A bale of recycled plastics burst from its wrap causing major mess at recycle center.

The Pratt County Recycle Center recently experienced an unusual event when one of the 1,500 pound wrapped bales of plastic popped and spilled a big pile of crushed plastic bottles across the yard. Jason Winkel, landfill manager, reported the event to the Pratt County Commissioners at their regular Monday meeting.

Although the plastic bottles are crushed, they can still expand when tightly wrapped in plastic for shipping. The 20 ounce plastic bottles were the cause of the problem. Employees try to make sure each of the bottles is punctured but can't get them all. It took some time for employees to gather the bottles as they had to work between unloading recyclables.

In associated activity, Commissioners approved a new five-year solid waste management plan. No members of the public attended the public hearing for the plan and it was passed unanimously.

Also, the Pratt County Recycle Center has recently passed an inspection by Household Hazardous Waste, Winkel said.

The recycle center has been getting a lot of positive comments about their service and Winkel said he is anxious to see if the amount of material has increased at the end of the year.

South Central Kansas Community Corrections is gearing up for some changes in the way they handle juvenile case management. Catherine Rohrer, SCKCC director, said juvenile case management will be reduced to just two case scenarios.

First, they will have case management for a juvenile that has been to a correctional facility and is a sex offender. It that offender lives at home, the SCKCC will be able to put that juvenile in an out of home placement for up to 90 days.

Second, for juvenile offenders that have been diverted from a Juvenile Correction Facility, there will only be 50 beds available across the entire state for them starting Jan. 1, 2018.

There are massive changes coming from bill 367, Rohrer said.

Right now, the SCKCC has 22 or 23 cases in their four county area that covers Pratt, Kingman, Harper and Barber Counties. The new laws would impact eight of those cases.

The Kansas Department of Corrections is preparing for this change by having a state wide contract to provide functional therapy for youth in home placement. This is a new treatment for Kansas.

"We've never had anything like that," Rohrer said. "The state is anticipating the need for more community services for youth in community placement."

Besides the change in services, SCKCC is considering purchasing a new vehicle. One of the vehicles will probably reach the mileage limit this year, depending on how busy the staff is, so they are looking at possible vehicle options. Funds for the purchase would come from the reimbursement carry over on the adult side, Rohrer said.

The commissioners approved the 2017 SCKCC carryover reimbursement.

Janette Siemens, local Circles organizer, along with coordinator Billie Blair and Mary McCune for planning and finances, brought an update on Circles and how it was progressing. Circles is a program that teaches people how to break the circle of poverty.

Siemens said the program has gotten positive response and for the first time, people have made the first contact and that is huge step. Circles is getting ready for their fifth class starting in October.

While Circles has taught the participants valuable lessons, the Circles staff has also learned a lot from the Circle Leaders (the people who are trying to break the poverty cycle), Siemens said.

One of the Circle Leaders has started a retirement account and that is huge success for them. Another person is working on a business degree through Pratt Community College while another is getting their own apartment. This hasn't been easy for the people in the program because change is scary. So Circles is a story of success and is working to help break the circle of poverty.

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