Thursday, November 27, 2014
   
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County renews drug court agreement

With an 80% success rate, it’s tough to argue against what the Midwest Nebraska Drug Court has accomplished in Dawson County.

Director Steve Garcia told the county board of commissioners on Friday the diversion program that began in 2006 is making a difference.

“We are in the process of being evaluated by the state,” Garcia said, “but I can tell you that 80% of the people in the drug court program complete it successfully.”

The mission of drug courts is to stop the abuse of alcohol and other drugs as well as related criminal activity through an extensive supervision and treatment program.

In exchange for successfully completing the program, the court may dismiss the original charge, reduce or set aside a sentence, offer a lesser penalty or a combination of all these.

Commissioners showed their support for Dawson County’s drug court, agreeing whole-heartedly to extend an interlocal agreement with the State of Nebraska.

Garcia also asked the board to approve contract employment of Tova Reiman, who serves as the juvenile facilitator the county’s gang prevention and intervention program.

Garcia, who heads the juvenile services program as a volunteer, said grant funds pay Reiman’s salary and provide valuable resource information and programs.

A one-year state crime commission grant and a two-year violence prevention grant allow Reiman to work with juveniles already on probation for a variety of infractions as well as carry out individualized gang prevention and intervention programs.

“I’m seeing a lot of gang recruitment activities beginning in elementary school,” Reiman told commissioners. “By identifying kids who are at risk and getting them interested in other things early we can possibly keep them out of gangs.”

Intervention once children are already involved doesn’t prove to be as successful, overall, as prevention, Garcia said.

Commissioners agreed to the extending the contract with Reiman, acknowledging that grant funds will pay her salary.

In other business, commissioners:

learned the dates for the 2013 Dawson County Fair have been set Aug. 3-11 to correspond with the 2012 event.

were invited to a joint meeting between the Dawson County Transit and Kearney RYDE will be 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Lexington Grand Generation Center. Discussions will revolve around the possible merger of the two programs.

discussed with Joe Zerr of Overton a vacant lot he has been maintaining for 10 years adjacent to his home at the south end of the walk-over. Zerr said in the process of work to construct an addition to his house, Zerr learned the county owns a portion of the land he thought was his.

Deputy county attorney Kurt McBride advised commissioners that since the land is neither a county road nor a county right-of-way but, in fact, a county-owned lot, state statute dictates it must be sold to the highest bidder after a series of public notifications.

Commissioners agreed to have the lot surveyed and begin the process for sale.

received the monthly roads update from superintendent Jon Mooberry, who said closure of the Union Pacific Railroad crossing at Rockhaven Camp is tentatively set for the week of Sept. 11-14. Mooberry said the new road into Rockhaven is complete and reimbursement from the state and railroad for the cost will be submitted.

reviewed a request from Brian Thompson of Consolidated Connect to expand services to allow broadband customers in the southwest corner of Dawson County to watch television channels and stream movies over broadband Internet.

Thompson said the company is not digging new lines or constructing new towers, only adding the broadband capabilities. He said Consolidated needs a non-exclusive franchise agreement to expand.

Commissioners asked for revisions to the agreement and will consider it again in September.

accepted county office inventories of equipment totaling $8.2 million.

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