BigRapidsDailyNews : Breaking News

A Stanwood man has been arrested in connection to a shooting in Big Rapids just after midnight, this morning.


The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety said in a press release, officers were dispatched to the 400th block of South State Street for a gunshot victim. 


When officers arrived, there was a vehicle seen leaving the scene.


Police tried to perform a traffic stop on the suspected vehicle but the suspect's car then fled officers through the city of Big Rapids. 


The suspect's car eventually stopped and the suspect surrendered to law enforcement. 


The intoxicated suspect was identified as a 22-year old Stanwood man, who admitted to being involved in the shooting. 


The victim was taken to a Grand Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 


The suspect is lodged in the Mecosta County Jail awaiting arraignment. 


A 23-year old Reed City man was arrested on weapon and drug charges.


It happened following a traffic stop with Michigan State Police on July 30th in Clare County's Garfield Township.


Troopers say a search of the vehicle was conducted during their investigation and they located a firearm whose serial numbers were intentionally altered/removed. Troopers also located suspected methamphetamine inside the vehicle.


The driver, a 23-year-old Reed City man, was arrested and lodged at the Clare County Jail.


He is currently awaiting arraignment.


The Food and Drug Administration issued a recall notice from Sunshine Mills.


The pet food distributor has voluntarily recalled food from it multiple brands, including Nurture Farms, Heart to trail and Wild Harvest.


According to the notice, the select products may contain “potentially elevated levels of aflatoxin” a byproduct that comes from the growth of mold and can be harmful to pets if consumed in large quantities.


These are the products affected, which were distributed nationwide and have a "best if used by" date of February 11, 2022:


  • Triumph Wild Spirit Craft Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (3.5 and 30 pound)

  • Evolve Classic Super Premium Food for Dogs Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (15 and 30-pound)

  • Wild Harvest Premium Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (14-pound)

  • Nurture Farms Natural Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (15-pound)

  • Heart to Tail Pure Being Natural Dog Food Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (5-pound)

  • Elm Pet Foods Naturals Chicken & Rice Recipe Dog Food (40-pound)

To see the full recall notice, visit the FDA website.

To see photos of the recalled products in question CLICK HERE


Reed City Police officers rescued around 20 animals from a home last week.


It happened on Thursday, when officers were serving a court order to pick up an individual for a mental health evaluation at a local residence.


During that time, it was discovered there were several animals living in the residence in unhealthy conditions. Due to the unsanitary conditions of the residence, the fire department’s assistance was also requested in retrieving the animals utilizing protective gear with a clean air supply.


The preliminary count would put the number of animals removed at around 20.


The matter is still under investigation.


A Farmington Hills man is expected in court today for a hearing that will determine whether he will face trial for a shooting at an off-campus party at Central Michigan University.


CMU quarterback John Keller and fellow student Tyler Bunting were wounded when 21-year-old Kenneth Thomas allegedly opened fire in late April, shooting at random.


Police say Thomas was upset because he had been kicked out of the party following a fight.


Thomas is charged with several firearms-related felonies, along with assault with intent to commit murder.


Spectrum Health, a 14-hospital network in western Michigan, says it will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, volunteers and contractors -- becoming at least the third hospital system in the state to announce the requirement.


Grand Rapids-based Spectrum, which has 31,000 employees, joins the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and Livonia-based Trinity Health. About 70 percent of Spectrum's onsite staff are vaccinated.


President and CEO Tina Freese Decker says the step will save lives and shorten the impact of the pandemic "both clear benefits to the public good."


The City of White Cloud has worked to repair failed stoplogs at a city-owned dam that resulted in significant changes in water levels both in a pond upstream of the dam, and the river flowing downstream.


Safety measures have been put into place and the dam is stable.


No additional uncontrolled release of water is expected.


Michigan EGLE received reports of the problem Tuesday morning. Local officials report the dam is stable, and expect to replace the failed stoplogs within days. The stoplogs hold back water in the dam. .


The White Cloud Dam is rated as a high-hazard dam. Its most recent state inspection in 2019 rated it in fair condition. It was built in 1872, rebuilt in 1920 after it was destroyed by flooding, and reconstructed in 1990.


Three teenagers were sent to the hospital last night following a one vehicle crash in Mecosta County.


Sheriff Deputies say it happened just after 10:30pm near the intersection of 2 Mile and Northland Drive in Aetna TWP.


An Investigation determined a 17-year old girl from Big Rapids was driving West on 2 Mile Road and swerved to avoid hitting a deer in the road. The vehicle left the road,  struck an embankment then hit a brush pile before rolling over.


The 17-year old driver had to be extracted from the vehicle and was taken to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids by AeroMed with significant injuries sustained from the crash.


Also in the vehicle were a 15-year old male and 16-year old male both from Morley, and a 15-year old male from Stanwood. The 15-year old male from Morley was taken to the hospital with injuries sustained from the crash.


The other two passengers were taken to the hospital by relatives with injuries sustained in the crash.


It's that time of year again!


A fun family event is taking place next week with a focus of enhancing relationships between the Big Rapids community and local law enforcement.


The National Night Out Event is on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Downtown Big Rapids. 


This FREE event is hosted by the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and the Big Rapids Housing Commission. 


National Night Out is a fun family-friendly event where you will find FREE food, music, games, and prizes.


Michigan Avenue will be closed during the event so police cars and fire trucks can be brought into town for children to explore.


Officials say this event provides a positive way for all of us to come together and build relationships within our community.


The Mecosta County Sheriffs Office is issuing a warning of several new scams.


The department says people have been contacted by scammers who are pretending to be from the Secretary of State. The perpetrators claim victims need to buy cards from local stores and give them the card information so victims wont be criminally charged.


Another scam involves calls claiming victims have rented a car in another state, and blood has been found in the vehicle. Scammers tell victims they need to pay for the damages done to the car.


The Sheriffs Office says do not give any personal information over the phone.


Republican lawmakers have killed a law that underpinned coronavirus restrictions issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, after Michigan's Supreme Court declared the measure unconstitutional.


The Democratic governor is powerless to veto the citizen-initiated bill. A group that organized the ballot drive now is targeting a different law that enabled her administration to keep restrictions intact.


The Republican led House voted 60-48 Wednesday to repeal the law that gave governors broad emergency powers.


State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, issued the following statement after the Michigan House approved the Unlock Michigan citizens’ initiative.


This is an important day in the history of the state. People across Michigan came together utilizing a constitutional approach and told state government their voices were not being heard as one person ruled alone. I’m pleased to support this measure and repeal an emergency powers law that had an impact on so many people during our state’s response to COVID-19.


 “Legislators know their communities best. They talk with people and their families in neighborhoods or at the corner diner – formulating solutions based on questions and concerns they hear or experiences people have. When Gov. Whitmer worked around the Legislature to craft directives, that process was taken away. The people lost as a result.


 “But they won today. And it’s a win going forward for Michigan as the balance of state government will be preserved.”


A separate law remains in place. It lets a governor to declare an emergency, but it cannot last for longer than 28 days without legislative approval.


A Mecosta County man has a friend to thank after he won a $198,857 Fantasy 5 jackpot from the Michigan Lottery. 


James Snyder, of Barryton, matched the Fantasy 5 numbers in the July 12 drawing to win the big prize: 12-17-25-31-33. He bought his winning ticket at the East Bay General Store, located at 19961 Chippewa Drive in Chippewa Lake. Barryton is about 30 miles northwest of Mt. Pleasant. 


“I like playing Fantasy 5 because it’s a Michigan-only game,” said Snyder. “About seven years ago, my friend gave me this set of numbers and I have played them each day since.


“The day after the drawing, I took a break from working in my basement to check the numbers. When I saw them on my phone, I knew right away they were the numbers I play. I ran upstairs and had my wife confirm I was the big winner. As soon as she saw the prize amount, she grabbed the ticket and took it to the safe!”


Snyder, 62, visited Lottery headquarters to claim his big prize. With his winnings, he plans to pay some bills and then invest the remainder.


A retired physician has announced he wants to run for mayor of Big Rapids. 

Fred Guenther announced his candidacy Wednesday, July 21st in a press release.  

Guenther, a retired doctor (OB/GYN) served patients in the Big Rapids area for 36 years and has been a resident in the city for 17 years.  

In the press release, Guenther believes his experience as the chairman of the Mecosta County Medical Center Board,a member ofthe Old Kent Board, the Tuba Bach Board Chairman, a member of the Michigan Tech University Fund Board and United Church Board will be beneficial to the city. 

Fred believes, if elected he will add a balanced approach to city problems and his experience, leadership, skills and diversity of ideas will help lead Big Rapids into the future. 


Four people have been arrested on multiple felonies after police found a stolen vehicle at a home in Mecosta County's Millbrook Township.


Detective Casey Nemeth of the Sheriff's Office says on July 13th, deputies were investigating a stolen vehicle complaint when they arrested four people at a home on the 300 Block of Millbrook Road, in Millbrook Township, where the stolen vehicle was located.


30-year old Brandon Burch, of Grand Rapids was arrested on Felony Unlawfully Driving Away of an Automobile and Felony Selling of Stolen Property, among other charges.


33-year old Kyle Chapman Jr, of Millbrook was arrested on Felony Possession of Stolen Property (Vehicle) and a Parole Violation.


35- year old John Hubbard, of Morley was arrested on Felony Violation of the Controlled Substance Act – Possession of Meth and a Parole Violation.


34-year old Danielle Hall, of Morley was arrested on two Felony warrants for Fail to Appear and Contempt of Court.


All four remain in custody in the Mecosta County Jail after being arraigned in the 77th District Court.


The third floor of the $29.5 million Center for Virtual Learning is where Ferris State University’s School of Digital Media programs will offer instruction when the new facility is complete in Fall 2022.


Digital Media Software Engineering, Television and Digital Media Production program, and Digital Animation and Game Design are among the academic programs that will occupy that section of the new Center for Virtual Learning. School of Digital Media Director and TDMP Professor Glen Okonoski noted that shows like “Ferris Sports Update” will continue production in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center studio. Still, he notes that many positive attributes will result from instruction in the new facility.


“Our faculty office spaces, media supply, computer labs and other instructional facilities will be on the third floor of the center,” Okonoski said. “Our professors have had their offices in Bishop Hall for several years, which has been functional but not optimal for offering support or making contributions when students are assembling and editing content. The center will provide improved facilities for all existing spaces and activities, as they relate to our area of learning.”


Okonoski added that TDMP students receive 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access to editing labs in the CVL, which meets their desires to create content.


“There has been a three-year process undertaken to exchange concepts and collaborate on plans for the center,” Okonoski said. “Our students will enjoy informal learning and gathering spaces, suites for video and audio recording, as well as a ‘green screen’ application and extended reality (xR) virtual sets so that these facilities might match up with the top destinations for students in our field.”


The collaborative process to bring about the new equipment and attributes for School of Digital Media programs involves University Advancement officers, according to Okonoski.


“Advancement’s Director of Major Gifts Karen Weber and Project Manager Sarah Lowen have been very involved in fundraising efforts, which seek to provide those technical upgrades we intend for our new facilities,” Okonoski said. “Our program is approaching its 50th year of existence, with the CVL providing us purpose-built facilities for the first time. In addition, the collaborative opportunities with our peers in the School of Digital Media are certain to provide great experiences for students in all these programs.”


Digital Animation and Game Design Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator David Baker said moving to the Center for Virtual Learning for instruction as of the 2023 Spring semester will be “energizing.”


“We have every intention to collaborate and offer support to those virtual avenues other programs may seek to explore,” Baker said. “It has been an interesting and exciting time for DAGD instruction, as the Canvas learning platform allows us to deliver our learning worldwide. In addition, our students and faculty have done amazing work in the last year and a half, making tremendous adjustment and development to support and possibly expand our instructional opportunities in the future.”


Baker said the COVID-19 remote development and delivery of Digital Animation and Game Design students’ coursework had been something of a revelation as he assesses recent student efforts as among the best content he has viewed in his teaching career.


“We will be able to accommodate those who seek to learn through peer projects and relationships while supporting those students who would rather, or need to learn virtually,” Baker said. “I have been afforded new perspective on how to offer educational content, which will only be enhanced by the School of Digital Media’s efforts in the CVL.”


Okonoski further recognized peers in the Digital Media Software Engineering program, coordinated by Assistant Professor Mohamed Abusharkh. It is one of Ferris’ newest learning options.


“DMSE has an online completion degree and a fully online Bachelor of Science program, offering students career avenues in a high-demand industry with impressive starting salaries,” Okonoski said. “We know their autonomous vehicle certificate program, which is currently in development, has great potential, as that technology advances in the years and decades to come.”


Among departments and educational programs headed to the Center for Virtual Learning are Information Security and Intelligence, Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence, eLearning, eSports programs and the School of Education.


The state of Michigan has made available $22 million in a Capital Outlay Project award in late 2020, which allowed the CVL plans to move forward.



The FBI's key public point man in the plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer now finds himself on the other side of the law.


FBI Special Agent Richard Trask of Kalamazoo has been arraigned on one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, accused of assaulting his wife during a domestic incident, which carries up to 10 years in prison.


Trask has been with the FBI since 2011 and has been a public point man in the investigation on the plot against the governor.


Trask's arrest comes at a time where defense lawyers for the five men accused of the kidnapping conspiracy are now claiming entrapment from the FBI, and the five are merely big talkers who had no intention of carrying out the plot against Whitmer.


One of the biggest prizes in sports is coming to town this weekend as Big Rapids native Brian Garlock, a former Ferris State University ice arena employee, will bring the Stanley Cup to the city to celebrate his second consecutive National Hockey League (NHL) Championship.


Garlock, who remains close with Bulldog Hockey and the FSU coaching staff, helped the Tampa Bay Lightning win the cup for the second-straight year last week and currently serves as the franchise's video coordinator, completing his eighth season on staff this past year. 


The public is invited to Buffalo Wild Wings in Big Rapids this Sunday (July 18) between 4 and 8 p.m. (ET) to view the Stanley Cup and celebrate with Garlock. He will be on hand and available to sign autographs and fans will be allowed to take a photo with the Stanley Cup for only a $10 donation supporting local hockey. 


A Big Rapids native who begin his career at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena before continuing his path in professional hockey, Garlock has followed Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper nearly every step of the way. The 2003 Big Rapids High School graduate attended Ferris State and met Cooper when he was the head coach for the Texarkana Bandits of the North American Hockey League and held his Bandits' camp in Big Rapids.


Since that time, Garlock has followed Cooper from St. Louis, where the Texarkana franchise relocated, to the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) along with stops in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch and the Norfolk Admirals. He's been with Tampa Bay since Cooper was hired prior to the 2013-14 campaign. Formerly, he was a zamboni driver for the Ewigleben Ice Arena and worked hockey camps after playing prep hockey for Big Rapids High School.


Along with Garlock, former Bulldog assistant coach Derek Lalonde, who now serves as Tampa Bay's assistant coach under Cooper, also helped lead the Lightning to the Stanley Cup Championship for the second-straight season. Both Lalonde and Garlock also played key roles a year ago when Tampa Bay first hoisted the Stanley Cup Trophy.


In this year's Stanley Cup finals, Tampa Bay defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a 4-1 series' count. Tampa Bay reached the Stanley Cup finals by beating the New York Islanders in seven games to capture the Price of Wales Trophy and became only the second team in the NHL's salary-cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. The series' win over the Islanders in the Eastern Conference finals came against former Bulldog Hockey standout and current third-year New York assistant coach John Gruden.


Over the past three seasons, Lalonde and Garlock have helped lead Tampa Bay to the the most wins in the NHL. Lalonde, a New York native, was behind the Bulldog bench from 2003-2006 under FSU head coach Bob Daniels before moving on to work for the Denver University Pioneers, where he helped lead them to the NCAA Tournament four times. Lalonde also served as head coach for the ECHL's Toledo Walleye and with the Iowa Wild in the American Hockey League (AHL) before joining Cooper's staff.


Last year, the duo become the first with ties to Ferris State Hockey to claim the Stanley Cup Championship since former standout Chris Kunitz claimed four during his memorable and storied NHL career. Kunitz won Stanley Cups with Anaheim in 2007 along with Pittsburgh in 2009, 2016 and 2017). He played with Tampa Bay under Cooper in 2017-18 before concluding his career with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018-19.


Forced by a court order, the Board of State Canvassers has certified a petition drive to repeal a Michigan law that was used to set major restrictions during the early months of the pandemic.


The decision means the Republican-controlled Legislature can kill the law without intervention by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.


Lawmakers could also put it on the 2022 statewide ballot for voters to decide. Action in the Capitol appears to be the likely step.


A group called Unlock Michigan met the 340,000 signature threshold.


The State Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional in October.


A fatal crash in Mecosta County as one driver falls asleep at the wheel.


The Sheriff's Office says one person was killed in the two vehicle crash in Mecosta Township.


An investigation revealed, a Ford F-150 was traveling Southbound on Northland Drive when the driver veered off the road and struck a White Buick Enclave which was stopped at the stop sign waiting to turn North onto Northland Drive from 11 Mile Rd.


The F-150 driver, a 35-year old Morley man, apparently fell asleep at the wheel and woke up at the time of the crash.


He was not injured, but a passenger in the other car, 54-year-old Jeffrey Hayes of Big Rapids, was killed. The 54-year-old female driver also of Big Rapids was taken to the hospital.


The expanded monthly tax credit payments are going out on Thursday.


The White House announced the payments in May,  saying the Child Tax Credit will provide eligible families with $300-dollar monthly cash payments per child up to age five, and $250-dollars for children ages 6 to17.


It's estimated that the Child Tax Credit will benefit nearly 2-million children in Michigan.


Families that filed recent tax returns or received stimulus checks should get paid automatically.


Any parent who has not paid taxes in recent years can sign up at 


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