August 11, 2010 Edition

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County expecting FEMA funds soon

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

During Monday's Quorum Court meeting, Lawrence County Judge Alex Latham informed court members that the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster money from 2009 should be forthcoming within a month.

"President Obama signed a bill recently that included a release of emergency FEMA funds," Latham said. "We will get 75 percent of $123,000, which is what we spent during 2009 on the disasters of that year."

Sheriff Dan Ellison announced that there will be a meeting on Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. at Captain Catfish in Walnut Ridge to discuss the problem of overcrowded jails and possible solutions. The county judges and sheriffs of Randolph, Sharp, Jackson and Clay counties have been invited to attend, along with Lawrence County officials.

Justice of the Peace Junior Briner explained recent construction work at the old library building on Main Street is being done by the hospital. Since the county has purchased over six acres of land to build a new justice complex and not remodel the old library into a courtroom, the hospital has acquired a 25-year sublease on the building.

As part of the agreement, the hospital will give the Sheriff's Department at least a 25 percent discount in the event that a county jail inmate has to be taken to the emergency room.

A discussion regarding whether the county can financially help The Children's Shelter in Walnut Ridge was tabled to be reviewed in September.

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