The Highland County Board of Commissioners announced Wednesday that the search for the county’s new assistant animal control officer has concluded, and that Macy Walker from Hillsboro would start her new duties Monday.
Abernathy referred to those that applied for the position as being “really outstanding candidates,” but Walker ultimately satisfied the background check requirements, and brought the right temperament and love for animals the position required.
“We’ll have two full-time officers for the first time as we do our best to make our animal rescue and the dog pound the best it can be,” Abernathy said.
Amy Zimmerman of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, a pro-literacy effort that came about after the passage of the Ohio budget, gave a presentation to commissioners that described the program’s objective of enhancing reading abilities in preschool and kindergarten children.
The program is a statewide partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which aims to team up with a local non-profit organization to see that age-appropriate books arrive in the mailboxes of children across the Buckeye State each month.
“We’re trying to make Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library available in every county in Ohio,” she said. “In the new Ohio budget, $5 million was set aside for funding, and these are state funds that a non-profit will be using to match so we can make this a reality.”
She said Highland County was one of 34 counties that didn’t have the reading program available to its nearly 3,000 children under the age of 5.
The program’s intention, she said, is to identify and work with a local non-profit group to raise the necessary funds so that they could then be matched by the state, in order for the Tennessee-based organization to mail out a free book each month to a child from birth up until 5 years old.
“The first book that they’ll receive is ‘The Little Engine That Could,’” she said, “and the last is ‘Look Out, Kindergarten, Here I Come,’ and the goal of this program is to make sure that children entering kindergarten have the early literacy skills they need.”
Also Wednesday, an extension agreement to permit the law firm representing the county to continue negotiations with the local Fraternal Order of Police was approved, and commissioners moved to accept the contract.
Abernathy and Duncan had high praise for those that were instrumental in the grand opening of the new Rocky Fork Lake branch of the Highland County District Library system, describing it as “well attended and a great addition to the community.”
Upgrades were continuing on the new digital sign at the High-Tech Center, with Duncan saying the project was a “work in progress,” and had been “needing attention for quite some time.”
In other matters, a trio of line-item budget transfers was approved, and it was announced that due to the annual meeting of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio in Columbus, the regular commissioners meeting for the first week of December would be moved to Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.