Saline County Commission honors domestic violence awareness month

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Prosecuting Attorney Don Stouffer (right) and LaTausha Lembke (left), who works as a victim's advocate in Stouffer's office, requests to place the purple bow on the southwest corner of the square to promote domestic violence awareness at the Saline County Commission meeting Thursday, Oct. 16. (Jesse Brown/Democrat-News)

Prosecuting Attorney Don Stouffer attended the Saline County Commission meeting Thursday morning, Oct. 16, to ask permission to post a purple bow, made by LaTausha Lembke, on the southwest corner of the square to promote domestic violence awareness.

"As I'm sure that you have seen October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month," Stouffer said. "... The purple ribbon became the symbol of domestic violence awareness. It is extremely important. I don't think that anybody in the general public, except those folks who have served in the past, understand how much time is taken up by lost work because of domestic violence, law enforcement time because of domestic violence, it's a huge amount of resources. To the extent that we can reduce or hopefully some day eliminate domestic violence, we need to do so."

At this point, Stouffer permitted Lembke, a victim's advocate for Stouffer's office, to speak about the matter in detail.

"We would like to shed light on ending the silence of domestic violence and let our community know that there is hope out there," Lembke said. "Statistics show a victim of domestic violence waits until they've been hit an average of 35 times before filing a police report. Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people each year."

Lembke said domestic violence isn't limited to physical violence, but other forms that assert control and power.

"I want individuals to know abuse happens at all levels of society and it does not discriminate," Lembke said. "I want individuals to learn to be empowered and speak up and tell themselves 'I do not deserve this today and today I take a stand.'"

The commissioners approved the request and Stouffer said the bow will be up for about two weeks.

In other business, Southern Commissioner Monte Fenner asked commission to approve a special payment of $88,641.50 to Boone Construction Company for their work on the Wilton Springs bridge. Fenner also updated commission on bridge No. 47.

"Yesterday, I signed the payments for the paperwork for the next payment on bridge (No.) 47 and that amount will be $33,404.19," Fenner said.

Fenner mentioned as well that he attended the University of Missouri - Extension council meeting Wednesday evening, Oct. 15.

"We finalized the Century Farms program that we'll be having Nov. 13," Fenner said. "It will be held at the Martin (Community) Center this year, rather than the courtroom upstairs."

Fenner said they are expecting 150 to 200 people this year because University of Missouri - Extension will be celebrating their 100th anniversary while honoring Century Farms. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will present six farms.

Northern Commissioner Charlie Guthrie reported to commission that new veteran's bricks will be installed either late October or early November on the pathways of the Saline County Courthouse.

"We'll be installing 40 more bricks on the east side of the courthouse honoring veterans," Guthrie said. "This will be a little bit more work, we've got to cut sidewalk out."

Presiding Commissioner Tom Stallings reported of the business conducted at the solid waste district meeting that he attended Tuesday, Oct. 14, in Concordia.

"The main order of business was the review of the annual audit of how the money is spent through the solid waste district and obviously the counties that are part of the solid waste district are responsible for the funds and how they are spent," Stallings said, speaking about the audit performed by Randall Fiene's office in Concordia. "They gave it a completely clean audit for the year, so they seem to be doing business as they should be."

He also mentioned a few projects the solid waste district is pursuing, including a permanent household hazardous material collection site in Sedalia.

The next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, in commission chambers.

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