Mental Health First Aid


Did you miss the opportunity to attend our lunch and learn primer on the Mental Health First Aid program? Here is your opportunity attend the full workshop!

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Community Mental Health of Central Michigan is offering the full 8-hour course on Wednesday, May, 22, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Big Rapids City Hall, located at 226 N. Michigan Avenue in Big Rapids.

Cost is $20 per participant. Lunch will not be provided, but the class will break from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

Space is limited. To register, please contact Brandon at 231-832-2247, or email at

To learn more about the program, visit

The 125th Anniversary of The FSU College of Pharmacy: A Musical Celebration

Ferris State University’s History Task Force, College of Pharmacy, College of Arts and image001Sciences, and the Department of Humanities present the 2019 Spring Band & Orchestra Concert, The 125th Anniversary of The FSU College of Pharmacy: A Musical Celebration, Sunday, April 28th at 4:00 p.m. at the G. Mennen Williams Auditorium in Big Rapids. This concert will celebrate important moments in the history of pharmacy since ancient times, up through and including its history at Ferris State University.

Attendees will enjoy performances by The FSU Symphony Band, The FSU West Central Concert Band, and The FSU West Central Chamber Orchestra, with direction by Dr. Richard Scott Cohen and Dr. Dale E. Skornia. This program will also feature announcements by Dr. Donna Smith, presentations by Mr. Jim Bock, Pharmacy Class of 1966, Rachel Krahulik, Pharmacy Class of 2021, Dr. Stephen W. Durst, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Richard Hult, FSU Professor Emeritus, Pharmacy Class of 1968. Attendees will also hear from members of the WCCB & Symphony Band Saxophone Sections.

Also included in the event will be the annual Student Recognition Program, graduating student acknowledgements, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity Awards, Susan & Ernest Wenger Band Scholarships Awards, S. Eugene Bychinsky Musicians of Promise Scholarship Awards, and Dacho & Ruth Dachoff Outstanding Musician Scholarship Awards.

Musical selections will include Fanfare 125, by Richard Scott Cohen, Saxophonia, by Stephen Bulla, Ferris Fidelity, by Graham T. Overgard, Persian Passage, by Jeremy Woolstenhulme, An American in Paris, by George Gershwin,

New World Symphony, Finale, by Antonin Dvorak, German Dance No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven, and the world premiere of The Staff of Asclepius, by Harry Dempsey.

Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to attend this program must contact (231) 591-3676 or at least 72 hours in advance of event.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Richard Scott Cohen, Director of Instrumental Concert Ensembles, Professor of Music, Ferris State University, 1030 Campus Drive, Big Rapids, MI 49307 or call

(231)591-2484 or email To learn more about FSU Music, visit

Isabella Bank Announces Promotion of Eling to Market President

Mount Pleasant, MI, April 22, 2019 – Jerome Schwind, President of Isabella Bank

Josh Eling color 3-2019
Josh Eling

announced the promotion of Josh Eling to West Market President.  In his new role, Josh will oversee five branches in the area: Barryton, Big Rapids East, Big Rapids West, Canadian Lakes, and Remus.  

“Josh has been an asset for us since joining Isabella Bank.  His commitment to his customers, team, and the Mecosta area are evident and make him an excellent choice for the west market president.” stated Schwind.  “We look forward to the growth Josh will continue to bring to the Mecosta area.”

Josh earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Michigan University, a Master in Business Administration from Ferris State University, a graduate from Michigan Bankers Association (MBA) Perry School of Banking, and the Dale Carnegie Team Development Program.  He is past president of the Big Rapids Rotary and the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce. Josh and his wife, Christie, live in Big Rapids with their children, Emma and Parker.

Isabella Bank has 30 locations throughout seven Mid-Michigan counties and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Isabella Bank Corporation (OTCQX:ISBA).  Isabella Bank Corporation has $2.5 billion in assets under management and more than 400 employees. For the past five years, the Corporation has been recognized on the Detroit Free Press list of “Top Workplaces.”  To learn more, visit

Call for Collections!

call-to-collectors-2019-page-001.jpgDo you have an unusual collection? Artworks of Big Rapids, located at 106 N. Michigan Avenue, is planning an exhibit of collections and wants to showcase your collections!

This exhibit, on display during August and September, will allow collectors to share selected collection pieces in the galleries at Artworks in downtown Big Rapids. The organization is looking for 2D and 3D art or collectables to review for inclusion in this exhibit.

Photographs and descriptions of your collections can be emailed to Pat Heeter at at JPG or PDF files by April 26th, 2019.

Photos can also be submitted by mail Attn: Pat Heeter.

MSU Extension to offer Cooking for One

Cooking for oneWhether you’re living on your own for the first time, a single college student, a hard-working adult, or a senior on your own, cooking for one can be fun!

The Michigan State University Extension, located in the Mecosta County Services Building at 14485 Northland Drive in Big Rapids Is offering ‘Cooking for One,” a six-week cooking course, taking place June 25,  July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Over the course of six, 2-hour lessons, you will:

  • Learn ways to make cooking for one simple and enjoyable
  • Learn helpful tips and tricks to making healthy choices, like eating well and being active
  • Participate in cooking real recipes for one

For more information, contact Renee Sanders at 231-592-0792 or



Community and Family Expo: April 27th!

LOGOThe 13th Annual Community and Family Expo, hosted by the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce, GreatStart Mecosta Osceola, Project Connect, and the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District is scheduled for this Saturday, April 27th, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Big Rapids Middle School, located at 500 N. Warren in Big Rapids.

This family-friendly event is free and open to the public, and features nearly 100 vendors and local organizations with a focus on community and family. This year’s event will include games, giveaways, workshops, an appearance by AeroMed, a performance by the Big Rapids High School Jazz Ensemble, music from B103.9, activities for the kids, and so much more for the entire family.

For the third year in a row, the Big Rapids Jaycees will be holding their Life Jacket Giveaway at the front entrance, and the Big Rapids Lions Club will be doing free vision screenings. The Big Rapids Masons will also be on hand with their Michigan Child ID program. At 12:45, attendees can cheer for their favorite local mascot during the Mascot Dance-Off. During the event, visitors also can “Touch-A-Truck” at the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety. Lunch and concessions will be available for purchase in the BRMS cafeteria.

This year’s event is made possible by generous contributions by the following sponsors: Chemical Bank, Sunny 97.3, Big Rapids Realty, Isabella Bank, The City of Big Rapids, Ice Mountain, B103.9, Lowe’s, Gilbert’s Carpet Plus Color Tile, The Big Rapids, Jaycees, Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City Hospitals, Cran-Hill Ranch, and Ferris State University. For more information on the Expo and other upcoming Chamber events, visit them online at

Expo Flyer.jpg

Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival

Courtesy of the Mecosta County Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Big Rapids Lions Club and the Mecosta County Convention & Visitors Bureau, are excited to be bringing back the very popular and very exciting Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival to the downtown Big Rapids Bandshell on Saturday, July 6, 2019.

“The Mecosta County CVB is always looking for new and exciting ways to not only continue generating positive awareness of the greater Big Rapids community, but to also gain more business at our area  hotels and local merchants,” stated Connie Koepke – Executive Director for the Mecosta County CVB.  “Partnering and collaborating with local businesses and community organizations is definitely key in reaching this goal.  With the partnership of the Big Rapids Lions Club and Mecosta County CVB for the Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival, we are not only providing a positive and fun filled event for locals and out of town guests but we are also creating a great fundraising opportunity for the Lions Club and the amazing charities they help to support.”

“We have finished securing our musical lineup for the day and it is nothing short of spectacular,” stated Jim Nostrant of the Big Rapids Lions Club. This is going to be a great opportunity to get out and enjoy a day full of family, friendly entertainment while also helping to support the Big Rapids Lions Club and their mission.”

poster-logo-BBBQ-w695This amazing day of musical entertainment will start off with a salute to our dedicated military personnel who have, or are currently, serving in our armed forces.  A Flag Presentation and Dedication of the Colors will be made by the Big Rapids AMVETS post 1941 with the National Anthem being sung by local talent Allison Leveque.

“Following the dedication to our veterans, guests will find a full day of non-stop, awarding winning musical entertainment that can be enjoyed by all ages.  Of course, there will also be plenty of Brews and BBQ available as well,” noted Nostrant.

The lineup for the day includes the Ohio based Soul Men with backup band Paradise that will serve as the events MC’s while adding their own unique flavor of entertainment. The Soul Men, Blues Brothers impersonators, perform their tribute to Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues with their high-energy, fast-paced and audience participating routines.  Paradise is a Michigan premiere “all event” six piece band that blend perfectly with the Soul Men’s performance.

Popular and local musical group, the Z Darrell Marvel Band, featuring Big Rapids own Z. Darrell Marvel and his group of local and talented musicians, will be playing Bluesy renditions of your favorite classic tunes.

Chicago Rock and Blues singer, Lauren Wolf and The Lauren Wolf Band, are everything that made pure rock artists like Janis Joplin timelessly successful. The Lauren Wolf Band were winners of the 2012 Live Nation’s National Battle of the Bands and have played to sold out crowds at famous venues such as The House of Blues in Chicago.

Rick Hicks and the Rick Hicks Blues Band from Muskegon will be providing a flavorful mix of Blues and Motown sounds perfect for dancing the afternoon away. This versatile guitarist and vocalists preforms in the styles of BB King, Wes Montgomery and Albert King.  Rick and his band are a mix of high-energy Blues, Funk, Soul, Motown, Jazz and yes, a little bit of Rock and Roll.

Rounding out the evening will be the internationally known and award winning Blues performer Sharrie Williams.  Known as “The Princess of Rockin Gospel Blues”, Williams has to her credit Five Albums, performed in over 30 countries, is the recipient of the Academie du Jazz Blues Album of the year award as well as being noted as one of the greatest living voices in music such as the likes of Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Pattie LaBelle and Natalie Cole.

Tickets will be available for purchase starting May 1, 2019 either online at $13.00 each or from local businesses such as the Mecosta County CVB or any Big Rapids Lions Club member at $12.00 each.  Children 10 years and younger will be free.  Tickets will available the day of the event for $15.00 per person. For more information, visit

City of Big Rapids Spring Leaf Pick Up

hq-lightroom-presets-2160-unsplashSince many of the leaves hadn’t fallen yet this past fall, the City of Big Rapids will be performing a one-time spring leaf pick up through April 26, 2019. Crews will be making daily trips around the city to pick up any piles.

Residents are asked to rake leaves into piles in the street, about one foot from the curb or edge of pavement to allow storm water to run in the gutter and should remove vehicles from street parking during the week of scheduled leaf collection. Residents are also asked to wet the leaves, if necessary, to prevent blowing.

Residents should not use plastic bags for leaves and keep them loose and should not put other debris into leaf piles (i.e. rocks, tree limbs, grass, wood, etc.). Cars should not be parked over piles of leaves as this may start a fire.

Residents that live on State Street, Maple Street, Colburn Avenue or South Third Avenue should rake leaves up to the curb only and should not place leaves in the street.

For more information, contact the Public Works Departments at (231) 592-4015, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Annual City of Big Rapids Memorial Day Celebration

Untitled design (1).pngAmerican Legion Post 98 Honor Guard and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 18 will be hosting the annual City of Big Rapids Memorial Day Celebration on Monday, May 27th.

The day’s ceremonies start at 10:00 a.m. at the Mecosta County Courthouse, Elm Street. A ceremony remembering those who have paid the supreme sacrifice and honoring those who served or are serving will be presented.

Immediately following the ceremony, a parade will proceed west on Elm and north on Michigan to the DAV Hall/Mitchell Creek. A brief ceremony and wreath laying, honoring sailors who have paid the supreme sacrifice and honoring those who are serving or have served will be presented.

The parade will proceed to Highland View Cemetery, Bellevue Avenue, where a ceremony remembering those who have paid the supreme sacrifice and honoring those who have served or are serving will be presented.

Anyone interested in participating in the parade, contact Jim Lindsey at 231-598- 6400 or email at


GFWC Members Bring Spring to Others


At a recent meeting of GFWC (General Federation of Woman’s Club) Big Rapids, members prepared 26 spring bouquets of silk and artificial flowers to share with members of the community.  With the idea to spread a little bit of spring and joy to others, the arrangements were made and taken to Metron, Altercare, Evergreen Terrace, the Brook and to other members of the community identified by members who they wanted to recognize.