Lia
Lia
7:00pm - 12:00am
Evenings with Lia
BigRapidsDailyNews : Breaking News

5/22

 

20-665  @9:50am PERE MARQUETT / STATE,  MDOP/TURFING-A 22 year old male was cited and released.

 

20-666  @10:42am  LARCENY in the 600 block of LINDEN ST. 

 

20-667  @2.59pm  DOG AT LARGE HEMLOCK PARK.  Complainant that another person was not in control of her two pit bulls as they jumped out of her vehicle and attacked their Scottish Terrier.

 

20-668  @4:46pm  Civil in the 700 block of Water Tower.  

 

20-669 @10:45pm Traffic stop State/Pine led to arrest of a 28 year old female for OUID.

 

20-670 @1:29am Assist in the 700 block of Fuller.

 

5/23

 

20-671  @12:58pm  THREATS in the 1300 block of CATHERINE. 

 

20-672  @3:13pm  CIVIL in Hemlock Park.  Female riding a motorcyles with boyfriend and another couple males. They were resting when she decided to break up with boyfriend.  They made it down the road before pulling over in the 700 block of S State, where she got off, calling her mom in Muskegon, asking her to come get her.

 

5/24

 

20-673-Unlawful entry in the 300 block of Escott.  Threw trash everywhere.  No actual damage.  

 

20-674-MDOP in the 1300 block of Catherine.  

 

20-675-Hit and run PI at State and Perry.  Found suspect picking up food in the 700 block of Perry.  86 year old Stanwood man said he stopped down the street after the motorcycle hit him but then he left to pick up his food.  Minor injuries for motorcyclist and passenger.  Report will be forwarded through on 86 year old for failing to stop at a PI.  

 

20-676 – Check well being at Parkview Village Apt A; a check was conducted on female because she had not returned home in a while after going for a walk at 4pm.  She returned home and was fine at approximately 3am.

 

20-677 – Suspicious in the 500 block of S. Michigan. Caller reported males arguing and possibly fighting.  Located two male, who both denied fighting. 

 

5/25

 

20-679 – Mental in the 600 block of Adams St.  Female stated someone was pumping gas into her apartment. Unfounded and female stated that she didn’t know what officers were talking about.

 

20-680 – Area Check @ Hemlock for a orange kayak floating down the river upside down without anyone around. River was searched with multiple agencies and the kayak was found. Later the two kayakers called dispatch advising they were okay. There is still one missing red kayak, approximately 8 -10 ft in length.

 

20-681 – Civil in the 300 block of N State. 

0
comments



Sunday 5/17 …
While on patrol an officer observed a suspicious situation regarding movement in a vehicle parked on the
street. Due to the hour of night and recent reports of small items being taken from unlocked cars, the Officer
investigated and found the registered owner was in the vehicle. 


While performing a traffic stop for disregarding a stop sign, the Officer found the 18-year-old male driver to
be operating under the influence of drugs. He was issued a citation for disregarding the stop sign, no proof
of insurance, along with the misdemeanor charges of the OUID, no operator’s license, and possession of
Marijuana and LSD. The individual was transported and lodged in the Osceola County Jail and his vehicle
impounded.


Monday 5/18 …
Officers received a harassment complaint and advised the individual to block the messages. The Officer also
made contact with the father of the other party involved and issued a warning to stop the harassing messages.


Tuesday 5/19 …
Officers received a complaint of harassment via text message. The matter was unfounded.


Officers received a complaint regarding a suspicious situation. The male had reportedly been overheard
saying he would “beat him for every dollar”. It was determined that man had been fired from his construction
job and had to call for a ride home to another part of the state. The man was issued a warning regarding the
noise and it was determined he had no intent to harm the supervisor and was only speaking out of anger.


Wednesday 5/20 …
Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex regarding a woman yelling. The apartment complex was
checked, no one was found to be yelling inside or outside. The matter was unfounded.


Officers received a complaint regarding someone entering an unlocked vehicle at night and taking items
from inside. The matter is under investigation.


Reed City Police Officers were requested to assist Osceola County Probation Officer while meeting up at the
residence of a probationer, who stated he was having a issues with his new medication. The PO explained
that the individual would be able to go to the hospital if needed and any issues due to his tether.


Officers continue to issue abatement paperwork to those in violation of the city ordinances regarding tall
grass, trash and abandoned or inoperable vehicles.


Officers were requested to assist a woman in a wheel chair that was stuck in the sand. The Officer retrieved
a set of crutches for the woman to stand with, as he removed the wheel chair from the sand.
Officers were requested to assist CPS regarding a child neglect situation.


Thursday 5/21 …

Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex to assist CPS with a scheduled home visit. CPS reported
no one was answering the door, but they could hear children inside. The matter was resolved upon the
Officers arrival, and assistance was no longer needed.


Officers received a complaint regarding a neighbor’s tree branches falling and causing damage to the
complainant’s rain gutters and fence. The responding Officer made contact with the owner of the tree and
explained his responsibilities regarding the branches.


Officers took a civil complaint regarding a shared driveway.


While on patrol in the evening, three males were found at Lake Osceola State Bank parking lot. The males
were ID'd for possible curfew violation and were found to be old enough to be out at that time. The Officers
informed them of the curfew time for the 16-year-old. All three were polite and cooperative and stated they
would be gone by that time.


Friday 5/22 …
Officers observed a 20-year-old male who had a warrant out of Big Rapids. Due to the virus he was advised
to take care of the matter instead of going to jail.


Officers responded to a property damage accident regarding a vehicle hitting a building. The woman stated
she hit her head and it was sore. There was minor damage to the vehicle and building.


Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex regarding a trespass violation. The matter has been turned
over to the Prosecuting attorneys Office for review.

0
comments



A Big Rapids Township woman is in trouble with the law after rolling her vehicle following an alleged drunk driving accident Wednesday morning.

 

Sheriff Deputies say it happened on on New Millpond Road south of 15 Mile Road in Big Rapids Township.

 

When police arrived, the driver was not at the scene.

 

After an investigation, the driver was identified and she was located and arrested for drunken driving.

 

The name of the woman is being withheld pending arraignment.

 

Meanwhile, a Morley man suffered minor injuries after losing control of his vehicle and striking several trees Wednesday night.

 

It happened on 200th Avenue just north of Jefferson Road.

 

Deputies say a 46-year old Morley man was traveling southbound on 200th Avenue when he ran off the road and struck several trees.

 

He was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids for minor injuries.

0
comments



A new robotic-assisted surgical system debuted at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Tuesday, increasing capabilities for the surgical staff in providing state-of-the-art care for area patients.


The da Vinci Xi system is the next generation of technology and gives surgeons more flexibility and reach, advanced visualization and integrated table motion that moves in sync with the robot.

 

The system was purchased late last year, but it’s implementation was delayed due to COVID-19.


“This is definitely a game changer for surgery here in Big Rapids,” said general surgeon Mark Haan, MD. “This upgrade places Big Rapids on the forefront of minimally invasive surgery and being able to provide this type of surgery to the people of our community provides so many benefits.”


Those benefits include less postoperative pain, quicker recovery time, and in most cases no need for postoperative narcotic/opiate pain medications, Dr. Haan said.


Dr. Haan, along with general surgeon Lisa Price, DO, have used the previous da Vinci system since 2017.


Common procedures for robotic surgery include gallbladder removal, hernia repair, colon resections and hysterectomies.
The da Vinci system enables the surgeon to operate through a few small incisions, like traditional laparoscopy, but instead of directly manipulating the instruments, the surgeon uses da Vinci’s multiple arms to translate hand movements into smaller, meticulous movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body.


The surgeon sits at a console, looking at a high definition, 3D image of the surgical site captured by a tiny endoscope camera on one of the device’s arms. The system provides the surgeon with enhanced vision, precision and control.


“This remarkably sophisticated equipment opens up techniques that can be of great benefit to our patients,” Dr. Price said. “It is capable of precise and minute movements and flexibility beyond what the human hand can do.”

0
comments



Congressman John Moolenaar, of Midland, says he urges everyone to follow the advice of emergency responders who are protecting their community because of flooding.

 

Moolenaar says he has been working with state and local officials and he has opened communication with FEMA as they prepare to assess the need for future assistance. He added that Mid Michigan residents pull together in challenging times and they will make it through this.

 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer last night urged some ten thousand people in the Midland area to evacuate their homes after the Edenville Dam breached on Tuesday.

0
comments



Scott Shankel wants to be teaching his strength and conditioning class. He wants to be preparing his Reed City Coyotes for the upcoming football season, putting together workouts that increase his players’  stamina, strength and speed.

 

However, this year, the second-year coach at Reed City is stuck in his home along with coaches all over the state due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has led to the cancellation of the remainder of the school year and will delay the start of organized team summer workouts.  

 

Now Shankel is still putting together workouts, just not in the same way. Instead of leading his team in the weight room, he’s sending workouts to his team in text messages.

 

“We’re in the same boat as everyone else, where we can’t have face to face contact,” Shankel said. “Some of them have weight equipment and I know they’re lifting, but (I’m) just trying to send workouts and stay in contact with them.”

 

Coaching a team that finished 6-4 a season ago, Shankel is eager to get back on the field with his team. Normally, he’d be preparing for various individual and team camps that his program puts on in the summer. Instead, he’s left crossing his fingers that he’ll be able to coach his team in the fall.

 

He’s harboring optimism for the upcoming season. Shankel noted that developing incoming talent will be important, but the simplicity of his team’s “Wing-T” offense makes it easier to install with the team early in the season.

 

Above all, Shankel wants to make sure his players are faring well. While football is important, the health and well-being of the players is higher on his priority list.

 

“I want to make sure they’re staying healthy and safe,” Shankel said. “All the mental, physical and social stuff going on in their world right now, I’m just checking and trying to reach out to them every so often.”

 

When the Stay-at-Home order was first set in stone, Big Rapids coach Mike Selzer called each of the players on his team to assess their workout situation. He wanted to know who had weights and who didn’t, making sure each kid received a weekly workout plan that catered to what they had at home.

 

“We post two workouts every Sunday that get them through each week,” Selzer said. “One workout is for the kids that have weights, and the other is for the kids that do not.”

 

The position coaches on Big Rapids’ staff are each responsible for keeping in touch with their specific players, while Selzer keeps track of the specific grade levels. He says that his team utilizes the Remind app to keep in touch weekly, sharing workouts and simply keeping in touch.

 

Like Shankel, Selzer is optimistic that there will be a season this fall. He reminds his team to prepare as normal, albeit under different circumstances. He noted MHSAA rule changes as evidence that many are preparing as though there is going to be a season.

 

A normal year would see the incoming freshman class indoctrinated in the Cardinal culture during the second half of the spring semester through optional lifting. Starting in April, Selzer and company allows the current eighth graders to take the bus to the high school to lift with varsity players. Now, those incoming freshmen will have to wait until at least June to get their first taste of high school football.

 

“We started (early freshman lifting) three years ago, and it was a huge difference,” Selzer said. “Not so much on the lifting aspect, but kind of the acclimation, where our summer freshman attendance increased by almost 200 percent.”

 

In Chippewa Hills, second year coach AJ Webley is utilizing the Zoom group communication app to keep his team together throughout the pandemic. Every weekday, Webley and his coaches chat with various groups. Mondays are designated for Webley to meet with the captains, the following three days are scheduled for him to meet with both the varsity and junior varsity teams, and Fridays are coaches’ meetings.

 

“We talk for about 30 to 45 minutes just about what’s going on in their life,” Webley said, “about how they’re handling the COVID mess.”

 

Webley noted that his players also keep in touch in a Facebook messenger group. The conversations, he says, go beyond the playing field. He enjoys being able to keep up with his players and keeping them motivated.

 

Webley also has set up two different workout situations, one for those who have weights and another for those who don’t. His message to those who don’t: Get creative.

 

“We just tell them, grab some stuff around the house,” he said. “Whether it’s a cinder block, or take your book bag and fill it up with stuff. Anything we can do to add some resistance to the usual body weight exercises that we have them do.”

 

The three coaches share an optimism for the season. Above all, they’re using this time to build relationships with their players. When summer comes and restrictions are lifted, they’ll return to the sound of weights clanging and whistles blowing.

 

However, until then, they’ll have to make do with the silence that comes with being quarantined from their players.

0
comments



The City of Big Rapids recieved some heavy rain on Monday, May 18th. Some areas of the city had flooding, like near Crossroads Charter Academy and Mitchell Creek.  The National Weather Service says 3-4 inches of rain came down on Monday. 

 

 

 

0
comments



Officers from the Reed City Police Department are urging residents to use caution when traveling due to flooding. 

 

(Westerburg Park area)

 

According to Brian Koschmider of RCPD parents should remind their children to stay out of the water and low lying areas with water. With flash flooding, even roadside ditches can be dangerous. The strength of the current can be unexpected.

 

(Kayak launch at Westerburg Park. There is a foot path that runs along the river but it is under approximately 4ft of water in places.)

 

Driver's are reminded to use caution and avoid areas where there is standing water on the road or water running across the road.

 
 
 

0
comments



 

It’s no secret that there’s no precedent for the current coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the sporting world. Over the last two months, the so-called “invisible enemy” has ravaged across the country, forcing the cancellation of every sporting event in its way.

 

However, as we near the month of June, the outlook has turned to positive in terms of a sporting restart. There are talks of an abbreviated start to the Major League Baseball season and many smaller sports have started without the presence of fans. 

 

On a more local scale, the Big Rapids Men’s Softball Association is eyeing a June 1 start to its 2020 summer season. In starting June 1, the association will comply with the current “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order issued by Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, which is scheduled to run through May 28.

 

“We are currently working on scheduling to start leagues on Monday, June 1 for a full 16-game schedule,” BRMSA president Lee Yarrington said. “This requires that the Stay at Home order by the Governor expires, social distancing requirements can be met and any city requirements adhered to and we continue to communicate with BR City Rec for information for these requirements.”

 

Yarrington, who has spent the last 25 years as a player and officer in this league, noted that the current pandemic is the first instance of the start of a season being threatened. Should the season be delayed, the registration fees will drop accordingly. According to the BRMSA website, the registration fee will drop from the normal $500 to $375 if the start is delayed by two weeks, and the price will be cut in half to $250 if the start is delayed by four weeks.

 

In addition to that, Yarrington added that the BRMSA Board has not discussed the possible precautions that could come with starting under certain guidelines. He noted that these precautions will be discussed at a date closer to the start of the season.

 

“Our #1 priority is the safety of ALL, the players, umpires & spectators that would be around the games,” reads a statement from the BRMSA Board on the BRMSA website.

 

In terms of participation, Yarrington said that he anticipates the loss of a few COED teams as well as two men’s teams, but the addition of one new men’s team offsets that loss. He anticipates the numbers will be similar to those in years past.

When the pandemic began, Yarrington and his fellow board members took notice but believed that the beginning of his season would not be affected. However, as the precautions increased and the stay-at-home order was extended, the league began contacting teams to gauge interest in order to get a grasp on the amount of teams interested in playing during the summer season.

 

Yarrington is optimistic about the season, as are those in his league. He plans to co-operate with all of the guidelines set forth by the community and the Center for Disease Control and Preventition. He hopes that players will be able to play as normal, without masks, but is willing to observe those precautions if it allows the league to carry on.

 

0
comments



Legislation has been introduced in the US Senate that would create the Emergency Rental Relief Act to prohibit foreclosures and evictions in the event of a public health emergency, epidemic, pandemic, or natural disaster.

 

The legislation includes defining the parameters during which a tenant may terminate a lease under the Emergency Rental Relief Act, instituting a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions during certain state emergencies, and allowing foreclosing governmental units to extend the tax foreclosure deadlines during a state of disaster or emergency.

0
comments



 

UPDATE: The trailer reported stolen last evening was returned this morning.  Investigators are still looking for information in regards to the person responsible for the trailer being taken.  Additional photos obtained this morning are attached.  If anyone from the public recognizes the van, they are asked to contact the BRDPS. 

 

-----------------------------
 

Detectives in Big Rapids need the public's help in finding the thief who stole a trailer behind the Jet's Pizza Store Tuesday afternoon.

 

Brian Miller of Big Rapids Department of Public Safety says just after 3:30pm a flat 16x8 trailer was taken from city lot 1 behind Jet's Pizza.

 

The vehicle appears to be a white Ford E-Series van from the late 1990's or early 2000's. There are no windows on the driver's side other than the driver's door.

 

Last seen northbound on State St at approximately 4:10pm.

 

The plate and VIN have  been entered as being stolen in LEIN. 

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety at 231 527-0005.

0
comments



In a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, May 12, Ferris State University announced it is preparing to hold face-to-face classes for the Fall 2020 semester.

 

In the announcement, President David Eisler expressed careful optimism about the University’s plans for the fall and the ability of the University to safely resume in-person teaching, learning and residential life for students.

 

“In mid-March, when COVID-19 hit West Michigan, our University completely transformed to teaching, learning and working remotely,” said Eisler. “Our students were able to finish the semester strong because of the dedication of our faculty and staff. As we look toward the fall, we know there will be challenges ahead, but our intent is to be open and to provide our students with a safe and engaging learning and living experience.”

 

Eisler shared that as the University prepares its plans for in-person re-engagement, the health and well-being of the University community will continue to guide its decisions. A committee, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Jeanine Ward-Roof, has been charged with preparing the University for its return to in-person teaching and learning this fall.

 

“The committee is reviewing a number of factors to be implemented to ensure a safe welcome back to campus for students,” said Ward-Roof. “This includes reviewing classroom utilization, strengthening cleaning protocols, implementing social distancing measures and sharing COVID-19 related education throughout the University community.”

 

Given the likelihood of uncertainty in the months ahead, providing flexible teaching and learning approaches are an important part of planning for the next academic year. “Additionally, the University has developed plans to move back to remote delivery should conditions require it,” Eisler stated. “We are also developing online learning opportunities for students who may desire them and remote instructional accommodations for faculty who may be in high risk categories.” 

 

At the town hall Eisler also outlined the various forms of federal and University-sponsored financial assistance available to students during this unprecedented time, including the newly created Student Hardship Fund.

 

“The impact of COVID-19 on our University and our students has been unlike anything we have ever seen,” said Eisler. “Hundreds of Ferris supporters have come together to build up the Student Hardship Fund, raising more than $100,000, with the goal of raising enough to help every student who is in need.”

 

Eisler concluded his town hall session stating that while the University will continue to be faced with challenges brought forth by this global pandemic, he expressed confidence that the University will persevere and come out stronger as a result of this experience.

 

Fall classes are slated to begin Monday, August 31. Students, parents, faculty and staff are encouraged to stay informed of the University’s plans for fall by visiting ferris.edu.

0
comments



Monday 5/4 …
Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex regarding a disorderly person complaint from
management. The responding Officer issued an appearance citation for disorderly conduct along with no
trespass orders to the 38-year-old male. The man then packed his belongings and left.


Tuesday 5/5 …
A 23-year-old female called the RCPD stating she was aware there was a warrant for her arrest and she
wanted to turn herself in. She was transported to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department and lodged
without incident.


Wednesday 5/6 …
Officers received a phone call from a Michigan Works employee stating that during a phone conversation
with a client, a threat was made towards the Governor and it was protocol that it be reported. Officers spoke
to the 32-year-old male who made the phone call. The individual apologized and explained that he was
frustrated and upset regarding the delays in his unemployment and he had no real intention of harming the
Governor. He also stated he called Michigan Works back and apologized to the employee regarding his
behavior and statement. The matter has been turned over to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.


Officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation regarding two unknow men seen walking around
inspecting a neighbor’s house. The matter was unfounded, the men were there to do drywall work.


The Reed City Police Dept. received a suspicious phone call, in which the caller stated that they would rather
be dead then a slave, before hanging up without identify themselves. The Officer’s investigation led them to
a 39-year-old male, who was found to be safe, but believed to be in need of some mental health treatment.
The Officers left the man in the care of his parents.


Officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation regarding the mental state of a neighbor. The responding
Officer spoke with the neighbor in question, although the man was upset, the Officer was there to check on
him, he was found not to be a threat to himself or others.


Thursday 5/7…
Officers were dispatched to possible damage of a vehicle at an apartment complex. Upon investigation no
damage was found however officers did speak to the mothers of the juveniles and requested they speak with
them about riding scooters near the parked cars.


Saturday 5/9 …
Officers were dispatched to do an area check regarding a suspicious situation. The caller stated she could
hear something outside scratching at the screen door. The responding Officer found no one around the area,
nor any evidence anyone had been messing with the door. Matter unfound, Officer cleared.


Officers received information regarding the sending of nude photographs from an out of state juvenile to a
local juvenile via the internet. The matter is under investigation.

 

Officers received a complaint regarding trash found strewn around the complainant’s property. It was also
reported that someone had been inside the vehicles parked on the property. Nothing appeared to be damaged
or missing, the matter is under investigation.

0
comments



A major Michigan university says they will open for face-to-face classes in the fall.

 

Central Michigan University president Bob Davies made the announcement Monday, saying safe social distancing practices are here to stay and will affect every aspect of life at CMU.

 

The school will still offer remote or online learning options to those who cannot return to campus in the fall.

 

CMU will look to reduce the occupancy in student housing, and will establish areas to immediately isolate and quarantine those who may exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

0
comments



Michigan's biggest power utility can raise customer bills, starting Friday, after regulators approved a rate hike that is about half of what was sought.

 

The $188-million increase by DTE Electric, which has 2.2-million customers in southeast Michigan, is about $4 a month for a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

 

The state Public Service Commission said the impact will be softened temporarily when the utility passes along $30- to $40-million in relief because it is spending less on fuel to generate. 

0
comments



Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has delayed the expiration of Michigan driver's licenses and state ID cards until late July amid the lingering coronavirus pandemic.

 

An executive order Whitmer extends until July 31st the expiration date of state ID cards, valid driver's licenses and operator endorsements that expired or were set to expire between February first and June 30th.

 

The order's protections do not apply to motorists with suspended or revoked driver's licenses.

 

Whitmer's order also suspends penalties for vehicle registration violations and ensures that automobile insurance will continue to cover Michigan drivers.

0
comments



The latest COVID-19 numbers statewide are trending in the right direction.

 

State officials reveal that 25 additional residents have lost their battles against the coronavirus, while less than 400 tested positive for the virus between Saturday and Sunday.

 

This weekend has brought the lowest numbers we've seen in over a month.

 

More than 22,000 people have recovered from the disease -- though the term "recovery" has yet to be properly defined by the CDC.

 

Here in the West Central Michigan area, Isabella County has 62 cases, Mecosta County has 16 cases, Montcalm County has 46 cases Newaygo County has 34 cases and Osceola County has 9 cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, May 10th.

 

For more statewide numbers click HERE

0
comments



A Reed City man died while another driver is in critical condition following a two car accident in Evart Township Thursday night.

 

It happened on US-10 just west of 110th Ave, Osceola County Sheriff Ed Williams says 22-year old Tanner John-Lewis Dutmer, of Reed City was driving a 2005 GMC Envoy west bound on US-10 when he passed a vehicle turning left into a driveway. Dutmer crossed the center line hitting head on with an east bound vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.  

 

The east bound vehicle a 2014 Buick Enclave was operated by 34-year old Amber Marie Mims, of Reed City. Mims was taken to Butterworth Hospital by Aeromed for severe injuries and remains in serious / critical condition.

 

Distracted driving is believed to be a factor in this crash.

0
comments



When Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer closed all non-essential business, it came as a shock for Falcon Head Golf Club owner Kimberly Dawkins. Falcon Head, a course in Big Rapids that doubles as a banquet venue, was forced to shut down operations.

 

“It was pretty devastating,” Dawkins said. “We lost a lot of revenue and we couldn’t open our banquet facilities, so we lost thirty-thousand in one month.”

 

Recently, Whitmer has announced lighter restrictions allowing businesses, including golf courses, to re-open under limited circumstances. Each course is taking different precautions in addition to a universal walking-only restriction. Many courses allow for tee-times to be made only over the phone.

 

Courses across the state of Michigan are dealing with the difficulties of starting up later than usual. They face the economic consequences that come with the coronavirus pandemic, consequences that some courses may not be able to overcome.

 

“I’m hoping things open up pretty soon,” Dawkins said. “We really can’t afford to lose this month.”

 

The biggest limitation these courses face is the loss of cart revenue. Dawkins noted that while able-bodied golfers don’t have a problem with walking the three-mile course, there are many who are waiting out the pandemic before hitting the links.

 

Lynn Bay, who owns Birch Valley Golf Course in Sears, has similarly dealt with limited business but anticipates a pick-up in the future.

 

“We are allowing people to walk the course,” Bay said. “A lot of people are just waiting for the ability to use a golf cart.”

 

In the case of Katke Golf Course, another course located in Big Rapids, opening day was pushed back due to the pandemic.

 

“We had to shut down the whole course and push back the opening date,” said Blake Barenson, a sales assistant at Katke. “No one could work, our inside learning center was closed and no one could come in the store.”

 

Less than a week before the course was scheduled to reopen, Barenson and company received a mass email that allowed the course to resume operations. Barenson noted that it was frantic trying to put together a working schedule, however they were able to open back up. At Katke, tee-times and reservations can only be made over the phone.

These courses agree that the ability to use a cart will likely improve business. However, with the stay home order extended by governor Whitmer until the 28th, it is uncertain when exactly carts will be made available.

 

Barenson noted that Katke is awaiting a shipment of carts and that golfers will likely be able to use them in the near future.

 

“Business has been on the slower side,” Barenson said. “We’re trying to get the name out there that we’re still available for golf.”

 

In a world yearning for normalcy, golf serves as a reminder of spring before the pandemic struck.  The sound of a driver connecting with the ball is a staple of summer, one that is still here despite carrying restrictions. It’s a leisure activity that is one of many industries that is suffering due to the coronavirus’ impact, however it may boom once the restrictions are lifted.

 

0
comments



According to the Meceola Central Dispatch they are urging residents to use caution when traveling on Northland Drive in front of Pizza Hut because of a water main break.

 

Dispatchers say there is a lot of water over the road.

 

The road commission is aware and are working to fix it.

0
comments



Videos
Your Two-Cents

Click Here to tell us what's on your mind.  What do you like most about Big Country?  Who's your favorite DJ?  What's your favorite song?  What other programs and features would you like to hear?

"Lia is my favorite. We look forward to hearing her everyday!"
- Abreanna, Big Rapids

"I love listening to your station and I love the great music!"
- Lori, Big Rapids