Commission to canvass votes
The Barton County Commission will meet as the Board of County Canvassers at 8:30 am on Monday, April 13, in the Office of the County Clerk. At that time, they will canvass ballots from Tuesday’s city/school /hospital general election. The Commission’s agenda meeting will begin at 9 a.m. or immediately following the close of the canvass.
The efforts of organizations that help Barton County residents through volunteerism or in times of crisis were recognized by the County Commission Monday morning.“Some of the best people who live in this county are here this morning,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. The first proclamation declared Tuesday as County Day of Recognition for National Service.“America’s counties turn to national service and volunteerism as a cost-effective strategy to meet local needs,” said Linn Hogg, Volunteers in Action/RSVP executive director. “In doing so, participants in national, state and local service organizations, such as the Volunteers in Action, Meals on Wheels, and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Medical Transportation, address the most pressing challenges facing cities and our nation.”Volunteering, she said, is the hallmark of the American character. No one demonstrates this better than those who help in these programs.She has 29 medical transportation drivers who gave 594 rides to 109 people in 2014. They averaged 50 rides per week.But, Hogg said the need is growing. So far this year, 237 rides have been given to 72 individuals for an average of 79 weekly.The drivers often use their personal vehicles and only get compensated for the gasoline they use. “But, what they give is so great,” Hogg said, adding the service allows many to stay out of nursing facilities. Schartz said the county is proud to help fund the ride program. “Helping to keep people in their homes with just a little bit of support is great for the community.”Next, the commission named April as Child Abuse Prevention Month at the request of the Family Crisis Center. The Proclamation states that “children are our most valuable resources. As child abuse can have long-term psychological, emotional and physical effects, it is essential that we reduce or eliminate risk and promote the well-being of children.”“Prevention remains the best defense,” FCC Executive Director Laura Patzner said. The FCC’s Dell Hayden Memorial Child Advocacy Center opened in 2012 to help with this effort. “It takes teamwork to address child abuse,” Patzner said. By bringing together health care, social services, law enforcement and legal service representatives for a multi-disciplinary approach, the advocacy center minimizes the trauma to victims of abuse.April was also designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence, ranging from rape to harassment. Patzner said the center provides services for sexual assault survivors at no charge and offers educational and professional training for community members and professionals. “The numbers nationally are declining,” Patzner said. But, unfortunately, that is due to many cases going unreported.The problem remains widespread, she said. One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped during their lifetimes, one in four girls and one in for boys will be assaulted before they turn 18 and one in five women and one in 16 men will be assaulted on college campuses.“It’s sad that kind of stuff goes on,” Commissioner Don Davis said. He has had family members who have been abused and has long been an advocate for prevention efforts.Patzner said she, too, was a victim of an assault that took place 27 years ago.