Website accuses county of pursuing citation
Over the weekend, an internet post kicked up a flurry of questions amid
accusations that the Newaygo County Sheriff Department demands quotas in a
state-funded special traffic enforcement program.
Under a headline that charges Sheriff & Entire Board of
Commissioners Admit to Breaking Federal & State Laws, an article at the website
http://thefreethoughtproject.com includes a short video clip from a Newaygo County Board
of Commissioners meeting. The item of business being discussed, county board approval of a
$15,000 drunk driving enforcement grant from the state Office of Highway Safety and
Planning, appears in the minutes of the Jan. 28 meeting, at the end of a meeting that was
logged as lasting for an hour and 19 minutes. The video clip starts in the middle of a
sentence in what appears to be Lt. Chad Fetterleys response to a question from
In a statement released on Monday, Sheriff Pat Hedlund said that the
Lieutenant has been disciplined for his statements involving numbers and that
the Lieutenant will be prohibited from directly or indirectly supervising all
activities of personnel during this enforcement program.
As the new Sheriff of Newaygo County,
Hedlund stated, I inquired if a quota for tickets and/or arrests has been the policy
of this agency. I have interviewed every police officer in this agency and not one officer
made me aware of any quota in place.
The public should rest assured, the Sheriff added, that
if I discover any instance of quotas or any other wrong doing I will
immediately forward the matter to an outside agency for criminal investigation.
Although state law prohibits requiring police officers to meet quotas
for citations, one county official noted that OHSP grants do include guidelines requiring
an average number of vehicle contacts during overtime shifts funded by the
The website article by Matt Agorist notes that the video is missing from
the countys website. County Clerk Laurel Breuker said that it is standard practice
for www.countyofnewaygo.com to offer only the most recent meeting videos, removing past
recordings when new meeting minutes are approved. On Sunday, the county site offered
recordings of the Feb. 25 board of commissioners meeting and recent meetings of five board
Sprout Lab events to promote local
ideas and innovation
Lab is coming to Newaygo County.
Valley State Universitys Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and
Innovation is bringing the program that promotes the development of ideas and inventions
into realities, courtesy of the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Lab will hold two programs that aim to help in the development of brainchildren into
Boot Camp is designed for people with an idea who want to explore the commercial potential
of that idea, said Project Manager Julie Cowie.
Boot Camp is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, April 1 and 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at
The Stream in downtown Newaygo. On April 1 at 5 p.m. will be a happy hour for networking
with agencies, organizations, investors and loan officers.
goal of the Boot Camp is for participants to be clear about their next steps in developing
their idea, Cowie said. We want to connect innovators to Michigans
entrepreneur ecosystem, particularly innovators with ideas related to agriculture, natural
resources, renewable energy and tourism.
fee for the Boot Camp is $149, or $25 for students and FFA members.
are also early bird discounts and we are also
offering Newaygo County residents a half off discount using code 50NEWAYGO, Cowie
second program were bringing, Cowie added, is a nine-session course in
how to startup a business, called Co.Starters. This will be
facilitated by local entrepreneurs and business people, including Laurie
Platte Breza of Brezas Blooms, Al Wilson of SCORE and Spencer Covey, who is the
Entrepreneur-in-Residence at GVSUs Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and
will run on Tuesday nights, 6 to 9 p.m. from April 14 through June 9 and will also be held
at The Stream.
teaches people how to start small and doesnt expect you to have a lot of money to
start with, said Cowie. The idea is to get your product or idea out to the
customer for feedback, and grow the business by selling something the customer wants. This
course is great for someone wanting to launch a seasonal business, a home-based business,
or to turn a hobby into a money-making opportunity.
people will have opportunities to learn more about entrepreneurial opportunities at two
events scheduled for Tuesday, March 10.
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Newaygo County Women Entrepreneurs will tell their success stories
at Spankys in Fremont. Presenters will include Spankys owner Michelle Burt,
Sheryl Miller from Miller Bridal and Sewing, Valerie Obenchain of Advanced Interactive
Response Systems, and Abigail Davis of Frenchies of White Cloud. Lunch will be
included. To reserve a seat, call 269-639-1970.
evening at 5 p.m., Brad Vlastuin, founder and CEO of Never Enough Auto Accessories, will
tell the story of his startup, a burgeoning Grant business that began with an idea and a
passion for everything automotive. The event will be held at Jimmys Roadhouse in
Newaygo, with a cash bar and soft drinks and appetizers provided by the Sprout Lab. The
public is invited. Reservations are not required but will be appreciated. Call
on Saturday, March 21 from 7:30 to 9 a.m., a Show Or Tell event will be held at Cronks
Oakridge Restaurant in Newaygo.
a tool of your own design, a technology that youve invented or a clever idea that
youre prototyping, Cowie said. Enjoy breakfast on us then tell about
your tool, invention, app, technology or product concept. Bring a picture of the object if
its too big to transport.
A panel of judges will award $300 to the best idea
in the room, $100 to the second best, and $50 to the third prize idea.
event is open to people of all ages. For reservations, call the same number, 269-639-1970.
goal is to help people move from working on their ideas in isolation toward connecting
with entrepreneurial partnerships to assist and support them in their ventures,
more information about Sprout Lab and the various planned events, call Julie Cowie at
269-214-1227 or e-mail her at Julie@SproutLab.org.
Fremont Area Community Foundation
Education mini-grant applications due April 15
Fremont Area Community Foundation is currently accepting applications for education
are due by April 15. A total of $125,000 is available for the 2015-16 school year.
year, the Foundation awarded 64 mini-grants totaling $124,958 for the 2014-15 school year.
These awards are being implemented in local schools and impacting more than 3,000
mini-grants support classroom programs or projects that will assist in reaching the
Foundations Goal 2025 initiative. This initiative seeks to increase to 60 percent
the proportion of Newaygo County residents who hold high-quality college degrees,
technical certificates, or other credentials by the year 2025.
grants are intended to encourage our teachers creativity and desire to innovate,
said FACF President and CEO Carla Roberts. It is our objective to support these
wonderful grassroots programs as we all work together toward Goal 2025.
mini-grants are available annually to Newaygo County educators teaching preschool to 12th
grade. The grants fall into three categories, range from $500 to $5,000, and are
anonymously scored by a selection committee c of retired educators.
applications must meet one of the Foundations education priorities: kindergarten
readiness, STEAM (curriculum fields of science, technology, engineering, art, math),
literacy, remediation, or must create a positive college and career-oriented culture.
information about education mini-grants, including application information, is available
online at facommunityfoundation.org/grants.