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Andi in the Afternoon
Big Rapids Daily News

Bill and Sylvia Edwards understand medical facilities are on a collision course with a surge of COVID-19 patients—and masks are in short supply.

The co-owners of Scott’s Body Shop in Rogers Heights and Car Center (3 locations in West Michigan) donated 13 boxes of N-95 masks, totaling 260 masks, to Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Tuesday.


“We’re so grateful for the medical professionals who are on the front lines caring for our community,” Sylvia said. “It is our pleasure to donate a supply of masks to help them during this trying time.”

Bill said they were able to cull masks from their inventory across their four locations to make the donation.
“We’re just happy to help,” he said. “Everybody has to do what they can to help us all through these challenging times.”


Their donation follows a similar donation by Ferris State University’s Birkam Health Center last week when it donated more than 1,000 masks, gloves and other equipment.

“We’re so very thankful for these donations,” said Beth Langenburg, Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital Chief Operating Officer. “We know the COVID-19 fight is going to be a long one and having supplies like these will help keep our caregivers safe.”


Michigan is changing how it’s letting residents sign up for unemployment benefits, in an effort to help the bogged-down system.


It’s telling out-of-work Michiganders to sign up on certain days based on their last names.


Online, those with last names beginning with letters A through L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays, while everyone else should use Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays. Saturdays will be for those who could not file during their allotted window.


For those CALLING in, last names A through L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays while everyone else should call on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All calls should be made between 8am and 5pm. Fridays will be for those who could not file during their allotted window.


State health officials say the number of positive coronavirus cases in Michigan has jumped again.


The latest total is 5,486 statewide, 836 in the last day. 


There are now 132 deaths linked to the virus. The average age of COVID-19 death is 64.4 year old old, according to state data. 


Most of the cases continue to be in Detroit who reports almost 1,100 cases -- while the tri-county area of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties combines for almost 2,000 of the state's COVID-19 cases. 


Locally, Mecosta County has had only one case of COVID-19 and one death linked to the virus. In Osceola County, state officials confirmed a second case of coronavirus on Sunday. 


Spectrum Health is closing all walk-in clinics in West Michigan and encouraging people to connect virtually with a provider.

The clinics will be temporarily closing effective immediately until further notice.

Spectrum Health offers alternatives for accessing health care for non-life-threatening emergencies. People
experiencing emergencies should call 911 immediately.

To limit unnecessary exposure to COVID-19, Spectrum Health has enabled our primary care and most of
our specialty care medical teams to see patients through a virtual visit. For needs requiring a face-to-face
visit, there are locations available and open to patients, including urgent care sites and labs. Care options
are available to all patients. 

To learn more about current options, including examples of where to seek treatment based on specific
conditions and how to schedule an appointment, visit
For more information and to stay current on Spectrum Health COVID-19, please visit

COVID-19 SCREENING: Spectrum Health’s phone and virtual screening options can help those who have
symptoms and may be concerned they have the virus. The purpose is to prevent the spread of illness by
enabling people to seek the information they need from their homes, while making it easy and convenient
for them. Spectrum Health advises people to take the following steps from their home. (A screening is not a


READY: Visit to stay informed and review free screening options.


CONNECT: For people in the state of Michigan and experiencing symptoms, get screened by calling Spectrum Health’s hotline at 833.559.0659 or by using Spectrum Health’s virtual chat found on


GO: Spectrum Health providers will determine if a person needs further evaluation and, if so, provide instructions for specimen collection.


District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) received notification of the first local death attributed to COVID-19. The individual from Mecosta County was an 82-year-old male who was admitted to Spectrum Health in Big Rapids on March 25.


“We wish to express our heartfelt sympathies to the family who lost their loved one,” said Kevin Hughes, DHD#10 Health Officer. “COVID-19 continues to pose a serious threat to our community members and we must all continue to follow all executive orders to help bring this deadly virus to a halt.”


DHD#10 reminds everyone that it is critical that we protect each other, support each other, and work together to slow the spread of this disease. Strong community mitigation and prevention measures are already in place, and we urge residents to continue to follow recommendations:


  • Stay at home. Do not leave home except for essential tasks such as getting groceries or seeking medical care.
  • If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid any gatherings.
  • Wash your hands often and well, especially after being away from home, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Do not touch your face or mouth, especially when away from home.
  • Check on others. Call your loved ones and neighbors who are most at risk and see how they are doing. If they require something essential, see how you can help.

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state, we should assume that it is present in every community. While testing is ongoing, the state is requiring clinicians to follow new CDC guidance for prioritizing tests due to limits on testing supplies.


Please rely on official sources for information. DHD#10 continues to provide the latest information at Michigan updates are available at, and national updates are at


Sunday 3/15 …
Officers were dispatch to the residence of an elderly man who believed someone was in his house. The responding
Officer, aware of the man’s prior complaints and history of dementia, searched the home and confirmed no one was
inside. The Officer then made contact with family members to report this situation.

Officers issued a verbal warning regarding furniture being left by the curb. The homeowner informed the Officer it
would be removed immediately.

Officers were dispatched to assist the Osceola County Sheriff Department on a domestic in progress. The RC Officer
cleared once his assistance was no longer needed.

Monday 3/16 …
Officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation, as an apartment maintenance worker suspected someone inside a
vacant apartment. The Officer performed a security check and found the apartment to be empty.
Officers performed traffic control as a disabled vehicle was removed from S. Chestnut St.

Tuesday 3/17 …
Officers received a report of a small child running across the street, not dressed for the weather. Upon arrival the area
was patrolled, and the child was not located.

Officers were dispatched to an apartment complex regarding a loud argument and possible domestic situation.
Officers arrived to find the 39-year-old male involved sitting in the hall way who became uncooperative. He was
found to be in violation of his probation and arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer. He was
transported to the Osceola County Jail where he was lodged without incident.

Wednesday 3/18 …
Officers received a complaint regarding a neighbor cleaning up tree branches and tossing them over onto the
complainant’s property. Officers spoke with the home owner who reported the person who was cleaning up her yard
was unaware it was not her property and stated she would have them removed.

Officers were dispatched to assist in locating a female who had placed a 911 call after having a seizure and reported
not knowing where she was. The on duty officer knew where the complainant had recently moved too and escorted
EMS to her residence.

Thursday 3/19 …
Officers were dispatched to an apartment regarding a possible domestic assault. Officers spoke with the female in the
apartment who reported having an argument with two males who previously left. She reported it was not physical and
did not expect either of the two to return.

Friday 3/20 …
Officers received a complainant from a retail business regarding illegal dumping of trash in and around their
dumpsters. The manager stated that the dumping had been going on for a while, but just recently was able to identify a
possible suspect. The Officer made contact with the suspect who denied using the dumpster. This matter has been
turned over to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for review.




20-450 @ 11:54am Assist to FSUDPS in the 1500 block of Knollview.


20-451 @ 9:24pm Found bike 600blk Linden.  Schwinn Mesa mountain bike.  




20-452 – Assault between juveniles at Hemlock Park. No injuries.


20-453 @ 10:45pm Suspicious 100 blk of Second Ave  An unknown vehicle kept circling the block.  GOA




20-458 @ 7:41pm B&E in the 800 block of N Fourth  Sometime between 2300 on 3/22/20 to the time of call unknown suspect entered the the house.  The popped a screen off the west window; then broke another window.  The suspect(s) broke into one of the bedrooms.  Nothing missing at this time.  Investigation continues.


20-457 @ 6:41pm 900 block of Mechaniac Called in as a stolen cell phone.  The phone was lost out behind the house and it was recovered.



20-456 – Assist FSU at City Lot 4 with search for property. Cellphone was recovered for previous case.


20-455 – Assault in the 100 block of N Michigan Ave.  A 46 year old female assaulted a 19 year old female. Charges will be sought.


20-454 – Civil in the 200 block of Escott Ave. 




Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a "shelter-in-place" order due to the Coronavirus in the state of Michigan during an 11am press conference. 


The executive order is in place starting at 12:01 AM. on Tuesday and will be in place for at least three weeks.


Under the order, residents will be allowed to leave their homes under very limited circumstances, and must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The order prohibits businesses from requiring workers leave their homes unless the workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more.


The order also prohibits all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single home.




Detectives with the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office are investigating a home invasion in Chippewa Township where the suspects stole nearly $40,000 worth of items.


Deputies say it happened at a seasonal residence on Miramichi Dr.


The suspects stole over $40,000 of property from the residence.  


 The suspects Stole a bass boat, two four-wheeler, a zero turn lawnmower, ammunition, 3 guns and multiple other personal items.  


Osceola County has investigated three similar B&E to seasonal residence in this area.  


Please contact the Mecosta County Sheriff Office if you have an information on this complaint. 


A 20-year old Barryton man is recovering from falling off a dirt bike in Mecosta County Thursday evening.


Deputies say they were called to a residential property around 5pm, when they arrived they found the man was unconscious and suffered injuries from the accident. 


He was taken to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids for serious injuries.


Meijer announced today it is adjusting its store hours for the foreseeable future to allow more time for team members to deep clean and restock its stores, as well as dedicated hours for senior citizens, customers with chronic health conditions, essential service workers and its team members.


New store hours are as follows:

  • Meijer stores will close overnight at 10 p.m. local time, beginning Friday, March 20, and will open each morning at 8 a.m. local time.
  • Meijer Express convenience store locations will close overnight at 10 p.m. and open each morning at 8 a.m.; pay-at-the-pump fuel sales will remain available 24 hours a day.
  • Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for senior citizens and customers with chronic health conditions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.
  • Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for essential service workers and Meijer team members on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.

“These are unprecedented times that require appropriate action to ensure we are supporting the communities where our customers and team members work and live,” said Rick Keyes, Meijer President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our adjusted store hours will ensure all of our customers have access to the products they need in the cleanest shopping environment possible.”


Essential service workers include all medical workers, first responders and law enforcement. Meijer is asking its customers and the public to please respect the times for these important groups.


“As we continue to evaluate the store hours that will best serve all our customers, it’s more important than ever for us to work together for the greater good of our communities,” Keyes said. “All of us at Meijer are proud to serve our customers and we will continue to work through these challenging times together.”


Michigan's Attorney General has sent a cease and desist notice to Menards following complaints of price gouging related to the coronavirus outbreak.


Dana Nessel's office says it received 18 complaints over the prices of face masks, bleach and other products.


The AG's office says investigators found that Menards appears to be -quote- "exploiting public fear" about coronavirus, allegedly doubling the price of cleaning products, and tying other offers to rebates.


The company has ten days to respond to Nessel's letter before any possible legal action.




20-410-400 block of W Bridge for a suspicious.  


20-411-FB messenger threats from female in Detroit.  Under investigation.


20-412-Juvenile complaint in the 300 block of S Stewart.


20-416 @ 0135 Domestic called in by ER.  Female was assaulted in the 600 block of Bjornson D-6, by her boyfriend.  The 39 year old boyfriend was later located and arrested for the domestic. 




20-418-Larceny of tools in the 300 block of Ives.  Tools recovered from pawn shop and returned to owner.  Suspect, a 47 year old male has been identified.  Under investigation.  


20-419-Harassment in the 1200 block of Perry.  Waitress reported being harassed recently by a customer.  Under investigation.


20-420 Civil. Juveniles sending threats to each other over Instagram. Parties are in Big Rapids, Newaygo Co and Louisiana.




20-422 – Disorderly in the 300 block of S Third.  Multiple people who were intoxicated. Will be submitting for disorderly on three subjects.


20-424 @ 2200 800 block of Bjornson.  Assist to MCSO.


A call about a suspisous vehicle lead police to an arrest and discovery of drugs in Osceola County. 


It happened on Tuesday, Michigan State Police say they responded to a suspicious vehicle on 20 Mile Road near 110th Avenue in Highland Township.

The initial on-scene investigation revealed the operator and a passenger had run out of gas.


The 34- year-old male passenger from the Cadillac area was found to have several outstanding warrants for his arrest.


The subject was taken into custody on the warrants.


A search of the subject and vehicle revealed suspected methamphetamine and fentanyl.


The male subject was lodged at the Osceola County Jail pending arraignment.


A man has been arrested and arraigned in Osceola County in connection to sex crimes against a child. 


Michigan State Police say 30-year old Adam Exavier Moon has been charged with seven counts of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct against a minor in Osceola County. 


Troopers began an investigation on Moon back in January when allegations against him were first made. During the course of the investigation multiple victims were identified and additional felony charges are pending review by the Osceola County Prosecutor’s Office.


He is currently being held at the Osceola County Jail.


As a number of Michigan colleges and universities transition from face to face classes to online courses amid the confirmed test results of two people with the coronavirus or (COVID-19), Ferris State University says it will switch to online courses at all campus locations including the Kendall College at and design for at least a week beginning Monday, March 16th. 


Ferris State President David Eisler issued a statement that reads as follows: 


As we continue to actively monitor the evolving global epidemic associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), your health is our number one priority. While there are no confirmed cases in our area, two cases were confirmed in Michigan last evening and the Governor has declared a state of emergency. In this rapidly changing environment there are several important updates to share with you.


Beginning Monday, March 16, all face-to-face classes at all Ferris State University campus locations, including Kendall College of Art and Design, are being suspended and replaced with a remote learning delivery method. Initially this will continue through March 27 and may be extended if necessary. All campuses will remain open during this period. Your academic department, academic advisor or faculty instructor will be in contact with you to explain how education will occur in your course during this period. If your course is transitioned to an online format and you do not have Internet access, or do not have access to a computer, we will work to assist you. All courses currently delivered online will continue as scheduled.


Along with the suspension of face-to-face classes, if you live in a residence hall in Big Rapids, we strongly encourage you to remain home during this time. However, residence halls and a condensed dining capability will be open after spring break if needed. If you are a student employee and were away during spring break, it is not necessary that you return to your campus employment at this time. If this causes a financial hardship for you, we will assist you. Please contact the Financial Aid office for assistance at (231) 591-2100.


All University-sponsored, international travel (including Canada) has been suspended until further notice. University-sponsored travel throughout the United States will occur only on a necessary and essential basis. We strongly encourage you to avoid personal travel to areas with documented COVID-19 cases.


To lessen the chance of introducing or spreading COVID-19, all University events of more than 100 attendees will be postponed or canceled. Where possible, we are encouraging organizers to conduct events through live streaming or other technologies.


While there are no campus-associated cases of COVID-19, we are being proactive in an effort to prevent the spread of illness on our campus. The disruptions to our normal, everyday operations will cause some challenges, but I believe the risk of not doing these actions far outweighs the temporary inconveniences this may cause. Your health and safety are always our top priority.


We continue to ask everyone to follow the CDC recommendations for preventive actions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For further information please check our website or contact the Dean of Student Life Joy Pulsifer at



David L. Eisler, president



No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within District Health Department #10’s (DHD#10) ten-county jurisdiction, but two cases are now confirmed in Michigan – one each in Wayne and Oakland counties. Both cases are hospitalized. Testing is ongoing: 15 individuals have tested negative in Washtenaw, and 57 in Michigan as of today. To date, DHD#10 has given three COVID-19 tests, all coming back negative for the virus. DHD#10 has monitored two people at medium risk for COVID-19 in our jurisdiction; one individual is past the 14-day monitoring period, and one individual is currently being monitored.


DHD#10 continues to recommend prevention strategies. Handwashing is critically important to reduce the spread of illness, as is staying away from others when sick and maintaining “social distancing.” Whenever possible in community settings or meetings, practice maintaining extra distance between people, up to 6 feet. We are not yet recommending widespread closures or cancellations. To date, there is no confirmation of a local case or possible community exposures within the DHD#10 jurisdiction. When or if this changes DHD#10 will issue additional recommendations or orders.


The situation locally may change quickly. DHD#10 and your local County Officials are relying on our communities to work together to slow the potential spread of illness and refer to official sources of reliable information.


Response Actions

DHD#10 is working with health care providers to test individuals as needed. Individuals with concerns or symptoms should call their health care provider first with questions. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Remember that these symptoms may also be caused by other viruses, such as flu. Additionally, an individual without symptoms is very unlikely to test positive, even with possible exposure.

DHD#10 continues to coordinate with federal, state, and local officials, as well as institutions, schools, and community organizations, to be ready for additional actions and communications should we have local cases.

We know this possibility of local cases may cause concern, and we are working to share timely, accurate information without causing unnecessary alarm.



There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is available in EnglishChinese, and Spanish.


  • Clean your hands often
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Call ahead before going to your healthcare provider. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands.


Clean and disinfect


  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • A list of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease) is available  from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This list includes many commonly used products.


Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask

If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.

If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.  View additional prevention steps from CDC for people at higher risk. Consult with your health care provider for more steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.


REMEMBER: Discrimination harms public health. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get coronavirus than anyone else.



This situation may change quickly. Refer to these sites for current information:



Michigan State Police believe alcohol played a factor in a rollover accident last night that sent a Mt. Pleasant man to the hospital with potential life threatening injuries.


It happened on on East River Rd. near Vroman Rd. in Isabella County’s Chippewa Township.


An investigation revealed a vehicle operated by a 40-year-old man from Mount Pleasant was traveling west bound on E. River Rd when he lost control of the vehicle and left the road.


The vehicle then rolled over multiple times, and the driver was ejected from the vehicle.


The driver was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, and alcohol is believed to be a factor in this crash.


The crash is remains under investigation.


The results are in.


Residents in the City of Big Rapids want recreational Marijuana dispensaries in their town.


64% of those who voted or 835 residents said “No” to not prohibit marijuana dispensaries within the city. 465 voted “yes” or against having the dispensaries.


Meanwhile, third time is a charm for the Chippewa Hills School District as residents approved the sinking fund millage proposal of 1.5 mills over the next ten years.


The millage will allow the school district to renovate and upgrade facilities, upgrade technology and improve security at the schools.


Chippewa Township residents voted to prohibit marijuana establishments in their area, 214-158.






This is Primary Election Day in Michigan. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. tonight.


Voters will decide on Democratic or Republican presidential candidates.


More than 200 school districts, cities and counties across the state have ballot proposals to be decided including here in Mecosta county where in the city of Big Rapids residents will revote on whether or not they want recreational marijuana dispensaries in their town.


In 2018, residents approved recreational cannabis dispensaries by nearly 66 percent margin.


The Chippewa Hills School District is again asking residents to approve a sinking fund millage proposal of 1.5 mills for their district to renovate and upgrade facilities update security and purchase new technology.


Finally, Chippewa Township is asking residents to enact a proposal to prohibit cannabis stores in their township.


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