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News That Affects You Archives for 2024-02

Big Rapids Riverview Elementary School receives awards for exceptional reading proficiency

As a part of their new program recognizing local schools that go above and beyond in reading proficiency, the TalentFirst group honored Riverview Elementary in Big Rapids on Monday.

Students, staff, and media piled in to the school’s gymnasium to celebrate the occasion, including being joined in attendance by TalentFirst President, Kevin Stotts, and Michigan Representative, Tom Kunse.

The ceremony included opening words from Principal Renee Kent, Superintendent Tim Haist, and former Talent First board member Leslie Brown.

“We work so hard here at Riverview,” Kent said. “We love to read, we love to do math, and we love to have fun. We work hard to play hard.”

When it came to the selection process, Stotts said Riverview was an obvious first pick for the award due to their unmatched proficiency.

“Compared to their peer schools, Riverview was well above any other school in the (reading) category,” Stotts said. “They stood out just on their performance alone being 50 to 60 percentage points in terms of reading proficiency, and then we did an interview with them and their team to see what they were doing. We found validation in some of their practices we’ve identified that lead to greater proficiency in reading.”

The school was presented a $1,000 check by TalentFirst for earning the “Literacy Leader Award” as well as given a tribute by Kunse that was signed by state leaders, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, to commemorate the occasion.

“I’m honored to be a part of your day.” Kunse said to the audience.

When asking two Riverview teachers, Carrie Beeney and Chris Hearth, they said they believe it’s the connection with the students that sets them apart.

“We make sure to hang out and greet the kids every morning,” Beeney said. “Building relationships is key.”

“With the students, they always know where they are at and where they need to be,” Hearth said. “Everyone continues to grow at their own pace.”

Riverview is one of five elementaries receiving the award across West Michigan.

Fatal fire kills two at mobile home in Big Rapids

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene of a mobile home fire that was called in at the Circle Drive Mobile Home Park in Big Rapids Township.

The call came in at approximately 8:40 Wednesday morning. A fire investigation has revealed two victims in the mobile home. 

Detectives from the Sheriff's Office are being assisted by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab (Grand Rapids), Big Rapids Township Fire, Big Rapids Fire, Mecosta and Austin Fire, and Mecosta County EMS Units.

59-year-old male dies after falling through the ice on Little Bass Lake

On Monday, Feb. 26 at approximately 9:09 P.M., deputies were dispatched to Little Bass Lake, located on 65th Ave near Madison Rd in Martiny Township, for an attempted water rescue of a missing person. Deputies were advised that a 59-year-old male from Mecosta had been located by family after falling through the ice while ice fishing and they were unable to get him out of the water.

Upon arrival on scene first responders were able to recover the male who was no longer breathing. Despite all life-saving efforts being attempted, the male could not be resuscitated.

Deputies were assisted by Barryton Fire, Fork Township Rescue, Chippewa Township Fire/Rescue, Morton Township Fire/Rescue with a hovercraft, Nottawa Shermon Township Fire/Rescue with an airboat, Mecosta County EMS, Mecosta County Sheriff Office Dive Team, Medical Examiners Office and Meceola Central Dispatch.  

Sheriff Miller would like to advise that due to recent warmer temperatures the ice on lakes is no longer stable and to please stay off the ice.

Ferris State Football unveils full 2024 game schedule

A full 11-game slate and six home games at Top Taggart Field highlight the 2024 Ferris State University football schedule for this coming fall as announced yesterday by the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs, who have reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs a nation-leading nine consecutive years to date, will play 11 games over the course of 12 weeks this fall with the implementation of D2's new week zero scheduling addition.

This fall's gridiron slate will feature four matchups against teams that reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs at least once in the past two seasons, including a pair of showdowns against fellow Super Region Three perennial contenders in Pittsburg State and Grand Valley State.

"We're excited our student-athletes and our team will have the opportunity to play a full 11-game schedule this coming fall," said FSU head coach Tony Annese, who ranks as college football's winningest active head coach. "It is difficult to find non-conference games and it's outstanding that our guys will be guaranteed 11 games this year. We're also thrilled to be able to play six games in front of our home fans and looking forward to the challenge in front of us."

The Bulldogs will kickoff the season on Aug. 31 with a national showdown against Pittsburg State on the road in Kansas. The Gorillas have reached the second round of the NCAA D2 Playoffs each of the past two seasons and the matchup will be the first of two meetings over the next two seasons between two of the nation's top squads.

Following the season-opening trip to Kansas, the Bulldogs return to Big Rapids for back-to-back home contests against a pair of former Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) counterparts at Top Taggart Field. FSU will open the home portion of the schedule on Saturday, Sept. 7, under the lights versus Lake Erie before hosting another potential playoff opponent in Ashland on Saturday, Sept. 14. Each of the first two home games will kickoff at 6 p.m. (ET).

The Bulldogs will have a bye week on Sept. 21 before making a long trip to Massachusetts to face American International for the second consecutive season on Sept. 28. Last year, AIC made the trip to Big Rapids and this year's contest will mark the second-ever series' matchup between the two programs.

Ferris State will then open GLIAC play back at home on Saturday, Oct. 5, hosting league newcomer Roosevelt (Ill.) for the first time ever in a conference game in Big Rapids. The contest will serve as FSU's annual homecoming game with kickoff slated for 2 p.m. (ET) on the FSU campus.

After the league opener, the Bulldogs head to Detroit to square off against Wayne State in the Motor City on Saturday, Oct. 12. The game is slated for an evening matchup starting at 6 p.m. (ET).

The Bulldogs then return home to host Michigan Tech on Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. (ET) before heading to Allendale for the Anchor-Bone Classic on Oct. 26 against Grand Valley State with kickoff slated for 3 p.m. (ET). FSU will make a regular-season return trip to Lubbers Stadium after the conference schedule had to be adjusted with the addition of Roosevelt to the slate. It will mark Ferris State's fourth consecutive road game in the series between the two West Michigan rivals including playoff matchups each of the past two years.

Ferris State then heads to the Superior Dome on Nov. 2 to take on Northern Michigan in the final regular-season road game before closing out the regular-season back at home for two-straight home contests. The Bulldogs will host longtime GLIAC counterpart Saginaw Valley State on Nov. 9 and West Michigan rival Davenport on Nov. 16 with both games scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) starts.

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional information on the 2024 campaign, including start times for all remaining road contests and ticket details coming soon.

Over the past three seasons of action, the Bulldogs own a 36-4 overall record and FSU has reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs nine consecutive years and counting. Ferris State has also reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals five times in the past seven seasons of action and ranks as the country's winningest program over the past nine full seasons in D2 Football. FSU is 63-6 over the last four seasons of on-field action, including back-to-back NCAA D2 National Championships in 2021 and 2022.

Ferris State also holds the GLIAC's best mark and the best overall record of all collegiate programs in Michigan at 123-20 (.860) overall since the arrival of Annese as head coach in 2012.
 

Below is the 2024 Bulldog Football Schedule:

Aug. 31 - at Pittsburg State
Sept. 7 - vs Lake Erie, 6 pm
Sept. 14 - vs Ashland, 6 pm
Sept. 28 - at American International
Oct. 5 - vs Roosevelt*, 2 pm (Homecoming)
Oct. 12 - at Wayne State*, 6 pm
Oct. 19 - vs Michigan Tech*, 1 pm
Oct. 26 - at Grand Valley State* (Anchor-Bone Classic)
Nov. 2 - at Northern Michigan*
Nov. 9 - vs Saginaw Valley State*, 1 pm
Nov. 16 - vs Davenport*, 1 pm 

Nov. 23 - NCAA Division II Playoffs (First Round)
Nov. 30 - NCAA Division II Playoffs (Second Round)
Dec. 7 - NCAA Division II Playoffs (Quarterfinals)
Dec. 14 - NCAA Division II Playoffs (Semifinals)
Dec. 21 - NCAA Division II Playoffs (Championship) - McKinney, Texas 

How to vote for today's presidential primary

The presidential primary polls are open today for in-person voting across the state of Michigan. 

All voters that are registered in the state of Michigan can vote at their respective polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 7 A.M. to 8 P.M.

Unregistered voters, along with voters who have not updated their registration to a new address, must go to their local clerk’s office to register beforehand. There is also an option to vote at their clerk’s office using an absentee ballot.

Voters should remember to do the following before arriving at their repsective polling location:

  • Look up the location of the polling place to ensure it has not moved recently.
  • Look up their registration status to ensure it is current.
  • Bring their photo ID to the polls if they are in possession of one. Photo ID is not a requirement to vote in Michigan.

For more information, visit Vote on Election Day (michigan.gov).

 

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (2/19 - 2/25)

Monday, January 19

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, January 20

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, January 21

  • Flee and Elude – Officers were requested by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department to track multiple subjects that fled on foot after a long pursuit. Three of the four subjects were detained prior to arrival. Officers and K-9 Koda located the fourth subject who was placed into custody without incident. All subjects were transported to Osceola County Jail.
  • Suicidal Subject – Officers were dispatched to check on a potential suicidal subject. Subject was safely transported to a local hospital for an evaluation. No injuries were noted from the subject. 

  • Suspicious - Officers responded to a report of a disorderly male. Arriving on scene it was determined to be a neighbor dispute reference kids entering someone else's apartment. Parties were already separated upon arrival. 

Thursday, February 22

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, February 23

  • Runaway – Officers were dispatched for a juvenile runaway. The juvenile was located and was turned over to family.

Saturday, February 24

  • Check Wellbeing – Officers were dispatched to a check wellbeing on a subject.

Sunday, February 25

  • Structure Fire – Officers were dispatched for a structure fire along with Evart Fire Department. The residence was filled with smoke and one resident was inside their apartment. It was determined the smoke came from a stove and was caused by burnt food.

  • Check Wellbeing - Officers were dispatched to check the wellbeing of subject.

Ferris State wraps up action at 2024 GLIAC Indoor Championships

The Ferris State University men's and women's indoor track and field teams wrapped up action in the 2024 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships on Sunday (Feb. 25) in University Center.

The annual league championships were hosted by Saginaw Valley State and the Bulldog men's team placed sixth with 34 points while the women tied for seventh place overall with 27 points in the final standings.

Ferris State's Claudia Wilkinson won the league title in the women's high jump with a mark of 1.83 meters.

FSU's Danae Feldpausch came in third overall in the finals of the women's mile run (4:53.81) and Hanna Brock placed 11th in the same event (5:11.14). Whitney Farrell took ninth place in the 3,000 meters (10:12.94) and Rebecca Marvin was ninth in the shot put (11.46m).

The Bulldogs' Chase Carter finished as the runner-up in the 60 meters (6.87) and also finished fifth in the 200 meters (22.21).

Meanwhile, Cooper Sorsen was fifth overall in the 3,000 meters (8:29.41).

Blaine Rogers took seventh place in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles (8.65) and Gavin Vansolkema took eighth in the mile run (4:19.15) finals. Ben Dousuah took 10th place in the shot put (13.58m) and Hunter Richardson came in 11th (12.78) in the shot. Levi Tuinstra placed 11th in the high jump (1.78m).

FSU's Ryan Kachnowski placed 10th in the mile (4:24.73). In addition, Kevin Wilson finished 10th in the 800 meters (1:59.13) and Lucas Vandam was 11th (1:59.70) in the same race.

Ferris State was also fifth in the men's 4x400-meter relay (3:27.55) and seventh in the women's 4x400-meter relay (4:07.96).

Complete results from the league championships, including both day one and day two competition, can be found at the link below.

GLIAC Final Results

Moolenaar announces more Michigan agriculture support for his Supporting Farm Operations Act

Today, Congressman John Moolenaar announced additional Michigan agriculture organizations have endorsed his legislation, H.R. 7046, the Supporting Farm Operations Act. The Michigan Apple Association and the Michigan Vegetable Council have both endorsed the legislation, which 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. This freeze would go through the end of 2025.

“I am proud to have the support of more Michigan agriculture groups for my legislation to help farmers. The Department of Labor has been raising costs on farmers for years and these unprecedented increases are making it difficult for them to keep working. Farmers and ag groups support my bill because it will help ensure they can pay a reliable work force and still afford to make ends meet,” said Moolenaar.

"The 2024 Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) for Michigan will be $18.50 -- an increase of about 7 percent. Congressman Moolenaar's AEWR freeze bill is a positive step forward as the legislature addresses the onerous and expensive regulations around H2A and the need for meaningful reform. The Michigan Apple industry is grateful for Congressman Moolenaar's continued support and his work to preserve the United States agriculture industry," said Diane Smith, Executive Director of the Michigan Apple Association.

"Our country must grow food for itself.  The next few years will be telling as to how long and to what quantity we continue to grow fruits and vegetables.  An AEWR freeze is one step in the right direction to begin to offset current unsustainable labor costs," said Greg Bird, Executive Director of the Michigan Vegetable Council.

The Michigan Apple Association and The Michigan Vegetable Council now join Michigan Farm Bureau, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, the International Fresh Produce Association, and the U.S. Apple Association in endorsing Moolenaar’s legislation.

Bulldog Hockey wins shootout against Northern Michigan in final home game of the year

Ferris State University's Stepan Pokorny scored in the first round of the shootout and Noah Giesbrecht saved all three Northern Michigan attempts as the Bulldogs won their second shootout of the season Saturday (Feb. 24) in the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

The Bulldogs (10-21-2) played a tightly contested game against Northern Michigan that was tied 1-1 after the first three periods. When neither team scored in overtime, the Bulldogs had their second shootout of the year, winning it 1-0 in their final home game of the season.

Before the game, Ferris State honored 11 players for senior night. Those players were Logan SteinBen SchultheisDrew CooperAustin McCarthyJacob Dirks, Pokorny, Jason BrancheauNick HaleAntonio VenutoBrenden MacLaren and Giesbrecht.

Zach Faremouth scored the first goal of the game at 11:33 in the first period on the power play. Pokorny and Brancheau had the assists on Faremouth's second power play goal this year, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.

Northern Michigan tied the game at 1:59 in the second period. Rylan Van Unen scored with assists from Tyrell Boucher and Kevin Marx Noren, the final goal of the game.

Giesbrecht made 24 saves in regulation, while Northern Michigan goaltender Beni Halasz stopped 12 shots through the first 60 minutes. In overtime, Giesbrecht denied both Wildcat shot attempts and Halasz made five saves.

Grant Slukynsky was the first shooter in the shootout, and he was turned away by Giesbrecht. Pokorny went first for the Bulldogs and beat Halasz, giving FSU a 1-0 advantage in the shootout.

Matvei Kabanov went next, and he too was denied by Giesbrecht. Brancheau had a chance to win it for Ferris State in the second round, but Halasz made the save.

Mikey Colella was the last chance for Northern Michigan, but Giesbrecht stood tall for a third time in the shootout and won it for Ferris State.

Giesbrecht finished the game 26-27 and officially earned a tie. Halasz turned away 17-18 shots. 

Northern Michigan won 31 faceoffs compared to 25 for Ferris State. The Bulldogs went 1-3 on their power play tries and killed all four of their penalties.

The Bulldogs have one game remaining in the regular season. They will visit Lake Superior State University Friday (March 1) for a 7:07 p.m. (ET) puck drop against the Lakers. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunny 97.3 FM.

DuPont Scholarship boosts Ferris State Plastics Engineering Technology senior's bottom line ahead of career entry

Rockford native and Ferris State University Plastics Engineering Technology student Cameron Sawicki is the proud recipient of a $2,500 scholarship made available through a collaborative for industrial giant DuPont Tedlar and the Society of Plastic Engineers Foundation.  

Sawicki is a senior and said he will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Plastics and Polymer Engineering Technology, accentuated by the excellence of resources and faculty in Ferris’ National Elastomer Center.

“Our program is very well rounded, as we work with the latest in injection molding technology in our labs, then learn to apply that knowledge through instruction from faculty with extensive industry experience,” Sawicki said. “I could not have asked for a better arrangement for my education and career intentions.”

Sawicki said Plastics Engineering was a field that came into focus in his high school days.

“I have to admit entering the program was something of a snap decision,” Cameron said. “I am so glad, as my choice of this degree path has exceeded all my expectations.”

The Plastics Engineering Technology curriculum is part of Ferris’ School of Design and Manufacturing in the College of Engineering Technology. Data gathered by the college notes PET graduate placement is near 100 percent. A recent group of graduates received salaries averaging $68,500 a year that were augmented by generous benefit plans and signing bonuses.

“I have received full-time job offers, but am still considering my options at this point,” Sawicki said.

PET program coordinator Tom Van Pernis, an associate professor, is a 2008 alumnus of the program. He said student recruitment requires more prospect education than in years past, owing to social media misinformation about the plastics industry and its active role in environmental stewardship.

“We are helping students understand they can be agents of positive change, by emphasizing sustainability in their service to the industry,” Van Pernis said. “There are many opportunities to work in the creation of industrial and commercial products, at starting salaries of $70,000 and beyond and Ferris graduates are ‘first choice’ candidates in their hiring processes.”

The DuPont Tedlar Scholarship that was awarded to Sawicki is part of a year-long emphasis to support studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Tedlar is a polyvinyl fluoride film that can withstand scuffs, stains, and harsher conditions, with applications ranging from protective clothing to industrial uses. The corporation and the SPE Foundation continue their collaboration in 2024 through targeted educational opportunities for Girl Scouts and students in the vicinity of Tedlar production plants in New York and Ohio.

Van Pernis said Ferris PET students Anthony Audia of Ionia and Ashley Dobbyn of Garden City also received SPE scholarships in the last granting cycle. 

Chorus, clamor, and our culture

The following was written by District 101 Representative Joseph Fox of the Michigan House of Representatives in response to Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to Grand Rapids regarding abortion access.

 

On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris appeared in Grand Rapids to encourage supporters to keep fighting for abortion access and protections in Michigan. She cited the Dobbs decision from the Supreme Court – which turned over the authority to regulate abortion to the state governments – as proof that abortion is under siege. This makes sense if its legal status changes depending on the results of every election.

However, women have a right to an abortion that is guaranteed in Michigan’s Constitution – an addendum as of 2022. Federal laws and which party rules in Lansing do not matter: abortion access cannot be revoked. Abortion is in no legal danger in our state.

Why then does Harris portray abortion’s legal status as dire? The answer is clear: inciting voters to fight makes more political sense more than assuring them that they’ve won the fight already. Fearmongering produces more votes than facts.

Fighting for freedoms sounds so right to us Americans, and it should. It’s in our DNA. Our nation bears a rich history of men and women sacrificing to protect essential liberties and preserve them for future generations.

But the silent voices of unborn infants plead for the freedom to live, too, even if their chorus remains unheard, drowned out by the clamor of a culture in which those that shout the loudest will triumph. Odometers, not objective truth, outline who is right in the court of public opinion.

Thinking about life as a perpetual fight also begs another question: are we worth more as humans if we are willing to fight hard enough, or is our value fixed in something or someone outside ourselves? If we trust the words of Another, who lovingly made all of us, then we can finally rest in his decree. Apart from this our dignity will always be in jeopardy.

Lions re-sign kicker Michael Badgley

The Detroit Lions announced today that they have re-signed K Michael Badgley. Contract terms were not disclosed.

Badgley returns for his third season in Detroit after converting four-of-four field goals (100.0%) and 13-of-15 extra points (86.7%) for 25 points scored in 2023. In the Wild Card Round vs. the Los Angeles Rams, Badgley tied a postseason franchise record by converting a 54-yard field goal.

Originally entering the NFL in 2018 with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Miami (Fla.), Badgley has appeared in games for the Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Colts, Chicago Bears and Lions over his six seasons. In 64-career games, he is 98-of-119 on field goal attempts (82.4%) and 168-of-175 on extra point attempts (96.0%) for 462 points scored.

Battling MS, medal-winning Ferris State alumna shines as a 2023 Meijer State Games of Michigan Athlete of the Year

Ferris State University graduate Andrea “Speedie” Hampton is a medal-winning fencer and softball player who competes from a wheelchair due to the ongoing impact of her multiple sclerosis.

Hampton is one of four people named 2023 Meijer State Games of Michigan Athletes of the Year. She is a medal-winning fencer and softball player who competes from a wheelchair as a result of the ongoing impact of her multiple sclerosis.

The Grand Rapids resident was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 26, and she still remembers that day with vivid clarity.

“I honestly had never heard of the disease,” she recalled recently. “When the doctors told me what I had, I was afraid, and I was angry. I remember I screamed a lot in my car the first day I was given the news.”

But, she added, she eventually was able to channel that anger in productive ways, including athletics.

Growing up in Grand Rapids and attending Ottawa Hills High School, sports had always been an important part of Andrea’s life.

“I have an older brother, and whatever he played, I wanted to play as well,” she said with a smile. “In high school, I played hockey and softball.”

In fact, it was hockey that first got her connected to Ferris State.

“I actually went to hockey camp a few times in middle school at Ferris,” she said. “I knew I wanted to go to Ferris when I was able to go to college.”

When she finally got to Big Rapids after graduating from Ottawa Hills, she studied Recreation Management Leisure Services and said she enjoyed her time in and out of the classroom.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere a lot,” she said. “I went to a lot of games, and I also played a few years of intramural sports.”

As she looks back, though, she also suspects that it was in college that her first MS symptoms began to appear.

“I didn’t pay much attention to it at that time,” she said. “I remember one time I was going to the bank, and I noticed that my walking was becoming harder for me to do. Also, we played games in one of my classes, and I noticed my running wasn’t the same.”

In May 2011, she received her diagnosis of relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive MS.

The National MS Society notes that relapsing-remitting is the most common disease course, with attacks followed by remission. Secondary progressive MS, it adds, follows the initial relapsing-remitting course and disability accumulates over time.

Hampton has seen that play out in real-time. She went from walking to walking with a cane, and now, the majority of her time, she uses a wheelchair to move around and get things done. She also just switched over to using hand controls for driving.

Sports have helped her in numerous ways, she said, as her disease progresses. And she extends a huge word of thanks to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for its role in her athletic journey.

“They helped me regain my confidence with playing adaptive sports,” she said. “When I was first diagnosed with MS, one of the things that got me down was that I thought I was done playing sports.”

A chance encounter with the Griffins Youth Foundation’s sled hockey program and the Grand Rapids Griffins was the first spark that eventually fueled her full-scale entry into adaptive sports.

“The Griffins were at Belknap (Griff’s Icehouse at Belknap Park) and were going to play sled hockey with the Sled Wings, and for a dollar, I tried a sled for sled hockey,” she said. “I had the biggest smile on my face being back on the ice and just coasting around. One of the coaches noticed the smile and told me how I could participate in adaptive sports through Mary Free Bed Hospital, and I have been going strong with them in the sports world ever since.”

Going strong is an understatement.

At the Meijer State Games, she has won gold medals twice in fencing in the adaptive foil division. And in 2023, she also competed with able-body fencers and finished sixth in women’s foil and ninth in women’s epee. She also earned the Sportsmanship Award at the 2022 National Wheelchair Softball World Series in Chicago.

In honoring her as adult female athlete of the year, the Meijer State Games noted that “her continued vivacity for life and love of sports have allowed Hampton to adapt and find new avenues, have fun and stay active. She is known for being fearless, friendly and fun, and never lets her physical limitations define her.”

For her part, Hampton shrugs off such accolades.

In May 2024, she will mark her 14-year anniversary of having MS. A lot has changed in her life as a result, but, she said, she plans to keep moving as long as she can, a Ferris forward Bulldog.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (2/12 - 2/18)

Monday, February 12

  • At 5:10 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail. 

Calls for Service: 19

 

Tuesday, February 13

  • At around 2:30 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Mecosta TWP. A male subject was arrested on a felony warrant. He was lodged the the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 16

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, February 14

  • At 08:55 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Fork TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 1:40 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Millbrook TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 1:45 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject was arrested on a probation violation. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 32

 

Thursday, February 15

  • At 02:23 P.M., deputies responded to a domestic assault complaint, at a residence in Morton TWP. A male subject was arrested for domestic assault. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail. 

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 10

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Friday, February 16

  • At 9:24 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Millbrook TWP. A female subject was arrested on a felony warrant for MDOP. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 24

 

Saturday, February 17

Calls for Service: 15

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Sunday, February 18

  • At 02:57 P.M., deputies responded to a domestic in Wheatland TWP. A male subject had assaulted his girlfriend.  After resisting officers and being tased, the male subject was arrested for domestic assault and resist /obstruct. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 7

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Moolenaar honored by community health care providers

Congressman John Moolenaar has been awarded the Distinguished Community Health Center Advocacy Award by the National Association of Community Health Centers. The award was presented to Moolenaar by members of the Michigan Primary Care Association who work in community health centers in Michigan's Second Congressional District.

“I am honored to receive this award from our community health centers, who are an essential resource for Michigan families, especially in rural communities. I will continue my advocacy for them on the House Appropriations Committee so they can continue to provide vital health care services to residents for years to come,” Moolenaar said after receiving the award.

"Congressman Moolenaar is very deserving of NACHC’s Distinguished Community Health Center Advocate Award," said Frank Waters, Senior Director of Policy and Government Affairs of the Michigan Primary Care Association. "We are grateful for his steadfast support of community health centers and their mission to provide quality healthcare for all, particularly in underserved communities." 

Moolenaar is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

Special promotions planned for final hockey regular-season home series this weekend

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will host the Northern Michigan Wildcats this weekend (Feb. 23-24) for the Bulldogs' final regular-season home series of the year at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

The action gets underway on Friday night at 7:07 p.m. (ET) with Saturday night's finale slated for an early 5:07 p.m. (ET) start.

The opening contest of the weekend series on Friday will be Military Appreciation Night and all veterans along with active military members can purchase a ticket for $5 off the normal price by showing their military ID in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office.

The finale on Saturday will be Senior Night with Ferris State slated to honor 11 seniors prior to the contest. Fans are encouraged to arrive early with the senior ceremony slated to start early prior to game time. The Bulldogs will also hold a senior night recognition, which is open to the public, following the game across the hall inside Jim Wink Arena where the Bulldog seniors will be introduced in front of their families and friends.

Along with Senior Night, the Bulldogs will also celebrate Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday. Parking will be free on Saturday for all fans and several giveaways are also planned in conjunction with the evening tilt.

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 University Nursing and student-athlete alumna builds a career and a family in hometown of Big Rapids

Makenzi Currie’s focus was clear in her high school days in Big Rapids. Athletics were on the horizon, along with studying nursing. But she didn’t expect to be doing those things at Ferris State University.

“I have lived in Big Rapids my entire life and never expected I would continue my education here,” Currie said. “As an athlete, I had to first decide on a sport to focus on, and I had a passion for softball. The Division I offer, to walk on at the University of Michigan, was my ultimate athletic dream, but it would not accommodate my desire to study nursing.”

Currie made her intentions known and quickly found they could be met by being a Nursing student and Bulldog on the diamond in Big Rapids.

“Everything worked out at Ferris. I got athletic and academic scholarships, which easily turned out to be my best opportunity,” Currie said. “My athletic experience went great, and I got so much support from my coach, Keri Becker. There was never any conflict based on my academics. Things worked out with my schedule really worked very well.”

Currie graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and took her first assignment with the Emergency Room of what was Spectrum-Butterworth Hospital on Grand Rapids’ “Medical Mile.”

“I entered into nursing with the philosophy that anywhere, anytime and anyplace, I am capable of responding,” Currie said. “I believe that is a nurse’s true calling.”  

Working for a Level-One Trauma Center had benefits for a young nurse, Currie said.

“This was really the best possible outcome for me, as I received great training and added to my skills as a responder,” Currie said. “That included certificates as a Trauma Nurse-Critical Care, an Emergency Nurse-Pediatric Care and Advanced Care-Life Support.”

Living in Big Rapids and serving in Grand Rapids did not mesh with plans to start a family, so Currie moved from that active service scene to a new chapter in her career.

“I was adding shifts at Spectrum Health-Big Rapids Hospital, as a new mother that really gave me the ability to shorten my commute, work at a comfortable pace and make gains as a professional,” Currie said.

An experience with a patient sparked a move to the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center.

“I had always wanted to work in oncology,” Currie said. “I knew Stuart Hamel, the first person I recall whose passing in 2001 affected me. I didn’t see him as sick, until we knew he had cancer, and he died at the age of 41, before I was even an adolescent. I never forgot that.”

Currie worked with patients being treated at the regional center.

“The hours were great as we were building our family, but it is a difficult job,” Currie said. “It really pulls on your heartstrings, seeing community members coming in for their care.”

The professional journey continued as Currie took a position with Big Rapids Interventional Radiology, another Spectrum Health offering at the hospital.

“It really brought me to recall the pace of emergency room work and all the emphasis that is part of oncology care,” Currie said. “While the hours suited our family’s needs, I found the controlled chaos of interventional radiology really appealing, professionally. Some of the cancer patients I had met at the Wheatlake Center were there to work with us, again.”

Currie’s final full-time job was as the School Nurse for the Big Rapids Public Schools.

“Considering where I was in terms of raising a family, the hours were a small concern, so I did not apply the first time the position was available,” Currie said. “That wait paid off, as the next time it opened, I applied. I was looking forward to the joys of hearing students’ stories.”

She took that job near the end of February 2020, a couple of weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic, and her job went into the virtual realm to serve that campus community.

“I really found that difficult since I was home with my two youngest sons, in a role that was demanding in terms of providing the best possible service to the students,” Currie said. “I stuck with it for a while but decided it was an opportunity best suited for another nurse to assume.”

Currie has found great reward in following her passion in service to those in need, but also has a mind to help future nurses gain from her philosophy and experiences.

“I started the Master of Science in Nursing program a matter of days after one of my sons was born, wanting to become a professor,” Currie said. “I would have enjoyed focusing my passion on helping students learn and grow in nursing. Throughout my experiences in the field, I was always told the Ferris nursing alumnus would be an employer’s choice because we were ‘floor-ready,’ with practical training and encouraged to exercise critical thinking skills. We, as graduates are charged with caring for and thinking outside the box, as you respond to each patient and their needs.”

With four children to raise, Currie is happy at home now, near Big Rapids, but her part-time service as a nurse continued.

“I was doing per diem work for Spectrum, which has now become Corewell Health,” Currie said. “At first, my calls were to Big Rapids, Reed City and Evart patients, but the area of service grew.”

Makenzi said parenting is her top priority at this time.

“My husband and I are of the philosophy that ‘If you want to change the world, it starts in your home,’” Currie said. “The regional nature of my last professional role just didn’t mesh with my obligations to my growing children, so I decided to stay home for now. I left with good graces and will keep an eye on opportunities to use my skills and serve my family. Staying home is a hard job, but the rewards are always there to see and enjoy.”

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (2/5 - 2/18)

Monday, February 5

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

Tuesday, February 6

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, February 7

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, February 8

  • Harassment – Officers were dispatched to a harassment complaint. The report has been sent to the Prosecutor for review.

  • Warrant Arrest – While investigating a complaint Officers had contact with a subject who had a warrant for their arrest. The subject was arrested and lodged on the warrant.

Friday, February 9

  • Power – Officers were dispatched for a down power line. Fire personnel arrived on scene and stood by until the down line was taken care of.

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

Saturday, February 10

  • Structure Fire – Officers assisted Evart Fire Department on a possible fire call. After the fire department completed their investigation it was determined that there was no fire at a residence.

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched for a civil complaint. During the investigation one of the subjects complained of a medical issue and was transported to Reed City Hospital for treatment.

Sunday, February 11

  • Fail to Pay – Officers were dispatched for a fail to pay for gasoline. The incident remains under investigation.

Monday, February 12

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, February 13

  • Check Wellbeing – Officers dispatched to conduct a check wellbeing.
  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched to a local business for a counterfeit bill. The complaint remains under investigation.
  • Trespassing – Officers were dispatched to a possible trespassing complaint. Officers were advised someone reported a subject had been staying in an outbuilding of a local business. Officers searched the building and did not find the subject or any belongings inside the building.

Wednesday, February 14

  • Alarm – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with an intrusion alarm. The business was secure.
  • Warrant Attempt – Officers arrested an individual who had a warrant out of Osceola County. The subject was lodged at the Osceola County Jail on their warrant.
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – Officers received a criminal sexual conduct complaint. The complaint remains under investigation.
  • Alarm – Officers responded to a burglary alarm. Entry was made into the building by Officers and nobody was located inside.  Officers stood by until the owner arrived and secured the building.
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – Officers received a criminal sexual conduct complaint. The complaint remains under investigation.
  • Domestic – Officers were dispatched for a domestic in progress. The suspect was arrested for two counts of Domestic Violence, two counts of resisting Police Officer and on a warrant. 

Thursday, February 15

  • Domestic – Officers were requested to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department with a possible domestic.

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – Officers received a criminal sexual conduct complaint. The complaint remains under investigation.

Friday, February 16

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, February 17

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – Officers received a criminal sexual conduct complaint. The complaint remains under investigation.

Sunday, February 18

  • Disorderly - Officers were dispatched to a disorderly persons complaint. Officers helped resolved the civil dispute and arrested one of the subjects on a local warrant. 

Ferris State Volleyball headed to Spain and Portugal this May

The Ferris State University women's volleyball program, which has reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen each of the past three years, will gear up for the 2024 season with a special overseas trip this spring.

The Bulldogs will depart May 5 for a spring trip to Spain and Portugal where they will test their skills on the court against foreign competition. The unique 10-day trip will not only include game experience, but also strengthen team bonds and enrich cultural perspectives.

"The chance to spend 10 days in another country with our team is fantastic in terms of the team building that will come out of it," said FSU head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm. "The opportunity to play other teams and face another style of play will be a challenge, but the personal growth and leadership that will come out of it is exciting."

The FSU team is currently raising funds for the journey, which will help contribute toward airfare, accommodations, meals and in-country travel expenses. Additionally, all Gamechanger supporters contributing over $1,000 will also receive personalized updates directly from the Bulldogs throughout the trip.

"Overall, we're just really excited for the experience and the opportunity to experience new things," said FSU junior outside hitter Tatum Outlaw. "This is a once in a lifetime experience and we're working hard to educate ourselves on the language and the culture before we go."

Charitable donations to help support the Bulldogs' trip can be made online at the link below thru FSU's fundraising platform.

"I'm really excited to travel with the team, get to see new things and play volleyball in other countries," said Bulldog junior middle hitter Syann Fairfield. "I'm excited for the food and spending so much time in Portugal and Spain while getting to experience cool things."

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 past 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.

The bulk of FSU's roster is slated to return for the 2024 fall season.

"This trip will give us the chance to face a higher level of competition in Europe and going overseas will help us grow as a team going into the season," FSU junior outside hitter Hannah Tecumseh said. "I haven't been outside of the United States, so getting to do it with the people I love so much, my teammates and coaches, is so special."

Visit this link to contribute to the Bulldogs' trip:
https://igfn.us/form/_u0trw

Post-pandemic priorities point to need for chefs, Ferris State Hospitality Management program strives to support their business learning

Lifestyle changes brought on by workplace demands and a societal shift following the COVID-19 pandemic have led to increased demand for chefs in the hospitality industry – with Ferris State University Hospitality Management alums thriving as entrepreneurs or professionals in leading resort destinations.

Kathryn Wolfer is an associate professor in Hospitality Management whose educational background includes Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management and the culinary arts.

Wolfer said Ferris State can support those who want to focus on the food and beverage segment of the industry by completing their Associate of Applied Science or Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management programs.

“There are alumni who are purchasing food trucks and trailers so that they can take their products to the street, sporting events or other gatherings,” Wolfer said. “We also work closely with Grand Rapids Community College and its Secchia Institute for Culinary Education as a resource to those students wanting to complete their Bachelor of Science degree.”

Hospitality Management is housed in Ferris State’s College of Business. The focus on business management allows the graduates to utilize the accounting, marketing and finance courses in their day-to-day operations.

A recent finding by the American Association of Retired Persons cited chefs bringing average hourly wages of more than $27, with a 15.4 percent increase in the number of jobs available. An outgrowth of the pandemic in 2020 saw those who were forced to stay home had mastered baking and cooking, and recent growth in the number of restaurants has presented new career opportunities for those with culinary and management skills.

Rock Dandeneau of Grand Rapids is comfortable serving customers through the Taste Buds-Kitchen Connects array of outlets, which includes his Pressed In Time food truck. Dandeneau attended GRCC for Culinary studies and the Johnson and Wales Culinary School. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management from Ferris in 1993.

Rock is also the president of the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association, which boasts more than 30 members. Dandeneau said he leans on various experiences when speaking to current Ferris Hospitality Management students.

“Being a chef is my love and daily avocation, but that has taken me many places in various roles,” Dandeneau said. “I was a corporate chef for Herman Miller for a decade, then spent 15 years with Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, helping those with special needs find their place in the industry. When I talk with Ferris Hospitality students, we explore how the industry has grown to consider production from in-home chefs as a potential avenue so those with the skills can stay in the field they love. With the right people, you learn to manage and tackle the obstacles of this industry. It is a business that involves much more than the restaurant or kitchen.”

Tiffany Beckmann earned her Bachelor of Science in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Ferris State in 2010, then added a Master of Science in Career and Technical Education from the university in 2013.

Along with those achievements, she is certified in food safety as a sous chef by the American Culinary Federation and is accredited in dietary management.

“I began as the head cook for Ferris’ Dining Services operation shortly after I earned my hospitality degree,” Beckmann said. “I followed that with a variety of institutional and resort roles, which finds me currently serving as a culinary supervisor with the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant.”

Local boys' basketball district tournament brackets officially released

As of Sunday afternoon, the Michigan High School Athletic Association officially released the 2024 boys' basketball postseason brackets for all four divisions.

The first round of district play will begin Monday, Feb. 26 at the assigned school location. District games will be held between Monday, Feb. 26 - Friday, Mar. 1, followed by regional contests from Monday, Mar. 4 through Friday, Mar. 8, and the finals from Tuesday, Mar. 12 through Saturday, Mar. 16.

Here's a look at the area boys' teams and their respective opening game schedules in order of district number assignments and sorted by each division:

 

Division 1

  • District 2 Semifinal - Mount Pleasant High School - Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Cadillac (17-2) vs. Bay City Western (9-11) / Midland Dow (6-14) quarterfinal winner

 

Division 2

  • District 35 Quarterfinal - Manistee High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Big Rapids (14-6) vs. Manistee (10-10)

 

  • District 35 Semifinal - Manistee High School - Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Reed City (17-3) vs. Hart (10-10) / Mason County Central (8-12) quarterfinal winner

 

  • District 36 Semifinal - Gladwin High School - Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Chippewa Hills (5-15) vs. Clare (13-8)

 

  • District 40 Quarterfinal - Alma High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Central Montcalm (7-12) vs. Saginaw Swan Valley (7-13)

 

  • District 41 Quarterfinal - Fremont High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Tri-County (5-15) vs. Newaygo (12-8)

 

  • District 41 Quarterfinal - Fremont High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Kent City (7-13) vs. Fremont (8-12)

 

  • District 41 Semifinal - Fremont High School - Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Grant (13-5) vs. Tri-County (5-15) / Newaygo (12-8) quarterfinal winner

 

Division 3

  • District 70 Quarterfinal - Beal City High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Evart (4-13) vs. Harrison (3-18)

 

  • District 70 Semifinal - Beal City High School - Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Pine River (14-7) vs. Farwell (0-20) / Beaverton (8-11) quarterfinal winner

 

  • District 72 Quarterfinal - Morley Stanwood High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Lakeview (5-15) vs. Morley Stanwood (2-17)

 

  • District 74 Quarterfinal - Hesperia High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Holton (2-18) vs. Shelby (3-16)

 

  • District 74 Quarterfinal - Hesperia High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Hesperia (8-12) vs. Ravenna (11-9)

 

  • District 74 Semifinal - Hesperia High School - Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7:00 P.M.
    • White Cloud (16-4) vs. Hesperia (8-12) / Ravenna (11-9) quarterfinal winner

 

Division 4

  • District 109 Semifinal - Marion High School - Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Baldwin (16-3) vs. Marion (11-10) / Pentwater (16-5) quarterfinal winner

 

  • District 110 Quarterfinal - Walkerville High School - Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Big Rapids Crossroads (1-18) vs. Muskegon Catholic Central (4-16)

 

For more on local tournament coverage, follow along at bigrapidsdailynews.com.

For expanded brackets, visit here: Brackets | Michigan High School Athletic Association (mhsaa.com).

Ferris State hosting a 'Gift of Life' campaign to support organ and tissue donor registration

Ferris State University is wrapping up a “Gift of Life” campaign that closes on Feb. 29, encouraging as many students as possible to consider registering to become organ and tissue donors, potentially saving lives. 

“Career and Professional Success is participating in this year’s Gift of Life Campus Challenge and is encouraging you to sign up to become an organ and tissue donor,” said Okai Strickland, an assistant in Ferris State’s Career and Professional Success office. “The more people who sign up, the more lives get saved. If you are already a donor, that’s OK. You can still top by the table.”

Through the Gift of Life Michigan website, registrants can help Ferris State earn points in a statewide challenge while helping to heal and save lives. Each organ donor can save up to eight lives and each tissue donor can heal an average of 75 people.

As of early morning on Feb. 16, Ferris State ranked second statewide in the number of students registered, with 40, trailing Wayne State University’s 103.

Universities are striving to recruit new donors and sign up the most new donors as a percentage of their student population. Each of the eight donatable organs – two lungs, liver, pancreas, heart, two kidneys, and intestines – can add years to a patient’s life and enhance the quality of life. 

The Gift of Life Michigan Campus Challenge encourages friendly but competitive rivalries to continue while supporting a cause that can help save lives. For nearly 20 years, college students statewide have served to inspire 40,000-plus people to put their name on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.  

Tissue donors for tendons, skin and bones can help restore mobility for combat veterans, burn victims and individuals with failing joints. Cornea transplants, the most common according to Gift of Life Michigan, an organization founded in 1971, can help restore vision in patients. 

Nationally, more than 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. 

In addition to direct donor and tissue donor registration, the Gift of Life Campus Challenge also offers volunteer opportunities for Ferris State community members to ask students to sign up at campus tabling events. 

In 2023, Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s federally designated organ and tissue donor recovery program, set a record by helping 578 people become organ donors and 1,858 to give the gift of tissue. These efforts saved thousands of lives and healed tens of thousands more. 

Anyone interested in volunteering for the campaign can request more information by emailing the Career and Professional Success office or stopping by and visiting us in the David L. Eisler Center. 

For more information about Ferris State’s Gift of Life efforts, contact Strickland at (231) 591-2682 or by email at OkaiStrickland@ferris.edu. For more information about Gift of Life Michigan, contact Taneisha Carswell at tcampbell@golm.org

To register on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry visit golm.org/go/ferris

Gotion Inc. officials invited to talk with local students at Big Rapids High School Career Fair

Two Gotion representatives were invited to the Big Rapids Career Fair on Tuesday and talked with more than 100 students about Gotion’s planned battery components facility in Green Charter Township.

Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing; and Aaron Haley, director of project management at Gotion, met with several students at the fair.

“It was a joy to talk with so many local students about the great-paying jobs at our planned facility,” Thelen said. “They were excited to learn more about the plant and what types of jobs will be offered. Many intelligent questions were asked as well. I’d love to have these students eventually apply for positions with us.”

Gotion staff also were invited to attend other student career fairs at the high school in the future.

When fully operational, the Gotion facility will employ more than 2,300 people. Those seeking more information about available positions at Gotion Inc. can visit MWWC.org/Gotion.

Ferris State Women's Basketball to take part in Play4Kay initiative this Saturday

The Ferris State University women's basketball program will take part in an important Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and national initiative this Saturday (Feb. 17), supporting life-saving cancer research in the Play4Kay campaign.

On Saturday, the 10 women's basketball programs of the GLIAC will come together to play five highly-competitive league games in the name of raising funds for life-saving cancer research, supporting under-resourced programs that provide access to quality cancer healthcare and uniting people in the fight against all cancers affecting women.

"The GLIAC is excited to partner with Play4Kay and is eager to aid in bringing attention to the important and impactful work to which the organization is passionately committed," said GLIAC Commissioner Kris Dunbar. "Cancer has or will affect nearly every person within their lifetime and the GLIAC is proud to be a leading force at the Division II level in supporting the Play4Kay fundraising efforts designed to eradicate this terrible disease."

The Bulldog women's squad, which is ranked fourth nationally in the WBCA Division II National Rankings this week, holds a 17-2 overall record entering Thursday evening's home contest against Saginaw Valley State. FSU is also on top of the GLIAC standings with an 11-1 league mark.

Tipoff on Saturday against Wayne State is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) and several activities are planned in conjunction with the Play4Kay campaign. Players from both teams will be wearing special warmup shirts along with pink shoelaces and the game officials will don pink whistles.

In addition, the two teams will gather for a photo prior to the contest and several video messages supporting the Play4Kay campaign will be shown on the Wink Arena video boards during the course of the contest. Fans will also have an opportunity to date at the game via a QR code displayed on the video boards periodically throughout the day.

All proceeds of Play4Kay will benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Every donation will help to make an impact on the fight against all cancers affecting women.

Play4Kay is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund's largest fundraising initiative and plays a major role in uniting players, coaches, and communities in the fight against all cancers affecting women.

To donate to the Bulldogs' Play4Kay cause, please visit this link:
https://charity.pledgeit.org/f/c0VgV1gBXR

Additional information on the GLIAC's Play4Kay campaign can also be found at the link below:
https://gliac.prestosports.com/polls/Play4Kay/index

Vennix officially inks name to Northwood football

Only three weeks after verbally committing to the Timberwolves, Riley Vennix officially signed his name Thursday afternoon to join the football team on the gridiron in the fall.

Vennix was joined by his friends and family, local news, and many classmates and teammates at the high school to celebrate the occasion.

“(Northwood) felt like there’s a home for me and (the team felt) like a family,” Vennix said. “I just feel like that's where I'd be best at for the next four years.”

When asked about what he would recommend to athletes pursuing a dream like Riley’s, the senior mentioned that doing more than what’s asked and being willing to sacrifice are key pieces to his success.

“If your wishes are to go in any sport or anything in life, just don’t stop working and work your butt off. Even if it's 5 A.M. and you got morning lift or morning speed training, just keep working because it's gonna pay off one day. It goes by fast so always be patient, be the best you can be, and don't look back.”

The senior continues his Cardinal athletic career tonight on the hardwood, as Big Rapids faces Newaygo for a chance to lock-in a spot in the CSAA tournament next week. He also plans to finish his baseball career in spring, playing his second season under skipper J.T. Scarpelli.

Detroit man charged with stolen car and thefts across the state

On the evening of Feb. 14, a Kent County Sheriff's Office deputy located a stolen vehicle from Waterford Township in the parking lot of the Gaines Township Meijer. A man returned to the vehicle and was detained by deputies.

Through the investigation, it was found that the suspect was responsible for multiple thefts from retail stores in Lansing and Grand Rapids Township. The 26-year-old Detroit man was arrested on charges of possessing a stolen vehicle and additional charges are being sought concerning the additional thefts. It is believed that the thefts totaled upward of $550.00.

The Kent County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate stolen car complaints as it is well known that these vehicles are used in additional crimes throughout West Michigan. If you see something suspicious or notice your license plate stolen, please never hesitate to contact law enforcement.  

Sheriff's Corner: Who I was and who I am now

The following was a speech given by Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller to the MOISD Career Center?.

 

I was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan. Growing up, my family life was stable and loving. Between my freshman and sophomore years of high school my parents separated, and eventually divorced. At that time, my life, and the person I was changed. Although I didn’t see it at the time, I changed. I had always been a happy-go-lucky kid who was well liked by my classmates and well behaved. No longer having the stability and structure at home, changed me. I became angry, quick to lose my temper, getting in fights at school, which led to getting suspended. I began skipping school, and my grades suffered as a result. I did just enough in school to keep my grades just good enough to play sports. As divorces go, my parents handled it in the most mature way they could, never bringing my brother and I in the middle of the two of their disputes. I was just a lost soul without any kind of direction or goals.

I found myself again after starting college. In the fall of 1990, I started classes at Ferris State University. This is where I feel I really matured. I became a resident advisor in the residence halls. This taught me responsibility, time management, but most importantly, leadership. I would tell anyone who is in college and needs financial assistance in realizing their dream of earning a college degree to do this, become a residential advisor. It was my need for financial assistance that led me to applying for that position and it paid off for me. Being an RA took care of my room and board. I worked in a shop on an assembly line back home during summer break, which helped pay my tuition. I then worked night
security in the dorm, which gave me a little spending money. With all of this, when I graduated from college, I had just over $4,000 in student loans and debt to pay off. Looking back, this is one of the biggest turning points in my life, and where I learned to stand on my own two feet and begin to be the leader I am today. The ball was in my court. It was up to me whether I would be successful or not. So, I learned the study skills and I did the work needed to be academically successful.

Life is all about being on a proverbial roller coaster, both personally and professionally. Sometimes you are at the peak of the ride when things are going well, and other times you feel like you are falling fast, and there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. We just need to remember there will be better days, and that life is just testing you, preparing you for success. This was never more evident than after graduating from college. The job market was much different in 1995. There was a lot of competition for the few jobs there were in law enforcement at that time. I began working security at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, living with a couple of college buddies. I worked the night shift, and during the day would put out applications and attend interviews for jobs. It got to be fall, and I had not had any offers yet. I vividly remember calling my mom and crying like a baby about the lack of success I was seeing. I continued to work hard, and one day my perseverance paid off. It was in January of 1996, when I was offered a job with the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety.

It was there I adopted the warrior mind set. I never allowed myself to be outworked and had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to make the most of this opportunity and did not want to take it for granted. It was there where I also developed the three pillars that support me in my life, and the same pillars I attempt to instill in my two sons. These pillars upheld me during my time at Big Rapids and now at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office. I would like to share these pillars with you today if that is alright with you.

Number one is whatever you choose to do in life, you had better work hard at it. There is no place for doing anything in life at half effort. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you look back and regret the fact you could have done more. Do everything to the best of your ability.

Number two is don’t make excuses. When you make a mistake, take responsibility for it, own it. Everyone makes mistakes. When it happens, get out ahead of it, and learn from it.

Number three is concern yourself with you and not what everyone else is doing. Too often in our world people are worried about what everyone else is doing, when we should be figuring out how to be a better you. The
more time you spend on comparing yourself to everyone else, the less time you spend on self-reflection.

However, be wise, be aware of those other folks around you and what their intentions or agendas might be. Don’t let who you have been in the past hold you back from being the best person and leader you can be. I had been working at the BRDPS for a couple of years, when me and a couple of my high school buddies went to watch our high school football team play in the state playoffs. We ran into a girl we had gone to school with, and she inquired about what I was doing for a career. When I told her a police officer, she turned to her husband and said, “no way should he be a police officer”, referencing the lost and sometimes troubled teenager I had been when we were in school together. I have always remembered this, knowing and being proud of where I have continued to be in my life. I am where I am because of God, the upbringing I had, my wife, Heather and two boys, Cameron and Cooper, and the friends I have surrounded myself with. I have learned to respect who I am, and in turn I respect those around me. This is something else I have made sure to instill in my boys. Be a hero to yourself and continue to chase being the best person you can be.

I worked at the BRDPS for 25 years. During my time there I worked on the road for three years, was on the drug team for a year, worked seven years as our school resource officer and the last 14 there as our detective. The reason I had the success that I had was because of the time and effort I put into each of the positions, and my ability to work with others. You cannot be successful in this world without being able to work together. I always went out of my way to work with other law enforcement officers,
especially those at the BRDPS. Whether it was working alongside them, or providing guidance, in the long run we were all better for it.

It is extremely important to me to give back to the community I am part of. I have always found time to coach youth sports, whether it is rocketing football, middle school basketball, or Little League and travel baseball. It is rewarding to me to see the impact it makes on today’s youth while watching them grow as individuals on and off the court/field/diamond. Coachable youth will be employable young people and adults later in life.

Also important to me through the years, although a little more difficult for me to attend, has been being a part of civil service organizations in our community. They make our communities stronger, more interesting and engaging to all who live and visit here. It gives a person an opportunity to give back and have the satisfaction you are doing something positive in the community he/she lives in. This is especially important for our young people to step up, due to the age of a lot of the members of some of these organizations and the dwindling membership.

In 2020, I made the decision to run for sheriff. During the campaign, on occasion, some of my friends and loved ones would get hurt and be defensive of me when those I was running against or someone in the public would not have so nice things to say about me. My reply to her was always, “let it be.” I knew who I was. I was confident in the job I had done in law enforcement and the way I lived my life and I was not going to apologize for or defend myself to anyone. I didn’t feel the need to do so.

I had never given it any kind of consideration to run for sheriff, being happy to be the detective at the BRDPS. This is what I had gone into police work to do. I could have stayed there another 10 years and been perfectly happy. However, having friends at and working with members of the sheriff’s office, I felt like I could make a difference there and make it a better place to work. If workers feel appreciated for the job they do, they will do a better job for the public they are protecting and serving. Now, in my fourth year there, and looking towards another four-year term, every day I am striving to do the best job I can and be the leader that is respected and looked up to by my staff and the people of Mecosta County.

Who am I? I am Officer Brian, Coach Miller, Detective Miller, and Sheriff Miller. More importantly when my time on this earth is done, I am just Brian, a loving and loyal husband, father, and friend. The title is just that and can be gone tomorrow. What is important to me is all in my hand. My wedding band, which has a thin blue line to honor the profession that I hold close to my hear, and the ring I wear on my right pinkie, which is the Lord’s prayer. My faith, family, and profession. This is what is important to me and helped make me the leader I am. As you move into adulthood, aspire to make a difference, not a living. You will be a more happy person and leader for it.

Ferris State's new Center for Virtual learning hosting 2024 GLIAC Esports Championship

Ferris State University’s Center for Virtual Learning has been a hotbed of esports activity since opening in August, and now welcomes the best teams in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for championship competition. 

The GLIAC Esports Championship is planned for Feb. 17 and 18 with teams representing Ferris State, Davenport, Grand Valley State, Michigan Tech, Purdue Northwest, Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State bringing their talents to the Esports Arena, the centerpiece of the $32 million Center for Virtual Learning. 

The competition starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17. The tournament will be streamed live via Twitch

“Ferris State is excited and honored to host the GLIAC Esports Championships in Big Rapids inside a brand-new facility that draws rave reviews in the esports community,” said Amy Dorey, the Hospitality Management program coordinator who was recently on sabbatical in London learning about opportunities in online gaming competition. “We’re excited to help continue to grow esports among GLIAC schools and beyond while introducing more students to what esports can offer from fun to competition to industry careers after graduation. Ferris State has and will continue to play a role in those efforts.” 

The seven universities will participate in the two-day tournament featuring Valorant, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. 

Spectators are welcome to attend the event in Ferris State’s dedicated Esports Arena – the first purpose-built esports arena built in Michigan. In the short time since it opened officially on Aug. 31, 2023, the arena has already started attracting new students interested in the competitive gaming world and the possibility of a career in the emerging field. 

“The GLIAC Esports Championship is a fantastic opportunity for esports fans to see a competition like this, our facility was designed to host and stream events like this,” said Andrew Peterson, the interim director of eLearning. “We’re grateful to have the resources available to us in the Center for Virtual Learning and to put it to work to help create career opportunities that once didn’t seem possible. With a facility like this, and our Bachelor of Science in Professional Esports Production, we can provide our students with a practical hands-on learning experience.” 

Ferris State’s esports program was organized in 2017. By Fall 2022, the university started its Bachelor of Science academic curriculum in Professional Esports Production

The CVL is home to some of Ferris State’s most in-demand, high-impact academic programs. Programs housed in the facility include Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Analytics, Digital Animation and Game Design, Information Security and Intelligence, Professional Esports Production, Project Management, Software Engineering, the School of Education, and Television and Digital Media Production. 

Esports, short for electronic sports, is a video game competition 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. 

The inaugural tournament took place in 2023, hosted by Davenport University. The participating teams were Ferris State, Davenport, Grand Valley State, Michigan Tech and Purdue Northwest. 

Click Center for Virtual Learning for more information about the facility. 

Pride Big Rapids announces plans for new festival location

For the third year in a row; Pride Big Rapids will be holding their annual festival, but with some changes. For the first two years, the event was put on at Northend Riverside Park. This year, PBR has preliminary approval to move the festivities downtown, to Michigan Avenue.

As part of this move, a portion of Michigan Avenue will be shut down, from Pine Street to Elm Street. Maple Street (M-20) will remain open and operational for the duration of the festival, its setup and cleanup. That is slated to be from 6 a.m. to midnight on June 30th, 2024. The festival itself will run from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on that date.

PBR estimates at least 3,000 people will attend the festival. This is on-par with attendance in 2023, and just as with previous years, we expect attendees to come and go as they please throughout the day. Parking will be handled differently compared to our first two years. There will no longer be a single lot from which buses ferry attendees. Attendees will instead utilize spots available on streets and nearby public lots. The area is also more walkable and accessible to disabled persons, likely decreasing the number of cars.

Security for the festival has been increased and will include four officers from Proof Technologies Corp. and members of the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office Posse. Trained volunteers from PBR will also be a part of this team, lead by our board-appointed security director.

Once again, PBR will offer an alcohol tent featuring beer, wine, and seltzers. Trained bar tenders provided by local partner bars will sell the drinks inside a tent to be placed nearby the stage, in front of Star Shooters. No attendees under the age of 21 will be permitted to enter the
cordoned-off alcohol area or purchase alcohol. All alcohol must remain within the area, as well.

As for what will be included in the festival; expect dozens of vendors, several food trucks, activities for the whole family, live music, and drag shows. A full lineup will be announced at a later date.

*Location change and final details are subject to final approval by the City of Big Rapids.

KCAD Life Sciences and Pre-Medical Illustration students garner international recognition in professional exhibits

Two students from the Life Sciences and Pre-Medical Illustration program at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University recently had their classwork elevated to a global stage at prestigious annual events hosted by the Association of Medical Illustrators and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

Current student Sophia Forystek and 2023 graduate Katie Lee both had pieces displayed in the 2023 AMI Salon, while Forystek also had a piece accepted into the juried 2023 GNSI Member’s Exhibit. 

Both events feature some of the best work being created by practicing visual science communicators today. And while submissions are solicited from both student and professional members, it’s rare for undergraduate student work to make the cut. 

Life Sciences and Pre-Medical Illustration Program Chair Kevin Brennan sees the professionally oriented nature of the program reflected in his students’ success.

“This participation in the main professional organizations demonstrates new levels of student engagement in the field,” Brennan said. “These accomplishments are expanding the reach of our program and demonstrating the diversity—in choice of media, technique, form of representation, and subject material—and quality of the research and final works that our students are producing.”

For Forystek, who’s finishing up her senior year at KCAD, the recognition is fuel for what comes next.

“To see my work held in such high regard makes me feel more confident about the future,” she said. “I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I’m happy that I’m able to keep up with established professionals.” 

Forystek’s “Lateral View of the Newborn Skull and Vertebral Column,” featured in the AMI Salon, and “Medial View of the Knee,” featured in the GNSI Member’s Exhibit, are prime examples of the impactful work medical and scientific illustrators do. 

Both pieces seamlessly integrate clear, detailed, and accurately rendered illustrations with complex scientific information to distill complicated subject matter into accessible visual communications.

Such work supports the development of students and practitioners of science and medicine, and it also enhances the ability of medical patients and the public to better understand their own health and be more connected to the natural world.

A desire to help bridge that gap is ultimately what led Forystek to KCAD. An avid artist from a young age, she was enrolled in a nursing program on the other side of the state when the COVID-19 pandemic forced her education online. 

She and her classmates quickly found themselves struggling to learn how to do things like handle clinicals and draw blood in a virtual format. The challenge awakened Forystek’s latent creativity an opened her eyes to the urgent demand for the kinds of materials she’s creating now.

“Communication is key in health care, and most people can relate to the feeling of being in a in a doctor's office and not fully knowing what they’re talking about. You get overwhelmed easily when you don’t feel educated enough to make your own decisions,” she says. “I really want to be involved with making it easier for practitioners and patients to communicate.

Lee took more of a traditional art approach to the two pieces she had featured in the AMI Salon, “L3” and “Between L5 and the Sacrum.” Both are part of a series of papercuts of the transverse abdomen she created with the intent of mirroring the appearance of a CT scan.

The anatomical forms were cut from black paper and affixed to a white paper background before being encased in plexi-glass so viewers can see through them. Brennan laser cut the pieces into black acrylic for display at the AMI Conference.

Like Forystek, Lee feels validated and motivated by her inclusion in an internationally recognized professional forum like the AMI Salon.

“It feels wonderful to be able to show professionals my art,” she says. “It made me feel confident in my abilities and gave me the confidence to submit my art to more shows.

Post-graduation, Lee is pursuing a graduate degree in mortuary science, a path she was inspired to take through the Life Science and Pre-Medical Illustration program’s close collaboration with the nearby Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

As they strengthen their core creative and visual communication skills at KCAD, students in the program are also growing their scientific knowledge through histology and gross anatomy classes at MSU—as well as biology, cellular biology, pathophysiology, and medical terminology courses at Ferris State University and Grand Rapids Community College.

That includes access to MSU’s cadaver lab, where Lee first discovered the inspiration that’s steered here toward her current career path: becoming a licensed funeral director who specializes in restoration techniques that prepare the deceased for a funeral service, from minor touch-ups to full facial reconstruction.

“I’m actively doing a practicum at a funeral home where I get to have on-site experience with cosemtizing and restoration of the deceased,” she explains. “I think this is an excellent career path for me because it's a way that I can use my artistic and scientific knowledge while being able to simultaneously help families. I've always loved combining my art with science in ways that can be helpful to other people.”

The desire for a career of service is common amongst Life Science and Pre-Medical Illustration students, and that has a lot to do with the culture of support that exists not just in the program, but in the field at large.

Forystek says she’s found a helping hand at every turn of her education, from Brennan—who is a certified medical illustrator and AMI fellow—and his colleagues at KCAD and MSU, to the visiting professionals invited classrooms to share knowledge and experience, to program alumnus Tess Marhofer, who graduated in 2014, an independent medical illustrator who has since become a mentor in the area of ZBrush and other industry standard digital modeling tools. 

“I'm grateful to have all these peers and mentors helping me, because in medical illustration that's really what it’s all about,” Forystek said. “On every piece I create I’m working with others to make it the best it can be, and that’s only going to continue once I get out of college.”

Lee points to the program’s involvement with the AMI, GNSI, and other professional organizations as another key source of support.

“They were valuable resources to me as a student and helped me investigate career opportunities,” she says. “I’m grateful for the connections that KCAD was able to give me and for helping me have the opportunity to engage with other professionals and their work in order to expand my portfolio.”

Lee, Forystek, and other emerging professionals are entering the industry at a time of tremendous growth. According to the AMI, the employment outlook for medical illustrators and related positions is poised to continue its upward trajectory due to the highly specialized nature of the work and the relatively low number of new professionals graduating each year.

Not to mention rapid advancements of medical research, technology, and treatments, which will require effective visual communication to take root. For those like Brennan, who contribute to the industry through both practice and talent development, it all adds up to a world of opportunity for those looking to make a difference with their creativity.

“There is a wide range of directions that students can pursue with this degree and our industry and academic partnerships offer opportunities to explore areas of interest,” he says. “Medical technology, surgical devices and surgical techniques are constantly evolving, and there’s increased diversity in representation in training materials and patient education. All of this requires skilled visual communicators who can translate these complex topics into media that meets different audiences where they are.”

Governor Whitmer celebrates three-year anniversary of Michigan Reconnect

On the heels of the three-year anniversary, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the significant accomplishments of the Michigan Reconnectscholarship that has helped put more than 150,000 Michiganders on a tuition-free pathway to a degree or skills certificate that leads to rewarding careers and higher wages.

"The bipartisan Michigan Reconnect program has put 150,000 Michiganders on a tuition-free path to a brighter future,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am so proud of everyone who has taken action to pursue their dreams by earning an associate degree or skills certificate. This year, let’s pass a balanced budget to deliver on the Michigan Guarantee so every Michigander can get a public education from pre-K through community college for free. Together, we can grow our economy, ensure everyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan, and lead the future of advanced manufacturing. Let’s keep working towards our Sixty by 30 goal by lowering costs and expanding opportunity.”

Michigan Reconnect is the largest effort in state history to ensure eligible Michiganders who do not have a college degree will have an opportunity to earn a tuition-free or deeply discounted associate degree or skills certificate. Since the program’s launch in February 2021, more than 150,000 Michiganders are benefitting from this tuition-free opportunity – including 8,500 applicants who are age 21-24 taking advantage of the limited-time expansion. Of these applicants, more than 32,000 Reconnect students have enrolled at a community or tribal college and more than 4,400 have earned credentials.

Michigan Reconnect is one of the signature programs moving the state toward achieving its’ Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60-percent by 2030. Michigan has increased its attainment rate from 45% in 2019 to 51.1% in 2022, according to the latest Lumina Foundation report.

This past October, Gov. Whitmer announced the limited-time expansion of Michigan Reconnect for adults ages 21 to 24, which opened the doors of opportunity for up to 350,000 more Michiganders to earn a tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate. For those wanting to take advantage of the limited-time expansion, applications must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 15, 2024.

"We are continuing to create new paths to postsecondary education for Michiganders and opportunities for our Michigan businesses to fill critical talent needs so they can continue to compete and grow,” said Michelle Richard, acting director of the Michigan Department of Lifelong, Education, Advancement and Potential. “We are proud of the progress made on the state’s Sixty by 30 goal and are excited to continue providing opportunities to Michigan residents to create a more fulfilling career path for themselves.”

This past year, Michigan Reconnect also launched the Short-Term Training Program, which allows students to choose to attend a career training program in Michigan and receive a one-time scholarship up to $1,500 towards tuition costs. For those wanting to take part in the Short-Term Training Program, applications must be submitted by Sunday, Dec. 15, 2024.

"Michigan's community colleges work tirelessly to provide students opportunities to ensure they are successful in their postsecondary endeavors,” said Michigan Community College Association President Brandy Johnson. "Our member institutions are honored to partner in the state's Sixty by 30 initiative because there's nothing more important than equipping people with the skills and credentials that they need to prosper in today’s economy."   

To ensure, Reconnectors’ success, Reconnect Navigators are in place to assist students starting on their path to a college degree or certificate. This includes applying for federal student aid, setting a career goal, selecting a program of study, registering for classes and creating a plan to graduate. Every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. interested students can join members of the Navigator team for one-on-one program support to and help with completing their FAFSA.

Learn more about Michigan Reconnect and get started at Michigan.gov/Reconnect.

Moolenaar votes to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas for failure at the Southern border

Congressman John Moolenaar voted to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his failed policies and the ongoing crisis at the southern border which has seen more than six million people cross the border in the past three years.

“Secretary Mayorkas has willfully refused to comply with the law, repeatedly lied to Congress by claiming the border is secure, and made it harder for Border Patrol agents to enforce the law. The policies he has implemented through executive action have helped drug cartels pour fentanyl into our communities and kill our loved ones, while also making it easier for the cartels to get away with human trafficking and the sexual assault of women and girls,” said Moolenaar. “On his first day in office, President Biden reversed border policies that were working and now he is leaving Secretary Mayorkas holding the bag when he knows he is truly the one who has made our country a more dangerous place for all Americans.”

The impeachment articles allege Mayorkas has violated his oath of office by refusing to enforce immigration law and has breached public trust by claiming that the border is secure despite his failures.

Gotion Inc.'s $5,000 donation to women's shelter will help support domestic violence survivors and their children

Women’s Information Services Inc. (WISE) in Big Rapids has received a $5,000 donation from Gotion Inc. to better support survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and sex trafficking.

Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing, said the donation is part of Gotion’s ongoing commitment to help the community by donating to worthy causes and organizations. WISE provides free crisis intervention and support services to women and their children in crisis.

“WISE is such a worthy organization that wholeheartedly deserves all the support it can get,” Thelen said. “Many women who are facing terrible circumstances have nowhere to turn, and WISE provides a desperately needed safe haven for these women and their children. We’re honored to help make a positive difference for this important emergency shelter.”

WISE provides crisis intervention and support services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence by empowering individuals, children and families to reclaim their sense of self, according to its mission statement. Thelen was so moved by visiting the crisis center that he plans to volunteer and help till the grounds with his tractor to help establish gardens in the spring.

“We are most grateful for the wonderful generosity of Gotion to recognize and support the ongoing needs of people in our community fleeing violence and their need to start their lives over violence free,” said WISE Director Jane Currie. “We depend on the support from companies and individuals to stand with us against violence in our community and thank Gotion for being part of creating a violence-free community.”

Area women in crisis can call a 24-hour toll-free phone line at 1-800-374-WISE (9473) or 231-796-6600 for confidential services. Residents wishing to donate to WISE can visit https://wiseagainstviolence.org/donate/donation-form/.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (2/5 - 2/11)

Monday, February 5

  • At 12:22 A.M., deputies investigated an crash in Colfax TWP. A vehicle had ran off the roadway and into a pond.  The male driver was arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 10:46 A.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.  

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Tuesday, February 6

Calls for Service: 27

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Wednesday, February 7

  • At 8:43 P.M, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Wheatland TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.  

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, February 8

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Friday, February 9

  • At 12:12 A.M., deputies responded to a one vehicle accident in Chippewa TWP. Additional investigation resulted in the female driver being arrested for OWI. The female was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 28

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Saturday, February 10

Calls for Service: 12

 

Sunday, February 11

Calls for Service: 30

New gun safety laws to protect families go into effect February 13

To help protect Michigan families – particularly children – from the tragedies of gun violence and unintentional firearms injuries, a law requiring secure storage of firearms goes into effect starting Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The new secure storage law, Public Act 17 of 2023, requires individuals to keep unattended weapons unloaded and locked with a locking device or stored in a locked box or container if it is reasonably known that a minor is likely to be present on the premises.

“We want to make sure Michigan families are aware of the new law designed to prevent unintentional deaths involving guns and how to comply with the new requirements,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “Data shows firearms involved in unintentional firearm injury deaths among children and adolescents were often stored both loaded and unlocked, and children were most often fatally injured when the shooter was playing with or showing the firearm to others.”

If an individual fails to store a firearm as required and a minor obtains the firearm and any of the following occur, they are guilty of a crime under Public Act 16 of 2023, as follows:

  • If the minor possesses or exhibits the firearm in a public place or possesses or exhibits the firearm in the presence of another person in a careless, reckless or threatening manner: a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 93 days or a fine of up to $500, or both.
  • If the minor discharges the firearm and injures themselves or another individual: a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
  • If the minor discharges the firearm and inflicts serious impairment of a body function on themselves or another individual: a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine of up to $7,500, or both.
  • If the minor discharges the firearm and inflicts death on themselves or another individual: a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

These penalties could be imposed in addition to charges for other criminal offenses arising from an incident.

“As the top law enforcement officer in the state of Michigan, as a former Wayne County prosecutor and as a mother, I too am exasperated and deeply saddened that thousands of Michigan residents fall victim each year to the scourge of senseless, preventable gun violence in our state,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “I am proud that our state has finally implemented new commonsense gun safety measures and am committed to using the resources of my office to educate residents about the new measures and support our communities through implementation.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds (67%) of unintentional firearm injury deaths among children and adolescents occurred when the shooter was playing with the firearm or showing the firearm to others. Overall, firearms used in unintentional injury deaths were often stored unlocked (76%) and most of these unlocked firearms were also loaded (91%). Unlocked firearms were most commonly accessed from a nightstand or other sleeping areas (30%).

In addition, firearms are involved in more than half of suicide deaths in Michigan. Secure storage can also serve as a suicide prevention strategy.

In 2020, firearms became the number one cause of death for children in the United States and Michigan, surpassing motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries.

“Firearm violence is preventable, and a leading cause of death in our young people,” said Dr. Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “In Michigan, and across the United States, childhood deaths from firearms now exceed deaths from pediatric cancers and drownings. We have had major success over the past decades in reducing pediatric deaths from motor vehicle accidents, and we need to harness the same public health approach - including education and community outreach - to help keep Michigan children and families safe from firearm violence.”

Central Montcalm headed to CSAA Silver division this coming year

Only two years after the Central State Activities Association realigned to a single-division, 11-team conference, the CSAA is going to return to two divisions this coming fall.

This comes in light of the most recent move within the league, as Central Montcalm is slated to move from the “Gold” division to the “Silver” division for the next school year.

“Central Montcalm has decided that they would like to join the CSAA Silver division,” League Secretary and Kent City Athletic Director Jason Vogel said. “I cannot speak (directly) for Central Montcalm, but at Kent City, we are excited to see the Hornets on a more regular basis.”

According to Vogel, the CSAA will be returning to the two-division structure for cross country, volleyball, basketball, baseball, softball, and track and field. These sports along with football, who kept the two-division system the last two years, will see the gold division contain the following six teams: Big Rapids, Chippewa Hills, Grant, Newaygo, Reed City and Tri-County. The newly aligned silver division will contain Central Montcalm, Kent City, Lakeview, Morley Stanwood, and White Cloud. For the non-listed sports, which includes golf, soccer, bowling, wrestling, and competitive cheer, the CSAA will be keeping the one division format.

While Central Montcalm Athletic Director Kris Kolbe was not able to be contacted for comment, Morley Stanwood Athletic Director Dale Rogers spoke highly of the move for the conference’s long-term stability.

“We are indeed excited to welcome them to our league,” Rogers said. “I am confident that this move will provide exciting opportunities for our student-athletes to showcase their talents and compete at a high level. We look forward to building strong relationships with Central Montcalm and further enriching the athletic experiences for all involved.”

When asked about the process of the league’s shift, Reed City Athletic Director Ryan Hansen said the goal was to balance the league as best as possible.

“When the conversation took place to break back into divisions, the goal was to make the divisions near-equal,” Hansen said. “The logical decision would be to split the teams by high school enrollment, but some schools didn't want to switch to the silver division. Central Montcalm volunteered to move from the Gold to the Silver to bring our divisions to 6 Gold teams and 5 Silver teams.”

Hansen also said the conference will be continuing to “build language” for dictating what division each school will be assigned to, as the conference is open to adding new teams in the next few years. Belding, who applied for league acceptance in 2023, was rejected by a majority vote.

This will be the third significant move from the CSAA since 2020. The first came in 2021 when Hesperia, Holton, and Fremont left the league for the West Michigan Conference. The second occurred in 2020, which an invitation meeting was held with six schools: Belding, Hart, Ludington, North Muskegon, Ravenna, and Shelby.

Ferris State's Master of Science in Information Security and Intelligence ranks best in Michigan and prominently among nation's elite

Ferris State University’s Information Security and Intelligence program continues to set a high educational bar, ranked as the top program in Michigan by U.S. News and World Report.

The publication has ranked Ferris State’s Master of Science in Information Security and Intelligence program as the best in Michigan and 14th out of 92 nationally in its 2024 Best Online Programs rankings in the Information Technology category, released this week.

“This is great recognition for our program around the state of Michigan and nationally – speaking of the hard work of our faculty and the outstanding students we attract and graduate to become future leaders in the industry,” said Professor Greg Gogolin, director of Ferris State’s Center for Cybersecurity and Data Science. “Our ISI program offers career options for our students and the pathway for them to ensure they are knowledgeable and prepared to make a difference personally and professionally.”

Ferris State’s Information Security and Intelligence program was among those to move into the new $32 million Center for Virtual Learning on the Big Rapids campus at the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year. The modern facility presents Ferris State graduate students with enhanced educational opportunities in state-of-the-art facilities for advanced proactive and reactive training in critical fields such as digital forensics.

Designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, Ferris State’s ISI programs continue to earn national acclaim as a destination for students seeking higher education training as they learn from and work collaboratively with nationally and internationally respected faculty who bring industry experience to the classroom.

“We know that the world is constantly changing, and we must remain responsive to ensure that our students receive the great education they expect and deserve,” said Gogolin, who also serves as program coordinator for Artificial Intelligence, Information Security and Intelligence and Project Management. “Moving into the new Center for Virtual Learning on our campus gives us expanded opportunities to ensure Ferris State and the education we provide our students remains relevant and respected.”

Students pursuing a Ferris State master’s degree in Information Security and Intelligence strengthen their knowledge in areas such as Business Intelligence, Incident Response, Project Management and best practices for security. Graduates often pursue careers as analysts, forensic experts, project managers, security officers and technical managers.

Among Michigan peers, Ferris State was followed by the University of Michigan-Dearborn, No. 44; Central Michigan University, at No. 66; and Western Michigan University, at No. 67.

At 14th nationally, Ferris State tied with Texas-based Rice University, West Virginia University, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and West Texas A&M University.

Pride event alcohol sale and Dial-A-Ride Council on docket for Monday's city commission meeting

The City Commission of Big Rapids will be meeting this evening, Monday, Feb. 12, at City Hall at 6:30 P.M.

Business items include resolutions of bids for the following projects:

  • Approving request to have the alcohol sale for the Big Rapids Pride event.

  • Approve proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink for the Wastewater Facilities master plan update.

  • Accepting proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink for the replacement of the Woodward Avenue culvert. 

  • Approving proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink for the design, bid, and construction phases for the Wastewater Treatment Plant East Screw Pump replacement.

  • Approving proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink for the bidding and construction phases of the Water Treatment Plant raw water influent piping modifications.

  • Accepting project authorization for the City of Big Rapids, Fiscal Year 2024, Section 5311 Operating Formula Grants for Rural Areas program.

  • Accepting Dial-A-Ride Transportation Local Advisory Council and recommendation to establish a "Dart Gold Pass".

  • Resolution on mayoral appointments to boards and commissions.

The meeting will also include a study session on the topic of the short-term rentals by Director of Community Development, Michelle Stenger

All city commission meetings are available to the public for attending.

DHD#10 reminds residents of proper food safety ahead of Super Bowl festivities

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is sharing food safety tips to help your Super Bowl party score a touchdown!

“Getting ready to watch the Super Bowl with some tasty snacks is always a treat, but getting sick from a foodborne illness isn't," said DHD#10 Health Officer Kevin Hughes. "Please make sure when prepping, cooking, serving, and storing food, that you’re exercising caution.”

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has some easy steps to help reduce your risk of becoming sick from undercooked or improperly prepared food. Whether you are serving up cheesy pizza, delicious wings, or spicy nachos, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep your kitchen area clean by washing your hands before, during, and after you handle raw food. Make sure the preparation surfaces and utensils are thoroughly clean, too.
  • Make sure to separate raw meat and poultry from any produce or cooked foods. Using different cutting boards is a great way to keep from cross-contamination.
  • Cook your meat and poultry to their correct internal temperature. When using your food thermometer, be sure to measure temperatures away from the bone.
  • Only put out small amounts of food at a time while keeping the rest of your perishable snacks chilled.

For the USDA’s Food Handling Basics, click here:https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics

For more information on food safety, visit:https://www.foodsafety.gov/.

MiLEAP celebrates school counselors for their key role in unlocking more educational opportunities for students

In celebration of National School Counseling Week, the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP) encourages all Michiganders to honor the unique contributions school counselors make in helping students achieve educational success — especially their work helping students explore career pathways, pursue a skill certificate or degree and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In recognition of the national commemoration, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed Feb. 5-9, 2024, as School Counseling Week in Michigan.

“Every student deserves to be surrounded by trusted adults who are helping them thrive today and plan their future. Thank you to each and every school counselor across our state who has committed their careers to creating a brighter future for kids,” said MiLEAP Acting Director Michelle Richard. “Here at MiLEAP, we are especially grateful for the role school counselors play in helping students plan for the future and making college an affordable option for all students. ”

Completing the new and improved FAFSA is the first step students and families should take right now to receive grants, scholarships and other financial aid that can significantly lower the cost of earning a skills certificate, associate degree or bachelor’s degree. The new, revised FAFSA now takes most people less than an hour to complete.

In Michigan, FAFSA completion is also the first step to receiving the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which provides eligible students up to $27,500 for college.

The new scholarship is available to students who earn a diploma, certificate of completion or high school equivalency certificate in 2023 or after. It provides renewable scholarships for up to $8,250 over three years at a community or tribal college, up to $27,500 over five years at a four-year public college or university or up to $20,000 over five years at a private college or university.

The newly created MiLEAP Office of Higher Education administers the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. Richard has made it a priority for her department to increase awareness and overcome the misconception that eligibility is limited to families with lower incomes. She said school counselors often play a pivotal role in spreading that message and facilitating FAFSA completion.

“We appreciate the hard work of Michigan’s school counselors as they strive to ensure all students complete the FASFA to unlock the financial opportunities they need to achieve their educational dreams,” Richard said. “When it comes to educational and career planning, school counselors are an important source of information and partner for students and families.”

National School Counseling Week is sponsored by the American School Counselor Association. There are an estimated 7,000 school counselors in Michigan.

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

Ferris State University's Shoah Visual History Project, Festival of the Arts to host Feb. 12 screening of 'Schindler's List'

Steven Spielberg’s film “Schindler’s List” tells a powerful story that remains as important in 2024 as it was when it was released in 1993.

Ferris State University’s Shoah Visual History Project, in conjunction with the Big Rapids Festival of the Arts, is hosting a screening of the Academy Award-winning film at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, in Room 202B of the David L. Eisler Center.

Based on a true story, “Schindler’s List” features Oskar Schindler, an industrialist and Nazi Party member, who helped save more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by providing them jobs in his factories.

Tracy Busch, a history professor in Ferris State’s College of Arts, Sciences and Education, sees this anniversary of the film’s original release as an appropriate time to host a screening in Big Rapids.

“On its 30th anniversary of the 1993 release of Schindler’s List, we take heart in remembering that acts of resistance, even within the Nazi system, could save lives,” said Busch, who is in first year as director of the Ferris Shoah Visual History Archive Project. “It reminds us that our daily efforts to fight injustice are a part of a larger battle that will have historical significance.” 

The generosity of Detroit-area businessman and real estate developer Mickey Shapiro, the child of Holocaust survivors, helped Ferris State acquire access to the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive in 2017.

At the time of the acquisition, Ferris State was only the third institution in Michigan, joining the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, and 53rd in the world to have access to a fully streaming video collection of more than 54,000 primary source testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity. 

The USC Shoah Foundation VHA is housed in the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education. 

The Shoah Foundation, founded by Steven Spielberg, includes the Institute for Visual History and Education. Shapiro, A 2017 Ferris State Honorary Doctorate Recipient, is a member of the institute’s board of councilors. 

The collaboration to bring this unique educational resource to Ferris State benefits the campus and local community. 

“It is also noteworthy that the stories told in the making of Schindler’s List became the foundation for the Shoah Visual Learning Archive,” Busch said. “This archive has been put to use in a number of classrooms, including Criminal Justice, Architecture, History, Social Work, Sociology, and Business. The Shoah Archive has since expanded beyond its Holocaust beginnings to include survivor testimonies from other genocides, including Armenia, Rwanda, Guatemala and Nanjing.” 

Parking is free behind the David L. Eisler Center, 805 Campus Drive in Big Rapids. 

Anyone with a disability who needs accommodation to attend this event should contact Tracy Busch at (231) 591-5846 or by email at TracyBusch@ferris.edu.

Reed City's Dairy Depot staying put after terminated agreement for potential Dollar General store

As of 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, an agreement contract was terminated for the purchase of properties located at 534 S Chestnut Street and 116 E Osceola Avenue. The proposed contract would have relocated the historic Dairy Depot to put in a new Dollar General store.

According to the General Manager Zach Huss, this reconsideration was made following major feedback from the community.

“I can honestly say that I am satisfied with the outcome,” Huss said. “At the end of the day, I too want what is best for the people of Reed City.”

Plans for the project initially included two residential lots being rezoned to commercial for the new store to come in. After the recent Monday meeting on Feb. 5, all city commissioners voted no to the lot located at 522 Chestnut Street due to the city’s master plan of not rezoning the area north of the Depot due to high-density residential housing. The commission did approve rezoning of 116 Osceola Avenue, but the interested buyers of the property said they would not have enough room with just that additional lot.

“I was unaware what the site plans were until about a month ago,” Huss said. “When I learned what was being developed, I thought this is not going to go over well with the people of Reed City. I knew when signing the agreement back in October that people were going to be upset by the simple fact that Dairy Depot has been in the same location for over 50 years.”

Huss had never intended to relocate the shop but saw an opportunity to create a new indoor location to extend their seasonal hours when the idea was initially introduced.

“It was never my intention to relocate, as our property was not listed for sale. Instead, we were approached by a commercial realtor informing me of a buyer that was interested in the property. Upon learning the interested buyer would be using strictly the land for development was when I made the (initial) decision to relocate.”

Following this series of events, Huss says he will not consider relocating the shop but instead “branch off a new business venture” for a larger operation.

Ives Avenue water main break slated to be repaired Friday

A recent water main break occurred between the 300 and 400 blocks of Ives Avenue.

According to Big Rapids City Communications Director, Steve Gove, repairs are officially scheduled to begin at 8:30 A.M. on Friday, Feb. 9.

After repairs are made, a boil water advisory will be in place until Saturday, Feb. 10.

The City of Big Rapids thanks residents affected for understanding and sends an apology for this inconvenience.

Romantic theme anticipated for free Grand Rapids Symphony performance Feb. 13 in Ferris State's Williams Auditorium

Ferris State University’s Arts and Lectures Committee is collaborating with the Big Rapids Festival of the Arts to host the Grand Rapids Symphony for an evening of romantic compositions right before Valentine’s Day.

The event is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 13, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Williams Auditorium, 630 S. Michigan Ave.

Arts and Lectures Committee Chair Glen Okonoski, a Television and Digital Media Production professor, expects many of the symphony’s members to perform that evening. This performance continues a relationship that spans decades.

“This is another opportunity to enjoy the symphony’s excellence on our campus,” Okonoski said. “As this event comes just before Valentine’s Day, we anticipate selections with a romantic theme to comprise the performance.”

Arts and Lectures Committee funding means the concert is free to attend. Okonoski said Williams Auditorium provides ample seating for an audience of community members and individuals or groups from across campus.

“It is an honor to bring the artistry of this caliber to Big Rapids,” Okonoski said. “We welcome all ages from our area to be enriched by the experience.”

The Arts and Lectures Series provides diverse events intended to broaden the horizons of Ferris students and the community.

For more information on the symphony’s performance and for those who require accommodation in support of attending this event, contact the Arts and Lectures Committee at (231) 591-3626.

A board game and collaboration help Ferris State University College of Pharmacy students boost patient care skills

Ferris State University College of Pharmacy students have an opportunity to improve patient care skills through an “Under Pressure: A Blood Pressure Board Game,” an innovative learning tool developed with experts on campus and around the state.

Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice Shelby Kelsh connected with faculty, campus experts, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Technology Transfer Talent Network at the University of Michigan to develop the game, which is showing positive results.

Kelsh saw the chance to augment the abilities of second-year pharmacy students whose curriculum was being adjusted as part of a review undertaken during program accreditation.

She participated in sessions with Ferris’ Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, which put her in search of games that might heighten pharmacy student awareness and their level of response.

“There was no comparable activity that would help us advance this aspect of student learning,” Kelsh said.   

Kelsh said she took his concerns to the eLearning operation in Ferris’ Extended and International Operations department during Summer 2022, where staff members offered support in the game’s basic construction.   

“I wanted a board game that applied blood pressure treatment concepts to patient scenarios and required teamwork, critical thinking, and verbal communication,” she said. “Working with notecards and handwritten papers, we moved to clip art and printed copies, as ‘Under Pressure’ started to come together.”  

The game’s framework was tested during the Fall 2022 semester.  

“We received very encouraging results,” Kelsh said. “The room was alive.”  

Kelsh sought and received a Faculty Research Grant and collaboration from the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University to get the game physically composed. Graphic Arts students Alexis Schineman and Sabrina Nelson developed board and game art.  

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Director Thomas Dowling said an in-state resource, the Innovation Partnerships program at the University of Michigan also assisted Kelsh in her processes.  

“Karen Studer-Rabeler and her peer, Mary Jo Cartwright, were excited by what Shelby presented to them,” Dowling said. “They are mentors-in residence with the Technology Transfer Talent Network which is supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Cartwright has career experience in healthcare entrepreneurial activities and encouraged Kelsh to participate in a Fast Forward Medical Innovation ‘FastPace’ workshop for innovators looking to commercialize ideas and products, including identifying viable audiences and manufacturers.”  

In the Fall 2023 semester, Pharmacy students who used “Under Pressure” offered positive reviews, encouraging Kelsh as she sought greater utilization of the game.  

“The pharmacy knowledge related to the game improved after playing by five to 20 percent, while the material not used in the game had no change after playing,” Kelsh said. “This is encouraging that the game is achieving its learning objectives. Another College of Pharmacy professor, Qian Ding, is assisting with statistics and analyzing our research about the game.”  

Kelsh also said the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is also pursuing a 2024 Scholarship of Teaching/Learning Research Grant to move beyond their demonstration project.  

“Everything points to ‘Under Pressure’ being an amazing resource for development and production by potential academic publishing groups,” Dowling said. “This type of educational innovation has a real prospect of licensing and national exposure for Shelby’s product, in what would be a benefit, not only to pharmacy schools but to interprofessional instruction as a discipline.” 

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (1/29 - 2/4)

Monday, January 29

  • Harassment – Officers were dispatched to a stalking complaint. The complaint was investigated and a report has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for review.

  • Suspicious – Officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation complaint. The complainant found a prescription pill bottle in their yard that had the label removed from it. The contents on the bottle had been damaged due to water and couldn't be identified. The property was accepted by officers so it could be properly disposed of.

  • Disorderly – Officers dispatched to a disorderly person at a residence. The subject left prior to officers' arrival, and the caller advised no further services were needed since the subject left.

Tuesday, January 30

  • Traffic Stop – Officers conducted a traffic stop for defective vehicle equipment. Operator of the vehicle was arrested for warrants out of Mecosta County. 

  • Abandoned Vehicle – Officers noticed a vehicle parked on the roadway blocking part of the traffic lane. No one was found in or near the vehicle. Attempts were made to call the registered owners last known phone number. The vehicle was impounded due to being a traffic hazard.

Wednesday, January 31

  • Retail Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a larceny complaint. The suspect was identified and a report was sent to the Prosecutor. 

Thursday, February 1

  • Assist Another Department – Officers assisted CPS with an investigation of child abuse.

  • Malicious Destruction of Property – Officers were dispatched for a malicious destruction of property complaint at a local business.

  • Trespassing – Officers were dispatched for a retail fraud. The suspect was identified and a report was sent to Prosecutor.

Friday, February 2

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

Saturday, February 3

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, February 4

  • Suicide – Officers were requested by Mecosta County Sheriff's Department to track a suicidal subject. During the track, officers were informed that the subject was picked up by a vehicle and taken to a local residence. Officers returned to service without incident. 

  • Traffic Stop – Officers conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle with an improper plate. Operator was found to be operating on a revoked license, and the vehicle had an improper plate and no insurance. Operator was issued an appearance ticket and the vehicle was towed. 

DHD#10 observing American Heart Month to encourage an emphasis on heart health

This February, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is observing American Heart Month by promoting tobacco cessation and encouraging individuals to take action to protect their heart health.

Not all risk factors for heart disease, such as family history, are controllable. However, knowing the most common risk factors and taking preventative measures can reduce your risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five deaths in the US were caused by heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US. CDC lists three key risk factors for heart disease:

  • Smoking
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Cholesterol

Tobacco use is the first key risk factor for heart disease. Cigarette smoking can damage blood vessels, as well as increase the risk for heart attack and atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries from plaque buildup. Secondhand smoke can also increase the risk for heart disease, while nicotine has been shown to raise blood pressure levels. However, DHD#10 has a Tobacco Treatment program to help residents quit smoking and improve their heart health.

“The DHD#10 Tobacco Treatment program is a free program for individuals who are looking to quit smoking or using tobacco products. Our goal as Tobacco Treatment Specialists is to support you as you quit,” said DHD#10 Tobacco Treatment Program Lead Maegan Sorenson. “We will assist in creating a quit plan, work with your healthcare provider to recommend any NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy), and help you find other resources that are available to help you on your quitting journey. We will help you to understand the effects of nicotine and tobacco on your health, and the benefits of quitting.”

High blood pressure, the second risk factor for heart disease, occurs when the pressure of blood in blood vessels is too high. High blood pressure is referred to as a “silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms. High levels of blood cholesterol, the last key risk factor, can cause plaque buildup in arteries and obstruct blood flow, contributing to high blood pressure. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is present in foods and made in the liver. While medication can be used to decrease blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, eating a diet low in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats can improve heart health. Getting regular physical activity, defined as 30 minutes a day 5 times per week, is also recommended.

Making healthy lifestyle choices can help protect your heart. Register for DHD#10’s LiveWell4Health tobacco cessation program by visiting: https://www.livewell4health.org/tobacco-cessation.

For more information on tobacco cessation, please visit https://mi.mylifemyquit.org/ or https://michigan.quitlogix.org/en-us/.

To read more about risk factors for heart disease, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (1/29 - 2/4)

Monday, January 29

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, January 30

  • An officer conducted a welfare check of an individual. No issues.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding a disturbance at an apartment complex. A juvenile was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Wednesday, January 31

  • Officers conducted a joint investigation with CPS regarding a possible child abuse complaint. The matter was unfounded.
  • An officer was dispatched to a house regarding an alleged threat of assault by a teen. The matter was unfounded.
  • An officer took a report of shoplifting by a juvenile.

Thursday, February 1

  • An officer took a report of possible shoplifting and adult. The matter is under investigation.
  • An officer assisted an individual by transporting her, at her request, to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.
  • An officer arrested a 41-year-old male on three outstanding bench warrants. He was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Friday, February 2

  • An officer was dispatched to a two-car crash. There were no injuries and only minor damage.
  • An officer was dispatched to a shoplifting complaint. The teen ran from the officer but was located at his home and his parents notified. The matter will be sent to the prosecutor and probate court.
  • An officer took a report of possible real estate fraud. Upon investigation, the matter appears to be a civil matter.

Saturday, February 3

  • While on patrol in the early morning hours, an officer located an occupied vehicle parked behind a business.

  • The officer made contact, everything was ok, no issues.

  • An officer was dispatched to a residence in reference to someone trying to break in. After searching the entire property, the reports were unfounded.

Sunday, February 4

  • An officer was dispatched to a location with reports of a possible assault. After investigating, it was found to be a verbal dispute.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding someone making suicidal comments. The man admitted to having a bad day and making that statement but stated he had no intention of harming himself.

  • An officer investigating suspicious activity of a vehicle led to the seizure of some drug paraphernalia and a small amount of methamphetamine/fentanyl mixture. The matter is under further investigation.

  • An officer responded to a call for a wellbeing check for two children. After investigating, the children were found in good spirits and well taken care of. No issues.

Ferris State Football to announce 2024 recruiting class on National Signing Day this Wednesday

The Ferris State Bulldogs are slated to announce the program's next class of incoming recruits as the Bulldogs gear up for National Signing Day on Wednesday (Feb. 7).

FSU will take part in the annual nationwide festivities as NCAA Division II's winningest active head coach Tony Annese announces his staff's 13th class of incoming Bulldog recruits. Over the course of his tenure, Annese has landed the nation's top D2 recruiting class numerous times based on rankings from various sources.

The Bulldogs, who reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs for a nation-leading ninth consecutive time this past fall, expect to again land another stellar recruiting class. FSU has reached the NCAA Division II National Semifinals five times in the past seven seasons of action and ranks as the country's winningest program over the past nine full seasons in D2 Football.

Ferris State fans are encouraged to follow the Bulldogs' official football social media accounts for coverage throughout the day on Wednesday. Each National Letter-of-Intent signee will officially be announced on social media with graphics as their additions are finalized beginning early Wednesday morning. Updates will be posted during the day on facebook (@FerrisFootball), X-twitter (@FerrisFootball) and instagram (@FerrisStateFB).

Ferris State will also hold a live national signing day announcement and press conference on Wednesday at the Ewigleben Sports Complex starting at approximately 2 p.m. (ET). Local, regional and statewide media are welcome and encouraged to attend the national signing day event. The press conference will take place in the Gold Room overlooking the new Center for Athletics Performance near the new Bulldog Arena on the east end of the facility. Media are encouraged and requested to arrive early to be directed to the appropriate location.

Bulldog fans can also catch the event online as the entire class is unveiled and it will be streamed live online in high-definition via the Bulldog Sports Network on FSU's official athletics YouTube page. To view the stream, please visit this direct link - https://www.youtube.com/ferrisathletics

In addition to the announcement of this year's signing class, Coach Annese will be on hand during the press conference to provide comments about this year's National Letter-of-Intent signees as well as take questions from media members in attendance.

A complete list of Bulldog Football recruits and biographical information will be posted online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com following the event along with various highlights, photos, comments from Coach Annese and coverage throughout the day.

In addition to the announcement of this year's signing class, a video package featuring Coach Annese discussing this year's National Letter-of-Intent signees will also be part of FSU's "Signing Day" Central platform.

For complete coverage of the 2024 football signing day class, stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Official links will be posted as additional details on the class become available.

The Bulldogs claimed back-to-back NCAA Division II National Championships in 2021 and 2022 before concluding this past fall with an 8-3 overall record, which included a narrow setback to FCS National Runner-Up Montana. FSU is slated to open the 2024 campaign in late August with a national showdown at Pittsburg State (Kan.).

Rep. Kunse inviting public to upcoming office hours in Evart and Clare

State Rep. Tom Kunse, R-Clare, will be hosting local office hours in Evart and Clare soon.

The meetings will take place at the following times and locations:

  • Saturday, Feb. 10 at Evart Library (104 N Main St. in Evart) from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 19 at Cops and Doughnuts (521 N McEwan St. in Clare) from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

No appointments are necessary to attend office hours.

Those who are unable to attend but would still like to share their thoughts with the representative may call his Lansing office at (517) 373-7317 or email TomKunse@house.mi.gov.

Detroit Lions General Manager Brad Holmes Quote Sheet: 2/5/24

LIONS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER BRAD HOLMES END OF SEASON PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTE SHEET

February 5, 2024

Opening Statement: “Good to see everybody. Obviously, start off by wanting to thank our ownership. Just to operate how we want to operate during the season, it starts with them. Just their support, the belief, the resources they provide. It’s not taken lightly, it’s not overlooked, so much appreciation. Want to thank our players, just everything that they have to put into it. Their sacrifices, what they have to do to get ready on a regular basis. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for what they do and I told them, I’ll tell you all, I’ll tell everybody, that’s a special group. Special group in that locker room and much appreciation for them. I thought (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) did a phenomenal job of preparing the team every week, week in and week out. I thought he did a phenomenal job navigating adversity when it did arise. I think from an identity standpoint, I do think that our opponents knew who they were getting ready to play when they were ready to face us each week. And I think the world of Dan. He’s a special leader, special coach and he’s those things because he’s a special human being. And just our whole coaching staff really, just the countless hours that they put into from a preparation standpoint, teaching of players, developing players, the gameplans every week. It’s a lot that goes into it, so much appreciation to them. This was the first season where after we kind of did a revamp of our medical and performance staff this year and I thought they did a phenomenal job. I couldn’t have asked more, we couldn’t have asked more for everything that they did. And our pro scouting department, they – the weekly advancement of our opponents, players being ready on deck whenever we needed them. I thought they did a phenomenal job. And really, our whole organization. I mean you could – it’s too many names, it’s too many people to name, too many departments to name. Our ops, wellness, video, equipment, dining, security, just everybody. Everybody knows what our culture is, and they all know that it's an all-hands-on-deck effort, it’s an all-hands-on-deck process. So, just much appreciation and thanks for everything that they put into it. Our fans – look, I don’t think there’s any debate that we have the best fan base in the world, hands down. I don’t care what anybody says, any sport. Look, we – they made Ford Field tough this year. They made it a tough environment to play. And even our road games, those road atmospheres, they made it – just all due respect to all of our opponents, but I’ll say this, we couldn’t have asked more from them for what they did for us in terms of their travel, the sacrifices that they made. We were able to accomplish a lot this year, division title, home playoff game, playoff win, all just in over 30 years to accomplish all of that. So, just really a credit to all the fans for everything that they did. They truly did their part, and so much appreciation there. Their support is not overlooked, so we want to thank them. And look, this is what I what to tell really our fans, is look, it’s only going to get better, OK? We’re only going to get better. I don’t want anybody to think that this was a one shot, Cinderella, magical journey that just happened. No, it’s real. This is exactly what was supposed to happen. And I understand that based on history from what’s happened in the past, I understand you have a season like this, it’s easy to feel like this was kind of a one shot, magical, lucky, cute story, which I’m tired of hearing. It was none of that. It’s easy to think that, but no. Every move that me and Dan make, it has been made to sustain what we are building. Every single move. And I will say every single move we make and every single move we do not make, is to sustain what we have been building. So, it’s real. Look, it’s all to normalize what we’re doing, alright? This is to normalize it. These are efforts to normalize it. It’s Dan, places Dan’s been, it was normalized. Places I’ve been, it’s normalized. That’s why we’re here, we’re bringing this to normalize what this is right now, especially put all the efforts in to normalizing this. But we love where we’re at. This was to be expected. It’s the standard. We love the window that we’re in. We just got finished with year three. We’re still building. We’ll stick to our plan. We’ll continue to put all of our effort in to improve each year, which we’ve done in my opinion, and we’re just stick to that. And look, I think we all know adversity, that will always come. Adversity will always come, it arose, but that’s why we’re built on grit because we’ll be ready for adversity because it’s going to come regardless. And that’s why we’re always preaching grit, grit, grit. That’s what we’re built on. And look, we had injuries. We had injuries to our defensive backs. (Lions DB C.J.) Gardner-Johnson had suffered a big injury. Credit to him, he did a lot to battle back to help us out in the postseason. (Lions CB Emmanuel) Moseley, Emmanuel Moseley, he worked his tail off to come back from really his first real major injury and got another one when he first stepped on the field. Bad luck, it happened. But that did open doors for others. I thought (Lions CB Kindle) Vildor did a nice job when he was called on to step up. (Lions S Ifeatu) Iffy Melifonwu, he had got his chance and he did a really nice job to step up. But just talking to the fans, I just want them to know that over the next few months, don’t get spooked this spring by speculation or negative talk or the entertainment newsfeed. Don’t get spooked by that to not think that we can’t build and sustain what we’ve been building. Don’t get spooked by that. And I totally get it. The next few months, it’s a lot of speculation and it’s a lot of opinions and people don’t know what’s going to happen, but I just hope that – but they know that every year we have not led them astray. Dan and myself, we’ve been very upfront and straight with everybody. And say look, again, every move is intentional. Every move that we make, again, every move we do not make, is intentional. And I’ll even go back to the past Drafts that we’ve had, every single pick, free agency, every signing, it is very intentional. So, I don’t want the fans’ joy to be derailed. They should be proud of their football team because the fans have earned it and the fans deserve it, but – and also, I want them to know that over the next few months, every move that we make, it’s to win in December. It’s not to win March, April and May, which it’s easy to do. You can – if that’s your aim, you can win headlines, you can win March, April and May. But know everything is intentional and it may not look – it may look strange, it may look like, ‘Well, why’d they do this? Why’d,’ – trust me. It is to win in December. And so that’s why we’ve made the moves that we have made. And look, the reality is this, look, everyone can’t play here. Everyone can’t play for the Detroit Lions and that’s just a reality. That’s just a standard that has been set but – and look, I’ll go back to the 2021 Draft. So, the ’21 Draft, each pick from that Draft was very intentional. And the reason why I go back to that Draft, couple reasons. For one, it was 2021. We just finished the 2023 season, so that’s when you’re supposed to grade a Draft. Not the day after a Draft. But when you look back at those picks and those picks were not welcome by many in this room. You wanted us to pick a quarterback. You didn’t want us to pick (Lions T) Penei Sewell. People didn’t want us to wait until the fourth round to draft a wide receiver. People didn’t want to wait on a (Lions LB) Derrick Barnes to develop, but every single move was intentional and was made with intention. But also, for reasons of what people might not say about or what people might say about not sustaining, look, they might say schedule, they might say, ‘Oh, we don’t have all the picks.’ Look, back in 2021, we did not have multiple ones. We did not have multiple twos. We did not have four picks in the first 100. Now, we did have that, and we used those wisely. You guys didn’t agree, but we used those picks wisely. But we didn’t have – we had one extra pick in 2021. We had a comp third, that was Iffy Melifonwu. I know you said that that was a miss, but that was the only extra pick, so what I’m saying is, that’s not required to sustain what we’ve built going forward. So, just want to make sure that the fans just know – look, we always said we’ll draft, develop, sign our own, build through the Draft, and we’re just living that right now. So, just want to make sure the fans stick with us. We’ve got you. The fans have done their part. Keep doing your part. We’ll keep doing our part. It’s much appreciated. Again, it may look strange at times, but just take the ‘marshmallow test’ with us and delay some of the headline entertainment in March, April and May and really enjoy it in December because that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

On looking for players who fit the culture beyond talent level and what that process looks like: “Yeah, that’s a great question, like I tell that to our scouts. We have to get past just looking for the most talented player. In my opinion, that’s the prerequisite of evaluation. That’s the – who’s the fastest? Who’s the strongest? Who’s got the most height? That’s a very coherent thing to do. No, it’s how do you find the right intangibles in a football player? And that’s what’s made us who we are. And that’s what I was saying about that 2021 class. That was very intentional to find those guys that have the intangibles. It’s not that, ‘Oh, we waited until the fourth round to pick a wide receiver.’ No, we wanted (Lions WR Amon-Ra) St. Brown. He had the intangibles that we were looking for to set our foundation. And look, a lot of those guys, they’re eligible for extensions now, and a handful of them are. But again, it just goes back to what we build and being very intentional about our intangibles and what we’re looking for in Detroit Lions.”

On how his approach will change from previous years facing new challenges with later Draft picks and having to sign foundational players to contract extensions: “It’s really – it’s going to be the same exact process. It’s going to be the same exact plan. We’re going to be very strategic, very selective. We’re going to look for the same type of players. Again, it doesn’t need to be – I know I referenced when we’ve had multiple number ones and so now, we’re picking later back – actually, that’s exciting for me. That’s like, ‘Man’ – it's kind of back to I think ’21 Draft – the other reason why I loved that Draft is there was no Combine. You either had to know the film and pick the right players or not, and actually know the player and have the right intangibles, where I think back there, you’re picking football players. And we’re always picking football players, it’s just that when we pick football players high, you all have bashed us. But we’ll still continue to pick football players and the guys that are for us. So, really, it doesn’t change. Will it be different? Yes, it will be different. And maybe not be as many high-price external adds, but that’s not required right now. So, we’ll just still keep sticking to our plan and go as normal. I think it’s proven that it’s worked so far for us.”

On how having a number of current players eligible for extensions impacts what they can do in free agency: “Yeah, I mean look, it’s one pot. It’s one pot, so you’ve got to be very strategic of how those finances – that’s what makes the League as great as it is. But you’ve got to be very strategic of how that pot is divided up or divvied up. But we’ll be smart, and we’ll make the right moves. But yeah, it just changes the landscape a little bit in free agency. You’ve got to think back, our first free agency, we didn’t have any real resources to spend. We had to be very selective and try to find an (Lions LB) Alex Anzalone or a (Lions WR) Kalif Raymond and all those guys. And then last year, we had a little bit more resources and were able to get a (Lions CB) Cam Sutton and a (Lions DB) C.J. Gardner-Johnson. This year will be a little bit different, but we’ll be smart.”

On where the team needs to improve to take the next step of getting to the Super Bowl: “I mean we look to improve every single year. I don’t think it’s like one specific area. I think that’s when you kind of run into danger there is when you think you’re good at something and you don’t need to work on it anymore, so we’ll always be kind of sharpening our tools in every area. And I don’t think you can ever be perfect. There’s no such thing. So, we’ll just kind of continue to look to improve in every area and we will, and we’ve already started that process. But again, where we ended up, it’s expected. It’ll be expected heading into this year. Like the way you framed that question, Super Bowl. That was – look, that was a disappointment that we didn’t make it. And again, that wasn’t a, ‘Man, we got lucky.’ No, that’s what we expected and fell short, but still accomplished a lot. But we’ll improve in every area.”

On what he has seen from Lions QB Jared Goff this season and the level of belief he has in him for his future: “Yeah, well, I mean we meet with all of our players, rather a player that’s eligible for an extension or player that’s an upcoming free agent. That’s very paramount in our organization, is the communication standpoint. But in terms of Jared, look, I’ve always had belief in Jared. You guys have always heard me. I don’t think – I don’t know what more needs to be said from a leadership or performance standpoint, or what more he needs to do in that regard. But, in terms of the belief as always, I think I said this to you guys before is that he got drafted in ’16 and he didn’t – he wasn’t the full-time starter, but ’17 was his first year as a full-time starter and he made the playoffs. Got exited versus the Falcons that year, but the second year as a full-time starter, he went to a Super Bowl. And what I didn’t understand – I didn’t understand why his career was defined after he went to a Super Bowl a second year as a full-time starter. And so, then when he came to us, I always had belief. So, him doing what he did this past year or even the year before, it’s not a surprise to us. I just know how he’s wired. I know the talent he has, I know the leadership he has, I know his mental and physical toughness, I know what he’s made about and I think his peers, and definitely his teammates recognize the same things. So, just happy that what he’s done and just couldn’t be more proud of everything he’s achieved.”

On if he believes there was a talent level discrepancy between the offense and defense: “I don’t know about a discrepancy. I’ll say this, it’s not like – if players have achieved more offensively, it wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t, ‘Let me make sure that the guys we select on defense don’t achieve this of what the guys achieve on offense.’ But I kind of see it a little bit different. You may look at some names that may look a little bit more appealing, names that you all have clamored for, for us to acquire in the past. But I do think that our players on defense played well together, and they worked well together, and they were a resilient group and I think we have a lot of good starters and we have a lot of guys that have a lot of upside. We have a lot of young players on defense. And look, we play an aggressive style. We play an aggressive style. I think there’s no question on our identity. But I don’t really see there’s a big discrepancy of talent. It’s just – we’re just kind of working together. But it’s a total team effort. It’s – we don’t look at defense different than we look at offense. We don’t look at special teams different. We’re trying to build a team and I know everybody wants everything to be paired. You have a Pro Bowl pass rusher that double-digit sacks and 100 pressures. Everybody wants to pair the pass rusher with somebody. You have a D-tackle that was on his way before he got hurt to, potentially, a Pro Bowl season and sacks, you want to pair him with that guy. You have a promising young safety, you want to pair him with – everybody wants to – and trust me, that’s what we want too. We want the same thing. We want, not only the frontline depth of all 11 starters, but we want all the depth to be really, really quality and that’s what we strive to do. And sometimes when you strive to have really quality depth on defense, you might have to sacrifice some names, because like I tell you guys all the time, you can get excited about what the depth chart looks like in April, in May, in June, but I always think about what’s it going to look like in November. And so, there’s a balance when you want to add quality depth. And sometimes, you might have to add some guys that may not be as high-dollar players. But we have belief in our coaches, in terms of our development of our players and a lot of those guys got better, a lot of those guys got better. So, I’m not really concerned about it.”

On the balance between being loyal to players who they have brought along throughout the years and acquiring new talent in pursuit of success: “Yeah, that’s a fair question. Look, I think that comes down to the communication aspect I was speaking to prior. Look, we don’t believe in handouts. We’re a culture of accountability and a culture of earning it. And our communication with all of our players is there’s going to be competition. Even conversations that we had of guys that we want to come back, we tell them all the time, there’s going to be a competition. I think those guys understand that, so – and that’s what we do. The best person, it’s a meritocratic approach in terms of the best is going to be the best. The best is going to be number one, second-best is going to be number two and I think our players understand that and I think our players respect that me and (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) are always honest about that. So, yeah, I mean, we don’t undermine or overlook the contributions that they’ve put in the past. And yeah, there is a little bit of emotional attachment because we’ve seen how those guys have grinded over the years. But they’re well aware that we’re in the business of improving and upgrading and adding competition. And that’s what makes teams better, is better competition.”

On if he senses people are cautious in believing that this success is here to stay and questioning the authenticity of this year’s accomplishments: “No, I don’t say that. I just don’t want anybody to be worried about that because I do know that you go from not making the playoffs to being in the NFC Championship and I can see, again, like I said, based off history, I can see the human being and the naturalness of one could think that. But I just wanted to just reassure the fans that know what you saw this year is real. It wasn’t some magical thing.”

On the perception that the team is one year ahead of schedule: “I never – I’m glad you brought that up because I remember when we first got here, everybody was wondering kind of how long this was going to take, how long is this build going to be. And I remember I used the word ‘retool’ and I got killed because I probably should’ve used the word rebuild, but they were wondering how long the build is going to take. And I never wanted to put a timestamp on it or an anchor, a time anchor on it because I said, ‘Look, we’re just going to do our job, roll our sleeves up and work to improve every single day.’ And that’s what we did. So, I don’t – it’s hard for me to say, ‘Yeah, we are ahead of schedule.’ Because I don’t know what that original timestamp should’ve been in the first place. But I do know we love where we are at, and I believe we are at where exactly where we’re supposed to be.”

On if the NFC Championship loss motivates him and translates into how he works: “Yeah, it does. I’ll say it’s – it’s times even last year when it got really dark. We were 1-6. I was just like, ‘Man, just watch, just watch. We’re going to get better.’ And coming up short, yeah, it is fuel. And it is going to be another ‘just watch.’ Again, like I said, this wasn’t a Cinderella journey. We’re going to do what we have to do to make sure that we’re going to prove it and earn it. But yeah, it is fuel that I use for myself. And I’m a pretty self-motivated guy, I think I am. I don’t really need a lot of extra fuel. But when stuff like that happens, I think it’s very human to – it drives you to another level.”

On if his evaluation of the team changed between the end of the regular season and the end of the playoff run: “Yeah, that’s a fair question. Not really. I’ve always had a good sense. I say all the time, my job is to have a foot in the present and a foot in the future at all times. And that’s what I pride myself on doing. And so, regardless of how sunny or dark things are midpoint in the season, or late in the season, or in a playoff run, I’m always looking for, ‘This is what we need to do right now, but this is what we also have to do in the future.’ And that really doesn’t really change, really.”

On what hosting the 2024 NFL Draft means to the city of Detroit: “Yeah, I’m excited about having the Draft. I’ve always – one of the things, when we moved here, I was so – I was shocked downtown Detroit. I love downtown Detroit. I think downtown Detroit is ideal to host a Super Bowl if the weather permitted. I just think it’s an awesome downtown. It’s one of the betters that – it’s one of the better ones that I’ve been around and that’s why I love the fact that us hosting the Draft is going to give, hopefully not only Detroit, but the world a glimpse of kind of what our city is all about. And hopefully, us hosting the Draft means something because that’s what our team has been built upon really, is the Draft and through the Draft. And so, I think it’s going to mean a lot on a lot of different levels. But I’m just excited that our city’s going to get the recognition and the world is going to see – I just know that we’re picking later, so they’re going to be waiting to see if our pick and if we trade out of the first round and I’ll just send a memo. Don’t be as upset.”

On how important it is to continue to stack talent on the offensive line and if he is worried about Lions C Frank Ragnow potentially retiring: “Extremely important, extremely important. And look, Ragnow, it’s only one of them on the planet, in my opinion. But I have so much respect for him and for everything that he goes through and fights through that I’m just respectful of his time and his thoughts. And we’re not going to pressure him to do anything or make any moves. But the communication will be diligent. It’ll be thorough, it’ll be respectful. But just the – that’s what our team is. Is, I mean, our offensive line, us being able to protect the quarterback and run the football like we do, that’s extremely important. And so, that’s definitely going to be one that – that’ll be an area that will not be overlooked. As good as it has been in the past, just those points that you’ve raised, it’s definitely going to be a point of emphasis still.”

On how he feels to see the 2023 Draft class perform so well despite enduring public criticism for the team’s selections: “By everybody, or you included? Yeah, well look, I’m not up here to give ‘I told you so’s.’ I would say the ‘I told you so’ was when we selected the player is that we’ll always – as long as (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) and I are convicted in selecting these players, you sleep like a baby and we slept like a baby after we selected those players. And all the criticism that came and transpired the day after the Draft, or the week after the Draft, it’s always – you can’t be a prisoner of the moment. You can’t let that affect you. You just have to go through the post-Draft storm and kind of just weather through it. And just like I told you guys after the Draft, I said look, ‘OTAs will be here soon, people forget about the Draft. Training camp will be here soon, people forget about the Draft.’ So – but, I had – me and Dan had all the confidence in the world on those players. They did what we expected them to do. Those were – those players that we selected, those were our favorite players in the Draft. I know it was a big thing about tight end. Yeah, I mean, I think it’s been on record that (Lions TE) Sam LaPorta was our number one tight end. No, he was one of our favorite players the entire Draft. So, when you have that kind of conviction on players, you can sleep good. And look, like I said about – grade the 2021 Draft, grade that. The guys have developed. Guys may have had injuries early, come back. That’s reach of grading guys, not right after. And I told everybody, ‘Look, they may not understand. They may not feel great about it right now, right after the Draft.’ But they’ll – I told them that they’ll like it when football starts being played. And I want the fans to always know that when we have a Draft, we have free agency, we acquire players, we didn’t forget. We didn’t forget how to draft. We didn’t forget how to acquire players. We didn’t forget how to be strategic and selective in our process. We didn’t forget, but that’s not entertaining to write about that stuff, entertaining the criticism, ‘Oh, that’s a D, that’s an F. What are they doing?’ That’s entertaining, it’s clicks. And I don’t undermine that. I don’t undermine, whether it’s free agency, Draft, I don’t overlook. It’s the entertainment business. And I don’t overlook the entertainment of fans want to click on the stuff that’s newsworthy. So, saying that, ‘Man, the Detroit Lions, they were very intentional, very careful and selective with their picks.’ And that’s not going to get the clicks. But I’m very happy for what those guys did, and they did what we expected them to do. And even more excited as they enter year two because those guys will be better next year.”

On if receiving bad grades on his Draft selections fuels him and if he is enjoying being right after public criticism: “No, I just, look, my only thing is – no, I’ll say this, I’m big on accountability. And I think you all would expect me to be accountable when I’m up here when things don’t go right, you would expect me to be accountable. And I am. I feel I’m a very accountable person. I think when you heard so much negativity about our Draft and then when I said, ‘Look, wait until they start playing football. You’ll be appreciative.’ When they started playing football and people started giving them credit, the negativity kind of just – everybody forgot about it. Nobody – I give probably two people credit in this room that said, ‘You know what? I was wrong, I was wrong.’ And I appreciate that. And I respected that. But just the other about, you knew they were wrong and then they, ‘Oh man, these rookies are playing so well.’ Or you hear the, ‘Man, many people thought – many people gave them backlash.’ Or, ‘Oh man, there were some people that –.’ No, it wasn’t many, it was you. I’m really just like, no, you gave them backlash. And so, just having accountability, that’s all it is. But, again, like I said, I’m not here to ‘I told you so.’ Again, ‘I told you so’ was when we selected the players. You’ve just got to get through the post-Draft wave.”

On if he is surprised Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson and Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn are returning next season and what continuity means for the team moving forward: “Yeah, I mean, it’s everything. Continuity is everything. And they’re great coaches. They’re great coaches. They’re very smart, they’re great leaders, they’re developers, they’re teachers. And they fit here. But fortunate, I’m glad that they’re back. I know we’re a better team with that continuity. But I have all the trust and faith in (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) as well. And the one thing I’ll say about those guys being back is I think it says a lot about our organization. And I think that’s a part that wasn’t really talked about as much was, yes, you’ve got two talented coordinators, jobs open up. They have to take those jobs, right? Well, they’ve got damn good jobs here, they do. I know all the stuff written about Ben and Ben, look, he’s – look, it’s a great culture here. We’ve got a great head coach, we’ve got great ownership, we’ve got a great offense, we’ve got great players on offense. It’s a great deal. So, and I’m not speaking for Ben. I don’t know his thoughts. That’s the other thing is you’ve got to just give people respect of the unknown. You don’t know what goes through their decisions and their decision-making process and all that, but very, very fortunate and I do think it speaks a lot for our organization.”

On how much easier free agency will be having Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson and Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn return next year: “Yeah, it – yeah, it helps a little, obviously, with the continuity. You can say, ‘Hey look, what you saw on film this past year will be a similar system.’ And when new players are acquired to sit down with those guys. But again, it all starts with (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell). So as long as Dan is here, then I feel really good about whoever we bring in from a free agency standpoint, but I can see how it can help a little bit.”

Ferris State University alumna, Detroit native shares successful entrepreneur wisdom and commitment to higher education to inspire future generations

Big dreams and desires were part of Keisha Reynolds’ makeup as a young girl in the Detroit area.

“I had considered schools in Michigan and Ohio, but a visit with my mother to the Ferris campus was very significant for both of us,” Reynolds said. “I had learned about the university in a college fair, so we came to Big Rapids. I quickly fell in love with Ferris and its campus and my Mom said, ‘I can see you going here.’ It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Keisha has long understood and applied her high-energy approach to all things academic and social, which extended to her learning, working and other efforts on the Ferris campus.

“I did almost everything I could, in terms of organizational involvement, which included helping the Student Government Association establish ‘The Big Event,’ along with promoting a readership campaign and serving as a social media specialist,” Reynolds said. “I helped found the Black Student Union, was selected for membership in Lambda Pi Eta, the Sigma Tau Delta honorary society for English students, Gamma Epsilon Tau. These involvements prepared me for real-world activities like team building, strategizing, speaking before an audience and promoting ideas. The roles I had at Ferris were all a huge benefit to the work I have done in my career, very foundational in helping me build experience and grow my success.”

Reynolds finds great pride in her contribution for black students at Ferris, and her place in the university’s seminal efforts to engage audiences online as a student worker in University Advancement and Marketing.

“Our first platforms were Facebook and Twitter,” Keisha said. “It was pivotal, since I could put in practice the theories I was learning in class, by designing communications, writing, and conducting interviews for content. My coursework helped me in all my efforts on campus.”

Reynolds earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Technical Communication in 2012 and followed up on another phase of her intentions, by taking her talents out of state.

“Perhaps it was divine circumstance, since I would tell my parents from a very young age that I wanted to go to Virginia,” Reynolds said. “When I considered my graduate school options there, I found the best match for my intentions was at Norfolk State University, so I applied and was accepted.” 

Once again, Keisha dove into the opportunity with eyes open for all possibilities to learn and contribute to her new community.

“As I pursued my master’s degree, I completed an internship with Norfolk State University’s Communications office as a graduate assistant,” Reynolds said. “That was a great experience, where I was allowed to contribute. So many doors opened for me, including my involvement with the Hampton Roads Black Chamber of Commerce, Black BRAND.”

Reynolds earned her Master of Arts in Media and Communications, Public Relations in 2015 from NSU. While working for a private school in Norfolk to start her career, Keisha established K&R Communications LLC just months thereafter, an agency designed to help corporate clients and faith-based organizations navigate online strategies to engage and enrich their audiences.

“I am leading my agency from Detroit now, though the company continues its mission in greater Norfolk,” Reynolds said. “Working with clients is so vastly different from when I began. The landscape is ever-changing, with the incorporation of video elements growing in importance these last few years. You test things on behalf of your clients to try and build their success. It requires being ever present as a student and professional, in terms of knowing what the market is offering to accentuate our results.”

The ability to deliver on a variety of fronts simultaneously remained Reynolds’ mode of operation, as she developed a women’s empowerment network, EmpoweringHER in 2016 and as the next year began, she joined the faculty of Hampton University. 

“As the lead professor in Strategic Communications, I taught Principles of Public Relations, Web Design and Development, Brand/Marketing Campaigns, Crisis Communications, Social Media and Analytics and the Capstone course for the curriculum,” Keisha said. “I found I love teaching as much as all my other endeavors. That included curriculum where students brought case studies forward and shaped social media messaging to build success for their clients. I also was the advisor for Hampton’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Students in Hampton’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications were eager to learn, and a joy to engage with.”

Add the roles of keynote speaker and author to Reynolds’ resume in her later years in Virginia, with contributions to the works “SpeakUp! The Ultimate Guide to Dominate in the Speaking Industry” and “Sister Leaders: Reflections and Success Stories of Women Leaders Who Purposely Collaborate With Other Women,” which were Amazon #1 best-sellers in 2019 and 2021, respectively.

“Being a writer is a natural facet of my professional abilities,” Reynolds said. “I believe there are ideas and concepts I can provide that can be of benefit to others. My role in speaking engagements is being set aside for a while, so I can focus on consulting, but I am open to and intend to return to such opportunities in the future.”

In 2022, Keisha returned to Michigan and to teaching, and learning, with service as an adjunct member of the Department of Communication at Wayne State University, and with entry this fall in Liberty University’s School of Communication and the Arts’ doctoral program.

“My instruction in Business Communications helps students explore how to best offer a message, through internal and external presentations, and in corporate settings. It is different than my past instruction in strategic communications, but I have the skill set to succeed, with theory and practice elements that resonate with my students. I am just into the doctoral program, with great excitement about what this learning will provide me. I desire to become a tenured professor and continue teaching at a greater level. I love what I do in my agency and sharing that experience of real-world application in the classroom.”

With the rapid pace of working, teaching and learning continuing, Reynolds paused to consider how her Ferris experience provided the knowledge and confidence to continue her good works after her campus experience, and again in her hometown.

“I always felt that the chance to do great things was before me,” Keisha said. “I feel there will be other new opportunities to pursue excellence. Each experience has allowed me to proceed confidently into anything I do and I seek to give the best message possible, to whatever audience I encounter.”

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (1/29 - 2/4)

Monday, January 29

  • At 6:03 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Morton TWP. A male and female subject were both arrested on warrants. Both were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 21

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, January 30

  • At 9:14 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Wheatland TWP. The traffic stop resulted in a male subject being arrested on a warrant out of Kent County. He was turned over to Kent County.

Calls for Service: 23

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

 

Wednesday, January 31

Calls for Service: 24

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, February 1

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Friday, February 2

  • At 08:51 A.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Big Rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 10:51 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Green TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant for domestic assault. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 17

 

Saturday, February 3

  • At 10:10 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Mecosta TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 18

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Sunday, February 4

  • At around 8:42 A.M., deputies responded to a domestic call at a residence in Chippewa TWP. A male subject was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At around 11:00 A.M., deputies responded to a domestic call at a residence in Chippewa TWP. A male subject had assaulted his mother. The male subject fled into the woods. He was found and arrested. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 7

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

Two-vehicle accident on Perry Avenue leaves four injured Sunday afternoon

On Sunday, Feb. 4 at 4:11 P.M., deputies with the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to Perry Ave. near Waldron Way, for a two-vehicle accident.

The investigation found that a 19 -year-old male from Saint Joseph attempted to turn east bound onto Perry Ave. from Walmart, and did not yield to a 33 year-old male from Big Rapids traveling westbound. The Saint Joseph male was then struck on the driver's side of his vehicle by the Big Rapids male, totaling both vehicles. 

The Saint Joseph male as well as his 21 year-old passenger from Oswego, were transported to the Big Rapids Corewell Health Hospital for non life threatening injuries. The Big Rapids male, his 33-year-old female passenger from Big Rapids, and their dog were uninjured. 

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Meceola Central Dispatch, Mecosta County EMS, Big Rapids TWP Fire/Rescue, Currie's Towing, and Big Rapids Towing.

Ferris State uses team effort to beat Michigan Tech in GLIAC home contest

A team effort lifted the nationally 20th-ranked Ferris State University men's basketball squad to a 79-63 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) win over Michigan Tech on Saturday (Feb. 3) afternoon inside Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs utilized all 12 individuals in uniform and 11 of the 12 scored in the victory as FSU improved to 17-5 overall and 7-4 in GLIAC play. The bounce back victory came on the heels of a close three-point setback to league leader Northern Michigan on Thursday evening.

The balanced FSU effort was led by senior guard Ben Davidson, who finished with 20 points overall. Senior forward DeSean Munson added 14 points and seven rebounds while senior Dolapo Olayinka came up with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and a steal. The Bulldogs also got eight points and five rebounds from senior Vejas Grazulis.

FSU took a 37-23 halftime lead in the win and outscored MTU 42-40 in the second half of the game to complete a league regular-season sweep over the Huskies.

The Bulldogs shot the ball well overall, hitting on 59.3% of their field goals despite going only two-of-13 (15.4%) from behind the three-point arc. Ferris State converted seven-of-11 (63.6%) free throws.

Defensively, FSU had a strong performance, forcing 15 Michigan Tech turnovers and coming up with 14 steals, which helped lead to a 20-8 margin in fast break scoring. MTU was only seven-of-27 (25.9%) from three-point range and shot 40% overall from the floor. The Huskies were eight-of-10 (80%) at the line.

FSU also outrebounded Michigan Tech 36-27 for the day and outscored the Huskies 52-30 inside the paint.

Michigan Tech, which fell to 6-14 overall and 3-8 in the GLIAC, was led by Marcus Tomashek with a game-high 22 points. Nate Abel added 12 points in the road setback.

Ferris State will return to the floor on Saturday (Feb. 10), visiting Lake Superior State for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) league matchup in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

City Commission receiving improvement insights on wastewater treatment plant at meeting tonight

The Big Rapids City Commission will be meeting this evening, Monday, Feb. 5, at Big Rapids City Hall at 6:30 P.M.

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

  • Adopting an amended travel policy for the City of Big Rapids.

  • Adopting an authorizing emergency purchase of police patrol vehicles.

The meeting will also include a study session on the topic of the Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements from Scott Hall of Fleis and Vanderbrink as well as Steve DiClaudio of Northland Securities.

All city commission meetings are available to the public.

Number of cable operators in Michigan stays steady in 2023 as subscriber count continues to decline

The number of video and cable television operators in Michigan remained unchanged at 31 in 2023, and total subscriptions for these fell, continuing a long-term pattern, the Michigan Public Service Commission’s annual Status of Competition for Video Services in Michigan found.

There were 1,287,510 video/cable television customers reported for Michigan in 2023, a decline of 189,692 from the previous year. It marked the second consecutive year of declines that had been continuous since a peak of 2.3 million subscribers in 2015, interrupted only by a small one-time increase in 2021. The falling number of subscriptions reflects a nationwide transition as customers switch from video/cable services to internet streaming services. 

The number of franchise agreements between video/cable providers and municipalities increased to 2,206 in 2023 from 2,032 statewide in 2022. 

The MPSC’s video/cable report is based on responses by providers to an annual MPSC survey. The report is submitted by Feb. 1 each year to the Governor and Legislature. The report does not include satellite TV providers, which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act.

About 42% of video and cable TV providers who responded to the MPSC’s voluntary survey reported investing a total of more than $24 million in Michigan in 2023.

The MPSC works to resolve disputes between customers, municipalities and video and television service providers. The MPSC received 2,183 customer complaints in 2023, a 67% increase from 1,305 in 2022. The most common complaint involved cable line issues, followed by billing charges and internet service problems.

A complaint form is available at the MPSC’s Video/Cable webpage, which also lists contact information for service providers in Michigan and consumer tips.

The video/cable report is based on franchise entities and video and cable television providers who responded to the MPSC survey, and other information collected by the MPSC.

The report makes several recommendations to the Legislature, including:

  • Moving the due date of the annual report to March 1 to allow respondents additional time to provide timely and accurate year-end information.
  • Requiring video/cable providers to submit additional information to ensure the MPSC has accurate contact information for purposes of handling complaints and gathering information and data pursuant to the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act.
  • Requiring providers that change company names, go out of business or merge with another company to provide notification to the MPSC. 

#7 Ferris State pulls away late for ninth consecutive win this season

The Ferris State University women's basketball squad, which is ranked seventh nationally, overcame a stiff challenge from visiting Michigan Tech on Saturday (Feb. 3) and pulled away late for a 63-54 triumph over the Huskies inside FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs won their ninth consecutive game and stayed unbeaten at home this year, moving to 7-0 in Big Rapids, with the win to complete a regular-season sweep over Michigan Tech. FSU also improved to 16-2 overall and stayed on top of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) standings with a 10-1 league mark.

Senior forward Chloe Idoni produced a double-double with a team-leading 21 points and 15 rebounds in the win. She also added three steals, two assists and two blocked shots in the game.

Along with Idoni, junior Kenzie Bowers notched 10 points and five assists for FSU while senior guard Mallory McCartney chipped in eight points, seven assists and four rebounds in the triumph.

Ferris State trailed by one at the end of the opening quarter before taking a slim 30-29 halftime lead. However, MTU tied the game back up after three periods, but FSU limited the Huskies to only seven points in the final period to garner the win.

Overall, Ferris State shot 39% for the game and went 10-of-23 (43.5%) from long range in addition to seven-of-12 (58.3%) at the free throw stripe. The Huskies converted 42.3% of their field goals and made eight-of-23 (34.8%) shots from behind the three-point arc. MTU finished two-of-four (50%) at the free throw line.

Ferris State finished with a 36-34 rebounding edge and the Bulldogs came away with 12 offensive rebounds, leading to a 9-6 margin in second chance scoring. The Bulldogs also earned 13 points off of 17 MTU turnovers and finished with only 10 turnovers of their own.

Michigan Tech got 15 points from Alex Rondorf and 13 by Isabella Lenz in falling to 10-9 overall and 6-5 in league play. MTU had won four of its previous five games entering the tilt.

Ferris State will return to the floor on Saturday (Feb. 10), visiting Lake Superior State for a 5:30 p.m. (ET) league matchup in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Ferris State recognizing Black History Month with events celebrating the black experience

Ferris State University is planning a series of activities to recognize Black History Month, celebrating the Black experience while recognizing achievements and sharing inspiring stories for future generations.

Activities planned by the Office of Multicultural Student Services staff include fun and educational opportunities, a movie night and discussion, and a leadership development program to close the month. 

“For us, Black History Month is an opportunity to expose people to Black culture, to Black arts, to the whole Black experience, and to be able to show how we’re part of the shared history of the United States,” said Michael Hopson, Ferris State’s new director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services. “So, during Black History Month, the Office of Multicultural Student Services will sponsor a few activities for our university community.” 

Activities begin on Wednesday, Feb. 7, with a Game Night in the OMSS, located in suite 159 of the FLITE building, 1010 Campus Drive, at 5:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, beginning at 6 p.m., OMSS will host a screening of the 2018 film The Hate U Give, based on the 2017 novel by Angie Thomas, followed by a discussion in room 202 of the David L. Eisler Center, 805 Campus Drive.  

The We Are March, celebrating people negatively impacted by untimely violence, is planned for the community is planned for Wednesday, Feb. 21. The event will be held in room 217 of the Eisler Center, beginning at 4 p.m. 

One day later, on Feb. 22, Ferris State’s Black History Month activities wrap up with Black Leadership at Ferris: Designed with You in Mind. This event begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Eisler Center, room 202B. 

“We’re going to have our black leaders’ forum for students to come in and meet some of the African American leaders here on campus and get a chance to hear their stories, their journeys and how they have had to deal with the challenges they have faced,” Hopson said. 

Black History Month highlights the achievements and challenges that African Americans have faced throughout U.S. history. What historian Carter G. Woodson started as “Negro History Week” evolved into Black History Month. Since 1976, history.com notes that every U.S. president has officially dedicated the month of February as Black History Month. 

Osceola County Sheriff's Office: Monthly Blotter (1/1 - 1/31)

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office took 485 calls for service for the month of January.

The corrections staff booked 71 subjects into the jail between 1/01/23 - 1/31/23. The average daily inmate population for January was 58 inmates.

 

911 Hang Ups: 6

Abandoned Vehicles: 7

Alarms: 11

Animal Control: 7

Area Check: 22

Assaults/Sexual Assaults/Threats: 13

Assist to Other Jurisdictions: 4

Attempt to locate: 6

Breaking & Entering: 0

Check Wellbeing: 24

Civil: 16

Death Notification: 0

Disorderly: 8

DNR: 8

Domestic Assaults: 10

Fail to Pay (Gas Drive Off): 1

Flee & Elude (Pursuits): 1

Follow-up Investigations/Details: 30

Found Property: 0

Fraud: 1

Hit & Run: 1

Juvenile Assaults/Runaways: 15

Larceny: 2

Malicious Destruction of Property: 4

Mental Health Calls: 7

Minors in Possession: 2

Missing Persons: 1

Motorist Assist: 21

Misc. (PPO Vio, Standby, ETC.): 34

OWI/OUID: 1

Paper Service: 11

Parking/Traffic Hazard: 3

Personal Injury Accident: 2

Property Damage Accident: 66

Property Check: 0

Retail Fraud: 0

Road Run-Off: 12

Stolen Vehicles: 4

Suspicious Situation: 6

Traffic Stops: 89

Prisoner/Mental Transport: 9

Trespass: 1

Vehicle Inspections: 2

Warrants: 14

Weapon Offenses: 3

Bulldog Softball picked fourth In 2024 GLIAC preseason coaches poll

The Ferris State University softball squad, which kicks off the 2024 season this weekend, has been picked to finish fourth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Preseason Coaches Poll announced yesterday.

The Bulldogs tallied 22 total points in finishing in the middle of the seven teams in the preseason listing as voted on by the league's member head coaches.

In front of FSU was Grand Valley State in first place with 34 points and four first-place votes followed by Saginaw Valley State with 33 points and three top mentions. Purdue Northwest came in third with 25 points followed by FSU with 22. Behind the Bulldogs was Parkside in fifth place (12), Davenport in sixth (11) and Wayne State in seventh (10).

The Bulldogs will begin the 2024 campaign with increased expectations as they begin year two under head coach Jake Schumann.

Schumann, who took over the program just prior to the start of the 2023 season last spring, welcomes back nine returnees from a year ago while adding talent and depth with the additions of 10 newcomers as part of his first incoming class.

The Bulldogs concluded the 2023 season with their most wins in seven years under Schumann's direction. FSU reached the GLIAC Tournament last season and finished in the top four of the league standings during regular-season play.

Ferris State finished regular-season play a year ago by winning three of its last four contests and five of the final eight games overall.

FSU's returnees this season include the squad's only senior in veteran starter Aryn Gallacher. Two other pitchers with experience from last season also are back in sophomores Catherine O'Donohue and Sophie Wisniski.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' position players back in the mix include sophomore Jadyn Joseph, who was the GLIAC Freshman of the Year a season ago. Junior third baseman Brooklyn Verbeek also returns after playing in 46 games a year ago while Abby Meyer saw action in 41 contests during the 2023 season. Junior outfielder Maddie Gkekas appeared in 23 contests.

Overall, Ferris State welcomes back three All-GLIAC selections from last season in Gallacher along with Joseph and O'Doohue.

The Bulldogs open the 2024 season this weekend (Feb. 2-4) with four games at the Railsplitter Invitational hosted by Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate Tenn. FSU will then compete in the Music City Invitational in Smyrna (Tenn.) on Feb. 16-18 before closing out the opening month of the season at the Blue Ridge Battle Feb. 23-25 in Evansville, Ind.

Ferris State will also compete at the USSSA Space Coast Spring Games in Florida on its annual spring break trip March 3-9 before taking on Lewis (Ill.) in regional action on March 19 to open the home season. The Bulldogs begin conference play in Big Rapids on March 23 versus Saginaw Valley State with the squad's first six GLIAC contests at home.

Osceola County Road Commission initiates spring weight restrictions

Seasonal weight and speed restrictions are now officially being enforced in Osceola County.

The restriction was put into place on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 6:00 A.M. All restrictions are in effect on all roads in Osceola County. 

This period of restrictions will be in place until further notice. For more information, contact the Osceola County Road Commission at 231-832-5171 or find statewide information at www.micountyroads.org.

Cadillac man wins $100,000 playing the Michigan Lottery's "500X Money Maker Second Chance" game

A Cadillac man said winning a $100,000 500X Money Maker Second Chance prize from the Michigan Lottery is “life-changing.” 

Scott Jaworski, 48, won $100,000 after he was selected in a random drawing that took place Jan. 18. He earned entries into the giveaway by scanning non-winning 500X Money Maker tickets on the Michigan Lottery app.

“I’ve been scanning non-winning 500X Money Maker tickets for the second chance promotion,” said Jaworski. “I couldn’t believe it when I got a call from the Lottery telling me I won $100,000! I didn’t hear anything else the Lottery employee said after I heard $100,000, because I was so shocked. I’m still waiting for it to sink in. Winning is a huge relief and is going to be life-changing!”

Jaworski recently visited Lottery headquarters to claim his prize. With his winnings, he plans to fix his motorcycle, pay bills, and invest.

District champion quarterback Riley Vennix commits to Northwood

For the Cardinals, the last football district trophy on the shelf holds a label from 2002. That was until this fall, when Big Rapids took down Whitehall to claim their first title in over two decades.

One of the key players on this year’s team, star quarterback and safety Riley Vennix, will now look to help his future school earn their first conference championship since entering the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.

Vennix committed Wednesday to playing under the lights in Midland next fall, joining head coach Dustin Beurer at Northwood University.

“I knew that I wanted to play football at the next level probably my junior year,” Vennix said. “That was an easy decision for me but just deciding where was the hardest part. I went on a lot of visits these past few months and at Northwood, I loved it.”

When asked what made him choose to become a Timberwolf over other DII and DIII schools, the coaches were a huge swaying point.

“Their coaching staff was amazing. With how their players interacted with their coaches, I just (knew) I wanted to be a part of it. That made it easy for my decision.”

While Vennix played quarterback this past fall for the Cardinals, the senior mentioned he was recruited to play safety and slot receiver. Regarding school, Vennix said Northwood’s illustrious business programs were key in the decision-making process.

“Northwood is a fantastic business school,” Vennix said. “I want to go into business management, which really helps with what I plan to do after college: going into construction management and then hopefully one day running my own business.”

Vennix currently plays varsity basketball for the Cardinals, who currently stand 10-4 on the season. He also plans to play baseball in the spring for Big Rapids.

 

Photo credit to Vennix Photography

Ferris State University's School of Built Environment to host inaugural career fair

Ferris State University students preparing for careers in heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration field can connect with about 40 employers in the field at career fair planned for Thursday, Feb. 1.

The inaugural career fair will be conducted by the School of Built Environment and will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Granger Center for Construction and HVACR, 605 S. Warren Ave. in Big Rapids.

The School of Built Environment houses the Architecture, Construction Technology & Management, Facilities Management, and HVACR programs in the College of Engineering Technology.  

Suzanne Miller, interim director of the School of Built Environment and Construction Technology & Management program coordinator, said housing the event in the Granger Center enhances the student experience by bringing employers to the classroom building that houses two of the four programs as well as some architecture classes.  

This student-centered event focuses on developing soft skills by forming mentorships and relationships, researching internships and full-time opportunities, and setting up in-house interviews with almost 40 industry attendees who are ready to engage with Ferris State University’s School of Built Environment students. 

Dan Flores, sales engineer for Chicago-based Atomatic Mechanical, said his firm is looking forward to working with students and growing its partnership with Ferris State, which he said has a long history of helping students gain career skills. 

“As an advisory member and former student of the Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program, I am always impressed by the interaction between students and industry representatives during the Career Day,” he said. “Each dialogue is an opportunity for each side to learn a great deal about the other, allowing a perfect amount of time to make a long-lasting impression. It certainly makes a difference when a student can discuss their career aspirations in a relaxed atmosphere with industry mentors.”
Participating companies are coming from across Michigan as well as Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Visiting industry representatives include: 
 

  • Atomatic Mechanical Services, Chicago. 
  • Barnard Construction, Bozeman, Mont.
  • C.A. Hull Co., Inc. Walled Lake. 
  • Clark Construction Company, Lansing.
  • Commercial Contracting Corporation, Auburn Hills. 
  • Copeland (also known as Emerson Climate Technologies, Sidney, Ohio.
  • CRH, also known as Michigan Paving & Materials, Lansing. 
  • D&D Building, Wyoming.
  • DV Construction, Rockford. 
  • Erhardt Construction, Ada. 
  • EV Construction, Holland. 
  • F.H. Paschen, Chicago. 
  • Fessler and Bowman, Flushing. 
  • Fishbeck, Grand Rapids. 
  • Grand Valley Automation, Grand Rapids. 
  • Hoffman Bros., Inc., Battle Creek. 
  • Ideal Contracting, Detroit. 
  • Kalin Construction Company, Sodus. 
  • Kamming & Roodvoets, Inc., Grand Rapids. 
  • Kasco, LLC, Grand Rapids, 
  • Kent Companies, Grand Rapids. 
  • M.J. Electric, LLC, Oxford, Mich. and De Pere, Wisc. 
  • Moore Mechanical, Grand Rapids.
  • Pioneer Construction, Grand Rapids.
  • Power Construction, Chicago.
  • Quality Air Heating & Cooling Inc., Grand Rapids. 
  • RAM Construction Services, Livonia. 
  • Rockford Construction, Grand Rapids. 
  • Rohde Construction Company Inc., Kentwood.
  • Roncelli, Inc., Sterling Heights. 
  • Seaman’s Mechanical, Grand Rapids.
  • Summit Point Roofing, Grand Rapids and Traverse City. 
  • The Christman Company, Grand Rapids and Lansing. 
  • The Jamar Company, Duluth, Minn.
  • TowerPinkster, Grand Rapids. 
  • Veneklasen Construction, Grand Rapids. 
  • Victaulic, Easton, Penn. 
  • Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Detroit. 

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (1/22 - 1/28)

Monday, January 22

  • At 4:02 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Morton TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 14

 

Tuesday, January 23

Calls for Service: 28

Traffic Accidents: 6

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, January 24

  • At 8:52 P.M., deputies responded to minor one vehicle traffic accident in Colfax TWP. Additional investigation resulted in the female driver being arrested for OWI. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 19

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, January 25

  • At 9:04 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 12

 

Friday, January 26

  • At 1:04 P.M., deputies responded to a trespassing complaint, at a residence in Martiny TWP. The male subject that was trespassing, also had warrants out for his arrest. The wanted fugitive fled on foot from deputies. Deputies along with assistance from MSP K-9, were able to track down the wanted fugitive. The fugitive was arrested and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 17

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Saturday, January 27

Calls for Service: 27

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, January 28

Calls for Service: 10

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

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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

 

******************************************

CSAA Softball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

Grant 0 @ Ravenna 15 (3inn)

Tri County 0 @ Ravenna 10 (CH Forfeit)

Chip Hills 0 @ Clare 16

Chip Hills 0 @ Vestaburg 12

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 2 @ Big Rapids 12 (5inn)

Shepherd 9 @ Big Rapids 6 (8inn)

Newaygo 15 @ C Montcalm 11

Newaygo 1 @ C Montcalm 14 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ Vestaburg 16 (4inn)

Lakeivew 4 @ Vestaburg 10 (8inn)

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City @ Newaygo

Grant @ Reed City

C Montcalm @ White Cloud

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Greenville @ C Montcalm

Sparta @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

SATURDAY 4/20/24

Lakeview @Beaverton Tournament

Big Rapids @ TC West

This Week's Poll

What place will the Tigers finish in the AL Central?