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News That Affects You Archives for 2024-04

Haist throws perfect game as Cardinals sweep Blue Jays in a baseball battle of birds

The Cardinals remain undefeated following a series with Shepherd Monday, defeating the Blue Jays by scores of 9-3 and 12-0.

Big Rapids used big hits in the middle of the order, with a combined five RBI's from Mason McNeilly, Ty Gielczyk, and Isaac Zocco to push the Cardinals home seven runs in the final two innings to win game one. McNielly finsihed the game with two of the Cardinals' five extra base hits. Gielczyk got the win with five innings of work, only two earned runs and eight strikeouts on 82 pitches. Noah Sweppenheiser finished last two innings giving up no hits or runs with four strikeouts.

"We came out ready to hit. Pretty much hitters one through nine, in both games, had solid approaches at the plate and executed," Head coach J.T. Scarpelli said. "Gielczyk and McNeilly showed that they are two of the most powerful bats in the area. 

Game two was a continuation of game one's momentum offensively, as Big Rapids shelled 12 runs in the first four innings on 10 hits to end the game in five innings. Sophomore Cole Haist held the Blue Jays runnerless through all five frames with the help of a strong defensive effort. Phillip Wilbur led the Cards with three hits and five runs batted in and two runs. Gielczyk also added a home run and Zocco registering a triple.

"Haist’s box score speaks for itself," Scarpelli said. "Cole was perfect through five innings and he only threw 45 pitches. He attacked the hitters early and often getting into only three two-ball counts and nothing deeper. He used his defense including his own glove. Cole was very impressive."

Big Rapids faces White Cloud at home in a conference twinbill on Friday at 4:00 and 6:00 P.M.

Big Rapids hosting business and artisan fair next week

All fans of local businesses and artists are invited by the city of Big Rapids next Saturday, as it will be hosting a local business and artisan fair.

The fair will take place on Saturday, Apr. 27 from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. at the Big Rapids Middle School. There will be local crafters, artists, business, community organizations, food trucks, music, and more.

“Before, we were just an expo,” Band of Locals board member Kelly Rickabus said promoting the event. “Now, we will have business, non-profits, and lots of vendors. It’s a great exposure and networking (opportunity).”

Vendors can sign up and register for a space with the cost of $50. There will be 10 feet by 10 feet booths will be located in the gymnasium and 4 by 12 feet booths will be in the hallways. Pre-event set-up will take place from 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M.

“Get out there and support small,” Rickabus said. “You can buy stuff from the big stores, but it’s not going in the pocket your neighbor. In America, that’s what small towns are about: supporting each other.”

For more information on the event or to apply to be a vendor, visit bandoflocals.org.

Ferris State Athletics announces NIL partnership with Athlete's Thread

Ferris State University Athletics has officially announced a partnership with Athlete's Thread, providing the Bulldogs' nearly 400 student-athletes an exciting platform to showcase their own brand and to financially benefit from their Name, Image and Likeness (NIL).

The partnership allows every Bulldog student-athlete to sell customizable gear and jerseys with their name and number and receive monetary compensation for a portion of each sale. 

Athlete's Thread is a leading supplier of NIL merchandise, which allows student-athletes the ability to take advantage of opportunities to sell merchandise while using FSU's official logos and trademarks under current NCAA guidelines.

Presently, Athlete's Thread works with more than 100 colleges and universities, providing over 10,000 athletes with high-quality merchandise and jerseys to leverage their own NIL rights and create their own brand.

"We're excited to partner with Athlete's Thread and to support our student-athletes with a way to benefit from their own Name, Image and Likeness," said FSU Athletics Director Steve Brockelbank. "This partnership with Athlete's Thread gives our student-athletes a platform to engage with fans through custom and personalized Bulldog apparel and an avenue to profit themselves."

Bulldog student-athletes will be able to sign up and partner with Athlete's Thread, earning commissions on all merchandise sales. When partnering with Athlete's Thread, student-athletes earn 12 percent commissions on all merchandise sales, with the opportunity to earn an additional 10-15 percent commissions by sharing their affiliate link – a total of 22-27 percent. All partnerships are non-exclusive.

The NIL opportunity is open to all student-athletes at Ferris State University. Athlete's Thread believes that every athlete has an amazing story to tell, and it is their mission to empower them to share it.

As an approved licensee with Ferris State University, Athlete's Thread will contract directly with interested Bulldog student-athletes to design and create NIL licensed product as well as launch personalized online stores. Among the items offered for purchase include: replica jerseys, sweatshirts, shirseys and caricature designs with youth and adult sizing options. New gear featuring Ferris State student-athlete names, numbers and likeness will be added continuously as they opt to sign with Athlete's Thread.  

For more information on Ferris State Athletics, visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or follow Ferris State Athletics on all social media platforms.

Athlete's Thread can be found online at AthletesThread.com. A link for Ferris State University will be available once athletes beginning registration and partner with the company.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (4/8 - 4/14)

Monday, April 8

  • An officer took a report from a caller stating that some kids keep knocking very loudly on his door and then run away.
  • While patrolling, an officer found a mattress lying in front of a house after large trash pickup. The officer contacted the homeowner and the mattress was taken care of.
  • An officer conducted a welfare check on a 44-year-old female. The officer arrived at the location, and the female was found to be fine.

Tuesday, April 9

  • No incidents reported.

Wednesday, April 10

  • An officer conducted a welfare check on an 80-year-old male after a concerned citizen called. Upon arrival, the subject was determined to be fine.
  • An officer conducted a welfare check on a 56-year-old female as she called dispatch and was making suicidal comments. After contacting her son, the subject was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
  • An officer investigated a report of a minor car accident that occurred within a parking lot. No injuries occurred and only minor damage was sustained to the vehicles.
  • An officer investigated an incident where medical documents were being withheld from the victim. Through investigation, the second party was contacted and the documents were returned.

Thursday, April 11

  • No incidents reported.

Friday, April 12

  • While patrolling, an officer observed a semi-tractor parked on the roadway within a residential area. After contacting the driver, the semi-tractor was moved.
  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for an expired registration plate.

Saturday, April 13

  • While patrolling, an Officer found a business back door unlocked. After contacting the keyholder, the building was searched and secured.
  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for a defective taillight.

Sunday, April 14

  • An officer conducted a traffic stop for a window tint violation.
  • An officer issued an abatement letter concerning refuse on a property within the city.
  • Officers investigated an assault complaint, where a juvenile through a rock at and struck another juvenile.

Ferris State men's golf team beats rival GVSU to win 22nd GLIAC Championship

The Ferris State University men's golf team captured its 22nd all-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship by beating rival Grand Valley State University in the league finale on Sunday in Augusta, Mich.

After earning the No. 3 seed following the stroke play portion of the league championships, the Bulldogs advanced to the medal match round and beat Wayne State on Saturday 3-2 to reach the league final. In the championship match, Ferris State then knocked off No. 1 seed GVSU by a 3-0-2 score to emerge with the league title.

This year marks the fifth consecutive time in which the Bulldogs have reached at least the semifinal round at the league men's golf championships and Ferris State’s third title since 2019. Ferris State also won the 2021 championship after no tournament was held in 2020 and reached the finals in 2022 before falling in the semifinals a year ago.

Overall, the Bulldog men's golf squad has now captured 22 GLIAC Men's Golf Championships in school history.

In Sunday's showdown against the Lakers, Ferris State’s McCoy Biagioli was a four-stroke winner while Zach Koerner won his match by seven strokes. Both Nathan Kraynyk and Sam Havey forged ties in their head-to-head contests before Caleb Bond came up with a three-stroke triumph for the Bulldogs. Ferris State did not drop any of the five matches to the Lakers.

The 2024 GLIAC Championships continued the format established four years ago with each league school competing in 36 holes of stroke play and the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. The head-to-head medal match play bracket format for the semifinals and finals was similar to the current format utilized at the NCAA Championships.

This year's event was held again in Augusta with action at the Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort near Battle Creek on the Stoatin Brae Golf Club course. The par 71 course measured at 6,742 yards. Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort has become one of the largest golf resorts in the world, featuring six championship courses in one destination.

Ferris State, which was ranked fifth this past week in the NCAA Midwest Regional Rankings entering the conference championships, will await the official NCAA selection announcement set for later this month.

Overall, the Bulldog men's golf squad has now captured 22 GLIAC Men's Golf Championships in school history.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (4/8 - 4/14)

Monday, April 8

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Tuesday, April 9

  • At 5:54 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Green TWP. A male subject was arrested on three warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 6:34 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Austin TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 31

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Wednesday, April 10

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

  • At around 2:30 P.M., deputies assisted the U.S. Marshal task force in Big Rapids TWP. A male subject had 2 felony warrants out for his arrest. The male subject was found and arrested. A search was executed on the wanted subjects residence. The male subject is currently lodged at the Mecosta County Jail. Deputies were assisted by the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office ERT and Ferris DPS.

Calls for Service: 31

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Thursday, April 11

Calls for Service: 17

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Friday, April 12?

  • No incidents reported.

 

Saturday, April 13

  • At 4:26 P.M., deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Colfax TWP. A male subject was arrested for domestic assault and a parole violation. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 25

Traffic Accidents: 4

 

Sunday, April 14

  • At 10:30 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Colfax TWP. A female subject was arrested on a warrant. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

???Calls for Service: 21

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Social district, alcohol in public parks, and swimming pool fees on Monday's Big Rapids City Commission meeting docket

The Big Rapids City Commission meets tomorrow night, Monday, Apr. 15 at city hall at 6:30 P.M to discuss a number of items.

Special orders on the docket include citizen recognition for Thomas Hogenson by the Park And Recreation Board, proclamation for GFWC Federation Day, and proclamation for Arbor Day. The meeting will also include a study session for public input on the 2024-2025 city budget.

Other general business items include resolutions for the following:

  • Awarding bid for Runway 27/9 extension at the Roben Hood
    Airport.

  • Authorizing a publication of notice of intent to issue capital
    improvement bonds and declaration of intent to reimburse.

  • Establishing the City of Big Rapids downtown district as a social
    district and authorizing staff to pursue state licensing.

  • Amending Chapter 92 of the Big Rapids Code of Ordinances regarding alcoholic beverages in city parks.

  • Amending the Charles E. Fairman 2024 Swimming Pool fee schedule.

  • Authorizing a listing agreement with Re/Max Together Realty to sell
    property located at 906 N. State Street.

  • Mayoral appointments to boards and commissions.

All city commission meetings are available to the public.

Ferris State's College of Pharmacy ranked in nation's top tier by U.S. News and World Report

Ferris State University’s College of Pharmacy is in the top tier of graduate pharmacy programs in the nation, based on new rankings from U.S. News and World Report.

Nationally, Ferris State’s program ranked 60th in a list of 141 schools and colleges offering Doctor of Pharmacy degrees accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. That’s up eight places from the prior ranking.

The U. S. News and World Report said rankings reflect peer assessments of academic quality and research.

Ferris State is in the top three programs in the nation in the Carnegie Class Doctoral/Professional Universities category and is ranked No. 1 among public Doctoral/Professional Universities that offer only the professional degree.

This recognition also reflects significant achievements in research funding from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, and advanced practice initiatives.

“Rankings continue to affirm what we’ve long known and celebrated – that Ferris State’s College of Pharmacy is one of the very best in the nation,” Dean Stephen Durst said. “We’re proud of the work of our faculty and staff, but also of the thousands of graduates who are serving their communities on the cutting edge of health care.”

Ferris State’s Pharmacy programs includes more than 1,700 hours of field experience, and coursework with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. Students spend the first and second academic years on the Big Rapids campus, and the third year on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile. The final year of the four-year program utilizes clinical sites through both the upper and lower peninsulas.

Pharmacists are increasingly in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the field is expected to grow by 3 percent through 2032, with about 13,400 openings for pharmacists projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or retire.

Information about the College of Pharmacy and how to apply can be found at ferris.edu/pharmacy.

KCSO seized 3,200 grams of illegally grown marijuana

The Kent County Sheriff's Office has noticed a consistent trend where our youth has access to nicotine vape pens, marijuana, and marijuana-related products.

The Sheriff's Office received information regarding a business in Oakfield Township that is believed to have sold nicotine pens and marijuana to underage children. Last month, after a lengthy investigation, the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team seized 3,200 grams of marijuana and marijuana products, 4,100 vape pens, 2 handguns, and $39,500 from this business. This is still an ongoing investigation.

Kent County Sheriff's Office first received information from the community expressing concern that their children could purchase nicotine vape pens from Nature's Edge, formerly known as Greenville Hydroponics, in Oakfield Township.

Last May, a decoy was able to purchase a nicotine vape pen from this business, despite being under the legal age. The business was cited. 

Months later, an area school resource officer received information that Nature's Edge was selling marijuana and marijuana products to students. This information was also presented to our narcotics team which started an investigation, resulting in 3 search warrants last month.

Kent County Sheriff's Office wants to thank our community for its attentiveness, which keeps our community safer.

Bulldog Men's Golf to compete in GLIAC Championships this weekend

The Ferris State University men's golf team will compete in the 2024 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships Friday thru Sunday (April 12-14).

The event will be held again this year in Augusta, Mich., with action at the Gull Lake View Golf Club and Resort near Battle Creek.

The 2024 GLIAC Championships will continue the format established four years ago with each league school competing in 36 holes of stroke play with a single round per day on both Friday and Saturday. The low four of five scores will count towards the respective team score for each squad.

Following round two, the top four teams will advance to head-to-head medal play on Sunday with a bracket format similar to the current format utilized at the NCAA Championships. The two winning teams following semifinal-round play will advance to the finals in which a GLIAC Champion will be crowned.

Gull Lake View Golf Club & Resort has become one of the largest golf resorts in the World, featuring six championship courses in one amazing destination. Golfers can play 18 holes a day for six days, without ever playing the same hole twice.

The men will tee off on Friday at the Stoatin Brae Golf Club course. The par 71 course measures at 6,742 yards.

Overall, the Bulldog men's golf squad has captured 21 GLIAC Men's Golf Championships in school history and won back-to-back medal match play league titles in 2019 and 2021 (no tournament was held in 2020) before earning runner-up honors in 2022. FSU reached the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year a season ago.

Live online scoring will be available throughout the tournament. Visit the link below to follow the action.

GLIAC Men's Golf Championships:
https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=29041

Local baseball and softball games postponed due to weather

Due to inclement weather in west central Michigan, the following baseball and softball games have been postponed in the area:

 

BASEBALL 4/12

  • Reed City @ Big Rapids (Rescheduled Monday, May 13)
  • Morley Stanwood @ Chippewa Hills (Rescheduled TBD)
  • Onekama @ Pine River (Rescheduled TBD)

BASEBALL 4/13

  • Cedar Springs @ Tri-County (Rescheduled Friday, May 17)

SOFTBALL 4/12

  • Reed City @ Big Rapids (Rescheduled Monday, May 13)
  • Onekama @ Pine River (Rescheduled TBD)

SOFTBALL 4/13

  • Cedar Springs @ Tri-County (Rescheduled Friday, May 17)

Proposed make-up dates for Pine River vs. Onekama and Morley Stanwood vs. Chippewa Hills will be announced by each school soon.

Spring Dawg Days event on April 13 to capsulize Ferris State experience for prospective students

More than 200 high school students and guests are expected to attend Ferris State University’s springtime “Dawg Days” event on Saturday to learn more about how the university can provide a life-changing education.

The event starts at 9 a.m. at the university’s David L. Eisler Center, 805 Campus Drive in Big Rapids.

Assistant Director of Orientation Emily Hicks said guests will be joined by hundreds of family members who also learn about the university’s programs, campus life and various Ferris resources from student ambassadors and a variety of faculty and staff members.

“We have been reaching out to prospective students through emails, messaging on a number of social media platforms and offering personal invitations from Admissions recruiters on school visits,” Hicks said. “Our Dawg Day program is a comfortable yet comprehensive view of the Ferris experience for an audience of high school sophomores and juniors, through interactions with college representatives and presentations from our financial aid experts.”

Hicks said their visitors receive a meal from Dining Services and are given a campus tour to visit the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education, along with Ferris State residence halls and recreational facilities

“We will also have a summer Dawg Day on Saturday, Aug. 3, prior to Welcome Week for new and returning Ferris students,” Hicks said. “Students are encouraged to contact Admissions as there are visitation programs throughout the spring and summer to learn about campus on a more intimate basis.”

Ferris is approaching the 140th anniversary of its founding Sunday, Sept. 1, as the Big Rapids Industrial School was established in 1884 by Woodbridge N. Ferris and his wife Helen.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office reported a scam alert to citizens

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is advising of a scam the has been going on for the past two days.

The Sheriff’s Office has received several calls from residents around the state of Michigan that have been contacted by phone by what sounds like a Deputy from our office advising them that they have missed court and need to pay a fine. 

This is a scam and the Sheriff’s Office does not call notifying anyone about court dates, fine, or warrants. If you receive one of these calls advise the caller that you know it’s a scam and hang up. If they call back, block their number.

Kunse introduces plan to rename highway after fallen veteran

State Rep. Tom Kunse is spearheading an effort to rename a portion of US 131 near Big Rapids after Sergeant Matthew Webber, an army veteran. Webber passed away in 2006 after an accident in Iraq.

After the accident, Webber survived five and a half months in a U.S. Hospital, where staff began calling him “Miracle Matt” because of how long he was able to keep fighting despite injuries.

“Sgt. Webber is a true American hero who sacrificed everything for our country,” said Kunse. “I’m honored to play a small part in ensuring Matthew’s service will be remembered for generations.”

Webber, who was from Stanwood, enlisted in the Army National Guard during his junior year of high school. He rose to the rank of Sergeant and assumed the role of squad leader. He signed up for the United States Army in 2000 and served until he passed in 2006. His service was recognized with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star awards. He also was posthumously awarded a degree from Western Michigan University.

“Once we heard Matthew’s story, we did our best to step up and honor his legacy,” Kunse said. “My staff used their own time to help Matthew’s family raise the $6,000 it would’ve cost them to purchase and install the signage should my bill be signed into law. I’m proud to have a staff willing to go above and beyond on behalf of our community.”

When the Stanwood community learned of the effort to have the Muskegon River overpass on U.S. 131 named after him, they rallied together to raise all that was needed for Webber’s sign.

While the Legislature must approve a highway naming, the cost of purchasing and installing the signage usually falls back on the family of the person being recognized.

Evart Police Department's K9 Koda has received donation of body armor

Evart Police Department’s K9 Koda has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Koda’s vest was sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of Toonces and Lloydee”.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 5,514 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $985 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1800.00, weighs an average of 4-5 lb., and comes with a five-year warranty. For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

Ferris State football season tickets for 2024 season now on sale

Ferris State University has announced season tickets for the 2024 campaign are on sale now.

The Bulldogs enter the 2024 season aiming to make their 10th consecutive postseason playoff appearance as one of the country's top programs. Potential big crowds are expected for all six 2024 regular-season home contests.

This fall's home slate includes early season non-conference matchups against Lake Erie (Sept. 7) and Ashland (Sept. 14) along with league games versus conference newcomer Roosevelt on homecoming (Oct. 5) in addition to contests against Michigan Tech (Oct. 19), Saginaw Valley State (Nov. 9) and the regular-season finale versus Davenport (Nov. 16).

Fans can purchase season tickets thru FSU's digital ticketing platform in partnership with HomeTown Ticketing at FerrisStateBulldogs.com/Tickets.

Bulldog fans can purchase a season ticket for admission to all six home games for only $100 plus applicable online fees, which represents a $20 discount over purchasing each game separately. Once season tickets are purchased, tickets will be emailed to the customer upon checkout and then scanned at the gate on gameday. Tickets can also be printed at home.

In addition to the season ticket package, fans can also purchase a standard season parking pass online this year for only $60 or an RV season parking pass for $180.

Single-game tickets for all 2024 home games will go on sale later this summer along with Gridiron Club memberships in the near future.

For additional information regarding ticket sales, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket office at (231) 591-2888.

The Bulldogs will begin their 115th season of varsity competition this coming fall with their sights set on making a 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The Bulldogs have made five national semifinal appearances along with three trips to the national championship game and back-to-back national titles in 2021 and 2022 during the stretch.

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

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

BREAKING: Truck dragged by semi-truck in Montcalm County accident

On Wednesday, Apr. 10, a truck was travelling west on M-46 west of Northland Drive when it hit the back of a semi truck that was slowing down. The accident occurred on the section of M-46 in front of Burley Park in Montcalm County.

An observer of the incident reported the truck was travelling about 60 miles per hour and was not allowing a safe distance behind the semi. The truck was also reportedly dragged behind the semi for a half mile. 

No injuries were reported from the wreck. Lakeview state troopers were on the scene along with an ambulance for potential medical assistance. 

Big Rapids men's softball league holding captain's meeting this Thursday

A preseason captain's meeting will be held for all 2024 Big Rapids Men's & COED Softball teams on Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at Big Rapids Middle School.

Anyone interested in fielding an adult softball team this summer should have at least one representative at the meeting. The men's and co-ed meeting will take place in the school library.

The cost to take part in the Big Rapids Men's Softball Association's (BRMSA) men's and co-ed leagues will be $550 per team this summer with games slated to begin in late May once league alignments and schedules are finalized.

In addition, the league will hold its annual Spring Fling Preseason Tourney on Saturday, May 4. Registration forms are due by April 27.

To stay up to date on all information, please visit the BRMSA website at www.BRMSA.com.

Bulldog Soccer strives to build off past success with One Day for Dawgs fundraising efforts

The Ferris State University Women’s Soccer team made school history in the 2022 season by securing a NCAA Division II regional championship and competing in the national semifinal game.

Four months later, the Bulldogs shattered a second team record, working together to raise more than $10,000 in support of the soccer program during Ferris States’ 2023 One Day for Dawgs.

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 that helps athletic teams compete with the best in the NCAA Division II.

Following its in-season success, the Bulldog Soccer team was motivated to keep improving throughout the offseason, including fundraising efforts.

“Fundraising for us is all about helping us bridge the gap to our competition,” said Allison McMahon, a senior midfielder from San Diego. “We worked to get updated cameras and practice equipment to help us evaluate film, be more consistent overall, and improve our practice planning.” 

In the 2023 season, the Bulldogs helped head coach Greg Hanson reach 150 career victories before falling in the GLIAC tournament semifinal game. Maintaining the motivation to keep working through the offseason, though, hasn’t been a problem for the Bulldogs. 

“Funnily enough, we didn’t even expect a trophy in 2022 for winning the regional championship,” McMahon said. “It surprised us because we were just so happy to keep playing together as a team and to move on in the tournament. Our program loves to compete, and that attitude will never change.”   

Lindsey Cole, a junior defender from Grand Rapids, said the team members are focused on getting back to the final four and pushing themselves to bring more championships to Big Rapids.

“We’re inspired by our community and all the support we see during the season and during events like One Day for Dawgs,” she said.  

Looking forward to this year’s One Day for Dawgs, set for April 10, the Bulldog Soccer team is pursuing an underestimated advantage that will help them in their quest for a championship – warmth.  

“Our playoff season is mid-November into early December and many of the host schools are in the northern states,” Cole said. “Solid cold-weather equipment and preparation are underrated but super important to post-season success when we play on these open and exposed fields.”

The most important consideration for the team, though, is remembering what it means to wear the Bulldog on their jerseys.

“The outpouring of support from our fans and community supporters on One Day for Dawgs means so much,” McMahon said. “Your gifts and kind words are inspirational, empowering, and go a lot further than you might think. It really does mean the world to us. Thank you.” 

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (4/1 - 4/7)

Monday, April 1

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a counterfeit money complaint at a local business. The incident remains under investigation.
  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a fraud complaint involving the use of counterfeit money. The suspect was identified and a report will be sent to the Prosecutor for charges.

Tuesday, April 2

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched to an online fraud complaint. The incident remains under investigation.

Wednesday, April 3

  • Runaway – Officers Assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office with locating a subject that assaulted a person and fled the scene. The subject was turned over to Sheriff Deputies.

Thursday, April 4

  • Miscellaneous – Officers were dispatched to check the well being of children at a residence. The children were found to be okay.

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted the Reed City Police Department on a warrant arrest.

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched for a fraud complaint involving the use of counterfeit money. The suspect was identified and a report will be sent to the Prosecutor for charges.

Friday, April 5

  • No incidents reported.

Saturday, April 6

  • Domestic – Officers responded for a domestic assault that was not in progress. The suspect was arrested on three counts of domestic assault.

  • Attempt to Locate - Officers assisted the Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a warrant attempt. When approaching the subject, they took off on foot. The subject was caught and was placed into custody on multiple felony warrants and new charges.

  • Flee/Elude – The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the departments K-9 to track the driver of a vehicle that fled from deputies and crashed a short distance later. 

Sunday, April 7

  • Criminal Sexual Assault – Officers and CPS investigated a CSC complaint involving an adult having inappropriate contact with a minor. It was determined he incident occurred in another county and the report was forwarded to the another law enforcement agency.

  • Warrant Arrest - Officers arrested a subject who had a misdemeanor warrant.

  • Juvenile – Officers responded for a check well being on juveniles.

Cardinal baseball uses hot bats to beat Tri-county

Big Rapids' bats stayed hot on Tuesday afternoon, putting up 31 runs in a dominant outing at Tri-County.

The Cardinals strung together 13 runs in the top of the sixth inning to solidfy the win in game one. Big Rapids led game two 12-1 in the bottom part of the second inning until the game was postponed due to darkness. The game has been ruled incomplete and is slated to be finished later in the season.

"Defense struggled tonight," Head coach J.T. Scarpelli said. "We need to see improvement fast. We were without our All Region CF Vennix who is day to day, which hurt us a lot. Pitchers gave up too many free bases."

Jonathan Losinski led the Cardinals with four hits in 8 appearences, including 3 doubles, 4 runs and 3 RBIs. Nick Teceno added 3 hits and 3 RBIs while Ty Gielczyk and Philip Wilbur each added 4 RBIs in the night's action. Gielczyk took the win in game 1 on the mound with 3 2/3 innings pitched, seven strikeouts, and only 3 hits allowed. Cole Haist relieved the junior in 2 1/3 innings with 6 strikeouts and only 1 earned run. 

"Our offense got in rhythm & executed solid approaches to create a decent amount of runs," Scarpelli said. "Losinski, Zocco, Ososki, Teceno, Gielczyk, Wilber and McNeilly all were fantastic. Special thanks to head coach Shawn Nelson & Tri County for hosting us. That field is a very nice baseball surface to play on."

Big Rapids will be back in action on Friday at home against rival Reed City at 4:00 and 6:00 P.M.

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (4/1 - 4/7)

Monday, April 1

  • Officers investigated a suspicious situation, where several nails were left in a driveway. This case is open pending additional investigation.

  • While investigating an unrelated matter, an officer seized a large amount of suspected methamphetamine from a residence. This report has been submitted to the prosecutor’s office for charges.

  • An officer was dispatched to a single vehicle accident, where a driver had a medical issue, drove over a curb and into a building. No injuries were sustained in the accident.

Tuesday, April 2

  • No incidents. 

Wednesday, April 3

  • An officer investigated an incident concerning a juvenile acting incorrigible.

Thursday, April 4

  • An officer arrested a 31-year-old female on a felony warrant. The female was transported to the Osceola County jail without incident. Charges have been sought for resisting and obstructing on two subjects concerning this incident.

  • An officer took a report from a 37-year-old female regarding some lost property. After investigating, the property was found.

  • An officer responded to a call regarding two females yelling late at night. Both females were issued citations for disturbing the peace.

Friday, April 5

  • An officer served an abatement notice regarding an ordinance violation.

  • An officer investigated a threats complaint.

Saturday, April 6

  • While conducting foot patrol, an officer found a business door unlocked. The building was searched, the door was secured, and the business owner was contacted.

Sunday, April 7

  • No incidents.

Big Rapids baseball wins home openers

The Cardinals are off to a hot start on the diamond. Big Rapids opened the season with two wins over Cadillac at home last Friday.

Big Rapids won game one behind four runs in the fifth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie to that point. Sophomore Noah Sweppenheiser earned his first career varsity win after two strong innings of relief with four strikeouts. Senior Mason McNeilly reached in base in all three at bats with a single, two walks, and two runs scored. 

Game two resulted in an even great win for the red and blue, as Big Rapids finished off the Vikings in three innings by a mercy rule 16-3. Sophomore Karsen Rehkopf earned his first win on the mound only giving up two hits. Senior Riley Vennix had a double, triple, three runs scored and four RBIs. Nick Teceno also reached base twice and scored three times.

"Our defense needs work but we've only been outside a few times with this weather so that will be remedied shortly,” Head coach J.T. Scarpelli said. “Our pitchers only walked 2 batters tonight and our hitters executed their approaches at the plate. Everyone got better tonight. Big thanks to Coach Franklin and Cadillac for traveling down here to play tonight. My guys are looking forward to Tuesday's conference opener at Tri County."

Big Rapids will return to action in their conference openers against Tri-County this afternoon at 4:00 and 6:00 P.M. For more scores and updates, visit wbrn.com.

FSU Sports Communication program is set to host "Heart To Heart Hand to Hand" basketball game

Ferris State University (FSU) Sports Communication Program will be hosting “Heart to Heart Hand to Hand” basketball game to honor the Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan organization. The FSU Men’s and Women’s basketball teams will unify with athletes from Area 5 to perform an exhibition game. The event will also be sponsored by Dean Transportation.

The basketball game will take place in the Wink Arena, located at the Ewigleben Sports Complex on the southwest side of campus on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m.

In attendance will be athletes from Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan, Pat Rosales, Regional Manager of Special Olympics West Michigan and Director of Special Olympics Michigan Area 5, the FSU Men’s and Women’s basketball teams, and students from the FSU Sports Communication Program.

There will also be a "Lightning" contest between four Ferris athletics teams and a round of musical chairs featuring the Special Olympics College Club at halftime. The event will also contain a “Miracle Minute,” giving guests an opportunity to donate to Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan. 

Ferris State sophomore wins 2024 Disc Golf Singles National Championship; Team places fourth continuing tradition of excellence

Sophomore sensation Benji Zorn further bolstered Ferris State University’s tradition of excellence in disc golf as he fired a three-under-par 28 in the final round to win a singles national championship in Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

The Grand Rapids native, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Professional Sales at Ferris State, stood tall atop a hotly contested leaderboard at Winthrop University. Only three singles competitors ended under par, and two others even. Facing tough competition, Zorn understood he had little room for error and elevated his play accordingly. 

“It was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life. I was feeling a ton of pressure,” Zorn said, thinking back to the year before when he earned All-American status but missed out on a national championship as a freshman. “I wanted to stay focused on doing the best I could for my team, Ferris and myself. 

Zorn did that, noting the extremely windy and wet playing conditions as he locked his focus during the final round. 

Ferris State professor emeritus and former associate provost Leonard Johnson, advisor for the Disc Golf team, couldn’t be prouder of the highly recruited Zorn, who first rose to prominence as a freshman in 2023 when he earned All-American honors at the Collegiate Disc Golf National Championship in North Carolina. 

“When Benji joined the team last year as a freshman, he made an immediate impact. He is one of those incredibly gifted athletes who comes along once in a blue moon,” said Johnson, who retired from Ferris State in 2022 but remains highly involved with a team and program that mean a lot to him. “His leadership guiding weekly team practices has been instrumental in helping to develop and hone the skills of players on both our men’s and women’s teams.”

Johnson admired Zorn, who elevated his play when it mattered most. 

“His hard work and dedication came together during the final nine holes of singles play when he came from three strokes behind to capture the 2024 men’s singles national collegiate disc golf championship,” Johnson said. “The last time a Ferris player won the men’s singles title was when Bryan Murphy crushed a field of over 100 competitors to win the title in 2014.” 

Zorn expressed his gratitude to Johnson. 

“Leonard sold me on coming to Ferris, and it started when he took me on a campus tour and showed me the course. That was when I really started to buy into Ferris, the disc golf team, and Leonard,” he said. I love this team and its commitment to success. I always want to go out there and do my best for my teammates.” 

Zorn added, “We’re so happy to have Leonard continue to be part of this program, given everything he has done to help get it to where it is now. He could be off somewhere, retired, but he is still with us and loves being part of this program. We love having him with us.” 

Johnson noted that the team battled to a fourth-place finish – ahead of 44 schools. The team finished at -23, behind the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, the University of Cincinnati and North Carolina State University. 

The Ferris State Disc Golf Men’s Team was previously crowned national champions in 2015, 2017 and 2019. The Women’s Team won its first national title in 2021. 

Click Disc Golf Club at Ferris State for more information about the team and club sports.

*Image credited to Professional Disc Golf Association.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (4/1 - 4/7)

Monday, April 1

Calls for Service: 22

 

Tuesday, April 2

Calls for Service: 14

 

Wednesday, April 3

Calls for Service: 28

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Thursday, April 4

  • No incidents reported.

Friday, April 5

Calls for Service: 39

Traffic Accidents: 2

 

Saturday, April 6

  • At 2:05 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Deerfield TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver and female passenger being arrested on warrants out of Newaygo County. Both were lodged in Newaygo County.

  • At 8:00 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 9:35 P.M., deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence Sheridan TWP. A male subject had a warrant out of Osceola County. He was lodged in Osceola County.

Calls for Service: 15

Traffic Accidents: 1

 

Sunday, April 7

Calls for Service: 16

Ferris State Women's Basketball to celebrate historic season at postseason banquet

 The Ferris State University women's basketball squad will celebrate a historic season as the Bulldogs hold their annual postseason banquet on Sunday, April 14, at the David L. Eisler Center on the FSU campus.

The banquet will start at 6 pm. (ET) and include a dinner along with a celebration of this past season, which included FSU's first-ever NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship and appearance in the national semifinals.

The cost for the dinner is only $25 per ticket and please RSVP by April 8 if possible. Online registration and payment is preferred, but payments will be accepted at the door. 

For additional information, please contact Cedric Frierson at 231-679-9852 or via email at CedricFrierson@ferris.edu. Please email Cedric Frierson directly to utilize in-person payment option.

Registration and payments can be made online at this link below:
https://igfn.us/form/E39Ujw

Ferris State, which was guided by fourth-year head coach Kurt Westendorp, concluded the 2023-24 season with a school all-time best 26-6 overall record. FSU won the Midwest Regional Championship for the first time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time, eventually reaching the national semifinals.

This season, the Bulldogs beat three teams that were ranked number one in the nation at game time, including both GVSU (once) and Ashland (twice). Additionally, FSU's win over Grand Valley State in the Midwest Regional Championship game in Allendale came when the Lakers were ranked second in the country, giving Ferris State four wins this year over opponents ranked first or second nationally.

Ferris State Softball sweeps Purdue Northwest in GLIAC road doubleheader

The Ferris State University softball team opened its weekend road trip with a sweep on Saturday (April 6) as the Bulldogs captured a pair of wins over Purdue Northwest in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play in Hammond, Ind.

The Bulldogs recorded a 1-0 shutout in the opener and came away with a 4-2 win in the nightcap to take the league doubleheader.

In the opener, senior ace pitcher Aryn Gallacher allowed only three hits and no runs in a full seven innings of work to garner the victory. She struck out four and walked one in the performance.

Offensively, the Bulldogs totaled four hits and produced the game's only run in the fourth inning on an RBI from Maddie Gkekas, who notched a double in the win. Freshman Alexis Kozlowski also doubled while Ella McDonaldnotched a sacrifice hit for FSU. Shortstop Emma Gillard and designated player Abby Meyer also garnered hits.

The Bulldogs had another strong performance in game two. PNW struck first in the opening inning with a run, but FSU answered in the top of the second to tie the game back up. The Bulldogs scored in the fourth and the Pride in the fifth before the Bulldogs eventually got their final two runs in the sixth and held Purdue Northwest off the board in their final two at-bats. Both teams finished with six hits.

FSU's Ashley Webb earned the pitching win, giving up only two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. She had three strikeouts. Izzy Regner pitched two-thirds of an inning and did not allow a hit or run before Gallacher came on to earn the save with a single hit allowed and one strikeout in one-third of an inning.

McDonald had two hits and an RBI at the plate while Meyer also produced two hits and drove in a run. FSU also got hits from designated player Emily Killion, who added an RBI, along with Gkekas in the victory.

The Bulldogs will visit Parkside on Sunday (April 7) for a league doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. (ET) in Kenosha, Wis.

View the April 8 solar eclipse safely with tips from the Ferris State University Michigan College of Optometry

Catching a glimpse of Monday’s rare solar eclipse can be exciting – but can cause lasting vision damage without proper safety precautions, say faculty members at Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry. 

“Unsafe viewing of the sun, even for a few seconds, is not worth a lifetime of vision impairment,” said Dr. Eric Syverson, an MCO assistant professor and chief of Medical and Surgical Services.

A rare total solar eclipse will be visible across parts of the United States, Canada and Mexico on Monday, April 8.  A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between Earth and the sun – blocking the sun’s light and darkening the sky as if late in the evening or early in the morning.

As cool as a rare solar eclipse is to observe, Syverson strongly urges skywatchers to carefully use special eye protection and limit even protected exposure to minimize the risk of eye damage.

“Some may say it is safe to remove solar viewing glasses to look directly at the total eclipse. Theoretically, this has some merit, but I would not recommend taking that chance,” he said.

Syverson recommends purchasing certified solar viewing glasses that meet the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 12312-2). He further suggests Certified Solar Viewing Glasses with an ISO logo and reference number 12312-2.

Preparation matters.

“These glasses are designed to ensure that solar viewing glasses provide adequate protection for the eyes when looking at the sun or a solar eclipse,” Syverson said. “They are not expensive, but I recommend ordering them ahead of time. They can be found online.”

Syverson said pinhole projectors or indirect viewing methods, as recommended by the American Optometric Association, are also recommended. He also noted that the total solar eclipse can be viewed via the NASA live stream. Additionally, NASA offers eye safety tips for viewers.

Syverson has safety reminders for casual viewers:

  • Normal sunglasses do not have the required optical density or transmission requirements to protect your eyes against the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Supervise and educate children on the harm of looking directly into the sun.
  • Homemade filters should not be used.
  • Limit your viewing of the total eclipse even with the proper safety equipment.

The consequences of not exercising caution in viewing the total solar eclipse could be significant, including the possibility of permanent vision loss and impairment due to solar retinopathy, which is damage to the retina - the back of the eye -- from harmful sun rays. 

Other potential consequences include red, irritated and or painful eyes due to solar keratitis, which he likened to a sunburn on the cornea that can be painful and difficult to treat.

NASA’s quick facts include the corona, the sun’s outer atmosphere, being normally not visible. During a total solar eclipse, however, the corona becomes visible and provides an opportunity to study this aspect of the sun.

Also, according to NASA, the next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States is not expected until Aug. 23, 2044.

The MCO faculty and staff encourage viewers to protect their vision while observing this unique natural phenomenon.

Ferris State’s Michigan College of Optometry, founded in 1974, is the only optometry program in the state. It includes the University Eye Center, a full-service eye care clinic serving university employees, students, and the surrounding community. In addition to providing comprehensive care, the center has specialty clinics in ocular disease, pre- and post-surgical care, specialty contact lenses, pediatrics, and binocular vision and vision therapy. 

*Image provided by Ferris State University.

Fourth largest jackpot in Powerball history up for grabs in Saturday's drawing

The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $1.3 billion, making it the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history. The cash option for the jackpot is $608.9 million.

If a player wins Saturday’s jackpot, it will not only make Powerball history as one of the largest jackpots ever won, but it would also be the eighth-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.

“Winning Saturday’s $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot would have an incredible impact on the life of a Michigander and their family for generations,” said Lottery Commissioner, Suzanna Shkreli. “While the thought of winning a huge jackpot is exciting, I encourage everyone to always play responsibly.”

The Powerball jackpot was last won Jan. 1 when one ticket purchased in Michigan won the $842.2 million jackpot. The winning ticket was purchased at the Food Castle of Grand Blanc, located at 3035 East Grand Blanc Road in Grand Blanc. 

The huge jackpot has yet to be claimed. The lucky winner should contact the Lottery’s Player Relations Division at 844-917-6325 to set up an appointment to claim their prize. Powerball tickets are valid for one year from the drawing date.

Saturday’s drawing will be the 41st drawing in the jackpot run, tying the record for Powerball’s longest stretch without a jackpot winner. A 41-drawing Powerball jackpot run has only happened twice before, and those runs resulted in jackpots of:

•    $2.04 billion jackpot, won on Nov. 7, 2022
•    $699.8 million jackpot, won on Oct. 4, 2021

Since the Powerball jackpot run began Jan. 3, Michigan Lottery players have won more than $8.8 million in prizes, including three $1 million prizes.

Lottery retailers throughout the state are selling Powerball tickets until 9:45 p.m. Saturday. Tickets also may be purchased online at MichiganLottery.com.

Powerball plays may be purchased for $2 each at Lottery retailers across the state and online at MichiganLottery.com. A “Power Play” option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes by up to 10 times to a maximum of $2 million may be added to any Powerball play for only $1. For an additional $1 per play, Double Play may be added to a Powerball ticket, giving players a second chance to win up to $10 million in the nightly Double Play drawing.

The Powerball drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday and may be watched live online at: http://www.powerball.com. Powerball tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington D.C., U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Ferris State University Sports Communication program set to honor Area 5 Special Olympics at softball game

Ferris State University (FSU) Sports Communication Program will be honoring Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan at the Ferris State softball home battle against Davenport University.

The softball game will take place at the Ferris State Softball Field located off Ferris Dr. on the west side of campus. The softball field sits right across from the Department of Public Safety.

The games will take place on Saturday, Apr. 13 with game one beginning at 1P.M. and game two beginning at 3 P.M.

In attendance at the game will be athletes from Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan, and students from the FSU Sports Communication Program.

There will also be a “Miracle Minute” during each game, giving guests an opportunity to donate to Area 5 Special Olympics of Michigan. The members of Area 5 will also have the opportunity to walk out with the starting lineup of the Ferris State softball team. 

For more information or special accommodations, contact Ferris State Athletics at (231)-591-2860 at least 72 hours in advance. 

*Image provided by Ferris State Sports Communication.

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist II announces the approval of Michigan's first-ever digital equity plan

Today, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) announced the approval of Michigan’s first-ever Digital Equity Plan by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This landmark approval marks a significant step forward in Michigan's commitment to eliminating the digital divide and ensuring that every Michigan resident has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. 

“Every Michigander deserves access to affordable, fast internet, and the approval of Michigan’s first-ever Digital Equity Plan will help us more efficiently and effectively connect more individuals, families, and small business owners,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “The development of this plan will help us understand better where we need to target resources and make investments and how we can ensure a level playing field for every Michigander no matter where they live. I applaud the Michigan High Speed Internet Office for getting this done, and Governor Whitmer and I look forward to continued work to ensure every Michigander can connect to opportunity and potential through affordable, fast internet.” 

The development of the Michigan Digital Equity Plan was a community-driven process, informed by feedback from over 800 residents across Michigan during MIHI’s 41 stop MI Connected Future statewide tour. This extensive engagement effort highlighted the broadband barriers many Michiganders face when it comes to high-speed internet, including affordability of service, availability of service, digital skills and the affordability of internet enabled devices. With the vision of achieving a digitally equitable state by 2030, the plan outlines a comprehensive approach to address these barriers in Michigan. 

“The MIHI Office is proud to lead this effort to ensure digital equity for all Michigan residents”, said Eric Frederick, Michigan’s chief connectivity officer. “This plan is a blueprint for empowering Michiganders with the digital tools and access the necessary resources to succeed in today’s digital world.” 

The Michigan Digital Equity Plan includes a holistic approach to closing gaps in education, healthcare, workforce development and civic engagement, which culminates the future implementation of a state-wide Digital Navigator Resource Network to support capacity building for communities to meet the needs of their residents throughout the state. This week, the NTIA announced more than $20M will be awarded to Michigan through the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program. The plan approval by the NTIA and the funding from the Capacity Grant Program enables MIHI to begin the implementation of the plan and make these initiatives a reality.  

“MIHI approaches digital equity holistically and we are looking forward to working with communities to close the digital divide once and for all,” said Allie Herkenroder, Michigan’s digital equity director. “This plan could not exist without the support and involvement from Michiganders everywhere and we are excited to usher in an era of digital inclusion for Michigan.”    

For more information on the Michigan Digital Equity Plan and other digital equity and inclusion resources, visit Michigan.gov/MIHI

Community Column: What food establishment should find its way to Big Rapids?

The types of cuisine available in this world is represented by an endless abyss of options. Many of them stick in certain places, while others do not. As a unique area that Big Rapids is, there have been many attempts to insert new options. Satisfying that need is tough, as the audience is very diverse and unique. The question comes down to what’s the next big idea?

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

 

Steakhouse

As one of the most popular responses, a franchise steakhouse has been absent from the area for some time. A Ponderosa once frequented Old US-131 north of 19 Mile Road, but lack of traffic eventually led to the disintegration. With a plethora of casual bar and grill restaurants, both locally owned like Schuberg’s or a franchise like Applebee’s, it has made steakhouse fans travel up to 60 miles or settle for limited options at these versatile establishments. Especially considering the addition of hotels and professional meeting venues, adding a large-scale steakhouse like Logan’s Roadhouse or Longhorn Steakhouse could boost the idea of businesses venturing to Big Rapids for cheaper rates than Grand Rapids. 

 

Italian Restaurant

Remember when the talk of the town was an Olive Garden prank on Facebook? Welp, it turns out it has stuck with townspeople to this day. This was the most liked comment of all posted via our Facebook inquiry. Big Rapids is home to quite a few pizza parlors, but not many sit down pasta, “wine and dine” restaurants have reached this far north. The city used to have Vivo’s a few years back, until the establishment left and was inhabited by A La Mode on State Street. Since then, there isn’t many places that a couple or friends can dress up and go out to eat in formal fashion. This could be a cool add to the town.

 

Seafood/Sushi

Seeing this common nomination definitely caught my attention. Get it? Outside of Long John Silvers, there really is little to no options for finding seafood options in Big Rapids. It’s a shame because Big Rapids has a reputation, or at least a partial reputation, when it comes to bodies of water. First, the word “Rapids” in our name. Second, the heavily travelled and fisherman-filled Muskegon River. And third, a fairly large population of people that live in the area on the river or a nearby lake. Adding a seafood place could amplify this idea back into the town’s image. This can also include a sushi place, which had some success before at TTOWA before it closed and was replaced by Timber Cannabis Co.

 

24-Hour Diner

One of the more unique ideas on this list, a 24-hour diner is an interesting idea. While downtown can be quiet during night hours, placing a dinner along Perry Avenue near the hotels may bring success. Similar to a Waffle House, the establishment would likely need to specialize in breakfast to fill the void in that area. The hardest part of putting in a 24-hour diner would be staffing the full day as well as obtaining licenses for serving late hours, but the wide-open opportunity to provide visitors with a convenient any meal, any time option may be enticing enough to draw in a business. 

 

Thai Pad/Chinese Restaurant

Adding some international spice to the town’s menu could be a huge hit. In this category, China One Buffet and New China Chinese Restaurant have been trying to capture that audience, but their tucked away locationshave made it a little difficult. I think adding a second, different style restaurant or faster food place could help boost the desire for Thai or Chinese food. Examples of this could be Panda Express or Lai Thai Kitchen could be options as well as a homestyle, non-franchise original restaurant as well. 

 

In summary, all these options would seem to be bring a plus to the foody scene in Big Rapids. The town has its hidden gems, well-established historical restaurants, as well as some modern fast-food options. Adding a popular, yet unique restaurant in any of the five categories above would add another slice towards completing a positive pie of food places for everyone. 

Osceola County Sheriff's Office: Monthly Blotter (3/1 - 3/31)

The Sheriff’s Office took 493 calls for service for the month of March. The corrections staff booked 93 subjects into the jail between Mar. 1 and Mar. 31.

The average daily inmate population for March was 55 inmates.

 

911 Hang Ups: 4

Abandoned Vehicles: 7

Alarms: 10

Animal Control: 8

Area Check: 15

Assaults/Sexual Assaults/Threats: 14

Assist to Other Jurisdictions: 10

Attempt to Locate: 2

Breaking & Entering: 2

Check Wellbeing: 18

Civil: 14

Death Notification: 1

Disorderly: 10

DNR Calls: 5

Domestic Assaults: 11

Fail to Pay (Gas Drive Off): 0

Flee & Elude (Pursuits): 0

Follow-Up investigations/Details: 30

Found Property: 1

Fraud: 4

Hit & Run?: 2

Juvenile Assaults/Runaways: 23

Larceny: 9

Malicious Destruction of Property: 4

Mental Health Calls: 4

Minors in Possession: 1

Missing Persons: 2

Motorist Assist: 8

Misc. (PPO Vio, Standby, etc.): 38

OWI/OUID: 2

Paper Service: 6

Parking/Traffic Hazard: 2

Personal Injury Accident: 3

Property Damage Accident: 38

Property Check: 1

Retail Fraud: 0

Road Run-Off: 0

Stolen Vehicles: 1

Suspicious Situations: 9

Traffic Stops: 135

Prisoner/Mental Transport: 4

Trespass: 5

Vehicle Inspections: 9

Warrants: 21

Weapon Offenses: 0

Ferris State Planning Workforce Development Summit to help businesses grow and thrive

Ferris State University is focused on sustaining and growing our West Michigan businesses and is planning a workforce development summit to connect with the region’s employers and learn how to best assist them.

The event is planned for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 in Ferris State’s Interdisciplinary Resource Center, 1301 S. State Street in Big Rapids. The free event is open to employers whether they represent large businesses or small ones.

The purpose of the inaugural workforce summit is to identify strategies that will strengthen West Michigan’s workforce and economy, said Dr. Kasey Thompson, special assistant to the president for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and an associate professor.

“We are committed to growing the economy of the state of Michigan, but with a specific focus on businesses in the West Michigan area,” Thompson said. “Ferris State University is a community partner and is taking the lead in helping to provide resources that enable West Michigan business growth.”

Summit topics will include housing, recruitment, credit and non-credit workforce training and educational opportunities.

Thompson said the Ferris State leaders believe the university is a resource for the region, and part of the solution in sustaining a viable Michigan workforce. Ferris State has faculty and staff with experience in a wide variety of industries as well as expertise in what it takes to start, maintain, and grow a business.

“We have to collectively work on identifying issues that prohibit business growth in our region and Ferris State is facilitating the plan to overcome those obstacles and is committed to creating a clearer pathway for West Michigan businesses to flourish,” Thompson said.

Lunch will be provided for all registered guests. Registration is due by Monday, April 8 and is available at this link.

Additional information is available by contacting Thompson at (231) 591-2766 or by email at kaseythompson@ferris.edu.

Mecosta County Youth Academy accepting applications until May 3

The Mecosta County Youth Academy is now accepting applications for their camp in July.

The Mecosta County Youth Academy is a one-week program for boys and girls ages 12-14. It will be held July 15-19 from 8:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. The academy will focus on several topics, including teamwork, leadership, physical fitness, defensive tactics, firearms safety, first aid, and fire safety.

The academy is being sponsored by the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office and the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety.

For more information, please contact Officer William Sell at the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, wsell@bigrapidsdps.org or 231-527-0005, or visit https://cityofbr.seamlessdocs.com/f/YouthAcademyApplication to apply. Applications are due by May 3, 2024, at 4:00 P.M. Space is limited, so act fast.

New local golf ball printing business debuts online website

It’s hard to run one full time business, let alone two. This is the challenge that Courtney and Jordan Murphy are about to tackle. Along with their time at Reed City Brewing Company, the two have announced the addition of a separate business specializing in golf ball customization.

“I am trying to focus solely on Par FORE Printing at this time but still put my time and effort into the brewery through running the social media and events,” Courtney Murphy said. “Time management will be very important as I transition into running two businesses but I feel that I can work the two businesses and my connections well together. My wife, Jordan will also be very hands on as she is excited to work side by side with me when she has time away from her full-time job.”

The new business, tabbed Par FORE Printing, has always been an idea in the mind of Courtney Murphy. This dates all the way back to college seven years ago.

“I started to enjoy traveling around Michigan and to multiple states and collecting golf balls from the different courses with their logo on it. About a year ago, I started to see funny sayings on golf balls. I was conversing with a friend on it and how I could help people elevate their golf experience by personalizing their golf balls for company representation, bachelor party favors, gifts, or just individual fun. I started looking for the best printers to print golf balls on and my wife thought I was out of my mind. Once I wrote up my business plan, she realized how passionate I was about bringing joy to people in a way that makes me happy as well.”

According to Murphy, Par FORE Printing will be a “strictly online” business to start with a potential hope of adding a storefront in the future. They also will be taking visits to local courses and businesses to add personal customer service experience.

“We hope to allow our customers the ability to showcase their brand,” Courtney Murphy said. “Whether it’s an individual person, golf course, brewery, or business, branding is a huge part of business and golf is very popular here in the state of Michigan. I want to elevate people's experience on the golf course.”

The business has added social media on Facebook and Instagram. For more information, visit parforeprinting.com. For further inquiry, email courtney@parforeprinting.com or call (810) 623-6449.

*Images provided by Courtney Murphy.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (3/18 - 3/31)

Monday, March 18

  • Fraud – Officers were dispatched to a local business for a fraudulent bill that was passed. The complaint remains open at this time.

Tuesday, March 19

  • No incidents reported.

Wednesday, March 20

  • Suicide – Officers dispatched to check on a suicidal subject. Subject denied wanting to harm himself and would be accompanied by family members and friends. Officers cleared without incident. 

Thursday, March 21

  • Traffic Stop – Officer assisted MSP with a traffic stop where a stolen firearm was located. Operator of the vehicle arrested on the possession of the stolen firearm.

  • Traffic Stop – Officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle. The driver was taken into custody due to having warrants for their arrest.

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

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriffs Department in a warrant attempt. The subject was located and arrested on the warrants.

  • Traffic Stop – Officer assisted the Osceola County Sheriffs Department in a traffic stop. 

Friday, March 22

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a warrant arrest. The subject was located and taken into custody without incident.

Saturday, March 23

  • Assault - Officers assisted Osceola County Sheriff's Department with a complaint involving multiple assaults.

Sunday, March 24

  • No incidents reported.

Monday, March 25

  • Breaking and Entering – Officer assisted Osceola County Sheriff’s Department with searching multiple structures that had been broken into. No one was located at the time of the searches. 

Tuesday, March 26

  • Civil – Officers were dispatched to a civil complaint involving one neighbor harassing the other. Contact was made with both neighbors and a report will be forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney to be reviewed for criminal charges.

  • Domestic – Officers were requested to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department with a domestic violence complaint. One subject was arrested and lodged on a warrant, and after deputies had time to investigate the complaint the subject was also lodged on domestic violence.

  • Civil - Officers received a civil dispute involving ownership of a vehicle. Parties were advised they should contact Probate Court to help resolve the issue.

Wednesday, March 27

  • Fire – Officers assisted Evart Fire Department with a small fire at a business.

Thursday, March 28

  • No incidents reported.

Friday, March 29

  • No incidents reported.

Saturday, March 30

  • Warrant Arrest – Officer assisted the Osceola County Sheriffs Department with a warrant arrest. Subject was located and arrested without incident.

Sunday, March 31

  • Harassment – Officers responded to a possible harassment complaint. Officers contacted the other person involved and they advised they would stop contacting the complainant.

  • Warrant Attempt – Officers were requested to assist the Reed City Police Department on a narcotics complaint. Officers stood by with the subjects involved while the residence was searched for narcotics and paraphernalia.  K-9 Koda was also used during the search. 

Area residents invited to participate in Gotion Inc. virtual town hall meeting on April 8

Chuck Thelen of Gotion Inc. is hosting a “Chat with Chuck” virtual town hall meeting on Monday, April 8, at 6 p.m. to provide residents with an update on the proposed battery components facility in Green Charter Township and answer any questions.

Residents can access the town hall meeting at this link. The “Chat with Chuck” meetings will take place on a monthly basis, and include project announcements, guests from the local community, subject matter experts from Gotion Inc. and other information.

“A virtual town hall meeting is a convenient, easily accessible, way people can get their questions answered about the facility and learn more about the ongoing progress of our project,” said Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “I’m looking forward to talking with people. The meetings also will be an effective way to reduce misinformation that continues to be spread about the facility.”

Thelen and several officials held a similar virtual panel discussion last year. The video of the meeting was posted on Green Charter Township’s website, but has since been taken down

“People in the region deserve to have access to as much information as possible, and Gotion Inc. will continue to be transparent and open about our efforts,” Thelen said. “A virtual town hall meeting is a great way to allow people to participate in the comfort of their own homes.

MDHHS issues request for proposal for EMS workforce support grants

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workforce grants to provide funding for enhancing and training Michigan EMS workforce personnel.

The focus of the program is to continue and expand the workforce development program used for training people in EMS. The intent is to address the critical shortage of paramedics statewide and increase accessibility by reducing barriers to enrollment in EMS education programming, specifically paramedic programs.

MDHHS has identified several potential uses for funding:

  • Traditional grants to cover costs of tuition and associated fees for paramedic training at a Michigan-approved education program, limited to:
    • $20,000 per paramedic student.
    • $1,500 per emergency medical technician specialist student.
    • $2,000 per emergency medical technician student.
    • $500 per medical first responder/emergency medical responder student.
    • $2,000 per instructor student.
  • Hourly reimbursement for time spent in EMS training programs at a rate of $15/hour to a maximum of:
    • $16,000 per paramedic student.
    • $2,100 per emergency medical technician specialist student.
    • $3,000 per emergency medical technician student.
    • $900 per medical first responder/emergency medical responder student.
    • $2,600 per instructor coordinator student.

EMS Education Access grants may be funded in the following potential categories:

  1. Expansion and increased access to EMS education to areas currently not served by initial education programs. Applicants will be responsible for demonstrating how their proposal increases access to an underserved area.
  2. Barrier reduction efforts, if the proposal specifically outlines how the funding request will decrease barriers to enrollment or student success.
  3. Outreach campaigns to increase student enrollment in EMS training programs.

The award period begins Oct. 1, 2024, and ends Sept. 30, 2025.  MDHHS expects to award approximately $9 million, with a maximum award of $400,000 per applicant. 

Project director requests to get access to the application are due by 5 p.m., Thursday, May 23. Grant applications must be submitted electronically through the EGrAMS system by 3 p.m., Thursday, May 30.

A pre-application conference will be held to discuss this funding opportunity and provide instruction on using the EGrAMS system at 11 a.m., Monday, April 8, and will last approximately 90 minutes. The webinar can be accessed at https://bit.ly/42JnY7S. 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 by email at mdhhs-ems-grants@michigan.gov on or before Thursday, April 11. 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 Wednesday, April 17, 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 “Public Health Administration” link and selecting the “WEMSS-2025” grant program.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekly Blotter (3/25 - 3/31)

Monday, March 25

  • At 11:21 A.M., deputies made a warrant arrest in Big Rapids Township. A male subject was arrested on two warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 14

Traffic Accidents: 5

 

Tuesday, March 26

  • At around 3:58 P.M., deputies conducted a felony traffic stop on a vehicle in Deerfield Township. The traffic stop resulted in all five occupants of the vehicle being arrested. A male passenger was arrested on several felony warrants. He was also arrested for possession of two stolen handguns and possession of methamphetamine. The female driver, female passenger and two other male passengers were arrested for possession of methamphetamine. All subjects were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 15

 

Wednesday, March 27

  • No incidents reported.

 

Thursday, March 28

Calls for Service: 18

Traffic Accidents: 4

 

Friday, March 29

  • At 9:20 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Millbrook Township. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested on a couple warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At 11:22 P.M., deputies made a traffic stop in Aetna Township. The traffic stop resulted in the male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 20

 

Saturday, March 30

Calls for Service: 21

Traffic Accidents: 3

 

Sunday, March 31

Calls for Service: 10

Traffic Accidents: 2

Bulldog Softball Tuesday doubleheader versus Wayne State postponed

The Ferris State University softball squad's upcoming schedule has been adjusted due to expected weather conditions.

The Bulldogs' rescheduled Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) doubleheader versus Wayne State on Tuesday (April 2) has been postponed again due to incoming weather and low temperatures.

The matchup with Wayne State has been rescheduled again for Tuesday, April 9, starting at 2 p.m. (ET) for game one with game two to follow at approximately 4 p.m. (ET) at the FSU Softball Field.

Due to the change, the Bulldogs' previously scheduled non-league matchup at Northwood on April 9 has been moved to April 17 in Midland starting at 3 p.m. (ET) for the opening game of the twinbill.

Prior to the home matchup with Wayne State next week, the Bulldogs will first visit Purdue Northwest for a league doubleheader this Saturday (April 6) before venturing to Parkside on Sunday (April 7).

Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for complete schedule updates as needed throughout the season.

27-year old female dies from T-bone accident in Mecosta Township

On Sunday, Mar. 31, at approximately 09:04 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of 8 Mile Rd. (M-20) & Old-State Rd. in Mecosta Township. 

The investigation revealed a 32-year-old female from White Cloud was traveling east bound on 8 Mile Rd approaching Old State Rd. A 27-year-old female from Tustin was travelling north bound on Old State Road, when she proceeded through the stop sign and failed to yield to oncoming east bound traffic. The White Cloud female then hit the Tustin female on the driver side.

Subsequently, the 27-year-old female from Tustin was identified as Catherine Brinks, Brinks died instantly as a result of the injuries she sustained in the collision. The 32-year-old female involved, was transported by Mecosta County EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital for the injuries she sustained in the collision.

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta County EMS, Mecosta Twp Fire / Rescue, Mecosta County Sheriff Posse, Michigan DNR Officers, Mid-Michigan Medical Examiner’s Office, Big Rapids Towing and Meceola Central Dispatch. 

Ferris State Alumni Association bringing annual golf outing home to Katke Golf Course to celebrate its 50th anniversary

The Ferris State University Alumni Association’s annual golf outing has traveled to some of the top courses in Michigan, but the 2024 event is coming home. 

Ferris State’s Katke Golf Course, celebrating its 50th year, will welcome the Alumni Association’s annual outing on Friday, May 10. The course is one of the Midwest’s premier learning facilities benefiting students in Ferris State’s renowned PGA Golf Management program. It’s also home to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. 

Early registration is open as the Alumni Association eagerly welcomes a strong turnout of Bulldogs to hit the links. 

“We could not be more excited to have our annual alumni golf outing, one of our most popular events of the year, return to campus as we celebrate 50 years of Katke Golf Course,” said Brandi Behrenwald, executive director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. “We think this is a great opportunity for our alumni to come back to campus and to see how much things have changed and grown, but also to see that Ferris State still feels like home.” 

Registration opens at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon to precede dinner, an awards presentation, and the handing out of prizes. Registration includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, complimentary access to the driving range, lunch, dinner and tournament apparel. 

The outing also features a range of sponsorship opportunities such as Katke’s 50th anniversary, dinner, lunch, the putting green, snack station, driving range, scoreboard and holes. Sponsorships include a custom embroidered flag with proceeds benefiting the Alumni Legacy Scholarship. 

“For many of our alumni, Ferris State is a family tradition,” Behrenwald said. “The Alumni Golf Outing helps fund our Legacy Scholarship, which salutes the achievement and leadership potential of students who had a parent, sibling, grandparent, son, or daughter who is a Ferris State graduate.” 

Katke Golf Course is located at 1003 Perry Street in Big Rapids. 

Anyone interested in registering for the event or receiving additional information about sponsorships or any other outing aspect can contact Lynn Miller in the Alumni Relations Office at LynnMiller@Ferris.edu or (231) 591-2345.

*Image provided by Ferris State University.

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Weather

Local High School Schedule & Scores

CSAA Baseball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

White Cloud 9 @ Holton 5

White Cloud 0 @ Merrill 13 (6inn)

Clare 16 @ Chip Hills 7 (4inn)

Greenville 9 @ Chip Hills 9 (8inn)

Kent City 1 @ Whitehall 16 (4inn)

Fremont 3 @ Kent City 0

 

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 3 @ Big Rapids 9

Shepherd 12 @ Big Rapids 0 (5inn)

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 1

Newaygo 0 @ C Montcalm 2

 

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City @ Newaygo

Grant @ Reed City

C Montcalm @ White Cloud

 

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Shelby @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

 

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

 

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CSAA Softball

SATURDAY 4/13/24

Grant 0 @ Ravenna 15 (3inn)

Tri County 0 @ Ravenna 10 (CH Forfeit)

Chip Hills 0 @ Clare 16

Chip Hills 0 @ Vestaburg 12

MONDAY 4/15/24

Shepherd 2 @ Big Rapids 12 (5inn)

Shepherd 9 @ Big Rapids 6 (8inn)

Newaygo 15 @ C Montcalm 11

Newaygo 1 @ C Montcalm 14 (5inn)

Lakeview 1 @ Vestaburg 16 (4inn)

Lakeivew 4 @ Vestaburg 10 (8inn)

TUESDAY 4/16/24

Chip Hills @ Tri County

Lakeview @ Morley Stanwood

Kent City @ Newaygo

Grant @ Reed City

C Montcalm @ White Cloud

THURSDAY 4/18/24

Greenville @ C Montcalm

Sparta @ Kent City

Hesperia @ Lakeview

FRIDAY 4/19/24

White Cloud @ Big Rapids

Tri County @ C Montcalm

Newaygo @ Grant

Morley Stanwood @ Kent City

Reed City @ Chip Hills

SATURDAY 4/20/24

Lakeview @Beaverton Tournament

Big Rapids @ TC West

This Week's Poll

What place will the Tigers finish in the AL Central?