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Wyoming Commissioners Pleased to See Drop in Juvenile Detention

Citing the recent change in officers in the juvenile court system, the Wyoming County Commissioners confirmed and celebrated the drop in juvenile detentions in the past year. Rather than sending young offenders to a detention facility, early intervention methods as well as community service and similar outreach-based disciplines are being invoked with good results.

"If we can keep young kids from getting a record, that's all to the good," commented Commissioner Tony Litwin. Last year a new District Attorney, Jeff Mitchell, took over the reins in Wyoming County. Juvenile Probation also saw the departure of Marshall Davis and new director John Yarnell grasp the helm. The commissioners said Tuesday that the new personnel seems to have a different and more effective philosophy when it comes to juvenile offenders and how they are handled.

In other business, Tom Owens, who for the past seven years has headed up the county's Veterans' Affairs Department, has announced his resignation effective July 1 of this year. The county will advertise for the position, which is part-time. A job description and applications may be obtained at the courthouse.

Ken Levitsky was appointed as the consulting attorney for the Election Board. The appointment is temporary, and due to the fact that the county's regular attorney, Jim Davis, who would normally handle the duties needed by the Election Board, has had knee replacement surgery and will be out of commission for one or two weeks.

A new vehicle for Domestic Relations was approved. The purchase of the 2011 Ford Escape will cost $21,700, at least $2,000 cheaper, reports County Administrator Bill Gaylord, than local dealers were able to offer. The new vehicle will be paid entirely by Domestic Relations' federal funding stream, and there will be no cost to the county. The vehicle will be purchased through the county piggyback purchase program, known as "COSTARS."

Joy Sands Howell was hired as the new secretary for Magisterial District Judge John Hovan's office. Howell will replace Debbie Stover, who is retiring. Howell will undergo training later this month. Her starting salary will be $18,837 a year. It is a full-time position.

At the salary board meeting immediately following the commissioners' meeting, the position of Woodyard Supervisor was taken from part-time to full-time. Judge Russell Shurtleff, who assigns eligible inmates and violators on job seek to the Woodyard as needed, said that the Woodyard has been a "huge success." It is turning a profit, which helps maintain vehicles, equipment and safety items for the facility. The position will become full-time as of June 1 of this year. The job will be the same as it is now but will go to 40 hours a week at a salary of $12 an hour. The hourly salary will stay the same and the person now filling the part-time position will transition to the full-time position. There are no health benefits offered with the full-time position and since it is a management/supervisory role, it is not a union position.

The salary board also reviewed and re-classified some of the workers at the county's recycling center. The center is doing well with recycling markets up at the moment.

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