Big Rapids Daily News

There was a small scare in the city of Evart Thursday evening as a gas leak shut down a part of the area.


It happened around 5pm, when the Evart Fire Department received a call that a construction crew hit a gas pipe at Hemlock Street and Fifth Street.


The crew was surveying the area to put in internet cables when they struck a two inch pipe.


Members of DTE Energy came on scene to shut off the pipe and assist the fire department.


The leak was under control within two hours of the initial call.


Congressman John Moolenaar has signed on as a cosponsor of the Gigabit Opportunity Act, which would create opportunity zones in low-income rural and urban areas that currently lack the federal minimum broadband service.


States would designate the opportunity zones in their state and tax incentives would be provided for the companies that build broadband Internet service in those area.


“Many rural communities in Michigan lack the infrastructure necessary to provide access to broadband service, making it more difficult for students to do homework and for seniors to access telemedicine,” said Moolenaar. “This new legislation complements my efforts to expand broadband access through the BOOST Act, and it would encourage providers to build more broadband infrastructure in our rural communities.”


The Gigabit Opportunity Act complements the BOOST Act, which Moolenaar introduced earlier this year.


The BOOST Act would allow rural homeowners and primary lessees to claim a $300 tax credit after purchasing a mobile hotspot they can use to connect to the Internet or a signal booster they can use to increase the speed of a slow connection. Both the BOOST Act and the Gigabit Opportunity Act apply only to areas where Internet connection speeds are below the federal minimum standard of service, which 25 megabytes per second for downloads and 3 megabytes per second for uploads.


A Stanwood man is recovering following a one vehicle crash in Mecosta County.


It happened Tuesday evening around 6:30pm, deputies say a 20-year old driver was traveling 11 Mile Rd near 215th Ave. when he ran off the road, struck a ditch, over-corrected then struck a tree and went down an embankment.


The Stanwood man was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries where he was treated and later released.



The manhunt for a man wanted for a murder near Mount Pleasant is over.


40-year-old Isaiah Gardenhire turned himself in early this morning after he had traveled to the Flint area in a stolen Ford Fusion.


He called a tv station there and said he wanted to turn himself in and police negotiated him to do that.


Gardenhire was wanted for a murder and sexual assault early Sunday morning in Union Township.


State Police say a juvenile female was stabbed and later died and a woman was sexually assaulted.


Michigan’s Attorney General is working to make sure a rate increase from DTE is reasonable.


Dana Nessel is urging the Michigan Public Service Commission to significantly cut a rate increase request from DTE. In February, the Attorney General intervened in the company’s filed rate case as an advocate for the utility’s natural gas customers across the state.


The company requested a $195 million increase, which would represent a greater than 11% increase for residential customers. Nessel filed testimony back on June 3 and argued the requested increase is unreasonable. She says any increase must remain moderate.


In Round 2 of the MHSAA District 35 Tournament last Saturday, Big Rapids took on the Flying G's of Gladwin at Chippewa Hills High School.


After surrendering 2 1st inning runs, Big Rapids rallied on a 2nd inning 2-run homerun by Sawyer Meeuewes to even it. Meeuewes was also pitching & locked the game down after the 1st until he ran out of pitches late.

(Meeuewes Pitching Line: 6.2IP   4 Hits   4 Runs   2 Earned Runs   3 Walks   12 Strikeouts)


After 2 straight singles to lead off the 4th, the Cardinals would take the lead on a clutch 2-out 2-RBI single by Sophomore Ben Knuth.


Up 4-2 heading into the 7th inning, Meeuewes only had 9 pitches of his 105 daily allotment remaining.

2 fielding errors put the tying runs on before Meeuews induced a fielder's choice for the 1st out. With only a few pitches remaining, Sawyer struck out Gladwin's Shea for the 2nd out.

Ballard, typically a starter, then came off 1st base to an intentional walk to load the bases. With 2 outs in the 7th on a 1-0 count Gladwin's Mead singled to right field on a sharp groundball that scored 2 runs, tying the game. Ballard would then quickly end the inning on only 3 more pitches.


In the bottom of the 7th, Senior Maurice Camphor led off with a 1-1 single to left. Grant Kidder then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Camphor to 2nd, but Eric Standen's line out to short and Austin Vennix's ground out would end the threat & send the game to extra innings.


In the bottom of the 8th, Gladwin's Przyewski drew a lead off walk, Woodford bunted him to 2nd, Yott walked, then on an 0-2 pitch leadoff man Mead reached out and poked a single to center to win it for the Flying G's.


Gladwin would move on to win the District blowing out Ludington 13-1 (that after Ludington blew out Chippewa Hills 14-4 earlier in the day). Gladwin moves on to play Bay City John Glenn at Chippewa Hills this Wednesday at 4:00pm.


Big Rapids finishes their season with a 22-15 record, a remarkable feat considering they played Rockford, Forest Hills Eastern, Petoskey, Whitehall, Cedar Springs, Sparta, & Traverse City West as non-conference opponents.

The 2021 Baseball team is the 1st team in school history to beat TC West.


The Michigan Republican Party has filed a complaint with the state over Governor Gretchen Whitmer's re-election campaign paying for her use of a private jet to visit her ailing father in Florida.


The law lets elected officials use political funds for incidental expenses incurred while carrying out government work.


Republican party leaders say the trip was personal and not for official business.


Democrats call the complaint "bogus." Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson could levy a fine if she finds a violation.



State Police are looking for a 40-year-old man, suspected in a sexual assault and homicide near Mount Pleasant in Union Township Sunday morning.


Police are looking for Isaiah " Zeke" Gardenhire, who's six foot one and weighs 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.


Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers. 


It's an attempt to get high-speed internet service to more families in Michigan.


Governor Whitmer announced that she is setting up the Michigan HighSpeed Internet Office to make the internet more affordable and accessible.


However, Michigan House Communications and Technology Committee Chair Michele Hoitenga criticized a high-speed internet directive – saying the proposals replicate failed practices from other states and are “press fluff opportunities” that lack an action plan.


Hoitenga called the plan duplicative as Whitmer already established the Connecting Michigan Taskforce in 2020.


The third-term legislator said another state-level broadband program is not needed when multiple thoughtful and effective grant programs have recently been enacted – the Connecting Michigan Communities Grant Program and the Broadband Expansion Act of Michigan, the latter of which was spearheaded by Hoitenga.


“We know what needs to be done to increase expansion efforts,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “We don’t need more new government committees or dedicated bodies to keep telling us the same information on what needs to happen. The governor should instead stop vetoing legislation that seeks to help broadband expansion efforts. “It’s important to prioritize broadband access. I have done so, but these plans are tone deaf and create additional issues. Gov. Whitmer announcing this initiative in Detroit – which already enjoys more broadband access than much of rural and northern Michigan – shows she’s missed the mark with her approach to this problem. The answer to every problem is not more government.”


The Big Rapids Dept. of Public Safety recently promoted two of their officers to new ranks.


Officers David Flore and William Sell were both promoted to the rank of Sergeant.


“I am proud to promote these two officers,” said Chief Danielle Haynes. “Sergeants Flore and Sell
represent our agency with integrity and professionalism. I am sure they will be excellent leaders for
their colleagues and this community.”

David Flore is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. David began his law
enforcement career in 2009 as a bike patrol officer for Cadillac PD. He also worked as a part-time officer
for Mundy Township in Genesee County. In 2010, Flore was hired as a full-time officer for Big Rapids
Police Department. In 2012, he received a Life Saving Award and has received multiple merit awards.
David has served on CMET and the Mecosta County Honor Guard. He is the department’s Radar
instructor, a Field Training Officer, and has taken an active role in the hiring process and revamping of
the field training process. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University.

William Sell is promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. William began his
law enforcement career in 2010 as a deputy for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in Sarasota, Florida.
There, he served on the department’s Honor Guard and as a Field Training Officer. In 2017, he received
a Life Saving Award and was nominated for Patrol Division Employee of the month. In 2018, he moved
to Big Rapids with his family and was hired by the Big Rapids Police Department. Since coming here,
William has served as a Field Training Officer and has taken an active role in helping create policy and
procedures for the department and helped to revamp the department’s evidence packaging and
handling procedures. He received his associate degree from Manatee Community College, in
Bradenton, Florida.



Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available, District Health Department #10 is bringing it to the community through off-site vaccine clinics. You do not need an appointment – just walk into any clinic to receive your vaccine. All clinics will have Pfizer for 12 and older and most will have Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for 18 and older. 


The following counties currently have off-site COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled: 


Wednesday, June 2, 2:00-7:00PM – Grayling Middle School Gymnasium, Grayling 


Wednesday, June 2, 11:00AM-3:00PM – Bread of Life Food Pantry, Baldwin 


Wednesday, June 9, 9:30AM-12:30PM – Manistee High School, Manistee 

Thursday, June 10, 3:00-6:00PM – Iron Fish Distillery, Thompsonville 



Wednesday, June 2, 2:00-6:00PM – Ludington High School, Ludington
Wednesday, June 9, 12:00-2:00PM – Caritas Food Pantry, Custer
Wednesday, June 23, 9:00AM-12:00PM – Mason County District Library, Ludington 


Wednesday, June 2, 2:30-6:30PM – Hesperia Community School Gym, Hesperia 

Wednesday, June 9 and June 30, 8:30-9:30AM – TrueNorth Food Distribution, Fremont 


Wednesday, June 2, 12:00-5:00PM – Pentwater Public School Cafeteria, Pentwater 

Monday, June 7, 1:00-6:00PM – Shelby High School, Shelby
Tuesday, June 22, July 13, and August 10, 4:00-7:00PM – New Era Farmer’s Market, New Era 


Wednesday, June 2, 10:00AM-1:00PM – Kirtland Terrace Apartments, Cadillac 

Thursday, June 3, 3:00-5:00PM – Cadillac United Methodist Church, Cadillac 

Monday, June 7, 3:00-6:00PM – Cadillac Jr. High School Cafeteria, Cadillac
Wednesday, June 9, 10:00AM-1:00PM – Harbor View Apartments, Cadillac
Friday, July 16, 5:00-7:00PM – Manton Truck Show, Downtown Manton 


More off-site vaccine clinics will be added and announced each week. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, go to To stay up to date on the latest information, sign up for Public Health Alerts at  


Legislation dealing with voter identification is headed to the full Michigan Senate.


The Senate Elections Committee voted 3-1 Wednesday afternoon on three bills that are part of an election reform package introduced by Senate Republicans earlier this year.


All of the bills approved yesterday deal with issuing provisional ballots to voters who don't have a photo ID.


Supporters say the legislation will make sure the individual voting is who they say they are.


Opponents say the bills call for voters to provide more documentation than is currently required by law


The Big Rapids Cardinal Baseball team opened their District Play at Chippewa Hills High School versus the Standish-Sterling Panthers last night.


Big Rapids used their dynamic duo of Seniors Keaton Ballard & Sawyer Meeuewes to keep the Panthers in check long enough to secure the Play-In victory.
Ballard got the win to move to 10-4 on the season while Meeuewes & his .469 ERA/.838 WHIP notched his first save.


To get the scoring started, Grant Kidder led off for the Cardinals with a triple before Senior Eric Standen knocked him in with an RBI groundout. An Austin Vennix walk, Keaton Ballard single, and Sawyer Meeuewes Sac Fly would tack on another 1st Inning run to give BR the early 2-0 lead.


No further runs would score for either side until the 4th when Big Rapids would load the bases with 1 out. Grant Kidder once again came through with a Suicide Squeeze to make it 3-0.


The Panthers responded in their next top half with a walk & 2 singles to knock Ballard off the mound. With Meeuewes pitching, Standish's Chase Raymond would loft a 1 out Sac Fly to right to make it 3-1.


Big Rapids returned the favor & some with 3 in the bottom of the 5th. The Cardinals started the inning with 3 straight hits: singles by Vennix & Ballard then an RBI double by Meeuewes.
1 batter later, Sophomore Ben Knuth would execute a gutty 2 strike suicide squeeze to score Ballard before Senior Xavier Prince put the nail in the coffin with a 2 out, 2 strike RBI single up the middle. 
When the 5th inning ended, Big Rapids held a commanding 6-2 lead.


Apart from a 2 out, 2 run double by the Panther's Barlett in the 6th to make it 6-4, Meeuewes would slam the door and secure the victory for Big Rapids.


"It was the best game they played all season" said Asst. Coach J.T. Scarpelli. "Every guy picked each other up & they won as a team. We're very proud of these guys. Now let's win a district Saturday."


The Cardinals move on to play the Gladwin Flying G's this Saturday at 10:00am.
All District 35 games are at Chippewa Hills High School.


A recent recall effort targeting Governor Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel will NOT move forward.


The Board of State Canvassers rejected two petitions Tuesday.


One was looking to recall the Governor. It says Whitmer continued a State of Emergency without legislative approval and despite a Michigan Supreme Court order.


The same person said the Attorney General should be recalled because a mid-Michigan barber's business license was suspended and a west Michigan restaurant owner was arrested for violating emergency orders.


Whitmer is not out of the woods just yet, six petitions moved forward after approval by the Board of State Canvassers, ruled by the Michigan Court of Appeals last week.


Whitmer’s campaign plans on appealing the decision from last week. 


Starting today, venues can set their own rules for things like weddings and other large gatherings.


It's all part of the new health orders taking effect today in Michigan.


There will also no longer be capacity limits outdoors or for residential gatherings. Indoor establishments can now be at 50-percent capacity.


The 11P.M. curfew for bars and restaurants has been lifted.


Masks are still required for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19


A Big Rapids woman died over the weekend following a vehicle crash in Big Rapids Township.


It happened on Saturday at 205th Ave near Arthur Rd, Mecosta County Sheriff Deputies say a 1998 Chevy Blazer was traveling northbound when the 56-year old female driver ran off the road, over corrected and rolled the vehicle several times.


The woman was pinned inside the vehicle, and she had to be extracted by emergency crews. She was flown by Aero-Med to a Grand Rapids Hospital with life threatening injuries.


The Big Rapids woman died a day later from injuries from the accident.



Clare County investigators are looking for the public's help in an attempted abduction investigation.


According to the investigators, two small children were at Harrison City Park Saturday afternoon when a man tried to take them.


The man is described as driving a newer style royal blue Dodge Ram, two-door extended cab pickup and is believed to be approximately 50 to 60 years old.


The vehicle was also seen at Wilson State Park around the same time.


Anyone with information should call Clare County authorities


A new requirement for those receiving unemployment goes into effect May 30.


It means the unemployed will have to show proof that they are actively seeking work while collecting.


Michigan’s 800,000 jobless residents will still receive a $300 weekly federal supplement, though all seven of the state’s Republican House members want Governor Whitmer to end those payments, which are on top of the $362 maximum weekly benefit.


For a second time, Kia is recalling more than 440,000 vehicles in the U.S. to fix a problem that can cause engine fires.


The recall covers certain Optima sedans from 2013 through 2015 and Sorento SUVs from 2014 and 2015.


Kia is telling owners to park them outdoors and away from structures because fires could happen when the engines aren't running.


The same vehicles were recalled last year because brake fluid can leak into a control computer, causing an electrical short.


For years, the Legislature approved responsible budgets that paid down debt and put money
away for a rainy day. Fast forward to 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic had its hold on the
state. The uncertainty that followed took a toll on the state’s finances, but thanks to responsible
budgeting, along with emergency federal funding, we were left in a better place than originally

Budget discussions in the Legislature have ramped up and efforts between lawmakers are in full
swing. The Senate recently finished approving subcommittee appropriations budgets, which
brings the fiscal year 2022 budget one step closer to completion as my colleagues and I work out
the final details.

We cut a lot of spending from the budget as a way to tighten our belts and I think we are in a
good place financially as we continue to manage the uncertainties of the pandemic and the state’s
future. While there were some carefully considered cuts, this budget funds many of Michigan’s
most important priorities.

The plan would invest $15.8 billion in K-12 education, a total increase of $249 million. The bill
increases per-pupil payments for students and includes additional funding to help schools deal
with side effects of this pandemic, including the growing mental health issues among young

The Senate increased funding beyond the governor’s recommendations to support a permanent
wage increase of $2.35 per hour for direct care workers who stood in the face of this virus.
Despite strain on the medical industry and staff being stretched thin, these people showed up to
work and continued providing care to those in need. The Senate proposal also funded a $2 per
hour increase for front-line workers employed by child-caring institutions.

Like years past, especially prior to the pandemic, transportation funding also remained a priority
for the Senate. We’re picking up where we left off and continuing our work to overhaul
Michigan’s crumbling roads. The Senate dedicated more resources for state road and bridge
construction and $2.2 billion for local transportation infrastructure projects.

Other measures included in the budget are money for local health departments to maintain their
ongoing efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic; more revenue sharing funding for local
governments; funding to restore Gov. Whitmer’s cuts to the Animal Agriculture Initiative, which
assists farmers and ensures food safety; money to train 120 new Michigan State Police Troopers,
including resources for de-escalation techniques; funding for grants to help struggling veterans
with expenses; and $77 million to assist with child care costs for struggling Michigan families.

I also joined lawmakers in calling for the secretary of state and unemployment offices to be
opened as well. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson recently announced that she was considering
making her department’s burdensome policy permanent, and the state’s unemployment offices
remain closed — despite the never-ending list of complaints from recipients.


Both departments have had their offices closed for over a year and it’s causing nothing but
problems for the people both are supposed to be serving. People are waiting months to transfer a
title and countless eligible recipients were denied benefits as the UIA shelled out billions in
fraudulent payments. Opening these offices, at least in part, could have prevented the fraud
plaguing the UIA and eliminate the logjam in service we are seeing with both departments.

We’re looking at ways to influence their decisions to open up and begin serving residents again.
Overall, our central focus is getting our state back to normal. We’re working to continue getting
relief to those in need, funding important measures, and furthering our resurgence from COVID-
19 — and doing so without raising taxes.

Sen. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, represents the 33rd state Senate District, which includes Clare,
Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, and Montcalm counties.


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