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Big Rapids residents have just under four weeks to put in their petition into the City Clerks office if they want to run for Mayor or one of two city commissioner seats.

 

Due to term limits, current Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba will not be running for his position. Two city commissioner seats will also be open. Those seats are currently filled by Dan Rothstein and Lorraine James, both of whom are not term-limited and may run again.

 

If your interested, you must be resident of the city for at least one year, a registered voter, a citizen of the U.S.. Petitions must contain at least 25 and no more than 40 signatures of registered voters of the City of Big Rapids. .

 

Petitions must be picked up and submitted to the clerk’s office in City Hall and are due by 4 p.m.. on Tuesday, July 25.



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Three days after heavy rains caused major flooding in mid-Michigan, state and local leaders are conducting damage assessments.

 

Congressman John Moolenaar, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and others are calling on Governor Snyder to request an emergency declaration for Midland, Isabella, and other counties from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

If approved, federal money would become available to help in making repairs. Hundreds of roads were impassable over the weekend. In some cases, the roadway has washed away and sinkholes have formed under the standing water. 

 

Officials say this is the worst flooding in mid-Michigan in 31 years.

 

Meanwhile, an evaluation is underway to determine how the heavy rainfall over the past week will hurt farmers in mid-Michigan.

 

The Farm Bureau says the heavy rains may ruin crops in Central Michigan. Earlier, farmers were worried about drought.

 

Some farmers will have to decide if they want to re-plant fields, some of which were under water for two days.

 

The Michigan State Extension is tallying the damage. 



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A flood watch is being extended until Tuesday afternoon for the West Central Michigan area that includes Isabella, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola Counties.

 

Officials from National Weather Service say several rounds of thunderstorms are forecasted tonight. Rainfall rates will top an inch per hour in the strongest storms.

 

Local storm total rainfall amounts could exceed 3 inches which would be enough to trigger flooding. 

 

Mecosta County Emergency Management officials advise residents or commuters to turn around when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Keep children away from storm drains, culverts, creeks and streams. Water levels can rise rapidly and sweep children away.

 



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The Osceola Township Planning Commission denied an appeal from Nestle to get a new booster pump station so it can draw more water from an aquifer.

 

On Tuesday night, a special land use permit was denied by the township planning commission when it decided the station would not perform an essential service to the community.

 

Nestle requested a change in zoning classification, but it was denied.

 

The planning commission had denied granting Nestle the permit for the pipeline booster station at Spring Hill Camp back in April.  

 

Nestle could appeal to the county circuit court, but says it hasn't decided if it will. 



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An 47-year old Evart man is dead from drowning after he jumped off a bridge into the Muskegon River.

 

Deputies in Osceola County say the man jumped off the 50th Avenue Bridge in Sylvan Township then got hurt after hitting the water.

 

According to police, the man told bystanders of his injuries, who then tried pulling him to shore, but the rivers current was too strong.

 

An hour and a half later crews found the man near the bridge and pronounced him dead at the scene.

 

Police continue to investigate the case. 



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A Big Rapids woman is alive after four good Samaritans pulled her from a burning vehicle Sunday night in Green Township.

 

It happened on 230th Avenue, deputies say the driver lost control of her vehicle then went sideways into a ditch, hitting multiple trees.

 

The four Samaritans managed to pull the woman who was unconscious out of the car while it was on fire.

 

The driver was taken to a local hospital to receive treatment for non-life threatening injuries.

 

Alcohol is being suspected as a factor in the accident. 



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A Big Rapids man accused of sexually assaulting a relative is heading to jail.

 

33-year old Edward Brandon Morton was sentenced up to ten years in prison in Mecosta County court.

 

Morton took a plea deal from prosecutors and agreed to plead guilty to a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration.

 

In exchange for his plea, the original charges of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes were dismissed.  



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Reactions continue to pour-in following Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice in D.C.

 

Mid-Michigan Congressman John Moolenaar, speaking for the first time about it, was warming-up along the first-baseline when the first shot was fired. 

 

"All of us weren't thinking at 7:15 in the morning in this pastoral setting where you know people in the community were there to watch practice and ask questions,  we just weren't thinking at all about gunfire but after that first shot, a short time later and multiple shots someone yelled shooter and we knew we were under assault," Moolenaar said.  

 

Going forward, the Midland Republican expects a strong debate on open-carry laws.



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As many as 50 shots rang out during a shooting at an early morning baseball practice in Virginia.

 

According to reports, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and multiple Congressional aides were shot during baseball practice Wednesday morning.

 

US Congressman John Moolenaar of the fourth congressional district which encompasses Mecosta County and other West Michigan communities, was at practice this morning.

 

Moolenaar's Communications Director David Russell issued a statement:

"This morning, Congressman John Moolenaar attended baseball practice. He was uninjured in the shooting that took place. He asks that you keep those injured in this act of cowardice in your thoughts and prayers. "

 

According to reports, all Michigan Congressmen and women have been accounted for. 



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In honor of flag day, the AMVETS Post 1941 in Big Rapids will be hosting a flag retirement ceremony on Wednesday.

 

Jean Bennett of the AMVETS says they are taking old flags to be properly disposed of.

 

"You can bring your old flags to our post or to the DAV Chapter 18 on Michigan Avenue and we will properly dispose of your old flags with respect," Bennett said.  

 

The ceremony starts at 1pm at the AMVETS Post off of 16 mile road in Big Rapids. 



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As part of a Department of Environmental Quality grant one township in Osceola County is giving residents a way to get rid of their old tires.

 

Middle Branch Township will be hosting a tire collection event starting June 28th and going until July 1st. Officials say hours for the collection are 8am-8pm on June 28th and 29th then 8am-6pm on June 30th and 8am-12pm on July 1st.

 

Officials are asking that tires be fairly clean. Forestry tires, loaded tires, airplane tires and tires bigger than four feet and wider than 12 inches will not be accepted.



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The Mecosta County Parks are offering a great way for residents and visitors from out of town to experience their facilities as part 2nd annual Community Open House event.

 

The event will take place on June 10th and June 11th.

 

Park officials say daily vehicle and boat fees will be waived at each county park allowing free day use of the facilities.

 

The event is in conjunction with the DNR free fishing weekend.

 

If you want more information about any of the parks or this weekend, visit mecostacountyparks.com. 



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There will be a change in leadership at the Big Rapids Salvation Army beginning in July.

 

According to a press release, Lieutenants Chris and Brianne Karlin will be heading to Muskegon for their new assignment with the Salvation Army.

 

The Karlins are preparing for the move and a smooth transition of leadership. While they are excited about this new opportunity, the move is bittersweet. 


“The day we drove into Big Rapids for the first time, I reached over, put my hand on Brianne’s shoulder and said…it’s ok…this is home,” Lt. Chris recounted. “In our short time here, we’ve made many friends. Our son, Nate, was born here. We will always call Big Rapids home.” 

 

During their time with the Big Rapids post, the Karlins establish several new programs to assist families and children, as well as opening the area's first ever Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center in October of last year.

 

Ed and Theresa Hoskins will lead the efforts of The Salvation Army of Big Rapids starting in July. 



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A four year old boy is fighting for his life after he was hit by a car Monday night near Hesperia in Newaygo County.

 

It happened on M-20 near Dickinson Avenue.

 

The Newaygo County Sheriff's Department says the boy entered the road where he was struck by a westbound vehicle driven by a 62-year-old Fremont man.

 

The child was airlifted to a Grand Rapids hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.  

 

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

 

The accident remains under investigation.  



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Waste water rates are going up next month for Big Rapids homeowners and businesses.

 

The rate increases were approved during the Big Rapids City Commission meeting last night.

 

Starting July first, sewer users will be charged $7 per 1,000 gallons of use, which is around a $4 increase for homes or businesses with a 5/8-inch meter.

 

Users previously were charged $6.27 per 1,000 gallons of use. 



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Get your rod and reel ready.

 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering a free fishing weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday.

 

People can fish without a license and the state is waiving the regular entry fee for all cars and trucks going into state parks and recreation areas.

 

The DNR started the free weekends in 1986 as a way to promote the state's resources. 



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A 55-year old Midland man has been arrested in Isabella County after being involved in a drunk driving accident involving a tractor.

 

It happened on Pickard Road (M20) and Loomis Road.

 

Sheriff Michael Main says during the investigation officers determined that the driver of the vehicle was highly intoxicated at the time of the crash. The tractor was well lit and properly marked.

 

The driver did not sustain any injuries but was taken to a local emergency department to be evaluated.

 

The man was arrested and awaiting arraignment.



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Two people were in front of a judge yesterday in Mecosta County listening to charges levied against them in connection to their drug arrest last week.

 

39-year old Ronald Raymond Garrison Jr. of Harrison and 34-year old Alicia Marie Bracey of Saginaw were charged with two counts of operating/maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine, one count of purchasing/possessing ephedrine/pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine, one count of possession of a controlled substance containing morphine.

 

The charges stem from the pair's arrest on May 26th in Martiny Township following an investigation by the Central Michigan enforcement team. They are being held on $150,000 bond a piece.  



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A bill  that would enable law-abiding citizens to carry concealed pistols without obtaining a government-issued permit is making its way through the legislature.

 

The legislation sponsored by republican State House Representative Michele Hoitenga of Manton was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. 

 

The current rules are unnecessarily complicated,” said Hoitenga. “Right now, anyone can openly carry a gun without getting a license. It only becomes illegal if they put on a jacket without getting a concealed pistol license. Good, honest people are getting criminal records because they are so confused by the current law. They’re inadvertently covering their firearms, and they don’t realize it makes a difference.”

 

 

Hoitenga’s legislation is part of a four-bill package that removes the penalties for carrying a concealed pistol without first obtaining a license. 

 

Hoitenga said her legislation would not give criminals more access to pistols. A background check would still be required when purchasing a handgun.

 

 

 

 



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A couple from White Cloud is in jail after trying to allegedly cash stolen checks in the Big Rapids area from a closed bank account totaling $9,000.

 

According to Big Rapids Department of Public Safety officials, 24-year old Christopher Rager was arraigned on eight charges related to felony uttering and publishing.

 

His partner, a White Cloud woman, was also arrested but hasn't been arraigned.

 

The pair is accused of passing stolen checks at a local financial institution on March 2.

 

Both Rager and the woman have also been arrested and charged in Newaygo County for similar activity. 



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