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BigRapidsDailyNews : Breaking News

Two arrested in Deerfield Township on drug charges


Two Morley residents were arrested on drug charges, according to the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office.


50-year old John Towne and 25-year old Amberlyn Vanspriell were arrested in Deerfield Township on Monday.


Deputies say Towne, who was wanted on an Outstanding Felony Warrant at the time of the bust, fled on foot into the woods, yelling at police he had a gun.  After a foot pursuit, Towne was apprehended after being tased by Deputies.  He was found to be unarmed. He remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail, with a $100,000 bond.


Vanspriell was arrested for delivery of heroin and remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail, with a $3,000 bond, after being arraigned in the 77th District Court.

Newaygo man arrested after taking police on 3 county chase

A 19-year old Newaygo man is in police custody after taking sheriff deputies on a chase through three counties.


It began Wednesday, in Newaygo County's Big Prairie Township, that's where Deputies tried to perform a traffic stop on a burgundy BMW for vehicle violations and the suspet's car took off.


During the pursuit the BMW went north on S Elm Ave from E 36th St, east on E Baseline Rd and then went into Mecosta County. Members of the Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) located the BMW on US 131 and followed it as it returned to Newaygo County at E 36th St and S Newcosta Ave. Members of the Sheriff’s Office again tried to stop it on S Croton-Hardy Dr near E 48th St. The vehicle then went into Montcalm County where members of the Sheriff’s Office lost sight of it. While searching the area, the Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle south on Amy School Rd south of Tamarack Rd.


The BMW then went west on Gates Rd and then into a private driveway.


A 19-year-old Newaygo man was taken into custody without incident and lodged at the Newaygo County Jail.

Child care providers to benefit from bipartisan state budget bill

Michigan will make more kids eligible for child care subsidies, equip state troopers with body cameras, and make permanent a pandemic wage hike for caregivers under the next state budget.


The bipartisan spending plan also will boost payments for child care providers and enable them to give $1,000 bonuses to new or existing staff.


Michigan's savings account will grow by 500 million dollars.


As part of the deal, Governor Gretchen Whitmer agreed to a Republican-written provision to prevent the state and local governments from issuing coronavirus vaccine requirements that go further than plans outlined by President Joe Biden.

Stuff a cop car event to take place in October

The Big Rapids Police Department, the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office, and the
Ferris State University Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Faith Communities
of Big Rapids, are teaming up to collect non-perishable items for Manna Pantry of Big Rapids.

This event is held in conjunction with National Faith and Blue Weekend.

Come out to the Big Rapids Meijer, Walmart, or Aldi on Saturday, October 9th, from 9:00 A.M.
until 12:00 P.M. to stuff a police car FULL of items. Items needed are soup, peanut butter, jelly,
spaghetti sauce, pasta, hamburger helper, gelatin/pudding boxes, saltine crackers, Spam, mac and
cheese, tuna fish, canned fruit, veggies, pork n beans, cereal, toilet paper, syrup, canned
chicken, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

Faith & Blue Weekend is a national event with activities in communities across the country that
bring together law enforcement and residents to build connections, create mutual
understanding, and enhance justice and reconciliation.

If you have any questions, please contact Office William Sell at 231-527-0005 or

Shepherd man sent to hospital following motorcycle crash in Mecosta Co.

A 19-year old Shepherd man is recovering after a motorcycle crash in Mecosta County Friday evening.


The Sheriff's office says deputies responded to Jefferson Rd near 200th Ave in Aetna Twp.


An Investigation revealed a 19-year old man from Shepherd lost control on the curve and crashed.


He was taken to Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids for treatment of non life threatening injuries.

High Powered Big Rapids Cardinal Football heads to Central Montcalm to face undefeated Hornets

The Big Rapids Cardinal Varsity Football team looks to snap a 2 year losing streak versus the Central Montcalm Hornets tonight at 7:00pm. Game broadcast is on 100.9FM, via the WWBR app, & at WWBR Big Country 100.9.


Tonight's game at Central Montcalm will be the Cardinal's toughest matchup to date. Coach Cripe is 3-0 this season, 14-6 since taking over in 2019, 12-4 against the CSAA-Gold, and he's 7-2 versus the Gold at home (9-2 at home overall). Both of those losses came last season to Reed City in week 3 (36-20) & Tri County in the playoffs (33-7).


The Hornet's are somewhat minimally tested this season though. Coach Cripe has wins over Morley Stanwood, Newaygo, & Fremont but those teams have a combined record of only 1-8.

Against those opponents the Hornets average 28 points a game while surrendering only 14. Both rank as the 3rd best in CSAA-Gold. In his career Coach Cripe's teams have averaged 22 points a game, giving up 21.


HC Mike Selzer is 4-2 versus the Hornets in his 7 years at BR, 2-1 at Central Montcalm High School. Versus Coach Cripe however, Selzer is 0-2 with a -33 point differential.


However Coach Selzer has arguably his highest powered offense to date as well as a red hot Cardinal defense marching down to Stanton tonight. Both were on full display last Friday when Big Rapids pummeled the Newaygo Lions at the brand new Cardinal Stadium, 34-14 to move to 2-1.


BR had 403 yards of offense in the game bringing their average per game to 376 yards (204yds passing & 172yds rushing) to along with a CSAA-Gold best 35pts a game.

QB Wil Strickler continued to dominate rushing for 46yds & a TD while throwing for 186yds & 3 TDs. Wil now has 11 total TDs on the season.

Justin Gorczewicz rushed 19 times for 103yds & 3 TDs. Last week was his 2nd straight game with more than 100yds rushing. He’s averaging 5.67 yds a carry on the year.

Jamal Strickland, among the many things he did in this game, caught 6 passes for 93yds & 3 TDs. He now has 5 TDs on the season.

The Cardinal defense had 4 sacks & caused 5 turnovers. Grant Kidder had 2 picks, Miller 1, Cheese forced a fumble Strickland recovered, & Peck gobbled one up.

Outside of the 2nd quarter, BR allowed only 39 yds of offense to the Lions.

Coach Fricke's defense has allowed a total of 7 points in the 2nd half all season long.


Listen to every play on Big Country 100.9 with Pre-Game starting at 6:45pm.

Kickoff at 7:00pm.

You can stream the game on your phone with the WWBR app or listen online at

Father of 7 year old girl sues school district over haircut incident

The father of a 7-year-old girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents' permission has filed a one million dollar lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher's assistant.


The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools.


Jimmy Hoffmeyer says in March that a classmate used scissors to cut one side of his daughter's hair.


He said two days later a teacher cut Jurnee's hair to even it out.


The lawsuit alleges that the girl's constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination and more.

Lake County Sheriff's Office warning residents of spoofing scam targeting area

The Lake County Sheriff's Office is warning people that there could be scammers impersonating a deputy.


Several people in the community have reported receiving the calls.


The scammers were able to 'spoof' the non-emergency number, so it appears the call is coming from the sheriff's office.


Deputies will not call people about warrants, or request any money over the phone.

Police investigating Mt. Pleasant stabbing

In Mount Pleasant, police are investigating a stabbing incident.


On Sunday, 24-year-old man from Union Township was stabbed in the chest.


Police were called to an apartment complex, but when they arrived, the victim wasn't there. They were then made aware that the victim had arrived to a local hospital moments later. He was stabilized and transferred to a hospital outside the county.


Police have interviewed witnesses and a person of interest in this case.


The condition of the victim is unknown at this time, but it is believed he has non-life-threatening injuries.

Man and 10-year old girl injured in Chippewa Township ATV accident

A 10-year old girl and a 43-year old man were injured after crashing an ATV in Chippewa Township in Mecosta County.


Police reportedly say the 10-year old was driving the ATV when she lost control and crashed Saturday night.


The man had minor injuries and was taken to a hospital in Big Rapids while the girl was taken to a hospital by a parent for non-life threatening injuries.


Another passenger, an 8-year old girl, was not injured.

State investigating death of GLE lineman

State investigators are looking into the death of an electric lineman who died Wednesday near Baldwin.


Great Lakes Energy says 38-year old Jesse Ricord died while on the job Wednesday afternoon.


There were many power outages in the area at the time, but no information about the death has been released.


Along with the state investigation, Great Lakes Energy is also conducting an investigation.


Ricord had worked for the company for 16 years. He was married with six kids.


There have been at least 27 other workplace deaths in Michigan this year.

21-year old man suffers serious injuries after being hit by vehicle

A 21-year old man is recovering after being hit by a vehicle in Big Rapids Wednesday morning.


It happened just after 4:30 a.m. in the area of South State Street and Spring Street.


Officers from the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety say when they arrived at the scene, they found a man with severe injuries.


It was determined that the man had been hit, ran over by the vehicle, and dragged for a short distance before self-extricating from underneath the vehicle.


First responders attempted to assist the male who then became combative and attempted to bite himself and first responders. First responders were able to finally control the subject.


He was transported to Big Rapids Spectrum Health Hospital and later transferred to a Grand Rapids hospital for sustained serious injuries.


Through the investigation, it is believed that the pedestrian was under the influence of intoxicants.

Reed City Area Schools shut down until Sept. 13th due to COVID precautions

Reed City Area Public Schools announced Wednesday that is is temporarily closing today through Monday, September 13.


The decision comes following a recommendation from the Central Michigan Health Department.


The school district is citing significant staffing shortages and sizable portion of student absence.


As of Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was reporting nine COVID-19 cases between GT Norman Elementary and Reed City Middle School.


Extra-curricular activities are not impacted by building closures, but will continue to be closely monitored for any symptoms and action taken as needed.

Two car crash in Isabella Co. kills one driver and two occupants with minor injuries

One driver is dead while two passengers came away with minor injuries following a two vehicle crash in Isabella County.


It happened on September 4th, Michigan State Police say they responded to Gilmore Road South of Stevenson Lake Road in Gilmore Township, for a two-vehicle head on collision.


Troopers say 51-year old David Lee Wixson of Farwell, was traveling north on Gilmore Road when the vehicle he was driving crossed the center line and collided head on with a southbound vehicle with two occupants.


Wixson was transported to Mid-Michigan Medical Center in Clare where he later died of his injuries.


The two occupants in the southbound vehicle were wearing their seatbelts and received minor injuries.


Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor and Wixson was not wearing his seatbelt.

Spectrum Health announces new visitor restrictions

As a result of increasing numbers of patients admitted with COVID-19 and the increase in community positivity rate, Spectrum Health is revising its visitor policies to reduce the number of people in its Grand Rapids and regional hospitals and outpatient care sites.


Effective Wednesday, Sept. 8, patients are allowed only one adult visitor when they go to Spectrum Health emergency departments, urgent care, surgery, radiology and lab locations. Adult inpatient areas allow two adult visitors, who must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay. Patients in labor and delivery are allowed two visitors. COVID-19-patients are allowed only one adult visitor, who must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay and must follow personal protective equipment guidelines.


Spectrum Heath pediatric patients may have two adult visitors in the emergency department, urgent care, surgery, radiology and lab. Pediatric inpatient areas allow two adult visitors, who must be the same person throughout the patient’s stay. Pediatric COVID-19-patients are allowed two adult visitors, who must be the same people throughout the patient’s stay and must follow personal protective equipment guidelines.


Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the care teams involved based on end-of-life care or special needs. Adults are individuals ages 18 and older. Children and minors will be allowed as visitors only in limited circumstances.


Patients must identify visitors to their care teams. For pediatric patients, adult visitors’ names must be on file. Visitors will be screened. For more information about visitor guidelines can be found hereSpectrum Health's COVID-19 resource center can be found here.


The restrictions apply to the following Spectrum Health hospitals and nearby physician offices and ambulatory care sites:


  • Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center
  • Spectrum Health Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion
  • Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial
  • Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Pennock
  • Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital
  • Spectrum Health United Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital

DHD#10 not mandating masks for schools/ day care facilities

District Health Department #10 said it wont be issuing a universal mask mandate for schools in its district.


This following some health departments in northern Michigan issued mandates last week.


DHD#10 serves Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana and Wexford counties.


The health department said each school system and childcare setting in its district must determine the best course of action based on local data and case trends, as well as impacts to families and staff.


Big Rapids DPS invites community for Coffee with a Cop event Oct. 6th

On October 6th, 2021, officers from Big Rapids Department of Public Safety and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 8:30am on October 6th at Currie’s
Amoco, 620 Maple St. Please contact Officer William Sell with questions: 231-527-0005,


Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and
learn more about the department’s work in Big Rapids’ neighborhoods. The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or
simply get to know our officers,” said Police Chief Danielle Haynes. “These interactions are the
foundation of community partnerships.”

Spectrum Health and Beaumont Hospitals sign formal integration agreement

Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health have signed a formal integration agreement, the next step in the process to create a new health system that is For Michigan, By Michigan. The integration agreement signals ongoing momentum and commitment toward the organizations’ shared vision to provide more accessible, affordable, equitable and exceptional health care and coverage for people across the state.


In June 2021, Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to join together to create a new health system, and began the process of state and federal regulatory review. After the regulatory review process is complete, the two organizations hope to launch the new health system, temporarily named BHSH System, this fall.


“We have worked together to develop a deeper understanding of each organization. I greatly appreciate the efforts of our teams, and I remain confident that together we will create an optimal health system For Michigan, By Michigan,” Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO of Spectrum Health, and future BHSH System President & CEO said. “Both Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health have rich histories with compassionate, high-quality and dedicated health care professionals. As COVID-19 and the delta variant increase, I am grateful for the care provided to our communities by our team members. I look forward to working with our teams to make health care and coverage more accessible, affordable, equitable and exceptional for Michiganders.”


Beaumont Health Board Chair Julie Fream added, “We are very pleased to be making important progress toward launching our new health system. Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health each have strong legacies of service. We are eager to combine the best of both organizations as we create a new health system that is For Michigan, By Michigan.” Fream will be the Board Chair of the new organization.


Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health remain committed to the goals and commitments defined in the LOI, which are also incorporated into the integration agreement, including:


  • Improving health and health equity: Providing exceptional, equitable care and service to all patients and health plan members will always be at the center of the new system’s work.


  • Enhancing the consumer experience: Making the experience easier for patients and members will include investing in new digital technologies and providing services in more convenient ways such as virtual and in-home care.
  • Improving health care quality, value and outcomes: Creating a new health system, which includes Priority Health, will allow for the development of and investment in innovative solutions that improve health care and coverage for all Michiganders.


  • Making health care more affordable for the communities we serve: Bringing together the strengths of Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health will improve efficiency and deliver affordable, high-quality care and coverage across the state.


  • Ensuring the voices of team members and physicians are heard: Gathering the input of physicians, nurses and other team members who are closest to patients will be critical to realizing the mission and vision of the new organization. The new organization will also foster a culture that attracts and retains top health professionals to live and work in Michigan.

“With progress towards an integration, I remain confident our new health system will not only allow us to more effectively meet our obligations to our local communities but will drive further excellence in care and coverage while improving both affordability and access for the communities we serve across the state,”Spectrum Health Board Chair Robert Roth said.


Beaumont Health President & CEO John Fox added, “This is an important step forward to bring together our organizations to create a new system that improves the health of individuals throughout the state. We continue to receive positive feedback about what our teams can do together, and we are excited about the future.”

For updates and more information, visit

Mecosta man arrested in Remus area shooting

On Sunday evening, Deputies and Detectives from Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were able to identify and arrest a 30-year old Mecosta man without incident for a shooting that occurred at a home on 13 mile road and 45th avenue early Sunday morning.


According to Sheriff Brian Miller in a press release, a 58-year old man was shot two times at a residence and was taken to a Grand Rapids area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.


The victim had gunshot wounds to an arm and both legs.


The suspect is in the Mecosta County Jail awaiting arraignment on multiple felonies.

One person injured as fight and shooting occurs at Campus Creek Apts.

One person was sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a fight and then shooting at Campus Creek Apartments Sunday morning. 


According to Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller in a press release, police were called to the Campus Creek Apartments just after 1:30am for the report of two gun shots fired at the apartments.


Upon arrival deputies discovered the victim on the ground bleeding from his head. It was discovered that a fight had broken out and the victim was beaten by 3-4 people. During the fight an unknown suspect shot two rounds, reportedly into the air, from a handgun.


A 20-year old man sustained head injuries as a result of an assault and was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


The suspect, who currently has not been identified, is described as a light skinned black male approx. 5"8 wearing a purple shirt and a purple ball cap turned Sideways. The suspect has a tattoo similar to a tear drop under his right eye.


Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office at 231-592-0150. 

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