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Big Rapids City Commission to hold meeting Jan. 18th.

The Big Rapids City Commission will be meeting Tuesday night.

 

Items to be discussed and voted on include a resolution awarding bids for the asbestos removal and demolition of a structure located on W. Bellevue, next the commission will take action on a resolution that will accept state and federal funding for Big Rapids Dial-a Ride operating expenses.

 

The Commission will also take up a resolution amending annual interest rate of city income taxes. The interest rate for those who owe taxes or over payment will be 4.25%.

 

The meeting will begin at 6:30pm at City hall or virtually on Zoom.


Moolenaar meets with local energy provider

 

On Friday, Congressman John Moolenaar met with local energy provider Coyne Oil & Propane to discuss the rising cost of energy, labor shortages, and supply chain delays. Moolenaar toured the Coyne Oil & Propane facility and met with the team there.

"Michigan families are being hurt by rising energy costs and I appreciated the opportunity to meet with a local energy provider today to discuss how policies from the Biden Administration are affecting costs,” said Moolenaar. “Propane is a vital energy source for many homeowners in Michigan, and if the Biden Administration’s anti-pipeline policies cause Line 5 to be shutdown, that could seriously raise costs on Michigan families. I hope Line 5 tunnel construction will be expedited and allowed to move forward, because that is the safest solution to meeting our state’s energy needs.”

 

“We appreciate Congressman Moolenaar’s willingness to hear from our propane marketers and the challenges they are facing. As the largest residential propane state in America, Michigan needs sound energy policy to keep costs down for our businesses and more importantly our customers,” said Michigan Propane Gas Association Government Relations Director Jason Wadaga.


Spectrum Health to build new primary care facility in Big Rapids

 

Spectrum Health is planning on building a new urgent care facility in Big Rapids as part of a $151-million dollar investment in patient care.

 

Providing our communities with care that is high-quality and convenient, particularly for outpatient services, is essential to helping people live healthier lives,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Spectrum Health. “We are committed to making investments that increase access to affordable health care.”

 

We have listened to our community in prioritizing these building projects to improve access to exceptional care. We thank the physicians and community members who have helped develop these plans,” said Darryl Elmouchi, MD, president, Spectrum Health West Michigan.


The 33,000 square foot facility which is expected to open in spring of 2023 will house the Big Rapids Family Medicine clinic, the first Spectrum Health Urgent Care in the area, outpatient rehabilitation, occupational health and other ancillary services, which are currently located in the hospital.

 

Other projects include the Lakeview Rural Health Clinic which will bring together much-needed outpatient care for the Lakeview community and surrounding area in a convenient location. The 15,800 square foot building will relocate the Lakeview Family Medicine practice, outpatient rehabilitation and walk-in clinic from their current locations and provide space for specialty care services. (Opening Spring 2023)


Ferris State Professor put on leave after profane video to students surfaces

A Ferris State University professor has been placed on leave after he told students in a profanity laced video that he randomly assigns grades before the first day of class.

 

Barry Mehler is a 74-year-old instructor at FSU, he told students in the video: "I don't even want to know your name. I just look at the number and assign a grade. That is how predestination works, take your complaints to God."

 

In the 14- minute video, Mehler calls students "vectors of disease" and says they don't need to attend class in person.

 

Ferris President David Eisler said in a statement. “I was shocked and appalled by this video. It is profane, offensive and disturbing and in no way reflects our University or its values,”


Big Rapids Police Blotter 1/13

40-2200083 @ 1140 PDC Maple and Second

 

40-2200084 @ 1713 PDC Rose and W. Pine

 

40-2200085 @ 5:11pm 800 block Water Tower Civil, reference tenant and landlord dispute.

 

40-2200086 @ 6:04pm Minor PI State Perry, Male was arrested for OWI during the investigation.

 

40-2200087 @ 1:39am Barking dog.  Dog was located in the 200 block of W. Waterloo.  Owner was given a warning for noise as this is the second call we have received.

 

40-2200088 @ 5:35am Alarm.  400 block Perry Ave. Building was secure and was searched after the keyholder responded.

 

 

 


Rep. Hoitenga leading efforts to reform beleaguered state's Unemployment Insurance Agency

After Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has failed to correct substantial internal issues over nearly a two-year period, legislative action was sorely needed. Multiple proposals, including one from state Rep. Michele Hoitenga that will deliver a more efficient and effective state jobless agency, today were approved by the House Oversight Committee.

 

The plans, which now move to the full House for consideration, establish a consistent and accelerated review process for claims and provide new provisions to protect both workers and small-business owners. Extra layers of assistance for those seeking it will cultivate a system that is streamlined, more user-friendly and robust in delivering sufficient service.

 

“I have heard from hundreds of people over the past year and a half who were beyond frustrated having to deal with UIA and get benefits they needed fulfilled,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “We need a system that works for people. Getting benefits in a timely fashion was the difference for some between putting food on the table or not, or choosing which bills they could afford to pay for a month. These plans prioritize transparency, trust, practicality and precision within how the agency operates.”

 

Hoitenga’s legislation within the package, House Bill 5551, puts a more restrictive timeframe on restitution determinations from UIA for improperly paid benefits.

 

“No one should get a letter out of the blue after a mistake by the state telling them they may owe thousands of dollars,” Hoitenga said. “That causes hard-working people and families a great deal of anxiety and fear – and causes people to lose trust in how state agencies operate.”

 

Hoitenga also highlighted legislation which works to protect people from mistakes made by the state. HB 5265 prohibits UIA from collecting improperly paid jobless benefits from recipients if the payments resulted from a recipient choosing one of four ineligible Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) criteria.

 

An Auditor General report recently disclosed UIA paid roughly $3.9 billion in improper benefits after including the incorrect criteria and continued to include it on its pandemic assistance application for nine months after it was first warned by the U.S. Department of Labor.

 

Hoitenga and the House Oversight Committee explored the incorrect payments and issues of fraud and intentional misrepresentation in a joint hearing with the Senate Oversight Committee today. An independent investigation determined $8.5 billion in taxpayer money was lost to fraud – a staggering sum that comes on the heels of previous reports which showed the agency deactivated fraud detection tools and reassigned fraud personnel.

 

“This was a blatant disrespect of taxpayer dollars,” Hoitenga said. “I will continue working to get answers so that the tax dollars of northern Michigan residents are not squandered. We need accountability for them.”


Local blood drives taking place next month amid national blood shortage crisis

The Red Cross is declaring its first-ever national blood crisis.

 

The organization says it has less than a one day supply of critical blood types in many areas of the country and has had to limit distribution to hospitals.

 

Meghan Lehman of Red Cross Michigan says this is considered worst blood shortage in more than a decade.

 

“Between blood drives being canceled,  the pandemic attacking staff, it's just essentially a relentless situation.” Lehman said. “Anyone that can give blood or has considered giving blood now would be the time to step up and do it.” 

 

Here in Mecosta County, there will be two Red Cross blood drives. The first is in Big Rapids on Feburary 21st from 12pm-5:45pm at the First United Methodist Church. The second bloos drive will be on Feburary 22nd at the Stanwood Eagles Club from 12pm-5:45pm.  


Big Rapids Police Blotter 1/12

40-2200075 @ 8:00am 20000 Block Northland Dr- Male arrested for outstanding fail to appear warrant by Reed City PD.  Met at dispatch and transported to jail.

 

40-2200076 @ 8:27am Elm/Stewart PDA

 

40-2200077 @ 2:21pm 700 block Perry Ave- Male attempting to cash checks on a closed account.

 

40-2200079 @ 3:53pm 1800 block Milton Ave Mental- Female transported to SHBRH for mental health evaluation.

 

40-2200078 @ 4:08pm 1100 block Fuller Civil- Standby for a male while he retrieved items from a residence after a breakup. 

 

40-2200080 @ 6:07pm Maple/ State St PDA

 

40-2100081 @ 10:02pm 200 block Mill St.  Barking Dogs.  Quiet upon arrival.  Contact was made with homeowner.

 

40-2100082 @ 11:28pm 500 block Marion Ave.  Female called about voices in her basement. 


DHD#10 will be closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) announces that all 10 offices and one COVID-19 testing clinic will be closed to the public on Monday, January 17, 2022. 

 

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, DHD#10 and the Mecosta County COVID-19 testing clinic will be closed Monday, January 17. All offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 18. The Mecosta County COVID-19 testing clinic will resume testing on Wednesday, January 19. 

 

Additionally, the Mason County COVID-19 testing clinic will be closed from January 21 until January 23 and will reopen on January 25. To account for these closures, they will be open on January 20.

From all of us here at DHD#10, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and enjoyable Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! For questions, email us at info@dhd10.org or call 888-217-3904. 

 


Nursing home deaths undercounted by 30% according to state audit

A soon to be released State Auditor General report on the number of COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities, acknowledges the number of deaths is much higher than once reported.

 

House Oversight Committee Chair Steve Johnson issued a statement saying he is eager to review the report and says the number reported by Whitmers administration is 30% lower than what the Auditor General has found.

 

Johnson went on to say he believes it is his duty to uncover the truth for the people in the state.

 

The report will be posted to auditor general's website on the 17th of this month.


Ferris State to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. during 36th Annual event Jan. 17th

Traditional campus activities and a special guest’s talk comprise Ferris State University’s collaborative Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration schedule beginning Monday, Jan. 17.

 

The Diversity and Inclusion Office hosts the 28th annual Faculty/Staff Zoom presentation of inspirational readings in Room 202B of the University Center, beginning at 10 a.m. The program theme is “Let Freedom Ring.” Interested participants should complete registration by Monday, Jan. 10.

 

The Office of Multicultural Student Services welcomes 1960s Freedom Rider Joan Trumpauer Mulholland to the celebration. Mulholland’s talk, “Living Legends: Advocacy in Action,” begins at 5 p.m. in University Center, Room 202A. Preceding the Mulholland presentation is a “March for Freedom, Justice and Equity!” starting at 4 p.m. Marchers will depart from the Rankin Atrium on the lower level of the University Center.

 

OMSS Assistant Director Darnell Lewis expressed pride in having an icon of the Civil Rights Movement as the featured speaker. In-person seating will be limited to 40 people. RSVPs are required to attend this presentation, aired live via Zoom.

 

“We feel really great about the opportunity to hear from a living legend who made a difficult, even dangerous choice to advocate,” Lewis said. “We hope Joan’s message inspires our audience to a similar level of awareness and action in the name of justice and equality as we honor Dr. King.”

 

Celebration activities conclude with the Student Tribute. Students and registered student organizations perform skits, speeches, poems and musical presentations on Wednesday, Jan. 19th at 7 p.m., via Zoom. Lewis is the OMSS contact available for joining the program or receiving more information. His campus phone number is (231) 591-5029.

 

Those with a disability who may require assistance to attend any element of the celebration schedule can contact the OMSS office by email or call (231) 591-2617 at least 72 hours before the event.


American Red Cross facing critical blood shortage crisis amid pandemic

The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis – its worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a concerning risk to patient care. Amid this crisis, doctors have been forced to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available. Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments.

 

“While some types of medical care can wait, others can’t,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the Red Cross. “Hospitals are still seeing accident victims, cancer patients, those with blood disorders like sickle cell disease, and individuals who are seriously ill who all need blood transfusions to live even as Omicron cases surge across the country. We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors. We need the help of the American people.”

 

The Red Cross asks the country to roll up a sleeve to help ensure people receive the care they need. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

 

The Red Cross has experienced a 10% decline in the number of people donating blood since the beginning of the pandemic and continues to confront relentless issues due to the pandemic, including ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations. Adding to the concern is the surge of COVID-19 cases. The Red Cross has experienced low donor turnout ever since the delta variant began spreading in August, and that trend continues as the Omicron variant takes over.

 

All types are needed now, especially types O positive and O negative, as well as platelet donations, to help reverse this national blood crisis. If there is not an immediate opportunity available to donate, donors are asked to make an appointment in the days and weeks ahead to ensure the Red Cross can replenish and maintain a sufficient blood supply


Big Rapids Police Blotter 1/10

40-2200060 @ 9:54am Warren Ave/Oak St – PDA

 

40-2200061 @ 11:00am 700 block N State St – PDA

 

40-2200062 @ 1:36pm 700 block Clark St Domestic- Complainant/Victim reported being assaulted by her boyfriend. Male left the area, and the victim is staying with family. Pending contact with male.

 

40-2200063 @ 2:04pm 400 block Woodward Ave Domestic- Complainant/Victim reported being assaulted by his roommate. Female was lodged for assault.

 


At-home COVID tests will be covered by insurance starting Saturday

Beginning Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans.

 

The Biden administration announced the change Monday.

 

Under the new policy, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under their insurance or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit.

 

For example, a family of four could be reimbursed for up to 32 tests per month.

 

PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit.


Police arrest Mecosta Co. man on criminal sexual conduct charges

 

A Mecosta County man was arrested and arraigned on charges connected to sex crimes.

 

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office says it performed an investigation and conducted multiple interviews.

 

An arrest warrant was requested and obtained for Daniel Lloyd Geister, who was arrested on January 10th on a (3) count charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd degree.

 

Geister was arraigned in the 77th District Court in Big Rapids where bond was set at $75,000 cash surety.


Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter

1/7

40-2200041 @ 10:07am Colburn/190th Car/deer that occurred at 0805

40-2200042 @ 12:33pm 200 block W Spruce St Suspicious Female left school during band and was later located at a nearby residence.

40-2200043 @ 3:10pm 600 block Maple St Civil. Female had issues paying at the pump with her card. Staff assisted her with getting the pump started. She left without paying for her $10.01 in gas. Deputy Thompson was able to contact her at her residence and made arrangements to return and pay.

40-2200044 @3:46pm 1700 block S State St Check wellbeing. Female returned to campus and mother was not able to get ahold of her. Friends didn’t know where she was. Located female. She was fine just staying at the hotel until the dorms opened back up.

40-2200045 @5:26pm 1100 block Catherine St Civil Male wanted a standby for a custody exchange with female for his son. Female would not turn child over to father. Father was advised to file for a show cause hearing through Alpena where the custody order is out of.

40-2200046 @2:58pm 800 block Country Way. Assist. Contacted and transported male to the ER for a court ordered Psych eval.

40-2200047 @ 7:41pm Hours 700 block Farnsworth.  Mentally challenged male broke a curtain holder and was being disorderly.  Upon arrival he was calm.  Mom stated CMH was working on placement for him. 

40-2200048 @ 7:25pm Hours 100 block W. Madison.  Male was arrested for an outstanding CSC warrant out of Marquette.  

40-2200049 @ 1:49am Hours Traffic stop in the 1000 block of S. State led to the appearance ticket to passenger for open intoxicant.

 

1/8

40-2200053 @ 5:36pm 400 block S Stewart Ave, Shooting – Officers responded to a residence that had been shot. Officers found that bullet entered the residence through a window, then went through a door and exterior wall, and lodged in the exterior wall of the residence next door. Canvas completed and multiple witnesses state hearing a shot or 3 the night prior.

40-2200052 @ 3:19pm, 800 block Division St, Found Property – Officers responded to take a debit card that was not being destroyed by the ATM. The found property was returned.

40-2200051 @ 12:35pm, 700 block S State St, Fail to Pay – Officers responded for failure to pay. Suspect vehicle description and plate gained. Under investigation.

40-2200050 @ 12:17pm 700 block Maple St, PDA.

40-2200054 @ 7:18pm 1000 block Fuller Ave, suspicious- Male reported his screen was damaged and there were footprints near his house which appeared to be several days old.

40-2200055 @ 9:18pm, 200 block Mill St, barking dog.

40-2200056 @ 12:05am, 1300 block Colburn, prowling- Female reported male was pounding on her door and she did not want him there. Male was arrested for prowling.

 

1/9

40-2200057 @ 7:06pm 1000 Block Fuller Ave, Warrant Arrest- Warrant arrest of male.  Met Osceola County and male turned over to them.

40-2200058 @ 2:11am 1300 block Catherine St., Noise- Complainant reported loud music and yelling.  Noise warning issued.

40-2200059 @ 2:17am Ives/Maple, Snowmobile refused to stop for officer.  Eventually located south of town. 


Woman killed; son seriously injured following Montcalm Co. crash

Michigan State Police are investigating a deadly crash in Montcalm County.

 

Troopers from the Lakeview Post say they were called to Cato Township Sunday morning for a two vehicle crash.

 

Troopers say a 2019 Nissan Armada was driving east on M-46 when the 38-year old female driver from Nuncia crossed the center line and hit a box truck traveling west. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 8-year-old son was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

 

The driver of the box truck was not injured in the crash.


Illinois man dies in one vehicle crash in Mecosta County

An Illinois man died in a single vehicle crash in Mecosta County late Saturday night.

 

It happened on northbound US-131 south of 8 Mile Rd (M-20) in Mecosta Twp. 

 

The Sheriff's Office says another vehicle traveling north lost control on the icy roadway and clipped the front portion of a Sergeant's patrol vehicle.  The vehicle then struck a wrecker that was removing the original PDA vehicle from the median. 

 

The driver was identified as a 49-year old woman from Macomb, IL.  The passenger, a 55-year old man from Macomb, IL was killed in the accident. 

 

The Sergeant was not injured and the patrol vehicle had very minor damage.  The wrecker driver was also not injured. The 49-year old female driver was taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

 

The accident is still under investigation.


Michigan Lt. Governor tests positive for COVID-19

Michigan's Lt. Governor says he has tested positive for COVID-19. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist says he currently has no symptoms.

 

In a video message posted on social media Sunday night, Gilchrist says he tested positive -- after his 2-year-old daughter began showing symptoms consistent with the virus.

 

His family was tested and they are all quarantined. Gilchrist, who's vaccinated and boosted says he'll isolate for the appropriate amount of time and work virtually.


Big Rapids Police Blotter 1/5 & 1/6

1/5

40-2200027 @ 11:34am Civil 1700 block S. State St.  Female had been staying at hotel and was working at the business to pay for her room.  After being sick for 3 weeks and unable to work she was unable to pay or work for room.

40-2200028 @ 12:06pm Traffic stop Morrison/Division Driver was cited for no insurance.

40-2200029 @ 4:23pm PDA 400 block N. DeKrafft.

40-2200030 @ 4:37pm Domestic 700 block Water Tower. Female was arrested for assaulting male.

40-2200031 @ 4:50pm Area check for female laying in the roadway crying Linden/River. Officers found the female.  She had just been released from the Mecosta County Jail and was waiting for a ride to pick her up. She was transported to a warmer area to wait for her ride.

40-2200032 @ 5:21pm Disorderly 300 block S. Michigan. Male was upset with his parents over not being able to go snowmobiling. He calmed down after our arrival.

40-2200033 @ 8:16pm 800 block S. State False Alarm.

40-2200034 @ 10:40pm 800 block Country Way Warrant Arrest.  Female was arrested for an outstanding warrant out of Kent County after her roommate called 911 to turn her in.  Lodged at MCSO.

40-2000035 @ 2:00am City Snow tows X1

40-2200036 @ 10:18pm 700 block S. State St. Suspicious Situation.  Clerk called after a man was observed beating on vehicles.  Male was located on Fuller near Hutchinson.  He denied ever hitting cars.  After the clerk was contacted, she only wanted him checked on and it appeared that no crime had been committed at the store.

 

1/6

40-2200037 @7:54am 100 block S Michigan Ave. Misc. Called in as UDAA. Number pulled prior to finding out vehicle was towed for snow tows. Advised caller vehicle was at Curries.

40-2200038 @ 8:21am 400 Elm St. Warrant Arrest. Met with Montcalm in the village of Morley to pick up male on FTA warrant. Lodged without incident.

40-2200039 @ 9:44pm Traffic Stop 1000 block S State St for no plate.  Driver was cited for operating an unregistered vehicle. Towed to Curries

40-2200040 @ 12:19am 800 block Water Tower.  Court order petition for a mental evaluation. On 1/5/22 MCSO took him for an evaluation, but he was released a short time later.  Another petition was filed on 1/6 requesting another eval.  CMH was contacted to make sure it wasn't a clerical error, and it wasn't.  Male was located.  He was cooperative and transported back to the ER.


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