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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

Woman regains stolen cash in Christmas miracle


N-ChristmasMiracleWhen a purse is stolen, there is usually not much of a chance of getting back any cash that was tucked away in it. But thanks to customers and staff of a local business, and the Cedar Springs Unit of the Kent County Sheriff Department, a Christmas miracle occurred for one lucky lady.

According to Jane Weirda, office manager at Rowland’s Surplus Outlet, 130 W. Muskegon Street, a regular customer was shopping there on December 23, and set her purse down. When she realized it was missing, employees in the store and many of their customers searched for it. They finally found it, stashed away, with a large amount of cash missing from it. “It had been taken out of the bank that morning to give to her kids for Christmas,” said Jane.

They then looked at their security camera footage, identified the thief, and called police. A police officer went to the house of the suspect, then returned to the store with all of the cash. “It was fantastic,” said Jane. “We are very lucky to have such great community and customers who rallied to help this woman and we were so happy to have this have a happy ending! Christmas miracles do happen!”

Sgt. Jason Kelley with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Cedar Springs Unit verified the money had been recovered, but as of press time, the suspect had not yet been arraigned. The suspect’s name is not released until after arraignment.

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Woman discovered dead in Spencer Township


 

The woman found dead in Spencer Township the day after Christmas with two young children nearby is a heartbreaking example of what postpartum depression can do to a young mother.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a caller reported they were walking a dog on a trail in the woods east of Lincoln Lake and 18 Mile Road shortly before 10:30 a.m. December 26, when they came upon a car parked back there with the engine running.

Deputies discovered a woman lying on the ground, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Her three-year-old daughter was lying partially on top of her. The girl was conscious and alert but suffering from hypothermia. The woman’s 5-month-old son was in a car seat in the car.

AeroMed was called to the scene and transported the children to Spectrum DeVos Children’s Hospital. A bullet fragment was discovered in the three-year-old girl’s head, and she was rushed into surgery, where they removed it.

Police said the woman was reportedly suffering from postpartum depression. Based on the investigation, they believe that the wound to the three-year-old’s head may have been an unintended and accidental consequence of the gunshot that killed the mother.

The woman, identified as Sasha Hettich, 27, went missing on Christmas Day. She lived with her husband and children in Grand Rapids. A gofundme page has been set up for the family to help with household expenses, childcare expenses, and funeral costs. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/sashagr.

If you or a loved one suffers from postpartum depression, there are services available in Kent County. You can call Pine Rest’s pregnancy and postpartum hopeline at 844-MOM-HOPE (844.666.4673); Postpartum Support International at 1.800.944.4773; Spectrum Health Postpartum Emotional Support Program at 616.391.1771; and Network 180 at 800.749.7720. In an emergency call 911.

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Police investigate shooting


Cory M. Newville

Cory M. Newville

A 20-year-old Algoma Township man died last weekend from a gunshot wound he suffered while playing with a handgun.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the shooting happened in the 2200 block of Rector about 10:53 p.m. December 5. They said that the 20-year-old male, identified as Cory M. Newville, suffered a fatal gunshot wound that appeared to have been self-inflicted.

Police said the victim recently obtained a handgun and was playing with it inside of the residence.

Three witnesses present during the time of the shooting were interviewed by Investigators. Police said all parties involved are being cooperative.

An autopsy was performed on December 7 and confirmed the cause of death to be from a gunshot wound. Police said that further tests are being performed and will be available at a later date.

The death is still under investigation.

Funeral services for Cory Newville are Thursday, December 10, at 11 a.m. at Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home.

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Police officers honored 


Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, was presented with a shield of faith by Randy Badge (right), with the Men of Honor program. Photo by T. Bauer.

Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, was presented with a shield of faith by Randy Badge (right), with the Men of Honor program. Photo by T. Bauer.

By Tim Bauer

On Thursday, November 12, Sgt. Jason Kelley, who is stationed in Cedar Springs with the Kent County Sheriff Department, attended an after school program to speak to a group of our middle school young men about courage. The program, headed up by Randy Badge, is called Men of Honor. (There is also a Ladies of Honor program). It focuses on reviving chivalry, honor, courageous leadership, and moral excellence in the next generation, by utilizing a three-pronged strategy of camps, conferences and curriculum. The group wanted to honor our local police officers for their selfless service within the greater Cedar Springs area. By putting into action what they have been taught, the group hopes that other communities will hear about this and do the same thing.

A Shield of Faith was presented to Sgt. Kelley, and the rest of the officers stationed in our city, as a token of appreciation for their daily commitment to protect the citizens of our community. Badge, a teacher at Cedar Springs High School, believes in the vital importance of teaching timeless principles of integrity and character in those who will become our next generation of leaders. Thank you Randy Badge and Sergeant Kelley for your invaluable service to our community. The citizens of Cedar Springs salute you!

To find out more go to http://themenofhonor.org/.

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Do you know who this is?


Police are seeking this suspect in connection with an indecent exposure complaint.

Police are seeking this suspect in connection with an indecent exposure complaint.

Detectives with the Kent County Sheriff Department are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect that was recently involved in an indecent exposure complaint on the White Pine Trail.

The incident occurred on September 26, in the early afternoon, near Cedar Springs. The suspect was described as being between 55-65 years of age.

The adult victim was able to create a composite of the suspect and Detectives are hopeful the community can assist in identifying the suspect. If you think you might recognize the suspect, please contact Det. Michael Hopkins at 616-632-6015 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or toll free at 1-866-774-2345.

You can also text Tip138 to CRIMES (274637). Be sure to have TIP138 in the first line of your message. You will then receive an automatic text message reply that will contain your confidential ID number.

Silent Observer will be able to send text messages back to you without knowing your cell phone number to ask questions or gather more information.

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Red Flannel Festival starts next week


N-Red-Flannel-theme-2015-logo

There’s a new sheriff in town…Red Flannel Country, USA!

The Red Flannel Festival Board’s theme for the 76th annual festival not only recognizes the “wildness” of our town’s beginning, but is also a tip of the hat to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, who has been providing law enforcement for us since November 2014.

The all-volunteer Red Flannel Festival Board of Directors has been working to provide fresh new events for the 76th “Red Flannel Country USA…There’s a New Sheriff in Town!” Festival celebration. “We’re so grateful to have this beautiful logo designed by local artist Doris Vinton again this year,” said Laura Nozal, Festival First Vice President.

“The board has added many events in the last few years and boasts over 5,000 fans on our Facebook page,” said President Michele Tracy. “This board is extremely dedicated to ensuring the Red Flannel Festival is the biggest and best ever! We want to especially thank Cedar Springs resident, Tim VanWagoner, for his suggestion of a country-western theme for this nationally recognized, quality event, as well as the Kent County Sheriff Department for their approval of this creative theme. The comments about the theme have been very positive!”

The Festival will partner with 95.7 FM in Grand Rapids, for radio commercials and an expanded number of television commercials will begin on Charter Cable Channels in September. The 36-page full color “Official Red Flannel Press” has already been distributed, thanks to Festival Business Patron Sponsors and “Friends of the Festival,” a donor program designed exclusively for individuals.

NEW this year is a competitive Red Flannel Open Golf Tournament, hosted by Whitefish Lake Golf and Grill.

Also new this year, the Festival will debut a Mechanical Bull, a Western Obstacle Course and Olde Tyme Photographs to complement the Country/Western theme. The Scottville Clown Band will return in the Grand Parade, with a concert after the Parade in the Grand Lodge. “This is a fantastic, entertaining group to have return again this year,” said Tracy.

A Red Flannel Comedy Revue will also be NEW this year as part of the Grand Lodge entertainment, hosted by Festival Board Trustee Liz Thorington, who has performed several years in Gilda’s Club LaughFest.

Due to last years’ success, The Red Flannel Wine and Microbrew Tasting event will be held this Saturday, September 19 at the American Legion.

The Red Flannel Art Review, Red Flannel Town House Decorating Contest, Trolley to provide transportation, and an AYCE Spaghetti dinner at the Cedar Springs Big Boy Restaurant will also return.

“Of course, the traditional events are still in place,” said Tracy. “The Car & Tractor Shows, Museum Open House, Rotary Chicken BBQ, Lion’s Lumberjack Supper, Queen Scholarship Pageant, Bed Races and Grand Parade are wonderful traditions!” For a full schedule of events, or to download event applications, visit www.redflannelfestival.org.

 

Download our Red Flannel POST pages here!

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Man arrested for Sparta break-in 


 

N-Burglary-Sparta-sport-shop-webN-Burglary-Sparta-Sport-shop2

Michael Anthony Slater

Michael Anthony Slater

A 26-year-old Ravenna man was arraigned on multiple charges this week for breaking into a Sparta business.

According to Sparta Police Chief Andrew Milanowski, the Sparta Police Department was dispatched to the Sparta Sport shop 169 N. State Street, last Friday, September 4, on a Breaking & Entering complaint. A door had been pried open at the back of the building, and at least one firearm was missing.

Police checked video surveillance footage and found that a white male appeared to enter the building alone and started casing the area. A short time later the interior alarm went off and the subject fled the building. While fleeing, the man grabbed a rifle.

The investigating officer put out a broadcast to area departments informing them of the incident and a short time later received a call from the Muskegon County Sheriff Department and the Kent County Sheriff Department. Both shared information on a possible suspect, who they were also looking at, in similar type incidents.

A search warrant was obtained for the subject’s residence and his vehicles. The firearm stolen from Sparta Sport Shop was recovered in the search. Police interviewed the suspect, and he was then arrested and lodged in the Kent County Correctional Facility.

The suspect, Michael Anthony Slater, 26, of Ravenna, was arraigned on Tuesday, September 8, on charges of Breaking & Entering a Building with Intent to Commit Larceny, Possession of Burglary Tools, Larceny of a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm & a Misdemeanor Warrant out of Muskegon County.

This case was a joint effort of the Muskegon County Sheriff Department, Kent County Sheriff Department and the Sparta Police Department.

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Beware of fraudulent calls


 

They may ask for money to keep a family member out of jail

The Kent County Sheriff Department is urging residents to use caution when receiving calls from people they don’t know that are requesting money.

On August 1, at approximately 6:45 p.m., the Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the residence of an elderly female who made a fraud complaint. She was contacted by an unknown man, believed to be from the country of Columbia. She was told that a family member had been drinking and was involved in an auto accident. It was also suggested to her that the accident involved a Columbian family. The caller requested the victim send money via Western Union to keep her family member out of jail. The caller requested multiple Western Union transactions be made with the destination of the funds being Columbia. The caller’s phone number also showed up on the victim’s caller I.D. as an out of country phone number.

It was verified that the victim’s family was not involved in an accident and the information the caller had provided the victim was false.

Police said that similar scams have taken place recently in the Western Michigan area where the caller requests that prepaid credit cards be obtained and then the card numbers are provided to the suspect.

These individuals have been able to scam thousands of dollars from local residents.

The Kent County Sheriff Department says anyone receiving a call like this should contact a family member or the police to verify the caller is legitimate prior to sending any funds to any individual they are not familiar with.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department Dispatch at 616-632-6357.

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Missing woman found


N-Missing-woman-Teresa-Curry-webA woman missing from her Alpine Township home near Comstock Park, since Friday, February 27, has returned home.

The Kent County Sheriff Department made contact with Teresa Lynn Curry, 44, on Monday, July 7. They said she left the State of Michigan and travelled to the state of New York and stayed in New York City. She just recently returned home and was with family. She reportedly left voluntarily and no foul play is involved.

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Sgt. Kelley named Deputy of the Year


 

Sheriff Larry Stelma, Sgt. Jason Kelley (2014 Deputy of the Year–Law Enforcement) and Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. Courtesy photo from the KCSD.

Sheriff Larry Stelma, Sgt. Jason Kelley (2014 Deputy of the Year–Law Enforcement) and Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. Courtesy photo from the KCSD.

By Judy Reed

Sgt. Jason Kelley, supervisor of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, was named 2014 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement, by the Kent County Sheriff Department. He was recognized in a special awards ceremony last Thursday, July 9.

“It’s a humbling experience,” remarked Kelley. “A lot of people are deserving of this, so I am humbled by it.”

According to info supplied by the Sheriff Department, Kelley began his career at the Kent County Sheriff Department as a County Patrol Officer in January 2003, and assigned to the Detective Bureau in September 2008. As a detective, he received commendations for his tenacity, investigative skills, and compassion dealing with robberies, an abduction, white collar crime, and death investigations.

In June 2013, he was promoted to County Police Sergeant within the Law Enforcement Division. Sgt. Kelley was assigned as the Central/North D squad supervisor in 2014.

“Sgt. Kelley’s attitude, work ethic and dedication to his job is impeccable,” wrote Sheriff Lawrence Stelma, in a news release about the award. “His positive leadership qualities are something we all strive for. He is personable with his officers and offers constant assistance and support while being highly effective.” He also noted that he is an effective communicator and is highly respected by his officers, fellow sergeants and command staff.

Last fall the Cedar Springs City Council voted to dissolve the Cedar Springs Police Department, and contract with the Kent County Sheriff Department for law enforcement beginning in November 2014. Sgt. Kelley oversaw the transition and still supervises the unit.

“Due to his outstanding performance, enthusiasm and work ethic, Sgt. Kelley was selected to be the Cedar Springs Unit supervisor and was instrumental in making this ‘Change of Command’ transition a huge success,” wrote Stelma. “Sgt. Jason Kelley has exhibited qualities and standards of excellence well worthy of our praise. Along with your fellow officers, Sheriff Lawrence Stelma extends his personal gratitude to Jason for a job well done and congratulations on being named 2014 Deputy of the Year—Law Enforcement.”

Sgt. Kelley said that things have been going great in the Cedar Springs Unit. “All the officers continue to do a great job. The Cedar Springs officers (that transferred) do an outstanding job providing police services, and have been well received by other deputies in the department. Businesses and citizens have given us a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “We definitely appreciate the welcome we’ve received and have really enjoyed the transition.”

The deputies have been active at community events, and will be at the Library’s summer reading carnival August 5, at Morley Park, from 2-5 p.m., where kids can meet deputies and get some hands-on time with police equipment. “Kids can sit in cruisers, and anything that’s safe, they can touch,” explained Sgt. Kelley.

Several other people were also given awards the same night as Sgt. Kelley. Watch for those in next week’s Post.

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