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News That Affects You Archives for 2024-03

City commission discussing various topics of parking and repairs at Monday's meeting

Another meeting is on the schedule for the Big Rapids City Commission on Monday. The commission is slated to meet at City Hall at 6:30 P.M tomorrow night to discuss a full agenda.

General business items include resolutions and amendments of the following items:

  • Resolution awarding bid for the repair of the rip rap on city bridges.

  • Awarding bids for 2024 construction season maintenance
    materials and equipment.

  • Awarding bid for the paving of the Dial-A-Ride parking lot.

  • Resolution amending fiscal year 2023/2024 general appropriations for Dial- A-Ride parking lot paving.

  • Amending the Charles E. Fairman Swimming Pool fee schedule.

  • Resolution adopting the 2024/2030 Capital Improvement Plan.

  • Amending the City of Big Rapids city code to amend section 94.25
    central business district sidewalk occupancy permits.

  • Resolution on mayoral appointments to boards and commissions.

  • Ordinance amending of chapter 71 of the Big Rapids code of ordinances regarding parking violations.

The meeting will also include the introduction of Jeffrey Auguste from Our Brother’s Keeper, an audit report from CPA Peter Haefner of Vredeveld Haefner LLC., and a social district update from Director of Community Development Michelle Stenger.

All city commission meetings are available to the public.

For more information, visit cityofbr.org.

Ferris State Tennis wins two matches over Grand Valley State in GLIAC play

The Ferris State University men's and women's tennis squads pulled out an impressive home sweep over longtime West Michigan rival Grand Valley State on Saturday (March 30) as both teams captured home wins inside the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play.

The Bulldog women started off the day with a thrilling 4-3 triumph over the Lakers before the men came back to notch a 7-0 shutout over GVSU for the sweep.

"Wow what a day," said FSU head coach Mark Doren. "I am so impressed with both teams today. The grit and determination they showed against two very good GVSU teams was outstanding."

In the opening match, Ferris State's women's team took the first and third doubles flights for the initial point over Grand Valley State. FSU then came back in singles action and captured straight-set wins at the top three spots in the lineup, holding off a GVSU team that took the bottom three positions overall.

Ferris State improved to 9-7 overall in women's competition this year and a perfect 3-0 in the GLIAC. The win was FSU's fifth consecutive to date this campaign.

"For the women to lose 7-0 last year and come back this year and fight so hard to prove they belong at the top of the GLIAC made me so proud," said Doren. "Also. this year we've been really fortunate to get very important wins from the bottom of our lineup. Today, our 1,2,&3 singles all won to give us the win."

The Bulldog men's team emerged with doubles wins at the top two flights for the first point and then swept the singles round. Ferris State won each of the top two singles spots in three-set fashion and captured the bottom four flights in straight-sets to account for the final 7-0 margin.

With the win, the Ferris State men's team is now 12-4 on the year and also unbeaten in the GLIAC at 3-0 to date. The Bulldogs have won seven matches in a row.

"On the men's side, I challenged some of the underclassman early in the week to really look at what the GV rivalry means to the other sports on campus and to the upperclassman on our team, and show today that it means that much to them as well," Doren said. "They came out today and really showed that Bulldog fight."

The Ferris State women's team returns to competition on Saturday, April 13, facing Saginaw Valley State at home beginning at 12 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids. Both teams then face Wayne State in a league showdown on Sunday, April 14, with the men's contest beginning at 10 a.m. (ET) and the women's match at 2 p.m. (ET) in Detroit.

BREAKING: Investigation of theft, breaking and entering at Canadian Lake Pharmacy seeks public assistance

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a breaking and entering complaint at the Canadian Lakes Pharmacy that took place in the early morning hours of Mar. 30, 2024.

The incident was reported to the Sheriff’s Office and found when the business opened. Deputies found that the suspect(s) broke into the business gaining entry. The suspect(s) also initially attempted to enter the pharmacy by breaking into the neighboring business in the strip mall where the incident occurred. After the suspect(s) was unsuccessful in getting into the pharmacy through the adjoining business, the suspect(s) gained entry into the pharmacy by breaking through a back wall to the building. Once inside, the suspect stole controlled substances.

 

*Images provided by Mecosta County Sheriff's Department.

 

The Mecosta County Sheriff's is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person(s) responsible for this crime. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office at 231-592-0150 or through our TIP email at tips@mecostasheriff.org.

Ferris State Softball earns split against seventh-ranked rival Grand Valley State

The Ferris State University softball team battled nationally seventh-ranked rival Grand Valley State to a pair of one-run games at home on Friday (March 29), beating the Lakers in the opener at the FSU Softball Field.

The two West Michigan rivals fought to identical 2-1 scores with FSU winning the opener before the Lakers pulled out the win in the nightcap for the split.

In the opener, Grand Valley State was held to a single run on two hits as senior ace Aryn Gallacher put together a great performance in the circle while being aided by strong defensive play. She struck out four and walked only one in the victory.

The Bulldogs scored the first two runs of hte game in the bottom of the third on RBI's from Abby Meyer and Jadyn Joseph. GVSU answered with a single run in the sixth, but could not find the equalizer.

Ferris State had four hits overall, including hits from Meyer along with Ella McDonaldEmma Gillard and Maddie Gkekas. FSU held the Lakers to only two hits.

In game two, the Lakers tallied 13 hits, but could manage only two runs. However, the Lakers again held the Bulldogs to four hits and FSU totaled only a single run.

Grand Valley State scored in the fourth to break the scoreless tie before Ferris State responded with a single run in the bottom of the sixth to knot the game back up. The contest went to extra innings and GVSU put a run on the board in the eighth to pull out the win.

Gillard had two hits and tripled for the Bulldogs in addition to driving in FSU's only run while Ferris State also got hits from Alexis Kozlowski along with Brooklyn Verbeek.

In the circle, the Bulldog combination of Ashley Webb and Izabella Regner combined to allow only two runs on 13 hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

GVSU's Genesis Eggart earned the game two win, striking out three and walking three in going the distance.

The Bulldogs will visit Davenport on Saturday (March 30) for a league doubleheader in Caledonia. First pitch for game one has been pushed back to 2 p.m. (ET) with game two set for approximately 4 p.m. (ET).

Gotion Inc. donates furniture from its downtown Big Rapids office to local nonprofits

Gotion Inc. is in the process of donating tens of thousands of dollars worth of office furniture to local nonprofit organizations and community groups as the company continues to renovate its new 20,000-square-foot headquarters in downtown Big Rapids. 

Gotion is renovating the former JCPenney space to include conference rooms, workstations and other amenities to support office needs. During the inventory process, Gotion realized they wouldn’t need several desks and tables, as well as many pieces still around from the old department store days, including shelving units and garment racks.

“In addition to our continuing efforts to financially help charitable organizations across the region, Gotion Inc. sent out a blanket invitation to local community groups to stop by our office and get these items free of charge,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “We’ve had a phenomenal response so far, and we’re still looking to give away equipment to worthy organizations that need it. In the event that all furniture is not requested by charities or local school systems, we will auction the equipment and all proceeds will be again directed to the needy charities around the area.”

Nonprofit organizations and community groups that are picking out furniture include Mid-Michigan Prom Garden, Morley Community Center, Manna Pantry of Big Rapids, WISE, Project Starburst, and Big Rapids Public Schools.

Thelen said there are also fax machines, cash registers and computers available free of charge to nonprofits on a case-by-case basis.

Renovations for the office space was targeted by end of April, but a delay is likely to give Michigan contractors a chance to review designs and place their bid. Gotion plans to have 50 employees in the office by the end of this year and 200 employees in downtown Big Rapids by the end of 2025.

Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist II kicks off state challenge process to identify unserved and underserved broadband locations across the state

Monday, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II joined the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) and announced the start of the State Challenge Process, encouraging Michiganders to help identify locations across the state that are eligible for high-speed internet infrastructure expansion through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. 

“Every Michigander deserves access to affordable, fast internet so they can connect to online learning, healthcare, and economic opportunity,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “As Michigan sets the stage to connect more homes, businesses, and communities, the BEAD state challenge process will help us deploy resources more effectively. I encourage every Michigander to visit the portal and tell us about unserved or underserved locations. Governor Whitmer and I are proud of our work to connect tens of thousands of locations to affordable, fast internet, and we will continue working alongside the team at the Michigan High Speed Internet Office to connect every Michigan community.” 

This past June, the Biden Administration announced that Michigan is receiving a historic $1.559 billion funding allocation for its BEAD program—the fourth highest in the nation. Now through the State Challenge Process, MIHI will identify unserved and underserved homes, businesses and institutions in the state to ensure they can get connected to high-speed internet through the BEAD program.  

Current state maps of internet service are based on existing information from federal and state sources. However, through the State Challenge Process, the state is inviting stakeholders to verify the accuracy of current maps and submit additional information, or “challenges,” where they are incorrect. 

Challenges will be accepted March 25 through April 23 through an interactive State Challenge Portal. That portal is now open for eligible participants to submit challenges on whether their home, business or institution is accurately represented as being served or not. Local units of government, Tribal governments, non-profit organizations and internet service providers are eligible challengers and will need to register for an account to participate in the State Challenge Process. Individual Michiganders do not need an account but can still provide information about service issues they may be experiencing with getting high-speed internet at their location or with their existing service.  

Once the State Challenge Portal closes, MIHI will review each challenge to ensure no eligible locations are left out of Michigan’s BEAD program. 

“The MIHI team is excited for this next chapter in Michigan’s BEAD program to help us reach universal availability in the State,” said Eric Frederick, Michigan’s chief connectivity officer. “We encourage local units of government, Tribal governments, non-profit organizations, internet service providers and every Michigander to visit the online challenge portal and participate in the State Challenge Process to ensure every location is accounted for in Michigan’s BEAD program.” 

For more information on how to participate in the State BEAD Challenge Process and to submit a challenge, visit Michigan.gov/BEADChallenge

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (3/18 - 3/24)

Monday, March 18

Calls for Service: 22

 

Tuesday, March 19

Calls for Service: 21

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 4

 

Wednesday, March 20

Calls for Service: 23

Traffic Accidents: 3

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, March 21

  • At 10:00 A.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Green TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the female driver being arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 4:56 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Big rapids TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver and female passenger being arrested, after a large quantity of crystal methamphetamine was found in the vehicle. Both subjects were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 5:30 P.M., deputies searched a residence in Big Rapids TWP. The search resulted in the recovery of several stolen guns.

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Friday, March 22

  • At 08:00 A.M., deputies made an arrest in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject was arrested and lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 4:51 P.M., deputies responded to an assault complaint in Chippewa TWP. A male subject was arrested for assault. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Saturday, March 23

  • At around 11:53 A.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: 15

 

Sunday, March 24

  • At around 4:32 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 35

"Behind the Bulldogs" podcast wins top college sportscast at student broadcasting awards

Starting in 2019, Ferris State sports coverage entered the airwaves courtesy of two freshman sports communication students. Formerly under the name, “The MVSP,” the show was led by Brandon Wirth and Joe Nagy as just a Spotify podcast.

Five years later, the show has expanded onto 11 different platforms, officially partnered with Ferris State University and the Big Rapids Radio Network, and now has two statewide honors for their show.

“What’s crazy about the whole thing is that it started with a text from Brandon asking if I wanted to do a sports podcast,” Nagy said. “I had some free time in my schedule so I thought, why not, this could be fun. Fast forward four years, 250 episodes, and a lot of hard work, we’re receiving these honors for the show.”

Wirth and Nagy applied for the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Student Awards in December of 2023. Following the submission review period, the duo received word that both of their show submissions were selected as finalists. They would also be invited to the Awards Ceremony at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing on Mar. 18. 

At the reception, the two waited to hear their names called alongside a group from Michigan State University representing the “Green and White Report.” Wirth and Nagy had submitted eligible entries from both the original show format as “The MVSP” and the newly branded version of “Behind the Bulldogs.”

“While we were standing at the staging area, I was thinking about how far we had come,” Wirth said. “Once we heard the Michigan State group announced as the honorable mention, Joe and I immediately looked at each other with a smile and a fist bump. It was a surreal moment that wouldn’t happen without the support of our great fans sticking with us and helping us grow.”

The show currently has over 550 social media followers as well as hundreds of weekly listeners through podcast platforms. “Behind the Bulldogs” also airs every Saturday at 3 P.M. on NewsRadio WBRN via 96.5 FM, 107.7 FM,1460 AM, WBRN.com, and the WBRN mobile app.

For more on the show, visit https://linktr.ee/Behind_Bulldogs.

Ferris State women's basketball team falls in NCAA DII Final Four appearance

The Ferris State University women’s basketball team fell to Texas Women’s University in the NCAA DII National Semifinals on Wednesday.

Texas Women’s University, the tournament’s second seed, moved out to a 25-16 lead by the end of the first quarter, then was in front 39-22 at the half, finishing the game 68-52 to advance to the national finals.  

Bulldogs went into the contest with a 26-5 record and celebrating the team’s first Final Four appearance.

Ferris State was making its seventh NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament appearance in the program's history and third in the past four full seasons. Ferris State advanced to the tourney in 2019-20 before it was cancelled due to COVID and fell in a first-round tournament thriller at Ashland two years ago before claiming the program's first regional championship this year.

This is the first time both Ferris State basketball teams advanced to the NCAA DII Elite Eight. The men’s team fell to Minnesota State University on Tuesday in Evansville, Indiana.

 

*Image courtesy of Ferris State University.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (3/18 - 3/24)

Monday, March 18

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a welfare check on a 12-year-old. After arriving at the location and speaking with the minor, everything was ok.

  • Officers investigated possible sharing of prescription narcotics. The matter has been turned over to the prosecutor for review.

  • An officer responded to a well check on a 62-year-old male. The officer spoke to the male and it was determined that he was ok.

Tuesday, March 19

  • An officer issued an abatement notice to a resident for city violations regarding large amount of garbage and other items.

  • Officers responded to a call regarding a two-vehicle accident in town. The driver sustained minor injuries and was transported to the hospital for evaluation. One of the vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

Wednesday, March 20

  • No incidents. 

Thursday, March 21

  • While patrolling, an Officer found a business back door unlocked. After contacting the owner, the building was secured and locked. No issues.

Friday, March 22

  • An officer took a report of a lost bank envelope containing cash. The owners believed they may have dropped it in the parking lot of a local business but were unsure.

  • An officer took a report of an individual being dragged a short distance by a vehicle. There were no injuries sustained. The 40-year-old male driver was later located at his residence and arrested for felonious assault and for violating his parole by consuming alcohol.

Saturday, March 23

  • Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department with several juveniles who ran away from a youth facility.

Sunday, March 24

  • Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff Department with an arrested individual who was combative.

  • An officer stopped a vehicle for defective equipment. The driver refused to cooperate with the officer and to provide a driver’s license and other documents. The officer was able to verify the driver was the registered owner of the vehicle. The matter will be forwarded to the prosecutor for possible charges of obstructing an officer.

Big Rapids Elks hosting annual Easter egg hunt this Saturday

The Mecosta County Fairgrounds will be packed this weekend as the annual Big Rapids Elks Easter egg hunt will be in full swing.

Over 16,000 eggs will be spread around the grounds for kids to hunt with candy, certificates, and other labeled prizes. Some certificates include free crazy bread coupons for Little Caesar’s Pizza, and free ice cream from the Milkshake Spot. Labeled prizes include giant easter baskets, donut holes from Bernie’s Place, and fudge from Patterson’s Flowers.

These eggs will be spread out for three different age groups to collect based on difficulty: 2–4-year-olds, 5–7-year-olds, and 8–10-year-olds.”

“Those 16,000 eggs will be picked up in about a minute in a half,” Elks President Josh Eling said. “It is amazing to watch. It is a really fun event.”

This free event will begin at 1 P.M. from the Fairgrounds on Saturday, Mar. 30. Participants also can arrive early to take photos with the Easter Bunny and Elroy the Elk.

“Please try to get there a little bit early. The event does fill up so you will want to have your spot when we begin.”

Sponsors for the event include Y-102 WYBR, 19 Mile Veterinary Hospital, Isabella Bank, Big Rapids Tire, Chuck and Meredy’s Auto Service, Karla Alley Real Estate, and Quinn’s Music.

For more info, visit the Elks Lodge #974 on Facebook.

Ferris State PGA Golf Management alum Scott Barla named Indiana PGA section's 'Teacher of the Year'

Scott Barla has traveled many rewarding paths as a golf professional and the 1994 graduate of Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management program claimed his latest honor from the PGA Indiana section receiving its Teacher of the Year award.

Barla has nearly 30 years in professional roles, serving as a Class A golf instructor in Illinois, Michigan and Indiana, an equipment company representative and a stint as a merchandising professional for the PGA championship and Ryder Cup events. Barla now is the successful owner and director of instruction of Barla Golf Academy in Noblesville, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis.

“One of my early and very rewarding teaching experiences was helping establish the Midnight Golf Program in Detroit, working with founder Renee Fluker,” Barla said. “This great program introduces inner-city youngsters to golf, as an inspiration to follow personal and academic pursuits. I have given individual lessons throughout my career, so my wife and I decided the academy would be a way to apply top-flight instruction and technology, to benefit players of all ages through our indoor facility.” 

Beyond efforts in youth instruction, which has included high school coaching, support of First Tee, a program mixing golf lessons with social skills learning and his current role as a PGA Junior League host at his academy, Barla is proud to be involved with PGA HOPE, for Help Our Patriots Everywhere. 

The program has a six-to-eight-week curriculum, with 90-minute sessions where veterans and active military personnel learn the game, but also gain a greater sense of well-being. The sessions are offered without cost and begin in April.  

Receiving the Teacher of the Year Award from the Indiana PGA section caps a fulfilling five-year stretch for Scott.  The award was presented in late February in a ceremony in Muncie. 

“I received the Indiana PGA Player Development Award in 2019 and I was honored to have the Ferris PGM Alumni Association select me for the Bill Strausbaugh Excellence in Teaching Award in 2022,” Barla said. “I believe the regional prestige of Ferris’ Professional Golf Management program was influential in my receiving the Indiana PGA’s #GameChanger Award last year, and the recent Teacher of the Year Award.” 

Finally, teaching young people and others the game has brought Scott rewards beyond trophies and business success. 

”Junior golfers and high schoolers in my area have expressed interest in a career as a golf professional,” Barla said. “As a University Alumni board member, I am proud my current intern from Noblesville High School has chosen to pursue his dream at my alma mater, after I took him and his father on a tour of the Ferris campus. 

It is gratifying to encourage competitive golfers, along with those looking to focus their talents on a lifelong association with the game. I am committed in my role with golf’s resurgence and my facility and staff are dedicated to offering our energies and expertise every day.”  

Barla was one of ten 2024 Indiana PGA award winners and the field included 1984 Ferris Professional Golf Management alumnus Roger Lundy, who received the section’s Youth Player Development Award for the third time in his career. 

“I considered Roger a great friend, as we collaborated on PGA HOPE at the Highland Golf and Country Club for several years,” Barla said. “Though we were on opposite sides of the Indianapolis metro area, I knew of Lundy’s service as a coach at Manchester University and Franklin College. As a tribute to Roger’s service, as he died suddenly in late October, our section’s Junior Leader Award will now be known as the Roger Lundy Youth Player Development Award.”

 

*Image provided by Scott Barla.

Three women hospitalized in Monday afternoon accident in Mecosta Township

On Monday, Mar. 25 at approximately 4:04 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a two-vehicle personal injury accident at the intersection of Northland Dr. & Old-State Rd. in Mecosta Township. 

The investigation revealed that two females, a 20-year-old female driver from Rockford and her 18-year-old female passenger from Trufant, were heading northbound on Old-State Rd. approaching Northland Dr. As the two females advanced onto Northland Drive, they failed to yield to oncoming southbound traffic and was struck by a 74-year-old female from Stanwood traveling southbound.

The Rockford female was transported by Mecosta County EMS to Butterworth Hospital. The Trufant female was transported by Mecosta County EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital. The Stanwood female was transported by Mecosta County EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital. All 3 injured females did not have any life threatening injuries. 

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

Final Four bound! Ferris State women's basketball advances to NCAA D2 national semifinals

The Ferris State University women's basketball squad advanced to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals for the first time in school history as the Bulldogs pulled out a 60-53 win over Tampa on Monday (March 25) afternoon in St. Joseph, Mo.

With the win, Ferris State will now move into Wednesday night's first national semifinal at 7 p.m. (ET) versus either Daemen (N.Y.) or Texas Woman's University.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 16-8 first-quarter lead and held a six-point halftime lead over the Spartans. The lead grew to as many as 13 points late in the third period before FSU lost senior guard Mallory McCartney due to injury.

From there, Tampa made a strong push and got back within a single possession, but the Bulldogs made several timely shots down the stretch to garner the win.

Senior standout Chloe Idoni had a big game for the Bulldogs with a contest-high 27 points while both McCartney and junior guard Kadyn Blanchard added nine points each. FSU's Elle Irwin tallied six points while Kenzie Bowers added five points and DeShonna Day scored four points in the triumph.

Blanchard added a game-high 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs in the win.

The Bulldogs shot 37.9% overall, but also went 12-of-26 (33.3%) from three-point range and made four-of-nine (44.4%) free throws in moving to 26-5 overall this campaign.

On the glass, the Bulldogs owned a 39-31 rebounding edge and FSU also forced 17 turnovers while outscoring the Spartans 17-15 in points off miscues.

FSU outscored Tampa 13-9 in the third period before the Spartans put up 20 fourth-quarter points while tying to climb back into the game.

Tampa, which closed the year with a 31-7 overall record, was led by Mya Giusto with 16 points. Audrey Ramsey added 11 points and Sarah Jones scored 10 points.

Wednesday's national semifinal game will be carried live by CBS Sports Network. In addition, the live local radio broadcast will air on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. (ET).

Ferris State Track squads get off to good start in outdoor season at Lee Invite

The Ferris State University men's and women's track and field squads opened outdoor season action over the weekend (March 22-23), competing at the Lee University Invitational in Cleveland, Tenn.

The Bulldogs had a selected number of student-athletes take part in the opening event of the outdoor season.

FSU's Aaron Pierce won the long jump (20-9) while Devin Dennison took third in the hammer throw (165-9). Cooper Sorsen placed fifth in the 10,000 meters (31:23.81) while Brendan Cairney came in seventh in the same race (32:03.31).

Hunter Richardson placed 10th in the shot put (39-11.25) on the men's end with Blaine Rogers 11th in the 110-meter hurdles (15.82).

For the women, FSU's Claudia Wilkinson came in fourth in the high jump (5-2.25) while Nyah Tyron came in fourth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:06.99).

Rebecca Marvin was fifth in the discus (109-11), seventh in the shot put (36-6.25) and 16th in the hammer throw (127-10).

FSU's Angela Kotecki took sixth place in the 400 hurdles (1:12.14) and Abigail Winkle wound up sixth in the 400 meters (59.55) while Daisey Englund finished ninth in the 800 meters (2:23.12) with Ella Kowatch 13th in the event (2:25.04).

Hanna Brock was 11th in the 5,000 meters (17:43.00) while Isabel Dziadzio finished 12th in the javelin (82-9). Lacey Zimmerman was 15th in the 100 meters (12.70) and Whitney Farrell placed 16th in the 5,000 meters (17:58.10).

The Bulldogs will head to the Hilltopper Relays March 29-30 in Louisville, Ky.

Visit the link below for complete meet results:
https://live.xpresstiming.com/meets/32222/teams/794298

FEMA reopening disaster recovery center opening in Alpine Township

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will be re-opening a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Alpine Township at the Henze Center Community Room (Alpine Township Fire Station 1) located at 1100 Henze Street NW in Comstock Park for residents and business owners impacted by the August 24 - 26 tornadoes, severe storms, and flooding.

The DRC will be open for one additional week starting on Monday, March 25 and ending on Saturday, March 30. The hours of operation for the DRC will be Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  

The purpose of this DRC is to assist people who are applying for FEMA or Small Business Administration (SBA) financial assistance including temporary lodging, basic home repairs, and other disaster-related expenses. 

Residents and business owners who suffered property damage or other losses due to this weather event have until April 8, 2024 to apply for assistance from FEMA or SBA. They can do so by either calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or going online at disasterassistance.gov to complete the application. It is important to note that multilingual operators are available to assist those who may require language support.

If residents or business owners need assistance filling out their application, have questions about their application, or if they have received a notice of ineligibility that they wish to challenge, they can come to the DRC to meet in-person with FEMA and SBA representatives. Notices of ineligibility are routine in this process and do not necessarily mean that one cannot receive assistance. Many times, it means that they have not yet provided enough information for the application to be approved.

FEMA has also assembled numerous press releases that address many of the frequently asked questions people have when applying for assistance. Click here to review this information.

How Ferris State fans can follow the men's and women's basketball team's Elite Eight competition

Ferris State University has announced ticket information and game coverage details for the 2024 NCAA Division II Basketball Elite Eight for both the men’s and women’s team games, with fans having options to follow the action in person and at home.

The women’s team is making its first-ever NCAA D2 Elite Eight appearance and captured the program's first NCAA D2 Midwest Regional Championship this past week in Allendale. Ferris State’s 25 wins this season are a school record.

The Bulldogs will take on the University of Tampa in the national quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, March 25 in the St. Joseph Civic Arena in St. Joseph, Missouri. The team departed Friday to preparations for the women’s basketball team’s first trip to the Elite Eight.

The winners of Monday's quarterfinal games advance to the D2 National Semifinals at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The national championship game is set for 8 p.m. on Friday, March 29.

Fans can purchase tickets for the Division II Elite Eight online from the St. Joseph Sports Commission Box Office at stjomosports.com or via NCAATickets.com. All seats are general admission.

The Bulldogs will compete in session one at the Elite Eight on Monday with ticket prices $20 for adult single session or $10 for youth - age 5 to college students -- along with senior citizens aged 65 and older. An all-session pass is also offered for $40.

The Ferris State University Alumni Association is planning a pregame reception prior to the quarterfinal-round contest at Geneo's Pizza and Pub, which is located at 809 Francis Street in St. Joseph.

Monday's gathering will take place from 9:30-11 a.m. Central Daylight Time. The free event will be open to Ferris State alumni and fans with a variety of breakfast pizzas, pastries, and beverages available along with a cash bar featuring a mimosa and bloody mary bar. Fans are asked to RSVP in advance at this direct link.

The men’s team, which own a 28-7 overall record this year, will square off against top-seeded Minnesota State in the national quarterfinals on Tuesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time in Ford Arean in Evansville, Indiana. Ferris State will depart on Saturday afternoon to continue preparations for the school's third-ever Elite Eight appearance.

The winners of Tuesday's quarterfinal games advance to the D2 National Semifinals on Thursday, March 28 at 4:37 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The national championship game is set for Saturday, March 30, at 3:09 p.m.

Fans can purchase tickets for the Division II Elite Eight at Ticketmaster.com. All seats are general admission. The Bulldogs will compete in session two at the Elite Eight on Tuesday with ticket prices $18 per session online plus applicable fees.

The Ferris State University Alumni Association is planning a pregame reception prior to each Bulldog contest at the Elite Eight. The event will take place at Chaser's Bar and Grill, which is located at 2131 W. Franklin in Evansville. Tuesday's gathering will take place from 3:30-5 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The free event will be open to all Ferris State alumni and fans with a variety of appetizers and beverages available along with a cash bar.

Additional information about the event is at this link.

All Ferris State tournament games will be carried live by local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. Both national quarterfinal games will be streamed live online at NCAA.com.

A watch party for all games is planned for all Bulldog games at Buffalo Wild Wings, 1264 Perry Ave. in Big Rapids.

The women’s team is making its first NCAA D2 Elite Eight appearance and captured the program's first NCAA D2 Midwest Regional Championship this past week in Allendale. Ferris State’s 25 wins this season are a school record.

The men’s team is 28-7 overall this season and will be making its third overall NCAA D2 Elite Eight appearance and first since claiming the school's first NCAA D2 National Championship in 2018. FSU captured the NCAA D2 Midwest Regional Championship this past week in Indianapolis.

Ferris State, BAMF Health partner to build talented workforce

Ferris State University is partnering with BAMF Health, a world leader in molecular imaging and theranostics headquartered in Grand Rapids, to provide students with in-demand skills in a rapidly changing field and support the company’s trailblazing work.

BAMF, which stands for Bold Advanced Medical Future, started in 2018 and uses the most advanced AI-enabled technology to detect and treat cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, heart disease, and more.

Leaders from BAMF Health and Ferris State on Friday signed an agreement pledging to explore collaboration in a variety of areas to grow and enhance Michigan’s workforce. The goal is to support the growing theranostics field in the state by providing in-demand skills for Ferris State students and continuing education opportunities for BAMF Health employees at all levels.

This collaboration has strong support from several Michigan state legislators including House Speaker Joe Tate. Speaker Tate, along with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, are committed to growing Michigan’s knowledge economy through public-private partnerships such as this. Speaker Tate was on hand for the signing ceremony at Ferris State’s David L. Eisler Center.

The Ferris State – BAMF Health partnership includes creating certification programs for Quality Control/Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, and Nuclear Medicine Technologists. Areas of focus also include creating student experiences and research opportunities and looking at ways to improve patient experience and program thinking.

Ferris State President Bill Pink said there is already a strong connection between the two, as many Ferris State and Kendall College for Art and Design of Ferris State University alumni play key roles on the BAMF Health team.

“Ferris State, throughout its nearly 140-year history, has partnered with leaders in many fields to help our students gain valuable, in-demand skills and grow a talented workforce,” Ferris State President Bill Pink said. “We are especially proud to work with BAMF Health, an innovative organization that is committed to finding new ways to tackle some of society’s most pressing healthcare challenges. Our students will have unimaginable opportunities to be a part of impactful work, and we can help BAMF Health employees gain new skills to help them advance in their careers.”

BAMF Health is revolutionizing precision medicine and theranostics by leveraging the most advanced imaging technology to detect and treat cancer and other devastating diseases. The company is also a leading clinical trials site for testing new diagnostic tools and therapies developed by radiopharmaceutical companies around the world.

“BAMF Health has ushered in a new frontier of medicine and is pushing the limits of what’s possible,” said BAMF Health CEO Dr. Anthony Chang. “We need new talent with advanced skillsets to make precision medicine accessible and affordable for all. Strategic partnerships with academic centers like Ferris State help us to curate this next generation of talent who will do what we never thought possible.”

The company is planning to work with Ferris State’s College of Pharmacy and other programs to train current employees as well as work with Ferris State students looking to enter the field.

This partnership connects so many dots for our university’s numerous stakeholders,” Provost Bobby Fleischman said. “From our alumni working at BAMF Health, to our students and faculty who will work together at the company’s cutting-edge facility, this represents one of our strategic pillars—and, that is, innovation. Taken together with our applied learning approach to instruction, it distinguishes Ferris graduates from others as they graduate to the tech-focused workforce in West Michigan and throughout the state”.

Kasey Thompson, Ferris State’s special assistant to the president for innovation and entrepreneurship, said the collaboration with BAMF is a perfect example of how the university can work with partners in new ways, building a talented workforce here in Michigan. 

“It’s exciting to think about the impactful work that will transpire through this collaboration,” said Dr. Kasey Thompson, an associate professor and special assistant to the president for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Bringing together the expertise of Ferris State faculty and the innovative team at BAMF will create opportunities that we are still imagining.”

Ferris State Tennis sweeps Davenport in first conference action

The Ferris State University men's and women's tennis squads opened up Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Friday (March 22) with a road sweep over Davenport in league action.

The men's squad earned a 6-1 triumph over the Panthers while the Bulldog women came away with a 4-3 victory in the first conference match of the year.

The two contests were played at the Grand Rapids Racquet and Fitness Club.

In the women's contest, Ferris State faced a Davenport team that entered the tilt with 11 wins already this season. DU scored the initial point of the match by taking the second and third doubles spots in the lineup, although the FSU combination of Morgan Waller and Ana Hernandez Ferrer were victorious by a 6-4 score at the top position.

FSU came back strong in the singles round, winning at four of the six flights. Waller was a straight-set winner at one singles while Sophie Daavittila came away with a win at two singles and Maria Hernandez Ferrer posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory at the fourth spot. Finally, FSU's Kennedy Dumas clinched the match for the third time this year, coming away with a big win to secure the victory in the last match on the court.

In the men's encounter, Ferris State captured the opening point with wins at two and three doubles. The Bulldogs then dominated the singles round, winning in straight-sets at one, three, fourt and five singles along with a three-set triumph at six singles. DU's only point came via a three-set victory at two singles.

The Bulldogs will continue league road action on Saturday (March 23), visiting Purdue Northwest for a league twin bill starting at 2 p.m. (ET). The match will be contested at the Match Point Tennis and Fitness Center in Griffith, Ind.

Below are links to the match results:

Men - https://dupanthers.com/sports/mens-tennis/stats/2023-24/ferris-state/boxscore/72665

Women - https://dupanthers.com/sports/womens-tennis/stats/2023-24/ferris-state/boxscore/71998

Extensive environmental studies done on Gotion's property have found no evidence of eagle nest

Gotion Inc. today announced that extensive environment studies done from the fall of 2022 until this week on its Green Charter Township property found absolutely no evidence of an eagle nest or eagle activity.

Barr Engineering Co., a top-tier engineering and environmental consulting firm with an office in Grand Rapids, performed the independent studies on 252 acres of the property’s mature forested area. The evaluations “identified no bald eagle nests or nesting activities.”

Misinformation quickly spread on social media after an area resident trespassed on Gotion’s property, took several photos of a small nest, and posted them on social media claiming the nest was an eagle nest.

“Protecting and preserving our environment continues to be a top concern for Gotion Inc. as we move forward with our battery components facility in Green Charter Township,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing.  “And safeguarding our environment also means ensuring the protection of our state’s beautiful and diverse wildlife.

“It’s our understanding that two elected officials have contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the issue,” Thelen said. “Gotion Inc. welcomes and invites USFWS officials on our property at any time so they can also verify there are no eagle nests on our property.”

In an attempt to stop the ongoing misinformation, Thelen said he is willing to give a representative from the opposition group a personal tour of the property to check for eagle nests.

“We realize most people who still oppose our facility don't try to distort the truth in any way, which is greatly appreciated,” Thelen said. “But the simple truth is that a small minority of people within this opposition group continue to deliberately spread misinformation.

“Gotion has contracted with an environmental company to evaluate the site for species present that range from ants to zebras. The report repeatedly shows there are no endangered or protected species on the site,” Thelen said. “The most recent extremist hoax executed by pathological liars has again manipulated my community into outrage using fabrications specifically designed to destroy the community. The good and honest people in our area must speak out against such blatant and continuous disrespect from these extremists. I am sick of them making my community the laughingstock of our great nation.

"The American bald eagle is a symbol of freedom,” Thelen said. “If eagles ever decide to nest on our property, we would defend it and preserve it with the attention that our national symbol deserves. No self-respecting American would use our American symbols of freedom to promote fear and bigotry."

This weekend's Ferris State softball home games postponed due to expected weather

Due to expected weather conditions, this weekend's Ferris State University softball home games have been postponed.

The Bulldogs were slated to open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at home against Saginaw Valley State on Saturday and Wayne State on Sunday, but the two twin bills have been called off as significant snowfall is expected to arrive prior to the weekend.

The matchup between the Bulldogs and SVSU has been moved to Monday, March 25, starting at 2 p.m. (ET) for the opening game of the league doubleheader in Big Rapids if weather permits.

Meanwhile, the two games versus Wayne State have been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 2, also starting at 2 p.m. (ET) for the opener.

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for further schedule updates as needed.

Vehicle rolls into lake near boat launch at Jensen Lake

On Thursday, Mar. 21, Mecosta County Deputies were dispatched to single vehicle accident at 90th Ave. and Lakeview Blvd. The vehicle was located at the boat launch in the water.

It appeared that the vehicle had rolled multiple times and landed in the lake. Upon arrival nobody was in or around the vehicle. The driver was identified as a 35-year-old male out of Muskegon County. The male was located at his residence by Muskegon County Deputies and is being treated for non-life threating injuries in Muskegon County.

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Barryton Fire & Rescue, Chippewa Martiny Township Fire & Rescue, Mecosta County Dive Team, Mecosta County EMS, And Meceola Central Dispatch.

Osceola County Sheriff's Office warning public of personal and online fraudulent activities

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office has been receiving numerous reports of fraudulent activities.

One such scam involved an older couple who fell victim to a scheme where impostors posed as representatives from an insurance company. Pretending to have the couple's grandson on the line, the scammers claimed he had been involved in a severe accident and demanded $8,000 for alleged damages. To further influence the situation, a person mimicking the grandson's voice spoke, supposedly injured and in need of medical assistance.

In another case, several people reported encountering scams on Facebook Marketplace. Sellers attempted to deceive buyers by requesting upfront payment to secure products, despite the absence of any guarantee or assurance of delivery. When buyers refused, sellers resorted to coercion, claiming the items would only be reserved upon receipt of payment.

Please use extreme caution and verify the authenticity of such claims before taking any action.

This type of activity can be reported to the National Consumers League Fraud Information Center at 202-835-3323 or visit www.fraud.org for assistance.

Nearly 1.3M jobs, $69B in wages supported by Michigan food and agriculture industries

The food and agriculture industries support 1,292,344 jobs in Michigan while creating $68.8 billion in wages, according to the latest Feeding the Economy report.

Released March 19 in conjunction with National Ag Day, the report details national, state and county-level estimates for the direct and indirect economic contributions of the industries.

In addition to impressive jobs and wages, Michigan’s food and agriculture industries contribute an estimated $29 billion in taxes.

In total, the industries’ total output in Michigan is estimated to be $246.55 billion.

“The report again confirms that agriculture and food is a key economic driver in the prosperity of Michigan,” said Loren Koeman, Michigan Farm Bureau lead economist.

“The starting point of all that activity is the diversity, abundance, and efficiency of Michigan’s farms. Michigan farm families are proud to be the backbone of one of the largest industries in the state, while providing healthy and delicious food for Michigan, the U.S. and world with over $2.5 billion dollars in exports.”

For the study, the food industry includes any business involved in food agriculture, food manufacturing, food wholesaling, and food retailing.

Nationally, the report shows that the total economic impact for the food and agriculture-related industries grew 11.8% over the last year, reaching $9.63 trillion — representing 20.01% of total U.S. output.

Meanwhile, jobs in the food and ag sectors have grown by nearly 20% since the 2020 report, now totaling 48.6 million in the U.S. The total number of direct jobs in agriculture has also grown by 800,000 since the 2020 report, representing a 20% increase.

From the 2020 Feeding the Economy report to now, food and ag manufacturing jobs grew at a faster rate than any other job category. As a result, manufacturing of agricultural production now accounts for almost 20% of America’s manufacturing jobs, over twice as many as automobile manufacturing.

Wages have grown exponentially as well, jumping to $2.77 trillion nationally — an increase of nearly 34% since the 2020 report — while total taxes generated by the industries have also increased by nearly 37% to $1.25 trillion.

Learn more about the report here.

Ferris State men's basketball battles back to top Lake Superior State, advance to Elite 8 in NCAA DII national tournament

Ferris State University will have two basketball teams competing in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Division II National Tournament as the men’s team battled back to win the Midwest Regional Championship on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs trailed Lake Superior State University by 16 points early in the game, but won 86-81 to advance to the next round of the tournament, which will be played in Evansville, Ind.

The men join the women’s team, which secured its first berth in the Elite Eight by topping archrival Grand Valley State University on Monday night on GVSU’s home court. It’s the first time both Ferris State teams have advanced this deep into the tournament at the same time.

It’s the third Elite Eight performance for the men’s team, which won the national title in 2018.

Head Coach Andy Bronkema said he was impressed by how his team battles back, doesn’t lose focus, and figures out how to make mid-game adjustments.

“If you look at any of these conference games, we were down at halftime of all three,” he said. “Overcoming the deficits we had here, it’s just a team that won’t give up. It stays the course and believes in the mission. They believe in each other, and they sacrifice a lot, too. And once you get at team to that point, you have your best chance.”

Ferris State fell behind early as Lake Superior State caught fire early and built a 16-point lead at one stage of the game. The Bulldogs fought back within five at halftime and erased the deficit by scoring the first nine points of the second half to grab the lead.

From there, the game went back and forth down the stretch. LSSU held a four-point lead with less than three minutes to go, but Ferris State rallied and came away with the win, notching the regional crown on the heels of last week's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship.

Ferris State was led by Ethan Erickson with 23 points in the game, including making his first five three-point attempts in the opening half to help Ferris State climb back into the game. He was joined in double-digits by seniors Ben Davidson and Vejas Grazulis with 11 points each while both senior Dolpao Olayinka and junior Reece Hazelton added 10 points apiece.

Lake Superior State, which had split the regular-season series' with the Bulldogs, were led by Devin Womack with 20 points. Kingsley Perkins added 16 points while Tyson Edmondson scored 14 points, Hunter Soper tallied 13 points and Xander Okerlund netted 10 points.

Ferris State improved to 28-7 overall this season with its sixth-straight postseason win.

Both Erickson and Davidson were named to the regional all-tournament team and Erickson brought home Most Valuable Player accolades.

Bronkema said he’s excited to have both the men’s and women’s teams advancing in the tournament, saluting the squad led by Head Coach Kurt Westendorp.

“I almost wished we would have played first because Kurt put a lot of pressure on me!” Bronkema joked. “We watched that game in the lobby of the hotel. Very, very proud of Kurt and his team. Those girls are awesome people. They make it fun to be around and they are a joy to travel with. It’s a pretty cool experience for Ferris State. Soak it in because it’s rare. Championships like this are uncommon. We’ve got two teams going in to the Elite Eight!”

Gov. Whitmer announces first-ever Michigan statewide workforce plan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer yesterday released the Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan. The comprehensive, all-access roadmap lays out ambitious strategies and data-driven actions needed to build on Michigan’s success and ensure all Michiganders have the skills, opportunities, and support they need to make it in Michigan. 

The Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan, unanimously approved by the Michigan Workforce Development Board, marks the first time the State of Michigan has laid out a formal vision to create jobs, support workers and employers. It is yet another example of how Michigan is leading the way in workforce development. Michigan’s workforce system is #1 in credential attainment for adults, #2 in helping adults get employed and #6 in the nation for registered apprenticeships. Michigan serves more workforce participants than any other state in the Midwest.

“Michigan’s workforce embodies the grit and innovation that defines our state,” said Whitmer. “Every Michigander deserves a fair shot at success, and it’s our collective responsibility to ensure opportunity reaches every corner of the state. With the Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan, we are charting a course toward a future that empowers individuals, strengthens the employers in our communities and propels Michigan’s economy forward for generations to come.” 

The Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan includes three core pillars with corresponding goals and strategies that will help the state address key workforce challenges, including a lack of skilled talent due to the changing economy and barriers Michiganders face when trying to access job opportunities. These three pillars include: 

  • Help More Michiganders Earn a Skills Certificate or Degree: Increase the number of Michiganders with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow by creating a nimble and responsive education and talent pipeline. The goal is to grow the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree from 51.1% today to 60% by 2030. 
  • Increase Access to Opportunities that Grow the Middle Class: Build Michigan’s middle class by removing barriers to education, employment and quality of life so that by the end of 2027, 75,000 households have moved into the middle class, improving Michigan’s middle-class ranking from 28th to top 10 in the nation. 
  • Support Business and Entrepreneurial Growth through Talent Solutions: Grow good-paying jobs by connecting businesses with the talent they need to thrive in Michigan with the end goal of making Michigan a Top 10 state for labor force participation rate growth by the end of 2027.   

“The state’s transition to clean energy, in addition to the federal dollars Michigan is bringing home to support transformative projects, is creating new and exciting opportunities for businesses and workers across our state,” said Susan Corbin, Director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Every Michigander should have access to the skills and opportunities they need to build brighter futures. By working collaboratively across state departments and communities to provide the tools and resources businesses and workers need to thrive, we can provide a roadmap that enables them to seize the jobs and economic opportunities on the horizon.” 

The Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan ties into LEO’s new All-Access Michigan approach, highlighting LEO’s critical role in the development and implementation of broad-stroke strategies to drive individual economic success and growth for the state. Using unique strategies and programs and innovative partnerships, LEO is addressing structural challenges that have historically prevented people and businesses from achieving their full potential. Programs that fall under All-Access Michigan include the Going PRO Talent Fund, EV Jobs Academy, Registered Apprenticeships, and many others.

The plan highlights that for Michigan to achieve quality job growth benefiting all residents, it is crucial to prioritize support for business competitiveness, expansion and talent development. According to a 2022 MEDC survey, hiring and locating talent was the top concern for Michigan small businesses. 

“As we implement the Make it in Michigan strategy focused on people, places, and projects, the MEDC is pleased to continue our work alongside Governor Whitmer, LEO and legislative partners on this responsive solution that personifies the Team Michigan approach of being an efficient, one-stop shop for businesses of all sizes to succeed,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Every day, we work hard to ensure we’re not only attracting and retaining businesses, but also providing the greatest asset for any company – skilled talent, whether through progress toward a certificate, training, or degree – and giving talented Michiganders a great place to call home. Across state government, as we demonstrate that ‘more people can in Michigan,’ Team Michigan is committed to accelerating a state business environment where it is easier for businesses to identify and connect with Michiganders trained in solving today’s commercial challenges and identifying tomorrow’s unknown opportunities.”  

From preschool to postsecondary to prosperity, Michigan has a strong network of local, regional, and state partners that are helping children, students and working adults develop new skills. The Michigan Statewide Workforce Development Plan outlines a collaborative vision where education institutions, state departments and community organizations work together to ensure all Michiganders have access to opportunities, training and support they need to achieve success. 

“The Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan acknowledges that building a strong workforce begins long before you’re looking for a job,” said Michelle Richard, Acting Director of the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential. “It starts with ensuring high quality, affordable options are available from early childhood education through postsecondary for every Michigander, regardless of their address or income. We look forward to working with our partners across the state to make the vision of Michigan’s first workforce plan a reality that improves the quality of life for all of us.” 

The Michigan Statewide Workforce Development plan was approved by the Michigan Workforce Development Board on Monday, March 18 at their meeting in Detroit.?Several state departments developed the plan with input from leaders from labor, business, community and other economic and workforce development leaders. 

“The Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to set a vision to help Michigan become a Top 10 state for growth and prosperity,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan and Interim Chair of the Workforce Development Board. “Now the harder work begins to implement the strategies around increasing the number of Michiganders with a degree or credential, removing barriers to opportunities, and enabling entrepreneurial and business growth so that we can achieve these goals.”  

“Michigan’s 31 community and tribal colleges applaud the Michigan Workforce Development Board’s release of the comprehensive statewide workforce plan,” said Brandy Johnson, President of the Michigan Community College Association. “The Whitmer administration has maintained a steadfast commitment to boosting postsecondary educational attainment, particularly among working-aged adults as we sprint toward the Sixty by 30 goal. Our colleges will continue working shoulder-to-shoulder with state partners and local employers to develop the talent needed in our ever-evolving labor market.”      

“There are few things more important to our future success as a state than providing solid pathways to rewarding, sustainable careers,” said Lee Graham, Executive Director, Operating Engineers 324 Labor-Management Education Committee and Michigan Workforce Development Board Member. “The Michigan Statewide Workforce Plan is a robust, thoughtful, and well-defined roadmap to achieve just that. The Plan’s inclusion of Registered Apprenticeships – “earn while you learn” accredited programs – highlights the great opportunities these programs provide, and we applaud their continued support.” 

“Employers in Michigan struggle to fill jobs, Michiganders needs support gaining the skills for in-demand careers and students need help with career navigation," said Shana M. LewisDirector, National Workforce Development and Talent Supply Innovation for Trinity Health, Michigan Workforce Development Board Member and Michigan Works! Association Board Member. “The Workforce Development Plan is an essential guide for the State of Michigan to help close those gaps and to focus on building our workforce. I’m pleased to be participating in this collaborative work between the State of Michigan and Michigan employers.”  

View the full Workforce Development Plan on the Workforce Board web page

Lions sign unrestricted free agent offensive guard Kevin Zeitler

The Detroit Lions announced today that they have signed unrestricted free agent G Kevin Zeitler. Contract terms were not disclosed.

Zeitler comes to Detroit after spending the last three seasons (2021-23) with the Baltimore Ravens, starting all 47 games in which he appeared. He was named to his first-career Pro Bowl following the 2023 season.

Originally entering the NFL in 2012 as a first-round draft pick (27th overall) out of Wisconsin by the Cincinnati Bengals, Zeitler split the first 12 seasons of his career with the Bengals (2012-16), Cleveland Browns (2017-18), New York Giants (2019-20) and Ravens. He has appeared in 182-career games (181 starts) and has started seven-career postseason contests.

Morton Township reschedules meeting to discuss potential RV park development

The Morton Township Planning Commission has changed the date of their regular meeting from Wednesday, Mar. 20 to Wednesday, Apr. 3 at 5:30 P.M. at the Mecosta Elementary gymnasium, 555 W. Main St, Mecosta.

It is likely that the proposed rezoning of a property for a large-scale RV Park development will be on the agenda. This is not a public hearing, but citizens will have the opportunity to voice their opinions.

This development could significantly impact the community. Input is valuable to the Morton Township Planning Commission and the Township Board as they review the proposed development and its impact on the community.

All Morton Township residents are encouraged to attend the meeting and respectfully participate in citizen comments. For more information, visit: www.mortontownship.org

Ferris State women's basketball headed to next round of the NCAA DII tournament by topping rival GVSU in Midwest Regional Championship

The Ferris State University women's basketball squad captured the school's first NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship on Monday night, knocking off top-seeded rival Grand Valley State 49-46 and heading to the Elite Eight round of the national tournament.

The Bulldogs beating the rival Lakers in GVSU’s home arena before a boisterous crowd to move to 25-5 on the year. It marked Ferris State’s second win over GVSU in three tries this year – and ended with players, coaches and alumni cutting down the nets.

The Ferris State men’s team will try to keep pace with the women in the Elite Eight with a Midwest Regional Conference Championship game against Lake Superior State on Tuesday in Indianapolis.

The women’s basketball NCAA Division II Elite Eight is set for March 25-29 in St. Joseph, Mo., and matchups along with game times will be announced soon by the NCAA following the completion of regional final play on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs, who topped the defending champions in the prior round, took a slim halftime lead in the back-and-forth game and led by as many as 11 points in the third period before the Lakers battled back. From there, Ferris State held onto the lead down the stretch and came away with the three-point win.

The Bulldogs got 13 points off the bench from sophomore Mya Hiram along with 12 points from junior guard Kadyn Blanchard. Seniors Chloe Idoni and Mallory McCartney both added eight points each in a balanced Bulldog effort.

Ferris State shot 36.5 percent from the floor and was six-of-15 from long range along with five-of-10 at the free throw stripe. The Bulldogs also held the Lakers to only 30.2 percent shooting with GVSU finishing six-of-25 from beyond the arc and eight-of-nine at the line.

The Lakers won the rebounding battle 35-34, but also had 15 turnovers compared to 11 for FSU. Ferris State tallied 22 points inside the paint compared to 20 for the Lakers. Ferris State also had 10 steals in the game.

With the win, the women’s team claimed its first-ever regional championship as the appearance in the final was only its second in school history and first since 2007.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (3/11 - 3/17)

Monday, March 11

  • An officer responded to a call of a found purse. The officer contacted the owner and the purse was returned.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding someone’s property being stolen. After investigation, the property was returned to its rightful owner.

  • An officer assisted OCSD with a case of some stolen property.

  • An officer issued an abatement notice for trash ordinance violations.

  • An officer recovered some stolen property from a prior case report.

Tuesday, March 12

  • An officer responded to a call for possible drugs found at an establishment. The case is still open pending investigation.

  • An officer was dispatched to a burglar alarm at an apartment complex. The reports turned out to be unfounded.

  • An officer issued an appearance citation to a 28-year-old male that was soliciting without a permit.

  • An officer issued appearance citations to a 27-year-old male and a 30-year-old female that were soliciting without a permit.

  • An officer was dispatched to a runaway complaint. After getting the information it was determined the teen was not a runaway.

Wednesday, March 13

  • An officer issued an abatement notice for an inoperable vehicle in violation of city ordinances.

  • An officer issued an abatement notice for trash improperly stored in violation of city ordinances.

  • An officer assisted the sheriff's department with a traffic stop that lead to the arrest of 69-year-old male for outstanding warrants.

  • An officer was requested to perform a well being check on a juvenile. The child was fine.

Thursday, March 14

  • An officer responded to a possible larceny. The case is still open and under investigation.

    An officer responded to a call regarding a possible assault that happened between a staff member and a resident from the Nursing Home. After looking into the allegations, the case was transferred over to the Prosecutor's Office for investigation.

Friday, March 15

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, March 16

  • An officer observed some large furniture and trash on the side of the road in violations of city ordinances. An abatement notice was issued.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a domestic dispute in progress. After arrival, both parties calmed down and no further actions were required.

Sunday, March 17

  • While patrolling, an Officer found the door of a town business unlocked. After searching inside, the officer secured and locked the business.

  • An officer was dispatched to a disorderly special needs juvenile. The juvenile calmed and no further action was needed.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding someone being loud and making too much noise at an apartment complex. After investigating and talking to all parties involved, a resident was issued a civil Infraction ticket for violation of the noise ordinance.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (3/11 - 3/17)

Monday, March 11

  • At around 8:09 P.M., deputies responded to a domestic, at a residence in Martiny TWP. A male subject was arrested for domestic assault. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 15

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, March 12

  • At around 9:00 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Morton TWP. A male subject was arrested on a felony warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 13

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, March 13

  • At 8:27 A.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Austin 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: 22

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, March 14

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Friday, March 15

Calls for Service: 23

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, March 16

  • At 01:06 A.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for OWI.  He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 24

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Sunday, March 17

Calls for Service: 19

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Both Ferris State basketball teams in NCAA DII Sweet Sixteen after men's team ousts top seed and women's team dethrones defending champions

The Ferris State University has two basketball teams in the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen after the men’s team pulled off the thrilling comeback to knock out the top seed University of Indianapolis in overtime on Sunday.

The women’s team, which beat defending nation champion Ashland on Saturday, will play rival Grand Valley State University on Monday in Allendale. The first 250 Ferris State students will be admitted to the game for free with their student ID.

The men’s team faces Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference counterpart Lake Superior State at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Indianapolis. The winner of Tuesday's game claims both the Midwest Regional Championship and earns a berth into the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

On Sunday, the Bulldogs trailed by as many as 13 points with 10:48 to play in the game after falling behind by nine at halftime. The team mounted a late charge and ultimately outscored the Greyhounds 39-30 in the final 20 minutes of regulation to tie the game up.

In overtime, the Bulldogs made enough timely shots and hit several critical free throws to knock out the regional host and move into the regional final for the first time since claiming the school's first NCAA Division II National Championship in 2018. Ferris State reached the regional semifinals each of the past two years before bowing out.

The Bulldogs were led by the combination of senior guard Ben Davidson and junior guard Ethan Erickson, who both knocked down critical shots down the stretch and in overtime. Davidson scored a team-high 25 points while Erickson added 22 points. FSU also got 15 points from senior DeSean Munson on the inside along with 11 points by senior guard Amari Lee.

Indianapolis was led by Jarvis Walker with 28 points and the duo of Kendrick Tchoua and David Ejah, who both totaled 16 points. Jesse Bingham added 14 points as Indianapolis closed the year with a 23-9 overall mark.

The game featured seven lead changes and was tied eight times, but Ferris State only led for 3:52 overall with the bulk coming in overtime.

The Bulldogs improved to 27-7 overall with the win, which was Ferris State’s eighth in a row this season.

Ferris State, which is midst its 17th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, has reached the regional final for the third time under head coach Andy Bronkema.

Tuesday's championship game will be carried live by Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with online coverage available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com. A live pay-per-view video webcast will also be offered at NCAA.com.

The women ’s team advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship game for the second time in university history. The game will be broadcast in on WXSP-TV with a 7:05 p.m. tipoff.

The Bulldogs knocked off defending national champion Ashland by a 64-59 score in semifinal-round play on Saturday in Allendale.

Colfax Township t-bone accident leaves both drivers injured Sunday afternoon

On Sunday, Mar. 17 at approximately 12:16 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the intersection of 150th Ave. and McKinley Rd. (M-20) in Colfax Township for a two-vehicle injury accident. 

The investigation revealed that a 21-year-old female from Jackson was on 150th Ave. and stopped at the stop sign waiting to turn left. The female failed to yield to oncoming traffic going east bound and pulled out in front of 17-year-old male from Lake Isabella, hitting the vehicle. Subsequently, the Lake Isabella male "t-boned" the Jackson female on the drivers side. 

The Jackson female was transported from the scene by Mecosta County EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital for non life threatening injuries. The Lake Isabella male was evaluated on scene by EMS and refused further medical treatment. 

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

Robin Hood airport fencing and Depot Park art on docket for city commission meeting tomorrow

The City Commission of Big Rapids will be meeting tomorrow evening, Monday, Mar. 18, at City Hall at 6:30 P.M.

Business items include resolutions of bids for the following projects:

  • Local governing body resolution for charitable gaming licenses for Pride Big Rapids

  • Awarding bid for fencing at Roben Hood Airport

  • Amending Fiscal Year 2023/2024 general appropriations for
    Roben Hood Airport fencing

  • Resolution of intent to finance the purchase by construction of fencing for the Roben-Hood Airport by installment purchase agreement

  • Approving public art in Depot Park

  • Resolution on mayoral appointments to boards and commissions

The meeting will also include a study session on a capital improvement plan by Director of Community Development Michelle Stenger and nine-day early voting update by City Clerk Tamyra Gillis.

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

Three injured in two-vehicle accident in Colfax Township Saturday

On Mar. 16 at 11:18 A.M, deputies from Mecosta County were dispatched to a two-vehicle accident with injuries on 15 Mile Rd. and 175th Ave. in Colfax Twp.

A vehicle was attempting to cross 15 Mile Rd. from 175th Ave. and pulled into a private drive, when it failed to yield to a westbound vehicle causing the collision. Both drivers and a passenger were injured from the crash and received treatment at the Big Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta County EMS, Colfax Twp Fire/Rescue and Big Rapids Fire/Rescue.

Detroit Lions sign three impactful unrestricted free agents this week

The Detroit Lions announced that they have signed unrestricted free agents DL D.J. Reader, OLB Marcus Davenport, and CB Amik Robertson. Contract terms were not disclosed.

Reader joins the Lions after spending the last four seasons (2020-23) with the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2023, Reader started all 14 games in which he appeared and produced 34 tackles (20 solo), seven quarterback hits, two tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one pass defense and one fumble recovery.

He was originally selected by the Houston Texans in the fifth round (166th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Clemson, spending the first four seasons of his career (2016-19) with the team. In 105-career games (96 starts), he has totaled 277 tackles (149 solo), 44 quarterback hits, 23 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Davenport comes to Detroit after spending the 2023 season with the Minnesota Vikings, where he appeared in four games (three starts) and recorded seven tackles (three solo), four quarterback hits and 2.0 sacks before missing the remainder of the season due to injury.

He spent the first five seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints after they selected him in the first round (14th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft out of UTSA. In 67-career games (35 starts), he has registered 149 tackles (81 solo), 64 quarterback hits, 27 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, four pass defenses and one fumble recovery.

Robertson joins the Lions after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Las Vegas Raiders (2020-23), where he appeared in 52 games (21 starts) and totaled 110 tackles (84 solo), 15 pass defenses, four interceptions, four tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

In 17 games (12 starts) last season, Robertson totaled 50 tackles (38 solo), six pass defenses, two interceptions, two tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble. He originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round selection (139th overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Louisiana Tech by the Raiders.

Million-dollar Mega Millions ticket expires; prize goes to state school aid fund

A $1 million winning Mega Millions ticket expired Friday, and the prize went to the state School Aid Fund.

The ticket expired at 4:45 p.m. on Friday. It was purchased at the CVS Pharmacy, located at 18130 West 10 Mile Road in Southfield. 

“Providing quality public education for every child in Michigan is critical, and this $1 million windfall is wonderful news for the School Aid Fund,” said Lottery Commissioner, Suzanna Shkreli. “On the rare occasions big prizes go unclaimed, it is good to know that they benefit the School Aid Fund and schoolchildren throughout Michigan.”

Mega Millions tickets are valid for one year from the drawing date.

The record for an unclaimed Lottery prize in Michigan was set in 1998 when a $34 million prize went unclaimed. The winning Michigan Lotto game ticket was purchased at the Meijer located at 1350 West Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing.

Community Column: What activity should the city of Big Rapids bring in?

We love attractions, right? Having things to do during the colder winter months or the hot summertime bring allure to venture beyond the comfort of our own homes. Many people will converse with friends, families, colleagues, and others about the following question: “If you could add any attraction to the area, what would you pick?”

After proposing this question over our social media platforms, here are five of the top responses from our followers within the community:

 

Movie Theater

This was no doubt the most popular response from our prompt. After losing the AMC theater downtown and the Bulldog Cinema during the pandemic, Big Rapids residents have to travel over 40 miles to watch a new film. There are lots of reasons that going to the movie theater can be beneficial. Social interaction in the theater can be a great boost to one’s mental health. It also allows people to look forward to something during their weekly routine, including meeting with others in the community that share the same interest in movies.

 

Indoor Activity Center

Like the concept of a YMCA, a public activity center can allow versatility in event gatherings for recreational activities. While the University Recreation Center at Ferris State University has some of the offerings that would be available at a YMCA, it doesn’t have as many weekly classes and sports that are available to the public other than students. Adding a facility like this would take an investment in property and employees, but the possibilities for community gatherings are unlimited with the space and variety. 

 

Arcade

Who doesn’t love games? The people of Big Rapids seem to like the idea of an arcade to go in. At the former location of what was known as The Gate bowling alley, (now the site of Dunham’s Sports), an entire section of the facility was devoted to a full-fledge arcade. When the bowling alley moved to 3rd Avenue under the name Big Rapids Bowling Center, the arcade portion was left behind. Whether it’s adding a small pop-up gaming center like The Fairway in Reed City or a large, well-known franchise like Dave and Busters, an arcade in Big Rapids would be a great addition for all sorts of family fun. 

 

Mini Golf

Also known as “putt-putt,” mini-golf is a great family activity for all ages. The game can be played in a larger indoor facility or outside under ideal summer weather conditions. Closest public courses can be found in larger cities like Cadillac or Grand Rapids with a few other small courses near private lake locations. Big Rapids use to host a course near the current site of the Big Rapids Bowling Center, but that part of the property was abandoned for a good portion of time. Seeing a new course come back to the city would bring a great amount of joy and add to the list of summer attractions.

 

Trampoline Park

As the most unique attraction on this list, a trampoline park brings the exercise half of a YMCA and the fun-oriented environment of an arcade. Grand Rapids has added six different franchises with trampoline fun since the first in 2016. While it is arguably the most expensive options on the list, it does have most customizable experience since it allows participants to jump for 30-, 60-, 90-, and 120-minute increments as well as exclusive group packages. Adding a trampoline park, like Sky Zone or Altitude to name a few, would take a large initial investment but would be top on the list for initial excitement around the area.

 

All in all, any of these options would be very beneficial in the community. Establishing a footprint in attractions for the area can allow more intrigue to visitors and therefore help businesses in the city. Surely, things like morale, community involvement, and economic increase would have a great opportunity to increase here in Big Rapids.

Admitted student open house March 16 to welcome, acclimate students to the Ferris State experience

Ferris State University staff, faculty and students will greet hundreds of “Bulldogs to be” on the main campus in Big Rapids on Saturday, March 16, answering questions about classes and helping them prepare for the next step in their educational journey.

The Admitted Student Open House takes place in the David L. Eisler Center, 805 Campus Drive in Big Rapids, with registration starting at 9 a.m.

Assistant Director of Orientation Emily Hicks said collaborating with enthusiastic volunteers from university colleges and departments boosts the Office of Admissions’ effort to engage and inform visiting students and their guests.

“College meetings are the focal point of our morning programming for incoming students and their supporters,” Hicks said. “These sessions have proven valuable as our opportunity to answer questions ahead of advising appointments that begin in May. I have heard so many positive reactions to this ‘hands-on’ approach, as it allows incoming Bulldogs to get familiar with Ferris and prepared for our on-boarding process.”

The event starts at 9 a.m. and following college meetings, a resource fair is held from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Hicks said optional presentations are then available to all guests through the midday and early afternoon, where Admissions and Financial Aid specialists, Housing and Residence Life staff and Center for Student Involvement representatives explain their resources and roles.  

Lunch will be available, and optional campus tours complete the day’s schedule for those interested. Ferris ID cards can be acquired by incoming students in the Bulldog Service Center, below Ferris Outfitters.

“We had nearly 200 admitted students attend our February open house, where more than 750 guests took part,” Hicks said. “There will be nearly 300 students arriving on the 16th to begin their journey here, as we expect approximately 900 visitors for this program.”

Orientation sessions for those beginning at Ferris in the Fall 2024 semester begin Monday, June 10. The first day of classes in the new academic year will begin Monday, Aug. 26. 

MDHHS Children Trust Michigan seeks proposals to help prevent child abuse and neglect through programs that support families

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Children Trust Michigan has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to increase community-based efforts that help prevent child abuse and neglect for at-risk families.

Proposals should support strengths-based programs that build upon the five Strengthening Families Protective Factors.

The Direct Service Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Program supports local or statewide public, private or nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and federally recognized tribes or a group of federally recognized tribes or Urban Indian Health Centers with community-based, secondary prevention programs and services designed to promote strong, nurturing families and prevent child abuse and neglect. Organizations currently receiving funding for a direct service program are eligible to apply only if they meet the requirements in Section II.6 program requirements of the RFP document. Only applications that establish new programs or add dimensions or components to existing programs are eligible for funding.

A total of $400,000 is available, with a maximum award of $80,000 per grantee. MDHHS anticipates issuing up to five awards.

Priority will be given to applications that propose one or more of the following:

  • Program/curriculum is evidence-based/evidenced-informed.
  • Offers participants parent education, peer support, and training opportunities.
  • Demonstrates community collaboration.

Examples of other child abuse prevention programs that could be funded under this opportunity but not limited to:

  • Parent Cafés.
  • Parenting Education.
  • Fatherhood Initiatives.
  • Respite Care/Crisis Nurseries.
  • Family Resource Centers.
  • Kinship Care.

Project director requests to get access to the application are due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 24. Grant applications must be submitted electronically through EGrAMS by 3 p.m., May 1. The program period begins Oct. 1, 2024, and ends Sept. 30, 2025. Successful applications may be awarded continuing funding based on funding availability and performance.

A pre-application conference will be held to discuss this funding opportunity and provide instruction on using the EGrAMS system at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 21, and will last approximately 90 minutes. The webinar can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3ux28I3. At the conclusion of the conference, this link can be used to access the recording of this webinar.

Any questions concerning the content of this RFP must be sent via email to childrentrustmichigan@michigan.gov by Monday, March 25. Questions may be discussed verbally at the pre-application conference. MDHHS will compile all relevant questions and answers and post these as well as any other clarifications or revisions to the initial RFP by Monday, April 1, 2024, on the EGrAMS website.

For more information or to apply, visit the EGrAMS website and select "About EGrAMS" link in the left panel to access the "Competitive Application Instructions" training manual. The complete RFP can be accessed under the ‘Current Grants’ section under the “Children Trust Michigan” link and selecting the “DS-2025” grant program.

Building up the Bulldog; Ferris State One Day for Dawgs supporters bolster Brutus mascot program

Brutus Ferris, the official mascot of Ferris State University, is a busy dog, appearing at more than 100 events during the 2022-23 academic year. 

That hectic schedule puts wear and tear on a dog’s costume, required maintenance throughout the year. Student Alumni Gold Club members signed up for the One Day for Dawgs fundraiser in the spring of 2023 and set to work supporting Brutus.

Dedicated to connecting with alums and Bulldog fans across the country, their efforts raised $2,900 toward the mascot program, eclipsing their goal thanks to the generous contributions of the Ferris State community.

The Brutus mascot program is coordinated by the Student Alumni Gold Club, a registered student organization on campus service as the official student extension of the Ferris State University Alumni Association. The SAGC manages the busy mascot schedule, handles Brutus at events, and collaborates with event staff behind the scenes. 

“The mascot’s schedule each semester includes athletic events, ribbon cuttings, student life functions, admissions activities, community requests, and many more appearances around campus and across the state,” said Delaney Beckett, a sophomore from Chesterfield, Michigan, who is dual-majoring in Elementary Education and Spanish, and the president of the SAGC. “These extra funds allow Brutus to be more versatile and engaging at the many events he supports. He can really represent the university as the face of Ferris State.”

One Day for Dawgs is Ferris State University’s annual day of giving, empowering university groups to raise funds for the causes they care most about. Fundraising activities range from supporting scholarships and academic programs to funding new equipment or helping make sure the mascot can buy a new pair of oversized shoes.  

Cody Langlois is a Welding Engineering Technology program senior from Marne, Michigan, and a former Bulldog mascot student. 

“These funds are so important to help us bring Ferris State pride everywhere we go,” he said. “We do more than 100 events a year, often in the suit for hours or outside, and it really wears on the equipment. Donors help make sure Brutus continues to look great and represent our university well.”  

Helping Brutus bring Ferris State pride to events across the state wouldn’t be possible without the support of volunteers and donors engaged with the program. “We just want to say thank you for your generous gifts and supporting the program,” Langlois said. “You make us feel cared for and empowered. Going out of your way to help students means so much to us.”

One Day for Dawgs is set for Wednesday, April 10. Additional information on how to get involved and stay up to date is available online at ferris.edu/oneday.  

Looking ahead to what is in store for this year’s event, Beckett added, “Connecting with our alumni and university community is really the most important part of the program. I hope everyone is excited to participate this year and we can’t wait to reconnect and hear your stories.” 

Kent County Sheriff's Office addresses substance use disorder within its incarcerated population

This week, the Kent County Correctional Facility and its community partners reached a milestone by completing its last phase of implementation of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) through induction. This was said to be a "humbling moment" for the agency. 

From the start, the vision behind the program focused on the continuation of sobriety and the reduction of deaths post-incarceration for individuals suffering from substance use disorder upon their release from a correctional setting. The collaborative efforts from Vitalcore medical supervisors, the 61st District Drug Court, Network 180, and local clinics provided the Kent County Correctional Facility with the tools necessary to identify individuals with substance use disorder and provide them with medication, counseling, and skills necessary for reintegration.

The MAT program started as a pilot in January 2018 and benefited 127 individuals within its first year. The program utilized grant funds to establish partnerships and programs for the incarcerated population. The jail currently has four on-site MAT employees who engage with approximately 100 individuals monthly; however, there is a growing demand for assistance within the correctional facility. The recent Induction Phase of this program is being implemented after two years of development. This final phase reflects a commitment to identifying and assisting those who have not been formally recognized or treated for substance use disorder (SUD) prior to incarceration.

Key components of the program include the distribution of naloxone kits to individuals upon release from the correctional setting. This critical component is linked to aiding in the prevention of opioid-related overdose and deaths in the community. Additionally, the Naloxone Vending Machine provided by Project Red, along with naloxone from the MDHHS, further enhances accessibility to this medication for all individuals leaving custody who may be at risk. The vending machine has dispensed 1,437 doses as of February 2024, supporting the impact and importance of such initiatives.

Overall, the MAT program in the Kent County Correctional Facility serves as a model for addressing substance use disorder within correctional settings, emphasizing collaboration, proactive identification, and comprehensive support for individuals on their journey to recovery. Due to the recognized need, it’s their intent to obtain future funding through Opioid Settlement Funds. The additional funding will allocate further resources and staffing for this program, which has seen substantial growth and success for those impacted.

Lions acquire CB Carlton Davis III via trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Detroit Lions announced today that they have acquired CB Carlton Davis III via trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a 2024 third-round draft selection. The Lions also received a 2024 sixth-round and 2025 sixth-round draft selection as part of the trade. Additional trade terms were not disclosed.

Davis joins the Lions after spending the first six years of his career in Tampa Bay. In 76 career games (75 starts), he totaled 320 tackles (265 solo), 73 pass defenses, 12 tackles for loss, nine interceptions, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and one quarterback hit. 

He originally entered the NFL with the Buccaneers after they selected him in the second round (63rd overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Auburn.

Ferris State Career and Internship Fair on March 21 supporting meaningful interactions between students and employers

Businesses, manufacturers, nonprofit corporations, and governmental entities will connect with Ferris State University students and alums on Thursday, March 21, as the Spring 2024 Career and Internship Fair returns to the Student Recreation Center.

More than 220 employing organizations will be present between the two sessions to network with and accept resumes.

Ferris State’s Career and Professional Success career readiness specialist and employer liaison Michele Albright said the fair is to be offered in two segments.

Students seeking employment aligned with academic programs in the College of Engineering Technology will want to attend session one between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Those seeking opportunities connected to majors in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, College of Business, and College of Health Professions should be sure to attend session two from 2 to 5 p.m.

“College of Engineering Technology students will find representatives from various organizations, including battery manufacturers, those emphasizing automation, robotics, and aerospace parts, employers in automotive supply and heavy equipment, among many other areas of technology and productions,” Albright said.

“The afternoon session is filled with an amazing assortment of employment opportunities with several school systems seeking teachers, while healthcare and social service organizations will be on the lookout for nurses, social workers, sonographers, dental hygienists, pharmacists, data analysts, and other roles. Business students can look forward to employment options in industries that include financial planning, marketing, sales, and management roles.”

She said several branches of the state and federal government are actively recruiting.

“Students whose desire is securing an internship, summer employment, or looking to launch their full-time career will find plenty of possibilities,” Albright said.

Changes to the event include pre-assigned employer tables and mapping, a better color-coding system to help both students and employers identify who they may want to talk with based on academic areas and recruitment goals, less crowded tabling, and a large welcome and resource area where students will be greeted by friendly professionals available to give encouragement and assistance.

“There can be a bit of sensory overload when the full range of employers are massed in a single space, along with students from all areas of the university,” Albright said.

CAPS prioritizes the student and alumni job seeking experience by offering various walk- in and Zoom hours, presentations and launched a Prep 4 Success campaign earlier in the semester leading to the upcoming Career and Internship Fair.

“We have walk-in learning opportunities, such as ‘Career Fair 101,’ Zoom workshops and other ways our students can prepare to put their best selves forward,” Albright said. “We want them to be as comfortable as possible with this experience, so they can make good impressions, creating as many connections and having as much communication as possible.”

Information on preparation events can be found in Ferris 360 > Career & Professional Success and in Handshake.

For people a disability who require accommodation to participate in the Spring 2024 Career and Internship Fair, contact Career and Professional Success at (231) 591-2685 or FerrisCAPS@ferris.edu to request accommodations at least 72 hours in advance.

*Image provided by Ferris State University.

Seasonal weight and speed restrictions lifted in Osceola County

According to the Osceola County Road Commission, all seasonal weight and speed restrictions have been lifted for county roads.

The announcement was made last Wednesday, Mar. 6, following a 34-day period when the restrictions were put in place on Jan. 31.

For more information, contact Osecola County Road Commission at 231-832-5171.

Reed City running back heading to Calvin University

It is not too often a brand-new football program can add a three-time conference champion and two-time regional champion at a skill position.

Luckily for the Calvin Knights, this happened after receiving a commitment from Reed City running back Zach Erickson. The senior standout announced his commitment to the program on February 29 via social media.

“I'm ready to get back on the field and get back to work playing the sport I love,” Erickson said. “I'm also ready to pursue my education and get a healthy job that I can rely on.”

Erickson rushed for over 660 yards last year with 12 touchdowns, including a 137-yard, four touchdown performance against Hart in the District title game. He received All-Pioneer and All-CSAA 1st team honors this past season.

“It's been a pleasure to be a part of the team, city, and program growing up,” Erickson said. “Ever since flag football, it has been amazing being with the teammates and coaches I have had. I could not have asked for anymore.”

When asked what made him choose Calvin, Erickson said his visit made him feel at home.

“The location is super ideal and they were super welcoming. They are starting a new program, which is super exciting. Their chemistry is unique and the players were very welcoming to me.”

The three-sport athlete also competed on Reed City’s district runner-up basketball team but saw limited action due to rehab from a football injury. He also had his best season of baseball on the diamond this past spring.

“Football felt like my thing,” Erickson said. “I have always felt the most knowledge towards the sport, the most confident in the sport, and the most competitive in the sport. I am obviously competitive in all three but football is where I find it the most.”

Erickson will join Coach Trent Figg and the one-year-old Knight football program this fall for its inaugural season. Calvin will be competing against Oberlin College on Saturday, Sep. 7 for its first game in school history. The Knights will be a part of the MIAA conference, which includes fellow Michigan teams like Alma, Adrian, Olivet, Hope, Albion, and Kalamazoo College.

The standout tailback said he liked the small school feel and plans to study business at Calvin.

For more local sports, subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News at wbrn.com.

*Graphic provided by Zach Erickson.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (3/4 - 3/10)

Monday, March 4

  • An officer was dispatched to an address for a 911 call hang up. It turned out that a child had the phone and was playing with it. Everyone was ok.

  • Officers investigated possible sharing of prescription narcotics. The matter has been turned over to the prosecutor for review.

  • An officer responded to a well check on a 62-year-old male. The officer spoke to the male and it was determined that he was ok.

Tuesday, March 5

  • No incidents reported.

Wednesday, March 6

  • An officer assisted an individual that came into the department with complaints about service received from a local business. He was advised it was a civil matter.

Thursday, March 7

  • Officers took a report of a two-car crash. There were no injuries reported with minor damage to the vehicle. One driver was cited for failing to yield.

  • An officer was dispatched to the Reed City Hospital in reference to a complaint of an assault that occurred at the Reed City Middle School between three students.

  • An Officer responded to a call regarding some suspicious vehicle parked near a residence, the caller believed was taking pictures. The caller stated, upon thinking further, the phone user may have pulled over to use their phone because it is illegal to drive while using the phone. The officer did not locate anyone fitting the description.

  • While conducting a routine traffic stop, an officer arrested a 44-year-old male for an outstanding warrant. He was transported to Osceola County Jail without any issues.

  • An officer observed an emotionally distraught person while on patrol. The officer checked his well being and it was determined he was okay other than receiving some bad news concerning a loved one.

Friday, March 8

  • Officers took a report regarding a two-car crash. No injuries were reported and only minor vehicle damage.

  • An officer assisted a driver that broke down on the road.

Saturday, March 9

  • While on patrol an officer observed lights on a vehicle malfunctioning. While attempting to contact an occupant of the house the lights stopped flashing.

  • An officer responded to an ongoing dispute between tenants in a rental house. Warnings were issued.

Sunday, March 10

  • An officer responded to a possible assault involving a vehicle. It was determined the incident had happened in another jurisdiction and was turned over to another agency.

  • An officer was dispatched to the hospital for a combative patient. The officer assisted in restraining the individual until they were sedated.

  • An officer was called to the hospital for an individual with suicidal ideations who was trying to leave without being released. The individual cooperated and calmed down.

  • An officer was called to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department with an individual who was in custody who was combative and assaultive. The individual was brought to the hospital for evaluation after attempting self-harm.

Rep. Kunse to host local office hours in Big Rapids and Clare

State Rep. Tom Kunse, R-Clare, will soon host local office hours in Clare and Big Rapids.

Both meetings will take place on Friday, March 29 at the following locations:

  • Cops and Doughnuts; 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; 521 N McEwan St. in Clare
  • Mecosta City Building; 11 a.m. to noon; 14485 Northland Drive in Big Rapids.

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.

Kaleb Dubowski announces dual-sport commitment to Calvin University

The Big Rapids Cardinals have another athlete on the way to the collegiate level, as senior Kaleb Dubowski announced his commitment late Monday night to compete at Calvin University this fall.

Dubowski committed to the Knights football program on scholarship but also said he spoke with the school’s track coach and decided he will be running track and field during the winter and spring seasons. According to the senior standout, the decision came down to two local schools.

“I had a scholarship offer at Calvin and a preferred walk-on spot at Ferris State,” Dubowski said. “It took me three weeks to think about it but it came down to playing football sooner than later.”

As a star on the football field, Dubowski finished as an All-CSAA and Pioneer Dream Team honoree with 24 catches, over 600 yards of offense, and nine touchdowns for the Cardinals. He helped the Cardinals to their first district and conference titles on the gridiron in over 10 years.

The senior also recently finished his indoor track season where he ran a 7.38 second 60-meter dash and 23.68 200-meter dash. According to Athletic.net, both of those times ranked in the top four for each event respectively amongst regional competitors that raced during the indoor season. Dubowski said he is motivated to push those times further this final outdoor season.

“I got hurt in the first meet of track last year and missed the rest of the season. I’m hoping to run fast times in the 100, 200, and even the 400 this outdoor season.”

Dubowski mentioned that the dual-sport commitment had been a thought in mind, as he considered walking on to whichever school’s program he would select for football. He also mentioned the campus was unique and fit with his religious values as well.

“I am not much of a big city guy, so I wanted to pick a smaller school. They have a nice chapel on campus and the new football stadium is going to be awesome.”

Dubowski also mentioned he is excited for the opportunity to be close to home and have family and friends be at his games in the future. Academically, he is currently considering business as a preferred major but is unsure of a specific program at this time.

*Graphic provided by Kaleb Dubowski.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (3/4 - 3/10)

Monday, March 4

Calls for Service: 25

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, March 5

  • At 3:37 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Sheridan TWP. A traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on several felony warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 10:41 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 24

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, March 6

Calls for Service: 21

 

Thursday, March 7

Calls for Service: 19

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

 

Friday, March 8

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, March 9

Calls for Service: 28

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, March 10

  • Nothing reported.

Driver rolls car and hits power pole in Sheridan Township Sunday afternoon

On Sunday at approximately 4:20 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a one-vehicle personal injury accident on 45th Avenue near Arthur Road. 

The investigation determined that a 37-year-old male from Remus had rolled his vehicle and hit a power pole due to a medical emergency. Driver was checked out on scene by EMS later released with minor injuries.

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta EMS, Wheatland TWP Fire/Rescue, Hill Top Towing, and Meceola Central Dispatch. 

Ferris State men's and women's basketball teams earn NCAA DII National Tournament bids

Ferris State Men's team beats Grand Valley to win GLIAC Tournament title; earns #5 seed in NCAA DII National Tournament

The Ferris State University men's basketball squad captured the program's sixth all-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship on Sunday (March 10), beating achrival Grand Valley State 87-76 in the league tournament title game at the Berry Events Center in Marquette.

FSU stormed back from an 11-point halftime deficit, scoring 57 points in the second to notch its 25th win of the season and move on to the NCAA Tournament.

Junior guard Ethan Erickson paced the Bulldogs with a team-high 20 points while senior big man Vejas Grazulis totaled 16 points back in his hometown in another stellar GLIAC Tournament performance. FSU also got 15 points from senior Amari Lee and all 10 Bulldog players who saw action scored in the game.

Ferris State's win earned them an automatic bid for the NCAA DII National Tournament, which saw them rise from the seventh seed in the final regular season rankings to the fifth seed in the 11:00 P.M. selection show last night. The Bulldogs matchup against number four-seeded Northern Michigan in Midwest Regional, which will take place from March 16-19 at host and the region's number one-seed University of Indianapolis.

 

#1 UIndy vs. #8 William Jewell - Mar. 16 @ 5:00 P.M. - Nicoson Hall

#2 Kentucky Wesleyan vs. #7 Upper Iowa - Mar. 16 @ 2:30 P.M. - Nicoson Hall

#3 Walsh vs. #6 Lake Superior State - Mar. 16 @ 12:00 P.M. - Nicoson Hall

#4 Northern Michigan vs. #5 Ferris State - Mar. 16 @ 7:30 P.M. - Nicoson Hall

 

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional postseason information.

 

 

Nation's 10th-ranked Bulldogs fall in GLIAC Tourney semifinals to Northern Michigan; earn #3 seed in NCAA DII National Tournament

The nation's 10th-ranked Ferris State University women's basketball team dropped a 63-56 decision to Northern Michigan in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Semifinals on Saturday (March 9) afternoon inside the Grand Valley State Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale.

The second-seeded Bulldogs took a 14-10 first-quarter lead, but were outscored 15-9 by NMU in the second frame as the Wildcats led by two at the halftime break. NMU extended the lead to five at the end of three periods and the Bulldogs could not pull out the win. The Bulldogs were held to 35.9% shooting overall and finished only six-of-26 (23.1%) from three-point range in addition to four-of-nine (44.4%) at the free throw line in the setback. FSU was also outrebounded by a 42-33 count in the game.

Senior forward Chloe Idoni led the Bulldogs with 20 points in the game while junior guard Kenzie Bowers added 11 points and junior guard Kadyn Blanchard scored 10 points. Senior guard Mallory McCartney was held scoreless in the game despite playing all 40 minutes of the contest.

The Bulldogs' strong regular season did earn them prominence in both the national rankings and the regional rankings, entering the tournament as the potential third seed. Despite the loss in the semifinal round, the Bulldogs were given the number three seed and will face number six seed and GLVC champion, Lewis University, in the opening round. The NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament will take place March 15-18 at top-seed and host Grand Valley State University.

 

#1 Grand Valley State vs. #8 Trevecca Nazarene - Mar. 15 @ 5:00 P.M. - GVSU Fieldhouse

#2 Ashland vs. #7 Drury - Mar. 15 @ 2:30 P.M. - GVSU Fieldhouse

#3 Ferris State vs. #6 Lewis - Mar. 15 @ 12:00 P.M. - GVSU Fieldhouse

#4 Northern Michigan vs. #5 Kentucky Wesleyan - Mar. 15 @ 7:30 P.M. - GVSU Fieldhouse

 

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for and additional postseason information.

Ferris State student tells lawmakers that state TIP scholarships provided an education he thought was out of reach

Ferris State University student David Wenzlick testified before a state House of Representatives subcommittee this week, sharing how the Tuition Incentive Program has made it possible for him to get a transformative education.

Wenzlick, a sophomore from Lapeer, joined Dan Eichinger, Ferris State’s vice president for Governmental and External Affairs, in testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education and Community Colleges on Thursday, March 7, in Lansing.

TIP is a state program that encourages eligible students to complete high school and continue their education by providing tuition assistance for the first two years of college and beyond.

Wenzlick told lawmakers he never expected to go to college.

“Although I held the desire for higher education and the college experience, it felt like something out of my reach,” he said. “Something that I could never afford. Something with, even help from my parents, I could never afford. Well, without putting myself in financial jeopardy that is. I didn’t want to throw my loans on the people who have been supporting me my whole life. College was a thing I had to do on my own, if I was going to do it.”

He said a high school counselor told him he would be eligible for the program and reduce his college expenses. After taking a year off, he decided to pursue his education, working during summers to cover housing costs – and avoid debt.

 “I've been a student at Ferris State University for almost two full years now, and without TIP, none of it would have been possible,” he said. “I've struggled with finding what career path I should take. With TIP, I have been able to take classes that follow my interests rather than what degree I signed my life to. I've been able to study Psychology, Business Marketing, Personal Finance, Human Biology, Philosophy, Creative Writing, Environmental Bio, and Music. I've been able to explore multiple career paths with the security of knowing that my time here was spent enhancing my intellect and deepening my understanding of the world and my place in it. All thanks to TIP.”

Wenzlick said he has thrived at Ferris State, raising his grade point average to a 3.7 after earning a 2.8 in high school – which he said is an indication of his commitment and appreciation for the chance to get a college education. He’s hoping for a career in environmental conservation.

Eichinger told lawmakers Ferris State this year enrolled 1,621 students through the program. Nearly 1,200 are seeing an associate degree and more than 400 are working toward a bachelor’s degree.

He said 44 percent of Ferris State TIP scholars are minorities; 60 percent are female; 69 percent are from outside of the state’s five most populous counties – and 80 percent are in good academic standing. 

“Which proves that sometimes all someone needs is an opportunity and that your parent’s income shouldn’t be a proxy college worthiness,” he said. 

Eichinger said 3,811 Ferris State TIP students have earned degrees in the last decade.

“In many cases those degrees are the instrument that breaks generational poverty cycles, that degree folder becomes a physical symbol of hope, opportunity, and reward for hard work,” he said. “Serving students, but especially serving first generation students is the core of what we do and keeps us connected to our founder and his vision that accessing education is fundamental to healthy, vibrant, an industrious community.”

State Rep. Nancy DeBoer, R-Holland, said she was inspired by Wenzlick’s testimony.

“I wish you all the best as you continue to use these skills that you are honing, and that you will keep telling your story to inspire other kids so they don’t give up, so they don’t say, ‘That’s the end,’ and don’t say, ‘That’s as far as I can go.’ You can give them hope with your story.”

District Health Department #10 achieves national reaccreditation

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is announcing that it has achieved national reaccreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). PHAB’s accreditation program works to improve and protect the health of the public by advancing and ultimately transforming the quality and performance of the nation’s state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments. DHD#10 is one of eight local health departments across the state, and one of 322 local health departments across the nation, that have achieved accreditation through PHAB since the organization launched in 2011.

“We received initial accreditation in 2015 and are pleased to have achieved reaccreditation in 2023. This reaccreditation highlights our dedication to the national standards that foster effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement,” said DHD#10 Health Officer Kevin Hughes. “The reaccreditation process helps to ensure that the programs and services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. With this accreditation, DHD#10 is demonstrating increased accountability and credibility to the public, funders, elected officials and partner organizations with which we work.”

The national accreditation program, jointly supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation’s nearly 3,000 governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance. To receive accreditation, a health department must undergo a thorough, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of quality standards and measures.

“The seal of PHAB accreditation shows that we have been rigorously examined and either meet or exceed national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health,” said Deputy Health Officer Sarah Oleniczak. “By continuing to improve our services and performance, we can be sure we are meeting the public health needs our community as effectively as possible. It’s not only a tremendous honor to have achieved reaccreditation, but also to have staff that continue to provide the quality of services needed to meet and exceed those standards.”

The national accreditation program was created collaboratively over a 10-year period by hundreds of public health practitioners working at the national, Tribal, state, and local levels. Since the program’s launch in September 2011, hundreds of public health departments have applied to PHAB for accreditation, and hundreds of public health practitioners from across the nation have been trained to serve as volunteer peer site visitors for the program.

For more information about DHD#10 and the services we offer, please visit https://www.dhd10.org.

Seven Bulldog basketball players earn All-GLIAC honors

On Friday, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced the men's and women's all-conference honorees ahead of this weekend's action in tournament play.

Three Ferris State University men's basketball standouts earned All-GLIAC honors for the 2023-24 season as announced on Friday by the league office.

The all-conference teams and major award recipients were determined in voting by the league's member head coaches. A total of 10 individuals were named to the All-GLIAC First Team with 10 more on the All-GLIAC Second Team and 10 earning GLIAC All-Defensive Team accolades.

FSU junior guard Ethan Erickson (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Northern) was chosen as the GLIAC's Sixth Man of the Year, becoming the first player in league history to earn the recently-created award.

Erickson also earned All-GLIAC First Team honors along with senior guard Ben Davidson (St. Clair). Meanwhile, senior Dolapo Olayinka (Chicago, Ill.) was an All-GLIAC Second Team honoree.

The trio has helped lead the Bulldogs to a 23-7 overall record to date this year.

The Bulldogs advanced to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals and will face Wayne State on Saturday (March 9) at the Berry Events Center in Marquette starting at 3:30 p.m. (ET). The league tournament title game is Sunday (March 10) beginning at 2 p.m. (ET).

For the women's team, a total of four standouts claimed All-GLIAC honors for the 2023-24 season as announced on Friday.

Ferris State, which is 22-4 overall this year and ranked 10th in the nation, had three first-team All-GLIAC honorees in senior guard Mallory McCartney (Saginaw/Heritage), senior forward Chloe Idoni (Fenton) and junior guard Kadyn Blanchard (Freeland). The Bulldogs were the only league member school to place three individuals on the All-GLIAC First Team squad.

Additionally, FSU had two GLIAC All-Defensive Team honorees in Idoni and senior forward DeShonna Day (Muskegon).

The Bulldogs will face Northern Michigan in the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals on Saturday (March 9) with tipoff set for 4:30 p.m. (ET) in Allendale. The league tournament title game is Sunday (March 10) beginning at 3 p.m. (ET).

Osceola County Sheriff's Office: Monthly Blotter (2/1 - 2/29)

911 Hang Ups: 3

Abandoned Vehicles: 4

Alarms: 10

Animal Control: 7

Area Check: 20

Assaults/Sexual Assaults/Threats: 24

Assist to Other Jurisdictions: 7

Attempt to Locate: 3

Breaking & Entering: 6

Check Wellbeing: 20

Civil: 9

Death Notification: 0

Disorderly: 3

DNR: 17

Domestic Assaults: 7

Fail to Pay (Gas Drive Off): 1

Flee & Elude (Pursuits): 1

Follow-up Investigations/Details: 43

Found Property: 1

Fraud: 4

Hit & Run: 2

Juvenile Assaults/Runaways: 20

Larceny: 13

Malicious Destruction of Property: 4

Mental Health Calls: 10

Minors in Possession: 3

Missing Persons: 0

Motorist Assist: 6

Misc. (PPO Vio, Standby, ETC.): 36

OWI/OUID: 4

Paper Service: 9

Parking/Traffic Hazard: 4

Personal Injury Accident: 1

Property Damage Accident: 57

Property Check: 1

Retail Fraud: 1

Road Run-Off: 12

Stolen Vehicles: 1

Suspicious Situation: 11

Traffic Stops: 117

Prisoner/Mental Transport: 6

Trespass: 3

Vehicle Inspections: 5

Warrants: 11

Weapon Offenses: 6

UPDATE: 16-year-old juvenile in custody on a felony warrant for Fork Township homicide

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office has further information into the suspicious death of the 41-year-old male in the 5000 block of Truman Road in Fork Township that occurred on Mar. 6, 2024.

A 16-year-old juvenile male is in custody on a felony warrant for homicide at this time for the murder of Richard Simko. Investigation into the complaint revealed the victim was shot and bludgeoned to death in his home early Wednesday morning.  

The juvenile male, a ward of Osceola County Probate Court at the time of the murder, spent the last year out-of-state in a custody program for crimes committed as a juvenile in Osceola County from 2022 through 2023. He remains in custody on the murder warrant and awaits arraignment in court.

Further Information on court details will be provide as they are obtained. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Big Rapids boys' soccer coach making jump to Ferris women's program

After 25 years with the Cardinal soccer program, former head coach Justin Fox is now starting a new coaching journey in Big Rapids.

Fox will be joining current Bulldog head coach Greg Henson and his staff as an assistant coach with the Ferris State women's program.

“Being at the point in my career where I've accomplished a lot at Big Rapids High School and just looking to see what the next chapter might be, Coach Henson was looking to add to the coaching footprint in the program and we had discussions,” Fox said.

Over the last decade, Fox registered a 111-85-8 mark wearing Cardinal colors on the sideline. He won two District 46 titles for Big Rapids in 2017 and 2021, as well reached the Regional 9 final in the 2017 campaign. The Cardinals also earned CSAA gold conference regular season titles in 2016 and 2017 and a conference tournament title in 2021 as head coach.

When asked about a favorite coaching memory, Fox mentioned that each team was special in its own way.

“Every team had its own identity and I worked with some good teams. The first district championship team in 2007 was special. A lot of kids have played for a long time and just being a part of those early camp days during my first few years of working with elementary school kids coming up through the program was special.”

Fox also had the unique opportunity to coach his son during the recent championship seasons.

“Working with my son and all his buddies that have gone through camps (together) for a long time was a lot of fun. Just knowing those kids more and having that emotional connection with them made it wonderful.”

The long time Cardinal skipper will be joining the Bulldogs following a 7-9-4 season this past fall. Ferris State recently reached the NCAA DII Semifinals in the 2022 season, falling to West Chester in Seattle after winning the Midwest Regional championship. Under Henson’s tenure, the Bulldogs won the GLIAC tournament title in 2021 as well as a regular season conference crown in 2020. The former Concordia-St. Paul coach won the GLIAC Coach of the Year award in 2021 and has had 26 All-GLIAC honorees in a Bulldog uniform.

“I think the knowledge that he brings in the discussions that we have and being able to work with someone with that level of experience is (great),” Fox said on working with Henson. “Looking at players coming in and seeing who we have, what positions they're in, and what’s something we want to do differently is a lot more planning behind the scenes. We'll talk ‘X's and O's’ and get out on the training pitch and get after it, so that part I am pretty comfortable with.”

While many coaches often have to travel long distances to make the jump to the collegiate level from high school, Fox’s unique opportunity at Ferris State will allow him to further his career while staying in the community he’s been a part of for several years.

“Having an opportunity to stay in town and have new opportunities is great. I can continue to raise our kids and have our family life in this community. While it's tough to give up the boy’s program, it's another opportunity for expanding my horizons and opening some doors to get some good experience working with some good coaches.”

For more local sports, follow Big Rapids Daily News on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

*Photo provided by Justin Fox.

Moolenaar: "Michiganders are worse off today than when President Biden took office"

Congressman John Moolenaar made the following statement on President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech last night:

“Michiganders are worse off today than when President Biden took office and last night’s speech showed he is doubling down on the same failed policies that have raised the cost of living on Michigan families these past three years,” said Moolenaar. “President Biden’s massive spending and money printing caused record inflation and Michigan residents are paying higher prices for his failed agenda every day.”

Prices have risen an average of 17.9% since Joe Biden became president. A recent report showed the average Michigan family needs to make an additional $10,435 every year to afford the same standard of living they had before President Biden took office.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (2/26 - 3/3)

Monday, February 26

  • Harassment – Officers were dispatched to a harassment complaint. The complaint remains open at this time.
  • Standby – Officers responded to a request for a standby. The tenant’s mother would not allow a female to access the residence to retrieve her belongings. All belongings were located and returned to the female.

Tuesday,February 27

  • Property – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Department requested K-9 Koda to attempt to locate a fleeing subject.
  • Traffic Stop – Officers conducted a traffic stop. Operator of the vehicle did not have a valid operator’s license. Citation issued and a licensed driver arrived to take the vehicle.
  • Runaway – K9 Officer was requested by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department units to respond to an attempt to locate multiple run-away juveniles. K-9 Koda deployed, all juveniles were located and safely returned.
  • Disorderly – Officers were requested by an Officer from the Reed City Police Department to perform an open-air sniff. K-9 Koda was deployed with alerts indicated. 

Wednesday, February 28

  • No events.

Thursday, February 29

  • Traffic Stop – Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a traffic stop.

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a fraud complaint. A business credit card was used fraudulently. The incident remains under investigation.

  • Suicide – Officers were dispatched for a suicidal subject. The subject was transported to Corewell Health Hospital and received a psychiatric evaluation. The subject was later transported by court order to a psychiatric facility.

Friday, March 1

  • Be on the lookout – Officers were requested by an Osceola County Sheriff’s Department deputy to assist in locating a subject regarding a threats complaint. The subject was located and Officers stood by while the Deputy conducted their investigation.

  • Malicious Destruction of Property – Officers responded to a report of a possible MDOP. After arriving on scene, it was determined the complaint was a civil dispute about a property line and a fence being properly placed. The report was forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for review.

Saturday, March 2

  • No events.

Sunday, March 3

  • Domestic – Officers responded to a report of a domestic. One of the parties involved left prior to Officers arrival, and was later located at a local business. The report has been sent to the prosecutor for review.

  • Found Property – While attempting to locate a subject, a bystander approached officers with a wallet he had found on City Hall's property. Officers searched the area but was not able to locate the owner. Property stored at the Evart Police Department.

  • Pick-up Prisoner – Officers responded to the Montcalm/Mecosta County line to pick up a subject that Montcalm County Sheriff’s located during a traffic stop. Subject had a valid warrant out of the Evart Police Department. Subject was transported to the Osceola County Jail without incident.

41-year-old man's suspicious death now under further investigation in Fork Township

Deputies and Detectives from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office are currently investigating the suspicious death of a 41-year-old Barryton man in the 5000 block of Truman Road in Fork Township.

The incident occurred in the morning on Wednesday March 6th. The investigation is on going considering the circumstances that caused his death and interviews are being conducted.

The Sheriff's office is being assisted by the Michigan State Police, Michigan State Police Crime Lab, Mecosta County EMS, Mecosta County MEI, Osceola Probate Court and Reed City Police. Further information will be released as it is obtained.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (2/26 - 3/3)

Monday, February 26

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, February 27

  • An officer responded to a call about a bike that someone found on their property. The bike owner is still unknown.

  • An officer was requested to investigate a situation involving disorderly subjects happening at an apartment complex. The disturbance may have been related to drug use. The matter is still under investigation.

Wednesday, February 28

  • An officer transported a 25-year-old male from Missaukee County to the Osceola County Jail. No issues.
  • An officer assisted a female citizen regarding a possible harassment case. After investigating, the case was determined to be a civil matter.
  • An officer received a call about two juveniles that were seen leaving a private property, at which the owner was not home. They left on bicycles but left a scooter behind. If anyone has recently had a bicycle or scooter stolen inside the city please contact the Reed City Police Department to report it.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding a business door left unlocked after closing time. The building was checked and secured.

Thursday, February 29

  • An officer responded to a call from someone that found a purse sitting at a picnic table at the Depot. The purse was taken and kept until owner comes forward.

Friday, March 1

  • Officers were called to investigate loud yelling. Upon investigating it was determined the individual had injured themselves and yelled out in pain.

  • An officer responded to a call from a concerning neighbor about some loud yelling and noises coming from the building. After investigating, it turned out to be small children making noises.

  • An officer took a report from a woman stating she had overheard a neighbor she doesn’t get along with speaking to a friend outside the residences. She believes the conversation indicated there may be a plan to damage her vehicle and she wanted to have a report in the event something happened.

Saturday, March 2

  • An officer took a report of a juvenile with a sign from the rails to trails. The juvenile’s parent was contacted and agreed to put the sign back where it had come from.

  • An officer responded to a call for a special needs juvenile ingesting some toxic substances because they were curious as to what they tasted like. The juvenile was transported to the hospital to be checked out.

  • While patrolling, an officer issued a verbal warning for unauthorized use of a UTV.

Sunday, March 3

  • An Officer assisted a MSP trooper for officer safety on a traffic stop, while a wanted individual was taken into custody by the trooper.

  • Officers received a complaint of an individual possibly being in possession of child pornography. The matter is under investigation.

  • Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex for a male dressed in dark clothing walking around cars in the parking lot. The caller was anonymous, the man had departed prior to the officers arrival, and there were no signs of criminal activity found.

Ferris State reaches out to assist students experiencing delays in receiving financial aid information, offers additional cost-saving opportunities

Students determining which college they’ll attend next year are still waiting for long-delayed federal financial information. Ferris State University leaders say they can help students with questions about the FAFSA and assist in other ways to help them select their college.

Financial aid packages typically are sent to prospective students as they are accepted to colleges. But many students are putting off making a decision this year because of a later-than-expected rollout of a revised Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the form commonly known as FAFSA.

Ferris State has established a financial aid hotline to help with questions and has other opportunities for students to tap scholarships and learn about what the university has to offer.

“We understand students and families are frustrated and appreciate their patience,” said Kristen Salmonson, Ferris State’s dean of Enrollment Services. “We have been keeping a close watch on the ever-changing FAFSA timeline and want to assure students we are committed to providing them with a financial aid package as soon as possible once we receive the FAFSA Information.”

Salmonson said the federal government estimates financial aid information will start arriving in mid-March and hopes there won’t be any further nationwide delays in receiving the information.

“The most important thing to do is to relax,” she said. “We will do everything we can to ensure students will have their aid package in hand to thoughtfully evaluate before they make their decision.”

Students with questions may schedule a one-on-one appointment online, contact the Financial Aid Hotline at 231-591-2110, or send questions by email to FinAid@Ferris.edu.

Students can explore other opportunities to lower costs. ScholarshipUniverse is available for new and continuing students that will be attending Ferris State in the 2024-2025 academic year. The program will help match eligible students with more than 500 donor-based, Ferris State-awarded scholarships, as well as more than 17,000 reputable external scholarship opportunities.

An admitted student open house is planned for March 16 on the Big Rapids campus. Future Bulldogs can explore life at Ferris State by meeting with current students, chatting with faculty from their major, get an ID Card and more. Additional information is available on the event registration page.

Students can also sign up for Crimson and Gold Days, where they can meet a student in their chosen field, learn about campus, grab lunch, and even sit in on a class or two to see why Ferris State should be their choice. Students may sign up on our Crimson and Gold Days registration page.

 

*Photo credit to Ferris State University/Steve Jessmore

Ferris State Hockey to make 40th all-time postseason playoff appearance this weekend

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey squad will open its 40th all-time postseason playoff appearance this weekend as the Bulldogs visit Bemidji State for a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) First-Round Playoff series March 8-10 in Bemidji, Minn.

The eighth-seeded Bulldogs and the top-seeded Beavers will battle at the Sanford Center on Friday and Saturday nights with the deciding game three set for Sunday, if necessary. Friday's opening game of the weekend will begin at 8:07 p.m. (ET) with Saturday's game two set for 7:07 p.m. (ET) and the deciding game three on Sunday at 6:07 p.m (ET), if necessary.

Tickets for the weekend playoff series can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com.

The 2024 CCHA Mason Cup Playoffs begin on Friday with the top four teams hosting a best-of-three, quarterfinal round series to start the CCHA Playoffs. From there, the two highest remaining seeds will host a single elimination semifinal game on Saturday, March 16. The tournament concludes with the single-game, 2024 CCHA Mason Cup Playoffs Championship, held at the home venue of the top remaining seed on Friday, March 22. The winner of the Mason Cup Championship will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey tournament with a goal to win a National Championship.

The famed Mason Cup is named after legendary Lake Superior State, Bowling Green State and Michigan State coach Ron Mason, whose name appeared on the trophy a league-high 13 times. Mason was instrumental in the establishment and success of the CCHA, helping it to grow into one of the most powerful college hockey conferences of all-time. The Mason Cup was first awarded 22 years ago in 2002 and is widely recognized as one of the most prized trophies in all of hockey.

All CCHA Mason Cup Playoff games will be streamed live via CCHA TV on FloHockey.tv.

This year will represent the Bulldogs' 25th postseason playoff appearance in the past 27 years, including the third-straight appearance in the new CCHA. It will also mark Ferris State's 40th trip to the postseason in program history. FSU has advanced past the quarterfinal round in four of its previous eight postseason appearances, including winning the program's first-ever conference postseason crown in 2016.

All Ferris State Hockey postseason contests can be heard live on local flagship station Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with Brody Keiser calling the action. An online broadcast is available at FerrisStateBulldogs.com with pregame coverage starting a half-hour prior to puck drop.

Since 2012, the Bulldogs have made three NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the NCAA Final Eight all three times. FSU has also won two conference regular-season championships along with capturing the WCHA's Broadmoor Trophy once as the league's Final Five Champion. Along with a Frozen Four berth and national title game showing in 2012, FSU also has reached the regional final and the final eight of the NCAA Tournament in both 2014 and 2016.

Pairings, locations and start times for the Friday-Sunday, March 8-10 best-of-three, quarterfinal round of the 2024 CCHA Mason Cup Playoffs:

No. 8 Ferris State at No. 1 Bemidji State
Game 1 - Friday, March 8 at 7:07pm CT
Game 2 - Saturday, March 9 at 6:07pm CT
Game 3 - Sunday, March 10 at 5:07 pm CT * (if neccesary)

No. 7 Lake Superior State at No. 2 St. Thomas
Game 1 - Friday, March 8 at 7:07pm CT
Game 2 - Saturday, March 9 at 6:07pm CT
Game 3 - Sunday, March 10 at 6:07 pm CT * (if neccesary)

No. 6 Bowling Green at No. 3 Michigan Tech
Game 1 - Friday, March 8 at 7:07pm ET
Game 2 - Saturday, March 9 at 6:07pm ET
Game 3 - Sunday, March 10 at 5:07 pm ET * (if neccesary)

No. 5 Northern Michigan at No. 4 Minnesota State
Game 1 - Friday, March 8 at 7:07pm CT
Game 2 - Saturday, March 9 at 6:07pm CT
Game 3 - Sunday, March 10 at 5:07 pm CT * (if neccesary)

Big Rapids Community Library receives national grant for small and rural libraries

Big Rapids Community Library has been selected as one of 310 libraries to participate in round two of Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that provides community engagement and accessibility resources to small and rural libraries to help them better serve people with disabilities.

The competitive award comes with a $10,000 grant that will help the library provide access to library services for local assisted living facilities.

“We are so proud to be chosen for this amazing opportunity,” said Library Director Lauren Perkins. “This grant will allow our library to get to know our residents with disabilities better and improve access to library resources for patrons in local assisted living facilities.”

As part of the grant, Big Rapids Community Library staff will take an online course on how to lead conversations, a skill vital to library work today. Staff will then host a conversation with residents about how to make library services more accessible in our community and use the grant funds to host pop-up libraries with large print books, Kindle readers, Echo dots, and book club programs in select local assisted living facilities.

“The library is for everyone, and we want to make sure that includes people who have challenges accessing the physical library building. We want everyone to be aware of the many e-resources (Libby, Kanopy, Creativebug, Transparent Language Online, MeL.org) that the library offers that are available remotely without stepping foot in the library. All that you need is your library card and an internet connection.”

If you are interested in getting involved or taking part in the conversation, please contact Lauren Perkins at librarian@bigrapidslibrary.org, or visit www.bigrapidslibrary.org for more information.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

Ferris State Criminal Justice alumna Melissa Henderson named Monroe County Sheriff's Office Deputy of the Year

Melissa Henderson, an alumna of Ferris State University’s Criminal Justice Bachelor and Master of Science degree programs, has been honored by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, as she was recently named their Deputy of the Year.

Henderson has spent the sum of her career with the MSCO, after completing her Bachelor of Science degree in 2017 and earned a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2018.

"The program does a great job of preparing Criminal Justice students to succeed, with retired officers as instructors who gave ‘from the field’ perspectives I needed to prepare for responses faced as an officer,” Henderson said. “This allowed me to begin my service as a deputy with a good understanding of promoting public safety and an awareness of professional situations and demands.”

Henderson was nominated by a supervisor for her honor.

“I began as a road patrol officer and have added responsibility by serving as a field training officer for our department,” Henderson said. “I have also joined our Special Response team as a hostage negotiator. I am very proud we were able to resolve two responses in the last year without incident and to have had an active role in our success on those occasions.”

Henderson, a native of Westland, was celebrated by the Exchange Club of Monroe County this month, joined by MSCO peer Charles Galloway, who was named Corrections Officer of the Year.

“We have over six dozen officers serving the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office,” Henderson said. “There are many great officers on the force, and it is really an honor to represent them through this award.”

26-year-old driver hospitalized after flipping vehicle

On Friday, Mar. 1, Mecosta County Sheriff Office deputies were dispatched to personal injury accident on south bound US-131.

The investigation showed that 26-year-old male from Muskegon went off the road, causing the vehicle to flip multiple times and land right side up. The 26-year-old male was found by a Mecosta County road commission worker who observed debris from the crash on the roadway. The male was then transported to Corewell Health in Big Rapids for non-life threating injuries.

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Mecosta County Road Commission, Mecosta County EMS, Mecosta Township Fire & Rescue, Big Rapids Towing, and Meceola Central Dispatch.

Detroit Lions gameday experience ranked best in the NFL

The Detroit Lions announced yesterday the results of the “Voice of the Fan” NFL-wide survey putting the club at the very top of the rankings as number one overall in Gameday Satisfaction. The overall score the Lions earned this year is the second highest season average from any club in the “Voice of the Fan” survey history.

The club also saw significant rankings in nearly all categories of the survey including:

  • Finished 1st overall in Game Day Satisfaction
  • All eight of the main category scores for Game Day Satisfaction finished in the Top 10 in the NFL
  • Finished 2nd overall in Season Ticket Member Satisfaction
  • All nine of the main category scores for Season Ticket Member Satisfaction finished in the Top 10 in the NFL

For the Overall Gameday Experience portion of the survey, the Lions finished Top 5 in the league in the following categories:

  • Game Day Satisfaction (1st)
  • Crowd Energy Level (1st)
  • Audio Prompts & Music (2nd)
  • Sound System (2nd)
  • Game Day Staff (3rd)
  • Overall Game Entertainment (4th)
  • Videoboard Content (4th)
  • Mobile Ticketing (4th)
  • Departure (4th)
  • Security (4th)
  • Know Before You Go Communication (5th)
  • Arrival (5th)

Voice of the Fan also surveys Season Ticket Members specifically, in which the Lions finished Top 5 in the league in the following categories:

  • Sense Valued (1st)
  • Exclusive Benefits (1st)
  • 365-Day Experience (1st)
  • Direction of the Team (1st)
  • Premium Parking (1st)
  • Value Exceeds Price (2nd)
  • Comfortable Location (2nd)
  • Prestige (3rd)
  • Exclusive Concessions (3rd)
  • Commitment to Community (4th)

“Voice of the Fan” survey results also indicated the Lions had the largest year-over-year increase in scores of any team in the League in the following categories:

  • Overall – Arrival
  • Overall – Mobile Ticketing
  • Overall – Security
  • Overall – Game Day Staff

“It is an incredible accomplishment by our organization to be considered the best in overall Game Day Satisfaction across the NFL and is a direct result of the dedication, hard work and talent of our staff,” said Detroit Lions President and CEO Rod Wood. “This ranking is truly an organizational win, as it recognizes the tremendous effort of our football team on the field and our business and stadium operations staff off the field. I couldn’t be prouder and look forward to continuing to offer the excellence our fans have come to expect next season and beyond.”

The NFL’s “Voice of the Fan” survey is a league-wide study that measures NFL Season Ticket Member experience and NFL game attendees’ satisfaction with the NFL gameday experience. Each Club’s fans are surveyed throughout the NFL regular season. Ranks are reflective of the positioning of each Clubs satisfaction scores among all 32 Clubs.

KCAD Illustration alum Sofia Henke is letting her creativity run wild at Burning Man

When one of the biggest events of the summer festival season took place last August, Sofia Henke, a 2021 graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, was right at the heart of it.

As the illustrator of the 2023 Burning Man poster, Henke got the opportunity to have her work seen and celebrated by over 70,000 people taking part in the temporary Black Rock City built by participants in the desert of Nevada.

Burning Man is a week-long event focused on community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.

Henke’s path from the KCAD Illustration program to illustrating the high-profile poster had some unexpected twists and turns. It all began in 2022 when a friend running a startup in San Francisco asked her to look at his company’s logo. Before long, she had moved to California to consult on multiple projects for the business, and one of the startup owners introduced her to the founders of Burning Man.

“We hit it off, and I ended up giving them a sticker that I had made,” Henke said. “Long story short, they invited all of us in the startup to Burning Man that year. I worked on an amazing sculpture and had a great time.”

A year later, the team at Burning Man reached out to Henke again, telling her the artist who usually made their poster was unavailable and asking if she’d like to take a shot at it. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ll take a crack at it!’ They ended up liking it and choosing it for the next poster.”

The poster art was created on an iPad, working with the theme Animalia. Asked what inspired her direction, Henke said, “They told me they liked how bright and colorful my work is and how cheeky my style is, so I tried to make it as bright, colorful, and cheeky as I could.”

After creating the poster, she also attended the event, arriving two weeks early to help build some of the temporary installations with other artists.

Following her time in San Francisco, Henke moved to Chicago, where she coaches a gymnastic team while working on two comics she hopes to release this year, including Pond Planet—which she began at KCAD—and another offering tips for her gymnastics students. “It’s been cool trying to design something meant for kids, which I’ve never done before,” she says.

She also continues to illustrate stickers. “I bring them out to the desert every year and give away hundreds of them,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of friends doing that, and I put my number on the back so they can contact me.”

In the future, she hopes to work at a design company so she can learn from other artists.

“Working collaboratively has been a huge thing for me,” she said. “The whole chain of events that led to me doing the Burning Man poster was working closely with other people in a team setting instead of alone, and I found it very motivating.”  

She also has her sights set on creating her own large-scale sculpture at a future Burning Man.

Henke encourages other aspiring artists to keep persevering after college. 

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised how different it is to be out in the world as an artist,” she said. “The best advice I could give someone is just to focus on your connections because having a community that you can be an artist with is the most helpful thing.”

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (2/26 - 3/3)

Monday, February 26

  • At 11:33 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Big Rapids Township. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 22

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, February 27

Calls for Service: 21

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Wednesday, February 28

Calls for Service: 21

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, February 29

  • At 10:43 A.M., deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Big Rapids Township. A male subject was arrested for assaulting a female. The male subject was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 1:47 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Morton Township. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 10:00 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna Township. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 22

Traffic Accidents: 2

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Friday, March 1

  • At 6:32 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Morton Township. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 24

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, March 2

  • At 7:00 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Deerfield Township. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 8:30 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Austin Township. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 27

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, March 3

Calls for Service: 10

Car/Deer Accidents: 1

Airport improvement discussions on the docket for tonight's Big Rapids City Commission meeting

The Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight, Monday, Mar. 4, at Big Rapids City Hall at 6:30 P.M.

The meeting will have a study session on the updates related to improvements to Roben Hood Airport and the airport's runway by Mead & Hunt and Mike Gormley of Northland Securities.

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

  • Authorizing a change in the Consumers Energy Standard Lighting Agreement to install a street light at the mid-block of Chestnut Street.

  • Approving authorization for a DNR trust fund grant.

  • Approving a proposal from Fleis & VandenBrink to provide design engineering services for the Depot Trailhead Park Improvement Project.

  • Resolution for mayoral appointments to boards and commissions.

  • Ordinance amending the City of Big Rapids Zoning Ordinance to regulate zoning review and approval of short-term rentals and matters related thereto.

All city commission meetings are available to the public.

Ferris State basketball sweeps senior day with victories; enter GLIAC tournament hosting both Wednesday quarterfinal matchups

Bulldog basketball had nine seniors play their final regular season home game in Wink Arena on Saturday, each earning wins over Purdue Northwest at Wink Arena. For full game recaps, keeping reading below.

 

Ferris State men's basketballposts impressive Senior Day win; Will host Wisconsin-Parkside in GLIAC Quarterfinals

The Ferris State University men's basketball squad recorded an impressive 85-64 win over Purdue Northwest on Saturday (March 2) in the regular-season finale, celebrating a Senior Day win at Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs earned the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) #3 seed for the conference tournament and will next host sixth-seeded Parkside on Wednesday (March 6) evening in quarterfinal-round play starting at 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Ferris State honored an outstanding group of six seniors prior to their final regular-season home games and put together a complete performance in coming away with the win, improving to 22-7 overall this year and 12-6 in the GLIAC.

The Bulldogs led for nearly 37 minutes of the game and never trailed, opening up a 32-27 halftime lead before starting the second half in a big way and eventually outscoring PNW 53-37 over the final 20 minutes of play.

Sixth-year senior guard Ben Davidson led the way with 21 points in his final regular-season home game while junior Ethan Erickson notched 15 points and graduate senior guard Amari Lee poured in 10 points for the Bulldogs. Overall, a total of 14 players saw action and 12 scored in the win.

The Bulldogs shot 47.2% from the floor and made nine-of-26 (34.6%) three's along with eight-of-13 (61.5%) free throws on the day. FSU also had a commanding 52-33 rebounding edge and pulled down 15 offensive boards.

Additionally, Ferris State outscored Purdue Northwest 46-28 inside the paint and 20-8 in points off turnovers while totaling 33 fast break points to 25 for the Pride. The FSU bench also came up with 36 points compared to only 27 for the Pride reserves.

On the opposite end of the floor, PNW shot 41.3% for the game and went nine-of-30 (30%) from behind the three-point arc, but only three-of-12 (25%) at the free throw line. The Pride were led by Dalton Gayman with 14 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double showing in additino to 10 points each from CJ Jackson and Kalil Whitehead.

Along with Davidson and Lee, the Bulldogs' other senior standouts who played their final regular-season home games included Dolapo OlayinkaJack AmmermanVejas Grazulis and DeSean Munson. All six will get another opportunity to play at home in the first-round of conference tournament action.

Tickets for the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals will go on sale Sunday and can be purchased online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

 

Ferris State women's basketball wins Senior Day game; Will host Saginaw Valley State in GLIAC Quarterfinals

The nation's 13th-ranked Ferris State University women's basketball squad closed out the regular-season in style on Saturday (March 2), beating visiting Purdue Northwest 81-65 on Senior Day inside Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldogs earned the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (GLIAC) #2 seed for the conference tournament and will next host seventh-seeded Saginaw Valley State on Wednesday (March 6) evening in quarterfinal-round play starting at 5:30 p.m. (ET).

In the Senior Day victory, the Bulldogs' three seniors led the way as FSU closed the regular-season with an impressive 21-4 overall record to go with a 15-3 mark in GLIAC action.

Senior Chloe Idoni notched a game-high 33 points for the Bulldogs, which was her second consecutive 33-point effort, while senior guard Mallory McCartney tallied 15 points, six assists and four rebounds. The squad's third senior, Amaka Unobagha, also scored and dished out a pair of assists in the victory.

Additionally, junior Kadyn Blanchard scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out five assists and recorded four steals in 39 minutes of action.

Ferris State led 23-17 at the end of the first quarter and held a 12-point halftime lead. The lead grew to 13 at the end of the third and FSU closed the game with a 21-18 edge in the fourth to account for the final margin.

Overall, FSU totaled 50 points inside the paint and owned a 24-14 edge in points off turnovers, forcing 17 in the win while coming up with 12 steals. The Bulldogs also posted a 22-4 advantage in fast break scoring.

The Bulldogs shot 56.7% from the floor for the game and made five-of-14 (35.7%) three's along with eight-of-10 (80%) free throws. Ferris State also owned a 34-23 rebounding margin and pulled down 12 offensive boards.

Meanwhile, Purdue Northwest converted 46.8% of its field goals and was nine-of-23 (39.1%) from long range in addition to 12-of-19 (63.2%) at the free throw stripe. The Pride was led by Dash Shaw with 21 points and Cherrell Newsom with 15 points in dropping to 11-17 overall and 6-12 in conference play.

Tickets for the GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinals will go on sale Sunday and can be purchased online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

MPSC approves $92M rate increase for Consumers Energy electric customers

The Michigan Public Service Commission today approved a more than $92 million increase in rates for electric customers of Consumers Energy Co., including significant emphasis on investments needed to improve reliability (Case No. U-21389).

The $92,009,000 increase is 57.4% lower than the $216 million rate increase the utility sought in its initial application. Consumers later reduced the request to $170.8 million.

A typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours per month will see an increase of $1.53, or 1.61%, on their monthly bill.

The company said it sought the increase to cover investments in generation and distribution assets, safety and legal compliance and enhanced technology as well as increased operations and maintenance expenses and increased financing costs.

The company had requested a return on common equity of 10.25% with an overall rate of return on total rate base of 6.11%, and a 51.50% common equity ratio. Today’s order authorizes a rate of return on common equity of 9.9% and an overall rate of return of 5.85% on a jurisdictional rate base of $13,669,075,000.

Today’s order partially approved an investment recovery mechanism proposed by the Company in its efforts to improve the reliability and resilience of its electric distribution system. The Commission directed Consumers to share its distribution investment plans with the Commission and other interested persons as soon as reasonably possible after the date of this order and, for year two, by November 1, 2024.  The order also includes approval for the first year of costs related to a pilot program to relocate overhead distribution ground underground to better understand how undergrounding compares to other approaches to improving reliability.

The Commission also directed Consumers to file detailed information that connects performance in operational metrics to proposed incentive compensation in its next general electric rate case, as individual operational metrics will be scrutinized more critically going forward.

The Commission directed Consumers to conduct a formal optimization analysis of line clearing cycles that factors in customer costs of outages, the costs of service restoration, and the costs of line clearing, including an impact evaluation of more frequent line clearing cycles. The analysis should include issues involving higher contractor costs, added vegetation data, and corresponding reliability concerns regarding the company’s proposed nine-year clearing cycle for 4.8kV circuits. The analysis must be filed by Sept. 3, 2024, in Case No. U-20697.

The order directs Consumers to file a transportation electrification plan in Case No. U-21538 by July 1, 2024, outlining updates of its projections and actual costs of electric vehicle adoption and resulting impacts to its plan. The company must hold at least two public meetings with interested persons regarding the plan. In addition, the Commission directed Consumers to study penetration levels for direct current fast charging (DCFC) electric vehicle (EV) chargers and conduct a load shaping study for DCFC EV chargers as well as Level 2 chargers and evaluate whether it is appropriate for these chargers to have separate tariffs. Consumers must include the results of this evaluation in its next general electric rate case.   

The Commission also directed Consumers to implement a number of equity recommendations, including, among other measures:

  • Providing environmental justice- and equity-related information, such as reliability metrics and investments, in future rate cases and other upcoming proceedings.
  • Developing a way for interested persons to request, safely obtain and use geographic information system data with input of MPSC Staff.
  • Providing a regression analysis in support of reliability investments in the company’s distribution system in future filings.
  • Filing more extensive information in future company reports about human contacts with electric lines.
  • Working with the Commission, MPSC Staff, other utilities and interested persons to begin identifying effective, reasonable and prudent pathways for energy security to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths in Michigan.
  • Proposing a pilot program in which the utility works with a third-party to provide a resource for medically vulnerable residential customers meeting low-income requirements to help coordinate and maximize the use of utility, city, state, and federal incentives for the installation of household energy waste reduction, solar, and energy storage.
  • Filing a full summary of environmental justice and equity considerations in its next rate case, including a detailed discussion of how proposed environmental changes will both impact customer rates and be implemented on such rates.
  • Engaging interested and affected customers and communities in meetings in future distribution plans so the customer and community needs and concerns can be considered when designing and selecting distribution system programs, projects, and sites.

Intervenors in the case were Michigan Department of Attorney General; Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity; Energy Michigan Inc.; The Kroger Co.; Michigan Environmental Council; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club; Citizens Utility Board of Michigan; Residential Customer Group; Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association; Michigan Cable Telecommunications Association; Hemlock Semiconductor Operations LLC; Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council; Institute for Energy Innovation; Advanced Energy United; Environmental Law and Policy Center; Ecology Center; Union of Concerned Scientists; Vote Solar; ChargePoint Inc.; Michigan Municipal Association for Utility Issues; Foundry Association of Michigan; Michigan Electric Transmission Company; Urban Core Collective, and Walmart Inc. MPSC Staff also participated.

Consumers’ last electric rate increase of $155 million was approved in January 2023 as part of a settlement agreement.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc

High school girls' basketball district tournament begins this week

This week, it's the girls' turn to hit the hardwood in District tournament action. 

The first round of district play will begin Monday, Mar. 4 and will conclude with championships being played on Friday, Mar. 8, Regional contests will range from Monday, Mar. 11 through Wednesday, Mar. 13, and the finals from Tuesday, Mar. 19 through Saturday, Mar. 23.

Here's a look at the area girls' teams in action along with their opening games in each assigned MHSAA district number:

 

Division 1

  • District 2 Quarterfinal - HH Dow High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Cadillac (13-9) vs. Midland (9-13)

 

Division 2

  • District 35 Quarterfinal - Big Rapids High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 6:00 P.M.
    • Chippewa Hills (1-21) vs. Ludington (15-7)

 

  • District 35 Semifinal - Big Rapids High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Reed City (12-10) vs. Big Rapids (13-8)

 

  • District 40 Quarterfinal - Central Montcalm High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Tri-County (6-16) vs. Ionia (9-13)

 

  • District 40 Semifinal - Central Montcalm High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Central Montcalm (9-13) vs. Belding (17-5)

 

  • District 42 Quarterfinal - Newaygo High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Newaygo (12-10) vs. Sparta (9-13)

 

  • District 42 Semifinal - Newaygo High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Grant (14-6) vs. Comstock Park (8-14)

 

Division 3

  • District 70 Quarterfinal - Beal City High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Lakeview (10-12) vs. Blanchard Montabella (8-14)

 

  • District 70 Semifinal - Beal City High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Morley Stanwood (17-4) vs. Lakeview (10-12) / Blanchard Montabella (8-14) quarterfinal winner

 

  • District 71 Semifinal - McBain High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Evart (18-4) vs. Farwell (4-16)

 

  • District 72 Quarterfinal - Manton High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Pine River (8-14) vs. Manistee (9-13)

 

  • District 73 Quarterfinal - Shelby High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 6:00 P.M.
    • White Cloud (8-14) vs. Shelby (6-16)

 

  • District 73 Semifinal - Shelby High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Hesperia (3-19) vs. Holton (13-9)

 

  • District 74 Semifinal - Kent City High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Kent City (18-4) vs. Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep (1-6) / Ravenna (8-14) quarterfinal winner

 

Division 4

  • District 109 Quarterfinal - Mason County Eastern High School - Monday, Mar. 4 at 5:30 P.M.
    • Baldwin (5-15) vs. Pentwater (14-6)

 

  • District 110 Semifinal - McBain Northern Michigan Christian High School - Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 7:00 P.M.
    • Big Rapids Crossroads (17-5) vs. Coleman (8-14)

 

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

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

Investigation reveals fatal fire in Big Rapids Township Wednesday was set intentionally

After a thorough investigation into the fatal fire reported on Wednesday, Feb. 28 in
Big Rapids Township, it was determined the fire was intentionally set. Further, it has been determined the 69-year-old male, Keith Gale Totten, appeared to have died of natural causes prior to the fire being set. The 32-year-old male’s death was determined to be a suicide.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office would like to assure people there were
no other parties involved and there is no danger to the public.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Michigan State Police Crime Lab (Grand Rapids), Big Rapids Township Fire, the City of Big Rapids Fire, Mecosta Township Fire, Morton Township Fire, the Mecosta-Osceola County Victim Services Unit, the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office Posse, Mecosta County EMS and Meceola Central Dispatch and the Mid-Michigan Medical Examiner Group for the assistance provided throughout the investigation.

Ferris State Welding Engineering Technology Program assisting Emeriti's Art Production, Deer Moon; headed to Texas in Spring

Ferris State University Welding Engineering Technology students are assisting with the fabrication of “Deer Moon,” a free-standing relief sculpture designed by emeriti professor of Fine Arts Robert Barnum, which is destined for a park and preserve entrance in Denton, Texas.
Barnum has works in various media on display in 11 states. His other Texas project was installed in 2019 at an animal rescue facility in Wylie. The development of “Deer Moon” is somewhere near the halfway point.

“The work becomes more pronounced as we continue in the process of fabrication,” Barnum said. “Getting underway as the big blast of snow came in January complicated our schedule somewhat, but we should have a 14-foot-tall sculpture ready for transport near the end of March.” 

Barnum said this will be his first free-standing relief sculpture project. 

“I have been careful to avoid repeating myself in designing these creations,” Robert said. “This is my first relief sculpture that would not be bolted onto the side of a structure, and I am entering what is very much new ground in terms of a project’s visual nature and use of natural light. I am glad Deer Moon will be a unique and different piece when it is completed.” 

Sophomore Richard Ringl of Detroit has been actively involved in assembly of “Deer Moon,” as a function of his laboratory work. Some of the elements were created in Barnum’s studio in central Mecosta County and sections of half-inch aluminum sheeting have also been cut in the university’s Swan Annex. 

“My classmates use lab time for developing projects they selected, but I asked my instructor to suggest an opportunity so I could meet my requirements,” Ringl said. “I thought I would be involved in a more industrial assignment, but I am having a wildly different experience. I expect to be involved through assembly of the sculpture’s components and their being affixed to a base.” 

A Welding Engineering Technology student is likely to accompany Barnum for the installation of this work, which is due to occur about the time of Ferris’ mid-term recess. 

“It will certainly require use of heavy equipment to put this in place,” Barnum said. “There will be differing sight lines for park visitors to take in, as there is a large tree as part of this work that will impact what passersby see as they enter and exit there. This is a rather large display, standing about 15 feet with its pedestal once we complete installation.”  

Assistant professor for Welding programs and Ferris alumnus Mark Prosser said taking part in the creation of Barnum’s work is a good learning experience for Ring and other Welding Engineering Technology students. 

“As educators, there are components to learning we bring forward to students, involving theory and the application of those ideas,” Prosser said. “Commonplace approaches for a typical welding job do not work every time in this type of project, so we must examine several ways to try and meet the necessary goal. It teaches students how to handle obstacles with confidence and broaden their understanding.” 

Barnum said Deer Moon is designed to welcome guests to this natural area and provoke their thoughts and imaginations for decades. 

“This has been developed to sway with the strong winds that can whip up on the plains in that area,” Barnum said. “We expect our planning in the steps leading up to installing our work will be sufficient to provide visitors an intriguing and welcoming sight for the next 50 years and beyond.” 

Gotion Inc. formally begins county site plan review process

Gotion Inc. yesterday submitted the site plan application for review through Mecosta County for approval and publicly unveiled its latest site plan that includes protecting more than 60 acres for preservation of wildlife habitat and water quality benefits.  

Gotion is seeking a soil erosion and sedimentation control permit through the Mecosta County Drain Commission, as well as the site plan review through the Planning Commission. 

“A tremendous amount of thought and planning went into designing our facility and property, and we greatly appreciate the input from Mecosta County officials as we move forward with the local review and permitting process,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “Along with gaining valuable insight from the county, we continue to intently listen to local residents as well. Our ultimate goal is to be great neighbors for people in the region while creating the best working environment for our employees.”

Gotion officials have met extensively with county officials in preparation for the application, and county officials have made several visits to the property. The site plan approval process, administered through Mecosta County, has served the needs of Green Charter Township for more than 20 years. 

Thelen said Gotion Inc. is committed to preserving the habitat of wildlife and water quality throughout the property, consisting of more than 60 acres where local wildlife can flourish. Other key elements of the site plan include:

  • Greatly reducing the amount of water used at the facility. It was originally thought that the facility would use 700,000 gallons per day, but that number is targeted to be significantly decreased due to enhanced reclamation efforts. 
  • Significantly limiting traffic congestion on public roads by constructing an on-site truck/trailer staging area that is sufficient to handle a minimum 50% of anticipated daily semi-tractor traffic.
  • Adhering to a dark sky design to limit the amount of light generated from the facility;
  • Implementing a comprehensive recycling program of raw materials and manufacturing by-product to prevent adverse environmental impacts to the air, sanitary sewer system and ground and surface waters.

“We’re building a state-of-the-art facility in Mecosta County that will nestle into the existing landscape and protect the environment for generations to come,” Thelen said. “Gotion’s environmental and safety record is unmatched, and our mission to protect and preserve the environment is woven into every aspect of the design process. As a lifelong conservationist myself, this is not only a key company requirement but a personal requirement.”

Gotion Inc. will apply for applicable state and federal permits through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the coming weeks.

KCAD alum excited to boost Muskegon City Public Art Initiative with project highlighting unity, strength and love

An ambitious public art project in Muskegon representing unity, strength and love – on a large scale -- will get a big boost from a Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University graduate.

Lee S. Brown is preparator at the Muskegon Museum of Art, and the artist behind The PORTAL, which will be the eighth in a planned 10 art installations in Muskegon that are part of the Muskegon City Public Art Initiative.

He also is a 1976 graduate of KCAD’s Illustration program, spending three years at the college back in a day when graduates left not with a bachelor’s degree but rather, as he said, “you came out with your diploma and a bag of art.”

Now, almost a half-century later, he has turned his diploma and bag of art into a long and thriving career as an artist, including his current work as a preparator at Muskegon Museum of Art.

But, The PORTAL, a large standing ring some 45 feet in diameter constructed from some 25,000 pounds of corten-type weathering steel, might be his most ambitious project yet.

Corten steel takes its name as a portmanteau of corrosion resistance and tensile strength. It is a type of steel that’s been around for a century or so and is well-known for its toughness as well as the rich and deep rust color that it develops over time. In fact, the steel doesn’t rust in a detrimental way, but rather the rust color is a protective layer that continuously regenerates.

That regeneration, Brown said, is a metaphor for his adopted hometown of Muskegon.

“The people of Muskegon have big dreams and aspirations,” he said. “This is reflected in the resurgence of the city in the last decade and the energy of its citizens that help spur this growth. I wish to create a monument to and for the city that represents this strength and unity.”

As a circle, Brown added, The PORTAL represents themes such as unity, strength and love, and he said those heading up the Muskegon City Public Art Initiative see The PORTAL easily becoming a destination for those entering marriage, renewing friendships or making positive resolutions.

Because it is public art, The PORTAL will be alight from sunrise to sunset and open for people to walk through.

Other elements of the sculpture, including its location, will be equally symbolic, Brown added.

The cross section of The PORTAL is an isosceles triangle that Brown told FOX 17 gets swept into a big circle, so that the sculpture looks like it just dropped out of the sky and planted itself.

And the installation site, between Shoreline Drive and the Shoreline Inn in Muskegon, also has meaning.

That site is near the former headquarters of SPX and near the company’s first plant. SPX, now located in North Carolina, had its origins in a company founded in 1911 in Muskegon as Sealed Power, an auto-industry supplier that employed 1,500 or so workers during its heyday and created millions of piston rings each year.

Brown was the right choice for The PORTAL, Judith Hayner, the project director for the Muskegon City Public Arts Initiative, told WOOD TV.

“Our goal has been to do monumentally scaled works of art, and there’s not a lot of artists that are prepared to do that,” she said.

Being prepared, Brown said, goes back to his time at Whitehall High School when a machine shop teacher named John Fanberg saw that Brown had an aptitude for working with metals but was not likely headed to a career in machine shops or industry.

“So, he said to me ‘You know, all of this equipment in here you can make art with too,’” Brown recalled with a chuckle. “He basically gave me free run of the shop, and I started to make art.”

That freedom continued at KCAD, Brown said, where a 1970s ethos permeated the campus, but highly influential and talented professors expertly shepherded their charges.

Even today, Brown remembers “Mr. Podacar” and his influences in the world of three-dimensional work. “I loved the physicality of it, and I didn’t get to do a lot of 3D in my other classes,” he said.

He also appreciates still the professors at KCAD who opened his eyes to abstraction, something that was new and exciting to him at the time.

Now, as he turns his attention to the fabrication of The PORTAL, Brown said he finds himself drawing on the foundations forged years ago, at Whitehall and at KCAD.

He had made conceptual renderings of The PORTAL out of cardboard in 2023. But 2024 brings the real deal. Though he won’t be doing the actual welding needed to create the sculpture, he will serve as the project manager, working hand in glove with folks at Versatile Fabrication, a sheet metal contractor in Muskegon Heights that has all of the heavy equipment, cranes, lasers and more that will be needed to complete the job.

“We’re talking 12 and a half tons of steel,” Brown said with a smile.

He expects that some of the welding and fabrication will happen in the next month or so, and he is excited to be on site with regularity, making sure his vision comes to fruition as the project progresses. And he can’t wait for the public unveiling of the sculpture in the fall of 2024.

“Public art is for the public,” he said. “It will be satisfying to see it when it’s completed and to see people connecting to it.”

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (2/19 - 2/25)

Monday, February 19

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, February 20

  • Officers were dispatched to a family dispute. Upon investigation, an 11year-old was angry her phone had been taken away and her parent had yelled at her. Officers suggested a course of action to deal with the matter as a family.

  • An officer was dispatched to check on a possible broken pipe at a local business that had flooded part of the building. The officer assisted the business owner in contacting the appropriate people to get the water shut off so repairs could be made.

  • An officer arrested and transported a 21-year-old old male to the Osceola County Jail on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court.

  • Officer assisted a woman who came to the department with concerns about her ex boyfriend and unwanted contact. The officer advised on the options available to her.

  • An officer assisted a woman that wanted to report some property that was stolen from the business she owns. Upon investigation it was determined to be a civil matter.

  • An officer responded to an ongoing dispute between landlord and a tenant. No issues.

  • Officers received a call of two young girls in a laundromat disturbing others. The officer attempted to locate the girls to speak with them about being respectful to others but they had left the business.

Wednesday, February 21

  • An officer responded to a call regarding a dog running off the property of it’s owner. The dog owner was found and given a warning.
  • An officer transported a 27-year-old old female from Mecosta County Jail to Osceola County Jail on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court.
  • An officer responded to a call regarding a suspicious male sitting at a picnic table in an apartment complex for a long period of time. It was found the man’s car had broken down and he was waiting for his daughter to return home so he could get a ride.

Thursday,February 22

  • Officers responded to a call from a concern person of a woman walking with her child in a stroller down US-10. The woman was found to be out for exercise, walking safely on the road shoulder, and both her and the child dressed appropriately for the weather.

Friday, February 23

  • While patrolling, an officer noticed a business door open. The officer searched the building, secured it and closed the door. The business owner was notified.

  • An officer issued an abatement notice for a trash violation.

  • An officer investigated a possible theft at a local business. Upon investigation no theft occurred.

  • Officers were dispatched to a local business for a disturbance. It was found to be a verbal family dispute between the owners.

Saturday, February 24

  • An officer observed a teen using a vape device. A citation for MIP vape was issued.

Sunday, February 25

  • Nothing reported.

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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?