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Commission honors abuse victims
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County to help recycling


The Barton County wants to foster more recycling efforts in the county.
County Administrator Richard Boeckman told the County Commission Monday morning that in the 2013 Barton County Operating Budget was $11,400 in funding for community recycling efforts. In the past, such funds went to Sunflower Diversified Services.
Now, however, the county wants to open this up to other applicants. Either all or a portion of the money will be offered as a grant to any department, agency, organization, recycling center, city, school district or community college or non-profit group located in Barton County. 
Criteria for award includes demonstration of positive economic and environmental impact; consistency with the Barton County Solid Waste Management Plan; benefit to county residents, businesses and industry and increase in the number of persons who recycle or increase the volume of recycled material.  It cannot include the recycling of hazardous materials.
The deadline for applications is 2 p.m. May 2. Applications are available at the County Administration Office, room 107 at the Courthouse, 1400 Main in Great Bend, or on the county’s website, For more information, call Boeckman at 620-793-1800.

Hearing a litany of sad and sobering figures, the Barton County Commission Monday morning adopted proclamations designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.
Family Crisis Center Director Laura Patzner said the goal of the observances is to raise public awareness and provide education. And, this is necessary: Nationally, 44 percent of all sexual assault victims are under 18; every two minutes, someone is assaulted; 54 percent of these attacks go unreported; most of the victims know their attackers and most of the attackers will never be prosecuted.
“These are startling statistics and they hold true in Barton County,” Patzner said. “It’s a very pervasive crime and it affects many, many people.”
In addition to the proclamation, the center is holding its fourth-annual annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event Thursday evening, April 18.
As for child abuse, Patzner said it is reported that 70 percent of all reported sexual crimes in the United States involve children, with one in four girls and one in six boys being sexually abused before the age of 18, and one in five children solicited sexually while on the internet. “The proclamation emphasizes the importance of understanding the problem of child abuse and neglect, and committing to learn more about the behavioral and physical signs of possible abuse.”
Also mentioned was the new Dell Hayden Child Advocacy Center housed in the FCC office. Open since last November, it brings together an “inter-diciplianary team” including the County Attorney’s Office, law enforcement and child advocacy agencies with the goal to make a stronger case against offenders and make the experience easier on the victims.
In other business, the Barton County Commission:
• Approved a request from the  Road and Bridge Department to purchase a new Caterpillar bull dozer for $134,643 from Folley Equipment in Great Bend.  The current unit, purchased in 1992, has in excess of 3,700 hours. Proposals were accepted through March 29. Under the proposal, a standard dozer with undercarriage long life track rollers, winch, heat and air, integrated lights, security system, buy back option of $60,000 and seven-year/4,000-hour warranty was included. Dale Phillips, Road and Bridge director, said the old dozer will be sold at auction. Due to a government discount, it was cheaper to purchase a new dozer rather than a used one.
• Approved the leasing of a replacement copying machine for the County Clerk’s Office for $335 per month for 60 months (that includes the rental payments and maintenance agreement) from Office Products Incorporated of Great Bend. The machine replaced one purchased in 2005. The actual cost of the copier with trade was $14,115. County Clerk Donna Zimmerman, who has been working with Information Technology Director John Debes, said the replacement  Canon imageRUNNER Advance C5350, is a durable unit with color copying, auto feed, duplexing, scanning and other needed features.