November 14, 2007 Edition

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JPs adjust juror pay

The Lawrence County Quorum Court passed an ordinance Monday night, which will increase the pay for jurors who are called to serve during circuit court trials.

The ordinance sets payment for those who serve on a jury at $50 per day with an additional 40 cents a mile stipend for those jurors who must travel to Walnut Ridge to serve. Jurors formerly received $45 a day.

Those who are called to report for jury duty but do not serve on a jury will receive $15 per day but will not receive mileage.

County Judge Alex Latham said a new state statute requires an ordinance setting payment rates to be in place before the county can be reimbursed for a portion of the cost of setting a jury.

Mileage payments will be based on the shortest route from the juror's home to the courthouse. The changes will go into effect in 2008.

Justices also approved the 2008 budget of $2,644,340.49. Budget Committee Chairman Junior Briner said that $29,000 of the 2008 budget is unappropriated.

Redda Russell addressed the court about a plan to create a family readiness support group to provide support to families of soldiers who are in the Arkansas National Guard unit headquartered at Walnut Ridge.

"We are trying to generate support for our soldiers and their families while they are away serving their country," Russell said.

Russell said the first order of business is to get together a holiday care package for the approximately 130 soldiers in the unit. She said the cost of an individual package had been estimated at around $25.

In response to a remark by Justice Larry Sexton that he would like to see all Lawrence County military personnel receive the same kind of support, Russell said the group did not mind supporting any soldiers from the area and that she would make an attempt to find out how many Lawrence County residents are currently serving in the military.

Russell noted that those who would like additional information or who wish to offer support can contact her or County Judge Alex Latham.

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