Chief juvenile probation officer deeply grateful

In this world of terrorism, economic crises, scandals, natural disasters and the list goes on…there is still good in this world. I have experienced a true “Christmas Blessing” this year right here in Blount County, Alabama.

As many readers of this paper know, the Blount County Juvenile Probation Office has dealt with a financial crisis over the past several months. On March 28 of this year, we had no idea how we would come up with almost $94,000 to save two employees (half our staff) and services for the children of our county. I would like to sincerely thank the following people who came to our rescue as that money has been raised thanks to their hard work and true concern:

Circuit Judge Steven King; District Judge Sherry Burns; Drug Court Judge John Dobson; Wendell Ellis, Jerry Jones, and the Blount County Health Care Authority; Rep. Elwyn Thomas; Rep. Jeremy Oden; Sen. Scott Beason; Sen. Clay Scofield; District Attorney Pamela Casey and Assistant DA Crystal Boudreaux; Elizabeth Nash, Bob Bentley, and Alex Smith, Blount County Law Library Fund Committee; David Standridge and the Blount County Commission; Karen Trussell, AOC Family Court director; and Rev. Bud Jones and Shawn Smith, Hope House Inc. A very special “thank you” to Libby Nash and Bob Bentley for their unwavering emotional support and encouragement.

I would like to also thank other individuals and agencies that have stood by us to help any way they could during this difficult situation:

Jim Carr and Rodney Green, Blount County Board of Education; all Blount County school principals; Brenda Hazelrig, attendance officer; Scott Coefield and Keith Bender, Oneonta City School; Sheriff Loyd Arrington and the Blount County Sheriff’s Department; Oneonta Police Department; Chris Green; Donny Ray; Susan White; Steven Goldstein; Brett King; Jeff Sherrer; and many citizens of our county who have been emotionally supportive and concerned. A special thanks to The Blount Countian for making the people of our county aware of our crisis. I can’t possibly name every person who has helped in some way or just expressed genuine concern. I apologize if I left anyone out but what a great problem to have!

My family has been by my side through this ordeal, and I am so grateful for each of them. I could not have withstood the pressure without their love and understanding. I wish to express a special thank you to my church, Trinity Baptist, for their continuing love and prayers.

Finally, I would like to say I am grateful for the staff at Juvenile Probation – Hal Blackwood, Amber Stephenson, and Teresa Hall. ( Thanks to Lisa Massey, Clerk’s Office, for putting up with all of us during this year!) Let me say that without the assistance, strength and encouragement of Hal Blackwood, I would not have been able to make it through this year. I am blessed to work with wonderful, caring people who go above and beyond the call everyday.

I felt it was important that people know that there are many good folks in Blount County who care about our children and youth. Most of all, I thank the good Lord for giving us this blessing. I have a suspicion our former boss, Danny B. Hicks, somehow had a part in our “True Christmas Blessing.”

Meleah H. Davis

CPO, Blount County Juvenile Probation