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New arraignment system on the horizon

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

BENTON - Judges, prosecutors and other court officials will begin looking at precisely where to install Scott County's video arraignment system.

Scott County Economic Developer Jim Schwaninger said during the regular county commission meeting Tuesday that having attended the grant compliance seminar required for the Missouri Department of Public Safety equipment funds, the next step to take place over the next couple of months is the formation of a committee comprised of court officials to decide how to implement the system.

The system will feature two-way video links between the jail and each of the three courtrooms.

The cost of the system's equipment was projected at $59,750 with the grant covering 75 percent and the county matching the remainder.

In other Scott County news, Schwaninger reported on a feasibility study for a biodiesel production facility proposed by the Bootheel Regional Planning Commission which was recently completed.

"It's a small plant and small equipment," said Schwaninger. "The equipment is not that expensive."

Biodiesel is reportedly a good alternative for diesel fuel because it is a renewable resource, is healthier and more environmentally friendly and is less expensive than other alternatives.

The study also examined how such a facility would interact with a Rural Restoration value-added soybean processing facility project, with officials recommending placing the biodiesel facility adjacent to the soybean processing facility.

Schwaninger also said the BRPC's tourism committee is beginning work on a brochure identifying Civil War sites.

* The monthly meeting with city and school district officials, slated for noon Thursday at Mac's Smokehouse near the Cape Girardeau Airport, may be canceled as several officials have already indicated they will not be able to attend.

Commissioners said they will contact some of the remaining officials to see if they will be able to attend before calling the meeting off.