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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Honor is official

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

BENTON - It's official: The Scott County Courthouse is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

During their meeting Tuesday Scott County commissioners reviewed a letter from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources confirming the courthouse was added to the list on Jan. 28.

"A certificate of this honor will be prepared and forwarded to you in the near future," Mark A. Miles, DNR director and deputy state historic preservation officer, advised in the letter.

Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel said he is glad the county's forbearers had the foresight to build a courthouse as large as they did.

Having viewed other courthouses in the area, "this courthouse is the biggest and most impressive," Priggel said.

In other Scott County news:

* David A. Dolan, circuit judge for the 33rd Judicial Court, discussed with county commissioners an article from Missouri Lawyers Weekly on recommendations from the Missouri Supreme Court's legislative committee studying the efficiency of the Missouri judiciary.

The article notes disparities in case loads and suggests redrawing judicial districts, according to Dolan. Regardless of case load, "they all are paid the same," he said.

Dolan also noted the districts haven't been adjusted in some 40 years or so. "And the numbers have changed," he said.

Other recommendations from the committee range from making all associate judges into circuit judges - which would be very expensive - to appointing all judges instead of electing them. "But they might have to change the (state) constitution for that," Dolan said.

Missouri presently has a mandate for at least one judge per county, while the legislative committee suggested that some counties just don't need a full-time judge, according to Dolan.

Judge Gary Witt of the 6th Circuit argues in the article that having one judge in each county ensures access for county residents.

Scott County is among the top five or six counties considered to be handling a case load greater than average for the number of people on staff, according to Dolan, and Mississippi County is right about at the average.

* Commissioners discussed coming up with a memorial for county veterans of wars following World War I to complement the recently-restored World War I veteran memorial at the courthouse.

The project would involve contacting various veterans organizations within the county to compile a complete list of county residents who died in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Desert Storm. "If we had any people killed in Desert Storm," Priggel said. "We probably didn't."