About Us

Big Rapids Pioneer

The Pioneer is a 6-day a week newspaper covering Big Rapids, greater Mecosta County, Osceola County and parts of Lake and Newaygo Counties.

With a focus on local news and people, the Pioneer is the leading newspaper in its region. The Pioneer has strong emphasis on community journalism with complete coverage of schools, government, courts and news of general interest.

Complete local sports coverage is featured, as well as coverage of Ferris State University athletics.

A wide variety of editorial opinion is offered on its editorial page from columnists as well as from the public in letters to the editor.

Regular specialty pages include food, youth, religion, travel, business, entertainment, home and outdoor.

The Pioneer has a strong classified section and is supported by area advertisers providing readers with advertising information as well.


Our Editorial Staff

  • avatar Candy Allan
    Candy is the Pioneer's associate editor. She also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Parenting pages. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at callan@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Cortney Erndt
    Cortney is the Pioneer's education reporter. She also coordinates the weekly Education page, which runs on Tuesday. She can be reached at (231) 592-8347 and at cerndt@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Daine Pavloski
    Daine is a sports reporter with the Pioneer. His coverage focuses on prep sports in Mecosta and Osceola counties and some coverage of Ferris State athletics. He can be reached at (231)592-8363 or by email at dpavloski@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Emily Grove-Davis
    Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.
  • avatar Greg Buckner
    Greg is the sports editor for the Pioneer. He manages the sports section while also specializing in coverage of Ferris State athletics and area prep sports in Mecosta and Osceola counties. He can be reached at (231) 592-8364 or by email at gbuckner@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Jim Crees
    Jim is the editor in chief of the Pioneer, Herald Review and Lake County Star. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8360 or by e-mail at jcrees@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar John Raffel
    John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Jonathan Eppley
    Jonathan Eppley is news editor for the Pioneer. He designs and copy edits the Pioneer daily, and manages staff in the evening. Eppley joined the Pioneer staff in 2010. He can be reached at (231) 592-8357 or at jeppley@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Justin McKee
    Justin is the Pioneer's Multimedia Coordinator. He helps create and edit video content, shoot photography, layout pages and even give a hand with website content. He can be reached at (231) 592-8369 or by email at jmckee@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Karin Armbruster
    Karin is the reporter for Osceola County’s Herald Review. She is the coordinator of the Health page, which runs in the weekend edition of the Pioneer. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8382 or by e-mail at karmbruster@pioneergroup.com.
  • avatar Katlyn Vuillemot
  • avatar Lonnie Allen
    Lonnie is the Pioneer's city/county reporter. He also coordinates the Gardens and Growers page. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8328 or by e-mail at lallen@pioneergroup.com.