Alternatives to Violence Center Director Julie Brassel told the Highland County Board of Commissioners Thursday that the center was recently awarded a grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to fund two Child Advocacy Centers, one of which is set to open in Wilmington this spring.
Brassel said the centers will offer forensic exams for children by a licensed nurse and forensic interviews with trained staff, as well as various support programming for families.
According to Brassel, a second advocacy center is set to open in Hillsboro in the fall.
Brassel told The Times-Gazette after the meeting that the grant was $587,000, and is earmarked for the CACs and other forensic programming.
Board of Commissioners President Shane Wilkin commended the Alternatives to Violence Center for providing “unfortunately necessary” programming.
Brassel also said the center has planned a number events for coming weeks, including the Child Abuse Awareness Carnival, Spring Into Action Paint Night and Tea for Tweens, Teens and Queens.
The carnival will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Alternatives to Violence Center’s main office at 94 N. South St. in Wilmington. Games, prizes, food and popcorn will be available at the event, which recognizes April as National Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All adults must be accompanied by a child or children to enter. The event is free.
Spring Into Action will be held from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at GoodSeed Farm, 9736 Tri County Highway, Winchester.
The Brown County Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance Program and the Alternatives to Violence Center will host the event, which will inform participants of domestic violence and sexual assault as they paint pictures of succulent plants and peruse the farm. Treats will be provided and a painting session will be led by an artist.
The cost for the event is $35. Proceeds benefit victims. Those interested in attending should register by April 16 by calling Jessica Roush at 937-378-4151, Kimberly Newman at 937-383-3285, or Sarah Dinsmore at 937-695-0350.
Another event, Tea for Tweens, Teens and Queens, will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 10 at Hillsboro First United Methodist Church, 133 E. Walnut St., Hillsboro.
The event, now in its seventh year, is open to females ages 11 and up. No reservations are required. The free event will feature dinner and dating/sexual violence education, as well as featuring hair, nail, massage and crafting stations.
For more information on the Alternatives to Violence Center or upcoming events, contact the Wilmington office at 937-383-3285, or the Hillsboro office at 937-393-8118.
In other business, Commissioner Terry Britton said the Village of Greenfield recently applied for the county’s Recycling and Litter Prevention Grant, and the county has until May 1 to approve or deny the application.
Britton said the Highland County Community Action Organization has agreed to take over duties at the county Recycling and Litter Prevention Office following the resignation of outreach specialist Heidi Devine.
Barb Cole, a Hillsboro resident who often attends public meetings, asked how extensively the county had reviewed county finance records filed during the tenure of Rhonda Smalley, the commission clerk who resigned suddenly last year and was later charged with misuse of a credit card and theft in office.
Wilkin said he would have to confer with Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins before commenting on the matter.
The commissioners also approved agreements with various county emergency services agencies for their use of new MARCS radios and equipment; a liquor permit for the Marshall Mini Mart (Wilkin abstained); a resolution declaring a Ford Crown Victoria obsolete and transferring it to the Village of Greenfield for $1; and a resolution approving an extension agreement between the Highland County Sheriff’s Office and the Fraternal Order of Police until June 29 to allow a fact finder or conciliator to make matters with cost implications effective back to Jan. 1 of this year.
The commissioners also held bid openings on infrastructure projects and entered executive session with representatives of Milhuff-Stang CPA, Inc., for a pre-audit conference.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.