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Big Rapids Daily News

Paris man involved in motorcycle/vehicle accident

A Paris man is recovering following a motorcycle crash involving another vehicle.


It happened Thursday night on Northland Dr near 20 Mile Rd.


Deputies say an Investigation found that a 51- year old Paris man was heading southbound on Northland Dr on his motorcycle when a 43- year old man from Paris was turning off of 20 Mile onto Northland and caused an accident.


The driver of the motorcycle was not wearing a helmet and was transported to Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids for non-life threatening injuries. 

Gov. Whitmer appoints Amy Clapp as new 49th Circuit Court judge of Mecosta & Osceola Counties

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointment of Mecosta County Prosecutor Amy Clapp as the new 49th Circuit Court Judge of Mecosta and Osceola Counties.


Clapp takes over for Scott Hill-Kennedy who retired. According to a press release, the appointment was made to fill a partial term, which will begin on August 22nd and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2025.


It is unclear who will be taking over as lead prosecutor for Mecosta County.


We will have updates as they become available.

beware of online scams during back to school shopping

School will soon be in session, and the rush to buy supplies has already begun. According to the National Retail Federation, higher prices and an increase in product shortages will have consumers looking at more cost-effective, unfamiliar brands to fill their back to school lists. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan (BBB®), warns shoppers to be careful of online deals that may be too good to be true.


According to the 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, Online Purchase Scams were the riskiest for consumers, and continue to cost shoppers in 2022.


"Scammers are finding opportunities by enticing shoppers with discounted products,” Says Lisa Frohnapfel, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. “Each year scammers take advantage of shoppers who don’t do their research, and instead look only for the lowest price.”


BBB Tips for back to school shopping: 

  • Beware of too good to be true deals. Scammers may offer free or very low prices on hard to find items. With many products being hard to find this back to school season, scammers will be looking to take advantage of consumers desperate for certain supplies. 
  • Do your homework. Learn more about the seller by looking them up on Do not rely on reviews from the company’s website. 
  • Think before you click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that don’t measure up to the promotional hype.
  • Finish your shopping early. With supply shortages and high prices, there will be a large number of shoppers all looking for the same products. Start early and finish early so you are not in a hurry, allowing you to avoid higher prices or being enticed by a bad deal.
  • Research big ticket items. Before purchasing any major item, research the brand and check the product's warranties. Only shop with businesses you know and trust to ensure you’re getting a quality product and good customer service. 
  • Check the site's security. If the site is secure, its URL should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase page. Only enter payment information on secure sites.
  • Pay with a credit card. Credit card companies give you an extra layer of protection, offering you the opportunity to dispute any charges if the transaction goes bad. 
  • Read the fine print. Look for the return policy; although many online orders can be returned for a full refund, others have restocking fees. Some items cannot be returned; know before you buy.

Report scams. Report any suspicious websites or advertisements to

Judges order further freezes abortion ban

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has filed a renewed request with the Michigan Supreme Court to constitutionally protect the right to abortion in Michigan.


This after a ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals caused confusion by clearing a path for county prosecutors to prosecute doctors and nurses for providing reproductive care.


That same day, Governor Whitmer secured a temporary restraining order against prosecutors with abortion clinics in their counties, ensuring those health care providers could keep doing their jobs.


The governors latest filing with the Michigan Supreme Court highlights this recent legal confusion and the pressing need it shows for the states highest court to step in.

Building projects proceeding in Reed City

There are two new stores coming to the long-tenured town, in which both will impact travelling greatly.

The first will be a gas station and convenience store located on the south corner of Stimson Ave. and N Chestnut St, across from Happy Tails pet grooming. Under the same ownership as Ashton General Store, the store will also provide meat services.


The project is current on hold for an answer on the request for fuel service.

The Reed City City Council has provided full support for all requests from the owners of this new store and at our latest July council meeting,” Mayor Roger Meinert said. “We endorsed their request for a liquor license application to the State of Michigan.”

Right across the street, at 419 N. Chestnut St., will be a Biggby Coffee shop. The franchise will take over the location of the old Northend Grocery and be owned by Sonya Bielecki and Kelly Prielipp.

(Future home of Bigby Coffee in Reed City) 


According to a corresponding social media post, the old store’s “shell” had been demolished after being cleared of asbestos.

Dixon to take on Whitmer in November; Vetter, Jane and Routley win elections

It will be Dixon versus Whitmer in the governor's race in November. Republican Tudor Dixon, who was recently endorsed by former President Donald Trump has won her primary race over her opponents in the GOP primary.

In a statement -- the campaign for Governor Gretchen Whitmer says Dixon would "Drag Michigan backwards."


It is interesting to note in the primary election here in Mecosta County, a traditional conservative area, there were 39 more votes for Governor Gretchen Whitmer than Republican challenger Tudor Dixon who won her GOP primary, 2,083 to 2,044. 


According to the Mecosta County Clerk's Office, just over 40% of registered votters came out Tuesday. 

In local election news, Randy Vetter beat out incumbent Mecosta County Commissioner Marilynn Bradstrom, to take the first district seat.


Chris Jane will be the new District six Mecosta County Commissioner. He beat Theresa Ventocilla. 

Current commission chair Bill Routley beat Brad Meyers to retain the seventh district commission seat.


Both the Mecosta County Commission on Aging and Emergency Medical Services millage renewals overwhelming passed.

Gary Green appointed Undersheriff of Mecosta County


Gary Green was appointed Undersheriff of Mecosta County Tuesday, according to an announcement from Sheriff Brian Miller. 


In a press release Miller said,  "Gary had served as the Assistant Director of the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety.  Prior to that he had served with the Michigan State Police for 28 years.  During him time with the MSP, he came up through the ranks, working in the area as a Trooper, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant and Assistant Post Commander, among having other roles and leadership responsibilities in and outside of law enforcement."


Miller adds, "Gary's wealth of knowledge, experience and long administrative background with both the Michigan State Police and the Ferris State University Department of Public Safety, will be important to our organization in continuing in our focus to be an exemplary law enforcement agency."

Ionia woman charged with death of two Wish-A-Mile cyclists


42-year-old Mandy Marie Benn of Ionia has been arraigned after hitting five bicyclists participating in the Make-A-Wish Bicycle Tour over the weekend, leading to two deaths.


Police say Benn was driving while intoxicated when she moved to pass a UPS truck, putting her in the path of the bicyclist group who she didn't see .


The deceased have been identified as Edward Erickson, 48, of Ann Arbor and Michael Salhaney, 57, of Bloomfield Hills.


Two of the other three have been released from the hospital and the third is in stable condition.


Benn is being held on $1-million dollars bond.

65-year old man injured in motorcycle crash in Grant Twp.

A 65-year old man was injured Friday following a motorcycle crash in Mecosta County's Grant Township. 


The Sheriff's Office says the man was traveling west bound on Stones Corner Road and lost control of his motorcycle coming around a curve. The rider had minor non life threatening injuries.


The man was transported to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital. The motorcycle was trailered by a family member.


Sheriff Miller would like to remind motorcycle riders to always wear proper safety equipment.

Big Rapids Police Weekend Blotter


40-2201546 @ 9:57am 300 block Morrison Mental- Female took several anxiety meds after feeling sad. She was transported to SHBRH by EMS

40-2201547 @ 10:06am 500 block N Warren Ave Animal Call- a brown and white dog approached a man fishing. The owner never showed up and it was taken to ARC.

40-2201548 @ 1:03pm 600 block S Michigan Ave Check Wellbeing- Male at the library, He was fine.

40-2201549 @ 2:37pm 1100 block Catherine Check Wellbeing- Male was yelling at his son after he misplaced his bike. A neighbor was concerned as she heard him tell his son he was going to hit him in the face. Male was calm and his son found his bike 

40-2201550 @ 3:01pm 900 block Rose Suspicious Situation- 10-year-old male is chatting on discord being sexually explicit. Unknown how old the other person was.

40-2201551 @ 4:05pm 800 block N Fourth Disorderly- Two females got into an argument. One was moving out. Both claimed they were assaulted by the other. Sent to City Attorney for review

40-2201552 @ 4:50pm 500 block S Michigan Breaking and Entering- The tenants left items in the garage since last August. They opened the garage today to find the boxes had been gone through and items taken and destroyed.  Unknown when it exactly happened.  Under investigation.

40-2201553 @ 5:52pm 500 block N Warren Found property- smart phone found behind Middle School by the river

40-2201554 @ 9:55pm 100 block E Pine  MDOP-  While completing lockups, Officer found someone broken the latch on the bathroom stall.  Cameras reviewed but nothing shows the entry point of the bathroom.  DPW notified.

40-2201555 @ 11:32pm 100 block S. State Suspicious Situation-  Cleaning crew stated a black male was looking at their cleaning rig.  No crime committed.  Checked area, unable to locate anybody. 



40-2201556 @ 8:56am 1100 block Catherine Littering- The owner advised the current renter allowed two other individuals to move into the trailer. The renter was then kicked out by them. The unknown male and female living at the trailer are dumping trash in a neighboring lot and behind the trailer. The individuals are supposedly moving out Sunday. Attempt was made at the trailer with no response. 

40-2201557 @ 11:37am 600 block Maple St PPO violation- Male was getting camping gear from a vehicle his estranged girlfriend has. Forwarded for review

40-2201558 @ 11:36am 800 block Water Tower Mental- Male is paranoid the apartment complex is putting things in the air and water in his apartment.

40-2201559 @ 12:03pm 1800 block Milton Suspicious- Female reported finding a note on her door saying, “I found you.” She believed the note was from an ex that had stalked her previously. Turns out the note was from neighbor kids doing a TikTok prank.

40-2201560 @ 1:26pm 300 block W Bridge. Civil- A window was found broken from what appeared to be a rock. Upon reviewing camera footage it was found the neighbor was mowing his lawn and kicked a rock up damaging the window

40-2201561 @ 2:07pm Found wallet returned to owner

40-2201562 @ 2:56pm PDC State/Perry at fault driver cited

40-22011563 @ 4:18pm 1200 block Perry Ave Littering-. People are dumping trash in the dumpsters. Under Investigation.

40-2201564 @ 5:25pm 300 block S Michigan Ave Lost Item- The air pods initially showed at a residence on Michigan, then they bounced around the area of the 300 block. The area was checked, and houses spoken to.

40-2201565 @ 6:30pm Warrant Pickup Kent County.

40-2201566 @ 10:52pm 600 block Birch.  Mental.  Male wasn’t feeling well and needed to talk to someone at the ER.  We walked from his house to the ER at his request.

40-2201567 @ 2:31am 1000 block Maple St.  Officer Assist-  Male was intoxicated and giving staff an uneasy feeling.  Officers stood by as he loaded up in a taxi and left.



40-2201568 @ 9:18am PDC S State/Oak at fault driver cited

40-2201569 @ 10:00am Found wallet. Message left

40-2201570 @ 3:17pm 400 block Second Ave barking dog. This is an ongoing neighbor dispute. The dog owners have agreed to keep the dog inside while they are not home as it barks nonstop.

40-2201571 @ 7:30pm 100 block W. Madison.  Caller had all her items thrown out in a dumpster by previous roommate. 

40-2201572 @ 10:52pm 600 block Chestnut.  Noise warning issued

40-2201573 @ 12:35am 200 block Baldwin.  Partygoers from the noise complaint were causing issues.  One was escorted out after paying his tab.



40-2201579 @ 10:36pm Prisoner pickup Kent County.


A look at local athletes heading to the collegiate level

Over 45 student athletes in the area have announced their decision to pursue a collegiate career this upcoming fall. This includes athletes from 10 different sports heading to schools anywhere from 10 minutes to six hours away from home.

The school represented most in the local sector is Big Rapids, who have nine representatives making the jump this fall. This includes cross country and track standout Kate Langworthy, who will be joining her sister, Meghan, at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

“I wanted to find a team that was a built-in family right away,” Langworthy said. “Northern stood out to me and felt like home.”

Cadillac added seven to the list, including three teammates heading to play football at Alma College.

Three athletes will be representing Chippewa Hills at the next stage. Sarah Storey will be continuing her running career at Central Michigan University, Madison Wrisley will be playing basketball for Alma, and Brynn McArthur will be playing softball for Grand Rapids Community College.

From Reed City, Paige Lofquist and Racquel DuBreuil are the school’s two representatives making the jump. The pair will continue as teammates on the hardwood at Kirtland Community College in Grayling.

In addition, Morley Stanwood’s Aaron Moore will continue his baseball career in East Grand Rapids at Aquinas College while former Pine River Buck, Haley Wanstead, will head to the hoops program at Alma. White Cloud also will add Carsyn Scarlavai and Abby Derks to the college ranks, for track and field at Ferris State University and volleyball at Muskegon Community College respectively.

When it comes to the change in play at the collegiate level, many will experience a change in speed, strength, and talent all around. When asked on words of advice to the incoming recruits, former Reed City football star Jackson Price said it’s important to stay the course despite the potential tough turn ahead.

“It's tough but if you put your mind to it and dig deep, I think anyone can do it,” Price said. “It's going to open your eyes right away instantly but if you can get over that first little hump, it's smooth sailing from there and you'll never regret sticking it out.”

For more on recruiting and a full list of athletes, listen to the latest episode of “The West Michigan Sports Show,” at, or on major podcast platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

National Night Out event slated for Tuesday night

Tomorrow, the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety will be hosting their National Night Out event downtown.

The event is slated to take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the road section between Elm St. and Pine St. along Michigan Ave. Free food will be available on-site including hotdogs, chips, snow cones, and cotton candy. There will also be various kids activities including a dunk tank and several interactive activities with the local fire and police departments.

According to Officer Bill Sell, the event’s purpose is more than building the connection between the city and public safety.

“(We’re) showing criminals that the police and the public work together and that we don't want them around,” Sell said. “We have a good community where the public supports the police and the police supports the public.”

For more event news and information, subscribe to the Big Rapids Daily News.

Reed City Police Weekly Blotter

Officer took a report of a disgruntled previous employee making death threats to an employment agency

Tuesday …7/26
Officer took a Trespassing report and issued an appearance citation to a 32-year-old man.

Officers took a report of a car side swiping a semi. There was significant damage to the vehicle but no injuries were reported.

Officers took a report regarding a check being written without sufficient funds in the account. The matter is under investigation.

Officers were dispatched to a noise complaint at an apartment complex. It was discovered to be two juveniles out after hours. A warning was given.

Wednesday …7/27
Officers located and arrested 37-year-old male on an outstanding warrant for 4 counts of making death threats.

Officers arrested a 25-year-old woman on two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court

Officers arrested a 40-year-old man on outstanding warrants for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and two counts of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. This stems from an incident in late June.

Officers took a report of a parked vehicle being struck and the driver of the other vehicle leaving the scene.

Officers were able to locate the suspect driver and the matter has been forwarded to his probation officer and the prosecutor for review.

Officers were dispatched to a report of a screaming woman and a possible domestic assault. It was
determined to be a verbal argument only. While investigating a 27-year-old man was arrested on an
outstanding warrant for non-payment of child support.

Thursday …7/28
Officers took a report of a retail fraud at a local store. The matter is under investigation.

Officers were dispatched to a burglar alarm. It was discovered to have been tripped by the maintenance man.

Officers investigated a report of animal neglect. The matter was unfounded.

Friday …7/29
Officers were requested to assist the Michigan State Police with transporting a combative individual to the Osceola County Jail.


Officers were dispatched to a report of a man stumbling into traffic and possibly intoxicated. The 42-year-old man was found to be under the influence of alcohol. He as arrested on 3 outstanding warrants and lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Officers were requested to assist the Osceola County Sheriff with a combative man who had been arrested for violating his felony probation and was highly intoxicated.

Officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation. A man was reported to be sitting on a curb with his luggage. Upon contact it was determined he had come from out of state but his fiancé was unexpectedly out of town. He was able to make arrangements for lodging until she returned home.

Saturday …7/30
Officers were dispatched to a possible breaking and entering. Upon investigation it was determined the home owner was out of town and had requested family get the mail and check on the house.

Minimum wage hike and paid sick leave in Michigan delayed until February

A judge has delayed the implementation of a minimum wage hike and paid sick leave.


The Court of Claims judge issued an order Friday to put off any changes until next February 19th. The decision comes just a couple weeks after the same judge ruled a move by state lawmakers to amend voter-proposed changes to the minimum wage and sick leave was unconstitutional.


An appeal of the ruling is likely.


The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association says the judge's move prevents the immediate economic decimation of full-service restaurants, but it leaves a teetering industry unsure of its future and incapable of making informed decisions to regain stability.

Former Ferris Professor and university reach settlement

A Michigan professor has quit his job after previously being suspended for posting a profanity-filled video.


Ferris State professor Barry Mehler has decided to retire rather than face possible termination after he posted a 14-minute video in January that included profanities and sexual references as he ranted about his attendance policy, grades, plagiarism, and COVID-19.


The video has received over half-a-million views on YouTube. Mehler agreed to retire as part of a legal settlement with the university.


He also accepted $95,000 and agreed to a three-year gag order.

Two cyclists dead and three others injured following drunk driving crash during Wish-A- Mile bike tour

A suspected drunk driver hit and killed two bicyclists on Saturday as they were cycling across the state for the Make-A-Wish-Foundation.


Three other cyclists were injured in the crash in Ionia County.


The driver was arrested. Make-A-Wish said in a statement that their staff and the entire Make-A-Wish family are heartbroken and offer their deepest sympathy for the riders involved, and their loved ones.


They also canceled the third day of the event on Sunday out of respect for the families.

Marijuana distribution ordinances requested in Reed City

According to city mayor, Roger Meinert, the town’s city council has requested a legal team to begin
drafting an ordinance for potential distribution of marijuana.

With an ordinance in place, the city can decide to move forward with allowing dispensaries to set up
shop if the appropriate time comes.

“Council has many questions on how this will apply and look for our community, and the drafting of this
proposed ordinance will help answer those questions and provide the necessary framework if the
council decides to move forward.”

The draft was scheduled to be reviewed at the previous city council meeting on July 18.

Mounted Clare Co. Deputy dies after being thrown from horse

Sad news in Clare County after a mounted deputy has died after sustaining a serious head injury earlier this week in Clare County .


Deputy Nichole Shuff was responding to a medical call Monday night when she was thrown from her horse.


According to a post on Facebook from the MPD Mounted Patrol Foundation, they say "Shuff was not only a community helper as a Deputy but a Physician Assistant. She was know for her kindness, compassion, and love of horses. Two of our own officers were very lucky to have known her and trained with her just a few short months ago. Our thoughts are with her husband, family, friends, co-workers, and department."



Award-winning blues band heading to Baldwin

On Wed. Aug. 10, the band Harper and Midwest Kind will be performing at Wenger Pavilion in Baldwin.

The free admission concert will begin at 7 p.m.

Peter Harper, originally from Australia, performs his top-ranked blues and roots music for over 200
crowds every year across the globe.

“We’ve traveled all over the world and played in just about in every country,” Harper said. “I'm traveling as far as we can in our own beautiful state. It's nice to do what I call a ‘local gig.’”

His band, which includes guitarist Austin Johnson, bass player Lee Lewis, drummer Bud Smith, and
vocalist and percussionist Bobbi Llewellyn, was nominated in 2021 for “Best Modern Roots Band” and
“Best Modern Roots Album” for the Independent Blues Awards. The band’s latest album, Rise Up,
debuted #3 nationally on the Billboard Blues charts and is quoted as his best work yet.

“Harper is an original, playing the harmonica like an authentic Chicago bluesman, singing about unity
and love like a member of peacenik jam band, belting crisp vocals like a straight-up superb classic soul performer, and then pioneering the didgeridoo into these popular forms of modern music,” Modern Rock Review says on Harper’s music. “Unique and quality music of this kind is truly a rare treat.”

Harper’s music includes the unique sounds of the Australian-based wind instrument, the didgeridoo, as well as the harmonica and harp. His inspiring use of these special instruments has helped him win 14 awards internationally, including his recent honor as “Outstanding Vocalist” at the Detroit Music
Awards. This includes a prestigious gold record for his work “Sailing Australia.”

“it's kind of a soul, bluesy kind of vibe,” Harper said on his music. “It’s Americana (with) the Australian
didgeridoo in it as well. So that makes it slightly different and exciting.”

Mecosta Co. voters to decide on two millage renewals on the Aug. 2nd primary ballot

With the August 2nd primary-election looming, residents in Mecosta County will be asked to vote for two millage renewals for the Commission on Aging and Emergency Medical Services.


The Commission on Aging is asking residents to approve a levy of (.4954 mills per $1,000 of taxable value) for the purpose of providing and continuing services to the senior citizens of Mecosta County through the Mecosta Co. COA for a period of eight years from 2022-2029, according to the proposal.

If renewed, the total revenue to be raised in the first year would be $776,703.

Next, Mecosta County Emergency Medical Services is asking residents to renew its millage of (.9342 mills per $1,000 of taxable value) for the next eight years. According to the proposal, the millage will support the continued operation of the EMS network in the county for the tax years 2022 through 2029.

If renewed, total revenue in its first year would raise $1,460,254.

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