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Big Rapids Daily News

Joe's Takes: Let the Streak Begin

The Lions just know how to get the job done. Forget about last week’s lost, because the team won this week with a pretty heavily depleted offensive line and key pieces on defense missing. Getting back in the win column after beating the Atlanta Falcons 20-6 is exactly what this team needed, especially with a short week of rest in store.

I really don’t think that there is a better place to play than Ford Field. It was so loud and electric that I could feel like I was there through the TV screen. And rightfully so, seeing as this was a chance for us to get a glimpse at the two top RB’s of this past draft, Bijan Robinson of Atlanta and Jahmyr Gibbs for Detroit, battling it out on the gridiron.

So let’s get into the meat and potatoes the game. Despite not scoring, Gibbs notched 80 yards on 17 carries compared to a measly 33 yards and no touchdowns on 10 carries by Robinson. The Lions’ offense had me a little worried with an unconventional way of getting into the endzone last Sunday. Jared Goff got his first rushing touchdown in a Lions uniform and Sam LaPorta got his first NFL score. We didn’t see much from Kalif Raymond, but Amon-Ra St. Brown reached 106 all purpose yards despite suffering a toe injury last week.

Here is the question though, should we be worried about Jared Goff? He ended his snap streak of 359 snaps without an interception last week and added another one against the Falcons. 2022 was his first year that he didn’t throw more than seven in a season, so was last season just a fluke or will he clean it up quick?

Okay, enough of the offense talk because what really stood out this game was the Lions’ defense. Aidan Hutchinson and the defensive front finally showed up with a whopping seven sacks, and Hutchinson pulled out what I can only say was the worst sack celebration that I have ever seen with the stanky leg, it was gross.

The Lions’ secondary was okay, I guess. Even without Kerby Joseph for the Lions, Falcons QB, Desmond Ridder went 21/38 for 201 yards which for Ridder is pretty much his average, so that gets a thumbs up from me. Anytime I see a defense, regardless of who it is, hold a team to only field goals, you know that the guys in the trenches were doing the work.

Coming into this game, Lions had a lot of guys on the IR, and most of them were ones that you couldn’t afford to be hurt, like Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Taylor Decker. I liked the decision by Head Coach Dan Campbell to sit most of these guys, since most of the injuries weren’t anything season ending. However, with week 4 being a short turn around with the game on Thursday, it’s best to let those guys recover a few extra days and have them ready to go for kickoff against the Green Bay Packers.

Speaking of the Packers, they lost to the Falcons in week 3 by a margin of one point, 24-25, so it gives us a good glimpse as to the competition that we’ll see. But remember, the Lions went into Lambeau last year and eliminated the Packers from the playoffs for the last game of the year, so is revenge on the Packers’ mind? It will for sure be.

As long as the defense can replicate the pressure that they had against the Falcons, and Goff can shake off his previous passing errors, I think you’re going to see the beginnings of what people can call a little winning streak.

It’ll be a house divided for me this week as my dad is a Packers fan. So find your favorite recliner, crack open a beverage, toss the chili in the crock pot, and bear witness to one of the best rivalries, in my opinion, that the NFL has to offer.


Lions head to Green Bay Thursday night for TNF.

Listen on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, and 96.5fm.


Lions games on WBRN are brought to you by Michigan ADAS Calibration and Glass.

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Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (9/18 - 9/24)

Monday, September 18

  • Officers arrested a 29-year-old man on an outstanding warrant for domestic assault from an incident the
    previous day.

Tuesday, September 19

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, September 20

  • An officer investigated a larceny of prescription narcotics from a medical facility. Case is still under investigation.
    An officer responded to a call regarding two suspicious males with possible stolen items. The matter is under
  • An Officer transported a 29-year-old female with outstanding warrant to the Osceola County Jail without any incidents.

Thursday, September 21

  • An officer took a report of a suspicious truck that was possibly following some a juvenile. The matter was
  • An officer took a report of threats. The person victim did not wish any action taken regarding the threats.
  • An officer assisted someone that came into the department with concerns for the wellbeing of a family
    member. After investigating, it was established that he was ok.

Friday, September 22

  • An officer was dispatched to a fight involving two males and a knife allegedly being pulled during the course of the fight. The case is still open under investigation.

  • Officers observed a vehicle in the cemetery well after hours. I was found to be a funeral home dropping off
    flowers from a funeral earlier in the day.

Saturday, September 23

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, September 24

  • An officer investigated a suspicious vehicle parked illegally. The vehicle was moved, no issues.

  • An officer transported an individual to the hospital for mental health treatement. No issues.

Kent County Sheriff's Office investigating fatal head-on collision in Vergennes TWP

Just before 3:00 PM Monday, the Kent County Sheriff's Office received a report of a car fire along Fallasburg Park Dr. near Heim St.

The accident was quickly learned to be the result of two vehicles colliding. When first responders from the Sheriff's Office, Lowell Police, and Lowell Area Fire Department arrived, they located a 16-year-old female from Lowell injured and another vehicle on fire. After the fire was put out, investigators located a 41-year-old male from Saranac deceased in the vehicle.

The 16-year-old teen was traveling northbound on Fallasburg Park Dr. and crossed the centerline of the roadway. The Chevrolet pickup she was driving struck a GMC Envoy head-on. 

At this time, the Kent County Sheriff's Office and Victim Advocates are working alongside the families involved in this crash. The Traffic Safety Unit will be continuing to look over data collected from the scene and investigate contributing circumstances.

Red Wings Head Coach Derek Lalonde announces Ferris State Hockey captains for 2023-24 season

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program invited Derek Lalonde, former assistant coach and current Detroit Red Wings head coach, back to Big Rapids to announce the team's captains for the upcoming season on Monday.

The Bulldog Captains for the 2023-24 season will be: Brenden MacLarenJason BrancheauStepan Pokorny and Nick Hale.

Senior Brenden MacLaren will wear the captain's patch for the second year in a row. While wearing the patch last year, MacLaren set a career-high with 16 points (12 assists). The fifth-year senior earned CCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors on Dec. 19 and will look to build upon what was a strong senior season in his fifth year. MacLaren's leadership abilities, locker and weight room presence and excellence in the classroom are a few of the many reasons he was selected to wear the captain's patch in 2023-24.

"It's a tremendous honor," McLaren said. "Our leadership group is more than us four guys. It's more than one guy wearing a letter that leads the team."

Senior Jason Brancheau will wear an assistant captain's patch for 2023-24. After scoring just one goal in his first four seasons with Ferris State, Brancheau broke out in a huge way last year. He led the team with 13 goals and finished second on the team with 21 points. He also led the team with three power-play goals. In his fifth season with FSU and first wearing a captain's patch, "Branch" will look to build on an impressive offensive output from 2022-23 as he heads into 2023-24.

"It's (feels) awesome for the guys to pick me," Brancheau said. "It's tremendous honor with all the other "A's" and "C's" that have been here before me."

Senior Stepan Pokorny will join the captain's group in 2023-24 while wearing an assistant captain's patch. Pokorny led the Bulldogs with 22 points, 16 assists and 79 shots a year ago. The top line center for FSU, Pokorny's offensive production was a driving force behind the team's ability to score. Now in his fourth season with the Bulldogs, "Poky" will once again be a focal point offensively but will also wear a patch for the first time in his career.

"I'm really happy for the coaches and the players to trust me to lead the team," Pokorny said.

Graduate transfer Nick Hale (Holy Cross) will wear an assistant captain's patch for the upcoming season. Hale follows in former Bulldog Matt Slick's steps, as Slick also transferred from Holy Cross and became a captain in his first season with FSU on last year's squad. Hale brings strong offensive ability to the Bulldog blueline, as he scored 39 points in his final two seasons with Holy Cross. He integrated into the Bulldog culture rapidly upon arrival, and his strong leadership and voice in the locker room earned him the captain's patch for 2023-24.

"(An) unbelieveable honor," Hale said. "It didn't take long to get to know the guys well and just excited to get things going now."

The Bulldogs begin their season Oct. 7 against Miami (Ohio) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. (ET).

Bulldog men's tennis kicks off year with big performance at Davenport University tourney

The Ferris State University men's tennis squad kicked off its 2023-24 season on Friday (Sept. 22) at the Davenport University Tournament, which took place in Allendale.

The Bulldogs started in impressive fashion, winning 12 of 15 singles contests overall and posting five doubles wins in the event. The tournament featured competitors from FSU, Davenport and Grand Valley State, which the Bulldogs picking up the most wins on the day.

"We started this invite three years ago to give our players a chance to get some match play before we head to the ITA Midwest Regional Championships," said FSU head coach Mark Doren. "So, we treat this as a warm up and a way to practice some of the things we've been focused on early in our fall season.

"Overall, I think today showed all that focus is working," he added. "All eight guys on our team played today and this gives us a lot of confidence going into next week."

FSU finished 12-3 combined in singles competition and 5-3 in doubles action. Players were divided into four different singles groups or flights along with two in doubles competition.

The ITA Midwest Regional Championships will take place beginning next Saturday (Sept. 30) back at GVSU in Allendale.

DHD#10 Receives Funding to Improve Health and Prevent Chronic Disease in Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties

District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) will receive $719,008 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the first year in the five-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program. The REACH funding will help DHD#10 improve health, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities among our Hispanic, Latino, African American, and Black populations who experience the highest burdens of chronic disease in Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties. 

DHD#10’s “LiveWell REACH” project will help to prevent and delay chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, through a combination of educational programs as well as policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that make physical activity, nutritious foods, and healthcare services more accessible. 

“We are so honored to be given the opportunity to do this important work for and with our communities,” said Katie Miller, DHD#10 Supervisor and Principal Investigator for the LiveWell REACH project.

“The health disparities experienced by our communities are the preventable differences that can lead to an added burden of disease - such as access to safe physical activity opportunities and retailers with affordable, nutritious foods. When combined with the rural nature of our communities, access to these and other resources is further compounded for our at-risk populations. Through this project and with collaboration across health systems and community partners, I truly believe we will see changes in our communities to help turn the tide on health disparities and reduce the chronic disease burden experienced by our most vulnerable residents.”  

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke are among the most common causes of illness, disability, and death in the United States. They are also leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs. In each of the three communities for DHD#10’s funding, populations experience a notable burden of chronic disease: Adults in Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties have high rates of diabetes (Lake: 12%; Newaygo: 10%; Oceana: 11%) and obesity (Lake: 39%; Newaygo: 39%; Oceana: 38%) and report relatively high rates of physical inactivity (Lake: 26%; Newaygo: 23%; Oceana: 23%). In addition, residents who identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino in each of the three DHD#10 counties experience higher levels of poverty than those who are non-Hispanic White. Populations in these communities are also at higher risk for mortality related to diabetes and heart disease when compared to the state as a whole, which exemplifies the severity of these diseases.

These chronic conditions—and the factors that lead to them—are more common or severe for some racial and ethnic groups due to systemic barriers and societal inequities. DHD#10 will work with partners and local coalitions to enhance existing resources, address health needs, and reduce health disparities for populations in the three communities of focus. 

“CDC is excited to announce this new REACH funding to 41 communities across 27 states and the District of Columbia,” said Terry O’Toole, PhD, MDiv, Program Development and Evaluation Branch Chief in CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “With this funding, organizations will plan and carry out local, culturally-appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among racial and ethnic minority groups where health gaps remain. REACH intends to improve health where people live, learn, work, and play.”  

As one of 41 REACH recipients, DHD#10 will implement proven public health strategies for the following: 

  • Healthy food choices made easier everywhere—promoting food service and nutrition guidelines, expanding fruit and vegetable voucher incentive and/or produce prescription programs. 
  • Safe and accessible physical activity—connecting pedestrian, bicycle, or transit transportation networks to everyday destinations. 
  • Family healthy weight programs—improving access to effective, family-centered, culturally relevant health behavior and lifestyle treatment programs. 

A complete list of CDC’s REACH recipients and additional information can be found on the REACH website:

Award-winning author and Ferris State University professor continues to earn national acclaim with new book forthcoming

When Ferris State University professor Deirdre Fagan walks into a classroom, she wears all her many hats: widow, wife, mother of two, professor — and award-winning author.

And for that, her students are grateful.

“I believe I’m able to continue growing as an educator because I am out in the field of creative writing every day while also maintaining my foot in the classroom,” said Fagan, who publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and scholarship and has taught at Ferris State since 2015.

“Find a Place for Me: Embracing Love and Life in the Face of Death” is her most recent award-winning book. Published in 2022, the memoir explores how she and her 43-year-old husband, Bob, traversed their remaining months as a couple with two young children after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Find a Place for Me” recently earned the 2023 Readers’ Favorite Grief & Hardship Gold Medal and top honors in the Death and Dying category in the 17th annual National Indie Excellence Awards, among many others. It was also featured on Disney/ABC's “Tamron Hall Show” and several other media outlets.

Other works include “The Grief Eater,” “Have Love” and “Critical Companion to Robert Frost.” Her work has also appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies.

Her latest book, “Phantom Limbs,” is a poetry collection that publishes in late September. Described as part celebration, part elegy, it’s about living fully despite — or perhaps even because of — repeated loss. The collection reveals intimate moments from childhood trauma to marriage, divorce, parenting, terminal illness, disability, caregiving, widowhood, remarriage, and mortality itself.

Fagan is a native New Yorker who holds a doctorate in humanistic studies (English and philosophy) and a master’s in English from the State University of New York at Albany and a bachelor’s in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

She taught college writing and literature courses for nearly two decades in New York, Maryland, Florida, and Illinois. After losing her husband, she moved to Michigan eight years ago to join the faculty at Ferris. In addition to her role here as a creative writing professor, she is coordinator for the Literature in Person Reading Series, which brings national and regional authors to the university.

It’s at Ferris State that her creative writing career blossomed.

Fagan has been eager to share her writing and publishing expertise with students. She’s piloting a new 300-level creative writing course in Genre Studies that focuses on a single writing genre each term.

“The idea is to allow students, after they have had an introduction to creative writing, to advance their knowledge of a single genre, as well as to more fully develop over several semesters their understanding of the various genres,” she said. This semester, the genre is fiction.

The university has made great strides, Fagan said, toward increasing creative writing offerings — and she’s happy to continue helping in whatever way she can.

“Working on the craft of creative writing develops not only one’s written and oral communication skills, but the creative and critical thinking that invigorates one’s career and personal life,” she said.

For more information on Deirdre Fagan’s publications, visit

Ferris State is among 10 Michigan public universities uniting to admit state high school graduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above

Ferris State University is among 10 of Michigan’s 15 public universities today announcing a bold new initiative to greatly streamline the college admissions process, boost enrollment and help students realize their full educational potential.

Beginning this fall, universities participating in the Michigan Assured Admission Pact will admit Michigan high school graduates who have earned a cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale).

The institutions will work together to promote the initiative to high school students, parents, secondary school partners, and college access organizations throughout the state.

Ferris State is the only public university in West Michigan participating in the program. Other participating universities are: Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Michigan-Flint, and Wayne State University.

MAAP universities believe a uniform and widely communicated standard for admission will reduce the uncertainty and anxiety that are often part of the college admissions process and empower students to achieve their educational goals.

MAAP is a cooperative, cross-institutional effort aimed at increasing awareness of educational options among recent high school graduates and making the admissions process more efficient and transparent.

This initiative is aligned with the State of Michigan’s goal to have 60 percent of working-age adults possess a college degree or other post-secondary credential by 2030.

“Our future depends on helping young people graduate without debt so they can get a good-paying job and ‘make it’ in Michigan,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “The MAAP is proof of what’s possible when we come together to create opportunity for tens of thousands of Michiganders. In tandem with the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, we are lowering costs, building a skilled workforce, and leading the future of advanced manufacturing, technology, and so many other industries.”

“Strengthening Michigan’s talent pipeline to meet the needs of a transitioning economy is a key Business Leaders for Michigan priority,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and chief executive officer of Business Leaders for Michigan. “The new MAAP initiative advances this goal by assuring admission to universities across the state for qualified students. It opens the doors of educational opportunity to more young people and creates pathways to the high-skill, high-wage careers that will help us build a strong foundation for Michigan’s future economic success.”

According to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the number of high school graduates in Michigan is expected to decline by 11.4 percent from 2022 to 2037. While many states are just now approaching the so-called “enrollment cliff,” the number of high school graduates in Michigan has been flat or declining since 2008, when it peaked at over 123,000. By 2037, that number is expected to have decreased by nearly 40,000 graduates.

At the same time, Michigan high school graduates are less likely to pursue higher education than in previous years. The college-going rate among the state’s high school graduates has declined each year from 2013 (65.8 percent) to 2022 (52.8 percent).

“Higher education is the surest path to prosperity for our state and its residents, yet college enrollment has been declining each year over the past decade,” said Daniel J. Hurley, chief executive officer of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “MAAP aims to counter this trend by assuring that every high school graduate in Michigan with a 3.0 or higher will be admitted to all ten participating public universities across the state. Combined with the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship, this collaborative effort will send a powerful message that a public university education in Michigan is more accessible than ever before.”

Visit the Ferris State Assured Admissions page and to learn more about the Michigan Assured Admission Program.

West Nile virus confirmed in human case in Grand Rapids

The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is tracking a human case of West Nile Virus in a Kent County Resident. The patient has a limited travel history so it is likely they contracted the virus after being bit by a mosquito in the 49507 zip code. The patient is currently hospitalized. No other patient details will be released. 

With weather forecasters predicting unseasonably warm temperatures this weekend, people will likely be spending more time outdoors. “People need to know that mosquitoes are still quite active this time of year,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer at KCHD. “It continues to be important that people take measures to protect themselves from being bitten.”

The best treatment for West Nile Virus is prevention. The KCHD recommends wearing a mosquito repellant that contains 10 - 35% DEET, wearing light colored clothing, and staying indoors during dusk. To learn more about the choices and usage of insect repellants, click here. You can help stop mosquitoes from breeding by removing any standing water in your yard and keeping your lawn and shrubs cut. 

West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito borne illness in the United States. Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus will never know it but about 20% of those infected may develop a fever or other symptoms. In rare cases West Nile Virus can become a serious and sometimes fatal illness. 

For more information about West Nile Virus, click here.

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (9/18 - 9/21)

Monday, September 18

Calls for Service: 12

Car/Deer Accidents: 1


Tuesday, September 19

  • At 1332 hours, deputies made a traffic stop on 14 Mile and 100th Ave in Martiny TWP. The traffic stop resulted in male driver being arrested for OWI. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 12

Traffic Accidents: 1

Car/Deer Accidents: 1


Wednesday, September 20

  • At 2009 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Morton TWP. A male and female were both arrested on warrants. Both were lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 9


Thursday, September 21

  • At 1021 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest in Martiny TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant and possession of meth. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 15

'Ferris Famous' Homecoming activities include new twists for events, traditional element revival at Ferris State University

“Ferris Famous” is the theme for the 97th Homecoming for Ferris State University’s athletic and institutional faithful, with activities including the return of a Homecoming Kick-off Dance. 

Events start on Saturday, Sept. 23, and run through Saturday, Sept. 30. The Center for Student Involvement collaborated with Ferris State’s Alumni Relations Office and Entertainment Unlimited for a week of activities.  

“Each year’s Homecoming at Ferris is fantastic, and with the unparalleled success of the football program, we know the crowd will be amped up and all about backing the Bulldogs,” said Ben Avery, Center for Student Involvement coordinator. “We want everyone who takes part in any event on the schedule to be aware of Ferris’ founders, famous campus leaders and those who attended the university, who have gone on to gain national attention.”

Brandi Behrenwald, the executive director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, is excited to welcome alums and friends back to campus for Homecoming 2023 activities. 

"Whether you are an alum who attends Homecoming every year or are just thinking about returning to campus after some time away, this is a great occasion,” Behrenwald said. “Our guests will find photos of ‘Famous Ferris’ friends in our tent, along with a caricature artist on duty Homecoming Saturday, Sept. 30, so that any alumnus can have their rightful fame recognized with a picture to keep and join the rank of images to see that day.” 

The collaboration continues as a new start time is set for the Homecoming Parade. Avery said they will step off along Michigan Avenue at 10:30 a.m., and there are incentives for greater participation from student organizations. 

“Registered student organizations and our Panhellenic and Greek groups can win from between $100 to $300 for their operations, which we hope brings a large response,” Avery said. “The registration process is accomplished on the EU Instagram account. Starting earlier allows all these parties to trek to the tailgate area, so the parade ends on campus and allows everyone to gather and socialize before the game.” 

The Homecoming 2023 grand marshal is Mike Van Diepenbos, who earned an associate degree in Architectural Technology from the College of Engineering Technology in 1987. and in 1989, he graduated from the College of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

“This is a chance to honor Mike for all his service to the Alumni Association, from board appointments to a term as president in support of our cause,” Behrenwald said. “He has joined the Ferris Foundation Board of Directors and chaired the university’s Grand Rapids council, and with his wife, Liz, they are avid contributors in so many ways.” 

The 11 a.m. start for Tailgating is an opportunity for many Ferris colleges, academic and service programs across the university to welcome students, alums and the community in a grand celebration of Ferris in all its famous aspects. 

“We are glad to offer an extensive and enjoyable tailgate experience, with a catered assortment of snacks and desserts in the Alumni Association tent, including puppy chow,” Behrenwald said. “We are happy to renew acquaintances and catch up with all alumni who stop by before the game.” 

Thousands are expected to move through the various tents or seek out their groups of choice between the start of tailgating and halftime of the Homecoming game. 

“We will be ready for a big crowd, with long-range forecasts showing temperatures a little above normal,” Behrenwald said. “Reunion Row’s fraternal groups and the Office of Multicultural Student Services’ Black Alumni gatherings are always well represented.” 

Ferris’ two-time defending national champions will face the Northern Michigan Wildcats in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest at 3 p.m. Avery cited four Homecoming Ambassador candidates vying for the honor. The winner is announced at halftime of the game. Student voting begins Thursday, Sept. 21, and concludes on Sept. 28. 

“Our contestants have great involvement and pride in Ferris,” Avery said. “We see this field as a great cap for our Homecoming activities.” 

Avery said a Homecoming Kick-Off Dance opens the week schedule on Sept. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. in the David L. Eisler Center ballrooms. 

Bringing back the dance during an off week for Ferris football means students can use the day for preparation rather than having to rush off from a Homecoming game or other activities at this early point in the year,” Avery said. “It seemed like a great opportunity to re-establish a traditional and enjoyable event.” 

There will be a cornhole tournament Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Robinson Quad, which Avery said should provide various enjoyable opportunities to students. Entertainment Unlimited’s Instagram account is how students register their team for the tournament. 

The Homecoming comedian performance is set for Williams Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Avery explains their Entertainment Unlimited board took the lead on this selection. 

“EU has joined in collaboration with many Homecoming events. We are glad to have their new approaches to mix with the traditional offerings of the week,” Avery said. “This is a free event for all who attend. Ferris students with ID will be admitted at 6:30 p.m., and if space remains, a community audience can join the fun at 7 p.m. ahead of the first performance at 7:30.” 

On Friday, Sept. 29, the Alumni Association welcomes a variety of guests for the Fall Reunion, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Behrenwald said Ferris’ Class of 1973 are their Golden Eagles will be well represented.

“More than 25 members of the Class of ’73 have committed for the reunion, and we will honor five Distinguished Alumni, three Pacesetter Award winners and two Student Leadership Award recipients,” Behrenwald said. “Their great stories will make for a wonderful evening in the David L. Eisler ballrooms.” 

A homecoming bonfire and pep rally begins at 7 p.m. that evening, on the Robinson Quad. 

“We want to have a good crowd, to rally with our Ferris Nation for the game against Northern Michigan,” Avery said. “The football program’s tradition of outstanding successes helps to make this a great event each year.” 

On the way to their second straight national championship, the Bulldogs topped Northern 56-20 in Marquette on Oct. 29, 2022. Ferris’ Homecoming win last year was a 69-3 romp over an NAIA opponent, Waldorf University, of Forest City, Iowa.

Rep. Tom Kunse: Bipartisanship, Lansing charity wins as lawmakers play ball

In an inspiring display of unity and community support, Reps. Tom Kunse (R-Clare) and Alabus Farhat (D-Dearborn) organized a bipartisan softball game that not only brought lawmakers from both sides of the aisle together, but also benefited a local charity.

The game took place at the scenic Lansing Lugnuts baseball stadium on Wednesday evening, just down the street from the state Capitol, drawing a diverse crowd of legislators, staff, and community members. The Lansing City Rescue Mission was the selected charity this year.

“Yesterday’s big winners are bipartisanship and the Lansing City Rescue Mission,” said Kunse. “In a time when it can seem like division dominates the headlines, it’s encouraging to see colleagues from different parties come together for a common goal: supporting our capital city. We’ve shown that we can find common ground, not only on the softball field, but also in our dedication to helping those less fortunate.”

Rep. Kunse extended his appreciation to all participants, supporters and volunteers who made the event possible.

“The game was a blast,” Kunse said. “But much more importantly, we raised over $20,000 for the Lansing City Rescue Mission, which provides food, shelter, clothing and hope throughout the downtown area. We were also able to help generate significant awareness for the organization’s mission. I am encouraged by the participation on both sides of the aisle, and I plan to promote this as an annual event going forward.”

Kunse hopes the bipartisan softball game will serve as a strong example of the benefits of cooperation in the political arena while also underscoring the importance of supporting local charities.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University to showcase technology and programs at Confluence Fest

Confluence, a multifaceted festival that explores what’s possible when art, music, science and technology converge, returns for its third year on September 22-23 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University is excited to renew its collaboration with Confluence, promising a dynamic display of creativity and innovation.

“Confluence is a celebration of art, design, and technology with a community of fellow makers and innovators,” says Jon Moroney, KCAD Professor and Product Design Program Chair. “We are excited to demonstrate some of the technologies that enable KCAD students to experiment with their ideas as they pursue their passion for art and design.”

The Maker Expo on Saturday, Sept. 23, presented by Ferris State University, is a diverse showcase of enthusiasts, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists, and organizations who create amazing things in celebration of the DIY spirit. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., makers will come together to share their work and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering and art.

KCAD’s Maker Expo booth will highlight its product design tools, technologies, and processes, including 3D modeling and rendering, fiber laser cutting, and more.

The booth will offer interactive demonstrations using the fiber laser where visitors can receive a custom engraved coin. KCAD staff and faculty members will be on-site to share how students employ the tools and technologies to take ideas from sketches and digital models to physical objects.

The Innovation Showcase spotlights gaming and the regional organizations that are driving it forward.

This year’s esports competition, co-produced by Ferris State, will host four collegiate teams and four high school teams to compete in Super Smash Bros. tournaments. The winning team in each division will receive prizes and a custom trophy designed and produced by KCAD, utilizing some of the same technologies on display at the college’s Maker Expo booth.

Between matches, festival attendees will be invited to play onstage and experience the full thrill of competition. The tournament and gaming experience runs Saturday, Sept 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information about Confluence Fest, visit

Ferris State Volleyball moves up two spots to #22 in the nation this week

The Ferris State University women's volleyball squad has climbed two spots in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/Taraflex Division II Rankings as the Bulldogs are listed 22nd in the country.

Ferris State moved up two spots from 24th a week ago after winning its first two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matches of the season this past weekend. FSU beat Wayne State 3-2 in Detroit in its league opener on Thursday (Sept. 14) before sweeping Parkside 3-0 at home on Saturday (Sept. 16).

Ferris State is one of four schools from the Midwest Region found in the national rankings this week along with fifth-ranked Missouri-St. Louis, #20-ranked Lewis (Ill.) and Rockhurst (Mo.), which is ranked 25th.

The Bulldogs will hit the road for two more league contests this week. FSU visits Saginaw Valley State on Friday (Sept. 22) evening for a 7 p.m. (ET) conference tilt in University Center. Ferris State then faces Davenport on Saturday (Sept. 23) in a 5 p.m. (ET) conference match in Caledonia.

FSU, which is now 7-3 overall this year, is slated to play its next five contests on the road and will not play another home match until Oct. 6.

New resource hub to benefit Michigan communities via $1 million in federal grant awarded to LEO and MML

Today, the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML), announced they have partnered to create the Michigan Local Capacity Enhancement Program through a $1 million grant under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Under the new program, the League will provide local communities with a robust online resource hub ( and technical assistance to support them in understanding, seeking and successfully deploying new grant funds for economic growth, infrastructure and other community projects.

“LEO is excited to partner with the League on this local capacity program and to develop the much-needed MI Funding Hub,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “Michigan Communities of all sizes will have the opportunity to gain knowledge on how to successfully deploy new grant opportunities that will directly impact on their community’s and help their residents thrive.”

With billions in available funding for local units of government through programs like ARPA, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act there is a significant need for communities to track funding opportunities as they become available. For many communities across Michigan, especially those small and medium-sized, navigating this process and developing projects and programs that meet their current and future needs exceeds their capacity.

“Here in Saginaw, we’ve relied on the League to help us decide how to invest our ARPA funding,” said Brenda F. Moore, Saginaw Mayor. “This partnership between with the League and the state will ensure that we can continue to depend on this assistance moving forward. It’s great news for Michigan’s communities and cities like Saginaw.”

In 2020, the League launched two programs — “ServeMICity” and “MI Water Navigator” — to help communities plan and secure new recovery and infrastructure funding for projects that address long-standing community needs. Through those technical assistance and training programs they’ve helped hundreds of communities leverage over $200 million in new state and federal funding.

“This new funding from LEO will allow the League to build on our already successful technical assistance programs that are helping communities leverage new federal funding for high impact local programs,” Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the League. “This work will provide local governments with the critical information and tools they need to capitalize on this once in a generation opportunity.”

Gilmartin explained there are billions of dollars in new federal funding available and Michigan has an opportunity to maximize access to these resources by providing support to communities in understanding, seeking and successfully deploying new grant funds for economic growth, infrastructure and other community projects.

With additional funding from LEO the League will significantly scale up its technical assistance program for communities including:

  • Creating a robust online resource hub that provides information on new grants and funding opportunities as well as resources and tools for successfully managing projects.
  • Providing technical assistance for local governments to assist them in understanding funding opportunities, evaluating local project options and potential grant matches, and directing them to applicable funding sources.
  • Offering a variety of training and outreach efforts including funding newsletters, grant readiness training, webinars and more.

The League will act as the project lead for this initiative and oversee the project timeline, budget, strategic partnership management and continuous improvement activities. Technical assistance for communities is available now, and the online funding and resource hub is projected to be completed in January 2024.

To learn more about this program or get technical assistance in navigating funding opportunities, visit or contact the League team at:

MPSC highlights Michigan Relay Service's role in helping people connect as part of Deaf Awareness Week

September is Deaf Awareness Month, and the Michigan Public Service Commission is highlighting the importance of the Michigan Telecommunications Relay Service that allows deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired persons to communicate by telephone.

The Michigan House of Representatives adopted House Resolution 129 of 2023, declaring September as Deaf Awareness Month in Michigan, honoring the ways in which deaf culture and heritage have enriched life in the state.

The resolution notes that at least 7.4% of Michiganders identify as deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing, and notes the importance of ensuring Michigan’s deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing individuals have equal access to the many benefits and opportunities available to hearing individuals to live, work, play and communicate in Michigan.

One of the critical tools in that effort is Michigan’s Telecommunications Relay Service.

Michiganders not familiar with the service may not know what to do if they receive a call through Michigan Relay. If you answer a call and someone says, “A person who may be deaf or hard of hearing is calling you through Michigan Relay,” don’t hang up.

Through Michigan Relay, people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have difficulty speaking can communicate using a TTY (teletypewriter), TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) or other technology to connect with friends and family, conduct business, make or cancel appointments, order a pizza or other activities.

To learn more about how it works, you can read the MPSC’s consumer tip on the Michigan Relay. There are no extra charges for users of the Michigan Relay. Only normal telephone charges apply. There also are no limits on the number or length of calls for relay users.

For information about the MPSC, visit, sign up for its monthly newsletter or other listservs. Follow the Commission on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Ferris ranked seventh CCHA unveils preseason polls ahead of 2023-24 hockey season

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) unveiled its 2023-24 preseason polls on Monday.

Ferris State, which opens the season on Oct. 7-8 at home against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, was picked to finish seventh overall by both the league's head coaches and the media.

Overall, Michigan Tech tallied 67 points out of a possible 70, including a league-high four first-place votes, in taking home the top spot in the coaches' poll, with Northern Michigan grabbing 66 (3 first-place votes) and Bowling Green picking up 55. Bemidji State had 49 points, which was good for fourth, while St. Thomas claimed the eighth and final first-place vote and was tied with Minnesota State with 45 points apiece. Ferris State and Lake Superior State captured 36 and 29 points in the poll, respectively.

The eight CCHA head coaches competing in a full conference schedule ranked each school in projected order of finish for the regular season, excluding their own. Points were awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4 basis.

In the preseason media poll, Michigan Tech picked up 152 points in the poll with 11 first-place votes. Northern Michigan collected 133 points and was tied with third place Bowling Green (124) with two first-place votes apiece. Defending MacNaughton Cup and Mason Cup Champion Minnesota State was fourth with 114 points (1 first-place vote), while Bemidji State University (100 points), St. Thomas (88), Ferris State (72) and Lake Superior State (49) rounded out the league.

The CCHA Media Poll was comprised of 16 members of the local and national media, who cover the conference and its teams regularly. Points were awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3 basis.

The CCHA Media Day took place on Tuesday, September 19, beginning at 10:50am ET / 9:50am CT. Along with CCHA Commissioner Don Lucia and CCHA Director of Officiating Marco Hunt, all nine CCHA Head Coaches previewed the upcoming season and answered questions from local, regional and national media outlets via Zoom.

The CCHA officially drops the puck on year three of the reconfigured league on Saturday, October 7. Seven CCHA teams will be in action across opening weekend, with conference play getting underway with a pair of series on October 27.

Fans can stream all CCHA games live and on-demand, on their home televisions, computers, tablets, and mobile devices via the FloSports app. The FloSports App can be accessed on all screens and streaming devices by downloading the FloSports app on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, the App Store and Google Play Store. Additionally, FloSports can be accessed on any smart device browser by visiting

Single-game tickets for the 2023-24 Bulldog Hockey campaign are on sale now and can be purchased online at

Ferris Foundation Merit Grant support advances Salvadoran video, testimonies for possible inclusion in Shoah Genocide archive

Preserving and archiving battlefield video and testimony from people who endured mass violence in El Salvador to help future generations understand the impact of such atrocities will continue at Ferris State University, supported by a Merit Grant awarded by The Ferris Foundation. 

Social Work professor Michael Berghoef said a previous Merit Grant allowed him to acquire various recorded materials of regional battles and witness accounts of the country’s civil war. About 75,000 people were killed between 1980 and 1992 when government forces conducted massacres, landmine placements, bombings and summary executions. 

Berghoef, in November, met leaders of the Shoah Foundation and the Institute for Visual History and Education at the University of Southern California. The nonprofit organization dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides.  

The foundation has 56,000 testimonies from El Salvador archived.  

“If we include the Salvadoran stories we have gathered, that would represent the 10th country to be archived and serve as only the second group of testimonies from Central America, joining the Guatemalan collection,” Berghoef said. 

Berghoef said Ferris State alumnus and philanthropist Mickey Shapiro gave the university access to the Shoah Archive, making Ferris State one of three universities in Michigan and among the fewer than 200 full-access sites worldwide for the video histories.  

Shapiro has been a strong supporter of the Shoah Foundation’s efforts. USC and the foundation in March announced the first Mickey Shapiro Endowed Chair in Holocaust Research is expected to be seated in 2025. 

“Many of our videos are in their original unmediated technological state, and to be included in the archive, they will require translation, transcription, captioning, time stamping, geocoding and incorporation of keywords,” Berghoef said. “We will be turning to Wes Thompson of Ferris’ Media Production team to complete the processing, which has already begun. This submission needs to move on to researchers with the Shoah Archive, who would determine whether they would be included by 2024. That would be a successful result for a process that began in Summer 2018.” 

If the USC Shoah Foundation chose not to fully include the Salvadoran video testimonies for its archive, Berghoef would exploring other archives, such as Unfinished Sentences project at the University of Washington, the El Salvador Memory project at Western University in Ontario, and the Ferris Institutional Repository. 

Berghoef appreciates the donor support that has helped make this work possible. 

“We hope to see that this material has an appropriate venue to reach scholars, students, and others who would benefit from its availability and make these important Salvadoran testimonies heard,” he said. 

Reed City celebrates home cross-country course debut with CSAA team victory

Reed City High School hosted their first home meet since 2007 on Tuesday afternoon. The CSAA jamboree featured all 11 conference schools with Reed City boys and Central Montcalm girls team earning victories.

"It was a really great atmosphere and Coyote Nation came out in full force to cheer on the runners," Head coach Rich Saladin said. "The kids, as well as coaches, were pretty nervous but settled down and ran a great race."

On the girls side, junior Kyah Hoffman of Central Montcalm took home the individual victory with an official time of 18:23 followed by junior Lila Volkers of Kent City (18:54) and senior Miranda McNeil of Morley Stanwood (19:43). For team scoring, Central Montcalm paced the race with a dominant 31 points, followed by Chippewa Hills (62) and Kent City (86). Reed City placed fourth overall (115) with Tri-County sixth (135) and Big Rapids seventh (165).

"The our top two girls, Clara Smoes and Caelynn London, both ran season best times today," Saladin said. "Carly Carlson, Marlowe Walcott, Ava Hammar, and Charity Rogers were fantastic. Miriam Hunt also had a PR with a solid run. This is a tough conference and we have a very young team. The girls did great."

For the boys side, it was senior Samuel Martini of Kent City who led the field at 16:20 with sophomore Gage Hoffman of Central Montcalm (16:29) and senior Anthony Kianus of Reed City (16:37) right behind. Reed City defended their home course for the first time, earning the team title with 47 points. Central Montcalm (62) and Big Rapids (63) finished second and third respectfully with Tri County in fourth (97) and Chippewa Hills seventh (193).

"Our boys are currently ranked 4th in D3 and we continue to get tested and challenged," Saladin said. "They keep rising up to championship effort and continue to see solid progress. Anthony Kiaunis was really strong. Gus is a little nicked up but had a very strong effort along with Ryan Allen. Those top 3 have been great. Isaac Clementshaw had a PR today and Paul Saladin had a phenomenal effort to hold off some runners. Aaron Allen, Izaiah Lentz, Elijah Lentz, and Brady Dozier really complement our top 5. Central Montcalm and Big Rapids have some great teams and I'm really proud of our boys today."

Many CSAA squads will see each other next Saturday in Shepherd for the Blue Jay Invite, known as one of the fastest courses in the state of Michigan.

"We have 11 days off and won't race again until September 30th," Saladin said. "There will be a lot of the top teams (at Shepherd) and another test for our kids. I'm hoping the fans got a great taste of the excitement of cross country and continue to come out and cheer us on."

For more results and information, visit

Two-car collision in Rodney leads to AeroMed hospital transport

On Tuesday, Aug. 19 at approximately 7:59 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to McKinley Rd near 120th Ave reference a two-vehicle accident involving a passenger car and a pickup truck. 

The investigation found that a 63-year-old Male from Rodney rear-ended a 24-year-old female also from Rodney. The female's two younger children were also present in the pickup truck and were uninjured. The male and his 59-year-old female passenger were severely injured during the crash. 

The male was transported to Big Rapids Corewell Health Hospital before being flown by an AeroMed helicopter to the Butterworth Hospital. His female passenger was transported directly to the Butterworth Hospital. Both had severe but non life-threatening injuries. 

Deputies were assisted by Mecosta County EMS, Colfax TWP Fire Dept., Morton TWP Rescue, Big Rapids Towing, Meceola Central Dispatch, and AeroMed. 

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