homepage logo

‘Teen Court’ may expand

By Staff | Jan 26, 2011

Family Resource Network Director Melody Glasscock addressed Tuesday’s session of the Tyler County Commission concerning the expansion of Tyler County’s Teen Court program into Wetzel County in the coming year.

Glasscock approached the commission with a request to be the fiscal agent once more, and explained that the grant funding for the program would extend into Wetzel County for the following year. The Tyler County program is currently fully funded, she explained, adding, “We are not asking for money, just your time.” She further noted that it would be less expensive to consolidate with Wetzel County than to fund two programs. “The state is wanting to fund more regional programs,” she explained.

Tyler County currently levies a $5 fee on all court cases, excluding traffic cases, as part of the funding for the program. Wetzel County is expected to do the same. Ms. Glasscock noted that Wetzel County, being larger in size, could possibly generate more money for the program than Tyler County in this area.

Teen Court is an alternative, voluntary program which offers young offenders an opportunity to make restitution for an offense through community service, specialized classes and jury service, thus avoiding fines and keeping the juvenile’s record clear. By bringing the teens before a jury of their peers, which sentences them to constructive service in a community service organization and jury duty. The program also seeks to deter teens from future unlawful behavior, while providing direct experience in the judiciary system and an understanding of their future role as a productive citizen. Tyler County’s first Teen Court mock trial takes place on Thursday, February 3, with Judge David Hummel, Jr. presiding.

Upon consideration, the commission advised Ms. Glasscock to present the necessary paperwork in order for them to accept and approve the request. “Since it is an increase in the budget (though funded), we need something in writing in order to approve it,” President Charles “Pork” Smith commented. Ms. Glasscock agreed to submit the paperwork as soon as possible.

Debbie Hartsfield of the Senior Citizen Center also spoke to commission, asking them to consider allocating funds for the 2012 budget to partially subsidize nutrition, transpotration, and medical management programs currently offered by the center. Eighty-five per cent of the programs are grant-funded, and the other 15 per cent is achieved through matching the funds. The total cost for the county would run around $11,000. The center has been doing some fundraising of their own to generate matching funds, such as bake sales.

“How many seniors does this affect?” queried Vice President John Stender. “Is this a county-wide budget?” Ms. Hartsfield couldn’t provide solid numbers for the total program, but noted that 80-90 people eat at the Senior Nutrition site in Middlebourne, while over 40 have meals delivered to them. “Eighty or ninety a day?” asked Stender. “Yes,” she replied.”This is the first time the center has ever asked for the commission’s help.”

“The Senior Center shouldn’t have to hold bake sales and raffles to support this program,” remarked Charles “Pork” Smith.

“Our senior citizens should be a priority,” added Stender. “If we can help, we will.”

The request was tabled until June, when the 2012 budget items will be addressed.

John Stender reported that the work at Tyler County 4-H camp was on hold “until the weather breaks.” He noted that another load of lumber had been donated to 4-H to be used in the construction of a storage building at camp. Stender complimented County Extension Agent Christina Richmond’s efforts. “She’s really on the ball,” he said, adding “she’s doing a nice job.”

County Commissioner Eric Vincent informed members that he’d attended the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council meeting and was now on the loan review committee there. “Good,” remarked Pork Smith, “we are becoming well-represented in that area these days.”

Another item discussed and approved was payment of rent for OEM’s facility. It was decided to break the payments down into monthly installments pending an addendum to the lease. A letter from Mayor Dave Fox asking for budgetary assistance was tabled for further review by commission.

Those present at the meeting included Eric Vincent, Charles Smith, John Stender, County Clerk Teresa Hamilton, Melody Glasscock, Debbie Hartsfield, Sheriff Earl P. Kendle, Jr., Assessor Jack Hayes, and others.\