Ferris State University has decided to hold its December graduation virtually.
The school announced the change "as a result of the continued restrictions on large gatherings due to COVID-19 and the risk of spread at large indoor events.
They will also not be able to perform the make-up ceremony for Spring 2020 graduates in Wink Arena on the Big Rapids campus.
The Virtual Commencement will be held on December 19 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Each graduate will have a personalized slide with the Ferris logo and colors displaying their name, degree, photo and a short quote or Thank You message.
An Ann Arbor man is behind bars following a police car chase in a stolen vehicle.
It happened last night just before 10:30pm, Osceola Co. Shierff Deputies say they initiated a traffic stop on US10 near the Clare County line in Orient Township for a speeding infraction.
The suspect vehicle, a white Toyota Corolla, was traveling at 80 MPH in a 55 MPH zone and refused to stop.
The vehicle continued west on US10 through the City of Evart, through the City of Reed City and turned south on Northland Drive into Mecosta County and into the City of Big Rapids.
Upon entering into the City of Big Rapids, Big Rapids Police utilized spike strips to disable the vehicle after approximately 32 miles and two counties.
At that time the driver a 19-year old Ann Arbor man was taken into custody.
The white Toyota Corolla was determined to be stolen out of Van Buren Township in Wayne County.
The driver was determined to have two outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Charges will be sought for two counts of felony resisting and obstructing the police and two counts of felony Flee and Elude the police.
The US Department of Education recognized Big Rapids' Riverview Elementary as a Blue Ribbon school of 2020.
The award is for exemplary high performing schools, which means students at Riverview perform well on state assessments and national tests.
Congressman John Moolenaar released a statement congratulating the students and staff:
"Congratulations to the students, parents, and teachers of Riverview Elementary in Big Rapids on being named a Blue Ribbon School,” said Congressman John Moolenaar. “This is a special honor for the community and I encourage all involved to continue striving for success."
The Big Rapids elementary school was one of 12 other schools in Michigan picked in their category.
Movie theaters, arcades, bingo halls and trampoline parks will be able to re-open in two weeks under the latest executive order signed by Governor Whitmer Friday.
The businesses have been closed for more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement the Governor says the health of families and the economy are faring better than in other states and as a result, movie theaters and performance venues can reopen with strict safety measures in place.
Attendance will be limited, but in other cases, such as funerals, more people will be allowed at indoor gatherings.
A second order signed Friday requires all students in grades kindergarten and up to wear a face covering in classrooms
In a letter sent out on Thursday night, Big Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Tim Haist confirmed a middle school student tested positive for COVID-19.
The District Health Department #10 and BRPS staff are working together to investigate the situation and is work to identify the close contacts that will need to stay home in quarantine, Superintendent Tim Haist stated in a letter to parents.
Haist added, “As we become aware of new information, we will be sure to share it with you. Thank you again for your cooperation and understanding.”
Here is the letter to parents.
An Amish woman is in stable condition after being struck by a semi truck while riding in her buddy tuesday afternoon in Osceola County.
It happened on on 80 th Ave, near 19 Mile Road, Highland Township.
Osceola Co. Sheriff Ed Williams said in a press release, a 33-year old Marion woman while driving a buggy southbound on 80th Avenue near 19 Mile Road was struck by a southbound straight truck semi being driven by a 38-year old Roseville man.
The Marion women was thrown from the buggy and sustained major injuries, the Marion women was taken to Cadillac Munson Hospital and then transferred to Traverse City Munson Hospital and is in stable condition.
The semi driver was not injured. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is requesting assistance to identify the pictured person who is a suspect in a retail fraud at the Lowe's store located at 21555 PERRY AVE, BIG RAPIDS in the Twp of Big Rapids.
Information can be given to the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Detectives by calling 231-592-0150.
There's some money available for qualifying Michigan workers whose income took a hit due to COVID-19.
The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association has received a $2.5M grant from the Michigan Department of Treasury to continue to support restaurant and lodging industry workers who were financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Funds will be granted to individuals that can demonstrate need and proof of hospitality industry employment as of March 10, 2020.
Payments of up to $500 will be granted to all approved applicants until resources are fully depleted. All eligible hospitality employees in Michigan should apply for assistance online from September 22 until October 1.
Click here to view application
Michigan State Police say a Blanchard man is behind bars at the Osceola County Jail after a foot pursuit in Evart Townsip.
It happened Wednesday afternoon, troopers say they were patrolling near Waters Edge Dr. and 85th Ave. when they observed a male subject running from a vehicle that had just crashed.
Troopers immediately began a foot pursuit and quickly apprehended the 48-year-old Blanchard man.
The man had a suspended Michigan Driver’s License and threw a plastic baggie containing suspected
methamphetamine while fleeing from the troopers. Additionally, he was wanted on warrants out of
Osceola and Mecosta Counties.
The vehicle he was driving did not have insurance and had an unlawful plate.
He was lodged at the Osceola County Jail and has not yet been arraigned.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 680 new cases and 11 new deaths on Wednesday.
Here in Mecosta County, according to the District Health Department #10 there are 163 cases since March however 88 positive cases are from those on campus at Ferris State in Big Rapids since August 24th.
Since September 12th there have been five hospitalizations at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital due to COVID-19, according to the DHD#10 dashboard.
69 people in Mecosta County have also recovered from coronavirus since the month of March as well.
For more local numbers CLICK HERE and HERE
Patients visiting Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital for an outpatient COVID-19 swab test will now see a large drive-thru canopy conveniently located adjacent to the hospital in the OB Practice parking.
The change allows for better social distancing and increases the capacity to conduct more tests as schools, sports and the busy fall season begins. Patients will enter the testing site off Willow Street and exit through the parking lot onto
Locust Street. The drive-thru testing will occur Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’re very excited to roll out this drive-thru process,” said Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital chief operating officer Beth Langenburg. “We’ll be able to conduct more tests in the safest manner possible. This allows us to increasingly meet the needs of our community.”
Patients must have an order from a provider to receive a test. Appointments are encouraged. There are several easy ways to access COVID-19 testing:
Get screened and self-schedule a COVID-19 test through Spectrum Health MyChart. You do not have to be a Spectrum Health patient to use this service. To access MyChart, download the Spectrum Health app or visit
Once in MyChart, follow the instructions found at www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19test to complete the symptom screening process.
Patients may also contact their provider to discuss the need for a COVID-19 test. If you require an interpreter or special assistance, call the COVID-19 hotline at 833.559.0659. Also use this option if you are a pre-procedure or surgery patient. If you qualify for a COVID-19 test, an appointment will be made for you.
For tests for children, also visit www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19test for more information
on how and when to have your child tested. Spectrum Health emergency departments are for patients seeking emergency services only and are not able to provide testing for patients without serious COVID-19 symptoms.
People experiencing life-threatening symptoms or conditions should call 9-1-1.
A motorcycle rider from Lake is dead after being struck by a pickup truck yesterday in Isabella County.
It happened in Gilmore Township on Vandecar and Herrick Rd.
Deputies say The driver of a pickup, an 82-year old man from Farwel was traveling south bound on Vandecar and began to turn left onto Herrick road.
The driver of the pickup, turned in front of the motorcyclist, a 74-year old Lake man, who was traveling North Bound on Vandecar.
The motorcycle ran into the side of the pickup truck.
When first responders arrived, they discovered the driver of the motorcycle deceased.
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) was notified that an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 was present and potentially contagious at El Burrito Loco in Big Rapids on September 6 from 4:00-8:00 PM.
If you were at El Burrito Loco on the day and time listed above, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the possible exposure date. Anyone that is self-monitoring as a result should keep away from family, close contacts, and roommates as much as possible. COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and recent loss of taste or smell. Anyone experiencing one or more of these symptoms should immediately quarantine themselves and contact a medical provider.
While DHD#10 will release information about public exposure sites when it is determined through investigation that it’s not possible to identify all close contacts, everyone needs to remember that approximately 40% of COVID-19 cases appear to be asymptomatic. Asymptomatic cases are especially difficult because they are not sick and therefore not staying home. Additionally, contagious individuals can spread virus prior to experiencing symptoms.
“As we continue to experience community spread of COVID-19, it should be understood that anyone choosing to go out in public, whether to a bar, restaurant, golf course, retail store, family gathering, funeral, or any other public place, could potentially be exposed to COVID-19 at any time, thus you should always be monitoring for symptoms,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10.
For more information about COVID-19, go to: www.dhd10.org/coronavirus, www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, or www.cdc.com/coronavirus
The number of Michigan residents who have recovered from the coronavirus is now over 85,000.
The state Health Department reported yesterday that an additional 5,000 residents had recovered compared to the end of August.
There were 692 new confirmed cases of the virus bringing the statewide total to more than 111,000. There were also 13 deaths.
As for here in Mecosta County, there are 149 positive coronavirus cases since the month of March, and 65 recoveries and no hospitalizations since July 24th according to the District Health Department #10.
Part of the recent increase in cases is the return of students at Ferris State University in Big Rapids.
According to the FSU COVID-19 dashboard, since August 24th there have been 53 positive cases of coronavirus, 34 new cases in the week of Sept. 4th-10th alone.
School officials says it's working closely with DHD#10 to actively conduct contact tracing and provide assistance and support to those affected. Students affected who reside on-campus have been moved to isolation housing. Anyone who had close contact will be notified by DHD #10 of possible exposure and will also receive specific instructions, assistance and support.
For more details on local COVID-19 numbers CLICK HERE
A Standish woman is recovering following a rollover accident in Mecosta County.
It happened Monday afternoon just after 1:30pm, deputies say a 21-year old Standish woman, was heading westbound on 21Mile Rd near 120th Ave when she lost control and rolled her vehicle.
She was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids with non-life threatening injuries.
A group of individuals, interested in recreation and the communities’ needs, gathered to create a master plan and a new vision for the City of Big Rapids Hemlock Park.
The project is called “Play Big” because it encompasses five different user groups and projects that encourage area residents and visitors to get outdoors and “play big”.
The five projects are: splash pad, basketball courts, pickleball courts, tennis courts and a handicap-accessible kayak launch.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light how many people value the opportunity for free, outdoor recreation opportunities. “As someone who frequents Hemlock Park and someone who studies the industry, I can tell you that usage of parks and general recreation skyrocketed during the pandemic. People are buying tennis racquets, pickleball paddles, and kayaks. We want to give them a safe, comfortable, adaptable place to use them,” Coles said.
Coles adds, “We’re also excited about the economic impact this will have for the area. We want Big Rapids to be a destination point. And for those who already live in the area, we want to drive people to the heart of our city to enjoy ice cream, lunch, and shopping.”
Studies show that if your home is located within walking distance to a successful park, the home value will likely go up $81.54 per square foot. Eighty-five percent of respondents to the 2017 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey seek high-quality park and recreation amenities when they are choosing a place to live. Parks and recreation improve the quality of life in communities and benefits the local economic development of a region. A recent survey in Area Development notes that three-quarters of corporate executives rate quality-of-life features as important factors when choosing a location for a headquarters, factory or other company facility.
The Presenting Sponsor for the Hemlock Park Improvement Project is Spectrum Health. Andrea Leslie, President of Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals said,
“Spectrum Health is excited to be a part of the Hemlock Park refresh project to promote healthy living for years to come. It’s important for community members to spend time outside and stay active and adding a kayak launch and splash pad to our park will provide great opportunities to do just that.”
For more information on how you can contribute to the project, see the Facebook page: Hemlock Park Improvement Project Presented by Spectrum Health or you may call Jon Coles, steering committee chair, 231-250-4082.
More than 2,100 students moving into campus housing at Ferris State University in Big Rapids were screened for COVID-19 last week.
School officials say for the week of August 24, four positive cases on the Big Rapids campus were confirmed by the District Health Department #10 (DHD #10). The University is working closely with the health department to actively conduct contact tracing and provide assistance and support to those affected.
Students affected who reside on-campus have been moved to isolation housing.
A COVID-19 dashboard was created on the Ferris website to update positive cases on Thursday of each week by 5 p.m.
We've all seen the Amazon vans in neighborhoods -- now, getting an Amazon packaged delivered from the sky is closer to becoming a reality.
The Federal Aviation Administration granted Amazon approval to deliver packages by drones.
Amazon says the approval is an important step, but added that it is still testing and flying the drones.
It's unclear when drones will be put in to use for good.
UPS and a company owned by search giant Google won approval for drone deliveries last year.
Meanwhile, Walmart is launching a new membership service for shoppers this month that it hopes can compete with Amazon Prime.
Called Walmart , it will cost $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, and give members same-day delivery on 160,000 items, a fuel discount at certain gas stations and a chance to check out at Walmart stores without having to wait at a register.
Walmart plus will launch september 15th.
The leader of the Michigan High School Athletic Association says the decision rests with Governor Whitmer on whether there are soccer games, volleyball matches, and swimming and diving meets this fall.
Mark Uyl says while the governor's school reopening road map allows for competition during the coronavirus pandemic, her broader "safe start" order does not unless participants stay 6 feet apart.
The group later received guidance from Whitmer's office that golf, tennis and cross country are OK to proceed.
Football has been postponed until the spring.
Uyl hopes the governor issues further guidance this week.
CIVIL in the 800 block of Country Way.
A traffic stop resulted in a 35 year old male being arrested for a weapons violation and DWLS.
Traffic stop State/Bellevue for 75/35 led to the 17 year old male driver being charged with reckless driving.
Assault in the 300 block of Morrison. Caller, 23 year old female claimed he was assaulted by a 21 year old female while she was retrieving property from the apartment. The 21 year old claimed to have been assaulted by the 23 year old a couple of days prior. Parties were separated, reports will be forwarded for review.
MDOP in the 200 block of Maple.
CIVIL in the 800 block of COUNTRY WAY.
Civil in the 400 block of Woodward.
MDOP in the 500 block of N Warren. Two light posts along trail had electrical boxes damaged, found by person walking on trial, unknown timeline on damage.
Traffic stop Oak /State. After stopping driver, an 18 year old female, put car in reverse and struck patrol vehicle. She then tried moving out of driver's seat but got stuck while attempting. When asked for her license she handed officer a bottle of Hennesey out of her purse. She was arrested for OWI High BAC. While attempting Datamaster she could not provide samples and search warrant was obtained. She fell walking into ER for the draw. After blood draw and being medically cleared due to her fall she was lodged at 54.
While trying to change lanes due to above PDA/Traffic stop driver, 19 year old female struck a vehicle in front of her, drove up on the curb, blew out a tire, and continued on past State and Perry where she was eventually stopped. Investigation led to her being arrested for OWI.
Officers were dispatched to a threats complaint in the 300 block of Morrison. Caller advised he was threatened by his roommate. While on scene the roommate became belligerent with officers. The complainant requested an officer to accompany him to his room to retrieve personal belongings as he did not feel safe with just him and the roommate in the apartment. As officer was trying to leave the apartment the roommate blocked the door and refused several commands to move out of the way. He was then arrested for hindering.
Traffic stop State/Perry led to the 22 year old male driver being arrested for OWI and cited for refusing PBT.
Traffic stop State/Ferris led to the 26 year old male driver being arrested for OWI. He was also cited for failing to move over after almost striking officer as he drove by his traffic stop.
Traffic stop Northland/Ferris led to the 23 year old male driver being arrested for OWI, CCW, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and probation violation.
THREATS in the 800 block of Country Way.
Suspicious, at Hemlock Park. Juvenile Female reported that she was being watched and followed by a male in Hemlock Park. Officers spoke with the female and identified the male. His grandfather spoke about his grandson being overly friendly to the 13 year old female. The young man is mentally handicapped and has amental capacity of an 8 year old by is 19 years of age. No intent for anything else but being socially awkward.