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Big Rapids Daily News

Outman supports Senate plan investing in water quality, dams and natural resources

State Sen. Rick Outman on Thursday voted in favor of legislation that includes more than $3 billion to repair public water systems and critical dams and protect Michigan’s environment and natural resources.


“This is a major investment in our state’s future,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality. “The bill uses existing state and federal resources to help with repairs or upgrades in communities all over the state. If signed by the governor, the bill will be a major step forward for public health and safety.”


Senate Bill 565 would use $2.37 billion in federal funding, $680 million in state resources and $290 million in repurposed state bond funds to improve or repair the state’s aging dams, upgrade wastewater systems and groundwater protection efforts and help ensure residents have access to clean drinking water.


Included in the legislation is $1 billion to replace lead pipes throughout the state; $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities; $100 million in grants to remove PFAS chemicals from “orphaned” sites and $85 million that will help ensure students have access to clean drinking water at school.


The plan would repurpose $290 million in bonds to assist communities with upgrading and replacing water treatment infrastructure; establish a loan program for homeowners to replace failing septic systems; and dedicate money for private well users, including grants to help connect to a community water system or increase the depth of their well if their water was contaminated or their well failed after a disaster. Also included is funding to conduct surface water monitoring and implement recommendations included in the Groundwater Use Advisory Council Report


SB 565 would also designate $680 million for improvements to the dams across the state. Funds are outlined for projects prioritizing dam risk reduction, emergency response efforts from the state and for a grant program dedicated to dam rehabilitation or removal.


“Ensuring folks have clean drinking water and being good stewards of the environment is something I think we’re all trying to accomplish. It’s not a one side or the other issue,” Outman said. “Utilizing these funds rather than raising taxes will get us to the same finish line without dumping the burden on people who are already stretched thin.


“Addressing these issues and making the needed repairs or upgrades now could save a lot of money down the road as we work toward a cleaner, safer Michigan.”


SB 565 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/2

 @ 7:28am PDA car/deer, N. Dekrafft/Hanchett.


@ 11:34am Fail to pay 600 block Maple St, owner contacted and returned.


@ 11:53am PDA Michigan/Locust.


@ 2:28pm Domestic assault 1300 block Catherine.  Female was arrested for domestic assault and interfering with 911 call.


@ 3:38pm PDA State/Morrison.


@ 3:48pm PIA Perry/Watertower, 3 vehicle minor injuries.


@ 3:53pm Suspicious 200 block N. Michigan Ave. Earlier in the morning caller saw an infant that was left alone in a vehicle, initially called to report it but hung up when parent returned to the car, later decided to report incident.

USPS Operation Santa is now open for letter adoption

The holidays can be a tough time for some families.


The U.S. Postal Service has been helping people over the holidays for more than 100 years with its Operation Santa.


Spokeswoman Elizabeth Najduch says an adult or child can write a letter to Santa and someone can adopt their letter to fulfill their wishes. Najduck says if you write a letter to Santa, include a complete return address , postage and mail it. It has to be postmarked by December 10th.


Those who want to adopt a aletter have to register at

Big Rapids and Chippewa Hills Schools to close Friday, Dec. 3rd due to threats

A couple of local school districts have closed Friday out of an abundance of caution.


Big Rapids Pubic Schools and Chippewa Hills Schools both recently received threats.


On Thursday night, Big Rapids Public Schools posted message on its Facebook Page stating:


Late this evening we were notified of a potentially concerning statement that may have been made today by a high school student. Out of an abundance of caution, the timeliness of the situation, and in order to investigate further, Big Rapids Public Schools will be closed, tomorrow, Friday Dec 3, 2021.”


Chippewa Hills Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Grover posted a letter on the district's Facebook Page late Thursday afternoon stating the school received a email with "vulgar language" and while there were no threats of harm, the message can be interpreted "threatening". 

Gover went on to say Chippewa Hills School District is not taking the message lightly.


Initally, school was going to be conducted normally with a police presence but school officials decided to close for Friday, Dec. 3rd.


The threats come just days after a shooting at Oxford High School in Oakland Township which killed four students and injured seven others, including a teacher.


On Wednesday, Big Rapids Superintendent Tim Haist sent a letter to parents discussing all the safety messures that are in place to keep BRPS safe.  CLICK HERE TO READ

Three Big Rapids men arrested during sex trafficking sting

Three men from Big Rapids have been arrested and arraigned in connection to a sex trafficking sting conducted by law enforcement.


Detectives from the Meosta County Sheriff's Office say all three suspects traveled individually to Big Rapids Township with the intention of engaging in sexual activity with a minor. 


On Thursday December 2, all three suspects were arraigned in the 77th District Court.


Randall Pion, 26 of Big Rapids, was arraigned on two felonies:

Accosting a minor for immoral purposes

Computer used in the commission of a felony

He remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail on a $100,000 Bond



Jeremy Ostrander, 25 of Big Rapids, was arraigned on three Felonies:

Accosting a minor for immoral purposes

Computer used in the commission of a felony

Resist/Obstruct/Assault Police

He remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail on a $125,000 Bond



Austin Donley, 27 of Big Rapids, was arraigned on five Felonies

Accosting a minor for immoral purposes

Computer used in the commission of a felony

Resist/Obstruct/Assault Police

Felony Firearms Count 1

Felony Firearms Count 2

He remains in custody in the Mecosta County Jail on a $150,000 Bond


Big Rapids Police Blotter 12/1

@ 1:25pm Walk in fraud, male reported that his debit card was used fraudulently on 11/15.


@ 2:23pm Mental at 100 block Maple St. Female thought there were people in her apartment again, no one located.


@ 2:24pm Fail to pay 600 block Maple St, turned into a civil complaint as card reader appeared not to work, MCSO assisted with contacting suspect who then paid for fuel. 


@ 3:29pm Suspicious  400 block Woodward. Property owner advised he had found bullet holes in house when he came to check on it. Upon investigation it appears holes were not bullet holes but had most likely been drilled into the house for future cable installation.


@ 10:29pm T/S State/Chestnut for missing headlight resulted in driver being issued a citation for no insurance. 


@ 11:34pm 300 block Finley originally called in as a civil argument over a shoe, resulted in female being assaulted by a 14-year-old. Female was also taken into custody and turned over to Evart on an original warrant for harassment. Report sent Kent County probate court as 14-year-old lives in Grand Rapids.


@ 11:55pm 100 block Fourth Ave. Suspicious, Female heard knocking on her door and windows. She thought it might have been her ex. Officers were approximately 2 blocks away when she could hear knocking. UTL anyone around the residence. She was advised of the PPO process. 

Coffee with a Cop to take place next week at Bigby Coffee in Big Rapids

You can keep your coffee pot off next Tuesday!

The Big Rapids Department of Public Safety is inviting the public to Bigby Coffee for its 'Coffee with a Cop' event from 5:30pm-7pm on December 7th.

Big Rapids Officer William Sell says this event provides an opportunity to interact with the public they protect.

The goal of this event is to have an open conversation with people, no pressure, no agenda the public can come out and speak with us and have a good time.” Sell said.


Officer Sell added gift donations can also be dropped off for the Season of Giving gift drive as well.

Downtown Big Rapids 'Home for the Holidays' shopping event happening Dec. 16th

There is only a few more weeks to get your holiday shopping finished before Christmas.


On December 16th there will be a downtown Big Rapids shopping event called 'Home for the Holidays' from 5pm-8pm.


Josh Pyles of the City of Big Rapids says this event is a way to encourage people and families to shop in the downtown area for their gifts this year.


"It's really about promoting the shops in the downtown area, ejoying the holiday atmosphere while getting your final christmas shopping done here. There will be hot coco,  Christmas caroling, some shops will be offering free gift wraping and Santa will be at the Red Fox Market from 5:30pm to 7pm." Pyles said. 


There will be store giveaways and some shops will offer discounts on items. 

Emergency service preparedness exercise to take place in Reed City area 12/1

Osceola County's emergency services will be conducting routine field training on Wednesday, December 1st in the Reed City area. 


This training will involve a brief assembly of police, fire, and ems vehicles at various points throughout the city.

This training is part of our community partnership with local businesses, schools, and other sites that are actively working together to ensure the highest possible level of emergency preparedness.  

State, County and local law enforcement to try and curb speeding as part of initiative

In an effort to combat rising speeding and fatal crashes on roads, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is launching a new initiative that will focus on speeding drivers.


Between December 1 and February 28, more than 100 municipal, county and Michigan State Police law enforcement agencies will work together to make sure motorists adhere to speed limits.


Even though Michigan saw a 22% reduction in traffic crashes in 2020, there was a 10% increase in fatalities. Recent insurance industry studies show that approximately 112,000 speeding tickets are issued each day, or about 41 million per year.

Big Rapids Police Blotter 11/30

@ 11:22am UDAA  1100 block Catherine Female stole her neighbor minivan.  It was later located nearby at her old boyfriend’s residence. She did confess and is currently lodged for a parole violation 


@ 1:48pm Assist Probation and Parole, Above female was arrested for felony probation violation.


@ 2:05pm General non-criminal 200 block N Michigan Ave.  Subjects recording a several city locations.  No crime


@ 4:21pm PDA Warren / Cedar


@ 5:39pm Suspicious 500 block S. Michigan Male and female were hearing noises in the basement.  No sign of anything.


@ 8:04pm 1200 block Perry Ave Area check for intoxicated male who was laying in snow. Located male who was highly intoxicated and upset after being fired. Male transported to residence..


@ 9:42pm 700 block Fuller Ave Assist. Assisted with transporting resident to Spectrum Health for voluntary eval. Transport only.


@ 10:17pm 700 block Woodward Ave Civil. Female was upset that her granddaughter was cooking bone broth and would not stay in the kitchen to watch the stove or turn the burner off. Unable to reach an agreement between the two. Granddaughter was going to contact mom in the morning and possibly get grandma placed in an assisted living facility.


@ 11:52pm 300 block W Bridge St Check wellbeing on female after it was found she was home alone after father was arrested. Female was found safe and in good health and was turned over to mother who responded from out of the area.


@ 12:53am 1100 block Fuller Ave Civil. Reported as a possible CSC after roommates were concerned about two male guests and hearing the roommate say no. Contact female who was fine and advised that all activities with her and guests were consensual.


@ 4:53am S State/Maple T/S for avoiding traffic control device led to driver being cited for expired ops and no insurance. Vehicle towed by Curries.

Community Giving Day takes place today in Mecosta Co.

Over 30 area non-profits are expected to join virtually and in-person today at the Big Rapids Eagles Club for the 2021 Community Giving Day sponsored by the Big Rapids Rotary and Lions Clubs.


The event will take place from 11am-6pm.


Event organizer Robyn Stratton says this is a day that highlights how important these non-profits are to the area.


Last year's event raised over 47,000 for 29 non-profits.


For a list or participating organizations and to donate go online at

Big Rapids Police Blotter 11/29

@ 12:02pm PDA Fuller/ Clark, at the 4 way stop. Unclear who had right of way no citations


@ 12:54pm PDA Cedar / State 


@ 1:19pm ASSIST FIRE 1100 block Catherine St Stood by for traffic control.  Under investigation.


@ 3:25pm PDA State / Locust, 1 vehicle failed to stop for flashing red light, 2nd vehicle turned into wrong lane


@ 5:57pm Fail to pay 600 block Maple St, same vehicle as 40-2102198 dark blue Dodge truck no plate, suspect backed out of store and fled.


@ 6:52pm 1100 block Catherine St Probation Violation. Anonymous caller advised that male was in violation of his probation by being in contact with a female at the residence. Upon arrival the male was located in a back bedroom with the female and arrested for Parole Violation.


@ 1:14am 100 block S Michigan. Suspicious while doing property checks found open door. Nothing appeared to be disturbed keyholder notified.


Area organizations participate in Consumer Energy's 'Our Town' program for the holidays

Consumers Energy is celebrating the holidays by helping shoppers and Michigan's local businesses.


The utility is providing $750,000 in matching gift cards in 63 communities through its Our Town effort where holiday shoppers can get a dollar-for-dollar match for gift cards they buy through local Chambers of Commerce and downtown organizations.


Area organizations participating include, Clare Chamber, Fremont Chamber and River Country Chamber in Newaygo.


Consumers Energy officials say the Our Town" program made an impact across Michigan last year with the programs dollars and shoppers giving a major boost to shops and restaurants in their hometowns.

Michigan State Police arrest Harrison man for vehicle theft in Isabella Co.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Mt. Pleasant Post recovered a stolen vehicle and arrested the person suspected in taking the vehicle.


Troopers say they got a call last week about a vehicle taken from a home in Isabella County.


Witnesses told police they observed the suspect on the property where the stolen vehicle was located.


On November 24th troopers spoke with several of the suspect’s family members. Troopers then interviewed and obtained a confession from the suspect, a 26-year-old Harrison man, while he was lodged at the Clare County Jail on several warrants including absconding on parole.


He is awaiting arraignment on new charges.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter


40-2102187 @ 0637 Civil 300 block Morrison. Roommates not getting along.  Threw each other's property around and outside the apartment. Advised to contact management about different living arrangements.


40-2102188 @ 0712 Disorderly 1100 block Catherine. Female called advising that male was intoxicated at her residence, in violation of his probation. Male left prior to our arrival and was unable to be located. Report taken and will be forwarded to probation for review.


40-2102189 @ 1444 Civil at 1100 block Catherine, Female reported that her ex-boyfriend had a title to a motorcycle that belonged to her, and that he would not return it until she paid him for property of his that she had damaged.  Unable to contact male.


40-2102190 @ 1459 Found bike 1200 block Perry Ave

40-2102191 @ 1545 PDA State/Morrison.

40-2102192 @ 1601 Civil 100blk W. Madison. Disagreement between two males over leaf raking.

40-2102193 @ 1732 Found wallet turned into office.


40-2102194 @ 2228 Mental 1100 block Catherine Male called dispatch all in a panic and hung up.  Male and female residents appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic.  Male was arrested on a couple of warrants out of Grand Rapids. 


40-2102195 @ 0109 Maple & Fourth OWI, CCW, Possession of firearm while intoxicated.  A traffic stop was conducted after seeing a truck driving down the trail from Sawmill parking lot.  The driver performed field sobriety exercises but refused PBT and breath test.  Located two firearms in the truck.  They were seized. 


40-2102196 @ 0227 State & Knollview.  Traffic stop resulted in the driver from Howard City arrested on a warrant.


40-2102197 @ 0336 100 block S Third Ave Loud noise.  The downstairs apartment tenants began to have a loud argument because the one roommate would not fix the other food after getting home from the bar.  Written warning to be served tonight.



40-2102198 @ 0816 Fail to pay 600 block Maple St. Blue Dodge pickup pulled into pump, pumped gas, then backed onto Maple and left east toward S. Third. Unable to get plate or suspect description.


40-2102199 @ 1518 Traffic stop Stewart/Locust.  Driver cited for no license; passenger arrested for warrant.  Vehicle turned over to a licensed driver.


40-2102200 @ 1624 Disorderly at 500 block S. Michigan. Female that was highly intoxicated was yelling at her son and his girlfriend along with refusing to leave the residence when he asked her to. While on scene mother of girlfriend showed up and boyfriend’s mother began yelling at her, pushed past officer, and started across the driveway of the residence toward the other female. She was arrested for disorderly conduct.


40-2102201 @ 1749 Disorderly 400 block S Third Ave, male advised he had items missing from his tent that he was moving out of and was trying to confront resident about the property. Male was trespassed from the property by us.


40-2102202 @ 2154 No Insurance Fourth & Jackson.  Driver was cited for driving without insurance.  Vehicle towed by BR Tow.



@ 08:31am PDA State/Pine

@ 11:19am Traffic stop State/Perry led to arrest of driver on a Failure to appear warrant.

@ 6:00pm PDA State/Perry.


@ 6:57pm 700 block Clark St Civil/Loud argument  Male and female were arguing.  Neighbors heard a lot of screaming, yelling, pounding, and slamming of doors.  They saw male chasing the female. Female claimed it was a verbal argument only.  Male was gone on arrival. 


@ 9:01pm Hemlock Park Found bike under the pavilion.


@ 10:21pm 400 block N State St Civil Mother was called by her daughter who stated that father was extremely intoxicated and passed out.  Mother came to pick up daughter with current boyfriend.  Tempers began to flare as things were said in the direction of the father


@ 11:14pm Mill & State Traffic Stop resulted in a Reed City male cited for NO Insurance and speed.  Vehicle towed by Curries. 



@ 1:00pm Welfare check 800 block Bjornson on female. She is in Kent City with her daughter


@ 1:51pm PDA Woodward Ave. at Waldron Way Assist county with PDA no citation issued due to road conditions


@ 2:38pm PDA 1200 block Perry Ave.


@ 4:24pm MENTAL 500 block Marion Ave.  98 yr old female could hear voices in the basement and thought they were getting in through the tunnel.


@ 5:47pm 1800 block Milton Ave Suspicious. Female reported her prescription missing. No evidence that entry was made into the apartment. Half full bottle of another medicine and bottle of remaining medicine also located in same spot where bottle was taken from. Believe that caller moved the pill bottle after getting upset about taking a pill out of it the previous evening before all last month’s prescription was gone.


@10:24pm 200 block Pemberton Civil. Female and ex-husband got into a verbal argument about son telling father to “Frick off.” Female’s mother inserted herself into the verbal argument which escalated the yelling but nothing physical occurred. Father who still maintains residency and is allowed to stay at the incident location periodically by ex-wife, let himself in to retrieve son’s property that he had paid for, led to another verbal confrontation with ex-mother-in-law. Ex-wife was advised to evict male and not allow him to stay overnight any longer.



@ 2:07pm 300 block S Third.  Complainant called about male being extremely intoxicated.  He was transported home.


@ 2:47pm 800 block N. State.  Male had attempted to stab female with a screwdriver.  Female was uncooperative on scene and was unable to describe the tool.  Occurred in the county.  MCSO was contacted and responded for the call.


@ 5:15pm 800 block N State Called in as a domestic by neighbor.  Caller heard neighbor yelling.  Officers arrived on scene and found uncooperative female.  Male was not on scene, and she stated that she had been arguing with him on the phone. 


@ 2:49pm 1400 block Bjornson Threats 15 y/o Cadillac male was texting his 14 y/o gf about harming her mother.  Mother has text monitoring software on her phone and read the graphic texts and wanted to notify law enforcement.  Contact was made with males' parents. 


@ @ 5:02pm 600 block Hutchinson Civil. Mother was upset over how son had been acting since she let him come back and live in the house.  She was stating that he's using alcohol (18) and has suspicious looking subjects show up.  She was unable to describe these subjects. 


@ 9:46pm 300 block Morrison.  Tenants heard a cat crying in the eave trough drainage pipes running underneath the sidewalk.  The cat looked to have fallen though the broken pipes at ground level.  Officers were unable to see the cat.  BRFD responded to help us "flush" the cat out.  The cat crawled by another broken pipe and Ofc. Butts was able to stick her hand down the pipe and grab the cat and pull it out.  The kitten then fled on foot and was unable to be located.

Now is the time to get your Christmas tree!

This past weekend, and next weekend are the most popular times to buy Christmas trees in the state.


Amy Start, the Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, says 75% of the trees will be sold by the end of next weekend, so you'll want to buy yours soon.

There is a reduction in the amount of pre cut trees that are going to be available from the wholesalers, so some tree farms off set some of their inventory with pre cut trees and because they weren't able to get as many as they've had in the past you know they may be closing early this season.” Smart said. 


Start says the price of a Christmas tree is based it's height and grade, which is determined by how full it looks. On average, Christmas trees cost $10 a foot.


She adds Michigan is ranked third in the country for Christmas tree production, with about 2-million trees harvested each season.


Here is a list of local christmas tree farms: 

Duddles Tree Farms- Reed City

Barkley Tree Farm- Howard City

Swan's Christmas Tree Farm- Weidman

Vander Sys Tree Farm- Weidman

Rainbow's End Christmas Tree Farm- Stanton

Stilson Family Farm- Morley

Church's Tree Farm- Grant 


Police in Mecosta Co. looking for stolen pick up truck

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to be on the lookout for a stolen pickup truck.



Deputies say they received a call on November 25th for a stolen vehicle complaint near the intersection of 9-Mile Road and 20th Ave in Wheatland Township as a vehicle was taken from a local business in that area.


The vehicle is described as a 2006 Ford F-350 4-door short bed truck that is silver in color. The truck had several distinctive features which included a sticker in the back window, black fender flares, black step sides and had LED headlights.



Anyone with knowledge of the incident or has information on the whereabouts of the truck is urged to contact the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office.

Spectrum Health Reed City Walk-In Clinic to reopen Nov.29th

The Spectrum Health Reed City Walk-In Clinic is reopening Monday, November 29.
Hours for the clinic, located at 300 N. Patterson Road in Reed City, will be Monday
through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. The Saturday hours begin
December 4.

The clinic temporarily paused services in October due to staffing levels and consolidated
with the Big Rapids Walk-In Clinic at 650 Linden Street, Suite 1, in Big Rapids.

The Big Rapids clinic hours are the same as in Reed City.

Patients seeking a COVID-19 screening should utilize MyChart or contact their primary
care provider. Once a patient has a valid provider order after a screening, they can
schedule their COVID-19 test with the Big Rapids Drive-Thru, or other testing site, in their
MyChart account or by calling 833.755.0696.

In a medical emergency, patients are reminded to call 911 or visit their nearest hospital
emergency department.

Spectrum Health continues to seek essential team members to fill several open positions
in several departments, many with sign-on bonuses available. Please encourage friends
and family to consider a career at Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals by viewing job
postings at

CranHill to host Star of Wonder: Drive Thru live nativity

For the second year, CranHill Ranch is hosting their Star of Wonder: Journey to the Manger drive-thru live nativity. This free event is open to the public and will take place from 6pm-9pm on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th at CranHill located at 14444 17 mile rd. Rodney, MI. The event is free and open to the public.


Organizers ask all attendees to arrive at the event from the west, via 160th ave. and 17 mile rd. to help with the flow of traffic at the event.


Star of Wonder attendees will stay warm while enjoying the live performance of the nativity story, as they listen to audio recordings along the way.


“We want to give families a chance to learn about and remember the true story of Christmas,” says CranHill president Scott Barger. “Star of Wonder is a great opportunity for the community to come out and experience the life transforming power of that story. While staying warm and dry of course!” 


The Star of Wonder event is perfect for individuals and families, along with church and social groups and no registration is required.


“This event is all about giving our community a place to gather together safely for a special evening. We know folks are looking for ways to spend quality time together. This is a great chance to do that.” added Barger.


CranHill’s barn store will be open as well, offering a place for groups to gather and connect over the experience. 


While the Nativity portion of the event is free for everyone to attend, there will be an opportunity for guests to make a donation to CranHill’s camper scholarship fund. This fund helps families who are facing financial hardships to send their children to a life changing week at camp. 


If you would like to learn more about CranHill’s Star of Wonder: Journey to the Manger event, visit or call the office at 231-796-7669. The event is also listed on their facebook page, where updates will be posted in case of inclement weather. For more information on CranHill Ranch and their summer youth camp, retreat group, family campground and adventure experience programs, visit

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