Big Rapids Daily News

 

John R. Allen, chief of the Melvindale Police Department, has been named Ferris State University’s new Department of Public Safety director. Vice President for Administration and Finance Jim Bachmeier announced the appointment officially on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
 

Allen, an employee of the Melvindale Police Department since 1997, has served as its chief since 2016. Previously, he served in the department as a road patrol sergeant, patrol lieutenant and detective lieutenant. A law enforcement veteran of 25-plus years, Allen fit what Ferris wanted in a replacement for its recently retired director, Bruce Borkovich.
 

“We’re pleased to announce John Allen as Ferris’ new director of public safety. In more than two decades, John has benefited from a tremendous amount of experience working with the Melvindale Police Department in the metropolitan Detroit area,” Bachmeier said. “We are confident that his experience will translate well to a university setting as a police chief. We look forward to the great work John will do building relationships on and off our campus while working with the outstanding partners we have in local law enforcement.”


Allen earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Schoolcraft College, in Livonia, in 1995; a Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Administration from Siena Heights University, in Adrian, in 2014; and a master’s degree in Public Safety Administration from Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, in 2015. His professional development credentials include the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in 2018, and the Eastern Michigan University School of Police Staff and Command in 2013. He earned Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) in 1995 and Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council: Fire Fighter I and II in 1996.


“I’m very honored and humbled to have been chosen to be part of the Ferris State University team,” Allen said. “I am very excited to begin building relationships and gaining trust within the Bulldog community, as well as the Big Rapids and Mecosta County area. I look forward to getting started and to continue the Public Safety Department’s purpose to serve and protect the students, faculty, staff and visitors of Ferris State University.”


The Ferris Department of Public Safety includes a director, assistant director, two sergeants, one detective sergeant, seven officers, a dispatch specialist and student cadets.


Allen begins his duties as the Department of Public Safety director on Monday, March 1.

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We now have an update to a fire at an apartment complex on Ferris State's campus...

 

The Big Rapids City Fire Department is investigating the cause of a fire at Ferris State University's West Campus Apartments that sent one student to the hospital.

 

Fire officials believe the fire started in the kitchen area of the apartment. Crews arrived at the scene around 5 p.m. on Sunday and were able to get it under control by within a half an hour.

 

During a primary search, fire crews said they located a 22-year-old woman who had sustained smoke inhalation and burns.

 

She was removed from the apartment and transported to the hospital for treatment.

 

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One student was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation when fire broke out at Ferris State University's West Campus apartments just after 5pm Sunday evening. 

 

The university is helping students with temporary housing.

 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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The Michigan High School Sports Association has announced the season schedule for five winter contact sports.

 

Boys and girls basketball, cheerleading, hockey and wrestling can start non-contact practice starting Saturday and contact practice on February 1st.

 

The timelines for postseason tournaments for the five winter sports has been pushed back to finish in late March or early April.

 

The spring sports season is still on track to start on time, with first practices set for March 15th.

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In Newaygo County, a DNR conservation officer is being hailed for rescuing a dog who fell off a 100-foot cliff along the Muskegon River.

 

The lab mix named Cody went missing after the incident on Tuesday.

 

Michigan DNR conservation officer Jeff Ginn was notified on Wednesday morning and launched his patrol vessel to search for Cody.

 

About one hour later, Ginn located the dog, who was cold and wet, but otherwise unharmed.

 

Cody’s owner said Thursday that the dog is a little sore but is expected to make a full recovery.

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Michigan State Police are investigating a shooting that left two women hurt in Montcalm County.

 

State police say the shooting happened around 2 a.m. Wednesday in Evergreen Township.

 

Officers say one woman is in critical condition and the other has non-life threatening injuries.

 

State police have detained a person of interest and they say there is no threat to the public.

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7:30am Civil 700 block of West Ave  A 54 yr old Big Rapids Twp female had a contract with a 36 yr old Morley man to deliver a table in Las Vegas.  The male failed to do so and she wanted to report it. Deputies did advise it was a civil issue.

 

10:25am  MISC 100 Block of N Scott St Morley.  Male resident has a bank account with Pay Check Plus.  Has his stimulus money of 625.34 in the bank, but he needed something documented that the bank has not released his money because they needed proof who he was . 

 

11:05am Silvernail Reality Big Rapids Twp. Civil.  Came in as a harassment complaint but listed as a civil.  A 47 yr old Big Rapids man has been leaving harassing messages on the voicemail at the business.  He was a previous sub-contractor who they are no longer -using.  They only wanted him contacted and the incident documented.  Deputies advised him to stop calling.

 

11:26am 7000 block of 10th Ave. Wheatland Twp. Suspicious / fraud complaint taken by TX per the complainant’s request.  The 33 yr old female reported to have been frauded by a subject who she met online in a dating website.  She thinks he is not threatening her.  Deputies are still investigating. 

 

12pm  Prop damage crash, Penn St/Main St -Village of Mecosta.  Involving a 35 year old Mecosta female driver and a 61 yr old Mecosta male driver.  No tow trucks needed.

 

Car/Deer Prop. Damage Crash, 30th ave/Pierce rd, Wheatland Twp.

 

6pm 911 HANGUP    5000 block of  PIERCE RD   WHEATLAND TWP   Female caller stated she was being kicked Sisters of Sobrieties House.  She was requesting assistance with a ride.  Her father came from Saginaw to pick her up.

 

6:59pm Civil/ 911 Hang up  18000 Block of 195th Ave Green TWP.  Female resident was upset with 17Yr old son who would not do his chores. Son left for the night and stayed with relatives.

 

7:15pm CAR/DEER Prop. Damage Crash  205TH/ARTHUR    BIG RAPIDS TWP       

 

8:33pm MENTAL    10000 Block of CUTLER ST    CHIPPEWA TWP   22 yr old Paris female was having suicidal thoughts and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. 

 

11pm 15000 Block of W Stanton Rd Montcalm County. Warrant arrest on a 50 yr old Trufant male, lodged at 54 (Mecosta County Jail) on a warrant for assault.

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 In response to the State of Michigan expanding eligibility for vaccination, Spectrum Health today began vaccinating adults age 65 and over, and certain Phase 1B individuals such as teachers and childcare workers. 

 

Spectrum Health will launch vaccination clinics this week by appointment only in Grand Rapids, Greenville, Hastings and Zeeland with additional locations opening as more vaccine becomes available.

 

“The vaccine is a significant step forward in moving beyond the pandemic and ending the suffering and death so many have experienced because of COVID-19,” said Darryl Elmouchi, MD, President, Spectrum Health West Michigan “We are honored to be helping to distribute the vaccine in collaboration with area health departments and community partners. We are seeing overwhelming demand for the vaccine and ask for the community’s patience as we work as quickly as possible to schedule appointments and set up additional clinics. We understand that the vaccine represents hope for better days ahead, and a sense of normalcy for our lives and the economy.”

 

Spectrum Health is working with community partners and area health departments to plan additional vaccine sites across the region in the coming weeks—including clinics for under-represented communities—in an effort to make the vaccine as accessible as possible for all individuals.

 

This week, Spectrum Health will provide a total of more than 21,000 vaccinations to the public as well as to individuals in Phase 1a that the health system has been asked to vaccinate, including independent doctors, dentists and their staff. The vaccine distribution is dependent on vaccine supply, which varies from week-to-week. Scheduling will take place as Spectrum Health receives vaccine doses.

 

To find out more about scheduling a vaccination, go to www.spectrumhealth.org/vaccine. Community members are also encouraged to download the Spectrum Health app and sign up for a MyChart account, which is a key step in the scheduling process for a vaccination appointment.

 

Per the State of Michigan, essential workers, including teachers and others, should work through their employers to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.

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A 37-year old Harrison man was arrested Friday following a traffic stop near Rodgers Avenue and Townline Lake Road in Hamilton Township, Clare County.

 

The driver of the vehicle, a 37-year-old Harrison man, was found to have a suspended driver’s license and an unlawful plate on the vehicle.

 

A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed the driver to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine.

 

The driver was lodged at theClare County Jail and is awaiting arraignment.

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Members of the Michigan State Capitol Commission have scheduled a special meeting this afternoon to discuss the growing call for a ban on guns inside the State Capitol.

 

While acknowledging the Commission does have the legal authority to render such a decision, Vice Chair John Truscott says there are questions about funding, staffing and structural changes that would be needed within the Capitol .

 

Truscott says banning "open carry," or visible firearms in the Capitol Building is one possibility and it appears a majority of Commission members will approve a proposal to ban open carry in the Capitol.

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We should learn this coming week if bars and restaurants will be able to open for indoor dining.

 

Restrictions that have been in place since mid-November are scheduled to expire Friday.

 

Governor Whitmer says although the state's dashboard doesn't show many outbreaks coming from restaurants, health officials says indoor dining is one of the top spreaders of the coronavirus.

 

Whitmer said health leaders are watching to see if the latest increase in the positivity rate is a trend or just a "blip" from Christmas and New Year's Eve gatherings.

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Investigators from the Michigan State Police Mt. Pleasant Post arrested a Mt. Pleasant man for embezzlement following a year-long investigation.

 

In September of 2019, a Mt. Pleasant business owner contacted the Michigan State Police Mt. Pleasant Post and met with a detective sergeant about a possible embezzlement of funds from their business over the course of an unknown number of years.

 

Detectives requested the assistance of the Central Michigan University School of Accounting, Forensic Accounting class and their professor. With their forensic investigative assistance, it was determined that over $100,000 in funds had been embezzled over the course of four years.

 

On January 7, 2021, Gregory Lee Millis, a 49-year-old Mt. Pleasant man, was arrested on an 8-count felony warrant issued by the Isabella County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for the charges of Embezzlement and Using a Computer to Commit a Crime.

 

Millis could face a maximum of 64 years, if convicted of all counts.

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have announced that the state is moving to a new phase in the COVID-19 vaccination process on Monday, January 11.

 

Vaccinations will become available for Michiganders age 65 and older; frontline essential workers including police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers and jail and prison staff; and pre K-12 teachers and childcare providers.

 

Eligible essential workers, teachers and childcare workers will be notified by their employers about vaccine clinics and locations.

 

Individuals should not go to any of the clinics without an appointment.

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Unfortunately the undeafeated Coyote Football Team ends their season off the field with a forfeit to Freeland after COVID-19 exposure(s):

 

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that our football season has come to an end. Numerous factors have contributed to this decision, lastly being that our team  has been exposed to a probable positive case of Covid 19. With student and staff safety always being the first consideration, the undefeated and CSAA Gold Division champion will be required to quarantine its team members after close contact tracing was conducted. Reed City Area Public Schools and the Reed City Community are extremely proud of the effort and fortitude the players and coaches have displayed throughout this up and down season. Each time adversity confronted this team, they rose to the challenge and persevered with strength and dignity. While the current circumstance ending the season is disappointing for the players and their families, there is no doubt they are champions in every respect. Players and coaches can hold their heads high with Coyote Pride as they represented their team, their school, and their community throughout each and every game with the toughness and tenacity of a top caliber team.  

 

We are proud of our coaching staff and players for gutting this season out.  It was one of the most difficult seasons we have ever endured, and it will be one we will always remember.

 

Sincerely,

Reed City Area Public Schools

Kris Griffin, AD

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The Big Rapids Family Video location is closing under a nationwide shuttering of all stores, according to its parent company Highland Ventures.

 

President Keith Hoogland indicated a decrease in foot traffic as well as lack of new movie releases spurred by the coronavirus pandemic as reason for the closure.

 

He released a statement Tuesday, calling it the “end of an era.”

 

“Today, I have to make the difficult announcement that we are closing all Family Video locations,” he said.

 

There is liquidation sales during which all movies, candy, fixtures and other items will be sold.

 

Afterwards, the stores will close for good.

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Target is recalling clothing for infants and toddlers over potential choking hazards.

 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says about 300-thousand Cloud Island infant rompers that are being recalled have snaps that can break or detach, and children risk choking on or being cut by the broken snaps.

 

About 180-thousand Cat & Jack infant-toddler rash guard swimsuits have been recalled for the same reason.

 

Target has posted recall information on its Facebook page.

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The city of Big Rapids is asking for input into a plan to thin deer herds.

 

The Department of Public Safety has released a survey asking for information on how whitetailed deer are affecting the community. Some of the questions are what issues have you had with deer and about traffic crashes with deer.

 

The city will use the information to determine possible locations for future deer culls and find out if prior culls by the Department of Natural Resources were successful.

 

A link to the survey can be found on the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Facebook page.

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Taco Bell in Reed City is opening up for the first time on Wednesday, Dec. 30th. 

 

District Manager Mike Henderson says they are gearing up for the grand opening tomorrow and employees have been training for the last week or so. 

 

The new Taco Bell is located just off US 10 at the 131 exchange in Reed City  -  4861 South 220th Ave

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When voters approved a millage proposal earlier this year for the Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority it wasn't known how valuable that would be for older residents and those in need of transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

"While some other transits closed their doors because of the pandemic, MOTA continued with reduced service in compliance with the governor's directives," Executive Director Mike Tillman said.

 

But then as travel restrictions were eased,  MOTA began expanding its service from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to 8 p.m. during the week. MOTA also started eight hours of service on Saturday.

 

Tillman said the need was there for additional services for its residents in need

 

"MOTA offered free porch delivery of both groceries and prescriptions; MOTA continues this service to this day. This service helps to ensure safety for our citizens. "MOTA also provided necessary transportation for essential medical services such as chemo therapy, dialysis, and even medically necessary rehabilitation."

 

Tillman added hours of operation were extended weekdays were extended to 10 p.m. back in October, with its Sunday service extended to its first-ever full eight hours of availability.

 

MOTA was also able to acquire three new buses that were both more fuel efficient and size appropriate for their new demand response service. In addition to expanding their hours, MOTA began offering two new route service in Osceola and Mecosta counties that started in November.

 

Even though there were some challenges in 2020 Tillman is hopeful 2021 will be a great year for Mecosta and Osceola Counties and his organization.

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It was a tragic story on the ice over the weekend in Isabella County.

 

Michigan State Police say a four-year-old boy fell through ice on a pond and could not be saved.

 

It happened Saturday afternoon at the boy’s home in Lincoln Township.

 

The boy’s father was trying to find his son in a pond behind their house but could not locate him.

 

The boy was found by first responders and was rushed to Mid-Michigan Hospital in Alma where he was unable to be revived.

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Some Michigan high school athletes will be returning to competition after state playoffs in football, volleyball and women's swimming and diving were halted in November as part of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's COVID restrictions.

 

Practice begins today In football, the eight-player championship games will be played January 9th, followed by the 11-player finals on January 15th and 16th.

 

The announcement came after the state health director said football and volleyball players and swimmers will participate in a coronavirus antigen-testing program.

 

Volleyball quarterfinals will be held on January 5th, with semifinals and finals from January 7th through the 9th.

 

Girls swimming and diving finals are scheduled for January 15th and 16th. All indoor winter sports remain suspended until January 16th.

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