Monday, April 23, 2018
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County gang recruiters are aiming younger

Third year of grant will target elementary.

LEXINGTON—With evidence of gang activity in Dawson County, law enforcement and other officials have been diligent to implement intervention programs.

Midwest Nebraska Drug Court coordinator Steve Garcia, who also oversees the gang intervention activities in the county, told Dawson County commissioners on Friday that new grant money will be used in an attempt to influence a younger audience.

“I was disappointed and disgusted to learn last year that gang recruitment is happening among elementary students,” Garcia told the board. “We need to expand intervention to the elementary level.”

Dawson County has already received two years of funding in a five-year grant program from the Nebraska Crime Commission.

Garcia asked commissioners for permission to pursue $17,600 for the third year with the intention of purchasing additional curriculum aimed at elementary-age students as well as training gang intervention facilitators.

“It’s a two-prong approach,” Garcia said. “There’s intervention and prevention.”

Commissioners unanimously agreed to sign the 2012 State Juvenile Services grant application.

In other business, county board members:

listened to a presentation from Ron Fowler and Chuck Olsen concerning the Johnson Lake trail program. There are 6 miles of trail left to finish around the lake, 4 in Dawson County and 1 in Gosper County.

Fowler said when complete, the trail will connect 445 Dawson County residents, including 156 permanent homes, at the lake. The project will be built without funding from the county but organizers would like county approval and input. The next section of construction is tentatively set to be done in the fall of 2012.

approved withdrawing old roads projects from the federal aid request list. Commissioner Butch Hagan said the old projects will likely never receive federal funding and the county cannot apply for state assistance while they are still on the federal list.

appointed individuals to fill Dawson County Extension board positions from each district. Christine Wolff replaces Vicky Peterson, Kurt Karlberg replaces David Boyd, Becky Mundorf replaces Marti Fischer, Randy Rogers replaces Rod Wood. Jan Stieb was reappointed.

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