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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • More sites needed for juvenile offenders

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  • Finding places to put juvenile offenders is become more and more difficult in the area.
    With an increasing number of young people committing crime, more placement sites are needed for juvenile offenders, said South Central Kansas Community Corrections Director David Wiley at the Pratt County Commission meeting Monday afternoon.
    Just one juvenile site is in the area at Hutchinson and placement sites are few and far between in Barber, Harper, Kingman and Pratt Counties. It is a problem that needs some attention.
    In western Kansas, there is no place to go with juvenile offenders so more sites are needed over a wide area.
    "They are few and far between," Wiley said.
    The future of Community Service in Pratt County could become a little clearer at the next Commission meetings. Wiley said a meeting with Pratt County Attorney Ken Van Blaricum and others is scheduled for Friday to discuss the operations and future of community service and how the operation would be run now that coordinator Peggy Lee has resigned.
    Drugs continue to be a prevalent issue in Pratt County. Wiley said 95 percent of drug cases that go through SCKCC are filed in Pratt.
    But all the small towns on the southern border of Kansas are seeing an increase in drug use because the drug laws in Kansas are much weaker than in Oklahoma.
    At the landfill, Wes Hemphill is floating between the landfill and the recycling center to help cover the gap left with the death of Chad Friston who ran the weight scale at the landfill, said Jason Winkel, Pratt County Landfill and Recycling supervisor.
    Winkel said they were having some problems with tickets but they were sending out invoices and they were getting the problem resolved.
    A railroad crossing at NE 50th Street will become safer with the installation of automatic crossing arms, lights and bells. The state and railroad have approved the crossing, said Randy Phillippi, County Road supervisor. said
    The commissioners approved a road crossing for J&B Oilfield Services who want to install a three-inch poly line. The line will cross some Barry Bortz property, Phillippi said.
    The county has finished overlaying an access road on the west side of the Pratt County Fairgrounds. The old road surface had deteriorated to a point where it needed to be resurfaced.
    Pratt County Emergency Manager Tim Branscom reminded the Commissioners that BP would resubmit a request to establish a wind farm in Pratt County at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 at the Pratt Area 4-H Center on the Pratt County Fairgrounds.
    He also said the county emergency operations plan had expired in July but that he would work to get a new plan to the Kansas Division of Emergency Management by the end of the year.
    Page 2 of 2 - The county cannot get Emergency Management Performance Grants without an approved plan. Pratt is one of 42 counties that had an emergency plan expire, Branscom said.
    In other action, commissioners approved $25,100 for Steve LaPrad to do the 2015 budget and the 2013 audit.
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