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County Signs Juvenile Detention Agreement


When an adult breaks the law, depending on the infraction, he earns a period of time away from society. If a juvenile is found guilty of a crime requiring incarceration, the process quickly gets complicated. There is specific housing, separation from adult population and possible therapy programs.

The process is further complicated by the lack of available residential facilities, according to Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub.

In the July 20 meeting of the Cheyenne County Commissioners, the commissioners renewed a contract with Lancaster County Youth Services Center for juvenile detention services.

“We really need it because there's a shortage of these facilities,” Schaub said in the meeting.

Scottsbluff had a juvenile facility. The closest facility at this time is in Lincoln; possibly one in North Platte or Kearney, according to Schaub. However, the likelihood of having an opening when needed is not good. The Lincoln facility charges $300 per day to house juveniles.

“It's a one-year term,” Schaub said about the contract.

Cheyenne County Sheriff Adam Frerichs said after the meeting that juveniles taken into custody by law enforcement is becoming extremely rare. He said juveniles would be taken into custody mostly because of violent crimes. Schaub said Cheyenne County has “maybe a couple” of juveniles incarcerated each year.

The issue of prairie dogs raised its head again as a representative of a pest control company met with the commissioners. Zeb Goodrich, owner of M & M Services, LLC., of Newcastle, Wyo., was on the agenda. Goodrich said he found Cheyenne County's discussions regarding prairie dogs in a Google search.

“The company has been around 20 years,” Good rich said of M & M Services. “I bought it last year.”

He said his company can cover 500 to 1,000 acres per day. He added they have a 95 percent kill rate, and have a process to safely kill prairie dogs within city limits.

“It's super safe,” Goodrich said.

He added that to keep acreage clear of prairie dogs, the property owner needs to conduct periodic maintenance. He estimated cost at $20 per acre, $1.35 per pound of poison.

Commissioner Phil Sanders said management of prairie dogs is a landowner issue.

“The prairie dog problem is the responsibility of the landowners,” Commissioner Randy Miller added.

He said the issue was brought to the commissioners by landowners.

“We will not get involved until we have to, but we are not afraid to get involved,” Miller said.

The commissioners also met with the Cris Burks, Cheyenne County Weed Superintendent, and Doug Hart, County Highway Superintendent.

Burks said they are working with two noxious weeds new to the area.

Hart said he is researching possible installation of a stop sign at County Roads 117 and 16. The consensus in the meeting was to start with a yield sign.


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