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April 12, 2005     Cape Gazette
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April 12, 2005

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u :ili:i CAPE GAZETTE, Tuesday, April 12 - April 14, 2005 - 5 Griffin named to Hall of Fame of Delaware Women By Karl Chalabala Delaware has cut its schOol tru- ancy rate in half, thanks largely to the efforts of Patricia Griffin. As Justice of the Peace Chief Magistrate, Griffin established and guided the national award- winning Truancy Court, which has reduced the number of unex- cused absences statewide by 50 percent since its inception. For outstanding service to her profession and community, the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women last month inducted Grif- fin as its newest member. Griff n, a resident of Lewes, re- ceived the honor for her 12 years of work as chief magistrate. Griffin said truancy, a powerful predictor of juvenile delinquency, is often a symptom of underlying problems within a family, such as mental illness, child abuse or sub- stance abuse. "Obviously, if a child is not go- ing to school, they are much more likely to get into trouble," she said. "With Truancy Court, we work with the family to get to the underlying issues." Griffin said she loves working with families. "You will see improvements in the relationships. When kids are not going to school, the parents are very frustrated," she said. "I remember two girls who went through the program who did not speak to their mothers at all or on- ly angrily. At graduation, they got up and spoke about how much their mothers meant to them. The nice thing with Truancy Court is th'e families end GRIFFIN up in a much better place." Griffin said she enjoys the chal- lenge of working within the court system to improve it. Truancy, she said, was a great place to begin because charges were either not filed against par- ents and students, or if they were, only a minimal fine or penalty was levied. Delaware's Truancy Court rep- resents a holistic solution to fix- ing the problem. The court in- volves visiting teachers, prosecu- tors, judges, court personnel, so- cial workers, interns and health, social service and treatment providers. The court takes all these differ- ent groups of people and aims for a swift and highly personal inter- vention. The results show an ef- fect. Despite a 49 percent increase in filings, which resulted in a 90 percent increase in court events such as arraignments and case re- views, in 2003 and 2004, the av- erage number of unexcused ab- sences dropped from 43.4 to 22.4. Briefly Lewes BPW sets April 21 agenda The Lewes Board of Public Works will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 21, at City Hall. Agenda items include appoint- ing a general manager, reorganiz- ing the board, confirming ap- proval for emergency repairs to well No. 4A and approving in- voices and the treasurer's report. The board will hear a report from Severn Trent on wastewater treat- ment plant operations and consid- er revising the electric impact fee schedule. The board will also hear a rec- ommendation on rebuilding the 69-kilovolt transmission line and a recommendation for disposing steel poles. He thinks smells in carpet are interesting. You don't. Time for new carpet? There is no better way to give your room a face lift than with new carpet...and with our low prices, you may want to do the entire house! Stop in-our helpful sales staff will help you find just what you're looking f We know a lot about carpet, Sales -Service ~ Installation Expert Steam Cleaning it's what we do! .... Carpet ~ Vinyl - Tile Laminates ~ Wood ~ Cork All Ipes of Repairs Wescoats Comer & Savannah Road 302-644-8772 Across from Happy Harry's-Behind Lewes Printing 302-227-5513 Those results earned the Truan- cy Court the 2003 Program of the Year award from the International Association for Truancy and Dropout Prevention. Griffin said the state of Maryland is running a Truancy Court pilot program based on Delaware's after seeing its success. Griffin was promoted in Febru- ary to the position of State Court Administrator, where she will work with the chief justice to im- prove the inner workings of the entire court system. She is the first woman to hold this position. Griffin said she would miss working with the families who came before her when she was chief magistrate. "I really enjoyed heating truan- cy cases and making a differ- ence," she said. "I'm not hearing cases now. I'm not a judge any- more. Now I enjoy a whole new set of issues. I do enjoy working in a job with a challenge." V&J Country 302-6840116 VATERFORD" Mother's Day Gift with purchase ..'i :/ i : :: i.::.Z i.:  : .i]::," :. With a purchase of $149 in Waterford Crystal product, you will receive a Waterford Fine silver plated 5 piece Hostess Set Retail value $50 st00o 1977 25 Baltimore Avenue Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971 302-22 7-8331 800-225-8331 www. woodenindianltd, corn Monday-Saturday 10-5 Sunday 11-5 5 pc. Hostess Set