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County court system expands

The LaGrange County Superior Court is expanding with the addition of a teen drug court and another probation officer. Both of the new positions will initially be funded through state community corrections grants.

The LaGrange County Council agreed to creating the new positions and also to a salary schedule for both positions.

Superior Court Judge Lisa Bowen-Slaven was on hand Monday morning at the county council meeting to explain the new grant-funded positions to councilmen. She explained that the grant money can only be used for salaries.

The teen drug court coordinator will be paid up to $1,936.73 bi-weekly and the probation officer up to $1,637.50 bi-weekly. Wages for both positions are according to the state salary schedule.

Other money from the grant was appropriated and will be used for fringe benefits.

Judge Bowen-Slaven explained that the community corrections program has been in effect for only three years. Reports on the effectiveness of the new programs will not be available for three to five years.

The judge explained that the state reports now being used are based on evidence-based data and take much more time to construct and write.

Other additional appropriations approved by county council included $333,333.33 for a Community Crossing grant match for the county highway department and $29,000 for a pickup truck for the parks and recreation department.