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Tag Archive | "New Sheriff"

Undersheriff Michelle Young appointed Kent County Sheriff


Kent County announced last week that Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young has been appointed Sheriff.

First female sheriff for the County

There’s going to be a new sheriff in town. 

Kent County announced last week that Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young has been appointed Sheriff to fill the unexpired term of Sheriff Larry Stelma who retires on Nov. 1, 2018.

Two individuals applied for the position: Undersheriff LaJoye-Young and Lt. Marc Burns. Kent County Chief Probate Judge David M. Murkowski chaired the statutorily mandated selection appointment committee and served along with Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker and Kent County Clerk Lisa Posthumus-Lyons. The committee’s decision was unanimous.

“The committee appreciates both candidates interest in the position and their commitment to law enforcement,” said Judge Murkowski. “Lt. Burns has served the Kent County Sheriff’s Department well and has an impressive resume,” Murkowski concluded.

“However, today it is an honor for the committee to appoint Undersheriff LaJoye-Young to the position of Kent County Sheriff. She possesses an unparalleled knowledge of the operation and procedures of the Sheriff’s Department, having worked in every division and served in every rank in the Department. Furthermore, the Undersheriff enjoys wide-based community support and commands the respect of every law enforcement agency across the state of Michigan and beyond. She has demonstrated throughout her career a great capacity and ability to lead and possesses an unwavering enthusiasm for the administration of justice. The fact Michelle LaJoye-Young will serve as the first female Sheriff for Kent County serves as the perfect exclamation point to a truly momentous day,” stated Murkowski.

LaJoye hired in as a corrections officer in December 1989; was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the records bureau in July 1994; promoted to Lieutenant in November 1999; promoted to Captain in January 2007; promoted to Chief Deputy in January 2011; and was promoted to Undersheriff in June 2015. 

She also went to school while working for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. She attended the Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy; received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. She graduated from Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 2012.

Kent County Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young’s appointment to Sheriff will be effective Nov. 1, 2018.

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Red Flannel Festival starts next week


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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Kent County Credit Union
Ray Winnie


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