Cletus Smith running for sheriff 4.23

Written by David Green.

Six and counting.

That’s where the growing field of candidates stands in the race for a new Lenawee County Sheriff.

Rural Clayton resident Cletus Smith, a veteran of the sheriff department, made his announcement last week on the Republic ticket.

Smith, a lieutenant with the department, is a 31-year veteran of law enforcement who worked in Hudson and Morenci before joining the Lenawee County Sheriff Department in 1980.

He served as a road patrol deputy and as a narcotics agent before his reassignment to the detective bureau. As lieutenant, he oversees the detective bureau, records and courthouse security, and is responsible for the budgets of those departments.

Smith aims to take an innovative and pro-active approach to running the sheriff’s office while adhering to the budget.

“This sheriff’s race is not about me, it’s about the people of Lenawee County and their needs and concerns,” he said.

Smith says that he has worked under two good sheriffs—Jack Germond and Larry Richardson—and he will take the best qualities of both men and combine that with his own values, integrity and leadership.

“Under my leadership, the sheriff’s office will be pro-active in drug enforcement, investigations, traffic control, corrections, security and the safety and well-being of our citizens,” Smith said.

He and his wife, Wilma, are the parents of four grown children. He is active in Kiwanis, Relay for Life and Meals on Wheels program.

Smith joins John Birdwell and Jack Welsh in the Republican field. On the Democratic field, Larry Weeks, Thomas Popejoy and Al Navarro will face each other in the Aug. 5 primary.

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
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    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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