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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
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    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
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    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
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    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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