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By Don Thompson
BENJAMIN – In the Commissioner’s Court meeting on Nov. 8, Lorrie Coop introduced KC Jones as the newly appointed AgriLife County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences. Jones is a local resident with a background in education and was active in agricultural activities when she was a student.
During the Public Comment time, Knox County News-Courier reporter Don Thompson updated the commissioners on the status of the broadband survey project. As head of the broadband survey committee, Judge Stan Wojcik urged all county employees to take the survey, with the goal of receiving a grant to improve the speed, access, and lower the cost of Wi-Fi in the county.
The commissioners approved the redistricting of the county precincts. Judge Wojcik advised redistricting was required due to shifts in population in the cities and county, with only slight changes necessary. County population was lower than previous census by almost 400, from 3,719 to 3,353.
In the election held Nov. 2, a total of 182 ballots were received, with all propositions passing.
A bid from a Wyoming company for a trust property in Munday was declined.
Sheriff Hunter Embesi reported the jail is experiencing a continued shortage of employees. The difficulty in hiring qualified employees is attributed to our smaller county competing with bigger counties for a limited number of qualified employees. Even bigger cities are also experiencing shortages, with 20 or more openings at the neighboring Taylor County jail. Embesi added the duties at the local jail are still being handled even with a staff shortage, but more help is needed.
Fuel thefts, catalytic converters, trailers, and other property thefts are on the increase.
“Lock up your stuff,” advised Embesi, “to help in deterring thefts.”
The 911 office handled a total of 264 calls, with 206 emergency calls and 58 non-emergency calls.
Director Jim Dillon of the Aging Center reported 2,282 meals were served in October, including meals at the center in Knox City, and to visitors and home deliveries.
Road and Bridge Manager Brady Hansen stated they are busy preparing the roads for cotton harvest traffic and winter conditions. Hansen reminded the commissioners he also has an opening for a Road Hand position. There is an advertisement in the newspaper with additional information on this position.