By Tim MacVean
ELKINS - Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong gave a report on the People's Law School during Thursday's Randolph County Commission meeting.
Wilfong gave the commissioners a recap on how she believed the fourth annual program benefited the community. She also expressed her gratitude to the Commission for supporting the program.
"I do want to point out a few things. First of all, to my knowledge, this is the only program like this in the state of West Virginia. It has received reviews statewide, it has been mentioned in Supreme Court reports and it has been reported in 'West Virginia Lawyer,'" Wilfong said.
"It's a program that really, in my opinion, showcases the fantastic and outstanding bar of attorneys that we have here in Randolph County and it is a public service opportunity for those who want to learn about the law, to come and be a part of the program, free of charge."
Wilfong thanked the Commission for being involved in all four years of the program. She also noted the program grew this year and said she hopes it will continue to evolve in years to come.
"As you know, this program has been sponsored by the Randolph County Commission for four years now. We have done some preliminary discussion about how to change it in the future because I think we are ready to evolve into the next step," Wilfong said. "We have added a mock trial and that has been a good time and the participants really seem to enjoy that, but there are some different topics that we are ready to add to the program when we get to doing this again, but we have a good while before we get to that point."
Wilfong said the People's Law School offered numerous presentations this year and many people from different county agencies participated.
"We did a family law presentation, property real estate, criminal law - Mr. (Michael) Parker moderated that one - elder law, wills of state, end of life planning - something that, unfortunately, we all have to deal with as our family members and ourselves get older - and then we did the mock trial," Wilfong said. "All three magistrates participated, the prosecuting attorney and his staff participated and all five probation officers participated."
"We had 17 lawyers donate their time, free, for this, this year and that's an ongoing thing. The lawyers have graciously agreed to teach it and that is not just 'come for the night.' This is preparing booklets, preparing information, preparing the speech, getting together and planning the mock trials. Seventeen lawyers, some pretty high-billing people, have donated their time for the program and I think that is a positive reflection on the bar we have now."
Commission President Chris See said he attended some of this year's
"I have heard nothing but good about it," See said. "I think it is a very good program. I enjoyed it while I was there."
Also Thursday, the County Commission voted on the following items:
- Approved the hire of Krista Daniels as an unpaid intern for the North Central Community Corrections Office.
- Approved a request for $1,600 by the Tygarts Valley Future Business Leaders of America to send four students to the national competition in Nashville, Tenn.
- Approved a request for $5,000 by the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce for the 30th annual Fourth of July celebration.
- Approved the Odd Fellows and Rebecca's #62's use of the property in front of the Wees Annex for Mountain State Forest Festival seating.
- Approved the hiring of Pamela Gifford and Donna Kuhn in the custodial department at a rate of $19,760 per year with full benefits.
- Approved the hiring of Madison Collett as a paid intern for the Prosecutor's Office, starting Monday for 15 weeks, at a rate of $9 per hour.