Gotion buys former JC Penny building in downtown Big Rapids, plans to make it an office
BIG RAPIDS — A building in Big Rapids has stood empty for several years, but that’s about to change. On Tuesday, Gotion announced that they are opening an office in the former JC Penny building in downtown Big Rapids. The battery maker said they plan to take over the building starting March 1 and renovate the space to include conference rooms, work stations and other amenities. A Gotion spokesperson said they would like to have 55 employees in the office by the end of 2024, and 200 employees in downtown Big Rapids by 2025. People in the area have criticized the battery plant that Gotion plans to bring to Green Charter Township over environmental concerns and because of the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Guns N Hoses Hockey Game raising money for Kelly Florip and her family this weekend
TRAVERSE CITY — A friendly rivalry is happening on the ice this weekend for a good cause in Traverse City. It’s the annual Guns N Hoses game, a hockey event that pits firefighters and police officers against each other in order to raise money for a selected beneficiary. This year the money will go to Kelly Florip, who has been battling cancer since August of last year after being free from the disease for six years. And she had this message to share for anyone who has received a similar diagnosis. “There is life after it. There’s life during it. I’m definitely learning that, and just focusing on my family right now is very important. But, you know, just stay positive. If you’re going through it, be a self advocate and just do what you can and just enjoy life while you can,” Kelly said.
Manistee’s Bascule Bridge project falls behind schedule due to weather, other issues
MANISTEE — Repairs and renovations to Manistee’s Bascule Bridge continue to be behind schedule. The Michigan Department of Transportation’s said the $12.6 million project has repeatedly been pushed back because of weather and other issues, but now, the repair work is also being delayed because the parts to fix it are hard to come by and the additional work could cost an additional $300,000 to $400,000. MDOT’s spokesperson for the North Region, James Lake, said they are still hoping to re-open the bridge by the end of March whether or not the repairs are finished. “There was a manufacturing issue with some of the components that are destined to go on the bridge, and they were not made to the proper spec. So, replacement of those parts, where we can still get those installed in time to reopen is in question,” said Lake.
Fivecap offers free diapers and diaper supplies to families in need
CADILLAC — Fivecap, a non-profit in Northern Michigan, is planning to help struggling families, by providing necessities they may need but can’t afford. Fivecap’s community support services director, Angela Anderson said their diaper bank program offers diapers and diapering supplies like ointments and wipes to families, free of charge on a monthly basis. Anderson said they have a wide range of sizes, including diapers for kids under the age of 17 and they also have adult diapers on hand to give out. “To not have to worry about that is a huge help to our families. And then same thing for our adults that have to now start using diapers or for someone that they’re caring for, for a parent that they’re caring for, that this just takes an expense off their budget,” said Anderson.
Kirtland Community College brings back kick start program to help students prepare for college
GRAYLING — Kirtland Community College is bringing back its kick start program to help students prepare for college and catch up in core subjects. The two-week program will be held this summer. Students who attend will receive a $25 gas card to help commute to campus. Kirtland College said the data from the event shows its effectiveness in students’ grades, but it also has an impact in other ways. “Personal connection to me, that’s one of the great benefits of a program like this, because the students who might be, let’s say, a little apprehensive about college, a little unsure what college can do for them getting to come to a program like this over the summer for really just a few days over the summer can open that door and really make them feel more comfortable with being here and seeing what college can bring to them,” John Theild, the dean of liberal arts at Kirtland Community College, said.
New welding registered apprenticeship program coming to Northern Michigan
TRAVERSE CITY — Northwest Michigan Works and JanTec Incorporated have partnered together to bring the region’s first welding registered apprenticeship. It would provide those enrolled with over 400 hours of educated hands-on instruction. Completion will also include credentials like the U.S. Department of Labor National Journeyworker Certification. “It’s built in two different paths. One is a on the job path that we provide inside of our our production environment. And then there’s the classroom training path,” Troy Curran, the president of JanTec Incorporated said. “We focus on the employer demand as far as training and retention and registered apprenticeship is very much focused on retention and training for the region,” Evelyn Szpliet from Northwest Michigan Works said.
Cherry Republic donating 2% of all sales to Farm Stress Program for National Cherry Month
TRAVERSE CITY — February is National Cherry Month, and Michigan has no shortage of local farmers to bring in fresh produce. And to celebrate the month, Cherry Republic is donating 2% of all their sales from this six stores to the Farm Stress Program. The program aims to support the wellbeing and mental health of Michigan farmers. Cherry Republic said the locally grown cherries are the reason they’ve been able to continue to provide products to the community. “It’s a big staple of our town in our community, especially in this area. We have everything. We go from chocolate covered cherries. We have dried cherries. We have candies for the little ones, We have just a variety and it keeps growing and hopefully going to get more products in this coming year,” Amanda Tranmer, the store manager for Traverse City Cherry Republic, said.
Northern Michigan lawyer specializes in helping veterans
TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City attorney, who also served in the Air Force, has as opened up a new practice called True North Legal Group. He said he’s here to help a population in our area that he believes is underrepresented. “I just saw a need for a more community focused law firm, a legal group that was focused on helping people in the community,” said True North Legal Group Founding Attorney Joshua Traeger. Traeger is fairly new to the Traverse City community, moving to the area with his young family in 2022. After law school, he joined the Air Force and used his legal degree as a defender and a prosecutor. “So for ten years I was on active duty. Eight and a half of those years, I spent traveling the world handling the military’s most serious cases. Like JAG. Yeah, JAG. The Air Force. Oh, yeah, exactly. A few Good Men, if you’ve seen that, if you’ve seen the movie, you know I’m no Tom Cruise. I went from, you know, Korea to Germany to handle my cases, and it was amazing,” said Traeger.
Former Glen Lake teacher faces charges for taking inappropriate photos of students, deputies say
LEELANAU COUNTY — The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday it was contacted on Jan. 24 by Glen Lake Community Schools about a teacher possibly taking inappropriate photos of students. Deputies arrived at the school and started an investigation that was later turned over to detectives for follow-up, deputies said. It was determined that Elijah Daniel George, 26, of Traverse City was the teacher in question, deputies said. The investigation included the execution of several search warrants of electronic devices as well as residences in the local area as well as in St. Clair County, officials said. On Feb. 15, George was arrested in Marysville by the Marysville Police Department and was brought back to Leelanau County the following day, deputies said.
Traverse Narcotics Team: Four Muskegon men arrested on multiple possession with intent to deliver drug charges
TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse Narcotics Team said four Muskegon men were arrested after members of the Michigan State Police 7th District Emergency Support Team found multiple drugs in large amounts and over $1,000 during a traffic stop. TNT said that detectives from the Traverse Narcotics Team identified several people who have been traveling from Muskegon to Traverse City on a regular basis to deliver large amounts of drugs. After some surveillance and investigation done by the detectives, MSP was able to do a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, MSP found the following: They also found $1,860 in the car.
Mt. Pleasant police search for attempted murder suspect in stolen car
MT. PLEASANT — The Mt. Pleasant Police Department needs your help finding an attempted murder suspect. Police say the attempted murder took place on Friday, Feb. 16 after two male roommates had a fight. They are searching for Paul Vance Ellingson, a 57-year-old white male. He was last seen driving a stolen 2020 maroon Mitsubishi Mirage with Michigan license plate 4MDA41. If you have any information, please contact the Anonymous Tip Line at 989-779-9111 or Central Dispatch at 989-773-1000.
Red Wings’ Michael Rasmussen signs 4-year contract extension
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Michael Rasmussen to a four-year, $12.8 million contract extension. The Red Wings, who have not made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season, announced the deal Tuesday. The 24-year-old Rasmussen has skated in 55 games this season, recording 11 goals and 12 assists. He has a plus 11 rating. He has reached double-digits in goals in each of the last three seasons. Rasmussen set career highs in assists (19) and points (29) in 56 games with the Red Wings last season. The ninth overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, Rasmussen has 47 goals, 62 assists and 197 penalty minutes in 293 games with Detroit since making his NHL debut as a 19-year-old in 2018-19. He also played parts of three seasons with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins from 2018-21. The Canadian played in Austria during the pandemic.
Issues on the Manistee County ballot on Feb. 27
ONEKAMA CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS OPERATING MILLAGE PROPOSAL This proposal will allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance. Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Onekama Consolidated Schools, Manistee County, Michigan, be increased by 1 mill ($1.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a period of 4 years, 2024 to 2027, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2024 is approximately $0 (this millage is to restore millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and will be levied only to the extent necessary to restore that reduction)? BEAR LAKE SCHOOLS OPERATING MILLAGE PROPOSAL
Issues on the Charlevoix County ballot on Feb. 27
Local School District Beaver Island Community School Operating Millage Proposal This proposal will allow the school district to levy its authorized operating millage rate on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its full revenue per pupil foundation allowance and restores millage lost as a result of the reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963. The total operating millage levied will not exceed 15.7908 mills in any year. Shall the currently authorized millage rate limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed...
White House promises ‘major sanctions’ on Russia in response to Alexei Navalny’s death
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it is preparing additional “major sanctions” on Russia in response to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death in an Arctic penal colony. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the sanctions, on the eve of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “will be a substantial package covering a range of different elements of the Russian defense industrial base, and sources of revenue for the Russian economy that power Russia’s war machine, that power Russia’s aggression, and that power Russia’s repression.” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that the U.S. had not determined how Navalny had died, but insisted that the ultimate responsibility lay with Putin. “Regardless of the scientific answer, Putin’s responsible for it,” he told reporters.
Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are 'children' under state law
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law, a ruling critics said could have sweeping implications for fertility treatments. The decision was issued in a pair of wrongful death cases brought by three couples who had frozen embryos destroyed in an accident at a fertility clinic. Justices, citing anti-abortion language in the Alabama Constitution, ruled that an 1872 state law allowing parents to sue over the death of a minor child “applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.” “Unborn children are ‘children’ ... without exception based on developmental stage, physical location, or any other ancillary characteristics,” Justice Jay Mitchell wrote in the majority ruling Friday from the all-Republican court. Mitchell said the court had previously ruled that fetuses killed while a woman is pregnant are covered under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act and nothing excludes “extrauterine children from the Act’s coverage.”
New proposal would automatically opt drivers in for $14 annual park passport
A proposed change to Michigan’s natural resource funding could cost you the next time you renew your license plate. The director of the Department of Natural Resources has acknowledged that the proposal would be “more burdensome” for drivers. Under a recommendation included in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s annual budget proposal, drivers renewing their plate would be automatically opted in to purchase a state recreation passport, a symbol on a license plate that allows vehicle entry to state parks, campgrounds and trails for one year after its purchase. Currently, the passport is available for $14 when ordering or renewing a vehicle’s license plate, with the default renewal option not including the purchase. Officials have proposed automatically including the charge in Michigan residents’ plate renewals, a change that the state estimates would bring in over $17 million annually. Drivers would still be able to opt out of purchasing the service, but would need to intentionally make the decision to do so. The specific method of opting out is still being determined, but officials have suggested a postcard sized reimbursement form with prepaid postage.
Supreme Court rejects appeal from Trump lawyers over 2020 election lawsuit in Michigan
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from Sidney Powell and other lawyers allied with former President Donald Trump over $150,000 in sanctions they were ordered to pay for abusing the court system with a sham lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results in Michigan. The justices did not comment in leaving in place the sanctions against seven lawyers who were part of the lawsuit filed on behalf of six Republican voters after Joe Biden’s 154,000-vote victory over Trump in the state. Among the lawyers is L. Lin Wood, whose name was on the lawsuit. Wood has insisted he had no role other than to tell Powell he would be available if she needed a seasoned litigator. The money is owed to the state and Detroit, for their costs in defending the lawsuit. The sanctions initially totaled $175,000, but a federal appeals court reduced them by about $25,000.
Jam and Bread teaching students musical instruments in the Cadillac area
CADILLAC — A local non-profit is looking to spread music and life lessons to the youth of Northern Michigan. Jam and Bread was formed in January of last year to help make musical instruments in the Cadillac area more accessible. Every Thursday night students can learn instruments such as the ukulele, guitar, bass and mandolin for no charge. Students do not have to bring their own instruments to the classes. Jam and Bread’s director said her goal is to inspire students to start a musical journey.
Capital One to buy Discover for $35 billion in deal that combines major US credit card companies
NEW YORK (AP) — Capital One Financial said it will buy Discover Financial Services for $35 billion, in a deal that would bring together two of the nation’s credit card companies as well as potentially shake up the payments industry, which is largely dominated by Visa and Mastercard. Under the terms of the all-stock transaction, Discover Financial shareholders will receive Capital One shares valued at nearly $140. That’s a significant premium to the $110.49 that Discover shares closed at Friday. The deal marries two of the largest credit card companies that aren’t banks first, like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, with the notable exception of American Express. It also brings together two companies whose customers are largely similar: often Americans who are looking for cash back or modest travel rewards, compared to the premium credit cards dominated by AmEx, Citi and Chase. “This marketplace that’s dominated by the big players is going to shrink a little bit more now,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit card analyst at LendingTree.
A CBS affiliate, WWTV | WFUP 9&10 News brings viewers in northern Michigan 7 hours of local news every weekday plus one hour over the weekend. We cover the news, weather and community happenings in 33 counties in the northern lower part of Michigan, ranging from the middle of Michigan to the tip of the mitt, including three (3) counties in the eastern Upper Peninsula. We broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.