kent county http://michiganradio.org en Group wants "Health" to be a key consideration in all government decisions http://michiganradio.org/post/group-wants-health-be-key-consideration-all-government-decisions <p>A handful of Michigan county health department leaders say “health” should play a bigger role in local decision making.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Health department officials from Wayne, Genesee, Ingham, Kent, Kalamazoo, Saginaw and Washtenaw counties met in Lansing this past week to strategize how to change the way local governments do pretty much everything.&nbsp;</p><p>Linda Vail is Ingham County’s Chief Health Officer.&nbsp;&nbsp; She says city and county leaders often fail to consider the potential effects their decisions will have on their community’s health.</p> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 17:23:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 18185 at http://michiganradio.org Group wants "Health" to be a key consideration in all government decisions Former Kent County commissioner to serve a year in jail for sex crimes against minor http://michiganradio.org/post/former-kent-county-commissioner-serve-year-jail-sex-crimes-against-minor <p></p><p>A former Kent County commissioner will spend a year in jail after pleading guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.</p><p>Gary Rolls resigned his county commission seat earlier this year. He was accused of beginning a sexual relationship with a girl when she was nine. She's now in her late 20s.</p><p>Rolls said nothing before he was sentenced Thursday afternoon. &nbsp;</p><p>In a statement, the victim told the judge Rolls used his position in power to threaten her.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:46:22 +0000 Lindsey Smith 18080 at http://michiganradio.org Former Kent County commissioner to serve a year in jail for sex crimes against minor Same-sex couple from Grand Rapids sues to get state to recognize out-of-state marriage http://michiganradio.org/post/same-sex-couple-grand-rapids-sues-get-state-recognize-out-state-marriage <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmpbMvxlgpA</p><p><em>Governor Rick Snyder's statement after a federal court overturns Michigan's ban on same sex marriage in March 2014. </em></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:35:10 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17982 at http://michiganradio.org Former Kent County Commissioner reaches plea deal with prosecutors in sex case http://michiganradio.org/post/former-kent-county-commissioner-reaches-plea-deal-prosecutors-sex-case <p>A former Kent County commissioner will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty this week to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.</p><p>As part of the agreement, prosecutors dropped four counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct against former Kent County Commissioner Gary Rolls. He could’ve faced life in prison if convicted on those more serious charges.</p><p>Instead, Rolls pleaded guilty to a lesser charge plus illegal use of a computer and tampering with evidence.</p> Wed, 14 May 2014 15:16:54 +0000 The Associated Press 17597 at http://michiganradio.org Former Kent County Commissioner reaches plea deal with prosecutors in sex case Kent County considers asking voters for dedicated veteran millage http://michiganradio.org/post/kent-county-considers-asking-voters-dedicated-veteran-millage <p></p><p>Like a lot of counties in Michigan, Kent County uses money out of its general fund to pay for services for veterans who live there. Right now that amounts to $8 per veteran. As a comparison, Oakland County spends more than three times as much per veteran. Livingston County spends nearly seven times as much.</p> Fri, 09 May 2014 01:21:41 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17537 at http://michiganradio.org Kent County considers asking voters for dedicated veteran millage Another Kent County Commissioner facing felony charge resigns http://michiganradio.org/post/another-kent-county-commissioner-facing-felony-charge-resigns <p>A Kent County commissioner is resigning. <a href="http://www.michaelwaweejr.com/">Michael Wawee Jr </a>is facing a felony embezzlement charge for between $1,000 and $20,000, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.</p><p>Wawee announced his resignation Thursday. The Republican from the Grand Rapids suburb of Walker was arrested earlier this month.</p><p>He's accused of overcharging families for the engraving of grave markers while working as a salesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. Police say the diocese was not aware of the overcharging.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:25:36 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16431 at http://michiganradio.org Kent County Commissioner resigns to focus on proving 'absolute and complete innocence' http://michiganradio.org/post/kent-county-commissioner-resigns-focus-proving-absolute-and-complete-innocence <p>Gary Rolls resigned from the Kent County Commission today. In a <a href="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/michigan/files/201312/Statement_from_Mr._Rolls.pdf?__utma=227721857.737606320.1381320433.1386857893.1386864035.261&amp;__utmb=227721857.77.5.1386864784245&amp;__utmc=227721857&amp;__utmx=-&amp;__utmz=227721857.1386822951.257.6.utmcsr=facebook.com|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/l.php&amp;__utmv=-&amp;__utmk=96727324">brief written statement </a>to the board, Rolls thanked his constituents for allowing him to serve.</p><p>“I will use this time to prepare for trial to prove my absolute and complete innocence,” Rolls’ letter said. The resignation takes effect January 1<sup>st</sup>, 2014.</p><blockquote><p align="LEFT"><font face="Times New Roman">“We accepted the resignation of Commissioner Rolls this morning,” said Dan Koorndyk, </font><font face="Times New Roman">Chairman of the Board of Commissioners. “We appreciate that he recognizes it is better for the </font><font face="Times New Roman">Board of Commissioners to select a new member who can represent District 4 without distraction</font><font face="Times New Roman">.”</font></p></blockquote><p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 16:58:55 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15656 at http://michiganradio.org Kent County Commissioner resigns to focus on proving 'absolute and complete innocence' Pilot program in Kent County hopes aims for better outcomes, savings in foster care system http://michiganradio.org/post/pilot-program-kent-county-hopes-aims-better-outcomes-savings-foster-care-system <p>Kent County is a part of a new pilot program for children in the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/foster-care">foster care </a>system.</p><p>Michigan has been <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/new-agreement-gives-michigan-fresh-start-fix-foster-care">working to overhaul</a> its child welfare system for years, after it was sued over problems in the system.</p><p>&ldquo;(That case) tells us that we don&rsquo;t have a perfect system. So we have to continually improve,&rdquo; Kent County Assistant Administrator Wayman Britt said.</p> Sun, 13 Oct 2013 06:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14824 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's governor asks for presidential disaster declaration for counties affected by spring flood http://michiganradio.org/post/michigans-governor-asks-presidential-disaster-declaration-counties-affected-spring-flood <p>Gov. Snyder seeks a presidential disaster declaration for 16 Michigan counties hit hard by floods this spring.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Heavy rains in April and early May led to flooding in many parts of Michigan.&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:55:52 +0000 Steve Carmody 12951 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan's governor asks for presidential disaster declaration for counties affected by spring flood 150 allowed home after flooding in Kent County http://michiganradio.org/post/150-allowed-home-after-flooding-kent-county <p>GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Officials say about 150 people who were evacuated from homes in Kent County because of flooding have been allowed to return home.</p><p>Kent County spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante says those allowed home by around midday Wednesday are among nearly 700 officials believe are evacuated. She says officials want to make sure homes are inspected before people return and utility crews restore power and natural gas service.</p><p>The Kent County number doesn't include about 1,000 people evacuated from downtown Grand Rapids' Plaza Towers because of the rain-swollen Grand River.</p><p>LaPlante says it could be weeks before Kent County officials have estimates of the financial cost of the flooding damage in the area.</p><p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:05:32 +0000 The Associated Press 12273 at http://michiganradio.org 150 allowed home after flooding in Kent County Legal battle over decriminalizing marijuana in Grand Rapids gets even more complicated http://michiganradio.org/post/legal-battle-over-decriminalizing-marijuana-grand-rapids-gets-even-more-complicated <p>The City of Grand Rapids and a group behind the decriminalization of marijuana there are at odds over how to enforce the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/election-results-show-michigan-cities-more-marijuana-friendly">charter amendment voters passed in November.</a></p><p>In a recent court filing, the city argues police should have discretion, if not the duty, to turn over marijuana charges to the state. That way, offenders would be charged with a crime, not a civil infraction.</p> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 22:08:50 +0000 Lindsey Smith 12051 at http://michiganradio.org Legal battle over decriminalizing marijuana in Grand Rapids gets even more complicated With restraining order lifted, Grand Rapids can decriminalize marijuana… for now http://michiganradio.org/post/restraining-order-lifted-grand-rapids-can-decriminalize-marijuana-now <p>Grand Rapids will work to put a new charter amendment in place that decriminalizes marijuana, now that a Kent County judge today lifted a temporary restraining order preventing implementation.</p><p>City residents voted overwhelmingly for the amendment in November. Under the charter amendment people who get busted with a little pot in Grand Rapids would just pay a fine.</p> Wed, 23 Jan 2013 22:05:16 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10913 at http://michiganradio.org With restraining order lifted, Grand Rapids can decriminalize marijuana… for now Confirmed flu cases down, health officials warn people to keep guard up anyway http://michiganradio.org/post/confirmed-flu-cases-down-health-officials-warn-people-keep-guard-anyway <p>Maybe people are washing their hands and staying home when they’re sick. Maybe they’re not even going to the doctor’s office; toughing it out at home on the couch instead.</p><p>We don’t know why exactly, but the number of confirmed flu cases in Kent County this week <a href="http://www.accesskent.com/NewsRoom/PressReleases/2013/01152013.pdf">dropped 43-percent from the week before</a>. The number of people visiting the emergency room with flu-like symptoms has also decreased.</p><p><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MIFluFocus_1_5_06_146893_7.pdf">Statewide numbers are less dramatic</a>, but also down from a peak in December.</p><p>Still...</p><p>“If you haven’t gotten a vaccination yet, get it,” Lisa LaPlant, a Kent County Health Department spokeswoman said. “There is a possibility that we could see resurgence of flu,” she adds. Tue, 15 Jan 2013 22:35:42 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10788 at http://michiganradio.org Confirmed flu cases down, health officials warn people to keep guard up anyway Protestors circle Kent Co. prosecutor’s office building, demand respect for marijuana vote http://michiganradio.org/post/protestors-circle-kent-co-prosecutor-s-office-building-demand-respect-marijuana-vote <p>The City of Grand Rapids was prepared to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana today. But a Kent County judge <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-voters-decriminalize-marijuana-kent-county-prosecutor-sues?nopop=1">issued a temporary restraining order </a>to stop it.</p><p>So, roughly a hundred protestors gathered outside Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth’s office at high noon.</p><p>“It’s such a bummer that we’re ignored,” resident Nick Monroe said.</p> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 22:47:56 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10260 at http://michiganradio.org Protestors circle Kent Co. prosecutor’s office building, demand respect for marijuana vote Grand Rapids voters decriminalize marijuana, Kent County prosecutor sues http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-voters-decriminalize-marijuana-kent-county-prosecutor-sues <p><strong>Update 9:00p.m.</strong> - There's a growing crowd of people who say they'll protest the prosecutor's decision in Grand Rapids on Thursday. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/522360374455396/">The event was posted on facebook </a>this evening.</p><p>The City of Grand Rapids was ready to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana this week. But a Kent County judge issued the city a temporary restraining order Monday afternoon at the request of the Kent County prosecutor to prevent implementation.</p> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 00:28:48 +0000 Lindsey Smith 10193 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids voters decriminalize marijuana, Kent County prosecutor sues Prosecutor says Bolger-Schmidt investigation halted to influence election http://michiganradio.org/post/prosecutor-says-bolger-schmidt-investigation-halted-influence-election <p>Republican Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth said today he halted the investigation into Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Monroe) and Rep. Roy Schmidt (R-Grand Rapids) because he wanted the information about Bolger and Schmidt's scheme to be made public prior to the election.</p><p>If he continued with his investigation, <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120820/POLITICS01/208200398#ixzz246doQW9a">the Detroit News reports</a>, Forsyth said it could have continued beyond November.</p> Mon, 20 Aug 2012 19:33:07 +0000 Mark Brush 8736 at http://michiganradio.org Prosecutor says Bolger-Schmidt investigation halted to influence election Kent County GOP rallies around Hoekstra, Amash, and R-turned-D Roy Schmidt http://michiganradio.org/post/kent-county-gop-rallies-around-hoekstra-amash-and-r-turned-d-roy-schmidt <p>Now that the primary is over, Kent County Republicans are working to get more people to rally behind their nominees.</p><p>Even Democrat-turned-Republican State Representative Roy Schmidt Schmidt was among the GOP nominees at a unity rally in Grand Rapids Wednesday night.</p><p>He narrowly defeated a write-in candidate who decided to challenge Schmidt in the wake of a criminal investigation into Schmidt&#39;s party switch. No charges were brought in the case. However, the Secretary of State&#39;s office is still investigating allegations Schmidt violated campaign finance laws.</p> Thu, 09 Aug 2012 03:34:14 +0000 Lindsey Smith 8609 at http://michiganradio.org Kent County GOP rallies around Hoekstra, Amash, and R-turned-D Roy Schmidt Roy Schmidt party switch prompts Dems to call for perjury investigation http://michiganradio.org/post/roy-schmidt-party-switch-prompts-dems-call-perjury-investigation <p>Democrats in Kent County are asking for an investigation after a state representative switched political parties this week.</p><p>Longtime Democrat Roy Schmidt from Grand Rapids switched parties to run as a Republican Tuesday.</p><p>22-year old Matt Mojzak filed to run in the district which includes Grand Rapids. The Secretary of State&rsquo;s office says Mojzak changed his address from one in neighboring Ottawa County to one within the district just this week. But the affidavit says Mojzak had lived at the Kent County address for 22 years.</p> Fri, 18 May 2012 16:32:19 +0000 Lindsey Smith 7532 at http://michiganradio.org Roy Schmidt party switch prompts Dems to call for perjury investigation Kent County’s ‘reverse eBay’ saves thousands on supplies http://michiganradio.org/post/kent-county%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98reverse-ebay%E2%80%99-saves-thousands-supplies <p>Kent County is saving tens of thousands of dollars a year on supplies thanks&nbsp;<a href="https://www.accesskent.com/RFPPublishing/Auction.jsp">to a customized online auction</a>. The program is like the online auction site eBay in reverse.</p><p>When Kent County needs office supplies, like printer paper, it opens an auction online. It lists a maximum price it&rsquo;s willing to pay based on previous bills. Vendors offer to sell the county printer paper at that price or lower.</p> Sun, 01 Jan 2012 22:00:46 +0000 Lindsey Smith 5604 at http://michiganradio.org Kent County’s ‘reverse eBay’ saves thousands on supplies Man infecting people with HIV “an extremely serious health concern” in Kent County http://michiganradio.org/post/man-infecting-people-hiv-%E2%80%9C-extremely-serious-health-concern%E2%80%9D-kent-county <p>51-year-old David Smith faces one count of failing to disclose his HIV status to a sexual partner.</p><p>The Kent County Health Department issued a press release Thursday afternoon that said it&rsquo;s treating this as &ldquo;an extremely serious health concern&rdquo;:</p><blockquote><p>Police say the suspect, 51 year old David Smith from Kent&nbsp;County, made statements that suggested his activities may have included people from outside of the area, including individuals he met over the internet.</p> Wed, 28 Dec 2011 02:29:07 +0000 Lindsey Smith 5573 at http://michiganradio.org