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BigRapidsDailyNews : Breaking News

Barryton driver overturns vehicle after sliding on patch of ice

A 37-year old Barryton woman is recovering after being involved in an car accident Wednesday. 


The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says  the woman was traveling eastbound on 20 Mile Rd  near 65th Ave in Chippewa Twp when she came across a small strip of ice on the road.


The driver loss control of the vehicle and the vehicle overturned in the ditch.


She received non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Corewell Hospital in Big Rapids.

Panel discussion on Gotion project moved to virtual meeting

An informational panel meeting regarding the Gotion Inc project that was scheduled for April 5th at Ferris State's Williams Auditorium will now be virtual due to possible groups coming to disrupt the event.


In an email to Big Rapids Daily News, Green Township Supervisor Jim Chapman says a link to the virtual meeting will be posted on the townships website.


In addition, Chapman says a link to a document with all the questions that have been submitted will be posted as well. If you have a question about the Gotion project, you have until Monday, April 3rd to submit your question on the township's website HERE. 


The meeting on April 5th at 6:30pm will feature representatives from a variety of fields; Roads, Fire/HazMat, Energy, Waste Water, along with representatives from Gotion Inc., Ferris State University, and The Right Place economic non-profit organization will be on hand to answer residents questions.


Narcan approved for over the counter sales by FDA

A major tool in the war against the current opioid crisis has been approved for sale over-the-counter.


Officials with the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of Narcan without a prescription, which makes it the first opioid treatment drug that will be sold over the counter.


The use of Narcan can reverse the overdoses of several drugs, including fentanyl, oxycodone and heroin.


According to the FDA, the use of those drugs exploded exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, more than 100,000 deaths in America per year have been linked to the opioid crisis.

Big Rapids High School Softball standout commits to Ferris State

First-year Ferris State University head softball coach Jake Schumann has landed one of West Michigan's top prep talents as local product Rylie Haist of Big Rapids High School has inked with the Bulldogs.

A multi-sport standout, Haist has been a two-time Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association All-State pitcher for the Cardinals, leading Big Rapids to the regional finals a year ago. She's also been a two-time Central State Activities Association (CSAA) First Team All-Conference standout.

"Rylie is a pitcher and corner that will bring an enormous amount of work ethic and competitiveness to our program," Schumann said. "Having worked in her high school for the last year and a half, I have seen it first hand.

"Rylie will find a way to be on the field, whether in the circle or at a corner infield position as she is that type of player," he added. "We are extremely excited to call Rylie a Bulldog."

Haist has twice been chosen as the Big Rapids Pioneer All-Area Softball Player of the Year and is a two-time Pioneer All-Area Dream Team honoree on the diamond. Additionally, she has been tabbed as a 2023 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) State Farm Scholar-Athlete Semifinalist along with a 2023 Heisman School Award winner.

During her prep career, Haist has registered multiple school records in both softball and basketball while also becoming a five-time MHSAA softball record holder. She was the 2023 Big Rapids High School Student Body Mayor and a 2023 DAR Good Citizen Award recipient along with being her school's homecoming queen.

On the basketball floor, Haist earned 2022 Associated Press and Detroit News All-State recognition and was a four-time CSAA First Team All-Conference selection. She served three-straight years as her team captain and garnered Pioneer All-Area Dream Team honors the last three years along with being chosen as the 2022 Pioneer All-Area Basketball Player of the Year. Haist was also a two-time Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Individual Academic All- State recipient while playing under her mother in Coach Jessica Haist.

Outside of athletics, Haist has been active in numerous organizations such as the student council, athletic leadership team, climate crew and the key club. She's also a National Honor Society member and holds a a perfect 4.0 grade point average, ranking number one in her class. Haist has also competed in both travel softball along with AAU basketball.

The daughter of Tim and Jessica Haist, Rylie has three younger brothers, Cole, Drew and Ty. She will join the Bulldogs as a freshman in the fall of 2023.

Ferris State University's PGA Golf Management Player Development Director Mark Wilson earns prestigious Bill Strausbaugh Award

Mark Wilson’s mentorship in developing future golf professionals through Ferris State University’s PGA Golf Management program, the first of its kind sanctioned and accredited by the PGA, has earned him significant acclaim.

At the 2023 Michigan PGA Spring Meeting at Eagle Eye Golf Course in East Lansing, Wilson received the Bill Strausbaugh Award, presented to a PGA professional whose day-to-day work distinguishes them through the mentorship of fellow PGA professionals to improve their employment status through community service. Established in 1979, the award honors Strausbaugh, a Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who died in 1999.

A PGA Master Professional and 2007 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Wilson is the Player Development Director in the PGA Golf Management program, established in 1975. Wilson previously received the PGA of America Horton Smith Award, in 2008, in recognition of his contributions to the PGA Education Program nationally.

“Being recognized by my fellow professionals for mentoring and making a difference in their careers is tremendously gratifying,” Wilson said. “I hope to be able to offer this assistance for many years to come.”

In 2008, Wilson was chosen for the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he became one of the 12 original inductees in the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame.

Before becoming the Player Development Director of Ferris’ PGA Golf Management program, Wilson spent 31 years as the Head Golf Professional at Watermark Country Club in Grand Rapids. He remains actively involved in PGA Education and Rules of Golf Activities. Wilson has served as a Rules Official at 30 PGA Championships, 22 Masters Tournaments, seven British Opens, seven U.S. Opens and 11 Ryder Cup Matches. Additionally, Wilson served as the chair of the PGA Rules Committee from 2005 to 2010. During that period, Wilson was rules chair for six PGA Championships and was the chief referee at the 2008 and 2016 Ryder Cup Matches.

Wilson brought his professional experience to leadership roles in Ferris’ PGA Golf Management program in 2013 and served as the program’s interim director from 2020 through the end of 2022. At Ferris, Wilson has classroom responsibilities and delivers PGA Golf Management-specific content covering golf facility management, teaching and coaching in three levels of PGA education. During the fall semester, Wilson teaches a class in private club management for Ferris’ Hospitality Program.

Wilson is also an advisor to the PGAGM Student Association, which conducts tournaments and educational activities for PGA Golf Management students and engages in community service.

Bobby Fleischman, Ferris' provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said this award is also a point of pride for the PGA Golf Management program, in the Ferris College of Business.

“Mark winning the Bill Strausbaugh Award speaks highly of him, his reputation in golf in the state of Michigan and beyond, and the impact he is having on our program, our students, our alumni and many others,” Fleischman said. “Mark truly works daily to train and mentor current and future professionals. Professionals like Mark are critical to the work done in our PGA Golf Management program. We’re pleased that Ferris State University is not alone in recognizing his ongoing contributions.”

Ferris’ PGA Golf Management program, with 2,000-plus alums nationwide, is the original in the country and one of only 18 nationally. PGA Golf Management students have a 100 percent job placement rate as head golf professionals, directors of golf, general managers and golf instructors. In addition, program students benefit from Ferris’ Katke Golf Course and the new Ken Janke Sr. Golf and Learning Center, with over 10,000 square feet of top-notch technology, including six Trackman simulators for year-round golf learning.

Several Ferris alums received recognition at the 2023 Michigan PGA Spring Meeting. Alumnus Doug Bell, class of 1989, received the Golf Professional of the Year; Scott Wilson, class of 1997, received the Teacher and Coach of the Year Award; Ian Ziska, class of 2001, received the Patriot Award; Stefan Niezgoda, class of 2006, was presented the Merchandiser of the Year-Resort Award; and Raquel Bryant, class of 2009, received the Youth Player Development Award.

Michigan State Police warning residents of a second phone scam in as many weeks

There's a scam alert issued by Michigan State Police.


Officials say a man with a heavy accent is calling people and claiming he's from the department's Lansing post. They say the calls are a scam and the man is attempting to gather personal information or money.


The department says no law enforcement agency would ever ask for money over the phone to satisfy fines or clear an outstanding warrant.


Officials say if you receive a call from the man, you should hang up.


Could cursive writing be coming back to Michigan public schools?

In Lansing, a house bill would instruct the department of education to bring back something that hasn't been taught in the state in over a decade.


The bill would urge the department to develop lessons on cursive handwriting and make that curriculum available to public schools. The bill does not mandate the department to create a cursive plan but it would be "strongly encouraged" to do so.


If the department chooses to bring back cursive curriculum it would have to make the lessons available to schools by the start of the 2024-25 school year.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Weekend Blotter: 3/24-3/26


At 2:10pm, deputies made a traffic stop on 16 mi//157th, in Colfax TWP. The stop resulted in the arrest of the female driver.  The driver was arrested on a warrant.


Calls for service 10

Car/deer accidents 1



Calls for service 12

Traffic accidents 7

Car/deer accidents 1



Calls for service 12

Ferris State President issues statement regarding Gotion project rumors

On the heels of an informational panel meeting on April 5th at the David L. Eisler Center regarding advanced battery components manufacturer Gotion Inc potentially coming to the area, rumors have been spreading locally. 


One rumor of note is that between '200-500 Chinese nationals are coming to Big Rapids and to be housed on the campus of Ferris State University'. 


Ferris State University President Dr. Bill Pink heard these rumors and issued a video statement on Ferris' YouTube page on Thursday. 


In the video, Pink says he  was recently made aware of certain things that have been said about Ferris State University and these things are at best rumors and at worst just falsehoods.  


"I heard a falsehood just last evening that had to do with our university housing and planning to house, I believe it was said "300 Chinese nationals who will be working for this company." Pink said in the video. "First of all, one of the best things about hearing things is to find out if you're hearing it first, second, third, fourth or fifth hand. Let me give it to you first hand, because these kinds of things are not approved without me being the one saying 'yes'.  As president of this university, I can tell you that no one from Gotion Inc has had a conversation with me about asking Ferris State University to house anyone on this campus. I've had no meetings. That's your first hand account." Pink said in the video statement. 


The panel meeting on April 5th at 6:30pm will feature representatives from a variety of fields including, roads, fire/hazmat,energy, waste, water and representatives from Gotion Inc., Ferris State University and the Right Place economic non-profit organization. 



Safe gun storage bill passes in Michigan House

The Michigan House of Representatives passing legislation last night that would implement safe storage requirements for firearms in order to prevent youth from accessing a firearm.


The bill passing in the Democratic-led House by a 61-to-47 margin -- with five Republicans voting in favor of the bill.


The firearms, under the law, would need to be unloaded and locked with a trigger-locking mechanism or stored within a locked storage container.


If a minor obtains the firearm and the individual didn't comply with the safe storage law, the gun owner could face a misdemeanor charge of up to 93 days in fail or a $500- dollar fine.

Catfishing mom in Isabella County pleads guilty

The mid Michigan mom accused of faking her identity online or catfishing her own daughter, pleaded guilty to two charges in a plea deal.


Kendra Licari had harassed her own daughter and her daughter's boyfriend with hundreds of harassing text messages for more than a year. Her daughter attends the Beal City Public Schools.


Police say Licari would hide her identity and location with fake IP addresses and tried to make it seem like another student was sending the messages.


In the plea deal, three charges were dropped. Licari faces up to five years in prison.

Reed City Police Blotter: 3/13-3/19

Officers were dispatched to a residence after a 911 call was placed about a family member being aggressive. After arrival, situation was de-escalated, and everything was fine.

Tuesday …3/14
School Liaison Officer confiscated a vape pen from a High School student and issued a citation. Charges have been requested on a second student for providing the vape device to a minor.

School Liaison Officer assisted in transporting a juvenile for a mental health evaluation.

An Officer served an abatement notice regarding trash stored in violation of city ordinance.

An Officer responded to a car vs. semi crash. There were no injuries and only minor damage to the vehicles.

Wednesday …3/15
School Liaison Officer was dispatched to assist with a special needs juvenile that was being assaultive
toward staff members.

An officer transported a man to the RCH for a mental evaluation after calling into the police department and showing signs of instability.

An officer was dispatched to a house for a wellbeing check, from where dispatched received an unusual phone call. The woman was transported to the RCH for a mental health evaluation.

An officer was dispatched to a home regarding unlawful entry of an intoxicated man who was known to the homeowner. Charges have been requested in the matter.

Thursday …3/16
An officer took a report for a minor accident in a parking lot. No injuries reported.
A report was taken on a 2-car private property accident. There were no injuries and only minor damage.

Officers took a report of threats and harassment by a coworker of the complainant. The matter is under investigation.

Officers transported an individual to an out-of-town mental health facility for inpatient treatment.
The liaison officer issued a citation to a juvenile in possession of a vape device. This was the second offense.

Friday …3/17
An officer assisted Big Rapids PD in serving a court subpoena on a local resident.


Officers took a report of slashed tires. The investigation revealed it to be an angry ex-boyfriend. The matter has been forwarded to the prosecutor for charges.

Officers took a report of a 2-car private property accident. There were no injuries and only minor damage.

An Officer was dispatched to a call regarding an internet scam. The individual was led to believe he was online dating. The woman asked for money to come and see him and was told he did not have the money. She then advised she was coming to see him but called and stated she had been kidnapped and he needed to pay the ransom. Investigation revealed the woman not to exist and none of the information given to the man to be true.

Saturday …3/18
An Officer conducted a traffic stop of a car that was dragging something and causing sparks on the road. After investigation the plate was found to be expired. A citation was issued.

An Officer was dispatched to an establishment in town where an individual was intoxicated and had been inside causing a disturbance. The 28-year-old woman was arrested for violating her probation by drinking alcohol.

Sunday …3/19
An Officer assisted OCSD with an arrest of an individual after being pulled over while driving intoxicated.

An Officer noticed trash left out by the road. After investigating, turns out the family moved out and left the trash behind. Contact with landlord/owner to be completed.

Michigan State Police warn of statewide 'spoofing' scam

State Troopers don't want you to get ripped off.


Be on the lookout for a call from the Michigan State Police informing you of an investigation.


The con-artists will say if you want to stay out of jail, you'll need to send them money. The trick is that the phone number looks like it's coming from an official source. However, the scammer is actually 'spoofing.'


Lt. Derrick Carroll with the State Police says they we will never ask for money over the phone or to be sent in the form of gift cards or through a third-party money transfer service including.


If you get this call, hang up and notify your local Michigan State Police post.

5-year old child struck by vehicle in Aetna Township

A 5-year old child is in critical but stable condition after being struck by a vehicle in Aetna Township, Tuesday.


The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office said a vehicle driven by a 70-year old Morley man was traveling on 180th Ave South of Washington Rd when the child had been on the side of the roadway and when the vehicle approached the child ran into the road and was struck. 


The child was taken to Devos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids for injuries sustained at the scene.


As of 9:30pm last night, the child was listed in critical but stable condiditon.  

BR Commissioners provided update on Roben Hood Runway extension

The Big Rapids City Commission was provided an update on the runway extension at Roben Hood Airport. 

The extension would be from a 4,300 foot runway to a 5,000 foot runway. 

Airport Manager Steve Schroeder told the commission its been a process but he's hoping to get a to a resolution sooner than later. 

"I was hoping to come before you with really good news from the FAA and that everything is a green light however I haven't gotten that call but I think that will come at any day now." Schroeder said.  

Schroeder told the commission there were a few hiccups but everything is up to date on the process. 

"We did a justification study back in October, we then had to make some revisions and then resubmitted in November and the FAA then justified the $1.8 million dollar earmark." 

"We were still $1.2 million dollars short, so we went back to the drawing board and got an excellent letter of support from Ferris State University President Dr. Bill Pink's Office explaining the benefits this extension would provide to them from academics to athletics and alumni coming in. " Schroeder said. 

He said the letter was sent to the FAA on March 16th and he heard from MDOT on Monday, so they are now just waiting on the FAA to make its decision in regards to the rest of the funding. 

Schroeder added they have a short timeline when it comes to its environmental assessment which takes 12 months to complete. He also said he hopes to get contracts to commissioners for construction within the next couple of meetings so they can start in 2024. 









Two children die in Wexford County vehicle/ buggy crash

Two children have died in an Amish buggy accident.


It happened Monday morning in Cedar Creek Township, north of Cadillac. A horse drawn buggy crossed traffic and was hit by a vehicle.


An 11-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy were ejected from the buggy and died on the scene.


Deputies say a 9-year-old was airlifted to Devos Childrens Hospital in Grand Rapids. They were listed as having serious injuries.


The Wexford County Sheriff's Office notes the driver and passengers were not hurt, and speed is not believed to be a factor.

Big Rapids City Commissioners to discuss airport runway extension and review city charter

The Big Rapids City Commission meets tonight at City Hall to discuss issues and approve resolutions.


During study session, Commissioners will get an update from Roben Hood Airport Manager Steve Schroeder on the runway expansion and where it currently stands. They will also discuss the the city's charter and possible changes to it.


In general business, commissioners will discuss and act on resolutions including approving grant application submissions for Swede Hill Skate Park and accepting the Drinking Water Asset Management (DWAM) Grant Application. Commissioners will also act on a resolution adopting the City of Big Rapids Economic Development Strategy.


The meeting begins at 6:30pm.


To see other items on the agenda scroll down: 


Act on the minutes of regular meeting of March 6, 2023.
a. Charter Revision
– Tamyra K. Gillis, City Clerk
b. Runway Extension Update - Steve Schroeder, Airport Manager
– None
10. GENERAL BUSINESS. (Regarding public comment, anyone may speak on an item of
general business. Please rise and wait to be recognized.)
a. Grants
i. Resolution Authorizing Submission of a Michigan Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) Recreation Passport Grant Application for the Swede Hill
Skatepark Project.
ii Resolution Accepting the Drinking Water Asset Management (DWAM) Grant
b. Resolution Awarding Bid for 2023 Construction Season Maintenance Materials and
c. Resolution Adopting the City of Big Rapids Economic Development Strategy.

d. Resolution Approving a Third Amendment to Site Lease for Verizon.
e. Resolution on Mayoral Appointments to Boards and Commissions.

*** f. Ordinance Amending Section 50.14 in Title X Chapter 50 of the Big Rapids City

Code of Ordinances – Polycarts.

11. UNSCHEDULED BUSINESS – (Commission Concerns/Reports)
12. WORK SESSION – Ethics Policy – Commissioner Jennifer Cochran

***Agenda items requiring a 4/5 Vote.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Blotter: 3/17-3/20



At 1:34pm, deputies made a traffic stop on Northland/Jefferson in Aetna TWP.  The stop resulted in female driver being arrested for Operating While Intoxicated.  She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.


Calls for service 12



At 11:30pm, deputies made a traffic stop on Maple/Warren in Big Rapids Twp. The stop resulted in a male driver being arrested for Operating While Intoxicated.   


Traffic accidents 4

Calls for service 14



No reported incidents



At 12:51pm, deputies responded to a domestic at a residence in Morton TWP.   Male subject was arrested after assaulting someone in the residence and making threats to shoot people in the residence.  He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.


Calls for service 22

Traffic accidents 2

Car/deer accidents 1

Ferris State celebrates opening of new athletics complex

 Ferris State University officially celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Athletics Performance and Bulldog Arena with a special ceremony held in conjunction with Bulldog Volleyball's alumni game on Sunday (March 19) at the Ewigleben Sports Complex.


A project intended to fortify Ferris' student-athletes and advance its programs into the future, the Center for Athletics Performance was officially approved in February of 2021 as part of a $15.3 million upgrade to the Bulldogs' Athletic Facilities. The upgrades now offer championship-caliber training and conditioning facilities to the nearly 400 Bulldog student-athletes and 17 varsity programs.


Sunday's events included guest speakers such as FSU President Dr. Bill Pink, Athletics Director Steve Brockelbank, Bulldog Football alum and donor Luke Piepkow along with FSU Volleyball head coach Tia Brandel-Wilhelm, head strength and conditioning coach Andrew Thiede and volleyball student-athlete Syann Fairfield.


Following the speakers, a special ribbon cutting ceremony took place outside the entrance to Bulldog Arena and FSU student-athletes led tours thru the new facility and upgrades in addition to photo opportunities followed by the alumni volleyball match and reception.


The opening of the Center for Athletics Performance and Bulldog Area was part of a multi-phase renovation and construction project which included not only a new and expanded strength and conditioning space, but also a new multipurpose arena and competition space for the volleyball program and practice area for other sports, additional and renovated locker room facilities along with team meeting spaces. Further, the project features a new connector and entrance to athletic facilities and renovations to offices and the sports medicine area.


Along with the Center for Athletics Performance, the new and renovated locker room facilities along with the sports medicine area were opened during preseason camp in August. The addition of office space overlooking the CAP was completed soon after with the construction of the new Bulldog Arena and team meeting spaces finished late this past fall.


Granger Construction oversaw the subcontracting firms, who took up approximately 7,200 square feet of renovation work and the development of nearly 16,000 square feet of new construction to create the Center for Athletics Performance. This work included the new home for the volleyball program, Bulldog Arena, in addition to a new entry and connector space.


The Center for Athletics Performance provides student-athletes with increased space for strength and conditioning, cardio work, training and nutrition.


The Ewigleben Sports Complex was originally constructed in 1974 with the former volleyball arena, which was transformed into the new Center for Athletics Performance, added on in 1982. Ferris State built Jim Wink Arena off the existing structure in 1999 and renovations to the ice arena were last made in 2007. The new Bulldog Arena addition will sit to the east side of the main concourse near both the existing Ewigleben Ice Arena and Wink Arena.

UPDATE: Police in Mecosta County identified woman suspected in incident

UPDATE: Police have identified the woman in question, they thank the public for their help. 



The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is asking for help to identify a woman, who's accused of being involved in an incident in Green Township.


The alleged incident happened Saturday night. If you know who this person is, contact Sgt. Darcy Mann at 231-592-0150.