sure all the “i’s” are dotted and t’s” are crossed before that’s submitted. Once that’s done, we hope to be breaking ground in the fall.”

Regarding the current status of the plant, Thelen says they are focused on personnel and tree-cutting at the location.

“Right now, we are building our staff,” Thelen said. “We have some verbal acceptances to some job offers we have made. We’ll be hiring another four or five more in the January and February timeframe. Those people will be helping us get moving forward.”

“We had intended for the trees starting to get logged by October or November. The amount of regulation that goes behind that is much more in-depth than what I anticipated. We (now) have authorization from EGLE (Environmental, Great Lakes, and Energy), so as soon as I can get that person under contract, we’ll start cutting trees only in the location of where the trees are.”

Over a few months ago, the push for watershed protection became a point of emphasis among resistors. This included consideration of a few endangered species by Mecosta Environmental and Security Alliance, like the Bald Eagle, Blue Karner Butterfly, and the Rusty Patched Bumblebee.

Further into his mentioning of construction plans, Thelen reiterated that building plans will continue to consider the wetland habitats.

“What we're not going to do is a clear cut. We're not going to destroy the entire environment. We’re going to leave a green strip around the entire plant and in areas where we have designated as high-quality wetlands. We're leaving those alone and those are all going to remain trees. We're working through architectural engineering firms to get all the designs done, and we intend to incorporate that along with all our wetland, water, (and) air numbers that we must submit to the state for permit submission hopefully by March.”

According to Thelen, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the fall. This event plans to bring in top executives in the state and even some across the world. The vice president also mentioned he believes this groundbreaking would be a “spark” to economic growth in the area.

Ferris State Hockey hosts LSSU for Star Wars Night Friday to open weekend series

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will host Lake Superior State for Star Wars Night on Friday at 7:07 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena as the two longtime league rivals begin a weekend home-and-home series.

The first 200 fans and first 100 FSU students will receive red glow sticks as part of the Star Wars evening theme. Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite Star Wars themed attire.

Following Friday's game, FSU then heads to Sault Ste. Marie for Saturday's weekend finale at 6:07 p.m. (ET).

Fans can purchase digital tickets for all Bulldog home hockey games in advance to guarantee a seat by visiting FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

The FSU Athletic Ticket Office's normal business hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. (ET). A complete pricing structure, ticket office hours and additional information is available online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com and can be found by visiting the "tickets" tab. For additional ticket information, please call (231) 591-2888.

The Bulldog Sports Network and flagship radio station Sunny 97.3 FM will carry all of this weekend's action live with online coverage also available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Live video coverage will also be provided on a pay-per-view basis via CCHA TV on FloHockey.com.

Ferris State Basketball squads host Davenport for Tropical Night this Thursday

The nationally-ranked Ferris State University men's and women's basketball squads will host the Davenport Panthers for "Tropical Night" this Thursday, Jan. 18, as FSU opens a weekend home slate of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at Jim Wink Arena.

The women's game between the nationally ninth-ranked Bulldogs and the Panthers will begin at 5:30 p.m. (ET) with the 14th-ranked FSU men's team taking on DU at 7:30 p.m. (ET) in the second game of the twin bill.

Thursday is "Tropical Night" with fans encouraged to wear beach attire and beat the cold by coming to Wink Arena for the GLIAC doubleheader. All FSU students are admitted free with a valid student ID Card.

Following Thursday night's doubleheader, the Bulldogs will host archrival Grand Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 20) afternoon for "Rivalry Day" in Big Rapids beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) for the women and 3 p.m. (ET) for the men, respectively. The women's game on Saturday will be a top 10 national showdown as FSU takes on the top-ranked Lakers in the opening game of the two-game set.

Fans can purchase digital tickets for all Bulldog home basketball games in advance to guarantee a seat by visiting FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

The FSU Athletic Ticket Office's normal business hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. (ET). A complete pricing structure, ticket office hours and additional information is available online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com and can be found by visiting the "tickets" tab. For additional ticket information, please call (231) 591-2888.

The Bulldog Sports Network and flagship radio station Sunny 97.3 FM will carry all of this week's action live with online coverage also available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Live video coverage will also be provided on a pay-per-view basis via FloSports.com.

The Bulldog women's basketball squad is off to a 10-2 start this year entering this week's action with the men at 13-3 overall. Both teams were picked to finish first or second in the league's annual preseason coaches poll.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 1/15/24

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

January 15, 2024

Opening Statement: “I’ll just start with – look, the fans, again, yesterday, I can’t stress enough how awesome that was. And really happy for everybody here. I know that’s been a long time coming, and man it felt good to deliver that, but we’re not done. That’s the beginning, so we got one, we’ve got another one coming up, got work to do. We’ll find out tonight who that is. As far as the game yesterday, it’s what we talked about last night, man red zone offense, red zone defense, we complemented each other really well. Offense came out striking and then defensively we were able to keep them out, hold them to three instead of them getting seven and between (Lions K Michael) Badgley’s field goal, which was huge and then (Lions P Jack) Fox flipping the field for us, it was just – it took all three phases, and everybody had a part in that. Coordinators did a heck of a job just making adjustments and we found a way to win that game, that’s what it’s about. So, obviously (Lions QB Jared) Goff and (Lions WR Josh) Reynolds were the – really, our game ball winners on offense. (Lions WR Amon-Ra) St. Brown had a monster game again. (Lions TE Sam) LaPorta, it was good to see him, what a tough kid. I mean, to be a rookie and to do what he was able to do, was confident enough to get out there and help us. (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch on defense really showed up his last two rushes, man the one where he drew the penalty, that was huge. I thought (Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin) Germ and (Lions S) Kerby (Joseph) really showed up and then we talked about on special teams, Fox and Badge, (Lions CB Khalil Dorsey) Dorse, man was smoking as a gunner on punt. That helped those – you get them pinned in the 10 twice and the eight once and (Lions LS Jake) McQuaide, just been steady all year for us since we’ve gotten him on the snap, so – but certainly, a lot of guys did a really good job for us and it was a heck of a win.”

On how they start preparation for this week not knowing who they will play until tonight: “Yeah, I think, well, for us, we’re onto Philly a little bit only because we have – we played Tampa, so we have an idea. We have things that we know about them and so just take a peek at Philly, so that at least we’re – we somewhat have a head start, but we’re not all in and it’s really going to be more on we’ve got to see what happens tonight.”

On if there is any benefit to watching the Eagles and Buccaneers game live tonight to see how the teams play in real time versus watching film when the game is over: “Yeah, I think you get a benefit from watching it every way you can watch it. The feed that we have, the different cut-up feeds that we have, but also the TV copy. I think you can always find pretty good nuggets.”

On how Lions LB Alex Anzalone came out of the game against the Rams injury-wise and how valuable he is to the team battling through injury: “Yeah, I think he’ll be alright. It doesn’t feel great, but he’s going to be – I know he left here after getting some treatment on it better than he walked in and that’s what you’re looking for. Look, Alex is tough. He’s been through this. And it does, it means a lot. I mean, that’s really what we’re built off here and it – and ultimately, it comes down to what the player believes they can do. If they believe they can still produce not being 100 percent, then that’s the difference and we have a ton of guys that are that way.”

On changes they have made to the defense the last few weeks that has led to improvement: “Yeah, I really don’t want to get into that. I think there’s things on tape, but I don’t want to get into schematically what we’re changing and what we’re doing. We’re doing a good job though. It’s a good job by (Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG. So, I just don’t – I don’t want to get into all that.”

On when he noticed he and Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager Brad Holmes had good chemistry and if he could have imagined the type of relationship they have now: “Well, I knew it felt right, the first phone call we ever had after he had been hired and then I got hired and so really before that, we had a phone call. It was really right before I was – that I took the job, and it was just kind of an intro. And man, I could tell there’s – for a first phone call for somebody you don’t know yet, we had mutual contacts. We have people that both of us, we have mutual friends that we have a lot of trust in and it was – I could tell it was – it felt like it was going to be right. And then once I got around him, it was, man I – you could – I could feel that early. It’s one of those, well if this is who he is and this doesn’t change, we’re going to be just fine. And sure enough, he’s everything that I thought he was going to be from those first meetings, everyth9ing that I had heard about him and it’s just – we’re fortunate, but it’s also – it’s a great job by (Lions Principal Owner and Chair) Sheila (Ford Hamp), (Lions Special Assistant to President/CEO and Chairperson) Chris Spielman, (Lions President) Rod (Wood), those guys identifying that they felt like we would be compatible and that we saw things very much alike and we are, we do. We see – we’re very similar in the way that we view players, view a team, how we want to build it. And I have things and I have a certain vision and Brad has helped me by the type of players we acquire and what we look for, I mean he’s given me that. He’s helped me. So, listen, that’s – the GM and head coach have to have a healthy relationship and it starts with ownership, but then that’s the next most important by far. And if you don’t have that, you just can’t sustain success.”

On how he manages the coordinators’ time to make sure they have the opportunity to explore interviews with other teams this week while also preparing for Sunday’s game: “Yeah, I mean, the best we can do is it’ll have to be Friday and a little bit of Saturday. So, Friday afternoon after practice is done, they’re going to have to crunch them in there. They’re already working on scheduling it. And then Saturday, there’ll be a small window in there after practice, before night meetings and that’s it. I mean, it’s – we’re in one of those crazy years. Well first of all, they’re both – like I said, those are worthy candidates and I think they’re, both of them, should be at the top of everybody’s list, but we’re in one of these unique years where there’s a ton of jobs available. And so, that’s also why they all want to speak to them, and they should. But that does, that puts a stress on them, on us. But they’ll do the best they can with it, make the most of it, which they should. And then – but they’ll be prepared for us to get ready (for) the next game.”

On if he has come down from the emotional high of last night’s game and how he gets back into normal game planning: “I didn’t sleep very much at all. I couldn’t sleep, but I think – I don’t know – look, it’s like I said last night, believe me, it feels good to win. It feels good to do that, but I’m so much into right now, the next one, the next thing here. It’s right in front of us and it’s all about the next one. And how do we stay right where we’re at, make some corrections and get ready for this next one, the next home game because I just know the opportunity we’ve got here. And so, I don’t – I can’t quite go there if that make sense. Believe me, I’m excited. Don’t think for a minute I’m not, but I just know we’ve got an opportunity here and I’m going to make sure that I’m on my – I’m on it.”

On if he was watching film last night when he could not sleep: “Just, honestly, I had a fire going, had the TV on. I’m thinking about – just thinking about the game, just going back through the game in my head. I didn’t watch the game until this morning. Go back through it, I’m just thinking, reliving it a little bit. I don’t – as much as I can, I try not to watch the game right after because I don’t like to grade it emotionally. Try to step back from it for a minute. And that’s just it, it’s just you’re just thinking about the whole thing, every situation that comes back up, the players, what you did, what you didn’t do. But it was good. I mean listen, it feels good to win.”

On if he has ‘kept receipts’ from three years ago to be able to say ‘I told you so’ after the progress the team has made: “Yeah, I’ve got a whole ton of those, but it’s not time to pull those out yet. There will be a time and place for that.”

On his satisfaction with the three-safety rotation and what it is like to have three distinct skillsets available at the position: “It’s been good for us, and there again, we feel like those are three quality football players. We know what (Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson) Ducey’s capable of. It’s good to get him back and be a part of us out there. But obviously, (Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu) Iffy, it was kind of a quiet night for Iffy, but yet, man, he did his job. He was productive, winning grade. And then certainly, (Lions S) Kerby (Joseph) really showed up for us. So, it’s been good for us. We had a couple packages for Ducey in there on third down, so we’re in a good place. We’re fortune to have three of those guys right now.”

On where the defense can grow in terms of limiting big production from wide receivers ahead of the talent they are about to face: “Yeah, look I think there’s – the first thing is, we gave up a couple of explosive touchdowns and I feel like we can correct those to – it’s one thing to give up an explosive, but we can be better there. Now, both of those players responded well after the fact, which is great. But I think the other thing is they caught a couple of looks on us, they’re checking into some of these plays to where they create interference, some of these man-beaters. And I think we can handle those things better. We know what’s coming. If they’re going to do that to us, we can find a better way to get through some of those. And look, we made some adjustments second half too that helped us in that area, but I just go back to this, we have to play a certain – we have to play a certain way. And ultimately, the answer to all of this is we have to play as a team. It takes three phases. That’s ultimately the answer to all of it. So, you ask about defense, it takes three phases, and the other two have got to step up. And just like when the offense, we weren’t able to put up the points in the second half, the defense kept them out of the endzone. So, we just find ways in all three phases. We’ve got to continue to find an advantage over the opponent and go from there.”

On if he can explain what happened near the end of the game when they reset the play clock: “No, I cannot. I cannot. I mean they tried – they communicated so that, ‘We’re just having some trouble getting it set to where it should be. We just want to make sure that it’s’ – and so I don’t – that was the best I got. I don’t know what had happened, I don’t know who was – but I’m sitting there waiting for the clock to be reset like you were, so.”

On if the atmosphere at Ford Field last night met his high expectations: “Listen, it was – yeah, I think it was on-par with what I expected. And there again, it was probably the best I’ve ever been a part of. I mean it was – that was – so much of it was the fact that the thing started an hour before the game and it was just four hours of nonstop barrage of the fans just going off and the chants for (Lions QB Jared) Goff and it was just – what a special, special environment. I mean for anybody that was there, you’ll never forget that. You will never – for the rest of your life, that will be something you’re talking about. That was special.”

Joe Takes: A storybook night...but the pen isn't dry

I don’t think there is a word to describe how I and every other Detroit Lions fan were feeling last night when the Lions sealed the deal. There were tears flowing, shared hugs between strangers, and an unfamiliar feeling of all the pain watching the same old Lions fading away. For the first time in 30 years, Detroit is going to the second round of the playoffs.

Yes, we did win the game over the Los Angeles Rams 24-23, but it was the most stressful game that I have ever watched. Questionable calls from the officials were given but it went both ways if I’m being honest. It came down to brass tacks, and the Lions were the better football team that day. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.                                                               

Before I get into the game statistics and all that jazz, I want to talk about the whole Matthew Stafford situation. If you’re not familiar, people said that there shouldn’t be anybody wearing Stafford Lions jerseys and Matt Stafford is no longer our quarterback. Some people took it a little further than others, but in all honesty, it’s playoff football. In this case, all courtesies go out the window.

When Stafford walked out for the game, the stadium raised a hefty number of boos for the former Lions quarterback. If you look at the comments on social media videos, people weren’t happy with Lions fans. But let me ask you this, what do you want us to do? You can’t cheer for the opposing quarterback and you can’t have any reaction at all, so might as well let the guy have it all.

To be fair, it didn’t really phase the guy at all. Stafford threw for 367 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Puka Nacua for 181 yards and a score. Tutu Atwell also had 38 yards and a trip to the endzone in the second quarter. Shoutout to the Rams kicker for putting up 11 points. Respectfully, the guy is a legend.

Speaking of legends, let’s just take a minute to thank Jared Thomas Goff. ‘Twas a clean game from the man. 277 yards on 22 completions for a touchdown is efficient as all get out. Think about how Goff is the first quarterback to lead this team to an NFC North Championship, break the seven-year playoff drought, and finally get the first playoff win in 30 years. That’s my quarterback!

Sam LaPorta had the only receiving touchdown for the Lions along with 14 yards. The real work horses were Amon Ra St. Brown, Jahmyr Gibbs, and David Montgomery. St. Brown picked up 110 yards on seven catches, Gibbs scampered into the endzone to go with his 25 yards, and Montgomery chalked up a touchdown and garnered 57 yards.

Talking defense, if you look at the stat sheet, you would be worried for this upcoming week. No sacks on the board, which is not the worst thing; but there was some solid pressure and the defense was able to hold the Rams to field goals. When Los Angeles was driving, the red zone defense stepped up. That side of the ball will be a huge factor in this upcoming week.

As I am writing this, it’s Monday morning on the 15th, so I don’t know who we’re playing just yet for sure. It could be either the Philadelphia Eagles or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Personally, I would rather play the Bucs since we beat them in the regular season, but I’m not too scared to play the Eagles. They had one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this season and they still finished in the wild card spot.

We live to fight another week and we live to see another playoff game coming to Detroit. I fully expect this next week to be even louder, more passionate, and more ruthless for whoever comes to town. If I had to predict, I would say that we’ll be facing Philly, but only time will tell.

It’s going to take all of us to notch another ‘W’ in the column. Whether you’ll be in the stands at Ford Field, at a bar watching the game with fellow die-hard fans, or parked on your couch, get ready to back the Honolulu Blue. History has been made ladies and gentlemen, but the ink hasn’t dried up, and the Lions are still writing their story.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (1/8 - 1/14)

Monday, January 8

  • An officer was dispatched to a residence regarding a domestic argument over text message. The caller was
    advised to call back if the individual actually showed up at the residence.

  • An officer was dispatched to an apartment complex regarding possible threats and loud noise. It is believed
    mental health was a factor.

Tuesday, January 9

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, January 10

  • An officer was dispatched to an apartment complex regarding loud and breaking noises coming from inside
    an apartment. A warning was issued. Mental health is believed to be a factor.
  • An officer was requested to assist CPS with a well being check on a child. The residence was vacant.
  • An officer was dispatched to a location in reference to a female subject screaming from with-in the apartment. Family members were notified and the individual was referred to mental health services.

Thursday, January 11

  • An officer was dispatched to a business location regarding someone walking between the cars looking suspicious. The man was awaiting his coworker who had the keys to the company vehicle.

  • An officer was dispatched to a single vehicle accident due to bad weather conditions. No injuries and just minor damage to the vehicle was reported.

  • An officer was dispatched to do a welfare check on a six-month old baby. Upon arrival, the baby was just waking up from a nap, he was ok. No issues.

  • An officer arrested a 59-year-old male for violation of probation, resisting police as well as attempting to damage police property.

Friday, January 12

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, January 13

  • Officers were dispatched to someone screaming. Upon arrival the only thing that could be located was a plow truck driver coughing.

Sunday, January 14

  • Officers took a complaint regarding a parking dispute between tenants at an apartment house.

  • Officers assisted an elderly female who was having difficulty getting up.

  • Officers were alerted to the suspicious behavior of a customer by a business employee. Upon further investigation it was determined the man did not have a driver’s license and was trying to avoid police in the store. The 29-year-old male was arrested on a parole violation, no valid license, possession of a stolen license plate, no vehicle insurance, and on an outstanding warrant from another county for receiving stolen property.

  • Officers spoke with a resident about burning trash in their bonfire. It was determined the individual had used a piece of cardboard to start the fire but was not burning any other prohibited material. A verbal warning was issued.

#12 Ferris State comes up short against Northern Michigan in Marquette

The nationally 12th-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad had its seven-game winning streak snapped on Saturday (Jan. 13) as the Bulldogs fell to Northern Michigan 75-71 at the Berry Events Center.

The Bulldogs led most of the game, but NMU shot 30 free throws, making 24 in rallying late for the triumph. The Wildcats got a big three-point shot from Max Weisbrod on their final possession to bounce in and a pair of Bulldog long range attempts in the closing seconds rimmed away as the NMU prevailed.

Ferris State jumped out to a 38-36 halftime lead thanks to 16 points in the opening 20 minutes from junior guard Ethan Erickson, but he was held scoreless in the second half.

Erickson paced FSU with 16 points while former Wildcat Dolapo Olayinka had 13 points for the Bulldogs. Both Jack Ammerman and Reece Hazelton chipped in 10 points each.

The Bulldogs shot 50% from the floor and went seven-of-16 (43.8%) from three-point range to go with a 10-of-17 (58.8%) showing at the free throw line.

Northern Michigan made 14 more free throws than Ferris State while shooting 13 more, hitting 24-of-30 (80%) overall. The Wildcats shot 41.2% from the floor and were nine-of-22 (40.9%) from long range.

Additionally, NMU held a 35-30 rebounding advantage and pulled down 11 offensive boards to eight for FSU. The Wildcats also had only nine turnovers with the Bulldogs totaling 12 in the game.

Weisbrod paced Northern Michigan with a game-high 18 points as NMU improved to 13-5 overall and 6-0 atop the GLIAC. Carson Smith and Riley Brooks each added 15 points apiece.

With the setback, the Bulldogs closed their trip to the Upper Peninsula with a split following a 69-68 win at Michigan Tech on Thursday. FSU is now 13-3 overall and 3-2 in conference action.

The Bulldogs return home to host Davenport on Thursday (Jan. 18) at 7:30 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids before taking on rival Grand Valley State on Saturday (Jan. 20) at Wink Arena beginning at 3 p.m. (ET).

Ferris State's Michigan College of Optometry is one of just two optometric training institutions in the nation to have a 100 percent ultimate pass rate on licensing exams

Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University is one of just two optometric training institutions in the nation to have a 100 percent ultimate pass rate on their national licensing exams for the 2022-23 academic year, which leaders say reflects the quality of instruction, helping graduates immediately start their careers in a growing field.

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry oversees a slate of three exams students need to pass to be fully licensed to practice in the United States and Ontario, Canada.

Only Ferris State and Midwest University’s Chicago College of Optometry saw every 2022-23 graduate from their programs pass all three exams prior to graduation.

“Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University provides students with a world-class level of training and clinical experiences, and that’s reflected on their performance on the exams,” MCO Dean Daniel Taylor said. “No place in the world does a better job of preparing students to be fully practicing optometrists. We’re proud of that.”

Students take the NBEO’s Applied Basic Science exam during the third year of their studies, and the Patient Assessment and Management and Clinical Skills exams in their final year. For the 2022-23 period, Ferris State students’ first-time pass rates exceeded the national average on each of the three exams.

The NBEO “protects the public by developing, administering, scoring, and reporting results of valid examinations that assess competency in optometry.” The NBEO is operated by the optometric profession and works with state boards of optometry to ensure an excellent quality of patient care provided by optometrists.

Passing the NBEO exams allows students to quickly apply their in-demand skills into the growing field of optometry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of optometrists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 1,700 openings for optometrists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

The bureau said the 2022 media pay for optometrists was $125,590 per year.

Ferris State’s MCO is the only optometry college in Michigan and delivers personalized instruction that emphasizes practical experience. The program prepares doctoral and post-doctoral students for careers as optometric health care providers serving patients and society through its research, scholarly activity, evidence-based clinical education, and patient-centered care.

Service is a key part of the MCO mission. The on-site University Eye Center gives students early opportunities for practical experience in a busy health care setting. The University Eye Center is a full-service clinic serving university employees, students, and the surrounding community. In addition to providing comprehensive care, the UEC has specialty clinics in ocular disease, pre- and post-surgical care, specialty contact lenses, pediatrics, low vision rehabilitation, and binocular vision and vision therapy.

Additional information about Michigan College of Optometry programs is available here.

Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson Quote Sheet: 1/11/24

LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR BEN JOHNSON QUOTE SHEET

January 11, 2024

On what it means to have five head coach interview requests and be acknowledged by teams: “It’s – it’s awesome. Quite an honor. But honestly, I haven’t thought about it beyond anything that’s going on this week, so just leave it at that for right now.”

On if he will take all five head coach interview requests: “Don’t know, yeah.”

On what he has learned from Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell about being a good head coach: “That’s a great one. Listen, he’s the best leader I’ve been around, I think regardless of whichever sport I’ve been a part of. It’s really impressive what he’s been able to do. Being true to himself, demanding, he’s results-driven, but yet his way of delivering a message and getting it across, what to say, how to say it at the right time. I mean, it’s really unique and it’s special. I think it’s hard to replicate, to be honest with you. But more than anything, it’s really just being comfortable in his own skin and trusting and empowering those around him. He’s created an environment here as coordinators, as position coaches, as players that we’re very comfortable and it helps us be the best that we can be at our jobs.”

On the key to preparing for defensive tackles like Rams DT Aaron Donald and how he differs from a player who is all over like Cowboys LB Micah Parsons: “Yeah, so this one is – it’s different because most of the guys we faced this year that were super dynamic, like Donald, were edge guys that would sometimes line up inside. And then this week, it’s certainly, he’s at a three-technique quite a bit. Third down, they’ll move him around. But the combination of him with this rookie has been probably the best defensive tackle tandem we’ve faced all year, so it is, it’s different. Feel good about the plan that we have going in right now. And listen, you try to minimize his opportunities to get one-on-ones, but it’s hard, it’s hard. I think that’s – he feasts almost every week by getting one-on-one matchups and beating the guy across from him, so we will be very much aware of where he is on the field and try to adjust accordingly.”

On how much Rams DB Jordan Fuller means to their defense: “Yeah, I don’t know exactly. But certainly, he has had a lot of ball production that we’re conscious of. He’s in the poster, he’s the high safety more often than not and (Rams DB John Johnson III) 43 is the one that comes down, so he does have great vision. He understands patterns and gets a jump on routes ahead of time, so we’ve got to be conscious – if he is out there, I know he’ll know what we’ve put on tape so far and he’ll be a step ahead of us.”

On how he feels the run game finished the season: “Last game wasn’t quite where we wanted it and then the week before against Dallas was a little bit disappointing. For the second half of this season, really since the bye week, we’ve been trending the right direction. Last two games were not what we want. Last week, we were mistargeted and not – our communication was off too much and so we’re looking to fix that right now.”

On how they can fix the issues they have had in the run game the last few weeks: “Gameplan-wise, maybe it’s a little bit less complexity and then volume certainly plays a part in that. We feel like we have a good number going into each game and we’re just conscious if defense presents us with a lot of looks, maybe we need to scale back that number just a little bit, so as a coaching staff, that’s what we’re looking at. The guys up front, they’re pros. They take a lot of pride in being right and being targeted correctly each and every time. And so, it’s really on us as a coaching staff just to get the right mix.”

On if anything changes in the offensive gameplan with Lions TEs Brock Wright and James Mitchell if Lions TE Sam LaPorta is unable to play: “Yeah, I mean we’re always going to do what those guys do best. Whoever we have out there. LaPorta’s got a little bit different skillset than the rest of those guys. And really, frankly, with the rest of the League he’s – he’s awesome. So, yeah, if he can’t go, then those other guys, they’ll have to step up and maybe we just ask them to do a little bit different jobs than what we’ve done with Sam, but it’ll be great potentially getting Brock back here this week. He has been a – quietly, over the last few years, a key cog in what we do offensively.”

On what he has seen in Lions TE James Mitchell’s development: “Shoot, he’s like all the rest of these young guys. It’s every single game, the more reps he’s getting, he’s getting better each and every week. So, the arrow’s pointing up with him and it’s just been a matter of getting him reps. He’s had (Lions TE) Sam (LaPorta) and he’s had (Lions TE) Brock (Wright) ahead of him, so it’s been a little bit challenging early in the season.”

On what he has seen on film from Rams LB Ernest Jones and what he brings to the Rams defense: “Those guys are playing really good ball. And so, I think that’s really the strength of their defense is between the backers and between the two defensive tackles, those are the guys that jump off the tape the most. The defensive tackles wreak enough havoc to where those linebackers are playing sideline-to-sideline. They’re really well-coached. This is a really good scheme that (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Raheem (Morris)’s got going on with them, so they make everything look the same, for the most part, pre-snap. It’s hard to get too many tells on them. And so, you can tell the backers are really feasting on that system.”

On how much confidence he gets in the offense having the most veteran experience on the offensive line and at the quarterback position: “Yeah, I mean, (Lions QB) Jared (Goff)’s played in big games throughout his career and so he really doesn’t bat an eye as we transition into the postseason now. And then the guys upfront, they’ve played a ton of games, whether national championships in college, or now the postseason in the NFL, but feel really good about having solidified that offensive line over the course of the season and getting those guys to where they feel gelled and on the same page with whatever we ask them to do.”

On what this opportunity to coach in the playoffs means to him and how he makes sure he takes advantage of this opportunity: “Yeah, I think (Lions Head) Coach (Dan Campbell) made the comment earlier this week that it’s important that we don’t press, but we still are looking to be productive. So, I think that’s the biggest thing, it’s still – it’s just our next game on our schedule right now and not to try to squeeze too tight to where it backfires on us. So, I think the urgency and the intensity is right where it needs to be, but yet we still have the looseness about us right now, at least what I’m observing at practice and walkthrough and meetings that we’ll be able to play and have some fun.”

On why it was important for him to get Lions WR Josh Reynolds his contract incentive on Sunday: “Yeah, I mean, it was something we had talked about early in the week. Truthfully, I thought it would be a little bit easier. I mean, (Lions WR Amon-Ra) St. Brown makes an incredible play, the 70-yard touchdown. I have never been more disappointed on a 70-yard touchdown in my life. I mean, I’m walking away and I’ve got half the team, they’re like, ‘What’s his problem?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, well I was trying to get Josh the ball to—.’ So, we had practiced the play all week with Josh on the outside and Saint on the inside and then I’m thinking, ‘Oh, well let’s get him as a primary receiver to get us there.’ And then they give us a coverage that was a little bit different and (Lions QB) Jared (Goff) did a heck of a job adjusting. And so, no, it’s awesome. It starts with the head coach. He knows how important that is for those guys. Particularly, I think he mentioned it after the game, Josh has flown under the radar all season long and doesn’t bat an eye. Is he the top target? No, but is he the two? Is he the three? And it really doesn’t matter to him. He comes out, he plays hard, we know what we’re going to get in the run game each and every day with him. And as much as I wish he had 1,000 yards, he got 600 and it’s a great incentive for him, so I’m really happy for him.”

 

Tune in for live play-by-play coverage on NewsRadio WBRN via 1460AM, 96.5 & 107.7FM, and WBRN.com.

Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn Quote Sheet: 1/11/24

LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR AARON GLENN QUOTE SHEET

January 11, 2024

Opening Statement: “Really good way to end a season last week, beating a really good team. Coming out, hopefully guys that are nicked up will be ready to go, so man we’re looking forward to this, we’re looking forward to it. It’s new to some guys, but it’s a walk in the park for other guys that have been there, so our guys – our young guys are leaning on that, leaning on the older guys that have been there. And again, like I said, we’re looking forward to it.”

On how it feels to have multiple teams request him for head coach interviews and be acknowledged: “Well, listen, I’m flattered by the interview requests, I really am. And man, I do not want this to sound like coach-speak, but I try to focus on the main thing for this team, for this organization, because this is a big deal for us. And to be able to go out there and beat this team, which is a good team, is huge. So, I will be honest – I’m going to be honest with you, man I’m really, really focused on how we’re going to play defensively against this team and then, as a whole, alright, as an overall team, how do we make sure we complement each other and go out there and try to win this game. Because we’re in the tournament and we all know it. It doesn’t matter. Just get in the tournament. We’re at where we’re at. I’ve always learned that under (former Cowboys Head Coach) Bill Parcells, just in the freaking tournament and anything can happen after that. We’re in it and we’re ready to go.”

On if he will take all four of his interview requests: “Will I take them all? I mean, yeah.”

On the biggest thing he learned about being a head coach from Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell: “The number one thing I think is important is, man just the collaboration with the GM and the owner. And making sure that, that vision, that collective vision is the same because once that’s intact and you keep – all three of you guys, or women, are saying the same thing, that feeds down to the staff, then that feeds down to the players. And man, they just hear the same vision over and over again and you talk about coach. A coach is about people, and you bring the right people in, you’re going to have the right culture.”

On the challenges a young defense faces when competing against offenses who use turbo-motion: “The communication, first and foremost, and exactly how do you want to handle those turbos. And everybody handles them different. And we actually handle those by week because we want to make sure we put ourselves in the best position on how to handle those. But what they do a really good job of, they use that to protect the edge of the defense for the most part. So, any type of edge pressure either slows you down, or they’re going to end up blocking you for the most part. So, we have to be smart in exactly how we operate and how we attack this team. And also, they condense you to get you out – to get out in the perimeter also. So, once they condense you, then they condense, then you condense and then they just create space. In the passing game for deep-overs and in the run game for any type of toss plays. So, we have to understand that, first and foremost, and understand how we’re going to attack that and be good and be effective in what we do.”

On what Rams RB Kyren Williams brings to the Rams offense and his ability to run the football and execute play-action off his run game: “Well, for him himself, I actually showed couple of clips to all the defense. Even though he’s a guy that’s – some people say smaller stature, he’s not just a small guy. He does a really good job of breaking tackles. That’s why we have to be the best tackling team throughout these playoffs, because of that. Every team that you’re playing is a team that does a really good job of breaking tackles. But this team in particular, with the receivers and with the running back, that we’ve got to do a good job of. So, he’s tough. He’s powerful. He has this stiff arm that’s effective and we’ve got to understand that. So, we have to make sure that we wrap up and have population to the ball with this player.”

On how the Rams offense has evolved throughout the season with the consistency of Rams WR Puka Nacua alongside Rams WR Cooper Kupp: “Well, they have two good players. And when you’re a good player, you don’t really see the drop off as much. So, he’s here to stay and we have to deal with him, which we will, alright with all those guys. And that’s just what it is. Listen, we’ve played against good players throughout this season. It’s no different than these guys, so we’re going to attack him the way we attack him and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”

On if the number of snaps Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson took against the Vikings is because they were trying to break him in after injury or if it will be the number of snaps he will play going forward: “Well, it’s probably a lot of snaps for him, but he was ready to play. And I think, between all three of our safeties, all averaged around that 47 plays, which is, I think, is a really good deal to have good players in the game. So, listen, we have wrinkles for all those guys and you’ll see how it all plays out.”

On how much his coaching style has grown over the past two years: “Listen, I – I feel like I grow every year in different aspects of just the NFL in general. Number one, as a play-caller, number two, of understanding the big picture from, not just a coordinator perspective, but from a head coach. And (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) does a really good job of filling me in and allowing me to (give) my thoughts to him on different situations that are happening and how would I handle it. So, just hats off to him. And it’s a reason why, that you have a coaching staff like we do. With even our younger guys are ascending because of the way that he operates. And a lot of that comes from how (Broncos Head) Coach (Sean) Payton used to handle us back in New Orleans. So, man, there are a lot of different ways that I’ve grown and it’s too much to actually sit here and talk about, but understanding how to collaborate with the GM, understanding how to speak with your owner and more or less, understanding how to relate with your players, which is not an issue for me at all, because I’m just going to be myself. And I think that’s one thing that the players see is listen, I’m no fake. And the thing that players do, they can point out a fake and there’s nothing fake about me.”

On what he has to see in Lions LB James Houston to feel confident that he is ready to come back from his injury: “Practice. That’s it, go out and practice and see how effective you can be. If you’re effective, then we’ll put you in there and let you play.”

On how he feels they have handled tackling throughout the season: “Listen, I think we’ve been a pretty good tackling team, for the most part. But when you see teams like – when you see players like, (Rams WR) Puka (Nacua), you see players like, (Rams RB Kyren) Williams, man we just have to emphasize that and let it be known. Because sometimes, when you don’t really just think about it for the most part because you’re really – you’re pretty good at it, sometimes that can be – it can slip away. Alright, so I want to make sure that’s emphasized and show these clips. Listen, look at these guys now. Just because he's a smaller-stature guy, man he has a strong lower body, same thing with Puka, a strong lower body. And everybody that I’ve talked to, that’s the number one thing that they say is, ‘Man don’t be surprised by the way that these guys break tackles.’ And it shows up on tape.”

On how important it is that the linebackers are able to diagnose a run play quickly to attack running backs: “Well, that’s one thing that we do and we talk about all the time, as far as, man how does their offensive line block? Are they showing us drop back? Are they showing us play-action? And they do a good job because I’ll tell you what, those two guards they have, I mean they’re powerful men and they do come off the ball. So, you’re right, we have to be really good at being able to diagnose that, get back into our zones and being able to read the quarterback in play. But listen, we’re always going to mix up our coverages. We’re not just always going to be in zone coverage. We have man concepts that we utilize quite a bit, and we do everything we can to try to affect this quarterback.”

On how he thinks Rams QB Matthew Stafford has evolved: “He’s a good player, that’s it. And we’ve got good players too. So, good player against good player, let’s go.”

On why he thinks Rams WR Puka Nacua has been able to have success his rookie season: “You’ve got to go ask their staff. He’ll tell you that – the thing I just know, he’s been breaking tackles and been catching a lot of balls and the quarterback trusts him. So, that’s all we need to know. And he’s a guy that we have to target, and we will target that player.”

On what he has seen from Lions LB Jack Campbell the last month: “The same thing I’ve been telling you guys every week about this player. He’s a damn good player, it’s the reason why we drafted him. And he’s going to be a good player for us for a long time.”

On why Lions DL Romeo Okwara has done well these past few weeks and has been able to overcome his injury: “You know what? I think that’s a good point. I think that has a lot to do with it. I think he’s feeling much better from the injury. And listen, everybody’s different and they talk about that Achilles injury, sometimes it takes you a year – maybe a year and a half to really get over that and get moving and I’ll tell you what, he’s helping us out a lot. And you see his rep count really go up. And then putting him into packages to where he can be free, try to go one-on-one and get to the quarterback. So, we’ll continue to do that, and man I’m happy for that player. I really am, because he’s starting to see himself as a guy that can affect the game and we’re going to put him in position to do that.”

 

Tune in on 1460AM, 107.7 and 965. FM, as well as WBRN.com for full Lions play-by-play coverage on NewsRadio WBRN!

FULL STORM REPORT: Power Outages, Closures, and Road Conditions

THIS IS A FULL UP-TO-DATE REPORT IN RESPONSE TO THE WEST MICHIGAN WINTER STORM ON FRIDAY, JAN. 12 AND SATURDAY, JAN. 13.

 

UPDATED: 11:45 P.M. EST

 

POWER OUTAGES

Consumers Energy

Barryton - Between 5 Mile Road, 40th Avenue, 20 Mile Road, and W County Line Road - 640 affected - RESTORED

Big Bend - 16th Street and 20th Street - 209 affected - Estimated restoration on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 10:30 P.M.

Big Rapids - Madison Avenue & Mitchell Creek Trail - 80 affected - RESTORED

Big Rapids - Between 230th Avenue, Perry Avenue, Northland Drive, and 13 Mile Road - 297 affected - RESTORED

Big Rapids - Chestnut Street & Michigan Avenue - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Canadian Lakes - Lake Drive & Island Street - 37 affected - RESTORED

Canadian Lakes - School Section Lake Road - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Howard City - Between 220 Mile, Beech Avenue, Whitefish Road, and 104th Street - 203 affected - RESTORED

Lake - Clareola Ave & N County Line Road - 63 affected - RESTORED

Mecosta - Webber Street - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Oxbow - Between Beech Avenue, 56th Street, Pine Avenue, and 20th Street - 751 affected - RESTORED

Oxbow - Between 20th and 36th Street - 55 affected - RESTORED

Reed City - 6 Mile Road, Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Remus - Between 30th Avenue, Arthur Road, Rolland Road, and 4 Mile Road - 530 affected - RESTORED

Rodney - 130th Avenue - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Stanwood - Bayou Drive - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Stanwood - Miller Dale Drive - 22 affected - RESTORED

Stanwood - Garfield Road - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Stanwood - 8 Mile Road - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

Stanwood - 220th Avenue - Less than 20 affected - RESTORED

 

Great Lakes Energy

Croton - Near Croton Dam - 33 affected - RESTORED

Howard City - Near Little Whitefish Lake - 23 affected - RESTORED

Lilley - Near M-37 - 24 affected - RESTORED

Paris - Near Muskegon River - 4 affected - RESTORED

Morley - Near Hardy Dam - 35 affected - RESTORED

Stanwood - Near 8 Mile Road & M-20 - 76 affected - RESTORED

Tustin - Near Austin Lake - 31 affected - RESTORED

 

ROAD CONDITIONS

Big Rapids Main roads are cleared. Side roads are packed down.

Evart - Main roads are mostly cleared.

Morley - Main roads are reportedly clear. Side roads may still be snowy and slippery.

Stanwood - Main roads are mostly cleared.

Reed City - Main roads in city limits are cleared. Some country roads may be slippery.

 

TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

No accidents reported at this time.

 

SNOWFALL

*Data is referenced to NOAA's National Operation Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.

Big Rapids - Between 8" - 13"

Baldwin - Between 6" - 11"

Cadillac - 10" - 15"

Canadian Lakes - Between 10" - 14"

Evart - Between 8" - 12"

Grant - Between 9" - 13"

Howard City - Between 9" - 13"

LeRoy - Between 8" - 12"

Morley - Between 8" - 12"

Newaygo - Between 8" - 12"

Reed City - Between 8" - 12"

Stanwood - Between 9" - 13"

White Cloud - Between 8" - 12"

 

CLOSINGS, CANCELLATIONS, AND HOUR UPDATES

  • Reed City United Methodist Church is cancelling its in-person service on Sunday, Jan. 14.

  • PT Plus will be closed Saturday, Jan. 13.

  • Reed City Girls Basketball's Little Kids Camp has been postponed for Saturday, Jan. 13. The event will be moved to Monday, Jan. 15.

  • The Rock Cafe will remain OPEN starting at 8 A.M. on Saturday, Jan. 13.

  • Barryton Area Mobile Food Pantry will be cancelled on Saturday, Jan. 13.

  • Dial-A-Ride busing services will be closed all-day Saturday (Jan. 13).

  • The Big Rapids Community Library is closed all-day Saturday (Jan. 13).

  • Big Rapids Eagles is closed all-day Saturday, Jan. 13.

  • MOTA will be closed at 12:00 P.M. on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Have a closing or cancellation to report? Let us know! Call 796-7000.

Corewell Health announces changes to board of directors, appoints new chair

Today, Corewell Health™ announced changes to its board of directors, including the introduction of two new members, the appointment of a new chair and vice chair, and the departure of three founding board members. 

Two new directors began three-year terms on Jan. 1, 2024: Joseph J. Fifer, former president and CEO of the Healthcare Financial Management Association; and Robert Williams, M.D., retired family physician and health services researcher. 

Julie A. Fream, president and CEO of MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers, concluded her term as board chair on Dec. 31, 2023, and will remain actively engaged on the board, including on the executive committee. Named the inaugural Corewell Health board chair in 2022, she successfully led the board through many of the integration milestones and focused on developing a strong unified culture of the board. She joined the Beaumont Health Board of Directors in 2014 and was appointed chair in 2021. 

Sean P. Welsh, regional president for PNC Bank, succeeded Julie A. Fream as board chair. Welsh joined the Spectrum Health Board of Directors in 2015 and was appointed vice chair of the Corewell Health board in 2022.   

The board of directors also appointed a new vice chair, Michael (Mike) Todman, current Corewell Health board member and former president of Whirlpool International and Whirlpool North America. Three members departed from the board:

  • Robert (Bob) W. Roth, who retired after a nearly 20-year term of service to the Priority Health, Spectrum Health and Corewell Health boards;
  • Christopher (Chris) F. Carpenter, M.D., who took a new role as interim dean of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine;
  • Angel W. Hernandez, M.D., who relocated out of state. 

“During this transformative time in health care, we are thrilled for Joe Fifer and Dr. Robert Williams to join our board to lend their expertise, insights and advice,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Corewell Health. “We have made great strides toward achieving our vision of a future where health is simple, affordable, equitable and exceptional thanks to the support of Bob Roth, Dr. Chris Carpenter and Dr. Angel Hernandez. As members of our founding board, we will always be grateful for their service and contributions to our organization.”

 

About Joseph J. Fifer  

Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, is the former president and CEO of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). HFMA’s mission is to lead the financial management of health care. Prior to his position with HFMA in June 2012, Fifer spent 11 years as vice president of hospital finance at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich. He also spent time with McLaren Health Care Corporation in Flint, Mich., as vice president of finance, and with Ingham Regional Medical Center in Lansing, Mich., as senior vice president of finance and CFO. Fifer started his career at Ernst & Young, also in Michigan.  

 

About Robert Williams, M.D.  

Robert Williams, M.D., MIS, recently retired from professional services. Dr. Williams enjoyed a 20-year career as a practicing and teaching family physician and health services researcher. During his career, Dr. Williams was a principal investigator with the National Institutes of Health, and vice chair and director of research for a medical school department. In 1996, Dr. Williams left academics at the Medical College of Virginia/VCU and joined the consulting world. During the following 22 years, Dr. Williams served as a senior consulting executive at Ernst & Young, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, IBM, Deloitte Consulting US and Deloitte Consulting UK.  

#11 Ferris State completes Upper Peninsula sweep with win at Northern Michigan

The nation's 11th-ranked Ferris State University women's basketball squad capped off a weekend sweep in Michigan's Upper Peninsula with a 79-67 triumph over Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 13) inside the Berry Events Center.

The Bulldogs, who beat Michigan Tech on the road Thursday night to open the trip, got a personal career-high 22 points from forward Mya Hiram in Saturday's win. 

Despite a blizzard outside, the Bulldogs heated up inside, outscoring NMU 17-13 in the opening period and 16-9 in the second quarter to take an 11-point halftime lead. 

However, Northern Michigan bounced back in the third period and outscored FSU 21-12 to pull back within a basket, but Ferris State tallied 34 points in the final quarter to garner the win.

Overall, the Bulldogs sank 26-of-28 (92.9%) free throws in the win.

Along with Hiram's performance, FSU also got 17 points from junior Kenzie Bowers, who went 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Senior Chloe Idoni added 12 points despite foul trouble and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Ferris State shot 42.9% from the floor overall, but was five-of-22 (22.7%) from long range.

On the opposite end, Northern Michigan finished shooting 37.1% from the field and made six-of-22 (27.3%) three's along with 15-of-18 (83.3%) free throws. NMU out rebounded FSU 42-29, but had 16 turnovers compared to only 11 for the Bulldogs.

FSU improved to 10-2 overall and 4-1 in the GLIAC with the victory.

The Bulldogs return home to host Davenport on Thursday (Jan. 18) at 5:30 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena. Ferris State will then take on top-ranked Grand Valley State in GLIAC play on Saturday (Jan. 20) in Big Rapids at 1 p.m. (ET).

Mt. Pleasant residents involved in two-car accident near Remus

On Friday, Jan. 12 at approximately 2:58 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a two-vehicle accident on 9 Mile Rd. and 30th Ave.

The investigation revealed that a 31-year-old female from Mt. Pleasant was north bound on 9 Mile Rd. when another vehicle struck her vehicle. There were also three juveniles in the vehicle along with a 54-year-old male from Mt. Pleasant. The male and female were transported to McLaren Hospital with non-life threating injuries. The juveniles in the vehicle were not transported to the hospital and were turned over to their grandmother. 

Deputies were assisted on scene by, Mecosta EMS, MMR EMS, Huff's Towing, Hilltop Towing, Michigan DNR, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University's Wege Prize High School Collaborative Studio accepting applications for free Summer 2024 workshop focusing on sustainability, building a better future

High school students with a passion for creative problem-solving are invited to apply for the 2024 Wege Prize High School Collaborative Studio, a free summer workshop hosted by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.

Open to students entering their junior or senior year, the two-week program immerses participants in the solving of complex problems through the lens of whole systems design thinking, sustainability, and the circular economy.  

“It’s a great way for aspiring change-makers to activate their summer,” said Gayle DeBruyn, KCAD professor of Design Studies and Wege Prize lead. “Our goal is to equip young leaders with the tools to become active contributors to building a better future for people and the planet.”  

The Collaborative Studio empowers students to develop innovative solutions to real-world environmental and social issues in their community. The workshop is modeled after KCAD’s international collegiate student design competition, Wege Prize. 

In addition to hands-on design experience, benefits for participating students include a $595 stipend, portfolio-quality design work, letters of recommendation, and opportunities for professional mentoring and community network building.

The program runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from July 22 to Aug. 2. The application deadline is June 23.

During the program, students work in collaborative groups led by qualified instructors to research and conceptualize solutions to regional challenges through the design process and present their work to community leaders.

Jordan Fridsma, a former Collaborative Studio participant and graduate of Grand Rapids Public Museum High School, said the program was a formative experience that shaped her vocation, provided meaningful connections, and led to lasting friendships.

“I left eager to continue learning and educating others about the circular economy and collaborative design,” Fridsma said. “It exposed me to the real-world complexities of sustainability and stewardship and made me so much more engaged with conversations around sustainability in my classes.”

Currently studying Geography, Urban Studies, and Studio Art at Calvin University, Fridsma said much of what she is learning now connects back to the concepts she learned through the program.

Previous Wege Prize High School cohorts spent time learning and researching at the PADNOS Sustainability City, the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, Kids Food Basket, and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks to identify and address issues like shelters for the unhoused, nutritional education for kids, and mitigating the impact of toxic algae blooms.

Interested students must apply to participate. Applications for the 2024 program are open now through June 23. To learn more and apply, visit kcad.edu/wegehs.

Wege Prize and the Wege Prize High School Collaborative Studio are organized by KCAD’s Wege Center for Sustainable Design with the support of The Wege Foundation.

UPDATE: Big Rapids City Hall, Dial-A-Ride, and Big Rapids Community Library closing early due to inclement weather

In response to upcoming weather conditions, the City of Big Rapids has made the decision to close City Hall at 4 P.M. today. Services such as Dial-A-Ride and the Big Rapids Community Library will also be closed by 4 P.M. as well.

On Saturday, (Jan. 13th) The Big Rapids Community Library and Dial-A-Ride will also be closed.

In the event of a power outage, we are recommending residents call 211 for a list of local warming stations.

We understand the potential inconvenience this may cause and appreciate the community's understanding during this time. The City of Big Rapids remains dedicated to providing essential services while prioritizing the safety of all.

Residents are encouraged to check the city's website cityofbr.org or Facebook page (@cityofbr) for any updates and further.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (1/1 - 1/7)

Monday, January 1

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, January 2

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, January 3

  • Retail Fraud – Officers were dispatched to a retail fraud. The suspect stole multiple items from a local business. The incident remains under investigation.
  • Trespass – Officers were dispatched to a trespassing complaint. The suspect was identified and a report was sent to the Prosecutor for review.

Thursday, January 4

  • Trespass – Officers were dispatched to a trespassing complaint. The suspect was identified and a report was sent to the Prosecutor for review.

Friday, January 5

  • Transport – Officers responded to Wexford County Jail to transport a male with a felony warrants from EPD to Osceola County Jail.

  • Traffic Stop – Officers initiated a traffic stop for a vehicle traveling without taillights. Operator of the vehicle returned with a valid warrant. After exiting the vehicle and being told they had a warrant, operator got back into the vehicle and resisted arrest. Operator was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.  

Saturday, January 6

  • Personal Injury Accident – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a traffic accident involving injuries. 

  • Check Wellbeing – Officers responded to the listed address for a male reported to be highly intoxicated. The subject was located, placed into custody, and transported to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department on multiple probation violations.  

Sunday, January 7

  • Nothing reported.

Detroit Lions Quarterback Jared Goff Quote Sheet: 1/10/24

LIONS QB JARED GOFF QUOTE SHEET

January 10, 2024

On how much his mindset and routine changes in the postseason: “To be honest, not much changes. Obviously, these games are win or go home and we all know the magnitude of them. But your weekly process doesn’t change. The way you watch film, the way you prepare, there’s a reason you got here. Trust that and prepare the same way.”

On how the offense has to avoid playing ‘too tight’ with the numerous young players who do not have playoff experience: “Yeah, no, I don’t think we will. We’ve played in a lot of big games, a lot of them. And a lot of these guys have played in big games in college, and yeah we’ll be ready, we’ll be ready. I don’t worry about that for a second. We’ve got a lot of primetime experience under our belt at this point and understand the magnitude of it.”

On how challenging it will be to face interior pressure with Rams DT Aaron Donald and Rams NT Kobie Turner playing at a high level: “Yeah, it’s hard. They’re both good. Obviously, Aaron is as good as anyone’s ever been on the inside and Kobie’s having a hell of a year man, he really is. For a rookie, he’s playing really well and we have our hands full there, but our guys will be read y.”

On if Rams DT Aaron Donald was as intense on the field in practice as he was in the game during his time in Los Angeles: “Yeah, he was, he was and got a ton of respect for him and the way he works and learned a lot from him.”

On his feelings about Rams Head Coach Sean McVay: “Yeah, Sean and I are good. He’s – I think he’s a great coach. I think he’s – obviously, we had our differences there at the end, but he’s a great coach. He’s done a lot of great things and he’s a guy that taught me a lot.”

On if he has extra motivation for this game playing against his old team: “No, no, yeah, I think – no. I mean, obviously there’s a personal connection there and there – not just for me, but for a lot of our players and some of theirs as well. But, no, I think – I so badly want to win a game for this city and win a playoff game for this city that hasn’t had one in so long. We’ve got a home playoff game for the first time in so long and that’s so much more important than anything personally for me. I want to be a part of this win and do my job to the best of my ability.”

On his initial reaction when he found out the Rams would be their opponent in the NFC Wild Card Round: “Yeah, it was kind of tracking there for a few weeks, so wasn’t surprised or anything. It’s just something that we knew could happen. Obviously, it was probably either them or Green Bay going into that last week. And yeah, when it became them, we said, ‘Ready to go and let’s go do it.’”

On if there are similarities between his first playoff game with Los Angeles and his first playoff game in Detroit breaking droughts for each team: “No, I don’t know. I think that year we were – it would be more similar, I think, to last year’s team for us here because the year prior to going to the playoffs in L.A., we were 4-12 and struggling and then the next year we bounced back and made the playoffs, and it was all kind of really quick. I think last year, we kind of established ourselves as a team that was one game away from making the playoffs and then this year, winning the division, so it’s a bit different.”

On his message as a leader to his young teammates who do not have playoff experience on handling this week and its intensity: “I don’t have the message for them. They’re good to go. I get that question a lot around here because of how young we’ve been in the past, but I’ve kind of answered it the same every time. We’ve got guys who have played in big games. We’ve got guys who have played in big college games. (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) does a great job getting guys ready. It feels like I answer this question every year, we were on primetime against Green Bay last year and, ‘How are these guys going to be ready for a game they haven’t played in?’ And we go out and beat them in their place. And then we do the same things against Kansas City early in the year, ‘How are these guys going to be ready for a game like this?’ It’s like, they’re ready, we’ll be ready.”

On last season feeling like a playoff year similar to the 2017 Rams and if that would make this year’s Lions team similar to the Rams team that made a Super Bowl run: “Yeah, I don’t know. The parallels are too hard to draw. It was so long ago. But I think the progression of a team, sure, from year one to year three it kind of does that, but no, the comparison of the teams is impossible to make.”

On how it feels to be the quarterback of the team that led the Lions to the playoffs for the first time in a long time: “Yeah, it feels good. It’s exciting. It’s been a goal of mine since I got here. Seeing the opportunity to be a part of something that’s from the ground up and to be able to be where we’re standing right now and have the chance to win the Super Bowl is pretty exciting. We’ve got a long way to go, and the Rams are the first team in our way and we’ve got to go handle business. But yeah, it’s been a long road to this point and it’s a long road ahead as well.”

On if there were moments during his 2017 playoff run with the Rams that surprised him: “Yeah, I think the first time you play in the first one, I remember the speed is just a little bit ticked back up. I think the first game of the season, the speed is really high and then as the season goes on, there’s injuries and there’s lulls in seasons and it can get a bit slower, I mean just a hair. And then I think I remember in that first playoff game for me, I’m like, ‘Oh boy, OK it’s back to the speed of the first game.’ And now does that affect you winning or losing? I don’t know. You kind of adjust pretty quickly but knowing that heading into a game can help.”

On how much better he thinks he is now compared to his last three seasons with the Lions: “Yeah, yeah, a ton better. It’s just reps, man. It’s just reps, reps, reps, having guys here believe in me and trust me and kind of let me do my thing and growing as a person, as a player, as a leader. Learning what works for me, what doesn’t work for me. How to handle certain situations. And then yeah, getting on the football field, just reps. Just seeing things over and over and over again and knowing where to go with the ball.”

On if getting Lions WR Josh Reynolds his contract incentives on Sunday started with him: “Yeah, well yeah, (Lions Offensive Coordinator) Ben (Johnson) was pretty aware of it early on in the week. He was really thinking about how we can get him the ball in a variety of ways, throughout the week. And really, on game day as well, really trying to get him the ball. It was frustrating at some points because we were calling plays for him, and the coverage would dictate the ball to go elsewhere and so it was bit frustrating trying to get it to him based on what they were doing on defense. So, by the end, it was good. I’m glad he got that. I know he’s happy about it. And yeah, it was a fun moment.”

On his confidence in the offense being able to adjust if Lions TE Sam LaPorta is unable to play against the Rams: “Sure, yeah, I think back to last year, what we were able to do without Sam and having (Lions TE) Brock (Wright) and (Lions TE) James (Mitchell), and even (TE Shane) Zylstra at times there last year and the creativity, getting those guys in the right spots, getting them open and their ability to make plays. I think James is ready to go if his number is called. I think Brock’s ready to go if his number’s called. Those guys are our playmakers and rise to the occasion pretty consistently, so yeah. If Sam can’t go, they’ll be ready to go.”

On if he has confidence in the offense if Lions TE Sam LaPorta cannot play because of their experience adjusting to games without Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown: “Yeah, no, I think we’d like to have him out there, but I think it’s a credit to – yeah, those guys upstairs getting us a good plan and guys rising to the occasion, like I mentioned. I think we’ve got a great support group here that understands when their number gets called, it’s time to go. I think about guys all year this year. I mean, even (Lions WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones) coming in halfway through the year now and it seems like every time we’ve asked him to kind of get himself open and make a play, he’s done it. (Lions WR Jameson Williams) Jamo, obviously feeling – doing some great things now. It’s all – the tide is rising everywhere and it’s fun.”

On how seeing the NFC North banner at the stadium and having an opportunity to add more this season adds more fuel to the playoff run: “Yeah, we want to continue it. Seeing that banner is exciting. It’s an NFC North banner, it’s a division title, but we’ve got a lot more we’re working for, and ultimately the Super Bowl is the ultimate goal and winning a championship around here and something that hasn’t been done in a long time and we’ve got a great group who can do it. And it happens one week at a time and got to out and handle business this weekend.”

Gotion Inc. donation to help keep local families safe with new smoke detectors

Mecosta County residents will get an opportunity to receive free smoke detectors after Gotion Inc. donated $2,500 to purchase the potentially life-saving alarms for area families in need.

Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing, presented a ceremonial check to Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Steve Schroeder at the Big Rapids Fire Station today. Big Rapids Mayor Fred Guenther, County Administrator Paul Bullock and other officials also attended the presentation.

Gotion Inc. decided to make the donation after Thelen learned that some families in the area did not have residential smoke detectors. 

“Smoke detectors are such an effective way to protect our loved ones at home, and Gotion Inc. is honored to make this donation to help save lives in Mecosta County,” Thelen said. “We’re planning to have a positive effect on our region in a variety of ways over the next several years, but one way to make a more immediate impact is to help get smoke detectors into more homes as quickly as possible.”

The smoke detectors will be distributed to homes in need in the area during the coming weeks.

Gotion Inc. plans to construct a state-of-the-art battery components facility in Green Charter Township that will eventually create more than 2,300 good-paying jobs.

The plant is expected to break ground this summer after all permits are approved by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other regulatory bodies.

WEATHER ALERT: Severe winter storm warning in effect across the state through Saturday night

The US National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, Michigan has issued a Winter Storm Warning for 18 different counties from 10 A.M. on Friday, Jan. 12 until 7 P.M. on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Heavy snowfall accumulations of over 8 inches are likely with winds gusting as high as 50 MPH. These conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible Friday afternoon through Saturday. Travel only if necessary during that time, and carry emergency supplies in your car in case you get stuck. 

Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility. During storm events, only primary roads are maintained (cleared) and critical emergency routes. (M-82, M-120, M20, M37, etc) Secondary roads will not be cleared until after the storm. The U.S. National Weather Service asks for those to not travel during this time unless absolutely necessary.

Power outages and tree damage is possible due to the high winds and heavy, wet snow still on trees and power lines. ?Be sure to charge devices, stock up on food and water, have a safe heating source, and fuel up generators before early Friday afternoon.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office warning the public after finding counterfeit pills during search

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office would like the public to be aware of pills seized during the course of a search warrant last week with pharmaceutical markings, that after being tested were discovered to be Methamphetamine. We would like to alert those in our community of this danger, so that they have the information needed to protect themselves and our children.

Counterfeit pills are illegally manufactured by criminal drug networks and are made to look like real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®). Fake prescription pills are widely accessible and often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms – making them available to anyone with a smartphone, including minors. Counterfeit pills that contain these dangerous and extremely addictive drugs are more lethal and more accessible than ever before.

The drug overdose crisis in the United States is a serious public safety threat with rates currently reaching the highest level in history. Drug traffickers and those producing these pills in their own homes are using fake pills to exploit the opioid crisis and prescription drug misuse in the United States, bringing overdose deaths and violence to American communities. Fentanyl is the primary driver of this alarming increase in overdose deaths. However, as seen here locally, methamphetamine is increasingly being found to be pressed into counterfeit pills.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement officials ask the public to be aware of the dangers of counterfeit pills and to only use medications prescribed by medical professionals and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (1/1 - 1/7)

Monday, January 1

  • At 12:34 A.M., deputies responded to a one vehicle accident in Deerfield TWP. The female driver was arrested for OWI. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 9

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Tuesday, January 2

  • At 1:39 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for UDAA and several other charges.

Calls for Service: 20

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, January 3

  • At 4:14 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Colfax TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 9:03 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop on a vehicle in Big Rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a warrant.  He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 24

Traffic Accidents: 4

 

Thursday, January 4

  • At around 9:00 A.M., deputies responded to a possible drug deal going down in a parking lot of a residence in Big Rapids TWP. Deputies made contact with a male driver and male passenger. Deputies found and seized a large quantity of pills from the vehicle. The male driver was arrested for possession with intent to deliver. The male passenger fought with deputies, and was tased. The male passenger was arrested for assault on a police officer and other charges. Both subjects were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 20

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Friday, January 5

  • At 09:30 A.M., deputies assisted CPS at a residence in Morton TWP. Deputies arrested two male subjects on warrants, and another male subject for a probation violation. All three male subjects were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 4:00 P.M., deputies executed a search warrant at a residence in Big Rapids TWP. A firearm and large quantity of drugs were  found and seized from the residence.

  • At 9:46 P.M., deputies responded to a gunshot wound complaint in Colfax TWP. Additional investigation found that a male subject was unloading his handgun. The handgun fired, striking another male subject in the thigh. The wounded male subject was transported to Corewell Health Hospital in Big Rapids, and then transported to Corewell Butterworth Hospital Grand Rapids, in critical condition. The other male subject was arrested for careless discharge of a firearm causing injury. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 12

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

 

Saturday, January 6

 

Calls for Service: 26

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, January 7

  • At 2:16 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a warrant.

Calls for Service: 8

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Traffic Accidents: 2

Ferris State's 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration features visit from mother of Trayvon Martin, activism and social justice-themed events

Ferris State University’s 38th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration honors the slain civil rights leader from Monday, Jan. 15 through Thursday, Jan. 18, highlighting an activism-and social justice-themed celebration designed to engage students, faculty, staff and community members.

David Pilgrim, vice president for Diversity, Inclusion and Strategic Initiatives, said the 2024 celebration features the annual Freedom March and a nationally known speaker coming to campus on Wednesday, Jan. 17. 

“The theme for this year’s MLK Celebration is Activism and Social Justice,” Pilgrim said. “This year’s activities, including a commemorative march, a music fest and a nationally known speaker, Sybrina Fulton, will give members of the Ferris State community opportunities to reflect on the role of activism in our efforts to build and sustain a more just society.”

The traditional Freedom March begins at the Interdisciplinary Resource Center Connector at 4 p.m. on Jan. 17. Pilgrim said refreshments will be available in the IRC before the special guest presentation, which starts at 5:30 p.m. in Room 111 of the College of Business building. A Ferris State student will interview Sybrina Fulton, author and founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation. Fulton will also take audience questions.

“Since the 2012 death of her son, Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton has become a national leader in the fight for racial justice,” Pilgrim said. “She has turned a heartbreaking personal tragedy into the catalyst for a movement that challenges our nation to be better.” 

MLK Celebration activities include a student-led choir performance on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. in ballrooms B and C of the David L. Eisler Center, with soup and chili provided.

The concluding event in Ballroom C of the Eisler Center on Thursday, Jan. 18, starting at 6 p.m., will recognize Ferris students who exemplify the activism and social justice theme, along with a trivia question session. Pilgrim said this activity speaks to King’s mission and the philosophy of Ferris State’s founder.

“We honor Woodbridge Ferris when we create a campus where everyone, students, faculty, and staff believes that the University belongs to them as much as it belongs to others,” Pilgrim said. The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration is when we remind ourselves of our noble past and our need to remain vigilant in creating an inclusive university.”

Pilgrim noted a pre-recorded virtual event that will be available to observe the holiday and start the celebration.

Three suspects arrested following recovery of two stolen guns in Ada Township

Just after 3:20 AM on Jan. 7, 2024, residents called Kent County Sheriff's Office after seeing suspects looking through vehicles in the area of Adaway Ave SE and Adaridge Dr SE. As deputies arrived, they located a black Dodge Durango with three suspects inside. One suspect ran away but was later apprehended. Deputies located a stolen firearm where the suspect was arrested.

The two remaining suspects in the Durango; a 21-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, both from the City of Grand Rapids, were arrested. Deputies searched the Durango and found stolen credit cards, wallets, masks, and a stolen pistol under the front passenger seat. All three suspects were arrested and lodged at the Kent County Jail on weapons offenses and resisting and obstructing arrest.

The Kent County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the observant residents for calling 911 right away. The Kent County Sheriff's Office believes these suspects may be tied to other crimes throughout Kent County.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (1/1 - 1/7)

Monday, January 1

  • An officer was dispatched to a woman that appeared to be talking to herself and yelling at things while walking down the road. After investigating, this is normal behavior for this individual. No issues.

  • An officer was dispatched to a location with reports of disturbance. After arriving at the location, only loud talking and loud TV were observed. Verbal warning was given. No issues. 

  • An officer checked in on an individual who lives alone and has had mental health problems in the past to ensure he was doing well and wasn’t in need of any assistance.

Tuesday, January 2

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, January 3

  • An officer was dispatched to assist with a domestic civil case. No issues.

Thursday, January 4

  • An officer was dispatched to a larceny report that occurred at a local business. The case is still on going.

  • An officer assisted a 45-year-old female with reports of stalking. The case was transferred to the Prosecutors office.

  • An officer responded to a car/deer accident. The driver was ok, just some minor damage to the car.

Friday, January 5

  • An officer responded to a welfare check on a 29-year-old female. The female was ok.

Saturday, January 6

  • Officers observed an individual that had a 'No Trespass' notice not served. Upon contact a teen male, unrelated to the trespass order, was issued a citation for MIP marijuana.

Sunday, January 7

  • An officer responded to a call regarding someone screaming from their apartment. After contacting the resident of the apartment, nothing was found out of the ordinary and she appeared to be ok. No issues.

Ferris State Softball to hold first-ever Diamond Dinner on Jan. 20

The Ferris State University softball program will celebrate 50 years of Bulldog Softball and introduce this year's squad to the community by holding its first-ever Diamond Dinner on Jan. 20.

The special event will include a prominent guest speaker in former Michigan State softball coach and current MSU Assistant Athletic Director Jacquie Joseph along with an introduction of this year's team and alumni in attendance, a cash bar and a silent auction.

The Diamond Dinner will take place on Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at St. Ives Golf Club, which is located at 9900 St. Ives Drive in Stanwood. Space for the event is limited.

The cost for the evening event is only $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight. All proceeds from the dinner and silent auction will benefit the FSU softball program.

For additional information or to register online, please visit this link:
https://igfn.us/form/Nnnsyw

The Bulldogs will begin their second season this coming spring under head coach Jake Schumann. FSU concluded the 2023 season with their most wins in seven years under his direction, reaching the GLIAC Tournament this season while finishing in the top four of the league standings during regular-season play. Ferris State finished the campaign by winning five of the final eight games overall.

Joe's Takes: Motown...the playoffs are coming

For the first time since 1991, the Detroit Lions have chalked up 12 wins in a season. The Lions hunted down the Minnesota Vikings, 30-20 in the last game of the regular season. What also happened during that season was a home playoff win, so I’m not saying that it’ll happen…but chances are they could. 

I’m going to be honest, I thought that it might’ve been a tough game for Detroit. This is especially because we played Minnesota just two weeks ago and we hadn’t swept a division opponent yet; but, we got the job done and I’m happy about it. This was the first game of the season that I thought it was a complete game all around. There weren’t any mistakes that proved costly and it seemed that every play we were calling was the right one, so you can’t beat it. 

I was at Ford Field for this game and let me tell you this: it was insane. The game really had no meaning other than tying the franchise record for wins, but this didn’t matter for the fans. I was yelling and screaming with the people around me, and the packed barn was hitting triple digit decibels on the regular. Not bad for my first Lions game in person. 

Jared Goff was slinging the ball with precision that we haven’t seen in a few weeks. He racked up 320 yards on 23 completions and two touchdowns, one to Sam Laporta and one to Amon-Ra St. Brown. The USC product led receivers with 144 yards, with Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds following with 50 and 44 yards, respectively. LaPorta looked to be one of the main targets for the afternoon, but a hyperextended knee and bone bruise took him out of the game and potentially more playoff games. Donovan Peoples-Jones also had his patented one 20-yard catch every four games. To finish off as a big "stick it” to Brad Allen for losing us the game last week, Dan Skipper spent pretty much the whole game as an eligible receiver and even picked up a four yard catch to top it all off. 

The defense held it down as well in the first half. Aidan Hutchinson went wild with two sacks but in my opinion, he should’ve gotten three. Jack Campbell came flying in off the blitz to get on the stat sheet with a sack and Levi Onwuzurike broke into the backfield in the second half for one of his own.

Our secondary still makes me worry. Justin Jefferson had a tough start to the game, but after the first quarter he was open all the time. If it wasn’t for Minnesota’s quarterback, Nick Mullens, they could’ve had a field day with the Lions’ secondary. Jefferson had 192 yards on 12 catches to lead the Vikings offense. 

But you know what they say, there is three absolutes in this life; death, taxes, and a Nick Mullens interception. That statement was proven true once again. Cam Sutton had a decent return after picking off a wobbly throw and CJ Gardner Johnson got an interception in his first game back since Week 2. This was their best game in all facets for the Lions since their win against the Packers in Week 4.

The NFL script has been cooking up for the playoffs, especially in the NFC. The Los Angeles Rams are coming to Ford Field for round one. The “Golden Boy” Matthew Stafford will return home and could honestly make every single Lions fan fall into a deep and dark depression if he beats us. However, my point of view is that it’s a Jared Goff revenge game and the Rams are not ready for primetime Goff. Not to mention the Lions are hungry for a Dallas Cowboy rematch, and the only way to get there is a win on Sunday.

History is on the table this weekend for Detroit. I fully expect Ford Field to be packed and absolutely electric from start to finish. There is something in the air when the Lions are in town, not to mention when the Lions have a home playoff game. It’s been 30 long years and it’s going to show this Sunday night.

I will be glued to the TV under an astronomical amount of stress this Sunday, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. The boys in blue will be sipping the blue Kool-aid, and you should too.

WEATHER ALERT: Heavy snow and slippery roads expected in West and Central Michigan

Significant winter weather is expected over the next 28 hours in the local area.

Emergency Management is warning locals in Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clare, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, and Isabella County about hazardous and slippery road conditions that will impact both the morning and evening commute. 

Snow accumulations of four to six inches are expected with higher isolated amounts nearing seven inches possible. Snow will begin overnight and be ongoing Tuesday morning for the commute to work or school. Periods of snow can be expected to continue into the day on Tuesday before tapering off some Tuesday night. Some light snow will persist into the morning on Wednesday. The Wednesday morning commute could have some lingering impacts as well. Wind gusts as high as 40 mph late Tuesday night and on Wednesday are also expected.

The weather advisory is in effect from 4 A.M. Tuesday to 10 A.M. Wednesday. Please be aware of changing weather conditions and monitor roads for safety while travelling.

Ferris State Michigan College of Optometry student named to women in Optometry Student Advisory Board

Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry student Alyssa Buren was selected for the Women in Optometry Student Advisory Board, continuing her leadership pursuits and learning opportunities.  

As an undergraduate, Buren attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, and led its Women in Leadership organization. Buren is the MCO’s National Optometric Student Association chapter president-elect and explained how she became aware of the Women in Optometry opportunity. 

“An administrator contacted all second-year MCO students, notifying us of the application process,” Buren said. “I submitted a paragraph expressing my interests and hopes for this role and am very excited to have been selected.” 

Buren, of Sheldon, Iowa, said the Women in Optometry Student Advisory Board is taking shape. 

“I understand that the goal is to receive our input for their publication on what would best serve students in terms of content and focus,” Buren said. “Whether we are meeting virtually or gathering to collaborate on the board is not determined at this point. Since there are mentorship opportunities for board members, I look forward to learning more about making connections, whether with fellow students at other colleges and universities or professionals and educators.” 

Women in Optometry is an online publication by Jobson Medical Information, LLC, in New York City. 

American Legion baseball returning to Big Rapids after 30 years

Last Friday afternoon, American Legion Post 98 and Big Rapids Baseball announced an affiliation agreement for a summer league team beginning this May.

Tabbed as the “Rubberducks”, the team will be coached by Big Rapids High School head coach JT Scarpelli and be composed of players aged 19 and under from the greater Big Rapids area.

“We haven't had Legion ball here in the local community for 40 years,” Post 98 Commander Mark Brejcha said. “We were waiting for the right person at the right time and it’s JT. He knows the players, he knows the parents, and he knows the schools. We're going to support JT and his team.”

The team will be playing a schedule composed of different competitive leagues and national exposure tournaments. According to Scarpelli, most of the games will be played central and west Michigan with the potential of playing in a national exposure tournament out of state later in the season.

“Our intention is to bring the best talent of baseball in the area to compete at a regional and national level within American Legion baseball,” Scarpelli said. “We’ll be playing in many exposure tournaments throughout the summer culminating in the AA Legion Tournament at the end of July.”

When asked about what inspired Scarpelli to pitch the team to Post 98, he said it came from a full circle moment with an introduction and connection spanning over 40 years.

“It came last summer after our team played in the annual American Legion Post 110 tournament in Mt. Pleasant named ‘The Iron Duke’,” Scarpelli said. “Keith McDonald heads that program and tournament. I was introduced to Keith by Rick Sellers earlier in the year, who is the single greatest influence on my baseball career both playing and coaching. Keith and I spoke a few times about the pros of Legion baseball and it just made sense. I floated the idea by Post 98 Commander Mark Brejcha and he was all in, as Mark was a part of the Post 98 team back in the day. Additional support from Jake Reichert and everyone at the AMVETS Post 1941 have been crucial as well.”

Many local standout players have already committed to play for the newly announced team. There is a mix of both full-time and part-time players to help fill the roster for the duration of the summer.

When asked on how he assembled the roster, Scarpelli said he considered players’ commitments and availability.

“For the part time players, namely pitchers, I offered flexibility. These guys know what they’re doing so I trust they are ready to play when they are available. The handpicked arms I’ve spoken to are the area’s most competitive arms and players. These efforts are ongoing though, as the goal in building this team continues to be to bring together the area’s best talent onto one roster. We have the players to make a run in the Legion tournament at the end of the summer, we just need a unified effort. The Post 98 ‘Ducks’ are intended to be that.”

There are a reported 10 full time players committed to the team at this point, including Big Rapids’ Ty Gielczyk, Philip Wilber, and Caiden Schuberg as well as White Cloud’s Mason Ruether. For part-time players, Reed City’s Max Hammond and Big Rapids’ Isaac Zocco are reported players that will play at their convenience.

“For Max, (whose) an immense talent, (he) has been committed to a different summer program for years,” Scarpelli said. “I’m not looking to change his relationship with that team. I’m only asking him to pitch for the Ducks when his schedule is available come Legion play, especially at the end of the summer. Zocco is another great talent from our area committed elsewhere. Isaac is always looking for extra innings and will sub when his schedule is available. His presence is an immediate boost both offensively and defensively.”

Gielczyk, an all-conference player for the Cardinals last season, said he’s excited to play for the team due to his connection with Coach Scarpelli.

“I've been playing summer baseball since I was probably eight years old and I've always had a true passion for playing baseball,” Gielczyk said. “I connected with (Scarpelli) well my freshman year when he was the JV coach and I played under him. Some players drive to Grand Rapids to play. Why do that when I can just play for a hometown team coached by my high school baseball coach? So, it was an easy decision to play for him (this summer).

He also tabbed exposure to college baseball coaches and the focus on baseball without school as key factors.

Support for the team is expected to be made by multiple fundraisers, including a unique raffle idea starting soon by the Legion.

“Our first one is going to be a raffle leading up to Valentine's Day,” Brejcha said. “Coming from the Legion, you're thinking (it’s probably) rifles and guns and things like that. Oh, this one is a Louis Vitton purse. If we sell all 250 tickets at 25 dollars a ticket, we should have about a 4,000-dollar profit for the team’s kickstart. We intend to also have some meals along the way to open it up to the community served by the players. We've even talked about maybe even having a duck race because of the team’s name. That might be a good way of raising some money.”

“We learned in the military to serve and for those of us that are out of the military, we're still serving and that stays with us for the rest of our life. Baseball is loved by all. It's like a farm team here to the youth, exposing them across the state and region. It can't help but bolster the talents of the local youth and bring people out to watch them.”

More details about the team schedule and fundraisers will be announced in the near future.

Congressman Moolenaar to visit Big Rapids near end of January

Congressman John Moolenaar is scheduled to visit the local area for office hour meetings this month.

 

Notable times and locations include:

Tuesday, January 16 from 9:00 - 10:00 AM at Mount Pleasant City Hall
320 West Broadway StreetMount Pleasant, MI 48858

Wednesday, January 17 from 9:30 - 10:30 AM at Cadillac City Hall
200 North Lake StreetCadillac, MI 49601

Monday, January 29 from 1:30 - 2:30 PM at Evart City Hall
200 South Main StreetEvart, MI 49631

Monday, January 29 from 3:30 - 4:30 PM at Big Rapids City Hall
226 North Michigan AvenueBig Rapids, MI 49307

 

"It is an honor to serve you in Congress and to work every day to make Michigan a better place." Moolenaar said.

For more information, visit Meet With Staff | Congressman John Moolenaar (house.gov).

Ferris State Volleyball to hold youth training clinics this month

The Ferris State University women's volleyball program has announced plans for winter training clinics in January.

The Bulldogs will hold both a Volley Pups clinic for youth in grades K-5 along with a Development League for grades 6-8 on Sunday afternoons during the month beginning on Jan. 14.

Additional information on both events can be found below and online registration is available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Camps.

The Bulldogs reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen this past fall for the third consecutive season. Ferris State also claimed the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLAIC) Tournament Championship this year along with the school's 12th consecutive and 27th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. FSU closed the campaign with a 27-8 overall record this past season.

 

Volley Pups
Grades: K-5th boys and girls
Dates: Sunday, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, and Jan. 28
Location: Bulldog Arena
Time: 1-2 PM
Cost: $100.00 for all three sessions
*Learn the basic skills and fundamentals of volleyball.

 

Development League
Grades: 6-8th boys and girls
Dates: Sunday, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, and Jan. 28
Location: Bulldog Arena
Time: 2-4 PM
Cost: $130.00 for all three sessions
*Each session will include invocation training sessions, followed by league play.

 

Visit this link for additional information & registration link:
https://ferrisstatebulldogs.com/camps/vbcamps

Ferris State alumna Arielle Barlage honored as emerging leader in global business events industry

Long before Arielle Barlage was named an emerging leader in the global business events industry, she was putting in the hard work at Ferris State University.

“The professors, the student clubs, the events I took part in during my time at Ferris all really helped me develop into who I am as a professional and establish my career,” said Barlage, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management in 2020.

Barlage will be honored this month as one of the “20 in Their Twenties” class of 2024, presented by the Professional Convention Management Association. PCMA is the world’s largest group of business events strategists, with more than 7,000 members in 59 countries.

The 24-year-old is the first Ferris State graduate to earn the honor.

“We are thrilled to recognize the class of 2024 as they have collectively demonstrated success, enthusiasm and professionalism, setting a solid path forward for a promising future within the global business events industry,” said Meredith Rollins, PCMA chief community officer.

Barlage will be honored at PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference in San Diego.

“This is a highly competitive program,” said Amy Dorey, an associate professor and Hospitality Management program director. “The caliber of Arielle’s work and her success in her role in our industry is nearly unheard of for someone so young.” 

Barlage did everything right in her years at Ferris State, Dorey said.

She actively engaged in her coursework, served as PCMA student chapter president, brought innovative ideas to the Hospitality program, and followed through in designing and hosting valuable events on campus, Dorey said.

For the last five years, she’s also volunteered at PCMA conferences and events across the country.

“It was so great to get that experience through PCMA, meeting all kinds of people and building my professional network,” said Barlage, now the conference services manager at Rosewood Miramar Beach resort in Montecito, Calif.

Born and raised in St. Johns, Michigan, Barlage had an early glimpse at the world of hospitality from her mom, who worked as an incentive trip planner. 

“The opportunity to travel and be part of creating these events that bring everyone together from all these different locations really sparked my interest,” she said. “Once I got to Ferris and got to dig into the work, I knew that hospitality and events was the career I wanted.”

But that hard work didn’t end at graduation.

The dedicated alumna has also served as a virtual speaker at Bulldogs to Business conferences, providing insight and mentorship to current hospitality students.

In 2023, Barlage earned the Certified Meeting Professional credential from the Events Industry Council. The CMP designation is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry.

“I love what I’m doing and getting the opportunity to bring people together, especially after the COVID pandemic when it wasn’t an option,” she said.

She’s forever grateful to the Ferris professors who guided her in building her career.

“I’d tell any Bulldogs out there to make those connections with people and lay the groundwork … you never know what opportunities lie ahead,” Barlage said.

#5 Ferris State erupts for decisive home court GLIAC victory over LSSU

The fifth-ranked Ferris State University women's basketball squad took full advantage of the home court on Saturday (Jan. 6) as the Bulldogs raced to an impressive 109-60 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win over Lake Superior State inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs, who were playing only their second home game of the season and first in GLIAC play, jumped out to a nine-point first quarter lead and cruised to the win as seven players reached double-figure scoring in the 49-point victory.

Ferris State improved to 8-2 overall and 2-1 in the GLIAC by beating LSSU, which fell to 1-11 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

The Bulldogs shot 59.2% from the floor in the game and nailed 14-of-28 (50%) three's while sinking 11-of-15 (73.3%) free throws in the dominating win before a large crowd at Wink Arena.

All 13 FSU players scored and all played at least eight minutes in the win. The FSU bench totaled 67 points compared to only 38 for the Lake Superior State reserves.

Sophomore Mya Hiram led the Bulldogs with a team-high 13 points and senior Amaka Unobagha had a big day with 12 points and six rebounds to go with four blocks and two steals. Meanwhile, a quartet of players had 11 points each, including seniors DeShonna Day and Chloe Idoni along with junior Grace Sullivan and sophomore Emma Schierbeek. Sophomore Mia Riley added 10 points and two others scored eight points.

Ferris State dominated the statistics sheet, posting a 45-27 rebounding edge and outscoring LSSU 28-9 in poitns off turnovers along with 20-9 on the offensive glass and 28-2 in fast break production. FSU also tallied 58 points inside the paint compared to 18 for the Lakers.

The Bulldogs dished out 34 assists as 12 of the 13 FSU players had at least one helper in the game. Senior Mallory McCartney led the way with eight assists and Sullivan tallied six assists for the Bulldogs.

Finally, the Bulldogs also came up with 18 steals and blocked seven shots. Sullivan and Unobagha paced FSU on the glass with six rebounds each.

The Lakers were held to 33.3% shooting and Lake Superior state made nine-of-23 (39.1%) three's in addition to 11-of-15 (73.3%) free throws. The Lakers were led by Maddie Bradford's team-high 11 points and Grace Bradford added 10 points.

Ferris State will travel to Michigan's Upper Peninsula next week to face Michigan Tech on Thursday (Jan. 11) at 5:30 p.m. (ET) in Houghton. FSU will then visit Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 13) for a 1 p.m. (ET) tilt in Marquette.

#15 Ferris State erases halftime deficit to beat Lake Superior State at Wink Arena

The nation's 15th-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad erased an 11-point halftime deficit early in the second half and came away with its 12th win of the season, beating longtime Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rival Lake Superior State 90-86 on Saturday (Jan. 6) at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

Before a big crowd on hand for FSU's first GLIAC home doubleheader of the season, the Bulldogs outscored LSSU 54-39 to pull out the win in another classic matchup against the Lakers. Ferris State moved to 12-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play with the triumph.

The Lakers jumped in front early and built a 14-point lead late in the opening half while shooting nearly 70% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes of action. Lake Superior State held a 47-36 margin at the halftime break, but the Lakers were outscored 54-39 by FSU in the second half as the Bulldogs responded in a big way.

Ferris State turned up the pressure and created early energy in the final period, erasing the Lakers' lead in the opening five minutes before eventually building a six-point lead with just over three minutes to go. The Lakers tied the game up late, but Ferris State made enough plays down the stretch to come away with the win, sealing the victory with a pair of free throws from senior guard Ben Davidson with less than five seconds left.

Senior Dolapo Olayinka led the Bulldogs with a game-high tying 21 points and nearly had a double-double effort with a contest-best nine rebounds. Junior Reece Hazelton added 14 points with Davidson notching 13 points and junior Ethan Erickson recording 10 points, which included a trio of made three-pointers. Both Deng Reng and Jack Ammerman tallied eight points each for FSU, which won its sixth-straight game.

The Bulldogs shot 50.8% from the floor in the victory and made nine-of-21 (42.9%) three's along with 17-of-20 (85.0%) free throws. In comparsion, the Lakers finished with a 58.0% shooting figure and went 10-of-17 (58.8%) from long range while sinking 18-of-25 (72.0%) free throws.

The Bulldogs outrebounded Lake Superior State 36-23 for the day and pulled down 12 offensive boards to only two for the Lakers, leading to a decisive 25-3 edge in second chance scoring. FSU also outscored the Lakers 40-36 in the paint and 15-5 in points off turnovers as LSSU finished with nine turnovers compared to only seven for the Bulldogs. Overall, FSU had six blocked shots and six steals with the Lakers netting two blocks and four steals.

Ferris State also dished out 25 assists with senior Amari Lee totaling seven assists in the win.

The Lakers were led by Xander Okerlund's 21 points. Both Devin Womack and Tyson Edmondson had 16 poitns each, Hunter Soper scored 13 points and Kingsley Perkins finished with 10 points. The FSU bench outscored the LSSU reserves 26-10 in the win.

With the loss, Lake Superior State dropped to 9-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play.

Ferris State will travel to Michigan's Upper Peninsula next week to face Michigan Tech on Thursday (Jan. 11) at 7:30 p.m. (ET) in Houghton. FSU will then visit Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 13) for a 3 p.m. (ET) tilt in Marquette.

New "Fastbreak Suites" to debut at Wink Arena for Saturday home doubleheaders

Ferris State University basketball fans have a new and exciting opportunity to receive premium seating for select home contests this season at Jim Wink Arena as the Bulldogs have announced the launch of the "Fastbreak Suites" inside the facility.

The "Fastbreak Suites" will be located on the west baseline of Wink Arena next to the visitor bench and will be a special reserved section for group and individual events.

The premium area will debut this Saturday (Jan. 6) for the Bulldogs' GLIAC home doubleheader against Lake Superior State and be offered for all remaining home Saturday doubleheaders this season.

The cost for the "Fastbreak Suites" is only $20 per person with a maximum of 20 individuals. The area can also be sectioned off for two different groups based on availability. Along with the premium high-top seating area next to the floor, the section also includes the game ticket along with food and beverages.

For additional information on the "Fastbreak Suites" or to reserve space, please contact Cedric Frierson at (231) 679-9852 or via email at Friersc1@ferris.edu.

$2.6 million to support academically- or economically-disadvantaged students in Michigan

Through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s King-Chávez-Parks Initiative, 19 Michigan colleges and universities have been awarded more than $2.6 million in competitive grants to support improved graduation rates and paths to K-12 teaching opportunities for academically- or economically-disadvantaged students.

“Today’s grants will help more Michiganders graduate from college,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “With investments across 19 universities, the King-Chavez-Parks Initiative helps us pursue our vision to ensure anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan, chasing their dreams and landing a good-paying, in-demand job. Together, we have taken action to lower the cost of higher education for tens of thousands of Michiganders with Reconnect and Achievement Scholarship, and we will keep working with our state and local partners to create more paths to prosperity. Let’s get it done.”

The competitive grant awards will provide funding to support up to three programs – Michigan’s Select Student Support Services Program, Michigan College/University Partnership Program and/or Morris Hood, Jr. Educator Development Program – through 2029.

“The goal of the King-Chávez-Parks Initiative is to increase the number of academically- or economically-disadvantaged Michigan students who have the opportunity to complete a college degree,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “The three programs supported by these grants will help postsecondary students experience career success as active participants in a knowledge-based global economy.”

 

Select Student Support Services Program Awards

Created by the Michigan State Legislature in 1987, the Select Student Support Services Program is designed to develop retention programs to benefit academically- or economically-disadvantaged students enrolled at four-year public and independent educational institutions throughout Michigan.

The program aims to increase graduation rates by providing funding that will stimulate more coordinated efforts within institutions to ensure measurable short- and long-term improvement in graduation rates of targeted students.

Nineteen colleges and universities received Select Student Support Services Program funding, including:

Alma College                                             $102,796.80

Central Michigan University                   $104,270.59

Eastern Michigan University                  $101,691.46

Ferris State University                             $101,323.01

Kettering University                                 $97,638.54

Lake Superior State University              $102,796.80

Lawrence Technological University       $101,323.01

Michigan State University                        $98,743.88

Michigan Technological University        $94,322.51

Northern Michigan University                $99,849.22

Olivet College                                            $92,848.71

Oakland University                                  $94,690.96

Saginaw Valley State University             $102,796.80

University of Detroit Mercy                    $107,218.17

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor      $107,218.17

University of Michigan – Dearborn       $99,480.77

University of Michigan – Flint                $100,954.56

Western Michigan University                $106,112.82

Wayne State University                          $99,849.22

“The program’s overall goal is to increase student success and retention, to help students choose an academic major that matches their personal and professional interests, and enable them to progress to timely graduation,” said Michael Zaborowski, Ferris State’s director of academic advising. “Students will also participate in enrichment activities aimed at social integration and engagement. These activities will foster a sense of belonging and community, enhancing the overall student experience.”

 

Michigan College/University Partnership Program Awards

The Michigan College/University Partnership Program provides State of Michigan funding to Michigan's four-year public and independent colleges and universities to increase the number of admitted academically- or economically-disadvantaged students who transfer from community colleges into baccalaureate degree programs at four-year institutions.

The program is designed to stimulate more coordinated efforts within institutions to ensure measurable short- and long-term improvement in the students' completion of baccalaureate degrees.

The eight schools receiving Michigan College/University Partnership awards are:

Alma College                                               $72,656.46

Central Michigan University                     $76,091.13

Eastern Michigan University                    $66,843.94

Lawrence Technological University         $73,449.08

Michigan Technological University          $73,449.08

Oakland University                                     $75,562.72

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor         $77,412.16

University of Michigan – Flint                    $71,335.43

“I am passionate about this initiative because I started my college career as a community college student,” said Sibrina Collins, executive director of STEM education in Lawrence Technological University’s College of Arts and Sciences. “The Lawrence Technological University Michigan College/University Partnership STEM initiative provides unique opportunities for community college students to engage in cutting-edge research with our amazing LTU faculty. These students will be able to engage in diverse research projects such as artificial intelligence, mathematical modeling, literature, and physics.” 

 

Morris Hood, Jr. Educator Development Program Awards

The Morris Hood, Jr. Educator Development Program is intended to increase the number of academically- or economically-disadvantaged students who enroll in and complete K-12 teacher education programs at the baccalaureate level.

The program is designed to ensure an enduring, measurable increase in the enrollment, completion, certification and placement rate of individuals who would otherwise not adequately be represented as teaching professionals in Michigan’s K-12 classrooms.

Five schools receiving Morris Hood, Jr. Educator Development funding include:

Central Michigan University                     $31,780.24

Eastern Michigan University                    $28,163.86

Lake Superior State University                $28,602.21

Saginaw Valley State University              $29,150.15

University of Michigan – Flint                  $30,903.54

"Students know that they have a dedicated staff member who will support them every step of the way," said Bianca Torbert, UM-Flint’s Morris Hood, Jr. Educator Development program manager. "Program staff are in place to help students with financial aid issues, communicating with professors, and overcoming many other barriers. We are here to partner with each student as they pursue their goal to become a teacher in the Flint community schools."

Students enrolled at funded schools should contact their institution’s program administrators to learn more about eligibility and how to participate.

Institutions interested in learning more or applying for a King-Chávez-Parks Initiative Competitive Grant should contact the Program Coordinator, Joseph Baynesan, at BaynesanJ@michigan.gov or 517-930-0956.

More information about Michigan’s KCP Initiative is available at Michigan.gov/KCP.

Icy overpass causes one-vehicle wreck in Paris

On Wednesday at approximately 10 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a one vehicle accident on 21 Mile Rd. near the US-131 overpass. 

The investigation revealed that a 72-year-old male from Paris lost control of his truck due to the Icy overpass. He then went off the road, crashed over a guard rail, and went down an embankment. 

The driver was transported by EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital for non life threatening injuries. Deputies were assisted on scene by, Mecosta EMS, Currie's Towing, Big Rapids City Fire/Rescue, and Meceola Central Dispatch. 

Ferris State plans special one-stop service day on Saturday to help new and returning students prepare for spring semester

Ferris State University is planning a special one-stop service day on Saturday to help students prepare for the spring semester. 

Representatives from Student Financial Services, Financial Aid, Advising, and Admissions will be available to assist students from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, on the first floor of the Timme Center for Student Services, 1201 S. State Street in Big Rapids. 

Ferris State’s spring semester starts on Monday, Jan. 8. 

Jeanine Ward-Roof, Ferris State’s vice president for Student Affairs, said the university has a significant number of new and transfer students who start with the spring semester with returning students. 

“College can seem a little overwhelming at first, and we want students to know there are caring people who are here for them and are ready to assist with any last-minute questions or tasks,” she said. “We want students to be as successful as possible. We are in this together.” 

The Ferris State Office of Admissions also has created two hotlines to assist students. 

Anyone seeking help with applications, transcripts, visits, orientation and other admissions features can call (231) 591-2000 or email admissions@ferris.edu

FStudents can get help with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, by calling (231) 591-2110 and emailing finaid@ferris.edu. The team can also assist with questions about scholarships, grants and loans. 

Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn Quote Sheet: 1/4/24

LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR AARON GLENN QUOTE SHEET

January 4, 2024

Opening Statement: “Tough loss. One of those things that happens in this League. The one thing that we do a really good job of as a team, man as an organization, is we move on quickly and we go to the next task at hand. And our next task at hand is Minnesota, so all hands on deck. Our guys are looking forward to the challenge. We, as coaches, are looking forward to the challenge. We’ll be ready to go.”

On how critical it is for a defense’s overall performance to take away an offense’s best weapon: “Well, everyone has a different philosophy on that, and my philosophy is always to try to do that. But here’s what I do know, I am a realist and I do know some of these guys are going to – they’re going to make plays. I mean, you look at what (Vikings WR Justin) Jefferson did, man we had him doubled on a number of occasions and he just went up there and he made the play. We talked about that the last time we played him. You look at (Cowboys WR) CeeDee Lamb, and listen I know everybody sees the 227 yards, but there were 92 on one play that shouldn’t have happened. We missed a tackle on another one which resulted in 30-something yards. So, a lot of his bulk yards came in that situation. And then we have to win our one-on-ones, alright, because the thing that I do know, we’re best and we’re just going to try to be aggressive on people and I think that’s when we play our best. And our guys like playing that way. So, listen, we’ve got to win our one-on-ones, but we also – when we’ve got a guy doubled, we’ve got to take him out.”

On if being more aggressive means they need to be more physical at the line of scrimmage: “All the above, all the above. Physical at the line, be attacking with our play-calls. And also, when we are just playing true full-man rush, man just being attacking with our full-man rush and guys beating one-on-ones. And then guys going up there and challenging receivers.”

On the risks of challenging a player on the line of scrimmage from his perspective as a former NFL cornerback: “Oh, getting beat. Yeah, I mean that’s any receiver. I mean, listen, in this League, when you play aggressive, I mean some people call it risk-reward, but it’s a fact that you went all the way to have that mindset. And listen, as a corner, man things are going to happen out there. You’re going to get beat. But man, it’s how you react to the next plays that come up, and to me that’s the most important thing. And our philosophy has always been, man we want to limit points. And I thought we did a pretty good job of that against Dallas. And we want to continue to do that. That’s the number one thing we try to do for the most part. And listen, we know there are some good players in this League, and we do everything we can to take that player out. And our guys just have to go up there and just get this job finished.”

On what has fueled the six takeaways the defense has had in the last two games: “Yeah, listen, you’ve got to credit our players on that. They’re understanding exactly what’s coming to them. They’re being aggressive like we just talked about as far as attacking the football. They’re looking to punch the football out at any given time. And it’s a mentality. And I told our guys the other day, man it’s becoming the DNA of ours because it happened last year, probably about mid-season. Now, we started a little late, alright, it happened about the last five games, but man our guys really understand that. And it helps us as a team, as far as wins and losses too. So when we win that turnover battle, usually we come out with a win, so we want to continue to do that.”

On how well Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu has been performing at the line of scrimmage and in the backend: “Well, listen and I said this the last time we talked about this player, coming from corner, to being safety, man that’s a transition and there’s a number of things that he has to learn. And I think he’s starting to really understand that position in totality. So, not only is he understanding from a backend perspective, but he also understands where he fits in the paint, also. And man, with the help of (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone), (Lions LB) Jack (Campbell), (Lions LB Derrick) Barnes, all those guys, all those guys are working together, he really understands that. And he understands exactly how to blitz also, and that’s really one of the strong points. You see it happening in practice and he’s just transitioning that from practice over to the field.”

On what the sacks Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson has gotten in the past few weeks does for him moving forward: “For you guys to stay off his back. That’s what it does. Because the things you guys really don’t look at, we see as coaches, so kudos to him.”

On if he thinks Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson has been pushing to record sacks these last few weeks: “Aidan was being Aidan. He was being Aidan. And he’s going to do things with the defense for us to be successful. And sometimes, he has to be a guy that’s going to have to take up blocking for somebody else to go. And sometimes, we’re going to put him in a position for him to go and go make his plays. And that’s what’s so good about that player. He’s selfless and he’s going to do whatever it takes for us as a team to win. And he doesn’t listen to all the outside noise. He gets that. I mean, I told you, once you get in this League, especially the pick he was at. Two things he is going to have to worry about, those expectations are one of them and he gets it.”

On what he thinks the team has in young players like Lions DL Brodric Martin and Lions CB Steven Gilmore: “Developmental players. That’s exactly what they are, that’s exactly what they are.”

On what specifically he has seen from Lions DL Brodric Martin and Lions CB Steven Gilmore in their development: “In practice, that’s exactly what we’re looking for in those guys. I mean, the one thing about Gilly, and I think we all saw this here in training camp, he’s a guy that can get the ball back and he’s doing that in practice also. But, man, there are other guys that we have that are playing. I mean, it’s hard to just play everybody. Same thing with Brodric. I mean, he’s a guy that came from a smaller school. And man, I said this before, the things that he has to understand, man how to use his hands, how to – pad level and it’s hard for a man that’s about 6’ 7” to do that. So, he has to continue to work on those things and our coach is doing a good job of working with him on that.”

On if he likes the futures of Lions DL Brodric Martin and Lions CB Steven Gilmore: “Absolutely, absolutely. You’re looking at the same thing with (Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu) Iffy. I mean, Iffy is what? Three years and now you’re starting to see the fruits of his labor starting to show up. And listen, everybody’s timetable is different. Listen, we all wish that guys can come in as a rookie and they could hit it like (Lions TE Sam) LaPorta did, they could hit it like (Lions LB) Jack (Campbell) did, but sometimes it takes a while. And listen, we love those guys. And we think those guys are going to be good players and we’re going to continue to work with them.”

On what the team has gained from having Lions CB Emmanuel Moseley around while he rehabs: “Man, let me tell you something, that player – that person, take the player out, that person is a really caring person. He cares about his teammates. He wants to see his guys do well. Man, you sit there and you watch him in the meetings and how he talks and how he interacts with everybody that, man you want that guy to be around because he’s a vet and he’s been around. He’s been around winning. He’s been around winning, and that’s huge for us, as an organization to have guys like that around in the building even when they have these injuries. So, man, I’m so appreciative of that player always wanting to be around, and then imparting his wisdom into some of the young guys that we have. (Lions CB Steven Gilmore) Gilly, for example, because he latches on. Gilly has latched onto E-man quite a bit.”

On what Lions CB Kindle Vildor did to catch his eye in practice weeks ago to earn the opportunity to play these past few weeks: “Yeah, the thing is, he’s competing his butt off man, he’s really competing. And that’s what you want as a corner. He understands the defense. Listen, when he got here, it took him a while to get it down, just like anybody. But once he got it down, man he knew exactly what we were looking for and he’s out there competing his butt off.”

On how he thinks Lions CB Kindle Vildor has performed these last few weeks: “He’s been serviceable, man. Listen, the thing is he’s provided us with a veteran that’s been around that’s played. I mean, he started in this League for quite a bit, alright, with Chicago, so I look forward to seeing him get better each week.”

On how he makes sure Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson remains patient throughout the time he has missed due to injury: “Well, he has no choice. That’s what he has to do. So, listen, we know that player wants to go out there and play. I mean, even when he was down and he was hurt, he wanted to go play. That’s just how he’s wired. But he understands the process also. So, obviously you have to talk to him and keep him at bay, but he gets it, he gets it. And when he gets his chance to go out there and play, he’s going to do a good job for us.”

On how Lions DL Tyson Alualu performed against the Cowboys and how valuable it has been to have a veteran like him on defense: “Thirty-six years old. Listen, he did a really good job for us. You’re talking about somebody that’s going to go in there and battle and fight. That’s who he is, that’s who he’s been. He’s been on a number of teams. He’s able to impart his wisdom on some of the young guys that we have, so I’m glad that we have him. And I look forward to him continuing to teach some of these guys. I mean, the thing is, I’m glad that (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac’s going to have a chance to play next to him and those guys will go out there and battle. That’s what I’m looking forward to seeing.”

On if it is important to give Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson reps this week along with Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu and Lions S Kerby Joseph so they can figure out everyone’s roles: “Listen, I agree with that. And listen, all three of those guys are going to play because they’re all good players. And the one thing that we try to do as a defense is make sure we have our best players out on the field. Will they all three be on the field at the same time? Possibly. Will somebody be down? Possibly. But they’re all going to play, and you’ll see that.”

On if Lions LB Derrick Barnes was worried about a roughing the passer penalty on his blitz in Dallas’s end zone against the Cowboys: “Did you ask him? Ask him. I didn’t do it. Ask him. You’re asking me something that he needs to tell you.”

On the coaching point on Lions LB Derrick Barnes’s blitz against the Cowboys: “Go finish the play.”

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (12/25 - 12/31)

Monday, December 25

  • Two-car private property crash, minor damage, no injuries.

  • An officer responded to a call for a domestic disturbance, which ended on the arrest of a 39-year-old female for probation violation. No issues.

Tuesday, December 26

  • An officer was dispatched to a location where a bag of groceries had been left outside while the owner or the groceries went into a business. While he was in the business, the bag was taken.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding some vehicles being vandalized.

  • An officer was dispatched to a location in reference to the larceny of a mail package.

  • An officer responded to a disturbance call regarding loud noises coming from an apartment. After arriving, it turned out they were having a kids birthday party.

  • An officer transported a 43-year-old female from Lake County on an outstanding warrant to the Osceola County Jail. No issues.

Wednesday, December 27

  • An officer took a report of someone violating a protection order. The case is still under investigation.

Thursday, December 28

  • An officer checked on two vehicles in the park after hours.

Friday, December 29

  • An officer took a noise complaint. The noise had stopped prior to the officers arrival.

  • Officers took a report of a wallet stolen from a vehicle. The matter is under investigation.

  • Officers were dispatched to a suspicious individual seen at a business over remote security camera. Upon arrival it was determined the caller had mistaken the person’s identity and was viewing their cleaning staff on camera.

  • Officers took a report of a civil/domestic dispute. The matter has been sent to the prosecutor for review of appropriate charges, if any.

Saturday, December 30

  • Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department with an attempted suicide call.

Sunday, December 31

  • Officers took a report of an attempted credit card fraud.

 

Two-car collision on 19 Mile Road leaves passenger in the hospital

On Wednesday at approximately 11:09 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a two-vehicle personal injury accident on 19 Mile Rd at 230th Ave. 

The investigation revealed that a 80-year-old male from Big Rapids was south bound on 230th Ave. and stopped at the intersection. He then pulled out onto 19 Mile Rd. in front of a 49-year-old female from Bitely who was traveling west bound. The female's vehicle subsequently "t-boned" the male's vehicle.

The 80-year-old's wife, who was a passenger with him, was transported by EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital for non life-threatening injuries. 

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta EMS, Big Rapids Towing, Big Rapids City Fire/Rescue, and Meceola Central Dispatch. 

Ferris State University Admissions Recruiter, Community Advocate Aniesa Williams honored by Muskegon Young Black Professionals

The Muskegon Young Black Professionals group has highlighted Ferris State University Office of Admissions recruiter Aniesa Williams with its Emerging Professional Award at the third annual Shades of Excellence Professionals of Color Ceremony.  

“There was another Ferris alumnus considered for this honor. So, I am proud to receive this recognition,” Williams said. “My parents were about seeing that I was afforded opportunities, which included being the only Muskegon Heights Public School Academy graduate arriving at Ferris in 2017. Part of my work for the university means seven students from that charter school in Big Rapids at various stages of their higher education journey.” 

Williams advocates for underserved student populations and said she spends as much time in the Muskegon area as she does in and around Ferris State and Big Rapids. 

“I try to help these students explore college opportunities,” Williams said. “I hope they can relate to my story, which involved earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Social Work in 2021 here and my Bachelor of Science diploma the year after. I am now in Ferris’ Master of Social Work program and intend always to be ready to offer my support to anyone in need.” 

Williams volunteers inside and outside higher education advocacy. She has a drive to contribute to the greater Muskegon County community. 

“There are initiatives like the Inclusive Leadership Academy and ‘Apps to Caps,’ where students who may be first-generation participants in higher education receive guidance to connect with avenues of assistance they may require,” she said. “I am currently on the board of the Coalition for Community Development and continue my support of Every Woman’s Place, where victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking are provided services.” 

Williams said she looks forward to many years of learning and growing as a professional and social advocate. 

“I participate in National Association of Black Social Workers conferences and activities,” she said. “Investing my time and effort is a way I can pay back my parents for their efforts to help me succeed and give back to my hometown and its people.”

#5 Ferris State opens New York trip with win at D'Youville

The Ferris State University women's basketball squad, which moved up to #5 in the nation this week, opened up a two-game road trip to New York with a 72-54 win over D'Youville on Tuesday (Jan. 2) afternoon at the College Center Gym in Buffalo.

The Bulldogs hit the floor for the first time since knocking off then top-ranked Ashland on the road back on Dec. 16 and moved to 7-1 overall this season. The win came in the first-ever matchup between the two schools.

FSU built a 20-14 lead after the first quarter and held a 36-31 lead at halftime before opening the second half on a 17-0 run. The Bulldogs outscored D'Youville 23-9 in the third and cruised to the double-digit triumph.

Senior guard Mallory McCartney led the way with a team-high 17 points in the victory, which included five three's. She also dished out five assists and had five rebounds for FSU.

Meanwhile, fellow senior Chloe Idoni notched 16 points and a squad-best nine rebounds while Kenzie Bowers added 10 points and six boards to help the cause.

The Bulldogs shot 47.3% for the afternoon and made 15-of-30 (50%) three's to go with five-of-six (83.3%) free throws.

Overall, Ferris State held a 40-29 rebounding margin and the Bulldogs pulled down 11 offensive boards. FSU also had five steals and five blocks defensively to go with 14 turnovers.

D'Youville finished with a 30% shooting figure and was seven-of-25 (28.0%) from long range along with 11-of-12 (91.7%) at the stripe while finishing with 11 turnovers.

The Bulldogs will close out the trip on Wednesday (Jan. 3) with a visit to Daemen (N.Y.) for a 1 p.m. (ET) tip. FSU then returns home to resume GLIAC play against Lake Superior State on Saturday (Jan. 6) afternoon at 1 p.m. (ET) inside Jim Wink Arena.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (12/25 - 12/31)

Monday, December 25

  • Violation of Controlled Substance Act – The Osceola County Sheriff's Department requested assistance from the department’s K9 for narcotics detection while on a traffic stop.

Tuesday, December 26

  • Minor in Possession – The Osceola County Sheriff's Department requested assistance from the department’s K9 for a track involving subjects who fled from deputies.
  • Assault –  Officers were dispatched to an assault and battery complaint at a local residence. The suspect left the scene as the complainant was calling 911. The investigation has been completed and a request for charges has been forwarded to the Prosecutor's Office.
  • Operating Under the Influence – The Osceola County Sheriff's Department requested assistance from the department’s K9 for a track involving subjects who fled from the scene of an accident. 

Wednesday, December 27

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, December 28

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, December 29

  • Breaking and Entering – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a breaking and entering in progress.

Saturday, December 30

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, December 31

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with a one vehicle accident. The vehicle fled from the scene and was later located and arrested for operating while intoxicated.

  • Runaway – Officers were dispatched to a juvenile runaway. 

Joe's Takes: Officiating wins it for Dallas

If you needed any more reason to follow the "Detroit vs. Everybody" mindset, last Saturday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys was a perfect reason why. I have a strange feeling that the NFL has no clue what to do with the Lions now that we are a good team, so they just go back to
old reliable by screwing over Detroit every chance that they get.

Thanks to Brad Allen and his incredible crew, the Lions caught their fifth loss of the season against the Dallas Cowboys in a late game thriller 20-19. The Lions were ahead 21-20, but like I said, the referees decided to blame the players and coaches rather than accept reposibility that they messed up and caused Detroit to lose the number one overall seed in the NFC. It’s unbelievable.

I’m just going to go into the end of game theatrics first, because that’s really what you came for. To set the scene, Detroit marched down the field and Amon-Ra St. Brown caught a touchdown pass diving the pylon to bring the game within one. Classic Dan Campbell goes for the two point conversion, which is a trick play pass to the offensive lineman Taylor Decker; however, there was a flag on the play for what was called "illegal touching" as Taylor Decker did not report as an eligible receiver to the referee. After various replays from the broadcast, it clearly showed that Decker reported to the referee, but the Lions lose the game thanks to the refs. What’s new? Nothing.

You want to know the best part of this whole thing? Allen started to walk away when the linemen were coming up to him. How about you do your job instead of blaming the players postgame when you know that they can’t say anything about the officiating or they get fined. Something else to note, the Lions are 0-6 when Allen is officiating. Such a bush league move by a trash ref and a garbage crew. On the bright side, Allen’s crew has gotten downgraded and won’t be officiating in the playoffs. I guess that is a positive, but it doesn’t erase the fact that Detroit won’t be able to get the number one seed anymore.

Ok, now that that is out of the way, let’s take a look at the stats. It was a pretty slow day all around, as Jared Goff finished with 271 yards and a touchdown while completing 19 of 34 passes. He had two interception, though, which continues to put an uneasy feeling in my stomach for the playoffs. We also couldn’t even get a receiver over 100 yards in receiving. St. Brown had the lone receiving touchdown along with 90 yards on six receptions, Sam LaPorta notched 84 yards on seven looks as the main target on the final comeback drive, and Jameson Williams had his trademarked big time reception to total 69 yards on two receptions.

In terms of rushing, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs had an even workload. Montgomery reached 65 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, while Gibbs settled for 43 yards on 15 carries. Not as much as we’re used to seeing from the two, but the Cowboys do have a strong defensive front that plugged up a lot of the holes in the running game.

I’m not going to lie, Dak Prescott was slinging it. 345 yards on 26 of 38 passing with two touchdowns and one interception is not too bad of a day. Credit where credit is due, Prescott had command of the field. Dallas’ air attack had a historic night, with Lamb notching 227 yards on 13 receptions for a touchdown. He set the single season receiving record for the Cowboys, passing Michael Irvin’s previous record of 1,603 yards, so I guess that’s good for him. Brandin Cooks reeled in a touchdown as well, finishing with five receptions for 60 yards. Tony Pollard led Dallas in rushing with 49 yards on 16 carries.

Again, I am a firm believer that the refs lost the game for the Lions. I have looked at Reddit, Instagram, and various other platforms full of Cowboys fans trying to say that the refs were just as bad for them as they were for us. Well, the final drive of the game can tell you otherwise. There were at least three missed calls before the two point conversion anyways.

However, the season is not over. We return to Ford Field for the final week against the Minnesota Vikings. I’ll actually be at the game so that will be cool, but I’m hoping we can get the win to close out the regular season as a 12-win team. The Lions also haven’t lost two games in a row this season, so I’m confident we will pull away with a victory. There’s no better way to end the season than with a win against a divisional opponent. Get the Kool-aid ready at least one more time, and get ready to down it when the fourth quarter is over. Lions by a million!

Early morning fight leads to broken windows and an arrest in Sparta Township

Early Monday morning at an ongoing party in the 9100 Block of Kenowa Ave NW, a fight broke out between those present just before 5:00 A.M.

An adult male suspect used a machete and started to break windows and attack others. Two adult males fought with the suspect and received minor injuries. Once deputies arrived, they located the suspect who was arrested.

The two adult male victims are being treated at an area hospital along with the suspect for non-life-threatening injuries. Several other witnesses are still being interviewed. Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor and the case will be reviewed for charges of felonious assault.

Detroit Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell Quote Sheet: 1/1/24

LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL QUOTE SHEET

January 1, 2024

 

Opening Statement: “Happy New Year, hard to believe it’s ’24. Just from the game the other day, things I thought we did well, we started the game and the third quarter, I thought we did a really good job. Offensively, we drive the field and get three out of it. Of course, we want seven, but we did score, got off to a fast start. Defense takes the field, gets an interception, it’s a heck of a job by (Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu) Iffy over there on the sideline. And then we come out after halftime and defense takes the field, forces a punt, and offense, we go all the way down the field and get a touchdown. Really, that O-line took over. We bared down in the run game. (Lions RB) David Montgomery came to life there, gave him some – a lot of carries there and he really took it all the way down the field, receivers blocking, like they normally do, just getting after it. So, no, that was really good. Defensively, three sacks, seven quarterback hits, eight TFLs, an interception, forced fumble on (Cowboys WR) CeeDee (Lamb) going in. So, man, we did some really good things. Disruptive, played hard, played physical. We were there, man. We were there to win. I was proud of the guys, but we gave up – man, there were a couple of critical third downs on defense, could’ve gotten off the field, should’ve gotten off the field and we didn’t do it. CeeDee got after us a little bit. And then, offensively we just – third downs killed us. We were actually in manageable situations, we just – we just couldn’t – we just never found our rhythm, really, consistently. So – but, you go on the road, man that’s a playoff-type atmosphere. And that’s what’s good. That’s a playoff atmosphere, a really good team, played at a high level. And so now, you’ve got a little taste of what that’s like and it’s right there. We’re right there, so we’ve got a lot to build off of. They’ll come in tomorrow, we’ll clean this tape up, make the corrections, which will be great for us. And we’ll be good, man, we’ll move on. We’ve got Minnesota, we’ve got one more before we start the tournament.”

 

On how long it took him to get past his frustration over the game against the Cowboys to prepare for the Vikings: “I’m good. I woke up yesterday, I’m ready, man. I’ve got controlled fury and I’m ready to go. I am absolutely ready to go. I don’t go the other way, so. And the team won’t either. We’re on a mission and we’re not going to – we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves and wallow in everything. We had plays to make, we didn’t make them. And it’s a tight game, a good opponent, playoff-type atmosphere and you’ve got to make that one extra play that we didn’t and so we will use this as fuel. I’ve got pure octane right now. I woke up, I’m ready, so we’re moving forward.”

 

On what he would tell fans who believe the NFL holds biases against the Lions: “Don’t do that. Don’t do it. I know – I get it, but don’t do that. Don’t buy into that. Don’t live in that world, man. That will just pull you down. And if it makes you feel any better, the NFL is against every team, alright. Because look, I was at New Orleans, so I know what that feels like. And – but you know what? We walked away. Even in that game, we had chances to win and – before all that happened, but that one ended it. That was it, man. We walked away, packed our bags and left. This one, we got a taste of what that’s like, but we’ve still got a chance. We haven’t even started the tournament. So, this is a – I think it’s a blessing. And I would tell fans, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t even believe that.’ We’re just getting started.”

 

On why he considers the two-point conversion attempt and the outcome against Dallas ‘a blessing’: “Because of what I just said. What just happened. What just happened, man. We were in it, we were in a tight game, had a chance to win it, we weren’t able to and so now you know what that’s like. You know what that feels like, and you can’t let that opportunity slip, man. You don’t know when that play’s going to be made. Could be the first quarter, second quarter, right before halftime, so that’s why.”

 

On if there is anything he would have done differently in the preparation or execution of the two-point conversion attempt: “No.”

 

On if the Cowboys defense did something differently in the backfield to halt the run game: “Their defense? Yeah, look and that was one area – that’s one of the areas that we had a – they had a number of TFLs on us. They had about seven of them, which is too much. And that hurts. And I can tell you, when you’re in (Lions Offensive Coordinator) Ben (Johnson)’s seat and you call a first-down run and you lose three and now you’re second-and-13, those are tough. So, there were. And now, look, I’m going to give those guys credit too now. They’ve got two of the best ends in the League. One of them is, I think, the best rusher in the League and that’s (Cowboys LB Micah) Parsons. And the other, (Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence) 90, you can’t sleep on this guy. And I don’t think any of us slept on him, but I think people forget, he’s a complete defensive end, man. He plays the run, he’s stout, he’s explosive and he can rush the passer, so you’ve got those two guys. (Cowboys DT Osa Odighizuwa) 97 is disruptive, so that front, man they’ve got speed and violence. And there were just a couple of things, man movement got us on a couple of areas and we got hit on the perimeter a little bit and we’ve got to be a little bit better, tight end position. We’ll be better as we move forward. And some of that, look, it’s the first time that we saw some of that type of speed upfront. And it got us on a couple of things. Now, some of it, there’s two or three that are targeting and that has nothing to do with speed. That has to do with just being, ‘Hey, we’re locked in here. This is where we go.’ But yeah, those hurt a little bit.”

 

On if Lions T Dan Skipper wiped his numbers when he came onto the field for the two-point conversion attempt and if that could have caused confusion for the officials: “Not that I know of. I don’t – did you see something?”

 

On if there was a way to correct the official when he announced Lions T Dan Skipper as the reported eligible receiver: “I don’t have a timeout. I mean there’s nothing I can do. And it’s loud, you can’t hear anything, not where we were at. I think right when the play started you realize that they had IDed 70. So, look it is what it is.”

 

On if he heard the referee announce Lions T Dan Skipper as eligible in the stadium: “(Shakes head no).”

 

On why three offensive linemen were going in the direction of the official when Lions T Taylor Decker went to report as eligible: “If you’re running a play like that and (Lions T Dan Skipper) 70 is your jumbo tight end, and they know that because that’s what he does for you, and then you’re going to decide you’re going to make 68 eligible and he walks over to the ref, and then the ref stands over 68 before you play and they hold the ball and they stand over and point at it, do you think you’re going to be able to throw the ball to 68? No, so it’s about eligibility. That’s what it’s about. And it has nothing to do with the ref, the ref knows. He knows because 68 reported. It’s for the defense so that they see three different people and you’re just hoping they happen to not hear that’s it’s 70. That’s all. Now, you saw what (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch did last year here at Green Bay, they did the same thing to us, and Hutch picked it off, right? Antenna was up, just kind of, ‘Oh, alright,’ he made a play.”

 

On if he drew out the two-point conversion trick play for the officials before the game or just verbally went through it: “Why do you guys want to talk about this? I’m not getting into it. No, I had it on a piece of paper. Our play, what our players have. All I can do is talk through it. That’s all I can do.”

 

On if he thinks the players share his ‘fueled by octane’ sentiment to finish out the season: “We built this roster for a reason. They’ll be just fine.”

 

On if they plan to give Lions DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson snaps against the Vikings: “Yeah, would love to. Love to get C.J. involved, love to get (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac involved, love to get (former Lions FB Jason) Cabinda involved, but that’s all – here we are it’s Monday. But that – just tentatively, that’s in my head.”

 

On if there is a chance Lions DL Alim McNeill will return to practice this week and potentially play in the game: “I think there’s a shot. Yeah, I do. I do.”

 

On if he has met with the players today: “No. They’ll be in tomorrow.”

 

On if they expect former Lions FB Jason Cabinda to come back to the team: “I hope.”

 

On Lions WR Jameson Williams’s injury update: “Yeah, so, he’s doing alright. I mean, he’s got a little bit of an ankle, but it’s – it’ll be day-to-day right now, but nothing significant.”

 

On if he is planning to play the starters against Minnesota: “Yeah, that’s the plan right now, is play our guys.”

 

On if he is worried about trying to move past the Dallas game and not let it affect the players: “Yeah, no, no, honestly, I feel great about it because I, for the most part, until you guys asked me the questions, I’m over it. I don’t even want to deal with it. (Lions President and CEO) Rod (Wood)’s handling all of it, man. He’s got it and I don’t even want to deal with it. I’m done. I’m good. I just want to go, and I want to get ready for Minnesota and our players will be ready to roll. I know they will.”

 

On if there is any injury concern for Lions TE Sam LaPorta: “No, he’s good, he’s good.”

 

On if Lions President and CEO Rod Wood has heard back from the League yet on the controversial on the two-point conversion attempt: “No, not that I know of.”

 

On if contractors showed up at his house on Sunday: “No comment.”

Bulldog Hockey alum Seth Appert earns NHL head coaching victory with Buffalo Sabres

Ferris State University men's ice hockey alum Seth Appert earned a National Hockey League (NHL) head coaching victory on Saturday (Dec. 30), leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Appert, who servers as the head coach of the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans, was called up by the Sabres to fill in as the head coach in the absence of Don Granato due to illness. He proceeded to lead the Sabres to the victory for his first NHL head coaching win. The Bulldog alum is also expected to serve as the bench coach again on Sunday evening for the club's road game against the Ottawa Senators.

With the victory, Appert becomes the third former Bulldog to earn a NHL head coaching victory in the last two seasons, joining an alum in former Detroit Red Wings head coach and current Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Jeff Blashill along with Derek Lalonde, who formerly served as a FSU assistant coach and is currently the head coach of the NHL's Red Wings. All three coached at FSU under longtime Bulldog head coach Bob Daniels while Appert and Blashill also spent time in the program as four-year letterwinners during their collegiate playing careers.

Presently, Appert is midst his fourth season as head coach of the Rochester Americans after being appointed to the role in 2020. He posted a 84-71-15-7 record over his first three seasons behind the Amerks bench, which includes a 37-win campaign in 2021-22 that culminated with an extended playoff run as part of team's first playoff appearance in four years. After leading Rochester to a fifth-place finish in the American Hockey League's North Division standings and becoming the sixth straight head coach to reach the 30-win mark in his first full season at the helm, Appert spearheaded one of the most impressive playoff runs in nearly two decades. Under Appert, the Amerks won their first playoff series since 2005 and advanced to the third round of Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2004, first sweeping Belleville in the play-in round before ousting Utica, one of the AHL's top teams in the regular season, in the best-of-five North Division Semifinals.

Last season, under Appert's guidance, Appert led the club to its most impressive and deepest playoff run in 23 years as they reached the Eastern Conference Finals. After losing three straight to close out the month of January, the resilient Amerks closed out the regular season going 14-8-4-2, earning points in 20 of their final 28 games. That, of course, set up the Eastern Conference Finals showdown with the Hershey Bears in a battle of the league's two cornerstone franchises. The Amerks came within two wins of advancing to the Calder Cup Finals for the first time since 2000 and were still playing hockey in June for the first time in 23 years.

The 33rd head coach in the 67-year history of the franchise, Appert has a long history of developing players at all levels. Prior to joining the Amerks, he spent three years (2017-2020) alternating the head coaching duties between the Under-18 and Under-17 teams at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP).

Appert wrapped up his tenure with the USA National Team Development Program by setting a record with 17 USA NTDP players being selected in a single National Hockey League (NHL) draft in June of 2019, including eight first round choices and the number one overall pick (Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils).

In his time with Team USA, Appert commanded the bench for the International Ice Hockey Federation's Under-18 World Junior Championship in 2018 where he guided USA to a Bronze medal. During his first season with the NTDP in 2017-18, Appert guided the Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the Five Nations Tournament.

Prior to his time with team USA NTDP, Appert was the head coach for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) from 2006-2017. He was an assistant coach for the prestigious Hlinka-Gretzky Cup USA squads in 2006 and 2007. While at RPI, Appert guided the Engineers to their first NCAA Tournament Appearance (2011) in 16 years, and their only trip since.

Appert also formerly served as the president of the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).

During the 2017-18 season, Appert lead USA NTDP Under 18 team to a record United States Hockey League (USHL) finish with a 22-3-0-1 record in 26 games.

The Cottage Grove, Minn., native began his coaching career as an assistant for the Denver University Pioneers from 1997-2006, helping the Pios to back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005 after spending the 1996-97 season as a volunteer assistant coach for Ferris State.

From 1992-96, Appert backstopped the Bulldogs as a four-year letter winner, overlapping with teammate Jeff Blashill, who played from 1994-98 and coached at Ferris State from 1998-2002.

Appert owns a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations from Ferris State and earned his Master's degree in Management from the University of Denver in 1999. Appert and his wife, Jill, have two daughters, Addi and Campbell.

Ferris State places second as 'Institution of the Year' in National Esports Awards

Ferris State University earned second-place honors in the “Institution of the Year” category in national awards from national collegiate esports organization, recognizing the program’s leadership in the field.

The Scholars is a collegiate gaming symposium created by the team behind the Esports Awards, an organization dedicated to showcasing top-class performance and innovation from players, teams, media, hardware providers, games, events, and personalities within the esports world. 

Ferris State was nominated for Institution of the Year, with Jono Eaton among nine finalists for Program Director of the Year and Kyle Wilkowski among 11 finalists for Collegiate Student Leader of the Year. Professor Adam Antor was one of nine people nominated for the Global Impact on Collegiate Gaming Award.

Boise State University in Idaho earned first-place Institution of the Year honors, and Midland-based Northwood University earned the third-place award.

“I am very pleased to have Ferris recognized as one of the top esports institutions across the globe,” Eaton said. “Kyle and I have dedicated years to the growth and polish of Ferris Esports and we are very thankful that the industry recognizes what we have built. We still have one more rung to climb and our efforts this year will show we can be No. 1 in 2024. That said, I am very proud of this accomplishment, and it wouldn’t have been possible without all the hard work and dedication from our students. I’m glad we get to continue pushing Ferris forward.”

Ferris State in August unveiled it dedicated Esports Arena – the first purpose-built esports arena built in Michigan – to attract new students interested in competitive gaming, and the careers associated with the growing field.

The arena is the centerpiece of the new $32 million Center for Virtual Learning.

The state-of-the-art arena gives production teams enhanced opportunities to gather and present replays during competition and provides space for spectators accommodating 18 participating teams, consistent with the program’s growth goals.

Esports, short for electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games, with participants squaring off as individuals or teams. More than 240 colleges and universities are fielding esports teams with more than 5,000 student-athletes, according to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, a Kansas City based nonprofit.

Ferris’ Esports program was organized in 2017, and Eaton said there has been steady growth to reach 500 club members. With the help of assistant Wilkowksi and a group of dedicated students, Ferris has pushed itself to the forefront of collegiate esports. 

The university began its Bachelor of Science curriculum in Professional Esports Production in Fall 2022. Eaton said Adam Antor, a leading instructor and advocate for Esports on the regional and national scene, will join program chair Varun Singireddy.

The Center for Virtual Learning also houses the Information Security and Intelligence program and the Digital Animation and Game Design curriculum. Also, it hosts Digital Media Software Engineering instruction and offices for the School of Education and be home to Esports gaming and facilities.

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Weather

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

 

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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

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