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Big Rapids Daily News

Kent County Sheriff's Office Investigating double fatal Crash in Lowell TWP

At 5:15 PM Wednesday, the Kent County Sheriff's Office and Lowell Fire responded to a head-on crash at the intersection of Alden Nash Ave. & Emery Dr. When responders arrived, they located the driver of a white Chevrolet Equinox deceased. Life-saving efforts were attempted on the front seat passenger, but they were pronounced deceased at the scene as well. 

An adult in the rear seat of the Equinox was airlifted by Aeromed to a hospital in critical condition. Two more children were also in the backseat and were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of a black Buick Encore was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.  

It appears the Chevy Equinox was traveling southbound on Alden Nash and for an unknown reason crossed the centerline, striking the Buick. The Kent County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Unit is working to determine if impaired driving was a contributing factor.  

The deceased driver was a 42-year-old female from the City of Belding. Her two children are an 11-year-old and a 4-year-old boy in the rear seats. The deceased front seat passenger was a 39-year-old female from Lowell Township. The rear-seat passenger who was airlifted is a 36-year-old from Lowell Township. The Buick was driven by a 20-year-old female from Greenville.

Ferris State partners with West Shore Community College to boost access to nursing programs

Ferris State University is partnering with West Shore Community College to create a pathway for students to earn both an associate and a bachelor’s degree in nursing and help fill a growing need for people with nursing skills.

Ferris State President Bill Pink and WSCC President Scott Ward signed an agreement this week to use a state grant to expand a partnership and allow WSCC students to work toward a Ferris State degree while remaining on the WSCC campus with costs covered. 

Pink said the program is an example of Ferris State collaborating with community college partners to help residents gain highly needed skills and grow a talented workforce, especially where there are shortages.

“I believe Ferris State is the strongest four-year university partner to Michigan community colleges,” Pink said. “We have long had a connection with West Shore, and together we can address the huge need for nursing statewide.”

The demand for nurses is increasing across the country. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nursing jobs are expected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. About 193,100 openings for registered nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Michigan has about 100,000 nursing jobs, with 6,345 openings, according to the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics in the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

The partnership is tapping a $56 million state program to expand nursing education opportunities. The program is administered by the state Department of Labor and Economic Development and was included in the state’s 2023 budget, which went into effect this fall. Community colleges are encouraged to partner with a four-year college or university and design a Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program with input from local employers and local workforce development agencies.

West Shore and Ferris State have long been partners, including collaborating through the Ferris Connections Program. That allows West Shore students who plan to transfer to Ferris State to have access to university support programs while still at WSCC, which is based in Scottville, just east of Ludington.

Ward said WSCC is excited to partner with Ferris State and create opportunities for students to succeed.

“Ferris is one of those unique institutions, rare institutions, that offers associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and doctoral degrees and has concentrations on occupational programs,” Ward said after signing the agreement.

Ward said students can earn a bachelor’s degree and quickly enter the workplace, addressing local and national shortages.

“It is the best of both worlds,” he said. “We could not find a better partner.”

BREAKING: Mecosta County Sheriff's Office arrests four following high-speed chase early Thursday morning

On Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, at approximately 9:51 A.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office attempted to make a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle which led to a chase pursuit through four different townships and eventual arrests.

The Sheriff’s Office had received information of a possible stolen pickup that had possibly been repainted to conceal it. Deputies located the vehicle at a residence in Morton TWP and started to conduct surveillance, in which they observed the vehicle pulling out of the residence. Deputies were stationed to intercept the vehicle as suspected stolen pickup passed by an unmarked Sheriff’s Office vehicle conducting surveillance and the driver was identified as being wanted. Deputies then, utilizing marked patrol vehicles, pulled behind the suspected stolen pickup that was now pulling a small utility trailer. The suspect accelerated and fled at a high rate of speed when deputies activated their emergency lights and siren.

Deputies notified Meceola Central Dispatch of the pursuit and they in turn made notification to the
surrounding counties. The suspect fled with a passenger in the vehicle, who was not identified, driving at speeds reaching 110 miles per hour. The pursuit went through Morton, Martiny, Sheridan, and Wheatland townships and the villages of Remus and Mecosta. The Sheriff’s Office attempted to deploy "stop sticks" on two different occasions but the suspect drove through the ditch to avoid the device. The suspect then drove through a fence onto a small airport property, driving onto the grass runway. Deputies then were able to PIT the fleeing truck to end the pursuit.

Once the pickup was disabled, the driver and passenger both fled on foot from the scene. Deputies gave chase on foot and were able to catch and take both suspects into custody without further incident. Both were found to be wanted and were in possession of methamphetamine.

Deputies conducted follow-up searches at the scene of the foot pursuit and recovered a stolen, altered handgun that was loaded at the time and property, ammunition, and burglary tools in the pickup that was confirmed stolen. Deputies then followed up at the residence where the suspects left and were able to locate a stolen SUV, passenger car, motorcycle, and trailer. Deputies also located additional stolen property, both reported and unreported, from numerous thefts including two sawed off shotguns. There was also a female hiding in the residence, who was wanted, and was taken into custody without incident along with the wanted resident.

All the suspects were transported to the Mecosta County Jail where they were lodged on multiple felony charges. Their names and charges are being held pending arraignment in the 77th District Court.



December 7, 2023

On if he ever allows himself to marvel at the season that Lions TE Sam LaPorta is having: “I haven’t had a chance to watch it all in totality I guess, but we keep – I think I’ve said it a few times now, we keep trying to find out things that he can’t do and we’re still scratching our heads there, so. We like to line him up all over the place. He’s doing a phenomenal job picking up the details, the nuances of alignment splits, responsibilities and that’s what allowing us to push the envelope a little bit. But no, it’s really impressive for a rookie. Doesn’t matter what position, but particularly that one, even more challenging in a lot of ways between the run game and the pass game.”

On if it is a bigger challenge for a younger player like Lions TE Sam LaPorta to learn how to win one-on-one man coverage matchups at this level: “I don’t think so. What he showed on tape at Iowa was that he was going to be a dynamic route runner in this League. He certainly is a little bit more advanced in the run game than I thought. Those guys at Iowa do a phenomenal job coaching and so, that’s why it’s Tight End U right now. Those guys come out ready to roll. But yeah, he was able to win some man matchups last week and hopefully that continues for us. That alleviates the burden on our wideout group too. They were doubling (Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown) Saint at times and so we need somebody else to step up and win the one-on-ones. His number was called more often than not last week.”

On what the Bears defense does well: “They stop the run. They are extremely sound, their Head Coach (Matt Eberflus) is very detailed. You can tell that he stresses the fundamentals and he stresses play style. They are relentless, they pursue, they are very disciplined. And so, when you combine that with a sound scheme, it makes it very difficult to run the ball. He was a good run defense when he was in Indy and that’s really carried over now to Chicago. They’ve got some good talent all across the ball. Upfront they’ve got some guys playing better than maybe what – you might not have heard their names before, but these defensive tackles, they are stout at the point of attack. Obviously, they added another pass rusher in (Bears DL Montez) Sweat, but he’s a good run defender as well. Second level, (Bears LB Tremaine Edmunds) 49 shows up all over the tape and (Bears LB T.J. Edwards) 53, the guy they brought in from Philly is very instinctive. And then on the backend, it’s a bunch of young, hungry guys that just love playing football it looks like. So, it’s a challenge scheme-wise and then also with who they have and how they’re playing.”

On the challenge of having to run the ball more due to weather conditions against a strong run defense: “Yeah, I think the weather’s trending our direction a little bit, but I’m with you. It’s – the way we are built on offense is we can be productive any number of ways. And so, we’ll do whatever we need to do to put ourselves in a position to win this ball game. Our guys of course upfront, they take this as a challenge going against such a good group on defense that’s been so good against the run all year long. And so, I think they’re embracing this challenge with open arms. It’ll be a good opportunity. We’ve got a couple really good backs that help make us right and make guys miss, so it’ll be good for us.”

On if expects Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown to be motivated to be more involved this week after being double teamed in the New Orleans game: “Yeah, I think he’s been targeted quite a bit almost every game. Even last week, he was primary on quite a few things. We didn’t connect on a few that we really want back I think, but I’ve got no doubt that he’s going to come out and be the same productive player that he’s always been. They double him in certain situations and that’s when the other guys have to feast, but when (Lions TE) Sam LaPorta or I think (Lions WR) Kalif Raymond had a big game a couple weeks ago, when these other guys make plays, it makes defenses think twice about trying to take out number 14.”

On Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs having a lower usage percentage against the Saints: “Probably within the moment, don’t equate it. At halftime, we get a feel for who’s touched the ball how many times, but within the circumstance of the game, it’s kind of just an ebb and a flow. And so, may or may not try to just dial it up to get it in someone’s hands, other times it might be, ‘Hey, I think they’re going to be in this defense and we want to attack them this way.’ So, it’s a balancing act right now and it’s a blessing and a curse to have this many talented skill players. I mean we’ve got a phenomenal tight end, we’ve got two really good running backs and we’ve got all five receivers that are up on gameday who really deserve to get the ball in their hands and get a chance to run with it. So, that’s where each week it’s, ‘Guys, somebody – you’re all going to have plays in and somebody’s probably going to be at the end of the game not as happy with not touching the ball enough.’ And we just try to cycle it around each week who’s got that. But we’ve got a lot of dynamic playmakers and that’s a challenge for us right now.”

On how much of his post-game process is understanding their own personnel usage to maintain a weekly balance: “Yeah, we’re very aware of who gets the ball, where they lineup, the self-scout tendencies in which situations we know what those things are and we try to usually use that against the defense.”

On Lions OL Colby Sorsdal’s development these last few weeks: “Oh, yeah, it’s really night and day. I think the first game he was in was maybe Atlanta that he had to get thrown in there if I remember correctly. And he really got thrown in at right tackle and it wasn’t his prettiest tape and I think he would admit as much, but to see where he’s grown from those early reps and playing interior both right side and left side. He continues to get better each week. Is it perfect? No, but for a rookie, this is learning on the fly a little bit. And he – as long as, as well as all of our other young guys, they just continue to get better with reps, and that’s what he needs.”

On if Lions OL Colby Sorsdal is more comfortable on the right side due to his collegiate experience: “We’ve been cross-training him all training camp and so far this season. I think if you probably looked at it, maybe he’s lined up on the right side a little bit more than the left side over the course of that time, but he’s getting a lot more comfortable on playing interior football. It really doesn’t matter which side he’s on.”

On how much he looks at the weather before a game and how much it affects his gameplan: “Yeah, that’s a great question. It certainly plays a big role. It plays a big role in (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell’s decisions of, ‘Hey, do we want to kick? Do we want to receive? Do we want to play with the wind? Do we not want to play –?’ All those things, but for me as a play-caller, certainly we look at wind, we look at precipitation, temperature, all that. Another variable that goes into the play-calls is, ‘What’s the sun? What’s the sun’s location?’ I’ve been a part of a number of times, we’ve thrown deep balls and it gets caught in the sun and it’s all for naught. It’s a perfect ball and the guys’ wide open and it drives – so, all those factors week in and week out always go into our thought process and how we want to call the game. Sometimes maybe you’ve got the wind behind your back one quarter and you know you’re not going to the next quarter, so you want to maybe be a little bit more aggressive and vice versa, things of that nature.”

On when the weather starts to impact the gameplan throughout the week: “Yeah, I mean it’s – the gameplan’s always in flux. And so, we never really put our finishing touches on it until really – we never do. There’s adjustments being made all the time in the game. In fact, I mean we put in a play right before – about an hour before kickoff that we ended up calling there in the last drive before halftime last week. But that’s just an example. We’re always tweaking things and our players, they don’t blink an eye. I mean they’re used to it at this point. We put a lot on them in training camp and so, it’s just par for the course.”

On if the play he added in last week an hour before the game was just an idea that popped into his head: “No, it’s just as you’re going through the plan you’re like, ‘Hey, maybe we’re a little bit light in this area. I think they’ll give us this coverage,’ and just want one more bullet in the chamber just in case the situation popped up.”

On if the play he added in an hour before kickoff last week hit: “It should’ve hit.”

On how to prepare for the unknown from an opponent coming off of a bye week: “I think when you look at a coach’s history, you look at – they have an identity in who they are, and you can trust those things. Listen, there’s wrinkles every game that we have to deal with. (Lions QB) Jared (Goff) has seen enough football in his eight years now that he knows, ‘OK, I haven’t seen this one before. They haven’t shown this before,’ and he knows how to react if they give us a different pressure or different coverage than what we’ve seen. So, that’s the luxury I have is, I’ve got a veteran quarterback and really, veteran offensive line that it doesn’t matter what gets thrown at us. We can adjust and still be productive.”



December 7, 2023

Opening Statement: “Good to get a win last week at a place that I was at for a long time. Still a lot of faces there that I know, had a chance to get a chance to talk to. Listen, that first half, man, it was the way that we play defense. Second half, we had some events that happen that we’ve got to get better at, which we will get better at. And our guys will continue to practice hard and work on those things. So again, I like where we’re at as far as the record, overall team. Obviously, there are some things we want to clean up on defense and we will continue to do those.”

On the need for making halftime adjustments to have a stronger third quarter performance: “I think that’s really funny that that’s always the buzz word of ‘adjustments.’ And I kind of laugh at it because it just shows that how people just don’t have a clue. I mean we’re winning. We’re doing a really good job and what are you changing?”

On how making adjustments can be a counter approach to the opponent making changes: “And you have to see if they’re going to adjust. And the thing is, they made plays and we didn’t make plays we should’ve made. When you have key plays in a game that’s caused some issues, to me that’s what you try to make sure you make those adjustments. And sometimes you make them on the sideline, sometimes you make them at halftime, but in a game, man, there’s always adjustments that are being made because every team is not just going to come out and do the things that they’ve shown on tape. They’re always going to have something new. So, our job as coaches is to make sure that whatever those new things they come out with, man, we’ll adjust to make sure we put our guys in positions to make those plays. And it happens all the time. So, we’ll continue to do that, but that’s the thing that’s an emphasis that we’ve been – offense and defense, we’ve been going over for a while now. Even in the offseason, we talk about those things, and man, we have to get better at that if we want to be the team we want to be. So, you’re right in that aspect, of making sure that man, we just come out the same way we come out in the first half with energy, effort and doing those things. And I think it’s more of that than anything else.”

On how frustrating allowing big plays has been and how to limit the number of them moving forward: “Well, big plays are always frustrating. The thing that I try to do is look at the big picture. We’re one of the top teams in the League as far as not giving up explosive plays. So, I always try to point back to that and what did we do before to not give those things up, and our guys understand that. And listen, this is a League of teams that are trying to make big plays because usually when you make big plays, obviously you’re going to get scores after that. So, that’s one thing that we try to make sure we focus on, and we look at the things that we’ve done before to make sure we limit those and we want to continue to try to do those things.”

On the urgency to limit the number of points allowed for the final stretch of the season: “Listen, there’s always an urgency in that regard. That’s the first thing that we talk about as a defense is we want to limit points. I think when you look at it in totality, you look at our overall defense, man, there’s really the same core that’s been here and you look at us last year at this time, man, we were not a good defense. I think we were ranked last in a lot of different categories. And you look at it now with really the same core, I mean these guys have improved and that’s the one thing I don’t think people really take a look at is, I mean (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac’s having his best year I would think. I do think (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch is having a good year. The thing is there’s been so much attention to him that he hasn’t had a chance to get the sacks that he’s wanting to get. Those things will come for him. You look at (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone). I think Alex is having the best year of his career. So, this time last year when it comes to yards, when it comes to rush, when it comes to – I mean we were not good last year, but this year, man, things have changed. So, I think we’ve got to give credit to those guys and we don’t hear that enough. Listen, everybody wants to be the number one defense. Hell, I want to be the number one defense, but guys have to develop and the guys have developed. And look where they put themselves. And they’re going to continue to get better at that, even the guys like (Lions DL) Brodric (Martin) that we’re developing now. I mean those guys are going to come along and do well for us.”

On how to keep Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson from getting frustrated by his good performances not being reflective in the stats: “Well, the first thing you’re talking about is how he’s affecting the game, but the numbers might not be saying it, and he’s really doing that. The second thing is, man, understand how the top guys in this League – and I’m not talking about the guys that are playing now, but even the guys that played way before him, how have they handled a double team? I think the one thing that he had a chance to look at, he had a chance to look at (Steelers LB) T.J. Watt who’s an explosive player, and man, he’s always using his hands. And I think if you see the game against New Orleans man, he did a really good job of using his hands and guys man, hell he had three guys on him at one point and he still had a chance to get a hand on the quarterback. So, he’s still developing in that regard and that just goes to show just how much more of his game he has left. Again, I’m happy with where that player’s at. I mean obviously, he wants to get more sacks, we want him to get more sacks, but man, to understand exactly how you – what you’re doing is really affecting a lot of the things on defense.”

On the task of replacing Lions DL Alim McNeill’s production while he is out due to injury: “It’s always hard to replace a player of his stature and we all know that. The thing that we’ve got to do a really good job of is, man, keep developing the guys that we have in our program. And other guys have to step up too. I mean (Lions DL Josh) Paschal has to do a really good job. Sometimes he’s going to be inside and we’re going to need him to step up. (Lions DL) Brodric (Martin) has to continue to develop. (Lions DL Isaiah) Buggs has to continue to develop. Just a lot of these guys that we have in our program have got to take up that slack. And you’re right, it is next man up mentality. No one’s going to feel sorry for us. We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves, and we’re going to continue to try to be the best defense we can each week.”

On Lions DL Brodric Martin’s progress and what he can provide to the team: “Man, just coming from where he did in college and understand exactly how he has to play in this League. The one thing I think that he had an issue with early is just being able to use his hands and understand how to use his hands. And man, I tell him in practice, he’s doing a really good job of that. I mean before practice, after practice, those are the things that Brodric is doing a really good job of to get himself on the field. And then other than that, man, I’m a big believer in D-linemen being able to have lateral agility and he’s working his butt off trying to work on those things too.”

On if Lions DLs Levi Onwuzurike and Josh Paschal have progressed back from their injuries as they had hoped: “Well, I mean it’s hard for Levi because he hasn’t had a chance to really just play for us. And listen, that injury was a significant injury, so it’s going to take him time. I mean obviously (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac, I think he’s having his best season. And Josh is the same thing. I mean he hasn’t had enough plays to really just like, ‘Man, where is he at?’ But, the thing is, you’re starting to see that with Josh. I talked about that last week with him. I mean in the New Orleans game, he had some really good plays. So, the development is coming with that player.”

On what veteran players like Lions DLs Bruce Irvin and Tyson Alualu can add to a young team: “Well, two 36-year-olds. That’s awesome though, man. Golly, to be playing at that age, especially two guys that have been in the fight like they’ve been in when you’re playing at that D-line position. Both of those guys can give just insight on what it takes to play at a high level. I mean I’ve known Tyson for a while as far as who he was as a player, that pick’s come from Cal. So, he has some belts on the wall and he can help our young guys as far as things that they need to do to create to be at that level. Same thing with Bruce. Bruce talked to some of the guys this week about playing at a championship level, so man, it’s good to just hear those guys’ voices, for them to bring what they understand this League is about. But man, I think it’s outstanding for guys 36-years-old still playing in this League, man.”

On if Lions DL Levi Onwuzurike has an opportunity to get more reps with Lions DL Alim McNeill out with an injury: “Listen, anytime he gets game reps, it’s always good for him. The thing is I mean we can’t play everybody. There’s only so many people we can bring on defense and if we could bring them all, I would, but we can’t. The thing is the guys that we’ve had have been playing pretty good. Again, we’re a top run defense in this League. So, we don’t want to just bring guys to just be bringing them. I mean guys have to earn their keep and I’ve said that several times. And when you have an injury, man, guys really have to step up and be a big part of what we’re doing. And this is going to be a week where he has to do that.”

On Lions DL Quinton Bohanna’s production the past three weeks: “Listen, that’s a big man. That’s a huge man. And the thing that he shows that’s pretty impressive is he has some first step quickness to him. Listen, he’s still a young player too. I mean I remember him and I know you guys do when he was in Dallas and he’s played a good amount of plays there, so he understands this game, but he’s still a young player and he still needs to develop. So, we have to be very careful on how we use these elevations to make sure that we can get the best guy for us. And we will do that, but I’m impressed with that player. I’m impressed with him and he’s doing a good job for us.”



December 7, 2023

On what Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin has meant to special teams and how much he advocated to get him back on the team in the offseason: “Yeah, I mean, when he left, we thought he was a great player and disappointed to see him go or whatever, but that’s a part of the business. And then obviously, when we had a chance to get him back, it was incredible. He’s a great leader. His way of leading is a lot more by example, than being vocal. However, he has been vocal and that’s also helped the guys. And he’s done a little bit more of that this year. He’s obviously a captain for us, but great player. I mean, for him to go out and make the plays that he made in that game was obviously special. And the one thing that I said, I just talked to (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) about it, but the one thing that happens to these guys, when you’re a good player, you get a lot of attention. They put good players on you, sometimes they put two guys on you. If they don’t put two guys on you, they put their best guy on you. And so, for him to go out and do that against a good football team that has a bunch of good players on their side of the ball and a well-coached group who has a good plan, it obviously says a lot about him, individually.”

On how difficult it is for a player like Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin to see time on both defense and special teams in the same game: “Yeah, it’s great. And I think – it’s just a great example of a guy who – I think sometimes there’s a human element to the whole game and how much you’re playing on defense and everybody wants to be a defensive player, an offensive player. I mean, when you’re a kid, you kind of dream of doing that, I think, for most of these guys. And obviously, special teams fits somewhere in there and I think sometimes when guys start playing more defense, they feel like, ‘Well, I’m playing more defense. I’ve kind of got a built-in excuse of why I might not have been as good on special teams,’ and he obviously took the opposite approach, which I think the great players do. I always say, ‘Competitors compete.’ And it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. If you’re playing a game of whatever, pig, or horse, or whatever – I mean, these guys – they’re going to go after it. If there’s a free shirt on the line, I mean, these guys will compete for it. It doesn’t matter how much money you make and the best players compete the most and it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. And so for him to do that was awesome. It reminds me, really, I was watching some football. We were actually on the plane, on our way back and the 49ers were playing against the Eagles and I mean they had (49ers WR) Deebo Samuel back there returning kickoffs for these guys. And it’s like, the guy just went off in the game on offense, but he’s still playing on kickoff return. And I know that, that guy must’ve gone to those guys and said, ‘Hey, put me back there. I want to be back there. I can make a difference.’ It didn’t come from a coach saying, ‘Hey, will you please.’ So, anyway, yeah, for Germ, I mean competitors compete. He’s a competitor, he did a great job and it really speaks volumes and also, such a great example for playing on defense, or playing on offense and playing on special teams.”

On the most sensational competitor he has been around: “Yeah, I’ll stay away from answering in specifics, but I would say that I have been fortunate in my time doing this to see a bunch of really good ones. I mean, (former Eagles RB) Darren Sproles is a guy that comes to mind. That guy wanted to change the game. You could tell he was going to go change the game. He was going to put it on himself. It didn’t matter what anybody else did, how they blocked, how they played, he was going to make the play, no matter what. There are two guys running free? I’ll make both of them miss. There’s one guy running free? Great, got that. There’s three? No problem. We get great blocking? That’s even better. But we need it in a game and it’s at a moment where you need someone to step up big, he did it. He would be one of the better ones. But I have been fortunate to be around a bunch of great ones. And all of them have a different impact. His position’s a little bit easier to see the impact of it, whereas a core player, which is also a good thing about (Lions LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin) Germ, a guy’s just running and covering kicks and making tackles, you don’t tend to see quite as much. Most of those honors go to the kicker who makes four field goals and a game-winner in a game, or the returner who has a big return. But for it to be a core guy that’s making tackles, doesn’t happen very often.”

On if there are unique things teams throw at them on special teams when they face them multiple times in a season: “Yeah, it is a really good question because I think there is a balance between – yeah, the schematics and going against this team and what you’d like to do, but then most of it really comes back, at least for me, it really comes back to who are your players and what do they do well? What are you going to ask them to do? And so schematically, you’re more built around the players that you have, rather than, ‘I think this would be a great idea against these guys because they do X, Y and Z.’ It really comes down more with our players against these guys in this game and the players they have in this game, it makes more sense for us to do this, even though it would be fun to do that, but it’s probably not suited for our guys and putting them in the best spot. So, I think a lot of it comes down to individual matchups and players, but then the other element, which I’m sure you guys are going to ask me about, but the other element, like going into this game, it’s a big difference when you’re playing them indoors a couple weeks ago and then now we’re going to their place and we’re getting into December and we’re playing outside and there’ll be a little bit more wind and weather and that factors into the game also. And I think I’ve said before, that’s some good and some bad. If the wind’s blowing sideways one direction, you generally know which way they’re going to kick the ball. But, it’s still blowing sideways one direction, so.”

On if the weather and field conditions at Soldier Field make it a tough place to kick: “Yeah, I guess in the past, you heard a lot about the field, I don’t know. When I first got into the League, the grass was longer there and that was definitely noticeable and I think you heard a lot of chatter from players about that, or kickers maybe. That really hasn’t been like that for a long time, for me. So, the field’s fine. But yeah, there’s definitely always wind and weather there and the way the stadium’s shaped kind of – it lets some wind and weather in there. So yeah, I would say in general, it’s a little bit tougher place to kick, certainly tougher than indoors at Ford Field.”

On if Lions P Jack Fox was able to get into a rhythm and prevent a lull against the Saints because he had more opportunities to punt compared to previous games this season: “Yeah, and I would say very well said by you because what has happened, and it’s not only that we’ve only had like two punts in a game, but those two punts, sometimes they’re both in midfield. They’re totally different plays than when you’re punting backed-up. And this last game, all those punts really happened down on our end of the field, which hasn’t been standard for us. So there definitely has been some lulls and this is the first time when you really got to go out there and cover a bunch of balls and do all that, so yeah, I totally agree. But yeah, good to see Fox have a chance to let it rip and do what he does best.”

On if Lions P Jack Fox had a better performance against the Saints because he had more opportunities to punt the ball: “Yeah, I thought he was outstanding in the game. Great hangtime, great distance on the ball. It’s good operation time. So, I thought he played really well. He’s playing really good football right now for us. He’s in a really good spot. You can see he’s very confident the way he’s striking the ball too, and so it’s positive.”

On his assessment of Lions LB Trevor Nowaske against the Saints and what it is like as a coach to see an undrafted player make the team and see time on the field: “He was great. And the thing about him, I mean, I love talking about him because I feel like he’s been a great football player since training camp and has just done a great job, So, really, with him, we didn’t miss a beat at all. But yeah, I was excited to see him be able to get out there because a guy like him, he’s doing all this work in practice, he’s giving the looks to the other team every single week and all he wants is a chance to play and finally got a chance to play, I thought did a nice job for us.”

On if Lions LB Trevor Nowaske caught their eye during training camp: “Yeah, yeah, definitely. In training camp, right away, you could say, ‘Hey, man this guy’s got something to him.’ He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he can really run. But, on top of that, he’s got some awareness for where the football is when he’s out there in coverage and he does a good job in the return game too, for a defensive player.”


The Lions head to Chicago looking to sweep the Bears on Sunday at 1:00pm.


Listen to every game on WBRN 1460am, 107.7fm, and 96.5fm.

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Gotion Inc. meets with Leprino Foods employees at job fair in Remus

Chuck Thelen of Gotion Inc. on Tuesday joined 17 other civically minded companies to meet with employees at Leprino Foods in Remus to discuss job opportunities including those that will be available at Gotion’s battery components facility in the Big Rapids area.

Last month, Leprino Foods was forced to make a difficult business decision and announced it would lay off many of its workers at the beginning of the new year. The layoffs will affect more than 110 local workers. Gotion Inc. will work to expedite training opportunities and hiring plans to help local residents heal from the crippling trend of people in the region affected by multiple layoffs since 2009.

“So many local families have been affected by layoffs in our region, and the recent Leprino Foods announcement hit my conscience especially hard with it being so close to my home,” said Thelen, vice president of Gotion Inc. – North American Manufacturing. “I was motivated to try and pull ahead 2024 hiring plans and talk with dozens of Leprino employees about the tremendous employment opportunities at Gotion Inc. These are great jobs with superior benefits, and I am positive we have the talent right here in Mecosta County to help fill these positions.”

In compliance with its development agreement with Green Charter Township, Gotion Inc. is first seeking to hire people from within a 25-mile radius of its planned facility.

Thelen met with residents at the Michigan Works West Central booth, which is helping facilitate the hiring process at Gotion Inc. When fully operational, the facility will employ more than 2,300 people.

Those seeking more information about available positions at Gotion Inc. can visit

Mecosta County Sheriff's Office: Weekday Blotter (11/27 - 12/3)

Monday, November 27

Calls for Service: 18

Car/Deer Accidents: 1


Tuesday, November 28

  • At 1829 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant out of Montcalm Co. He was turned over to Montcalm County.

  • At 2048 hours, deputies responded to an assault complaint at a residence in Aetna TWP. A female subject was arrested for assaulting another female.

??Calls for Service: 12

Car/Deer Accidents: 4


Wednesday, November 29

  • At around 0900 hours, deputies recovered some stolen merchandise from a residence in Sheridan TWP. The merchandise had been stolen from a business in Big Rapids on 11-22-23.

  • At around 2100 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Chippewa TWP. A male subject was arrested on 2 warrants. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 14

Car/Deer Accidents: 3?



Thursday, November 30

  • At around 1630 hours, deputies made a traffic stop on a vehicle in Morton TWP. The traffic stop resulted in the  female driver being arrested on warrants. She was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

  • At around 2023 hours, deputies made a warrant arrest at a residence in Aetna TWP. A male subject was arrested on a warrant. He was lodged at the Mecosta County Jail.

Calls for Service: 16

Car/Deer Accidents: 3

Traffic Accidents: 1



Friday, December 1

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, December 2

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, December 3

  • Nothing reported.

Big Rapids secures $150,000 grant from the State of Michigan for Swede Hill Skate Park

The City of Big Rapids is excited to announce it received a $150,000 grant from the state of Michigan through its Recreation Passport Program to develop a state-of-the-art skate park at Swede Hill. This generous grant underscores the commitment to fostering recreational opportunities for the community's youth and enhancing the overall quality of life in Big Rapids.

The funds will be dedicated to constructing the Swede Hill Skate Park, providing a dynamic space for skateboarders and enthusiasts of all skill levels. The project aims to create a vibrant hub tor recreational activities, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle among residents.

"'The City is beyond excited to receive this grant," said Michelle Stenger, Director of Big Rapids Community Development. "The community has worked extremely hard in making this project a reality and we wouldn't be able to do it without the support of the citizens and past employees of Big Rapids.

The total project cost with the added features is $240,950 with $150,000 from the Recreation Passport grant and $90,950 being the city's match. $2,000 in donations raised previously and a 525,000 top prize awarded from the "Consumers Energy Foundation's 2022 Put Your Town on the Map" pitch competition.

The Swede Hill Skate Park project aligns with the city's commitment to creating inclusive recreational opportunities. promoting physical activity, and fostering community.

Former Ferris State Football standout Chris Pulliams making a difference mentoring and educating in the Grand Rapids area where he grew up

Chris Pulliams never expected to return to Godwin Heights High School when he graduated, dreaming of playing college football.

“I had hopes of being an NCAA Division I athlete, specifically at the University of Oregon,” Pulliams said. “I decided to begin my studies at Grand Rapids Community College, with plans to transfer and move to Eugene with my father. There was a preferred walk-on offer at Oregon, but the situation did not develop, and I found myself out of college as the next year began.” 

Chris turned to his high school coach, Jake Kenyon, for direction. The veteran leader had good advice for Pulliams and, ultimately, the Bulldogs. 

“I fashioned a letter for Ferris’ coaches and the Western Michigan University football program, and both offered me preferred walk-on status,” Pulliams said. “I came to see that Ferris had the mix of campus life, education and athletics that would be perfect for me. I wound up making the great decision to become a Bulldog, and it is one I have never found fault with.” 

Pulliams was a redshirt in 1992 as Ferris made its first NCAA Division II postseason appearance and quickly went from contributing as a special teams player to joining the mix of running backs on an undefeated Bulldogs squad the next year. 

Just as a change of direction is critical in success carrying the football, Pulliams made an academic shift that changed his life and the lives of students at his high school alma mater for the better. 

“I started in the College of Business, not knowing exactly what I would do. But I believed strongly that it was a path to success for me,” Pulliams said. “As part of my football experience, I volunteered at a Big Rapids elementary school and it was as if my eyes were opened, everything about the experience felt so right. I immediately made the change in my academic and career direction.” 

Pulliams graduated from Ferris and its College of Education and Human Services in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Education, minoring in Language Arts. 

During his senior year, Chris was named the inaugural recipient of the Jack McAvoy Award, given annually to the football player who best exemplifies on-field character and leadership. The award began in the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference and continues as an honor in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“The award was something that very much came my way at the moment, as we were focused on trying to win a national championship, which didn’t come our way,” Pulliams said. “It took a little time to realize what this accomplishment meant. That included researching Jack McAvoy and what he meant to Hillsdale College, the Great Lakes Conference and the MIFC. Those accomplishments and his philosophy drove home the significance of the honor, and I am proud of this, especially as the first recipient.” 

Pulliams had All-Conference recognition, NCAA playoff appearances in each of his varsity seasons, and his 97-yard game-winning run in the 1995 “Snow Bowl” against Saginaw Valley rivals recent national championship moments for the most iconic play in Bulldog football history. His 1,729 rushing yards as a junior remains a single-season Ferris record. 

That level of heart and commitment Pulliams gave to his on-field performance and studies has continued and serves as a reward for his hometown school district of Godwin Heights, in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming.  

“It has been 26 years of trying to pay back in the same fashion all the effort and direction that Coach Kenyon had afforded me,” Chris said. “I want to see the students I work with in the classroom and on our teams able to define and achieve their goals in life.” 

Pulliams teaches English in Godwin Heights’ Alternative Education program, and before that, was a College Readiness instructor and taught Scholastic Aptitude Test Prep, beginning with seventh- and eighth-grade students. 

“It is once again leaning back on what Coach Kenyon gave me, helping students to graduate and achieve, because that is an important goal in our district,” Pulliams said. “It might sound easy, but the work is to get students to see themselves in the themes and materials, to help them pick up on and appreciate the writer’s message.” 

The contribution to Godwin Heights students continues even after classes are over. Pulliams staffs athletic events throughout the year and has been a coach in the Wolverines’ high school football program for approximately a decade and the track program for more than a dozen years. 

“It is a special relationship that develops when I work with athletes, one I just have not found to be possible in the classroom,” Pulliams said. “There are many friendships with these young people that have continued because of the time and effort we have shared. It is not about wins and losses; though we have enjoyed much success, it was due to the improvement they showed, from meet to meet and game to game. When they give themselves the chance to get to college due to their athletic success, that is so gratifying. Also, the lessons that help them achieve as competitors serving as a foundation to the way they conduct their lives can certainly be labeled a great success.” 

Pulliams has given and received as a Ferris State alumnus, with his service on the Alumni Board beginning in 2018, following his induction into the Ferris State University Bulldog Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. More prominent in his mind is the reward from weekly worship and connection to Kentwood Community Church. 

“My wife and I became members 12 years ago when we sought to adopt our daughter,” Pulliams said. “It was the right decision then and we feel so welcome and happy as a family there. I mostly serve as an usher and I am open to whatever God is leading me to do, as I know all my accomplishments come from God, and I would not be who I am without his presence in my life.” 

Growing up a Godwin Heights Wolverine and returning for a career in his home district has been rewarding. Chris has been recognized in the media and is respected by neighboring districts.

Pulliams said as another academic calendar begins, he is looking at life at home and in the classroom in a slightly different light. 

“We have much to do as a family, as our daughter is entering her teens and high school days,” Pulliams said. “I work hard to keep my wife and daughter first, even with all my responsibilities as a teacher, coach, and mentor. My daughter’s interest in softball found us watching NCAA tournament games on TV together this spring, and she has kept tabs on the success of Grand Valley’s program. Even when I am watching Ferris’ closest rival, it has been a great joy to share that experience with her.” 

Though he is nearer to the close of his career as an educator than the beginning, considering 2023’s first day of classes found the veteran of the classroom and coaches’ corner brimming, bright-eyed, with a ready smile. 

“I am energized to keep on keeping on for the students,” Pulliams said. “I am so fortunate to have gained so many rewards from investing my time in Godwin Heights among so many great people.”

Michigan Lottery warning public to be aware of prize scams

The Michigan Lottery is warning the public to be aware of scam artists claiming to be lottery agents or prize winners.

The Michigan Lottery processes all prize claims for free, and players must have a valid winning ticket to claim a prize. If you haven’t bought a Lottery ticket or played a Lottery game, there’s no way you could win a prize.

To check if a lottery prize, offer, or promotion is legitimate, members of the public may contact the Lottery’s Player Relations Division at 844-887-6836, option 2, or via email at

Lottery prize scams surface from time-to-time and have been known to pop up around the holidays. The public should always remain vigilant.

Generally, there are two types of lottery prize scams:

  • A person gets a letter, email, text, or phone call to inform them that they’ve won a big lottery prize but must pay a fee to collect the prize. If the person agrees, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arranges a meeting to get the money in cash.
  • A person is contacted by mail, email, text, or phone call by someone claiming to be a lottery prize winner. The scam artist tells the person they will share their prize if the person sends money to them. If the person agrees, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arranges a meeting to get the money in cash.

In some cases, after getting money from the victim, the scam artist comes back asking for more for unexpected processing costs or fees or uses some other excuse to try to get more money from the victim.

Unfortunately, the more money the victim supplies, the longer the scam will continue.

If you believe you have been the victim of such a scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

Evart Police: Weekly Blotter (11/27 - 12/3)

Monday, November 27

  • Nothing reported.

Tuesday, November 28

  • Trespass – Officers were called to a business regarding a subject they wanted trespassed from the property.
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct – Officers received a referral from CPS regarding a possible criminal sexual conduct incident. The case remains open at this time.
  • Larceny – Officers received a larceny of a cell phone complaint. The case remains open at this time.
  • Breaking and Entering – Officers were dispatched to a possible breaking and entering complaint. Nobody was found on the property and there was no evidence that someone entered the residence.
  • Fraud – Offices were dispatched to a residence for a possible fraud complaint. The case remains open at this time.

Wednesday, November 29

  • Nothing reported.

Thursday, November 30

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched to investigate a two vehicle property damage accident.

  • Mental – Officers were dispatched to a well-being check.  Officers spoke with the subject and they did not require any services.

Friday, December 1

  • Nothing reported.

Saturday, December 2

  • Nothing reported.

Sunday, December 3

  • Property Damage Accident – Officers were dispatched to investigate a two vehicle property damage accident.

  • Threats – Officers were dispatched to a threats complaint. While investigating the complaint a subject was found to have multiple warrants for their arrest. The subject was arrested on the warrants and lodged without incident. 

Reed City Police: Weekly Blotter (11/27 - 12/3)

Monday, November 27

  • An officer received reports of suspicious events happening at a residence including a decorative fence around a garden area being knocked down.
  • An officer received a report of an abandoned wheelchair. Prior to the officer’s arrival the owner picked it up.
  • An officer is investigating a case that was referred to by CPS. Following the initial investigation, a 25-year-old male has been arrested on an outstanding warrant for Child Abuse in the 2nd Degree. The investigation is still open and additional charges are possible.
  • An officer arrested a 30-year-old male on multiple warrants.
  • An officer arrested a 33-year-old male on an outstanding warrant. He was lodged at the Osceola County Jail.

Tuesday, November 28

  • Nothing reported.

Wednesday, November 29

  • An officer took reports of a 31-year-old male violating his probation. The matter was forwarded to his probation officer.
  • An officer investigated reports of some suspicious events happening at an apartment. After investigating, the reports were unfounded.
  • An officer arrested a 24-year-old male on two outstanding warrants for failing to appear in court.
  • Officers were dispatched to a report of possible mistreatment of a child. The caller is known to have hallucinations due to mental health. The matter was unfounded.
  • An officer arrested a 32-year-old male on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court.
  • An officer investigated reports of possible child abuse. The case is still under investigation.

Thursday, November 30

  • Nothing reported.

Friday, December 1

  • An officer responded to a call about a business door left unlocked. The building was checked and secured
  • Officers took a report of malicious destruction of property.

Saturday, December 2

  • An officer assisted an individual that was having issues with the bank deposit machine.

  • An officer responded to a call, in reference to a threats complaint.

Sunday, December 3

  • An officer responded to a call to do a welfare check on a 40-year-old female. She was found to be ok.

  • An officer was dispatched for a civil standby while an ex-girlfriend exchanged property with her ex-boyfriend.

77-year-old female overturns car into swamp near Canadian Lakes

On Monday, Dec. 4 at 3:50 P.M., deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s office were dispatched to a one-vehicle accident on Buchanan Rd. near 130th Ave. in Austin TWP.

The investigation revealed that a 77-year-old female from Remus had went off the roadway, overturned her vehicle into a swamp, and was trapped until first responders removed her from the vehicle. 

The Remus women was then transported by Mecosta County EMS to the Big Rapids Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

Deputies were assisted on scene by Mecosta County EMS, Morton TWP Fire and Rescue, Meceola Central Dispatch, and Currie's Towing.  

National Cyber League team competition tests Ferris State Information Security and Intelligence students' skills

A team of 19 Ferris State University Information Security and Intelligence students posted strong results against hundreds of schools and competitor groups during the fall team event of the National Cyber League.

The virtual competition allows the ISI students to demonstrate their prowess as participants from a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

“There are often as many as 7,500 to 8,000 competitors in NCL events,” said Jerry Emerick, a professor of Information Security and Intelligence in the Ferris State College of Business. “Ferris is generally in the top five percent, nationally, with some of the best individual participants in the nation from time to time.”

A longtime advisor to ISI competitors, Emerick noted these students worked in teams of four and five, solving cybersecurity challenges in a “capture the flag”-style contest.

“This presents various challenges that test our team’s skills,” he said. “Generally, team members will work in groups of four or five physically together, virtually, or both while working through the NCL challenges. Student teams determine how to connect and organize their response with the best chance to succeed.”

Emerick said the Ferris State Information Security and Intelligence program’s stature and history, having been organized more than a decade ago, affords its NCL competitors some benefit in the league’s schedule of events.

“The team receives real-time information on its standing through a Cyber Skyline Live Score Report. There will also be a scouting report detailing our results in the team game,” Emerick said, noting Ferris completed the Spring 2023 NCL schedule and finished 22nd out of 451 teams nationally. In Fall 2022, the team placed 15th out of 470 competitors.

Senior Chris Fidell, from Brighton, wants to pursue a Master of Science in Information Security and Intelligence from Ferris State. He is currently in his first year of competition in NCL events and other competitions. Fidell said the recent team event was a great learning experience.

“I thought I would have some idea of the range of questions we would face. There were certainly some crushing elements in the competition,” Fidell said. “I had to go to ‘the gymnasium’ to get tools and resources on those exercises involving web exploitation because that is not my strong suit. I was pleased by my abilities to respond quickly and accurately in password cracking and cryptography.”

Fidell said this was an opportunity to apply what he had learned in the classroom while collaborating with his peers.

“These events show you what you do and do not know,” Fidell said. “I think it will be very valuable for my hopes to continue at Ferris in the graduate program and as a professional when previously unseen problems and scenarios arise.”

Monday's city commission meeting includes community organization updates, deer cull authorization, and police officer introductions

This opening Monday of December is slated for a large scale city commissioner's meeting.

Slated to begin at 6:30 P.M. at Big Rapids City Hall, the meeting is slated to host a pair of special orders, four different study sessions, and three points of general business.

For the special orders, new police officers Rachel Raschke and Luke Killingbeck will be introduced and welcomed.

In the community-related study sessions, the board will hear from four different groups and their leading representative for updates. These include:

  • Mecosta County Development Corporation with Kelly Wawsczyk
  • Redevelopment Ready Community with Michelle Stenger
  • Water Violations with Steve Cook
  • Commission Meeting Calendar with Karen Manoski

To round out the scheduled items, there will also be three resolutions managed within the general business section. These include:

  • Resolution appointing to the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission.
  • Resolution authorizing a deer cull.
  • Resolution approving a mutual aid agreement with Morton Township Fire and Rescue.

For more information on the meeting, visit

Bulldog Hockey splits series with St. Thomas after Saturday setback

The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team suffered a home Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) loss against St. Thomas Saturday (Dec. 2) in the Ewigleben Ice Arena.

After winning their first regulation game of the year Friday (Dec. 1), the Bulldogs (5-8-1) could not complete the sweep against St. Thomas Saturday. The Tommies took an early lead and held it throughout the entirety of the game, as they led for all 60 minutes.

Quinton Pepper began the scoring at 1:03 in the first period for St. Thomas. Later, at 3:31, Mack Byers scored his first goal of the night, and the Tommies extended their lead to 3-0 at 12:46 with a goal from Ryan O'Neill. Byers assisted on O'Neill's goal, and O'Neill assisted on Byers' tally.

Luke Manning started the second period with a power play goal at 1:05 and gave St. Thomas a 4-0 lead. FSU answered quickly with Antonio Venuto's 11th goal this season at 3:27. Luigi Benincasa collected his 10th helper and Travis Shoudy also assisted, his 12th of the year.

From that point on, it was all St. Thomas in the scoring column. Lucas Wahlin and Byers each had a power play goal in the second period, giving the Tommies a 6-1 lead going into the third period. O'Neill assisted on both goals.

Byers completed the hat trick at 4:44 of period three, with O'Neill and Wahlin assisting. That was the final goal for either squad, giving St. Thomas a 7-1 win.

Noah Giesbrecht started between the pipes for FSU, allowing five goals on nine shots faced through 25:43 of game action. Logan Stein came in for the remainder of play, making 23 saves on 25 shots. 

Jake Sibell earned a win for St. Thomas with a 33-of-34 performance. O'Neill finished with five points on four assists, Byers had four points on three goals and Wahlin also had four points with three assists.

Both teams had 34 shots in the contest. FSU went 0-4 on the power play and killed 3-6 power play chances for the Tommies. The Bulldogs committed eight penalties for 27 minutes in the loss. St. Thomas won the faceoff battle 36-31.

Ferris State will be back in action Friday, Dec. 8 against Bowling Green on the road. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. (ET) with pregame coverage beginning on Sunny 97.3 and at 6:30 p.m. (ET) from Ohio.

Section of US-131 closed near LeRoy due to accident late Sunday night

At 8:31 P.M. Sunday night, the Michigan Department of Transportation reported a section of freeway is closed following an accident on Northbound US-131 near LeRoy.

The crash was reported around 7:18 P.M. and occurred just after Exit 168 at 20 Mile Rd. No details were reported on the accident.

Crews shortly after the crash reported that the right lane was blocked, but further reports went on to say the freeway is closed completely. 

More details will be added when they are confirmed.

Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson Quote Sheet: 11/30/23


November 30, 2023

Opening Statement: “It was good to have a few days off and kind of hit that reset button and take a look at why the last two games have gone the way they have for us on offense and really, when you look at it, we’ve been able to move the ball, but clearly the turnovers are the issue, so our guys know it, we’re addressing it and we clean that area up, we’ll feel good about going into the next six games of the season. Been around a coach in the past that used to say the season really starts after Thanksgiving, so kind of feels that way here this year. It’s a good thing.”

On how much of the offensive line’s performance against the Packers he considers an anomaly: “I know our guys, they’re going to respond really well. It was not the best game upfront that we’ve had, really in the last year and a half it’d be on the bottom end of that. They know that. And really, it showed up I think more on critical situations, some of those fourth downs (Lions QB) Jared (Goff)’s getting hit, third downs, Jared’s getting hit and clearly, we don’t want any of that, so we’re going to clean that up upfront. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Green Bay. They had a great plan on a short week and they had a high intensity going into the game as well that we never really found our footing and got on a roll. So, credit goes to them on that and listen, great learning opportunity for us. We’ve got to have our best stuff each and every week.”

On if there is a benefit to having a tough game like the one against the Packers on Thanksgiving before the season begins to ramp up: “Yeah, I mean we’ve had – we’ve kind of gotten hit in the teeth a couple times this year, really since (Lions Head) Coach (Dan) Campbell took over. Even last year, we got hit in the teeth and our guys come back and they respond. End of the year last year, Carolina kind of took it to us and we ended up cleaning it up and Baltimore got after us a little bit and then we cleaned that up and then hopefully we can learn from the Green Bay experience and play cleaner football. I think that’s really what it comes down to. The guys are, for the most part, we’re handling the scheme and we’re playing fast, it’s just some of the little things, the execution part of it, the technique, has fallen off and that’s what we’ve got to get back on.”

On how much they will lock into playing their best football with the season ramping up going into December: “I think our guys understand we are in a unique opportunity. For the guys that have been here, or at least my time here, this is my fifth season, we haven’t had a record quite like this and an opportunity to seize whatever we want to seize here the second half of the season. And so, I think just keeping big perspective and where we’re headed and what we can potentially accomplish still this year. Had a setback the last few weeks with the Baltimore game and obviously Green Bay, but still big picture, we’re 8-3 and we can improve really quickly and play some good football here at the end.”

On how exciting it was to see Lions QB Hendon Hooker practice for the first time yesterday: “Yeah, he did great yesterday. He is – you can tell he’s fired up and he threw about a million passes, it seemed like, out there and ball’s coming off his hand, he’s spinning it. (Lions Quarterbacks) Coach (Mark) Brunell and (Lions Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) J.T. Barrett have done a heck of a job keeping him up-to-speed. It’s hard, particularly for younger players, to stay engaged when it’s just all mental work for as long as it’s been for him, but now that we can combine the physical to it and get him as many game-like reps as possible will really accelerate his learning from there.”

On how much of a benefit it is to have Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn on staff with the knowledge he has of the Saints defense from the time he spent on their defensive staff: “Yeah, and no question, he’s got some insight. We might see some things on tape and ask him, ‘Hey, what exactly is going on here?’ Because they have a lot of scheme. They play a lot of coverages, very good players in the front and on the backend, they’re about as aggressive as a backend as we’ve seen. They’re going to get up, they’re going to challenge us. Our receivers have got to – they’re going to have to buckle up and be ready to go this week, probably more so than what we’ve seen so far this year. So, AG’s been really good in kind of creating a little clarity for us and then when AG first got here, very similar schematics and so the guys that were here that first year, and some of last year, kind of – they really know, they really know what that style of defense is about. So, I do think the veteran guys in the group, they won’t be surprised by the physical style of play that this defense has.”

On if the flea flicker in the game against the Packers was not successful because they had less time to prepare for intricate plays like that one during a short week: “Yeah, we all love flea flickers, right? That’s right, no, listen, we saw something on tape that made us believe that we could take advantage of potentially getting a flea flicker. It’s a rare opportunity that you would ever see something like that. You listen to the TV copy, the entire defense is yelling draw, draw, draw and so we were getting the sell that we were looking for. But no, the execution was not what we want and just like you said, that is the danger on a short week not ever getting anything full speed of the execution being a little bit off and when you are as multiple as we are, that’s why the full-speed reps in practice are so critical because – and it really happened the first time we played Green Bay that first Thursday night game. Short week again and we had a couple plays that we were just a little bit off and I remember us as a coaching staff saying, ‘Golly, if we would have gotten a full speed, we maybe would’ve been able to clean it up and they would’ve been good plays for us.’ And so you’re always trying to do that balancing act on a short week of, hey we’ve got to have enough to attack them, but at the same time, we’ve still got to execute at a high level. So, that one we fell short.”

On if Lions WR Jameson Williams’s performance against the Packers is another step up for him in improving his game: “He’s getting better every week. You see it and because of that, the way he’s practicing, the way he’s preparing and the way he’s playing, because of that, his reps are going up. And so, he continues to get out there and the ball’s going to just start gravitating to him just a little bit more than it already has. But he’s doing a really nice job and he just needs to continue to put in the work like he’s doing right now and good things will happen.”

On how much Saints RB Jamaal Williams meant to the offense when he was in Detroit the last two seasons: “Yeah, each year’s a little bit different in terms of the vocal leaders on the team. Last year, he was certainly more on that side of things. I’m sure he’s doing that for them down in New Orleans. He’s a heck of a guy, heck of a player and what happens is when – the nature of the business is we move on year-to-year, the team never stays the same and so he leaves, someone else will step up and so we’ve got some young guys, like (Lions T) Penei Sewell’s becoming a more vocal leader for us here on offense. And we’ve got guys along in each position group that are really trying to take charge in that way.”

On how he personally thinks Lions QB Jared Goff has been taking his turnovers the last two games: “It’s really everything for him because he touches the ball every play, so he knows he has to take care of it. It’s one of the first things we do every springtime with him is we go through the uncomfortable act of watching the turnover, the bad play cut up, sacks, fumbles, interceptions, why did they happen? How can we learn from it so it doesn’t happen again? And listen, the ones that we’ve had over the last two weeks are not entirely his fault. Some of those interceptions, that’s the cost of doing business. We’re trying to throw a slant route and (Lions TE Sam) LaPorta gets knocked off his route and this corner’s there to make the play, so those are ones that we can live with and we can handle. And our defense has done a heck of a job. We put them in some tough spots the last two weeks and they’ve really played good football considering the sudden change, as many of them as they’ve been put in. But the ones that we can clean up, and I think (Lions Head) Coach (Dan Campbell) already talked about it, is we’re crossing the line of scrimmage, that ball’s got to be tucked away. We’re not thinking about holding onto it or throwing it anymore, so we’ve got to tuck it away. Jared knows that, we’ll clean that up and we’ll be good to go from there. There are a couple plays last week where he’s holding onto the ball longer than we wanted to. And that’s – they had a good defense compared to our call as well, so that’s on me also trying to help him, so that number one gets open a little more him and so it all plays a part. We all have a hand in it, but he’s certainly taken ownership of it and we’ll see some dividends paid here soon.”

On how difficult it is for a play caller when turnovers happen on third and fourth down when they have a script they wanted to complete: “I mean, it’s – it doesn’t allow us to get in a rhythm. There’s some things we want to establish early in games, and that varies week-to-week that last couple weeks, we really haven’t been able to do and so it’s taken us a little while to get going. Fortunately, last week, our guys responded in a big way out of halftime, that was our best series coming out of halftime all year, and so hopefully we can continue that trend as well. But establishing that rhythm is really important to what we do on offense.”

On what they can learn from their first drive coming out of halftime against the Packers: “Yeah, it helps starting with two explosive plays. No, I don’t think there’s any magic in the plays, but our guys, they weren’t happy with how that first half went and so they came out with some good intensity there in the second half and got us going. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to withstand that for the course of the half and come away with the win.”

Huizenga, Kuster, Smucker introduce bipartisan legislation to strengthen adoption process, protect children

Today, Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH), and Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), introduced the bipartisan Protecting All Parents and Adoptees (PAPA) Act. The legislation strengthens the adoption process for birth mothers, adoptive families, and children by establishing a National Responsible Father Registry to increase coordination between states and involved parties throughout the adoption process.

“I am proud to team up with Rep. Kuster and Rep. Smucker to remove barriers from the adoption process and connect children with a safe, loving, forever home,” said Congressman Huizenga.  “This bipartisan legislation takes important steps to respect both privacy and parental rights while protecting victims of domestic violence.”  

“Every child deserves a loving, caring home,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “As an adoption attorney for 25 years, I saw firsthand the need to develop a comprehensive, National Responsible Father Registry to protect the rights of all parents while facilitating a reliable, efficient adoption process. The adoption process is emotional for everyone involved — I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to improve coordination between states to protect the rights and dignity of parents, adoptive families, and children.”

“Children flourish in strong and loving families. I am pleased to join Reps. Kuster and Huizenga in introducing this legislation to strengthen the adoption process by increasing cooperation among the states by establishing a National Responsible Father Registry,” said Congressman Smucker.

“This bipartisan legislation is a commitment to ensure the rights of all parties to an adoption proceeding are protected,” said Ryan Hanlon, the President and CEO of National Council For Adoption. “By connecting existing state registries, we will expand the opportunities for timely notifications so that birth parents are informed of legal proceedings and those that wish can assert parental rights.”

Currently, 37 states have registries that allow potential fathers to seek notification of an adoption proceeding, but there is no system to notify them if the proceeding occurs across state lines. This can result in delays and potential disruptions that prevent children from establishing permanent homes.

Specifically, the PAPA Act would link state father registries, creating a comprehensive national resource that would:

  • Take the burden off of women to identify potential fathers, protecting a woman’s privacy, especially in cases of rape or domestic violence;
  • Empower fathers and protect their parental rights by enabling them to register in one state to obtain notice of a proceeding in a different state; and
  • Enable children to find a permanent home as quickly as possible.

Ferris State University PGA Golf Management Program partners with Golf Links Detroit to introduce Detroit students to golf careers while gaining a quality university education

Ferris State University is partnering with Golf Links Detroit, a non-profit organization, to develop a program introducing Detroit students to sports careers, providing opportunities for entrepreneurship and introducing the golf industry to a more diverse audience.

The Ben Davis Scholars program, connecting students with Ferris State’s PGA Golf Management program, will be a first-of-its-kind effort to recruit and prepare Detroit public high school students for careers in PGA professional golf management and golf course turf management.

“We are excited about this partnership with Golf Links Detroit, especially given the focus of increasing the pool of diverse professionals in this beloved sport,” Ferris State President Bill Pink said. “This partnership with Golf Links Detroit will not only introduce Detroit students to a sport, but also to a wide variety of rewarding careers within the golf industry.”

Joe Hatch, Ferris State’s PGA Golf Management director, said the partnership is intended to spur career and economic growth for Detroit youth, boost minority leadership at metro Detroit’s golf facilities, and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in America’s golf industry.

Hatch said there are nearly 900 public and private golf courses in Michigan, creating about 57,000 jobs and generating $1.4 billion in wages.

However, the industry lags in participation from women and people of color. Of the more than 18,000 members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, less than 2 percent are women, and 0.2 percent identified as Black.

Ferris State’s PGA Professional Golf Management program was the first in the nation when it started nearly 50 years ago and prepares students for a variety of careers in the golf profession through specialized marketing courses and hands-on, golf-related workshops, through the endorsement of the PGA, and an internship allowing students to obtain advanced credit toward PGA membership.

Golf Links Detroit, established as a 501c3 organization in 2006, is committed to supporting Detroit students by providing advocacy through golf-centered recreation, education, and workforce development programs.

“Detroit students don’t often have access to opportunities and experiences that can provide a pipeline to new, non-traditional careers,” said Paul Avsharian, Golf Links Detroit founder and president. “Introducing Detroit students to golf has been one of our missions. This partnership will allow us to take that to the next level, creating a new pathway to higher education that can transform lives.”

The Golf Links Detroit team has experience teaching in Detroit public schools, recruiting and preparing minority students for college, and designing programs for K-12 students.

Avsharian credits Dave Kendall, owner and operator of the Washtenaw Golf Club, as a driving force in spreading the game and opportunities to Detroit youth. Kendall was one of the first Ferris State PGA Professional Golf Course Management program graduates.

The Ben Davis Scholars program is named after Erellon Ben Davis, a golf instructor who influenced generations of metro Detroit residents as the first African American professional golf instructor at a municipal golf facility, Detroit’s Rackham Golf Course. He was the first Black member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and was inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame in 2012.

Ferris State’s PGA Golf Management Program is part of the Ferris State College of Business. It has graduated more than 2,000 students since launching in 1975, with nearly 1,160 graduates still active PGA members.

“The College of Business prepares students to be leaders and innovators in a variety of industries,” Dean Logan Jones said. “We’re proud to have the first PGM program, but even prouder of the people who have graduated from the program and continue to make a difference in the industry and their communities.” 

The program includes preparation in golf shop operation, golf course maintenance, public relations, teaching skills, golf rules, custom club repair and fitting, and organizing and conducting golf events. The curriculum is recommended and endorsed by the PGA.

Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn Quote Sheet: 11/30/23


November 30, 2023

Opening Statement: “It’s been about two weeks since I’ve addressed you guys. Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving also because I sure did. Man, we’re 8-3. Going to play a really good team, a team that I know well. A lot of the same players are still there. Some new players, obviously, going on three years. I know this head coach really well, I know that coaching staff really well. And man, I am looking forward to the challenge of playing this team, I really am. And this will be a good one.”

On the challenges a defensive coordinator faces when competing against a dynamic player like Saints QB Taysom Hill and his dominance in the red zone: “Here’s the thing about Taysom, and I want to just talk about him as a person, first off, he’s a really, really good person. He’s a God-fearing man. He’s a family man. He’s a player that’s tough, he’s competitive, he’s faster than what some people think. He’s built different than what some people think because he’s a thicker-bodied player and he has – he’s found a niche in this League where he can excel and I’m not just talking about on offense, on special teams also, because that was his first niche when I was there. But defending him, you really just don’t know where he’s going to line up a good amount of times, so you always have to be on cue on that. And we have certain defense that we’re going to play depending on where he’s at. And we’ve got to be on top of that. We’ve got to be on top of that from a personnel standpoint and then we have to be on top of it of where he’s at, as far as what position he’s going to be at, that standpoint. So it can be difficult, but I think our guys will be ready for it.”

On where he sees the defense right now and where he thinks they need to close the gap to finish the regular season out strong: “It’s funny you say that because that’s what we’ve talked about starting last week because I’ll tell guys, just from my time of playing, people remember what you do in November and December and you want to be peaking at that point. And when we look at – and that’s one of the first conversations we had last week, and when you look at last week, man there were a lot of things that doesn’t really show up statistically, but man when you look at it as a defense, there are some really good things that the guys did. Scoreboard wasn’t it, because we lost. But when you go out there and you have two turnovers and you get a ball back, you have some fourth-down stops and you get the ball back, I mean those are things that our guys have to look at and be like, ‘You know what? We took the field.’ And our motto is man listen, that’s more TV time for us any time we take the field. And man, those are the positives that I try to make sure I talk about with our guys, so we can start looking at the fact that we want to start trending, so was everything great? No, it wasn’t. And we have some things we have to work on, we all know that. So each week, I mean that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make sure we’re trending in this direction. That’s in the run game, that’s in the pass game, that’s with our pass rush, that’s taking the ball away also. So those are some things that we have to make sure we do.”

On how the communication and leadership shifts on defense with Lions LB Alex Anzalone potentially out this Sunday: “Well, that’s the reason we got (Lions LB) Jack (Campbell). He’s a true MIKE backer. And he has to be the one that makes all those checks and he’s capable of doing that. Smart, heady guy that’s tough. He’s built for these moments. I’m looking forward for him to be the actual mouthpiece of the defense going into this game.”

On the value Saints RB Jamaal Williams brought to the defense off the field when he was on the team the last two seasons: “Well, we all know he has a different personality. We all know that, in a good way, in a good way. And he’s actually brought that – just from some of the guys I know, that he’s brought that personality there because he’s not going to change who he is. But here’s what we do know about him as a player, he’s tough, he’s competitive. Anywhere when it’s short yardage at goal line, man we have to be on top of it because he’s superb in those situations, so. And our guys know that from being here. The new guys are just finding that out just watching tape of him. And I know he’s going to be juiced up, just like I’m going to be juiced up, just like (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell)’s going to be juiced up. I mean he played here for a couple years and he wants to kick our ass just like we want to kick theirs. So, this will be a fun game for us to play against him and for me and Dan to go back to where we were, we were there for like five years, so looking forward to it.”

On how to unlock pressures from other edge defenders in a slump when Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson is blocked: “You know what? That’s one thing, as coaches, that we’ve got to continue to try to figure out on – and I guess I can’t figure out, keep coaching our guys on how do we generate these pressures, especially the way teams are playing us now. Because teams now, they’re blocking everything up because they know that Aidan’s a guy, so they’re putting two guys on him. And usually with the other guys, when you watch the tape, they have guys maxed out. And a guy, whoever’s in one-on-one, that guy has got to be able to win. And that’s us, as coaches, continuing to teach these guys how to make sure you always get on edges in those situations. It’s not the easiest thing, but man we are coaching our ass off to try to get those guys to be able to do that and I think the guys are trying their butts off, we just have to continue emphasizing those things. I think – going into last week, I think (Lions DL Josh) Paschal did some pretty good things as far as getting on the edges, so we’ve got to continue to work with that player in that situation.”

On if they are focusing on improvement in the red zone going against a proficient red zone team like the Saints: “Absolutely, and that’s a situation where there’s really a lot of one-on-one situations where you’ve got to win because there’s not a lot of space and you can’t really just play zone, so you have to really match up with guys. And we’ve got to understand where our help’s at also, alright. So that goes in with the players just executing and that’s us making sure we put those guys in the right positions, so any time you’re in the red zone, it is basically one-on-one. We know the ball’s coming out quick, or you’ve got to hunker down because the best teams that happen in the red zone are the teams that can run the ball, so we know we have to be better in that area.”

On how the quarterback pressures Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson produces in games can turn into sacks: “Well, that’s just finishing, that’s just finishing and I think sometimes people put so much into sacks that they get away from understanding that this player is affecting the quarterback at a pretty high rate for us. We just have to get everybody else to be able to affect the quarterback just as much as he is, alright. And I think once that happens, the sack totals will come up. And we’ve been in situations where, man sacks have come in bunches for us and that happened all last year. Even this year it’s been in that situation. Man, we’ve just got to try to unlock that, as you say, not with just him, but with the other guys too. That’s really the focal point, to be honest with you. Everybody knows what Hutch can do. It’s just getting all of our other guys. And even our second-level rushers to be able to create some pressure like that. And last week, man we actually blitzed quite a bit and we have to. I mean, that’s just who we are. You all say cut me open, I mean I like to be in man coverage in blitz. But man, I think our guys do a really good job being able to play zone then being able to play man, because that’s who we are as a defense.”

On if there is a need for tighter coverage to give the defenders up front a better opportunity to produce stops: “Man, that’s always the plan when you’re playing against a team that’s getting the ball out quick because the rusher is not going to get there. So now, when you’re in man coverage, you’ve got to win those one-on-one battles. And that’s what happens with any team that tries to get the ball out quick like that.”

On how much he has heard Lions LB Jack Campbell’s voice grow as a leader: “Here’s what I will tell you, when we’re in meetings, and sometimes I tell (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone) don’t say anything because it’s easier for him for the most part, the next voice that you’re going to hear is Jack and that’s encouraging because what he does in the meeting actually translates to what he’s going to do on the field. And he understands this defense like the back of his hands now. Just the fact of him knowing that he’s the guy, he's the mouth, but he’s a guy that the whole defense is looking at to make sure we get into the right checks. And for him to have this opportunity right now, man I think it’s outstanding.”

On what they have to do to be more efficient at the start of games to eliminate touchdowns on opening drives: “Just play better, play better. I think everybody would say that.”

On what he has seen from Lions DL Josh Paschal in games and practices that shows his growth and where he can improve: “Exactly what you saw in that game film. The thing now is, man he has to take it to another level. I mean, we drafted this player in the second round and he’s had glimpses of what you saw that last game. Now, man, it’s time to – the run game, man he’ll become a really, really good player as far as setting the edge and being able to do things like that. Now, we have to unlock the pass rush part of it to be able to transition from run, man to pass. And that’s when he’s busting his butt to be able to do that. Because that player, I mean that’s just who he is, and you guys have talked to him before, because that player, we need that player to be able to do that. Because besides (Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson) Hutch, (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mac, I mean Paschal has to be that guy, because he has that ability.”

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