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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

Blessing of the bicycles


At least 20 bikes were given away at the Blessing of the Bicycles at The Springs Church last Saturday. Photo by Duane Harriman.

By Judy Reed

The 3rd annual Blessing of the Bicycles was held at The Springs Church in Cedar Springs last Saturday, June 24.

The focus of the event is to make sure kids get connected with a bike if they don’t have one. Each year organizer Johna Alexander takes donations of used bicycles and has them refurbished, and they also give away some new ones at the event. Simple repairs and maintenance is offered to kids who already have a bike.

“At least 20 bikes were given away, with four of them being brand new,” said Alexander. “We had new helmets available for all that attended and several other prizes were given away in a drawing.”

The Kent County Sheriff Department and many other volunteers helped make the Blessing of the Bicycles a success. Photo by Duane Harriman.

The Kent County Sheriff Department was on hand, to talk about bicycle safety, and worship Pastor Greig Hess gave the blessing over the bicycles.

Alexander said that she was grateful for the bicycle donations and for all those that participated.

“Seeing all the smiling faces on the children in our community is a blessing for all that took the time to come and help,” she said.

If anyone has a bicycle they would like to donate for next year’s event, please call 616-799-2850 for a drop off or to be picked up.

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Detective exposed to dangerous drug


 

The detective bureau at the Kent County Sheriff Department was temporarily evacuated Tuesday after a detective showed medical signs of being exposed to an opiate.

According to Sgt. Joel Roon, a Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team detective with the Wyoming Police Department was conducting routine testing of suspected narcotics that were in the form of a white powdery substance. The substance in question was collected on Monday, May 29, as part of an ongoing investigation. While testing, one of the detectives began to experience symptoms that could possibly be related to a drug exposure, and so NARCAN was administered. That detective was transported to a local hospital to be checked, and was conscious and alert.

The detective bureau was temporarily evacuated and remained closed while the Grand Rapids Fire Department hazmat team completed air quality tests. It reopened shortly after noon.

K.A.N.E.T. is made up of detectives from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Police Department, Walker Police Department, Grandville Police Department, and East Grand Rapids DPS. K.A.N.E.T. is operated out of the KCSO located at 701 Ball Ave NE.

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Oakfield Twp man dies in crash


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A man was killed in Nelson Township last weekend after another driver ran a stop sign and hit his vehicle.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the intersection of 18 Mile Rd and Myers Lake Ave. Police said that Phillip Allen Garcia, 18, of Solon Township, was driving a Chevy Monte Carlo southbound on Myers Lake Ave and ran the stop sign at 18 Mile. His vehicle then struck an eastbound Chevy Impala that had the right of way.

The driver of the Impala, Edward Allen Czarnecki, 59, of Oakfield Township, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Monte Carlo sustained minor, non-life threatening injuries.

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue and Spencer Township Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. Both drivers wore seatbelts and the crash remains under investigation.

The Post checked with the Kent County Road Commission to find out how many crashes have occurred at this intersection over the last five years.

According to spokesperson Maura Lamoreaux, prior to this crash, there have been nine crashes at that intersection over the last five years and four months (2013 to April 2017). One of them was fatal (in 2013). So about two per year.

She said that to modify traffic control at an intersection, the Kent County Road Commission must follow warrants in accordance with the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. “This is the state and national standard,” she explained.

Lamoreaux added that a study was just completed for the intersection, and it showed that the intersection did not warrant changes to traffic control. “We will continue to monitor this intersection for any changes that would warrant a modification in traffic control,” she said.

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Deputy dies in crash


Deputy Russell Alan Stonehouse died Sunday morning in a one-vehicle crash on US131. Courtesy photo.

Deputy Russell Alan Stonehouse died Sunday morning in a one-vehicle crash on US131. Courtesy photo.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the death of one of their own this week.

Deputy Russell Alan Stonehouse died on Sunday, May 7, in a single motor vehicle crash on US131 near M-82 in Reynolds Township, Montcalm County.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post were dispatched to the scene about 2:05 a.m. Stonehouse, 51 was the only occupant in the car.

Police said he was traveling northbound on US131 when he went off the road for an unknown reason. The vehicle then overturned and Dep. Stonehouse was pronounced dead at the scene. Lifesaving measures were attempted by first responders from Montcalm Rescue but were unsuccessful.

Neither alcohol or drugs are believed to be a factor in the crash.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Deputy Stonehouse served nearly 25 years at the KCSD in the Correctional Facility. He spent time at the Sheriff’s Honor Camp and he was instrumental in several of the department’s various technological implementations. Russ was responsible for training new employees on in-house software, which meant that he knew practically everyone.

He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Kerri, and a young son, Zack. Russ was a dedicated father and never missed Zack’s hockey or baseball games or practice, often coaching from the sidelines or monitoring the penalty box. He was always present rink-side and field-side supporting his favorite athlete, Zack.

In lieu of flowers, a fund for Zack’s education and athletic needs has been established by Russ’ KCSD family:

https://www.youcaring.com/zackstonehouse-819196.

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Fire in garage spreads to home


This fire spread from the garage to the home within minutes. Post photo by J. Reed.

This fire spread from the garage to the home within minutes. Post photo by J. Reed.

Firefighters were on the scene for four hours Monday at this fire on 17 Mile Rd in Tyrone Township.

Firefighters were on the scene for four hours Monday at this fire on 17 Mile Rd in Tyrone Township.

By Judy Reed

The Kent City/Tyrone Township Fire Department was called to the scene of a garage fire at 720 17 Mile Road, just east of Paine, at 9:42 a.m. Monday, April 25. It was just to the east of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s north substation.

“We arrived on scene at 9:59 a.m., and the fire was already impeding into the roof area of the house,” said Kent City Fire Chief Mike Rexford. He explained that unfortunately, there were no firebreaks between the roof and attic of the garage, and the roof and attic of the home.

Fire departments assisting Kent City at the scene were Sparta, Solon, and Algoma. “They all came with water and manpower,” said Rexford. “During the day we are just not blessed with as many personnel.”

They cleared the scene at 2:10 p.m.

The homeowner George Counts, and his wife, were home at the time and got out safely. No one was injured.

Rexford said that the cause of the blaze was accidental. The owner had discarded ashes out of his pellet stove, into the trash in the garage. He thought that they were no longer hot.

Rexford said firefighters were able to get some things out of the home, and that the retired couple returned the next day and salvaged a few other things. “It will probably be a total loss,” he said of the home. It was insured.

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Police seek info in home invasion


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Police responded to a report of a home invasion in the 13300 block of Larray Lane NE, in Northland Estates, shortly before 1 p.m. on Friday, April 21.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the homeowner returned home and found the front door wide open and it appeared to have been forced. No one was home at the time. It is unknown whether anything was taken.

If anyone has any information, you can call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or the Kent County Sheriff Office Detective Bureau at 616-632-6125.

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Locker rooms at Skinner Field vandalized


 

By Judy Reed

Vandals have once again taken aim at Skinner Field, this time vandalizing the outside of the locker room with graffiti.

According to Jerry Gross, a member of Friends of Skinner Field, the damage was discovered Wednesday, March 29. He said it cannot be washed off, and will need to be repainted. No one reported seeing the crime.

“They (the vandals) are defacing public property,” said Gross. “Skinner Field belongs to the City, and we oversee the property and are trying to keep it nice. We would really like to ask for the public’s assistance with that.”

The Skinner Field concession stand and several outbuildings were also broken into last fall. No one reported hearing anything at that time either, though there would’ve been some noise to break open the back door. The suspects were caught after police distributed surveillance footage of them that was taken inside the concession stand.

Why is Skinner Field important?

The short answer is that it is a piece of Cedar Springs history and worth preserving.

Skinner Field was named after J.A. (Bert) Skinner, a leading citizen and businessman. He owned Skinner’s Drug Store, which was located at 43 S. Main Street, the vacant lot where we now hold the Christmas tree lighting. According to the Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, Skinner started work at the age of 13 in a local drug store, and later set a record as the youngest person to pass the state pharmaceutical board. He was given his pharmaceutical license when he turned 18.

Skinner served as village president for 25 years, and was president of the board of education for 25 years. He was a state senator for two terms, and involved in Republican politics all during his life. On Friday, July 6, 1948, the Village of Cedar Springs paid tribute to Bert Skinner, and part of the tribute was the dedication of Cedar Springs Public School’s lighted athletic field, on the west side of Morley Park.

In 1991, a gift was given to the school district, to construct a running track at the field. An agreement signed by both the school and city made it available for both school athletic events and the community to run on. It was created partly on school property and partly on city property, with the school district responsible for maintenance for a period of 99 years, or until they relocated the field and running track, which they did, in the mid-2000s, when they built Red Hawk Stadium. The City later took ownership, but did not have the money to maintain it. The Friends of Skinner Field was formed, and they have renovated the field, which hosts many athletic events, including Rocket football.

If you see or hear anything suspicious at Skinner Field, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department by calling 911. If you know anything about the vandalism, you may contact non-emergency dispatch at (616) 632-6100 and ask for an officer to take a report.

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Two die in murder-suicide


Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

The Kent County Sheriff Department responded to a home in Courtland Township Monday and found a woman dead and her son injured.

Police were dispatched to the 9200 block of 14 Mile Road, on Monday, March 20, about 2:24 p.m., after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a third party asking them to do a welfare check. When they arrived, they went inside and found Gloria Launiere, 59, deceased. Soon after they found her son, David Applegate, 34 seriously injured. Both had been stabbed.

Applegate was transported to Butterworth Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Police believe that Applegate killed his mother, then stabbed himself.

No other information is being released at this time.

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Teen charged in business break-in


 

N-Sunshine-logoA suspect has been charged in the breaking and entering of a local business earlier this year.

On January 3, the Kent County Sheriff Department responded to a business burglary at the Cedar Chest, located at 61 N. Main Street, in the City of Cedar Springs. An employee contacted the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, after finding the back door damaged and that entry had been gained. KCSD Deputies responded and processed the scene. It was reported that some items had been taken from the store.

Through investigative leads, detectives were able to locate a potential suspect in the case. Additional interviews and searches were conducted leading to 18-year-old Alexander James Hirst being identified as a suspect.

Hirst, a resident of the City of Cedar Springs, was charged by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office with one charge of breaking and entering, and one charge of safe breaking.

Alexander Hirst is currently in the Newaygo County Jail on unrelated charges and will be transferred to the Kent County Jail upon release.

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Sheriff Department crime stats


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N-Sunshine-logoThe Kent County Sheriff Department has issued their crime statistics for the year for the cities and townships they patrol. Over the last few weeks, we have been sharing some of those statistics. Below are statistics from the last three townships in our area.

Spencer Township: Population: 3,960. Had 535 dispatched calls, 45 traffic stops. The top five dispatched calls were for suspicious conditions/noise/subject (50); assists (47); traffic crash-property damage (37) and alarms (27); domestic argument-no assault (22). The top five criminal offenses were domestic simple assault (19); obstructing justice (12); OUIL or OUID (9); driving law violations (9); non-aggravated assault (8). The highest number of calls occur on Monday, then Saturday; the peak time of day is a tie: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The hotspots for service calls are in the areas surrounded by Hemlock and Verlin.

Sparta Township: Population: 9,110. Had 934 dispatched calls, 221 traffic stops. The top five dispatched calls were for assists (110); suspicious condition/noise/subject (93); traffic crash-property damage (71); domestic argument-no assault (60); alarms (41). The top five criminal offenses: domestic simple assault (33); obstructing justice (27); intimidation/stalking (15); damage to property (15); driving law violations (13). The highest number of calls occurs on Sunday, with about 8 p.m. being the peak time for calls. The hotspot for service calls are in the area of Viking and Long Lake Drive; Glen Park; and the area of Alpine, Schultz, and Vinton.

Tyrone Township: Population 6,107. Had 946 dispatched calls, 91 traffic stops.

The top five dispatched calls were for assists (87); suspicious condition/noise/subject (77); traffic crash-property damage (71); domestic argument-no assault (56); domestic assault (36). The top five criminal offenses were domestic simple assault (23); obstructing justice (19); intimidation/stalking (13); violation of controlled substance (8); driving law violations (8). The highest number of calls occurs on Friday, with about 8 p.m. being the peak time of day. The hotspot for calls is in the area surrounding M-37, Main Street, and Ball Creek; and the area of 17 Mile, Daily and Nellie.

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